Category Archives: Travel Tips

Tips on Tea Culture Cities

Top Tea culture cities of China falls into mainly two categories: those which have famous tea growing areas nearby and those who have history and culture of tea drinking. Tea drinking is very much popular in all parts of china and all have their different favorite types. There are mainly five cities representing the cream of favorite tea production areas of China.

One of the best attractions to go in the tea growing areas is that it has scenic mountains where the tea is green and you can see yourself how the tea is being produced. You will love to drink the local tea with the guide explaining the tea ceremony and the methods for best brewing and drinking the tea. You will get a chance to bargain and buy the tea.

Huangshan Tea

Huangshan Tea

Huangshan is the number one tea cultural city. It has mythical Yellow Emperor and gives the name of Yellow Mountain. Huangshan Furry Tip is one of the top five teas of China and it is named for its furry leaves. Another famous tea is the Keenum Black which is a black tea grown in the prefecture of Huangshan. The best quality Chrysanthemum tea is also found in Huangshan. Tunxi Ancient Street is the place from where you can buy Huangshan’s tea.

Imperial tea is number two popular choice of tea is the Suzhou’s Green spiral tea. Suzhou was an imperial retreat for the elite of Beijing. Suzhou’s ornate gardens were settings for many a classy cuppa for many centuries. You can also drink the emperor’s tea and enjoy the gardens which emperors enjoyed on the tour to Suzhou.

Fujian Jasmine Tea

Fujian Jasmine Tea

Quanzhou is located in the Fujian province to the south East China. it has two famous tea which are Iron Goddess and Fujian jasmine tea. Iron Goddess Tea is an oolong or Wulong tea which has a fresh and mellow taste and a favorite drink for summer.  Anxi is about 40 Km to the northwest of Quanzhou City where Iron godess is grown. Jasmin tea is the favorite of Beijing which use jasmine flower mixed with the green tea. It is produced in the Fujian Province.

Xishuangbanna is at the endpoint of Yunnan and a major tea growing area. It is the place from where pressed tea was taken on horseback to Tibet, Nepal and India. In the tropical forested hills of Xishuangbanna, the Dai people produce the best Puer tea by pressing into variety of wheels and bricks.

Tips on Chinese language

The interest of the people in Chinese Language is growing all around the world as the development in communication and transport has made this planet seem like a small place. Mandarin or Standard Chinese is widely used mother tongue on this planet having more than 800 million speakers.

English and Mandarin are the two language of world having more than billion users. English is used by about 2 billion people and Mandarin being spoken by 1.3 billion people which includes the people using them as business language or second language.

China has many language and the Mandarin is the most famous and national language of China and Cantonese which is spoken in southeast China. There are many minority languages and dialects in China as well.

Chinese Characters is what makes the Chinese language fascinating in its written form. The characters of Chinese are the only in the form of pictorial written in modern use. They are very much rich in symbolism and have many stories behind them. They look beautiful when they are penned with a brush and written in traditional style. Chinese calligraphy and Chinese writing is highly regarded as the art form.

Chinese literature is very rich in poetry, philosophies and proverbs which are unusual as well as unique. It is the mastery of Chinese language particularly in the written form and being able reading is synonymous with being civilized in China. This is due to the development of Chinese culture for more than thousand years n relative isolation.

Most of the Chinese tourist likes to be able to speak a little bit of Chinese language and recognize few letters of Chinese. Chinese is often referred to as the most difficult language for learning on this planet. This is most due to the remembering Chinese characters which are 3-4000 in common use. Learning to read and write Chinese is a laborious process. However, you can easily learn few phrases of Chinese Language. Spoken Chinese in the form of the tonal syllables and each one corresponds to a Character of Chinese language. It can also be written using the English alphabets in notation of pronunciation called pinyin. You can try few words from Chinese in your common language and do not hesitate to learn.

Tips on China Visa

A China visa is an authorization for travel in China which is placed in your passport if you are coming for a tour in China. It is permission which is issued by the Chinese consulate or Embassies allowing the passport holder to enter the China legally.
The person who are traveling to China either for pleasure or business purpose require visa. It is necessary that your passport is valid for six months after the duration of your stay in China. It is not easy to get the visa at the entry point of Chinese border so, you should get your visa approved before your trip.

