What do you know about red tourism?

Posted by - August 1, 2018

CHINESE cultural officials have vowed to zone in on “red tourism” with plans to give it a boost after acknowledging it to be a vital part of the country’s tourism industry.
“We will take this opportunity to advance the study of relics in order to let them play a unique role in promoting core socialist values,” China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism official Rao Quan said at a press conference.
But wait, what is red tourism?
China airports’ new security scanners can detect what’s under your clothing Red tourism is a subset of tourism in the People’s Republic of China in which Chinese people visit locations with historical significance to Chinese Communism.
The Chinese government began actively supporting red tourism in 2005 to promote the “national ethos” and socioeconomic development in those areas, which are typically rural and poorer than East China.
In July 2010, officials representing 13 Chinese cities signed a “China Red Tourism Cities Strategic Cooperation Yan’an Declaration” to develop red tourism, a “major project that benefits both the Party, the nation and the people, either in the economic, cultural and the political sense.”
Red tourism will help people to further review the rise of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the nation, an official with the national coordination group on red tourism said.
Source: Shutterstock.
To date, China has 33,315 revolutionary sites and relics.
The score of cities which are the focus of red tourism are such as (but not limited to): Guang’an, Yan’an, Xiangtan, Jinggangshan, Ruijin, Zunyi, Baise, Linyi, Anyang, Yulin, Shaanxi, Qingyang, and Huining.
According to the Chinese government’s records, more than 800 million red tourism trips are made on average every year.
Take a look at some of the most popular red tourism destinations in China:
Shaoshan In mid-eastern Hunan and mid-north of Xiangtan is a county-level city that is the smallest administrative unit by size or by population in the counties and county-level cities in Hunan province.
However, the destination is popular with locals and tourists as it is the hometown of Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic of China, and he remains a popular figure there.
Visitors to Shaoshan would be impressed by its many tourist spots – 82, to be exact.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.
The most visited spots are Mao’s Residence, the Mao’s Memorial Hall of Mao, bronze statues of Mao, the Exhibition Hall of Mao’s Relics, stone tablets of Mao’s poems, and the Mao Memorial Garden.
Smoked meat is a famous special local product of the city, and almost every local restaurant offers a variety of smoked meat such as pork, mutton, beef, duck, chicken, or rabbit.
Mao is such a popular figure in the area that his favorite braised pork in brown sauce dish can be found in most of the local restaurants. Shaoshan is also the birthplace of Mao’s family restaurant,
Nanchang The capital city of Jiangxi Province, Nanchang is regarded as China’s “hero city.”
This is because it was the site of a significant uprising: the BaYi uprising, otherwise known as the August 1 of 1927 Nanchang Uprising which was led by Zhou Enlai and He Long (China’s supreme commander).
Military forces in Nanchang under the leadership of Zhou Enlai and He Long attempted to seize control of the city after the end of the first Kuomintang-Communist alliance.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Communist forces successfully occupied Nanchang and escaped from the siege of Kuomintang forces and August 1 was later regarded as the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army and the first action fought against the Kuomintang.
There are many historical sites of the uprising including the general headquarters of the August 1 Nanchang Uprising, He Long’s headquarters, and the New Fourth Army headquarters.
Yan’an Located in the Shanbei region of Shaanxi province, Yan’an is a prefecture-level city that was the center of the Chinese communist revolution from 1936 to 1948.
The Chinese communists celebrate Yan’an as the birthplace of the revolution as it was near the endpoint of the Long March.
China’s Long March was a military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China which began Mao Zedong’s ascent to power.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.
The significant episode in the history of the Communist Party of China sealed the personal prestige of Mao and his supporters as the new leaders of the party in the decades to come.
For a fee of CNY150 (US$22.01), tourists can watch a live reenactment of the historic battle “The Defense of Yan’an.” Early arrivers can also dress up as either Communist Red Army or rival Kuomintang soldiers and take part in the mock battle
The post What do you know about red tourism? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Dragon Boat Festival: Where to go for a roaring wet fun day

