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Movie lover. Growing Capoeirista. Space enthusiast. Dedicated craftsman. And best of all, homegrown Los Angeles native. Wait, how in the hell did I end up in China!?
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EXT. SHANGHAI - MID-DAY. Upbeat hip hop music. A quick shot of the Lujiazui skyscrapers from the Bund. It’s busy, it’s beautiful, and it’s some of the best-looking weather you’ll ever catch in Shanghai.
Ok, ok, so you’re in search of an English teaching job in China and have not a single clue as to where to look. Or, you know to hit up the notorious Dave’s ESL Café, but is that really the best website to find English teaching jobs in the country?
I just might be the luckiest expat in China. After all, over the past 7 years I’ve had the most incredible experiences that I never could have imagined before stepping foot in the country. And truth be told, many of them—scratch that, the majority of them, have actually been ‘first’.
Ah, Chinese lantern festivals. Sure, you've seen snippets of them in movies, brochures, websites, and may have even visited one or two in your hometown, but have you actually caught one in China? Trust me, they're a million times more of a spectacle on the Mainland than anywhere in the world. Here's what you need to know and can expect at Chinese lantern festivals:
When it comes to teaching English abroad a lot of people often ask, “Why China?” Why China over more US favorites like Japan and Seoul? Well, it’s simple actually. There were 3 specific reasons why I chose China to teach English abroad.
China's 'ugliest' building actually ain't that bad. Ever heard of it? Of course you have! Heck, that's why you're here. It's the Beijing Tianzi Hotel, or Emperor Hotel, and it's located in Langfang, China. Here are some tips and how you get to it:
It’s been dubbed China’s ugliest building. Actually, it’s been credited as one of the ugliest buildings in the world. It’s China’s Emperor Building, or as it’s best known, the Beijing Tianzi Hotel. And truth be told, it ain’t that bad.
There's just something about China and statues that just goes hand in hand. They're everywhere--from small, 10-meter tall molds of prominent Chinese nationals in busy downtown areas to larger-than-life sculptures of religious deities perched on rural mountainsides and tourist beaches. They're eye-catching, they're symbolic, and as I've come to discover, worth every penny of the adventure you'll take just to see them. Here are the 10+ coolest statues in China you need to see ASAP:
"So, what's some hot trends, cool technology, and awesome products coming out of China?" Heck, it's like clockwork. As an expat in China for 6 years and counting, it's just one of those questions I've come to expect whenever I speak with people from back home.
Puzhehei—beautiful, just ... beautiful. Ever heard of it? It’s not exactly one of China’s top destinations to explore, but truth be told, it should be.
The people of Wenshan are so nice! Well, at least at the airport. It was 7:30pm. I had just landed in Wenshan via an hour-long flight from Kunming Changshui Airport.
It was peaceful for a while. Not zen-like, but the type of quiet you feel grateful for, especially when your heart is racing cause you’re in a rush to get somewhere.
So, let’s say you’re stuck in Xi’an. You’ve missed your 7-hour train to Shanghai because you miscalculated just how much traffic there’d be on your way to the railway station in the morning, and every remaining train throughout the day is sold-out. Shit.
Heading to Shilin Stone Forest Park? Well, here’s the best way to get to Shilin Stone Forest Park from Kunming.
It’s the gambling capital of the world, and nope, it ain’t Las Vegas. It’s Macau—special administrative region of China, neighbor to Hong Kong, and it’s outpaced Vegas’ annual gambling revenue by as much as 7 times. And yep, I’ve been!
Oh boy, Hong Kong—have you been? It’s been one of my favorite travel destinations ever since I packed my bags, moved to China to work as an ESL teacher, and began my trek across East Asia. I first fell in love with Hong Kong during my initial 4-day visit back in 2012, and since then I’ve returned nearly several more times on solo trips and with family and friends. Here’s my list of 15+ reasons why I love Hong Kong and why you need to visit ASAP.
So, you're living in China and have got some friends, family, or a boyfriend/girlfriend coming to visit. You know all the hot tourist hot spots, restaurants, bars, and clubs to hit, but what about actually showing off something, you know, cultural? After all, 'this is China'—a country brimming with more than 5,000 years of history and traditions. Here's my list of 15+ best cultural experiences and activities in China to show off to your family and friends when they come visit.
You ever been to a wedding in China? They sure are a cultural spectacle, especially to an expat living and working in the country. I’ve been fortunate to have attended 6 weddings over the years that have included marriage between Chinese locals and Chinese with foreigners. I haven't experienced all types of weddings in the country, but here’s a good look at what you can expect:
Dear China, for once could you please hold the ‘Méiyŏu?’ It seems just about every week that I, an American expat teaching English in China for the past 6 years, stumble upon what seems like one of the country's cruelest ongoing jokes: ‘Méiyŏu-gate'.
A guy once tried to stab me in China—Shanghai, to be specific. No kidding, he pulled out a pocketknife and made multiple swings towards my head. And in all honestly, it was partly my fault.
I can't believe I've finally visited China's dopest mountain! And no, I'm not referring to Huangshan "Yellow Mountain" or even Zhangjiajie's "Avatar" Mountain—I've been to both of those too. I'm talking about China's Zhangye Danxia National Geopark, or most famously called, "Rainbow Mountains".
Have you seen DC Comic's Justice League movie yet? Well I have, and best of all, I saw it in China, my home of the past 6 years. Here's a look at what it's like to catch Justice League in China!
Ah, Chinese food--you just got a love it! It's tasty, it's colorful, it's healthy, it's jam-packed with a variety of aromas, and it heavily incorporates influences of China's longstanding history, culture, and traditions.
I had the chance to visit Yunnan's Tiger Leaping Gorge and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain with a friend during Golden Week 2017 in China, and boy was it one hell of an adventure. Here's a short recap of our trip and a few tips for your own journey in Yunnan:
After nearly 6 years of living in China, I can't believe that I've just finally gotten around to spending at least thirty minutes to an hour each day exercising. Well, sort of.