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Some Like It Hot
By Rachel Flaherty

Where and How to Get Your Hot Pot On

As the weather has turned cold, there is truly one suitable meal that warms the cockles of your heart and brings people together – Hot Pot or huo guo. Hot Pot is perhaps one of the most widely enjoyed meals in China. You can travel as far north as Mongolia to find this popular dish, go west to Sichuan, even way down south in the warm climates of Hong Kong you will be able to find Hot Pot in some various iteration. And it doesn’t stop there. It goes by the name Steamboat in some Southeast Asian countries and nabemono in Japan, with varieties including Shabu Shabu and Sukiyaki. Go to Korea, Vietnam, and even Thailand, and you can find their own versions of this broth-based meal. Sure, China remains famous for dumplings, dim sum, and other tasty delicacies, but if you are a foreigner residing in China, you have certainly at one point or another come across the ubiquitous presence of Hot Pot.

Let’s pause for a little bit of history on this steaming delight. It’s widely believed to have been introduced by the Mongolian nomads over a thousand years ago. One version puts forth that Mongol warriors couldn’t be bothered to carry cooking utensils, so they rigged their shields over the fire to sear meat and turned their helmets upside down to boil the soup (which was essentially water). This early Hot Pot included a wide variety of whatever meats were on hand, but generally mutton was favored. Hot Pot slowly trickled south, and by the Tang Dynasty, it had become famous. During the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty, Hot Pot flourished, certainly due in part to who ruled the country, and when the Qing Dynasty hit, regional varieties could be found in all the four corners of China.

Most people know very little of this history, but what they do know is that when winter rolls around, it’s time to fire up those burners and gather around a steaming pot of broth with their near and dear ones. Sit huddled around a pot for a few hours and you will slowly perform a striptease of all your many winter layers. Things have really changed in a thousand years though. A round table houses a now modern mechanized burner that heats a giant metal pot containing a broth, and sometimes two, in which you can cook a colorful array of chosen meats, seafood, vegetables, noodles, and other accoutrements. (What would a Mongolian of the old school have to say about an induction tabletop burner???) Condiments are on hand to make a sauce for you to dip your cooked goodies in, after which each person can drink the flavorsome soup. Hot Pot is not a meal for a single person. There have been more and more mini Hot Pot restaurants popping up in recent years – something about them being more hygienic and giving everyone the chance to make their own choices – but Hot Pot is a communal meal meant to be shared with friends and family in a fun and lively atmosphere. These places just kill that experience.

The sheer size of China means that there are many regional varieties of Hot Pot to try; all are worthy of your taste buds. And while there are many types of Hot Pot, most dining experiences go pretty much the same way. First, you choose your broth. For the spicier varieties, there is generally the option of a split pot containing a spicy broth and a bone broth. Order it in the event there are some in your party that just can’t handle the heat; this way even the wusses can enjoy the primordial thrill of cooking their grub in a bubbling cauldron. Next, you choose your dunkables. Standard selections to include are paper-thin slices of fat-streaked mutton and beef, some form of tofu, vegetables, balls of seafood and pork variety, seafood and noodles. Finally, you need your condiments. This is the point where tastes diverge. Some places have condiments arranged at dedicated stations; others you order off the menu (or tick on the paper menu). Regardless of how you get your sauces, the number of choices can be a bit overwhelming if you are new to the game. It takes a lot of mixing and matching to get the right concoction to suit your taste, but it’s one of the little things that makes Hot Potting so damned interesting.

Eating Hot Pot is definitely not a passive activity. Once your raw smorgasbord arrives and is placed next your table on trays, the fun really begins. You dunk the morsels into the hot stock, watch them dance around together in the soup, fish them out with ladles, dip them into your bowl of condiments, gobble them down, and, in a brow-mopping, belt-loosening fervor, repeat ad infinitum. The point of Hot Pot, after all, is unbridled excess. To help you navigate this unfamiliar territory, here are a few tips: Some things take a little longer to cook, like potatoes, fish balls and some seafood, so if you want to throw them in the pot, let everyone know so they can scoop out some food. Also, watch out for those potatoes: they’ll burn the hell outa your mouth. One final warning, beware of the meat: It has a tendency to furl in the broth and when it’s fished out with the ladle, can conceal a few lethal chilies. It’s best to use the chopsticks to grab it, or even better to dip it briefly as it doesn’t take long to cook.

Speaking of chilies, arguably the most famous regional variety of Hot Pot would have to be the Chongqing Hot Pot style. Named after this spicy city in the western part of China, it is notable for ma-la – having to do with the numbing and spicy additions of Sichuan peppercorns and hot peppers. Often times this Hot Pot style is served in a pot that is split into two sections which resemble the Daoist yin and yang symbols. One side of the pot houses the molten spicy broth while the other side holds a benign bone broth. The Hunan style of Hot Pot is similarly spicy but lacks the numbing quality made famous by the Chongqing and Sichuan Styles. Sichuan Hot Pot tends to go heavy on the seafood or fish, while Hunanese has more beef or mutton along with its spicy chilies. Chowing down on any of these fiery three will send you in search of something to cool down your mouth. Plum juice does the trick, and it’s is commonly found at any Hot Pot restaurant these days, but a cold beer certainly achieves the same results. Baijiu also pairs rather well with Hot Pot.  

