Monthly Archives: January 2013

Jiayuguan—the most Western End of the Great Wall

Jiayuguan
Jiayuguan

Jiayuguan, the most western end of the Great Wall with 6 kilometers southwest of Jianyuguan City of Gansu Province, or 380 kilometers from Dunhuang City and 750 kilometers from Lanzhou City, is built in the Hongwu emperor period in Ming Dynasty and got its name got its name for being located on the Jayu Highland between the Wenshu and Heishan mountains at the foot of the Qilian Mountains. It is the best preserved section of the whole Great Wall and the essential stop of the ancient Silk Road in the narrowest point of the western part of Hexi Corridor. Travelling here, you will experience the desolation and loneliness of the desert and wall as the Jiayuguan passes through the Gebi Desert from its west to east.

Being built with rammed earth in 1372, the Jiayuguan covers an area of 34 square kilometers with its total length 733 meters and height 11.7 meters and its shapes looks like a trapezoid. Together with an inner city wall, outer city wall, trenches, and fortifications with walls around them, the Great Wall in Jiayuguan has a good layout with a three-storied gate tower and 4 corner towers; you can enjoy the fascinating views of the boundless Gobi Desert and the snow-capped Qilian Mountains here.

Jiayuguan

Jiayuguan

Boasting so many alluring and amazing sceneries, the Jiyayuguan will be a great place to leave you wonderful and memorable experience in China. Moreover, the architectural complex of the castle is magnificently exquisite for its towers and pavilions have a classic beauty and grandeur with their roofs upturned at the end of the ridges, you will always experience different scenes in all directions regardless of seasons. Attractions near here are including The Suspended Great Wall, Great Wall Museum and Qiyi (July First) Glaciers, which will make your tour here colorful and worthwhile!

Jiayuguan

Jiayuguan

Important tips for you to visit the Jiayuguan: 1) Choose comfortable footwear with good grip and support for the feet. 2) Dress layers of clothes. 3) Take sun protection in the summer and dress for sub zero temperatures in the winter. 4) Bring breathable waterproofs for protection from rain and wind.

Mutianyu Great Wall

Mutianyu

Mutianyu

Located in the Huairou area with its west connecting to Juyongguan Great Wall and east connecting to Gubeikou— about 95 km (59 miles) north of Beijing (a 2 hour 30 minute journey from the city center), the Mutianyu Great Wall is one of the 16 new scenic spots in Beijing and it is the less crowded section of the whole Great Wall. Moreover, it has better architecture than at Badaling with more watchtowers. The famous attractions in its west such as Jiankou, Niujiaobian, Yingfeidao are the essence of the whole Great Wall.

Mutianyu

Mutianyu

Features about 1500 years of history, the Mutianyu Great Wall is a masterpiece of restoration, with 22 original style watchtowers about one every kilometer, on overlapping mountain ranges. And it is the longest fully-restored Great Wall section opens to tourists. With the greens of pines and cypresses covering ninety percent of the surrounding area, the scenery here is beautiful all the year round, together with the project of the hiking cables, slippery paths, dreaming stone city, the Mutianyu Great Wall has been the combination of the Great Wall culture, stone culture, physical culture, healthy fitness and entertainment, it has attracted numerous travelers to visit here, of whom including the pre-president of the UK Major and the pre-president of America Clinton.  It has been listed as the No.1 attraction for the foreigners in Beijing in 1992 and entitled as a 4 star level spot area in China in 2002. Nearby attractions of the Mutianyu Great Wall include the Jiankou (Arrow Nock) section, which is only 20 minutes away.

Mutianyu

Mutianyu

Plan your trip to experience the alluring scenery of the Great Wall in Mutianyu now; it will be an enjoyable and comfortable tour for you. Keep the following tips in mind: Just wear the short clothes in the summer as it’s so hot in Beijing at that time and anti-coldness clothes in winter because it’s much colder at the wall than at the valleys in winter of Beijing. Do remember to take the anti-sun products to protect your skin under the sun and take the raincoat instead of the umbrellas with you because of the strong wind there.  You will find it amazing and memorable when seeing the Great Wall in its awe-inspiring former glory, winding through mountain scenery, with easier walking conditions and fewer crowds.

