Xian – Terracotta Warriors & Hua Shan

December 3, 2012

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If you’re going to visit anywhere outside of Beijing, Xian and the Terracotta warriors have to be high on the list of priorities.  Earlier in the summer I had planned to go there with my sister and her boyfriend.  For one reason or another that came to nothing – just as well, perhaps, as she […]

Posted in: China, Holidays, Photos, Travel

The end of Movember

November 30, 2012

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There are some things about living in China that cause more concern than they rightly should.  Taking a taxi for the first time, dining out in a local restaurant and getting your hair cut. Not that the latter should really bother me too much since anyone that knows me will testify I’ve had more than […]

Posted in: Beijing, China

How many people does it take to post a letter?

November 27, 2012

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Four, if it’s going to Mauritius, it seems. You see, I have no idea what ‘Mauritius’ is in Chinese, much less in Chinese characters. None of my colleagues have ever heard of the place (despite a burgeoning Chinese community right at its heart, it would be a little unfair to expect them to) and the […]

Posted in: China, Communications

People of the People’s Republic

November 24, 2012

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Hats, motorcycles and other accessories.

Posted in: China, Photos

Wherever I lay my hat?

November 21, 2012

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It was a little weird returning to Beijing after a few weeks in London, and then Vietnam and, for the first time, thinking of a place other than England as “going home.” It was odd to start with when answering what should have been a very basic question from those in Ho Chi Mihn City […]

Posted in: Beijing, China, Language, Vietnam

Trade Flows

November 18, 2012

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The most often asked question on my fleeting return to the UK was, what’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten, followed (in the frequency stakes) by what do you miss the most? Now assuming that that second question wasn’t, in most cases, simply fishing for compliments (you of course!), I can honestly say I was stumped.  […]

Posted in: Beijing, China, Food, Shopping

A window on the world – portraits of China

November 15, 2012

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Artists, acrobats, the army and holy men… A still-life drawing class – Yellow Dragon Spring Ancient Town, Sichuan Province

Posted in: China, Photos

The Pace of Change

November 12, 2012

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After a few weeks out of China, it’s always exciting to see what has changed, and how much. When I previously spent a week in Xian, I came back to find all of the road between Sanlitun and the office had been dug up.  By the time I came back from England, they’d all been […]

Posted in: Beijing, China, Social impact

Saigon City

November 9, 2012

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After a few days in Ho Chi Minh City, Beijing seems positively organised – but Saigon is a great place to spend a long weekend. With only a few days I didn’t make it up north to Hanoi or a full tour of the Mekong Delta, but just getting out on the Saigon River made […]

Posted in: Photos, Vietnam

By the people, for the people…

November 5, 2012

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It won’t have escaped the attention of even the most casual political follower that the coming weeks see potential changes in the leadership of both China and America.  The Chinese leadership is certainly changing hands and whether or not the US also ushers in a new leader, there is no doubt that those who emerge […]