China enjoys over 5,000 years of amazing achievements in art, technology and philosophy. Although it struggled to retain its Confucian values during the first decades of Communist rule, Confucianism has re-emerged as a major influence in the more progressive 21st century China. Among our favorite parts of China are historical Beijing (and the wall of Mutianyu); dynamic, young Shanghai; Chengdu’s private panda experience; remote Yunnan Province and its compelling minority groups; other-worldly Tibet; and picturesque Yangzi River. Ending in super-charged Hong Kong is a nice East-West transition point before returning to the U.S.
Bev, Zen and I freely admit Japan is our favorite destination in the entire world! Japan is singular among Asian cultures in its amazing ability to assimilate and then synthesize foreign cultures and influences. The contrast between Japan’s orderly, balanced Shinto/Buddhist-centered culture and its hyper-innovative technology-driven economy is compelling.
A big part of our fascination with Japan is its unique wabi-sabi aesthetic. Wabi-sabi is a Japanese worldview/state of mind emphasizing simplicity and purity—the beauty and awe of all things humble, imperfect and unpretentious (a beautiful sunrise, the still morning frost, a graceful Japanese tea ceremony). The critical thing is savoring life’s simple daily pleasures.
Please note our various meticulously-detailed Japan private tour itineraries, based on our family’s many travels to this amazing land.
Korea has a special place in my heart, based on my 13 years working with Korean Air. Despite its Confucian-based social structure, Korea has become a progressive, highly literate 21st century society with 24/7 Seoul being arguably among the most high-energy, wired cities on Earth. Korea has now emerged as a global leader in technology and the auto industry while also dominating Asia’s pop culture music scene.
UTC+8 / UTC+9
Four distinct seasons
Standard Chinese, Cantonese, English, Portuguese, Uyghur, Tibetan, Mongolian, Zhuang, Japanese, Korean