As far as validity of the visas is concerned, it depends. Single entry China visas are usually valid for about three months after the issue days and the permitted days to stay in China is for maximum 30 days. The visa allows you to travel as a tourist or conduct any activity of business. Most of the people need to apply for the single entry. You might require having double or multiple entry visas if you are travelling frequently between China and Hong Kong or Taiwan on the same tour.

For getting a visa, you need to have an original passport which has at least six month validity from the travel date with minimum one blank visa page. For each passport, one completed and signed visa application along with the fee and supporting documents are required.

You can apply for the visa about one to two months before the tentative date of travel.  When you have items ready you can submit the visa application at the offices of China embassy or consulate-general of your country. You can also take the help of travel or visa agency for handling your visa application and get your visa approved in appropriate time and manner.

However, there are some visa exemptions. Tourist holding the ordinary passports of Brunei, Singapore and Japan are allowed to enter the china for up to 15 days without any visa. The purpose for travel can be family, tourism or friends visits. There are some more exemptions for which you can get the information from the Chinese Embassy. You can also extend your visa up to 7 days before the expiration of your Visa.

Tips on Chinese Art

Art is one of the important parts of the Chinese Culture, History and heritage. This country has been excelling in all forms of the arts for several years and shows the proof of the love of this country of this cultural element which dates back to thousands of years. The art form of china includes sculpture, performing arts, cave drawings and paintings.

China is the artistic country which has started developing unique artworks thousands of years ago. The cave drawings which are found through various mountain regions of China depict the nature scene, animals and people which remains the important themes of the artist.

Traditional Chinese art

Traditional Chinese art

Due to the development of culture, it moved away from the dwellings of the caves and moved throughout the country and is still noticeable in much modern Chinese art. Although, many gradual improvements and development have been made in the style of sculptures and paintings, the art has retained the central them focused on harmony and nature. The history of china shows the brush strokes depicting rocks, river, plants and animal’s lives which retained the similarity between these and original cave drawings.

Physical arts in China includes more than the basic paintings like the pottery, sculptures, calligraphy writings and carvings. The pottery form of China is well known due to the technique of using the hard clay in combination with feldspar for eliminating any kind of gap or cracks in the clay. This pottery has been developed into the fine porcelain which is seen now days.

Traditional Chinese art

Traditional Chinese art

Jade carving used in the home decoration, jewelry and other ranges of applications are also well known which date back to around 1300 years back and part of the rich history of country. The sculpture of China is also very popular and it relates to the graves of the ancient kings. The sculptures of clay horses, soldiers, servants have been found in various archaeological digs.

 

 

Tips about the Yangtze River cruise

If you are boarding at Jingzhou or Yichang then you need to travel via the capital city of Hubei province, Wuhan. You can visit the Hubei Provincial Museum if you are interested in history and culture of china. It is one of the best museum and with huge amount of historical and cultural relics.

You can take taxi from Yichang airport to the New Century Pier which is about 24 miles away and takes about an hour to reach. You can also reach there through the Public bus no 10 from Yichang.  You will find many attractions on your way to the New Century Pier of Yichang which includes Xiling Gorge Scenic Area and Sanyou Cave. Sanyou cave is a famous attraction which has scenic beauty as well as historical significance and it is only at a 10 minute walking distance from New Century pier.

Yangtze River cruise

Yangtze River cruise

Chongquing is Chinese metropolis and Chqikou Old town is lively old area with busy and authentic community. You can enjoy the souvenir shops, music, teahouses, local foods and snacks which is closer to the river. It has lively old area which has been restored partly but there are remains of authentic and busy communities. The houses are old wooden and the streets are narrow and furthest from the river. The local food is a must try for you.

You can see the giant pandas at Chongqing zoo which is next to the Chengdu Giant panda breeding and research base. If you are staying for one day in Chongqing, then you might be definitely interested in seeing the Dazu Rock Carving which is one of the famous World heritage Sites. They are remarkable for the rich diversity of the subject matter, aesthetic quality, both religious and secular and they shed light on the everyday life of china during the period of 650 AD. They also provide extraordinary evidence of the harmonious synthesis of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. In 1999, it was listed in World Heritage site by the UNESCO.

 

Yangtze River

Yangtze River

 

Dates to Avoid When Planning a China Tour

If you are planning a tour to China then you must be aware about some of the dates which you should avoid like golden week and the other times when the flights are very much expensive. This article will provide you some tips that will help you in this regard.

