Qufu, the hometown of Confucius

Qufu is located in the southwest of Shangdong Province. Qufu was the capital of the kingdom Lu between 770 BC-476BC. Today the town is especially known as being the hometown of Confucius who was a great thinker and educator as well as the founder of the Confucian School in ancient China. He brought education to […]

Qufu is located in the southwest of Shangdong Province. Qufu was the capital of the kingdom Lu between 770 BC-476BC. Today the town is especially known as being the hometown of Confucius who was a great thinker and educator as well as the founder of the Confucian School in ancient China. He brought education to everyone.  The city ranks as one of the four Holy Cities in China and among westerners it is regarded as the “Oriental Jerusalem”. Famous sites such as the Temple of Confucius, the Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion were listed into the world’s cultural relics in 1994. Anyone interested in Chinese culture should come here!

People from all over the world are attracted by the cultural charm of this city and come here to find out more about Confucius and his teachings. Besides the sightseeing visitors, there are also a great deal of study trips and Chinese descendants from various parts of the World arrive in the city to pay respect and look back into the shared past.

There are no high buildings in this city as local people don’t allow the buildings to be higher than the Dacheng Hall, which is the main hall of the Temple of Confucius. It is their way to show respect to this great philosopher. In Qufu, one fifth of the residents have the surname Kong and they are all Confucius’ descendants.

Here you can find all different kinds of handicrafts. Moreover the very famous Qufu rice is produced here. Besides the rice, the city has other special food to offer such as the Kongfu Pancakes and Toasted Tofu.

Must-see places in Qufu

Confucius Temple

The temple is China’s largest imperial building after the Forbidden city.  After the death of Confusius the Duke of Lu consecrated the simple house of Confucius as a temple. Everything in the house was preserved including books, musical instruments and clothing. The temple therefore is more a museum than an altar.

Confucius Mansion

The Kong Family Mansion is the historical residence of the direct descendents of Confucius. Most of extant structures are built from Ming and Qing Dynasties. Today it is a museum and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu”.  The Mansion is situated to the east side of the temple and covers an area of more than 39.5 acres.

Cementery of Confucius

The Cemetery of Confucius (Kong Lin) located in the north of the city, is the largest clan cemetery in the world. When Confucius was buried, the area of the cemetery was not so large. But with the rising of Confucius’ status, the cemetery was rebuilt and enlarged many times through grants from the emperors who followed. Up to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it reached two square kilometers (494 acres) in area.

If you are interested in Chinese culture you should definitely pay the city a visit as Confucius played an important role in the development of China.

 

Xiamen, the Egrets Island

On September 13, 2013, in Beaches, China Attractions, Cool Places, Islands, Must-sees, Nature Scenery, Other Regions, by Jack Li

Visit one of China’s most attractive cities – Xiamen! This beautiful coastal city is known for its scenery and tree-lined beaches.  Especially nature lovers will enjoy Xiamen’s Botanical Garden and the vehicle free atmosphere on the neighboring island Gulangyu. Lot of Chinese travel to Xiamen and spend some days in the city. There are direct […]

Visit one of China’s most attractive cities – Xiamen! This beautiful coastal city is known for its scenery and tree-lined beaches.  Especially nature lovers will enjoy Xiamen’s Botanical Garden and the vehicle free atmosphere on the neighboring island Gulangyu. Lot of Chinese travel to Xiamen and spend some days in the city. There are direct flights to Xiamen from all the main airports in China.

Xiamen is located in Fujian Province at the southeast coast of China not far away from Taiwan. The city is also called “Egrets Island” as there can be found many Egrets, which have beautiful snow-white feathers, in Xiamen.  Xiamen is one of the forerunners of the special economic zones in China especially due the fresh air, the beautiful natural scenery and the clean environment of the city.

As the city is the hometown of many overseas Chinese, it has benefited from their contribution and Xiamen’s economy has undertaken great advancement. There is a good infrastructure and a great variety of entertainment centers also in order to promote the tourism industry. Here you can find islands, mountains temples and parks as well as varied local festivals and special local dishes.

