East and West, Guilin is the Best

On February 26, 2013, in China Attractions, Must-sees, Nature Scenery, by Sandy Li

Have you ever been to Guilin? If not, please find your China flights to experience its charm. Guilin’s unique topography had left a deep impression on many people who had visited Guilin, so how about you? I am sure that once visiting this charming city, you would find that there is so many surprises waiting for you […]

Have you ever been to Guilin? If not, please find your China flights to experience its charm. Guilin’s unique topography had left a deep impression on many people who had visited Guilin, so how about you? I am sure that once visiting this charming city, you would find that there is so many surprises waiting for you to discover on your Chian tour.

Guilin is regarded as the most picturesque city in China. Two crystal-clear rivers, Lijiang River and Peach Blossom River, meander through the city, which are encircled by hills. The two rivers are likened to be green silk ribbons, while the dramatic hills seem like emerald hair-pins.

So the rich nature resources have long been taken as the inspiration for artists and painters. And innumerous inscriptions and poems eulogized its beauty in the history of China. No wonder that it is widely spreaded that “east and west, Guilin landscape is best”.

Then, what to say in Guilin? Well, the classical attractions include the “Three Hills, Two Caves and One River”, which refers to Diecai Hill, Fubo Hill and Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave and Seven-Star Cave, and the world-renowned Li River. Whether you would like to take a relaxing vacation or plan to have a wonderful sightseeing, you will be exceptionally surprised by what Guilin has to offer.

 

For those who love delicious foods, it is also a paradise! The most popular local snacks include the rice noodles (mifen), nun noodles, chestnut glutinous rice dumplings (banli zong), stewed duck with gingko, lotus-leaf duck and stewed duck with ginger. Especially, Guilin rice noodles have long enjoyed fame. The rice noodles are round, thin and flexible, the soup fresh and fragrant and the meat very tasty.

 

As for its weather, it is really pleasant to go in sping! Guilin sits in a subtropical monsoon zone with a warm and moist climate, which is moderate all year round. The average temperature all year round is 19°C(66F) and the best time to travel here is between April and October.

You could hardly wait to have a visit? Don’t worry about the trouble to get there. Actually, Guilin is a well-developed tourist city with convenient transportation facilities. You can enter the city by air, train, long-distance bus or ship and get around the city by bus, taxi or bicycle.

As a tourism city, Guilin has many hotels, including more than 30 five-star hotels, 100 four-star hotels, and 200 three-star hotels, which can satisfy your varified needs. For those who have a limited budget, hostels are good choices. They are quite economical and convenient, which are especially suitable for backpackers. Hostels provide simple but basic facilities at a budget price. Besides, Holiday Villages & Houses are widely available here. Most of these are well-equipped and located near tourist attractions in Guilin’s surrounding areas. Therefore they are the perfect place for leisure and sightseeing.

Travelers can take advantage of affordable deals by making good plans before you go. You can find comprehensive informations with China Travel Depot. Enjoy it and surely you’ll never regret every single moment.

A Romantic Honeymoon of Swiss Groom and Chinese Bride in Xinjiang and Tibet

On January 9, 2013, in Adventure Trip, Cultural Experience, Historical Relics, Must-sees, Temples, by Sandy Li

On August 15th, 2012, Urumchi (the capital city of Xinjiang Province) witnessed a transnational wedding. The groom, Fares Abdullah comes from Switzerland, and the bride Li Miao comes from China. More and more people would choose to take China flihgts and have a wedding tour, which can be customised by the travel agency. Fares sent mails to […]

On August 15th, 2012, Urumchi (the capital city of Xinjiang Province) witnessed a transnational wedding. The groom, Fares Abdullah comes from Switzerland, and the bride Li Miao comes from China.

More and more people would choose to take China flihgts and have a wedding tour, which can be customised by the travel agency. Fares sent mails to us expressing his wish to spend their honeymoon by a Silk Road tour, or along Kashgar, Turpan, Kanas and finally to Lhasa in Tibet. There, during this China tour, in Urumchi the couple wishes to have a special wedding. 25 guests were invited to join their romantic honeymoon travel. They were his family members or friends, from Switzerland, Germany, Palestine, US and UK.

Though the local government in Tibet strengthened the restriction on inbound tourists, we successfully helped them with all required documents. They had a wonderful time in China.

