The Mosuo, a special minority group in China

Visit a world where everything is different. A world with a unique and fascinating culture where women have the power. Visiting the ethnic minority group the Mosuo will make your China travel very special. Explore the lifestyle of the Mosuo and get a unique cultural experience. In recent years the Mosuo culture has attracted a […]

Visit a world where everything is different. A world with a unique and fascinating culture where women have the power. Visiting the ethnic minority group the Mosuo will make your China travel very special. Explore the lifestyle of the Mosuo and get a unique cultural experience.

In recent years the Mosuo culture has attracted a lot of interest especially because of their special lifestyle where women take over the main role in the family. The Mosuo have a population of 40’000 people and live high in the Himalayas in the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces close to the Tibetan border in small towns and villages. They are said to belong to the Naxi minority group but actually they are an own group with a different language, culture and religion. The Mosuo practice their own religion called “Daba” in which they also integrated Tibetan Buddhism.

It is not much known about the origins of the Mosuo culture as the Mosuo don’t have a written language. Therefore there history has passed down orally from generation to generation and consists of a lot of hypotheses. Some consider the Mosuo to be native to the Yunnan and Sichuan area and others trace their origins back to Mongolia.

The economy of the Mosuo is mainly agrarian. They are capable of producing most of their daily needs by themselves. The main part of the work on the fields and in the households is done by women, who in the Mosuo culture have a high status. A woman is always the head, called”Ah mi”, of the household and therefore has the absolute power. The Ah mi manages the money and jobs of each family member and decides the fate of all those living under her roof. But the Mosuo men have important roles too. They are in charge of livestock and fishing and they deal with the slaughter of livestock. Also a funeral is the domain of men as they make all funeral arrangements. Moreover it is the only time men prepare food for family and guests. Usually every family in the village will send at least one male to help with the preparations.

The living-together of the Mosuo is the most famous aspect of their culture as they practice so called “walking marriages”. The Mosuo live in a large family with many generations together in the same house. Everyone live in communal quarters without private bedrooms. Only women who are old enough to invite male visitors will get their own room. When a woman is interested in a man she will invite him to come and spend the night with her. Such a pairing is kept in secret. Therefore the man will come late at night and leave early the next morning. It is possible for a woman to change partners as often she likes but few Mosuo women will have more than one partner at a time and some of these pairings will last for a lifetime. If long-term or not, the man will never go to live with the woman’s family. Each stays at his/her family and remains a member to that family. If a child is born it automatically belongs to the family of the women. The whole family will raise and educate the child and the uncle’s will take over the father role.

This system is very different from other systems but it has been proved that this family structure is extremely stable. Divorces, splitting of property and child custody questions never come up. Also there is no preference for a specific gender as everyone stays in his family.

However, recently the Mosuo society is changing quickly. With better roads and transportation and Television, young Mosuo got access to the outside world. More and more men and women leave their villages and find employment in neighboring cities. Also tourism affects daily life of the Mosuo. Lot of tourists come to the Lugu Lake to experience the Mosuo culture. This brings the Mosuo an additional income but also brings the trend of a western lifestyle also in terms of marriage. Until now it is still unclear how far this trend will go and if it will affect the traditional values of the Mosuo.

This culture is still fascination and definitely worth to explore. There visit the Lugu Lake and get a very special cultural experience!

 

Feel the ancient China in Zhujiayu

You want to find a place to get in touch with nature and find some tranquility? Moreover you want to find the ancient China and see some historic buildings? Then the village Zhujiayu is the right place for you to visit while travelling in China. Take a flight to Jinan and from there take the […]

You want to find a place to get in touch with nature and find some tranquility? Moreover you want to find the ancient China and see some historic buildings? Then the village Zhujiayu is the right place for you to visit while travelling in China. Take a flight to Jinan and from there take the bus to reach the village for a day trip.

Zhujiayu is a village located in Shandong Province about 45km away from Jinan. It has a population of only about 2000 people and is known for the preservation of its historical buildings from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. These buildings are mostly built from stones and rocks from the nearby mountains the village is surrounded by. There are about 300 residential houses, temples, bridges, pavilions and courtyards surrounded by forests and flower fields.