Must-see attractions

Gulangyu Island

Gulangyu is the top attraction of Xiamen and can be reached by ferry. On this Island you will feel like being in a fairyland especially as it is free from vehicles.  At the same time it is a huge exhibition of different style buildings, including the pinnacle of gothic, the cylinder of Rome and the relief of Baroque. Here you find historical sites as well as famous scenic spots of seashore. Wandering through the streets and sitting in one of the many coffee shops will be very relaxing.

Hulishan Fortress

Xiamen was an ancient battlefield where its people resisted imperial aggressors, and it played an important role in resisting foreign aggressors. The Hulishan Fortress was built in the Qing Dynasty and remains to be the eldest and largest seashore barbette in 19 century. The structure is a combination of a European style and a style from the Ming and Qing Dynasty. The Fortress displays more than 50 iron cannons from the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty, unearthed from the Xiamen waters and the building site of capital construction. Here you can also find a museum which was built in 1997. The exhibition includes, with a length of 11 cm and a diameter of 2.4 cm, the smallest cannon in the world

Nanputuo Temple

The Nanputuo Temple was build in Tang Dynasty. It is the Buddhist sacred land of South Fujian. The temple faces the sea while the mountain is at its back. In the first hall you can find the smiling Maitreya Buddha, with the four heavenly kings standing on both sides. However, the most precious articles of the temple are the Saddharma-pundarika-sutra written with someone’s own blood in Ming Dynasty and the Avalokitesvara statue made of ceramic white ware. Additionally the vegetable dishes of the temple are very famous around the world because of their pure and elegant taste.

Book your tour now and visit the wonderful Xiamen!

 

Mid-Autumn Festival

On September 10, 2013, in China Attractions, Cultural Experience, Ethnic Group Flavors, Festivals, by Jack Li

Have you already heard of the Moon Festival or the Mid-autumn Festival? Together with the Spring Festival (The Chinese New Year) it is one of the two most important occasions in the Chinese calendar. Therefore it is an official holiday where a lot of Chinese will travel home to their families. Visit some special places […]

Have you already heard of the Moon Festival or the Mid-autumn Festival? Together with the Spring Festival (The Chinese New Year) it is one of the two most important occasions in the Chinese calendar. Therefore it is an official holiday where a lot of Chinese will travel home to their families. Visit some special places while you travel in China and taste the traditional Moon cakes to get a special cultural experience.

The Moon Festival takes place at the 15th day of the eighth Chinese Lunar month as during that time the moon is at its fullest and brightest. Therefore in 2013 the festival will take place on September 19. Most of the Chinese will have 3 days holidays and therefore will visit their families as the festival is a time for families to be together, appreciate the spectacular beauty of the full moon and taste the traditional moon cake. The cake is round and is a symbol for reunion. There are different flavors available and people present them to relatives and friends to show that they wish them a happy and long life.

Different regions have different customs and ways of celebration. In some places you can see lanterns and dragon as well as lion dances. The customs of ethnic minorities are also very interesting such as “chasing the moon” of the Mongolians or “steal vegetables or fruits” of the Dong people.

Customs in different Provinces

Fujian Province

In the city Jianning, people light lanterns to pray to the moon for their babies. In Pu City, females cross the Nanpu Bridge in order to pray for a long life. In Shanghang, the children go down on their knees to worship the moon. And in Long Yan, parents dig a small hole in the center of the moon cakes while eating them. That means that some secrets should be kept from children.

Guangdong Province
In Chaoshan children and women worship the Moon. When the night comes, they burn joss sticks in front of a table of fresh fruits as a sacrifice.

The South of Yangtze River valley

Besides eating moon cakes, the people in Nanjing eat also a dish called Guihua Dark. This dish can only be cooked during the Mid-Autumn Day as the osmanthus flowers, which are need to cook the dish, blossoms in August.

In Ji’an County of Jiangxi province, peasants burn pottery jars with straws and vinegar so that the smell of the vinegar can spread all over the villages.

In Xincheng County, people celebrate by lighting oil lamps from the 11th day of the 8th lunar month to the 17th day.