Not into the spicy? That’s quite alright. There are plenty of milder Hot Pots to choose from. The Northern Style, commonly found in Beijing, focuses more on the act of cooking and is referred to as shuan yangrou, meaning the act of scalding thin slices of mutton in boiling broth. Frozen meat, generally mutton, is sliced thinly causing it to roll up and is generally served this way. This is paired with sesame-based condiments and sauces. A traditional Mongolian Hot Pot includes all kinds of spices, one of which, bajiao huixiang, or star anise, is thought to warm yang, disperse cold, and rectify qi problems. Manchurian Hot Pot uses pickled Chinese vegetables, or suancai (literally meaning sour vegetable), for flavoring, resulting in a sour stew. Cantonese Hot Pot, popular in southern China and Hong Kong, is more heavily focused on the soup bases of Hot Pot. The broth has additions of Chinese herbs (similar to those of the Mongolian Hot Pot) as these herbs are seen as balancing the heat found in Hot Pot. Seafood is obviously also more popular in Cantonese Hot Pot.

Hot Pot cooking is often enjoyed at home during festivals since it requires little preparation and the participatory element is fun for a large group. It is easy to buy a portable electric burner, and you just need a wide, deep pot that will comfortably hold boiling soup without boiling over. Don’t use too deep of a pot, or you will spend too much time fishing for your food. Hot Pot can then be customized to your own style and liking. So grab your family and start a new tradition this year by enjoying this Chinese dish. But if DIY Hot Pot is not your thing, do not despair because MORE Hangzhou has compiled a list of the top ten Hot Pot restaurants in Hangzhou to help take the guesswork out of finding the perfect pot for your seasonal pleasure. These are surely the best and brightest Hot Pots available, running the gamut of styles. We have even included a Japanese and Thai Style on the list because they are both lip smackin’ good.  So plop til you pop!

1. Haidilao 海底捞 (Sichuan Style, 24hours)
Why is Haidilao number one on this list? For two very good reasons: Not only is their Hot Pot some of the best available in Hangzhou, but their service is without equal. Ladies you can have your nails done for free after you eat! Board games are available, snacks while you wait, bathroom attendants, constant hot towels, and a cheerful staff. Cute aprons are on hand to keep the splash from the Hot Pot off of your precious clothes. You cannot tell me there is another restaurant around with this level of service. They also offer Hot Pot delivery. Order from a number of set meals that will feed a varying number of people, and everything (down to the condiments) is then delivered to your home. The extensive picture menu, while not in English, is easily to use with the help of their friendly staff.

5/F, Yongjin Square, 135 Yan’an Road 延安路135号涌金广场5楼 , Tel: 87088050
502 Zhongdu Department Store, 87-1 Qingchun Road 庆春路87-1号中都百货502号, Tel: 81606592, 81606593
3/F, Yefeng Xiandai Zhixing Mansion, 337 Shaoxing Road 绍兴路337号野风现代之星大厦3楼333号, Tel: 85366389, 85366390

2. Lao Matou 老码头 (Sichuan Style, 24 hours)
You no longer have to fly off to Chengdu to enjoy this Sichuan Style Hot Pot. The best way to do it up here is get a half Sichuan and half savory broth, so you can give your mouth a rest. Six people can comfortably eat for around 400RMB, and the sour plum juice here is the best for washing all those chilies down. The numbing peppercorns bubble away in their copper cauldron waiting for you to dunk your veggies, seafood, meats, and noodles. The great thing about it is this place is open till 3am. So during the winter months if you find yourself a bit peckish after shaking your money maker at Coco Banana, wander down to this Hot Pot place with all your club kid friends.

24 Baochu Road 保俶路24号, Tel: 85118818 
262 Wantang Road 万塘路262号,Tel: 87671679
3/F, 66 Dongpo Road 东坡路66号3楼(近西湖时代广场), Tel: 87081218, 81061116

3. King Pot 幸福里 or Dong Lai Shun 东来顺 (Beijing Style, 11:30am - 9:30pm)
King Pot located in the northern part of Hangzhou on Jinhua Road next to Me Too Café and the 166 Loft Park, King Pot boasts an elegant sparse open layout, and instead of giant metal pots, here you’ll find real traditional gleaming copper Hot Pots commonly found in Beijing.  This is my personal favorite Hot Pot restaurant as it reminds me of freezing cold days in Beijing. Their fantastic baijiu selection brings back vivid memories as well and is available starting at 16RMB. If you cannot stand baijiu, there is also Beijing Plum Juice (老字号信远斋酸梅汤) 12RMB available to quench your thirst. We recommend the Shrimp Paste (鲜虾滑) 46RMB; it looks kind of horrifying sitting on its platter awaiting submersion into its boiling bath, but once you’ve tasted the cooked version, you’ll begin eagerly searching for those little pink balls. Condiments include traditional Beijing sesame sauce (老北京麻酱调料) 6RMB, and special Beijing spicy sauce (幸福里特色麻辣调料) 6RMB. Also, don’t forget the Deep Fried Sliced Mantou (烤馒头片), Old Beijing-style Baked Sesame Cake (salty/sweet) (老北京芝麻火烧) 3RMB/one, and the Beijing-style Noodles with Soy Bean Paste (炸酱面) 18RMB. Prices for meat range from 38RMB to 168RMB (for Angus steak), and vegetables and side dishes are between 10 and 20RMB each. If you have not tried Beijing Style Hot Pot, this is the best place to do it!

King Pot: 50m south of Dengyun Road and Jinhua Road (Silian 166) 登云路和金华路往南50米 (丝联166内), Tel: 85047210
Dong Lai Shun: 488 Qingtai Street  清泰街488号, 10am - 10pm, Tel: 87820666

4. Chuan Wei Guan 川味观 (Sichuan Style, 10:30am – 4am)
This chain has been cooking up tasty Sichuan Style Hot Pot in Hangzhou for years. They are everywhere, so it’s easy to get your spicy Hot Pot fix. Their pots have an authentic flavor, and it is a favorite spot for those who love a bit of numbing Sichuan peppercorn action. The vegetable offerings are par for the course, and you won’t find anything else out of the ordinary here, but this is a good option for when you and your friends want a convenient place to gather around a bubbling pot of chilies. Unfortunately, the menu is only in Chinese, but there are photos, so don’t fret my pets.

539-3 Fengqi Road 凤起路539-3号, Tel: 87795866
580 North Zhongshan Road 中山北路580号, Tel: 85393226
222 Tanhuan Road 昙花庵路222号, Tel: 86037988
160 Moganshan Road 莫干山路160号, Tel: 88807166
166 Huansha Road 浣纱路166号, Tel: 87917669
80 Fengqi Road 凤起路80号, Tel: 85284293
109 West Wensan Road 文三西路109号, Tel: 88983338, 88975557
10 Gushui Street 古水街10号, Tel: 85393226
82 Tiancheng Road 天城路82号, Tel: 88391277, 88399577
978 Dongxin Road 东新路978号, Tel: 85283777
1-2/F, Qianlong Masion, Binsheng Road and Jianghan Road 滨盛路与江汉路交叉口钱龙大厦1-2楼, Tel: 87022666
Kairui Hotel, 1199 Hanghai Road 杭海路1199号凯瑞大酒店, Tel: 86909777
20 West Huancheng Road 环城西路20号, Tel: 87014552

5. Lotus Thai Hot Pot 莲一泰式火锅·料理 (Thai Style, 10am - 9pm)
Located near Homestead Café on Wensan and Jiaogong Roads, this Thai Steamboat restaurant is fantastic if you are hankerin’ for some Hot Pot but can’t drum up the required friends. Here they serve Thai-style individual Hot Pots that will seriously light your mouth up. Try their delicious Tom Yum Hot Pot (东荫功汤锅) and their Pineapple Curry Hot Pot (咖喱菠萝锅). The menu is not in English, nor are there any pictures, but the prices are cheap, so fumbling your way through the ordering process is well worth the awkwardness. Their Hot Pot is so delicious, you will want to drink the soup after eating all your tasty morsels. Wash it all down with a great Singha beer for 15RMB, and you will have a fantastic Thai Steamboat experience.

3/F, Liyuan Mansion, 88 Jiaogong Road  教工路88号立元大厦3楼, Tel: 87006655

6. Yu Xianglong Chongqing Hot Pot 渝香隆重庆火锅城 (Chongqing Style, 24 hours)
Located on Baochu Road, this Chongqing Style Hot Pot is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared for your hair and clothes to smell like what you’ve just devoured. In fact, we suggest not even bothering to shower before coming here. “So, why do people come here?” you might ask. Because, they have the best Chongqing Style Hot Pot in town. Again, the menu is only in Chinese, so if you are feeling your Chinese isn’t up to snuff, we recommend bringing a friend along who speaks Chinese. The place is open 24hrs and really gets hoppin’ around 2am. The snakehead fish (黑鱼片) is delicious, and we also recommend getting the rice cake (年糕). The rest of the veggies are rather commonplace, but if you are feeling adventurous, don’t forget the more exciting meats on hand, like stomach. Yum! This place is great for late night Hot Pot cravings!

106 Baochu Road 保俶路106号, Tel: 85111020
25 Desheng Road 德胜路25号, Tel: 85832955
423 Shangtang Road 上塘路423号, Tel: 88321711

7. Doulao Fang豆捞坊 (Mixed Style, 11am – 9:30pm)
This Taiwanese Style Hot Pot restaurant is located near Wulin Shopping Center, so after you work up an appetite window shopping, head here for a mini Hot Pot experience. Each person has their own individual Hot Pot to which you can add excellent fresh seafood, vegetables, and other tasty treats. All the required condiments are here: sesame sauce, peanut butter, XO sauce, spicy peppers, and more. It is a great place for those times when you and a friend want something warm after wandering up and down Yan’an Road shopping all day. The restaurant is tranquil and feels worlds away from the busy shopping environs you’ve just come from. We suggest doing lunch here as it can get rather busy during dinnertime. They have delicious fresh meat balls (丸子), rice cake with cheese in the middle (年糕,里面有芝士), and their beef is extremely fresh. They won most popular Hot Pot restaurant in 2013, so you know this place knows what it’s doing! Try it, you won’t be sorry!

CQ703, 7/F, Block C, Hangzhou Mansion, 230 North Huancheng Road 环城北路230号杭州大夏购物城C座裙楼7楼CQ703号(近武林广场), Tel: 85177277, 88151807
401, Zone A, Hubin InTime Mall, 258 Yan’an Road 延安路258号湖滨银泰2期A区401室, Tel: 85870555
521, 5/F, Mixc Mall, 701 Fuchun Road 富春路701号万象城5楼521号, Tel: 89705688

8. Happy House Shabu Shabu 福捞坊海鲜肥牛火锅城 (Mixed Style, 10am - 12am)
A Hot Pot restaurant can be impressive depending on the broth, the food, or the sauce bar. Happy House, on the northwest corner of Tianmushan and Baochu Roads, manages to impress with their quality and presentation as well as with their collection of condiments; their broth isn’t half bad either! This is Japanese Style Hot Pot, so if you have never tasted Shabu Shabu before, you should for sure give it a try. There are pictures on the menu, but no English, and the Hot Pots come in individual portions. We started out by ordering four different broths: Sichuan Spicy (捞坊绿色锅) 15RMB, Traditional Spicy (捞坊香辣锅) 12RMB, Tomato (西式番茄锅) 15RMB, and Plain (顶级清汤) 10RMB.  Traditional Spicy was the resounding favorite. It was full of flavor and wasn’t intensely spicy. Want a feast for the eyes? Order some of the non-Hot Pot dishes. The Thin Sliced Mandarin Fish (鲑鱼姿造) 88/149RMB was beautifully presented on a bed of shaved ice with liquid nitrogen steam pouring out of fresh bamboo cuttings. Even a simple dish like Bean Sprouts (豆芽) 6RMB was arranged as a flower blooming out of the bowl, and The Four Color Dumplings (四色水饺) 28RMB were as delicious as they were colorful.

