Al Bustan – Garden by the Sea

I can live anywhere in the world and I choose Al Bustan – a fishing village on the edge of Muscat in Oman. This is where and how I spend my time when I am not travelling. It is exquisite by day. And even more exquisite by night. We share the beach in front with the Al Bustan Palace Ritz Carlton Hotel and the deep … Continue reading Al Bustan – Garden by the Sea

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 is so … Continue reading Me and Mao in Hefei 2019

Charming Qibao Hidden in Shanghai

Ancient Qiboa Zhen – Seven Treasures Town seems hidden inside ultra-modern Shanghai.  I’ve seen a lot of the city of Shanghai, but not this little gem. Like other ancient towns, it is a square centered over a canal, with iconic bridges and weeping willows, striking doors and specialty shops. A long and busy shopping street runs down the middle. Near the end, I find a … Continue reading Charming Qibao Hidden in Shanghai

Xi’an Inside and Outside the Wall

Central to the mega-city of Xi’an is a mammoth and ancient city wall.  There is so much to explore, one way to set a program in the city is the delineate between what is inside and outside the great wall of Xi’an. Outside the wall – on the outskirts of the city – is the stunning Terracotta Warrior exhibit that is almost synonymous with Xi’an … Continue reading Xi’an Inside and Outside the Wall

China at 300 kms/hr: Train Travel Tips so you Relax and Enjoy the View

China has countless historic sites and ultra-modern cities to explore, but another great attraction is the countryside and a perfect way to see it is on China’s amazing high speed trains.  Maybe you have had trouble “picturing” what China really looks like, so here are some scenes from my recent train travels, and some lessons I learned to make the travel relaxing, especially if, like … Continue reading China at 300 kms/hr: Train Travel Tips so you Relax and Enjoy the View