Panda Writers


Robert Linnet
Born in Denver, CO, Robert received his B.A. in Linguistics from the nearby University of Colorado. After growing up admiring ancient Taoist philosophies and the furious fists of Bruce Lee and Gordon Liu, he came to China in 2009 for a summer stint at a martial arts school and a month of travel. Utterly smitten with the country and the language, he hurried back in the summer of 2010 and has made it his home ever since. Robert has traveled to more than 15 cities throughout China (the list is ever growing), practices kettlebell and Baji Chuan kung fu, loves watching the Broncos, and is obsessed with adding to the thousands of Chinese characters he currently reads and writes. Though he resides in Beijing, he recently made a trip to his girlfriend Chen Chen’s hometown of Xi’an to marry her. Robert speaks fluent Mandarin and French and is working on adding Shaanxi Hua (the dialect of Chen Chen’s hometown, Xi’an) to the list.

Trey Archer
Trey Archer is from Lake Charles, Louisiana and studied International Affairs at the George Washington University. While backpacking Latin America in 2007, he declared while hitchhiking by boat from Colombia to Panama that he’d pursue a career in travel writing after graduation instead of entering the world of diplomacy. Since then he has traveled to nearly 100 countries, speaks Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin fluently, and has lived in nine different nations. In his free time he practices muay Thai, cycles and is still obsessed with traveling. Trey has been in China for six years and has lived all over the country, but now he resides in the hutongs of Beijing.

Mitchell Blatt
Mitchell grew up in Cleveland, OH and graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in journalism. He has written about music, sports, travel and culture. Since he began studying Chinese, he has become obsessed with Chinese culture and travel, and has visited over 13 provinces and plans to visit many more. In 2013, he moved to Dali, Yunnan, and launched the travel guide When he's not writing, he enjoys singing karaoke, doing "ganbei's" with friends and strangers, attending punk concerts, and getting lost in the alleyways of ancient cities.

Arthur Tanny
Arthur was raised in the clean streets of Savannah Georgia. After graduating with a Bachelors’ degree in English Literature and Philosophy, Arthur found himself with the ho-hum job of managing a hotel. Tired of watching the world move around him, he decided to seize the sage advice given to him by an old Art History professor. Experience is life’s greatest teacher, and what better way to do that then by traveling. After six years in Asia, Arthur has managed to pick up a bit of Korean and reads enough Chinese to muddle through a newspaper. Nowadays, Arthur stays on the lookout for a good adventure motivated mostly by his desire to try as many of China’s delicious dishes as possible.

Grant Dou
Grant was born in Jiangsu Province and spent the first 30 years of his life in China. After receiving a PhD in Hydraulic Structural Engineering and teaching as a college professor, he moved to Toronto in 2002 to become a successful writer and publisher. Since then he has lived and traveled throughout North America, China and other Asian cities, so much that he often thinks with a western mind and sees through local eyes. Grant recently moved back to China and currently resides in Beijing with his lovely wife; though he still experiences bits of reverse culture shock every once in a while.

Triston Brewer
Born in Dallas, Texas, Triston moved to Europe over ten years ago, working as a performance artist and writer in several countries. Fluent in German, Spanish, and Dutch, he has lived in the cities of Barcelona, Berlin and Istanbul just to name a few. He has been published in The Huffington Post, Trespass (London) and Adaras Magazine (Miami), and has been featured in publications such as the New York Times, Vogue Italia, Turkish Huriyet and other on-line and international print magazines. He recently released his first novel on life abroad, and currently he is working on his next novel while living in Hong Kong.

Brendan P. O' Reilly
Brendan P. O' Reilly was born and raised in Seattle. He graduated with a B.A in the combined study of Political Science, Philosophy, and Economics from Western Washington University in 2008, and then promptly began traveling the world. After living for a year as a volunteer in Kolkata and a street musician in New Zealand, Brendan decided to settle down into a career as an educator. He taught English at Jiujiang University in China for three years.Since 2012, Brendan has been working for the Hong Kong-based Asia Times (China's domestic and foreign policy are the main topics of his reporting and analysis) and he has written over three dozen articles for them. Brendan is conversational and literate in Mandarin, and he lives with his wife and son in the coastal city Xiamen, China, where he continues to work as a writer and educator.

