Nanchang Fandian - Jiangxi Provincial Hotel

Another day off, another provincial hotel. This time I decided to try out Nanchang Fandian, the ride there in rain ended at what looked like something between a run down apartment building and a military compound. After I checked the address from the photo I'd taken off my computer screen earlier, I was able to verify that the Chinese characters on the compound matched the ones on the address, I was there.

Inside the compound I discovered a small room with 6 tables, which could probably double as a holding tank for offenders against the communist party. I got myself the local Jianxi Beer, some sort of hot plate of eel, and a pile of pork and veggies. The food and beer hit the table within 10 minutes. I found the crunchy texture of the eel quite nice, however from what I was eating I couldn't have recognized that this was pieces of eel, for all I know this might have been a mistake translation in the menu. The sauce at the bottom of the bowl was the best part of the dish, It reminded me of squid ink except with a spicy edge, I drank several spoon fulls of this liquid straight. The pork and veggie dish was a bit bland, however pretty well balanced as far as the amount of meet, I decided to dip the pork pieces into the eel liquid. The spice of the eel liquid caught up with me half way through the meal, by the time I finished there was a pile of snot filled clean-ex on the table.


WW2 Victory Parade

With the day off from work I decided what better then to go work while nobody can bother me. At my office gate I was stopped by a security officer and forced to sign a sign-in sheet which I couldn't understand before passing through the gate.

While I tried to get my day going I heard the distracting sound of aircraft from outside, after a couple minutes of this I decided to go upstairs and investigate. I found 15 other people on the roof pointing with their phones toward the south west. The planes, which it turned out were actually jets and helicopters, had laid colorful trails in the sky ending over Tianmen Square. I decided to walk away from them as close to the edge of the roof as possible.

As I stood on the roof, a security officer took interest in me, and after some belligerent hand motions and Chinese I couldn't understand, I realized this dude didn't want me on the roof. I acknowledged his request to get out, and started going toward the stairway, but near the door I encountered a couple of the people I'd seen minutes before. I figured, if there is a whole group of people who are sitting here watching this and not being bothered, maybe if I just stop and stand with them this guy will give up. After a couple more bouts belligerent hand waving toward the only foreigner in the group, through which I kept my eyes firmly on the new jets flying past, he gave up.

"Parade Blue Sky"

Hainan Provincial Hotel Restaurant

The Hainan Provincial Hotel Restaurant is located a stones throw north of Wudoaying Hutong, like most of the provincial restaurants in Beijing this one had a slightly bland setup, when I entered I discovered one large empty room with three extravagant 1950s looking chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and Elton John musak playing in the background.

Outside the Hainan Provincial Hotel
Inside the Restaurant

North Korea Border @ Hushan Great Wall

The morning after I arrived in Dandong I rose with a small Shou Ju hangover and found myself determined to make a visit to the Great Wall at Hushan. This section of the Great Wall is the furthest east, it dead ends into the Yalu river on the border with North Korea after crossing over Tiger Mountain. The walk to the top of Tiger Mountain was a bit strenuous, at one point going up a nearly vertical stone stairway before you can reach the final stretch. The view from the top was worth it, from one side you can see the curvy path of the wall below, and from the other is a wide view from above into a North Korean military base. Sorry about the dirt on the lens...

Looking toward Tiger Mountain
Dead end trail near top

Dandong North Korean Restaurants

I was a bit behind schedule as I woke up on Saturday morning, to make up for my sleepiness I set a limit of 1 hour before I would have to have my bags packed and my tickets + hotel room purchased. After some hemming and hawing over a map of China I zeroed in on a city called Dandong, about 900km northeast of Beijing. I met my goal and 4 hours later I was in the air.

The main drag on the Yalu river is a tourist haven, dotted with hotels and North Korean restaurants. I dropped into many of the restaurants to get a feeling for what they had to offer, most had walls of aquariums from where you could select which fish to eat. I chose to focus in on the more land-based restaurants. 

Bombed Iron Bridge to North Korea
North Korean water park?

Wanto Burger @ Kobe

My second day at Kobe I decided to track down a Kobe burger for breakfast, after a bit of googling I was drawn toward Wanto Burger, located close enough to Sannomiya station to justify a walk from my hotel. Inside the place was laid out like a cramped 70s diner, complete with rotating bar stools and an open view of the burger stove. For 2,700 yn (23 usd) I was able to get a Kobe burger loaded up with egg and extra pieces of steak to top it off, for an extra 10,000 yn they will use Kobe beef for the steak slices also. The texture of Kobe meat felt very at home when greased up, inside of a sandwich, and followed by a swig of cheap beer. Out of the three chances I had to eat Kobe Beef while I was in Kobe, this was by far the most successful meal.

Outside Wanto Burger