FROM: MSNBC/Budget Travel LiveTalk
Transcript of Steve Friess' live chat on May 11, 2004 with
Budget Travel who saw his piece "The
New, New China"
China is modernizing at a dizzying pace. Today, I'll be discussing
how to get the most out of your trip to this nation in flux,
from the traditional tourist sites to ways to truly engage with
and experience the "New" China.
Steve answered your questions Tuesday, May 11, at noon EST.
Steve Friess is a Las Vegas-based freelance journalist
whose work appears regularly in Newsweek, the Boston Globe,
the Chicago Tribune and USA Today. Beijing seemed like a different
planet in January 2001 when he arrived for a one-year editing
gig at the state-run English-language China Daily, but he quickly
realized when he spotted local children writing the words "I
love the NBA" in the snow that Americans and Chinese have more
in common than different. During that year he traveled throughout
the country, witnessing the pandas of Sichuan, the shocking
desert landscape of Xinjiang, the crammed casinos of Macau,
the skyscapers of Shanghai and Hong Kong, the mammoth naked
statues in Changchun, the remnants of an old Chinese Jews population
in Kaifeng, the hanging temples of Datong, six different sections
of the Great Wall and the now-submerged Three Gorges of the
Steve Friess: Ni hao, everybody. I just got
back from an amazing 10-day reporting trip to Hong Kong which
has me very much in the Middle Kingdom mindset. The jet lag's
a killer - the only two hours I was able to sleep on the flight
happened to be the two hours when they decided to show a *good*
movie, too -- but lucky for me you can't see my bleary eyes
and how badly I need a haircut. So let's give this a whirl.
Blue Bell, PA: Steve, we like to travel very
light, but I've noticed that quite a lot of China seems to involve
walking or hiking up and down to really enjoy the attraction
(Great Wall and lots of others). Is this sneaker kind of "hiking"
or are they going to be too slippery? Should we pack hiking
boots? We aren't serious hikers but we do like to get the feel
for a place.
Steve Friess: You don't need hiking boots.
Decent sneakers with some traction will do for the most difficult
parts of the Great Wall, if you're really that adventurous.
Unless you're doing some of the more exotic backpacking in Tibet,
you're fine. In fact, when you're at the Great Wall, poor women
from the countryside sometimes attach themselves to foreigners
and guide them in hopes you'll tip them or buy postcards or
water from them later. (Getting them to leave you alone is very
difficult, so save the stress and take advantage of their knowledge
of the area.) What you'll notice is that while you're gripping
the walls and proceeding carefully up and down some very steep
steps, they're flopping around in smooth plastic slippers as
if it's nothing!
Riverdale, NY: What is the danger of SARS
Steve Friess: Of course there's a remote
chance of anything, but I live in Las Vegas and I've got to
say that even at the height of the SARS crisis, there were much,
much better odds of choking on oatmeal. What was most alarming
last spring in China was that there was little understood about
how SARS spread and how to treat it that travel was unwise for
average tourists. Now the Chinese authorities realize their
economy can collapse if even one case spreads abroad. And the
numbers are staggering - in a city like Beijing of 13 million
people, they only even had a couple thousand cases. Right now,
they've got seven or eight? This should not be a concern anymore.
Cincinnati, OH: I'm afraid to eat or drink
anything: BT says don't buy bottled water on the street, my
doctor says only eat things hot and steaming and no fruit except
bananas. We are going on a tour and staying in 3-4 star hotels...am
I worrying needlessly? Thanks.
Steve Friess: I really think you are. I had
a friend who visited with me who was so concerned she would
carry straws in a ziplock baggie everywhere we went. At a restaurant
once, I ordered a 1-liter bottle of Coke for us to share and
she had me return it for cans so she could use a straw. There
is such a thing as going too far. If you're staying and three
or four star hotels, I wouldn't hesitate to eat ANYTHING I could
get at a shop there or in the restaurants. In fact, I have a
weak stomach and I brought along a year's supply of Imodium
for my year in China in 2001. I used it about once -- after
a McDonald's hamburger. Go figure. Be careful with the water,
sure. But otherwise, just make sure food seems clean and look
around to see if anyone is puking. Just kidding. But enjoy.
The food is the best part of being in China, and I worry people
miss out because of their fears.
Orlando, FL: I'll be going on a trip with
with my graduate program in June to Shanghai. Afterwords, a
few of us will go to Beijing for three days. What is the biggest
thing we should look out for both as a group and as individuals?
