Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Take a Look at Chinese Folk Cloth Shoes

Folk cloth shoes are significant in the history of shoes. Because the main material is cloth, the shoes are casual, comfortable, environmentally-friendly and lightweight. They have won warm praise from customers and have become needful clothing. There are several representative brands of cloth shoes including Buyingzhai and Neiliansheng.

History of Cloth Shoes

Chinese cloth shoes have a history of more than 3,000 years. In Houma Shi city, Shanxi province, it was warrior from the West Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC-771 BC) was unearthed at it was discovered he wore cloth shoes; the earliest known handicraft cloth shoes. The cloth shoes were mainly handmade before the People's Republic of China was proclaimed. After 1949, the Chinese cloth shoes reached its peak period. There were many cloth shoes factories in the country which produced a large amount of cloth shoes at the time.

Old Beijing cloth shoes are a representative of Chinese cloth shoes bearing rich history and culture. It is recorded that they began in Pingyao city, Shanxi province, where shoemakers learned and combined their exquisite craft.

Craftsmanship of Cloth Shoes

The craftsmanship of Chinese cloth shoes is exquisite and fastidious. The process of manufacturing the shoes involves making the sole, vamp, insole and stitching the sole to the upper part of each. The process also includes designing the shape, preparing the materials and tailoring. The whole manufacture process requires rich experience.

The procedures of manufacturing a pair of ordinary cloth shoes

(1) Designing the shape

The first step in making a pair of comfortable shoes is to measure the foot. According to the older generation, measuring the foot of someone is impolite and treated as a symbol of inability. It even more frowned upon when a daughter-in-law makes shoes for her husband’s parents or girls make shoes for their lovers. These ideals lead to women acquiring the ability to know the size of a person’s foot with a glimpse. It is hard for the beginner to predict the exact size so they have to wait for a rainy day to secretly find a person’s footprints on a muddy road to measure the size of the footprints.

(2) Preparing the materials

When making cloth shoes, the materials can be divided into items for the vamp and the sole. They can also be divided into outside and inside fabrics through the makeup of the shoes. Aside from the cloth, the threads are also necessary. The inside fabric is always either old cloth that has not been worn out, or the leftover materials after tailoring new cloth. The shoemakers then paste multilayer fabrics into one piece of thick cloth called “Jiangcengbu”. This kind of cloth is needed for both the sole and the vamp. The “Jiangcengbu” used in one pair of shoes can be laid open on the ground for more than 10 square meters. The outside fabric is new cloth that will be used on the upper part and the sole of shoes. The threads are mainly used in the sole so they need to be as strong as No.2 steel wire. The threads used in the sole are polished with wax several times before use to ensure it can be threaded.

(3) Sewing the fabrics


Sewing the materials of cloth shoes almost always begins from the sole, perhaps the most important part in the manufacture process. Shoemakers cut out most of the sole with sole fabric based on a paper sample or a toasted asparagus cortex sample of a sole. They will then paste the soles into one until the whole sole is about 1 or 2 centimeters thick.

It’s said the sole of cloth shoes has thousands of layers, but there are actually only about five layers. The term, “sole of one thousand layers” is exaggerated to describe the sole’s many layers and the complicated manufacturing process. After pasting, a tailor will sew “the sole of one thousand layers”, which is called the “Na” sole. It should begin along the edge and be kept one centimeter away. It should use back stitches to sew and circle the sole twice while keep the line neat and tight. The knots and uncovered threads should look like a queue of ants. After sewing the edge, tailors can sew the part into a loop. There are many stitches included in the process such as parallel stitching and herringbone stitching. Only after observation or with the guidance of a teacher can beginners work it out.


The manufacture of the vamp can be divided based on the height of the upper portion of the shoes. High cut shoes should be sewed while the front and back of the shoes are not sewn to make it convenient to operate during the process of sewing other parts. Modern shoes are mainly low cut shoes. The vamps of low cut shoes are U-shaped before the heel parts are sewn, making the front part wide and the two sides narrow. The whole vamp is symmetrical.


