20 Foods That Can Help Unclog Your Arteries

20 Foods That Can Help Unclog Your Arteries

20 Foods That Can Help Unclog Your Arteries Jill Waldbieser You’re never too young to start eating for your arteries—blockages can start early. Science shows that these foods could be your ticker’s best friend. 1 / 21 Tinydevil/Shutterstock Keep your heart healthy
Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada: According to the Government of Canada , “every hour, about 12 Canadian adults age 20 and over with diagnosed heart disease die.” The cause is clogged arteries, and things like calcium, plaque, and fatty acids can do the damage. “There is no one magic food that acts like Drano and cleans out the accumulated plaque,” says Florian Rader, MD , a cardiologist at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. “But good habits can help slow down that process, and maintaining a healthy weight and diet is one factor you can control to a great degree. And,” he says, “It’s never too late to start.” 2 / 21 Jiri Hera/Shutterstock Oats
Here’s a step for how to unclog arteries: Research keeps uncovering new benefits of eating heart-healthy whole grains. The main one, says Bonnie Taub-Dix , RD, author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You from Label to Table, is their rich supply of soluble fiber, which has been shown to lower bad LDL cholesterol levels. Why that’s good for your arteries, according to Dr. Rader: “Cholesterol can seep into the inner layer of blood vessels and form plaque over time.” Since most Canadians fall chronically short on fiber, the four grams per cup that oats deliver are a welcome addition. Check out these other foods that lower cholesterol naturally . 3 / 21 Dennis Jacobsen/Shutterstock Beans
In addition to being a great source of soluble fiber—black beans have three times as much of it per cup as oats—studies have found that bean-rich diets may help make arteries more elastic, contributing to lower blood pressure. Another perk: Antioxidants, which are especially abundant in colorful varieties such as black beans and red kidney beans, may fight the inflammation that contributes to heart disease. Don’t miss these 25 secrets your cardiologist wants you to know. 4 / 21 GalapagosPhoto/Shutterstock Lentils
These protein-packed discs come from the same legume family as beans, which means that they pack many similar benefits. Preliminary research in rats found that lentils appear to reverse the damage to blood vessels caused by high blood pressure. Plus, lentils are at the top of the food spectrum for protein and fiber content, with very little fat, and contain calcium, potassium, and magnesium—all minerals that can help lower blood pressure. Beware: This common type of stress could give you a heart attack. 5 / 21 ND700/Shutterstock Fish
A lot of the research on omega-3 fatty acids focuses on brain health, but these potent anti-inflammatories have benefits for your ticker, too. Research links inflammation inside your body to a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including plaque buildup, says Dr. Rader. So there’s speculation that reducing inflammation might reduce plaque in your arteries. Eating fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel is one way to get your fill of omega-3s, so try to eat some at least twice a week, says Taub-Dix. Don’t miss these 7 signs you might be headed for a heart attack. 6 / 21 Aleksandr Gavrilychev/Shutterstock Avocados
Fat of any kind used to be at the top of the list of things that are bad for your heart. Not anymore: Research reveals that mono- and polyunsaturated fats, like those found in avocados, are heart healthy because they help lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol, says Taub-Dix. These green fruits also contain a decent amount of fiber. Read more about the heart-healthy benefits of avocados . 7 / 21 Sebastian Knight/Shutterstock Pistachios
Nuts are another good way for how to unclog arteries because they are a good source of heart-healthy fats, and pistachios have this bonus: They’re filled with plant sterols, the same substances in cholesterol-lowering products that help block cholesterol absorption in your gut, says Karen Ansel, RD, author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging: Stay Younger, Live Longer. If you’re allergic to nuts, you can also get plant sterols from sesame seeds. 8 / 21 Dmitr1ch/Shutterstock Turmeric
In recent years, more people have started recognizing the health-boosting properties of this brilliant yellow spice traditionally used in Indian cuisine. A substance in the spice, curcumin, is an antioxidant that may help prevent fatty deposits from building up and blocking arteries, Ansel says. If you’re not a huge fan of curry, try a golden latte made with the spice. 9 / 21 s_derevianko/Shutterstock Broccoli
Scientists have known for years that cruciferous veggies like broccoli have cancer-fighting abilities, but researchers are also examining broccoli’s role in heart health. There’s evidence that a compound in it called sulforaphane may assist the body’s natural defenses against arterial clogs by activating a certain kind of protein, says Ansel. Broccoli also has fiber and anti-inflammatory properties. Read about how this and other foods can help lower blood pressure . 10 / 21 CHALITSA HONGTONG/Shutterstock Asparagus
Another green giant as far as heart health goes, these fibrous stalks are rich in quercetin, a phytonutrient that prevents plaque from sticking to your arteries. “Whether you have a family history of heart disease or are simply trying to prevent it, asparagus should be at the top of your shopping list,” Ansel says. Here’s what doctors do to lower their cholesterol. 11 / 21 P-fotography/Shutterstock Watermelon
The reason cardiologists seem obsessed with taking your blood pressure? When it’s elevated, it can eventually wear out the lining of your blood vessels, leaving them less elastic and able to function normally. That can increase your risk for a heart attack or stroke. This juicy melon can help. “Watermelon is the number one source of citrulline,” says Ansel. Citrulline is an amino acid the body uses to produce nitric oxide, which helps keep your blood vessels relaxed and pliable. These are the supplements doctors take every day. 12 / 21 Oleksandr Rybitskiy/Shutterstock Whole grains
You’ve been told for years that carbs are bad. But whole grains—even in bread and pasta—can be part of a heart-healthy diet and a step in how to unclog arteries. According to an analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine , for every ten grams of whole grains people eat each day, their risk of heart disease dropped 14 percent; even better, their odds of dying from a heart attack fell 25 percent. This may be because whole grains are loaded with fiber, says Angela Lemond, RD, a Plano, Texas-based nutritionist and national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Fiber helps pull cholesterol out of the body. It is also known to help promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut, which can have an indirect benefit on heart health.” Try swapping refined grains for unprocessed ones to reap the benefits. And watch for these signs of a stroke you might be missing. 13 / 21 Yeryomina Anastassiya/Shutterstock Milk with DHA
As aging arteries stiffen up, says Lemond, they can begin to restrict your blood flow. Omega-3 fatty acids help maintain vessel elasticity—especially one known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). It’s most commonly found in seafood, but if you’re not a fish fan, try DHA-fortified milk and eggs. Here are 7 signs you might have clogged arteries. 14 / 21 3DConcepts/Shutterstock Potatoes
Yes, you can have potatoes—just not all the time. Spuds are full of potassium: They give you more than double the amount in an average banana. That’s key because only 3 percent of Americans are getting their RDA of potassium, and it’s helpful in regulating your blood pressure. Potatoes also have a decent amount of fiber, so as long as you don’t deep-fry them or slather them in butter and sour cream, they can be a surprisingly healthy choice.
Heading to the hospital? These are the worst hospital wait times in Canada. 15 / 21 Avdeyukphoto/Shutterstock Chocolate
How to unclog arteries? Indulge in some chocolate. Cocoa beans are rich in flavanols—plant compounds that have antioxidant properties and may benefit your heart. A 2017 analysis of the research done on chocolate published in the journal Nutrients found that people who regularly ate chocolate (in moderation) had a lower risk of heart failure. Nutritionists recommend dark chocolate over other types—that high cacao percentage (above 70 percent) means the bar has more beneficial compounds. Find out what your hands can reveal about your health. 16 / 21 Eshma/Shutterstock Coffee
Like a lot of beans, coffee beans—and the java you get from them—deliver healthy antioxidants. In research, coffee seems to lower the incidence of cardiac disease; the caffeine may also help your ticker. When scientists recently gave mice the caffeine equivalent of four cups of coffee , they discovered that the cells lining the mice’s blood vessels began to work more efficiently. But if you’re thinking about quitting coffee, watch for these 10 things that will happen to your body. 17 / 21 Igor Normann/Shutterstock Wine
While most nutritional guidelines acknowledge that a little wine (and other types of alcohol) in moderation may be good for your heart, they do so with a strong caution, says Dr. Rader. He points out that there’s no direct cause and effect—researchers haven’t established that drinking wine lowers your risk; they only know that people with a lower risk of heart disease tend to drink wine. That’s why no one is handing out free passes to drink as much as you want: Limit yourself to no more than one four-ounce glass of wine a day if you’re a woman—two for men. Although you might get similar benefits with any type of alcohol, you may want to stick with the red wine: It has an anti-aging compound called resveratrol, which also helps lower inflammation. 18 / 21 XAOC/Shutterstock Eggs
Yep, science really messed up this one: Heart specialists used to warn people to stay away from eggs because they have a lot of cholesterol. But the research is now pretty clear that the cholesterol in your food has very little impact on the levels in your blood, says Taub-Dix. In fact, fats in eggs seem to boost the good HDL cholesterol in your blood (it helps prevent the buildup of plaque in vessel walls). A study published in the journal Heart found that eating eggs daily was associated with an 11 percent drop in the risk for heart disease. But one thing you should limit is salt. Here are 7 signs you’re consuming too much salt. 19 / 21 Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock Berries
They’re fiber- and antioxidant-rich, and one study, published in Circulation: The Journal of the American Heart Association , found that eating three servings a week may slash the risk of a heart attack by a third in women. Researchers credit anthocyanins, compounds in berries that may help dilate blood vessels, making it easier for blood to pass through. 20 / 21 violetblue/Shutterstock Green tea
Benefits abound in this brew—and British researchers recently found an exciting new bonus: They were focusing on a compound known as EGCG, which has shown promise in treating Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers found that the same molecule could shrink fatty deposits on artery walls. In previous research, scientists demonstrated that green tea could lower bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, too. How do they do it!? Here’s what the world’s healthiest people have in common. 21 / 21 Radu Bercan/Shutterstock Fermented foods
Probiotics get a lot of attention because they support the populations of healthy bacteria in your gut. But did you know that you can repopulate your intestines with the good healthy bacteria found in foods like kimchi, yogurt, and kombucha? Emerging research indicates that the foods (and the bacteria they contain) may help lower your blood pressure and bad LDL cholesterol levels. Next, discover 15 things you didn’t know could literally slow down aging.

