Churches and squares everywhere 

Chinese New Year in Macau – Day 2 – A tour of old colonial Macau If you don’t go to Macau to gamble or shop, you go to Macau for history. I’m not a gambler – and I’d probably be a poor one even if I tried – and I don’t particularly go in for…

Of grit and glitter

Exploring Hong Kong Part 7 – Old Wan Chai History Between Wan Chai and Admiralty MTR stops is a wealth of Hong Kong history waiting to be discovered. On the Lonely Planet walking tour, we were distracted by the Wan Chai Street Market and the wet market (which, gross enough, was once a mortuary during WWII),…

Spending time with sparrows and pigeons

Exploring Hong Kong Part 5 – Hong Kong Park & Victoria Park If you tire of tall buildings, crowded streets, and insanely-packed markets, take a break and wander into Hong Kong Park (Admiralty MTR) or Victoria Park (Tin Hau MTR) for a relaxing stroll amongst beautifully-landscaped scenes, complete with butterflies, artists, bursting flowers, and the…

A [not so] fairy tale delivery story

Based on a true story of daily life in Hong Kong. Once upon a time, there was a fair, kind, and young(ish) maiden living in a lovely village up the very steep hill from the big kingdom. This fair, kind, and young(ish) maiden wanted to get her groceries delivered, and she waited two very long…

10,000 Buddhas to watch you climb a steep hill

Exploring HK Part 1: 10,000 Buddhas Monastery in Sha Tin As fall break approached, I couldn’t be happier to have a significant amount of time off to recover from a) graduate school completion, b) hectic travel to HK, c) starting a job in a new school with new kids, new team, and entirely knew curricular…

Get thee to a nunnery!

Or a flower market – whatever is more suitable for you and not necessarily for just poor Ophelia. On my first Sunday in Hong Kong, I decided to be lazy until the early afternoon, especially as it was still hot and still outside because of a typhoon making landfall in Taiwan and up north on…

Take you down to Qibao town

If you’re looking for an easy trip from Shanghai but aren’t particularly desirous of dealing with taxis and buses, Qibao is a good getaway. Qibao is a small water town on the outskirts of Shanghai with plenty to offer – provided you don’t visit on a weekend day or a holiday. If that’s all the…

England in China and an amusement park in the middle of nowhere

There are more than enough things to keep you busy! Our middle school recently instituted Inspirations – a week and a half of non-academic courses at the end of the school year. We came up with some pretty interesting options for our students, some of which I’ll detail here for the curious. Oriental Land A…

The final [Shanghai] countdown

After three years of life and lunacy in Shanghai, I am leaving for the wild urban jungle that is Hong Kong. This is the M.O. of a single international teacher; we love ’em and leave ’em because we can without anyone but ourselves to call shotgun on the highway to adventure. I have been done…

All Aboard the Silk Road – Foodie Heaven in the Muslim Quarter

By evening, it was dry again, so I ventured to my final stop – the Muslim Quarter. You cannot – I repeat, cannot – go to Xi’An without going to the Muslim Quarter. The food alone is worth any jostling and elbow-throwing you have to do to work through the intense crowds. I started with…

The Vain Emperor, a Vast Clay Army, and Mercury-Laden Tombs

Of course, you must see the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi’An. I mean – why else would you go there on a weekend? I smothered my alarm with a groan, rolling over and popping quickly into the bathroom to change into my attire for the day. When I came back, very cute German guy greets…

I Will Climb That City Wall (Xi’An)

Over our little three day weekend in September (thank you, Autumn Festival!), I finally went to Xi’An. Xi’An is most famously known for its massive collection of terra cotta warriors unearthed in the 1970s by a few Chinese farmers just out to dig a water well. Imagine pulling up a clay head instead of H2O!…