"The secret of Chinese Characters"


Learn English 学英文
Stories by GP Mills (Editor)
Nursery Rhymes

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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.



List of Useful Chinese Words & Phrases for traveling in China

All the Words & Phrases have an English Phonetic Pronunciation Guide to help you


FREE Chinese Lesson for the Day: Do you like China?

FREE Chinese Lesson for the Day: Where are you from?

FREE Chinese Lesson for the Day: What is your name?

FREE Chinese Lesson for the Day: Good Morning


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











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.



List of Beijing's Hutongs





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.



Discover Contemporary China





A Selection of Chinese Folk, Contemporary & Classical Music






Chapter One


'A maharaja’s ruby cast on a Persian carpet by the blackest of hands'

The ancient dhow stirred in the soft morning breeze, moving through the water like a sated lion, snuffling about the other boats on the harbour; some scurrying, some at anchor, some darting before a brief gust of wind. The lateen sails a bustling panorama of blood-red and sun-bleached white.

Aft, the woman's eyes searched the skyline, drinking in the architecture of Stone Town, the heart of Zanzibar; its jagged, cluttered silhouette so familiar, so much a part of her soul.

Abruptly, her eyes ceased their restless searching, jagged by an invisible hook, transfixed by the grand buildings on the northern shore, Beit-al-Ajaib, the House of Wonders, Palace to the great Sultan of Zanzibar. The distinctive architecture captured in the tropical light: coconut white outlined by contrasting shadow plays of pepper black.

A smile, ever so slight, started to play on the edge of her mouth, then disappeared. A memory that should have been fond instantly turning to sharp unbearable pain. Her eyes hardened and moved on.

Without warning the captain threw the rudder over. Stumbling, the woman barked her shin on a wooden box, a rough-hewn coffin. She recoiled, knocking over an untidy stack of cane baskets. Imprisoned in the baskets, rusty cockerels, their scruffy heads straining through the latticework, snapped at her, cried out to her; their raucous din overwhelming her, drowning her.

Dimly, through the fog of noise, the strident swearing of the sailors in Kiswahili seeped into her conscious. Understanding, she smiled mirthlessly.

The coffin had been carelessly stowed, a chore, rather than a labour of respect or love.



London 1910

“Hello, who are you? I am Oliver, is Edward at home?”

The words were spoken by a tall, impeccably dressed young man rushing into Edward’s flat, shaking off surplus water and calling for whisky while shoving his umbrella into a stand; a shaggy grey Irish wolfhound, impeccably dressed by savile row.

Susan laughed, her hazel eyes dancing with the exhilaration of the new. “Yes, he is having a bath. I think he is trying to get warm. I’m Susan, Susan Carey, his sister.




Pick'n Season

Short stories on a theme set in Tasmania, Australia

Where style and story telling are explored.




The Cultural Revolution through my Eyes

By Zhou Xiaosui


I was born in 1966, the year China the Culture Revolution began. My mother told me when I was just born that a nurse held me in her arms and said, "come, look at this girl, she is so pretty, her eyes are so big". Another nurse who was in the room standing in front of the window, said, "come here and look at the people marching down the street wearing high caps!"

They were the people the Gong Chan Party (The Communist Party) had branded as counter-revolutionary. They were being marched down the street as an example.

This is the story of my life, and my family's life, in the time of the Cultural Revolution. I hope you will be interested in seeing China through my eyes.


Chapter One

I was Born in this Time

This was a time of unrest and uncertainty. A time that was to last for 10 long years and profoundly affected my family.

Just after I was born, the Government accused my father of being a counter-revolutionary because his family had moved from China and all lived overseas. So he lost his job as a teacher. He wasn’t allowed to work and had to stay at home reflecting on what he had done wrong. This was bad for my father, but it was good for me. My father could look after me at home, and over the early years of my growing up I became very close to my father who was also my first teacher.

I remember, he hung a blanket by the four corners to become a hammock, and he put me inside. He would rock me to and fro when I cried or became restless. He needed to write two pieces for the Government about his thinking and saying sorry that his family left China and lived overseas. He also had to embroider a Mao Zhengdong photo.

Just like this, my father looked after me and finished his thinking “reconstruct”.

My parents told me I was a lambkin, a fat lot cry. My father really loved me. At that time, no-one listened for him, so he talked to me everyday. He talked and talked and I laughed and laughed. My father said he looked at me and I made him so happy.

By the time I was one year old, I had worn out four blankets!

When I was one year old, my father who had lost his job as a teacher, had to go to a Government building company to become a general labourer. It was very hard work for a teacher. At night he had to go to re-education meetings. When I was older and started to understand something of what had happened in my family, my sister, who is six years older than me, told me, “in this time, many nights she saw my father come back from the meeting with bruises and wounds all over the body." These had been inflicted by the Hong Wei Bing. My mother, who was a Doctor, cried and helped my father clean the wounds. These beatings went on night after night, my father wanted to die. My mother told him, “I need you, your two children need you, they need to have a father, you must live!’

Hong Wei Bing: Hong = red; wei = to guard, to protect; bing = soldier

In Chinese culture, ‘hong’ is lucky and represents good.

The Hong Wei Bing was the Communists Party’s youth cadre. It was made up of students in high school aged between 12 and 18. They were given authority over any person branded as a counter-revolutionary. They were, of course, too young and callow to be given that much power, so they abused it. It would be like giving the students at your local High School authority, without boundaries, over anyone in your town who did not seem to conform, including their teachers.

The Government officials ran the re-education meeting with the Hong Wei Bing.

The Hong Wei Bing harassed anyone who was at the meeting. Asking questions like, ‘Did you do the bad thing for the Government, for Mao?’, ‘Do you love Mao?’, ‘Why does your family live overseas?’ ………… questions that had to be answered quickly and with enthusiasm. If the Hong Wei Bing were not satisfied with the answer, or even if they did not like your demeanor, of if they just wanted to hurt you, then they would beat you up. Many people died from these beatings.

My father did not, he lived.





My Father's Wisdom

By Zhou Xiaosui

I was born in 1966, the year China the Culture Revolution began. My mother told me when I was just born that a nurse held me in her arms and said, "come, look at this girl, she is so pretty, her eyes are so big". Another nurse who was in the room standing in front of the window, said, "come here and look at the people marching down the street wearing high caps!"

They were the people the Gong Chan Party (The Communist Party) had branded as counter-revolutionary. They were being marched down the street as an example.

These are some of the stories my father taught my in this time.