The Great Wall at Badaling

Badaling

Badaling

Located in the Yanqing, about 80 km (50 miles) northwest of Beijing with a 1 hour 30 minutes journey from the city center, the Badaling is the representative section of the Ming Great Wall. With more than 1,000 meters above sea level, it is the best preserved and the most popular one amongst all the Great Wall sections, where you can have a birds’ eyes view of the spectacular and astonishing scenery. Its grand scenery, completed facility and profound culture and history have attracted numerous travelers from home and broad to have a visit here, of whom including about 370 state leaders and VIPs such as Obama, Nixon and Thatcher.

Badaling

Badaling

The Great Wall at Badaling was built in the 18th year (1505) of the reign of Hong Zhi, an emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). Compared with the other sections, it is features comprehensive tour services such as a circular-screen cinema, GreatWallMuseum, shopping and dining facilities, as well as barrier-free structures for the disabled. GreatWallMuseum here is an all-around museum that takes the Great Wall as its theme, which comprehensively reflects the history, policy, military, economy and culture of the Great Wall. Nearby Attractions include the imperial cemetery – Ming Tombs, which is located about half way from Beijing city center to Badaling.

Badaling

Badaling

The best time to visit the grand Badaling is summer and early autumn time. Do remember to choose comfortable footwear with good grip and support for the feet and those clothes with layers that can be taken on and off for greater comfort and temperature control. And also wear the skin product for sun production in summer as the summer in Bejing is so hot and anti-coldness in winter for the sub zero temperatures because of altitude and exposure in the wall. Take the breathable waterproofs for protection from rain and wind also because the umbrellas here are inconvenient in strong winds. Start to plan your trip now and you’ll have a memorable experience here!

Badaling

Badaling

Top 10 Attractions to Visit in China

With over 5000 years history and more than 9, 600,000 square kilometers, China is an amazing country offering variously mysterious scenery for travelers to experience and explore, including natural scenery and historical sites.  But what are the most famous attractions in China, and where will be worthy of your visit? Yep, followings are the top 10 attractions in China which you must visit them during your trip to China!

the Great Wall

the Great Wall

1. The Great Wall.  Being an awe-inspiring feat of ancient defensive architecture, it is one of the greatest sights and the longest wall in the world. It is listed as “the New Seven Wonders of the World” and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in China.

Yangtze River

Yangtze River

2. The Yangtze River. As the third longest river in the World but the longest river within a single country, the Yangtze River features the widest variety of outstanding tourist attractions, scenery and culture from its regional resource to its mouth.

Xian_guerreros_terracota_warriors

Xian_guerreros_terracota_warriors

3. Terracotta Warriors. Laid underground for more than 2000 years, it was honored as a World Cultural Heritage Site in December 1987, you’ll learn about the ancient history of China here.

the Bund of Shanghai

the Bund of Shanghai

4. The Bund. It is one of the most recognizable architectural symbols of Shanghai. You can see towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower line the river, you can also see the speedier tourist ferry and other locally owned boats navigate there.

Li River

Li River

5. Li River. Decorated with startling hills, steep cliffs, fantastic caves, farming villages  and bamboo groves, Li River in Guilin is one of the most popular and picturesque scenic spots in China and it was listed as one of the World’s Top Ten Watery Wonders by America’s National Geographic Magazine.

night-view-of-central-victoria-harbor

night-view-of-central-victoria-harbor

6. Victoria Harbor. With a backdrop of Victoria Peak, Victoria Harbor is among the world’s most beautiful skylines. You can see the charming and astonishing views of the city in the observation decks of the tallest buildings and from Victoria Peak.

yellow-mountain

yellow-mountain

7. The Yellow Mountains. It is a World Heritage Site endowing with 5 unique wonders: pines, oddly-shaped rocks, the sea of clouds, hot springs and winter snowscapes.

