Grace Magazine Nicknamed Me “The Spirit of the East and West”

During my trip to China in June, a lifestyle and fashion magazine Grace in Chengdu did a feature story on me. The article came out in the August issue. See below:

The magazine’s main patrons are modern and trendy Chinese women. I am honored to be in a fashion magazine, but I am even more honored to be named as “The Spirit of the East and West.”

In Chinese, the word Jing Ling means “spirit,” but can also mean “wizard,” or “genius.” Last night, I was at KTSF Channel 26, a San Francisco Chinese TV station, filming a segment of “Talk Tonight” show. The host asked me if this title sounded “too cute.” I said no. That’s what I want to be.

I hope we can all be the “spirit” or the bridge that connects the East and West.

Until next time, live your dreams fully, everyday!


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The Pearl River

The Pearl River flows 1,500 miles from the south China plateau eastward to the South China Sea. It is one of the most beautiful rivers in China, with foliage flourishing on its banks all year round.


In the evening, the lights on both sides of the river glow so splendidly that they brighten half the night sky. Legend has it that over two thousand years ago a celestial pearl was lost in the river and, since then, the river has been shining with radiant lights at night. People named it the “Pearl River.” Continue reading

Egypt Highlights

There are many things to see in Cairo – the pyramids, the museums, the mosques, etc. Here are a few highlights that mark the classics of Cairo:

Copyright 2007 Helen Wang

The Egyptian Museum is a must-see for anyone who visits Egypt for the first time. It exhibits more than 120,000 artifacts throughout history. The most impressive exhibition is the items from King Tut’s tomb, which is the most complete pharaonic tomb ever found. Through viewing the burial treasures, I got a glimpse of Egypt’s glorious ancient civilization. Continue reading

Amsterdam – A City of Canals

We arrived in Amsterdam around noon of December. 10th. Since Netherland is so high in latitude, the sun was hanging low in the sky, shining powerlessly through clouds, making me feel it was 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

I didn’t realize that Amsterdam is fifty feet below sea level. Back in the early thirteen century, the Dutch people started to build the dams on Amstel River to hold back waters from the North Sea. Hence, its name “Amsterdam,” meaning the dam built on the Amstel River, was born. Since then, canals after canals were built in the shape of a spider web spreading out from the center of the city – Dam Square, making Amsterdam a fascinating city of canals.

Copyright 2007 Helen Wang

The Dutch people are at the front line of fighting global warming. Obvious, if Greenland melts, Amsterdam is the most vulnerable place on earth. Therefore, there are a lot of researches and projects that are already underway to address the water issues.

Copyright 2007 Helen Wang

We stayed at Hotel Pulitzer on the bank of canal with a room of canal view. I was a little shocked to see the water in the canals was a dark brown color – so dark that it’s almost black. The Hotel concierge told me that it’s because of stagnation of the streams and lack of oxygen in the water. I guess it is also because of centuries of the dirt at the bottom of the canals. However, I saw swans and ducks swimming in the canals!

Copyright 2007 Helen Wang

There so many things to write about for Amsterdam – its architecture, history, art and industry, etc. The things that struck me the most are the canals and art. Here are some really nice paintings displayed at the hotel:

Copyright 2007 Helen Wang

The first day in Amsterdam, we strolled around the Jordaan – the neighborhood characterized with art galleries and boutique shops, and visited Anne Frank’s house – the thirteen-year-old girl who documented her experience hiding from the Nazis in her diary during the Second World War.

Copyright 2007 Helen Wang

The next day, we went for a canal tour, which is a great way to see the city. And even better, the canal tour took us to Van Gogh Museum, which has the largest collection of works by Van Gogh with more than two hundred paintings including many famous masterpieces. Although I am not that big a Van Gogh fan, I discovered some paintings that I had not seen before that I really like.

A Little Bridge over Brimming Water

Copyright (c) 2007 Helen Wang

The photo reminds me of a famous Chinese poem: “A little bridge over brimming water, and there is a hidden home….” Since the “home” is not seen in the picture, I named it “A Little Bridge over Brimming Water.”

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My Hometown Hangzhou

My hometown Hangzhou is known as “paradise on earth.” An ancient Chinese saying says: “Above there is heaven; below there is Hangzhou.”

