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Whiskey Words
By Nicholas Valenzuela

The word whiskey comes from the Gaelic uisge, a shortened version of uisge beatha meaning "water of life," also known as aqua vitae in Latin. Whiskey was originally used as a medicine for both internal anesthetic use and as an external antibiotic, predominantly distilled by monks.

How it’s Made
The Grain: If other grains are used, then all grains except barley are first ground into meal, which is mixed with water and cooked. Barley is malted, not cooked. The first step in malting barley consists of soaking it in water then spread out and sprinkled with water for about three weeks, until it begins to sprout, and then dried by heating the barley with hot air from a kiln. (For Scotch whiskey the barley is peat-smoked, a soft, young carbon-rich substance formed when plant matter decomposes, giving the characteristic smoky taste.) The malted barley is then ground like other grains.

Mashing: consists of mixing cooked grain with malted barley and warm water. (In making Scotch, the mixture consists only of malted barley and water and then filtered to produce wort.)

Fermenting: The mash or wort is transferred to a fermentation vessel, usually closed in Scotland and open in the United States. Yeast is added to begin fermentation, in which the sugars are converted to alcohol. The yeast may be added in the form of new, never-used yeast (the sweet mash process) or using a portion of a previous batch of fermentation (the sour mash process.) After three or four days, the end product is a liquid containing about 10% alcohol known as distiller's beer in the United States or wash in Scotland.

Distilling: Scottish whisky makers often distill their wash twice in traditional copper pot stills until most of the alcohol is transformed into vapor. Irish whiskey is often distilled thrice in pot stills three times the size of copper ones. Tennessee whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal before it is aged called the Lincoln County Process. This results in a particularly smooth whiskey.

Aging: Water is added to reduce its alcohol content to about 50% or 60% for American whiskeys and about 65% or higher for Scotch whiskeys. Scotch whiskeys are aged in cool, wet conditions, so they absorb water and become less alcoholic. American whiskeys are aged in warmer, drier conditions so they lose water and become more alcoholic. All whiskey is aged in wooden barrels, usually made from charred white oak, because it is one of the few woods that can hold a liquid without leaking but which also allows the water in the whiskey to move back and forth within the pores of the wood, which helps to add flavor. In the United States these barrels are usually new and are only used once. In most other countries it is common to reuse old barrels. Whiskey generally takes at least three or four years to mature.

Blending: Straight whiskey and single malt Scotch whiskey are not blended; they are produced from single batches and are ready to be bottled straight from the barrel. Different batches of whiskey are mixed together to produce a better flavor. Caramel is added to standardize the color, and a small amount of sherry or port wine is added to help the flavors blend. A premium blended Scotch whisky may contain more than sixty individual malt whiskeys which must be blended in the proper proportions. Once bottled, and only in glass, the whiskey no longer matures, unlike wine.

Whiskey Class

Examples in order of price

Single Malt (100% malted barley from one distillery): Glenfiddich 12, Tomatin 30, Macallan 18

Single Grain (Up to 20% malted barley and up to 80% other grains such as wheat, corn, rye or oats.): Cameron Brig, Port Dundas and Jim McEwan’s Celtic Heartland

Blended Malt (A blend of Single Malts from one or more distilleries): Famous Grouse, Johnnie Walker, J&B, Chivas Regal 18, Ballantine’s 17, Chivas Regal 25

Blended Grain (Blend of grain whiskies from two or more distilleries): Johnnie Walker Green Label

Blended Scotch (Blend of 20 - 40% SM and 60-80% SG usually from several distilleries.): Johnnie Walker Black Label, J&B

Rye Whiskey (At least 51% Rye in America. No rules for Canada.  No more than 80% alcohol. Only two year minimum ageing in barrels compared to the usual three to four year minimum.): Alberta Premium (made of 100% rye mash), Whistle Pig (also 100%), Knob Creek Rye, Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13

Straight Bourbon (Originated in Kentucky. At least 51% corn, at least 40% alc. Wheat or rye are usually the second grains with a third “flavoring” grain. No added caramel coloring allowed. And aged in new white oak barrels – compared to other whiskeys that may age the whiskey in barrels previously used for other alcohols i.e.: sherry, wine or bourbon.): Jim Beam, Knob Creek, Wild Creek for the more traditional 70% corn and equal wheat and rye. Four Roses for the spicy high rye recipe. Maker’s Mark for a smoother high wheat.