Posted by - May 1, 2018

CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, the Duanwu festival, otherwise known as the Dragon Boat Festival, has nothing to do with dragons. But it has got to do with boats.
The festival commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a poet and ministry who died in 278 B.C. Qu Yuan committed suicide by drowning himself in the Milou river after he was slandered by the members of the Han Dynasty and exiled from his home. After which, the local people who admired him raced out in their boats in an attempt to save him or retrieve his body.
When his body could not be found, they dropped balls of sticky rice into the river so that the fish would eat them instead of Qu Yuan’s body.
‘Venice of the East’: Charming water villages in China Thousands of years later, revelers across Asia still come out in droves for one day in the early summertime to eat sticky dumplings and race ornate boats shaped like dragons to honor Qu Yuan.
This year, the Dragon Boat Festival will take place on June 18, 2018, a public holiday in some Asian countries including Hong Kong and Taiwan. In celebration of the holiday of Duanwu, rowers will take to the rivers to show off their months of preparation for the festive dragon boat races.
A dragon boat is a brightly decorated human-powered boat or paddle boat that is traditionally made of teak wood to various designs and sizes that range anywhere from 40 to 100 feet in length.
It has a front end shaped like an open-mouth dragon and a back end with a scaly tail.
This year, the Dragon Boat Festival will take place on June 18, 2018, a public holiday in some Asian countries. Source: Shutterstock. Source: Shutterstock.
Usually, a sacred ceremony is performed before any race in order to “bring the boat to life” by painting the eyes. The first team to grab a flag at the end of the course wins the race.
Some of these races and festivities kick off way before the actual celebration.
For example, Jakarta’s Dragon Boat Festival will be held on May 5 to May 6, 2018, on the waterfront of Baywalk Mall in Pluit. Spectators can expect more than 40 teams comprising over 800 paddlers competing over two days, vying for 18 trophies, 340 medals, and cash prizes.
The race, which encompasses 250 meters, includes mixed, men, women and student invitational categories.
Dragon boat racing is a team sport in its purest form that encompasses the elements of power, speed, synchronization, and endurance. Source: Shutterstock.
Apart from the dragon boat race, attendees will also be able to engage in social events and enjoy the festivities around food and merchandise stalls.
Other Asian countries that will be a part of the Duanwu celebrations include:
China Observed dates: June 16 to June 18, 2018. Venue: Xixi National Wetland Park, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China. Details: Website | Facebook. Taiwan Observed dates: June 16 to June 18, 2018. Venue: Taipei’s Dajia Riverside Park, Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City Taiwan. Details: Website | Facebook. Hong Kong Observed dates: June 16 to June 18, 2018. Venue: Victoria Harbor, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Details: Website | Facebook. Macao Observed dates: June 16 to June 18, 2018. Venue: Nam Van Lake Nautical Center, Macao. Details: Website. Malaysia Observed dates: May 12 to May 13, 2018. Venue: Likas Bay, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Details: Website | Facebook. The post Dragon Boat Festival: Where to go for a roaring wet fun day appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Don’t make these cultural Pho-pas when eating in Asia

