Fragrant Hills Park: a New View of Beijing

Where can you find nature in a city of 20 million people? At first glance, Beijing seems like the last place you would look for natural beauty. Afterall, this sprawling megacity is famous for being crowded and polluted, especially after the “airpocalypse” of 2014. But, this city is full of surprises. Beijing has some gorgeous …

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The Summer Palace in Beijing: the World’s Nicest Birthday Gift

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Sometimes the most peaceful places have histories full of war, embezzlement, and imperial collapse. How could on Earth could a green forested hill covered in classical Chinese architecture, surrounded by a placid lake have seen such turbulence? That’s the Summer Palace in Beijing for ya.

The Great Wall of China is Actually Pretty Great

Is there a location that says “iconic China” any more than the Great Wall? No other site is as wrapped up with Chinese national identity or foreigners’ expectations of the country. I’m happy to say that after almost three years, I’ve finally visited the Great Wall of China near Beijing. I can safely say it …

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How China’s COVID-19 Delta Variant Outbreak Ruined My Summer Vacation

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Despite China’s best efforts, the dreaded Delta variant of COVID-19 recently slammed into the country with a vengeance. The total cases in the country are now sitting around 121,837. That may not sound like much compared to the United States or elsewhere, but it’s a lot for China. This is after administering nearly one and …

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Qiuxia Garden: An Ancient Chinese Garden in Shanghai’s Backyard

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If you’re looking for an escape from Shanghai’s overwhelming glistening modernity, you could do a lot worse than Qiuxia Garden. The garden is located in the suburb of Jiading, about an hour cab ride away from the glittering steel towers downtown. The garden, and the surrounding old town, makes for an incredibly relaxing afternoon getaway.

It’s the 100 Year Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party

July 1st marked the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. Love it or hate it, the Chinese Communist Party is the largest political organization in the world, and arguably one of the most powerful. The CCP has around 90 million members, ten times the population of New York City. The party …

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What is the Dragon Boat Festival?

The Dragon Boat Festival is a national holiday in China that takes place on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. Usually near the beginning of summer. The holiday is famous for the dragon boat races, where people race cool-looking boats carved into the shape of dragons. I’ve lived in China for almost three …

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How to Talk to People Who Don’t Speak English Good

As the world grows smaller, it’s more important than ever to learn how to talk with people who don’t speak English as a first language. My fellow Americans, I have some disappointing truth to share with you. Not everyone in the world speaks English as their first language. I know, I know, it’s shameful and …

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You Can’t Drink the Water in China

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There’s water everywhere, but in China, it isn’t safe to drink. It rained all day yesterday. Even though I had an umbrella with me, my shoes are still soggy from trudging through a downpour. This isn’t even the rainy season. Sometimes it rains non-stop for two weeks straight. Everyone’s walls have water damage and sometimes …

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How to Save Money for Travel: A Guide for Working Class People

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2021 might be the best year to learn how to save money for travel. Who knows what will happen with the COVID-19 pandemic? There are signs that countries might start opening up. If not, well, we can always plan for the future, right? For those of you who are unemployed and suffering from pandemic induced …

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