Dining out as cultural trade

Dining out as cultural trade

Dining out as cultural trade
By Joel Waldfogel , here is the abstract:
Perceptions of Anglo-American dominance in movie and music trade motivate restrictions on cultural trade. Yet, the market for another cultural good, food at restaurants, is roughly ten times larger than the markets for music and film. Using TripAdvisor data on restaurant cuisines, along with Euromonitor data on overall and fast food expenditure, this paper calculates implicit trade patterns in global cuisines for 52 destination countries. We obtain three major results. First, the pattern of cuisine trade resembles the “gravity” patterns in physically traded products. Second, after accounting gravity factors, the most popular cuisines are Italian , Japanese , Chinese , Indian , and American . Third, excluding fast food, the largest net exporters of their cuisines are the Italians and the Japanese, while the largest net importers are the US – with a 2017 deficit of over $130 billion – followed by Brazil, China, and the UK. With fast food included, the US deficit shrinks to $55 billion but remains the largest net importer along with China and, to a lesser extent, the UK and Brazil. Cuisine trade patterns appear to run starkly counter to the audiovisual patterns that have motivated concern about Anglo-American cultural dominance.
For the pointer I thank John Alcorn.

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exceptional

Royal treatment, especially Diamond(HEERA) was appointed as an executive for our booking. She’s marvelous. And we all felt proud after knowing about the CEO Mr. Deepak Ohri whose an Indian. The Food especially variety of Food is great, which makes us travel through different places while staying at one tasting different cuisines at one go. Location, especially River view which gives stunning view. After All Hangover people chose it. I love collecting toiletries (shhh), wherever i go, so the best part was housekeeping which happens to be twice in a day. nAlthough 0.1 minus point that the Toilet floor is a bit slippery, My 10 year son slipped twice during the stay, but he was saved by God’s grace, else it must have been a severe head injury. nOverall i would give 9.9 out of 10 to LEBUA at State Tower.

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Visiting Koh Tao: My Home Away From Home

