Inexpensive Fun in Shanghai: Authentic Massage Experience

In many western countries going to a massage spa is out of ones budget, considered as something luxurious. Well China is truly a life in a time opportunity to experience affordable and good quality massage . A popular activity for any visit to China from business trips to backpackers, having experienced it first hand I know it’s a must. Combined with the luxurious nightlife the city has to offer, it’s just a whole lot of fun without the high expense. What other city could offer such a thrilling night (and day) than the biggest city in China, Shanghai.

Chinese Woman Giving Foot Massage

But it’s advised not to get too carried away. Massage parlors are often synonymous with the sex industry which is just not worth it. There are too many scams and risks involved that it would be just stupid to engage in any of that dodgy business. A lot of it is going on in Shanghai and there are many foreigners that do engage in that sort of stuff. While the Fresa blog is all about fun, there is responsibility that comes with it. Also that’s why I recommend going for an original Shanghai Massage without being intoxicated from alcohol and a clear head. Because this is not just some pleasure experience but an ancient practice of medicine and energy treatment. If you cannot relax and take in the experience, the money might as well be wasted. Because of the abundance of such tourism, there are loads of spas and parlors that offer mediocre services. Boasting with fancy facilities and good looking masseurs is nothing yet. In fact some of the best masseurs in Shanghai are blind. This is not just affordable, but a profession where traditionally the blind have a great skill in. Connecting and feeling with the needs and physical energy alignemtents of the body is crucial for a wholistic, and even transformative massage experience.

Whole body massage is known as “Tui Na” and not only relieves stress but promotes the energy flow in your body, consisting of Yin & Yang. For the Chinese these two opposite forces are essential in building a balance and natural flow of the life energy known as “Chi”. While you don’t need to be a believer in this non-scientific approach, giving one good opportunity for at least an hour long massage could set out to be an addiction for life. Pushing and kneading techniques are used while fully clothed to release locks in the body. This is not some instant pleasure experience and if you body has been accustomed to living with these blockages.. it can be a very strange experience at first to feel such a strong flow of energy. If they are very good, (please contact the Shanghai Massage Guide linked above to get in touch with some excellent masseurs), you might even vomit afterwords and not feel like having a drink for a while. But ultimately it’s all very good for you and can be enjoyed together with a fun night out, just start with the massage and let your conscious take you from there. With all the new energy, you never know what kind of adventures are waiting for you.

The other form of traditional Chinese massage is known as “Zhi Ya” and is more about going directly to the acupuncture points. There is cupping as well which all seem like crazy fun things to do. Perhaps on my next massage adventure in the exciting and wonderful city of Shanghai.

Warmest Regards,
Jose

Any other fun activity you would like to write about traveling in China? Let’s here you out at the comments section below. Take care friends. And as Martin Luther King, Jr. said: You just have to keep on moving forward no matter what.

Tang Dynasty Music & Dance Show in Xi’an

With a rich and lengthy history spanning more than 3000 years, Xi’an in China’s Shaanxi Province is the undisputed root of Chinese civilization. Visitors to Xi’An will wonder at the many historical ruins, cultural relics and museums which tell the tale of the city’s ancient history, which was a capital for 13 dynasties and hosted 73 ruling emperors.

Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show

One of the most notable dynasties was the Tang dynasty, which used Xi’An as its imperial capital between 618 and 907. The Tang dynasty celebrated a high point in Chinese civilization, with a cosmopolitan culture rivaling that of the Han Dynasty and even the metropolis of Rome. It was the largest international city in the world, with foreign residents from other parts of Asia and beyond. Through the use of trade along the Silk Road and at sea, the Tang dynasty was able to gain access to new and exciting cultural practices, luxury, contemporary items and technologies.

What to see in Xi’an

There is so much to do in the ancient imperial capital, so visitors will need to stay a few days to see the best sights. A trip to Xi’An isn’t complete without seeing the Terracotta Warriors, which are a selection of sculptures known as the terracotta, which are the armies of Qin Shi Huang who was the very first Emperor of the great land of China. One can easily spend hours wandering through the attached museum, viewing many of the historical collections. If time permits, visitors can stop off at the Small Wild Goose Pagoda in the afternoon, which was originally built in 707 during the Tang Dynasty rule. It is a World Heritage site, and one of two important pagodas in the city.

After a day of exploring these important sites, visitors to Xi’An can be delighted with a magical journey through the ancient Tang dynasty, with a music and dance dinner show at the Tang Dynasty Palace. The show is an impressive performance of song, dance and acting, which is supported by a magnificent live traditional orchestra. The show has roots in folk fetes, when dances were performed as rituals of prayer for a better life or good harvest. The dances became more artistic and delicate over a time, peaking during the Tang Dynasty, where they encompassed various forms of art from past dynasties and other ethnic groups throughout Asia. The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show accurately recreates much of the traditional entertainment from the Dynasty’s rule, with performers spending significant time studying relevant books, historical records and monographs. Tickets to the show can be bought for 238 RMB, or a dinner and show package for 388 RMB.

How to get there

For January and February 2016, the Tang Dynasty show is to be held in the Shaanxi Grand Opera House as the Palace is under renovation.

Address: 75 Chang’an North Road, Beilin District, Xi’an.

Subway: Yongningmen Station, Exit D2, then a 15 minute walk. Otherwise, you can take a rickshaw to the palace for 10 RMB.

Taxi: From the city, it will cost about 15 to 20 RMB to the theatre.

Rakuten: Japanese E-commerce Travels to Global Horizons

I think I wouldn’t be here without the awesomeness of mixing travel with business. Getting to explore the world, even through business meetings is much better than nothing. It gives you an opportunity to meet new people while earning money to travel even more. This opportunity is something that needs to be taken as no one will serve it to you on a plate.

Rakuten Global English Language Blog

A proud example from the online commerce of the Japanese, is a less known but greater than life kind of business. Without further ado, let the Mexican introduce to you.

Rakuten, an Internet company based in Tokyo, runs one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world, known as Rakuten. This e-commerce platform launched in 1997, at about the same time other major e-commerce platforms were launching in Silicon Valley.

Globally, they offer over 95 million products from over 40,000 merchants using a wide variety of different e-commerce platforms. However, Rakuten Ichiba, based in Japan, remains the company’s flagship e-commerce platform and the largest e-commerce platform in Japan.

Similar to other popular global e-commerce platforms, the store features a wide array of products arranged via categories. Current categories include computers & office, electronics, fashion & beauty, video games, books, movies, travel & music, home & household, health & fitness, and toys. As of 2015 they include virtual storefronts for over 10,000 specialty merchants from Japan, who ship to 170 countries worldwide.

Going forward, it is likely that Rakuten will continue to diversify internationally, especially in key markets such as the U.S. In 2005, Rakuten entered the U.S. market via its acquisition of popular e-commerce site Buy.com for $250 million in order to compete with Amazon.com and eBay in selling high-quality, unique merchandise. In 2013, Buy.com was re-branded as Rakuten.com. Currently, it includes 5,500 shop owners, 24 different categories of products and 18 million shoppers.

There is now a greater focus on shipping internationally as well as a greater focus on making products available to the English-speaking audience. In 2012, with the increasing demand from not just locals but travels and foreigners, Rakuten made the decision to make English the official language of the company. The ambitious work of Rakuten.co.jp English have been recorded as some of the first, and biggest efforts for a Japanese company to make the brand more accessible to the English-speaking world.

The company continually looks for new ways to make the shopping experience as rewarding as possible for buyers and shoppers. A particular focus is on the concept of “shopping as entertainment.” Another key selling point is the fact that people are “buying from people, not the Internet.”

One way to attract and retain consumers is through the use of “Rakuten Super Points,” which are accrued after a specific number of purchases. This encourages people to check out other storefronts. In addition, the company has focused on typical e-commerce promotions – such as flash sales and daily deals – to make the site competitive with its rivals.

For now, Rakuten remains the largest e-commerce platform in Japan and one of the global leaders in the field of online commerce, largely through an interlocking network of other Internet affiliates and companies that are part of the company’s vast Internet holdings in areas ranging from banking to travel. There are indeed reasons to be “optimistic” about their future as the name of the company suggest. The word Rakuten meaning “optimism” in Japanese.

New Fresa Travel & How to Explore!

Because I love travel, and I am always looking for new ways to expand my horizon beyond my Mexican comfort zone. I thought it’s time to prep-up my blog a little bit and make it more travel orientated! Now I will call it “Fresa Travel“, which would translate to “Strawberry Travel” in Spanish. Now the name seems to fit more to the website and is in fact more in tune with my mentality of globe trekking life. Perhaps it’s time that the word “fresa” in Mexico will learn new horizons and positive vibes through being opened to the world and it’s multitude of culture.