The vamp and sole can be sutured after the vamp is finished. The suture is the most difficult step for it decides whether the shoe is artistic and comfortable. The curve of the sole edge increases the hardship of suture, but women only use an awl to finish this procedure flawlessly and perfectly.

The Ex Factory Inspiration

There are rigorous ex factory inspiration in shoe manufacturing.

1. The detection requires visual examination in suitable light conditions.

2. Testing tools include calipers of 40mm, multi-purpose locator, dividers, measuring tape, steel rulers and steel measure tape with scale of 1mm.

3. Appearance examination is based on eyeballing and touching with testing tools.

Artistic Characteristics

Cloth shoes win lots of praise from users not only for its comfort, but also for its artistic characteristics. Their beautiful appearance involves the traditional art of paper-cut and embroidering, always taking colors and shapes into consideration. Cloth shoes are considered to be folk art in its shape, patterns and colors.


The view of a cloth shoe from above should be symmetrical. The sole and vamp of a pair of shoes are sheared at one time so one pattern can take advantage of another by turning it over. Making use of both sides of a pattern to make symmetry is a distinct characteristic of cloth shoes.


The patterns of cloth shoes are first shown through paper-cut art. The embroidering on the top cap of shoes extrudes decorative designs through paper-cut art.

The paper-cut patterns designed for embroidering are distinctively U-shaped and are seldom recorded. These patterns are symmetrical and can be embroidered around the center by similar patterns in similar or diverse colors.

The contents of embroidering almost always include flowers and birds. Moreover, patterns of a butterfly or a phoenix are also popular. Fruits that are popular locally are also welcome.

It’s said the goddess of the Zhuang ethnic group was born in flowers so the people of Zhuang pray for birth by worshiping the goddess of flora or putting flowers at the bedside. Embroidering flowers on the top cap of cloth shoes is also a way to show worship. The patterns are always made up by a string of a single colors except patters of fish and flowers.

Personalized colors

The colors of cloth shoes are frequently geared toward personalization, depending on age and gender. Cloth shoes for the older generations are always black, while the younger people like white. Girls usually choose light blue.

Sharp color contrast

Most cloth shoes are black with a white sole to have a strong color contrast. A small area of white complements the large area of black. The white also appears in the way of a line, which combines with the black into a perfect artistic effect.

Rich color

Women of Zhuang buy colorful silk thread and arrange them to show what they want to express. No matter what the color of the plants or animals, they can express a subtle change in the color that shows a lot of women’s ability in color matching and aesthetic interests. Embroidering with a thread of a color on the background of another color can enrich the picture performance. Using specific colors to express infinite colors is a characteristic of color matching that is similar to painting.

Development of cloth shoes

Today, folk cloth shoes have big changes that are no longer stereotyped but combine the leather shoe craft and modern design. Cloth shoes have become a combination of classicality and modern fashion. There have been a lot of shoe series involving Beijing amorous feelings. They also include top ten styles such as Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai styles. Old Beijing cloth shoes are more than a show of ethnic customs; people buy cloth shoes as souvenirs and gifts.

The development of craft denotes the beauty of returning to the ancient styles will become fashion. The development of the cloth shoes industry will also drive economic growth and obtain employment growth. In respect of history and culture, developing cloth shoes is necessary.

The art of cloth shoes, which used to be an almost necessary handicraft, are an integral part of folk arts. But cloth shoes have been fading out of the market since the 21st century. At the same time, concepts of nature, health and nostalgia become a pure feeling in people’ hearts when they recall cloth shoes. To inherit and develop the cloth shoe is a crucial task that urges further action and optimal use.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peking Duck

Most people would agree that Peking (or Beijing) duck is the capital’s most famous dish. Once imperial cuisine, now the legendary duck dish is served at restaurants around the world.

