For the Olympics Tian’anmen Square was decorated in giant floral arrangements depicting various scenes of the events

I love China, for all the wrong reasons. Sure, it has one of the world’s greatest cuisines but did you know that ice cream was invented in China or that the Chinese consume more CocaCola than any place else in the world? Put them together and you could make a coke float big enough to plug a black hole. But then again eating everything on your plate is considered a tad rude in China, as it implies your host didn’t serve you enough food. Table manners? Feel free to loudly slurp your soup as it is not considered rude, in fact it is encouraged.

Chinese national pride soared during the Olympics

One of our stops on a recent assignment to China was Shanghai. With an estimated population of over 20 million Shanghai’s astounding recent growth has made it arguably the largest city in the world – but nobody seems to know for sure. It’s uber modern skyline goes on forever and so does the traffic.

Dining at a revolving restaurant gave us amazing views of the Shanghai skyline.

When in foreign countries our goal is always to get into someone’s home for an authentic peak at the local lifestyle. This assignment called for just that. We shot cooking scenes as well as calligraphy and sports with this woman's lovely Chinese family.

I learn dumpling making from a Beijing housewife on a photoshoot. I have the best job in the world!

Chinese fast food - fried scorpions on a stick. The food can be very strange for Westerners.

Wangfujing Street, also known as Snack Street in Beijing is very popular with locals who dine on exotic dishes like boiled sheep’s head, spiced starfish on a stick and sauted eel.

Outside our hotel window in Yantai, China there was a fabulous dancing water and laser light show, ala Las Vegas. How could we sleep with that kind of entertainment going on?

Chris shoots me in the traditional stand-at-attention pose favored by Chinese tourists in front of the Temple of Heaven.

If you are a moderate to hard core shopper, a trip to China will literally pay for itself in bargain prices. Sure, some of the stuff you see (OK, most of it) will be knock offs, but in many cases the quality is still very good, so why not? Just be sure to make a careful quality inspection before you buy.

Before you go, study bargaining skills.
Be prepared for an INTENSE experience in The Silk Market: