Xi'an, China

China: A Weekend in Xi’an

What to do with a weekend in Xi’an Xi’an was once a great capital city that was home to the confluence of cultures that met at the end of the silk road.  Today, Xi’an is China’s second most popular tourist destination. Like many travelers, I had only a short time to explore this great city.  Here is what I did on a short weekend in Xi’an. 1. Come Face to Face with the Terra-cotta Army The Terracotta Army of[…]

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Long Layover: 6 Hours in Shanghai

Long Layover: 6 Hours in Shanghai My bus pulled into the Shanghai South Long Distance Coach Terminal at 9 am.  Since my flight wasn’t scheduled to depart from Dupong International Airport until 7:20, I wanted to make as much as I could of my six hours in Shanghai. I did a little research and opted for a circular route beginning and ending at People’s Square and encompassing several of Shanghai’s most popular attractions.  Here is what I did with[…]

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Hong Kong's Wilson Trail Stage 1 Violet Hill Hike

China: Hiking Hong Kong’s Wilson Trail

Hiking in Hong Kong A Practical Guide to Hong Kong’s Wilson Trail Hong Kong’s Wilson Trail is one of the region’s three long distance trails. The 78 kilometer route is broken into 10 stages ranging from 5 to 15 kilometers each.  I hiked the wilson trail two stages at a time over the course of 5 weekends in late 2016 and early 2017.  While the Maclehose trail tends to hit the peaks, the Wilson trail crosses ridges[…]

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Exploring Subic Bay and the Bataan Peninsula

The Philippines: Exploring Subic Bay and the Bataan Peninsula

Exploring Subic Bay and the Bataan Peninsula We spent four days in Subic Bay and the Bataan Peninsula.  During this time, we took a trip to Corregidor Island, explored the towns of Subic Bay and Olongapo, and visited as many of Bataan’s attractions as we could. Here’s what we found: 1. Subic Bay: the Town and the “Boardwalk” Subic Bay is not a resort town. This part of town was all part of a large US navel operation[…]

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Rathaus Christkindle Market in Vienna

Austrian Advent: Glühwein, and Christmas Markets

An Austrian Advent Glühwein and Christmas Markets Christkindle (Christ Child) Markets, Advent Markets, and Weinachtsen (Christmas) Markets, have a long history in Germanic countries.  The tradition of a market around Advent originated in Germany in the late middle ages. The Austrian incarnation of the Christmas market didn’t take root until well into the 17th century. Examples of earlier precursors – (December markets and such) exist, but there is little evidence of a proper market organized around the[…]

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Harbin, China

Tigers and Ice – A Brief Guide to Harbin

Tigers and Ice A Brief Guide to Harbin’s Attractions (China)   Harbin lies in China’s far northeastern province of Heilongjiang. The city has long had a distinctly international flavor. In the late 19th century, Russia based the administration of the recently constructed eastern section of the Trans-Siberian railroad in Harbin.  This led to the influx of a large Russian minority to the city.  These imigrants influenced everything from architecture to education and even today the city has[…]

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Fenghuang China

China: Fenghuang – a short guide to the Phoenix Ancient Town

Fenghuang, China A Short Guide to the Phoenix Ancient Town Fenghuang – the Phoenix Ancient Town is one of China’s most famous “Ancient Cities.” Stone streets meander under the peaked eves of the famous old houses that make up the core of the town.  The broad Tuojiang River drifts placidly down the center of the historic district adding a kind of magic to what has become a busy, commercial tourist zone. Early in the morning, a[…]

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