Being a mega (literally) foodie myself, I naturally looked forward to savoring the plethora of street food Chinese cuisine has to offer, each a hallmark of the region of China it represents. So, expect to see quite a number of food pictures in my upcoming posts 🙂 Typical of Chinese street food found in Chinatown, many would be familiar with names such as 麻辣锅,饺子,小笼包,炸酱面,and etc. While I would love to try them all at once, the canteen (this is just one of the many canteens available in ZJU’s biggest campus) does not offer all these as part of their breakfast options (unsurprisingly though, you can find them all in said canteen during the lunch hour). Nonetheless, I managed to get myself some tasty 饺子 for my first meal in 杭州 Hangzhou.

Astonishingly, this only costs 4 yuan or about 80 cents
My first ever (and the very best I’ve tasted to date) 奶茶 milk tea in China: 炭烧奶观音 or charcoal roasted tie guan yin milk tea










The same afternoon, we went to visit The 2nd World Industrial Design Conference (WIDC) in 良渚 Liangzhu town, Hangzhou. The exhibition, which was really interesting, featured some of the coolest industrial design projects China has to offer. We were also shown some pretty advanced 3D printing technologies widely used in many of the industries and current industrial projects in China. After witnessing these, I personally feel that Singapore is still a newcomer in the global industrial scene of additive manufacturing.

These metallic objects/parts/components are completely 3D printed
This place also serves as a 3D Printing hub whereby they 3D print in batches upon order requests







They are even able to 3D print such fine intricate details with barely any error


But the coolest takeaway from this has to be interacting with 小米’s 小爱同学, an AI.


AI-enabled 小米 speakers

What’s a trip without a hike right? That is exactly we did as a project theme. Funny thing was we started initially with the aim to conquer the 12 km route from 灵隐寺 Lingyin Temple to 虎跑山 Hupao Mountain but somehow ended up at 六和塔 Liuhe Pagoda because we keyed in the wrong destination in our Amaps App. Nevertheless, it was a blessing in disguise as we bonded over the hike, got to know each other better, and enjoyed the breath-taking view the 30-minute trek up to Liuhe Pagoda offered. A hidden gem indeed.

View halfway up the trek of Hupao Mountain
View at Liuhe Pagoda: That’s probably part of 西湖 in the background
This breath-taking view made the arduous climb all the more worth it although this photo does it no justice…
Introducing my theme, and how we claimed the ‘Pagodab’


Before I came to Hangzhou, I told myself that I should take this opportunity to travel around China since I would be in ZJU for 3 months. Thus, my first travel destination out of Hangzhou has to be 上海 Shanghai since it is the nearest major (province-level) city. It was my first time in Shanghai, and it’s literally my ancestor’s land since my grandfather is Shanghainese. Seeing these buildings really reminded me of the 老上海 I have often heard of/seen on TV – as if what was on TV came to life. It was almost love at first sight as I soak in the view of this cultural artifact, this relic that transports me back to the past. Almost.

My first time taking a train (no, the MRT does not count
LOL a piece of Singapore in Shanghai







The architecture of the past meets the present: the juxtaposition of both old and new accentuates their differences yet blend synergistically to highlight the importance of cultural preservation
A glimpse of 老上海 old Shanghai








Finally, the highlight of our Shanghai trip has to be the food here. Our trip consisted mostly of walking from one food destination to another; sampling a particular Shanghainese street food to another. The primary objective of this trip was the patronization of Canton 8, the world’s cheapest 2 Michelin star food; food that is of ‘excellent cooking, worth a detour’. However, we felt that the food, while good, did not stand up to the 2 Michelin star accolade it was conferred upon, because it gave us less of the ‘wow factor’ when compared to the 1 Michelin star street food I had eaten in Bangkok, especially not for the price I am paying as well (even though it is the world’s cheapest). That being said, however, you are allowed to be jealous and even salivate as you scroll through the pictures:

Stir-fried pork neck with tri-colored peppers
Stir-fried seasonal greens with scallops







This is the restaurant


BBQ Char Siew: While the meat is ‘melt-in-your-mouth-like’, it is not sufficiently charred, and the meat is not juicy enough (meat was not of a fatty cut)








The signature dish: Roasted Pork. Similar to the Char Siew in terms of meat texture and juiciness, skin also not charred enough, but when dipped in mustard and sugar, it delivers a whole new different gourmet impact
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