Monthly Archives: December 2014

Summing Up 2014 and Resolutions for 2015

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What a year!  What a dream! I’ve done so much… and seen so much! I don’t just have one book being published – The Romance of the Grand Tour: Fabled Port Cities from Rangoon to Hong Kong – coming to … Continue reading

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Le Grand Hôtel de Pékin

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Le Grand Hôtel de Pékin was Peking’s oldest and most splendid hotel establishment, situated just north of the Foreign Legation Quarter and offering the Grand Tourist panoramic views of the Quarter and of the Forbidden City to the west of … Continue reading

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The Old Summer Palace 圓明園, Peking

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If the epicentre of the First Opium War was the port of Canton, the stage for the Second Opium War was here at the Summer Palace in Peking. The Palace was first constructed in 1707 during the reign of Kangxi, … Continue reading

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The Forbidden City 紫禁城, Peking

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There isn’t much that hasn’t been said already about the Forbidden City.  How it was the seat of the Chinese Emperor from the 1400s all the way till 1911.  How it survived the marauding hordes of the Cultural Revolution because … Continue reading

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The Legation Quarter, Peking

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Instead of the more obvious historical and tourist sites, I have chosen to start off my sojourn in Peking with a tour of the Former Foreign Legation Quarter. Unbeknownst to many today, Peking too was not free from European colonial … Continue reading

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The Grand Tour II-9: Northern Capital… Peking (北京)

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On this Grand Tour of the Far East, we pay a visit to only three Imperial Capitals. The first – and the grandest of them all – is Peking, a.k.a. Beijing today – the oldest of the three capitals, and … Continue reading

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Between Clowns and a Power Station, or Art for Art’s Sake

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I’ve just been in Shanghai over the weekend, visiting a city I consider home, and my family living there. I thought it convenient – since I was there – to also check out some of the contemporary art on offer … Continue reading

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