Shenyang Knitting Group

I’ve been pretty much obsessed with knitting for several years now. I go through spurts where I get more done than other times, but I nearly always have a project in progress. It’s great for keeping your hands busy on those LONG, boring plane flights.

When I moved to Shenyang, I was excited to meet a few other ladies who enjoyed knitting and crocheting, but none who got as excited about it as me.

What’s a girl to do?

Create more knitters and instill the obsession, of course.

So that’s what I did.

I waited until it got nice and cold outside and then invited my friends over for a nice little stitch&bitch. Fortunately, two were expecting new babies (who now join us for knitting, by the way.) so they were easy to convince. Most didn’t know how to knit when we started.

But let me tell you. They learned fast and are now nearly as obsessed as I am.

And now I have friends who enjoy shopping for yarn, and talking about new stitches, cast-ons, and the difference between wool and cotton.

Mission accomplished.

If you’re interested in joining us, we meet on Thursday mornings around 9:30ish at Riverside Garden. Drop me an email for more details. We’re always looking for more people to brainwash with the joys of knitting.


Shenyang Cha Bu Duo 5K/10K

Last Saturday, the Shenyang LIGHT Foster Program held a fundraiser race called the Cha Bu Duo 5K/10K. It was such a fun morning and a great fundraiser for the foster children.

There were over 100 runners in the race. (That’s me with the banana, still trying to wake up.)

We had a few onlookers trying to figure out what the big group of foreigners was up to.

Friends helping friends pin on their numbers.

We started the day with a kiddie race.

It was seriously cute.

They also had face painting.

And then we ran (or in my case ran a little, then walked a lot. What can I say… not a runner. Unless something really big is chasing me. On second thought, probably not even going to run in that case. I’m more of a fight over flight kinda girl.)

But my friends did pretty awesome and didn’t walk at all! So proud of them.

Me, I kept up with my 8 year old running buddy. She did so awesome and we kept each other moving. And entertained for the whole 3 miles.

She mentioned about halfway… “Do you think they’ll have a nice cold Coke for us when we get to the end?” I laughed. It made it very hard to run.

But I guess she settled for water. I hear that’s better for you anyway.

Even Baby J finished her first 5K at a whopping 1 month old. You go, girls!

This girl did the whole 5 kilometers… and was happy to see the finish line!

Me and my girls had a blast… even though they all smoked me. It’s ok. I’ve gotten used to the fact I’m slow, and I’m ok with that.

Not sure if you noticed, but there are no photos of LB crossing the finish line.

That’s because he was one of the first to cross it. And by “one of the first”, I mean he was second. Despite the fact he hasn’t run a race in 10 years, and he “trained” for this by jogging in the park 3 times in the last two weeks.

Yep, that’s my man.

(And by the way, that’s a peace sign the guy who came in third is holding up. It’s also interesting that even though there is no podium, their heights do distinguish the finishing order.)


Things to do in Shenyang – Hawaii Waterpark

Now that Summer has arrived and kids are out of school, it’s time to find some fun activities to keep everyone happy. Even though Shenyang isn’t exactly full of touristy sites, there are still a few fun things to do.

And now that it’s finally warm, we decided it was time to pull out the swimsuits…

Royal Ocean World is a huge family amusement park between Shenyang and Fushun. It has five parts: Ocean World is the aquarium that has both sea and fresh water exhibits. Century Forest focuses on reptiles, lizards, snakes and crocodiles. Narnian Castle is a theatre where animal shows are performed several times throughout the day (show times may vary throughout the year). Susu World is a soft play place for children.

But this time, we headed for the water park.

Hawaii Waterpark is a large indoor park with tons of ways to get wet.

An indoor beach fit for sand castles.

And waves that start on the hour.

A ropes course so you can get ready for Wipeout.

And plenty of huge slides for the big kids.

That blue and green slide ends in a funnel. I tried it.

Looked like I was being birthed… came out head first.

Royal Ocean World (皇家极地海洋世界; Huángjiājídehǎiyángshìjiè),
Wanghua District (抚顺高湾(沈吉高速抚顺西出口))

The attractions can be purchased separately or on a combined ticket and they range from ¥70-140.

Definitely give it a try if you’re looking for something fun to do. And you don’t even have to remember the sun screen!


Shenyang Pet Market – Chongwu Shichang

A few weeks ago, a friend called asking if I knew where to buy a new puppy in Shenyang. Dog shopping is not something I’ve done in China, but I’d heard of a couple places through the grapevine. I offered to go on the hunt with her and her son. I’m always up for an adventure.