West-Lake

West-Lake

8. West Lake. It is a silhouette on the northeast horizon and mountains near and far surround it on the other three sides. The occasional pagoda and Chinese-style arched bridge add atmosphere to the tree-lined walkways, verdant islands and hills.

The Potala Palace

The Potala Palace

9. The Potala Palace. It is a huge treasure house for the precious sculptures, scriptures, Buddha statues, murals, antiques, and religious jewelry and reflecting the Tibetan history, religion, culture and art, and it is also an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Yungang Grottoes

Yungang Grottoes

10. Yungang Grottoes. It is a World Heritage Site representing the excellent achievement of Buddhist sculptural art of ancient China and the development of the architecture, music and religion at that time.

Here are the top 10 highlights in China, just visit them one after another, you’ll find the beauty of the scenery and the profound history of China at the same time!

Ideal Tourist Destinations for Your First Time to China

With so many spectacular natural landscapes and cultural landscapes and also historical sites, China has been more and more popular for its tourism, and more and more foreigners are willing and eger to have a travel to China to experience and enjoy the beauty of the wonders there. However, for one who has never been China before, what are the ideal destination for them to make the trip much more enjoyable and wonderful? Yeah, Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an and Guilin will be their good choice for a trip to China. Just read the followings to get more information in detail!

Badaling Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall

Beijing, as the capital of China, features numerous world-class attractions such as the Great Wall—one of the eight wonders of the world; the Forbidden City—the grand imperial palace; the Temple of Heaven, which has massive place of heaven worship; Summer Palace—one of the most famous of China’s four gardens. Besides, Hutong tour is also a great way for you to experience the ancient old Beijing life.

Zhujiajiao Water Town in Shanghai

Zhujiajiao Water Town in Shanghai

Shanghai, the modernist city of China, has many historical sites such as Jing’an Temple, Jade Buddha Temple, and Yuyuan Garden; besides, you can also see a lot of modern architectures : Jinamo Tower, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and Shanghai World Finicial Center; moreover, Zhujiajiao Water Town is a amazing way for you to experience the unique beauty of the elegant water towns. As Shanghai is near Hangzhou with the distance of bullet train only 41 minutes, you can have a tour to Hangzhou to visit the renowned West Lake during your Shanghai tour day.

Terracotta Army

Terracotta Army

Xi’an, being the birthplace of Chinese culture, is catheterized by a plenty of ancient architectures and historical sites. You can see the Terracotta Army, the Ancient City Wall, and Mount Hua, which is the most challenging mountain in China.

Li River

Li River

Guilin is also a best destination for your first trip to China as the Li River Scenic Area, one of the world’s most beautiful national parks, offers graceful watery wonders with karsts, limestone cones, cylinders and hills. And you can enjoy the magnificent rice terraces and experience the customs of the Zhuang and Miao minorities in Guilin’s Longji Rice Terraces.

Just focus your travel destination on Bejing, Shanghai, Xi’an and Guilin at your first time to China to make your trip much more comfortable, enjoyable and memorable. 11 day China trip containing these four cities are optimal, which conclude Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, The Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven,the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, Big Wild Goose Pagoda ,Shaanxi Museum, Xi’an’s city wall, Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, Li River, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Yuyuan Garden and the Bund . Best time to visit these place is summer, so, just start to plan it so as to make your summer this time much wonderful!

Great Wall—See the Grandest Sight of China There!

