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Tiers for Fears
By Jack Cameron

Rising Up, Rising Down, and the Folly of Rankings

According to a “comprehensive business index” formulated by CBN Weekly, Hangzhou “is now recognized as a super city with comprehensive capacity and potential.” Fourteen other municipalities are in fact now recognized as "new first-tier cities" including Chengdu, Nanjing, Wuhan, Tianjin, Xi'an, Chongqing, Qingdao, and Dalian.

But recognized by whom, exactly?

And, like: So what?


DON’T MIND THE GAP. SHOW US YOUR UNIQUE GLOW!
Congratulations, Hangzhou. You are now a “new first-tier” city. Officially. Well, not really “officially.” It depends entirely on your definition of official. And as for the legitimacy or plausibility of the new designation – well, that depends entirely on how one qualifies “first-tier.” And how one defines ‘city.’

CBNweekly [sic] ranked 400 Chinese cities other than traditional metropolises like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen across 10 categories including brand density; number of premium brands entering; GDP; per capita income; number of colleges and universities; number of companies ranking on Fortune's Global 500; and airport throughput.

On the basis of the 10 individual rankings, CBNweekly has calculated the comprehensive business index for each city.

In China, when people want to rate a city's development level, the first consideration would be its administrative level. However, in accordance with the international understanding, a city in the modern sense of the word is a product of commercial and industrial development and a land for capital, talent, goods and information exchange (1).

Chengdu, Nanjing, and Xi’an made the (new) premiere league. The same maths also makes Ningbo (Zhejiang) and Hefei (Anhui) “new second-tier cities”.

The New Atlantases
The word “new” is essential to these new titles, and indeed CBNweekly's proclamation is so new that the American Chamber of Commerce seems not to have had time to adjust its website:

While various criteria exist for defining a particular tier, the tiers of cities in China usually refer to key characteristics of the city, including its economic development, provincial GDP, advanced transportation systems and infrastructure, and historical and cultural significance. China’s first-tier cities usually refer to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen which make “The Big 4.” Second-tier cities include Tianjin, Chongqing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Xiamen. Third-tier cities include Hangzhou, Chongqing among others (2).

On the subject of tiers and rankings generally, the New Zealand-China Trade Association website offers a little analysis of the matter:

We often hear of China’s first or second or third tier cities, yet what actually makes a city tier? The terms are so often used, yet there is actually no official formula for determining what tier a city falls in. Instead, everyone makes up their own rules. There are a few common views on which Chinese cities fall in which tier, often pointing to population, development of services and infrastructure, and the cosmopolitan nature of the city. First tier cities are naturally the fewest and easiest to find common ground on. China’s four city municipalities (Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing) are candidates as a clearly-defined group of leading cities. Yet this group doesn’t hold up in terms of the development and stature criteria mentioned above, and in their stead a different quartet is often put forward: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen – four huge metropolises with well-developed property markets.

It becomes much more trickier [sic] when we move down to second tier cities (3).

Although the NZCTA item states that “A China consumer study published in 2009 by consulting firm McKinsey, for example, recognized the limitations of using city tiers”, Business Week reported last month that many [luxury retailers] are focusing on China’s second-tier and third-tier cities — which McKinsey Global Institute predicts will be home to 45 percent of China’s middle-class and high-income earners by 2022 (4).” Thinking in terms of tiers – or in just in case it’s not exactly the same thing: generating metrics by which to ranking Chinese cities - seems a difficult habit to break.



Given Business Week’s angle on the arrival in Chengdu of Lane Crawford, and AmCham’s caveat (“Don’t let city tier rankings restrict your business outlooks. Even third-tier cities have populations in the millions and represent a promising potential market for your business”), one wonders what, exactly, motivated CBNweekly’s analysis, what need it fulfils, and what value they (or anyone else) see in its announcement. So-called “second-tier” cities are supposed to be where all the action is these days, and where all heavy-hitters want now to be; and so while the tag might be good for metropolitan self-esteem (the Marco Polo thing is a bit stale), but it might be the worse branding idea since New Coke.

MUMFORD AND SUMS
Human beings have been creating entrepots, flocking to them, gathering in them, and building walls around them for a very long time. There’s nothing new in distinguishing cities from non-cities, urbanites from perioikoi (5), and citizens from non-citizens. The differences among cities, and between cities and non-cities, did not escape antiquity’s notice.

The city as a purely physical fact has been subject to numerous investigations. But what is the city as a social institution? The earlier answers to these questions, in Aristotle, Plato, and the Utopian writers from Sir Thomas Moore to Robert Owen, have been on the whole no more satisfactory than those of more systematic sociologists (6).

Mumford says that “in its various and many-sided life, in its opportunities for social-disharmony and conflict, the city creates drama; the suburb lacks it.”

Mumford, we suppose, had never personally witnessed the social-disharmony and drama at a Lane Crawford sale in a suburban mall; but we’re willing to let that slide, if only because we like his characterization of a city as “a related collection of purposive groups and associations,” and the way the name ‘Mumford’ feels in our mouth and throat when we say it.

For us, there is an immediate, unfortunate and possibly reprehensible tendency to read “first-tier” either as “cosmopolitan” or “international.” There is also an equally spontaneous and no less prejudicial inclination to equate “cosmopolitan” with the adjectives civilized, humane, tolerant, and open-minded, and “international” with things like: the gentility of a city’s native and imported inhabitants; the efficiency of public transportation; the degree of refinement (or threshold of crudity) of the average driver in the municipal livery fleet; how many good Indian restaurants there are, and whether any can make a good mango lassi; the likelihood that any given member of the uniformed constabulary will on any given day be wearing white socks; the likelihood that simple municipal ordinances for the communum bonum and salus populi are consistently and non-arbitrarily enforced; and whether there is more than one place to buy a half-way decent baguette. But we know better (7).

METRICS AND METICS
However fun (or silly) or thought-provoking (or bigotry-revealing) such metrics may be, they share the fault of applying to indigenous conditions an alien yardstick. Metrics like these seem also to conflate and jumble-together quantifiables with qualifiables – facts and values, or, facts and the preferences based in part on values. One can count airports and reckon their cargo throughput, tally GDP and FDI, and map 4G bandwidth coverage as easily as one can take a headcount of Uniqlo outlets and Bentley dealerships. That’s exactly what Esther Fung and company did in their Wall Street Journal ditty “What Makes a Tier-2 City in China? Count the Starbucks”. Seemingly they too didn’t get the memo from CBNweekly:

What exactly differentiates a tier-two Chinese city from a tier-three city? Officially no one knows, but it might help to start by counting the Starbucks.

China has more than 600 cities, which are often categorized into four tiers. The government, industry experts and analysts all use this classification, but there is almost no agreement about which city belongs to which tier.

Unlike almost every other Chinese economic indicator, the government doesn’t have an official definition for the tiers. Even the country’s official statistics department—which uses the classification system but notes that it was started by the private sector—said it doesn’t have a definitive list (8).