July 2, 2019 / 0 comments Visiting Koh Tao: My Home Away From Home Read more about my Self Care Sabbatical and the other places I’ve visited!
So if you have read some of my other posts, you will know that Koh Tao is the place I got “stuck” during my self-care sabbatical. My initial plan for Koh Tao was to stay 6-8 days, do my PADI Open Water certification (and possibly the Advanced Open Water), do a few fun dives, and then move on to Koh Samui. Or Koh Lanta. Maybe Railay Beach?
I never made it to Samui. Or Koh Lanta. Or Railay Beach.
Apparently, this happens to a lot of people who come to Koh Tao. They intend to stay for just a week or two and end up staying for months at a time. Some are like me. They come to dive and then fall in love with diving and don’t want to leave. Others just fall in love with this chill island, find their niche (if it’s not diving), and stay for a while. It’s a small island, much smaller than Koh Samui and Koh Phangan (so I hear, you know since I never made it there!). The island is known for scuba diving – it is the #1 place in the world to get certified and is also one of the cheapest places in the world to go diving. There are dozens and dozens of dive shops all over the island, as well as places offering snorkeling tours for those that don’t want to submerge themselves 18 meters under the sea. There are some really nice dive sites in Koh Tao and the conditions are generally pretty good which makes it a great place to learn. I’ll share more about diving in Koh Tao in a future post!
It’s also a very chill place to vacation and is popular among non-divers as well. It doesn’t have a major party reputation like Koh Phangan (home of the Full Moon Party) and isn’t super commercial like Koh Samui. Yes, there is a Dairy Queen on the island (and rumors of a McDonald’s coming soon), but it’s not a place where you will find a bunch of chain restaurants or shopping centers. Instead, you will find a mix of friendly locals and Westerners (some who have gotten stuck there for years), great local food spots, lovely beaches and viewpoints, and a few places to dance & drink the night away.
I stayed in Koh Tao because I couldn’t imagine that any of the other nearby islands (or even further away islands) would offer anything better. So many other travelers echoed this statement, especially if they had visited the other islands and weren’t overly impressed.
What to Do on the Island
A great way to see the island is to rent a motorbike and drive around, checking out the beaches and viewpoints and grabbing some great food along the way.
Freedom Beach walking to Freedom Beach
Check out the beaches – Some of my favorites are Tanote Bay, Sae Daeng Beach, and Freedom Beach (walk around to the area with the mangroves on the beach). Shark Bay is also supposed to be quite nice (and great for snorkeling).
John Suwan viewpoint Two Rocks at sunset
Hike up to one of the many viewpoints around the island – Fraggle Rock, Two Rocks (near Love Koh Tao coffee shop), and John Suwan are popular places, especially at sunset. You will have to pay a small fee to enter the hiking area but the views are totally worth it. There is also a viewpoint near Mango Bay (northern part of the island), but supposedly a bit more challenging to get to.
Go under the sea – Scuba dive! Learn how or do fun dives if you are already certified. I HIGHLY recommend Master Divers , but there are plenty of dive shops to check out. Some dive shops will offer snorkeling, but there are also snorkel tours offered by Oxygen that will take you all around the island. I loved Master Divers because they are a slightly smaller shop with great equipment and very friendly, professional staff.
Play mini-golf – If you are looking for something to do away from the water, check out mini golf at Koh Tao Leisure Park. It’s not the fanciest course, but it’s a fun activity and not too expensive. This venue also has a small “movie theater” so check out what’s playing while you are in town. (Sidenote: I don’t recommend the food here). find a cute beach dog!
Visit the turtle sanctuary – Go to Chalok and see the turtles at New Heaven dive school. Check the website to see what times you are able to visit.
Visit Koh Nangyuan – Close to Koh Tao is an even smaller island, Koh Nangyuan. Many of the beautiful photos you see when you Google “Koh Tao” are actually of this island. It’s owned by the Singha Brewing Company and you will have to pay a fee to come to the island. You can take a taxi boat from Koh Tao to get here. The island is very popular with snorkelers and sunbathers. One of the coolest things about the island is the sand bridge that connects the two parts of the island. There is also a very nice viewpoint to hike to! I never made it to this island despite many plans to visit! After my first Muay Thai session!
Get some exercise – Learn how to do Muay Thai at Monsoon Fight Club. Stretch and relax at Shambhala Yoga or Ocean Sound. There are also a few Crossfit gyms scattered around the island and Monsoon offers a fitness center as well.
Get a bamboo tattoo – There are tattoo shops everywhere in Koh Tao, most offering bamboo tattoos. If you are looking for a permanent souvenir from your trip to Thailand, this is a fun (and somewhat painful) experience! I got a small (2 inches) one on my side which cost about $30 and took about 30 minutes to complete. Read more about bamboo tattoos here.
Go for a Thai massage – Impress in Sairee offers good massages with a view, go at sunset for the best one! In Mae Haad, go to Infinity Spa. Mushroom soup at Pom Somtam
All My Favorite Food Spots
During my four months in Koh Tao, I became quite the creature of habit. I spent most of my time in Mae Haad and didn’t have a motorbike, so my options for food were quite limited. That said, I have a few select favorites scattered around the island for all types of cuisine/budget.
Thai – For awesome Thai food, my very favorite place is Pom Somtam in Mae Haad (close to the ferry). At one point, my friends and I came here 8 times in 5 days. Pom, the owner, is SO friendly and always greets you with a smile. The menu is much smaller than the other Thai places nearby but EVERYTHING is good. I should know – I tried nearly every dish on the menu (but would definitely recommend the cashew nut dish and the papaya salad). It’s cheap and delicious.
Other good Thai food: Mae Haad: Long Thai (service is not so friendly), Infinity Thai Food, Pranee’s Kitchen, Bam Bam (HUGE portions, offer Western food, but slow service) and RR Aroi (decent food near the pier). There are also a lot of unnamed spots/carts around the area that are worth checking out. Sairee: Coffee Boat (super cheap and really good), 995 Duck (awesome soup and noodle dishes with duck!), Su Chili (more expensive Thai spot, try the Penang Curry pizza for something a little different) Chalok: P. Oys (come for the massaman curry, chicken wings, and the khao soi – only offered on Tuesdays), Tukta Vegetabowl!
Healthy Food – Lots of veggie and vegan friendly spots in Koh Tao. I frequented Coconut Monkey as it was adjacent to Master Divers, would definitely recommend for a great breakfast, smoothie/snack, or lunch spot. Lots of variety in the menu that will appeal to all kinds of diets. They also serve drinks in the evening with a gorgeous view of the sunset on the beach. If you are in Sairee, I suggest Vegetabowl (salads and veg bowls) and Factory Cafe (healthy breakfasts, salads, smoothies). In Chalok, grab a juice at Koppee Cafe. tapas selection at Barracuda
so happy to find good wine in Koh Tao!
Western Food – If you are looking for a bit of a splurge, I recommend Barracuda. A mix of Western and Asian food, lots of seafood, and incredible cheese plates. Good wine selection as well. It’s expensive for Koh Tao, but not too pricey compared to US or European prices. Sunday Night all you can eat pizza at Neptune
Pizza – Neptune (Mae Haad) and La Pizzeria (Sairee – delivers)
Burgers/Sandwiches – Hippo Burger offers a bunch of different types of burgers, all really good. Juicy Burger is a popular spot as well (and they deliver!). Lots of good sandwich options at Reef Cafe, a sports bar in Mae Haad that shows sporting events from around the world (I reco the Chicken Zinger sandwich). Near the ferry pier is Da’s Sandwiches. Very popular around lunchtime, huge sandwiches (great to take with you on your ferry ride!)
Vegan breakfast from Coconut Monkey Spanish omelette at Coconut Monkey
Breakfast – For traditional breakfast, go to Zest Cafe in Mae Haad. They are one of the few places open at 6am! Excellent coffee, good options for breakfast (served all day), as well as burgers/sandwiches/salads. Came here nearly every day for my coffee! Next door is Cappuccino Bakery – another good spot for breakfast or lunch. Greasy Spoon in Mae Haad offers a huge English breakfast to cure your hangover. Reef Cafe is a sports bar in Mae Haad offering breakfast all day (and good if you want to watch an early morning match from the US). Also, try Coconut Monkey or Factory Cafe mentioned above. Zest Cafe shakshuka at Factory Cafe
If you are looking for Indian food, go to Shalimar in Sairee (they also deliver). They have nightly specials and everything is really delicious. Some of the best Indian food I had on my trip.
Sunset Drinks & Nightlife sunset at Maya Bar
You are doing something wrong if you don’t see a few beautiful sunsets while you are in Koh Tao. This was one of my favorite things about living on this island – every night is incredible! Best place to see the sunset is along Sairee Beach and there are a number of beach bars that offer a great view and a Happy Hour special. I recommend Maya Bar and Blue Water Cafe. In Mae Haad, check out Breeze Bar or Coconut Monkey. sunset at Coconut Monkey awesome drink specials at Blue Water Cafe Breeze bar
If you are looking to party, there is a Koh Tao Pub Crawl offered every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It’s Asia’s biggest pub crawl and it is quite the sight to see…I never did the pub crawl but saw the large group out at the bars in Sairee many times. If you want to party, but not join this crazy group, you can go to Chopper’s, Fishbowl or Deeza Bar (beer pong), Leo Bar (dancing & fire show), and BND (dancing). There are a few bars in Chalok, but far more low key.
Nightly fire shows around the island
There is also a drag show offered every night in Sairee at Queen’s Cabaret.
Getting to Koh Tao
The worst part about Koh Tao is that it’s a pain to get to. This also holds true for the other Samui islands. If you are looking for the easiest option, you can fly into Koh Samui and take a ferry from there to Phangan or Tao. However, this will definitely be more expensive and not every city will have a route to Samui. Most likely you will be coming from Bangkok to this set of islands. And you will have the option to take a bus or a train to Chumphon where you will then board a ferry to the islands (you can buy both tickets together). Early morning at the ferry in Chumphon
A popular option is to travel from Bangkok to Chumphon overnight, arriving at the islands in the morning by ferry. It is not the most pleasant option, but it is nice to get to Koh Tao around 9 or 10am and have the whole day available to you. I recommend the night train because you will have the option for a sleeper car with an actual bed that you can sleep on (or attempt sleep in my case). Definitely try to get a lower berth if possible – these are about six inches wider than the upper berth and more comfortable. You will arrive in Chumphon around 5am (ugh, I know) with a bit of time to have a coffee or take a little nap before boarding a shuttle to your ferry. There are a few ferry operators going to the Samui Islands – Lomprayah is the fastest and will get you to Koh Tao around 9am. A good alternative if Lomprayah is booked is Songserm. It’s not as fast (will arrive around 10am), but it’s also a bit cheaper. Don’t recommend taking the Seatran ferry.
sleeper train much more space on the lower berth!
If you take the bus from Bangkok, you will have the same options for ferries. However, the night bus won’t really offer you any sort of sleeping comfort and will likely arrive in Chumphon even earlier than the train (so more waiting time). The bus departs from Khao San Road in Bangkok, which may be more convenient than the train depending on where you are staying in Bangkok. the night ferry to Suratthani
Once in Koh Tao, you can take the ferry to the other Samui Islands, back to Chumphon (to go to Bangkok), or to Suratthani (for land travel to southern Thailand). If you need help booking travel or dealing with visas, check out Island Travel in Mae Haad. They are awesome!
Where to Stay
Although Koh Tao is a small island, there are still a lot of options for where to stay and choosing an area will depend on what you plan to do while on the island. I had the pleasure of staying in a few different locations before settling down in an apartment for 3.5 months so I got to experience a few parts of the island. Note that if you are coming from the ferry pier to any of these areas (except Mae Haad), there are fixed rates for taxis and you will not be able to negotiate these down.
my bungalow at Nat Resort Sairee looks like SoCal sometimes
Sairee Beach – This is the party area in Koh Tao and where you will find most of the bars (and backpackers). There is a mix of hostels and resorts in this area, though it is not going to be nearly as quiet or remote as other places on the island. And the beaches are not quite as nice over here. One of the best things about this area is that it is quite walkable. There is a walking path (aka “the Yellow Brick Road”) – which pedestrians share with motorbikes – that runs alongside the beach. There are a ton of dive shops in this area so it’s a good spot if you are diving nearby. And with so many bars and restaurants in the area (including a lot of healthy/vegan/vegetarian options), it’s a great area to stay for a few days and explore. From the ferry pier, it’s about 20-30 minutes walking or a short cab/motorbike ride. I recommend Savage Hostel in Sairee Beach (awesome food, fantastic rooftop pool). There are a number of small bungalow resorts all over this area – I stayed in a cheap one called Nat Resort which was low on frills, but a great budget option. breakfast at Savage Hostel near the ferry pier in Mae Haad
Mae Haad – This is the area close to the ferry pier. It’s a good location if you are diving at one of the dive shops nearby (as I was), but there isn’t much excitement in this area. A lot of souvenir shops, grocery stores, some good (and not so good) restaurants, and easy access to the ferry. This is also a good area if you don’t have a motorbike and want to be centrally located to other parts of the island. I’d recommend Ananda Villa near the beach or Blackwood Hostel.
Chalok – Further south from Mae Haad is Chalok, a quieter stretch of accommodations and restaurants (and dive shops, of course). I first stayed in this area as I was looking for something a bit quieter than Sairee. It’s really lovely because it is quiet and there are a lot of nice, local restaurants nearby. However, if you don’t have a motorbike it is not very convenient to stay in this area. I was able to walk to the dive shop in Mae Haad in about 20 minutes, but I had to walk on the side of the road (no walking path) which was really unpleasant at night when it was dark. But if you are looking for a quiet spot with some amenities nearby (or you are diving with a shop in this part of the island), I’d definitely recommend staying in this area. I stayed at The Dearly Hostel which was a really nice hostel (awesome rooms and a nice pool, offered some fun activities). There are plenty of little bungalow resorts nearby.
Elsewhere on the island, you will find many quieter resorts and some high-end accommodations. You will likely want to rent a motorbike if you are staying in these areas as they are not close to other parts of the island (especially if you are going to any of the dive shops in other areas). If you just want to chill at a resort/beach the whole time, these areas might be better for that! Sae Daeng Beach