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DannyTS said: ↑ there are really a lot of choices for lunch and dinner in the area, all within 5-15 min by car. Because we had 3-4 meals in the condo and because of the day trips, we did not have more than 5-6 meals at the restaurants nearby. However, I never had the impression that we were running out of places to eat at. This is a link from Tripadvisor so that you can see what I mean:
https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaura…lvatelle_Terricciola_Province_of_Pisa_Tu.html
I may be missing some but from what I remember we ate at:
La Sorgente: 5 min from Borgo on a hilltop, great food, great atmosphere, great service.
Da Carlo: 5 min from Borgo, in the village. Good food, seemed to be preferred by the locals, probably the biggest restaurant in the area.
Pasticeria Feretti: 8 min from Borgo, in Peccioli. A small place, only 5 tables. Good food, great service.
Le vecchie cantine: 15 min from Borgo, possibly the best meal we had around Borgo.
La Locanda delle Streghe: 5 min from Borgo. Nice terrace in the back, good food.
All restaurants in the area are typical Italian/Tuscan cuisine. If you are craving for an Argentinian steak, a Thai or a South Indian restaurant you may have to wait to return home Click to expand… Thanks! Exactly what I was looking for. I’m pleased at the options, and yes, when in Tuscany we’ll be looking for Tuscan cuisine for sure!
I think we’ve decided to target September 2020, so we will have to wait until December to try to book at Borgo. I think we’re going to try to start out with a hotel stay in Venice for maybe three nights, then take the train to Florence for another three nights, and then rent a car to go to Borgo all Vigne.

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Jalapeño Mango Chutney {How to make Chutney!}

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Jalapeño Mango Chutney is a delicious, gluten free condiment that can be enjoyed any time of the day. A great way to utilize any extra produce you already have in your fridge! This chutney recipe is sweetened with mango and unrefined sugars, making it better for you! With a kick of spice from jalapenos, it’s perfect for serving with fish or chicken. Paleo and vegan friendly, too.
Hey ya’ll! So I hope you had a great 4th! I took the rest of last week off because, let’s be honest, my life is chaotic. Pause button is needed. So is an update on life, studio remodel, workshops, all thing Cotter Crunch LLC. Please keep me accountable with a “ behind the lense ” post. Mmm k?
Now, speaking of updates, here’s a good one! This Jalapeno Mango Chutney was originally created alongside this Coconut Chicken recipe post, but I wanted to update the recipe, and pull it away from that recipe post to give it a focus of its own. Yes, chutney deserves its own focus and descriptive post. It’s one of the most underrated condiments on the planet I tell ya! Plus, it’s one of my most FAVORITE ways to use up all that summer produce. RESOURCEFULNESS!
Let’s begin! Chutney is simple to make and a great staple item to have in your fridge! What is chutney anyway?
Although it’s originally from India and commonly included in Indian cuisine, chutney is popular across the world. With good reason, too! Chutney is gluten free, easy to make, and can be nutritious – if the chutney ingredients are, of course. 😉
In the world of delicious fruity condiments, mango chutney falls somewhere between mango jam and mango salsa, or possibly even pico de gallo. Chutney is a confusing condiment, ya’ll!
By the way, chutneys aren’t limited to fruit varieties; vegetable chutney is very popular in South India. That being said, the majority of chutney recipes in the U.S. are fruit-based. So, what is the difference between chutney and relish?
Not to get all food geeky on you, but the difference between, chutney, relish , jams, and salsa is more about how the ingredients are prepared than anything else. Allow me to explain.
In their classic/traditional form, all of the condiments mentioned above require that the ingredients be cooked. Yes, there are no-cook salsa recipes and freezer jam recipes out there, but those aren’t the classic versions.
All you really need to make chutney are a few simple pantry ingredients: a fruit or vegetable

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Is Malaysia South-East Asia’s best halal travel destination?

