The arc of our travel experience is shaped by the people we meet. Even the most beautiful food and landscape need a human context. With that in mind, we offer a selection of faces – each with a story – that we will recall whenever we reflect on our travels in China.
The following slideshow is our take on China’s ethnic diversity. While these images represent only a fraction of China’s 56 official ethnic groups (there are scores more unofficial ones), we hope they give you a better feel for the various people who call China their home. Continue Reading »
To close our Chinese food series, we share a few miscellaneous bits, bites and highlights that we just couldn’t shoehorn into the previous segments. We remember fondly the Chinese dining experience: refrigerator cases full of greens, skyscraper piles of tofu, the flash fry technique, earthy-brown soy and sesame oil chili pepper sauces, and copious condiments.
The Chinese consider the number eight lucky. We can all use a little luck, so we limit our list accordingly. Continue Reading »
Málà – numbing and hot – that’s Sichuan cuisine. The wild Sichuan peppercorn (huājiāo), a little bit pink, a little more purple – really sets Sichuan cuisine apart. Take a bite of one and your mouth tingles as an addictive numbness makes its way to your lips. This is the má. Combine it with the characteristic hot blanket of chili peppers – the là – and you have discovered the magic of Sichuan cuisine.
While Sichuan food is available around the world, Sichuan dishes take on an almost electric quality – in both color and flavor – when served in China. Here’s a sample from our travels. Continue Reading »
Think that Beijing is all about moo shu pork and Peking duck? Think again.
Tapas, paninis, sushi – even all-you-can-eat massage parlors. If you can name it – and eat it – you can probably find it in Beijing.
Have we abandoned our local street-food ways? Absolutely not. Continue Reading »
Like all things grand and iconic, the Great Wall of China runs the risk of disappointing eager visitors. For us, it was one of the few historic sights in China that actually lived up to the hype. Continue Reading »
Wonder what it was really like to be at the 2008 Beijing Olympics?
Though we weren’t in Beijing to report directly, we did pose **nine questions to a friend who was. Nguyen shares his first-hand Olympic experience — including scoring 110 tickets, the simple joy of giving some of them away, an explanation of the empty seats you saw on TV, and how the Chinese people love an underdog. Continue Reading »
If you are looking to escape the eyes of censorship and catch some edgy art exhibits in Beijing, go no further than a converted weapons factory on the outskirts of town.
Once part of an industrial park developed in the vein of 1950s East German-Chinese Communist brotherhood, Factory 798 (a.k.a. 798 Dashanzi Art District) serves up a dose of fresh, creative and surprisingly uncensored air in a space now devoted to modern art workshops and galleries. Though art purists and Chinese contemporary art experts may decry its commercialism and complain that rent is too high for aspiring artists, Factory 798’s exhibition space succeeds in offering moments of free expression and unfettered social commentary – features in which China sometimes runs a little lean. Continue Reading »
Beijing, China: a place where yesterday’s icons – dragons, Mao, pagodas, drum towers and the Great Wall – meet today’s urge to modernize and build to the sky.
Last winter, we captured a few images that defined our glimpse of Beijing in full-tilt transformation. Continue Reading »
Having been on the go for one year, we required some stillness in order to evaluate how this journey of ours is going – not just from a travel perspective, but from a personal and business perspective. Beijing seemed as good a place as any to perform this exercise. Continue Reading »