2 North Baochu Road 保俶北路2号, Tel: 28821118

9. Nasubi 纳思比日本料理 (Mixed Style, 11am - 1:30pm, 5:30pm - 10:30pm)
Nasubi is the most authentic Sukiyaki Style Hot Pot in Hangzhou. Originating in Shizouka, with over ten restaurants and counting, this place is top-of-the-line Japanese Hot Pot. The interior is pure elegance and was designed by Junichiro Sato. This place is perhaps the most expensive on our top ten, but trust us it is worth every yuan. A meal here will be at least 250RMB/person, and if you are feeling extravagant, you can try a Japanese Hairy Crab that is 1,000RMB! The saki is smooth and a beautiful companion to the exquisite Sukiyaki. An English menu is available, and you would be a fool not to try their Chowder Stew or any of their fresh fish flown in weekly from Japan. This tatami-lined restaurant is as close to a Japanese dining experience as you can get without buying a plane ticket!

4/F, Zhejiang Narada Grand Hotel, 122 Shuguang Road 曙光路122号浙江世贸君澜大饭店4楼, Tel: 87969826

10.  Hot Boss 韩国正宗炒年糕 or Zhu En Guan 主恩馆 (Korean Style, 11am – 9:30pm)
Located on Yile Road, just north of West Wen’er Road, Hot Boss has the Korean version of Hot Pot called tteokbokki, or fried sticky rice cakes with cabbage, fishcakes and ramen noodles. The menu is only in Chinese and Korean, but the pictures make it feasible to order without English. Koreans go crazy for this warm street food (which is probably pretty popular right about now in chilly South Korea). A single portion of the hot bubbling stew will only set you back 38RMB, with choices of cheese, BBQ pork, vegetable, curry, and of course kimchee. A gas burner is brought to your table so that you can watch your bubbling concoction cook. Slurp up the noodles along with a cold Korean beer and order a side of Korean fried chicken. The Korean version of Hot Pot is a little different as it is far more of a soup than its Chinese cousin, but this is still a tasty dish to get you through these winter months that are here to stay in Hangzhou.

Hot Boss: 71 Yile Road 益乐路71号, Tel: 86585120
Zhu En Guan: 353 Gudun Road (junction of Jindan Road)  古墩路353号丹枫新村, Tel: 88980021

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Do You Know How Much Urine is in the Swimming Pools?

The weather is getting hotter and hotter, what beats escaping the summer heat with a refreshing splash in the pool?

But have you ever thought of a question: How much urine is there in the pool?

Let’s talk about that today.

Blogger Mark Rober spoke with a couple of scientists to find out the average amount of pee in a swimming pool. The giveaway is the amount of artificial sweetener in pool water. And the unmistakable pool smell.

Mark sampled private pools and public pools four times and sent the samples directly to a laboratory for inspection

Mark visited Lindsay Blackstock, a PhD student of analytical and environmental toxicology at Alberta University to learn about her ingenious method for measuring the amount of pee in a pool by looking at the concentration of an artificial sweetener called Acefulfame Potassium, it’s commonly found in processed foods and fizzy drinks. This is commonly found in urine because it passes straight through the body undigested.

They looked at samples from some pools in his area to determine how much pee was in them and he conducted an experiment of his own to see what was the cause of that "classic pool smell". He also presented average amounts of pee in large pools as well as an equation to determine how much pee is in your own pool.

In fact, you can also get the results by measuring the amount of urea in the pool, but urea can also come from human sweat, and sweat is very common in pools, so you cannot tell how much urea actually came from pee.

Before the results of the experiment came out, Mark learned a big "secret"!

It took about an hour for the mass spectrometer to detect the results. When Mark waited, Lindsay also told him an amazing fact...

Adding chlorine into a pool can disinfect the water because it kills harmful bacteria, viruses and microorganisms...

However, there is also a big disadvantage! Chlorine for disinfection reacts with urea in the pool to form trichloroamine, that’s why you may smell it when you enter the indoor pool. It is actually the smell of trichloramine, which is the   of urine and chlorine, not just the smell of disinfectant water.

To prove this, Mark personally tested it. He prepared two 5 gallon buckets, and filled them with pure water, then added four times the recommended concentration of chlorine for that volume of water to both buckets, and then added a little urine to the bucket B.

After 3 days of waiting, it’s time for the truth.

Bucket A still smells like water even with four times the recommended chlorine concentration, while bucket B smells like a swimming pool. The only difference is that bucket B has a small amount of pee in it. The smell reminds us of summer vacations in a 5-star hotel’s pools or water parks. It turns out… it’s just pee.

The classic pool smell doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the problem is it’s kinda bad news for both your lungs and your eyes.

If your eyes are really red after swimming for a while, that’s because of the trichloroamine from the pee, not the chlorine. Trichloroamine also causes asthma, in fact, studies show that asthma is more likely to occur among lead swimmers than any other high-level athletes, which now make sense, because Michael Phelps admitted to always peeing in the pool and he says everyone does it too.

