Tag Archives: Xinbei Central Park

Istanbul Cafeteria is NOT Istanbul Restaurant

Unfortunately, whether it is comments on this blog, Wechat messages, conversations at a bar, I have gotten this a lot over the past year or so:

I read a post you did about eating doner kebabs and Turkish food, and I tried to find the place. It doesn’t exist! Google Maps had me wandering all over Xinbei Central Park!

Google and Baidu Maps sometimes can’t be trusted. I have had a long history of looking for things those apps say exist but actually do not when you investigate further. However, to people relatively new to Changzhou and China in general, they may not realize about their cell phone maps. So, allow me to unpack the issue.

Istanbul Restaurant exists. I know this. I had lunch there, recently. It’s on Taihu Road 太湖路 in Xinbei. It’s walking distance from Wanda Plaza’s BRT station and is near the media tower. The exterior looks like this….


Instanbul Cafeteria was a kebab stand this restaurant tried to open in Xinbei Central Park. Both shared the similar food items, but he shack location in Xinbei Central Park had a much more limited menu. For a number of reasons I do not know, Istanbul Cafeteria shut down and closed shop. That was more than a year ago. However, the shack is still in the park awaiting a new renter.


However, it should be noted that Istanbul Restaurant and Istanbul Cafeteria are NOT the same thing. You can find the restaurant on the Chinese language Baidu Maps, but it’s not on English language Google Maps. However, Istanbul Cafeteria still appears on these maps when you search for the restaurant. I know, it can easily be confusing, but trust me, Turkish Food does exist in Changzhou, and it is worth finding.



Chinglish Park

For some, hunting for Chinese translated very badly into English is a sport. Once you find something absurd enough, you snap a picture and post it on social media so that you and your friends can giggle about it. For others, Chinglish is just another weird aspect of day to day life in China and Changzhou specifically. For them, Chinglish just melts into the background. However, if you are the laughing type, the worst abuses of the English language can be found in Xinbei’s Central Park. You can easily kill an hour wandering around and finding WTF moments. I will let the pictures speak for themselves, but sometimes I couldn’t resist and added a caption. I saved the best for last.


I thought paradise was lost? John Milton said so! Wrote a book about it!
I thought paradise was lost? John Milton said so! Wrote a book about it!
Someone felt the need to use correction tape on this one.
Someone felt the need to use correction tape on this one.



Just in case you can't read this. The last line is "You will have the multidimensionai plensure when visiting the park!" Indeed!
Just in case you can’t read this. The last line is “You will have the multidimensionai plensure when visiting the park!” Indeed! Remember, this is an introductory sign. And this is just one example of the weird nonsense this sign contains. For example, a lot of the “e”s are replaced with the letter “c.”


Inseminating? Coagulating! Ewwww! Get a room!
Inseminating? Coagulating? Ewwww! Get a room!

Xinbei Has Friends!


When one thinks of international diplomacy, one usually thinks of John Kerry or Madeline Albright touring the world. There is the famous beer picture where Xi Jinping and David Cameron are sharing a pint before watching a soccer game. If you want to get more dramatic, think of Russian Premier Khrushchev pounding a United Nations podium with his shoe in 1960.

There is another form of international diplomacy, and it doesn’t involve heads of states or their emissaries. Municipal governments in one country will often reach out to cities in another. This is the
concept of “town twinning and sister cities.” Municipalities agree to be “friends” in the name of promoting economic, social, and cultural exchanges. In Xinbei’s case, its the case of a district establishing “cordial bonds” with other whole towns.

You can see this on display at Xinbei’s Central Park 新北中心公园. Go in from the north entrance and look to your right.  There, you will see a couple of rocks sitting on the green. It’s called the “Xinbei International Friendship Grove.” On one rock, words are etched in Chinese and English explaining what this grove is. The others are Xinbei’s two official friends. One is the city of Herford in Germany. The other is of Roth — also in Germany.

The thing I find amusing about this is that these markers suggest that they are Xinbei’s friends, not Changzhou’s as a whole. Wujin, Zhonglou, Jintan, Tianning, and the city of Liyang might feel a little jealous and spurned.  Of course, I’m being a bit silly. We are not talking about high school, after all.  IMG_20160501_105818