Saga Ringmar

Time Out Beijing: “The best places to get tattooed in Beijing”

Tattoo artist Chacha

Where are you from? ‘My hometown is in Hunan. You know, it’s Chairman Mao’s hometown so it’s pretty famous.’

Why did you decide to become a tattoo artist? ‘It was when I was in Yunnan. I realised I should probably start making money so that I could actually buy food. But I didn’t want to buy a tie and work in some office building, so I thought it might be a good idea to start tattooing.’

Were you always good at art? ‘I wasn’t that good in the beginning. When I [started out] in Yunnan I made a lot of horrible tattoo works. People said, “No, don’t go to Chacha. He’s just awful!” But you’ve got to keep practising, and you’ll constantly improve.’

When did you get your first tattoo? ‘My first tattoo was a big mummy skull on my chest. It was really horrible, the line looked wrong, but the tattoo artist said it would be fine after it healed. After it healed, I realised he was just lying. So I was really sad about that. And it’s affected how I tattoo people today as well. I don’t want to make any mistakes because I don’t want my customers to have the same feeling I did back then.’ Read the rest of the article here. 

Time Out Beijing: “Apple Pay is Coming to China”

This week you’ll find Apple-lovers and shopaholics alike jumping for joy. It’s official – Apple Pay, Apple’s mobile payment service, is planning to launch in China. According to reports by the Wall Street Journal, Apple has already made deals with four major Chinese banks. China is set to join the super-exclusive club of countries with Apple Pay services, including the US, UK, Australia and Canada.

Don’t give up on WeChat Wallet or cast away your cash just yet, though. The Apple payment service won’t be around till February 2016.

And it looks like Apple Pay will be facing some major competition when it finally launches. According to the Wall Street Journal, Alipay constituted 45 percent of total online payment transactions this year.

Time Out Beijing: “Eat it: Da Dong’s duck burger”

When you walk into a restaurant where the bizarre concept is ‘duck burger fast food joint‘, the biggest shocker is that it’s, well… not that bizarre. The décor at duck master chef Da Dong’s new fast food joint is sleek, and the restaurant is filled with smartly dressed customers scoffing duck burgers and Salt and Pepper Duck Chops before heading back to the nearby offices.

The counter is made to look like a Western fast food chain, but the menu is unlike any other. Forget nuggets and chips, here customers can expect laoganma spicy mashed potato (5RMB), Petite Meat Moon Cakes (9RMB), and egg tarts (8RMB). Oh, and let’s not forget the whole point of the place: the Classic Crispy Lean Roast Duck Burger. That name’s a bit of a mouthful already!

Read the rest of the article here.

Time Out Beijing: “More hints that Google might be returning to China”

As the techies may know, the Beijing stop of popular international startup conference TechCrunch was held in Haidian over the last two days (November 2-3). Eric Schmidt (he’s the executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company) stopped by for a chat, and, while on-stage, dropped this little gem: ‘The interesting thing is that Google never really left China…In fact, we do hope to provide services here…’

Wait …what? Does that mean there’s a chance Google might be getting unblocked in China? Well, Schmidt seemed to be hinting at just that.

‘[Google] has lots of partners [in China] and we have offices in… Taiwan and Hong Kong,’ Schmidt said at the conference, further explaining that Google has been in constant communication with the Chinese government about the company’s presence in the country

Time Out Beijing: “Construction begins for new fast train to Hong Kong”

Could it be? A high-speed rail that takes you from Beijing to Hong Kong in just eight hours? It seems like our romantic dream to speed down south by train might actually be coming true. At least now that the recent plans to construct a new 2,400km high-speed rail have been approved by officials.

The construction is going to start in December 2015 and, according to News 163, it should be ready to go by May… 2019. Okay, so maybe don’t start buying your tickets just yet – but still, we love having something to look forward to.

Read the rest of the article here. 

Time Out Beijing: “Forbidden City blacklists misbehaving tourists”

Are you on the Forbidden City’s blacklist? Well, if you’ve drawn a smiley face on a Ming vase, scribbled ‘James was ‘ere’ on the Gate of Divine Prowess or thrown sweet wrappers in the imperial gardens, then you might be – and shame on you!
Beijing officials have grown tired of unruly visitors and have compiled blacklist of 2,500 vandals, litterers, loud-mouths and general forbidden-palace-hoodlums since June this year, China Daily reports.
The thought of museum wardens turning away ‘hoodlum’ tourists, decked out in the mandatory silly cap and khaki shorts is quite a comical thought – but they do have their reasons.