The village is divided into an old and a new part. The parts are encircled by an ancient wall built with rocks. Walking through the old village makes one feel like being back in ancient times. Moreover in the village one can find more than 90 stone bridges that have been built during the past centuries. Each bridge has its different style and design. The most outstanding bridge is the Zhaojia Bridge from the Qing Dynasty. This bridge is well-preserved and is composed of two levels of roads, one on top of the other.

Additionally the village has two temples. It is said that the temples were built in the late Qing Dynasty. These temples are very special. Apart from other temples which are places for worshipping the god of wealth or the goddess of mercy, these two temples worship the gods of literature in Chinese mythology.  For a long time, education has been valued in Zhujiayu. This can be seen from the number of old-style private schools in the village. There used to be about 17 schools and also here was the first female-only school in Shangdong province. One of the old-style private schools of the Qing Dynasty still exists in the village. Some parts remain still in good conditions other parts such as the store room for books looks dilapidated.

On the wall hangs a tablet inscribed by the emperor to praise the talents of the tutor Zhu Fengyin. He was rated as a successful candidate at an imperial examination during the reign of the Qing emperor of Guangxu.  Today the 94 year old granddaughter-in-law of Zhu Fengyin still lives in the simple house. Although her son tried to persuade her living in the city with the family, she prefers the village life. In the village it is the elderly generation that leads a traditional lifestyle.  Most young and middle-aged people have moved to the big cities.

Nowadays there are not many historical villages left. Most have given way to modernization. However Zhujiayu with his labyrinth of narrow streets and ancient buildings still shows an image of ancient China.  In 2005 the Village was rated as one of the 24 Famous Chinese Historical and Cultural Villages by the Chinese government. The village is famous for its natural and traditional appearance and therefore has become a popular set for more than 20 movies and soap operas. Moreover a museum has been built to show the history, culture and anecdotes of the village.

Come to this nice village and feel the spirit of the ancient China. It will make your China travel very special!

 

Winner Announcement of Win a Free Day Tour Contest

On August 22, 2013, in Activities, Beijing, Great Wall, by Sandy Li

Our contest “Win a Free Day Tour” is now closed. We are happy that many people from America, Australia,Germany and many other countries joined in the contest. We appreciate you support. Selected from 963 participants we found a winner who will enjoy the Hiking Cross the Wild Great Wall One Day Tour with her friend […]

Our contest “Win a Free Day Tour” is now closed. We are happy that many people from America, Australia,Germany and many other countries joined in the contest. We appreciate you support. Selected from 963 participants we found a winner who will enjoy the Hiking Cross the Wild Great Wall One Day Tour with her friend on Sep 8. 

                          The Winner of the Free Day Tour Contest is:

                                                                                                                  Michela from Italy

 winner

On this trip they will explore the authentic Great Wall during the day in a less crowded day. This 5 hours hiking tour will bring a healthy and enjoyable experience of an unique and interesting part of China’s greatest architecture-the Great Wall. At night, they will have the chance to enjoy the view of the Bird Nest & the Water Cube and take some great pictures.

 Action is better than excitement. The contest will be continued and we look forward to your participation. Maybe you will be the lucky winner next time.

 More online activities are waiting for you to participate:

http://www.chinatraveldepot.com/InboundTourHtml/Campaigns.aspx

 

 

Basha, the last gunmen tribe in China

Are you interested in the special culture and traditional lifestyle of the Miao ethnic group? In the mountains of the Guizhou province in the southwest of China still lives a unique and ancient tribe of the Miao. The Tribe is called “Basha” and is the last remaining gunmen tribe in China. Don’t hesitate and book […]

Are you interested in the special culture and traditional lifestyle of the Miao ethnic group? In the mountains of the Guizhou province in the southwest of China still lives a unique and ancient tribe of the Miao. The Tribe is called “Basha” and is the last remaining gunmen tribe in China. Don’t hesitate and book a flight to get a cultural insight in the life of the Basha people.

A Legend says that the ancestors or the Basha tribe immigrated to the isolated mountain area over 2000 years ago. Today it is almost unbelievable that there still exists a tribe in China where the lifestyle is very ancient.

However this tribe exists. About 2000-3000 men and women still live in more than 400 wooden households, practice centuries-old customs and hold unique beliefs. Moreover the Basha tribe is the only group in China that is permitted to carry guns. Therefore the tribe often is called the last gunmen tribe in China. At this place ancient culture is most completely protected. The group also quite differs from other Miao ethnic groups especially in terms of clothing and daily life.