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5 THINGS TO KNOW WHEN PLANNING A TRIP TO ZANZIBAR

5 THINGS TO KNOW WHEN PLANNING A TRIP TO ZANZIBAR 5 THINGS TO KNOW WHEN PLANNING A TRIP TO ZANZIBAR 02/07/2019 0
The island of Zanzibar is famous for its mix of exotic beaches, spice plantations, history and diverse culture and has fast become a favourite holiday destination for us South Africans. After a short and sweet stay on the island, I can see why … It is a tropical piece of paradise just 3.5 hours away.
On my recent trip, I learned a few interesting things that I ought to share with you all and save you a few google searches. Here are 5 things to know when planning a trip to Zanzibar for the first time: getting there …
In the good old days it was quite a mission to get to this tropical island of paradise but now you can fly directly from Johannesburg to Zanzibar on Mango Airlines. Mango is the only airline operating direct flights! Mango flies from OR Tambo to Zanzibar every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and from Lanseria to Zanzibar every Saturday. The duration of the flight is a little more than 3 hours. This is a ridiculously quick flight to be transported all the way to paradise!
Don’t forget your passport though. Just because you are flying on Mango, you are still flying international. And last thing, for us South Africans with a South African passport, we don’t need a visa when entering Zanzibar. malaria tablets …
There is a high risk of malaria throughout all of Zanzibar at all times of the year, so malaria tablets are a huge must! I took Malanil tablets because I don’t like to play with fire! And I used a strong insect repellent every few hours (every hour to precise!) and I wore thin long sleeve pyjamas at night. I also slept under a mosquito net which was very cozy!
For us South Africans, the yellow fever vaccinations are no longer required. the food …
Zanzibar is rich in culture and as a result of various influences, the cuisine is beautiful! Some of the various influences include Arab, Indian and Portuguese. Some of the things Zanzibar is famous for includes exotic fruit, fresh seafood and various spices. No wonder Zanzibar is known as the Spice Island.
I tried a few of the local favourites but the two that stood out for me was a stewed banana in a tomato and onion gravy thing and a curried octopus dish. I wish I tried more of the seafood dishes though. And I had a pizza at my hotel, because I just needed some carbs in my life. currency …
Make sure to always carry cash on you because there are no ATM’s except for at the airport and in Stone Town. Although the national currency is Tanzania Shilling, people are happy to accept US Dollars. Any other currencies won’t be accepted and it is difficult to exchange on the island.
Just for a little conversation starter around the dinner table, 10 000 shillings is equal to R65. the best time to visit …
The best time to visit Zanzibar is from June to October during the cool, dry months of Spring. A popular time to visit is from December to February when it is hot and dry. Rainy seasons are from mid-March to late May and again from November.
So there you have it, just a few things to know when planning a trip to Zanzibar.
To book your flights, visit MANGO AIRLINES
To put a beautiful package to Zanzibar together, visit AFRICASTAY
*Thank you to Mango Airlines and Africstay for hosting me in Zanzibar. ♥

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Chickpea tricks: How NYC eateries are embracing the trendy food staple

