Friday, July 21, 2017

Sites to See: Wenzhou Opal--Ou Ceramic, Opal Furniture Co., Ltd., Opal Canteen; Wenzhou, China


Wenzhou Opal--Ou Ceramic, Opal Furniture Co., Ltd., Opal Canteen  No.1 Yucangdong Road,Economic Development Zone, +86-577-86551234.  Restaurant reservations required.

entrance to Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China
entrance to Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China

entrance to Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China
entrance to Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China

cashier seen through aquarium at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China
cashier seen through aquarium at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China

This converted small factory now houses a restaurant, wine tasting room, and ceramics showroom on the first floor; a showroom of furniture made from recycled components on the second floor; and a small museum on the top floor, where the owner also resides.  Items feature a spare, Scandinavian aesthetic.

wine decanter at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China
wine decanter at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China

goldfish bowl at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China
goldfish bowl at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China

furniture showroom at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China
furniture showroom at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China

The restaurant continues the minimalist Japanese-style with small servings in big ceramic celadon bowls that are stacked for a “ripple effect.”  The first bowl is very large, then the next bowl is nested inside it, until the final small bowl is inserted.  On my visit, a casual effect was achieved with the spreading of mandarin oranges and black King Kong peanuts across the table.

nesting dining bowls at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China
nesting dining bowls at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China

nesting dining bowls at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China
nesting dining bowls at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China

nesting dining bowls at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China
nesting dining bowls at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China

nesting dining bowls at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China
nesting dining bowls at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China


And don’t miss the dramatic restrooms, where the men’s room urinal is washed and rinsed continuously by water recycled from the process of washing hands.  

restroom sink at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China
restroom sink at Ou Ceramic in Wenzhou, China


More things to do in Wenzhou.

Things to do in China.  

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sites to See: Jiangxin Islet; Wenzhou, China


Jiangxin Islet  No. 199, Jiangdong Road, Lucheng District, +86 577 88201281.  Daily 8am-10pm.  25yuen; children 12yuen.  Situated in the middle of the Ou River, just a short ferry ride away from city center, this is one of the four most famous historic islets in China.  The island is nicknamed “fairyland of immortals” and offers respite from the city in a peaceful park environment.  Visitors can stroll leisurely along paths with flowers and ponds on both sides.  Two seven-story-tall pagodas with six sides are positioned on either side of the Jiangxin Temple built in the Qing Dynasty (1789).  The East Pagoda was built during the Tang Dynasty (AD869), while the West Pagoda was constructed during the North Song Dynasty (AD 969).  The former British embassy built in 1890 is also here, as well as a small Revolution Museum.  

bride waits at ferry terminal for Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China
bride waits at ferry terminal for Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China


Chinese flag on ferry to Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China
Chinese flag on ferry to Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China

partial Wenzhou skyline seen from ferry to Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China
partial Wenzhou skyline seen from ferry to Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China

scenic rock on Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China
scenic rock on Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China

colorful building on Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China
colorful building on Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China

ancient tree on Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China
ancient tree on Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China

temple courtyard stonework on Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China
temple courtyard stonework on Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China

temple statue on Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China
temple statue on Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China

pagoda seen from wishing bridge on Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China
pagoda seen from wishing bridge on Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China

small boat at Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China
small boat at Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China

toddler in training pants at Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China
toddler in training pants at Jiangxin Islet in Wenzhou, China

More things to do in Wenzhou.

Things to do in China.  

More China items.


More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Things to Do: Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area/Wuma Street; Wenzhou, China


Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area/Wuma Street  This wide strolling boulevard is lined with shops and restaurants.  It is one of the oldest shopping streets, and is the most popular pedestrian-only shopping area, in Wenzhou.  Shopping for shoes and jewelry is prime here.  Surrounding shopping areas include Shamaohe Ladies’ Street, Kaitai Department Store, Fuqian Street, Gongyuan Street, First Bridge, and Liefang Road Shopping Center.  A Starbucks offers second-story window seating overlooking the busy shopping area.  While I visited, both children and teenagers got excited when they learned we were Americans and, treating us like rock stars, wanted their pictures taken with us.  Quite the experience.  

Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China
Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China

Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China
Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China

food stall on Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China
food stall on Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China

Shamaohe Ladies’ Street off Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China
Shamaohe Ladies’ Street off Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China

high-rise apartment building off Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China
high-rise apartment building off Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China

cat with food bag off Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China
cat with food bag off Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China

happy school girls on Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China
happy school girls on Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China

teen girls pose with American on Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China
teen girls pose with American on Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China
 
Starbucks on Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China
Starbucks on Five Horses Pedestrian Shopping Area in Wenzhou, China



More things to do in Wenzhou.

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, July 7, 2017

Sights to See: Wenzhou, China


          The word “wen” in Chinese means “warm.”  Perhaps Wenzhou got its name because of its year-round mild weather.  It is not cold in winter and not hot in summer, and in fall it can be foggy and humid, seemingly always covered in a mist.  Centered around the Ou River--known as the Mother River of Wenzhou--it is positioned for fresh air and sea breezes.  Situated in Zhejiang Province in a cradle of mountains and water, on the coast between the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta, the city faces the East China Sea.  It is south of Shanghai--1 hour by plane, 3 to 4 hours by high-speed train.

