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Hutong Hideout in Houhai, Beijing

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Sure, there are the big “must-see” monuments to hit while in Beijing.

But for a break from the bustle of this mega-city, wind down as you weave through the labyrinth of hutongs in Houhai (“Ho-hi”).



Bejing’s Temple of Heaven: What to know before you go

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“There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven”

The Temple of Heaven that is.

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The Beginner’s Guide to the Beijing Summer Palace

April 1, 2016

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With its pavilions, paddle boats and and a stunning pagoda topped on a sunny hillside, Beijing’s Old Summer Palace is undoubtedly charming.

While the world’s third most populated city is not best known for it’s calming energy, here, tranquility surrounds.

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China Highlights Tour!

March 30, 2016

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Seven months pregnant, and with my parents-in-law in tow, we are setting off on a 10-day tour of China, exploring Beijing, Pingyao, Xi’an, Guilin and Macau!


15 Things to know before visiting China

March 29, 2016

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Western amenities are becoming more common in China, but there are still a few surprises that can catch travelers unawares.

Here are a few tips I’d wish I’d known before visiting this fascinating and at times, frustrating, country.

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Crown yourself Emperor at New Yuan Ming Palace

February 25, 2016

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Look, I don’t know. It just happened, OK?

One minute, we’re exploring the replica of Beijing’s Old Summer Palace and the next, I am up to my elbows in Imperial royalty robes of the Qing Dynasty.

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Morning Sickness Tips
 for Expecting Expats

February 25, 2016

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Morning sickness is tough. Morning sickness in China, is even tougher.

Here’s what I wish I knew before.

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New ‘Wall of Kindness’ bridging the gap in Zhuhai

February 16, 2016

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China’s Great Wall may have been built to keep people out, but a new ‘Wall of Kindness’ in Zhuhai is bringing people together.

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Beautiful hell: no way out for 
the sulphur miners of Ijen

February 16, 2016

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The miners’ day begins well before dawn hiking more than 4km, down into the crater and then back up to a weighing station, carrying between 70 – 100kg of hand-smashed sulfuric rock on their shoulders.
They do this at least twice a day.

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Journey to the centre of Ijen: the hunt for the blue flame

February 16, 2016

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With just hours before the sun peaks on the horizon, I’m staring at a supernatural blue glow while breathing through a heavy-duty gas mask, from within the belly of an active volcano.

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Happy Chinese New Year … from hospital!

February 15, 2016

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Happy Chinese New Year!

From February 7 – 11, Zhuhai becomes a bit of an apocalyptic ghost town but nonetheless, I was determined to celebrate my first Chinese New Year in China with dragon dances, fireworks and a banquet of traditional foods. But the start of the Year of the Monkey didn’t go quite as planned…

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Guangzhou: 5 must-see spots


February 5, 2016

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If you like dim sum (and let’s be honest, what self-respecting foodie doesn’t?) then Guangzhou – the birthplace of dim sum is the perfect place for a weekend away.

Aside from the scrumptious Cantonese cuisine, this southern Chinese city offers plenty of things to do- from cultural attractions to jade markets, temples, and beautiful parks.

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Chinese New Year Flower Market

February 1, 2016

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With red decorations draping across every stall and people rushing to find the perfect gifts for loved ones – it’s almost like a second Christmas.

But this is Chinese New Year. A very different beast. Filled with more meaning and tradition than you can poke a stick at.

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Hidden Temple in the Sky

January 22, 2016

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Anyone living in China knows that some days you just want, no need, to get OUT.

It’s not that we don’t like our high-rise residential life, but more so, its about finding a change of pace: as peace, tranquility and nature are not often in great abundance.

Jintai Temple is that very change of pace.

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Up the Duff Without a Paddle

January 14, 2016

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I’m frozen, staring at at pregnancy test covered in Chinese characters I don’t understand.

There are clearly two pink lines but maybe it means the reverse in China, like so many things.

