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This Is How to Find the Best Chinese Restaurant

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Did you know that there are more Chinese restaurants in America than there are McDonald’s franchises? That’s a testament to the popularity of this cuisine in the states.

Chinese food made its first appearance stateside way back in the mid-1800s. Both Americans and the Chinese rushed to the state’s west coast to capitalize on rumors of lucrative gold mining.

Nowadays, there’s plenty of Chinese places to choose from, but how can you find the most authentic flavor? Read our guide to finding the best Chinese restaurant and you’ll always have a great meal.

Location Matters

Just like in real estate, finding a great place to eat Chinese food comes down to location, location, location. Check out where the restaurant is located to get a good feel for what to expect.

If the restaurant is surrounded by big chains, it might be just another place serving American-style Chinese food. Look for areas near places with a local Chinese population.

Regional Specialties

Our next tip is still location-based but focusing on where the food is from. China is a diverse place and each region has their own local specialty.

Does your chosen restaurant have dishes from a specific area of China? If so, you’ve found a restaurant that cares about the quality of its food.

Family Style

In many Western restaurants, it’s typical for each person to have their own dish. You have to ask your dining companion if you can have a bite from their plate.

That isn’t the case with authentic Chinese cuisine. With Chinese food, family style is the usual way dishes are served, with everyone taking a bit from each plate.

Tea Tips

Take a look at how tea is served in the restaurant. That will give you a big hint as to how authentic the meal is.

Tea is usually served for free at authentic Chinese restaurants. It’s also poured out of metal pots instead of ceramic because they last longer and are easier to clean.

Other Tips and Tricks

There are other little hints, tips, and tricks to make sure you’ve found the best downtown restaurant for Chinese food. Here are a few more things to look out for:

  • They serve the entire fish, including the head
  • They advertise in local Chinese language publications
  • They have a Chinese-only menu
  • They have dim sum available
  • Their staff speaks Chinese

Don’t be afraid to look at what others are ordering and order it for yourself. Peek at other Chinese patrons’ plates or ask the staff what they would recommend.

Find the Best Chinese Restaurant

Don’t settle for less-than-authentic Chinese food any more. Use our guide to find the best Chinese restaurant in your town.

One of the best ways to learn about cultures different from your own is by trying their food. China has a rich and interesting history and each region has their own special dish so you’ll never run out of things to eat.

Once you’ve sampled the best regional fare from China, why not pay this amazing country a visit? Check out our travel guides and start planning your trip today!

Destinations

New Hawaiian Law Forces Oahu Rental Vacationers Into Panic

On August 1st, the Hawaiian Island of Oahu began altering the home rental landscape to the dismay of renters and tourists alike.

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     On August 1st, the island of Oahu – the capital island of Hawaii, began to enforce a decades-old law regarding illegal home rentals. For many years – several decades, in fact – it was illegal for Oahu property owners to rent units for fewer than 30 days outside of resort zones. However, this law was never previously enforced. This change of heart is expected to close about 5,000 “illegal” rentals on the island. It states that any advertisement for the property, physical and virtual, may be used as evidence of the illegal activity. To ensure that the resident takes this threat seriously, continuous violators are liable for fines up to $10,000 a day. Ouch. As an expected surprise, the city of Honolulu stated that the number of listings it saw dropped 37% (compared to weeks prior). Unfortunately, as this crackdown is now a serious “crime”, tourists that had long booked their vacations before this August 1st switch-up are dealing with its immediate fallout. Vacations, anniversaries, and wedding plans have all been deeply affected by this new rental landscape.

Disaster

     Marlena Rundquist is one such bride-to-be that has felt the intense pressure caused by this immediate rental alteration. Regarding her September 4th wedding – “I had full-blown anxiety and panic attack. It was literally a month away. I couldn’t find anywhere to go. The people still willing to take a fine had hiked the prices: $200 a night went to almost $500 a night. Hotels were upping the price.” Not only was her own accommodations totaled by this change, the rooms needed and booked by guests were also heavily affected. “I’m still nervous because you don’t know between now and then if anything will happen,” she said.

In a similar situation, Tommy Szymanski was planning to visit the island to celebrate a number of special events including his own anniversary. However, he was given much of the same news. “The Waikiki reservation canceled Saturday and was like: ‘Yup, that’s it. We’re closing up shop on four different places and are trying to figure out what to do… I’m sitting here going ‘Really?’ My initial reaction – and this is from an outsider not knowing the stuff behind Hawaii’s politics – the resorts are getting exactly what they wanted with this bill.”

“The cost for two nights for a place on Travelocity was the cost of six nights through my Airbnb,” he added, alluding to the fact that remaining choices on Airbnb were less than desirable. “There were either ones with horrible reviews or they were substantially more expensive.” 

Choices?

     Clearly, this new bill has impacted vacationers and renters, alike. Refunds from apps like Airbnb and HomeAway have been administered but the new costs to be incurred by committed guests will surely be hard to swallow. Costs have doubled (or worse), the selection of respectable accommodations have narrowed, and the fill-rate of the newly available rooms is sure to explode. Is this the right way to deal with interested parties?


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Don’t Act Surprised! Green Hotels Do Exist!

Here are some beautiful eco-friendly vacation destinations so you can keep your conscience and the Earth clear while still enjoying a luxurious trip.

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Let’s face it, traveling can be wasteful. These days, being environmentally conscious is trendy and being wasteful is out of style. So does that mean you should cancel those travel plans so that you can save the Earth?

Not at all, here are some beautiful destinations that don’t harm our mother Earth at all. So travel on and keep your conscience and the Earth clear with these eco-friendly vacation destinations.