Posted by - March 22, 2018

YOU may think you’re being polite by eating everything on your plate.
Perhaps you think everyone else around you is being rude as they slurp their soup and suck up the slithery noodles while making an almighty racket.
But you’re wrong.
Asia has a rich history of culinary etiquette, but it’s not continent-wide. So there are lots of variations of eating rules.
Breaking these established rules may get you disapproving looks, while others will get you chucked out of the restaurant entirely.
Totoro fans listen up, we’ve got a tasty surprise for you Here are a few tips and tricks to make you look like an Asian-dining-etiquette pro.
Japan A post shared by Meliina (@meliinaida) on Oct 1, 2012 at 4:05am PDT
Sticking chopsticks in your mouth to resemble a vampire-walrus isn’t cool and neither is standing them upright in a bowl of food.
Doing this is thought to bring bad luck, so make sure you use the chopstick holder beside your bowl when you’re not gobbling down your dinner.
Also, avoid passing food from chopstick-to-chopstick as this is a process done at Japanese funerals. However, it’s not food that’s passed around, it’s bone fragments from the deceased.
A post shared by Johnny (@johnnytonton) on Mar 20, 2018 at 9:38pm PDT
Some other points to remember, if you don’t want to feel like an ignorant tourist, is to not wave your chopsticks around or point them at people.
Equally, don’t scratch yourself with them, because that’s gross. And while you may be new to the chopstick game, try to avoid stabbing your food. Take the time to learn how to use chopsticks and impress the locals.
A post shared by Victor Chien [簡VIC] (@natureboy.vic) on Mar 19, 2018 at 9:41pm PDT
In Japan is it entirely fine to make as much noise as possible while eating as it tells the host and the chefs that you’re enjoying your meal.
Malaysia A post shared by Febiyani Sitepu (@febiyanisitepu) on Oct 7, 2017 at 2:43am PDT
If you’ve ever traveled to Malaysia, you will know it is a nation of multiculturalism, stunning natural beauty and home to some of the most delicious Pan-Asian cuisine.
There are three different types of dining etiquette here: Malay-Malaysian, Indian-Malaysian and Chinese-Malaysian, each with their own set of rules.
Malaysians strictly eat with their right hand as the left is for washroom purposes only.
A post shared by Melissa Calvi (@mel_calvi) on Jan 21, 2018 at 2:54am PST
It is polite to let the elders take the helping first if you are eating at someone else’s house. Always remember, only take what you know you can eat as every grain of rice is sacred and should not be wasted.
If you’re devouring a dinner of delicious Chinese-Malaysian food, then be prepared to share. Often, the Chinese will order dishes for everyone and then you pick what you want, place it in your bowl and nosh away using chopsticks.
Perhaps one of the most famous Indian-Malaysian dishes is banana leaf rice. Rice, curry and a selection of scrumptious pickles, chutneys, and accompaniments are served on a giant green banana leaf.
A post shared by Leong Li-Ern (@liernleong) on Mar 20, 2018 at 3:09am PDT
Always show utmost appreciation when dining with Indian-Malaysians and never eat in a hurry. Once you’re done, make sure you fold your banana leaf towards yourself, as folding it away tells your host you hated the meal…which is virtually impossible.
China A post shared by Tabemachita (@tabemachita) on Mar 20, 2018 at 10:13pm PDT
The same chopstick rules as in Japan apply to eating a Chinese meal. However, there are a few added rules.
Never leave your chopsticks pointing directly at someone across the table and don’t suck the grains of rice off your eating utensils even at the end of a meal.
Unlike in Malaysia and Japan where it is good practice to eat everything on your plate, in Chinese etiquette, it is polite to leave some food at the end of a meal as a sign that the host went above and beyond to provide you with a good and ample feast.
If you’re dining out, it is courtesy to argue with your host about paying the bill. Insist at least two or three times that you will pay for it or split it. However, don’t ever fully insist on paying the whole bill as it insinuates your host can’t afford it.
Equally, don’t just let your host pay without putting up a fight as it implies your host owes you.
There needs to be a fine balance and one that will take practice.
Thailand and the Philippines A post shared by Bangkok foodies (@bangkokfoodies) on Mar 18, 2018 at 7:20am PDT

