One of the striking things about Japan, is it’s vending machines.. you can find them from all around the country. From train stations, street corners, shop fronts, countryside, cities, you name it! They are absolutely abundant.
From the western perspective it almost looks irresponsible. Of course they contain money and valuable goods inside, so hasn’t anyone realized they could break the machines and steal the money at night? Seems no one is worried about such a thing! So any shop or street corner can have it, just for extra income.
You can buy anything from coffee, soft drinks to even alcohol at times. Not to mention cigarettes and other goods. Japan just wouldn’t be anything without it’s vending machines!
Getting to Grips With Chinese Culture
Absolute one of the best ways of becoming friends with The Republic Of China is to get to know it’s culture and people. There are a lot of negative views towards the country but this is often due to a lack of real knowledge.
Every country has it’s good and bad sides and if you put enough effort into getting to know the things you like about the country, negative views will naturally subside.. even though this may sometimes seem difficult, we believe it’s simply a matter of personal choice.
Beauty in Chinese Opera
One such interesting example is opera. The women are so stunningly beautiful and the make up so striking that it made me fall in love with China in an instant. In fact this was one of the main doorways to my fascination with the country. Without it I would still be with my negative thoughts about the country, while now I am so overwhelmed by the art that it’s hard for me to accept the negativity of which some is absolutely correct. The situation has gotten as far as being accused by my friends of over protecting the countries image.
Nevertheless, Chinese Opera or any other Chinese performing art can spark your interest. Therefore for your enjoyment I have collected some of the most beautiful images of Women in opera. All of the images are from Peking Opera, of which the majority are shot at the renowned Liyuan Theatre stage in Beijing. You can find more information here.
To go and witness the beauty with your own eyes, we recommend heading your way to Beijing and checking out some of the popular theaters there. Till next time..!
Ever since I stepped into this unique and wonderful island, I was completely swept away by it’s people. Despite the country having such rich landmarks, beautiful temples, vast nature and mountain ranges.. nothing beats the fact that the people living on this island are very unique compared to the rest of the world.
At a plain sight people seem extremely kind or if you are condicioned by western ideology, often this is seen as a weakness or a way of unconfidence. Obviously just like any country, Japan has it’s weaknesses.. but the beauty that is there is something that many other countries could learn a lot from if they would give Japan the attention they deserve.
The basic premise is that the Japanese people trust each other. The level of trust is not simply close family or friends, but extends to total strangers, people passing you on the street for example. There is often no need to lock the bicycle however.. especially after the fukushima incident the trust towards the government has increasingly declined. It has become evident that this trust has also had very negative effects, that the people have had to suffer from.
The government has not cared about the people, as much as the people have cared about themselves. This createst a big dilemma within the minds of the Japanese people. While things are changing rappidly, it is amazing how strongly the Japanese mind is stilling trying not to loose faith for anything else than the government.
All the three cools are very special countries, at least on my list of importance. Therefore it would be very difficult to put those countries into an order of importance, so I will just go through them one by one featuring some of the great and even some not that great things I know about these places.
Of all the three, China must be the place that is best for foreigners on the general scale. Mainly because people are extremely open and easy to understand once you understand the rules, especially in the capital of Beijing. Questioning these rules however might be a challenge but accepting them can be a slow process and accepted as such. So there is no need to worry about making mistakes as the local people will be more than happy to help you to understand the “chinese way”. In the end it is not difficult at all since people most of the time talk in a straight forward manner.
Talk however is done predominantly in Chinese and therefore can bring challenges but straightforward ones. Usually the biggest complained amongst foreigners is not learning the language but difficulties speaking it. This is because of the tones that are extremely important for understanding the spoken language. Even the smallest mistake can not only make a word misunderstood but break the fluency of a sentence in such a way that the recipent will simply close up and refuse to understand anything at all.
Once this stage is overcome the feeling is absolutely magnificent and you are ready to not just order food from the restaurant but to engage in communication with people. While one has not yet mastered such skills it is advice to hire a tour guide, for example this beijing private tour guide offers tailored services that fits any and all everyday needs. For instance going to the hospital, opening up a bank account, renting out an appartment etc. All these are better done without a mistake! Included in the service is not only intrepertation but advise as well. Hence ‘understanding the rules’.
As a side note, the company in question ‘May Tours’ has great offers on discounted theatre tickets in and around Beijing venues. The special thing about China that the culture is all about barganing, so when you though something was cheap enough it can be even more cheap!
A city rich in culture such as the capital is full of extremely attractive venues suitable for everyone. Dispite new venues rarely sourfacing there the old ones are so many and amazing that they should be enough for quite a few years. One such venues if the Chaoyang Theatre where May Tours is offering their ticket booking service as well. It is known as the most ancient and well preserved acrobatic performance in Beijing, with a history deep into the times before communism.
These and many more venues have indeed survived the growing trend of the embracing the new without preserving the old. Peking Opera is another spectacle that is highly recommended!
Northeast Asia is undoubtedly a unique place in the world. While sharing a lot of culture, appearance and customs.. China, Korea & Japan are very different places. Not only the countries are different to themselves but inside each of these countries each area has their own unique style and mannerism. Especially China with it’s vast ethnic diversity is like a culture melting pot.
The biggest difference is with China and Japan. To tell you an example, I was once taking a flight from Beijing to Osaka and the plain had a stopover at Qingdao airport in China. When we arrived to Qingdao we had to get out of the airplane and go through the international security customs check before we could re-enter the flight which was already very late. It was obvious that despite being late, the airplane would have to wait for the last customers going through the security checks. While waiting at the customs, an announcement was repeatedly blasted how the flight to Osaka had changed gate in three languages, English, Chinese & Japanese.
An indeed tricky situation where one passenger could cause the flight to delay even further. Well, arriving to the gate-area I observed Chinese people standing about confused as to which gate to go to and reluctant to take any action to solve the mystery. While Japanese were running to the gate directly in attempt to not cause any disturbance and yes, they all knew which gate to go to.
The display of difference in this story might seem rather negative, but if you look at both without falling into “good” and “bad” categories.. you can see the positive in both. To sum it up, Chinese don’t like to think too much and they just want to be happy. For a Japanese, considering others first will bring happiness to the society and ultimately to oneself.
Food for thought.
So what’s this then you ask. Well, back in the days Asia wasn’t much on our list. What’s there anyway? A bunch of tourist traps, too popular to my taste, Japan and all that stuff dunnow. India was very much to my liking as its plenty big to get lost in adventure. So the usual destinations were like Europe, North Africa, South & North America even Australia.
It took a bit of a stumbling to end up in Northeast Asia and whoa. For instance Japan really blew my head off. I guess after all that travel, age has something to do with it too.. while it’s an extremely comfortable and convenient country, it is also very unique and special. So you have the convenience and adventure factor combined in an incredible twist.. something that just doesn’t exist anywhere else. Korea has a different twist with a similar style and as for China, it’s not that easy but hey, it’s the Asian land of opportunities. Plus money goes a long way in the republic, buying that comfort is always an option not far from reach.
To conclude, this homepage is dedicated to the coolness of these three places in the world that are very in interesting in these times of change. I and the rest of the munchie bunch will move our lazy asses and let you know about why it’s so freaking cool to be here.