Dragon City – Chengdu in Spicy Sichuan

Why Chengdu? It holds mighty strategic status in the Middle Kingdom era, but now? People seem to go to see the pandas, but what else? I really didn’t know it would be such a vibrant dragon city – mythical, powerful, monstrously alive while seeming to sleep. I spent 4 days in Chengdu in November and, as always, I had a guided day tour to see … Continue reading Dragon City – Chengdu in Spicy Sichuan

Phoenix City – Timeless Fenghuang

My first view of Fenghuang, and I was entranced. Fenghuang means Phoenix – that mythical bird that is eternal – arising from the ashes if destroyed by fire, coupling with the dragon to become a complete ying and yang. The phoenix is forever, and Fenghuang seems aptly named. Fenghuang is a famous ancient watertown that has called to me for years.  Pictures of this ancient … Continue reading Phoenix City – Timeless Fenghuang

Me and Mao in Hefei 2019

I always like to be back in Hefei on the USTC campus in the fall – my home in China. Without really planning, I found Chairman Mao came along with me – in the Mao biography I was reading, in the Mao leadership case study for my students, in the images still common around town, in some ways the locals keep his memory alive. It … Continue reading Me and Mao in Hefei 2019

Timeout in Tongli

Time stands still in Tongli Water Town – an ancient village carefully preserved amidst the modern urban sprawl that connects Shanghai and Suzhou. Once inside this living museum, there is little to do but enjoy the feeling of time travel back to a life of cobble streets, canal boats, elegant gardens and food vendors. I spent four days and it took all four to walk … Continue reading Timeout in Tongli

Penang – 35 days, 35 reasons to stay

Travel adventure is my life, but I do not need to rush around anymore. I don’t want to carry a backpack and race to see all the attractions in a place before marching on.  I don’t “do” places like young travelers. I was so privileged and pleased to “live” on Penang Island for an adventure holiday. I have a very dear friend to thank for … Continue reading Penang – 35 days, 35 reasons to stay

My Love Affair with Georgetown Chinatown

I am enraptured with Chinatown, the heart of Georgetown on Penang Island, Malaysia. I cannot deny my shameless bias for all things Chinese in multicultural Malaysia. Because I spend part of every year in China, I feel right at home in Chinatown everywhere but this one is special. Living in Penang for a month, I was drawn back almost every day to the streets and … Continue reading My Love Affair with Georgetown Chinatown

7 days, 7 delights in #OmanMy2Home

Oman offers a delightful mixture of things to do and see, taste and hear, feel and enjoy. Here’s a sample of 7 different delights I would share with you if you were here. 1. Beach time. The sea is fresh and cool in March, the sand is smooth and clean, and I know where to go to avoid the crowds. We would pause to watch … Continue reading 7 days, 7 delights in #OmanMy2Home

Driving Sri Lanka – Tips and Tales

Even I wasn’t sure it could be done: a tourist driving all around Sri Lanka in a car. Not a car with a driver. A rental car! Lots of Sri Lankans laughed… no…the drivers, they said, were too bad. But I was determined and I’m so glad I persevered. Rented a little car and headed out to semi-circumnavigate Sri Lanka. Here are some tips and … Continue reading Driving Sri Lanka – Tips and Tales

Coming full circle – back to Negombo

I drove all the way through Colombo from south to north – something that had been unimaginable when I started driving in Sri Lanka! It wasn’t easy, but I have learned the game of how to drive here. We were able to return our little rental car, after driving 2000 kms, with not a single scratch! The final leg of the circumnavigation was from Galle … Continue reading Coming full circle – back to Negombo