China’s Third Gender: The Woman PhD

Third chinese gender

Note: this is a satirical story and therefore may be rather offensive. If you think that you will find it offensive, this will surely be the case, so don’t read any further.

In the past months, I have had a lot of problems getting a good night’s sleep. This is the first time in my life that something like this has happened to me, so I’m completely obsessed with knowing the reason.

My fantastic neighbors

In the beginning, I thought that my insomnia was to blame on my neighbor, who was training to be the starring actor in the Chinese remake of Indiana Jones.

Each morning around five, I wake up all of a sudden, thinking that something has gone wrong in the conflict between Japan and China over a handful of islands in the middle of nowhere and that the Japanese have started to bomb Beijing. I wake up, take a look out the window, and I see him with his whip. I can’t believe that this god-damned whip manages to make so much freaking noise. Compared to it, New Year’s fireworks seem like nothing but a noisy kid’s toy.

[Read more...]

How to get a Visa for Taiwan – The complete guide

visa for Taiwan

Welcome to the complete guide for obtaining a visa for Taiwan!

Here are the subjects that I will consider in this article:

  • Do you need a visa to visit Taiwan?
  • How to obtain a visitor’s visa;
  • How to obtain a student visa for Taiwan;
  • How to obtain a work permit and a resident’s visa;
  • How to get a family reunification visa;
  • How to get a permanent resident certificate (APRC).

[Read more...]

Ten years in China: Interview with Loredana

Interview to Loredana

Today we will speak with Loredana Cesarino, a Neopolitan girl that has lived in Beijing, Nanjing, Tianjin and Hong Kong (where she currently resides). By her own admission, Loredana enrolled in the Chinese language department back in 1998, when in Napoli there wasn’t even a shadow of a Chinese person on the street.

Loredana, when did you arrive in China and why.

The first time I stepped foot in China was back in 2003. I was 22 years old, traveling alone and it was my first experience studying abroad. I arrived in Beijing full of dreams and expectations. Sadly, however, after only three months, I had to return to Italy due to SARS which raged through Beijing that Spring. But that didn’t stop me and a year later I was again back in China with a student visa for a year.

Besides studying, in China you’ve done various jobs: Italian teacher, commercial interpreter, literary translator, etcetera. What advice would you give to someone seeking work in China?

Don’t be scared off by the initial difficulty, be patient and, above all, look for work in non-conventional channels. In China you’ll rarely find work through agencies or online sites but rather through the famous “guanxi”, or the acquaintances you have. Those who wish to work in China must search, speak with people and form friendships with the locals, and after a little time, you’ll find yourself flooded with requests for various jobs. [Read more...]

Liqian: The Chinese town founded by Roman legionnaires

Liqian town founded by Roman legionnaires

Three months ago, I started to learn a bit more about China’s ancient history as a part of writing the article on travelling to the Henan Province, as I sometimes do. At one point, I started to branch out and ended up reading articles about other things: first of all on the Silk Road, and from there, Sino-Roman relations and in the end, I ended up finding a curious article on a lost little town called Liqian.

Today’s article discusses this little town, where history is mixed with legends as well as political and economical interests, something which happens all the time in the middle kingdom. [Read more...]

Transsiberian Express – The Complete Guide

Transiberian Train

Before we get started with our guide…

Are you looking for a Transsiberian Tour?

If you are looking for specific information about Transsiberian tours click here and read our guide. You can also click here to send a message to us and we’ll be happy to suggest a honest and reliable agency to you.

Do you want to check the price for a train train ticket for the Transsiberian? Just enter your data on this form

Notice: Some of the trains don’t have daily service, for instance the direct train Moscow-Beijing and the train Ulan Bator-Beijing, if you want to check the price of these trains be sure to select the option “If exact date not available: +/- 2 days”

Ok, let’s go!

The aim of this article is to share my experience and provide all the practical information that you may need to enjoy an unforgettable trip along the Transsiberian or Trans Mongolian railway.

Here a short outline of the article:

[Read more...]

How to watch Netflix, Hulu and BBC iplayer overseas

watch netflix hulu bbc overseas

I have now been living in China for four years. Being a TV shows addict, when I arrived here, one of my biggest worries was: how am I going to watch my favorite TV shows and programs?

This article aims to provide options to those expats who wish to keep on streaming their favorite programs and series and can’t do it due to the geographic restrictions of the content.

Below, you will find the points that I will cover in this article. You can click on any one of them to skip directly to the section you want to read.

[Read more...]

How to study Chinese in Shanghai

study chinese shanghaiFudan University

Are you thinking to study Mandarin in Shanghai but you aren’t quite sure whether is the right city for you or not?

Conversely, are you already living in Shanghai and would like to start taking Chinese classes but you don’t know what school to choose?

In this article you’ll find:

P.s. If you’re interested in a more general overview on studying Chinese in China, such as the difference between study Mandarin in a University or a private school click here. [Read more...]

The Temples of Bangkok: Wat Arun and Wat Phra Kaew (Photos)

Temples of Bangkok

In Bangkok there are so many temples that, if you’re there only for a few days, it may be difficult to decide what temples are worth a visit. My opinion is that the two most interesting temples are the Wat Arun and the Wat Phra Kaew, both located inside the Old City (Rattanakosin); that is very close to Kao San Road, the backpackers’ street of Bangkok.

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

The Wat Arun is located on the West side of Chao Phraya River. You can either take a cab or, if you’re staying near Khao San, just walk towards South West for around twenty minutes and then take a ferry. The temple is open from 8 am to 5:30 pm and the entrance ticket costs 50 Bath (Thai people don’t pay). [Read more...]

Living in Xinjiang: Interview with Josh, founder of FarWestChina

Farwest China

Today we’re going to talk with Josh Summers, the founder of Far West China, as far as I know the best website dedicated to Xinjiang, one of less known and most beautiful provinces of China.

Josh, thank you for accepting to answer to some questions for SDC. You arrived in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, in 2006. How did you end up there?

My pleasure! I’m honored to chat. Our arrival in Xinjiang back in 2006 is a long story that can be summed up in pretty much one word: “accident”. Seriously, who in their right mind travels halfway across the world to a place they can barely find on a map, much less properly pronounce? People who don’t know what they’re getting into, that’s who.

That’s not even the craziest part. Once we arrived in Urumqi in 2006 we only stayed there for two days. Our ultimate destination was Karamay, an even smaller and more remote town about four hours deep in the desert. We did it party out of a sense of adventure but mostly because a trusted friend convinced us it was a good idea. Ha! [Read more...]

Travel by train in China

train in chinaA Chinese train class K.

In this guide to travel in China by train you’ll find out how to buy a train ticket in China, what are the different classes of Chinese trains and some general travel tips.

How to buy a train ticket in China?

You can only buy a train ticket starting from 20 days before your trip. You can’t do it with too much advance. Especially during the peak seasons – Spring Festival (on January or February), May Day (1st May), National Day (1st October) and Summer Holidays (from July to August) – you should buy your ticket as soon as possible or you’ll risk to look for it when the tickets are already sold out. [Read more...]