Ancient towns to see near Shanghai

If you are planning a trip to Shanghai then seeing ancient towns can be a good choice. Shanghai has some of the best ancient towns. You can visit these towns in spring or autumn when the morning as well as nightfall are very charming time of the day.

Qibao Ancient Town is a mini water town and nearest to the Central Shanghai. This city is having ancient architectural style and water scenery. You can enjoy various snacks which is sold on the Qibao Old Street. Distilled liquor is very famous in this town. You can enjoy ancient entertainment like cricket fighting and miniature engravings at Zhou Family Miniature Engravings.

Qibao Ancient Town

Qibao Ancient Town

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town is a little town and spoiled with the tourist shops. It is a nice destination to escape from noisy modern city which lies at a distance of about 50 kilometers from Shanghai urban area. Cimen Temple and Zhuxi Garden are the famous attractions of this town. This town is well decorated with the ancient bridges, water ways, traditional Chinese style residences and a natural lake.

Qiandeng Ancient Town is a tiny water town, less crowded, authentic ancient town with Culture and less commercialized. It has the residences depicting Ming and Qing style and ancient atmosphere. You can experience the culture in this town with having history of more than two thousand years. You can get mini carvings from Yawan Pavilion which is a souvenir shop and is really exquisite.

Qiandeng Ancient Town

Qiandeng Ancient Town

Fengjing Ancient Town is the birthplace of the paintings of Jinshan’s Farmer. It has rich cultural content, elegant night scenery, less commercialized and less crowded. It is about one hour drive from the central Shanghai. You can go for a short trip to this town on weekend as it is less crowded as compared to other ancient towns. This town is laced by the water way network and lotus flowers are planted I the water areas making this town more elegant in summer. It has ancient-style buildings which trace back to old times. You can visit Lu Jirent Art Gallery, Ding Cong

Places to visit in January in China

January is the coldest month in the country of China. The main tourist attraction in this month is mainly related to the snow and ice. Harbin, Beijing and Jilin are the top destination for the ski resorts and great winter scenery. Rice Terraces of Yuanyang in Kunming prefecture is also famous for their mild weather, natural scenery. But, if you are looking for the enchanting mountain snow scenery then Yellow Mountain will be an ideal destination.

If you are going to china for the first time in January then you can also visit the top tourist destination cities i.e. Shanghai, Beijing and Xi’an as these cities have plenty of historic and architectural sites and weather do not play much role in their appreciation.

Yanqing-Ice-Festival

Yanqing-Ice-Festival

Yanqing in Beijing is great for winter festivals and skiing. Although it has cold weather and the transport stress during this time due to Chinese New Year. Yanqing Country, north gate of Beijing city has some of the popular attraction. You can go for Badaling Great wall hiking. You can also enjoy the Yanqing Ice and Snow Tourism Festival which is held from late December to February and has several activities like skiing competition, folk performance and colorful ice lanterns. You can Ski at various resorts.

Hong Kong can be a great choice if you are looking for warm winter in China. Hong Kong is bit warmer than other places in China having temperature in the range of 10°C to 23°C. You can enjoy your shopping experience with high quality and inexpensive goods. Yellow mountains in January offers you exposed peculiar rocks and verdant pine trees. It has breathtaking views of pure white and peace snows. The sunrise and sunset on the mountains are splendid. You can also enjoy photography here in January.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Harbin International Ice and Snow festival starts from 5th January and last for one month and it is the liveliest month in Harbin. You can enjoy Skiing at the popular resorts here. It has chilled weather and temperature falls below -30°C. So, you must be prepared with right clothing. You can also enjoy photography in January at yuanyang Rice Terraces and Songhua River, Jilin.

One Day trip in Shanghai

This article will guide you to a one day trip in shanghai. If you are going to use Shanghai as a gateway city for China visits then you will discover shanghai in a series of mini trips.

Shanghai is one of the layover cities of China and has most important airport of China, the Pudong International Airport and also making this city, main arrival/departure city of China. Most of the traveler flying from Shanghai might need to wait half day or a day before boarding an onward flight from Shanghai.

Bund area in Shanghai

Bund area in Shanghai

You can visit Pudong from Puxi and enjoy the Bund view across the river Huangpu. It takes about one hour to reach to airport from shanghai urban area. If you have 6 hours or more time then you can easily get out of the airport and see the shanghai and then get back in time and check in. You can leave luggage at the airport as there are about 6 different luggage deposit offices at the airport. You can take the route Pudong Airport-the Oriental Pearl- Nanjing Road- Bund- Yuyuan Garden- Pudong Airport. This will cover four main attractions and you can select which attractions you want to visit.