One could of course count instead the number of Meters/bonwe stores, Geely lots, and milk tea kiosks, or the number of cops in tube socks, or the average distance between litter on the sidewalk and the nearest rubbish bin. Or the number of Tom Ford counters. Or the percentage of counterfeit product in the Tom Ford counters. The point is that whereas developmental markers directly related to commerce, industry, and infrastructure seem to support some deductions and a few solid inferences about other quantifiable data, clever metrics are at best playfully probabilistic. They make us grin because of the correlations they propose: high mean net-income correlates with lots of branded coffee shops that sell muffins and ciabatta bread sandwiches; coffee, muffins, and ciabatta bread sandwiches are Western foodstuffs; therefore, high mean net-income is an indicator of how Westernized (or: how non-prejudical against Western foodstuffs) a city’s residents are.

But it’s not that simple. Fun “Freakanomics”-style metrics also wink at values, standards of taste, and the trajectory of possible convergences upon those Western consumer-preferences we’re now in the habit of calling “global,” while hinting that the correlations might in fact be symptoms of deeply meaningful causal relationships. But there’s a world of difference between the market-penetration of a global Western brand, and the kind of value-thick and norm-rich “internationalism” and “cosmopolitanism” we think of when these two words come to mind or slip off the tongue.

CRAPACCINO
Take Greater Hangzhou, which has 38 Starbucks outlets. Not long ago we were smoking outdoors just beyond the threshold of a city-center Starbucks in which we were having a coffee. (Uncivilized and anti-social behavior. We note the possible hypocrisy.) Advancing with a brisk wobble from seating inside the establishment, Granny Liu pushed open the doors with her shoulder and raced outdoors, across the threshold, and down the steps, carrying her splay-legged grandchild by the underside of its knees. There, two meters from the Starbucks landing, Granny Liu aimed the toddler’s southernmost orifice at a clean spot on the pavement, and with a firm but gentle squeeze and bounce facilitated the latter’s discharge of a formidable, non-viscous pile of toffee-colored baby waste. Granny Liu’s flight plan to the door had actually taken her directly past the Starbucks restrooms. A minute or so later, the toddler’s mother, with a reassuring look of mortification upon her young face, came outside with a wad of paper towels in her hand, and made an admirable attempt to clean-up the mess. She then carried the soggy wad of discolored and despoiled paper towels back into Starbucks for deposit in the rubbish bin just inside the entrance. She did not opt for the trash can two meters away from where her child A-bombed a family of ants.

This is normal and SOP in our city, a “new first-tier city” with a Lamborghini dealership, the highest-grossing Lancome counter on Earth, and a pretty good Starbucks-to-Chipster ratio (9). One might be inclined to conclude that “first-tier” is therefore not a designation synonymous with “civilized” (said the public-smoker), whatever else the phrase purports to denote or intimate. But we have no fears for tiers. We are wondering in earnest, though, whether one should even use the word ‘city’ to refer to an administrative jurisdiction in which this sort of thing is de rigueur, the rule rather than the exception.

For a while now we’ve been publically pooh-poohing straight-faced claims that our adoptive city is in any meaningful sense “international”. But what makes, or would make, a city “international” anyway? Should we simply look for a certain density of shop-fronts for “global brands”, or retail outlets for imported luxury goods? Or should we consider instead the sales volume of whichever foreign brands have a retail presence in the city in question? Is a city more international for having four non-profitable GAPs, or for having one highly profitable GAP in which men strip in the retail area to try-on t-shirts and shoppers with kids are not discouraged by sales associates from allowing their children to piss in the potted plants?

Perhaps a city is “international” to the extent that it has a large and diverse non-native population -- long-term residents, or immigrants, or both, the majority of which contemplate themselves as legitimate stakeholders in the city, and are welcomed by the natives to think of themselves thus. But what should count as “a large population”? Shanghai is arguably China’s most “international city” on the mainland, and yet the roughly 173,000 resident foreigners there (out of +/-23 million) account for no more than three-quarters of one percent of the total population. So maybe we should instead measure the influence of non-native peoples upon the character of the city – say, the net effect of their presence upon indigenous folkways, mores, and practices, or, the extent to which the presence of non-natives results in a palpable cultural diversity and productive heterogeneity? Wow. Just try and create a formula for that.

The Metic
In this extraordinary society [5th-4thc BCE Athens], a peculiar but vitally important position was held by the resident aliens or metics. The so-called metoikoi were in fact a small but special sub-group… of a much larger group of free migrants or katoikoi. [T]hough the majority were Greeks from practically every part of Greece…, by the fourth century they included Thracians, Phrygians, Carians, Paphlagonians, Celts, Lydians, Syrians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Egyptians, Arabians, Scythians, and Persians. … The concentrated above all in Athens, the city which aspired to economic supremacy. … The anomaly was that they had no political rights: constitutionally, the polis was the state of the citizens, the politai, and no one else. Nor could they own land… [B]ut they had personal freedom, protection of the law, liberty of worship, and almost unlimited work opportunities.
                                                                           - Peter Hall (1998) Cities in Civilization, pp. 58-59


And so to the heart of the matter: what would any metric cooked-up especially for the sole purpose of rankings really establish? What would it really tell us about the character or quality of any given “related collection of purposive groups and associations”?

With respect to Occidental non-natives looking-in on Chinese cities – even when the observer is a well-adjusted and patriotic metic – evaluative descriptions, whether in terms of the presence of Western-trained doctors or the absence of vino verde, are in the final analysis bourgeois euphemisms for the adjective good. Concede that one point, and let it be Archimedean. Hangzhou is a “good city” in respect of this, but not so good in respect of that; Shanghai is a “great city” on account of X, but a pretentious overpriced hellhole on account of Y. Make a frank confessional of one’s private portfolio of priorities, and the devil with the rankings and qualifiers of others. Try and make a falsifiable proposition out of a statement like “Hangzhou is an international/cosmopolitan/first-tier (&c.) city”, and you’re back immediately to teasing-apart a tangle of objective facts and subjective sentiments --- so, why bother?

NOUN AND COUNTRY
Cities, by definition, have always tended to have more nouns than non-cities. Ur, Jericho, Babylon, Athens, Persepolis… Markets, bazars, harbors, quays, docks – where there is produce and trade, there are nouns. The quest for insulation and the desire for fortification end at last with decoration, public beautification, and private accumulation. Nouns billowing out of baskets and spilling out of gourds and amphorae; nouns hanging from hooks, hanging from earlobes; nouns dangling from wrists and hips, twisted into one’s coiffure, pinned to one’s cloak. Nouns traveling from East to West, West to East, in caravans; across seas, up and down rivers; nouns carried on poles, locked in chests, wrapped in leaves or skins. Nouns for sale. Nouns for rent. A city can have an abundance of blind, deaf, or mute beggars, but not merchants. The more nouns, the greater the mercantile dynamism and economic fecundity of a city. Strip a polis of its nouns, and it is a polis no more.

But of course, a bustling bazar and animated agora all presuppose one thing, the one noun sine qua non. People. Unless we contemplate a city as a hive – as some soulless collective of anonymous iterations, a colony of furtive hymenopterae - a city –proper is (as Mumford says in elegant understatement) an intentional aggregation of individuals. And it is through individuals that we should try to evaluate any flock or herd of human biomass --- intra or extra-mural.

So much for nouns. What, then, are the adjectives that matter most to most citizens, in contemplation of their chosen settlement --- their habitat? And what if anything are the citizens doing – purposefully, deliberately - to increase the frequency of positive adjectives, and to decrease opportunities for the flourishing of negative ones? We are back, of course, to subjective metrics of a kind; but the very best of cities are those in which the majority of the citizens embrace the fact hat we are subjects of and for one another, and that in a city-proper we like it that way. Cities are not simply villages with more people, fewer ungulates, taller buildings, and public sewerage. Where most of the inhabitants of a metropolis have carried into the city the folkways and habits of their ancestral encampments beyond the walls, and in so doing have given to urban space a character and tempo inimical to the very idea of the city, there is in fact no true city at all. As Marcel Mauss might have put it: every city worthy of the name has refused or rejected something.

