Kunming Bird and Flower Market

Posted on 02. Jul, 2015 by in Uncategorized

Throughout China, you’ll find plenty of quirky and unique markets. One fine example is the Bird & Flower Market (花鸟市场 – huā niǎo shì chǎng) located in Kunming. Just off the major pedestrian shopping street of Zhengyi Road, you can find this maze of stalls specializing in – you guessed it – birds and flowers. That’s not all you’ll see for sale here, though: dogs, lizards, fish, porcupines, spiders, snakes, and even tarantulas are all here in what might be one of the oddest pet stores in the world. In addition to all the plants and animals, you’ll also find the usual assortment of handicrafts, knick-knacks, and even the Yunnan classic water pipers. Although much of the traditional market has been lost due to soaring real estate prices and construction, it’s still an interesting place to wander around for a while should you find yourself in the Spring City. See for yourself in this photo essay:

The market is located on a small walking street downtown.

The market is located on a small walking street downtown.

Here, you'll find plenty of birds...

Here, you’ll find plenty of birds…

...and flowers, obviously.

…and flowers, obviously.

There are also plenty of souvenirs, such as crystals and jewelry.

There are also plenty of souvenirs, such as crystals and jewelry.

An interesting place to buy a pet.

An interesting place to buy a pet.

Some of the many birds for sale.

Some of the many different pets for sale.

A pack of sleepy puppies.

A pack of sleepy puppies.

There are some very pretty plants available here.

There are some very pretty plants available here.

Close up on some of the cool plants.

Close up on some of the cool plants.

You can pick up some awesome lizards here.

You can pick up some awesome lizards here.

Looking for a cute amphibian? You've come to the right place!

Looking for a cute amphibian? You’ve come to the right place!

You can even pick up huge snakes here.

You can even pick up huge snakes here.

Scoping out a tarantula.

Scoping out a tarantula.

Multi-colored frogs?

Multi-colored frogs?

Selling flowers sure is tiring.

Selling flowers sure is tiring.

Not sure why you'd want a pet slug...

Not sure why you’d want a pet slug…

Huge water pipers - a Yunnan classic.

Huge water pipers – a Yunnan classic.

Obama says "good good study, day day up!"

Obama says “good good study, day day up!”

For more on Kunming, check out our recent post about 10 awesome things to do in China’s Spring City.

Job Titles in Chinese

Posted on 30. Jun, 2015 by in Uncategorized

One of the most common questions you’ll get from people in China is “What’s your job?” (你做什么工作? – nǐ zuò shén me gōng zuò?) To answer, you simply say “I’m a…”(我是… – wǒ shì) plus your job title.

我是老师
我是老师

To help you out, here are 25 common job titles in Chinese:

  • accountant (会计 – kuài jì)

  • actor (演员 – yǎn yuán)

  • agent (代理商 – dài lǐ shāng)

  • artist (艺术家 – yì shù jiā)

  • assistant (助理 – zhù lǐ)

  • boss (老板 – lǎo bǎn)

  • business person (商人 – shāng rén)

  • chef (厨师 – chú shī)

  • designer (设计师 – shè jì shī)

  • doctor (医生 – yī shēng)

  • engineer (工程师 – gōng chéng shī)

  • freelancer (自由职业 – zì yóu zhí yè)

  • lawyer (律师 – lǜ shī)

  • manager (经理 – jīng lǐ)

  • musician (音乐家 – yīn yuè jiā)

  • nurse (护士 – hù shì)

  • photographer (摄影师 – shè yǐng shī)

  • police officer (警察 – jǐng chá)

  • receptionist (招待员 – zhāo dài yuán)

  • sales person (售货员 – shòu huò yuán)

  • scientist (科学家 – kē xué jiā)

  • secretary (秘书 – mì shū)

  • teacher (老师 – lǎo shī)

  • waiter (服务员 – fú wù yuán)

  • writer (作家 – zuò jiā)

Get a little practice by watching these YouTube videos:

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Here are some of the job titles mentioned above plus others.

