My 5: 798 Art District, Beijing.

Entrance 798 Art District Beijing China

1. 798 Art District, March 2010. Only in a city as wondrously contradictory and confusing as Beijing could a place like 798 Art District exist! Formerly a huge network of factories built by the East Germans in the 1950s, by the mid 1990s the entire area had fallen into a state of abandoned disrepair. It […]

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My 5: The Summer Palace, Beijing.

Hall of Benevelonce and Longevity The Summer Palace Beijing

1. The Summer Palace, January 2010. I’ve always considered The Summer Palace to be Beijing’s crowning achievement! For me you can keep the organised chaos of The Forbidden City and the anticlimactic expanse of Tiananmen Square. While these places are definitely worth seeing, China’s largest royal park has way more charm, with breathtaking temples, gardens, pavilions, […]

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My 5: The Forbidden City, Beijing.


1. The Forbidden City, April 2010. Home to a succession of Chinese emperors; Beijing’s incredible Forbidden City served as the very heart of China for over five hundred years and is said to be Planet Earth’s largest palace complex! And right enough you’d be hard pushed to doubt this claim as you walk under The […]

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Noodles & Rice – a short story from Beijing, China.

Leo Hostel Beijing

After a prolonged period of stabilization and life-altering romance, I finally bid farewell to Belgium in the summer of 2009. Uninspired by life in gray, uneventful Brussels, my girl and I headed off to China for an unforgettable year of teaching and traveling. I was right on the verge of blissful slumber when the red […]

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My 5: Shangdi, Beijing.

Teaching English Shangdi, Haidian District, Beijing

1. E.E. Education, April 2014. The sleepy, unremarkable little Beijing neighbourhood of Shangdi stands as the dictionary definition of a non-place. There is very little to see and even less to do, save for a sizeable collection of restaurants and local stores, a lone bakery and a big ass supermarket. And yet somehow this is where […]

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