Anyone who has a fear of using chopsticks can heave a sigh of relief as Thailand and the Philippines use forks, knives and spoons to eat.
A post shared by Jemi (@jemstagram21) on Mar 20, 2018 at 9:21am PDT
Both nations pride themselves on having a friendly hospitality industry. Filipino and Thai hosts will go above and beyond to create a great dining experience so it’s important to remember not to lose your temper or get angry in a restaurant if something doesn’t go your way.
This is called “losing face” and you will end up embarrassing yourself more than those you intended your yelling at.
Cambodia A post shared by Marlon Julius (@marlon.julius) on Mar 20, 2018 at 12:39pm PDT
This is a nation where you can expect more to be plonked on your table than you ordered, but nobody is complaining.
Often, restaurants will bring out food you didn’t order. It’s worth trying a bit of everything but don’t worry, as you’ll only be charged for what you eat.
A post shared by Cem Akkaya (@cemakkaya) on Mar 20, 2018 at 7:50am PDT
On the table, you will find forks, chopsticks, and spoons. Avoid eating with forks. Instead, use it to place food on your spoon or between your chopsticks.
Vietnam A post shared by Siobhan Moss (@shivmossy) on Dec 22, 2017 at 9:31pm PST
Expect eating here too big a family affair. The Vietnamese tend to eat together with family or friends and order plenty of dishes for everyone to share.
You should do the same, as it’s the best way to try everything. Also, if you’re dining out, expect the men to be first served first (quite literally feeding the patriarchy).
A post shared by 플리페 현경부원장 (@pllipe_kyong) on Mar 20, 2018 at 9:26pm PDT
Also, make sure you always get up and ask for the cheque as it is considered rude for the server to bring it to your table.
Never feel obliged to tip in Vietnam either, it is entirely at your discretion, but everything is so cheap in Vietnam and the food is some of the best in the world – so you’ll probably want to show your gratification.
Get your Obama fangirl on at this Vietnamese restaurant South Korea A post shared by Tomáš Pek (@tominopek) on Feb 14, 2018 at 1:18pm PST
The chopstick rules that apply to all other Asian countries apply in South Korea too.
In South Korea, make sure you let your host know how much you’re looking forward to the meal and always thank them after you’ve finished. Gratitude and politeness are the biggest etiquette winners in South Korea.
A post shared by Sangho Lee (@sang_ho_u) on Mar 19, 2018 at 9:40am PDT
Don’t be surprised if your host or servers at a restaurant encourage you to drink, as this is a big part of the South Korean culture.
In fact, it is considered rude to turn down alcohol, but remember to always top up other’s glasses before your own.
The post Don’t make these cultural Pho-pas when eating in Asia appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Get hot under the collar: Asia’s spiciest food

