Be Back Beijing …

After thirty days of posting on my blog articles about places, days, adventures in Beijing, I thought that it was time to reveal a more personal story from my time in Beijing. After all, among the feedback I get from experienced blogging friends is that it should be more ‘personal’. So if there’s anything that … More Be Back Beijing …

Beijing Backpacking, Day 30: Getting One Last Glimpse of Everything

ONE OF THE most beautiful things I find about the Chinese language is how it expresses its pearls of wisdom: in its four-character phrases, known in the native language as chengyu. Never has there been a more succinct yet beautiful way to express the realities of life; many of them use metaphor and allegory to … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 30: Getting One Last Glimpse of Everything

Beijing Backpacking, Day 29: Young And Hitting The Ground Running

I GET THIS sense, whenever I am travelling alone or purely with other young people, that travel is about the thrill of packing in as many memorable experiences in back-to-back in the shortest amount of time. Dare I say that travel was one of the inspirations for one of my life philosophies of constantly striving … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 29: Young And Hitting The Ground Running

Beijing Backpacking, Day 28: Good Company is the Best Way to Pass Time

A FEW WEEKS ago I sought hallmarks of Chinese heritage and architecture at one of Beijing’s main railway stations, only to be bitterly disappointed at the fact that the entire concourse is transit, for ticketed passengers only. This time, on my way out of Beijing for a few days, I had the opportunity to check … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 28: Good Company is the Best Way to Pass Time

Beijing Backpacking, Day 27: A “Unique Shopping” Experience?

I HAD A particularly interesting conversation with one of my new friends a couple of weeks ago. A remark she made to me made me feel like my quest for tradition seemed almost puritanical in nature, that I had been guilty of making the same dichotomy between the valuable ‘traditional’ and consumerist ‘globalised’, that I … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 27: A “Unique Shopping” Experience?

Beijing Backpacking, Day 25: Being Yourself, Not Caring, and Fitting In

IT’S A GIVEN in any country that there will be everyday practices you’re not used to. The particularly interesting thing about China, however, is that there is this paradox of a culture where individuals are all expected to continue to this overarching social cohesion; while at the same time, their more superficial public behaviours show … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 25: Being Yourself, Not Caring, and Fitting In

IT’S A GIVEN in any country that there will be everyday practices you’re not used to. The particularly interesting thing about China, however, is that there is this paradox of a culture where individuals are all expected to continue to this overarching social cohesion; while at the same time, their more superficial public behaviours show … More

Beijing Backpacking, Day 24: No Pain, No Gain, and the Greatest View

At this latitude, the seasons can be punishing. In July, just off the height of summer, temperatures coften go into the mid-30s. But, often coincidentally, summer also tends to give Beijing some of its cleaner days of the year – especially after the rains come in and wash the pollution away. It gave me an … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 24: No Pain, No Gain, and the Greatest View

Beijing Backpacking, Day 23: Drawing the Line Between Tourism and Lifestyle

FIRSTLY, I WISH to send my apologies to all of you who have supported me so far. As you know Internet in China is patchy and keeping the posts regular has been a challenge. But I will continue with the posts and now that I am somewhere with better internet, I will soon be able … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 23: Drawing the Line Between Tourism and Lifestyle