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Chickpeas are having a moment. From chickpea pasta to flour to rice , what has been a staple of Indian and Mediterranean cuisine is being enthusiastically embraced by American appetites. Whether providing gluten-free and vegan alternatives for those with dietary restrictions, presenting healthier dessert options, or just offering a delicious, nutty taste that can be molded into a variety of textures, it’s safe to say that chickpeas are here to stay.
In New York, there are many restaurants and chains that utilize chickpeas as their staple ingredient — there are a wide variety of Middle Eastern, Indian and hummus-centric Mediterranean joints — but a few, like the pasta and rice experiments, are using the legume in a very different way. With chickpeas, almost any recipe is possible.
For example, at The Hummus & Pita Co. , owner Dave Pesso’s family inspired him to go quite out of the box. The fast-casual Chelsea eatery was first opened in 2012 by Pesso, along with his mother and sister. The family wanted to bring their cultural flavors to a larger audience, as Pesso’s father is Greek and his mother is Eastern European and Israeli. They always planned on expanding (which they have now done with seven locations in New York and beyond), so they wanted to have more American-ized branding.
“What’s the Middle Eastern/Mediterranean version of American classic combos like bread and butter, or bagel and cream cheese? Hummus and pita!” Pesso said of coming up with the name. The Chickpea Smear is a dessert spread that comes in a variety of flavors at Hummus & Pita Co. Photo Credit: Hummus & Pita Co.
The regular fare at Hummus & Pita Co. involves choosing your base (pita, laffa, bowl or greens), adding a protein (including falafel, gyro, Turkish meatballs and more) and adding sides like Moroccan beans, baba ganoush, Israeli salad and others. Chickpeas were always a main component (falafel, chickpea salad, hummus), but Pesso wanted to experiment in the kitchen with a hummus-inspired dessert.
His daughter loves chocolate — mousse and Nutella particularly — so Pesso first came up with the “Chickpea Smear,” a chickpea dessert spread that now comes in flavors like cookie dough, cake batter and of course, chocolate. It is most popularly ordered with cinnamon-sugar fried pita pieces, or on its own with a spoon.
He later expanded with the “Chickpea Chiller” (formerly called the “Hummus Shake”) which they released last year and had spent eight months perfecting. Get the Top Stories newsletter
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The healthy “milkshake” — made with chickpeas (yes, chickpeas), tahini, frozen banana, almond milk, dates, vanilla and cinnamon — is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, appealing to a large audience. Now it comes in seven flavors: original, strawberry, chocolate, butter pecan, cold brew coffee, pistachio, and toasted almond, as well as seasonal kinds (such as pumpkin spice in the fall). This year they’re adding macaroons to the menu, which utilize chickpea water (aquafaba) that whips up into a meringue texture. Chickpea soft serve is available at Noodle Bar in Columbus Circle. Photo Credit: Andrew Bezek
“We wanted to make it as clean and as natural as possible,” Pesso said of the shake. “The main ingredients of hummus are chickpea and tahini — they also have the best effects, health-wise — so we started with that and played with it a lot. We had to get the right texture, had to figure out the sweetness — which we got with beautiful, big medjool dates. It took a while, but once we perfected it, that was it.”
The famed Momofuku Group has added unique chickpea dishes at two of its restaurants, and it all started with cultural influences, as well. Both items contain chickpea hozon, which was invented in its culinary lab , a research kitchen “dedicated to exploring culinary traditions and understanding the origins of flavor.” Hozon is a fermented, stone-ground seasoning made in the style of miso paste — but instead of soybeans, nuts, seeds and legumes are fermented and then ground into a smooth texture.
The chickpea hozon adds a bit of sweetness and lightness to the paste, which is why it is used in both chickpea noodles at Kāwi in Hudson Yards, and in chickpea soft serve at Noodle Bar in Columbus Circle. It can be purchased directly from Peach Mart , also in Hudson Yards.
The noodles mimic a traditional Korean dish popular in the summer months: noodles in a cold soybean sauce. The chickpea hozon is Chef Eunjo Park’s creative variation, as cooked chickpeas are blended with chickpea hozon, lemon juice, sesame oil, lemon oil, soy sauce, pine nuts and peanuts into a sauce that is served over chilled chewy noodles tossed with spinach, oyster mushrooms and spring pea salad. Chickpea fries are one of the most popular items on the menu at Peacefood Cafe, which has two Manhattan locations. Photo Credit: Jesse Bronstein
The chickpea soft serve, on the other hand, blends the hozon directly into soft serve ice cream and is topped with puffed rice.
Peacefood Cafe , the popular vegan eatery, was way ahead of the trend. They’ve had their famous “Chickpea Fries” on the menu since they opened 10 years ago, and it’s one of their biggest hits.
“The founder Eric (Yu) likes Indian food and after he became vegan in 2006, he wanted to create an India-inspired finger food,” explained co-owner Pete Lu. “It has been one of our most popular dishes.”
The dish has Indian spices and is paired with their Asian-fusion dipping sauce, a combo that has won vegan cooking awards.
“Chickpeas are a great choice from the legumes family for a vegan diet, and they are used in many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods,” he continued. “So it was naturally a good vegan ingredient — it’s as versatile as it is healthy.” By Claire Leaden Special to amNewYork

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Sunday Brunch

Been To This Place For Sunday Brunch. The Spread Was Pretty Huge With Live Music, Pool, Activities And Massage Services. The Spread Had Salads, Soups And Starters Like Tandoori Paneer, Potato Cheese Bhajiya, Kebab. For Main Course They Had North Indian Cuisine, Italian. They Even Had Uppam With Waffles – Both Veg And Non Veg Waffle Cravy Were Available. For Fast Food They Had Pav Bhaji, Chaat Counter And Kheema Pav. Last But Not The Least – Dessert Counter : They Had An Amazing Spread Of Desserts Like Cupcakes, Donuts, Cakes, Gulab Jamun, Lava Cake, Icecreams, Chocolates, Fruits, Chocolate Croissant And Much More.nEverything Was Good Both Veg And Nonveg.nThe Timing For Brunch Is 12 – 4 Pm Including Activites, Massage And Swimming Pool. Staff Was Really Polite And Helpful. The Services They Provides Was Upto The Mark. So Basically This Was The Perfect Brunch One Can Experience For. I Personally Had A Great Experience!nWould Love To Visit Again.nWithout Swimming Pool – INR900 + TaxnWith Swimming Pool – INR1050 + Taxn(Rates May Change So You Need To Concern With The Restaurant)

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Holiday hotspots: chefs and food writers share their favourite places to eat