The men of the Basha tribe are dressed like ancient warriors. They have 7 items they are wearing every day: guns, wine bottle, curved knife, tobacco pipe, gunpowder contained within guard-shaped container, wallet and flower bag. Also the hairstyle is unique. Same as the men in Qing Dynasty the Basha men wear their hair in Braids. The hair on the head is mostly shaved except in the middle, where it is twisted and knotted. This is a symbol of power and masculinity. Boys between the ages of seven and fifteen have to take part in a shaving ceremony. The tribe leader shaves all off the boy’s hair except for the central part, which is then knotted. At the age of fifteen they boys will also get a hunting rifle. This is the sign that they have become an adult.

The Basha people believe that the buns on their heads represent trees and the purple clothe they wear represent bark. Basha people worship trees as gods. Whenever a baby is born, a tree will be planted.  When the person dies the tree will be cut down to make a coffin. However cut down ancient trees is forbidden in the village nowadays.

The Basha people lived there traditional life for a long time isolated from the rest of the world. There were no good roads that lead to the next city. Therefore only a few people came to the city and also few people went outside the city as nothing was needed from the outside. When the Basha attracted first visitors new roads were build and more and more tourists came to see the life of the Basha. Today it has become a tourist attraction and the tourism has become part of daily life.

The local government supports each family with 1000RMB per month, therefore the life of the Basha improved a lot. Due to today’s connection to the outside a lot of young Basha people move to the cities to get a good job.

Besides become a touristic place the Basha still live their traditional life and if you are interested to see it you should definitely visit them while you travel in China. The Basha men will welcome you with a gunshot in the air and show you their traditional dances.

 

Festivals in Shandong during Aug and Sep

Would you like to travel to Shandong during August and September? Except for the picturesque nature landscape and rich cultural landscape, you may want something for fun or something you can learn from it by join in it. With the Qingdao beer festival reaching to its climaxs, let’s have a look at other activities you […]

Would you like to travel to Shandong during August and September? Except for the picturesque nature landscape and rich cultural landscape, you may want something for fun or something you can learn from it by join in it. With the Qingdao beer festival reaching to its climaxs, let’s have a look at other activities you cannot miss during you Shandong tour between Aug and Sep.

Qufu Confucius Study Tour FestivalQufu Confucius Study Tour Festival

Confucius study tour festival is an activity about the Confucian culture, informative and entertaining. In the festival you can worship Confucius in Confucian temple or Confucian Cemetery, and you can also visit a class at Nishan Academy. Through handwriting, shooting, song and dance watching, classical music appreciating, you will deepen understand the Confucian culture. Through cultural activities like, cooking pancake, weaving, dough modeling, you will experience folk customs of ancient Lu country. In the evening you can have Confucius Family Mansion’s meal and enjoy the delicious food. In old ages of China, scholars learnt things through traveling. If you want to learn the Confucian culture and know more about China, start the study tour with us.

Date: July 9 2013-Sep 10 2013

Other Scenery in Qufu: Shao haoling Shimen Mountain

Daming Lake Lotus Arts Festival

Daming Lake Lotus Arts FestvalYou can see many kinds of lotus and attend various activities in Daming Lake Lotus Arts Festival. There are 5 groups of lotus theme parterre, 1500 pots of lotus in the scenery, and 20 groups of flowers with colour direction flowerpots in the square. The flowers and flowerpots are well matched which make the flowers more attractive. By the way, 300 hydrophytes, 500 green plants, 50 thousands other plants will be set. There are 12 pieces of display board about lotus. Famous people will make poems of lotus. Lotus introduction and food related to lotus will be contented in the festival. At this time, the green lotus has reached its full blossom stage. The green lotus has huge and white flowers and it has high ornamental value. The two tone lotus is blossoming which is very beautiful and unique. The imported blossoming rare candock is remarkable in the scenery, colourful and fragrant. Surrounded by the candock, the Victoria amazonica has also reached its full blossom stage, with huge flowers which can change colour everyday, making tourist surprise. Moreover, the 14th Jinan dragon boat competition will be held in Daming Lake, and you can also watch it in the festival.

