Lanzhou La Mian Rap and Eat

Spontaneous post on the famous Lanzhou La Mian hand pulled noodles; which is a type of noodle made by stretching, folding and twisting the dough in strands. The subsequent stretching and twisting by the weight of the dough, followed by the number of times the dough gets folded and stretched, this will make the strands of noodles in various lengths and thickness.

The post idea was initiated by a tweet from Gary Soup on our @Asianfoodtrail twitter feed sharing an older post from his blog; the Full Noodle Frontity archives: The Rap on Lanzhou La Mian  For Chinese language speakers and language students, entertaining and funny to watch a modern praise on a famous traditional noodle dish. “A rap song about Lanzhou La Mian, by Gansu rapper Gao Xi, as a tribute to his iconic hometown speciality.” Unfortunately, I was unable to embed the rap song video, but you can click on the provided link at the bottom of the cartoon image below to watch the rap in your browser or view in the blog link post here above.

Rap song Lanzhou La Mian

Since we are on this noodle topic, for those who might wonder what is Lanzhou noodle, La Mian – freshly made hand pulled noodles. Click on the Youtube video here to watch two kinds of noodle making; the knife shaved noodles and famous hand-pulled beef noodles served in clear broth from start to slurp.

My kids are like me huge noodle fans any-style, beef noodle broths and beef noodle soups are highly ranked on our family favourites of comfort food dishes. I promised to write down my recipes for them. For now, if you like me are getting hungry, a recipe by Judy for Lanzhou Beef Noodle Soup includes beautiful food photography images how it looks after your hard work to enjoy and savour. This recipe originally appeared on the Woks of Life blog, a family of four bloggers sharing their kitchen explorations and travels.

Lanzhou beef noodle soup

Recipe source and photo credits:

Acknowledgements: With thanks for original content and credits to Gary Soup’s lead on the Lanzhou rap song, Steve Lindenman Making noodles by hand Youtube video and The Works of Life family for their Lanzhou beef noodle recipe.

Rijn Schiekanaal, Leiden

Walking along the Rijn Schiekanaal, Leiden is a very pleasurable walk, watching the waterways boat traffic and country life around Polderpark Cronesteyn. Up and about our local residence city Leiden can be an entertaining leisurely discovery walk, bike or boat if you own one 🙂

Polderpark Cronesteyn is an approximately 90-acre park in the city of Leiden in the Dutch province of South Holland. The park was realized in 1982, designed by Evert Cornet in the Kleine Cronesteinse or also known as Knotterpolder, situated between the A4 motorway, the railway Leiden – Alphen, and the waterways Rijn Schiekanaal and the Vrouwenvaart.

The park and the polder are named after earlier Castle Cronesteyn, the castle was demolished during the 80 – year war commissioned by the Municipality of Leiden so that it could not serve as a refuge for the Spaniards. Only the moat of the castle remains and is now part of the park estate woods.

You can scroll down to view the featured photos or watch the photo slider in the gallery here above.

Rijn Schiekanaal, Leiden

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Pass the bridge and away from urbanized concrete into rustic ‘polder’ life.

There are beautiful routes near Polderpark Cronesteyn for an overview of walking & hiking routes, as well as bicycle routes just click on the links for a direct web link in English.

Photo overview walk route along Rijn Schie kanaal and Knotterpolder rustic life.

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Walk the dog and jog for health and wellness

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Newborn life in the Knotterpolder

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Knotterpolder, it borders highway A4

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a hidden tranquil spot

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just around the corner near the walk route nosy neighbours

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In and around Leiden waterways, you will find boats, dinghy’s, longboats, shallops and more

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Rijn Schiekanaal

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Rowing boats, pinnace for leisure and training competition

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Leiden has around 88 bridges

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In the background down south lies Leidschendam

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boat traffic line up to cross the bridge

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Rijn Schiekanaal from Leidschendam to Leiden

Polderpark Cronesteyn is the largest park in Leiden, covering a huge diversity of plants and animals. As the park is divided into several sections you will find a bog garden, butterfly meadows, an old estate woods, pastures with plenty of water and planting stock. Along the Rijn Schiekanaal route lies the entrance of protected bird nesting area ‘Reigerbos”, a breeding area for Herons as well as an apiary, more photo images will feature in our next post.