In Lindsay’s research, she sampled 20 public swimming pools and 10 public hot tubs. The average concentration of sweetener for the public pool was 470ng/L , and 2247ng/L for the public hot tubs.

So what about Mark’s samples? The concentration of artificial sweetener in his friend’s backyard pool is 69ng/L. Although it is much lower than the average, it equals just under a gallon of pee. Mark's hot tub has a slightly higher concentration of artificial sweetener at 103ng/L.

In another set of samples taken by Mark in a public pool and hot tub, the concentration of artificial sweetener is 27ng/L for the pool and 335ng/L for the hot tub, respectively.

Those numbers are much lower than the average levels of the 30 samples that Lindsay collected, which leads Mark to believe that the water has been completely replaced recently.

If you want to estimate the pee in your pool, Mark came up with a simple equation after talking to some professionals and the equation depends on the number of people.

Average:
numbers of swimmers × 1.2 = gallons of pee

If you think they pee more than average: 
numbers of swimmers × 2 = gallons of pee

If they are more disciplined:
numbers of swimmers × 0.5 = gallons of pee

An Olympic pool would contain over 130 gallons of pee.

While some people swear by the health benefits of drinking urine, which is sterile, taking a gulp of the stuff in a swimming pool is not a good idea.

Urine contains many nitrogenous compounds such as urea, ammonia, amino acids, and creatinine. These compounds can react with disinfectants (e.g., chlorine) in swimming pools to form disinfection byproducts (DBPs).

Although considered a taboo, 19 percent of adults have admitted to having urinated in swimming pools at least once.

So be cool, don’t pee in the pool!

If you are interested watching Mark Rober’s research video, go on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S32y9aYEzzo

A Nearby Summer Escaping Plan

The city has been rainy and wet for a month, and you wonder when is this going to end. When the rain stops, it’s time for the heat, and voilà, summer is here. It gets hot and humid in Hangzhou, but there are places nearby you can go to enjoy a cooler environment. These include the islands, mountains, lakes and rivers in or near Hangzhou, and the local water parks.

01 - TONGLU -
Luci Bay 桐庐-芦茨湾

Luci Village is situated on the bank of the Fuchun River and is located beside the Longmenwan Scenic Area in the south of the Yangtze River. The village of Luci has a beautiful landscape with a wealth of rural tourism attractions such as Luci Tutu and Yanlingwu Orchard. Luci Village has a long history and profound cultural heritage. This is the hometown of the late Tang poet Fang Gan. In the village of Luci, there are relatively complete ancient buildings such as Chengong Temple and Linggu Temple with historical and traditional features, ancient lanes, old bridges, and ancestral halls.

There are plenty of water entertainment projects to play. Pick a sunny weekend, bring your water gun and swimsuit, and go have a thrilling rafting or water skiing. If you don't want to go into the water, rent a bicycle to go around the lake, 50RMB for pedal boat for unlimited time, the price is very affordable. Or you can bring a small basket to dig bamboo shoots, pick some raspberries, wild vegetables and herbs. Take a bite on that ice cold watermelon, or ask for a cup of Luci black tea on the way to the mountain is also very good.

- TONGLU -
Yaolin Wonderland 桐庐-瑶琳仙境


During the Olympic season, visitors coming to the Yaolin caves can watch the live broadcast of the Games while cooling off in the caves. Yaolin Wonderland is a group of limestone caves formed by corrosion through the ages. With stalagmite and peak stones in fantastic shapes and colors as well as murmuring streams, pools and cliffs, its halls are interconnected with passages and chambers.

Yaolin Wonderland stretches 1km in depth and covers 28,000 sqm. It ranks second on the list of the newly developed natural scenic sports among the Forty Best Tourist Resorts in China. It was also awarded as one of the Ten Best Tourist Resorts in Zhejiang province.

In the spacious fourth to sixth halls of Yaolin Wonderland, 300-odd immortals from more than 20 myths and legends, such as Nuwa Patching the Skies and Houyi Shooting Down the Nine Suns, are displayed through lifelike modern audio-animatronics, complementing the beauty of the stalagmites in the other three halls of Yaolin Wonderland and adding a touch of mythology.

02 - DEQING -
Moganshan 德清-莫干山


Moganshan, part of China’s Moganshan National Park, about 1 hour by private car southwest of Shanghai, the lush mountain has long been the stomping ground of high-profile politicians (a list that once included Chairman Mao), foreign missionaries, Chinese gangsters, and well-heeled expats.

Thanks to its elite clientele and countryside appeal, the area has been dubbed the “Hamptons of China,” though visitors will have to trade a sandy coastline for rolling tea plantations and restored 19th-century mansions. Even without the beaches of Long Island, the draw is clear: It’s the kind of place where you can wander through tea plantations by day and sip French wines in a private cellar late into the evening. After a busy week of work in Hangzhou, where temperatures hover around 38 degrees in the summer, Moganshan provides cool mountain air and a blissfully wide-open itinerary.

There are a few places we recommend you to stay, simply search: Le Passage, naked Stables, Solvang Village Boutique on www.morehangzhou.com

03 - JIANDE -
Xin'an River 建德-新安江


Listed with the first group of national scenic spots ever adopted, the city of Jiande is described as a bright pearl along the golden tourist route from Zhejiang province to neighboring Anhui.

The Xin'an River attracts thousands of visitors from both home and abroad every year. Linking Yellow Mountain at its headwaters and Thousand-Island Lake at its lower reaches, the river winds among high mountains.

