Countdown to Beijing

In what feels like a lifetime and countless cups of late-night coffee later, I’m now set to return to China on the first of November barring I don’t test positive for Covid three days before my flight!

A Day Trip to Tianjin天津

A port city metropolis situated along the Bohai Sea in Northern China, Tianjin is China’s largest coastal city and currently ranks fourth largest in urban population following Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. Meaning “heavenly ford” or “the place where the emperor crossed the river,” Tianjin has historically been the maritime gateway to the nation’s capital of Beijing. Because of its location, controlling Tianjin has been of crucial strategic importance in terms of the geopolitics of the area.

Online Teaching: Big Drama on Day One

Here we are into the initial days of the 2020 spring semester during the Covid-19 virus outbreak. As my colleagues, students and I are stuck across the globe, we are diligently trying to follow the directives of our higher ups to comply with the government’s solution: e-classes over Wechat. Imagine trying to teach courses over…

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! 中秋节快乐!

I often liken the Mid-Autumn Festival to Thanksgiving in the USA, but Mid-Autumn festival has more similar counterparts in Korea and Japan (with the Chuseok and Tsukimi holidays). During this holiday in China, family members will cook and eat traditional foods, watch tv together, and enjoy the full moon.

The Incredible Leshan Giant Buddha 乐山大佛

The Leshan Buddha, fondly called, “Da Fo” or Big Buddha (大佛), is an amazing feat of ancient architecture and manpower. Carved into the side of Mt. Lingyun, the colossal statue at 71 meters tall (233 feet) stands over 1,300 years old and is considered to be the largest stone Buddha in the world – by far the tallest pre-modern statue. This sacred, ancient wonder of the world was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and attracts millions of people every year, including Buddhist pilgrims AND ME!

Chengdu 成都: The “Special Flavor” of Sichuan food

Sichuan spice is no joke. Sichuan peppercorns are known for their mouth-numbing properties, while a plethora of other spicy ingredients can have sweat and tears running down your face. Thankfully, not all Sichuan-style dishes are so volatile, though! For those with lighter palates, Sichuan food can also be sweet, savory and refreshing.

Chengdu 成都: Land of Abundance

As the saying goes, those who enter the Sichuan area of China are susceptible to the persuasive charms of the lifestyle there: the slow-paced rhythm of work, the pleasant climate, the mouth-watering cuisine, the sounds of mahjong being played into the night…

Chengdu 成都: The Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base

The animal is puzzling. It does little to merit its popularity. In the wild, it spends all of its waking time wandering aimlessly to find food. Though it is a carnivore, there is little game where it lives, and the panda is not quick enough to catch it anyway. So it eats bamboo, and since…