Richard Trombly
Richard Trombly is an American writer from western Massachusetts that has been living in China since 2003, dividing his time between Beijing and Shanghai. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts and pursued a career as a journalist and editor, and has written for numerous publications and news sources since. During his time in China, Trombly has traveled to many destinations in China, including a bicycle tour of several provinces and hiking trips to some of the remotest places in the country. Trombly is also a film maker that has produced some documentary films about China and other destinations in Asia.

Jefferson Mendoza
Jefferson was born in the Philippines but moved to Montreal, Canada when he was five years old. He is fluent in English, French and Filipino, and he studied broadcast journalism at Concordia University. After graduation, he decided to move to Asia to embark on a new adventure to discover the continent of his ancestors. He first lived in South Korea, followed by a stint in Japan, but now he has been living in Guangzhou, China ever since. Jefferson wears many hats: writer, teacher and a video journalist, producing web videos focusing on the arts and culture through a Westerner’s perspective. During his free time, Jefferson is seen reading a book or having a coffee break with his friends.

Natalie Manning
Natalie Manning is from the United Kingdom and has a Bachelors Degree in French and Spanish. After graduating, Natalie became a successful Marketing and PR Director which inspired her love for creative writing. Natalie’s passion for languages, travel and the arts has taken her to many European destinations and in 2008 she moved to Hangzhou, China, where for the last five years she has traveled extensively, visiting numerous countries in Asia. Now fluent in Mandarin and with two young children, Natalie’s continued passion for writing has enabled her to start a children’s book as well as set up her own communications company.

Emily Umhoefer
Emily Umhoefer is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin native who arrived in Beijing two years ago after a stint as a staffer on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. As a writer, she’s worked on everything from nonfiction political bestsellers to poems and press releases and now, this guide. Having worked as a wilderness trip leader in Tanzania, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Colorado, Emily loves the outdoors, and on a beautiful summer day you’ll find her exploring Beijing by bike and joining the old men in Speedos to take a dip in Houhai.

Ansel Klusmire

Ansel Klusmire grew up in Colorado, Montana and Bishop, California, went to university in New York, rolled around a bit in Tucson, Arizona, and then moved to China in a dubious bid to make something of the four years he spent learning Mandarin in college. He’s lived in Shanghai for two years now and has spent his time working for odd bosses at strange jobs while continuing to study Chinese language and culture on his own and at a leisurely pace. He enjoys reading and writing and would enjoy some time alone in the wilderness if he could find out where it is.

Sam Gusway
Sam Gusway first came to Shanghai from Canada in 2006, and quickly left the world of English teaching behind in favor of more creative pursuits. His time in Asia has been rewarding, allowing him to try new foods, new music, new lifestyles and meet people from all around the world. Always on the lookout for the next newadventure, he tries to live his life as an endless voyage of romance and experience.

Aaron Fox-Lerner
Aaron Fox-Lerner was born in the United States and taught English for four years, first in Taiwan and then in Beijing. He currently lives in Beijing, where he works as a professional writer and editor.

David Bulger
Dave was born in Montreal, Canada and received a BA in English Literature and one in History with a focus on Asia. He is fluent in French, Spanish, Japanese, and is currently working on his Mandarin. After a semi-professional music career in Canada, Dave moved to Japan to teach English. With more than 7 years teaching experience under his belt, he moved to China in 2012 and is currently lives Xi’an where he is still teaching English, playing music as well as assisting in the promotion of wine culture.

Matt Fox
Hailing from Leeds in the UK, Matt is a writer who spends most of his time trying to get the words in the right order. He has lived and worked in multiple continents, applying the gritty practical skills of his Art History degree to real world problems. After six years or so in various corners of China, the diesel-drenched air of Paris provided wholesome respite for the lungs. He is now back in Beijing. Wearing a mask. Fluent in English, he enjoys most of the things everybody else does.

Owen Daniel
Raised along the UK’s sunny south coast, Owen Daniel has been a journalist, marketer and web specialist for over a decade. After studying journalism in Brighton, he became Editor at Clubbing UK before jetting off to Egypt for seven rain-free years. Whilst keeping himself busy marketing for one of the world’s most famous music brands, he contributed to a number of publications throughout the country as well as maintaining the groups’ six websites. He has an advanced knowledge of SEO and has secured Page One of Google for a wide variety of search terms across many different sites.

Joe Nicolai
As well as working at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (Canada’s top think tank on Asia), Joe has been a regular at the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations conferences and has received an award for his analysis work on China from the illustrious Fraser Institute. He’s currently wrapping up his two-year policy analysis project which looks at over 40 years of the UNESCO World Heritage Center and China tourism-related official documents.


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