Sichuan Province

People will prepare a lot of food like moon cakes, ducks, glutinous rice cakes, and rice dumplings. In some places, people light orange lamps, or ask children run in the streets with pomeloes decorated with burning incense in their hands. In Jiading, they worship the God of the Land and play some local dramas to celebrate this special day.

Northern China

People of Qingyun County in Shangdong province worship the God of Land as well as their ancestors on that day. In Lu’an of Shanxi province, parents will invite their son-in-laws to have dinner with them. In Xixiang county of Shanxi province, men usually go boating or climb mountains together, while women will stay at home and prepare for the dinner. In Luochuan County, parents send gifts to their children’s teachers to show their gratitude.

As you can see in different places there are different customs to celebrate this special day. However, the wishes of reunion, happiness, safety, health and harvest stay common in all regions.

Top Places to visit during the Festival

If you travel during the Moon Festival you can visit some very nice places and spend the festival there. Five of the most attractive destinations are: E’mei Mountain in Sichuan Province, Mount Lu in Jiangxi Province, West Lake in Zhejiang Province, Elephant Trunk Hill in Guilin, Guangxi Province and the Yellow Mountain in Anhui Province. All are great places to see the bright moon and also to experience some local customs.

 

Don’t hesitate and book your trip now and enjoy an unforgettable experience of the Moon Festival in China.

 

Visit Taian City and Mount Taishan

Come to Tai’an and visit the first of the five sacred mountains where emperors in ancient times prayed for the fortunes of the nation -Mount Taishan. A place full of culture and history supported by beautiful scenic surroundings. It will make your travel in China very special. Tai’an is located in Shandong Province and lies […]

Come to Tai’an and visit the first of the five sacred mountains where emperors in ancient times prayed for the fortunes of the nation -Mount Taishan. A place full of culture and history supported by beautiful scenic surroundings. It will make your travel in China very special.

Tai’an is located in Shandong Province and lies at the south foot of Mount Taishan. The city is surrounded by other famous cities like Jinan and Qufu as well as by the Yellow River.  Besides Mount Taishan which is the most celebrated attraction there are also other scenic spots such as the Peach Blossom Ravine and Dai Temple. Additionally to the scenic spots, the area also offers a long history. The Mount Taishan was the first of the countries five sacred mountains. Here the emperors climbed to the top in order to pray for the nation’s fortune. The mountain also was a focal point for religions of Buddhism and Taoism. The temples in Tai’an are worth a visit. They as well as the other sites can easily be reached by public transportation or taxis.

Besides sightseeing visitors can also taste delicious local food. The people of Shandong are known as eaters of scallion wrapped in pancake. It is said that the food of Shandong reflects the uncomplicated and honest nature of the local people.

Must-sees in Tai’an

Dai Temple

Dai Temple is a magnificent Taoist temple and is located in town where all the roads lead. It is the largest and best-preserved architectural complex on Mt. Taishan. Together with the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Temple of Confucius, the Kong Family Mansion and the cemetery of Confucius in Qufu and the Mountain Resort in Chengde, the Dai Temple is one of the most famous ancient architectural complexes. For visitors who pilgrim to the mountain, the temple is traditionally the first stop.

The Temple covers an area of 96000 square meters and was constructed in the Han Dynasty (206BC-220) and has been renovated by the emperors in the past dynasties since. Here the emperors made sacrifice to the Gods of Heaven and Hearth and worship the God of Mount Taishan.

The Dai Temple is also famous for its stone tablets. Here one can find many stone inscriptions of different history periods. The most famous are the inscriptions of Li Si, the Prime Minister in the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC). Besides the inscriptions visitors can also find some cultural relics, offerings and the sacrificial utensils bestowed by the emperors in the temple.

Mount Taishan

Mount Taishan is claimed to be the first of the “Five Sacred Mountains” and is located in the center of Shandong Province. The Jade Emperor Summit is its main peak and is about 1532.7 meters high. The mountain became the name Mt. Taishan in the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC) and has become a symbol of Chinese Culture in current times. In 1987 the mountain was listed in the World Natural and Cultural Heritage List of the UNESCO.