Date: July 13 2013-Aug 31 2013

Other Scenery in Jinan: Bao Tu Spring Thousand Buddha Mountain

Kenli He Family Grape Culture Tourism FestivalKenli He Family Grape Festival

Kenli He family grape culture tourism festival has been held for 6 sessions from 2007, in He Family green ecological tourism park. It has received 500 thousands people. Tourist will participate in paint exhibition, bicycle tourism, wine and fruits tasting, and grapes picking in He family green ecological tourism park. You can enjoy the rurality as much as you like, and enjoy yourself by picking grapes. He Family has unique grape. Strolling in the path of the grape garden you would feel the joy in pastoral area and smell the aroma of grapes.

Date: Aug 17 2013-Oct 17 2013

Other Scenery in Dongying (Kenli is in Dongying) : Dongying Swan Lake Yellow River Delta Wetland

Take you package and go to travel in the beautiful autumn.

 

Jinan, Shandong Province

Come to visit a historical and very interesting city which is famous for its numerous relics! Jinan in Shandong Province is a city you shouldn’t miss when travelling in China. Book your flight now and visit the capital city of Shandong Province! Jinan is located in the Midwest of Shandong Province and functions as a […]

Come to visit a historical and very interesting city which is famous for its numerous relics! Jinan in Shandong Province is a city you shouldn’t miss when travelling in China. Book your flight now and visit the capital city of Shandong Province!

Jinan is located in the Midwest of Shandong Province and functions as a traffic junction to many worthwhile attractions in the Province. But also the city itself has a lot to offer. Known as the “City of Springs” it is especially popular for the around 72 springs that scatter throughout the city.

With a history of around 2000 years, Jinan is a very historical city. Here you can find a great deal of relics, for example the cradle of the Longshan Relic Culture, the reputed prehistoric culture of China. Moreover you can see the ancient Great Wall of the Qi State (770BC-221BC), the colored sculptures of the Song Dynasty and many more. And if you stay in China while a festival takes place, Jinan is the right place to visit. Especially the Lantern Festival in the Baotu Spring Park or the Double-Nine Festival on the Thousand-Buddha Mountain is great to see.

A lot of people say that Jinan’s natural beauty is not that special but the warmth of the local people makes the city very glamorous. The city is very hospitable and also Marco Polo, who once visited the city, praised it very much. Besides the numerous springs, that definitely are the highlights of Jinan, there are other attractions worth to see. Very interesting is the Li Qingzhao Memorial Hall. Li Qingzhao (1084-1151) was a famous woman poet in the Song Dynasty. She was born in Jinan. Besides being a poet she also was a calligrapher and painter.  In the Baotu Spring Park lays her memorial hall which was built in 1956. Here you can find a lot of her works and also her portrait. One of the paintings named “Snow and Wind in Jinan” portrays Li’s love for her country and her hate for the treacherous high officials in the Southern Song’s imperial court.

Near the Memorial Hall there you can also find her former residence. Wandering around the Memorial Hall in the Baotu Spring Park especially with warm and sunny weather is also very nice. You can sit and watch the people or you can have a drink in one of the restaurants directly by the lake. The Park is the most famous one in Jinan. Here is the Baotu Spring which is part of a cluster of about 20 named springs.

Another worthy place to see is the Thousand-Buddha Mountain (Qianfo Shan). It is a scenic destination for the Buddhism Culture. Since the Chinese Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the temple fair is held on the mountain on the ninth day of the ninth Chinese lunar month.

Also you can visit the Shandong provincial museum which features around 8000 specimens, 100000 historical relics and a collection of 120000 books. Or you wander around the Daming Lake Park which is regarded as one of the three must-sees scenic spot in Jinan together with the Baotu Spring Park and the Thousand-Buddha Mountain. It is a natural lake formed by many springs.

Jinan is not a very touristic city as it is not yet that popular. But it has a lot to offer. If you like to visit a beautiful place that is not that crowed with many tourists yet, you should definitely visit Jinan when travelling in China.

 

Xiahe, a great cultural place to visit

Do you like Buddhist Culture? Do you want to find some quiet and cultural places? Then you should definitely visit Xiahe in Gansu Province. I visited the place early China this year during my travel in China and it was a very special cultural experience. My friends and I took the bus from Xining, Qinghai […]

Do you like Buddhist Culture? Do you want to find some quiet and cultural places? Then you should definitely visit Xiahe in Gansu Province. I visited the place early China this year during my travel in China and it was a very special cultural experience.

