Chongqing – City of Contrasts

  I expected Chongqing to be pretty dramatic – after all, it is a city where the metro goes right through a building high on a hillside, where buildings like the Hongya Cave complex cascading down the steep incline have lifts that open at ground level floor 1 on one side and ground level floor 17 on the other, where the local super-spicy hot pot … Continue reading Chongqing – City of Contrasts

Doing The Usual and Unusual in Kunming

Planning for Kunming, I made sure to include “the usual” – the things I try to do in every city:  a day trip outside the city to the stone forest, a walking tour of Green Lake and Yuantong Temple inside the city, and a foodie experience.  But in Kunming, there was a BONUS – unusual experiences that were surprising, stunning and shocking – in a good way!  Even more… I found … Continue reading Doing The Usual and Unusual in Kunming

Incredible Edibles in Kunming

When I think of Kunming, the first thing that comes to my mind is the food!  Yes, the fall weather is glorious in Kunming – brilliant blue skies, golden aspen trees, piles of pumpkins, fresh mountain air.  Yes, the people of Kunming are special – more open, calm and welcoming than in many parts of China.  I really enjoyed both the usual and unusual experiences … Continue reading Incredible Edibles in Kunming

10 “Best” Ancient Towns in China 2018

If you’ve read any books by Pearl Buck or Han Suyin – my two favorite authors writing about China – you have imagined what old village life was like in China, but you can also experience it for yourself. Throughout China, I find “ancient villages” or “old river towns” – often preserved or enhanced for tourist and heritage purposes, although people still live in most of … Continue reading 10 “Best” Ancient Towns in China 2018

Hongchun Ancient Village – First and Best

I was dazzled and often speechless.  Working at USTC in 2012, I was included in a bus trip off to see the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hongchun and Xidi against the backdrop of Huangshan – an iconic mountain resort.  I took some of my favorite China photos there. You’ll see why. Life revolved around this placid pond. Down the side streets were shops selling … Continue reading Hongchun Ancient Village – First and Best

Chilling on Ciqikou Chili

Ciqikou (Porcelain Port) is an ancient village inside Chongqing – built on the steep bank of the Jialing River just before it joins with the mighty Yangtze.  It is a maze of old wooden buildings with an amazing food street winding down down down the middle to a ledge high above the river. It’s pronounced “She chee koo” if you’re wondering, and it’s where a tourist … Continue reading Chilling on Ciqikou Chili

Highlights of Hefei – My Home in China

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 – My Home in China