Anyone who has visited Hangzhou is impressed by its scenic beauty. A mirror-like lake, called West Lake, is nested in lush hills, like jade carved into green velvet. Along the lake are peach and willow trees, wavering and whispering in gentle breeze.

In the springtime, when the peach trees are blossoming with pink and white flowers in between the green willows, West Lake looks like a cheerful bride ready to wed. A pagoda, named Precious Stone Pagoda, stands on the top of the hills at the north side of the lake, as if a faithful guard watching out for his bride.

Hangzhou is also a historical city. It served as the capital of China in Song Dynasty (960-1279). In the 13th century, Marco Polo traveled to Hangzhou – the center of trade and culture during that time, and wrote elaborately in his journals about West Lake. He considered Hangzhou as “the most beautiful and splendid city in the world.”

Throughout history, Hangzhou has inspired poets, artists, philosophers and politicians. Many of them had left mesmerizing poems about West Lake. A classical poem by Su Shi, a renowned poet in Song Dynasty, says it all:

The brimming waves delight the eyes on sunny days;
The dimming hills present rare views in raining haze.
If comparing The West Lake to the Beauty of West Shi,
It becomes her to be adorned in either ways.

Today, Hangzhou has renewed itself into a center for technology and entrepreneurship. With a population of seven million, Hangzhou accounted for 20 percent of the province’s GDP, 30 percent of its imports and 17 percent of foreign investment.

A recent survey by Forbes reveals that Hangzhou scored the highest on the list of “the top ten best places for business,” before Shanghai and Beijing.

It is a base for global manufacturers such as Motorola, Siemens, and Toshiba. It has several of the most successful homegrown companies – the biggest auto parts maker Wan-Xiang, soft drinks group Wahaha, and Internet company Alibaba.

Cancun Renewal

Who can imagine that was a former fishing village thirty years ago?


Surrounded by Caribbean sea, Cancun today has renewed its natural wonder with beautiful white sand beaches and crystalline turquoise waters. Walking barefoot in the sand awakens all my senses.

The beach is not the only attraction for Cancun. The ancient and the promise of the return of Kukulcan invite me to explore its endless wonders and mysteries.


A parasail over the Cancun sky gives a bird-eye view of its unprecedented beauty. Feeling like a bird flying into the infinite blueness, my heart sings with ultimate joy!

Looking back, a year has passed with much to be grateful; and looking ahead, another year is coming with more to be hopeful!

Online Shopping Made Fun

Apparently, I am in a shopping mood lately. How can I not be? The holidays are in the air! In this Internet age, shopping can be at our fingertips. If you are like me who like online shopping, here are a few online stores that I would recommend:

Horchow.com is a site that carries classy and high quality furniture and home accessories. I find products there exquisite with unique style. Browsing through its “online showrooms” is like indulging in art galleries. It’s educational and fun.

I particularly like its accent pieces: the lattice console with hand-applied gold leaf make a bold statement of luxury, and the wraparound chaise lounge with tassels feels cozy and romantic.

Although Horchow.com is affiliated with Neiman Marcus, the prices are not necessarily “needless markup.” In fact, you can get better deals there than elsewhere for the same thing.

If you are more price conscious, Touch of Class is a site worth looking into. It carries nice home products with reasonable prices. The good thing about Touch of Class is that it has products in different styles, such as Victorian, Southwest, Safari, Tuscan, and Asian. So it has something for everyone.

I found its artwork and wall sculptures gorgeous. The tapestries are beautiful and yet affordable. The rugs are well-made with many selections. One of the rugs – the round imperial palace area rug caught my eyes. I bought one for our new home – it turned out to be a glamorous display!

I have been shopping from these two sites for quite a while. Beside the fact that Horchow’s products could take as long as three months to deliver, my experience with both sites is pretty positive.

In this holiday season, if you want to avoid squeezing into crowded shopping malls, why not make online shopping fun?

What A Wonderful World

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you.
I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.
– Louis Armstrong

I came across this song by Louis Armstrong. What a treat to read something like this. I particularly like “The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky, Are also on the faces of people going by.” I can’t help posting it here to remind myself and everyone: what a wonderful world we have!

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