Tennessee Whiskey (Similar to bourbon except it is filtered through sugar maple charcoal): Dickel and Jack Daniels

Hangzhou’s Whiskey Men

Eddie Lim (Owner of Smoky Whisky Bar)
Hailing from Singapore, Eddie started business in China as an importer of fine Scottish fire-water and soon thereafter opened a bar with Stephen Notman, Scotland’s Whiskey Ambassador, called Smoky – play on transliterated words from the Chinese wei xun, meaning tipsy. A good variety of jazz and blues is played at just the right volume to enjoy the simple and elegant ambience of Smoky that exudes an aura of upper-class establishment. Eddie is dressed smartly in a vintage style sports coat and a similarly vintage flat-cap. He orders me a Tomatin 18 neat with a water sidecar. It goes down smooth like syrup and breathes out fire.

Why whiskey?
My first whiskey experience was in University, playing snooker. And now when I drink whiskey it reminds me of Uni. I see a great potential for this spirit in China because Whiskey is fun. I want to change the mindset of Chinese from drinking Whiskey with sweet greet tea to understanding and appreciating the Magical Experience of drinking W. Whiskey is about enjoying the finer things in Life. Why was W first made? For health. We want to advocate that this is the Water of Life.

What would you consider your more important personal experiences or achievements?
I have been collecting Whiskey for 25 years. Firstly, I am a W distributer and China Importer starting 5 years ago. Now I have a bar. He shows me a bottle of Bladnock 22 Single Malt Scottish Lowland. This is no longer produced, it is imported exclusively by me and my company located here in Hangzhou.

What makes a Whiskey Expert?
I don’t consider myself a W expert. I’m a W lover. I have a long way to go to improve myself. I think there are really only two. Charles McClean and Dave Brum. They do blind tastings, they write books, give speeches and share knowledge.

What about you? Can you do blind tastings and tell if it’s SM or blended or barley or wheat?
As he chews his lamb, he nods knowingly with a smile. I knew you would ask me that question. I knew! Sure, I can get close but it’s not always 100%. They can be very deceiving. Eddie holds W tastings at Smoky once a month.

How do you choose which Whiskeys to place in your bar?
It depends on what is available at the moment. We want every SM on the wall. Unfortunately China is not Scotland. We have to work with the owners, importers, and distributers….some are owned by big companies or private companies and we work with them and the Scottish Development International because we want to import more products. But. Every. Single. Malt. Is different. Some rare, some new and some well-known. Some of the lesser known are good to have, even if we don’t sell them, but you can appreciate them. We want to give people a variety of choice to cater to a wide group of people.

Is price directly linked to quality? When are you overpaying?
I want you to have a practical experience. He addresses the bartender nearest us. Alvin, this is Nicholas from MORE Hangzhou magazine. This is our Mixologist from Taiwan. Can you please pour him a shot of “Big T.” A blended Whiskey from Tomatin. Just like the Tomatin 18, it is smooth going down but a shade less velvety and no fire coming out. To answer your question, this shot is only 10RMB. My eyebrows shoot up in surprise. So even for the student, we can give him a Whiskey and coke for only 20RMB.

So would you suggest all beginners to start at a low price, since quality can still be had?
Depending on what stage of life or entry level you are in. There are three main criteria. Whiskey must be Fun, it’s a Magical Experience, and each bottle has a Story behind it. It’s my job to tell the story. As to Quality or Price we shouldn’t have any filters; Variety is the Spice of Life.

Can you overpay?
Great things take time, Whiskey is one of them. But it’s more of a commercial issue, based on distillery, distribution and how the product brand name is promoted with marketing expenses. In China I can get a Macallan 30 for 30,000RMB or a Tomatin 30 for 7,000RMB. Is Bentley or Rolls Royce overpaid? What production process are you looking for? But I’m walking a fine line, because there are so called experts who may disagree. People ask me: What is the best Whiskey you ever had? I say “the Next Whiskey. And the worst one I ever had…. was the last one.”

How do you feel about Whiskey Cocktails?
He cuts a piece of medium-rare lamb and pours some Whiskey on it and then muddles it with the dark sauce and hand feeds me a bite. If he sold a premixed sauce, I would’ve bought it on the spot. You see? Whiskey can be used as a Universal base for anything. For cooking food or sauces or ice-cream. It can be paired with cigars or dessert. When you have Whiskey with food, does it take away from the purity? Whiskey has many flavors that blend, even with other liquors. Knowing that the purpose of Whiskey is for medicinal purposes and food is for health purposes, W is made of three basic ingredients, malted barley, yeast and water. Its flavor comes from an oaken barrel, maybe already filled by bourbon which gives vanilla flavor. Depending on the production process it already has many flavors. What’s your purpose for drinking W? After dinner I don’t feel like having a high alcohol content; I may have an old fashioned when other ingredients add to its value.

Any important tips to know about Whiskey?
Depending on your mood, maybe you’re drinking whiskey because you’re happy and want to enhance your mood, or maybe just to have fun and celebrate, or maybe you’re sad and want to feel better. But you must control your Whiskey don’t let W control you. Everyone’s experience is different so how can you have a Universal tip. Sure there is a proper way to drink, but who says it’s the correct way? To learn proper etiquette and general info then attend Eddie’s class every Friday night. But I can tell you about the Scottish family. There are four family members representing the four geographical locations Scotch is made. The mother is Central to the family – in Speyside – and she is smooth and motherly. The father is near her side – to the west in Islay (eye-lay) – and is strong, full-bodied, smoky and peaty. The young man – exploring up in the Highlands – is woody and oaky and becoming a man. The young sister – just under her parents’ protection in the Lowlands – is a vibrant, sweet and fragrant young rose. Scotch will invariably have the location labeled, as a matter of pride.

Whiskey culture tends to be male-dominated. Do you feel women are intimidated by this?
That is a question I always indulge in: Women. In fact the three W’s: Women, Whiskey and Wuhan. With these three we can have a lively debate. Take away Whiskey and it’s not very interesting. You need a drink, a city, and a gender base interaction for a lively discussion. All are open and relaxed from the aromas and Alcohol and your lateral thinking may be better. So without women, whiskey is not as fun, nor the city. 

Do you believe women have more discerning palates?
Well that could come down to genetics. I don’t want to go down that road and make a distinguishment. But they do have hormones that we don’t. But I will say that I know female Whiskey owners, and lovers who have a god-given talent.

They say you can tell a lot about a person by what they drink. Do you feel Whiskey women have to combat social stereotypes?
I don’t think a spirit can be classified as gender based. The distributers don’t want that because they would lose half the potential buyers. It’s because of society. But now that’s changing. Even if I notice a male dominance, I can be aware of this situation but as long as you don’t highlight it, it won’t be discomforting for them. We shouldn’t be gender-racial. I like this term better than sexist, and we if we don’t make it obvious it will become fun for all. Whiskey is Universal, W is not political; it is Apolitical.

 

Xie Yusuan  (Owner of Joy Bar)
Several years back, Mr. Xie opened what came to be known as the first true Whiskey bar in Hangzhou. Since then, he has opened a second in Jinhua, a third on Nanshan Rd. in downtown Hangzhou, and a fourth in Chongqing. We meet where it all began at the first Joy Bar tucked away on the small street of Haiguan Rd. off of Xueyuan Rd. between Wen’er and Wensan, just behind the Zhejiang Sports College. It is a small, dimly lit, rustic locale with mortar walls and exposed brick evoking the times of prohibition. Cigar smoke wafts in the air, and the lively chatter of patrons tells tales of good business. I am presented with a velveteen Four Roses Old Fashioned cocktail with a slice of orange rind curling on a sphere of ice. Mr. Xie is dressed as casually as an American, with jeans, a baseball shirt and Yankees cap.

