China celebrates its national day on October 1st, with a week long of holiday. People took the chance to visit famous places… popular destinations like Badaling section of the Great Wall of China was just so crowded.

Huge crowd at Great Wall of China
Huge crowd at Great Wall of China
Huge crowd at Great Wall of China (Image courtesy of Xinhuanet)

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Macao gaming tycoon Stanley Ho has bought a rare bronze horse head plundered by British and French troops in the 19th century for HKD69.1 million (USD8.84 million) and donated it to the motherland last Thursday (Sep 20).

Bronze horse head from Old Summer Palace, China Stanley Ho and bronze horse head
The bronze horse head and Mr Stanley Ho (Image courtesy of Xinhuanet)

The sale set a record in the trade of Chinese sculptures from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Sotheby’s Hong Kong said in a news release.

The deal stopped the national treasure looted from the Yuanmingyuan (the Old Summer Palace) being auctioned at Sotheby’s autumn auction in October.

“We do not agree with cultural relics which were smuggled, stolen, or looted in wars being auctioned,” Song Xinchao, director of museums department at the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, told a press conference on Thursday in Beijing.

He thanked Ho for his “patriotic act” and said the administration welcomes donations of cultural relics from abroad.

“I feel honored to have played a role in saving lost Chinese cultural relics from overseas,” Ho, 85, said in a statement.

Ho was ranked 104th on Forbes’ list of billionaires this year, with $7 billion in personal wealth. [Crienglish]

The ‘Great Singapore Duck Race’ has make a comeback this year, which could very well be the last duck race in Singapore because the Singapore River will be developed into a reservoir as part of the Marina barrage project.

Great Singapore Duck Race 2007
Quack Quack…

The Great Singapore Duck Race is a charity event started in 1998 and held annually until 2003. The public adopted the ducks at S$10 each, and all the ducks would be dumped into Singapore River for the ‘race’. The sponsor of the winning duck would take home S$10,000.

The 2007 race managed to raise S$850,000 for charity causes. The Great Singapore Duck Race holds the world record for racing the largest number of ducks, set in 2002 with more than 123,000 ducks in the water.

Japanese Prince Hisahito

Prince Hisahito, the son of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, marked his first birthday on Thursday (Sep 6).

The Prince, the only grandson of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, is the first male member of the Imperial Family to be born in 41 years. Under the Imperial Household Law, only male members of the Imperial Family in the male linage can accede to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Prince Hisahito is the third in line to the Imperial Throne following Crown Prince Naruhito and Prince Akishino.

Tianducheng, a residential area on the outskirts of Hangzhou in East China’s Zhejiang Province, is developed into a ‘Little Paris’… mimicking the building style of the French capital, including a replica of world’s famous Eiffel Tower.

Tianducheng, Little Paris in China
Aeriel view of Tianducheng (Image courtesy of Reuters)

Around 2,000 residents now live in Tianducheng; I guess they must be rich to afford a house at this Little Paris.

McDonald’s McCafe coffee shops debuted in Japan on Wednesday; joining a coffeehouse battle among Starbucks, Tully’s and others. McDonald’s Co (Japan) Ltd opened 7 McCafe shops in Tokyo and 8 in neighboring Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama and Ibaraki prefectures as well as Hyogo Prefecture in Western Japan.

Japanese line up for opening of McCafe
Long queue around Yebisu Garden Place for the opening of McCafe
(Image courtesy of Japantoday)

China Airlines has painted over its name and logo on the wreckage of the passenger jet that caught on fire at Naha Airport, Okinawa on Monday (August 20).

China Airline wreckage at Naha Airport China Airline covered its name and logo at Naha Airport
The plane wreckage on Tuesday before (left) and after the name and logo are covered with white paint by China Airline (Image courtesy of Mainichi)

After the accident, photographs and video footage of the jet continued to appear in news reports, and the company apparently painted over the name and logo to limit further damage to its image.

When questioned over the move, an official from the Taiwan-based airline said, “We followed international procedures. We do not have detailed information.”

Is it really necessary for China Airline to do so? Damage has already been done with so many photos and videos taken… their act could further damage their image for trying to cover up the fact. What’s the point?

A fire broke out on a China Airlines Boeing 737-800 jet after it arrived at Naha Airport in Okinawa, Japan on Monday morning (August 20). All 165 passengers and crew members managed to escape.

Early reports suggested that there might be fuel leaked from the airplane and somehow caught on fire.

Jet fire at Naha Airport in Okinawa, Japan
The jet in fire

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