Our first stop was at a little shop on the first floor of the fish and flower market called Bei Shichang. They only had a few kittens mixed in with a handful of puppies, as they mostly sold birds and other animals. While they were adorably tempting, none struck the fancy of her son, who was to be the owner of the new puppy.

From there we were a little stuck. But her driver mentioned that he knew of one other place we could. He warned us that we’d need to be a little careful because some of the small ones could be sick and to be wary if the price was too cheap. He said to expect to pay anywhere from 500-1000 RMB.

It was a good 30 minute drive there and to be honest, I’m not even sure what part of the city it’s in. But as soon as we pulled up, I knew we were in the right place. You could hear the dogs barking from outside the gate.

It’s called Chongwu Shichang, or Chongwu Market. You have to buy a 1 yuan ticket per person to get inside and surrounding the outside were all kinds of little pet shops selling food, toys, beds, and any other pet supply you could want.

There were hundreds of dogs of all breeds. I went back and forth from feeling elated to be surrounded by dogs again (I really miss my sweet lab who couldn’t make the trip to China with us.) and feeling a little sad because the conditions of the place were less than ideal.

Even still, I really enjoyed it.

There were big dogs…

(This fellow looked like a bear!)

and teeny tiny dogs…

And even a few cats.

In the end, he finally decided on this itty bitty ball of fur that was just too adorable to pass by.

And she was quite happy to steal a ride home in his baseball cap.



Jazz Night in Shenyang: June 8

Calling all expats in Shenyang…

For this month’s gathering, one of the best American restaurants in Shenyang has offered to host our growing group of hungry expats. For those who haven’t tried it, Chicago Legend Steakhouse’s imported U.S. beef will make you forget you’re in Shenyang–for a few hours anyway.

Chicago Legends Steakhouse 芝城假日牛排餐厅
No.115 Beizhan Road Shenhe District Shenyang 沈阳市沈河区北站路115号
Restaurant Telephone: 024-88346868

Date: Friday, June 8, 2012
Time: 6:30 to 9:30 PM
Price: RMB 150 (Includes Food, Soft Drinks and Juice)
Happy Hour: 6:30 to 7:30 pm (Buy One Get One Free on Beer & Wine)

Continue reading


Shenyang Improv Workshop

Hello Fellow Shenyangers.

I just heard word of a fun new activity here in town that you might want to try out. It’s recently been started by another expat, Andrew, and I thought I’d share it with you. It sounds fun!

It’s called the Shenyang Improv Workshop.

Inspired by the original bilingual Beijing workshop, SIW is a place for people of all (or no) acting levels and experiences to come together and learn the art of improv in a relaxed, fun setting. Classes are absolutely free and are open to Dongbei-ers of all ages, nationalities, and levels of appreciation for the absurd. The workshop will use both English and Chinese.

Workshops are currently being held every Wednesday evening from 7-8:30 on the 9th floor of the Somerset Hotel Heping Shenyang (80 Taiyuan Jie, at the corner of Taiyuan Jie and Bei’er Ma Lu, 太原街和北二马路的路口). (You can tell a taxi “Taiyuan Jie, Hualian” and he should take you right to it.)
Your presence is both welcomed and desired.

If you’d like more information, you can contact Andrew at shenyangimprov (a)

Now you all practice hard, get really good and funny, and then let me know when you’re having your first show!


Traditional Chinese Massage in Shenyang

One of the things I miss most when I’m away from China is this little massage place. I am a little (ok, a lot) spoiled because the massages here are so cheap and so wonderful. I usually go once a week!

A friend discovered this little massage place just walking down the street one day and raved about it so I gave it a try a few days after she found it. That was over a year ago and I’ve been going religiously since then. Fortunately for me, it’s just across the main street and a very quick walk.

It’s on Wenan Rd. (The street just behind the Sheraton Hotel.) Take a right at the “Mushroom Girl” restaurant, just past the Jiujiang Hotel down the little walking street. It’s at the end of that row of buildings on the left.

It’s easy to spot from the English “Traditional Massage” on the outside. It’s simple and clean. Continue reading


What we do for fun in China

We go bowling!

There is a bowling alley in Shenyang. Just beside the Jindu Hotel. (This card is in the BMW Taxi Guide.)

You’ll have to ask the taxi driver for the hotel. Most know where the hotel is even if they’ve never heard of the bowling alley. Then just look for the neon lights next door and go down the escalators to the basement. And there’s the alley. Just like you’d find in the US.

We like to play girls vs. boys.

(Notice the shoes are just as attractive as they are in the US.)

It’ s a good way to do things, ya know.

Less fighting. More trash talking.

The girls smoked the guys the first round.

But they came back in the second to tie it up, 1 to 1.

It’s a lot of fun!

And you sure can’t beat hours of fun for $5 a person!