Category Archives: Guest Post

Guest Post: Learning Chinese in China

Hello everyone and I have to excuse myself for missing several blog articles this month. My next full blog post will be coming this weekend and in order to shorten the wait for you I present a very interesting infographic by LearnMandarinNow.

This infographic gives anyone who is interested in studying Chinese in China a very good overview. You can see here where you can study, the slight differences depending on the country, the different study programs, how long it might take and also how high the costs might be of the whole experience.

Did you ever go to a country to study the native language there, or do you plan such language study trip?

Guest Post: The Great Story Behind West Lake China

Remember when I wrote that we visited during our city tour also the West Lake in Hangzhou? Today I have a guest post by Karenr Robinson giving a wonderful description of that area. Where I could only write about what I saw myself during that short rainy stop at the lake Karenr provides with this article a summary on what you can see there and how to experience it the best way.


China is a beautiful country that is blessed with plenty of tourist attractions. China have a lot of magnificent attractions to visit for the tourists including antique sites and relics, grand imperial palaces, stunning water towns, marvelous natural wonders, fabulous cultural heritage, and unique folk customs. West Lake is one of the most favored tourist attractions in China amid visitors and a plenty of tourists from around the world used to visit the lake every year.

Heaven on Earth

West Lake is a freshwater lake situated in Hangzhou, China. The lake is divided into five parts by three causeways. The visitors can observe temples, pagodas, gardens, and artificial islands within the lake. West Lake has persuaded many poets and painters right through Chinese history for its natural splendor and historic leftovers.  The green leaves and flower blossoms make the lake a heaven on earth.

UNESCO World Heritage Site                  

West Lake was labeled as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011. The Lake has influenced Chinese garden designers and also many other designers in other countries. West Lake is said to be the only lake heritage site in China. UNESCO mentioned that the lake was able to persuade garden design in the rest of China and some other countries including Japan and Korea over the centuries. The lake in fact reveals and romanticizes union between humans and nature.

Natural Scenery and Human Culture

West Lake is the most gorgeous attraction in Hangzhou and the lake itself is full of attractions. The lake is enclosed by hills on three sides. Numerous Chinese poets and artists have praised the lake for its perfection and amalgamation of spectacular natural scenery and human culture. Su Shi who is a prolific poet in the Song Dynasty compared West Lake to Xi Zi, the most gorgeous woman in ancient China.


Full of Attractions

West Lake is a man-made lake situated at the heart of the city alive with plenty of attractions Including gardens, pavilions, causeways, pagodas, temples, artificial islands and bridges. The entire lake is a fantastic place to spend time with your family, lover, and friends. Numerous temples, pagodas, gardens, and artificial islands seen within the lake make it an exemplary destination.

History & Facts

West Lake has a long history to tell and the original West Lake created more than 2000 years ago. It was formed with the sedimentation of the Qiantang River. It is considered that the lake was almost double compared to its present size during Tang Dynasty (618-907). The lake dried up around the middle of the Tang Dynasty by reason of negligence and poor management of the lake. Hence, a fresh dyke and dam structure was put up, causeways were made and the lake comprehensively developed.

The lake has a surface area of more or less 6 square kilometers. The length of the West Lake is approximately 15 kilometers. The par water profundity is just about 0.8 meters. The lake has the ability to hold up to 14,290,000 cubic meters of water. West Lake has its own dry land for the maintenance and repair of boats.

The West Lake has been a main tourist attraction in China for the past many years. With the incessant development, sharp maintenance and the formation of islands have guided the lake to become a most beautiful tourist attraction in China. The Three Pools Mirroring the Moon is the biggest island of the lake. Mid-Lake Pavilion is the oldest island of the West Lake. The lake is delimited on three sides by mountains and hills.

Best Seasons

The lake is best to visit during rainy days, sunny days, spring time or winter time. The main reason is that West Lake is always good-looking but in dissimilar forms. Each season has its own splendor but March to May used to experience huge rush in West Lake and it can be called as the best season to visit West Lake.

How to Explore the Complete Area of West Lake

The scenic West Lake has many little attractions spreading around the lake. You will require one or more days to see its complete attractions.


Walking around the lake will be a delightful experience for the travelers. Walking around the lake’s two causeways such as the Yang and the Su cause ways present you amazing views.

Riding a Bike                                                                                                                                            

The finest means to travel the whole West Lake is riding a bike. Bike riding is fast than walking, and you will be able to cover the whole attraction within few hours. Another way travel on the lake is by boat.

Cruise Boat

Boat Cruise on West Lake will be a mesmerizing experience for the travelers and it offers you the chance to enjoy the lake’s stunning scenery. Gaily painted pleasure boats, motor-driven boats, and rowing boats are available here. Boat Cruise allows the tourists to travel the islets on West Lake including Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon.

