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KeepCalmAndWander

An Ancient Water Town Called Xitang – A Morning Stroll

There is an ancient water town called Xitang, half an hour by train from Shanghai. This water village became famous when Tom Cruise shot Mission Impossible III here. It would be wise to watch the movie first to make your strolling exciting. I haven’t watched it yet, to be honest.

Xitang at Night is Absolutely the Movie in Your Mind

Xitang at night is absolutely the movie in your mind. It’s the one you always see in Chinese soap operas, classic telenovelas, and films. On the night I arrived there, I wasted no time. I hurriedly checked into my hotel room, changed my t-shirt, and off I went to the

The 7 Greatest Places in New Orleans You Won’t Find in the French Quarter

It’s hard to think about New Orleans without immediately conjuring images of the French Quarter in your mind. The Big Easy’s historic hub is picture-perfect: Creole-style buildings railed with ornate iron balconies line the streets while roving jazz bands and happy party-goers join in a colorful parade of humanity. It

To Xitang – Where Mission Impossible 3 Was Shot

Xitang is an ancient water town where Mission Impossible 3 (Tom Cruise) was shot. I really didn’t know about it until a friend recommended this water village. And indeed, it never disappointed me. I love it there – and since I went there during off-peak season, the crowd was just

The Yunyansi Pagoda on Tiger Hill is China’s Leaning Tower

The Yunyansi Pagoda on Tiger Hill in Suzhou is China’s answer to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Well, you won’t really notice it if you’re not standing on the right side below the tower. I went there with no idea that this was a leaning pagoda. I gradually noticed it

Door Handles in Chinese Doors – Guardians of the House

These door handles in Chinese doors are the guardians of the house. Three weeks ago, I traveled to Suzhou. Every time I saw a door handle, I couldn’t help but take photos of them. They fascinate me. The locals and other tourists who had seen me looking at the details

The Best Places to Visit in Boston

When it comes to history and culture, there are fewer cities as fascinating as Boston. Steeped in colonial history, the oldest city in America is the setting for forward-thinking transformation and innovation, which makes it one of the country’s most favored vacation destinations. With a huge arts and crafts scene,

Making the Most of Your Trip to California

A cruise around the Golden State, whether you decide to opt for its sunny beaches, celeb-filled LA, or its more rural areas out in nature, will undoubtedly be a trip that you remember for the rest of your life. There are plenty of activities and local attractions to occupy your

Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower is a Photographic Jewel

The Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower was once the tallest building in China – from 1994 to 2007. Then, it was later eclipsed by the modern Shanghai World Financial Center.  Today, the tower is the 5th tallest in the world. A friend of mine once told me that his Shanghainese friend

Shanghaied by The Bund at Night

I guarantee that you will be shanghaied by The Bund at night. The city’s skyline views after sunset are breathtaking. You do not need to join a night tour – just go there by yourself and enjoy it. Don’t worry much about security. The Bund promenade has police officers on

Shantang Street in Suzhou – Your Window to Wu Culture

Shantang Street in Suzhou is your go-to for something that resembles ancient China. The courtyard houses there will definitely give you a glimpse of what life was like eons ago. The street is your “Window to Wu Culture,” they (tour guides) say.  If you are into Chinese architecture, you might find

This Precious Belt Bridge in Suzhou Has 53 Arches

This Precious Belt Bridge in Suzhou has 53 arches. By the look of it, this bridge has weathered time in ancient Chinese history. It is stone bridge that dates back to mid-Tang Dynasty era in Chinese history. However, due to several reconstructions, the bridge you see today goes back to

Relive Old Suzhou at Pingjiang Lu

On Pingjiang Lu, you can still relive the Old Suzhou you are looking for. However, it’s not the kind of experience that will fully give you a satisfying experience. Though the street is lined with white-washed houses of old yore, many are turned into businesses that cater to tourists. There
KEEP CALM and WANDER