Posted by - March 6, 2018

WE’VE all got that one friend who proclaims, “I don’t think it’s spicy” before chocking on the oxygen that turns to fire in their mouths as they pant for air.
Whether your tolerance for spice is as much a spaghetti bolognese or an Indian vindaloo, the dishes that have made it onto this list are eye-wateringly hot, and that’s before your dinner has even kissed your lips with its fiery tongue.
We present, for your tongue tingling enjoyment, Asia’s hottest dishes.
Chongqing Hotpot – China A post shared by yu (@baibaikathy) on Feb 23, 2018 at 11:18pm PST
While hotpots can be found all over China, the beef-fat-drizzled, kitchen-sink-sized bowl of hot soup, full of fiery fresh and dried chilies, makes the Chongqing hotpot especially spicy.
Accompanying the overwhelming amount of chilies is tenderized meat, usually beef, but chicken and mutton can also be found marinating in there, alongside some 20 other herbs and spices.
Whatever you decide to dip into the soup, be it tofu, vegetables or more meat, your taste buds will be temporarily fixed into a state of spicy euphoria.
Instant Chili Pickle – India A post shared by Kshitij Bisen (@kshitij_bisen) on Aug 20, 2017 at 2:52am PDT
This Indian dish is sure to get you in a pickle with its hot, spicy and tangy flavors. Originating from the Rajasthani region, this pickle has developed into a favorite dish across India.
The dish can be prepared in less than 15 minutes using only one pan. While recipes differ from region to region and household to household, most cooking instructions include fennel seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, coriander and of course as many green chilies as your palate can handle.
Either pinch a pickle and drop it into your mouth, layer them inside a roti and eat it as a fiery wrap filling or enjoy them as a side dish with your main meal.
Halal eats: 10 Muslim-friendly restaurants in Tokyo Jjigae – South Korea A post shared by Q bistro Vegas • Korean Food+ (@qbistrolv) on Mar 5, 2018 at 3:23pm PST
Korean winters last for what seems like years and are bitterly cold. So, what better way to warm up than with dishes that are physically hot and crazy-spicy hot?
Jjigae will warm you up from the inside out.
This dish is one of the most popular dishes in South Korea and can be found in many restaurants and on plenty of dinner tables.
The dish consists of thick cuts of pork, seafood or fresh tofu in a stew-like appearance, it is served in a boiling pot to keep it hot for as long as it takes the diners to chow through it.
The extreme spiciness is added by the red chili paste or from chili-covered-kimchi-cabbage which is a staple in any Korean’s diet.
Hot and spicy Tom Yum – Thailand A post shared by Q bistro Vegas • Korean Food+ (@qbistrolv) on Mar 5, 2018 at 3:23pm PST
Tom Yum soup knocks on each of the tongue’s flavor receptors.
First, it hits the middle where your tongue thinks it’s entirely sour, but as the soup fills your mouth the salty, sweet and bitter senses come into play for a taste explosion.
The soup combines chicken or seafood with citrus and Thai Bird’s Eye chilies.
These rank between 50,000 and 100,000 on the spicy scale, also known as the Scoville scale. In comparison, a jalapeno chili only reaches around 5,000 on the chart.
Eat with caution or expect steam to escape your ears.
Asia’s 50 Best Bars is coming to Singapore Sambal – Indonesia A post shared by Larissa Salvador ride (@larisse.salvador) on Sep 26, 2017 at 7:44pm PDT
This may not be a dish eaten on its own unless you’re a masochist or desire stomach ulcers, but it deserves a very worthy mention.
It can be found in almost every corner of Southeast Asia, just waiting to give a fiery condiment-kick to any dish.
This hot sauce contains the reddest chilies, shallots, sugar and sometimes fruits. Depending on where you try the paste, it may also contain shrimp – but it will always leave your lips tingling.
If you’re yet to sample this saucy little number, go for it but go easy, unless you’re happy to buy all the cucumbers and milk in the store to create a cooling off sanctuary for your mouth.
Spicy Buffalo Wings – Singapore A post shared by Sunset Grill & Pub Pte Ltd (@sunsetgrillandpub) on Aug 3, 2017 at 4:18am PDT
“What the heck, buffalo wings?” is probably what you’re saying to yourself. But these little nibbles of sticky deliciousness pack a hefty punch and Singaporeans love them.
One of the most notorious places to try devilishly hot chicken wings is at the Sunset Grill and Pub in Jalan Kayu, Singapore.
Daredevils flock in numbers to this no-frills restaurant to experience some of the world’s hottest buffalo wings.
The spiciness scale here is ranked from one to 35, and according to the reports from those brave enough to sample the hot-chicken-glazes, anything above 10 is likely to scald your mouth and send tears streaming down your face.
“We took up the challenge to try level 35. I was tearing so much, but happy tears”, attested one brave soul.
This list is in no way extensive, and we’re sure there are plenty of other sizzling specialties hiding around across Asia. What has been your most extreme dish?
The post Get hot under the collar: Asia’s spiciest food appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

