Chen, Piera

Born to a Shanghainese father and a Pekingnese mother in Hong Kong, Piera is a writer, editor and translator, who works in English, thinks in Chinglish and quarrels in Chinese. Her early life was sprinkled with frequent trips to Taiwan and mainland China to visit relatives, and then to the Philippines and Indonesia where her father was working. But it was during her first trip to Europe, at age 15, that dawn broke. She remembers fresh off a chaotic flight on Alitalia, looking around her outside Aeroporto Roma Fiumicino, thinking, ‘I want to be doing this everyday.’

After Europe, America. Piera went to Pomona College where she studied liberal arts (majoring in English literature) for four years, before spending the next ten back home avoiding all contact with a decent and respectable adult life. During this exciting time, she consorted with radicals and mad men, discovered cultural studies, and re-explored Asia, Europe and the Americas on her own.

Multiple experiments and as many trips later, Piera is happily living the life she shunned, as a writer. She’s penned articles on lifestyle and travel, developed advertising copy for everything from mattresses to fund houses, and edited publications on film, culture, and horseracing. Writing for Lonely Planet has allowed her to constantly relive the thrill of arriving at an airport even when there’s none in sight.

Piera divides her time among Hong Kong, Vancouver and Beijing when not on the road.