The true measure of a city – rank it as you will – is neither the volume of its nouns, nor the number of extravagant, smiley-faced adjectives which either Officialdom or media wags stick to the metropolis, or append to descriptions of its natives. And given the diversity cities – and the pretensions of some residents in some highly-populated megarural enclaves - we conclude that while we may rate, we might not want to rank.

1. http://www.china.org.cn/travel/qingdao/2013-12/24/content_30994444.htm. Consulted Tuesday 22 April 2014.
2. http://sme.amcham-shanghai.org/faq/what-meant-first-tier-second-tier-and-third-tier-cities
3. http://www.nzcta.co.nz/chinanow-general/1486/what-makes-a-city-tier-in-china/#sthash.d0KB0pz4.dpuf
4. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-03-25/foreign-brands-shift-focus-to-chinas-second-tier-cities
5. Perioikoi, Greek, lit. “dwellers about/outwith”.
6. Lewis Mumford (1937) “What is a city?”, Architectural Record. An interesting aside, and good point to consider given Mumford’s reference to Plato and to More, sis that there’s not a whole lot of the utopian genre in China’s long and fascinating literary history. See Geng CM (2010) “Old state and new mission: A survey of utopian literature during the late Qing dynasty and the early period of the Republic of China”, Frontiers of Literary Studies in China, September 2010, Vol.4, Issue 3, pp.402-424 – vide http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11702-010-0105-7
See also Chang H-C (1986) “Literary Utopia and Chinese Utopia Literature: A Generic Appraisal” -- vide
7. http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI8612022/. “In about 1732, ‘civilization’ was still only a term in jurisprudence: it denoted an act of justice or judgment which turned a criminal trial into civil proceedings. Its modern meaning, ‘the process of becoming civlized’, appeared later, in 1752… Hence the first inevitable question: was it necessary to invent the word ‘civilization’ and encourage it in academic use, it is remains merely a synonym for ‘society’?” Fernad Braudel (1987/1993), A History of Civilizations, Part I, Chapter 1, “Changing Vocabulary”. This is hardly cutting-edge scholarship today, but Braudel’s gloss on the etymology of the word civilization, and its conceptual relationship to the word culture, is still worth reading.
8. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2014/04/16/what-makes-a-tier-2-city-in-china-count-the-starbucks/
9. Chinese hipster = Chipster
FURTHER READING: In addition to the above sources, see generally Bell and de-Shalit (2011) The Spirit of Cities: Why the Identity of a City Matters in the Global Age. The editors of this volume convened a workshop in May of 2012 (The City, Identity, and Political Thinking: An Interdisciplinary Workshop) at Jiaotong University, Shanghai. Daniel A. Bell is the Zhiyuan Chair Professor of Arts and Humanities at Shanghai Jiaotong University and professor of political theory and director of the Center for International and Comparative Political Philosophy at Tsinghua University in Beijing. We heard from an acquaintance of ours who attended that the paper presented by the delegates from Chengdu (we forget their name[s] and affiliation) was among the most interesting. See http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9544.html. Broadly related to the subject, we also like Niall Ferguson (2008) The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World; Azar Gat (2006) War in Human Civilization; Feher & Kwinter (2002) The Contemporary City (Zone Series, 1 & 2); Christopher Alexander et al. (1977) A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction; Jane Jacobs (1961) The Death and Life of Great American Cities; Henry Adams (1918) The Education of Henry Adams.

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The Greatest Football Team in Hangzhou 解锁新技能?美式橄榄球了解一下

It was a rainy day on April 10th, 2015 when Jake Silbert and Seydi Yougo Ba, two passionate football enthusiasts got together to discuss their plans for a new football team right here in Hangzhou. Two days after that fateful meeting, the Hangzhou Generals had their first ever practice. Fast forward three years and the Hangzhou Generals are one of the twenty teams in the American Football League of China (AFLC). The Generals just had their first ever official league game versus the Wuxi team and even got their first W in that game. 

Football preparation is crucial for the players and coaching staff. This group takes practice seriously. The drills are fast paced and highly intense. At Hangzhou Jiayang Football field (佳杨体育足球场) they practice on brand new AstroTurf every Wednesday night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m and Sunday morning from 9 to 12. The fee to join the team is 300 RMB for three months which helps cover field costs and practice and equipment. Beginners first learn the basics, then after the two months of player evaluation the coaches will decid which position is suitable for their skills. It is approximately 3000 RMB for the full equipment set which includes a helmet, practice pants, team jersey, shoulder pads, football cleats, and gloves.

 

Off the field, two highly qualified training coaches conduct Saturday morning workout sessions from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Enjoy Fitness, located at the sports training center on 201 Kai Xuan road. The trainers can help to create the right workout program for you and your position.

The Generals philosophy is to be a tough family. Team Members are taught to grow as a group, not as an individual. Seydi once said in a huddle, “I love you all and I hope you love each other”. The players still say that in the huddles now. They comprehend that football is a rough sport, so everyone needs to be as tough as possible. If a player needs to leave the Generals, Seydi really hopes that they can remember the positives of being a General. The Generals are made of players from America, Cameroon, China, Congo, France, and the Ukraine.

 

When Seydi was asked what’s the three-year plan for the organization, he said confidently ‘to win a championship.’ I felt the seriousness in his tone, this coach means business. He understands that they need to keep raising the bar. They want to be the most competitive team in the league.

Seydi and YOUGO SPORTS are making an impact in youth football right here in Hangzhou. Together they operate American football programs. Four years ago, opportunities for young children to play American football were close to none.  Now, children from all ages are getting the chance to be more active and meet new friends from different parts of the world just by playing youth football. Seydi realizes the challenge here, but to him if it is easy, then it is not worth doing. He feels that kids need to be involved in sports, and they must understand how their bodies work.

 

Q & A with Seydi  
More Hangzhou (MHZ);  Seydi (S)

 

MHZ: What drives you to put so much energy into what you are doing? How do you remain on task? 

S: Always improve, a lot of hard work. I must stay focused. People only compliment you when they see results, but I didn’t hear anything when I was in the dirt. Now that the team is growing, people on the outside want to take it more seriously. They see us growing and constantly raising the bar. I need to be patient. I want to help more people and help the community, grow the city and get people together.

MHZ: Tell us a little about the interactions with the fans. Every time there are pictures it is noticeable that the Generals have a good number of supporters.

S: It makes me happy. It makes me proud. A Hangzhou TV program is going to start making a documentary about us and more people will see us and that bring more awareness to the Generals. This means more excited families, friends, and children. More people will be involved. When people bring their kids, it gives them options. It is good for everyone.

MHZ: Explain your journey, you must’ve gotten into sports somehow. What got you into sports and eventually into being one of the founders of the Hangzhou Generals?