 On August 5th, all the visitors took their flight to Urumqi on their own, and were picked up at the airport by the guide. After one-day rest in the hotel, we flew to Kashgar on August 6th. All people were impressed by the scenery in Dawakun desert, Kashgar. In the morning of the third day, we took the car for 3.5 hours (200 kilometers) to the Karakuri Lake, which is located 3,600 meters above sea level. Surrounded by snow mountains to the east of the Pamirs, this lake offers local herds with fertile grassland and travelers with extraordinary charming scenery. Visitors could also see the yurts, camels and horses of the Tajik people inhabiting here.

On August 8th, we had a Kashgar city tour. Firstly we visited the famous Id Kah Mosque located in the city center. On August 9th, we went to visit Turpan. Where we had our time in Jiaohe Ruins, Karez Well.

August 15th, 2012 was a wonderful day. The couple had their wedding ceremony. They were blessed by everyone. Many Occidental men found their true love in China, this mysterious Asian country. They choose to hold the wedding in China, and have a better understanding of this region. Their Chinese wives could also be a nice guide to introduce Chinese culture and tradition to them. It is a very romantic journey. For many Chinese girls, planning a honeymoon trip in China is a nice gift their foreign husband can give, showing their love and respect.

The next day after the wedding, all the visitors flew to Xining from Urumqi. They came to the Jokhang Temple, the splendid Potala PalaceTibet Museum, Norbulingka Park, and many interesting places in Tibet.

On August 19th, all people were transferred to Lhasa airport and took the flight to Beijing. By then the happy couple had their unforgettable and romantic honeymoon travel. This is a happy beginning for the life of this lucky couple.

All guests who participate in this wedding trip feel incredible about beautiful scenery and holy religious atmosphere in Tibet. For some of them, this is the first time to go to China. We are also happy to help people all over the world to know better about China. In the end, we give our best wishes to this couple. We wish them good health, and happy forever!

 

Let’s go for a ride !

On July 11, 2012, in Beijing, Getting Around, Tips & Ideas, Travel Info, by Jack Li

Getting around the Chinese capital city is not that convenient since it is continuously growing. I think that taking subway is the fastest and the best value for your travel to Beijing, even if you have to line up to access to the platform (and line up again to get in the train) at peak […]

Getting around the Chinese capital city is not that convenient since it is continuously growing. I think that taking subway is the fastest and the best value for your travel to Beijing, even if you have to line up to access to the platform (and line up again to get in the train) at peak time. But subways stations are quite far from each other, and closes from 10:45pm until 5:30am, so if you want to go somewhere you’ve never been before or go home late at night the better would be taking a taxi. There are more than 70,000 legitimate taxis working in town. Hailing taxis is an art, so here are my advices not to waste time waiting for it and not to be fooled during your Beijing tour.

How to recognize them ?


Beijing cabs are green, blue, white, or black with a large yellow stripe, it differs according to the company. On every cars of one of those companies you can find a meter and a big lever behind the rear-view mirror to start or stop the meter. When the meter is on, a small red sign behind the windshield appears or lights up at night, and the taxi top light turns off. Moreover on the dashboard in front of the passenger’s side a placard with the driver’s registration number and name is stuck, every official taxi displays their license in front the passenger seat. Other thing, all Beijing cab license plate begins with “京B”. But be careful, Beijing is full of black taxis, make sure of all the details above before enter in one of those cars. Some are just random cars with a little red signal, other really looks like real ones in the appearance but they can’t give you a printed receipt, just a hand written one, so you should always asks fabiao 发表 (give receipt) before he starts driving.

How much is it ?

On daytime (from 5am to 11pm), the meter starts at 10RMB which equals to 3km, and then it’s 2RMB for each additional kilometer, and 3RMB charged for each additional kilometer after 15km. And from midnight until 5 in the morning, the meter starts at 11RMB for 3km, it costs approximately 0.5RMB more than on daytime for each additional kilometer. Stops due to traffic lights or traffic jam will be charged too, each 5 minutes will counts as a kilometer.

Other tips

First, you should know that empty taxis can’t refuse to take passengers, fix a certain amount of money for the ride before driving, or not to give you a receipt. Second, Chinese taxi drivers can’t speak English, they can’t even read pinyin, so if you don’t know how to say the name or the address in Chinese of your destination, make sure you have it written in Chinese with you. Thirdly, avoid taking a taxi at rush hour from 7:30 and 9:30 in the morning and 16:30-19:30, you will waste your time and stuck in the traffic jam. Hailing some cabs while it’s raining or snowing and in the middle of a highway is very difficult too, you’ll probably have more chances to hail some near the crossroads or just to be patient. And one last thing, you can ask the driver to put the radio on to spend a comfortable moment, I always ask for 88.7 (babachi) the China Radio International hits radio station.