Malaysia, with its diversity of different sights, foods, cultures, and activities, is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after destinations in southeast Asia. shares
The diverse country of Malaysia features many highlights for all types of travellers and especially Muslim travellers. From the rugged mountains that dramatically reach for the sky, to the rainforest-clad slopes that sweep down to floodplains teeming with forest life, it’s here you’ll discover an adventure you’ll never want to end. The best part? It’s halal friendly in so many ways, from the ease of access to halal dining options, private pool villas at five star resorts, and an array of wonderfully designed mosques to visit.
There are only a few places in the world that tick all the boxes, however, Malaysia is definitely one of them. Bordering Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, and Indonesia, Malaysia’s superb location shouldn’t be missed when exploring Southeast Asia. With a thriving culture of diversity you can explore modern cities, colonial architecture, some of the most beautiful beaches this world owns, and luscious green jungles. All these amazing landscapes will leave you taken away, just as the warm and friendly welcomes of the locals will put a smile on your face.
Malaysia + Food = Halal dining delights! Whether it be the local street food or fine dining, Malaysian cuisine has been influenced by Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, and Indian backgrounds, so you’ll know your dining experience will be more than just your average ‘eat out’ treat.
Despite becoming a popular tourist destination, Malaysia is not as populous as other destinations such as Thailand and Bali, which are almost always covered with tourists. Because of this, travellers exploring Malaysia will enjoy lower levels of crowds, especially in Langkawi and Borneo. Getting around Malaysia is nice and easy, with many tourists using the public bus systems, trains, and road journeys. Although low cost air travel is booming in South East Asia, we do recommend considering alternative travel methods if you can. Air travel on short routes are vast contributors to carbon emissions, so a conscious thought can go a long way to preserving our world. KUALA LUMPUR
The lively capital of Kuala Lumpur provides you with your typical city escape plus so much more. Rich in architecture, food, shopping outlets, and beautiful parks and outdoor spaces, it’s here you can enjoy discovering the city, its famous landmarks like the Petronas Towers, and unlimited shopping. You can also visit places such as Chinatown, the Batu Caves, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, and so much more while in KL. Our top tip is to head to the Botanical Gardens for a leisurely walk before heading to the wonderful St. Regis for afternoon tea! KOTA KINABALU
Often referred to as KK, Kota Kinabalu is a coastal city partly surrounded by rainforest. Being the gateway to Kinabalu National Park, the home of the 4,095m-high Mount Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu is the perfect route for those looking for an adventure. Nature lovers will enjoy visiting Mount Kinabalu Park Botanical Garden, taking part in the Klias River Cruise, and visiting cultural villages.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is another popular destination consisting of clusters of islands, all which offer a selection of fun packed activities. Snorkelling and diving are the most popular activities to do while in Kota Kinabalu, as the surrounding oceans provide crystal clear waters and beautiful diving spots. REDANG ISLAND
Being one of the largest islands off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Redang Island is famous for its sugary white beaches and perfectly clear waters. If you do visit Redang Island, make sure you don’t miss out on the sunsets and sunrise. The views are absolutely amazing! Various island treks are also available and make the perfect afternoon activity, while snorkelling is the best way to appreciate the islands waters. If you’re looking for a more relaxed day out, simply lounge around on the beach! The beach alone is a good enough reason to visit Redang Island. LANGKAWI
Nestled on the shores of the Andaman Sea, surrounded by rainforest and beautiful nature, you’ll find the island of Langkawi. As far as holiday destinations, Langkawi is perfect for Muslim travellers looking to unwind and get away from their busy and hectic lives, and instead explore nature and the surroundings of this beautiful part of Malaysia.
Just 20km away from most of the resorts you’ll find the Langkawi Cable Car and the Langkawi Sky Bridge, two awesome activities to enjoy during your stay that will give you breath-taking scenic views of the island below. Head on an island hopping trip and sample some traditional Malay food at Cenang Beach.
One our top recommendations is The Andaman Resort , with chic modern rooms. Each room also comes with a flat screen TV, sofa and balcony, while upgraded rooms have additional espresso machines, and a garden or sea view. Your stay at Andaman Resort includes a delicious halal breakfast every morning, while four restaurants serve different cuisines and spectacular Malay dishes. The resort is great for kids too and they can learn all about the local eco-system at the in-house Turtle Research Centre.
Malaysia, with its diversity of different sights, foods, cultures, and activities, is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after destinations in southeast Asia. For Muslims especially, knowing that there will be the safety and comfort of so many halal options, Malaysia is an obvious choice for the perfect travel destination. shares Rihaala From the Arabic meaning for ‘journeys’, Rihaala has brought together over ten years of experience in the halal travel space to give you the ability to design and book your next trip. Whether you’re looking for a hotel with halal dining options through to somewhere special with a private pool, you’ll find it on Rihaala. Rihaala researches each hotel, finding out their provision for halal food, alcohol free environments, prayer facilities, female only experiences, privacy and family friendliness. Rihaala From the Arabic meaning for ‘journeys’, Rihaala has brought together over ten years of experience in the halal travel space to give you the ability to design and book your next trip. Whether you’re looking for a hotel with halal dining options through to somewhere special with a private pool, you’ll find it on Rihaala. Rihaala researches each hotel, finding out their provision for halal food, alcohol free environments, prayer facilities, female only experiences, privacy and family friendliness. Keep Reading

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Good property

The property was very beautifully located and the rooms and service was good even the Indian food was very good. They should improve on other cuisine. The staff was cordial nExpect the spa staff was not good and was not up to the mark

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Hey Courtney,
you should definitely avoid street food during the rains. Wrt to the must-try places, I am assuming you do not want to over-spend on the food trail yet want to enjoy the best. There are apps like Zomato, which offer 1+1 on food and 2+2 on drinks at many awesome places around the city (starter pack available @ Rs. 249). Also, you can check out Dineout app, which will give you access to Gourmet Passport at a reasonable cost and you can avail good discounts. Reservation websites/apps like Eazydiner will give you amazing deals at almost all restaurant. The reason why I am stressing on it, is because you can save a lot of money by making smart choices .
Anyways, my best places for the various cuisines and must – try places are (keeping it below $35 per meal for 2):
South Indian – The Tanjore Tiffin Room at Versova , Cafe Mysore at Matunga
North Indian – Orchids at Chembur, Sahib Room at Lower Parel, Punjab Grill, Bade Miyan (Horniman Circle)
Asian – Ming Yang at Bandra, Royal China at Bandra, By the Mekong
Fusion Food – Farzi Cafe
Pizza – 1441 Pizzeria, Not Just Jazz by the Bay at Marine Lines
Italian – Little Italy, Don Giovanni, Celini
Tap Beer – Toit, Tap Room (BKC)
Sea Food – Mahesh Lunch home , Gajalee , Bastian
Something offbeat – 145 Kalaghoda, Mirchi and Mime , Sante, All Stir Fry, Masala Library
Hope this helps!
Edited: 2:18 am, today

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The Essential Guide to Plymouth, MA