S: I grew up in Senegal for many years. I loved sports, swimming, horse riding, and martial arts. I love contact. When I got older I got more into boxing such as Chinese boxing and Thai boxing. I then went to France for school where I got a degree in sports. My brother was also in France playing football. That was the first time I saw the sport. I wasn’t into basketball or soccer. So, I thought I could learn football to play with my brother. Unfortunately, because of bad timing, him and I would not be able to play together, so I didn’t sign up in France.  I eventually started to learn more about sports management. I was in Shanghai for two years. I was looking for a team sport and found the Shanghai Warriors, I eventually got a good job offer in Hangzhou and decided to move to Hangzhou. At the time American Football in Hangzhou was just emerging, and that is where I met Jake. After some time we discussed starting a team.  

MHZ: You being the friendly person that you are and one of the most competitive coaches around, how do you balance coaching and friendship? Because you guys often train together, but you often spend time together off the field.

S: The players understand that I am one of the leaders and coaches on the team. On the field they respect me as a coach. They understand the difference. They know our relationship on and off the field won’t conflict.

MHZ: I am going to mention a couple of players on the roster, please tell me what pops in your head first. 

Charles

S: Fast. One of the first players from the start. I think he is the only player who has been here forever and still doesn’t have his own gear. He is amazing though. What he does on the field is spectacular. He is a great guy for the team. He is always smiling and chanting. I am glad to have him on the team.

Danyil

S: He is focused. He does everything he can to reach his goals. Good athlete. Understands the game. We need more people like Him.

Li Han Tao

S: Puts in so much work. He was shy at first. When we first offered him to be a captain he was humble, so humble. He does a great job, he shares everything. In a game he is the first guy on the ball. Defence and offence. He has that natural desire to coach other people. Always wants to get better, he wants to help any way he can. He helps recruit and helps spread the awareness of our team. We need more people like that. He made the difference to get the ball rolling with our team. He brings so much energy. He now does the team huddle chants. Just a great leader.

Jake

S: First thing that comes to mind is coach. I called him coach first time I met him. He was my first football coach. I slowly got to know him better and better. He started off as my coach, then teammate, and finally my brother. Great guy. I want him to come back. I know he wants to come back. Jake is the reason we have the team. He has helped pioneer development of football in China. He helped Hangzhou and Wuxi. He has had a huge impact growing the sport and bringing people together.

Xiang Wei Yang

S: She is the only female captain in China. She is one of our trainers. She plays cornerback and she is a beast.

MHZ: Sports in Hangzhou is growing. How do you feel of the current level of sports in Hangzhou? 

S: Hangzhou sports market is growing, and that’s good because the city needs more sports teams, sporting goods shop, and sporting events. Hopefully Hangzhou keeps building sporting facilities and fields. It will create more jobs. It is an interesting time. Hangzhou is going more international. Hangzhou will probably soon be on Shanghai’s level. The city wants to attract more foreigners here, so by having more sports and qualified individuals it will be great for Hangzhou.

These Can Give You A Fit Body

If you're reading this right now, you're probably in the market for a heart-thumping, blood-pumping, balls-to-the-wall workout. And, friend, we've got you covered. We're all about helping you get sweaty in pursuit of your goals, whether that means getting stronger, hitting a new PR, or losing weight. But let's be real for a second here: The tricky thing about weight-loss workouts is that they're kinda, sorta... a myth. Don't get me wrong—if you're trying to lose weight, a solid exercise regimen should be part of your plan. It just can't be the only part.

Here's the thing: Working out isn't enough on its own to make weight loss happen. There's so much else that goes into weight loss and body fat loss; in fact, exercise isn't even technically necessary in many cases. If you want to lose weight—and it's totally cool if you do and totally cool if you don't—adopting healthy eating habits has got to be step numero uno. To get technical, you need to create a calorie deficit, which means using more calories in a day than you consume—and the consumption part plays a much bigger role in that than burning calories in the gym, or while carrying your groceries home, or any of the other myriad ways you put your muscles to work each day. Other lifestyle habits, like sleep and stress management, and health conditions (think thyroid issues, to name just one of many) also affect your weight. Point is, weight loss is a complicated and extremely personal journey that doesn't look or work the exact same way from one person to the next.
Anyway, we are going to introduce a few quite efficient workout, if you have nothing planned for your National holiday, then why not use this time to start a new habit?

Boot Camp

For a workout that's going to keep your metabolism elevated, turn to boot camp, as these classes combine two of the most effective styles of training: interval and resistance. You'll perform exercises, some more cardio-focused and others strength-focused, full-out for short bursts of time, coupled with short periods of rest. But if it's your first time going to a boot camp class, speak up. A good instructor will help you determine when you need to crank up the weight or intensity (tip: if you can cruise through 10 reps without any trouble, it's too easy), keep your form on par, and can always provide a modification for any move that might be too tough or irritates an injury.

 You can do it in these places:
Zhan Training Gym 战健身训练馆
Add: 001, East side of the Dragon Stadium (next to Kedi grocery store) 黄龙体育中心东看台001号
Tel: 8738 1024, 177 6713 4643

CrossFit Xihu 
Add: B1/F, Dragon Hotel, 2 Hangda Road 杭大路2号黄龙饭店B1层
Tel: 156 0653 6363

Boxing

At its essence, boxing is really another form of interval training. But it also makes you feel freaking badass. Here's the trick to remember: It's a common mistake for beginners to punch using only their arm strength, but the majority of your power is going to come from your core and you'll use muscles that are typically ignored in other workouts (hey there, obliques). 
It's best to log this type of workout in a class, it's crucial for beginners to learn proper form from an instructor who can help keep your intensity level high. But if you want to brush up on your skills at home, try this beginner-friendly video from Milan Costich, or P90X home MMA workout.

You can do it in these places:
CrossFit PUNCH 拳击综合训练馆 
Add: 4/F, Building 2, Joy Park, 153 Wuchang Avenue 五常大道153号西溪乐天城2号楼4楼
Tel: 8619 2681

MMA Boxing 竞界格斗 MMA综合格斗馆 
Add: 604 Jinsha Avenue, Xiasha 下沙金沙大道604号(张弛射箭馆对面)
Tel: 137 7738 7873

Crossfit

There's a reason CrossFit has become such a booming part of the workout industry—it works, so long as you don't overdo it. Workouts are varied—you may be doing anything from kettlebell swings to rope climbs and box jumps to front squats—and the routines are designed to be short and intense. The most important thing to find when looking for the box (CrossFit slang for "gym") that fits you best: a well-informed coach who can explain and modify the moves, and make sure that you don't push yourself to the point of injury. Here are a few things to keep in mind before every WOD.

You can do it in these places:
Crossfit Qiantang 
Add: 102, A2, 1138 Park, Fenghuangshanjiao Road 凤凰山脚路7号凤凰御元艺术基地1138园区A2-102
Tel: 150 5712 3112

CrossFit Unicorn麒麟综合训练馆 
Add: Inside Huancheng Sports Center, Huaide Street, Binjiang 怀德街怀诚体育运动中心
Tel: 8779 7269

CrossFit DPlus 
Add: 706 Fengtan Road 丰潭路706号
Tel: 8721 0221

Reebok 1030 CrossFit 
Add: A304, 3/F, Gran Canal Place, 58 Lishui Road 丽水路58号远洋乐堤港3楼A304
Tel: 5626 0377

Rowing Machine

The burn: 481-713 calories/hour (at 150 watts, which you can check on the machine) 
The bonus burn: To get maximum torching power, row in super-fast one-minute intervals (150 watts), and take 30- to 60-second active rest periods by alternating between squats, pushups, and planks.  (This high-intensity rowing workout will get your heart racing.)
Most of Crossfit boxes all have rowing machines.