I hope that this article could make you enjoy convenient taxi rides in you China travel !

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Shopping at the zoo

On July 10, 2012, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Must-sees, Shopping, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

The first time I traveled to China, I didn’t put a lot of stuff in my suitcase because I thought I would buy a lot of cheap things to bring back home, especially clothes. I thought that in during my Beijing Tour I could easily find good looking clothes at a cheap price. It was […]

The first time I traveled to China, I didn’t put a lot of stuff in my suitcase because I thought I would buy a lot of cheap things to bring back home, especially clothes. I thought that in during my Beijing Tour I could easily find good looking clothes at a cheap price. It was a long way to go before I actually found my match. I first went to big shopping malls with all western shops and brands, the prices were the same than in Europe, except it was in RMB (20€ = 200¥). Therefore, it means that it was even more expensive since Euro currency’s rate is lower than Chinese Yuan’s. That wasn’t what I was looking for, so I went to some fake markets. There are 2 big fake markets in Beijing : the Silk market at Yonganli station and the Yashow market in Sanlitun. I’ve never seen such markets : five-floor buildings only dedicated to counterfeit goods and one of the rare places where salesmen speaks English and a bit of many other languages. You have to bargain for each article in order to not to be fooled, and get very low prices. But the good thing is that except buying clothes, you can also find bags, accessories, jewelry, watches, sun glasses and some electronic devices (especially epilation machines which are the hardest thing to find at a good price in China).

Fortunately, thanks to a Chinese friend of mine I finally found a place that met my shopping expectations, the wholesale market. This market is actually divided into 7 markets, all located near the Beijing Zoo. The most popular ones are Julong, Tuanlegong and Shiji Tianle. I usually go to the Julong market which is an underground shopping center, the entrance is besides McDonals and Ito Yokado supermarket. At wholesale stores, they don’t sell branded goods, but all the things they sell is bound for exportation, so the clothes are quite fashionable. I can spend hours and hours looking for the perfect gem, actually sometimes I just don’t know what to choose since the choice seems unlimited among those mountains of clothes. If you are ready for this type of expedition, the better is to arrive around midday since the market closes his doors at 4:30pm. What I like there is that you don’t need to bargain, prices are already quite low and most of them are written on signs. For example I bought a pair of ballerinas for only 29RMB and cool T-shirts for 10RMB. Other thing, you won’t probably see a lot of foreigners there, only few salespersons can speak English, but they know basic sentences like “how much is it?”. I only shop at the Zoo Market on weekdays, I feel much more comfortable since it isn’t overcrowded, and you can slowly wander among the alleys.

 I think that this is definetly the place to go if you are tired of bargaining during your travel to Beijing.

How to get there ?

Subway: Take the subway line 4 directly to Beijing Zoo (动物园).
Buses: No. 16, 105, 107, 111, 347, 808, 814
Express buses: No 104,105, 106, 205

Julong Foreign Trade Market 聚龙外贸市场)
Exhibition Square, 135 Xizhimen Waidajie, Xicheng District, Beijing
地址:北京市西城区西直门外大街135号展览馆广场

Shiji Tianle (世纪天乐)
28 Xizhimen Waidajie Nanlu, Xicheng District, Beijing
地址:北京市西城区西直门外大街南路28号

Jinkailide Building (金开利德大厦)
136 Jinkailide Building, Xizhimen Waidajie, Xicheng District, Beijing
地址:北京市西城区西直门外大街136号金开利德大厦

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The four symbols of the Chinese constellations.

On July 10, 2012, in China Travel Gossip, Cultural Experience, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

During your China travel you’ll probably see lots of mythological representations, either in the traditional places or in more informal places like restaurants or even in your room in your Chinese hotel. They can be statues, pictures or even wood relieves but there is always some kind of animal representation anytime you look at a traditional […]

During your China travel you’ll probably see lots of mythological representations, either in the traditional places or in more informal places like restaurants or even in your room in your Chinese hotel.

They can be statues, pictures or even wood relieves but there is always some kind of animal representation anytime you look at a traditional place, from which you can deduce that they are a very important part of the Chinese mythology.