Famed as the site of the first Pilgrim settlement, Plymouth, MA, is loved for its classic New England charm. Cathryn McCann • July 8, 2019 • Read Comments (6) 5.00 avg. rating ( 90 % score) – 2 votes
Founded in 1620, Plymouth, MA, is a coastal town south of Boston that’s anchored in history as the site of the first Pilgrim settlement. But while all its historical markers and sites may be the initial draw, Plymouth has a quintessential New England feel and historic architecture, downtown shops, and expansive ocean views that keep visitors coming back year after year. From tasty cuisine to cranberry festivals, there’s always plenty to do in “America’s Hometown.” Guide to Plymouth, MA | Downtown Aimee Tucker PLYMOUTH, MA | FAVORITE PLACES TO STAY, EAT & PLAY
Intrigued by this seaside town that is equal parts historical and modern New England? Here are some of our favorite places to eat, things to do, and places to stay in Plymouth, MA. Guide to Plymouth, MA | Things to Do PLIMOTH PLANTATION
This living history museum allows visitors to immerse themselves in the past as they walk through a 17th-century English village, tour a replica of the Mayflower (the ship is currently receiving a full restoration and will return in 2019), and visit the Wampanoag Homesite and the beautiful and iconic Plimoth Grist Mill . The plantation, with its interactive elements and ocean view, is a great destination for families. Named a 2017 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Historical Experience.” Guide to Plymouth, MA | Plimoth Plantation Aimee Tucker PLYMOUTH FARMERS’ MARKET Set on the grounds of Plimoth Plantation, this market gets extra points for its scenic backdrop and living-close-to-the-land vibe. Held outdoors every Thursday from May to October (and once a month indoors during winter), it rounds up the region’s bounty from 40 vendors that run the gamut from farmers and fishermen to beekeepers and bakers. Relatively speaking they’re a small group, but one clearly devoted to a larger mission—our Pilgrim forebears would no doubt have approved. Named a 2018 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Farmers’ Market.” HISTORIC SITES
While you shouldn’t miss Plymouth Rock, touted (more as legend rather than fact) as the first bit of land touched by the Pilgrims after their voyage across the ocean, there are also many historical sites available for touring — including homes of original Mayflower passengers. Among the options are the Jabez Howland House, the Richard Sparrow House, the Spooner House, Hedge House, and Harlow Old Fort House. And be sure to take a moment to view the National Monument to the Forefathers, a towering 81-foot-tall statue on the Allerton Street hilltop that commemorates the Pilgrims. Guide to Plymouth, MA | The Jabez Howland House Aimee Tucker PILGRIM HALL MUSEUM
For history you can enjoy indoors, head to Pilgrim Hall Museum, easily spotted from the street thanks to its ornate architecture and stone columns. Built in 1824, it’s among the oldest public museums in America and brimming with American Indian and Pilgrim artifacts. You can even touch a piece of Plymouth Rock here. Guide to Plymouth, MA | Pilgrim Hall Museum Aimee Tucker OUTDOOR EXPLORATION
Given Plymouth’s setting on the coast of Massachusetts, there are plenty of lovely natural areas to explore here. Check out Pilgrim Memorial State Park, Nelson Memorial Park, Myles Standish State Forest, Ellisville Harbor State Park salt marsh estuary, or White Horse and Plymouth Long beaches. You can hike the Town Forest Trail (7.9 miles), Center Hill Preserve Trail (1.7 miles), or Russell and Sawmill Pond Trail (1.8 miles), or head to some of the preserves and conservation areas for more options. For a little exploration from the water, try Billington Sea Kayak. Guide to Plymouth, MA | Outdoor Exploration Aimee Tucker
Otherwise known as the Spire Center for Performing Arts, this impressive three-story, 225-seat performance hall downtown is the place for enjoying theatrical and musical productions while visiting Plymouth. Guide to Plymouth, MA | The Spire Aimee Tucker CRANBERRY HARVEST CELEBRATION
Every October, locals and visitors alike gather in nearby Wareham for this weekend celebration of the Massachusetts state berry. Hop on a bus for a ride to a stretch of bogs to learn about the harvest process, or slip on some waders and get right into the flooded cranberry bog. Enjoy food, music, crafts, paddleboat rides on Tihonet Pond, children’s activities, cooking demonstrations, wagon rides, and even helicopter rides. Guide to Plymouth, MA | Cranberry Harvest Celebration Aimee Tucker COLONY PLACE SHOPPING
If you’ve had your fill of history, head to Plymouth’s premier shopping and dining destination, Colony Place. At the region’s largest open-air retail center, located just minutes from downtown, you can browse among 40 stores and get a bite at any of nearly a dozen restaurants on-site. Guide to Plymouth, MA | Places to Stay MIRBEAU
A 50-guestroom retreat in a French manor house, Mirbeau surrounds its guests in beauty, thanks to detailed architecture, Monet pond gardens, and lovely landscaping and decor. On-site dining is available at the Bistro & Wine Bar. Named a 2015 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Chateau Lodging.” THE JESSE HARLOW HOUSE
This bed-and-breakfast on Watson’s Hill, overlooking downtown and the harbor, offers a perfect blend of history (it was once the home of Revolutionary War captain Jesse Harlow) and modern luxury (full gourmet breakfast, silk drapes, landscaped gardens). Plus, it’s within walking distance of many Plymouth attractions and dining options. Guide to Plymouth, MA | The Jesse Harlow House Aimee Tucker WHITFIELD HOUSE BED & BREAKFAST
If you want to be in the heart of history, consider the Whitfield, an 1782 Federal home on Plymouth’s second-oldest street. Located in the historic waterfront district, the house was occupied by descendants of the original owner for 200 years before being passed to its current owner, in 1987. JOHN CARVER INN & SPA
This 80-room boutique hotel is a solid option for families, as it provides a range of amenities that appeal to all ages. The on-site Pilgrim Cove Indoor Theme Pool features an 80-foot water slide, waterfalls, and a Jacuzzi. Pamper yourself at the Beach Plum Spa, dine at the Hearth ’n Kettle Restaurant or WaterFire Tavern, and then settle into one of the spacious rooms or fireplace suites. Named a 2014 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Indoor Pool.” Guide to Plymouth, MA | John Carver Inn & Spa Aimee Tucker PINEWOOD LODGE CAMPGROUND
For fans of the great outdoors, Pinewood Lodge Campground — with its 200 acres of white pine forest, 3,000 feet of lake frontage, six-acre island, and 300 campsites — is a great option. Enjoy fishing, swimming, boating, exploring, or just relaxing. The campground has a store with all the supplies you may need, plus modern bathroom facilities and RV hookups. PILGRIM SANDS HOTEL
If you like the idea of walking out of your room and onto the beach, Pilgrim Sands might be the place for you. Its private beach leads to Plymouth Long Beach, which offers miles of seaside strolling. If the ocean doesn’t beckon you, however, Pilgrim Sands features both an indoor and outdoor pool, plus beachfront dining and a lounge. Named a 2012 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Base for Families.” Guide to Plymouth, MA | Places to Eat

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Great location , friendly staff but poor Wifi

The Wifi was really slow and had poor signal quality. Many times it failed to load a basic website like FT. You can upgrade your internet plan for Rupess 800/day which i Thought was quite expensive. I am going to ensure I take a Wifi dongle if I stay in this property.
We really liked how friendly and courteous the staff were. This is what makes a Taj stay so special as they really look after you well. The breakfast had a lot of choice and they were accepting special requests for parathas, dosas etc. The in-room dining food was also great really liked the Chines and Indian cuisines. The property is also in an excellent location, Banjara Hills. The property is also in an excellent location, Banjara Hills.
Stayed in June 2019

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Kids make the best food in summer camp

Kids cook food during their Asian-themed week in summer camp. TNS
Fontbonne University’s Camp F.R.E.S.H. is a way for children from fourth through seventh grades to learn about the people and culture in other lands.
It’s a summer camp, so naturally they have fun while they learn. And part of that fun is cooking.
A few weeks ago, the 20 or so day campers were learning about Asia (each of the four weeks was devoted to a different continent; the campers could attend anywhere from one to all four weeks).
They played a Chinese outdoor came called Moon Cake, learned Indian and Chinese folk dances and made koi fish watercolors in arts and crafts.
Lunch throughout the week reflected the cuisine of countries throughout the continent: chicken banh mi sandwiches from Vietnam, rendered into kid-friendly sloppy joes; ramen noodle bowls from Japan; butter chicken, naan and tandoori roast vegetables from India.
Ethan Liang, measures out honey. TNS
Tuesday was China’s day, mostly. The kids feasted on beef stir fry, baked tofu nuggets and rainbow-colored spring rolls with a spicy dipping sauce.
And they made it all themselves.
But the actual prep work and cooking was done by the children themselves, from the chopping (with real knives for the youngsters who can work with them) to the stir-frying to the rolling up of the spring rolls.
One of 11-year-old Nylah Saffold’s jobs was to cut bell peppers into thin julienne slices. She demonstrated proper knife protocol, conscientiously holding it at her side with the blade facing back while walking.
Kids prepare tofu nuggets at Fontbonne University’s Camp F.R.E.S.H . TNS
They were taught how to do that, she said, “in case somebody turns and so you don’t poke them with the knife.”
Meanwhile, Adela Gingrich, 11, was struggling with two mangoes. Between the thick skin and the oddly shaped pit that the fruit stubbornly adheres to, mangoes can be the most frustrating of fruits. But she persevered and managed to produce plenty of mango to enhance the spring rolls.
The meal was a success with (most of) the children. Sloan Gingrich, 9, was particularly taken with the baked tofu nuggets.
“It was the first time I ever tried tofu in my entire life,” she said.
But not everyone was as happy with the results. Throwing away most of the food on her plate, Kelsea McBride said, “That’s the only bad thing about kids cooking. Sometimes they overcook or undercook things.”
Tribune News service

Read More…

MEGA GUIDE to The International 2019 in Shanghai, China!

