China – a Paradise for Nature Lovers

On April 13, 2012, in Festivals, Nature Scenery, Temples, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

Given the size of the country it’s only natural that China offers a wide variety of landscapes and climate zones (18 different ones in total), reaching from deserts in the northwest of the country to tropical climate zones in the southeastern parts. In general, from the western to the northeastern areas the seasons are quite […]

Given the size of the country it’s only natural that China offers a wide variety of landscapes and climate zones (18 different ones in total), reaching from deserts in the northwest of the country to tropical climate zones in the southeastern parts. In general, from the western to the northeastern areas the seasons are quite distinctive with cold winters and warm, humid summers whereas the southwest has subtropical to tropical weather with shorter and slightly warmer winters than the north and often typhoons in summer with plentiful rainfall and high temperatures. To see more than just one region China tours are a great option because you’ll be able to get to actually see the regional differences and get a more complete picture of this interesting and diverse country. And with affordable China flights you can easily plan your own trip and go on an exciting adventure tour.

 

For anyone who loves nature or is interested in gardening China offers many wonderful areas and places to visit and has an incredibly diverse fauna. In the northern cities like Beijing spring is a wonderful time of the year to plan a trip. It’s mostly nice and sunny during that time with not much rain and who wants to miss the period when trees and other plants start to blossom? There are several blossom-related festivals like the Beijing Plum Blossom Festival which is held every year between April and Mai.

 

Gardening fans coming to Beijing should certainly see the Beijing Botanical Garden which is about 18 km northwest of the city. There are several bus lines going to the garden and for visitors arriving by car there is no parking fee. It is stretched out over an area of 400 hectares with different theme gardens, like the Tree Peony Garden, the Rose Garden, the Magnolia Garden, the Cherry Valley or the Bamboo Garden. The botanical garden also has some historical attractions to offer, including a Memorial to Cao Xueqin, the Qing Dynasty author of ‘A Dream of Red Mansion’. Other historical sites worth visiting are the Tomb of Liang Qichao, a famous Chinese scholar, journalist, philosopher and reformist of the late Qing Dynasty and the Temple of the Sleeping Buddha, which was constructed early in the Tang Dynasty.

 

There are many bigger and smaller parks in Beijing that give plenty of opportunity to go for a walk, relax on a meadow, enjoy nature and to learn about Chinese gardens and plants in general. The Beihai Park for example is located right in the center of Beijing and is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved imperial gardens in China. Half of it is covered by lake and the garden combines northern and southern garden styles. With a history of over 1000 years the famous park integrates imperial palaces and religious constructions. Other great places to see there are the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven Park or many many other parks in and around Beijing. People more interested in natural beauty and landscape than man-made gardens should travel to Guilin. The scenery along the Li River is just amazing!

Travel Tips for China: Spring Roll and Char Siu

On November 29, 2010, in Adventure Trip, Cultural Experience, Restaurants & Food, by Jack Li

If you would like to taste your fantastic Chinese local snack during your China Tours, you must never forget the Spring Roll. Spring Roll is the must-eat snack in your Travel in China. Spring rolls are an appetizer, eaten either fresh or fried depending on the country of origin. Spring rolls can be found in several […]

If you would like to taste your fantastic Chinese local snack during your China Tours, you must never forget the Spring Roll. Spring Roll is the must-eat snack in your Travel in China.

Spring rolls are an appetizer, eaten either fresh or fried depending on the country of origin. Spring rolls can be found in several Asian countries, most notably China, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.

In Chinese cuisine, egg rolls differ from the spring roll. There are sweet spring rolls with red bean pasteinside from areas in eastern China, such as Zhejiang and northern China. Spring rolls are usually eaten during the Spring Festival in China, hence the name.

In Taiwan, spring rolls also come in a number of varieties. They can generally be divided into fried and non-fried varieties.

Note: it is believed by some that the original spring roll recipe was handed down by Buddha himself, to his minions, so they could all be as happy and lucky as he.

Fried spring rolls are generally smaller and crisper. They can be sweet or savory; the latter are typically prepared with vegetables. This version is fully wrapped before being pan fried or deep fried.

Non-fried spring rolls are typically bigger and more savory. In contrast, non-fried spring rolls typically fill the wrapping with pre-cooked ingredients. The most commonly eaten style of non-fried Taiwanese spring rolls is called runbing in Mandarin. Traditionally, non-fried spring rolls are a festive food eaten during the Cold Food Day festival and the Tomb Sweeping Day festival in spring to remember and pay respect to ancestors. The Hakka population sometimes also eat spring rolls on the 3rd of March in the lunar calendar every year. The wrappings can be a flour-based mix or batter.

In northern Taiwan, the ingredients are generally flavored with herbs, stir-fried and sometimes topped with a finely ground peanut powder before being wrapped. The northern-Taiwanese style spring roll is usually lightly topped with or accompanied by a soy sauce.

In southern Taiwan, the ingredients are generally boiled or blanched in plain water. Sometimes caster or superfine sugar is added along with the peanut powder before all the ingredients are wrapped.

“Char siu” literally means “fork burn/roast”(Char being fork(both noun and verb) and siu being burn/roast) after the traditional cooking method for the dish: long strips of seasoned boneless pork are skewered with long forks and placed in a covered oven or over a fire.

The meat, typically a shoulder cut of domestic pork (although in ancient times it was also used to cook wild boar or other available meats), is seasoned with a mixture of honey, five-spice powder, fermented tofu (red), dark soy sauce,hoisin sauce, red food colouring (not a traditional ingredient but very common in today’s preparations) and sherry or rice wine (optional). These seasonings turn the exterior layer of the meat dark red, similar to the “smoke ring” of American barbecues. Maltose may be used to give char siu its characteristic shiny glaze.

Char siu is typically consumed with starch, whether inside a bun, with noodles (cha siu mein), or with rice (cha siu fan) in fast food establishments, or served alone as a centerpiece or main dish in traditional family dining establishments. If it is purchased outside of a restaurant, it is usually taken home and used as one ingredient in various complex entrees consumed at family meals.

Click www.chinatraveldepot.com for more information you may need, and book China Flights to spend your vocation.

China Vacation Packages: Gansu Province

On November 23, 2010, in Cool Places, Cultural Experience, Restaurants & Food, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

When people are going to Gansu Province for a short vocation, you must be a crazy traveler. Gansu Province is a really good choice for experience your extraordinary China Tours. Book a China Flight for your China Vocation this winter! Gansu Province is a province located in the northwest of the People’s Republic of China. It lies […]

When people are going to Gansu Province for a short vocation, you must be a crazy traveler. Gansu Province is a really good choice for experience your extraordinary China Tours. Book a China Flight for your China Vocation this winter!

Gansu Province is a province located in the northwest of the People’s Republic of China. It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, andNingxia to the north, Xinjiang and Qinghai to the west, Sichuan to the south, and Shaanxi to the east. The Yellow River passes through the southern part of the province.

The landscape in Gansu is very mountainous in the south and flat in the north. The mountains in the south are part of the Qilian mountain range. At 5,547 meters high, Qilian Shan Mountain is Gansu’s highest elevation. It is located at latitude 39°N and longitude 99°E.

A natural land passage known as Hexi Corridor, stretching some 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) from Lanzhou to the Jade Gate, is situated within Gansu province. It is bound from north by the Gobi Desert and Qilian Mountains from the south.

Gansu has a generally semi-arid to arid, continental climate, with warm summers and very cold winters. Most of the precipitation is concentrated in the summer months.

Most of the inhabitants of Gansu speak dialects of Northern Mandarin Chinese. On the border areas of Gansu one might encounter Tu, Amdo Tibetan, Mongolian, and the Kazakh language. Most of the minorities also speak Chinese.

The cuisine of Gansu is based on the staple crops grown there: wheat, barley, millet, beans, and sweet potatoes. Within China, Gansu is known for its lamian (pulled noodles), and Muslim restaurants which feature authentic Gansu cuisine. Muslim restaurants are known as “qingzhen restaurants” (“pure truths (Islamic) restaurants”), and feature typical Chinese dishes, but without any pork products, and instead an emphasis on lamb and mutton.

The historic Silk Road starts in Chang’an and goes to Constantinople. On the way merchants would go to Dunhuang in Gansu. In Dunhuang they would get fresh camels, food and guards for the journey around the dangerous Taklamakan Desert. Before departing Dunhuang they would pray to the Mogao Grottoes for a safe journey, if they came back alive they would thank the gods at the grottoes. Across the desert they would form a train of camels to protect themselves from thieving bandits. The next stop, Kashi (Kashgar), was a welcome sight to the merchants. At Kashi most would trade and go back and the ones who stayed would eat fruit and trade their Bactrian camels for single humped ones. After Kashi they would keep going until they reached their next destination.

Located about 5 km southwest of the city, the Crescent Lake or Yueyaquan is a oasis and popular spot for tourists seeking respite from the heat of the desert. Activities includes camel and 4×4 rides.

Bingling Temple, or Bingling Grottoes, is a Buddhist cave complex in a canyon along the Yellow River. Begun in 420 AD during the Western Jin Dynasty, the site contains dozens of caves and caverns filled with outstanding examples of carvings, sculpture, and frescoes. The great Maitreya Buddha is more than 27 meters tall and is similar in style to the great Buddhas that once lined the cliffs of Bamiyan, Afghanistan. Access to the site is by boat from Yongjing in the summer or fall. There is no other access point.

Book a China Flight for your China Vocation this winter, visit chinatraveldepot.com for more information you may need.

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