About Us

2015 Update: Hi everyone! As you might have noticed due to the lack of new posts recently, we’ve moved back to the U.S. permanently. As always, we will hold China near and dear to our hearts. And hopefully we will be back eventually.

Please note the dates on the posts before you rely on the information herein, as things may have changed. Happy trekking!

C & Z 

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Please feel free to contact us if your company needs assistance with any China travel or business related freelance work. We’ve done a number of travel writing assignments and consumer intelligence projects.

 

Chi-Chi Zhang

Chi-Chi is currently a fellow at the Institute of Current World Affairs, a Washington D.C. based foundation that awards two-year research grants to study various important developments around the world. Based in Chongqing, Chi-Chi’s focus is on how urban migration is affecting China’s economic, cultural, and political landscape. She also currently works as a freelance broadcast news producer.

Prior to her fellowship, Chi-Chi worked as an associate producer at CNN and as a staff writer at AP. She is also a former national board representative of the AAJA-Asia (Asian-American Journalists Association) chapter.

Connect with Chi-Chi on:

Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest

 

Zachary Wang

Zac is currently the assistant director of Boston University School of Law’s Executive LL.M. program (ELLM) in international business law. He formerly taught at Chongqing University Law School and worked as a transactional lawyer in Beijing. He and Chi-Chi also work as consultants for Chinese students who wish to study abroad in the United States. In addition to holding various legal positions in the U.S. and China, Zac has also worked as a product developer and manager at a big data startup in Beijing.

Connect with Zac on:

Linkedin, TwitterFacebook

 

43 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Brian

    This site is awesome! I’m an American living in Singapore and have been visiting China frequently on search for new adventures. I’ll be in Chongqing this week!

    Reply
  2. Elizabeth

    I have spent the last couple of days browsing through your blog – wonderful stuff and so inspirational for occasional China travelers like my family. I look forward to reading more!

    Reply
  3. Alex

    Really great pictures, and wonderful text ! At some point, you’ll have to adapt all this into an e-book. Sure this will a great travel companion for China lovers.

    Reply
  4. Francis

    Great photographs and blog. My memory of a week in Chongqing from last year will always be an overweight pet rabbit hiding under a police van!

    Reply
  5. Joey

    This site is so fantastic, especially for someone new to China who is already looking to get out and explore. My wife and I are in Beijing and would like to travel during the October holiday. Do you have any experience or suggestions about someone looking to travel off the beaten path during this time? Thanks for any advice.

    Reply
    1. zac Post author

      Thanks for stopping by! So traveling during the October holiday is always a bit tricky, as the more popular places will be jam packed with people. Depending on how off-the-beaten path you want to go, the rural areas of Qinghai/Xinjiang/Western Sichuan are always good options. Or you could try a more common place like Yangshuo, and just try to avoid the crowds by hiking / biking into less touristy areas. One of the next places on our list is Kashgar in Xinjiang, which is supposed to have some beautiful hiking in the nearby areas. Whatever you do, I’d book plane tickets as early as possible, as they can become very expensive if you’re traveling on the first and last days of the holiday. If you have any specific questions, feel free to shoot me an email at zac.wang (at) gmail.com

      Reply
      1. Joey

        Thanks so much for the reply. I’ll start checking those places out. I just read the post on the monastery. This is some really great stuff you’re doing here.

        Reply
  6. alex

    Hi Chi Chi and Zac,
    Im planning a trip to Sichuan and Yunnan in a few weeks and would like to ask for your itinerary.
    Real basic like: Chengdu-Danba-Tagong etc etc. It would be of great help. Also did you drive the rout or bus?

    Thanks in advance,
    Alex

    Reply
    1. zac Post author

      Hey Alex,

      So we did Lijiang-Shangrila-Daocheng/Yading-Kangding-Langmusi-Xiahe. We did buses/mini-buses (private 面包车 that you can share with other people going in the same direction) between each city (and had to stay overnight in a couple cities not mentioned above, since the distance was too long to do in one day). If your time is flexible, and can pretty much always find private cars between these places. But scheduled public buses can be more difficult to find in some places. Hope that helps. Have fun!