We use cookies to personalise content, target and report on ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. For more information see our Cookie Policy . × Holiday hot spots: Chefs and food writers share their favourite places to eat Ruby Tandoh can’t get enough of the sea-salt ice cream at Murphy’s in Dublin about 2 hours ago
Penang’s multi-cultural food heritage is the attraction for food writer Fuchsia Dunlop Murphy’s Ice Cream, Dublin By Ruby Tandoh, food writer There is no bad time to eat ice cream. I’ve eaten it in blizzards and in cars and on park benches and, more often than I’m proud of, in bed. But some ice creams are particularly special. My favourite was in Dublin, on a particularly dismal day of our “romantic” rainy November weekend away, when we had trudged along the banks of the swollen Liffey and gone on a trip to the wind-whipped Howth peninsula. Back in the city that evening, what we needed was a mug of tea, a pint or a Supermac’s. But, true to form, I insisted on ice cream. I feigned a perfunctory Google search for “Dublin ice cream” despite already knowing perfectly well the where (a shop called Murphy’s in Wicklow Street, decked out in smart blue and cream) and the what (its Dingle sea-salt flavour). Murphy’s is an old-fashioned ice-cream parlour, with familiar flavours like strawberry and chocolate nestled alongside specialities such as Irish cream liqueur. But the sea-salt flavour, made with salt from Murphy’s original home in Dingle, on the country’s south-west coast, was the most beautiful ice cream I’ve had. It tasted of sea air and the best thick, yellow cream. Murphys famous sea-salt ice cream Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand By Yasmin Khan, food writer For the past eight years I’ve been going to Ko Pha Ngan, on the Gulf of Thailand. The dish that I always want when I arrive is pad see ew. It’s made with wide, flat rice noodles; the name means “fried in soy sauce”, because that’s its main flavouring. I always get it from the same place. I don’t really want to say the name of it, I don’t want the whole world to descend … It’s not a formal place, just a little beach hut on a bay. There are always fresh prawns and squid in the noodles, and it’s slightly sweet and you have a bit of chilli and bean sprouts, too. I always get a mint and lemon shake, which is whizzed together with ice so it’s a bit like a slushie. I always sit in the same spot on some rocks overlooking a bay and it feels like you’re in a James Bond movie, one of those picture-perfect shots at the end, and I sit there eating my spicy sweet noodles and drinking my mint shake. Even thinking about it makes me more relaxed. Restaurant Villa Más, Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Spain By Monica Galetti, chef-owner, Mere Five years ago, I went to Spain to eat at one of my favourite restaurants, Cellar Can Roca, and then on to stay in a seaside town near Girona. We went to a local seafood restaurant for lunch and had the simplest thing: a plate of local langoustines seasoned with olive oil and a bit of salt. It was just perfect: by the seaside, beautiful ingredients, a great wine list. It was so good we went back two days later for dinner. It is like that, isn’t it, when you’re on holiday – you find somewhere special and you go back. Jammal, Batroun, Lebanon By Anissa Helou, food writer Jammal is gorgeous, small, right on the water, in the north of Lebanon. It’s one of the best fish restaurants in the country. A lot of people go there by boat, anchoring just outside the creek, and then row over in a dinghy, which gives it a very romantic atmosphere. It’s a limited menu: a few mezze and then the fish of the day, caught by their own fishermen. The seafood is in a cabinet and you choose what you want and how you want it prepared. The last time I went, we had tiny red mullet, which they fry and bring with fried pitta and tahini sauce. And it’s one of the few places that make tamriyeh: filo rolls with a cream inside, fried and sprinkled with icing sugar. I like to go just before sunset and stay for two or three hours enjoying the seaside, the food and the people. It’s an absolutely delightful way to spend an evening. Budva, Montenegro By Olia Hercules, food writer A 10-day trip to Montenegro a few years ago was the best family holiday I’ve ever had. I had just finished my second cookbook and we hired a house on the top of the mountain near Budva with my parents and some of our best friends. We spent the whole time cooking and eating. The local markets had great tomatoes and yellow beans, loads of watermelons and fantastic crumbly sheep’s cheeses. The fish was good, too. We made garfish egg patties and deep-fried whitebait in fine polenta. That’s what I love about going on holidays: enjoying local produce as it is, without too much embellishment, without overthinking it. Tiong Bahru Market, Singapore By Chetna Makan, food writer We went here on a local tip-off, queueing for a chicken curry that was totally worth the wait. There was also a peanut pancake: a thick fluffy pancake and in between was crumbly, just-broken-up peanuts with a hint of sweetness. Oh, and the coffee! It’s called kopi and is made with condensed milk. It’s so strong and sweet but amazingly tasty. I would definitely go back to Singapore just to eat. Da Adolfo, Amalfi coast, Italy By Sabrina Ghayour, food writer In 2005, I went to the Amalfi coast for a cousin’s wedding. A couple of days after the wedding, we took a boat to Capri and stopped off for lunch along the way. A little rowing boat picked us up and brought us to a restaurant on the shore – you can’t get there by road. Everything was picked out of the sea right in front of us. They took really fresh sea bass and baked it in salt crust. They cut spiny rock lobster in half and pan-fried it. We had amazing clams. It was nothing swanky, it didn’t cost us loads of money, as everything on the Amalfi coast tends to, but it was just the most mind-blowing meal. Spaghetti Jazz, Dhaka, Bangladesh By Asma Khan, chef-owner, Darjeeling Express, London In Dhaka there’s an Italian restaurant called Spaghetti Jazz, which has the most beautiful food. The owner, Shaheen Khan, has a great passion for Italy and she brought it to Dhaka at a time when there was absolutely no food from the west available in the city. Last summer, I went there just after filming my episode of Chef’s Table for Netflix and had the best lobster in my life, served very simply with fresh spaghetti and garlic butter. It’s a fabulous place. Dhaka is a very changed society now, but what Shaheen did 25 years ago, by starting that restaurant, was really radical. Tokyo is the place to visit for the best tempura. Photograph: iStock Tokyo, Japan By Angela Hartnett, chef-owner, Murano, London A few years ago, my partner, Neil [Borthwick], and I went to Tokyo. What stood out were two amazing tempura places. At Mikawa Zezankyo, the whole menu was just pictures of the dishes and we were blown away by how simple and incredibly delicious everything was. The second place, Miyagawa, was a really old tempura bar with 10 seats. The guy who ran it must have been 70 and did everything himself. I’ve never had better tempura. There are brilliant places in New York and London that do it, but nothing compares with Tokyo. Mother’s Kitchen, Naivasha, Kenya Claire Thomson, food writer Earlier this year, my family had a really memorable meal at Mother’s Kitchen. We had the local dish of githeri, a beany casserole, and ugali, a maize porridge which soaks up the stew. There was also amazing plantain cooked with tomato and ginger and a pile of chapatis and samosas. It was a bare-bones restaurant with Formica tables and a dinner lady who piled a mountain of food on to your plate, but so delicious. It was a special trip for me because I was born in Africa, living in Zimbabwe and then Botswana, and this was the first time I’d gone back with the kids. Edinburgh, Scotland By Sam Evans, co-founder, Hang Fire Southern Kitchen, Barry, Wales I was absolutely blown away by eating in Edinburgh, from street food to fine dining. El Cartel is a taco joint with amazing vegan and vegetarian tacos. L’Escargot Bleu is everything you want in a classic French bistro: Le Creuset, vintage posters, pots simmering away for hours. We heard that Ondine did the best seafood: it’s quite swanky, very decadent and a little bit expensive. It was out of this world. At the Edinburgh Food Studio I had probably the best brunch of my life of slow-cooked scrambled eggs, and homemade chocolate spread with buttermilk brioche and gorgeous marmalade. Peace Palace Chop Bar, Osu, Ghana By Zoe Adjonyoh, chef-owner, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, London On holiday last August, I went on a two-day walking tour of Accra with my wife, Sara, to find the best places for local food. Peace Palace Chop Bar in Osu isn’t much from the outside – a rickety affair as most chop bars are – but backstage is a full production of maybe a dozen women toiling over huge vats of stews and soups, or thumping fufu into shape, or churning banku out of its dense porridge-like state into perfect rounds. After investigating the various vats, I sat down to eat a huge bowl of goat “light soup”, a clear, spicy broth popular in Ghana. I finished it in minutes. My face was covered in soup, my lips and tongue were stinging, but my belly was full and my smile was wide. It was insanely delicious – the goat so tender, the broth addictive in its depth of flavour, yet incredibly light. I found a new standard for light soup at Peace’s chop bar and a new level of respect for its preparation. Penang, Malaysia By Fuchsia Dunlop, food writer Penang is a famous centre of street food. I stayed in George Town, which was the first British settlement in south-east Asia, and it’s a mix of colonial architecture, mosques, Chinese temples. Culturally, it’s a fascinating mix, so the food is like that, too: a mash-up of Chinese, Malay, Indian, Thai and Peranakan, which is Straits Chinese – a mix-up in itself of Chinese and Malay influences. For me, it was particularly interesting because they’ve got Chinese food – mainly from the south: Cantonese, Teochew and Hokkien, styles from Guangdong/Fujian – mixing up with all these south-east Asian influences and then some Indian spices as well. One of the classic Penang street food dishes is char kway teow, stir-fried rice noodles with seafood and beaten duck egg and bean sprouts. Another famous one is Assam laksa, made with mackerel, tamarind, pineapple, chilli and mint, so you get this amazing spice, fruitiness and sourness. Peranakan food is from these mixed families with Chinese and Malay influences. One of the most delicious things I had of that cuisine is called otak-otak. It’s sort of a fish mousse that’s seasoned with makrut lime and chilli and then steamed in banana leaves. Alfama, Lisbon By Ramael Scully, chef-owner, Scully, London The last holiday I really enjoyed was in Lisbon because I didn’t go to any cheffy restaurants. It was just nice to eat sardines on the bone, grilled with a bit of lemon on the side. When you’re dealing with crazy flavours all the time, sometimes you need some classic cooking in your life. Lisbon is beautiful – I started thinking, this could be my retirement plan right here. I went with an Australian friend, who I catch up with once a year in a different city. We stayed in Alfama, the old part of Lisbon, and didn’t go to any posh places, just little dinky restaurants such as Taberna Manuel da Gorda and Casa da Tia Helena. Sea food in cones in Sicily. Photograph: iStock Sicily, Italy By Alison Roman, food writer Last year, I went with a friend to Sicily and we rented places in Palermo and Salina, one of the Aeolian islands off the northern coast. We didn’t eat at restaurants all that often; it was more that they had incredible markets and I was able to do so much excellent cooking. I grew up in California, which I felt had the most perfect produce, but Sicily might have it beat – the tomatoes, the garlic, the capers and the seafood, which was so fresh and cheap. On Salina, we stayed near the harbour in the town of Santa Marina. Down the road, a woman ran a tiny fish counter called Pescheria a Lampara and she sold beautiful squid, shrimp and swordfish. I’d never seen anything like that seafood. Pittulongu, Sardinia By Chantelle Nicholson, chef-owner, Tredwell’s I went to Sardinia with a good friend in 2010 and we stayed at a little hotel right on the beach in Pittulongu. It was in the middle of nowhere, not very touristy, but we discovered a little food shop about 20 minutes’ walk away which had the most incredible produce: cured ham that they sliced to order, beautiful cheese, and tomatoes that were perfectly ripe and super-sweet. It was so simple but delicious and we lived on it for the next few days, going back to the shop a couple of times in the hot beating sun to stock up. That holiday really stays in my mind because everything we ate was so good. Pintxos are everywhere in San Sebastian. Photograph: iStock San Sebastián, Spain By Nuno Mendes, chef-owner, Mãos I love San Sebastián. My first ever holiday with my partner was there and I’ve probably been back five or six times. It has lovely beaches, it’s affordable and the food is outstanding. On my most recent visit, I went to a restaurant called Ibai and it was the most inspiring meal that I’ve had in years. It’s an old-school Basque restaurant in a little basement room that’s only open during the week for lunch. Everything we ate was incredible: the lobster salad with citrus dressing, the teardrop peas, the St George mushrooms. The sole was hands-down the best I’ve ever had in my life, but the highlight was the kokotxas, or hake throats, which were so good we had to order seconds. There are very few really old-school restaurants like that around any more. We should treasure them. Ming Fu, Taipei By Erchen Chang, chef-owner, Bao and Xu, London Ming Fu does classic Taiwanese cuisine. It’s very small – a husband and wife team, with six tables. You need to pre-book their really famous dishes: crab glutinous rice and Buddha jumps wall, a soup with amazing stock (you can have it made not on the traditional shark’s fin base) in which they cook loads of delicacies. My favourite thing was the grilled baby abalone with soy-glazed mayo – perfect in terms of texture, so tender. The cooking and thinking behind the dishes are the kind of things that inspire me for Xu. Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain By Ana Gonçalves, chef-owner, Ta Ta Eastery Asador Etxebarri, in the Basque Country, is probably my favourite restaurant in the world. My partner Meng and I went for my birthday in 2017 and we went back for his birthday this year. The location, about an hour outside San Sebastián, is amazing and the products and the way they cook them is, for me, close to perfection. It’s a family-run restaurant that focuses on cooking with fire, although it’s done much more gently than you’d expect. My favourite dish is the grilled whole squid, served with caramelised onions and black ink sauce. They also do a reduced milk ice-cream using smoked milk. Meng and I always joke that if we ever get married, we’ll get married at Etxebarri. – Guardian

