Tag Archives for kids


We Learn to Make Pasta in Bologna

Learning to Make Pasta

“My great-grandfather bought this farm just before the Second World War,” Federica explains. “He was an industrialist, importing vegetables from Egypt, and he could see that the family would need a place outside the city.” Her farm, Podere San Giuliano, is no longer a farm. It’s a restaurant and agriturismo, a hybrid farm and tourism […]


Top Ten Things to Do in Hong Kong with Kids

Top Ten Things to Do in Hong Kong With Kids

We’ve spent quite a bit of time in Hong Kong by now – it’s actually a great place to visit with kids — and yet I’ve barely written about it. So, in the spirit of public service, here are my top picks for things to do in Hong Kong with kids. Go to Ocean Park […]


Best… Ger… EVER

Horses, mountains and fresh grass en route to the Darkhad Depression, Mongolia.

This is the view from the best ger ever, a herd of horses passing by, untrimmed manes trailing in the breeze. It is, in fact, the classic Mongolian ger. And this is the ger itself, complete with truck. Like most larger vehicles in rural Mongolia, it seems to be more for the chaps to tinker […]


Crossing the Pass — and Mongolian Horses

Zac plays in the snow in the pass from Khovsgol Nuur to the Darkhad Depression.

The mountains that divide Khovsgol Nuur from the Darkhad Depression aren’t terribly mountainous. They’re misty, sure, and a little forbidding, but rather rounded compared to the jagged and snowclad peaks that mark the Russian border to our north. But it’s a pleasant ride up to the pass, the wildflowers shading as we ascend from bright […]


Skiing China 6: Happy Days in Beidahu

Snow-covered trees at the top of the slope in Beidahu.

There’s not a lot to Beidahu: two hotels, some half-built condos, and a ski centre, an hour and a half’s drive from the centre of Jilin city. But we don’t need a lot. And, thanks to this wonderful offer, we have a room in a Chinese five-star hotel. With bath robes, slippers, a tub, a […]


We Find a Chinese School

Chinese school in Harbin -- kids shovelling snow.

A bit of English language Googling around bilingual schools in Harbin finds a site for teachers of English as a foreign language, and a job advertised at a bilingual school. I Google around the school’s name in English, plough through a lot of investment sites, and eventually dig up the Chinese language site for the […]


Skiing China – Episode 1 – Getting Yabuli Wrong

View from the slopes at Yabuli Ski resort, China.

The Chinese are the most inventive nation on earth when it comes to winter fun, but skiing in China is a very new thing. And, as with other Western imports, the Chinese treat it in their own inimitable style. Take the ski train. This leaves Harbin every morning during the season, trundles three hours north […]


Flat-Hunting in -30, in Chinese

Harbin Toadstools

And here we are, in Harbin, which is, if everything goes to plan, our home base for at least three months. We push through the surge and out of the station into the brisk night air. In Bulgaria, this time last year, I remember thinking how very cold -22 was. Harbin is way below that. […]


Ice Skating in Beijing

Ice Skating in Beijing-13

When it comes to ice skating, like everything else, the Chinese do it differently. Very differently. And ice skating in Beijing is really something else. Especially on Qianhai Lake. It’s not just the unavoidable presence of the PLA, whether riding ice dodgems, guarding ice bikes, administering the ice slide or guarding the ice skates. The […]


Everest Base Camp Trek – FAQ

Everest Base Camp trek - Nuptse and Everest, seen from Kala Patthar.

How Much Does the Everest Base Camp Trek Cost? The Everest Base Camp trek can cost $400-$450 for shoestringers who walk in from Jiri, then straight in and straight out to Everest Base Camp, unguided, over 24 days or so, or as much as 20 times that for people who book luxury treks overseas over […]