In ancient times each emperor who wanted to ascend to the throne, climbed the mountain in order to pray to heaven and earth or to their ancestors. It is said that 72 emperors of different dynasties climbed Mount Taishan. Additionally also many poets and literary scholars came to the mountain to gain inspiration. Moreover the mountain played an important art in the development of Buddhism and Taoism.

Among visitors the mountain became famous especially because of its historic relics and the unique natural scenery. If you come to the mountain you should not miss to see the four wonders: Sunrise from the East, the Sunset Glow, the Sea of Clouds and the Golden Belt along the Yellow River.

 

The city Tai’an accompanied by Mount Taishan is a highlight in any travel to Shandong Province and always leaves a good impression to any visitor. Come to Shandong Province and make your travel in China a very special experience.

 

Enjoy 72 Hours Visa Free Transit Tours in Beijing

On September 5, 2013, in China Travel Gossip, by Jack Li

Travellers, who hold passports issued by any of the 45 countries eligible for Beijing’s 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy and will remain in Beijing for no more than 72 hours while in transit, may apply to the frontier inspection authority in the Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) for 72-hour visa-free transit stays in Beijing.This policy is […]

Travellers, who hold passports issued by any of the 45 countries eligible for Beijing’s 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy and will remain in Beijing for no more than 72 hours while in transit, may apply to the frontier inspection authority in the Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) for 72-hour visa-free transit stays in Beijing.This policy is applicable to foreigners who enter and exit from Beijing only.

 

List of 45 Countries Eligible for Beijing’s 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy

Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar

Requirements:

According to the regulations of the Ministry of Public Security, foreign travellers, arriving at BCIA, must satisfy the following conditions to qualify under the 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy:

◆ Travellers must be citizens of one of the 45 countries covered by the policy.
◆ Travellers must hold international travellers’ credentials proving their citizenship.
◆ Travellers must meet the entry conditions of their destination countries or regions.
◆ Travellers must hold continuing air tickets with confirmed dates and seats, indicating their intent to depart from the Beijing Capital International Airport to a third country or region within 72 hours, or hold related certificates.
◆ Arrival and departure airlines must report to the frontier inspection authority.
The Beijing General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection will authorize 72-hour visa-free transit stays for travellers only if all these conditions are fulfilled.

Notes:

Hold Continuing Air Tickets to a Third Country or Region

◆ According to the policy, applicants from designated countries who apply for 72-hour visa-free transit stays must hold continuing air tickets with confirmed dates and seats, or hold related certificates. Therefore, this policy is not applicable to foreigners who have not booked continuing air tickets to exit from Beijing within 72 hours, and it is not applicable to foreigners whose destination is their home country.

Enter and Exit from BCIA

The Beijing Capital International Airport is the only entry-exit port applicable for the policy in Beijing. In-transit travellers must enter and exit from the Beijing Capital International Airport only.

Stay in Beijing

◆ Qualified foreigners must remain in Beijing for the duration of their 72-hour visa-free transit stays. They must depart from the Beijing Capital International Airport within 72 hours. If in-transit foreign travellers have to remain in Beijing for longer than 72 hours for reasons beyond their control, they should file an appropriate application with the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau for a visa.

Frontier Inspection Procedures:

Entry Procedures

◆ Passengers apply for 72-hour visa-free transit stays in advance through their airlines; the airline’s aircraft must arrive at the Beijing Capital International Airport.
◆ With valid international tourism credentials proving their nationalities and continuing air tickets with confirmed dates and seats, indicating an intent to depart from the Beijing Capital
International Airport to a third country or region within 72 hours, or related certificates, foreigners need to fill in the Entry Registration Card for Foreigners after they arrive at the airport; then they can apply for 72-hour visa-free transit stays at the 72-Hour Visa-Free
Transit Stay Application Counter of the frontier inspection authority while going through entry frontier inspections.
◆ For qualified foreigners, the frontier inspection authority will affix a temporary entry permit seal on the passports and will complete 72-hour visa-free transit stay procedures for them.

