Tag Archives: Global Harbour

One Day Left on Dragon Fair

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“The goal of Dragon Fair,” one of the organizers told me, “is to give Changzhou an internationally themed market event. Over the years, the city has become much more cosmopolitan, and I think that is something that really should be celebrated.”

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This outlook can be directly seen in not only in the goods being sold here, but the food as well. Vietnamese, German, Thai, Russian baked goods, and so much more food can be had here. Xinbei’s Istanbul Restaurant was in attendance with some of their Turkish desserts and their belly dancer, for example. This also includes long-time Changzhou veterans like Summer, to newer bars like OK Koala serving imported drinks. A shopper looking for high-end and organic dried fruit and honeycomb can even peruse a booth here.

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While international in design, the fair seemed to be pulling in interested people from the foreign community as well as a lot of curious Chinese locals.

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The draw, one has to say, though, is definitely the food. Changzhou’s culinary landscape has been steadily growing, and the fair certainly did well to showcase diversity. Wujin’s Chocolate’s Bar was on hand with warm mulled wine, German sausage, and very, very good sauerkraut. Changzhou has also had newer and lesser known attractions like the Vietnamese restaurant downtown, and a new Thai hot pot restaurant in Xinbei. These are places that really deserve a visit and your money. In retrospect, I am kind of frustrated with myself for not taking more food pictures at the stalls.

Chocolate's German sausage and sauerkraut for 20 RMB.
Chocolate’s German sausage and sauerkraut for 20 RMB.

 

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Saigon Maison’s beef noodles and Chicken dish. Both were 10 RMB each. Yum.

 

Sunday, December 4 is the last day of Dragon Fair. If you go, you might see a nameless, and rather hapless, city blogger dressed up like Santa Claus. How he let himself be persuaded for the job is a tale for another time. Even on the threat of torture, he would not divulge the times he would be masquerading as Father Christmas. So, you might see him, you might not. Think of it as a gamble. And, that’s irrelevant and beside the point, anyway. There is great food to be had, here. Plus, in the run-up to Christmas, unique gifts for loved ones and friends can also be found.  Dragon Fair is currently located on the basement level of the absurdly large Global Harbour Mall in Xinbei. It is easily accessible by taking a B1 bus north. The mall has it’s own BRT station. The event ends at 8pm.

Texan Only in Name

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Houston Theme Bar has got to be one of the weirdest restaurants in Changzhou. It’s located on the third floor of the gigantic Global Harbour Mall in Xinbei. The last and only time I went there, it was also one of the most useless places, too. The whole place strikes one as a Chinese attempt at a western style bar and restaurant. However, the only thing actually Texan about it is its name. Oh, and the host that seats you is wearing a cowboy hat.

However, the weirdness really does start at the door. Under the name, “Houston Theme Bar,” you see the host’s reception desk. This desk prominently features the Union Jack flag of the United Kingdom. Once the host leads you into the restaurant, you see even more of the British flag. The Union Jack has been upholstered onto many of the chairs. Oddly enough, you also see the Italian flag on some of the other chairs. Now, how do two European countries exactly fit a “Houston Theme?”

All of this weirdness could be forgiven if the food was actually good. I wouldn’t know, however, because I didn’t eat anything. Once I sat, I was handed a menu that had both pictures and English text. That seemed promising, but it went promptly downhill from there. First, I ordered a hamburger, and I was told they were out. Then, I ordered Vietnamese spring rolls, and I told they were out of that, too. Lastly, I tried to order a fish sandwich, and they waiter confessed they were also out of that. To employ a baseball metaphor: three strikes and you’re out. I grabbed my backpack, stood, and left. Not having what your menu claims to have — it’s usually the sign of a very badly managed business.

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Random Weirdness at Global Harbour

The Global Harbour shopping mall is a new, few-months-old addition to Xinbei and Changzhou as a whole. This place is freakishly massive, and it’s a relative gold mine for a city blogger. There is one part where I just can’t figure out what the story, rhyme or reason is. It’s closer to where the Yuexing International Furniture mall is — and that has been incorporated into the Global Harbour complex. It’s a little park area at the intersection of Tongjiang 通江路 and Huanghe 黄河路 roads.

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Chen Yaqiang at Global Harbour

Some of Changzhou’s malls have culture exhibits mixed into the shops and restaurants. This is especially true at Global Harbour in Xinbei. The massive shopping center has several. One of them is a photography exhibit. The work on display comes from Chen Yaqiang. He comes from Yixing, which is one of Wuxi’s satellite cities directly south of Changzhou.  As for the photographs, they are black and white shots that show an eye for lighting and texture. This gives many of the shots on display an abstract feel.

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