You can do it in these places:
Oakwood Residence Hangzhou Fitness Center 奥克伍德国际酒店公寓健身中心 
Add: 28 Jiaogong Road 教工路28号
Tel: 8899 3131

Oteamfit/Oteamfit 私人运动空间/太极武场 
Add: Room 605, Building B, Huarun Mansion 华润大厦B座605室
Tel: 157 1578 8529

Swimming

If you can't stand the thought of running, or just want to work out without a ton of pounding on your joints, do a few laps in the pool. It's a low-impact exercise that will work all of your major muscle groups. As with most workouts, it helps to go in with a plan. Try this one: Tread water for as long as possible by standing upright in the deep end and using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Then rest for two minutes. Now swim 10 sets of 100 meters (that's back-and-forth lap in an Olympic-sized pool), resting for one minute in between sets. By the time you climb out of the pool, your muscles will be pleasantly worn out.

You can do it in these places:
Oakwood Residence Hangzhou Fitness Center 奥克伍德国际酒店公寓健身中心 
Add: 3/F, north building, 28 Jiaogong Road 教工路28号北楼3楼
Tel: 8899 3131

Physical Fitness & Beauty Center, West Town InTime Branch/舒适堡健身中心, 城西银泰店 
Add: 7F001A/7F001B, Building 3, InTime Mall, 380 Fengtan Road  丰潭路380号城西银泰城3幢7F001A/7F001B
Tel: 2899 8996, 2888 8878

If you have a tight budget to spend on the equipment or membership, don’t use that as an excuse, there are many other ways to do your workout. Here are some really simple and easy ones, everyone can do.

Running

All you need is a pair of sneakers before you head out the door. But if weight loss is the name of your game, the lackadaisical head-out-for-a-light-jog style of running isn't the way to go. Instead, find a hill you can sprint up, or crank the incline on that treadmill. "Running up hills forces you to work your glutes and legs—two of your body's biggest muscle groups—even more, which requires smaller muscle recruitment and more energy expenditure. As noted earlier, the more energy you're using, the brighter that calorie-burning fire burns. But proper form here is key. Lean into the hill, and drive your knees as high as you can, striking the ball of each foot down directly under your body, keep your hands open and arms bent at 90 degrees, and drive your arms straight forward up to face level, then backward to the top of your back pocket. And try not to let your arms cross over your body—that'll just waste the precious energy your muscles need. If you're training indoors, here are a few fat-burning treadmill routines to get you started. 
Try it: You can do these 4 fat-burning workouts on a treadmill. Or you can take them outside if you'd like—for incline work, just fine a good hill.

Tabata

If your biggest excuse for skipping a workout is being crunched for time, Tabata is your dream come true. It's designed to be four minutes of high-intensity interval training that consists of 20 seconds of all-out effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times. And you can use this protocol with any number of different exercises. You'll spike your metabolism and heart rate in four minutes, but it is to be warned against making this time frame a habit if you're trying to lose weight. Your body will quickly adapt to that interval, and you'll need to increase the volume or intensity to continue getting a benefit from it. To do that, you have to extend your session to 20 minutes and following the same format. Simply pick four exercises—think jump rope, squats, mountain climbers, and squat jumps—then do each for 20 seconds as hard and fast as you can (while maintaining proper form, of course), then recovering for 10 seconds and 10 seconds only. Repeat for eight rounds on that one move (so, four minutes of work) before resting for one minute and moving on to the next exercise.

Jumping Rope

It's time to kick it back to the good ole' days of P.E. class, when you first learned how to swing a jump rope. This tool is cheap, portable (it'll fit in the tiny parts of your suitcase!), and can be used just about anywhere. After just a few minutes you will feel your heart rate racing! 
Here's a speedy routine to try:
1. Warm up with a light 3-minute skip with the rope
2. Do 100 traditional jumps (both feet leave the floor at the same time, and no extra hops in between)
3. Once you finish, immediately do 100 jump rope sprints (think regular jumping rope but at an even quicker pace)
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, but follow this format: 50/50, 21/21, 15/15, 9/9
5. If you want more, work your way back up the ladder until you reach 100/100 again Oh, and whatever you do, don't do it barefoot. Few things compare to the pain of missing a skip and smacking the tip of your toe with a jump rope. Noted. You can do this entire sequence mock-style, though, if you don't have a rope handy.

The Top 8 Local Cheap Eats

I often hear local people saying that they have a Chinese stomach, this especially reflected when they travel out of China, instant noodles and zha cai became the reserve grain in their luggage. For me though, I like all kinds of food as long as they are tasty. For breakfast though, I have special preferences. I’m not saying the croissant or pain au chocolat aren’t good, I just miss those vendors which pop up on every street corner in the morning, and the smell of deliciously frying dough, steaming savory dumplings, boiling wontons and noodles, cooking rice, baking bread, and roasting treats wafting over me like a warm, comfy blanket. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water.

★ Steamed Pork Bun & Qingmingguo 肉包子 & 清明粿

I stumbled across this place randomly, it’s located on the junction of Hangda Road and Paomachang Road, it serves Quzhou food and snacks. Their Steamed Pork Bun土猪肉包子 (2RMB) and Qingmingguo 清明粿 (4RMB) are the best of the places I know. The people who work in that area—whether they are white collars, bartenders, bakers or fancy restaurant owners—they will always gourmet meal to go for the baozi and Qingmingguo.

Qingmingguo is a type of steamed dumplings served during the Tomb Sweeping Festival. The dumpling skin is made of wormwood, rice and glutinous rice, and filling is the mixture of preserved vegetables, minced pork, chopped bamboo shoots, mushroom and chili. Though they don’t open till 10am, just in time for lunch, I could eat four of those!

Find it: Yuan Wei Tang / 原味堂 

Add: 14 Hangda Road 杭大路14号
Tel: 0571 8106 1020
Hours: 10am – 10pm

 

★ Tofu Baozi 豆腐包

This is absolutely our secret! I’m sharing it with you guys for the first time. Any of you ever had Tofu baozi? They’re very rare in Hangzhou. The white and tender tofu, fragrant spring onions, red pepper wrapped in a thin skin, it’s so delicate that you can  see the tofu juice and feel the temperature. If you poke it, the juice will flow out. This is the unique local Jiande snack "Tofu baozi". I had them in Jiande when I spent my summer holiday there during my childhood, it has been the lingering memory, and I never forget that taste.

There is only one place you can enjoy this delicious doufubao, it’s a small shop near Gan Qi Shi on Lianhua Street. It only costs 2RMB each and you need to go during the business hours as there is always a queue of people waiting for it. Take a bite, let the tofu and juice explode in your mouth, but be careful, it’s super hot inside!

Find it: Jiande Doufubao / 建德豆腐包 
Add: 264 Lianhua Street 莲花街264号 (甘其食隔壁)
Hours: 7am – 1pm, 5pm – 7pm

 

★ Mini Pork Shaobing 葱肉烧饼

This is a snack from Quzhou, Zhejiang. Usually you will see an old man making them. The filling is made of minced pork, spring onion, and preserved vegetable. After he rolls the whole thing into a ball, he used his palm to flatten it, then patted with a little water so it could stick on the wall of the charcoal stove. Just 2 – 3 minutes later, it’s ready to eat. Mmm… it smells so good, it tastes even better. Only 2-3RMB each.

