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Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 19:30

A Book Talk: TRAVELS THROUGH DALI with a leg of ham

Mei Zhang: Founder of WildChina, an award winning travel company based in Beijing

United States Embassy, Residence (this is a different location from the U.S. Embassy)
17 Guang Hua Lu, Chao Yang District



Reservations are valid only upon receipt of a confirmation email from BIS.

BIS events are open to foreign passport holders only.
All BIS events are off-the-record.
Photography, filming and recording are not permitted.

Non-members welcome for a single lecture fee of RMB 60;
students with valid ID RMB 30. 

Membership desk open 7:00 pm for 7:30 pm lecture.

For inquiries on the day of the event, from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm, please call 1324 151 4978.

Zhang Mei always cherished the ham from her native province of Yunnan. Growing up poor on a dam site on one of the provincial rivers, Mei relished the small bits of ham her father would toss in a dish of spicy green peppers and leeks. Over time she learned that true magic of Yunnan ham lies not just in its salty-sweet taste, produced by an intricate curing process, but also in its ability to bring people together to carry on a time-honoured way of life. Now a successful entrepreneur, Mei returns to her childhood home, finds a leg of ham and travels with it through Yunnan's cultural and culinary cradle of Dali. Her edible companion becomes a calling card that takes her into the history and traditions of the region and unveils the unique stories and recipes of those who call it home.

In this book talk, Mei will discuss what inspired her to document this whimsical journey, and share with us a difference perspective on China, the country that we know as our host country and she knows as home.

Zhang Mei is the founder of WildChina. She grew up in the mountains of Dali, Yunnan, and later moved to the United States to complete her graduate studies at Harvard Business School in 1996. After a stint in management consulting at McKinsey & Company, she established WildChina in 2000, which was named the world’s best adventure travel operators China by National Geographic Adventure. Mei has been a Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure Top Travel Specialist several years running. She currently lives in Berkeley California with her husband and three children.