What is the Qingming (a.k.a. Tomb Sweeping) Festival?

Along the River During Qingming Festival - onaroadtonowhere.com

The Qingming festival is also known in English as Tomb Sweeping Day. It happens every year on the 15th day after the spring equinox, usually on the 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th of April. It’s dedicated to honoring the dead and is one of the least commercialized festivals in modern China. While it may not …

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Bad Advice: Things You Shouldn’t Do When Learning Chinese

Bad advice for learning Chinese - onaroadtonowhere.com

There is a lot of bad advice out there about learning Chinese. Most of it comes from professional bloggers and influencers who seem to be dedicated to convincing the rest of us we’re losers for not working five hours a week, living in Bali, and knowing twenty languages. It’s okay. You’re not a loser, you’ve …

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Chinese Public Hospitals Are a Kafkaesque Nightmare

Last fall, we visited the emergency room of a Chinese public hospital when my life-partner and bride-to-be injured her knee. It was interesting, and the doctors gave us the impression that it would just heal on its own. Of course,  it didn’t. She ended up having surgery at the end of February this year. Things …

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Five Chinese Movies That Aren’t Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

Chinese movies have existed pretty much since the beginning of cinema, starting with rickety black and white footage of downtown Shanghai. The country has a rich artistic heritage that goes back a century. But, all anyone ever wants to talk about is Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Or Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. Jackie Chan and …

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Khao Sok National Park Might be Thailand’s Best Park

Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand might be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. Imagine waking up in a floating bungalow and looking out over a mist-covered jungle lake. The otherworldly howls of the gibbons echo off rugged limestone cliffs that tower over the water. You breathe in a primordial …

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Jinshan Fishing Village: The Sea-Side Town with No Sea-Side

There isn’t much to Jinshan Fishing Village, or Jinshanzui, or 金山嘴渔村. However, it’s a nice place to spend an afternoon wandering around old narrow streets, soaking up some ancient Chinese architecture, and maybe buying some dried fish. Unfortunately, despite being a seaside fishing village, it isn’t the best place to see the ocean.

The Shanghai Museum of Glass: Not a Good Place for Children

The first question you may be asking yourself about the Shanghai Museum of Glass is why? Why would somebody go through all the trouble to make an entire museum devoted to a material we use so that we can look out our windows without having to breathe fresh air? It’s a fair question and one …

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How Shanghai is Celebrating the Chinese New Year in 2021

The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is undoubtedly the biggest of all the big holidays in China. It’s like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s all rolled into one gigantic seven-day festival of red lanterns and dumplings. In Shanghai, they celebrate the Chinese New Year by traveling out of the city. This is often the …

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Shanghai Gets a Second Wave of COVID-19

The second wave of COVID-19 sort of hit Shanghai by surprise. Thus far, the city had been spared the worst of the pandemic, avoiding the harsh lockdowns seen in Wuhan and elsewhere. Sure, plenty of imported cases trickled in, and the last month saw an uptick in cases in Northern China. But we never thought …

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Why Living in China is Great

I already wrote about why living in China can be annoying, it’s time to write about why living in China is great. About a month after I moved to Shanghai, one of the first non-Chinese people I met asked me how I liked it. I said I liked it, so far. She scoffed and told …

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