The culinary history of Peking duck goes as far back as the Yuan dynasty, where it was listed in royal cookbooks as an imperial food. The Qing poet Yuan Mei once wrote in a cookbook, “Roast duck is prepared by revolving a young duckling on a spit in an oven.  The chief inspector Fang’s family excel in preparing this dish”. When the Qing dynasty fell in 1911, former palace chefs set up restaurants around Beijing and brought the dish to the public.

To prepare the duck, chefs go through a lengthy process. First the ducks are inflated by blowing air between the skin and body. The skin is then pricked and boiling water poured all over the duck. Sometimes the skin is rubbed with malt sugar to give it an amber colour and is then hung up to air dry before roasting in the oven. When roasted, the skin becomes crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The bird is meticulously cut into 120 slices and served with fermented bean paste, light pancakes, sliced cucumbers and green onions.

Perhaps the best Peking duck restaurant in Beijing is Liqun Roast Duck Restarant. The duck here is so popular that you need to call in advance to order one (or arrive after 2:30pm and be prepared to wait). The restaurant itself is a little ramshackle, but the sublime duck makes it a culinary experience to savour. With development crashing through the hutong, this is a restaurant to visit sooner rather than later.

The most famous restaurants that serve Peking duck though, are part of the Quanjude Restaurant chain, which first opened in 1864. There are six branches around Beijing, but the flagship of the empire is at Qianmen Dajie. This place is geared to the tourist hordes (both domestic and foreign) – check out the photos of Fidel Castro and Zhang Yimou. Ducks here are roasted with fruit-tree wood, giving the dish a special fragrance. If the crowds are too much, there is another location just off Wangfujing Dajie.

Another well-known roast duck restaurant is Bianyifang, founded in 1855. Instead of fruit-tree wood, the ducks here are cooked in an oven with straw as fuel. On a budget? Make sure you get the cheaper menlu-style half duck with pancakes, scallions and sauce which some say is more tender. The more expensive Huaxiangsu style is available for those willing to spend the yuan. If Peking duck is not your style, the restaurant has many other duck variants on their English menu.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Must-See Sceneries in Autumn Beijing

The notable Chinese writer Lao She once said, “You must live in Beiping (Now Beijing) in autumn for the scenery in this season here are so fascinating.” Anyone who has stayed in this city might have the same feeling with Lao She. Only Beijing in autumn could be called an imperial endowed with good weather and favorable geographical position. All sights become brilliant against bright sunshine and the blue sky. If you tour Beijing first time, the classic attractions such as Imperial Place, Great Wall and Summer Palace can’t be missed. However, apart from the landmark places of interest, you may try to experience its autumn scenery after a little rest.

Gingko Avenue
The Gingko Avenue, located near the famous Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, is renowned in Beijing as an enchanting sight. As the autumn comes, the scenery of Gingko Avenue could be as grand and beautiful as the red leaves of the Fragrant Hill. When seeing the golden gingko leaves in deep autumn scatter over the avenue, you may feel surprised to find that the fallen leaves could be so glorious.

From middle October, the leaves of gingko gradually grow golden. An autumn wind could blow off the beautiful golden scenery.

Beside the two sides of the Gingko Avenue, there are two rows of fences. At the middle of the avenue, there is an entrance for the visitors to enter the avenue.

Jingshan Park
The Imperial Palace is well-known but its back garden, the Jingshan Park is less-visited. In this imperial park, there is a Wanchun Pavilion, which is the highest point of the imperial city Beijing, and from which the visitors could overlook the panorama of the Imperial Palace.

At the autumn dusk, when ascending the steps in the night breeze, your heart may feel quiet. The green filled with your eyes could bring you some interest you never known in normal times.

The ticket price of the Jingshan Park is CNY 2. Walking out of the northern entrance of the Imperial Palace and crossing the road, you could get to the southern entrance of the Jingshan Park. At a sunshine day, after strolling around the Imperial Palace, you could come to the Jingshan Park to admire the dusk of Beijing in autumn.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tips and Common Knowledge to Know When Traveling in Plateau Area

For patients with altitude disease, the most effective first-aid treatment is to supply oxygen and move to low area. Once some with shock, they should be treated first and other complication should be also noticed. The patients should be moved to calm zone and stay in bed at once. Meanwhile, they should keep warm, protect from upper respiratory tract infection and avoid drinking too much water.

