Monthly Archives: July 2009


  • A Second Life for Cao Fei
    If Michelangelo were alive today, you wouldn't find paintbrushes or sculpting knives in his studio. Oil on canvas has given us countless windows into creative minds, but today's artist has so many options, and we're not talking ab


  • Marco Polo's Hangzhou
    Granted, Hangzhou is a great city today - plenty of commerce, touristic delights. But on the WTO scale of things, it's a second tier city, and that's just a shame.


  • Crosstalk
    The only foreigners who get into it are youngsters looking to win Mandarin competitions. Xiangsheng, or crosstalk, reflects the soul of Chinese wit. It relies heavily on puns, allusions, and double entendres, so that only native speakers laugh at


  • Goodbye Dali, Hello Weishan
    Dali, then Lijiang, or the other way around. It's a beautiful little Yunnan itinerary, showing more and more, and inevitably more tourists how beautifully sky, stone, and water came together in old China.


  • Visiting in Ancient China
    The common impression of ancient China suggests that there was little time for visiting friends. Peasants were too busy staving off famine, and nobles were too busy currying court favor for something as frivolous as hanging out at someone


  • A Zen Vacation
    Those of us who get the chance go on our summer vacations with one thought in mind - to get away from it all. A week or so of big meals, nightlife, and general self-indulgence is a great recipe for relaxation, but not necessarily for rechar


  • Yue Fei - A Real Chinese Hero
    A hero cannot be a hero unless in a heroic world. - Nathaniel Hawthorne It's probably for the best that today's heroes are spandex-clad cyclists, or TV characters with superhuman abilities.


  • The Oldest People in China
    Born March, 31st 1899, Lu Pan Zhen is the first to warn others that smoking is bad for your health. It's a vale of tears, a long and winding road, yet we still cling to life as though we'd live forever, given the choice.


  • The Tibetan Book of the Dead
    - by Chris Devonshire EllisThe Tibetan Book of the Dead, which is more correctly referred to by its actual title, The Great Liberation upon Hearing in the In


  • The Government's Assassin
    - by Sun FangyouOn Shangwu Street in south Chenzhou there lived a man by the name of Qiu Ying. Qiu was a well-known "government's" assassin, who would chase and kill only prominent political offenders, notorious robbers and other people the