      Reply
  7. agnestandler

    It is such a beautiful travel blog. Each time I visit I am stunned by the pictures and tales. Great work!

    Reply
  8. Fred Pointeau

    Ni3 hao3 ma. I’m Fred from France currently living in Oceania for 2 years. The blog is just amazing! Thank you so much for the inspiring pictures and well-documented articles. For sure I’ll spread the world about your blog and I can’t wait to live in China!

    Reply
  9. Patrick Bresnahan

    Dear Chi-Chi Zhang and Zachary Wang,

    I love your travel blog! Awesome job!

    My team and I are producing a video series right now, and are focused on teaching Chinese through idioms in a fun and memorable way with our short videos and clever scripts. From your posts I believe you and your readers might find what we provide useful!

    Would you be interested in writing a post or review on our videos?
    Here’s a link to one of our videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfmr17p63_E

    We look forward to working together, thank you for your time!

    Regards,

    Patrick Bresnahan

    Learn a Chinese Phrase Team
    Wayne State University
    Detroit, Michigan
    E-mail us anytime! chinesephrase@wayne.edu

    Reply
  10. J

    I really like your posts, but have you considered using TIbetan names for Tibetan places? Machen instead of Maqin, Ragya instead of Lajia, etc? I know it seems like a small thing, but linguistic imperialism can be a very real force sometimes. It’s the same reason we should use Beijing instead of Peking- always preferable to use the name given by those who live there, instead of the one foisted upon it by outsiders.

    Reply
    1. zac Post author

      Thanks for the comment J. Your point is very well taken and I totally agree. The main reason we used the Chinese names is because we mainly used Chinese to communicate with the locals, so in many cases we didn’t know the proper Tibetan names / I didn’t know the correct English spelling of the Tibetan name (though I’m sure I could find them online with little effort). Revisions will be a good project for a rainy day 🙂

      Reply
  11. Richard Sanford

    Hi, I am thinking of traveling by bicycle in Yunnan this July from about July 18-31. If not July then end of August or Early September. I am a retired ESL teacher in the US. I speak Spanish, Italian and intermediate-advanced Mandarin; Would you know of anyone who might like to travel by bike with me….more of a traveling buddy than a tour guide. I need to practice my Chinese. Richard

    Reply
    1. zac Post author

      Hi Richard,

      No one in particular comes to mind, but the best advice I can offer is to check out http://www.serk.cc/. Serk is a bike shop in Beijing and they are home to a pretty big group of cycling enthusiasts. So you might reach out to that community. Have a great trip!

      Reply
  12. Sandrine

    Hi, my name is Sandrine. I am planning a trip for my husband and I this October and I was wondering if you had any tips. It is our first trip to China and we thought of doing the following:
    Hong Kong – 3 nights
    Beijing – 2 nights
    PingYao – 2 nights
    Lijiang – 3 nights
    Guilin/Yanshuo/Ping An – 3 nights
    Shanghai- 4 nights
    What do you think? Any alternative you would recommend instead of Lijiang or any other city? Are the number of nights good? I am a little afraid that some of the places will be too touristic…
    Also, how is the weather in Lijiang in October? Should we be concerned about altitude too?
    Thank you so much!!
    Sandrine

    Reply
    1. zac Post author

      Sorry for the delayed response, we’ve been in the process of moving back to the US. Your trip sounds amazing! You will definitely have a great time. Hard to say alternative routes without knowing what you’re looking for. In Beijing you could probably spend another night or two. Ping Yao is cool, but 1 night might be enough. Dali could be substituted for Lijiang (but some people really like Lijiang). October is nice weather. But be warned – October is when the National Holiday is, so it will be super crowded in places like Lijiang / Guilin. Anyway, food for thought. Have fun!

      Reply
  13. Eden

    Your blog has been so helpful and informative! There is so little information about these areas and in the last few hours of reading your blog I learned more about where we’re going than I have any place else. I did have one question for you, how is it photographing the people? I know it’s different everywhere but didn’t want to overstep my boundaries, thought you’d have some helpful insight. We leave mid October. Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. zac Post author

      Glad to hear you found some useful information! People are generally okay with being photographed (though some of the older people were a bit shy because they thought they didn’t look good). If you smile and are friendly most people are pretty willing to let you take a picture of them.

