Miss People’s Republic of China – The New Times of China

A Brief History of Miss China

When Zhuo Ling, a native of Shangai, was named Miss China Universe of 2002, she, an attractive fashion model, became the first Chinese woman to win a modern beauty contest in the People’s Republic of China, one of the world’s last Marxist nations in the 21st century. But there’s more, of course. In the previous decades, the Communist rule, as a number of Marxist states in Eastern Europe, among them the USSR and the Democratic German Republic, did not send entries to Miss Universe and Miss World.

China Under Mao Zedong

After China’s independence in 1949, Madame Chiang Ching, “First Lady of the Cultural Revolution” (1966-76), and Mao Tse-tung (or Mao Zedong), who said which “women hold up half the sky”, proclaimed total war against the capitalistic traditions: tourism, beauty pageants, and western clothes. During that time, the cult of beauty was replaced by the cult of Mao Tse-tung. The People’s Republic underwent over 25 years of Maoist government.

In contrast to the People’s Republic, Taiwan sent a handful of contestants to Miss Universe and other international pageants in the 1960s. Against all odds, Taiwan became one of the world’s beauty pageant superpowers, along with the United States, Argentina, and Britain. On November 9, 1961, Grace Li Shiu-ying was first runner-up to Miss World in the United Kingdom. During that year, Lily Wang Li-ling was a semi-finalist at the Miss Universe contest in America. In addition, Dolly Ma was one of 15 semi-finalists in the First Miss International in Long Beach, California. On July 14, 1962, Miss Taiwan Universe Helen Liu Shiu-man finished in the Top Four in Miami Beach, Florida. Nine months later, Helen was first runner up to Miss Asia-Pacific in Tokyo.

At the end of 1964, Taiwan’s delegate Linda Lin finished third in London, behind Great Britain and Argentina. Meanwhile, four months ago, Lana Yu Yi made the Top Five in Miss Universe 1964. Otherwise, Macy Shih earned the 1968 Miss Asia-Pacific title in Quezon City, Philippines. Finally, Patsy Wu was crowned Miss Queen of the Pacific Quest in Australia in 1969.

During Cold War, Taiwan was not the only Chinese territory in the pageants. Hong Kong, a British dependency from 1842 until July 1, 1997, also competed in the United States and London. But there’s more. The 24th Miss Universe was held in 1976 in Hong Kong, a few kilometers from the People’s Republic. In the subsequent decade, Eric Morley, Chairman of the Miss World Organization, chose HK to host the 1989 Miss World.

Goodbye Madame Chiang Ching!

After the fall of Madame Chiang Ching, an admirer of Sweden’s actress Greta Garbo, the new Chinese leaders, among them Deng Xiaoping, put an end to the Maoist policies. However, despite the end of Maoism, women weren’t allowed to compete in beauty pageants. That’s why China, on the other hand, decline to participate in the global contests in the 1990s.It was not until 2002 that the Marxist country held its first beauty contest. Since then, China was one of the last places, apart from the likes Vietnam, Cambodia and Mongolia, in the world to hold a contest. Before the Communists came to power in 1949, this nation had had several beauty queens.

Zhuo Ling — A Pioneer in China

Against all odds, Zhuo Ling was crowned Miss China Universe in the early 2000s. After winning the crown, she went to San Juan de Puerto Rico, host to Miss Universe 2002. Without the financial advantages of so many of the world’s beauty queens producers, Miss China participated in Miss Universe, where she had three tests: firstly, a physical fitness evaluation, (finished fourth); an evening gown competition (first place);and finally an exhaustive personal interview with 12 international judges, among them Tatjana Patitz (fashion model), Marisol Malaret (former Miss Universe), and Christopher McDonald (performer). During an interview for the New York Times, she told, “Generally when you’re picked as your country’s representative there are some special events and you’re given some tutoring, I didn’t have a chance to help my country. And I didn’t have a former Miss China at my side. It made me pretty sad.”

But China gave a more than satisfactory showing in its first-ever involvement in MU in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Surprisingly, Ms. Zhung, who speaks fluent English with an Asian accent, made history when was first runner-up, ahead of some of Latin America’s most beautiful girls, among them Vanessa Mendoza (Colombia’s representative) and Cinthya Lander (Miss Venezuela). According to the new results, she finished second, behind Justine Pasek, Miss Panama (Russia’s Oxana Fedorova had won but she was disqualified by the Miss Universe Organization).

Miss China

Once the People’s Republic of China became a member of the Miss Universe Pageant, several beauty contests popped up like never before in Shangai, Beijing and other Chinese metropolises, as well as Tibet. At the same time, Amelia Vega, 2003 Miss Universe, arrived in China for a visit. Likewise, it hosted a host of global events, including Miss International (2004, 2006, 2008, 2009 ), and Miss Tourism Queen International (2004-2009 ). Since November 2003, up to 800 foreign beauty queens have arrived to Beijing and other cities, including entries from countries which does not have diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic.

From 2003 to 2005, Hainan, a tropical island in the Chinese Sea, hosted the Miss World competitions. Two years on, at the end of 2007, Zhang Zi-lin, a well-trained contestant, was crowned as the new Miss World, making it the first Communist country in the world to produce a Miss World title since 1989.

Asia’s Newest Beach Resort Sihanoukville Cambodia

In Cambodia, Angkor Wat is the main draw for tourism today, and rightly so, called the Crown Jewel of South East Asia the temple complexes’ 40 Sq Kilometers’ of temples is famous the world over, but now, more people are visiting the rest of Cambodia and the word of mouth is that the rest of the Cambodia is worth a visit as well. The Beach resort of Sihanoukville is fast becoming a holiday destination in its own right, with lots of islands and parks and things to do from hiking and exploring, scuba diving & snorkeling and boat rides, water falls, jungle treks and chilling in a hammock in a quiet beach park reading a good book. Culturally there are the markets, the local wats and the schools, where many come to donate time and money towards educating the kids.