Why whiskey?
Usually, Chinese people like drinking Whiskey with green tea. But it wasn’t real Whiskey they were using, and I had drunk some before this way and seen it before. But my first real experience with Whiskey was just one year after graduating University. I had a Balblair 1997 SM and it changed all my previous understandings of what constituted an Alcohol and what they could be. Its aromas smelled so wonderful and the aftertaste lingered for a long time and it felt amazing afterwards. And no matter how much you drink, you won’t get a hangover the next day.
It was always my childhood dream to have a bar business where I could hang out with my friends and have live bands playing music, watching the games on the television and just having fun. For me, the Whiskey business is a great business to get into now because most Chinese people who drink it think it’s great because you will sleep well and feel very good the next day. And compared to baijiu (a strong distilled rice alcohol), it’s much smoother.

What would you consider your more important personal experiences or achievements?
The first time I came to Hangzhou not enough bars had any good Whiskies. Fast forward 3 and a half years, I have four bars, two in this city, and when people previously had to go to foreign countries to get good bottles, they now come to me for advice and bottles. So that’s what I’m most proud of: inciting a Whiskey culture here that was formerly non-existent. It’s difficult to spread W information to all the Hangzhou people, for example ways to recommend people to try W cocktails or getting out of their comfort zone. People are used to coming to the bar to get a single drink, so I aim to persuade people to try different Whiskies or W cocktails. As a result, people may have different bodily feelings or reactions, unlike what they would normally experience. They get more for their money and a higher quality.

What makes a Whiskey Expert?
An expert must collect a vast knowledge and experience, first by drinking a lot of whiskies, then being able to compare one with other different types, and finally finding the precise differences in taste between two different kinds; and this is usually done by research and knowledge of what they are drinking. And then, you may be able to form your own ideas about Whiskey. As for me, perhaps here in China I often feel like a Whiskey expert but not abroad. I am part of an excellent whiskey tasting group – the China Whiskey Tribe – that is composed of many people from all around China. To be part of this club there are three criteria: You must have accumulated enough years of tasting Whiskey; be recommended by a fellow member, and after this introduction you should attend different Whiskey tasting parties for us to see if you are qualified.

How do you choose which Whiskies to place in your bar?
I prefer Single Malt whisky and Single Malt whiskey. I try to get as many SM as I can in my bars after I try them first. They’re all so precious and unique that they are all worth having. I’ll try every Whiskey that I am able to afford.

Is price directly linked to quality?
If you are just beginning, then I suppose I would recommend a few lower priced Whiskies to try first, as you can still get a good quality taste. It’s important to try several so you can gauge what your preference is. Depending on the person and what flavors they enjoy, I may recommend accordingly. Usually for girls who aren’t used to the taste I may recommend a cocktail as a softer sweet drink like perhaps a Whiskey Sour which has sugar and lemon, however some prefer the taste of the alcohol itself. For novice men, perhaps a Speyside.

How do you feel about Whiskey Cocktails?
Well there are so many, but for me personally a Whiskey Sour is like an appetizer, but a SM neat is the main course.

Any important tips to know about Whiskey?
Yes, just try as many different Whiskies as you can. And just sip a little at a time to really indulge yourself in the flavors and try to remember the tastes and how they compare to the previous one. In this way you will slowly start to find which types and then specifics you enjoy. Whiskey tasting expert Stephen Notman revealed that when doing blind tastings, he always has two whiskies and sniffs and tastes them both to better hone in on the flavors of an individual whiskey by the aid of comparison.

Whiskey culture tends to be male-dominated. Do you feel women are intimidated by this?
Yes I know what you mean, maybe a little bit but in my China Whiskey Tribe club I know a lot of females that prefer neat Whiskies just as any man. And in my bars I see many women drinking whiskey.

Do you believe women have more discerning palates?
I think men may have the upper hand for tasting. It is true that women seem to be more sensitive to the flavors but for whiskies that have a higher alcohol percent, say 50%, this may be their downfall because the flavor of alcohol itself is too overpowering and they might not be able to recognize the underlying flavors. For whiskey nosing, experts suggest diluting the sample to about 20% to better discern the range of flavors under the initial “sting” of the strong alcohol

They say you can tell a lot about a person by what they drink. Do you feel Whiskey women have to combat social stereotypes?
Some women can drink any Whiskey even when men think it’s too strong so if anything they break the stereotype, especially now more than ever in the past. 

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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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