Exit Procedures

◆ Foreign travellers shall depart from the Beijing Capital International Airport within 72 hours after the frontier inspection authority has confirmed the validity and credibility of their valid international tourism credentials and the temporary entry permit stamped in the passports.

 

Things to do during your 72 hours visa-free transit in Beijing

Will you spend some transit time in Beijing? Then you can now profit from the 72-hour visa-free transit policy that Beijing has to offer. This is a great opportunity to travel in Beijing and visit the capital of China. There is much to see in 72 hours.   Since January 1st 2013 visitors who hold […]

Will you spend some transit time in Beijing? Then you can now profit from the 72-hour visa-free transit policy that Beijing has to offer. This is a great opportunity to travel in Beijing and visit the capital of China. There is much to see in 72 hours.

 

Since January 1st 2013 visitors who hold a passport issued by any of the 45 countries eligible for Beijing’s 72-hour visa-free transit policy that will remain in Beijing for no more than 72 hours while in transit can apply for 72-hours visa free transit stay in Beijing. If you fulfill all the necessary requirements for a visa-free transit stay in Beijing you can check by clicking here and read everything you need to know about this new policy.

Must-sees attractions

Great Wall

There is much to see in Beijing and of course the most important attraction is the beautiful Great Wall. This place is a must-see for everyone coming to Beijing. The Great Wall is one of the greatest wonders of the world and was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. This impressing architecture has a more than 2000 years old history and will give you a beautiful and stunning view. There are different sections where you can visit the Great Wall. One of the most beautiful one is Badaling.

Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square

Another must-see place is the Forbidden City with the Tiananmen Square in front of it. The Forbidden city was the imperial palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It was forbidden to enter without special permission of the emperor, hence the name “Forbidden City”. The Tiananmen Square is located in the center of Beijing City and lies in front of the Forbidden City. Here you can visit the Great Hall of the People, the Mao Zedong Mermorial Hall and much more. Everyday a lot of visitors come to the huge Square.

Summer Palace

The Summer Palace is located in Haidian District 15 kilometers away from Beijing’s center. It is the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China. Here you can find a great landscape and get some impressions of Chinese culture and history. The area is huge and you can easily spend the day here when the weather is nice. As there are also a lot of information about the history of the Chinese emperors the place is also known as “the Museum of Royal Gardens”.

 

Besides these three must-see attractions there are a lot of other sites worth to see. For example the Olympic Park with the Birds Nest and the Water Cube, the Lama-Temple, the Ming Tombs and the Beijing Zoo.

Shopping and Dining

Of course you shouldn’t miss to buy some souvenirs and try some local food. Both you can find in Wangfujing street which is the most famous shopping street known among tourists.

For real shopaholics we also recommend markets such as Hongqiao Pearl Market, the Silk Market and Qianmen street as well as Xidan Commercial Street.

While in Beijing don’t forget to try the famous Beijing Duck and other local food which you can find in a lot of restaurants in Beijing. The best known restaurants for trying the Beijing duck are Quanjude and Bianyifang.

Nightlife

Of course while being in Beijing you shouldn’t miss to see a play of the famous Beijing Opera. Or go to see an acrobatic show or Kung Fu show. Afterwards you can take some drinks in Sanlitun Bar Street or visit the Sichahai Park where you will find natural scenery, historical culture, urban culture and traditional folk customs all together in one. There is also a lake surrounded by bars and restaurants.

72 hours is enough time to see the most attractive sites in Beijing. You can discover the city by yourself with public transportation. However if you don’t speak Chinese and you don’t know much about Beijing and what to do here while being in transit, you can book a tour with chinatraveldepot.com which will save you precious time and you get an overall impression of China’s capital Beijing. With Chinatraveldepot.com you can book from 1 up to 3 Day Tours which are specially designed for your visa-free transit stay in China and you will be able to see all of the most important sites in Beijing.

Come to Beijing and enjoy your 72-hour visa-free transit stay. Check now all Beijing-Tours available on Chinatraveldepot.com

 
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