I was very intrigued when I saw that so I decided to do a little research on what are the most important animals in Chinese mythology and what do they stand for.

I found out that Chinese mythology is very complicated and the thing that interested me more was that there are four animals representing the four parts of the world (North, South, East and West) and they are also the representations of the four seasons (Summer, Winter, Spring and Autumn)

The North is represented by a Black Turtle called Xuánwŭ, this turtle also represents Water and the Winter. Sometimes it’s also represented by a snake or both, a turtle and a snake, as an ancient Chinese legend portrays them as an only god by circling the turtle with the snake, representing both the male and the female. This is the reason why there are turtle shaped tombs in some northern regions of China, they want the protection of this powerful god.

The South is represented by a Vermillion bird called Zūquè. It stands also for fire and summer and it’s the counterpart of the Black Turtle of the North. Despite many similarities it’s not a phoenix, for it is called Fenghuang and it represent the empress.

 

The West is represented by a White Tiger called Báihŭ, it is also the symbol for metal and the autumn. In Chinese mythology the tail of the tiger turns white when it reaches 500 years so the white tiger is a venerated figure and its presence often meant that the emperor ruled with virtue.

The Azure Dragon represents the East and its name is Qīnglóng, it’s also a symbol for spring and wood and normally it is represented in great general’s tombs like the one of Wan Hui, it’s also the most important animal in the four constellations because it is also the bravest animal of the four. It must not be confused with the yellow dragon Huáng​lóng ​that stands for the emperors.

There are a lot of variations of each animal because it’s a 6000 years old cult that is extended throughout all Asia (they have different names in Korea, Japan and Vietnam) but the essential parts are the same.

The representations of these four animals are usually portrayed in the same place where each animal assumes the position that it stands for.

So now if you are traveling to China and you are curious about why there are so many animal representations you’ll know at least part of it.

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Free things to do in Beijing.

  Beijing is not one of the most expensive cities in the world but it is always nice spending one (or two) days during your stay in Beijing where you don’t have to worry about your budget, so here’s some ideas that may be useful for having fun on your Beijing trip without having to spend a […]

 

Beijing is not one of the most expensive cities in the world but it is always nice spending one (or two) days during your stay in Beijing where you don’t have to worry about your budget, so here’s some ideas that may be useful for having fun on your Beijing trip without having to spend a single coin.

1)      Visit the Tiananmen Square and its surrounding area, in the square you can visit Mao Zedong’s mausoleum where his body is preserved, the Monument to the Pepole’s Heroes and the South door, very similar to the palace in the Disney film Mulan. Near the square and next to the Forbidden City you can see the Ancient Imperial Archives with the famous Jade Book (the Imperial Genealogical register) and the Yongle Dadian and the Daqing Huidan, encyclopedias. You can also see how all the books were stored in ancient times.

2)      Walk along the Hútòngs (alleys) that have formed Beijing since 907, there are more than 2000 but only 360 have a name, in fact there is a Chinese proverb that says: “There are 360 hutong with names and as many nameless hutong as there are hairs on a cow”, There you can see the traditional ways of living in Beijing, they are all over the center of the city until the second ring.

3)      Go for a ride in a bike, if you dare to plunge into the crazy Beijing traffic there is lots of places to go by bike and, despite there is public transport to almost every part of the City, it’s always nice to have your bike because it gives you freedom to go everywhere and at the time you wish. Don’t hesitate and discover the city on two wheels!

4)      Go to the Silk Street Market (Xiu Shui) but don’t buy anything. It’s like a game, just observe how the people bargain and what are the techniques used by the sellers to try to increase the prize and what do the buyers try to reduce it. You may learn some tricks for when you want to buy your souvenirs!

5)      Look for decorative arches in the streets of Beijing, there are a lot of them, normally at the entrance of some Hútòngs, for example the one that leads to Yandai Xiejie, one of the busiest Hútòngs of the city, but there are more and each one is different!

6)      Go for a walk in the Ming Chéngqiáng Gōngyuán (The Ming dynasty wall park)

This is the only part of the Ming wall that is still on foot and it’s a good place to go, the walls are restored in some parts but in other parts you can still see the original wall, even with bullet holes. Surrounding the wall there is a nice park very suitable for having a good stroll.