These 5 Chinese foods could bring you luck and prosperity in 2018

Posted by - February 16, 2018

CHINESE New Year celebrations are upon us. Families are throwing big reunions. Māmās, Nǎinais and Gūmās are in the kitchen cooking up feasts for the hungry masses and Hongbaos are being dished out to the children to bring them luck and prosperity.
Chinese New Year is all about bringing good luck and fortune to the year ahead and along with other traditions, such as the cash-filled red envelopes, there are some Chinese dishes which are considered lucky too.
Here are five delicious dishes poised to bring you a fortune and fill up your tum – a win-win situation.
Woman goes to ‘X-treme’ lengths to keep hold of handbag Dayu Darou – A whole fish A post shared by I Really Cook This (@ireallycookthis) on Jan 23, 2018 at 5:20am PST
Dayu Darou literally translates to “big fish or big meat’ and symbolizes abundance. The whole fish is an impressive centerpiece on the dinner table and is cooked according to provincial traditions.
In Hangzhou, it might be xi hu cu yu or West Lake vinegar fish, which is a whole carp steamed and then doused in a sweet vinegar sauce.
Southern China’s Guangdong Province traditionally drizzles the whole fish in soy sauce and sesame oil then sprinkles in ginger, chilli and shallots.
In East China’s Suzhou Province, a whole squirrelfish is deep fried and served with sweet and sour sauce – crispy and delicious.
Lawei – Cured meat A post shared by Sophia Tang (@sophia_tang_) on Feb 3, 2017 at 3:59am PST
Over Chinese winter, flayed giant duck can be found hanging up around town and left to cure in time for Chinese New Year.
This tradition comes from ancient sacrificial rituals performed at the end of each year after the winter solstice.
People would offer pigs, poultry and fish to the gods, and once they had finished, whatever was left would be saved. This led to modern-day methods of drying and curing meats.
Around the time of Chinese New Year celebrations, these macabre-like decorations can be seen hanging from family-home windows and across washing lines.
Chun Juan – Spring Rolls A post shared by Dilli Ke 2 Foodie (@dilli_ke_2_foodie) on Feb 15, 2018 at 6:09pm PST
These heavenly crispy rolls are named after the event they were originally made for: Spring Festival.
The golden color is supposed to resemble little bars of gold to encourage wealth and prosperity in the year to come.
The crunchy pastry is made from wheat flour dough and water and then traditionally filled with shredded carrots, shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, bean sprouts and pork.
Foodies rejoice: Ubud Food Festival line-up revealed Changshou Mian – Longevity Noodles A post shared by Calvin (@calvinfydu) on May 20, 2017 at 10:08am PDT
These noodles are traditionally two-feet long and incredibly moreish. As well as Chinese New Year, these lengthy edibles come out on birthdays, too.
They are supposed to bring you a long life, and they certainly bring you a long slurp.
The noodles are usually served fried with oyster sauce, shiitake mushrooms, and bok choy or steamed in a vegetable packed broth.
Golden round fruits A post shared by Eman (@webdream) on Feb 11, 2018 at 12:14am PST
As Chinese New Year always falls at the end of the winter months, fruit and vegetables are often limited. However, oranges, mandarins, kumquats and tangerines tend to thrive in the colder months.
They also all happen to be orange and goldish which means they fit perfectly into the prosperity and wealth factors that are so prevalent in Chinese culture, especially around the New Year celebrations.
The post These 5 Chinese foods could bring you luck and prosperity in 2018 appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Looking for the world’s best restaurants? China and Japan have a third of them

Posted by - December 6, 2017

EAST ASIAN culinary giants China and Japan have dominated a prestigious ranking of the best restaurants in the world, accounting for almost a third of the top 1,000 eateries globally.
The global La Liste 2018 which ranked the restaurants on the globe features a whopping 138 restaurants in Japan and 123 establishments in China, as well as elsewhere in the Asia Pacific including in Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong.
Known as the “mecca” of sushi in Japan, Tokyo’s Kyubey was ranked the third best restaurant on the planet with an almost-perfect score of 99.50, following Guy Savoy in France and Le Bernardin in the United States. Joël Robuchon and Kyo Aji in Japan also both made the top 20.
Joël Robuchon’s restaurant in Tokyo, Japan at night. It ranked in the top 20 of La Liste 2018. Source: Kakidai/Wiki Commons
Beijing, China’s Huai Yang Fu at Andingmen was the best-ranked in that country with 98.50. One of the researchers behind La Liste, Jorg Zipprick, told AFP that in 2018 “the rise and rise of China is the big story”.
The ranking has been released annually since 2015 and is sanctioned by the French Foreign Ministry, seen to be a response to the British list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Le chiffre du jour : Selon La Liste 2018 des 1000 restaurants d’exception, le Japon et la France sont plus que jamais deux grands pays de la gastronomie mondiale : à eux deux, ils totalisent plus du quart des grands restaurants du monde ! @LaListe1000 pic.twitter.com/yah6yBxbaq
— La France au Japon (@ambafrancejp) December 5, 2017
Its founders claim is the “end-all, be-all of restaurant rankings” because it uses a computer algorithm to draw on data from hundreds of food guides from 160 countries.
La Liste draws on data from more than 400 international dining guides and respected publications, standardised online review scores, crowd-sourced reviews from sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp, and the personal opinions of thousands of chefs.
Chef’s signature appetizer selection of crispy rice with baby shrimp and egg whites, barbecue pork with honey, and spring roll with sea welt at Lung King Heen, Hong Kong recognised as one of the best in La Liste 2018. Source: City Foodsters/Flickr
Along with the United States, Japan and China have the highest number of best restaurants for 2018.
“Up to now China has been one of the most difficult countries to get data from,” added Zipprick, noting however that homegrown online food guides had changed this.
“Asia has a lot more restaurants than Europe and it is only logical that La Liste will reflect that.”
This article first appeared on our sister site Asian Correspondent
The post Looking for the world’s best restaurants? China and Japan have a third of them appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