Traveltip Chinatowns in The Netherlands

Lonely Planet published in travel tips and articles category, some of the World’s best Chinatowns. The Netherlands most famous Chinatown is located in the former Red Light district of capital city Amsterdam, a major tourist attraction for decades. Amsterdam is also featured in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel: Top Ten Cities.

If your making plans to book a holiday to Europe, come and visit have a glance at what the City offers in promising upcoming cultural events and more. Click this link of “I Amsterdam” and download the Amsterdam 2013 Newsletter for news and Programme highlights.

Amsterdam renowned for its creativity and innovation – photo copyright ©IAmsterdam

Important events to watch:
People and their historic houses tells us more about their culture, this theme will be central to the World Interiors Event 2013 “Past, Present and Future of Interiors”

While here visit Den Haag, Chinatown in The Hague take a peek at this album of Chinatown Den Haag website. It has followed the example of Chinatown London with a Chinese Gate. A significant entrance of Chinatown connecting directly with The Hague City Centre shopping area and historical sights for leisurely strolls. It has many events during the week and weekends to visit and engage, lots of top attractions, landmarks and tours. I recommend to sign up for the guided tour at famously Binnenhof where the Dutch Prime-Minister resides in the turret at the corner of the Hofvijver. For a concise overview of sightseeing highlights read the info on the holland-hotel link.

Renowned port of Rotterdam saw its first Chinatown located in Katendrecht which in local slang was called “de Kaap“. An initiative instigated by the celebration of the 100-year presence of Chinese in Dutch society saw Erika Blikman and Yuen Han Lam teaming up. Together they brought a young group of enthusiast designers, artist and cultural professionals together, with the ambition in 2011 starting  China op de Kaap (website is only Dutch yet, but gives a clear view featuring an ongoing program). The project received overwhelming enthusiasm and support, de Kaap now represents an eclectic mix of arts and heritage of Chinese community set up by first immigrants arriving in this neighbourhood.

De Westkruiskade is located in Rotterdam city centre and conveniently near Central Station, due to the neglect of city planning in the past Katendrecht saw most of its proprietors move out due to loss of business customers and visitors. New entrepreneurs started their business closer to the city with a new Chinatown named Kruiskade, however it is delusive next to Chinese this neighbourhood also includes Dutch, Antillian, Suriname and African residents with many Oriental shops, restaurants and supermarkets catering to multi-cultural shoppers and attracting visitors on City day-trips.

Enjoy great Chinese and other Asian cuisines in Chinatowns explore Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam. Discover these Cities and have a great time with their offerings!

Note: Featured image source Chinatown Den Haag copyright ©

Tropical thunderstorms


We`ve encountered numerous thunderstorms in Asia before, as quickly as they come with a hard downpour it vanishes as fast too. Although monsoon season has ended the weather gods assume differently.

While enjoying a foot massage outside a drizzle started and within 15-20min time it  flooded Central Pattaya. Stormy rainclouds accompanied with lightening blazing the sky followed with thunderous cracks. In no time the water level rose above knee-height. A renewed  experience for me, but not our friends. They were just dumbfounded how quickly harmless raindrops could turn into a hazardous rainfall.

We tried to wait it out but eventually you’ve gotta make a dash for transport and a wetsuit. A digital temperature display showed 23.9°C still pleasant, so as the Thai would say “Mai pen rai” meaning never mind/it`s okay. ◆smile◆

Our songtel taxi had to detour twice on route to get us to our destination. After arrival and a hot shower to clean up, night-life resumed and we finally could enjoy the results of our earlier foot massage fully relaxed by closing our eyes. The next morning the sun broke through the sky we decided to visit the beach again to enjoy a different liquid sunshine, a swim in  the Gulf of Thailand on the east coast side.

