18 Cheap or Free Things to Do in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Museum of History

Let’s face it, Hong Kong is expensive. So after you’ve shelled out more than you care to for a hotel or hostel, having some more affordable options for your activities is probably well-appreciated if your budget was anything like mine. You can certainly shell out for a day at Hong Kong Disneyland or ferry over … Read more

A Guide to Trains in China, from the Old-School to the High-Speed

high speed bullet trains in China

One of my most poignant observations when I was in China in spring 2012 was how the state of the Chinese rail system reflected the country’s growing wealth gap. As I rode a variety of trains in China between September and November 2017, this disparity only became clearer. There are extremely old trains that rattle … Read more

1 Day in Nanjing: What to Do and Eat

Nanjing Museum live Chinese opera

One of the ancient capitals of China, Nanjing literally means “southern capital.” While not as metropolitan as Shanghai (accessible in 90 minutes via the high-speed trains) and not as beautiful as its neighbors, the proclaimed “heavens on earth” cities of Suzhou and Hangzhou, Nanjing is a city filled with landmarks and artifacts that showcase China’s … Read more

Why You Must Visit the Nanjing Massacre Memorial to Understand Modern China

Nanjing Massacre Memorial statue poem

While Beijing may hold the historical treasures of China’s millennia-long history and Shanghai may be its global hub and largest city, it is Nanjing that holds the core of what China is today. Unless you or your relatives have lived in China in the past century or extensively studied the history of this period, you … Read more

Heaven on Earth: The Gardens of Suzhou

Lion Forest Garden Suzhou

Hangzhou is one of the two cities named as “heaven on earth” in the old Chinese saying. The other is the nearby city of Suzhou. Like Hangzhou, Suzhou has long been a source of inspiration for poets and painters. Follow this list of Suzhou things to do to explore and admire this place that’s long … Read more

Heaven on Earth: Top Things to Do in Hangzhou

Hangzhou West Lake scenery

Long renowned as one of China’s most beautiful cities, Hangzhou was my favorite stop of the four cities in my eastern China adventure. Together with Suzhou, Hangzhou is known as “heaven on earth,” as named by a famous old Chinese saying. In my opinion, Hangzhou is worth at least a two-day stop. And it’s one … Read more