Badaling

Badaling

With a length of more than 100, 000 kilometers, the Great Wall is a majestic and magnificent attraction situated in the vast area of Norther China crossing from the West to the East, which is one of the greatest defensive project in the old times, reflecting not only the combination of the strong willpower and of the high-lever wisdom of the Chinese people at that time, but also the extraordinary achievement in the area of the engineering technology and long history of the People’s Republic of China. It has been listed as one of the seven wonders in the world because of its long-lasting construction time for more than 2000 years and numerous project volume in terms of defensive project in old times.

Jiayuguan

Jiayuguan

Sections of the Great Wall left include: Mutianyu, Shanhaiguan, Jiayuguan , Simatai, Badaling, Gubeikou, Jiankou, Jinshanling, Hushan, Jiumenkou, Datong, Juyongguan, Dajingmen and Tngamen Graet Wall, but among these, the first five are the most famous in the world.

The Great Wall at Mutianyu is fully-restored and characterized by many watchtowers on overlapping mountain ranges, which is less crowded and has better architecture than that of Badaling.

Mutianyu

Mutianyu

Badaling is the best-preserved and most popular section of the Great Wall, which is one of the closest sections to Beijing with about 1.5 hours on the Badaling Expressway). And there are about 370 foreign leaders and VIPs having climbed the Badaling section.

The Simatai Great Wall is a section of unrestored original wall, well-preserved with a good range of architecture. Every part is at least 400 years old. The mountains at Simatai are particularly steep, offering great views, but the hiking is more testing.

Shanhaiguan

Shanhaiguan

Shanhaiguan is known as “the First Pass Under Heaven”. With Old Dragon’s Head (Laolongtou), the eastern limit of the Great Wall, only 5 km away, you can see where the Great Wall meets the sea. It is an important section of the Great Wall with military function.

Jiayuguan is a very well-preserved pass that has been a gateway of the Silk Road for centuries. Jiayu Pass, in the Western limits of the Great Wall in Gansu Province, traverses desert and much of the wall but it has been buried by sandstorms.

Simatai

Simatai

The main function of the Great Wall nowadays is the reflection of the spiritual culture of the Chinese Nations which stimulating the Chinese people to protect our nations and the witness of the Chinese people working hard together to achieve miracle and glory rather than the military function. Besides, it has been a must-see attractions for not only Chines but also foreigners.Therefore, start to plan your trip to visit the highlights of Great Wall, especially the Badaling Great Wall, Mutianyu Great Wall, The Simatai Great Wall, Shanhaiguan Great Wall and Jiayuguan Great Wall, you’ll find it worthwhile and unforgettable!

Annual Weather and Its Ideal Travel Destination in China

Skiing at Harbin

Skiing at Harbin

Covering a vast area from the east to west with 62 longitudes and about 53 latitude, China is catheterized by different climate and weather that varies from region to region and province to province. When it is warm in southern part of China, it may be cold in its north; it is dry or windy in the west such as Xinjiang province, it is probably rainy day with rainstorm in the eastern China, especially the coastal cities such as Guangzhou or Qingdao; It may be cold in winter in most of China but it is still warm in Taiwan island and Hainan province. And Kunming, with its favorable weather all the year round, make it a best place to have a travel all the time for travelers from home or broad. Here are some tips for your trips to China based on its weather and the best times to travel.

kunming

kunming

peach in Guilin

peach in Guilin

January: North China , especially Harbin and Jilin as you can appreciate the wonder of rime in Jilin and ski in Harbin and appreciate ice sculpture at almost everywhere there during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival which is held from January 5 to February 5 every year.

February: Hainan Island. It is still cold in most of China in February. However, Hainan is a good place where you will be embraced with its warm sunshine, coconut graves, and a leisurely bay.

March: Regions south of the Yangtze River such as Shanghai, Yangzhou, Suzhou, and Hangzhou where spring flowers appear and it drizzles at times, which make it more graceful and more worthy of a visit.

Hainan Island

Hainan Island

April: Guilin, Xi’an, and the Yellow Mountains, where you can appreciate blossoms. Guilin is strongly recommended here as you can appreciate the peach blossoms and enjoy the unique karst landforms which are decorated with verdancy along the Li River.