And what is the main "can't miss" of the two cities? Thanks.
Steve Friess: If you live in Orlando, then
you know that in any tourist destination, there are scam artists
out there. In Beijing and Shanghai, the most common one is the
young "students" who prey upon the good will of Westerners who
come over by insisting they wish to "practice their English"
with you. You fall for it because it seems so quaint and internationally
friendly, plus you figure you'll have a neat story to tell when
you get home about the "real" Chinese people you met.
I'll never forget when my American boyfriend at the time came
over for a visit when I worked at the China Daily newspaper
in 2001 and fell into a lengthy conversation with a pair of
20-something Chinese girls at the Summer Palace. He was so annoyed
with me when I seemingly rudely wanted to just move us along.
I whispered to him that they would eventually tell him they
were art students and try to entice him to go somewhere with
them to look at their paintings. Then I walked away and left
them to chat while I sat by the big lake. Ten minutes later,
he came to me and said, 'How did you know that?" Maybe because
it's as common a scam in China as those e-mails you get about
the Nigeria prince and the fortune you can buy into.
I'm not saying not to be friendly or engaging with the local
Chinese. Of course, many of them want to get to know foreigners
and show off their country and their English skills. But pick
up a copy of the expat magazine City Weekend in some of the
bars and restaurants in the Sanlitun area and you'll find advertisements
for "English corners" with dates and times where people will
meet at cafes to have language exchange. Or enjoy the small
talk with those who approach you, but be dubious because their
entire biography may be fabricated to entice and entrap you.
Now, as for can't misses in Shanghai and Beijing… Well, Shanghai
is a really neat, modernizing city. There's the Bund, the riverfront
row of architecturally fascinating European buildings that represent
various stages of Chinese occupation. The Rough Guide guidebook
actually offers an outstanding building-by-building self-guided
tour. The other thing I urge people to do in Shanghai is go
to the Museum of Urban Planning. I know, I know - how dull does
that sound? But it's NOT! It's actually an engaging history
of the city and its people and on the third floor, I think,
there's a mammoth scale model replica of the city - complete
with bridges you can walk over to look at different sections
Beijing. As you can tell if you saw my story, I adore this
city. This answer's getting a little long, but if you miss the
Great Wall, you've missed China altogether. It is sensationally
beautiful from any section, although some are more daring and
less crowded than others. You can't help but gasp and wonder
how they built this thing. And if you like Peking duck, do NOT
miss Liqun, which is also written about in the story. There
simply isn't a better duck anywhere I've been.
June Lake, CA: I visited China in 1981. I
was there just after the first Gulf War. The Chinese I met were
very interested in talking with me about America and seemed
to know more about the war than I did, it turns out. They were
very idealistic about forming a hybrid version of socialistic
capitalism. Would they be as open-minded about Americans now?
How would a trip to China now be compared to a trip in 1981?
Steve Friess: I'm assuming you meant 1991
being post-Gulf War I since China was JUST opening up in 1981.
Either way, though, I have to say that Communist China is hardly
"Communist" at all anymore. Rather, it's more akin to unrestrained
capitalism -- the sort of capitalism we had in the late 19th
century when there was no government regulation, not labor laws,
none of that. Are the Chinese "open-minded" about Americans?
Oh, absolutely. They're not terribly keen on being lectured
to about democracy necessarily, but most dream of attending
our universities, touring in America. They love our products.
There are 64 Starbucks in Beijing alone! And they love the money
we spend when we're there. I don't think they've got a socialistic
capitalism, though - I think they've got a capitalism operated
by the Communist Party which essentially acts as the Board of
Directors for PRC Inc., the largest corporation on the planet.
The board has no plans to relinquish its control, but they'll
loosen things up enough to keep the money rolling in.
Vancouver, WA: Steve, my wife and I are going
to China for the first time in October. We have decided to go
with China-Focus travel on a 2l-day tour. Are you familiar with
the company? They are frequently mentioned in Budget Travel
magazine. Do you think this is a good way to go for first time
travelers in our early 60s with no skills in Mandarin?
Steve Friess: I'm sorry I don't know this
company, but I do think that tourists without any Mandarin may
feel much more comfortable with a guided program. I would suggest,
however, that you find one that allows some flexibility in the
itinerary. Can you ask for a different part of the Great Wall?