The Golden week of the National day holiday and this is from September 20 to October 10 in the 2013. Almost all the Chinese people go for holiday in the beginning of the month of October for the celebration of Chinese National Day. At this time, most of the local people travel to the domestic cities which makes the popular tourist destinations crowded and traffic very busy. The transport as well as hotel price are increased which lead to the high-budget travel.

Planning a tour during the time of Labor Day Holiday should also be avoided when you are planning a tour in China. Though this holiday only last for three days, the tourist peaks last to many days. There is crowd, high travel cost, busy transportation, long waiting times during this period which can be very much frustrating.

During the time of spring festival there is rush and congested transportation especially in the cities of Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and other big cities. There is rush during this festival last for about 40 days. But, you can enjoy for the first five days of the Chinese New Year.  Because, most of the Chinese people like to stay at home for these five days and lightens the pressure of the transport and you can also get the cheap fight tickets at this time.

In 2013 one of the most congested periods on China’s transport will be January 26 – February 8, when people are homeward bound. Another busy time will be February 15 – March 6, when millions of migrant workers and college students rush back to their work places and colleges. So traveling in China during these periods is likely to be challenge.

You should also avoid trip during the celebration of Tibetan New year as Tibet is closed for the foreign travelers during this period. So, you should plan your trip accordingly to avoid any kind of problem due to the unavailability of room in the hotels, excess crowding, transport chaos, etc.

 

Best Places to Travel in Early Summer

If you are planning for a summer trip to china then you should know about some of the best places for traveling during this time which is from May to June. Summer has the great weather and early summer is not the rainiest month for many tourist destinations. The weather is warm but not the hottest. You can avoid the peak season’s crowd which is during the May Day holiday and summer holiday (generally in July and August). You can enjoy the best and most beautiful scenery during the period of early summer. The early rains of summer enhance the scenes of the mountain areas like Guilin.

Guilin

Guilin

You can visit tot eh Purple Sea of Lavender in the Yili of Xinjiang. It blooms to its full in the end of May to early month of June. Yili also has beautiful landscapes with mountains, lakes, rivers and grasslands. You can also visit the nearby attractions like Guozi Valley, Sayram Lake, Huiyuan Ancient Town and Uyghur.

Tibet is another wonderful destination for the tourist during the months of summer which is from April to October. The peak tourist seasons are from July to August when there is modest rainy season and some attractions are overcrowded at that time. You can visit Tibet in early summer for enjoying the pleasant weather, less rain and sun on the highland is mild. You can visit some of the popular destination like Potala Palace.

Potala Palace Tibet

Potala Palace Tibet

You can visit rend land in early summer as it is the best time for taking photographs in this time. The red land is decorated with the white small flowers, green potato plants and yellow wheat. It is about four hour drive from the Kunming city. You can get the best photography shots during the sunrise.

Shangri-La in Yunnan is the land of beauty. You can enjoy verdant forests, quiet lakes, vast grasslands, valleys full of flowers, snow capped mountains and mysterious monasteries in this town.

 

Photography Tips and Locations for Photography in Guilin

Everyone is aware about the beautiful scenery of Guilin. But, all photographers are not aware about the difficulty of taking photographs. As a fantastic centre for tourism, sights of Guilin are well documented. Local photographers are well skilled to take the photograph in the Guilin and know where and when to take the best shot. They are familiar with the sites and take good opportunity to take the beautiful photos of the dreamily mountains and waters of Guilin.

Guilin

Guilin

The best scenic sites in Guilin in spring are Rhododendron (Yao Hill and Cat Mountain), Peach blossom in Xichen Town and Gongchen, Rape flowers in Guanyang County in February- March and Plum blossoms in Crown Cave in the month of February. Spring is the best season for taking photography as there is little sunshine and full of flowery scenes, crystal water and gorgeous mountains. You can get the best photographic scenes at the sites of Xialong Village, Yangshuo, Yao Hill, Husband Hill, Monkey Hill and Xingping. Best months are February to May and best time is early morning. You can get a broader view at the misty and rainy Li River which is the representative of the scenery in Guilin.

Agricultural landscapes at the sites Yangti Quay, Shangri-La, Wenglong River, Puyi County and Xingping in the month of April to May are best for photography. The beauty lies in the rural culture and the scenes of peasants working in fields which are surrounded by the mountains.

