Memories: Ghost Stories

Memories… is a random series of memories of my trips to Asia in the late 80s and early 90s. I’d been trying to go to Hangzhou not too far from Shanghai for several years, but had always been deflected by inconvenient bus or train connections. In the summer of 1993 I finally managed to make […]

Memories: Steam Engines

This will be a random series of memories of my trips to Asia in the late 80s and early 90s. Here’s a first installment…. In the early nineties it was still very common in China to see steam engines pulling freight trains. I vividly remember the first time I saw these huge, smoke-black trains lumbering […]


China officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups in the country, a fact that is easy to overlook when one travels through the major population centers which look dominantly Han. A trip into the countryside very often reveals a different picture, with smaller villages sporting very different faces and sometimes also different attire from the typical Chinese […]

Twenty Years Ago Like Yesterday

While walking through Chinatown a couple of days ago, I had this intense flashback – suddenly I was back in Shanghai… in May 1989. Memories just came flooding back, the smells, the sounds… the view along the Bund through the hazy air, heavy with thick smoke from the ships. There were the banners, held high. […]

June 4th, 1989

15 years ago in a very different world. Millions of people in China were demonstrating for a free society, for an end to corruption and for some semblance of a democratic process. It was one of these moments in time that is hard to describe, when everything seemed possible and everybody you see seems to […]

Buddhist Art Of China

While re-googling some of the search words that bring visitors to this site, I noticed that many people are looking for images of Buddhist art in Asian countries. Here is a small collection of Buddhist Art Of China, which is part of the Huntington Archive of Buddhist and Related Art. I’ve visited both the Longmen […]

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Poster History

I’ve noticed that many people come to my site in search of information about Chinese History. I’ve had a small table of Chinese History as supplemental data in the China Room section of this site since 1996, and this long-term exposure to search engines is definitely driving up my site traffic. Since there seems to […]

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China Travel Writing

…now in German! If you’ve ever been to the other side of this site, you know that I like to write about China travel. An old friend of mine back in Germany is currently in the process of launching Travelpak, a travel portal site, and I am now writing a series of articles about China […]

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Propaganda Posters

It would be an understatement to say that propaganda posters had an important role in how the Chinese Communist Party communicated with the public. Especially in the early years of the People’s Republic, when radios were still sparse and travel was hard, a few strategically placed posters in each town and village were maybe the […]

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Forgotten Shanghai

During my travels in China I was always fascinated by Shanghai’s history and by how close to the surface of modern Shanghai much of its past still is. It’s still possible to find pre-revolutionary signage on some store fronts in the more quiet side streets and a lot of the building substance of the 1940s […]

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