Comprehensive Guide for Shanghai TI9 Visitors Heya /r/dota2 , your resident bilingual Dota fan here. With the advent of The International 9, many fans who are looking to attend the event live but have never visited Shanghai would understandably have many questions and concerns regarding the city. This guide was painstakingly written by yours truly to give ya’ll an idea of what to expect during your visit and answer some common questions and concerns. Be warned that this is a REALLY long guide (9k words, no biggie) aimed towards first timers in Shanghai, if you’re a ticket holder and this is your first time visiting, make sure to read the whole thing as a fair few parts are interconnected.
If you have any specific questions that this guide doesn’t cover, feel free to ask any questions in the comments section or via the Shanghai TI9 Discord .
Introduction Shanghai is one of the largest cities in the world, with a population of more than 24 million. Situated along China’s eastern coastline, Shanghai has a warm temperate climate, with July and August being our hottest months averaging 25-35 degrees Celsius. Rainy season usually ends by late June so we would expect typical hot summer weather during the event period, so dress accordingly.
Air pollution in Shanghai has seen a drastic reduction since 2010 in an effort to improve the city’s image. While air quality in Shanghai is better than other Chinese cities, it is still considered fairly polluted by global standards, and sensitive people might experience respiratory irritation, though if you’re from a developed city you probably won’t notice much difference. Also, indoor smoking has been recently banned in Shanghai, so smoking is only allowed in open-air environments or designated smoking areas.
In terms of commodity costs, China isn’t as cheap as it used to be, and Shanghai’s definitely on the pricey end of the scale. That being said, you can always find a good deal on accommodation and food if you’re resourceful enough, though you might need a local friend to help you with that.
Compared to other parts of China, Shanghai has one of the highest overall prevalence of English speakers. Younger generations have at least a rudimentary grasp of English, and there’s a fairly large number of proficient users. Communication for basic things like directions and purchases shouldn’t be an issue.
One thing to note is that Shanghai isn’t just a tourist location for you, it’s a tourist hotspot for the rest of China as well. There’s easily a couple million domestic tourists in Shanghai on any given day, and to them, YOU are a tourist attraction, so try not to be bothered by the looks and attention. People in China are generally very welcoming and friendly towards foreigners, so if you’re in a pinch, just ask for help from passer-bys.
Preparations 1. Visa
Before one books a flight to Shanghai, first thing you will need to do is look up the Visa application process to obtain a tourist visa to China. China’s visa application process is pretty basic and straightforward without any particular hurdles, just fill up the relevant forms and attach the required documents. The main items you will need to prepare for the application would be your flight itinerary and hotel booking. Please note that in some countries, you may have to submit the application form in person or via mail to specific visa application centers, so make sure you do your research on the due process beforehand.
[Cost]
Visa cost may vary between countries, usually ranging between USD$90 – 110, though I’ve seen some places pricing it at 150. Agency fees will apply if you apply through a travel agent, but that may be preferred to simplify the process if you find it hard to navigate through the embassy resources.
[Duration]
Officially, visa processing time is slated to be 10-14 days, but it can often be processed as quickly as 2-3 days, depending on how busy the embassy is. Again, check with your country’s authorities, you may have to return to the visa application center to pick-up your passport/visa.
[Misc]
Singapore, Brunei and Japan passport holders can enter China without a visa for a stay no more than 15 days. For those of you from countries with powerful passports, you may be unused to the paperwork to fill out, but it’s pretty simple to handle and shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes of your time.
2.Flight
For flight booking, simply use your preferred website, skyscanner, booking, etc, to find the lowest fare available.
Shanghai is a cosmopolitan city so there wouldn’t be any problems booking flights there, Pudong Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. Note however that there are two airports in Shanghai, Pudong International Airport (PVG) and HongQiao International Airport (SHA) . Nowadays, HongQiao Airport is mostly for domestic flights, but if you’re flying from Eurasia, your flight may transit via another major inland city in China, which will possibly land you in HongQiao. If you’re travelling with friends via different flightpaths, make sure everyone’s booking to the right airport, because the two airports are pretty far apart on opposite ends of the city.
Should the air tickets to Shanghai be in short supply, alternative flight routes include flying to Hangzhou or Nanjing and taking a high speed rail to Shanghai. The high speed rail service in China is world-class and easy to navigate (do inquire if you’re going for this option, I’ll add another section if it’s in high demand), and it’s less than 2 hours travel time via the rail to Shanghai. If you wish to take this chance to tour around China a bit, this would be a good choice as you can visit multiple cities and see their unique history, culture and attractions (such as West Lake in Hangzhou).
3.Venue:
Before we get to the hotel and accommodations, the venue needs to be looked at since I’m sure a lot of you will be looking to stay somewhere nearby. First off, here’s a google map of the venue and its surroundings.
The stadium is conveniently located right beside a Metro station, China Art Museum Station. You will see the iconic Mercedez Benz Arena (MBA) building immediately when you step out of the station via exit 4 (I’ve personally verified it), and it is a mere 30 second walk to the stadium.
Located along the bank of the Huangpu River, the MBA is part of the expo grounds developed during the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. It boasts spectacular views of the city and the river, has a gorgeous park right next to it where you can go for a leisurely stroll, stunning architecture in every direction and rows upon rows of restaurants available in the adjacent River Mall Area 5. The entire area was developed for event purposes and its facilities are specifically constructed to cater to those needs.
HOWEVER, this also means that there are no hotels or residences within the immediate vicinity, since the district was entirely purposed as exhibition grounds. The nearest available accommodation would be budget hotels approximately 1km away, with decent hotels (4-stars) at least 1.5km away. Given how efficient the Shanghai Metro is, it is strongly recommended that you widen your hotel search radius and take advantage of the Metro system.
Please also note that food and drinks are not allowed to be brought into the Arena. While there is some leeway for small finger foods and mineral water, it is up to the discretion of the organizers/guards (i.e. if the venue ends up being a mess on day 1, they might enforce a stricter ban day 2 onwards. Keep the venue clean everyone!). Things like a Mcdonalds takeout bag are definitely not allowed. Food and drinks are available for sale inside the Arena, but at a hefty premium compared to standard local retail prices. For reference, a bottle of water sold inside would be about 15-18 rmb (2.50 USD), a grilled sausage is 10rmb (1.50 USD) etc.
4. Hotels/Accommodation
In a city of 24 million, hotels are aplenty around Shanghai, with options available across all prices. As a reminder, your passport is mandatory for checking into any public accommodation in Shanghai, be it hotels or AirBnB. Also, while AirBnB is rising in Shanghai, unless you have a local friend helping you out, you may encounter communication issues with due processes during your stay, hence I would recommend sticking to hotels where formality is assured.
[Edit] I’ve been informed that due to the new recycling laws enacted in July, budget and mid-range hotels no longer provide bathroom amenities by default, but are available on request . Please remember to ask for them before flaming them!
[Location Selection]
The main priority you would have when choosing a hotel for the TI event would be the ease of commute to the venue. It is highly recommended that you search for a hotel that is close to a Metro line. To recap for those who skipped straight to this section, it is due to these main reasons:
The Arena is located in a special use district, with no hotels in the immediate vicinity The closest hotels are approximately 1km away, and higher grade hotels even further. With almost 18,000 spectators leaving the venue at the close of each day, you’ll face massive wait times for Uber. Public Transportation is your best bet. Check the transportation section for guidelines on how to access and navigate the metro.