Can you skip the dullsville Ming Tombs? Will they be parading
you through various tourist-trap shops? One idea: If you're
Jewish, for instance, see if you can attend a Shabbat service
in Beijing or Shanghai. It's a great, great way to meet Westerners
who really live in China -- and you'll get a very different
perspective. Anything like that that you can do to shake it
up a little is good, but it's China -- you'll be amazed any
way you go. Unless the service is lousy on the tour, you've
got three weeks and that's a good amount of time to get many
slices of the country.
Belmont, CA: Since you've done a bit of writing
for the gay media as well, I'm wondering what cities in China
are good for gays and lesbians and maybe which ones are bad?
What is the Chinese opinion of homosexuality?
Steve Friess: Outside of Beijing, Shanghai,
certainly Hong Kong and to a lesser extent Guangzhou or Shenzhen,
the notion of gay nightlife in China for Western travelers is
very limited. All of those cities, though, have bars you can
find listings for through Google. Otherwise, much of Chinese
gay life occurs through Internet chat rooms and that kind of
I've recently been doing some research on this for a gay travel
piece I'm writing on Hong Kong for another magazine, and what
I've learned is that there are homosexual and homoerotic themes
that turn up in old Chinese art and literature all the time.
One euphemism for gay sex, in fact, is "breaking the sleeves,"
which comes from a 2,200-year-old tale of Han Dynasty emperor
Dong Xian who notoriously and openly had a gay lover. He woke
one time to find himself laying atop his lover's sleeve. Rather
than wake his lover, Dong thoughtfully cut the sleeve so he
could get up. The Chinese indifference to same-sex relations
was so obvious that Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci complained
about it during a 1583 visit.
But Confucian and Buddhist teachings do oppose same-sex relations
probably more than condemning same-sex relations (although Buddhism
is decidedly anti-sex in many instances) and the deeply patriarchal
society keeps almost all Chinese gays closeted. The Brits brought
modern Western Judeo-Christian homophobia along with them to
Hong Kong in the 19th century, too, and only in 1991 was gay
sex decriminalized there. There aren't statutes against it per
se on the mainland, but police have been known to blackmail
gays by threatening exposure or to arrest them on the pretense
of keeping societal order. I've never heard a Westerner caught
up in such a problem.
Taiwan, incidentally, recently flirted with recognizing gay
marriages, although it went nowhere in the legislature there.
Lawrenceville, NJ: If you had 4 days in Hong
Kong at the end of a trip, would you recommend spending one
overnight in Macau? Or is a day trip going to be enough to take
in the local flavor? We are not interested in casinos, more
the local color. If so, do you have a hotel recommendation that
would be great for what we are looking for, and how do we reserve
it? I understand Macau can be crowded. Thanks much!
Steve Friess: Funny you should ask. Part
of the HK swing I just took to file a piece for US
News & World Report about Macau and how it's ABOUT to become
a major, major tourism hotspot in coming years after American
casino companies complete their plans over the next decade to
build 20 Vegas-caliber casino-resorts with more than 50,000
rooms. There'll even be a half-sized replica of the Venetian
in Vegas. After that happens you're going to want to spend a
night over there because they'll have Vegas-like entertainment
complexes with Chinese touches - and most likely at really reasonable
prices. Vegas isn't cheap anymore. The 99 cent shrimp cocktail
is dead there. But this will be like early Vegas for a while
- can you say 99 cent dim sum?
So, my answer for the moment is that Macau is a just a day
trip because there is SO much you have to do in Hong Kong -
Victoria Peak, Stanley Market, Nathan Road shopping, high tea
at the Peninsula Hotel, Wanchai and so on. For the moment, Macau
is a bit less exciting…but certainly worthwhile. The former
Portuguese colony has an absolutely charming shopping quarter
of cobblestone streets and GREAT Portuguese-Macanese restaurants.
The ruins of the Church of St Paul is also pretty interesting;
you walk up a hill to the front of a 17th century Jesuit church.
One of the cool things is you can take pictures of it and then
challenge your friends to guess which country you're in and
they'll never guess it's China. The ferry ride over is lovely
and so easy and cheap, too. Plus, another stamp in the ole passport,
since it's another "special administrative region" - China treats
it like a different country for immigration purposes, as it
does Hong Kong. No visa required, though, unlike mainland China.