If the patients feel more painful, they should take analgesic or move to the low region. Generally, the patients with altitude stress become recovery after moving to the low regions. Nevertheless, the serious patients should see a doctor.

Here are some common questions travelers might face when traveling in the plateau areas and the matching answers.
1.    What should we do if we feel out of breath when sleeping on the plateau area at night?
Due to lack of oxygen in plateau area, commonly person’s breath will become hard and couldn’t sleep at night. Thus the travelers are recommended to put head on a higher pillow or just sit to sleep.

2.    It is good for people to absorb oxygen as soon as arriving at the plateau area?
First, people are recommended not to absorb oxygen as soon as they arrive at the plateau because that might influence people’s suitability for the altitude climate.

3.    Is it feasible to wear contact lens?
Yes. But the lens should be clean. If come to a windy and sandy area, you are suggested no to wear them. Actually, contact lenses are not influenced by the altitude.

4.    Is having a fever or becoming hard of hearing right for those who have just arrived at the plateau area?
Yes. Normally, the blood pressure of a person is higher in plateau than in the plain area, so it is normal that a person’s temperature in plateau is 0.5 – 1℃ higher than in plain. Apart from having a fever, if you still have other uncomfortable symptoms, you should go to the local hospital to see a doctor. If the fever is caused by cold, you should leave the plateau to accept treatment. Additionally, becoming hard of hearing is normal in plateau area for it is caused by lack of oxygen.

5.    Is drinking wine feasible?
Travelers, more so people above 40 years old, are recommended not to drink wine in plateau area because wine will increase the load of heart and vassal, aggravate the altitude stress as well as cause heart cerebrovascular.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Best Time to Visit Tibet

Tibet is a magical place, where the star-studded alpine lakes are clear and intense blue, as smooth as mirror, the lofty snow-capped peaks and year round not-melting glaciers spread all over, and the elegant hada-like white clouds always wrap the mountain waists. Here the desolate and magnificent natural landscapes, pure and fresh air, quite and vast Gobi desert, boundless prairie with flocks of cattle and sheep, luxuriant virgin forest, rich and honest simple ethnic customs, and resplendent millenary-old temple together prove to be reasons for Tibet becoming the holy land of travelers.

From each May, Tibet gets into the best traveling season, until golden autumn October. So, don’t hesitate and now head for Tibet to discover the wonderful legends.


Existing for 1,300 years, Lhasa is located at a land of 3,650 meters above sea level, serving as the world’s highest city. In Tibetan language, “Lhasa” means holy land or Buddhist land. Entering Lhasa, unfolding before you are the fluttering Fengma flags (or called prayer flags) in the wind, incense-curling up platform, pilgrims in a hurry to walk, and unceasing prayer wheel. Not matter when it is, Lhasa seems to start from chanting sutras, circling the ritual walk path, praying and blessing.

The Potala Palace is known as “Palace in Heaven”. Scaling the zigzagging granite steps in the front of hill, for those of better altitude acclimation, needs several stops on the way before reaching the Potala Palace. When taking off hats and sunglasses as well as turning off the camera, and then ascending a steep wooden ladder, your pilgrimage just begins.

The group visitors can only linger in the Potala Palace for one hour, thus they have to glance at the magnificent Buddha hall, Stupa, and imperial sleeping place. The winding corridors lighted by remote lights, drooping curtains, and taste of butter pervading every corner give you a feeling as if you fall into a old, dark and gloomy dream and are lost in the scriptures, Buddha statues, frescoes and old legends. While walking out of the palace gate and looking back, you can see the blinding palace walls tier upon tier as high as clouds. Various solemn colors like the blue of sky, gold of gilding roofs and black of Sutra Pillars are combined to produce a scared sense.