Air China Fresa Travel

This idea came to me, while I was researching for crazy things to do and go to. I know I have covered a lot of China in my travel stories and I just want to say that this trend will continue for sure. One thing is of course that there is something so different about the two countries, Mexico and China. This gives a kind of exotic feeling to traveling over there and seeing something that is just 100% different. Yet dispite this observation, this percentage is even reduged to zero once you get to grips with the new culture. Ultimately that means making loads of local friends, learning the language and starting to get addicted to local food. This is what happened to me in the Chinese mainland which is why I cannot help but return again and again to this wonderful place. Besides that though I will be attempting at the exact same thing in other countries too. For example other countries that are on my radar, are Japan & South Korea.

I have also recently bumped into this very awesome website known as How China that has such an awesome way of writing about what’s happening in the country. The blog is still very new but I am exited to follow how they will develop. Being in contact with the author and administrator, I have no doubt in my mind that he is the expert in the “how” of one of the most favourite travel destinations in the world!

However, even though the site is now named Fresa Travel, it is still important for me to use the world exploration as well. What it means basically, is that what I am doing is beyond just the physical experience. When you add exploration to the mix, you can get to know anything including yourself. But that’s pretty much something one has to experience for themselves, to really transcend that notion of travel and become a traveller, an explorer. This is what I have become, and I hope that the message and that discovery is going to reflect throughout the many wonderful articles that are coming to this blog.

Perhaps, see you in Asia or China or somewhere soon! How knows! =)

Global Amazon Business in Spanish From Spain to Mexico

I know that a lot of you guys like to learn Spanish because it’s a very big language in the world. For example on the internet, Spanish is the third biggest language just next to Chinese. So if you are thinking in terms of profitable, or useful.. after language the most obvious choice at least from my perspective is that of Chinese or Spain. But there some huge differences between the two, of which the single biggest one is in the spread of the language. Chinese is only being spoken in China natively, and in all the foreign countries where immigrants have landed. With so many immigrants and Chinese travelers around the world, no wonder that the business in Chinese language skills is extremely lucrative.

But then then there is the Spanish side of things, which is a very different world indeed. Mainly because it is being spoken in so many countries in the world. In total 21 countries to be exact. Now that gives you not only a lot of coverage around the world, but also an in depth look into a wide variety of cultures. Indeed, Chinese language is also filled with different cultures, all under the same name. It’s a miracle of sorts that they have managed to stay as a one single nation. But Spanish is very special in terms of it’s history and how the language has spread all around the world in a deeply rooted way.

An interesting thing that unites them all, is that all the countries now have their Amazon stores. This is of course one of the biggest online shopping businesses in the whole wide world. So if Amazon is there, that means that it’s because there is huge money to be made. These stores are now located not just in the USA and Canada, but also for example Mexico, Brazil, Spain, France, Italy & last but not least.. China of course. That’s why I recommend people who are interested in business opportunities to use this amazing resource to get to know which products are most sold and profitable. To engage into serious business is for the most part a global phenomenon. Without crossing borders, and language barriers it’s virtually impossible to tap into the most juicy of markets that bring a big scale profit.

To match this challenge, we’ve had a focus on the Amazon Spain store located at the URL of Amazon.es. While the Mexican one also exists, it is still within baby steps at least in comparison to the vast shop in Spain. For those who want to learn how it all really works, I suggest you first have a look at this perfect guide that I highly recommend: Amazon Spain in English. With the help of this guide, you will be able to break this language barrier, and get to know how to Amazon really works in Spain. Success is just all over this money making machine, which is simply waiting for smart people to come and absorb this data of wealth. I often continue to stumble into the most surprising of innovations that are buried within the millions of pages it contains.

So, I suggest you have fun using Amazon Spain in English until we in Mexico will have a similar wonder to observe. And I have to admit that I am really looking forward to this day!

Best regards & saludos,
Jose Ordonez

The Chinese Dream Acrobatics Community

While back, I discussed the American Dream, which is sometimes rotten to the core. Some people have family back there and authentic reasons for aspiring to that style of life. Which I perfectly understand, and there doesn’t need to be anything wrong with that. I guess I just wanted to clarify that I am not condemning anyone, instead I am putting awareness into things that could possibly be wrong in the mindset of the Mexican people. This is something that even Mexicans themselves admit at times, so it’s not just me making this stuff up. Everything I write here is based on first hand experience, and in some areas I have a lot of it. Almost up to the point that I wish that I wouldn’t know so much. Do you know what I mean? That’s one of the reasons I am channeling all this information through the blog, to kind of bring purity to my own being as well.