Due to its splendid landscapes, the river is renowned as a gallery where water meets mountains. Xin'an River is famous for its clear water - in summer or winter, its riverbed can be clearly seen. The temperature of the river remains 17 degrees through the whole year, and the fog on the river is also a wonder.

And forget to try the local specialty: Fish Head!

04 - LIN'AN -
West Zhejiang Grand Canyon 临安-浙西大峡谷


West Zhejiang Grand Canyon is located in the City of Lin'an in western Hangzhou. The canyon is one of the famed landscapes in western Zhexi. There are 4 main sightseeing areas: Jiamen Pass, White Horse Cliff, Zhelin Waterfall, and Laodui Brook.

From White Horse Cliff, you can see a landscape that includes waterfalls, brooks, and cliffs. At Jiamen Pass, you experience rafting or you can enjoy walking along trails through the canyon. At Zhelin Waterfall, you can see Yansheng Waterfall and Longmen Waterfall, the waters of which are exceptionally cool. An important feature of Laodui Brook is a display of cultural activities there.

- LIN'AN -
Qingshan Lake 临安-青山湖


Qingshan Lake is a manmade lake 4-5 kilometers to the east of Lin'an. Lined with metasequoia trees, the Lake makes a unique view. There is also a barbecue court and a small playing ground where you could go parachuting on the water. The best way to appreciate the views here is by boat. Tickets are available at Qinshan and Shenghe, two piers at the south bank of the Lake. You may board and alight at the same pier. There are two types of rides, with one taken on boats painted in the style of classic pleasure boats, and the other on yachts.

05 - LISHUI -
Songyang Ruoliao 丽水 - 松阳箬寮


Songyang County is located in the mountains of southwest Zhejiang and has over 1800 years of history. This is a famous city of provincial history. Historically, it was the economic center of Chuzhou (today's Lishui), and it has many historical relics, including the domestically and internationally famous Yanqing Temple Pagoda. The many cultural sites here also include the Huang Courtyard, the “Ming-Qing Neighborhood,” and the Xiongdi Jinshi (“Brothers Who Passed the Imperial Exam”) memorial gate.

The Ruoliao Primeval Forest is located in Songyang County. It is a small canyon between Lishui Mountain. The cool climate, dense vegetation accompanied by waterfalls and streams make the original forest a good place to escape the heat. The main thing here is to experience the farmhouse music, listen to the sound of the stream, breathe the fresh air and enjoy the fun of nature.

Shanghai’s Waste Classification Has Spawned A New Occupation

Lately, Shanghai citizens have been busy learning how to sort their garbage.

Overnight, all the garbage bins in Shanghai's major residential complexes disappeared! Residents can now only dispose of their garbage at designated garbage disposal points which are locked up during most of the day.

Each resident will be allocated with a time to dump their waste and a designated station within their vicinity, where they can sort garbage into bins.

The daily time for garbage disposal is regulated:
7am - 9am
6pm – 8pm

(Slightly different for different places)

Garbage must be sorted, otherwise the penalty will be between 50RMB-200RMB.

After the garbage bins were removed, some residents took garbage to work, some dumped them on the street late at night.

"On July 28, 2018, the garbage bins were removed. Although there was a lot of publicity previously (to educate the residents), the complex was like a big garbage dump the day after." Shi Jingjing, secretary of the party branch of the Fushi residential area in Minhang District, Shanghai, recalled, “After the garbage bins were removed and the designated garbage bins put in place, most residents, especially the elderly, found it easier to sort their garbage." Shi Jingjing said, "But some of the young people do not follow the waste classification rules. Some people throw garbage into the street trash can outside the complex. Some people take the garbage with them to throw in the garbage bins where they work.”

“In the vicinity of street shops, there will be a lot of unsorted overnight garbage in the morning.” said Wang Junxiong, head of the business department of Shanghai Jiangchuan Environmental Sanitation Comprehensive Service Co., Ltd. “The urban management, law enforcement, and other departments have their off-duty hours, some merchants would throw the unsorted garbage on the street in the evening. Even if they were discovered, the punishment is not hard enough.” In some communities, in order to find the owner of the ownerless garbage that was thrown away, the residents’ committee officials even went through the garbage to look for clues.

Garbage Disposal Service!

So some “smart” people have developed a new business:
Garbage disposal!

Ms. Chen said she goes out early and comes home late every day. Garbage disposal is scheduled at certain times of the day, which gives her a headache. After all, some people are busy.

Fortunately, some people started to provide garbage disposal services at the complex where she lives. She only needs to leave the sorted garbage at her door. At 9am every day, someone will come to take them to the designated garbage disposal point. The cost is 1RMB each time and 30RMB a month.

Waste sorting is just beginning. It will be a long journey for a big country like China. Apart from enhancing garbage storage sites, local environmental agencies are aiming to resolve garbage overflow in the districts of Jing’an, Changning, Yangpu, Fengxian, Songjiang and Chongming by the end of 2018. Other districts will follow suit next year, and it is expected that a fully conceived national system - including the enforcement of garbage fees - will be in place by 2020.

