Crafting Beer for China

craft beer

Do you enjoy beer?

I don’t mean the stuff that was invented because it was safer to drink than water, I mean really good beer! Maybe, you’ve never experienced a beer with such complexity and balance that it should be savored like a fine wine. A beer that needs to “open up” a bit as it settles into the glass, and as you take your first sip you breathe in the aroma of hops and malt.

A beer that, like wine, to fully enjoy it you have to educate yourself a little (or rely on a knowledgeable server) if you are going to find the flavors that tingle your unique palate. If you haven’t yet, then you should, and know that you’re not alone. You can join hundreds of millions of Chinese who have yet to discover craft beer.

Like many places in the world, China has been brewing beer since the beginning of time. Well, at least far enough back to cause a debate. And like other places in the world, it served its purpose then fell out of favor for some other alcoholic beverage. But now China is back on beer, and is the largest beer consuming country on the planet.

Yes, it’s true, when you have a billion plus people you are the largest consumer of many things. But that also means it’s an exciting time for the craft brewers of China. However, only time will tell whether they can follow the same trend as other beer drinking countries like the US, Japan, and the numerous other countries. [Read more…]

Chinese VISA application: A complete guide (updated July 2015)

Chinese VISA

This article is a complete guide to getting a Chinese VISA. Keep reading to find out the answers to the following questions:

[Read more…]

Christmas Tale – From Furio’s old diaries

Christmas Tale

Disclaimer: This history is part of a sea of personal reflections that I collected during my first year in China. Despite having changed the names of all people mentioned, the facts – as improbable as they might seem – all really happened.

Spoiler Alert: This series is extremely explicit and contains a high level of sarcasm. If, for some reason, you might take offense, I would then recommend the Junior Woodchucks Guidebook : ).

Index: Click here to read all stories in this series in chronological order (however this is the first one).

Is sex dirty? Only if it’s done right,” Woody Allen.

“Hello my friend,

today I feel like a sex object…”

Two in the afternoon on December 25th, I eat cold chicken still buzzed with Christmas alcohol and write an email to Marcelo, who for years has helped me every time my feelings take me off the ground.

“…Michela brought me to Bar Blue despite my reticence to go to a hole on Christmas Eve. The club is packed and we are forced to share the table with two Chinese girls. Not that it bothers me: the girl closest to me, a porcelain doll, starts the conversation by asking if I speak Mandarin and, in response to my dry “no” she tells me her life story in English.

Her name is Nina, an American–born in Beijing then moved to Los Angeles as a little girl when her parents separated, she says “shit” every three words, is a consultant and plans to quit in order to travel the world earning a living as a photographer.

[update: she did it, I met her again the next year in Vietnam as she was traveling the world]. [Read more…]

Living in rural ethnic China: Interview with Gaetan of Traval Cathay

inthestreetsoflushiIn the streets of Lushi

Today we’ll discuss with Gaetan Green, the founder of Travel Cathay, a website dedicated to the off-the-beaten path places in China. If you’re interested on travel tips, history and traditions of Chinese remote areas, I advice you to check Gaetan’s website!

Gaetan, first of all thank for accepting to talk with me. When and why you ended up in China?

Thank you for having me on Sapore di Cina.

Well, I ended up in China during my first trip around the world in 2001. After traveling for three months through the country, I decided to come back for more. Once back home, I decided to study Chinese at university and then moved to Chongqing to deepen my knowledge of language in 2003. I lived in China on and off since then. [Read more…]

Review of ExpressVPN: How to avoid geographic restrictions on the internet

ExpressVPN review

The purpose of this article is to review ExpressVPN, which, in my opinion, is one of the best VPNs currently on the market. If you still don’t know what a VPN is, just scroll down till the end of this article to learn more.

Why is ExpressVPN one of the best VPNs on the market?

ExpressVPN offers one of the best encryptions and IP blockers on the market. How do I know? Because it is one of the few VPNs that is able to pass one of the most demanding tests that exits: I’m talking about the Great Firewall of China, which limits access to innumerable websites such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.

In China I have tried a lot of VPNs, both paid and free, and I ensure you that few are capable of getting around the Great Firewall of China, and among those, few offer a stable and fast connection. [Read more…]

Dog meat in China and the Yulin festival

dog meat china
Disclaimer: This article is an opinion article based on contrasting information and personal experience. The comments section is open to discussion. However, just like with any article on SDC, any comments considered to be clearly offensive or insulting will be deleted.

Last month, we received a wave of insulting comments against Chinese people, and strangely on an article dedicated to dog meat in VIETNAM. This fact bugged me a bit, as first of all, I don’t like to spend all day deleting insulting comments and second of all, the comments didn’t have anything to do with the article. Why insult Chinese people on an article on Vietnam?