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This silly cartoon shows you common jobs and explains them in Chinese.

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Take it to the next level with this video that teaches you how to answer other questions about your job.

Try to practice by answering these questions:

What’s your job?
你做什么工作?
nǐ zuò shén me gōng zuò

Where do you work?
你在哪里工作?
nǐ zài nǎ lǐ gōng zuò

Do you like your job?
你喜欢你的工作吗?
nǐ xǐ huān nǐ de gōng zuò ma

Streets, Beats and Eats – Kunming

Posted on 25. Jun, 2015 by in Uncategorized

Jam out in Kunming!

Jam out in Kunming!

Explore the “Streets, Beats & Eats” of China’s Spring City. Take in the local culture at Green Lake Park, munch on “over the bridge” rice noodles, stroll around a night market, and take in some of the city’s best nightlife and live music.

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“Welcome to Kunming, China’s Spring City. Our trip begins at the Green Lake park, a scenic area in the center of the city. This public park is free to visit and is a great place to take in the local culture. People come here to peddle their wares, practice water calligraphy, engage in a heated game of cards or Chinese chess, or just take a nap. The culture of the Green Lake is all about the music, as people gather here for jam sessions, or just to sing and dance. Yunnan province is home to 25 of China’s 55 ethnic minority groups, and you’ll see them at the lake decked out in their colorful garb, playing traditional instruments and leading group dances.

If you’re feeling adventurous, hit the snack street, where you can sample a wide variety of things on sticks or give pig’s feet a try. Oh yeah, they also have grilled pig’s brain. If that’s all too weird, you can find a bowl of spicy chicken. The local specialty here is definitely over the bridge rice noodles, which you can find just about everywhere, including the Brothers Jiang. Order up some cold dishes and a bowl of the famous noodles, which come with a wide variety of sides, including ham, tofu, and fried pork skin. Toss it all into the broth and mix it up for a yummy lunch.

To walk off that huge bowl of noodles, head downtown for a stroll, where you’ll see a bit of old meets new in the architecture. Here you’ll find the bird and flower market, which obviously has both birds and flowers for sale, but that’s not all… dogs, fish, rabbits, lizards, squirrels, porcupines, snakes, slugs, worms, and tarantulas are also available.

Keep walking south, through one of the city’s squares, stopping if you want a head massage, until you get to Jinbi Square, home to the Golden Horse and Jade Rooster archways. Even if you’re not staying there, head up to the Hump Hostel on the 3rd floor. It’s a great place to chill, play pool, ping pong, or just sit on the roof with a smoothie or Beer Laos to enjoy the views of downtown.

Another great place for a walk is Wenhua Xiang, a cool ‘hood near the university with bookstores, fast food, and tattoo shops. If you need some comfort food or a dose of caffeine, head to Salvador’s, a Kunming institution popular with expats and locals alike. In the evening, the little street turns into a night market, where people set up makeshift shops on the side of the road. A great Chinese restaurants is Heavenly Manna. Try Yunnan specialties like old grandma potatoes, goat cheese with broccoli and tomato, and crispy red beans. There’s also great Indian on this street – samosas, a variety of curries, and naan make for an awesome meal.

Get the party started at O’Reilly’s, Kunming’s very own Irish bar – where you can grab a Guiness, watch some rugby, and take in some tunes.

Follow the green laser to DT Bar, where you can turn it up to 11 and rock the F out. Some of Kunming’s best musicians play here, including the legendary John Nevada Lundemo and his amazing supporting cast.

When it comes to Spring City bars, perhaps none is as famous as Moon Dog. This is a great place to gather with friends, sample fine whiskey, down flaming shots, play a game of foosball, or just sit back and listen to the music.

For late night fun, you just can’t beat the Mask, where you might catch local singer Vigansta…. the beat boxing machine Xiao Fei…. or local rapper Xiao Chang. Yeah, that’s right – Chinese rap! Get ready for a late night, because the party goes until sunrise here!”