An Article I was interviewed for in Jiangmen

Column: Local travel

Heading: A second look at Jiangmen

Sub-heading: The first home of the overseas Chinese

By-line: Peter Fenton

There is more to the to the prefecture-level city, that administers the Wuyi prefecture, Jiangmen than meets the eye. We talked to a trio of expat locals to get the inside news about the Jiangmen and Xinhui districts. “When I first came to Jiangmen, six years ago, foreigners would leave on the weekend,” said local artist and lecturer Dave Rogers from New York. “Jiangmen just does not promote what it has,” he said.

Situated on the lower reaches of the Xijiang on the Pengjiang about 100km south of Guangzhou, Jiangmen in 1902 was forced opened as a treaty port. Changdi walking street is a scenic stroll down turn-of-the-century architecture, similar to Beijing Lu, in the old waterfront quarter.

New Yorker, Dave Rogers has built a website a local social networking website for expats that contains maps and information about Jiangmen (www.fejiangmen.ning.com). “Jiangmen has many interesting places as the park on Guifeng mountain, the memorial to Ming poet Chen Baisha and former residence revolutionary Liang Qichao the city” said Rogers.

The prefecture has now accessible by a 58-minute trip on the new high-speed train. The spur on the Zhuhai line to Xinhui stops at Jiangmen from the Guangzhou’s South Train Station at the terminus of the extension to metro line two (RMB 28). Whether you are staying at the ever-popular Yucca hotel on business or traveling to see Kaiping’s diaolous there is much to explore in Jiangmen.

The Red Garlic has become a hub for expat life in Jiangmen. The soft-lit bar, restaurant, bar and pizzeria has a special charm that puts some Guangzhou / Shenzhen establishments on notice. Wood panel walls lined with bookshelves and Roger’s paper cut artwork gracing the stairwell create a cozy atmosphere.

Red Garlic regular Gareth Cook from the UK said, “This is a home away from home. Hospitable restaurateur Lilly hosts birthday’s for regulars on the house and sells freshly baked bread for home.” The well wishing graffiti on the roof is a testament to the service enjoyed by the patrons – where else can you get a great calzone for 25 RMB?

Chicago’s Taylor Barth another Red Garlic regular said, “‘Baby Feel’, a Baby Face knockoff, and is presently being remodeled with new management. While the Caribbean is Jiangmen’s latest club, however it is a typical Chinese club with its kitsch Hollywood movie pirate theme.” If you are in Xinhui, bar Landliches Bierhans is worth a look with a range of reasonably priced beer on tap.

// The Red Garlic (红蒜头比萨店) Ad46 KangLe Street off Gagnkou Road, Pengjiang District  江门市港口路康乐里46号(中行旁边). The Caribbean(金山大厦首层)– Ad: 江门市蓬江区建设路82111. Landliches Bierhans (乡村啤酒屋) – Ad: 江门市新会区会城镇新会大道中与新港中路交汇处,新会碧桂园小区入口旁.

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