Regardless, I was curious about the reason for this wave of comments. I found the answer quickly by reading the newspaper. Apparently, people had started a worldwide campaign to stop the Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in the Chinese city of Yulin, in Guangxi, which is held every year on June 21.

This is the reason why I have decided to cover this subject in the most objective way possible today.

Truths and myths about the consumption of dog meat in China

[Read more…]

[Contest is Closed] Win a Yearly ExpressVPN Plan (value 99.5 USD) Here at SDC!

Ni hao!

ExpressVPN, one of the VPNs we recommend, got in touch with us to see if we were keen on giving away another yearly plan of their service (value: 99.5 USD) to one of our readers.

They get you guys to know them and you may get a year of VPN for free!

In order to enter the contest, just click here and follow the instructions.

The contest will close on Sunday 19 July at 11 PM, Lodon time. We’ll award the prize on Monday 20 July (we’ll contact the winner by email).

p.s. If you already subscribed to an ExpressVPN plan, no worries. The free year will start only with your current plan will expire!

p.p.s. If you’re traveling to China soon and you don’t know what a VPN is, check this. I’m sure you’ll find it interesting…



Women looking for trouble – From Furio’s old diaries

Women Looking for TroubleWudaokou

Disclaimer: This history is part of a sea of personal reflections that I collected during my first year in China. Despite having changed the names of all people mentioned, the facts – as improbable as they might seem – all really happened.

Spoiler Alert: This series is extremely explicit and contains a high level of sarcasm. If, for some reason, you might take offense, I would then recommend the Junior Woodchucks Guidebook : )

Index: Click here to read all stories from the “Old Diaries” in chronological order.

When the snail pulls its head out of its shell, he gets a knock to the head,” Japanese Proverb.

If I belonged to the group of men that never have to ask this story wouldn’t exist. Sadly I’m not that good-looking. If I’m interested in a girl I have to intrigue her, conquer her. Despite this, when I was in Beijing I noted a curious phenomenon: Westerners come looking for me.

But let’s go in order.

Foreign language teachers have found paradise in China. They work five-eight hours a day where the average salary is less than half. Many are only busy in the afternoon, and leave early to spend the night in bars and sleep in the next morning. Or at least, this is the life of the majority of those invited to Nedia’s birthday who arrive from Marrakesh and teach French to the wives of rich men.

I’m a little lost because apart from Nedia I don’t know anyone. Then a young man of Hispanic lineage begins explaining to me the difference between baijiu, the Chinese spirit that he’s sipping, and the national drink of Panama. The conversation is interesting but, before I can ask him where he’s from, a girl who looks like Kelly from Beverly Hills captures my attention with a ferocious look. Although not being a great estimator of pom pom girls, this cowgirl from Arizona knows how to make herself interesting. [Read more…]

Huanghua: Tips for Visiting the Great Wall of China

Huang Hua Cheng Great Wall China

The Great Wall of China is one of the most recommendable places to visit and is without a doubt the must-see tourist attraction when you travel to China. However, the question that many people ask is which part of the Wall should they visit?

The Badalin, Mutianyu and Juyongguan sections are the most well-known sections, as they are the easiest to access and therefore the most crowded.

In this article, I am going to talk about another section, HuangHua Cheng (黄花城, literally “The Wall of the Yellow Flowers“), which is much less known, and a place worth visiting.

The HuangHua section is an extension of 11 km built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and which is located at around 60 km from Beijing, in the Huairou district. [Read more…]

Raising an Expat Kid in China: Who is a Third Culture Kid?

Who is a Third Culture Kid
“Imagine there’s no countries…it’s easy if you try…”

These are the words of self-described dreamer and world traveler John Lennon; but also a reality for every child, because for them, there aren’t any countries, there is only their world, and their surroundings. They learn from birth through their own experiences, their parental upbringing, their extended family, from their lessons and teachers at school, their society’s rules and morals, and their peer groups to identify themselves as (insert nation here).

But imagine your child’s school has an international or foreign curriculum. Imagine that the society that surrounds them is totally foreign. Imagine that their peer group doesn’t have a single child that is from the same country as them. When parents decide to live in a another country they don’t have to imagine these situations, they must deal with the reality of raising a “Third Culture Kid”.

“Third Culture Kids”

Third Culture Kids, or TCK, the term for children that grow up in a foreign land, was first put forth by David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken in their book Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds. Pollock and VanReken offer a wealth of data, stories, and information on a variety of different types of TCKs, and there is a lot of data! [Read more…]