Find it: Qu Er Ye / 衢二爷 
Add: 52 Yile Road 益乐路52号
Hours: 7am – 9pm

Find it: Gu Pu Liang Shi / 古铺良食 
Add: 42 Xueshi Road 学士路42号
Tel: 0571 8535 7119
Hours: 8am - 2am

 

★ Shengjian, Guo Tie & Xiao Huntun 生煎, 锅贴 & 小馄饨

Fried dumplings (Shengjian Mantou) also known as the shengjianbao is a type of small, pan-fried baozi which is a specialty of Shanghai. It is usually filled with pork and gelatin that melts into broth when cooked. They are a cousin to xiaolongbao in terms of their pork filling mixed with a jellied stock that turns into hot soup during the cooking process. However they have a much more rugged exterior featuring a crisp bottom and a fluffy bao top. Shengjian mantou has been one of the most common breakfast items in Shanghai since the early 1900s. As a ubiquitous breakfast item, it has a significant place in Shanghainese culture.

And if you like Shengjian Mantou, for sure you will like Guo Tie. It’s slightly different than traditional dumplings, I would like to say these dumplings have been dressed up because they are all stuck to the pot by a layer of golden, crispy cornstarch flakes. Guo Tie is the pretty cousin of dumplings… It is not fried dumpling or pot sticker, it is Guo Tie!

Little wontons, or xiao huntun, are made with flour and egg wrappers crumpled casually around a tiny nub of pork. Unlike big wontons, little wontons are made with paper-thin wonton wrappers that will be labeled "extra-thin" on the package. Little wontons are always served in soup and are typically eaten for breakfast or as a snack. The wontons float gently in a savory broth that's chock full of garnishes, such as tiny dried shrimp, Sichuan-style pickled cabbage, thinly-sliced egg crepe, slivers of dried seaweed, cilantro, and scallions.

Find it: Tangkou Lao Qi Shengjian / 堂口老齐生煎·老汤面 
Add: Downstairs of Taihe International, 168 Chaohui Road 朝晖路168号钛合国际楼下
Tel: 131 1678 7867
Hours: 6am – 12am

Find it: Drum Tower Fried Dumplings / 鼓楼正宗煎包店 
Add: 70 Shengyouguan Road 佑圣观路70号

Find it: Baomei Dim Sum / 宝美点心 
Add: 108 Chengtou Lane 城头巷108号
Tel: 133 5710 6391
Hours: 6am – 1:30pm

 

★ Xiaolongbao 小笼包

Xiaolongbao, the broth-filled Shanghainese steamed pork dumplings, is inarguably one of the great culinary inventions of mankind. Xiaolongbao is traditionally filled with pork. One popular and common variant is pork with minced crab meat and roe. More modern innovations include other meats, seafood, and vegetarian fillings. The characteristic soup-filled kind is created by wrapping solid meat aspic inside the skin alongside the meat filling. Heat from steaming then melts the gelatin-gelled aspic into soup.

Here is everything we know about the art of eating xiaolongbao. We ask you to give it a shot. Treat xiaolongbaos with the respect it deserves and it will pay many dividends.

➊ Carefully grasp the top of the xiaolongbao with your chopsticks so as not to puncture the skin, and place it on a spoon.

➋ Give one of the sides a small bite, or puncture it with a chopstick, allowing the soup within to fill your spoon.  

➌ Sip the broth and take time to consider its delicate flavour, before taking a bite of the juicy bao itself.

Find it: Din Tai Fung / 鼎泰丰 
Add: 3/F, Mixc Mall, 701 Fuchun Road 富春路701号万象城3楼
Tel: 0571 8886 9511
Hours: 10am - 9pm

Find it: Xie Ting Feng Steamed Crab Bun / 蟹庭丰蟹黄汤包 
Add: Booth 8, Building 12, east of Jia Lv Jing Yuan 嘉绿景苑东园12幢8号商铺; 373-5 North Zhongshan Road 中山北路373-5号; 259 Fengqi Road 凤起路259号; 120 South Jianguo Road 建国南路120号; 74 Xinshi Street 新市街74号
Hours: 7am - 8:30pm

 

★ Shaobing and Youtiao 烧饼油条

This is one of my favorite breakfasts. It’s a brilliant combination of a baked pancake and a fried crispy dough stick. In the case of shaobing and youtiao, what seems stupid simple is actually quite delicious. The fried dough stick is crisp and airy, and, if fresh, hot enough to scald your lips. While it's mostly devoid of flavor, there's an ever so subtle saltiness, that, when combined with the outer shaobing, works wonderfully well. I've eaten this more often than I'd care to admit, but most of the time I would wash down with a cup of soy milk, you should give it a try too!

Find it: Taoyuan Village / 桃园眷村 
Add: L1, Grand City Plaza, Tiyuchang Road and Yanan Road 体育场路与延安路交叉口国大城市广场L1; 1/F, Powerlong City, 3867 Binsheng Rd. Binjiang 滨盛路3867号滨江宝龙城一楼外围4号门与5号门中间
Hours: 7am - 11pm

Find it: College Breakfast / 学院早餐小吃店 
Add: Booth 107, Building 62, District 3, Cuibai Road 翠柏路翠苑三区62幢107商铺
Tel: 182 6815 6694
Hours: 6:30am - 1:30pm

Find it: Fengtan Road Breakfast Booth / 丰潭路早餐店 
Add: Junction of Fengtan Road and Zhengyuan Street 丰潭路和政苑街交界口
Hours: 6:30am – 11am

 

★ Jianbing Guozi 煎饼果子

Jianbing Guozi is the perfect on-the-go breakfast; it takes about 2 minutes to make, it's delicious, and costs the equivalent of about 3-5RMB. But the best part is there are jianbing stands all over the city every morning of the year, rain or shine, so you never end up waiting in line for too long! They are always easy to spot since all you need to do is look for a big queue of people!

The jianbing ayi ladles a thick glutinous batter onto a hot, flat griddle which is then spread into a thin, savory crepe. An egg or two are cracked and smeared across the top as they sizzle and fry into the batter. Then, she adds the youtiao, in north China, they use baocui, it’s more crispy, then sprinkles on cilantro, spring onions, and puts on the sweet and chili sauce, I normally would skip the sweet one. She folds the crepe in half, you have it and it’s ready to go.

Find it: Lao Zuo Jidan Bing / 老做鸡蛋饼 
Add: Yugu Road, near Zheda Qiushi Village 玉古路近浙大求是村底商
Hours: 7am – 10am, 3pm – 7pm

Find it: Tianjing Jianbing / 天津煎饼果子铺 
Add: 426 Tiyuchang Road 体育场路426号
Tel: 180 6979 7180
Hours: 9am – 9pm

Find it: Wang Lao Da / 王老大蛋饼店 
Add: No. 9, Building 51, Liushui Xiyuan, junction of Zhaohui Road and Jianguo Road 朝晖路与建国路交叉路口流水西苑51幢底商9号
Tel: 0571 8558 4556

 

★ Cong Bao Hui Er 葱包烩儿

Speaking of Cong Bao Hui Er, or Shallot Stuffed Pancake, Hangzhou natives certainly know it well. It is a popular dim-sum through all streets and lanes of Hangzhou. Cong Bao Hui Er is made of ordinary materials with simple cooking methods. It is a bit like a crepe with a fried dough stick, shallots, sweet or spicy sauce and pickled in between. We remember one year at the West Music Festival, among with all the other international cuisine booths, this little Cong Bao Hui Er was the best seller of the year, now you know why.