Your Latest Bus Guide to Xiaoshan & Pudong Airports

Starting from June 21st, the Yellow Dragon Stadium Station will no longer operate. There will be two locations where you can get a bus to Shanghai Pudong Airport. The journey takes about 3.5 hours and the ticket cost is 120RMB. Here are the details:

To Shanghai Pudong Airport
上海浦东机场大巴


From Wulinmen
武林门民航售票处

(390 Tiyuchang Road体育场路390号)

5:30am, 6:10am, 7am, 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 3:50pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm

From Hangzhou East Train Station
杭州火车东站


5:55am, 6:45am, 7:35am, 8:35am, 9:35am, 10:35am, 11:35am, 12:35pm, 1:35pm, 2:35pm, 3:35pm, 4:25pm, 5:05pm, 6:05pm

We also collected information for how to get to Xiaoshan Airport. Here are the details:

Bus to Xiaoshan Airport
萧山机场大巴


From Wulinmen
武林门民航售票处

(390 Tiyuchang Road体育场路390号)

Stops at: Bus station at the junction of Pinghai Road and Yuewang Road 平海路岳王路口公交车站 (You can purchase your ticket at: 平海路杭州市职工国际旅行社内)

First bus: 5am
Last bus: 9pm
Every 15 minutes from 5am to 5pm.
Every 30 minutes from 5pm to 9pm.

From Chengzhan Train Station
城站火车站


Inside of Chengzhan Train Station Bus Station 城站火车站汽车客运站内.
Add: 12-8 East Huancheng Road 环城东路12-8号

First bus: 5am
Last bus: 9pm
Every 30 minutes.

From Xiasha
下沙


Hangzhou Eastern International Business Center, South Haida Road 海达南路杭州东部国际商务中心
Stops at:  Shengtai Kaiyuan Mingdu Hotel 盛泰开元名都酒店

7:15am, 9:30am, 10:30am, 12:10pm, 1:40pm, 3:10pm, 4:30pm, 6:15pm

From Hangzhou East Train Station
火车东站


Every 30 minutes from 5:30am from 9am.
Every 15 minutes from 9am to 9pm.

From Binjiang
滨江


Overseas Business Park, 368 Liuhe Road 六和路368号海外创业园
Stops at:  Ramada Plaza Riverside Hangzhou (华美达大酒店), and Jiangling Road Subway Station (江陵路地铁站)

6am, 7:30am, 8:30am, 9:30am, 10am, 11:20am, 12:30pm, 1:40pm, 2:50pm, 4pm, 5:20pm, 6:40pm

From Future Science and Technology City
未来科技城


Hangzhou Future Science and Technology City Overseas High-Level Talents Innovation Park杭州未来科技城海创园

6:40am, 7:35am, 8:40am, 9:25am, 10:20am, 11:10am, 12:30pm, 1:20pm, 2:20pm, 3:20pm,  4:20pm, 5:25pm, 5:55pm, 6:40pm

From Xixi Wetland
西溪湿地


Longshezui, Xixi Wetland 杭州市西溪湿地龙舌嘴

8am, 10am, 12:20pm, 3:30pm

From Lake View Hotel
望湖宾馆


2 West Huancheng Road 环城西路2号

9am, 11am, 1:20pm, 4:30pm

From Hangzhou Terminal
杭州客运中心

(3339 East Desheng Rd. Jiubao Town 九堡镇德胜东路3339号)

6:40am, 7:40am, 8:45am, 8:50am, 9:10am, 9:40am, 10:10am, 10:40am, 11:20am, 12:10pm, 12:50pm, 1:30pm, 2:05pm, 2:35pm, 3:20pm, 4pm, 4:35pm, 5:10pm, 5:50pm, 6:30pm, 7:10pm, 7:40pm, 8:20pm, 8:55pm

From Hangzhou North Bus Station
杭州长途汽车北站

(766 Moganshan Road 莫干山路766号)

5:15am, 6am, 6:45am, 7:40am, 8:10am, 8:40am, 9:20am, 10am, 10:40am, 11:30am, 12:10pm, 12:40pm, 1:20pm, 1:45pm, 2:30pm, 3:10pm, 3:50pm, 4:20pm, 5pm, 5:40pm, 6:20pm, 7pm, 7:40pm, 8:20pm, 9pm, 9:40pm, 10:10pm

From Hangzhou South Bus Station
杭州长途汽车南站

(407 Qiutao Road 秋涛路407号)

6:20am, 7:20am, 8:20am, 9:20am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:20pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:10pm

From Hangzhou West Bus Station
杭州长途汽车西站

(357 Tianmushan Road  天目山路357号)

6:20am, 7:20am, 8:20am, 9:20am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:20pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:10pm

We recommend you this platform to book your bus ticket. Not only can you buy tickets for the airport shuttle bus, but also to other cities as well. You can use your passport to purchase tickets.

To Come Back from Xiaoshan Airport

The shuttle buses of Hangzhou Airport usually take an hour to the city center and around 50 minutes to Xiaoshan District. To buy tickets, go to Gate 14, Arrival Hall, on the first floor of the domestic terminal.

China is Getting Serious about Waste Classification

China has been making efforts on waste sorting or waste recycling for decades, but there are still many problems yet to be solved. Eight cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou were considered national pilot cities for garbage sorting in 1998. Twenty years on, their efforts have not achieved the desired results. According to the People's Daily, the failure of garbage classification was due to three reasons: a lack of awareness from residents, misconduct from garbage workers and insufficient financial support.

According to a survey released by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment research center, 63.7 percent of people surveyed believe that the reason why they fail to sort the garbage is due to the lack of classified waste bins in their residential communities. 59.6 percent of people blame their behavior on the failure of city garbage disposal services, which mix all garbage together, leading people to think that there's no point in sorting.

Other reasons include that the residents don't know how to sort; they have no sense of accomplishment; they think sorting is complicated, exhausting and few people around them do it.

First Penalty in Hangzhou for Garbage Classification

On May 30th, 2019, Hangzhou Jianggan District officially imposed penalties for the classification of personal waste.

On the morning of May 30, Mr. Zhang, who lives in Caihe Street in Jianggan District, signed his name on the “Administrative Punishment Decision”. Jianggan District City Management Office fined Mr. Zhang for 50RMB because the garbage was misplaced.

