small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China



I’m Writing a Book. For Reals.

Over the past year or so, this blog, and the response from my fabulous readers, has reminded me just how much I enjoy writing. It made me start thinking (again) about something that probably crosses every writers’ mind: writing a… Continue Reading →

Commemorating the End of WWII at the Flying Tigers Museum

China is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. On Friday, a military parade in Beijing grabbed the whole world’s attention. Yesterday morning, on the opposite side of the country, my family and I went to… Continue Reading →

The elusive goal of traveling light

One time. There has only been one time that I have succeeded. And it was glorious. All the logistical stars aligned to make it possible: I was traveling alone, I was only staying one night, and I was staying at… Continue Reading →

Decompression Layovers – Part 1 (Taking Route)

I’m writing a mini-series on decompression layovers over at Taking Route, and the first post is out today. I can’t remember clearly how we first heard of the idea of taking a decompression layover, and I don’t even know what… Continue Reading →

10 reasons Hong Kong Disneyland is better than the original

We just enjoyed a fantastic Christmas present: a day at Hong Kong Disneyland! While there, I was reminded that some aspects of the park are much better than the original Disneyland in California. 1. The lines for rides are ridiculously short… Continue Reading →

13 things I’ve learned about staying at Chinese hotels

There are a few important things I’ve learned over the years about staying in “hotels with Chinese characteristics.” Here are the highlights. 1. Slippers are your friends. As soon as they open for business, the carpet in Chinese hotels is basically… Continue Reading →

Minge Hu (Folk Song Lake) boat tour

Apparently I’m a sucker for boat tours. We’ve gone on a dinner cruise through Alaskan waters, a narrated Star Ferry tour in Victoria Harbour, an airboat ride through the Everglades, a tour of the San Francisco Bay, bamboo rafts in a couple… Continue Reading →

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