China Eastern airplane lands at Wenzhou airport in China
China Eastern airplane lands at Wenzhou airport in China

          With a population of more than 6 million (143 people are over the age of 100, with the oldest being 106), Wenzhou is a modern city with many luxury hotels, good restaurants and bars, and varied shopping.  Construction and redevelopments seems to be going on everywhere.
Wenzhou skyline from Ou River in Wenzhou, China
Wenzhou skyline from Ou River in Wenzhou, China

          Wenzhou has a rich history that dates back more than 2,200 years, yet it feels young with vitality.  Renowned for its handicraft industry, it is one of China’s oldest artisan cities and especially known for its ceramics, but it also produces paper, silk textiles, and embroidery.  The area attracts many famous poets, writers and dignitaries, and mathematicians.
artist in Wenzhou, China
artist in Wenzhou, China

          For centuries, Wenzhou's location on the coast had many inhabitants relying on shipping, trading, and fishing for their livelihoods.  Now, shoes and electrical appliances produced here are sold both at home and abroad, and at one point Wenzhou manufactured 90% of the world’s eye-glass frames.
          The friendly citizens of Wenzhou are progressive and open to western ideas.  Millions of merchants have emigrated and started businesses throughout the world.  Most Chinese expats living in the U.S. come from here.
          So now, for a while, I will be posting about the many things to see and do in the spectacular area. 



More things to do in Wenzhou.

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sights to See: coastal loop drive + Roxborough, Tobago


COASTAL LOOP DRIVE
Lush Tobago is encircled by one rollercoaster-like loop road that takes at least an entire day to do properly. 

Highlights along this route include:
silk cotton tree  On Northside Rd., in Runnymeade Area.  This gigantic tree is 350-plus years old.  Silky cotton is made from the pods.
150-plus-year-old silk cotton tree in Runnymeade, Tobago
150-plus-year-old silk cotton tree in Runnymeade, Tobago

CASTARA  This fishing village on the Caribbean side has a surprising number of distinctive guesthouses snuggled into the steep-walled bay.
view of Castara in Tobago
view of Castara in Tobago

Parlatuvier Bay  This fishing village with a pier and boats has a tranquil beach.
Pariatuvier Bay in Tobago
Pariatuvier Bay in Tobago

Bloody Bay  This secluded, breezy beach provides great swimming. 
     ●Sunshine Restaurant  I enjoyed lunch here on a comfortable verandah overlooking dense forest.  Firm king fish, which is like halibut, or lobster curry are both good choices. 
menu at Sunshine Restaurant in Bloddy Bay in Tobago
menu at Sunshine Restaurant in Bloddy Bay in Tobago

fish plate at Sunshine Restaurant in Bloddy Bay in Tobago
fish plate at Sunshine Restaurant in Bloddy Bay in Tobago

cats outside Sunshine Restaurant in Bloddy Bay in Tobago
cats outside Sunshine Restaurant in Bloddy Bay in Tobago

Speyside  On the loop’s furthest tip, this area offers great diving and has boat trips to offshore islands. 
More info on this loop drive. 

ROXBOROUGH 
Roxborough is the former capital of Tobago.
Tobago Cocoa Estate  By reservation.  Learn about cocoa-making in this heritage park.  Though it is the last cocoa estate in operation on the island, it has been open only since 2005.  Driving in, you’ll pass through a teak tree alee.  Take a walk through the estate and see a variety of fruiting trees as well as plenty of cocoa trees.  Eco-friendly cultivation practices and no pesticides are used here--crows eat the cocoa pods, so hawks are used to stop them.  A rum and chocolate tasting is included.  Mature “immortal trees” shade cocoa trees.
ginger bush at Tobago Cocoa Estate in Rosborough, Tobago
ginger bush at Tobago Cocoa Estate in Rosborough, Tobago

tour at Tobago Cocoa Estate in Rosborough, Tobago
tour at Tobago Cocoa Estate in Rosborough, Tobago

tour at Tobago Cocoa Estate in Rosborough, Tobago
tour at Tobago Cocoa Estate in Rosborough, Tobago

display at Tobago Cocoa Estate in Rosborough, Tobago
display at Tobago Cocoa Estate in Rosborough, Tobago

open cocoa pod at Tobago Cocoa Estate in Rosborough, Tobago
open cocoa pod at Tobago Cocoa Estate in Rosborough, Tobago

Argyle Waterfall  TT10; TT30 includes tour guide.  Nearby, this multi-level falls is reached by a short hike through quiet, sheltered forest filled with cacao trees, assorted flowering plants, and many kinds of birds.  Hiking boots makes sense, or other sensible footwear--forget the flip flops--because there are rocks, steps, and uneven surfaces.  The falls cascade down over two smaller pools and form a deep pool at the bottom.  A clear shallow pool higher up is also ideal for swimming but requires using a climbing rope to reach (although I hear the upper pools are home to tiny pinching shrimps), and on the third level, you can bathe under showers from the falls.
stairway on trail to Argyle Waterfall in Rosborough, Tobago
stairway on trail to Argyle Waterfall in Rosborough, Tobago
carved bamboo on trail to Argyle Waterfall in Rosborough, Tobago
carved bamboo on trail to Argyle Waterfall in Rosborough, Tobago

carved bamboo souvenirs on trail to Argyle Waterfall in Rosborough, Tobago
carved bamboo souvenirs on trail to Argyle Waterfall in Rosborough, Tobago

women's restroom sign at trailhead to Argyle Waterfall in Rosborough, Tobago
women's restroom sign at trailhead to Argyle Waterfall in Rosborough, Tobago

More things to do in Tobago.

Things to do in sister island Trinidad.

More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers