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Puli, Taiwan

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Tree in Puli, Taiwan

In the rolling mountains and valleys, Puli, Taiwan is an often over-looked, quiet city with extraordinarily beautiful scenery, nature and fresh air.

This picture was taken at Cingjing Farm, which is a one-hour bus ride from Puli.

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Chinese classroom teaching study abroadAsia

Chinese Classroom Culture

“Facebook started the wars in the Middle East.” “ALL boys like watching soccer. ALL girls like shopping.” “Girls should find men who are handsome, rich and good at cooking.” These are some snippets of the misled comments I hear in my Chinese classroom everyday. At first, I just blamed my poor Chinese skills and assumed I had misunderstood their sexist …

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Abroad in China: the most important thing I learned

People always ask me questions about China, but they all ask the wrong questions. They ask how the culture is different, what weird foods I’ve eaten, what I miss about the USA. These are all valid questions, but they don’t touch on the ONE MAIN thing I’ve learned while abroad, and the one question NO ONE has asked me: How …

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Beijing China street food cuisine culture AsiaAsia

Beijing Street Food

Beijing street food China chinese cuisine
Beijing street food

Some travelers are afraid of street food, but I think it is not only cheap and delicious, but also a great way to experience cultures like the locals.

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Chinese classroom teaching study abroadAsia

My Mandarin Classroom

Chinese classroom studying abroad learn chinese Beijing Normal University
Typical Chinese classroom at Beijing Normal University

This is where I spend 20 hours each week learning Mandarin In Beijing, China.

The biggest pro of language classes: if you stop listening for a little bit, it is very easy to zone out and go into your own, little world.

The biggest con of language classes: if you zone out just a bit and go into your own, little world, you have NO idea what is going on…

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Typical Chinese Food

Typical Chinese food Beijing Normal University chopsticks noodles
Typical Chinese food at Beijing Normal University

My newest obsession: Vegetable and Egg Soup (青菜鸡蛋面 qīngcài jīdàn miàn). This is a very typical, Chinese cafeteria food that I eat nearly every day. Add a little spicy pepper and some clean water, and you have yourself a rather healthy, filling Chinese meal for ¥10, which just under $2!

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Guide to Cellphones in China iphone Chinese SIM card study abroadAsia

Cellphones in China: SIM cards, unlocking smartphones, services, etc.

You know how annoying getting a cellphone in the US is? You have to buy an expensive phone, get a plan to meet all your needs, and usually sign the next two years of your life away in a contract. Well, the good news is getting cellphone service is cheaper, easier and less of a commitment! Getting the Phone 1. …

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Jilin China Asia sunset coldAsia, Photography

Jilin, China

Jilin, China cold winter northern China sunset river frozen
Jilin, China

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Jilin, China is a relatively small Chinese city (only a couple of million inhabitants) in Jilin province in Northeast China. The most beautiful scenes are along this river at dusk and at night, when the downtown area shines colorful lights through the -20°F / -28°C winter night.

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Packing Guide for Beijing: The essentials China study abroad travelAsia

Practical packing guide for Beijing, China

Yesterday, I discussed what to buy in the US before coming to China for those staying in China long-term. However, many people ask me about what they need to pack for China for more short-term trips of 3 months or less. China is a developing country with stores just like the US, so you can find anything you need here, …

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