The world’s biggest Starbucks is ready to open in Shanghai

Posted by - December 5, 2017

GET ready for an incredible coffee experience as Starbucks opens its largest location in the world – the company’s first overseas state-of-the-art premium Reserve Roastery store – in Shanghai.
The new 30,000 square-foot store, is around half the size of a soccer pitch and has everything for which coffee and tea lovers could wish. As China grows to be one of the biggest coffee roasting and drinking markets in the world, the opening couldn’t have come a better time.
The store – which opens on Wednesday – is twice the size of Starbucks’ flagship Reserve Roastery in Seattle and the equivalent of 40 average New York City apartments.
http://travelwireasia.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/starbucks-video.mp4 The Shanghai Reserve Roastery is the company’s most ambitious project ever and is fully championed by the coffee giant’s founder and chairman, Howard Schultz. “With the rising middle class and the opportunity in China, the market is going to be much larger here,” Schultz said at the launch of the new store.
The sensory experience store can be found in all its copper-plated glory on the renowned West Nanjing Road shopping boulevard. Customers will be welcomed by a glorious eight-meter copper cask, full of freshly roasted beans. The iconic cask connects to the three coffee bars with pneumatic copper piping, replenishing all the roasted Starbucks Reserve coffee silos.
Guests explore the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China on Sunday, December 3, 2017. Source: Joshua Trujillo/ Starbucks
Customers can also, for the first time ever, watch eight highly-trained roasters turn the little green beans into the golden-brown delights that the Chinese nation loves. The coffee wonderland will focus on using reserve coffee, sourced from 30 countries around the world, including China’s Yunnan Province.
Coffee sippers can also chill out on China’s longest coffee bar, coming in at 88 feet. Two other long coffee tables will also serve as the stage where hundreds of baristas will handcraft some of the rarest, small-lot coffees in the world, using six specially-designed brewing methods.
One of the coffee bars featured in the store is 88-meters long – so plenty of coffee for everyone. Source Joshua Trujillo / Starbucks
Putting coffee-swigging aside for a moment, the Shanghai Reserve Roastery is also offering customers a fully augmented reality experience. By pointing their smartphones at different points around the store, information about Starbucks’ story and roasting methods will come to life in front of their eyes.
This experience is accessible through the custom-designed Roastery digital web-app or on Alibaba’s Taobao app. This is a handy partnership, as customers can then save their favorite brews via the app and purchase beans and ground coffee via Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace.
An augmented reality app is used in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China. Source: Joshua Trujillo/ Starbucks
And there is more. Experience-seekers can also try treats from Princi Bakery. Acclaimed baker Rocco Princi combines the craft of bread baking, exceptional ingredients and the ‘Spirit di Milano’ to bring his artisanal offering to Asia for the first time.
Guests order from the Princi counter during a Partner Family Open Forum in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai. Source: Joshua Trujillo/ Starbucks
If you are more a cup-of-tea and fresh bake kind of person, then explore the Teavanna Bar. Combining traditional and modern brewing methods to create a signature blend, served hot or over ice – for every weather and every occasion.
A pattern works at the Teavana tea bar in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China. Source: Joshua Trujillo / Starbucks
Reportedly, a new Starbucks store opens every 15 hours across China, and Starbucks has future plans to open up specialized Roasteries in Italy, New York and Tokyo.
This expansion comes in line with the company’s announcement of pledging strong commitment to China by contributing meaningful and enduring social impact through poverty alleviation by creating opportunities.
Medan’s coffee culture is booming, and it’s the growers that benefit “We believe it is our role and responsibility to use our scale to give back to the communities as we continue to grow in China, and with the people of China,” said Belinda Wong, the chief executive officer of Starbucks China.
“Our commitment, together with our Roastery opening, epitomizes how Starbucks is doubling down on unprecedented opportunities we see in the future for Starbucks and China.”
The new Reserve Roastery will open tomorrow, December 6, so make sure to get down there early to discover your new favorite blend.
The post The world’s biggest Starbucks is ready to open in Shanghai appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Taipei will get its first Michelin Guide in 2018