 

 

 

 

These are just some ideas to make your Beijing tour more economic. Even if you are not watching your money be sure to include them in your to-do list!

 

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Some Advice on Vegetarian Meals

On April 19, 2012, in Cultural Experience, Restaurants & Food, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

In general, there is a lot of really delicious vegetarian food in China. There are tons of vegetables and fresh fruit and the spices turn regular food into culinary delights. But you still have to know how to find what you’re looking for and as a vegetarian you might find it tricky at the beginning […]

In general, there is a lot of really delicious vegetarian food in China. There are tons of vegetables and fresh fruit and the spices turn regular food into culinary delights. But you still have to know how to find what you’re looking for and as a vegetarian you might find it tricky at the beginning of your China travel experience. If you choose one of the many China Hotels the staff at the reception desk will be happy to give you some advice. Very often people will understand if you say that you’re a vegetarian. But it helps to add that you don’t eat meat, fish or seafood, if that’s the case. And even then, is there a guarantee that there is no touch of fish paste or oyster sauce in your dish? Probably not. If you’re that open, just go from the taste and maybe have a friend take the first bite. If you’re not, you might consider avoiding street food in general missing out on some great food though.  Still, things like baked sweet potatoes or corn on the cob from the streets are just pure vegetables, maybe not exciting but still tasty.

If you think the easiest place to get you something to eat is the supermarket, keep in mind that China is not your home country and even international chain stores don’t offer exactly the same. There are international brands as well as local products but the range of goods is oriented towards the Chinese buyers. This is not a problem at all but for foreigners the difficulty is finding out what’s exactly in the products, unless you have an excellent knowledge of Chinese or somebody who can help you out. When you look for it you can find some products with an English list of the ingredients because just from looking at it you can’t really be sure.

There is not much that can go wrong in the bakery section. Vegetarians who avoid gelatin might stay away from cakes with a creamy filling. But things like rice cakes with a slightly sticky consistency are in general made with starch and not gelatin and there is a really big offer. In general, fruit is a sure bet and easy to get anywhere. If you buy it from street stands just try to bargain as much as you can because vendors often try to charge foreigners more taking advantage of their inexperience. Going from the first offer you can cut it down to a third or a half and then find a compromise. And that’s not only the case for fruit but for all other things you might buy in the streets and smaller shops.

Another thing vegetarians should be aware of is that you might find something that’s in your opinion surely vegetarian but then the next moment you find out that it’s being prepared in the same frying pan as all the meat dishes or even being cooked in the same broth with meat and fish. A no-go for many vegetarians, especially if you have the taste of meat on your vegetarian food. I guess the only thing that helps is to have a close look before buying and to see how the food is prepared. Moreover, it’s sometimes hard to find out if a certain food was prepared with animal fat or vegetable oil. So, again you might listen to your taste buds or you can go for steamed food, like steamed dumplings (baozi) with a vegetable or egg filling. In general, rice is usually just plain rice and noodles are vegetarian, too, although they are often served in a broth that doesn’t necessarily need to be vegetarian.

Talking about restaurants, it’s not impossible to find vegetarian ones. But Buddhist restaurants for example also offer fish and seafood dishes. So they might not be an easy place either for people who don’t eat that. In bigger shopping centers the restaurants adapt more to western eating habits and it’s usually not too complicated to find meat and fish free dishes. And, of course, touristy areas have reacted to visitor’s eating habits and you can find things like pizza easily, although it has nothing to do with Asian cuisine. Regarding all these difficulties for vegetarians it is even harder for vegans. The only place that comes to my mind for is Loving Hut, an international vegetarian and vegan restaurant chain that has branches in Beijing and Hongkong.

In general, there might not be the perfect advice for vegetarians in China. First of all, there are different types of vegetarians some who eat fish and seafood and others who don’t. And then people are vegetarians for different reasons and more or less strict and also, everybody has his own personal taste. So all you can do is keep those little difficulties in mind when you’re planning your China tours . And once you get there you just find your own way.

The People’s Money

On January 18, 2012, in Cool Places, Featured China Stories, Shopping, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

When booking your China Tour it is highly recommended that you exchange a small amount of money before you arrive into China. The Chinese Renminbi or RMB is known as ‘the people’s money’ and there are different ways of saying the currencies. You will hear people say Yuan which is said similar to ‘you-on’ or […]

When booking your China Tour it is highly recommended that you exchange a small amount of money before you arrive into China. The Chinese Renminbi or RMB is known as ‘the people’s money’ and there are different ways of saying the currencies. You will hear people say Yuan which is said similar to ‘you-on’ or you will hear Kaui and it is pronounced similar to ‘kwhy’. There are many different notes and coins which you need to get familiar with and need to be aware of the counterfeiting of the 100 and 50 Yuan. So while you are on your long China Flight, study your notes and coins so you can become familiar with them all.