The Arena’s station lies on Line 8 (blue line), which runs vertically through the city . You can reduce the hassle of changing lines by selecting accommodation solely along this metro line, but it would limit your options. I recommend that you use the map view when booking your hotels on your booking site of choice and try to find hotels within walking distance of a metro station (which honestly isn’t hard because of the extensive metro coverage – see transportation section).
The main locations where hotel prices are higher would be in the strip stretching from People’s Square to LuJiaZui (highlighted in yellow in the above link), due to their premium location in the heart of Shanghai’s iconic tourist hotspots. Beyond these areas, hotel prices are generally fairly uniform across the city.
[Hotel Grades & Chains]
i.Budget hotels (USD 35-70)
While there are even cheaper options, I would not recommend them as they run the risk of being sketchy motels or hostels with nothing but a bed. Most of them won’t have by English-speaking staff either, and honestly you likely won’t find them on international booking sites, so don’t worry.
There are a few budget hotel chains in Shanghai, such as HANTING and JINJIANG. These are typical budget hotels offering a simple room with standard utilities and daily room service, but likely do not include breakfast nor any sort of catering service (they might on the upper price end). Note that even within the same hotel chain, the quality of the hotel may vary significantly , so keep an eye on the photos when booking. In some low-budget cases, the room might not have an exterior window, but gaming addicts don’t need sunlight anyway.
ii.Midrange Hotels (USD 70-120)
This is where you’ll find some international brands like Holiday Inn. These hotels are generally 3-4 star caliber, and would match international standards in terms of room quality. Typical hotels, not much to comment about them.
iii.Luxury Hotels (USD 120+)
As a cosmopolitan city, Shanghai sports luxury hotels from all international hotel chains, such as Mariott, Ascott, Intercontinental etc. Beyond the luxuries these hotels offer, they are usually situated in shopping hubs or tourist hotspots, and you can be assured that they would have staff proficient in English. A personal recommendation I would make is the Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel , which is absolutely stunning and located right next to Metro line 7, taking a mere 25 minutes to arrive at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
If you have any queries or questions about the hotel you’re booking, feel free to ask on Discord where Shanghai locals (myself included) will be able to answer you.
5.VPN and Data Plans
Due to censorship laws and the Great Firewall of China, many commonly used social media platforms and search engines are blocked and/or throttled in China. Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Twitter, Youtube are all completely blocked. Google translate and maps are usable (via its Chinese platform translate.google.cn and maps.google.cn), Whatsapp is kinda-sorta banned but messages do go through occasionally (pictures and media definitely can’t). Reddit’s in the same boat, it’s banned but… sometimes it’s not? Anyway, bottomline is, if you want to access the internet as you do back home, there are two options:
Your home country’s local carrier has global roaming, and you’re fine with coughing up the dough for usage abroad. Check with your service provider to see if this is available. If you’re visiting for a short duration (i.e. main event only), this would be a good choice and price would vary based on your mobile plan. Because you’re using the network provided by your own country’s carrier, the global roaming is NOT subject to the firewall and you’d retain full access to the internet, which saves a lot of hassle.
If you use a network in China, such as connecting to local wifi/using a local sim card you purchased, you will have to utilize a VPN to access the blocked content. Contrary to popular belief, VPNs are NOT illegal to use in China. (What is illegal is if you sell a VPN service as a corporate entity without approval granted by the authorities). There are tons of VPNs available on the market, however the GFW is no slouch and do periodic banwaves that kills of a bunch every now and then. Make sure you do careful research on which ones are reliably usable before purchasing; the free ones tend to be either shady (data selling) or unreliable (unusable/poor connection). If you use a VPN service, make sure to install and ensure that it is working first before arriving in Shanghai, as those service providers’ websites might be blocked.
Protip: If you’re a University student, look up your university’s tech resources to see if they have a uni-access VPN for students abroad, particularly if your university has a strong Asian demographic. Given the large number of Chinese students abroad and the endemic problem of being unable to access University resources whilst on holidays back home, many Unis have set up official VPNs for use by their Chinese students, which you can make use of in this instance. Most US/CA/UK/AU institutions have this function and you can look it up.
6. Apps to prepare
Google Translate: Your best buddy if mandarin is basically moonrunes for you. Helps with basic communication which should cover most things you’ll encounter on your trip.
Pleco: Your second best buddy to help with communication, comes with voice functions, optical character recognition functions (when you see a signboard and have no clue what it means and you can’t type it out either), handwriting input (you can draw moonrunes into it) and many other functions that helps you overcome the language barrier
Didi: Basically Chinese Uber. Allows foreign credit card payment so one of the rare few apps that foreigners can work with. Visa/Mastercard/UnionPay only, not sure about AMEX.
Wechat: Chinese Whatsapp and Facebook rolled into one, you should set it up beforehand. This is THE most used app in China, just about everyone uses it and it is an essential means of communication. If you meet anyone you want to stay in touch with, add them through Wechat and you’re good to go. Perhaps someday you might even discover the fabled meme trove of China that is Wechat Stickers…
7.Money
This warrants a special section because Shanghai has a unique case of being an essentially “Cashless” city. E-commerce is the predominant form of transaction in Shanghai, with virtually everyone making payments and transfers via wallet apps such as Alipay and Wechat. This has resulted in much lower amounts of circulated cash, and oftentimes small retails and cabbies may not hold enough spare change since barely anyone uses cash these days. While highly convenient, this becomes a challenge for foreign visitors as the process for linking the wallet app to a credit card requires verification from a local bank.
There are a few ways one can make payments in China:
Domestic payment platforms such as Wechat/Alipay, if you are able to complete the verification process. This may be possible for some SEA nations with banks that are partnered with Unionpay.
Some international payment platforms such as ApplePay, SamsungPay are also accepted at larger chains (Starbucks, Mcdonalds etc)
Credit Cards are accepted at most large retail outlets, stores and restaurants, but some cards may not be accepted (Visa/Mastercard/Unionpay are fine)
Cash – ATM’s around the city do cater to foreign cards but there are transaction costs and withdrawal limits, I believe it’s around 2000 RMB per transaction (300USD) for foreign cards.
See also the section on transportation below for further information regarding travel payments.
Arrival in Shanghai Once you have made the necessary preparations for your trip to Shanghai, next comes the part where you plan what to do while you’re here.
1.Airport Services
There are a few things to take note of when you arrive at the Shanghai Airport. Security is pretty standard per international standards, and you won’t be subjected to TSA-style unsolicited colonoscopies. You may be requested to open your bags for a brief inspection, so please do not attempt to smuggle contraband (see section on China Law). If the border officer asks the purpose of your visit and doesn’t understand e-sports, just tell them you’re here to attend an exhibition.
PSA due to recent bs on worldnews: No, you will NOT be asked to hand over your phone or electronic devices. No, you will not have any bullshit spyware forcibly installed on your phones, apple/google already did that for you. No, security doesn’t give a shit if you have porn on your devices. These measures are only applied to specific border crossings in one specific part of western China that is prone to conflict, and do not apply to 99% of China’s ports.
Once you leave the gates, there might be a swathe of tourist peddlers asking if you need a cab, do make sure to ignore them and just follow the signs to the public transport facilities . The information desks at the airport all have English assistance so you can look to them for help. There are 3 main transportation options from Pudong Airport to the city – Cabs, Metro and the Maglev, as follows:
1. Cabs/Uber: The fare from Pudong Airport to the venue is approximately 150RMB (22USD), subject to variation based on time (night rate, peak hour jams etc). Depending on where your hotel is, you can approximate what your fare would likely be. I recommend that you print out the hotel address (In Chinese characters) for easy navigation with the driver.