Posted by - November 21, 2017

IN the age of digital technology, pocket guides seem futile, but one name will live on forever in the travel guide sphere – Michelin.
Being featured in a Michelin guide can increase sales and put your once local restaurant on a global map – which is exactly what is about to happen in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei.
Don’t eat meat? No worries – Thailand the friendliest to vegetarians in Asia As of Spring 2018, travelers will be able to navigate around the most delicious street vendors, serving up fresh, vibrant, zingy delicacies, as well as discovering the capital’s best-loved restaurants, admired for the diverse array of scrumptious dishes, with an ambrosial status.
The magnetic allure of Taipei’s gastronomy scene has never been short of tourists and locals swinging by for a quick treat or meandering the narrow lanes for hours, being directed only by their noses.
“You don’t need to be in a wonderful place to have extreme quality of ingredients and to have real personalities of the chef,” Bruno de Feraudy, a Michelin spokesman told South China Morning Post. “Exceptional for us is what’s happening on the plate and purely on the plate.”
Famously beloved by #foodies, #Taipei will get its first #Michelin guide in 2018! https://t.co/nclUt1AGbb
— Global Taiwan Inst. (@globaltaiwan) November 15, 2017
From its beginnings over a century ago, Michelin has been viewed as the guide to posh restaurants, giving diners an insight into what they can expect to get for their dollar. Yet, to keep up with demanding travelers, wishing to experience the depths of a country’s history, traditions, and tastes, Michelin is now recognizing budget eats as well.
This recognition is set to have a momentous positive impact on smaller eateries. In 2010, Tim Ho Wan, a hole-in-the-wall Dim Sum vendor in Hong Kong gained a Michelin Star, which saw the small-time street stall, transform into a successful chain of restaurants across much of Southeast Asia.
Thanks @jozegal for sharing your favourites with us! TGIF, our Aperia branch will be open till 3am today and tomorrow. See you there for supper
A post shared by Tim Ho Wan, Singapore (@thwsingapore) on Nov 9, 2017 at 6:49pm PST
However, not all restaurateurs are besotted with the potential of being featured in Taipei’s Michelin Guide. Shop manager at Wu Su-yan, a small vendor that is best known for its low priced bowls of rice, topped with braised pork, claims she doesn’t need a write up to assure customers that the food is excellent.
“Having customers is confirmation enough. We don’t need it to be written on a piece of paper to know our lu rou fan is good,” the manager of the restaurant told South China Morning Post.
Through the Michelin inspectors exploration of the colorful cuisine scene in Taipei, street vendors, alley-way snack shacks, and fancier restaurants will all be featured. This first-of-its-kind guide to Taipei hopes to rediscover the regions forgotten delicacies, that are currently considered passé by the younger Taiwanese generation, and allow locals, travelers and business people to feast on the finest flavors the country has to offer.
Malaysians most influenced by food when making travel decisions “The diversity and quality of the city’s culinary scene, combined with its strong potential for development in the years to come, convinced us in our choice to set up in Taipei as from next year. Our inspectors have already started working on-site and are delighted to be getting acquainted with the local cuisine, rich in so many influences from all around Asia,” Claire Dorland-Clauzel, member of the Group Executive Committee, and director of Sustainable Development at Michelin said in a press release.
We’ve got our guide, have you got yours?
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