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The untold spy story of WWI

In 1910 a proposed Alliance between Germany and France (See New York Times Article ) worried Britain so they sent someone to 'sniff around'.

The story is a personal journey of discovery set in the vibrant energy that is Zanzibar. Susan finds herself in the palace of the great Sultan of Zanzibar as private tutor to his children. She immerses herself in the heady experiences of that rich island. From making friends with her personal servant, Subira, to falling in love with Asim, a senior member of the Sultan's court. Susan delights in the discovery of Zanzibar and the discovery of herself. The only shadow being that she was recruited by British Military Intelligence as a spy. That compromises her love for Asim and will eventually cut the silken thread that is her journey into the exotic.

Original Top INDEX
Stories by GP Mills (Editor)
The Lion Awakes - ARCHIVES
Nursery Rhymes

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China's Top 10 Leisure Spots



Suzhou, Jiangsu province

Qinhuangdao, Hebei province

Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region

Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), Anhui province

Yantai, Shandong province

Chengdu, Sichuan province

Lijiang, Yunnan province

Sanya, Hainan province

Qingdao, Shandong province

Hangzhou, Zhejiang province



Beijing's Hutongs


The Hutong, an old-style city alley or lane, is one of the most distinctive features and must-see attractions in Beijing. There are thousands of hutongs in the city, many of which were built during the Yuan (1206-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. We list the most famous hutongs that all travelers to the capital city shouldn't miss in order to get a better experience of the unique culture of ancient Beijing.









Chinese Recipes


A Bite of China

A Bite of China is a 2012 Chinese documentary television series on the history of food, eating, and cooking in China directed by Chen Xiaoqing (陈晓卿), narrated by Li Lihong (李立宏) and original music composed by Roc Chen (阿鲲). It first appeared at the China Central Television in May 14th, 2012, and quickly gained much popularity. Having started filming in March 2011, this seven-episode documentary series introduces the history and story behind foods of various kinds in more than 60 locations all around China. The documentary has also been actively encouraged as a means of introducing Chinese food culture to those unfamiliar with local cuisine.




Jìn​pào​ Zhongwen

Learn Chinese



Learn about the 4 Tones

m ā;      m á;      m ǎ;      m à

妈          麻          马          骂

Mother  hemp    horse    scold

1st       2nd       3rd       4th


Learn about PinYin (the Chinese Alphabet) - the KEY to learning how to speak Chinese




China Mei Tian


Day to Day Photo Essays


Life in China

 (We overcome the language barrier through Photos)

Every country is made up of mothers, fathers, children, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, friends ...... different cultures, different languages, same people

We should celebrate the diversity rather than be threatened by it












Chinese Zodiac


Year of the Rat 老鼠 (lao shu)

Year of the Ox 牛 (niu)

Year of the Tiger 老虎 (lao hu)

Year of the Rabbit 兔 (tu)

Year of the Dragon 龙 (long)

Year of the Snake 蛇 (she)

Year of the Horse 马 (ma)

Year of the Sheep 羊 (yang)

Year of the Monkey 猴 (hou)

Year of the Rooster 公鸡 (gong ji)

Year of the Dog 狗 (gou)

Year of the Pig 猪 (zhu)


The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac






 'jiang gu shi'


The writing over the door is 'hou you xian cai'. It means that a member of the household has passed the official examinations and can be regarded as a scholar, a person of intelligence and integrity. It gave a lot of prestige to the family.

'jiang gu shi' means storyteller

In 'jiang gu shi' I will be telling stories about China's history, culture, society, myths, legends, Emperors and life. I hope you enjoy them.




Chinese Folk Customs






Women in China






A Series of Documentaries  


China's History




China and Tibet 

Xi Zang 西藏


 "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that," Dalai Lama





56 Ethnic Peoples of China




Yangtze River Cruise





 Travel on the Trans-Siberian Express

from St Petersburg to Beijing





 Wuzhen 乌镇

Wuzhen 乌镇 is a historic scenic town, part of Tongxiang, in northern Zhejiang Province, China. It lies within the triangle formed by Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai. Wuzhen's area is 46.5 square kilometers. Its total population is 60,000 of which 12,000 permanent residents.

In 1991, Wuzhen was authorized as the Provincial Ancient Town of History and Culture, it was ranked first among the six ancient towns south of the Yangtze River.



 Articles & Stories about Life in China




 唐诗三百首 Tang Shi San Bai Shou





pú tao měi jiǔ yè guāng bēi

yù yǐn pí pa mǎ shàng cuī

zuì wò shā chǎng jūn mò xiào

gǔ lái zhēng zhàn jǐ rén huí

pú tao měi jiǔ yè guāng bēi
Grape beautiful wine ye guang glass

yù yǐn pí pa mǎ shàng cuī
To desire/wish pi pa urgently hastens

zuì wò shā chǎng jūn mò xiào
intoxicated to lie/crouch battleground do not laugh

gǔ lái zhēng zhàn jǐ rén huí
since ancient times expeditions (wars) few people (soldiers) return


This is a famous poem written by Wang Han during the Tang dynasty.

The whole poem is bold and unconstrained, but it does have some bleak feeling in the end.

This is a poem about the soldiers who went to war at border areas of China. They know they will face a hard life, but they smile to face this.

葡萄美酒夜光杯  - The ye guang glass is full of red wine (it was famous glass in Jia Yu Guan city). This tells you where the man was fighting, at Jia Yu Guan, which was far a away and remote.

欲饮琵琶马上催  - I want to stop and drink the wine, but the calling to war pi pa is sounding and I must hurry away to fight. (The pi pa is a musical instrument).

醉卧沙场君莫笑  - Please don’t laugh at me if I am drunk. I am not afraid, but it is the way I face war and the loneliness.

古来征战几人回  - From ancient times to now, how many soldiers can go back home after the war? (In other words, the soldier knows that he will probably die at the war and never return home to see his family again, yet he knows he must fight to protect his large family (his country) and his small family (his parents, wife and children). 

Liang  zhou 凉 州 is the title of the poem

ci 词 is the form of the poem



Chinese Art




Bamboo 竹 (zhu2: pronounced jew) is much loved by the Chinese because it symbolizes a strong, warm family that is always together.  Bamboo also always grows up, never down, and so represents the hope of success in life.



A Selection of Chinese Folk, Contemporary & Classical Music





Discover Contemporary China





Visit China



Anhui, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Shandong, Hebei, Lijiang, Zhouzhuang, Fuzhou, Daming Palace, Dalian, HuBei, Dehong, Ruzhou, Qingyuan, Qingdao, Baishuiyang, Kunming, Xian, Dabu, Chengdu, Chongqing, Hainan






China's National Tourist Office