Namtso is described as a tear of lover in snowy region

In Tibetan, Namtso means “Heavenly Lake”, located in Damxung County, about 100 kilometers from downtown Lhasa. As the highest and second biggest salt water lake in China, Namtso together with Yandrok Lake and Manasarova  Lake is counted as the Three Holy Lakes in Tibet.

Departing from Lhasa and proceeding along Qinghai-Tibet Highway, you can overlook the imposing Nyainqntanglha Mountains a thousand miles away, and admire the prairie stretching to the horizon as well as herds of yaks. Occasionally several Tibetan locals kowtowing may fall into your eyes. After passing Yangbajing, uninhabited area and crossing Tanggula Mountain Pass, you get close to the Namtso bank. Although in summer, you can still feel the cool wind blow gently. When standing near the lakeside, before your eyes is just a picture, the year-round snow-covered main peak of Nyainqntanglha Mountains in southeast, the rolling plateau and hill in north, vast prairie around the lake, and huge-mirror like lake embedded in the grassland of north Tibet.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mount Qomolangma
Mount Qomolangma

Shigatse with not only Mount Qomolangma

If you are not a real traveler, you will regret your decision on the way from Lhasa to Shigatse since it spends too much time on road and the scenery along the way is boring. However, when getting to Gyantse and beholding at a distance the Tsong Burg standing on the mountain, you will feel glad about your wise choice.

Not very high, Mount Tsong is only over 100 meters in height but rises sharply from the ground, lofty and steepy. Built against mountain, the Tsong Burg looks tier on tier and blends with the precipitous rocks. As for the Tashihunpo Monastery in urban Shigatse, it is constructed against mountain. The golden roofs of the splendid monastery complex are shining in the sun, creating a feeling of warmness.

If you come to Shigatse, one must-do thing is admiring the Mount Qomolangma., which has huge pyramid-like appearance, and towers into the sky. The snowy peaks seem the crystal ornaments of Goddess, and are flickering in the sun. If you continue to the Qomolangma base camp, you have to drive for additional 7 hours.
Tips of Traveling Tibet

    * The hard altitude reaction: One reason for it is the shortage of oxygen. If you have strong altitude reaction, you are recommended to buy one oxygen container. Generally, you may try the following ways to overcome the problems of altitude reaction: first, relaxing mentally, not eating and drinking too much and not smoking but having more vegetables and fruits; second, not to walk rapidly, run and do hard works but drink more water; third, be sure to keep warm to head off a cold, which may cause acute pulmonary edema in plateau.

    * The necessaries to prepare before entering into Tibet: warm clothing, sleeping bag, camera, sunglasses, sun hat, sunscreen, passport and more.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat Festival - local customs in different areas of China

The 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar year is an important day for the Chinese people. The day is called Duan Wu Festival, or Dragon Boat Festival, celebrated everywhere in China. This festival dates back to about 2,000 years ago with a number of legends explaining its origin. The best-known story centers on a great patriotic poet named Qu Yuan.

The customs vary a lot in different areas of the country, but most of the families would hang the picture of Zhong Kui (a ghost that can exorcise), calamus and moxa in their houses. People have Dragon Boat Races, eat Zong Zi (dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves) and carry a spice bag around with them.

Zhong Kui

Zhong Kui is the exorcist par excellence. His picture, a fierce-looking male brandishing a magic sword, used to be hung up in Chinese houses in order to scare away evil spirits and demons, especially in the time of Dragon Boat Festival.

Hanging Calamus and Moxa

On this day, most of the families would also hang calamus and moxa (oriental plants) on the front door. This is also to ward off evil.

Dragon Boat Race

The main event of the festivities is the Dragon Boat Race. These boats are long and thin with dragon heads on the bow of the ships. The boat races are said to represent the search for Qu??s body, with racing boats in a forward rowing motion, to the rhythm of beating drums.

Zong Zi

Qu Yuan drowned on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in 277 BC. Since ancient times, Chinese people threw into the water dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves on the day. Therefore the fish would eat the rice rather than the hero poet. This later on turned into the custom of eating Zong Zi.

Realgar Wine

It is a very popular practice to drink this kind of Chinese liquor seasoned with realgar at the Dragon Boat Festival. This is for protection from evil and disease for the rest of the year.

Spice Bag

It's believed that if you carry the small spice bag around with you, it not only drives away evil spirits but also brings fortune and happiness to those who wear it. The small bags are hand-made by local craftsmen. They're made with red, yellow, green and blue silk, fine satin or cotton. Figures of animals, flowers and fruits are often embroidered onto the bags and inside are mixed Chinese herbal medicines. (Editor Benny)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Free Bus Service Between Scenic Areas in Xian China

Xi’an Datang Furong Garden-Baoji Famen Temple
As long as you buy the ticket or the set ticket of Famen Temple, you can take the bus free of charge from Xi’an to Famen Temple. Located in the flank of Xi’an Great Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi’an Datang Furong Garden is the first large cultural theme park with imperial garden style in China, which fully displays the splendid civilization in the thriving period of Tang Dynasty.

Famen Temple with more than 1700 years history is located in Famen Town of Fufeng County of Baoji city in Shannxi province and 110 kilometers east from Xi’an city.

The free tourist bus departs from the west gate of Datang Furong Garden, and stops at the north plaza of Great Wild Goose Pagoda, and then goes directly to Famen Temple. The departure time is from 8 am to 11am, total 4 times. The return time is from 14:30 to 16:00, total 4 times. You can buy the ticket at the west gate of Datang Furong Garden and the east side of the north plaza of Great Wild Goose Pagoda. 120 Yuan is available for Famen Temple tour and free bus to Famen Temple, and 150 Yuan is available for Famen Temple, Datang Furong Garden tour and free round trip bus.

The Sea of Cole Flower - Luoping County in Yunnan China

When you overlook the county from a hill top, you’ll need more than a few moments to absorb the heart-stopping views that the beautiful peak, cottage, road and river mingle in the sea of about 7 millions square meters of cole flowers.

When you've gotten that out of your system, far from the noisy city, head out into Luoping County where the real charm of spring lies, and get a taste of the splendid sight of the flower sea.

After the spring festival every year, young people of Bouyei, Shui, Zhuang and the Yi nationality in beautiful dress gather here to sing each other, choose a mate and perform lion dance, enginery dance and stilt dance, which make the occasion extraordinarily beautiful.

The core flower festival held from February to March every year attracts more and more tourists and photographers all over the world. A sea of jubilant people and the flower sea shine by reflected glory and form a rare and magnificent sight annually.

Provided you are in Luoping, it’s very convenient to go anywhere. The best time to Luoping is from late February to early April and the golden period is in mid March. Due to the fierce sunshine in Luoping, you’d better take parasol umbrella and sunblock with you. Generally you will have a 2-day tour in Luoping, you can appreciate the core flower sea on the first day, and tour to Jiulong waterfall and Duoyi river scenic area on the second day.

How to Find an Ideal Accommodation on Trip?

Firstly, the low-class bed room in top grade hotel is better than the high-class bed room in low grade hotel. Influenced by the building layout, the top grade hotel will always have some low-class bed rooms with good conditions and low prices. Besides, the available facilities, intimate services, graceful environment, dining room and ballroom opened to all tourists in the top grade hotel make you enjoy the high-class services with low prices. On the contrary, the low grade hotels have poor conditions and some have no dining room and bathroom, so even you live in the high-class bed room, you will be trouble about the noisy environment and the inconvenience.

Secondly, you should choose the hotels in the suburban area where the scenic spots concentrate. Some tourists usually like to live near the station or the dock for convenience, but the price is outrageous. Besides, people constantly arriving or departing the whole day, the sound of the train and ship whistle out of the window and the loud racket in the corridor will make you spend a restless night. However, the hotels in the suburban area where the scenic spots concentrate not only have the quiet and graceful environment but also make you save some traveling expenses.