May: Shangri-La, Lijiang, and Kunming where you can retrace the ancient life, enjoy clean blue skies, visit mysterious Tibetan monasteries, and appreciate prosperous azaleas and massive snow-capped mountains.

Zhangjiajie Tianmen Mountain

Zhangjiajie Tianmen Mountain

June: Zhangjiajie. You can view the peculiar hills in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, and the challenged toughened glass cliff path of Tianmen Mountain.

July: Costal cities such as Dalian, Qingdao, Weihai, Yantai are nice choices for a cool tour as it is China’s hot summer then.

August: Tibet to visit the magnificent Potala Palace, horse around on the vast grassland, and pay a visit a local family for a adventurous experience.

September: Xinjiang and Beijing. It is cool at that time and melons and fruits in Xinjiang are ready to taste.

Potala Palace

Potala Palace

October: Jiuzhaigou, decorated with colorful trees, including golden, red, blackish green, and yellow, which are reflected on light blue pools and make it a fairyland.

November: Guizhou to visit the Miao villages which are near hills and by rivers, and experience the colorful Miao customs to help you better understand the Miao minority, and you can enjoy the Lusheng Festival for Miao customs this month.

grape in Xinjang

grape in Xinjiang

December: Hong Kong for shopping to save you a lot of money as it is a peak discount season, which will make your tour much enjoyable!

Choose your ideal travel destination in China to relax and enjoy yourself at your leisure time, and you will impressed by the astonishing scenery here, and you will have a memorable trip!

Tips for Your First Trip to China

learning Chinese

learning Chinese

Have you been to China before, or are you going to have a visit to China in the near future? China is catheterized by long history, profound culture and vast territory full of cultural and natural scenery. In China, you can not only experience the beautiful scenery full of challenge and mystery, but also the hospitality of Chinese people, and even the all kinds of delicious local food. Is it alluring? Yeah, just start to plane your trip to China from now. And here are some tips for your first trip to China to help you enjoy your China tour!

Shop in Yangshuo

Shop in Yangshuo

The first thing you should do and overcome for your trip to China is to break the language barrier. The language barrier should be the number one hurdle to overcome for a foreigner when traveling to China. Though you can seek for help from some Chinese by speaking English in urban areas of China, it does not work every time because you might not always count on finding someone speaking English. Therefore, learning some Chinese ( Pu Tong Hua) , even just something simple, is really a great help to make your China trip much more enjoyable and easier.

Beijing Roast Duck

Beijing Roast Duck

Next, you’d better know something about Bargaining in Chinese. During your tour, you will come across many sellers selling their souvenirs or food, and you will be likely to be defrauded if you know nothing about the Chinese bargaining. Remember, do not ask about price if you are not planning to buy any of these things. If you do ask, they may follow you for a long way. Generally, when you are bargaining, cut prices by 2/3. If they do not accept your price, just pretend to leave and refuse to buy their goods. Normally, they might call you back and sell to you at your price.

steamed pork buns Shanghai

steamed pork buns Shanghai

Besides, for your first time to China, tasting Chinese Food is a must-do thing as China has a profound food culture and every region in China has a distinct style of cooking. Beijing roast duck, Shanghai steamed pork buns, Xi’an dumplings and Chinese hamburgers, Guilin rice noodles are great food in China. Do not forget to taste the street snacks if time permitting as the street snacks are often the best features of a city’s culinary experience such as Beijing’s egg cakes in the morning for breakfast and Guilin’s barbecue stands in the evening.

Guilin rice noodles

Guilin rice noodles

Learn more about the China travel tips so as you can have enough time to do something what you like or experience Chinese people’s life such as tasting more Chinese food, experiencing traditional and local Chinese cuisines culture and even make some Chinese dishes personally. In this way, your first trip to China will be wonderful and unforgettable.