Time-zone digital globe

On the way to the Schiphol airport I arrived far too early and after having a coffee, strolled around in the shopping area at Departure Hall 3. From a distance you could hardly miss the electronic display of  the Time-zone digital Globe at Schiphol Airport, it is a “big” blue balloon. While approaching you can not help yourself but imagining you are on board of your plane and actually counting the minutes till take-off.

In just a few hours we will be flying to a different time-zone in Asia, our destination Bangkok,Thailand. Flying eleven hours into a time-zone seven hours ahead of our current position Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Goodbye rain, hello Sunshine!

Time, before the invention of clocks we used position of the sun to measure time by using sundials. As the sun moved across the sky, its shadow aligned with marking lines etched on a surface. These sun dials have become antiquity. On the Internet accessible World Clock or handy mobile apps with time-zone and cities for work and social contacts have become clicks in a blink.

Being here and working five days a week, from nine-to-five or different hours, the week, months, quarters and whole year being ruled by a calendar and time-schedule, tick-tack, tick-tack. To know that as soon as I am board I will change the time on my tablet, take off my watch and wiggle my toes in anticipation of sand, sea, sun and freedom of not being ruled by time. For a short period I will rule my day as I see fit…..well that’s what I want to believe, so bear with me for now.

Calculating time in places at other countries or parts of the world  than your home-base used to be a hassle. The website everytime zone makes it so easy viewable in a glance, just as the digital globe object placed at shopping area at Schiphol Airport.

Time and distance for travel sure have become digits on a sphere. Question: Where are you know?

Nongmaii beach Pattaya

Nongmaii Beach Cafe

Pattaya Bay is located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 165 km southeast of Bangkok, a beach resort popular with tourists and expatriates. Pattaya an ordinary small fishing village, it all changed during the 60’s when American servicemen arrived during the Vietnamese War for rest and relaxation, changing life forever as in sin-city. While wiki pages states it developed into a family-orientated seaside destination it wasn’t until some legal action was undertaken to enforce changes in the sex industry and child prostitution. The Government is now re-branding Pattaya with a master plan as mentioned in the  NewYork Times post in 2010 A Thai City of Sleaze Tries to Clean Up by Thomas Fuller. The sex industry is still at large but with the growing wider exposure of foreigners and locals exposed in illicit affairs, the government is undertaking action to make changes for the better.

As a visitor I do share a critical view of sex tourism in Thailand, will write post in a separate entry. For now I’d like to share my positive observations visiting friends and places we have patronized over the years and still experiencing unwavering Thai hospitality. This and following posts will be about vacation in Pattaya as we have come to known and like it.

Pattaya Boulevard is located central with a very popular small stretch of Beach with at one end the infamous Walking Street. On the very opposite side south of the Bay you will find Jomtien Beach both well known spots, with Dongtan Beach centred in the middle being closed off for cars. Ideal for joggers along the beach or on the pavement visited by beach guests, strollers and bicyclists. Away from the noisy centre it’s not as crazy over crowded like popular tourist spots can be.

While still being popular it is quiet, last few years coastal area business has seen quite a dip due to environmental problems, political and economical unrest. Pattaya’s view changed too by rapidly build constructions, condo’s and many high-rise towers all along coastal line. Without increase of sales potential, lack of tenants or buyers most housing remain unoccupied instead becoming concrete walls of what once was lush greens.

Nongmaii beach residents

But some things and spots remain the same, such as Nongmaii Beach Cafe. Introduced by friends more than a decade ago we keep coming back for outstanding service, the warm hospitality by the proprietor Mrs. Latana’s family and her helpfull staff. This is a great place to relax, chat, occasionally keep beach office as I like to do while observing local wildlife big and small. These chipmunks have been entertaing us during our Autumn stay just before high season starts here.

Office at Dongtan Beach