China

By Ann Abel There have always been reasons to travel off the beaten path, from the noble (self-discovery and transformation) to the mundane (bragging rights and…let’s not even use the I-word). Mostly, it’s a proper escape from the everyday in an increasingly homogenized world. These days, just finding a place

Story & photos by Effin Older It was my first trip to China, a 12-day guided tour that included Beijing, Shanghai, The Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, and, to my surprise, eye-opening stories from the lives of our three Chinese guides—Abby, Stephanie and Cindy. Besides being experts in China, past and

A video by Jules & Effin Older     Jules Older: PhD, psychologist, medical educator, writer, editor, app creator, videographer, ePublisher. Big awards, big adventures, big fun. His ebook on hilarious travel disasters is DEATH BY TARTAR SAUCE: A Travel Writer Encounters Gargantuan Gators, Irksome Offspring, Murderous Mayonnaise & True

By Monique Burns I’m in Suzhou, the cultural heart of China, only a half-hour bullet-train ride west of high-tech  Shanghai.  Led by local tour company More Fun Asia, I and four other women, including two New Yorkers, a Canadian from Vancouver and an American living in London, are exploring Suzhou,

By Monique Burns I  wander as if in a dream.  I am in China, 7,200 miles and a world away from home.  Through spring’s early-morning haze, I stroll lush gardens, exploring pagodas and pavilions adorned with Ming Dynasty vases, landscape paintings and mahogany furniture.  I cruise rock-girt canals and rivers

  By Monique Burns I’ll admit it. I’ve fallen head over heels in love with the W Hotel Suzhou, one of China’s newest, hippest and most high-tech retreats.   If that sounds surprising coming from this lover of crystal chandeliers, marble columns and old-world charm, imagine how surprised I was.  Suzhou,

By Monique Burns Strolling along the Huangpu River, through the venerable district known as the Bund, is one of the great pleasures of visiting Shanghai, China’s dazzling coastal metropolis.  Not only do the Bund’s ornate 19th and early 20th-century buildings form a stunning visual tableau, but they offer fascinating insights

By Monique Burns In Shanghai, China’s futuristic metropolis midway between  Hong Kong and Beijing, stroll the Huangpu River promenade and marvel at supertall skyscrapers like the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center, and the Shanghai Tower, the world’s second-highest. Then turn your gaze toward the west bank and

By Monique Burns   With super–tall skyscrapers and a booming economy, Shanghai is Asia’s answer to the 23rd century. But China’s high–tech showcase hasn’t forgotten its roots.  Take Yuyuan Garden with pavilions and plantings based on centuries–old landscape designs. Or the riverside Bund with elegant buildings from the 1920s and 1930s

By Monique Burns Part 2:  Cruising Asia with Holland America En route to Shanghai, on our 14-day Holland America cruise through China, South Korea and Japan, we  leave the great Chinese port of Hong Kong and spend the next two days sailing northeast through the South China Sea and the