The Best Time to Have a Travel to China (Part Two)

autumn of Xinjing

autumn of Xinjing

Late March and Early April in Spring are No.5 time to visit China over than late autumn, especially visit the north China. This is because it is warmer at that time and this is the time for seeing spring flowers in North China; While flowers often come earlier in the warmer south. Besides, you can have your tour to Suzhou, Hangzhou or some other water towns to enjoy the beautiful flowers and green willows and even walking in the spring rains to experience to poetic phenomenon there. It is the low season so travel is cheaper.

Spring of Suzhou

Spring of Suzhou

November or late autumn ranks No.6. November is the best time to see fall colors across China. If you’d like to travel to south of China, late autumn is better than early spring as it is drier, and there are still some warm days. It is also the low season so you can travel cheaper, and you can have a visit to Xinjiang to view its particular Autumn scenery.

Winter of Harbin

Winter of Harbin

For most of the people, winter may not be a good choice to go out for a tour. However, December to early March of China is the No.7 time. Though it is cold, it is the best time for you to visit Harbin’s Ice and Snow Festival and China’s ski resorts. Besides,  Hainan Island and  Sanya, and other places that just fall within the tropics like Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen, etc., which enjoy mild winters. Kunming, the Spring City, maintains mild weather all year round, so Yunnan’s capital and the tropical rainforest of southernmost Yunnan could be comfortably visited.

Inner Mongolia Grassland

Inner Mongolia Grassland

What you should pay attention to is that avoid the Labor Day holiday week (May 1 – 7) and first week of October (Chinese National Day Holiday) when attractions, transport, and hotels are packed with Chinese tourists and prices go up considerably.

Tibet

Tibet

The Best Time to Have a Travel to China (Part One)

Xiangshan

Xiangshan

Ranking No.3, China covers a area of more than 9, 600,000 square kilometers, which makes its wether varies from its west to east, north to south. However, when is the best time to travel in China, and where is the best place to have a visit to during the best travel time? Just keep reading, you’ll get to know about about the travel tips about the China travel!

According to China’s geography and weather, early autumn /October, Late April/ Early May, September, August, late March and Early April, late Autumn, December to early March are ideal time for you to start your tour to China,and during which you can experience the Chinese local conditions and customs, beautiful and unique scenery, and extensive and profound culture. Learn more about the best travel time and best travel place in details in the following so as to have wonderful, enjoyable and unforgettable trip to China!

huangshan

huangshan

October will be the No.1 time for the foreigners to travel to China as the weather then is optimal with warm/mild temperatures, not hot and not cold, as summer rains have stopped except Hong Kong and Sanya. Best places for that period include Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai,Guilin, Hong Kong, Chengdu etc., whose famous attractions including the Great Wall, Tian’an Men Square, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors, the Bund, Li River, Pander Breeding and Research Center and so on.

Late Spring (Late April/ Early May) is the No.2 time as the flowers are in bloom and the temperature at that time is comfortably warm with all of China getting into the 20s centigrade (the 70s Fahrenheit). The North of China (Beijing, Xi’an) is still dry, but the summer rains have already began in the South, with dampness guaranteed and storms possible. This could actually enhance the view in the form of mountain mists in mountainous areas like Guilin and the Yellow Mountains.

jiuzhaigou

jiuzhaigou

September is probably the No. 3 time. Weather in September in most of China is a little hot with less rain, you can go to Inner Mongolia to experience the vast flavor from the Inner Mongolia Grassland, or you can go to GuiZhou province to experience the folk custom of national minority, or go to Jiuzhaigou Nature Park in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province as September is the best time to visit the park there.

Li River

Li River

Late May through August will rank No.4 for you to visit China. Sunshine and warmth certainly make for good holiday weather, though some might find it too hot. Most places experience temperatures over 30°C (86°F). Choice for your China tour this period including Tibet, , Qingdao, Yunnan Lijiang, and  some mountainous areas such as Zhangjiajie.