      Reply
  14. camila ochoa

    Hey guys! Thanks for the great tips on your website, super helpful, and the photographs are beautiful! I am currently in Chongqing doing some artwork and exploring around, and was wondering if any of you are here to meet up? It would be great to meet you! Let me know !

    Reply
  15. maria hochleitner

    hey guys your photos are absolutely stunning! I think they are totally representing the “real” China and not only the touritic point of view ! great work! I am currently travelling in China myself and posting photos on my blog: http://goseechina.blogspot.de/ Would be nice if you find the time to visit it and leave a comment to tell me what you think about it 🙂 greetings from Guangzhou

    Reply
  16. Alexandra Donica

    My fiancé and I love visiting your website and dreaming of our first trip to china!
    unfortunately we don’t have any experiences at all.. we´ve got some questions and we hope you could help us 🙂
    which region could we visit for our first trip and how much time should we plan for our holiday? (we didnt plan to see the whole country at our first trip) can my little sister- she’s at the age of 17- come with us? do we need any specific cultural knowledge or ID?
    we really hope you can help us 🙂 thank you for the amazing impressions!

    Reply
    1. zac Post author

      There are so many great regions to choose from. If you want to experience cities, then go to Beijing first for sure. If you want more nature, then I’d recommend Yunnan province (there are great trekking areas across China, but Yunnan has many places that are very easy for foreigners to navigate). Of course your “little” sister can go. There’s no specific cultural knowledge you need. Just a sense of adventure and an open mind.

      Reply
  17. gabi

    I just discovered your site and although I’m at work, I can’t stop reading the posts.. The pictures are breathtaking! I was wondering, which lens do you use?

    Reply
    1. zac Post author

      Thanks for the comment! I shoot Nikon and typically the lenses in my bag are the 70-200 F4, 50 F1.8, and 20 F2.8.

      Reply
      1. Laobu

        Hi Zac, I am an Australian who lived in Chongqing for ten years (I return for a month or two each year now). I also have travelled around China, mainly using local transport. Reading your blog reminds me of my own experiences. May I share them with you via: http://www.china-consult.com.au

        I depart for Chongqing again next week, and hope to do more travelling. This time in the area around Danba, west of Chengdu. Then perhaps, back to Yunnan (the Nujiang Valley is my favourite place there).

        Zac, you and Chi Chi write authentic stuff about China. Much appreciated.

        Brian Hennessy, Cairns, Australia (and Chongqing).

        Reply
  18. zahraanajmi

    Hi Chi-Chi and Zach, I’ve been browsing through your blog and am absolutely excited about the adventures y’all have experienced around China. I will be going to Shenzhen in the summer for a business trip that will span about 6 weeks. After that, I will have a week and a half to fit in as much traveling as I can. Do you have any recommendations on places that you think I should definitely visit? I have no experience in Chinese, but I did enjoy your nature-esque blogs considerably (especially the Heaven’s Gate), so I was wondering if traveling agents that would basically guide you throughout these trips difficult to find and expensive? Thanks for your input!

    Reply
  19. Kat

    Your photos are absolutely breathtaking. I will be traveling around China in October and I am glad I stumbled upon your blog, it’s very inspiring and informative.
    Do you mind me asking what camera you use?

    Reply
  20. mycureforwanderlust

    I am so glad I found your blog. Your photos are fantastic and you have visited some really interesting places. I am heading there in November this year and can’t wait to check out some of the beautiful places you have written about!

    Reply
  21. peter

    Hi Chi Chi & Zach, my wife & I have travelled to China a couple of times, only Bejing & Hong Kong though. Despite advice from a random guide that travelling without her was really hard & no-one spoke English, we found the opposite. We are planning a trip to Hunan including Fenghuang & Zhangjiajie. I assume not speaking any Manderin at all will be a problem, but not impossible to get by? Loving your posts. A real inspiration.

    Reply

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