 

On the foreign exchange bureaus China is known as CNY which is abbreviated for the Chinese Yuan. In regards to exchanging money if you are staying in a four or five star hotel they provide this service or if your hotel doesn’t, head to the Bank of China. Bank of China is one of the biggest banks and is located all over China especially in Beijing and they have all currencies within the branch. An important reminder, don’t forget to take your passport with you when exchanging money.

 

Since December 1948, five editions of the Chinese Yuan have been released; the final edition was released in October 1999. In regards to your notes there is 0.1, 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100. With the coins there is 0.1, 0.5 and 1. The 1 Yuan comes in a note and in a coin form, the 1 Yuan coin is the largest silver coin. In relations to 0.1 and 0.5 they are called Jiao or known as Mao and they both come in note and coin forms, the 0.5 is a gold coin and the 0.1 is a small silver coin. In their note forms they are a smaller size compared to the Yuan.

 

 

Like in many countries, counterfeit currency is common in China. It is mainly the bigger notes which are targeted so either the 50 or 100 Yuan. There are many ways to determine if you have received a counterfeit note or not. On the back of all notes there will be what they call as a security line, this looks like silver shiny sections going down in a straight line in the middle of the note. On the front of the note there will be a water mark on the left side of the note, this was released in the fifth edition and when it is moved back and forth you will be able to see Mao Zedong. Also when you move the note back and forth the denominator ID on the left side will change colour. Therefore the 100 will change from green to blue and the 50 will change from gold to green. You can also determine if the note is real or not by touching Mao Zedong’s collar, it should feel bumpy along with the curve pattern on the edge of the right side it should also feel bumpy. It is quite easy to detect, it is also very common if a clerk will check your note before putting it away. However if you stumble across a fake note unfortunately there is not much you can do with it and the banks will not exchange it for a real one. The only time you can swap it back is if you received it at the bank and you checked the note before you left the premises.

 

So when you arrive in China and tour this wonderful country you will now have a better understanding of the different types of notes and coins you will come across. Also by being aware of the potential risk of coming across a counterfeit 50 or 100 Yuan will definitely
reassure you when you experience the great shopping the Chinese have to offer.

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Snow Much Fun!!

On January 17, 2012, in Activities, Adventure Trip, Cool Places, Must-sees, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

If you want to escape the busy sounds and bright lights of Beijing and want to enjoy the outdoors for a long weekend or just for the day one should definitely head to the ski slopes. Especially if you are visiting in the winter, experiencing the snow is a must on your China Tour. The […]

If you want to escape the busy sounds and bright lights of Beijing and want to enjoy the outdoors for a long weekend or just for the day one should definitely head to the ski slopes. Especially if you are visiting in the winter, experiencing the snow is a must on your China Tour. The recommended places which you should check out are Nanshan Ski Village, Duolemeidi Resort and Wanlong Resort. These places are advisable if you just want to add these activities to your Beijing Tour.

 

Firstly if you just want to spend a day or overnight in the snow, Nanshan Ski Village is the best way to go. From Beijing it is located roughly 62 kilometres away which will just take little over an hour to get to Nanshan, you can either hire a car or get a shuttle bus to take you to the Village. Based in the Miyun County, Nanshan provides different activities for all four seasons. Of course skiing is in the winter, hiking in the spring, and swimming in the summer and fruit-picking in autumn, these are just the few recommended activities which can be done throughout the year.  This place always attracts visitors all year round due to its exquisite sight-seeing. In regards to the snow, Nanshan has 12 trails up for offer ranging from advanced to beginners and even the people who do not want to ski can still enjoy their time in the snow. There are also restaurants, coffee places and bars which are located in this area.

 

If you want to spend a weekend or a little bit longer in the snow you can head to the Chongli Village where both Duolemeidi Resort and Wanlong Resort is located. However from Beijing, travel time will be close to 4 hours and there are quite a few options to get to Chongli Village. First option is that you can catch a train which leaves from Beijing and arrives at Zhangjiakou and then for the extra 50km you can catch a taxi. The taxi is quite reasonable considering the distance, then once you have arrived at Chongli there are shuttle buses which takes you to the resort. Alternatively you can hire a van and drive along the highway to the Chongli but it just depends how confident you feel about driving through Beijing traffic.

