Black Air, Gray Warriors

We took the overnight express train from Beijing to Xi’an, site of the ancient city of Chang’an (Long Peace) and home to the eighth wonder of the modern world, the famed Terra Cotta Warriors. We had high hopes for the journey since we had forked over the extra dough for soft sleeper class. Unfortunately, we…

Getting Fat in Beijing

I could probably start any post with the line “getting fat in…” After a steady diet of pies, fast food, and the world’s best black licorice in New Zealand and Oz, I was looking forward to healthier fare in China. I was sure it was the high fat content which had caused me to lose…

Dinner with China

When we arrived at China, the family got the bags (with some trouble), and went outside to look for Tong’s friends who were picking us up. Tong was a Chinese lady that we met in the Armidale branch. We were thankful for their help, so we said we would take them to dinner some time.…

How Great is Your Wall, How Heavenly Your Temple?

Every visitor to China succumbs to the inevitable urge to visit the Great Wall or risks leaving the country disappointed. Though the wall was ineffective as a defense from invaders, it stands today as a monument to medieval ambition and a boon to the modern Chinese tourism industry. We chose to visit the most remote…

The Infamous Art Students

If you are an American (or apparently Swedish, keep reading) traveler going through the streets of Beijing, or just taking a stroll on TianAnMen Square, you will be confronted by some ‘art students.’ These supposed students speak very good English and are very nice. They are usually English students looking to make some quick yuan.…

Beijing Paparazzi

After our whirlwind tour of Seoul, we were still uncertain about what to expect from China. Just last week a friend from home warned us to prepare the kids for thick, brown air and an almost complete lack of English speakers. We’ve been all over the world, but perhaps nowhere as truly foreign as China.…