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

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

Not Enough Days in Dali

D is for Delicious, Delightful Dali – a premier ancient town in Yunnan.  I spent only 3 days in and around Dali – just enough to see the highlights and not enough to dally in Dali.  This is what greeted me after a day of travel by train from Kunming! And it just got better and better. This Chongsheng Temple, with three iconic pagodas, is … Continue reading Not Enough Days in Dali

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

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

Age of Ambition – Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos

I am always learning about China because China is always changing.  Five years now, I have been spending time in Enchanting China, but each time it feels like a different place!  To keep up and to understand, I read, and here’s a book I really recommend:  Age of Ambition:  Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos.  “In 1949, the average life expectancy … Continue reading Age of Ambition – Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos