Another year has passed, and my big brother has wound up in Asia for the second time in his life. Last year he saw straightforward Japan, but this time he’s in mean China, a country that never throws foreign travelers a crutch. Will China chew him up and spit him out, or will he be one of the rare Westerners that falls in love with the country? Read this interview to find out what my brother thought of the Middle Kingdom after spending one month in the country traveling to four very different cities.
Just when I was about to declare this year’s trip to Northeast China a giant flop, Shenyang came in to rescue my fleeting hope for the country. But what set Shenyang apart from neighboring Chinese cities like Changchun, Yanji, and Mudanjiang? How could it even be that much different? Read this trip report to find out what made Shenyang – the largest city in Northeast China – well worth a visit.
China can really be a hit-or-miss kinda country. At one city you could have the time of your life, whereas another makes you lose all faith in the country. This last February I unfortunately encountered another one of those lows, in Changchun of all places. Read this trip report to find out why the former capital of Manchukuo was such a letdown.
I took a three-day trip to Yanji, the capital of China’s autonomous ethnic-Korean prefecture, to see what an ethnic minority region in Northeast China looks like. Did I find myself surrounded by all things Korean, or was Yanji Just-Another-Han-City™? Read more to find out what a Chinese city right on the border with North Korea feels like.
Have you ever celebrated Chinese New Year in China? It’s a heck of a lot different than celebrating it back in the States, that’s for sure. The eating, the drinking, the mahjong, and the fireworks all make for an unforgettable experience for the uninitiated Westerner. This travelogue is all about spending the Lunar New Year in the Middle Kingdom as the white elephant in the room.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s harder for a Westerner to jump straight from their home countries to China or Japan, or to simply jump from China to Japan. Though they are only separated by a small sea, the differences between these two ancient Asian countries could fill an entire ocean. Read this article to find out which ten are the most contrasting.
Even though sometimes I think I’m finished with China for good, something about the country always draws me back in, year after year. But what is it about China that’s so irresistible? Read this article to find out which 10 aspects of China will keep me going back to the country ’til the day I die.
China may be the “land of opportunity of the East,” but is China really a nice place to settle down and plant your roots? This author certainly doesn’t think so. Read this article to learn more about which ugly aspects of China ultimately drove me away from settling down there long-term.
Dongguan, a second tier city in China’s economically prosperous Guangdong province, previously had a seedy reputation as the “vice” capital of mainland China, but some say those days are history. Korean-American expat Jisang has spent a year living there and still counting, and he thinks the city is a pretty decent place to live as a foreigner. Read this week’s episode of “Interview with an Expat” to get an idea of what Dongguan really is beyond its notorious reputation.
American expat Kainan went from a morbidly obese loser binging on video games in his parent’s home in southern California, to a part-time model scouring the streets of Chongqing, China looking for his future wife. How he did it, whether or not he found any success romantically in the Middle Kingdom, and every wacky little story in between can be found right here.