My friends and I took the bus from Xining, Qinghai Province to Xiahe. The roads are not in a good state but the bus drivers are very experienced and we arrived safe in Xiahe. It is also possible to get there out of Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu Province. However it is only possible to go by bus or car to Xiahe as there is neither an airport nor a train station.

The Xiahe area was long part of the Tibetan region of Amdo. Therefore Xiahe’s population is 50 % Tibetan, 40 % Han and 10 % Hui. The Labrang Monastery shows the division between the eastern quarter of the mainly Han and Hui Chinese and the Tibetan village to the west.

There are a lot of visitors that come to Xiahe such as backpackers, students, wanderers etc. However most of the visitors are rural Tibetans, who come to this place to pray, prostrate themselves and seek spiritual fulfillment at the holy Labrang Monastery and on the pilgrim path.

The Labrang Monastery was founded in 1709 and it is said that it is the third in the Tibetan world. Once over 4000 monks lived here. Today there are about 1800 monks living in the Monastery. In addition to the prayer halls, living quaters of the monks and chapels, the Monastery is also home to six institutes, which explore esoteric Buddhism, medicine, theology, astrology and law.

The Monastery is surrounded by a pilgrim path which is called “kora”. The kora is over 3 kilometers long and is walked by a lot of pilgrims throughout the year. The pilgrims mainly are from Amdo and they are wearing the traditional red blanket-coat. The kora is flanked by hundreds of prayer wheels which are rotated by the pilgrims who walk the path clockwise as custom requires. Walking the pilgrim path is a good way to explore the Monastery and also gives you a great cultural experience.

The Labrang Monastery and the pilgrim path are always full of life. Monks are walking everywhere, pilgrims going on the pilgrim’s route, few tourists make pictures and sometimes you even can see young monks playing football. Although the Monastery is separated from Xiahe downtown, the monks of all ages can also be seen walking through the city.

We also visited the Labrang Monastery and then walked a part on the pilgrim path. The hundreds of prayer wheels with pilgrims rotating them looked amazing and made the atmosphere very special. While walking it silent and you have time to think and go into yourself. The scenery which you get to see while walking on the path is stunning as the city of Xiahe is surrounded by mountains.

 

 

 

So if you are interested in Buddhism and a quiet, nice and small place you should definitely visit Xiahe while you are travelling in China.

 

Yantai the wonderland

On August 15, 2013, in Ancient Houses & Courtyards, Entertainment, Festivals, Shandong, Tips & Ideas, by Sandy Li

When being asked which place you would like to visit, maybe you will answer that you want to visit a place with golden sand and blue sea, or a place with a centuries-old history. A place with magnificent architectures or a place with various cultures. Have you ever imagined that there could be one place […]

YantaiWhen being asked which place you would like to visit, maybe you will answer that you want to visit a place with golden sand and blue sea, or a place with a centuries-old history. A place with magnificent architectures or a place with various cultures. Have you ever imagined that there could be one place that contains everything you want? Yantai will be the one.

 

Located in the east of Shandong Peninsula, Yantai borders to the cities Qingdao and Weihai to the southwest and east and adjoins the city Weifang to the west, abutting on Bohai Sea and Huanghai Sea to the north. Yantai and Liaodong Peninsula are facing each other and just across the sea is Dalian. Located 119°34′E~121°57′E, 36°16′N~38°23′N and influenced by Ocean climate, the city has a mild weather. It will not be too cold in winter and not too hot in summer. The city possesses a total area of 13,000 square km, with 909 km coastal line and 600,000 hectares zone possible for development. With its mountains and water the natural beauty is superlative.

Where to go when being in Yantai

Nanshan Scenic Area

Located in Lu mountain of Longkou, Nanshan is a spot with incredible natural beauty.

Many of the cultural attractions such as Nanshan Temple, Nanshan Buddha, Xiangshui Temple, Lingyuan Temple, Wenfeng Temple and so on remain from ancient China. Built at the side of the mountain, the pavilions and pagodas are simple and refined and the forests and rivers are spectacular. The biggest statue in the world of Buddha can also be found in the Nanshan Scenic Spot, with 28.66 meters in height and is 380 tons in weight. The spot also contains an international golf course and other places for entertainment. It concludes tourism, entertainment, catering and business in one.

