Ancient Pingyao – 3 Exceptional Attractions in One

Pingyao, almost 600 kms southwest of Beijing or a mere 4 hours on a highspeed train, is considered to be one of China’s best preserved ancient towns and premier tourist attractions. Most people come for a day, and most tourists are Chinese. I was drawn by the iconic photos of stone lanes and red lanterns, and I was delighted to find that Pingyao was that … Continue reading Ancient Pingyao – 3 Exceptional Attractions in One

Highlights of Hefei – Where is that??

Hefei, capital of Anhui province, is a small Chinese city of 7 million, my home in China. Each year, I spend from 3 weeks to 3 months at USTC. The University of Science and Technology of China, one of China’s most prestigious universities, has played a major role in turning Hefei into an academic, research and industrial powerhouse. Hence, Hefei is not known as a … Continue reading Highlights of Hefei – Where is that??

4373 Reasons to Ride The Shanghai – Lhasa Express

From the first moment I saw this map, I was determined to make this trip.  Not so much because I wanted to see Lhasa – that was a bonus – but because it seemed to me I could see most of China in one go!  4373 kilometers of China in the comfort of a modern train!  For 48 hours, I would press my nose to … Continue reading 4373 Reasons to Ride The Shanghai – Lhasa Express

The Texture of Tibet – Lhasa 2017

I know that Lhasa is a spiritual center. I have only been a tourist – albeit an official one.  You cannot visit Lhasa without a permit.  When I asked why, they said: “well, you know….” I think it was because Lhasa is a spiritual center.  But for me, it was a short collection of images and textures that somehow portray Tibet spirituality to me. Above … Continue reading The Texture of Tibet – Lhasa 2017

Shanghai Speaks to Me

Sometimes, Shanghai shouts!  It is a city with a huge voice, larger than life, grand vistas, impressive towers, sweeping views.  A loud, demanding, engaging global voice!   Day and night. Shanghai shouts.   But also… Shanghai is resplendent with Chinese art and architecture that has a more accented voice- the voice of culture and tradition.  More refined.  I seek it out naturally.   The European … Continue reading Shanghai Speaks to Me

Let me show you Zhouzhuang Ancient Town

  I have a weakness for ancient river towns in China. I love them and you will see why! Zhouzhuang Ancient Town is – on one hand – a major tourist attraction, and people flock  into town to stroll the alleys, enjoy the local cuisine, and ride the canal boats.   And to shop…Zhouzhang is famous for it’s wine, among other things.   All sorts … Continue reading Let me show you Zhouzhuang Ancient Town

Tulou – Fascinating Fujian Forts

The Fujian tulou, from where I live in Hefei, are a 6 hour high speed train, a 1 hour local train, then a 2 hour drive up winding mountain roads under repair. I had concluded I was completely lost when suddenly they appeared as we dropped into a wide, forested mountain valley just before sunset.  Large forts, both round and square, 3 or 4 stories … Continue reading Tulou – Fascinating Fujian Forts

Unexpected Funeral in Fujian

While exploring the fascinating tulou in Fujian, I came upon this. I wasn’t sure what was happening. Outside the tulou, there were elaborate floral arrangements.   People were coming and going, but I noticed a smaller house in the middle and I was directed to go inside. That’s what made it Unexpected. I have been shooed away from funeral spectacles before.   Fascinating – and … Continue reading Unexpected Funeral in Fujian