2. Metro: Metro lines are available in both HongQiao and Pudong Airports, and easily accessed after exiting the gates. This is by far the cheapest option, costing a mere 3 – 5 RMB a trip (45-75 cents), though you will likely be facing a rather packed train. If you’re looking to minimize costs or if your hotel is near a metro line, this is the recommended way, though you will have to navigate your way through the metro map to the right station.
3. Maglev: The Shanghai Magnetic Levitation Rail , available only in Pudong Airport, is a short-distance rail that takes you from the Airport to Longyang Station, a transport hub close to the city. Costing 40 RMB (6 USD) for a ticket, the Maglev is a state-of-the-art vehicle that goes up to 430+ kph, covering the 30+ km (19miles) between stations in 7 minutes (which the metro line would otherwise take 40 minutes to traverse). If this is your first time in Shanghai, I highly recommend taking it at least once for the experience, not just for the speed but also that surreal /r/futurology moment when the magnets hum to life and you feel the train levitating.
2.Currency Exchange
Next thing you might worry about is currency exchange. In the case that you did not prepare local currency, there is a currency exchanger in the airport; however the airport rates tend to be pretty pricey. In China, currency exchange is government controlled, which means there are no private retail currency exchangers as one might find in other countries. Instead, all currency exchange are performed through the banks. The bank’s rates all uniformly follow the central bank’s rate, which is highly competitive, and in most cases the exchange rate will likely be far better than in your own countries due to regulations against banks placing a premium on currency exchange. You may have to bring your passport to prove your identity, but beyond that you won’t need to worry about any procedural obstacles. A yearly exchange cap of US$50,000 per person applies for foreign cash exchange (does not apply to credit card transactions), but I don’t think that would apply to most of us attending the event.
3.Transport
A. Uber/DiDi
Didi, which is basically Chinese Uber, is the go-to app in Shanghai for vehicular transport. There are other alternative apps but Didi is the most integrated in terms of english availability and, more importantly, allows use of international visa/mastercard credit payment.
While Didi is a very convenient mode of transport around Shanghai, do note that it may not be the best choice for the event, as you’re looking at over 15,000 people leaving the venue at the close of each day, of which a sizable portion will be hailing private fares. If you rely on Didi/Uber, you might find yourself placed 200+ in the queue with an estimated wait time of over 2 hours… which is why I recommend seeking public transport to the venue.
B. Public Transport – Metro
The Shanghai Metro is the most convenient form of transport in the city. With a huge network spanning across the city , there are few places in the metropolitan area that are beyond a 15 minute walk from any given station. One of the most efficient systems in the world, the Metro runs at intervals of approximately 3 minutes, down to 30 seconds during peak hours (commuters wanted more but safety concerns limited the frequency), so you don’t have to worry about missing one. Most lines operate between 5am to 11pm, with Line 2 (which connects to the airports/railway stations) running as late as 1.30am. During the late hours though, taxis/didi would be your only option.
All stations have signs in both English and Mandarin so you shouldn’t have many issues navigating your way around, though you should take note of which exit you want to take as some major stations can span a long distance. The metro can be really packed during peak hours – whilst not at Japan levels of sardine packing, you may find yourself queueing and missing a few trains before being able to board one yourself. Peak hours is usually 8am-9:30am and 5pm-6:30pm.
To use the Metro, you will need to purchase a Public Transport Card which looks like THIS . The card can be purchased at any metro station including the airport and costs 20 RMB (3 USD) that can be refunded upon return. You can then top up the card with whatever value needed. Do note that the Public Transport Card is usable across all official public transport (Metro, Buses, Official Taxis, Maglev) which makes it particularly convenient as you won’t have to worry about spare change, you can pay by just scanning the card, so keep that in mind when topping it.
When refunding the card at the station upon leaving the country, do note that there will be a 5% surcharge on refunds above 10 RMB when returning the card.
C. Public Transport – Taxi
There are a few different taxi companies in Shanghai, but the main reputable ones are 大众 (Cyan colour), 强生(Yellow or Red colour). The main taxi companies are affiliated with the Department of Transportation, allowing them to accept payment via the public transport card as described above. It is highly recommended to obtain a card for this purpose as many Taxi drivers might not keep much spare change for cash transactions, given the cashless city phenomenon. You can also book a taxi directly using Didi, which may sometimes be faster than finding a dedicated driver.
Change Taxi’s if the taxi does not have a meter or if the driver asks to keep the fare off-meter. Do note however that it is customary for the driver to not activate the meter immediately out of courtesy to the passenger – they usually activate it after driving a few meters or after completing a u-turn, so don’t be alarmed. You shouldn’t have to bargain for your fare, and never pay up-front. Some drivers may prefer not to pick up foreigners due to bad experiences with past passengers (drunken redneck incidents etc) and many cabs are pre-booked via booking apps, so don’t be surprised when an empty cab appears to ignore you.
Unfortunately, most taxi drivers will not understand the slightest bit of English, so if you don’t speak Mandarin, it’s very useful to have a ‘taxi card’. Most hotels will provide you with one, which contains the hotel’s address for your return trip. It’s best to keep small bills or change for taxi’s, as taxi drivers won’t usually have change. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip, nor will they ask for one, but they do appreciate if you round up the bill / forego the change.
D. Relevant Traffic laws and customs:
Shanghai is notorious for its cutthroat driving etiquette where many drivers don’t use blinkers and the right of way goes to whoever gives less fucks. While the traffic culture has improved over the years with increased traffic police oversight, there are still many things that may take visitors for a surprise. If in doubt, stick to a crowd and you’ll be fine.
First off is the right-turn rule in China, where cars can do a right turn (small turn) on a red light. So if you’re at a traffic junction, don’t assume safety of passage once the pedestrian light turns green, take note of your surroundings for ignorant drivers to ensure it is safe to cross. Alternatively, stick to a crowd and you’ll be fine.
Secondly, there are a lot of cyclists/scooterists in Shanghai, and they have a tendency to think themselves above traffic laws with their maneuverability. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a close shave with some asshole on a scooter blatantly ignoring a red light. There are bicycle lanes on most roads around Shanghai, so keep an eye out there when crossing roads, or just stick to a crowd and you’ll be fine.
4.Food
[Intro]
Being a cosmopolitan city, Shanghai caters to all sorts of tastes and preferences when it comes to food. Local signature dishes include steamed soup dumplings, pan-fried buns, soysauce braised pork, baked sweet potato, drunken chicken and many others, while also sporting some of the best hotpots around. There are also innumerable restaurants serving foreign cuisines, ranging from Japanese, Korean, Western, Indian and various Southeast Asian cultures. There are restaurants that cater to vegetarians and halal requirements, and if all else fail, we have the bastions of American nutrition, McDonalds/KFC/Burger King.
[Food Hygiene and Sanitation]
One might be understandably concerned about the sanitary conditions of food in China. Shanghai’s town council has aggressively tightened hygiene regulations over the past years, particularly after major food scandals which pretty much killed the street food business due to public fear (unethical assholes ruining things for everyone as usual). While there are definitely seedy places out there with questionable sanitation, you would be perfectly safe sticking to larger establishments. As a rule of thumb, find places with a decent crowd and you’re good to go. Larger/fancier restaurants are very safe as they do have a reputation to maintain, and most expat/tourist areas are closely vetted; generally if the restaurant has a budget for English menus it’s pretty safe.
[Water]
Tap water in Shanghai needs to be boiled before consumption. Your hotel should have complementary drinks (you can always ring the reception for more, though budget/midrange hotels might limit it at two per day) and there is no shortage of convenience stores across the city where you can purchase drinks.
[Exotic Foods]