Sihanoukville has a 5 star resort on its own kilometer long private beach. The pool could be classified as a small lake and is almost visible from space, complete with a bridge to its own little island. The hotel is only 2 years old and has a staff to guest ratio of 4/1. The prices for comparable hotels in South East Asia would be substantially higher.

If you are a budget traveler then Sihanoukville is your place as well, there are many rooms available with air con, hot water, refrigerator and Cable TV for $10 – $20 a night and if you want a place to stay for 6 months or more, you can get a business visa at the border on demand and stay as long as you like, works out to around $1 a day for the visa extensions, making the town attractive to pensioners and semi retired people.

Backpackers also like Sihanoukville with a few places offering 50 cent tall cold beers and cheap food starting at $.50. Some are also finding work as bar tenders and working the restaurants. Backpacker hostels start as low as free, Yup free, all you have do is buy one of your meals at the lodging and the price for the food is still cheap $1.50 to 2.50 a plate.

One local expert expat’s guess’s that there are more western owned business per population in Sihanoukville than any other place in Asia! Many are coming and starting guesthouses & hotels, small bed and breakfast places, restaurants and bars and small resorts with a few starting to pop up on the islands off the coast. Want to rent your own fantasy island for a week check out Magic Island?

Logistically everything that you will need is here including reliable electricity, internet, and western restaurants as well as a lot of Asian European specialty foods prepared with the western travelers tastes in mind including Khmer seafood, Thai, Vietnamese, French, Italian, German, Russian, Indian, Sri Lankan and more coming soon. English languages schools are many in Sihanoukville, so you can almost always find someone to speak English when you need it.

Money use to be a problem as you had to go inside the banks to get cash and with 26 holidays on the Cambodian calendar, you could get stuck with out cash for a few days, now there are ATM locations in Siem Reap- Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh, Battembong and Sihanoukville. You can change just about every currency including Yen, Euros, Baht, Kip, Dong, and Sing Dollars. US Dollars and Cambodian Riel are the two most common currencies in use.

Sihanoukville is getting easier to get to with cheap international flights into Bangkok and really cheap regional flights into Phnom Penh. Flights into Sihanoukville are very close to being a reality as well. Regularly scheduled busses from Phnom Penh will get you to Sihanoukville in 4 hours on a excellent American built road. You can also arrange taxis and vans for moving groups of people, and an established over water route form Bangkok to Trat to the Had Lek – Klang Yai border to Sihanoukville. You might even arrive here via a cruise ships, as more are placing Sihanoukville on their itineraries.

The Islands of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand are mostly uninhabited; you will find isolated Spartan fishing villages with populations normally fewer than 100 people. One Island, Koh Tang, has only 7 residents and would take the better part of a day to hike around, so if you are looking for that deserted island to strand yourself on, to work on your coconut carving and ship in a bottle skills there are many here to chose from, bring your own hammock and Gal Friday or they can be acquired here in Sihanoukville.

The Cambodia of the past always seemed to bring up horrific images of the past misfortunes that the Khmers suffered at the end of the Vietnam War. Even today, the genocide in Cambodia is still in the news as the country has its tribunal to hopefully put the events behind them,

One of the few backhanded benefits of the recent past history was that Cambodia missed out on all of the heavy industrialization, that the other countries in the region experienced, notably Thailand and Vietnam; which means that they missed out on the pollution that goes with it. A UN survey of the waters in Asia, that included Cambodia, found only 3 areas of concern for ocean water quality near shore, where as Vietnam and Thailand, had allot problem locations, mostly from the industrial pollutions and shrimp farms. This may change, unfortunately, as oil has been found in Cambodia and the drilling of exploration holes has begun. So now is a really good time to come.

As Cambodia moves forward towards the future, it is obvious to most that the future in Cambodia is tourism. And for Cambodia’s beach resort of Sihanoukville, to misquote the tune “the futures so bright, in Sihanoukville, that your gonna need shades”

Cambodia Buses – A New Asia Scenic Attraction?

When the first of the bohemians first started rediscovering the Cambodian kingdom after the Vietnam war, using the term roads was merely an easy way for saying improved tracks of endless quagmire; axel snapping, oil pan crushing quagmire, at that

A soon to be announced major scenic attraction millions of years in the making, is the road between Sre Amble and the Thai border at Had Lek as you will cruise through one of the largest, only slightly plundered, primal jungle forests left in the world. This vast tract covers million of acres, with several very distinct water sheds. You will be mesmerized by ripples of dense foliage that fade from black and silver green into grays that ultimately merge with the clouds with few if any signs of mans presence.

Today 3 of the 4 major bridges that were memorable river crossings in the past are open with the 4th promised to be online by Khmer New Year. The adventure of these river crossings will be missed, while at the same time it will be possible to make it from Phnom Penh to Bangkok in a little over 12 hours; today the best you can do is around 16 hours.

Considering the distance traveled, bus travel is still easily the cheapest way to go to Bangkok , expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $30 for instance from Phnom Penh to Bangkok compared to $75+ with fuel surcharges tax’s airport fees to Bangkok cheap flights on Air Asia or Bangkok Air.

Enjoying the scenery has always been one of the real treasures of travel in Cambodia, as you skim along side the shimmering ponds of rice with sugar palm sentinels allowing you to take mental pictures for lasting memories of this exotic land.