Cutting loose in North Korea

Update June, 2017: Since our visit to North Korea in 2011, the recent death of American tourist Otto Warmbier, who was detained while visiting the country, is a tragic situation that is inexcusable. Accordingly, despite our feelings that tourism…
Moped in Beijing

Run, don't walk, in Beijing

Crossing over to the other side is usually a term that refers to dying, to seeing the bright white light at the other end of the proverbial tunnel. In Beijing it may just as well refer to crossing over to the other side of the street, a procedure…
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A calm haven in frenzied Beijing

Published on Sun, Oct. 9, 2011 in The Philadelphia Inquirer     By Larissa and Michael Milne For The Inquirer BEIJING - It was a late-summer day, and the air was thick with the combination of humidity and smog particular to this capital…
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A slice of home in Hong Kong

Since I grew up in New York I admit that I am somewhat picky about my pizza. I also had the added benefit of a Sicilian grandfather who ran a bakery on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. Every Saturday he made the pizza that he…

Bigger than the Super Bowl: North Korea's Mass Games

Update June, 2017: Since our visit to North Korea in 2011, the recent death of American tourist Otto Warmbier, who was detained while visiting the country, is a tragic situation that is inexcusable. Accordingly, despite our feelings that tourism…

Seeking the Yao Ming of baseball in China

I was riding on the new high-speed train connecting Beijing and Shanghai when I met Zhao Long, a sports reporter for China Central Television (CCTV). He was heading to Changzhou to cover the opening of a baseball academy which was…
Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center
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Food tips in a Shanghai taxi

It was a dreary, rainy day and we were sitting in a taxi that was stuck in traffic on the way to the Shanghai airport.  A car breakdown had caused the traffic to flow to the pace of a toddler. As the minutes ticked by we worried that…

The skyscraper race in Shanghai

When Larissa visited Shanghai five years ago the tallest building in town was the Jin Mao Tower, designed to resemble a pagoda it was the tallest building in China. She marveled at the view from the 88th floor observation deck. But five…

Shoe diplomacy in North Korea

Update June, 2017: Since our visit to North Korea in 2011, the recent death of American tourist Otto Warmbier, who was detained while visiting the country, is a tragic situation that is inexcusable. Accordingly, despite our feelings that…
Kim Il Sung mausoleum Pyongyang

Is it morally right to visit North Korea?

Update June, 2017: Since our visit to North Korea in 2011, the recent death of American tourist Otto Warmbier, who was detained while visiting the country, is a tragic situation that is inexcusable. Accordingly, despite our feelings that…

Remembering the Pueblo Incident in North Korea

When I was a child my father spent one Saturday morning on the phone trying to find a store that sold a “Remember the Pueblo” bumper sticker.  He finally found a store that had the sticker so we all piled into the car to go get…
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Book Reviews: North Korea

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives In North Korea by Barbara Demick is a valuable peek behind the curtain of North Korea, a gray land whose monochrome pallor is broken up only by the bright colors in propaganda posters lauding their Great…
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Book Reviews: Lost on Planet China and China Road

Lost On Planet China: One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation By J. Maartin Troost   Lost On Planet China by J. Maartin Troost is one Westerner's take on the riddle of modern China. The…