@DanTheMan: This sounds interesting as well. Can you post any info on who this guy is, what these trips are and how to contact him, please? "unvarnished" = good. I'd like to get away from the ever-westernising sides of China and stuck into some things more off the beaten track myself.
Cheers for the tips guys. Especially hedgepig and pierre (funny story about the locals! ha!) for your more relevant replies. But thank you, pernordin, too. And bucko...
The 5Kg veggie box and tomatoes sound great :D
@hedgepig specifically: I'm surprised about your tip on the lamb/beef being in lower demand and thus being less likely to be pumped full of growth hormones as I always thought both were as popular in China as chicken and pork, so that's good to know. I was trying to eat less of any meat, but that's kinda hard to stick to when eating out in Asia...
I've done a bit of travelling in "poor"/"developing" countries (eg Tamil Nadu in India, plus Cambodia) as well as a bit of time in Beijing (there's a great open air food court for lunch and dinner in Wudaokou (五道口), near the Language Unis, which is open in August which had very cheap and very tasty food, but goodness knows what goes into some of it, even if they did have oysters and a stall doing soups with lots of bunches of leafy produce you could select yourself). I almost *prefer* eating off street food places that are clearly popular with the locals, as it's usually very tasty and cheap and, touch wood, have yet to be sick from eating any of their stuff! Balls to overprotective health & safety of the UK! Haha.
On the odd occasion I tried anything like KFC, McD's, Pizza Hut etc in Asia, they've always managed to make an amazingly weird job of recreating western pizzas or they put their own sauces on that really don't go well with the food - eg South Korea's fascination with "sweet potato" and even sweeter sauces drizzled over pizzas :\ So, yeah, I steer clear of all that unless I'm drunk, have the munchies and it's the only place open on the way home...
Thanks again, all. I'm looking forward to getting there!
Forgive me if this has been asked before - I've tried having a quick look through these forums for advice on this but couldn't see anything relevant.
I'm aware that Chinese food has a reputation for not exactly being the healthiest diet on the planet, confirmed by a senior WHO Doctor that I coincidentally chatted to on a plane to Beijing last year about his research on the increasing incidences of heart disease and diabetes in China.
I'm going to be in Kunming for a year and whilst I appreciate that it's perfectly affordable to eat out for 3 meals a day every day, I'd like to cook for myself (and friends) as well.
Soooo.... Can anyone give me any ideas on how to find out what Chinese fruit and veg contains which vitamins, minerals or other nutritional info, or am I being too optimistic here? Or give me tips on how to stay healthy during my stay here?
It's good to see that there appears to be a few "organic" food suppliers around the area that sell some more familiar western foods too, but I'd really like to learn more about Chinese specialties since I'm here to learn stuff.
@putonghua73, re: "I shan't be drinking (soft drinks only) because last night has absolutely ruined me, and re-confirmed my decision to return to my (semi) teetotal ways!"
How many times have I said this before...?? How many times have I agreed to pop out for a pint or two only to meander home 12+ hours later...?? How many times have I promised my ears, head and liver that I won't abuse them this way again....?? ;)
Also, I completely agree about circuses (or chained up street acts - bears, monkeys etc etc)
@ Sora25: I'm sure almost everyone will have their own views on VPNs. As you're here for only a month, it's probably not worth paying for anything as such, but I tried using a variety of free proxy server services in Beijing last summer and it was less than reliable. I'm going for a year and having had a look round 12vpn.com or witopia.com seem popular too, although I'll certainly check out putonghua73's suggestions as well. If you love using the internet at all, practically everything you're used to back home is blocked (Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, BBC News (I'm a brit)) - this site gives you an idea of the extent of the problem: whatblocked.com/
I got the link above from this helpful blog (also covers non-techy stuff): www.randomwire.com/observing-the-great-firewall
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