Lastly, better or worse for your accommodation, you’d better pay only one-day room rate. If you still want to live here, you can pay at 12 a.m. the next day, so you will have nothing to lose.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Talking About Weather

Beijing has a typical temperate and monsoonal climate with four clearly distinct seasons. Spring and autumn are the best seasons for sightseeing. Being's autumn, in particular, is well-known as "Golden Fall" because of its cool and fresh air. Mike is talking about Beijing's weather with his Chinese friend Lili.

mài kè: nǐjué de běi jīng de tiān qì zěn me yàng?
Mike: What do you think of the weather in Beijing?
Lili: běi jīng de qiū tiān zuì hǎo, chūn tiān jīng cháng guā fēng.
Lili: Autumn is the best season in Beijing, since there is a lot of wind in spring.
mài kè: xià tiān de tiān qì ne?麦克:夏天的天气呢?
Mike: How about in summer?
Lili: bǎi jīng de xià tiān bú tài rè, yīn wéi jīng cháng xià yǔ, hěn liáng shuǎng.
Lili: It's not too hot in summer. Because there is a lot of rain, it's nice and cool.

mài kè: dōng tiān lěng ma?
Mike: Is it very cold in winter?
Lili: běi jīng de dōng tiān bǐ jiào lěng.
Lili: Yes, it's rather cold in winter.
mài kè: zhè me shuō, yào shì lǚ yóu de huà, qiū tiān zuì h?o, chūn tiān hé xià tiān yě bú cuò.麦克:这么说,要是旅游的话,秋天最好,春天和夏天也不错。
Mike: That is to say, autumn is the best season for tourists. And spring and summer are also okay.

Lili: nǐ shuō de duì.
Lili: That's right.

1. tán: to talk about
tiān qì: weather
qiū tiān: autumn
xià tiān: summer
chūn tiān: spring
冬天 dōng tiān: winter
7. 刮风 guā fēng: to blow
rè: hot
yīn wéi: because
下雨 xià yǔ
: to rain
凉爽 liáng shuǎ
ng: cool
lěng: cold

Taking a Taxi in China

In Beijing one can reserve taxis or call them at doorways of any hotels, restaurants at any time. Different models of taxis charge different prices. In each taxi there must be an odometer.

mài kè: sī jī, qù běi jīng fàn diàn ma?麦克:司机,去北京饭店吗?
Mike: Driver! To Beijing Hotel?

sī jī: qù, qǐng shàng chē.
Driver: Yes. Get in, please.
mài kè: wǒ yǒu jí shì, nín kě yǐ kuài yī diǎnr ma?
Mike: I have something urgent. Could you drive a little faster?
sī jī: bié zhāo jí, yī dìng zhǔn shí gǎn dào.
Driver: Don't worry. We'll get there on time.
mài kè: chē fèi zěn me suàn?麦克:车费怎么算?
Mike: How do I pay for fare?
sī jī: yī gōng lǐ yī kuài èr.
Driver: One yuan and twenty fen per km.
mài kè: wǒ huái yào gǎn huí lái, nín néng bù néng děng yī huìr?
Mike: I'll be back. Can you wait a moment?
sī jī: kě yǐ.
Driver: Of course.
mài kè: děng hòu fèi zěn me suàn?麦克:等候费怎么算?
Mike: How is the waiting fee determined?
sī jī: wǔ fēn zhōng yī kuài èr.
Driver: One yuan and twenty fen five minutes.

