Fleeting moments in Beijing

Pro tip: Visit Beijing when there is a major holiday as the air quality is likely to be decent with factories closed and many people out of town.

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In search of quiet in Suzhou

Suzhou is renowned for its historic classical Chinese gardens, of which less than 60 remain today. We sought out two of the city’s most famous gardens and a couple lesser known ones to see if Suzhou’s reputation as a paradise on earth holds true.

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Tea notes in China: Lijiang and Hangzhou

Centuries ago, weary tea and horse traders travelling along the Ancient Tea-Horse Road 茶马古道 passed through Lijiang en-route to or from Shangri-la. Bricks of pu-erh tea 普洱茶 were bartered for Tibetan horses amongst the merchants. It was in Lijiang, which is in China’s Yunnan province, where my budding love affair with Chinese tea started. The year was 2008 and you can read…

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Going Places

“I got this photograph in an email and it is one of those pictures that you wonder where in god’s name is that…” This is the opening line in a video made by Robin Esrock. He was hiking in Mount Hua 华山 in a quest to reach a lofty teahouse located on one of the southern peaks. Previously, the…

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Reading Mo Yan 莫言

I first learnt about Mo Yan / 莫言 when I was browsing books in an Eslite bookstore in Taipei. There was an entire shelf featuring his works that had been translated into English. Many of these books had “Winner of 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature” printed on the cover, lest this recognition goes unnoticed. Having made a…

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