I know you said you don't gamble, but I strongly urge you
to stroll through the Casino Lisboa anyway for one of the most
colorful - and, to be honest, somewhat scary - images of real
local Chinese life. These are unlike any casinos you've ever
seen…they're dark, cramped labyrinths where at any time of any
day there are gamblers standing three, four, five deep around
baccarat tables watching or shouting out bets. How they keep
track of everyone's wagers is another ancient Chinese mystery.
Watch your wallet in there but definitely take a glimpse. You'll
be telling your friends about THAT when you get home, I promise
Dallas, TX: Hi there. I have heard that some
of the best places to buy designer knock-offs is in a small
town in China. Not sure you may have expertise in this "field",
but do you know where you can get a great deal on clothing,
Steve Friess: As I sit here listening to
a CD I'm betting Norah Jones didn't get a royalty from, I can
say that the big cities certainly have lots of knock-off markets.
In fact, the only town I can speak of is Beijing, where the
sale of pirated goods goes on unabated and unabashed within
a block of the US embassy at the Silk Alley (Xishui Market)
a couple blocks east of the major Friendship store on Jianguomenwai.
Of course, you get what you paid for...My copy of the classic
episode in season three of "Friends" when Ross and Rachel break
up has the audio about 30 second before it's supposed to come
on and the subtitles to my copy of "Wonder Boys" repeatedly
uses the term "denatured woman" to refer to the transvestite
character played by Robert Downey Jr.!
Denver, CO: I've heard a lot about the food
in Macau. What's so great about it? Where would you recommend?
Steve Friess: Hmm…why don't I answer all
the Macau questions at once since it's my favorite topic at
the moment? Macau is celebrated for its food. What's fun about
it is that it's a strange cross between Portuguese and Chinese
- an early example of fusion, if you will. And the Portuguese
brought ingredients from their Brazilian and African colonies,
too, so you end up with some of the most unusual combinations.
You may never find such a blend of global influences again.
Typical examples include caldo verde, which basically is potato
soup with green vegetables and spicy sausage, chourico assado,
which is roast Portuguese sausage, Macanese chicken curry, grilled
squid (chocos guilhados tinta) and a stew with red beans and
pork. Also, lots of codfish dishes, not something anyone eats
on mainland China. My two Macanese picks are A Lorcha at Rua
do Almirante Sergio 289AA and Solmar at Av da Praia Grande 8-10.
Madrid, Spain: Hello Steve, could you tell
me what kind of roulette is used at Macau casinos? I mean, are
they the double zero kind or the single zero? Thanks.
Steve Friess: And our last Macau question...They
only have single zeros. Also, since we're on the subject, there's
no poker or craps. Baccarat rules. Poker I understand because
it's a Vegas phenom, mostly, but craps perplexed me until I
realized it's based on the premise that the number 7 is lucky.
For Chinese, it's not a special number. Eights and nines are
lucky. The Las Vegas Sands Inc., which owns the Venetian in
Las Vegas, had some new slot machines made for the Sands Macau,
the first American casino in Macau, in which you line up lucky
8s instead of 7s. In fact, they supposed to open on May 18 and
not the 17th specifically to capitalize on the lucky 8!
Prior Lake, MN: I see that you have been
to Changchun. My 2 little girls are from there and I was wondering
about the statues mentioned in the article. I did not see those
when I was there. Do you have a link to any photos of them?
Steve Friess: I do have some photos of the
statues in the middle of the public square, but I'm not sure
if anyone has posted them online. There's a shockingly detailed
giant of a man standing with his arms raised at the center of
the square, which is actually the second-largest public square
in the world behind Tian'anmen, actually. Nearby there's one
of a naked reclining woman, but much of her lower half is washed
out. They used different sculptors. The statues went up in the
late 1990s. I only heard about it because some nudist website
heralded it as proof that Americans are prudes and everyone
else is so liberated. They pointed to a survey that showed some
huge majority of Changchun residents approved of it. But be
very, very wary of statistics the Chinese put out. They're almost
always dubious, designed to have a certain effect. In this case,
some government ministry dude who decided these statues were
a good idea got a "survey" done to prove his point.
Grand Rapids, MI: Mine question is rather
a comment: My wife and I have been to China three times in the
last five or six years on tours. The country is changing very
fast. The people are great. I would recommend tours, even to
the Hutong Village portion of Beijing, but do not go alone;
it is very difficult to find your way out of that area.
Steve Friess: Fair enough. I don't want anyone
to go into a place like China thinking it is EASY to navigate
alone. It can be done and I believe there is great benefit to
doing so. But the language is a huge, huge barrier. I cannot
imagine how Beijing is going to manage to receive millions for
the Olympics with the poor English fluency -- and personal hygiene,
too, frankly -- of its taxi drivers.
That said, if you ARE going to try on your own, surely you
can figure out how to wander a hutong area without getting lost.
Yardley, PA: Will we really be able to figure
out where to go to catch our transportation: bus, train, and
airports in China if we are doing it independently?
Steve Friess: As I just said, this is one
thing always worry about as I give people advice about mainland
China. (Not Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan, where things are more
modern and people speak a lot of English.) For the magazine,
I tried my best to keep my recommendations accessible to the
subway as much as possible.
The subway is actually really easy to use once you get the
hang of it. All you have to remember is to look at see where
people are handing in their money at the cage. Give them 3 yuan
and they'll give you a little piece of paper. Go to the top
of the steps and hand it to the woman sitting there. Then go
down and the maps are very easy to follow from there.
So can you get around Beijing without a guide? Absolutely,
with a little help from the concierge at your hotel and some
Now, let's take this question apart. Trains, first.
Taking trains across the country or from city to city is a
sensational way to see the countryside - I spent more than 200
hours on the train in 2001 and Paul Thereoux's memoir "Riding
the Iron Rooster" about his year riding the train around China
is one of the very best American-in-China memoirs around. That
said, it's really hard to do without speaking Mandarin and it's
a rugged way to go that most Westerners won't tolerate well.
The public smoking in some cars alone will drive most Californians
If you REALLY want to give it a whirl, practice asking for
tickets for your destination and learn the numbers or get a
mobile phone and get a Chinese speaker willing to wait for your
call and hand the phone to whoever you're trying to communicate
with. Don't laugh. I did this often when I was in a jam in various
nooks, but I also had lots of friends in Beijing because I was
working there. Annoyingly, you also can only buy one-way tickets,
so as soon as you arrive in a city you need to go to the ticket
counter and buy your return and you're at the mercy of what's
available if you can't be very flexible. It's a challenge.
Buses. Do NOT take city buses in China - particularly Beijing
-- unless you really, really know where you're going. I lived
there for a full year and the only buses I ever took were ones
whose paths someone had told me. There are some buses that are
OK; the Lonely Planet offers some clear instructions on where
to go and how to catch one of the cheaper buses to the Great
Wall. With guidance like that, it's OK - but really an uncomfortable
mode of transportation that lacks the scenic payoff (you see
the same thing you would in a private car or taxi) that makes
braving a train ride so enjoyable.
Airports: Getting to the airports are easy enough with help
of a concierge telling the taxi driver where to go (and remember,
Shanghai has two airports that are both heavily used, so it
would be like hopping in a cab in Chicago and saying, "Airport,
please.") Pay attention, even if the concierge or some other
Chinese speaker instructs the driver; he'll inevitably want
to take you to the international terminal because he assumes
you're going home. If you're going domestic and he takes you
international, here's my trick that anyone can do: Say "Shanghai"
- it's easy to say in Chinese and he'll understand. If you're
in Shanghai, then say "Beijing." Once you're at the airport,
the signage is reasonably good in English and what you need
to do - check in, buy the airport tax ticket, proceed to gate
- is self-explanatory.
Getting FROM the airport is another story. You'll be assaulted
by toots trying to get you into their overpriced, illegal cabs.
Go to the legitimate taxi line. If you can, print out something
from the Internet that says your destination - your hotel name
and/or address - in Chinese characters. The hotel's site should
have it. Show it to them. They won't usually be able to read
the pinyin - the Romanized version of Chinese - but they'll
all know the characters.
One last little navigational tip: The most useful thing I
owned when I was in China was a keychain that had a small compass
on it. They cost a few bucks, they're easy to carry and when
you emerge from a subway or get out of a taxi, they're invaluable
because everything will look the same all the time.
San Jose, CA: What is the best "secret" place
to visit in China? "Secret" being less well known than, say,
Steve Friess: You know, you think of China
and you just don't think about the vast northwest province of
Xinjiang which is so, so cool. It's like going to the Middle
East, and for good reason -- the province borders Pakistan and
Afghanistan and is steeped in Turkic influence thanks to those
who trekked through here on what became known as the Silk Road.
Sipping wine in Turafan and sleeping in a Uygur family's yurt
in Tian Chi had to be one of those experiences I would never
have bargained for. Closer to Beijing, take the train to Shanhaiguan
and see where the Great Wall meets the sea.
Princeton, NJ: Steve, we are traveling to
China for 3 weeks in July, just my teenage daughter and I alone,
no tour. Despite reading a lot, I'm confused (and worried) about
inter-China airline tickets, which we need (Beijing, Xian, Shanghai,
1. Who do I buy them from in China exactly that will speak
enough English and do I get all of them at once in the first
2. I understand that we can't use credit cards for airline
tickets, but I have no idea how much money they will cost. How
do I make sure I have enough in my ATM account or traveler's
3. Am also concerned about relying on ATMs for lots of cash,
I have had my card not work in developing countries in the past
although it works fine in Europe. In addition to my regular
ATM card, my bank recommended a check card (debit) that is a
Visa and I got it too. Is this going to do the job reliably?
Thanks so much for your help with this key issue!
Steve Friess: You can do all this in Beijing,
but I'm not sure why you'd bother if you're so concerned. You
can buy these tickets on Expedia right there in your own home
and have it all lined up. You'll pay a $20 premium for having
paper tickets, but it sounds like it's worth it to you to remove
this question mark. And you don't really have to worry that
you're being snookered or that you could get a better deal in
China: One of the beauties of Chinese internal air travel is
that airfares almost never change, there are no special deals
but there's also no worries that buying them too close to departure
will cost you more.
However, there is a state-run travel agency in Beijing that
can do this for you, too, with English speakers. It's called
CITS, or China International Travel Services. Your hotel concierge
should be able to instruct the cabbie to take you there - the
CITS building is at 1 Dongdan Beidajie in Beijing. Dongdan is
a major subway stop on the No. 1 line (east-west), two stops
east of Tian'anmen Dong (Tiananmen East.) The building should
be right there on the north corner when you come up and it's
probably listed on the signs telling you which exit to use to
get to what. CITS is great and very helpful to buying air and
You mentioned you can't use credit cards for this. I'm pretty
sure CITS lets you do so; I'm sure I charged my flight to Urumqi
on my Amex or Visa back then in 2001, although I paid a premium
to do so.
I have NOT heard horror stories about using ATMS in China
with mainstream US bank cards like Wells Fargo, BoA, Citibank,
etc. What I *would* advise against is the use of travelers checks.
I never found that to be of any use outside of at a major bank.
While credit cards aren't all the widely accepted in China
except in tourist businesses and even then it's never clear,
one clever trick is that American Express allows you to cash
your own personal checks for free if you go to their office
in major cities like Shanghai and Beijing. I think the limit
is US$1,000. Kind of a pain, but a good backup plan. Call Amex
and ask them about it.
Stillwater, OK: Where can I read about your
travels? I just spent 5 1/2 years teaching in Shandong, did
a lot of traveling in the summers, and would like to read of
the places I never got to go to, such as Zhou Zai Gou in Sichuan
and DunHuang in Qinghai.
Steve Friess: Some of the quirkier observations
from my year in China - complete with a very funny photo of
me with now-NBA star Yao Ming when I interviewed him for USA
Today before anyone knew who he was - can be found on my professional
I also wrote a number of opinion pieces on Chinese issues from
the 2008 Olympics to SARS that appeared in a number of newspapers.
Since the Philadelphia Inquirer ran most of them, you can go
to my site's Philadelphia Inquirer index and see those at http://www.stevefriess.com/archive/phillyinquirer/
New York, NY: Other than the language barrier,
what do you find are the biggest obstacles you face in traveling
Steve Friess: Well, you really have to lower
your sanitation expectations, certainly, if you're going to
really get a chance to see how real Chinese people live and
eat "real" Chinese food, which is wonderful and so vastly different
than what we get in the West. It can't bother you to sit in
a restaurant and see a fish leap out of a tank, flop around
on the floor, get scooped up by an attendant whenever they get
to it and then tossed back into the tank.
Steve Friess: Well, geez...that went fast!
Thanks so much for all your participation and I'm sorry I couldn't
answer every single question. You are welcome to visit my site,
www.stevefriess.com, and e-mail me a question. If I can answer
it, I'll do my best. And enjoy! Zai jian!
Go to Friess
in the News