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China

Review: The New Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan

‘All roads used to lead to Rome. Today, they lead to Beijing.’ The subject of history is one that concerns politics, economics, and philosophy. Lessons from the past teach us how to proceed into the future. And yet, for so long, books on history have been simply that. Recently, however, a trend has emerged amongst historians: experts in world events of the past have...

Bao Pixar China Art

Pixar’s Bao: Discussed and Deconstructed

What is Pixar’s Bao? Pixar’s first female-directed short film, Bao, hit cinemas recently, tugging at the heartstrings of viewers worldwide before Incredibles II started to play. The latest in Pixar’s now famous shorts has quickly become a favourite for many, especially among those whom it spoke to the loudest: Asian immigrants to the West. But it should speak...

Review: How Jung Chang’s Wild Swans Made Me A Better Laowai

Before I lived in Tokyo and Seoul, I lived in Shanghai. Expats and locals alike in Tokyo and Seoul have joked with me more than once about the harshness of Chinese culture and the unpleasantness of life there; jokes such as: ‘On the Seoul subway, keep your voice down. You don’t want to be a Chinese tourist!’ and ‘I know I could save more money living in China, but...

Finding Home Comforts in Shanghai – An Expat Guide

We move away from home for any number of reasons. Some of us want to learn about a different culture or try a new cuisine or language. Many of us have to work. But for all of the new, there’s always at least some old, some home comforts, that we often crave. These are different for everyone, but here I’ve compiled a list of home comforts that can be found in Shanghai...

Five Best Book Cafes around East Asia

I like nothing better than sitting in a cafe with a book, and one of the first things I do in a new city is scope out the best and most unique cafes to visit. From quirky to stylish, snug to spacious, I love them all. Here are a few special ones I’ve found so far on my travels. Tranquil Books | Hanoi This is a fantastic little place in Hanoi. Towards the end of...

Mourning and Celebrating Nanjing’s Past: Visiting the Nanjing Massacre and Zheng He Memorials

Where is Nanjing? Nanjing is home to more than 7 million people, a modest population by Chinese standards. But with its proximity to the mountains and the Yangtze river, the city can feel like a cozy town compared to the all-pervasive presence of people and concrete in Shanghai. Which is ridiculous, because “cozy town” has never been an accurate way to describe...