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Hong Kong Vanity Plates: Series 10

Series 10. Who would have thought we'd have made it this far, or have ever had the will to persist? From that first set of ten some eight months ago, our voyage of license plate depravity has taken us from FANNY MO to HOLE IN ONE, from BATMAN and ZELDA to TAXI ...

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One Week in Chungking Mansions

Den of vice, city of lawlessness; fire trap and health hazard. If ever there was a place in need of an image makeover, Chungking Mansions is it. So long the haunt of illegal immigrants and petty scammers, drug pushers and assorted itinerants ...

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Xiangqi (象棋), Shanghai

Usually referred to as Chinese Chess in the West, xiangqi is as common a sight in China as mass public dancing and random bouts of karaoke. Anywhere you see a group of guys gathered in a park or on a street corner, you can be pretty sure they're playing xiangqi. Failing that, they'll be playing cards, because that's just what guys do.

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Where to run in Hong Kong

Where to run in Hong Kong? It's a question that plagued my first few months in the city. When all around it seems that traffic, crowds and concrete have conspired to thwart your desire to run far and run free, Hong Kong can appear as far from a runner's paradise as you can get. In fact, it can seem the very opposite ...

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Hong Kong Vanity Plates: Series 9

What to say about Series 9 other than it comes sandwiched pretty unsurprisingly between Series 8 and Series 10 in this procession of poncery? Adjectives are the theme, if there is one, each begging the question "why?" Series 10 is already ready to go ...

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First breakfast in Shanghai

So here we are, my first breakfast in Shanghai - a lovely bowl of congee (zhōu 粥) and eight tasty guōtiē (锅贴). It's pretty much the typical Chinese breakfast - fried pork dumplings and a rice porridge that came to around Y9. A bargain in anyone's language.

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Photo of the Week #16: Train T100 to Shanghai

How did four and a half years go by so quickly? That's the question I've been asking myself. I'm still not sure of the answer, but go by they did, and now, like all good things must, my time in Hong Kong has come to an end. Last Tuesday I boarded my Shanghai-bound train in Hung Hom, and my life as a mainlander began.

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China in Ten Words by Yu Hua

China in ten words. For a nation of over a billion people, with a history of over four millennia, it seems ten words just wouldn't suffice to say all that needs to be said. With all the talk of 'China's rise' and all the volumes written recently, you could even argue ...

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