Shanghai’s on the moderate end of the scale when it comes to exotic foods, so you won’t be finding some of the more extreme foodstuffs that shows up on fear factor. If you’re feeling adventurous during your stay however, you can try some of the local delicacies which oftentimes involve parts considered unusual in western culinary cultures. Braised chicken feet (called Phoenix Claws) is a hugely popular dish, along with pork liver, blood pudding, pork ears, ox tail soup and many more. China has a rich culinary culture with many recipes passed down over innumerable generations, and many dishes have some sort of background story behind them.
[Tipping]
Some restaurants refuse tips, mostly because they’re unused to it and are accustomed to fully returning your change. However, tipping is becoming more common in the city, but mainly in high-end restaurants where a 10-15% service charge may be added to the bill. Elsewhere it is not expected
[Misc]
While food in Shanghai’s metropolitan area is quite clean by international standards, it is recommended that visitors bring some diarrhea medication along just in case of upset stomachs. For allergies, there are over-the-counter medications available in local pharmacies, but anything with adrenalin or corticosteroid (epipens etc) will require a doctor’s prescription at the hospital. (See section on Medical Services)
For street food/small eateries, unless you have a Chinese E-wallet app, you will likely have to use cash payments as vendors may not have SWIFT payment available, so keep some loose change on you.
5.Alcoholic Beverages
The legal drinking age in China is 18, and the Chinese are no strangers to the world’s favorite poison. Most restaurants serve beers which tend to be local brews like Tsingtao pale lager, priced around USD$1.5-3 a bottle. If you prefer western drinks, there are also several western bars in Shanghai, usually clustered around expat areas. A quick google search of shanghai bars will give you a rough idea of where they are, these places tend to be streetfront and very popular so you don’t have to worry about seedy joints. Keep in mind though that imported drinks will have a hefty premium tagged on them if you’re buying from a bar, so don’t expect cheap prices in this regard.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try the local Baijiu (White Wine or Chinese Vodka), which is a spirit typically around 52% alcohol content (though some brands go as low as 38 and as high as 64). Keep in mind that Baijiu has a different “role” compared to western liquor – despite also being served in small glasses (about half a standard shot), it is usually consumed during a meal, as a complement to your course rather than a standalone beverage, though it also can be consumed that way.
Buyers beware, however, as Baijiu comes in many different varieties and grades, ranging from thousands of dollars a bottle to 4 dollars for a 5 Litre drum. Just like how vodka’s cheaper than water in Russia, some of the lower end brands are ridiculously cheap. However you get what you pay for, and I honestly cannot recommend the cheap brands in good faith, as they’re considered “fake wine” by locals (just a shitty alcohol mix, not a savory brew), so unless you’re really motivated to abuse your body and taste buds, I’d advise to stick to the more mainstream brands recommended by your Chinese peers or stores. For reference, a decent bottle would typically have a retail price of around 400+ RMB (60+USD), with more popular brands going past 800 RMB (120USD).
6.Sightseeing
Shanghai, being a highly developed city, has a skyline predominantly filled with skyscrapers and vast expanses of concrete jungle, so sightseeing here is a pretty similar experience to say, New York City. I’ll briefly list a few popular tourist hotspots here – there are already many tourist guides out there for Shanghai that gives you a wealth of information, so I’ll keep this section simple.
The Bund – Pretty much the iconic heart of Shanghai, a must-see.
Lu Jia Zui/Oriental pearl Tower – The financial center on the opposite coast of the Bund, with most of Shanghai’s iconic skyscrapers and buildings.
Nanjing Road – The quintessential shopping avenue, stretching from the Bund to People’s Square (Note: You can directly take the metro from the Mercedez Benz Arena to People’s Square, then tour via People’s Square – Nanjing Road – The Bund. It’s a easily navigated path following one main road, and particularly beautiful at night. Highly recommended.)
Yu Garden – Classical Chinese Garden and tourist hotspot
Shanghai Museum / Shanghai Science and Technology Museum
Shanghai Wild Animal Zoo – I highly recommend a visit if you can spare the time, as they feature a safari-like experience where you travel in a bus directly through an open pasture where tigers roam freely. Oh and you can purchase a live chicken to feed the tigers with.
Zhujiajiao* – A classical old Chinese town with traditional Dynasty-era architecture. A fair distance away from the city center but worth a visit.
SheShan* – A thematic tourist area with a huge park, golf courses, and the recently opened Intercontinental Wonderland Hotel – the hotel that is built within an abandoned quarry, featuring a unique “pit” environment as well as underwater rooms. Highly recommended for Underlord spammers.
*: As these places are fairly far from the city center, it is recommended that you seek a tour guide or tour group when visiting, if only to help with communication and navigation.
7.Chinese Law
This is probably the section that will attract the most memetic responses so I’ll keep it straight and simple – please be a responsible adult, as you would be when visiting ANY country. You’re here to attend an Esports event and have a good time watching some top-notch dota with the rest of the world. This enjoyment is similarly shared by everyone in the stadium regardless of race, country or culture. Everyone is here to celebrate something we all enjoy in equal measure, so please don’t let any political or cultural disagreements get in the way, because it doesn’t belong here.
That being said, there are certain laws that a visitor should keep in mind:
1. Drugs & Contraband
All narcotic substances are a BIG no-no here in China, and this includes marijuana. China has a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs after being subjected to massive narco-terrorism campaigns by colonial powers, which inflicted grievous damage to the nation and resulted in deep social and cultural enmity towards substance abuse. Please do not attempt to bring any narcotics into the country, even if they are legal in your home country. If caught in possession of drugs, you will be arrested on the spot, with penalties ranging from 15 days imprisonment (smoking weed) to capital punishment (trafficking heroin). This is the one line you REALLY do not want to fuck around with while in China, so don’t do it.
2. Censorship of politically sensitive topics
I’ll first clarify one thing: It is NOT illegal to engage in discussions about certain politically sensitive topics in China, unlike what popular opinion on /r/worldnews claims. However, broadcasting it would put you at risk of getting in trouble with authorities (looking at you edgelords who wants to put dumb political discourse on camera at a Dota event), as it can be considered public disruption or even instigating public unrest, which may get you detained for a couple days while your embassy sorts you out.
If you are particularly concerned about this for some reason, the below links provides a pretty good picture of what you can expect when discussing sensitive topics in China:
Link 1 Link 2
If it is your first time in Shanghai, you may well find the local populace to be very different from your preconceived notions, especially for younger generations who are generally more connected and well-informed of international news. I recommend that you keep an open mind coming into this beautiful city, and enjoy some awesome dota with the local fans.
[Cont]Nightlife/Safety/Police/Hospital
Due to hitting the 40,000 character cap on reddit, the remaining sections are posted in the link above. Please make sure to read them as well!
Again, if you have any questions, you can ask me in this thread or via PM, or through the Shanghai TI9 Discord where several locals are available constantly to answer any queries you have. You can also find more information through a quick google or youtube search, there are many resources that explains things you might encounter on a visit to Shanghai. One thing though, don’t ever use /r/China as a source of info, it’s a heavily biased cesspool.
To close things off, I hope this guide would be helpful to those of you visiting Shanghai, and it wasn’t too much of a bore to read. This guide ended up being far lengthier than I predicted when I started it as a voluntary work, but it’d be worth it if it can help dota fans who are coming over from all around the world enjoy TI9 just a bit more. Shoutout to David from Newbee for keeping me on track over the past weeks and Icefrog for nerfing Doom to the point that I stopped playing Dota and could actually pump this guide out. Can you unnerf him now please?
P.S. If any team orgs would like assistance in setting up a social media presence in China on chinese platforms (to perhaps connect with and build up your chinese fanbase), do drop me a message via reddit DM!

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