Yuyuan-Garden-Shanghai

Yuyuan-Garden-Shanghai

It will take abouthalf an hour to deal with your arrival process and then you might need 30 minutes for pickup and depositing your luggage and then walking from the airport to Pudong subway station. You can take subway line 2 to Lujiazui which will take about 25 minutes.  This subway station is situated about 400 meters from the famous Oriental Pearl. Subway is the best source of transportation as it avoids traffic jams.

You can visit Oriental pearl tower which will take about 2 hours. Then you can go for shopping and eating in the Nanjing road which will take about two hours time. Bund is about 1 km from here and you can take a walk.  Then your next destination might be Yuyan Garden which is 1.3 km from the Nanjing Road. You can spend three hours here and enjoy the taste of shanghai foods. After that you can return to the airport in about 2 hours.

 

Foods to eat in China

Chinese are pride on themselves for eating a different range of foods and the Chinese cuisine has an interesting history. This article will provide you some tips on the Chinese foods.

Beggar’s chicken is one of the highly recommended dishes if you are going on a trip to Hangzhou. This is a typical Zhejiang dish with the savory aroma and the tender chicken meat. This dish is served on a lotus leaf which tastes fresher as well as less greasy. Beggar’s chicken is served in the restaurants of Hangzhou widely and best one for tasting the beggar chicken is at the Louwailou which costs around 170 yuan.

Beggar's Chicken

Beggar’s Chicken

Bamboo Rice is another dish which is cooked with the rice and pork in a section of the fresh green bamboos until the bamboos are seared. The food is very much delicious having the fresh fragrance of bamboo. Bamboo rice is available in various places in china and especially in the regions of Dai and Yao minority people. So, you can enjoy this dish at several places like while traveling to Yunnan Province, Guilin, Guizhou Province and Taiwan.

Preserved Egg is the shiny dark grey having snowflake pattern. This unique product of egg was created by the people of China during the Ming Dynasty. Apart from its unique taste, preserved egg is very much useful in curing hoarseness as well as dispelling the bad effects of alcohol.

Stinky tofu is very much smelly and having an ugly appearance. But, if you will try it at least once, then you will definitely like its taste. This stinky tofu in Changsha is the most famous having crispy skin and a spicy and fresh taste. You can enjoy this dish in almost all most traveled cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Guilin, Hangzhou and Xi’an.

Tofu Taifun

Tofu Taifun

Fried bee pupae are a dish which is rich in nutrition having high protein and low fat content. They are used as a ingredient for cooking dishes in Fenghuang Ancient Town, Zhangjiajie, Yunnan Province and Southeast Guizhou. You can also get different varieties of pupae like steamed bee pupa, stir-fried bee pupa, etc.

Places to Travel in April

April is a good month for traveling to China. It has warm temperature as well as picturesque spring scenery in the month of April. It sometimes drizzles at many places and especially in south China. This drizzle makes the air of the spring cleaner and fresher.

Some of the best places to travel in April are Xi’an, which is a place of historical sites, Guilin, Three Gorges which is famous for picturesque natural scenery, Hangzhou, the beautiful city and Suzhou which has the essence of traditional Chinese gardens.

Three Gorges Dam

Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges has the view of the Graceful Yangtze River on a Leisurely Cruise in the month of April. The Three Gorge area is neither too hot nor too cold in this month and the area is vivified due to the beautiful mountains along the River Yangtze. It has diverse culture and breathtaking scenery. You will pass through the Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge which has beautiful scenes and Xiling Gorge which has the rapidest water flowing.

Guilin is another place and has masterpiece of Karst Landforms. The Li River flows at high during the beginning of the month of April. The temperature of Guilin wavers are between 14°C to 29°C. You can see the peculiar shaped hill and karst landforms as well as clean waters in Guilin. The white rape flower blossom during this time along the yulong River. You can also take the cycling trip along the Yulong River.

Xi’an is really hot in summer and dry and chilly in winter. Moderate temperature and nice weather also allows you to enjoy the nice trip which is full of the Chinese historical cultures. It is still cold in the morning and night with the lowest temperature of 7°C. This city has a plenty of historical sites like terracotta warriors, city wall, mount Hua.