Penglai pagoda Penglai Pagoda

The Penglai pagoda on the top of the Dan cliff is one of the four most famous temples in China. Standing on Penglai pagoda, you can see the picturesque view of Huanghai and Bohai. Beside the scenery it has rich culture too. It is known as the landing place of the Eight Immortals and famous for its occasional mirage. Penglai Water City located east to Dan cliff was built in Song Dynasty. It is the fortification of Song. One reason why Yantai is called wonderland is because of Penglai’s ancient times where it is said that a mirage appeared very often there.

Mou’s Manor

Mou’s Manor is the house of Mou’s family. It is located in Beigu Xixia. It’s the largest, best-preserved and most quintessential house in China. It’s a rarity in traditional architecture in China. It was firstly constructed during the Yongzheng Period of Qing Dynasty. After one hundred-year’s expansion, it now covers an area of 20,000 square meters with over 480 rooms.  It reflects historic culture, architectural culture and social culture of ancient China.

Hometown of Fruits

Yantai is the “Hometown of Fruits”. Having developed fruit industry, Yantai is abundant with apple, Laiyang Pear, Pear with long stem, grape, hawthorn, big cherry and Chinese chestnut etc. Yantai is the Key Fruit Export Base in north China and the biggest Red Fuji Apple Production Base, which has 186,700 hectares of top–grade apple orchard.

Hometown of FruitsRevel with food

You must be hungry after visiting so many good places, let’s go to the food Yantai festival together. At the Yantai food festival you can see how the Leisure snacks, traditional Yantai snacks or other famous snacks in the world are made and you can buy them. You can join the food carving or beer drinking competition too. There are performances about food and other entertainment which you can enjoy. Out of 20 different food will be chosen the most popular Yantai food. Come with us and cast you vote.

Date: August 10 2013 – August 18 2013.

 

If you have time you can have a taste of the local life in Yantai. I have been to Yantai for one week. The weather is comfortable and the city is clean. The street is tranquil. When you have leisure time, you can go to the sea side to have a walk. Experience a slower life.

Yantai the wonderland is waiting for you to venture.

 

Short Overview of Shandong Province

Shandong, a province full of history, beautiful landscapes and myths. Here is where Confucius grew up and three centuries later in 219 BC China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huang climbed Shandong’s highest peak to proclaim a unified empire. There is much for you to see here while you travel in China. Come climb the mountains, […]

Shandong, a province full of history, beautiful landscapes and myths. Here is where Confucius grew up and three centuries later in 219 BC China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huang climbed Shandong’s highest peak to proclaim a unified empire. There is much for you to see here while you travel in China. Come climb the mountains, visit the beaches and explore the legacies of kingdoms of old and experience the Chinese culture!

Shandong Province has a long and tumultuous history. In 1898 the Yellow River flooded the entire Shandong plain, capping a decade of floods and droughts. After that a long period of economic depression followed.  Also the Europeans left an impact. Especially the German impact still can be seen today in Qingdao.

After decades of war, the province managed to recover. Today the provincial capital Jinan, the prospering coastal cities of Yantai and Weihai, all play a supporting role to Qingdao, the province’s headliner.

There a lot places worth to visit in this province. Let’s have a closer look to some of them.

Jinan

Jinan is the capital of Shandong Province and acts as a traffic hub to many attractions in the province. It is known as the “City of Springs” and therefore is popular among tourists for its many springs and unique manly Lu Culture.

The city has a history of more than 2000 years and is famous for its numerous relics. You can find here the ancient Great Wall of the Qi State, the colored sculptures of the Song Dynasty in the Lingyan Temple, the Thousand Buddha Mountain and many more.

The city is especially worth visiting during some typical festivals including The Lantern Festival, The Lotus Festival and the Double-Nine Festival. The Double-Nine Festival is celebrated on the Thousand-Buddha Mountain.

Qufu

Qufu is one of the first of 24 famous historical and cultural cities announced by the State Council. Between 770 BC-476 BC it was the capital f the kingdom Lu and also the hometown of the great Chinese philosopher and educator Confucius. Most visitors come to this city to see the places where Confucius lived, studied and was buried.