Find it: Wang Lao Da / 王老大蛋饼店 
Add: No. 9, Building 51, Liushui Xiyuan, junction of Zhaohui Road and Jianguo Road 朝晖路与建国路交叉路口流水西苑51幢底商9号
Tel: 0571 8558 4556
Hours: 6am – 9:30pm

Find it: Grandma Sun’s / 孙奶奶葱包烩 
Add: 391 South Zhongshan Road 中山南路391号
Hours: 7am – 5pm

The Latest Just Opened Venues in Town (Nightlife Chapter)

Hello, fellows, this city is changing so fast with new places opening all the time. Some quickly became the hot new spot of the city and some were replaced by others after a month or two. In this post, we have put together 12 bars that recently opened, and soon we will have the latest opened restaurant chapter for you.

❶ KPub / 龙门会

What does it feel like to drink on an outdoor air lounge on a crane? A bit scary as well as exciting at the same time, and meanwhile, you can enjoy the beauty of the city.

If you have been to our Walk & Eat event last year, you would remember this White Pagoda Park, that's where KPub is located. This crane was serving at the first train station in Zhejiang Province 30 years ago. Now it's a great place to enjoy cocktails and watch the FIFA World Cup.

If you have had Long Island Ice Tea, London Fog or Manhattan at other bars, then here you can try the cocktails with Zhejiang flavor such as Qiantang River and Rooftop which are worth trying, along with their delicacies from around the world: Spanish ham, bluefin tuna, Norwegian salmon, Korean sea urchin, French Gillardeau oyster and Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial from Cuba.

On the second floor, they kept one carriage with limited seats. They only accept phone calls or WeChat reservations and that gives this place great mystery and secrecy.

Add: White Pagoda Park 白塔公园内龙门吊

Business Hours: 4:30pm - 1:30am

Tel: 136 5664 5402

 

❷ Mill

This is the first Mill in town and the owners are a bunch of designers, that's why it has been an icon since it opened. Two months ago, Mill reopened after a redecoration. It ingeniously uses the partial tone "miaow" for Mill to extend the cat theme.

A large number of brass elements are used on the gate and the bar. Dark grey and green can also be found in many corners in the bar. Once you enter, you will immediately notice a cat statue on the right side along with a row of liquor bottles that are printed with head portraits from the musical "Cats".

The whole bar is now divided into a cocktail area and a whiskey area. The whiskey area is in a private room which can hold 15 people with a huge selection of whiskey. 

The cocktail area features the musical "Cats". You can find 12 cat cocktails on the drinks menu that are inspired by the musical "Cats": Macavity, Mr. Mistoffelees, Alonzo, Skimbleshanks, Rum Tum Tugger, Etcetera, Bombalurina, Jellylorum, Grizabella, Asparagus, Cassandra, Victoria…

The bathroom has a theme of red. If you are a narcissist, sorry, in here you will not be able to appreciate yourself in front of the mirror. They are all bronze mirrors, so you can only get an outline, but we loved it, it feels like being in a Wong Kar-wai movie.

Add: 77 Yile Road (close to West Wen’er Road) 益乐路77号(近文二西路)

Business Hours: 7pm - 2am

Tel: 0571 8891 2175 

 

❸ 186LanD Café Restaurant & Bar

This small place can be many people's dream place, don't you just want to have one of your own? Located on Yan'an Road downtown, 5 minutes walk from the West Lake, with three floor-to-ceiling windows on a grey brick house that makes you want to take a peek inside.

186LanD opened in March and it serves western food and decent cocktails. In addition to classic ones like Negroni and Old Fashioned, we tried one cocktail that was highly recommended by the boss. A blue liquid contained in a high cocktail glass. When you take a sniff, it almost smells like chocolate liquor, but in fact it is made with 52° Maotai which you only realize after drinking it. The baijiu flavor is hard to erase, but it's well mixed with other ingredients, very original.

When the weather is good, the boss likes to put tables outside on the pavement. Invite a few friends, enjoy 1664 on draft, cocktails and prawn crackers on the roadside.

Add: 186 Yan’an Road 延安路186号

Business Hours: 5pm - 2am 

Tel: 0571 8657 2268

 

❹ Peer’s Bar / 啤客

You probably have been to Peer’s Bar on Baochu Road, this new branch on Zhongshan Road has been upgraded to a new level.

It might well take you a while to find the entrance from the 2,000 bottles of beer wall, and once you finally enter, you will realize the beer wall is just the tip of the iceberg.

You’ll be surrounded by more than 400 types of craft beer. A 16 door fridge is full of beer, from local to imported, from 300ml to 3,000ml. It’s like a beer supermarket. Most of them are priced from 20RMB to 30RMB, you can find anything you want, just name it. Pick the beer you want, take a spot on the sofa, listen to the live music band, or watch World Cup on a big screen.

And just when you think this is a beer bar like the other Peer’s, let me tell you, nope! Walk through the bar and try to find the leather suitcases, there is a secret passage hiding behind it. Follow the stairway, you will find a whiskey and cocktail bar hidden on the second floor. You can find Yamasaki 12 years, Macallan 18 years, vodka, brandy, rum, gin… Try their signature cocktails like Summer Night and Lost in Thailand.

If you are getting hungry after a few drinks, they have beef burger with fries, German sausages, pizza, pasta, salad and chicken wings.

Add: 338-1 Middle Zhongshan Road 中山中路338-1号

Business Hours: 6pm - 2am

Tel: 0571 8722 9338

 

❺ GM House Bar & Café / 伽马咖啡酒吧

GM House: outdoor, music, beer, working flair, downtown… These are all keywords for GM House. We guess the GM stands for gentlemen, since here you can find everything that is gentlemen-like.

It's very close to the Kerry Center and the whole bar has two floors. The first floor mainly serves beer with Heineken, Meteor, Goose Island and Budweiser on draft. 

The second floor is for cocktails and whiskey. The difference compared to other whiskey cocktail bars is that GM House is a place for working flair. The dazzling skills, the drinks like "Won't Go Home Tonight", "Deep Sea Bomb", "Ice Fire Nine Heavens" definitely will make you dizzy. 

There are cocktails for the twelve constellations. If you see a girl you like, take a guess, and buy her one of that, "Hello, miss, I thought you might like this one" could be the icebreaker of the night.

Add: 2/F, 2-1 Wulin Road 武林路2-1号2楼

Business Hours: 6:30pm - 2:30am

Tel: 189 6914 9573

 

❻ Chun Whiskey Bar / 醇

Take a turn into a small alley from Binsheng Road and you’ll find yourself at Hanfeng Mansion, a small door with a big character "醇" written on it. Once you enter, follow that short passageway, it leads you to another heavy iron door, push, you’re in!

A long bar that stores a lot of whiskey from all over the world. Blue ocean waves were projected on the back wall, making it feel like being in an aquarium.

There are 15 special signature cocktails and the price for the classic cocktails are around 90RMB. There is football on the big screen and the bartenders are very friendly. If you live in Binjiang, you should give it a try.