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Warm up with our must-try dishes at The Raj

Warm up with our must-try dishes at The Raj Jul 2, 2019, Author: Hello Joburg
When you’re craving Indian food with a delicious mix of spices, mouth-watering flavours and intoxicating aromas – think a butter chicken and paneer tikka masala or a garlic and butter naan – make a beeline for The Raj Indian Restaurants, who’ve been serving North Indian cuisine in five-star locations since 1996.
READ MORE ON DINING OUT HERE .
There are many reasons to visit one of The Raj Indian Restaurants to warm up this winter. No matter which restaurant you opt to go to, you’ll be taken on a journey where the fusion of skillfully spiced dishes with mesmerising flavours and textures plus rich colours will be an unforgettable experience. What’s more, all their chefs are from India, so you can look forward to an authentic taste of North Indian cuisine, and their herbs and vegetables are grown at their head office in Kyalami – because homegrown just tastes better, doesn’t it?
READ MORE ON FOOD & DRINK HERE .
Deciding what to order at The Raj can be a tough one because there are so many lip-licking options to choose from. Firm favourites that you can’t go wrong with are the tandoori dishes (especially the famous tandoori chicken, mildly spiced lamb sheekh kebabs and pepper-kissed lamb chops options), Lamb Rogan Josh, butter chicken, paneer tikka masala and, of course, the naan brushed with ghee (Indian butter) and topped with garlic. What a treat!
READ MORE ON ENTERTAINMENT HERE .
If you’re feeling daring, try one of the chef’s specialties. The prawns marinated in spices as well as the tandoori mushrooms (mushrooms stuffed with paneer and spices) are cooked in the clay tandoor oven and are beyond delicious. A spicier option is the prawn madras curry infused with mustard seeds, crushed chilli and deep-fried curry leaves, while the lamb shank soaked in a masala gravy literally falls of the bone. Vegetarians will enjoy the Baingan Masala brinjal curry – a curry made with brinjals slow-cooked in the tandoor oven to give them a smoky flavour that are then skinned, finely chopped and cooked with fresh garlic, ginger, tomatoes and spices. Whatever you do, make sure you order a stuffed naan bread on the side – choose from the likes of potatoes, mince, and paneer and cauliflower filling.
Apart from the top-notch food, you can also look forward to a space of pure luxury, friendly and efficient service and an ambience fit for royalty. The Raj has restaurants in the following locations:
Nicolway: This restaurant is a hidden gem in the heart of Bryanston. Situated on the parking mezzanine level of the shopping centre, you can park your car right in front of the floor for easy access. As a plus, the balcony overlooks Main Road, so there’s an awesome vibe!
Michelangelo Towers: If you really want to feel like royalty, the Sandton restaurant is the one to visit. It’s home to the famous Maharaja Room, fitted with crystal chandeliers, royal chairs and special cutlery to make your evening that much more memorable.
Waterfall Corner: A cosy, upmarket space, the Midrand restaurant is one that families enjoy dining at, especially because children can watch the chefs prepare ‘the flying roti’, traditionally known as the roomali roti. They even get to stand with the chefs as they prepare this!
Gold Reef City: Whether it’s for the slots or simply a good meal after going on some rides at the park, this restaurant is a fabulous spot for couples and families alike as you’ll get to enjoy the fun atmosphere of Gold Reef City.
Time Square Casino: Between the hustle and bustle of Time Square’s slot machines and neon lights, entering this restaurant has a calming effect on all the senses. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the view over Menlyn as you tuck into a curry!
Sun City Resort: Tourists and families flock to Sun City for holidays, safaris and slots. Having this restaurant at one of South Africa’s most popular destinations is the cherry on top for any perfect vacation.
Cape Town: The Raj also has restaurants in Cape Town, located at Old Constantia Village , Camps Bay Promenade and Harbour Bay Simon’s Town.
Try the new range of cook-in sauces The Raj has recently launched. In under 25 minutes, you can prepare your butter chicken, korma curry or Lamb Rogan Josh in the comfort and convenience of your own home! View the chefs’ video by scanning the QR codes at the back of the packets.
www.theraj.com
Hello Joburg was first published in April 1980 as a monthly restaurant and entertainment magazine. Over the years we have developed a network of patriotic Joburgers that love nothing more than sharing their experiences in this beautiful city! Spread the love

