Welcome to my website! I'm glad you're here!
The Ultimate China Guide website grew out of writing about my experiences living and working in China and Taiwan for nine years. It's now a resource for those curious about these fascinating countries with amazing people, culture, and language. Whether you are just curious about China and Taiwan, are thinking about traveling or moving there, or are are already living in these countries but want to learn more, you are in the right place!
The site can be organized in the following six categories:
When I first arrived in China, I didn't know any Mandarin Chinese, had never taught before, nor had ever traveled to Asia. At first life in China was exciting: the people, the city, teaching, everything was new and interesting. After a few months though, some culture shock set in and there were some tough days. But eventually Zhongshan (the city I lived in ) began to feel like home and I formed some good frienships. I traveled to Tibet and Thailand, started learning Mandarin, and soon decided to stay in China for a second year. Two years turned into four and after countless adventures and many hours conversing with Chinese people in Mandarin, I found a job as a Mandarin translator and interpreter at a manufacturing and design company in China. The two years I spent with the company were an awesome introduction to the world of international business.
I always thought that China would be a great setting for a movie, so before moving back to the US, I produced and filmed a movie called Dreaming of Zhongshan (中山夢) with the help of an amazing cast and crew. It's a 30-minute coming of age story about an American teaching English in Zhongshan, China.
After returning to the states, I wrote about all of my China experiences in my first book: Ultimate China Guide: How to Teach English, Travel, Learn Chinese, and Find Work in China.
In order to see and do all of the amazing things that Asia has on offer, to travel to places like Japanese ski resorts, China’s Himalayan Mountains, Thailand’s Ko Phi Phi, and Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay on a regular basis for an affordable price, you will need a job that allows you to live there. Teaching English is an easy way to accomplish this goal.
Party on the last day of class
When I first arrived in China, it was never my intention to learn Mandarin Chinese to fluency. I would have been happy had I just been able to get around and order food comfortably. But the desire to speak with locals when interacting with them was so infectuous that I came to love these chances to speak. I eventually found a Chinese teacher whom I stayed with for two years and got to a level where I could converse comfortably with those around me. By this time, I was hooked on learning Mandarin, I continued to study on my own for years afterwards. I eventually became a Chinese medical interpreter back in the US and really enjoyed this work. Later, when I moved to Taiwan, I continued my study of the language, at National Taiwan Normal Uiversity's Mandarin Training Center, now using traditional Chinese characters. Eventually I stumbled upon Classical Chinese and have been learning it in earnest for over three years.
If you’ve already been to China, maybe to teach English or you have done a study abroad there, and want to go back and be a part of the fastest growing economy in the world in a more professional position, then you should be happy to know that there are many such professional non-teaching job opportunities like this in China. As a foreigner it’s more than possible to get a job as an expat with a visa, even if you don’t know Chinese.
My job as a cultural liaison in Jiaxing, Zhejiang
After living in China for six years, I had thought my days of living abroad were at an end. But on a workcation to Chiang Mai, Thailand, I traveled to Taiwan about a potential remote job opportunity making videos for a Buddhist non-profit. There was something extremely fascinating and attractive about this little island. Deep down I knew I had to stay and learn more about this country, no matter the cost. I started out as a paid volunteer for the Buddhist non-profit Hwadzan, traveling to Paris and China with venerable Wu Dao, making videos about world peace. Later, I found a job as a copy writer at a PC components design and manufacturing company. Living in Taiwan, gave me the chance to learn more about the Chinese language, people, and culture.
When I previously lived in China, I didn't spent much time learning about some of the main cultural influences: Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. When I came to Taiwan however, I encountered the Buddhist monks of Hwadzan and the lay practitioners who learn the teachings of the three saints of these religions: Shakyamuni Buddha, Confucious, and Lao Tzu. I became exposed to such books as The Rules for Students, Treatise on the Response of the Tao, and The Ten Wholesome Karmas Sutra, and learned about core concepts in traditional Chinese culture like filial piety and the law of cause and effect. The Chinese people have an entire how-to guide book for life baked right into their culture. I had never realized this before and I now appreciated the culture in a whole new way.
Ancestral remembrance ceremony
In addition to the above sections of the website, be sure to check out any oneline courses or guides that may interst you: