Next Stop: Shenzhen, then and now

After a good few days in Hong Kong, visiting friends and reminiscing about my life there in the 1980s, I planned to cross the border by land and visit Shenzhen, the city just inside the China border. It was little more than a fishing village until August 1980, when...

Travel in the Time of Covid-19

Okay, so I was planning a trip to China April 1-19 this year—and had to cancel for obvious reasons. I really wanted to go this spring because my memoir about China is coming out this fall, and I was hoping to see what the latest trends are in China. Every year, Chinese people adopt some new technology and modernize the way they live, whether paying for everything via mobile apps, shopping online, taking Didi cars (like Uber) instead of taxis. What is the latest?

Well, the latest is the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, which started there in January. In fact, my husband and I bought our tickets on January 19. The next day, China reported the third death from coronavirus and confirmed human-to-human transmission, announcing a quarantine in the city of Wuhan. Fortunately, we were able to cancel the payment for our airline tickets with full refund—because it was less than 24 hours after we purchased them.

Bottom line: no China trip for us this spring!

So I have decided to share this trip with you, day by day, showing images of the places we planned to visit and why.

First stop: Hong Kong, April 2-5. Paul and I met in Hong Kong in 1983 and were married there in 1985. Hong Kong is bursting with places that stir up good memories for me—many of which I wrote about in my memoir, When the Red Gates Opened, to be published September 22.

1. Dominion Centre, site of my office for Business Week, in Wanchai
2. Dim sum as served in Hong Kong
3. Luk Yu Teahouse, my favorite dim sum place
4. The flags of China and Hong Kong flying together, after 1997
5. The Queen’s Road overpass, where I watched the 1989 protestors

A Personal Memoir of a Pivotal Era

Under a warm white sky, Tiananmen Square bustles with the joy of anarchy. Nearly a million citizens of China, overcoming their fears, have gushed forth from their tiny flats into this open space at the center of Beijing. On this May day in 1989, an eager yet uneasy sense of amazement draws me to this familiar public space, now teaming with peaceful protestors. Televised images of this scene have been sparking imaginations all over the world this week; what will I find, in person?

Download a Free Excerpt


Enter your email to receive a free excerpt of my forthcoming memoir, When the Red Gates Opened. 

You will also receive occasional updates about new blog posts and other news.


You can unsubscribe at any time.

Thank You for entering your email. Please check your inbox for your free excerpt shortly.