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Hangzhou China – Our Selection Of The 10 Places You Need To Visit!

Hangzhou China – Our Selection Of The 10 Places You Need To Visit! In China 2
Hangzhou China – Situated to the east, not far from the great city of Shanghai, Hangzhou is the ultimate getaway town. An escape from the bustle of the city, Hangzhou offers some of the most beautiful scenic countryside East China has to offer. Its West Lake being the main attraction, with surrounding forests, temples, and traditional restaurants. A weekend here is guaranteed to reveal the ancient spirit of China and revitalise weary travellers. How to Get There
It’s actually nice and easy to get from Shanghai to Hangzhou. There aren’t any direct flights but you can take the bullet train in just one hour. It costs between 50-80 RMB and is direct. You can also take the local train if you’re travelling on a budget which will take the cost down to 25-30 RMB but will take 2-3 hours.
From Hongqiao railway station you can catch the train every 5-10 minutes so there’s no need to book in advance. They’re less frequent from Shanghai Railway Station so it’s worth checking the times online ahead of time.
Hongqiao airport is very near Hongqiao railway station. Terminal 2 of the airport is walking distance to the station and metro line 10 runs between them both.
When you arrive to the city, you can explore it on your own or book this city tour for example. Where to Stay – Ho Fang International Youth Hostel
The lovely Ho Fang International Youth Hostel is within a 15-minute walk of Ding’an Road Subway station and the scenic West Lake. You’re also just 1.2 miles from Hangzhou Railway station making it nice and easy to drop off your bags before exploring. There’s a shopping mall nearby and they offer bicycle rental which is perfect as Hangzhou is a biker friendly city.
The beautiful Chinese restored building makes this an incredible choice for the price and both private and dorm room options are available. They also have lots of books you can borrow. It’s located on Hefang Pedestrian Street which has lots of food and drink options nearby.
There’s a Chinese and Western restaurant on site, as well as a café, and they offer laundry service. Great location and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Perfect. Where to stay – Han Xuan Boutique Hostel
The Han Xuan Boutique Hostel suits people who are trying to escape the hustle and bustle of the city while still being close to the main attractions in Hangzhou. This tranquil hostel is near to some beautiful nature walks and is very close to Lingyin Temple, Wushan Square, and the Xixi Wetland. They also have a grill, and serve an amazing Asian breakfast.
The owners go out of their way to help guests and will accommodate early or late check-ins and check-outs to the best of their ability. There’s a shared lounge area and the beautiful, bright, and minimalist design of the rooms make this a very relaxing choice while in Hangzhou. They only have private rooms and this has more of a mid-range hotel feel than a hostel. Where to stay – The Mountain Hotel
The Mountain hotel is based at the top of Baileqiao, Ligyin Scenic Area, so has stunning mountain views, you’re also located just 701m to Lingyin Temple.
Luxurious rooms, private facilities, and free use of their bicycles make this a great stay if you love nature. Wushan Square and the Xixi wetlands are nearby.
Book here : The Mountain Hotel Hangzhou China #1 – Visit the famous West Lake (Xihu)
If you have to do one thing in Hangzou, it should be to visit the West Lake. Perfect for cycling around or a long walk, there are plenty of gardens, pagodas, temples, and artificial islands to explore along the way. There were be plenty of people trying to sell you tickets to a boat trip around the lake. It’s definitely worth doing, particularly around sunset when you can get some stunning shots of the sun going down behind the mountains.
You can also watch the Impression West Lake show by booking this tour online .
You have a range of options for the boat ride, the cheapest option being a self-row boat which you can rent for an hour at 30 RMB, you can also ride the big painted dragon boats for around 70RMB. The most common option is a small group ride in a rowing boat. The driver leaves once his boat his full so don’t worry about coming as a group.
The lake has been named a UNESCO world heritage site and has ten tremendous scene or ‘ten scenic spots in West Lake’. See if you can find all ten… Hangzhou China #2 – Visit the 345 faces at Fei Lai Feng
Another must-see in Hangzhou, right next to the Buddhist Lingying Temple is Fei Lai Fang. A grand mountain at 168 metres high, the main attractions are the 345 Buddha statues which are handcrafted out of stone. The ancient statues were mainly crafted during the Song and Yuan dynasties,
The mountain is named Fei Lang (flying) because folklore states that it ‘flew’ from another place and landed there. You can take some amazing pictures here and it’s easy to squeeze this trip as you visit Lingying Temple (below).
Access : there are several tourist buses that head there and it’s also possible to take a taxi. Hangzhou China #3 – Light incense at Lingyin Temple
The prominent Lingyin Temple was opened in 326AD and was founded by Master Hui li, a Western Indian monk. This temple is particularly special as it’s one of the oldest and largest Buddhist temples in China. The architecture is particular impressive with its grand and scared halls – the Heavenly Kings Hall, the Mahavira Hall, and the Yaowang Hall. It’s a large temple so you can easily explore it for an hour or two, light some incense and enjoy the surrounding views.
Access : The easiest way is to take a taxi (taxis are very reasonable in Hangzhou) but there are also tourist buses which leave from the railway station. Hangzhou China #4 – Learn about Folklore at Leifeng Pagoda
Leifeng Pagoda is an antiquated five-story tower on the south of West Lake. This unique eight-sided pagoda is eye-catching and you won’t be able to miss it during your time in Hangzhou. It has some legendary history as it appears in the folktale ‘The Legend of the White Snake’ which describes a scholar and a snake demon. The demon is meant to have imprisoned the monk in the pagoda for eternity. Thanks to this tale, it’s a very popular visiting spot for Chinese people and those who know the tale. Hangzhou China #5 – Take a walk around Xixi Wetland Park
If you love nature then this popular place is perfect, it’s one of the most well-known tourist attractions in China and features six main watercourses. There are plenty of wild animals, natural plants, and gorgeous scenery that makes for amazing pictures. The fishing village, thatched cottage, autumn snow temple and Xixi water attic are particularly unique and picturesque. I highly recommend making time to visit here.
Access : There are free shuttle buses from the West Lake as well as a number of tourist buses available. Hangzhou China #6 – Eat Hang Dim Sim
Head to Zhi Wei Guan, a wonderful restaurant that offers traditional Hang snacks, dishes, and desserts. Opened in 1913, they have a long history that you can see in the traditional décor. You can also find a beautiful terrace where you can enjoy a view of the West Lake. There’s large range of dim sum available, from budget (20 RMB) onwards. Dishes you can try include Xihi fish in gravy and beggar’s chicken. This is a lovely way to try traditional lots of traditional dishes and enjoy one of the most scenic views in Hangzhou.
Access : No.83 Renhe Road, Shangcheng District, Hangzhou China Hangzhou China #7 – Explore Hefang Street
This is the best area for shopping in Hangzhou, and is also a scenic pedestrian street which is perfect for street-shots. Traditional style vendors, teahouses, souvenir shops, paper cutting stores, street food. The scent of Chinese medicine permeates the air making this a very authentic experience in Hangzhou. You’ll also find plenty of calligraphy supplies to purchase and get your name painted in calligraphy as souvenirs. This is a lovely place to people watch so head to a tea house and just enjoy the atmosphere. Hangzhou China #8 – Hyatt 28
Taking pride of place amongst Asia’s top 50 restaurants for the past three years, Hyatt 28 is not to be passed up. The restaurant, situated in the Hyatt Hotel , is the perfect place for lunch, serving traditional Hang cuisine. Hangzhou China #9 – National Tea Museum
China is more than just famous for its tea fields and tea-growing industry; it is very much defined by it. And here is one of the ultimate experiences for both tea-lovers and Chinese history enthusiasts. Nestled inside acres of real green tea fields, the museum teaches of the histories, traditions, ceremonies, and processes surrounding Chinese black, green, and white tea. You can also take part in a tea-tasting ceremony and enjoy the nearby teahouses to get the full Hangzhou tea experience. Hangzhou China #10 – Hangzhou Botanical Gardens
If you’ve visited a botanical garden before, you’ll know what to expect here. With one big difference: these gardens feature their own bamboo forest and a glade of over 5000 plum trees. The traditional Chinese aesthetic is something to get happily lost in.
Hangzhou is beloved by so many who live in East China, and by now you can surely see why. This paradise blend of city and country, housing China’s most famous lake, is the perfect place to discover the more traditional and peaceful side of Chinese life.
For more tips to explore China, feel free to check out these blog posts too: China Travel Blog . ( 17 votes, average: 4.20

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Unfortunately, the animal agricultural industry is rife with systematic animal welfare issues and deliberate instances of cruelty such as this. If we’re going to use animals as commodities and make the industry doing this exempt from animal cruelty laws , then it’s inevitable that said industry will put their profits above the welfare of their commodities whenever the two come into conflict.
It’s also inevitable that many of the the people working in the more unpleasant parts of said industry, like factory farms and abattoirs, will become desensitized to animal suffering, and come to treat the animals as objects beyond just what’s in their job description. Not necessarily for shits and giggles – I far more often see this where it’s about getting the job done faster , or more productively, or because they’d get in trouble if they said anything. When we choose to buy animal products, we’re financially supporting said industry, and increasing the demand for said products.
As such, if you want to take steps to cut off your support by buying less meat and/or other animal products, here are some tips and strategies for you. You could also use these to make the transition into full vegetarianism or veganism easier, if you’re willing to go all the way but are concerned about going cold tofurkey. You can pick the options that appeal to you as you wish, or mix-and-match.
If you feel like you just love bacon (for example – replace with any other animal product as necessary) too much to go vegetarian or vegan, you could just keep eating it, but cut out other meat or animal products. When you’re cooking for yourself, you have a wide range of flexibility, but when you want to buy something you can just heat in the microwave for dinner, or like, a sweet pastry from the bakery, avoiding meat or animal products can be more limiting. As such, you could continue to buy things that have meat or animal products as an ingredient, but stop buying meat, eggs, and/or dairy itself from the butcher/supermarket. Go vegetarian or vegan on particular days of the week. E.g., eating vegan or vegetarian during the week but whatever you want on the weekend. Go vegetarian or vegan at certain meals – like maybe you can have animal products at dinner, but not for breakfast or lunch. You could decide that you’re allowed to get whatever you want when you’re eating out, but will only buy vegetarian or vegan stuff from the supermarket. If you’re really into cooking, you might prefer the opposite. If you live with a partner or family, you could continue eating meat or animal products during your group meals so cooking for everyone will be easier, while eating as a vegetarian/vegan when you’re making food for just yourself. Try taking a look through the vegan/vegetarian areas of your local supermarket. They would hopefully have some things like tofu and faux-meats, a pretty wide variety of plant-based milks (usually next to the long-life milk) and perhaps some non-dairy ice cream and cheese. Take a look, and see what interests you – if you try something and don’t like it, that’s okay, you never have to get it again. OTOH, when you find something you do like that’s within your budget, you can switch over to buying it instead of the equivalent. I suggest looking into Indian cooking . Vegetarianism is very common in India, and accordingly, they have a wide range of vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Ethiopian food is also good in this regard. Apart from diet, read labels to look out for down and wool products, consider buying your wool, fur, and leather goods second-hand instead, and make sure that faux fur isn’t being falsely marketed as such – because yep, that’s [unfortunately a thing. Here’s a guide on how to tell the difference. If you’re interested in testing out full-blown veganism or vegetarianism, I suggest doing the 22-Day vegan challenge – to go vegan for just 22 days and see how you go – or the International Vegetarian Week Challenge . They come with recipes, tips, and in the first case, even your own personal “vegan mentor.”
Here are some more helpful links. I should note that these pages are written with vegetarians or vegans in mind, but most should still be good for people looking to cut down – for example, someone doing Meatless Monday would need to know how to feed themselves on Mondays.
Here’s a blog about vegan cooking. Here’s a nicely categorized site on vegetarian cooking. Here’s a website for finding excellent vegan/vegetarian-friendly places to eat. Here’s a guide to substitutes for your favourite animal products when cooking. Here’s a guide to getting all your nutrients on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Here’s a fairly all-purpose guide for new vegans. Here’s a guide to eating plant-based on a budget, and here’s a bunch of cheap vegan and vegetarian recipes. And here’s one for vegetarians. The resources I listed are far from the only ones out there, so it should be helpful to google things like “new vegetarian guide,” “vegetarian health” “vegetarian cooking,” “vegetarian restaurants,” or “vegetarian substitutes.” Replace “vegetarian,” with “vegan,” in those search terms as necessary. There are an enormous amount of online resources about this; any info you need is just a google search away.
Finally, I also think we need to endeavour to research how farm animals are treated in order to make an informed decision about what we’re buying. The Mercy For Animals and ASPCA websites have some good info, and this recent documentary Dominion gives a great overview of the various systematic welfare issues that animals face. It was produced in and focuses on Australia, and while most of what they say would apply throughout the industrialized Western world, if you’re British you might want to check out Land of Hope and Glory instead, or if you’re American there’s Earthlings , though that one’s a bit older than the others. All three documentaries are free and legal to watch at those links. ​
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