Confucius still is present in this city. One fifth of Qufu’s residents have the surname Kong and they are all descendants of Confucius. There aren’t any buildings in the city that exceed the Dacheng Hall in order to show respect to Confucius as the Hall is the main hall of the Temple of Confucius

China is a country influenced by Confucianism. If you want to have a deep understanding of China, you should pay the city a visit.

Qingdao

Qingdao which means “Green Island” in Chinese lies at the sea  which makes the city an import port for international trade. Moreover the city has the largest bathing beach in Asia and it attracts many visitors from all over the world. The city has a great deal of European architecture and there are also other sights worth to see like the Old Town (former concession area) with the train and bus station, parks, museums and of course the beaches.

The city is especially famous for its Tsingtao beer which is produced here. And every year there it the International Beer Festival held which attracts people from all over the world.

Taishan

Mount Tai is the leader of the “Five Sacred Mountains”. In ancient times the emperors climbed the mountain to pray to heaven and earth or their ancestors in order to ascend the throne. It was said that 72 emperors of different dynasties made pilgrimages here. Mt. Tai also played an important role in the development of Buddhism and Taoism. Taishan is a natural museum abounding with cultural relics and artworks.

Besides historic relics, this mountain boasts unique natural scenery too. In 1987 it was listed in the World Natural and Cultural Heritage List of UNESCO.

These are just a few places worth to see in this beautiful Province. There are many more to see so take your time to visit Shandong Province during your travel in China.

 

The Giant Rubber Duck comes to Beijing

Have you heard of the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman? Or maybe you have heard about his giant rubber duck that lately floated in the harbor of Hong Kong. This famous duck is now coming to Beijing and will float in the Imperial Summer Palace. If you travel in Beijing you should not miss the opportunity […]

Have you heard of the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman? Or maybe you have heard about his giant rubber duck that lately floated in the harbor of Hong Kong. This famous duck is now coming to Beijing and will float in the Imperial Summer Palace. If you travel in Beijing you should not miss the opportunity to visit the giant rubber duck and the beautiful Summer Palace. You are outside Beijing? No problem! Just take a flight to Beijing and pay the duck a visit!

There has been a great hype among the Giant rubber duck when it floated in Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong from 2 May until 9 June. The duck attracted around 8,000,000 people to the area. As a consequence counterfeit ducks have been sold on Taobao, China’s largest shopping website, which lead to a nationwide appearance of inflated ducks.

Copying in design is a hot topic at the moment in Beijing. Therefore the organizers of Beijing Design Week planed to emphasize problems with copyright in China by exhibiting an original version of the giant Rubber Duck. This case should raise the awareness and sensibility towards intellectual property rights around China.

For some time now it had been decided that the original giant Rubber Duck will come to China. The Dutch conceptual artist Florentijn Hofman had signed an agreement with Beijing Design Week in June to bring an “original” duck to Beijing. Florentijn Hofman has been created super-sized bathtub companions since 2007. His duck has appeared in a lot of cities since that time as such as Sydney, Amsterdam and Sao Paulo.

The yellow Rubber Duck is soft, friendly and suitable for all ages. According to Florentijn Hofman rubber toys should not been politicized. “The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn’t discriminate [against] people and doesn’t have a political connotation,” he writes on his website.

Ever since it was announced that the famous Rubber Duck was coming to Beijing, the question has been: where will it be placed? There where various possibilities such as Houhai, the National Center for the Performing Arts and so on. First it was planned to put the duck somewhere within the 3rd Ring Road. But later it was announced that the duck will probably float outside the 3rd Ring Road in order to not hinder the traffic as a huge amount of visitors are expected. It was unsure for a long time now and Florentijn Hofman himself went to see all the possible places.

Now it finally had been decided! Florentijn Hofman’s giant Rubber Duck will float on Kunming Lake, which is part of the former imperial Summer Palace. It will appear in Beijing from September 16 until October 2013 on the occasion of the Beijing Design Week 2013. Until now it is still unclear how large the duck will be. There are rumors that the duck will be taller than the one showed in Hong Kong which was 16.5 meters tall. Both the committee of Beijing Design Week and the designer Hofman are said to have decided to increase the height of the giant yellow duck.

No matter how tall the duck will be when being presented on September 16, it is definitely worth seeing it! So travel to Beijing and get excited! Spend a relaxing day at the Summer Palace and make pictures with the giant Rubber Duck.

 
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