GuangZhou’ing it up

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Hello vänner!

Now we’re in Guangzhou, also known as Canton, China’s third biggest city (with 11 million people, this city has already surpast our own tiny homecountry, fancy that!). Uhm… We spent two awesome weeks in Liuzhou where we were teaching afternoon English classes for children and hanging out with our great hosts Dec & Any. Here in Guangzhou we’re helping out at a family permaculture organic farm. Since we don’t know the first thing about permaculture we get to do random things like decorating a wooden house that they just finished building, making vindsnurror and collecting leaves. The summer warmth is back, at least to our standards, and today we had a lovely smog-free sunny day with about 22°C. We have about one week until the Chinese Spring festival really takes off and before that we’re gonna spend some days going to a traditional Chinese spring festival market (think Christmas market, but Chinese) selling all the vindsnurror we made. We are getting a bit language confused by now. 

We’ll stay here in Guangzhou for two weeks before we go to Hong Kong and later on to Taiwan. Hörs later!

Tjo huo from Yangshuo

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Anton and I are spending our last days in Yangshuo. This place has been so nice, we’ve gotten to know so many awesome people and cool projects in a really short amount of time. The volunteering place has been so so but we really love the area and the people here.

 

After recovering from our Christmas celebrations, we’ve been helping out at our new friend Lucy’s English class for children in the city, going to a Chinese class ourselves, organizing stuff at the guest house we volunteer at and today we’ve been climbing up one of the karsts (funny looking pointy mountains) together with 3 friends who work/hang out in a hostel in the city.

 

After a full day of hiking and looking at a seemingly endless amount of karsts we walked home eating my favorite kind of tofu stuffed in to a steamed bun. Tomorrow we’re going to go rock climbing with some friends and then we’ll go to Chinese class. And probably book a ticket to go back to Guilin for new adventures in new places.

 

Ps. The beer I’m holding is said to be a North Korean beer. That was Christmas eve. We made pizza, dumplings & pizza dumplings. God jul!

Edit: we left YS and are now staying in Guilin for 4 days. The climbing was great. Puss

Lots of love and pictures bellow!

https://goo.gl/photos/AE4QiJDNqtFr5gdU7

(Sorry but it’s mostly me in the pictures, Anton remembers to take pictures and I forget. So unfair. )

Living the Yangshuo life

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Anton and I left Kunming, the city of eternal spring, because it was too cold. According to our Chinese friends spring is the coldest period of the year, which would explain why the Chinese Spring festival (Chinese New Year) is in Jan/Feb. We travelled via Nanning and Guilin with a sleepless night at a sleeper train and beautiful views from the train windows to reach Yangshuo where we’ve been “volunteering” (mostly hanging out) for almost a week now.  We’re staying at a guest house/outdoor English school/Chinese language school with the owner, his family and 4 other volunteers.

We’ve been spending 3 days at a Chinese class reunion doing touristy things, taking lots of pictures, studying Chinese and well, drinking beer and tea.  Our language skills are still mamahuhu (= so so in mandarin) but we’re happy about the small steps forward, like getting hot black tea instead of the cold, crazy sweet, fruity ones.

Puss alla fina människor som är med I våra liv! <3

Here’s some pictures!

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We’re in 中国! 

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Yes, we have landed in China! Despite being slightly nervous about crossing the border and getting our visas accepted, everything went very smooth and we found ourselves in central Kunming in no time! The cold (but sunny) highland weather (Kunming is over 2000 m above sea level) hit us fairly hard after being accustomed to the Bangkok heat, and unfortunately none of the buildings seem to have any heating. However, we found refuge in the amazingly delicious Bao zi (hot steamed buns with vegetable filling) that we could find here and there along the streets. 

In Kunming we went to a hyper-commercialized ‘old-town’, visited an impressive second hand clothes market (where we found a winter jacket each), and had a great vegan buffet cooked by the local buddists. 我们吃纯素 = wo men chi chun su,  meaning “we eat vegan food” (or literally: we eat pure veg) has become our standard phrase and it works quite well so far. 

