small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

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Kunming

Beach on the Ground Floor, Horseback Riding on the Roof

What kinds of entertainment venues do you expect at your nearest mall? A movie theater? An indoor playland for kids? An ice-skating rink? How about a beach and a horse riding arena? That’s what’s now on offer at the mall… Continue Reading →

Like Turtles? You’ll Love Yuantong Temple

Tucked away between the famous cherry blossoms of the Kunming Zoo and the famous seagulls of Cuihu (Green Lake) lies a relatively unknown Kunming landmark: Yuantong Temple. Despite its proximity to two of Kunming’s most famous sights, Yuantong Temple remains… Continue Reading →

Clean Water, Copper Pot Rice, and Blueberries Top our Reasons to Visit Fuxian Lake

Located about an hour south of Kunming, Fuxian Lake is China’s second-deepest lake, Yunnan’s third-largest lake, and one of China’s only clean lakes. Flanked by some low mountains, and enjoying the same mild climate as the Kunming area, it’s no… Continue Reading →

It’s All Fun and Games until Your Pipes Burst

A giant cold front has been drifting across a big chunk of Asia the past few days. It’s probably not making the news since the blizzard on the east coast of the U.S. is much bigger and badder, but it’s… Continue Reading →

The Night Pizza Made Me Cry

I looked at the lid of the box for a long time, and even took a picture to send to my sister on WhatsApp. She’s an expat, too, so I knew she would understand. What I was holding was 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 →

15 signs we’re not in Guangxi anymore

China is a big country, and the regions here are quite diverse and distinct. I knew from previous trips to Yunnan that it was different from Guangxi, but now I’m living the differences. Here are 15 ways I can tell… Continue Reading →

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