Sightseeing Car

The tourists can find cars here for sightseeing and it is suitable for people to explore the lake in a short time. You can find a guide along with the car. The driver can also become your guide and will introduce you the sceneries.


Author Bio:

I Karenr Robinson and forming articles to sites and some other online areas are my scope of thought. My experience and authority must make sure helped for me to make scholarly assignments, for instance, paper on School-An essential unit of instructive change .I am sufficiently capable to apply my insight and set forward customers’ verity and certainties moved down articles and papers .I am a specialist in the field of best essay writing service. I am respected with amazing speculative data on the field I am capacity.


Guest Post: Fatal attraction within the palace

Today I have a guest post  by Weina Dai Randel, author of “The Moon in the Palace”. The Moon in the Palace is the first installment of The Empress of Bright Moon duology. The two books describe the journey of the famed Chinese empress, who survives court intrigues, rebellion, and other tragedies to become the woman who controls her own destiny. She was the first and only female ruler in China who ruled legitimately for almost fifty years. As you can see that such setting creates tons of possibilities of bizarre relationships within the palace.



Fatal attraction within the palace

When the thirteen-year old Mei was summoned to serve Emperor Taizong in The Moon in the Palace, Mei knew a few things about the Emperor, and his ten living sons. What she did not know was how suffocating and treacherous the life inside the palace could be.

Or how messed up the relationships was like inside the palace.

She would learn it very soon that being the concubine of the old emperor, she belonged to him in heart and soul. One glance of hers cast to anyone beside the Emperor would bring punishment and even death. It was the truth, the principle that all women in the palace must live by.

The Emperor, however, made his own rules. He was free to take women, anyone he fancied, which we all understand perfectly – he was the Emperor after all, right?

The problem is, the Emperor’s sons, also had the same idea.

The Crown Prince, who lived in the Eastern Palace, for example, was the ruler of his own household. He had a large retinue of tutors, aides, servants, wrestler buddies, polo players, grooms, and musicians. All bowed to his will and entertain his whims, though in what ways you might never imagine.











Tang Taizong, detail of a portrait; in the National Palace Museum, Taipei.)

Did I make these stories up? The secrets, the affairs, and the backstabbing? I sure did, but let me tell you, the entangled affairs within the palace was as well-known as the prosperity in the Tang Dynasty. Take Emperor Xuanzong for example. The sixty-year-old Emperor met his daughter-in-law, the great beauty Consort Yang, and forced his son to give her up and took her for himself. Not only that, very soon, Consort Yang’s two sisters also came to the imperial palace to serve the old man.

Messed up? I think so, but wait to read this: the great beauty Consort Yang was not an idle woman either. It was said she adopted a general of Turkic origin, whom many Chinese know as An Lu Shan, as her legal son, but she secretly kept him as her lover instead. The relationship would take a dramatic turn as the general grew powerful and eventually led an uprising against the aging emperor, who, forced to flee, ordered to kill the concubine.



“Chinese Beauty Yang Guifei, The” The Chinese Beauty Yang Guifei, ink scroll painting by Hosoda Eishi, c. 1800–20. 43.9 × 60.3 cm.)


So you see, the complicated relationship inside the palace is not just my re-imagination.

But really, when you think about it, messed-up relationships happened thousand years ago and still happen today. It existed in ancient China, in ancient Egypt – think about Cleopatra, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, in ancient Rome – Augustus and his three marriages, and in England. You know the six marriages of Henry VIII. And the story of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

And I’m pretty sure this entanglement happen among ordinary people as well. It’s just, we, not a member of imperial or royal families, take the cover of being ordinary and often mute our voices.

About the author

Author photo original

Waina Dai Randel

I am happy to have yet another great author providing a guest post. As I am usually rather clumsy when it comes to giving a short summary about other people I just use Weina’s Bio from Goodreads:

Weina is the author of The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon, historical novels of Empress Wu of China.

From Weina: “I love to see how words form an image that transcends the banal reality or how words join together to create a morsel of wisdom that tickles your mind.”

Born and raised in China, Weina has worked as a journalist, a magazine editor, and an adjunct professor.

She received an M.A. in English from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, where she was inspired to write about Empress Wu of China when she took a class in Asian American literature.

She lives in Flower Mound, Texas, with her loving husband and two children.

The Moon in the Palace is available on Amazon and furthermore you can follow Weina on Facebook and Twitter or just visit her Website.

Try to check also out other posts about The Moon in the Palace by fellow bloggers  such as Nicky Chen from Behind the Story, Amanda from Two Americans in China, Autumn Ashbough at When West Dates East ,Marta from Marta Lives in China and last but not least Jocelyn Eikenburg at Speaking of China.