Yep, everything’s healthy and perfectly normal here in Denial Land.

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Meh”xi Royal Stone Archways, Zhuhai

January 6, 2016

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Warning heavy sarcasm present.

Ah, the Meixi Royal Stone Archways. Where do I start? Well, the positives, of course.

The park spans 126,000 square metres and is filled with sturdy concrete, which is a marvelous shade of dull-grey and perfect for those who don’t like to get nature on their feet.

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Little life changes since moving to China

November 9, 2015

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Since moving to China just over three months ago, a lot of things have changed.

Some big, but mostly it’s the small things I’m noticing that are really telling what it’s like to live in my new adopted, country.

Here are a few small and unexpected life changes I’ve picked on since moving to splendid China.

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Sprout of Control: the strangest, new trend to take over China

October 9, 2015

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Move over flower crowns, bean sprouts are where it’s at.

In the latest (and perhaps strangest) new fashion in China, women and men are wearing fake, clip-in bean sprouts in their hair.

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Smooshface Cat Cafe

October 4, 2015

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Inside the small cornerstore cafe in Xiangzhou are a handful of table and chairs, a few booths, and about a dozen or so of the cutest cats that ever lived.

Period.

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How to make the perfect Mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival

September 27, 2015

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Zhong qiu kuai le – Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

We spent the afternoon busily mooncake-making at Aihua Chinese School.

See also: Step-by-step guide on How to Make Mooncakes

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How to make a Chinese Fruit Lantern

September 26, 2015

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The Mid-Autumn Festival is more than just family banquets and yue bing 月饼 (mooncakes).

Like carving up a pumpkin for Halloween, Chinese children also enjoy slicing up giant pomelo into fruit lanterns.

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Jingshan Cableway

September 26, 2015

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Enjoy the stunning views of Jida as you gently rock up the mountain on a skyrail, then hold onto your boots for an adrenaline-filled race to the bottom on a toboggan!

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How to throw a dumpling party!

September 25, 2015

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Dumplings are damn delicious.

And gathering around the table with family or friends, throwing sizzling morsels from pan to plate, makes them taste even better.

So this should be as good a reason as any to throw a dumpling party! Here’s how.

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That time we ended up in a Chinese music video

September 23, 2015

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I’m standing to the side of a Chinese pop star, over-enthusiastically clapping, swaying and sweating under some piercingly bright stage lights.

Anyone can tell from my half-gritted smile that this pale foreigner has no idea what she’s doing here.

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The Come Together Music Festival

September 20, 2015

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The Come Together Music Festival (Sep 12) is an annual charity concert, now in its fourth year, held at the beautiful Beishan Theatre, Beishan Village in Zhuhai.

The festival is attended mostly by foreigners of all backgrounds: from Chinese-language interns to expat families, as well as some longer term ‘veterans’.

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Singing Fish Heads at the Chaoyang Wet Markets

September 10, 2015

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Today, is my first culture shock in China. In a big way.

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Zhuxian Park: Adventure in arm’s reach

September 5, 2015

Stunning nature views: feeling zen

Ever since moving to Zhuhai, the tropical city’s beautiful, deep-green mountains have been like a siren’s call – beaconing to be climbed.

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Chinese Whispers in Zhuhai

August 26, 2015

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China as “bad” as some say? 

Watching islands flit past on a high-speed catamaran across the South China Sea, I sit painfully excited, wondering what our new life would be like in Zhuhai, China.

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48 hours in Hong Kong

August 25, 2015

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Essentially a big, bustling business district, international tourism in Hong Kong arguably isn’t the bread winner of the the island city.

But it doesn’t mean to say the centre is completely void of things to see and do, especially for those with a few days in transit.

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China Cherry Pop

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August 25, 2015

We have arrived in China!

Woah, it feels so strange to say that. It is now a reality.

After a leisurely 12-hour flight, direct from Paris, we arrived to Hong Kong, which I was shocked to learn is, and isn’t, part of China.

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