Add: 1826 Binsheng Road 滨盛路1826号

Business Hours: 8pm - 3am

Tel: 0571 8602 2279, 130 5990 0064

 

❼ Liyue Music Bar / 里约酒吧

This place is located in Wake Town, only a few minutes walk to the West Lake. Liyue is the pinyin pronunciation for Rio, and that makes it the biggest characteristic of this place.

When the night begins, people start drinking and mingling. Their six-piece house band, Resonanse, comes from South America and they are bringing so much passionate music to the crowd: Latin jazz, blues, pop, samba. They were born with a sense of rhythm, and you can't resist shaking your body with them.

Just when you think you might be getting some Brazilian BBQ, we have to warn you there's no BBQ, the food is the contrast, they serve Sichuan and Hangzhou cuisine. The chef used to work at the Dragon Hotel and you can find Spiced Beef, Sour and Spicy Fish, Sichuan Pickles, Spicy Crayfish with Garlic, Spanish Ham, Gillardeau Oysters on the menu.

The cocktails here are working flair. You can also come here in the afternoon  for their afternoon tea set, followed by dinner and drinks.

Add: 108, Building 1, Wake Town, 9 Wulin Road 武林路9号Wake Town1幢108号

Business Hours: 1pm - 3am

Tel: 0571 8588 6111

 

❽ Hermit Bar / 大隐

Hermit Bar moved to a new location. The old one used to be on Yile Road and West Wen'er Road and served great cocktails with Japanese food. The new one now is on Gaoji Street, it is so discrete with a sign that you would miss if you don't pay attention.

Once you enter, you would probably like the high ceiling, all wooden decorated bar and leather sofas, it really felt like being in an old English club. The head mixologist David Luo used to work at Vesper and Apothecary, having a couple of Negroni and Old Fashioned made by him would ignite your night.

They have the projector on a big screen for World Cup, you can get a very good angle on the second floor, but it's a little too bright for people who just want to have a few drinks on the first floor.

Add: 35 Gaoji Street 高技街35号

Business Hours: 6:30pm - 2am

Tel: 0571 8720 6738

 

❾ Y.E.S / 你很特别

Hidden in the middle of the compounds Shanshui Renjia, Qinya Garden, Hehua Yuan and Lianhua Village, this small but cozy place is good for a couple of drinks if you live in this neighbourhood.

You can see the owner is trying to bring a speakeasy concept , as the door of the bar is a vending machine. The quality of the drinks is good, as well as the service. There is football on the big screen and casual music playing in the background.

Add: 48 Ailian Street 爱莲街48号

Business Hours: 6pm - 2am (Mondays off)

Tel: 139 6817 6431

 

❿ Harbour Island Bar / 哈珀酒吧

Seems like Hangzhou people started to get interested in speakeasies as there are more and more bars going towards this direction. Harbour Island opened in the end of May, finding the way in is not so easy, the secret is on that sailing map.

Once the door is opened, you will see a huge "L" shaped aquarium with gentle blue light in front of you, the bar is on the right hand. A few beams of light coming from the floor create the feeling of a summer beach.

The bartenders are getting busy behind the bar. The cocktails are around 70RMB-80RMB. If you like Thai food, give Summer's Corner (夏日一角) a try, a hint of lemongrass teases your taste buds, it's perfect for summer. In addition, Cold Fire, Good Boy and Simple Fashioned are their signatures too. Bar snacks available.

Add: 31 Booth, Chunjiang Licheng, Binjiang 滨江春江郦城31号商铺

Business Hours: 7pm - 2am

Tel: 0571 5650 8777, 156 5807 7810

 

⓫ Beer Micro Factory / 享站吧

It's not really a bar. In a 30 square meters shop, they are selling draft beer in a takeaway plastic bag with a 1-meter long straw to drink with. 

There is a small area for you to sit down and drink if you don't feel like takeaway. 55 inch TVs play World Cup.

There are 18 types of beer available, plenty of choices for you: Belgian Raw Beer, Flower Pepper Beer, Graham Golden Beer, Light Colour Eyre, Blueberry Beer, Lizard Saliva IPA… The must order one is the 13-degree beer with a high concentration of alcohol. It comes from the famous Tsingtao Beer Factory, has a very smooth taste and you can only get it here.

Their beer comes directly from the major breweries, so the price is extremely cheap because the middle agents are skipped and the takeaway price is the same as dine in. Usually the takeaway is 1000L with your choice of packed in a bag or bottle and 650L is for dine in.

Add: 359 Middle Zhongshan Road 中山中路359号

Business Hours: 11am - 2am

 

⓬ Qiantang River Cruise 钱塘江游轮

The last entry is not a bar, but something that could be different for nightlife. When we are in Shanghai, we could take the boat to have a tour on Huangpu River, the night view is especially amazing and some of you probably have even been on the boat party. And it's the same for the Thames River, La Seine, Victoria Harbour, a boat trip is a different way to look at a city. Hangzhou finally got its own now!

The "New Star" cruise tested water on May 18th and the whole trip takes 1.5 hours. It starts from Binjiang Wharf (north of junction of Jianghan Road and Wentao Road), passes Xixing Bridge, Olympic Center, International Expo Center, City Balcony, Xixing Bridge, followed by Qianjiang Bridge, Fuxing Bridge, and ends up at Binjiang Wharf, a 10KM journey in total.

On every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, you can enjoy the lights show at CBD from the boat.

The boat has 280 seats and there are two shifts: 7:00pm and 8:30pm. 258RMB/person includes dinner (80 minutes) for the 7pm and 98RMB/person excludes dinner (60 minutes) for 8:30pm. Kids under 1.3 m are free.

Add:  Binjiang Wharf (north of junction of Jianghan Road and Wentao Road) 滨江区江汉路闻涛路口以北钱江龙码头 

Business Hours: 7pm / 8:30pm

Wellington College Represents British Education in Hangzhou

It seems like British business in Zhejiang is growing, and we may see an increase in British expats in Hangzhou in the near future. The China-Britain Business Council Chairman, Lord Sassoon Kt., visited Hangzhou on May 24th. The delegation had separate meetings with Mr. Zhu Congjiu, Vice Governor of Zhejiang, and Mr. Zhou Jiangyong, Secretary of CPC Hangzhou Municipal Committee. 

The influence of British style international education is also growing in Hangzhou, with the opening of Wellington College International Hangzhou in September this year. Wellington College China represented British education in the recent China-Britain Business Council meetings in Hangzhou. Ms. Helen Kavanagh, CEO of Wellington College China, is fifth from the right in the photo above. Other delegations included BP China, Standard Chartered Bank and Jardine Matheson among others.

Wellington College International Hangzhou is the third international school to be opened by Wellington College in China. Like all Wellington College schools, the education is centred on providing a holistic, values-based education including a wide-range of academic and extra-curricular opportunities, supported by state-of-the art facilities and world-class academic staff (see the campus below).

Wellington College International Hangzhou will follow a curriculum based on the English National Curriculum in Pre-Prep and Prep School. When the children reach Senior School they will do the IGCSE, and then can choose to either take the IB Diploma Programme or A Levels, depending on their interests and needs.

If you are interested in learning more about Wellington College International Hangzhou, they are holding a parent information session in their campus on Sunday, June 10th. To register to attend, you can scan the QR code.

Click for Hangzhou, Zhejiang Forecast

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