Beijing Acrobats Chaoyang Theatre

Anyway, as I went heavy on the American Dream and have talked so positively about all the things I learned and experience in China. I would like to bring other aspects to my comparison of world events, through the Beijing trip.

Not just everyone, but a lot of people might hate China for a lot of things. Some say it’s personal like loosing jobs. Yes, even in Mexico we have that frame of thought which is ridiculous in my opinion. Then, we have the people who actually travel to China and start to think differently. Perhaps they just want an experience, but end up with a changed up mind. It might be even difficult to go back home to bring the good news.

Still there are a lot of problems in China as well. And the Chinese dream is out of reach from most ordinary people. Some say, it’s like being an immigrant in your own country. But I don’t think that’s entirely true. China is all about community, that’s why you don’t see homeless people there. Everyone has a home, friends, people are so important.

These communities vary. Some are family, others are work and business. Either way, if you are in a circle of friends you respect that and grow on it. A good example is the troupe of Chaoyang Theatre Acrobatics, which over and over again has astonished me as a collective group. You see, not getting much paid is one thing but sticking together is another. Being just respectful and happy with the little you get, is much easier when you have a group to share that experience with. It makes all those difficulties so little, because you can always trust that even within a big company like Chaoyang Theatre, if you don’t have bread the other acrobats will give it to you. I know it seems incredible for a Mexican, American or other westerners.

Especially since that company is not taking that good care of them, it is the people below that are so closely knit. Only once you enter such a group yourself, you can truly feel what it’s like to be accepted. Often, Chinese language are needed however. Most tourists will simply go to see the acrobatic show and not give second thought to the struggle these acrobats are having. I for one, used to belong to this group until I got to meet some of the staff there that put up this amazing show, usually three times a day.

It turns out, that these people are the most humble people in the world. They have horrible managers, but still they keep on being good to their superiors. If you ask them why, the answer is very simple. They want to be happy.

And with an answer like that you cannot help thinking, that perhaps the Chinese dream is not something to be obtained. It is something that already is. Contrary to the greedy aspects of the American counterpart, we could certainly learn something from Beijing.

Now in Mexico we are in a crossroad, where people are turning into this American way of greed. Yet, something about us is very Chinese. We only need to look back to our roots, find the traditions and the discovery will be amazing. I did that, and I have found out that still most of the people who stay in Mexico and don’t dream about escaping to the states are very happy indeed.

Isn’t it funny. Again, I had to go all the way to Beijing, meet the acrobats at Chaoyang Theatre and then, I realised that Mexicans are happy. Well, there is a way for everything!

Sincerely,

Jose Ordonez

PS. I love blogging, please share! <3

The American Dream

Not surprisingly, the day had to come when I touch the subject of immigration to America. Or more like, the worship of American values and adoration to the country. Something I am not so fond of. I think a lot of things are much better here in Mexico. I would much rather go to any other country, just not America. It’s true, I used to live there and I love it too. All I am saying, is that it just might not be for everyone.

I wish people would have more long term goals as to why they are immigrating to another country. If so, there might be more consideration towards other countries as well. Why does it always have to be the overcrowded United States of America where all the Mexicans go. There is enough problems there already, even though Mexican work force is badly needed.

I am overly worried about GMO and other unethical business practices that seem to be abundant in the states. But people just ignore that, because in America you can survive without English.

Perhaps language learning is one key. If it could be understood as something common and easy to do. But beyond the barrier of language, there is a much bigger one. And that is a long, long fence with dogs barking on the other side. Be careful my comrades.

Have a good day everyone and think a little about what I have just said,

Jose

Bringing Chinese Kung Fu Culture Back Home

As I mentioned earlier in my posts, there have been lots of occasions, where I’ve had to come back to Mexico in order to truly learn about my own culture and get into grips with it. Or more than just learning, it’s a lot about accepting ones roots. While this has been endless fun of discovery, my travels have also contributed into the culture pool. Mainly my many travels to  China and the rest of Asia have been that catalyst.

