Places to Go: China’s Guizhou Province


What is the first image that forms in your mind when I mention about China? Do you think of Beijing, the bustling city that holds all the gems of China – ranging from the Peking roasted duck, to the historical landmarks such as the Great Wall? Do you think about Shanghai, China’s mark of a technologically-advanced nation? Last November, I had the opportunity to tour five cities in China among which included Beijing and Shanghai. However, I felt that the lesser-known cities also make up an essential part of the country. This city it is not as bustling as Beijing or Shanghai

The essential factor that makes Guizhou stand out among the other cities is the people, as well as the culture and heritage that they have kept alive for so many years. Guizhou is home to one of the 56 minority ethnic groups in China – the Miaos. Once you take the first step into the Miao Village, you will not be able to take your eyes off the colourful skirts the locals wear as well as the crisp tinkling sounds produced by their silver accessories. The intriguing culture of the Miaos do not end there – their singing and dancing performance was the breathtaking highlight of our visit to the village. My favourite part of the performance was watching the older generation of the Miao clan sing a folk tale in their language. Their language is, unfortunately, currently vulnerable to extinction as there is no written record of it. The people can only depend on these folk tales to pass it on. While I could not understand the language, I could feel the meaning in their song as their voices melded together and soared through the silence of the beautiful landscape that surrounded us. It was definitely a one-of-a-kind surreal experience and exposure to the people’s way of life – after all, these sights and sounds are things we cannot watch through YouTube, and even if we could, immersing ourselves in this cultural haven would still give us a different and richer understanding of the place.

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Apart from unique cultural sights and people of different backgrounds, the best places to visit should have good food to satisfy our ever-hungry stomachs! Guizhou’s food is known for being sour and spicy, but there are sweeter ingredients incorporated in their food too. This ranges from the freshest pumpkin to the sweetest potatoes. Of course, it also does not exclude the bitter yet sweet rice wine, which made our taste buds tingle the first time we tried it. The ten days we spent there was not long enough for us to try all the delicious cultural delicacies but if you ever have an opportunity to visit, I would strongly encourage you to go for, perhaps, a longer period of time and take your time to savour all the good food Guizhou has to offer you.

In a nutshell, if you are having a headache considering where you can go for your next holiday, why not book a plane ticket and head for Guizhou? I assure you that a trip there will take you to a different world that you might never have known existed, and truly see a part of the various vibrant colours that make up China. It would certainly be a place worthy of your money and it will be an eye-opening venture into the country as it was for me.

Renee Ong (4 Unity)



Places Less Travelled: Tsukada Nojo

I am sure many of you have eaten Ramen before, and I have eaten ramen many times at many different places. There is one Ramen restaurant that is really special.

(Just a quick disclaimer, this is not a food review, it is a review of the restaurant)

This restaurant is called Tsukada Nojo, and the particular branch that I would go to was at Plaza Singapura.

At the entrance, there are steps that lead you down to the tables. Due to the space constraint, the tables and chairs were arranged in such a manner that there was only enough space for one waitress to mover around. Despite the tight space and limited amount of tables and seats, the restaurant had a warm and cosy ambience.

When I was there, I ordered the soya Ramen, and I highly recommend it. It was served with a platter of other ingredients that other Ramen restaurants did not serve- there was chicken, seaweed and even yuzu slices! You are supposed to drop all the other ingredients into the pot at a pace in which you pleased, I found this way of serving the ramen very clever as some customers may not want to eat a particular ingredient. The last thing that I like about this restaurant is the type of dessert they serve- they had creme brulee and yuzu ice-cream served on glass bowls that were filled with pink and blue water.

My first dining experience at Tsukada Nojo was definitely a memorable one, so I definitely went back a few times. I highly recommend this Ramen restaurant if you are looking for something different to try as you would be eager to eat here again.

Address: #03-81 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, 238839


Daily: 11:30 – 15:00

Daily: 17:00 – 22:00


+65 63365003


Ashley Tung (2 Purity)



Places Less Travelled: Miyahara Ice-Cream Shop

Located at Zhongshan Rd, Central District in Taichung City, Miyahara ice-cream (宫原眼科) is beautifully decorated. The building, previously an ophthalmology clinic owned by a Japanese man named Miyahara during the Japanese occupation period of Taiwan, was restored to its former glory by Dawn cakes after it was partially destroyed by an earthquake and typhoon years ago. Its high ceilings, glossy polished floors and large pieces of wooden furniture made the shop look highly sophisticated – some have even suggested that it is reminiscent of Harry Potter world. With its classy exterior and interior, it exudes an air of elegance that extends to the exquisite menu of ice-cream flavours.

Photo on the right is from

A long queue outside this shop is a common sight, not only because of its popularity amongst locals and tourists alike, but also because the excellent service customers are given. The dedicated and patient staff offer customers the opportunity to sample numerous flavours, and suggest exotic ice-cream flavours complementing the customer’s preferred tastes as they weave through the wide variety, including 17 types of chocolate ice-cream, and an equally staggering range of tea and fruit ice-cream flavours. ice-cream is priced at 90NT, 150NT and 225NT for single, double and triple scoops respectively, along with toppings of your choice. Toppings offered include pineapple pastry and cheesecake, which are specialties also sold at their retail area.

The ice-cream shop isn’t all there is to visit – the retail area is also magnificent. It gives off a sophisticated antique vibe, enhanced by the one-of-a-kind packaging for their pineapple pastries and other traditional Taiwanese goodies. Numerous boxes of such pastries are packaged as antique Chinese books and displayed prominently on bookshelves, whereas other intricately designed boxes have a Christmas theme to it – apt for the holiday season during which I visited the shop. The staff were all decked out in green and red festive attire, and extremely helpful in suggesting suitable gifts to bring back home, making every customer’s shopping experience a comfortable easygoing one.

Despite having already feasted on ice-cream earlier, the restaurant situated on the second level was simply too tempting a meal to pass up. Given the amazing quality of ice-cream and service provided earlier, it was almost a given that the exorbitant prices put forth in the menu would be worth it.


Indeed, this was proven right when the platter my family ordered was served in fancy dishware and the standard of the food way surpassed our expectations. The server was outgoing and friendly, even initiating a quick chit-chat with us about our holiday experience and where we were from. None of us thought too much about it, however, until the ice-cream dessert was served with a Singapore flag and a tall droplet-shaped cotton candy glowing softly from the device underneath as the masterpiece. This truly memorable experience certainly was the highlight of my trip to Taiwan.


Should you happen to visit the area, do drop by Miyahara ice-cream Shop for a treat you will never forget.

Chloe Kho (3 Truth)