1 出租汽车chū zū qì chē: taxi
sī jī: driver
qù: to go
shàng chē: to get on
jí shì: something urgent
一点儿 yī diǎnr: a little
7 着急 zhāo jí: to worry
yī dìng: certainly
zhěn shí: on time
chē fèi: fare
公里 gōng lǐ
: kilometer
回来 huí lái: to come back

Going to a Barbar's

Going to See a Doctor

Foreign travelers or short-term visitors who need to see a doctor probably may go to hospital according to the seriousness of their illness: outpatient service, emergency treatment or hospitalization. The outpatient departments are set up for foreign guests in the Beijing Union Medical College Hospital, the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital, the Dongzhimen Hospital of Chinese Medicine and the Stomatological Hospital.

mài kè: wǒ shēn tǐ bù shū fu.麦克:我身体不舒服
Mike: I feel very bad, doctor
dài fu: nǐ nǎr bù shū fu?大夫:你哪儿不舒服?
Doctor: What's wrong with you?
mài kè: tóu téng, hún shēn méi jìnr, hái ké sou麦克:头疼,浑身没劲儿,还咳嗽。
Mike: I've got a headache and a cough, and my whole body feels weak.
dài fu: fā shāo bù fā shāo?大夫:发烧不发烧?
Doctor: Do you have a fever?
mài kè: bù zhī dào, hǎo xiàng bù fā shāo.麦克:不知道,好像不发烧。
Mike: I don't know. Maybe not.
dài fu: xiān liáng liáng tǐ wēn ba. sān shí bā dù. bǎ zuǐ zhāng kāi:"a".大夫:先量量体温吧。三十八度。把嘴张开,""
Doctor: Let me take your temperature first. 38
. Open your mouth and say "ah".
mài kè: dài fu, wǒ dé de shì shén me bìng?麦克:大夫,我得的是什么病?
Mike: What's wrong with me, doctor?
dài fu: zhòng gǎn mào. chī diǎnr yào jiù huì hǎo de.大夫:重感冒。吃点儿药就会好的。
Doctor: You've got a cold. Take some medicine and you'll be all right

1 看病 kàn bìng: to see a doctor
tóu téng: headache
hún shēn: all over, from head to foot
jìnr: strength, energy
ké sou: to cough
发烧 fā shāo: to have a fever             
7 体温 tǐ wēn: temperature
zuǐ: mouth
zhāng kāi: to open
bìng: disease
gǎn mào: to catch a cold
yào: medicine

A Guest at a Friend’s Home

If invited, a guest must arrive at a Chinese friend's home on time. It is proper to be there a couple of minutes earlier, as being late is rude. Generally speaking, eating is more important than talking at a dining table for Chinese people think scant wine and dishes are impolite to guests. Mike is invited to her colleague Wang Li's home.

Wánglì: fàn zuò hǎo le, kuài lái chī ba.
Wang: Now everything is already prepared. Come on, let’s eat.
mài kè: zhè me duō cài, kàn zhe yǎn dōu chán le.麦克:这么多菜,看着眼都馋了。
Mike: So many delicious dishes! It makes my mouth water just to look at them.
Wánglì: lái, jiā cài, duō chī diǎnr.王丽:来,夹菜,多吃点儿。
Wang: Here, take some more.
mài kè: zhè xiē cài dōu shì nín zì jǐ zuò de ma?
Mike: Did you cook all these dishes?
Wánglì: shì a, zěn me yàng?王丽:是啊,怎么样?
Wang: Yes. How do you like it?
mài kè: Zhōng guó rén zuò cài de shǒu yì dōu bú cuò.麦克:中国人做菜的手艺都不错。
Mike: The Chinese are very good at cooks.
Wánglì: lái, gěi nǐ diǎnr zhè gè cài.王丽:来给你点儿这个菜。
Wang: Now, let me help you with the dish
mài kè: bié kè qì, wǒ zì jǐ lái.麦克:别客气,我自己来。
Mike: Don’t stand on ceremony. I’ll help myself.
Wánglì: chī bǎo le ma?王丽:吃饱了吗?
Wang: Are you full?
mài kè: xiè xiè, chī bǎo le.麦克:谢谢,吃饱了。
Mike: Thanks, I’m quite full.

1. 朋友 péng yǒu: friend
zuò kè: be invited
fàn: dinner
cài: dish
chán: greedy                              
6. 自己 zì jǐ: oneself
zuò cài: cook
shǒu yì bú cuò: be good at
jiā cài: eat
bǎo: be full