Lisa Liang

China Instructor

B.A. in English and Chinese, UCLA
M.S. in Journalism, Columbia University

Lisa was brought up on generous helpings of salt water and sunshine on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. This American-­born, California-­bred only daughter of Taiwanese immigrants was raised to believe it was quite alright to be chasing after her big brother, climbing trees and boogie boarding, and sprouting a face full of freckles. Some of her most profound memories are as an 8 year old, whale watching near Catalina Island and camping under the stars of the Mojave Desert, and then later as an adolescent, exploring the Saratoga Hills and meeting the redwood trees of Muir Woods.

Lisa’s first encounter with China occurred in 2005, when she was a young adult traversing between college and graduate school. She vowed to return, and did so after completing her masters and a brief stint in Taiwan as a Fulbright Scholar. In 2007, she moved to Beijing and took up managing the city’s most influential English­ language magazine in the midst of one of the most important events in modern China’s history, the 2008 Olympics.

In the wake of such a momentous occasion, Lisa decided it was time to leave the big city behind to rediscover the merits of transcendentalism, doing so in Dali, Yunnan. In the three years that followed, Lisa worked as a freelance journalist, translator, music festival organizer, designer, illustrator, piano player, cafe manager and cookie baker, among other things. Later, Lisa moved to Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan, to set up an all-natural, organic foods company, Yunnan Naturals.

After a few years in the city, Lisa retreated back to the countryside and now lives on the outskirts of Lijiang Old Town with her husband and two dogs, Django and Beast.