Way back, when I was traveling in Beijing. I saw an original Beijing Kung Fu Show with not just traditional martial arts, but a beautiful story about Pandas and such. I instantly fell in love with the panda characters and decided to use this idea somehow, back at home. Well, I never did open up a martial arts school in Merida. But what I did do, was collaborate with the local government in order to bring a panda kung fu show in real life to the kids of Mexico. They absolutely loved it, and the event was decorated with a lot of Chinese symbols and decorations. Making sure, that kids understood that this was indeed a part of Chinese culture. Something that everyone seemed very open towards and interested in!

Just like at the Kung Fu Show in Beijing, we had some intense music that was played from the loud speakers and our audience was perhaps even more cheerful. Bringing back culture, doesn’t need to be something serious. In fact, people love to learn about other countries much more when it’s something fun and entertaining. Panda arts, was the theme of the day and it was a total success.

I guess what I was surprised about, was that people had such good attitudes. I know that China is not always under a good spot light, but having extensively traveled in the country, I can say that a lot of it is simply great. Especially the people, who are always so happy and working hard in order to survive. I guess, there needs to be balance between the two. And without a bit of a fight, no one can achieve balance and happiness right?

At least that was what I learned in China. Sometimes through the magic of performing arts. If you are in town, I recommend checking out the show in “Shichahai Theatre”, which is home to the panda action. I have to say that I have also been very interested in Kung Fu after that experience. Seems like a great way to learn about your body and yourself.

I’ll let you know some other great stories fro China next time. Hasta luego!

Best,
Jose Ordonez

Traveling and Always Coming Back

I’ve met a lot of people, from all over the world. It’s because I have travelled, or more like had the opportunity to travel a lot. But I always keep coming back, which to me is not obvious at all. Mexico is not always the ideal place to live. Also a lot of the people I’ve met, and travel a lot are not that into their home countries. You could say, that a lot of the travellers out there are escaping their origins or something back home that they dislike.

It’s unfortunate, and also for me it was the main motivator at first. But as soon as I went outside of my country, freshened up my thinking and came back. I started seeing everything in a  new light so to say.

Then I learned, that you everything can be seen in an unlimited amount of ways. Some people see the negative, even some people see only the positive. What I see, is more of something objective. The things I hate and why I hate them. And the things I love and why I love them.

In many ways, there are a lot of both when it comes to my home country and city. But once I have seen the light from different angles, I just always want to come back. I cannot escape, I want to learn and experience more and more. It is a never ending road, to happiness within you and your surroundings.

Peace,

Your Fresa, “Jose”.

Mexico Struggling Web Services and Hosting Locations

I think Mexico is still lagging behind when it comes to technology and the web. Web design is quite behind and the equipment is still quite old. Ordinary people can never afford a Mac. But a Fresa like me, will most probably have one. Yes.. I have a Macbook. It’s my life line, I work with it and I write my blog with it. I can create wonderful things and I am quite good at a lot of things. Such as running a server, web design, photo editing you name it!

But being covered doesn’t always help when others are not. And for that reason working on the IT business can be rather hard here in Mexico. You basically have to adapt to the world, where to customers come from all kinds of backgrounds. With outdated browsers and even the lack of hardware power has an effect on what you can do with a website these days.

But looking at the statistics Mexico is not as bad as China, in terms of still using Internet Explorer 6 and so on. Everyday, it gets a little bit easier. And in the end, it would not require that much for the country to shape up their computer industry.

But despite the positive attitude I carry, and the hope that I can increase my work here in my own country. It has increasingly went overseas, where there are much fruitful and easier markets to tap into. While many go to the states, not just physically but on the internet that’s the most common path to take. I have recently yet again started to look elsewhere.

Many great web service projects are going to see light in the following years, and I have been able to combine my own country Mexico with markets overseas. I think that if I can pull it off, that will probably be one of the greatest achievements I have had.

I also have a budget, not as small as the ordinary man but. And for this I recently found the best host for multiple locations and also they carry a lot of IP addresses of course. It’s still a struggle to find a good host in Mexico, but once again an outside location has solved my problem.

They often say, how the Internet has evolved so much that there is no need for close-by locations for a server. But this is only valid for certain countries, with high speed internet access. Also, even in these countries like the US, it is difficult to get a good speed to these countries in return. So that situation is not as modern and good as it sometimes seem. That’s anyway what I found out when I started to look at web hosting overseas.

So here were some of the basic things that a web designer in Mexico would deal with, on a daily basis. Opening up to the world is the way to survive!

Your friend, Jose.