The Karst Peaks of Zhangjiajie

We avoided Zhangjiajie for a long time. We knew it was known for big crowds and suspected it was just too commercialized for our taste. And how different could it really be from Yangshuo/Guilin or any number of the other beautiful karst mountains we’ve already been to? Well, now we know. It is different. Not Continue Reading »

Knocking on Heaven’s Gate Tianmen Mountain

Our enduring memories of Tianmen Mountain are a massively long and impressive gondola, an equally massive and long line to get on the gondola, breathtaking views from cliffside walkways, hordes of Korean aunties nearly matching the number of local tour groups, and watching guys (and a girl) base jump off the mountain in those flying Continue Reading »

Chongqing Xpress: Part 2

The following images were taken on the southeastern edge of Jiangbei (江北). Jiangbei lies to the north of Jiefangbei(解放碑)across the Jialing Jiang (river 嘉陵江). While Jiefangbei is Chongqing’s central business and shopping district, Jiangbei has long been established as a secondary city center with numerous shopping centers and burgeoning business districts. As Jiangbei expands with Continue Reading »

Chongqing Xpress: Part 1

It’s sometimes difficult to document and reflect upon the city you live in. Because everything is so close to you and simply part of your daily routine, it’s hard to step back and take things in as an objective observer. In an effort to take a more deliberate look at Chongqing, with this post we’ll Continue Reading »

The Textures of an Ancient Village, Cuan Di Xia

Cuan Di Xia (爨底下)

Cuan Di Xia is a village that dates back to the Ming dynasty. Located in the modern day Mengtou District of Beijing, the village is home to about 500 courtyard homes, which are preserved in a traditional Chinese architectural style reminiscent of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Cuan Di Xia makes for a perfect day-trip Continue Reading »

A Fresh Attempt at Good Old Xi’an

Xi’an is the third most visited city in China after Beijing and Shanghai. Therefore, I had great hesitation about doing a Xi’an post, as there is an overabundance of Xi’an information on the web. And do we really need more pictures of the same Terracotta Warriors?  (No, but I’m giving them to you anyway.) Nonetheless, Continue Reading »

Panorama Views on Qinghai’s Highway S101


China is full of epic drives. With over 60,000 miles of highway and more than 7,000 miles of highway built in 2012 alone, the country is more accessible by car than ever. Of course, in the short-term the environmental impact of this astronomical increase in roads and cars will undoubtedly be devastating. Nonetheless, perhaps in Continue Reading »