Mr. Zhang became the first person in Hangzhou who was not properly sorting garbage and was subject to administrative punishment.

Shanghai Will Be the First City to Enforce Garbage Classification

Yes, starting from July 1st, 2019, Garbage Classification will be officially implemented in Shanghai!

Shanghai is going to be the pioneer city for waste sorting and recycling, which makes it the first city in China to publish harsh regulations on garbage sorting and recycling. The government has put out a list of categories for sorting waste including recyclable, hazardous, wet and dry. It also specified the punishments for individuals and companies that break the rules.

Fines for individual mixed garbage will be up to 200RMB

Fines for companies, organizations, and complex mixing of garbage will be up to 50,000RMB

For individuals, authorities will fine a maximum of 200RMB (about 29 U.S. dollars) for mixing the garbage, while companies and organizations that are in charge of garbage sorting, transporting, processing and management will be fined a maximum 50,000RMB (about 72,357 U.S. dollars).

The regulation will come into effect on July 1 and was passed by the people's congress of Shanghai municipal city on January 31, 2018.

Garbage Classification

Basically divided into four categories: Hazardous Waste, Recyclable Waste, Household Food Waste, and Residual Waste. Check out the colours and Chinese below:

These four categories are the major ones. How do we distinguish them? We explain each category for you, let’s start with Recyclable Waste.

Recyclable Waste
可回收垃圾


Paper, plastic, scrap metal, glass bottles & containers, magazines, books & cardboard, clothes, fabric, toys, take-out or food delivery packaging

This is where your plastic bottles and containers go, unless they are dirty and can’t be cleaned, in which case, they go in the Residual Waste (干垃圾) bin. Pour out the liquid before you throw your drink bottles or food containers away. Rinse them with water and squash them. You’re doing the sanitation workers a huge favor by reducing the size and weight, and giving them a bit of dignity.

Cosmetic brands such as Kiehl's, Origins, M.A.C, Shiseido, and Innisfree can take your returned containers and reward you with small samples and membership points.

Household Food Waste
湿垃圾


Food waste, expired food, shells & husk, dead plants, Chinese medicine

Anything type of food waste belongs in this category. The chicken bones from last night, the shells from your favourite spicy crayfish, shrimp, or crab, the plant you bought three months ago and is now dead, grape skin, fruit peels… but leftover milk or yogurt should be poured directly into your sink.

Most organic food waste belongs here, except things that are hard to break down, like big bones and coconut shells, which go in the Residual Waste (干垃圾) bin. Remember to remove the plastic from anything you put in these bins.

Residual Waste
干垃圾


Anything else goes to Residual Waste.

Bottles or cans that are dirty and can’t be cleaned should go in the Residual Waste (干垃圾) bin. Things like face mask packaging, nail polish bottles, cotton sticks, toothbrushes, towels, used tissues, tampons, diapers, cigarette butts, plant pots, plastic wrap, yogurt or milk bottles (you need to empty the bottle first). Clean food packaging goes to Recyclable, dirty and used packaging goes to Residual Waste.

Waimai containers are incredibly hard to recycle, even the paper-based ones. These containers are often lined with polyethylene and tainted with food residue so they are very unpopular among garbage collectors -- it’s not worth their effort to wash them or separate the liners. The same goes for disposable coffee cups. This is a problem.

So here are the four steps we suggest you do. First, separate the clean paper/plastics and dirty containers. Leftover food →Household Food Waste Bin (湿垃圾); dirty containers →Residual Waste (干垃圾) bin; Clean bags → Recyclable (可回收物) bin.

Hazardous Waste
有害垃圾


Used batteries (rechargeable batteries, button batteries, batteries), paint cans, waste lamp, paint buckets, pesticides (there are residues that need to be sealed in advance and then disposed of), expired or discarded drugs, and other hazardous materials.

In newer residential areas, they are usually right next to the other bins, in red or with a red label. If you don’t have one in your neighborhood, talk to your local neighborhood management about options for disposal. That’s kind of mafan but we all need to do the best we can.

If you are wondering how many garbage bags you should have at home to handle daily waste, we have an idea for you to try.

More Options for Recyclable Waste

For books, Duozhuayu (多抓鱼) is great for selling and buying second-hand books. Funded by Tencent, Duozhuayu has a system that verifies and estimates the value of your books, and they will collect the books from you free of charge.

For clothes, take them back to the store, or take them to H&M. Clothing shops Uniqlo, H&M, and Zara all provide recycling services for used clothes from their own shops; H&M even accepts clothes from other brands.

Social enterprise Feimayi (飞蚂蚁) is at the forefront of online textile recycling in China and provides a free collection service for more than five kg of clothes. Also funded by Tencent, like Duozhuayu, it’s accessible via desktop and WeChat mini-program. Find the QR code by scrolling down on their website. Basic Chinese is needed to navigate the app and fill out the form.

Aihuishou (爱回收) is China’s largest platform for recycling and selling second-hand electronics. They have offline stores in shopping malls throughout the city.

Xianyu (闲鱼) is Taobao’s second-hand marketplace. Although not desktop-friendly, you can sell almost anything there. The platform is super active due to its sheer size. There is an amazing, incredible, wonderfully efficient and hugely profitable Buy & Sell section here.

Green Initiatives offers transparent waste management for e-waste, paper, and textile waste. They also have recycling bins at URBN hotel, Element Fresh, and many other private and public collection points around Shanghai. For home pick up, Feibao, a social enterprise that works with Green Iniatitives offers recycling service through WeChat.

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