Back in Bangkok 

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We are back in the city! This time we are staying in China town, nî hăo! 

Actually we’re only staying here for two days, because we’re then heading of to the real China in China. 

Check out the updates in our picture album here: https://goo.gl/photos/TfqTRMGQEUuA4qPD6

Blubb blubb 

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A few days of beach life and a snorkeling adventure did us good. It is not a mystery why people get stuck here forever, with all the good food, amazing weather and clean beaches. We have found several cozy places around here, including our favorite little restaurant called The Tree House, located beautifully in some type of pond. 

More photos here: https://goo.gl/photos/TfqTRMGQEUuA4qPD6

To the beach! 

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​After two days of hectic Bangkok life it was time to head to the beach! Picking the right beach is always difficult when you’re indecisive and have so many places to choose from. We ended up going to Koh Chang in east of Thailand and this is where we have spent the past few days, drinking fruit shakes and hanging out in the beach towns. 

Favorite places so far has been the hysterical night life in Lonely beach, and the sleepy paradise beach on Klong Khai on the south side of the island. 

Tomorrow we are going on a snorkeling trip around the other tiny islands in the area. Looking forward to that! 

Arrived in Bangkok 

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​After a long flight dominated by attempts to sleep and some cheesy American travel show about Chinese cultural gems, we have finally arrived in Bangkok. After a refreshing vacation shot at the hospital, we were ready to hit the streets and check out the street food. 
We went to our super cozy guest house close to Khao San Rd and dropped off our bags and filled our stomachs with the trips first Pad Thai.  In the evening we met up with Sophie and did a tiny little bar crawl after which we dragged our jet lagged bodies to bed. 

Vegan Cheese – a blind test

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Which Vegan Cheese is the Best?
We picked out eleven different variants, from four different brands, and put them through a full on blind test in order to figure out which ones live up to their promises!
 
Before the testing begun, the eleven vegan cheeses were taken out of the fridge, cut into tiny cubes, and given a randomized number, 1 to 11. Our eminent test panel, consisting of both long-term vegans and regular omnivores, tried the different variants in whatever order they liked, and multiple times if needed. Each vegan-cheese was given a score based on their taste and texture, and these scores were then normalized to make each persons vote count equal.
 

The result from the blind test of vegan cheeses:

 
 The selection of vegan cheese that were available in our local stores at this time was limited, but it reflects fairly well the available products in Sweden at this time. All in all, there were not that many surprises in this test: the Scottish brand "Sheese" got the lowest scores due to its inexplicable sour taste and its poor texture. The different 'Jeezly' cheeses from 'Astrid & Apornas' scored pretty evenly, but the smoky variant 'Jeezly Rökig' finished ahead of the other variants due to its delightful balanced smokeyness. The A&A cheese 'Cheezly Cheddar' had a completely different texture than the 'Jeezly' cheeses, and didn't get much appreciation form the test panel. 'RIV-iera' is a parmesan-like cheese, also from A&A, which got the most varied score of all; either you hate it or you love it, all depending on if you think of it as a parmesan or not? Would probably work best on a warm pasta dish.

Winner among the brands was evidently Violife's selection of vegan cheese; all three of the tested variants made it into the top 5. Violife's Mature Cheddar grabbed the 1st prize, Congratulations! 

 
In the 'Value for money' category, we have taken the score of each cheese and divided it by the price per gram of the cheese, resulting in a number that reflects the value you get for your money when buying vegan cheese. The winner in this 'Value for money' category was Astrid & apornas original Jeezly, which has the lowest price per kilo (113 SEK/kg), making it a good, and fairly priced, vegan cheese. 
It is also worth noting that the 'Sheese' brand once again stands out as the most overpriced vegan cheese with the lowest scores, due to its terrible sour taste. Sorry, Sheese, your products are just not a success =(
Melting test performed on nachos
After the bild test, the hidden cheese brands were releaved

Here's the result of the testing in PDF format: Vegan Cheese testing 160619
This test was in no way sponsored by anyone, not by the brand, not by any other organization. Test performed 2016-06-19 in Lund, Sweden.

© Anton Frisk 2016