 

Chongli Village is located in the Heibi province and there are not many foreigners here so you will be able to see more of the traditional China compared to Beijing. Duolemeidi Resort is quite modern and has great long slopes which should be tried out via the five chair lifts provided. It has great elevation and always has excellent snow making conditions and they provide a rental service which is reasonably priced. Also if you want a change of scenery there is a shuttle bus which can take you to Wanlong Resort.

 

Wanlong Resort is the recommended ski resort if you want to stay for quite a few nights. It has a three star hotel which provides all necessary facilities and dining requirements of either Chinese or Western food. Wanlong has the largest ski mountain in China which has a huge variety of slopes. There are six different chair lifts which takes you to different parts of the mountain. From the top of the mountain there are 7 distinct trails which then branches off to 11 more trails and recently 6 more trails have been added. So there are definitely a lot of slopes for you to discover.

 

So get away from Beijing and experience a Winter Wonderland. Depending on the length of your trip in Beijing there are different areas which are available and whether you are an advanced skier or someone like me who hardly ever sees snow and wants to make a snow angel, these recommendations is a must before you board that China flight home.

 

Would this excite your taste buds?

Before you take that China flight back home there is one stop everyone has to visit in Beijing. If you want to be adventurous with your foods and see how your taste buds and stomach can handle a different perspective, head down to Wangfujing Street. This street is very well known when it comes to […]

Before you take that China flight back home there is one stop everyone has to visit in Beijing. If you want to be adventurous with your foods and see how your taste buds and stomach can handle a different perspective, head down to Wangfujing Street. This street is very well known when it comes to different foods that the Chinese people eat and cook. It is also very easy to access, the subway is the best way to go just get off on Line 1 at Wangfujing Station, exit A.  So if you want to experience a true cultural difference than compared to your Western foods, Wangfujing Street is a must for your Beijing Tour.

 


Wangfujing Street itself is a major shopping district, with many department stores and centres, souvenir stalls and has the largest bookstore in Beijing which also has a foreign selection. This upbeat area of Beijing is exciting with music and bright lights everywhere, one would definitely be very entertained and fascinated by everything that is on show. However your main destination is the Wangfujing Snack Street (Wangfujing XiaoChiJie) it is in a side alley of the main shopping area and it doesn’t pick up until 6pm. There are stalls either side of the alleyway packed with different cuisines, Chinese souvenirs and mini marts.

 

Now not everyone will be gamed enough to try some of these foods but there are foods which can be eaten by all without freaking out the taste buds. They consist of different styles of dumplings, kebabs, spices, different types of desserts and toffee covered fruits. It is highly recommended that you at least try these foods. However, it is also very entertaining witnessing someone who is game enough to try out the ‘different’ cuisine. The adventurous eater may want to try scorpions (either have a large one or three little ones), bugs, centipedes, star fish, snakes, spiders, silk worms, mutton testicles and many more. Majority of these are placed on a stick similar to a kebab. A recent review by some people in regards to the smaller scorpions on a stick is that it tastes similar to pork crackling but there were some people who disagreed with this observation, guess it is up to that person and their taste buds. It is recommended to have a beverage with you just in case you have underestimated the taste.

 

Whilst enjoying this cuisine, you can also check out the stalls. Majority of these stalls are full with Chinese souvenirs for example many silk products, key rings and figurines, as well as scarves and purses. But be warned as being a tourist they will definitely start at an interesting, ridiculous price, so be prepared to haggle with them so at the end you get a good bargain for the item. However this can only be done at the street stalls, not at the department stores and shopping markets.

 

This area is very central to everything, with many hotels in this district. This entire street has a lot to offer and one can truly spend majority of the day here. Wangfujing Street is probably one of the only pedestrian streets in Beijing, it is said that it can take about 30 minutes to walk from either end and that is without looking inside the shops. Within your Beijing trip, Wangfujing Snack Street cannot be neglected at all. The foods are famously known around the world and this is the street to get it. So definitely bring your camera or even a video camera to get shots of these foods to impress people at home and also the reactions on people’s faces when they first eat this interesting cuisine.

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