The Li River

The Li River

Mountains covered with cloud, water and mist are also good spots for taking pictures. Some of the important sites are Yangshuo, Monkey Hill, Yaoshan Hill, Cat Mountain and Xiyuan County. You can get the fictures of mountains covered with the fog, mist and clouds in the month of April to July and the best time is before sunrise and one hour after sunset.

You can also capture the autumn colors at the Li River along the Huangjian and Gaoshang towns. Fishing lights on the Li River is another idea where Xingping County and Yangshuo Bridge is best scenic sites. At night, the scenery of the bamboo rafts with the fishing lights floating on Li River with the peaks and mountains is a classic Guilin Scenery. The miraculous caves and caverns of Guilin are also part of wonderful scenery.

 

Places to Visit in December in China

December is 2nd month of winter in most of the parts of China. If you are planning to visit China for the first time in December then you could visit all top tourist destinations which are Shanghai, Beijing and Xi’an as the weather in these area do not play much role and these cities are popular historic sites. However, you should be prepared with your clothes for cold and windy weather.

December is not the peak tourist time in most Chinese parts.  If you travel in this month, you can avoid the crowds of peak season and enjoy the cost efficient travel as the price of the entrance tickets as well as price of hotel is lower as compared to peak seasons.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

You can visit to Hong Kong in December and enjoy the mild weather as well as shopping. You will get a lot of discounted goodies in this month. Shopping during the time of Christmas in December could be a delightful experience as most of the hops at these times hold various sales promotions.

You can also enjoy less crowded historical trip in Beijing, the capital city of China. This is the off month for the tourist and less crowded at this place so you would be happy with a relatively quiet trip. You can enjoy the snowy weather with very chilly having dust and fog. You can enjoy the awesome scenery of great wall and mountains in snow. If you are fond of skiing then December is a good month for you as all ski resorts of Beijing are open at that time.

Xishuangbanna is located in the southernmost part of mainland china. You can experience the unique ethnic custom and taste delicious and different foods. It is very close to Burma, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam and the customs here are very much similar to Thailand.

Xishuangbanna

Xishuangbanna

 Harbin is another place to visit in December which is full of ice and snow. You can enjoy snow festival, ice sculpture, Skiing, Playing football on snow fields and swimming. You can also get warm clothes here like sweaters, scarves or overcoats. Mount Emei is another place to enjoy the fantastic ice scenery which is about 170 kilometer from Chengdu city. You can enjoy sunrise, skiing and Bathing in hot spring at Mount Emei.

Best Places for a Second Trip to China

If you have already walked to the Great Wall and seen the Forbidden City in the capital of China and Experienced the Ultra modern city of Shanghai and visited Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an then what else is there for your second trip? Listed below are the few things which will help you to plan your second trip to China which will cover your destinations for short trips, relaxation, adventure and hiking.

Guilin, located in the southern part of China is famous for its beautiful landscape in China. It has four main tourist attractions i.e. Guilin Urban area, Longji Rice Terraces, Li River and Yangshuo County. You should definitely go for a cruise on Li River irrespective of your duration of your tour. You can also go for cycling in the countryside to discover the rural beauty. Bamboo rafting on the Yulong River can be a good idea. Guilin city is decorated by river, hills and lakes and you can experience the breathtaking scenery of the Two River and Four Lakes, Solitary Beauty Peak and Elephant Trunk Hills.

Yulong River

Yulong River

Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province can be a great destination if you are fan of the spicy foods. You can get various local delicious hot pot and snacks here. You should not miss three things in giant pandas which are Panda breeding and Research Center, Qingcheng Mountain, Leshan, Huanglong and beautiful valleys of Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong.

The capital of Tibet, Lhasa is famous for its scenery of the Highlands and Tibetan Culture. If you are very much interested in the Tibetian culture then Lhasa should be your first choice for your second trip to China. Potala palace, Jokhang Temple and Tibet’s Summer Place are the three favorite destinations in Tibet. You can enjoy natural scenery, lakes, snow capped mountains and grasslands.

Lhasa

Lhasa

You can also visit yellow mountains for enjoying graceful landscapes having peculiar trees and rocks. The three Gorges can also provide you graceful views on a leisure cruise along Yangtze River. Yunnan, The Silk Road, Pinyago Ancient city are some of the other tourist attractions which you will love to visit during your second trip to China.