A Night Out In Hegang

Photos by MJ Klein & Hui-chen

Hui-chen and I are off on another adventure in Thailand. By the time you read this, we will already be there.  Of course we’ll have some new blog articles about our trip and you can be sure there will be plenty of photographs!

Now for today’s article.

We’ve all heard about visiting the large cities in China.  But have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit one of the more remote areas of China?  Recently we’ve been talking about our trip to Hegang which is in the Black Dragon Province of far northeastern China.  Hegang boasts a population of about one million people and yet it has a smaller town flavor about it.  Hegang is also way off the beaten track so the presence of foreigners in that town causes quite a stir sometimes.  In this article we’re going to show you what it’s like to go out for a night in this sleepy, coal-burning industrial town in the far northeast of China.

A Night Out In Hegang

That’s Hui-chen in the bottom right corner of the photograph.  Others in our group are waiting on the food to arrive.

A Night Out In Hegang

This is the opposite side of the table.

A Night Out In Hegang

We’ve been to this restaurant before.  They serve hot pot, which is very popular in this cold region.  Even though it was April, the outside temperature was approximately -3C.  Here you see the dipping sauce for the food.

A Night Out In Hegang

This was their “standard flavor” hot pot broth, with a few Chinese medicinal additives.

A Night Out In Hegang

These are the condiments that one adds to the soy sauce to make their own custom dipping sauce.

A Night Out In Hegang

Hui-chen likes sheep/goat, and this is her pot with a large piece of lettuce.  Getting used to cooked lettuce is one of the things you experience when living in Asia.

A Night Out In Hegang

I stepped back and took this overview shot of the room.  Believe it or not, the staff told me that photographs were not allowed.  This explains why I don’t have any food photos to show you.  The staff was hovering all over us like Chinese waitstaff do.  I often ignore these types of statements because I’m a paying customer and I take photographs to use in articles on our blog.  If anything, our blog helps promote business, unless the place is bad.  There is a dumpling restaurant in Juibei where the boss knows who I am because he has seen his restaurant on our blog.  He was very thankful for the publicity.

This was our third trip to Hegang.  We’d all gone out for karaoke before so everyone has heard me sing.  It’s both a blessing and a curse as everyone was saying throughout dinner that I was going to entertain them later at a karaoke place.

A Night Out In Hegang

And here it is!

A Night Out In Hegang

Everyone expected me to start singing right away, so I didn’t disappoint.

A Night Out In Hegang

My shirt kept coming un-tucked as I animated my singing.  It was fun anyway.

A Night Out In Hegang

After standing up for one song, I sat down for the rest.  I did a couple of songs and then I let other people sing.  I can’t stand a mic hog!  The computer used for selecting songs was OK but not as sophisticated as the systems in Taiwan.

A Night Out In Hegang

A Night Out In Hegang

This was a large room and the whole place seemed a bit surreal.  Very different than being in Taiwan!

A Night Out In Hegang

This is Mr. Wang, whom I think would be very popular on Korean soap operas.

A Night Out In Hegang

Mr. Wang is not a bad singer either.  He had fun.

A Night Out In Hegang

This was the beer of the evening.  I’ve never heard of this brew before but it was pretty good.

A Night Out In Hegang

Different country but lots of the same songs.  Just nothing in Taiwanese.

A Night Out In Hegang

By 22:00 we were ready to go home.  Up in the far northeast, people go out earlier and then go home earlier too.  Probably because in the wintertime it’s dark around 16:30.

Thanks for reading.  We’d like your comments and ratings, so feel free to leave them!

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5 comments

    1. yes, Craig the activities are pretty much the same. what’s different however, is the definition of proper and acceptable behavior. when we were in China, the men acted very immaturely, with so much emphasis on drinking, and especially downing drinks in one glup “gan bei” (which i hate). if you say “i don’t want to” no one will listen to you or respect your position, whereas in the US if you said “i don’t drink” no one would ask you a single question about why you don’t drink. in China you have to explain every single little thing like you’re dealing with children (because you pretty much are). why? why? why? is all they ask. i personally dislike having to explain myself and especially explaining private information just because they can’t understand why someone else doesn’t want to act like a total fool like they do.

      thanks Craig

  1. MJ, the restaurant looked beautiful. Why they don’t want pictures taken is a little silly. I have had that here in Ubon. I get it a lot at fairs where there lots of traders dealing many things. Lots of copyright stuff.

    I usually ignore them like you as I am a paying customer. Some places have a no picture sign outside and I respect that but when I am told no photo and ask “why” and a reasonable explanation isn’t given by the staff I ask for a manager.

    As you said it is free adverstising for them.

    The karaoke looked like fun and I am sure it was. I used to enjoy tasteing different beers from areas in different countries, SOme were good others terrible.

    Bruntys last blog post..Teaching in Thailand. Teachers Needed in Isaan.

    1. Brunty, i’m with you. if i’m a paying customer then i should be able to take a few photos with my friends. either that or i’m never going to come back, and i’m going to tell others about the problem on the blog so they won’t waste their time.

      i also enjoy tasting different beers and spirits. Chinese beers are pretty good, generally speaking. thanks.

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