Happy holidays!

One of the things I work on is supporting educational opportunities for kids in a poor, rural village in Southern China. Five years ago now, my dad, sister, and I visited my dad’s hometown and seeing the lone primary school staffed with teachers who couldn’t afford chalk and that was overloaded with kids, many of…

Pandora’s Morphological Marvels

The new China guide is out on shelves this week! I’ve written before about how much of the research Lonely Planet authors do never makes it into the book. Here’s one of the parts, a box for one section of the Wǔlíngyuán National Park in northern Hunan, that got cut. First, a little background: It all started…

Hot off the presses: Lonely Planet China

Announcing Lonely Planet’s latest China guide, on sale now! I trekked across five provinces, developed a backpack strap callus, lost a camera, dropped a camera, and contracted a very mysterious flu bug to help make this happen. I had so much fun researching and writing this, I hope that will come across in the pages. Even if…

How I research for Lonely Planet

I get a lot of questions about how Lonely Planet authors research their guidebooks. The most common question is whether we actually visit every site. Yes, absolutely. That’s the rule. We all follow our editors’ guidelines, which are laid out in a hundred-page brief and then further honed through discussions among the editors and all…

Chinese, literally

足 = zhú = foot  球 = qiú = ball                 足 + 球= zhúqiú = football (as in the Euro kind, aka soccer) 橄榄 = gănlăn = olive 球 =qiú = ball                 橄榄 + 球= gănlănqiú = football (as in the American kind, where the ball looks like, well, you know)