SONEVA FUSHI, MALDIVES

Head over to the Maldives to this once deserted island named Kunfunadhoo. The Soneva Fushi resort was built here to give vacationers an amazing resort that is environmentally friendly.

They recycle an amazing 90% of their waste. No that’s not a typo, they recycle 90% of their waste. They use all their food waste as fertilizer in the garden, their glass is used to make art and the styrofoam is used as a construction material. The resort is run completely on solar energy and the water they use has been desalinated. Talk about making your vacation guilt-free!

BOM BOM RESORT, SAO TOME

This resort has nineteen beautiful beach bungalows in beautiful Sao Tome which lies off the coast of Africa.

There are plenty of amazing things to do on this small island like scuba diving, hiking, enjoying the wildlife which includes whales, turtles, monkeys and birds and even visiting the smallest city in all of Africa, San Antonio.

EXTREME HOTEL, KITE BEACH, CABARETE, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Evidently, Cabarete is known as a kitesurfing capital, did you know that? Maybe you did. Maybe you’re reading this article while currently kite surfing in Cabarete. But if you’re not Dan Cortese, then don’t worry, you can still check out the beautiful eXtreme Hotel.

You don’t have to kitesurf, you can also do yoga, ride horses and hike.

But what about my carbon footprint? You ask. Well, the hotel is solar powered and they don’t use any air-conditioning. They just made the hotel super smart so that it is incredibly ventilated and utilizes the natural wind to cool the hotel down.

They also collect rainwater and have some 2,000 trees that not only keep carbon down but give tons of produce to the lucky hotel visitors.

INKATERRA, TAMBOPATA NATIONAL RESERVE, PERU

Check out the Inkaterra Guides Field Station deep in the Tambopata National Reserve. This place used to be a research location but now is a rad hotel.

This lodge runs a bunch of great projects focused on the conservation of the rainforest so your money is going to a good place.

Plus you’ll be in a good place when you go on a hike over the canopy walkway or a beautiful boat trip. You’re in the rainforest so you’re bound to see plenty of wild animals.

BUSHMANS KLOOF WILDERNESS RESERVE, SOUTH AFRICA

Feel like conserving but don’t feel like compromising on the size of the resort you stay in? Then try this 18,000-acre wildlife reserve just 170 miles outside of Cape Town in the beautiful Cederberg Mountains.

They are known for protecting and reintegrating endangered species, can you get more environmentally friendly than that? Well they can, they also do organic sustainable gardening, wastewater processing, and energy-saving initiatives.

Also if you get tired of all this saving the earth and looking at endangered species, go check out the 130 rock-art sites, that have been preserved for over 10,000 years. So they’re not only taking care of animals, they’re taking care of rocks too.


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Getting Past The Mexican Vacationing Myths

There are a lot of myths about travel in Mexico. But it is still a beautiful country that is definitely worth visiting. 

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There are a lot of myths out there about Mexico. Obviously, things like “don’t drink the tap water” are true and should be taken very seriously. But there are plenty of other stories out there that just aren’t true. 

Mexico is a beautiful country that is definitely worth visiting. And this article is meant to relieve any worries you have about checking it out.

IT’S IMPOVERISHED

A lot of people think of Mexico as a very poor and even third-world country. But that just isn’t the case. It’s definitely less developed that some countries, including the U.S., but for the most part it’s a middle-income country. In fact, it’s GDP per capita is similar to such countries as Brazil and even China.

But this myth is likely kept alive by the fact that about 44 percent of Mexicans do live in poverty. And that number is high enough that it’s safe to say no matter where tourists may visit, they’re likely to see that poverty.

IT’S DANGEROUS

This is grossly exaggerated. In reality, Mexico is no more dangerous than any other country. Sure, there are some areas that have higher crime rates (specifically Tijuana and Juarez), but the majority of Mexico is perfectly safe. With that said, the usual precautions should be taken when walking around at night, drinking in excess, or using an ATM outside of a hotel. There will always be people looking to take advantage of tourists no matter where you are.

IT’S A NON-STOP COLLEGE PARTY

Thanks to the spring break popularity of places like Cancun, Mexico is now commonly thought of as just one big, obnoxious party. And while there are definitely places to enjoy a wild party in Mexico, it’s far from the norm. In fact, outside of the month of March, Cancun is typically a very peaceful place full of honeymooners and foodies.

TACOS, BURRITOS, AND ENCHILADAS ARE THE ONLY FOOD AVAILABLE

Ok, people come on. Sure, these are staples of Mexican food, but there are other options! Cuisines and specialties vary from region to region and there is bound to be plenty of delicious variety regardless of where you are. From seafood to fried pork belly to grilled octopus, there is something for everyone. So get out there and try something new for once!

FOOD POISONING IS ALMOST INEVITABLE

Many people assume that a trip to Mexico means getting food poisoning at least once. The tap water should definitely be avoided, but most tourists will also avoid almost all fruit and produce. There definitely are different bacteria active in Mexico that can lead to “Montezuma’s revenge,” but avoiding essentially all cold food is silly.

Most restaurants use fresh water to wash everything and to make their ice. And while there are definitely street carts that should be avoided, skipping out on some delicious mango, horchata, and ceviche would be a mistake.

IT’S NOT SAFE DURING HURRICANE SEASON

Hurricane season in Mexico usually lasts from June to November. The worst months typically being August through October. Because of this many people avoid traveling to Mexico during those months. But, for the most part, it’s really unnecessary to completely avoid the country for six months out of the year.

And as long as you prepare to leave early or cancel if necessary (hurricanes are usually predicted a week in advance), you can actually get great deals on travel and hotels. So hurricane season can actually be the best time to visit Mexico as the rates will be the lowest and the cities will be the least crowded.

 


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