City Wall

City Wall

Hangzhou provides you the panoramic view of Classic China. You can visit some of the ancient towns near Hangzhou. This city has a profound historical culture, fresh air, greenery and a leisurely and elegant atmosphere. Suzhou is another city which is very much famous for the traditional Chinese gardens. It has temperate climate and graceful scenery in spring. April is the best time to visit Suzhou as the gardens are vivified with the colorful blossoms and verdant plants.

Places to Visit in March

March month is the beginning of the Chinese spring season and the weather starts warming up which includes the four popular destination of China i.e. Shanghai, Beijing, Guilin and Xi’an.

The regions of the south of the Yangtze River are very much recommended for tourist in the month of March. In March, the spring flower appears and drizzles at times. It makes the regions of Yangzhou, Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou very graceful and worthy for a visit.

Yangtze River

Yangtze River

Beijing remains chilly in comparison to Central and Southern China. The climate is windy and the sand storm weather has been improved due to forestation. Temperature in this time fluctuates around 7 °C. It might be snow sometimes so you should be prepared with your warm clothes.

Zhouzhuang Ancient Water Town is one of the main attractions in the regions of the south of Yangtze River. There are about ten ancient water towns near shanghai and Zhouzhuang Water town being the famous one. It has fantastic landscape and you can see the graceful scenes in the morning and at the nightfall. The average temperature in March is around 11 °C and drizzle at times. The temperature and weather is changeable.

Wuyuan is noted for the most beautiful villages of China and has many architectural styles from Ming and Qing Dynasty. It is having 113 ancient ancestral halls, 36 ancient dwellings, 28 ancient mansion and 187 ancient bridges. You can enjoy peaceful natural scenery and the village is decorated with the pink and white peach flowers in March. Green mountains and rivers with ancient building make it fantastic.

Dali Yunnan

Dali in Yunnan province has a warm spring with elegant landscapes and minority customs in March. Its temperature lies between 7 °C to 22 °C in March and have rare rain. You can see ancient city of Dali, Three Pagodas and know about the history of Yunnan Province. It is one of the best tourist attractions for foreign and domestic travelers and ideal destination in the month of March. You can also visit Yalong Bay, Guilin and Li River.

for modern elements, catering, shopping and you can experience the old Shanghai also. You can also visit some ancient towns like Qibao Ancient Town, Zhujiajiao Ancient town, Fenjing Ancient Town.

 

Shanghai travel guide

Shanghai has become a very expansive city and some of the shanghai attractions are charging over 200 yuan for a family of four members for a day out in the city. It can be sometimes very expensive but you need not worry. Here are some of the interesting attractions that you will love in Shanghai.

Shanghai is full of several museums. You can visit the top museum in shanghai. Some of the museums are free of charge. Shanghai museum is one of them which have the best collection of artifacts of ancient China. This museum is four floored and has more than 120,000 precious ancient relics which include china ware, bronze ware calligraphy works, paintings, ancient coins, jade articles, sculptures and ancient furniture. You can get a lot of information about the Chinese culture in this museum.

Shanghai Museum

Shanghai Museum

Shanghai Natural History museum is also a nice destination for a family with the kids. This is one of the largest museums of China depicting natural science, history of ancient animals, evolution of plants and animals, human history, specimen of plants and animals, fossils, mummies, models, ancient literature and unearthed historical relics.

Shanghai Art Palace is also a free museum in shanghai and located at the China Pavilion of 2010 Shanghai World Expoo. It has 27 exhibition halls and the museum shows the development of the modern Chinese art having a lot of art treasures mainly oil paintings, Chinese paintings, printmaking and sculptures. If you want to see all these things then it might take a whole day.

Jin-Mao Tower

Jin-Mao Tower

50 Monganshan Road Contemporary Art Gallery is a place with artistic creation in Shanghai. Most of the Chinese painters live here and display their works. You can also see Leisurely strolling alongside the road. The Bund is situated at the bank of Huangpu River is the representative of shanghai. You can see Jinmao Tower and Pearl TV Tower there. Tianzifang is very popular tourist attraction and it has architectures of 1930 and you can find your favorite art and crafts enjoying the coffee. Build in 1907, Wukang Road is another place to visit and have about 14 excellent architectures and more than 35 historical sites.  Xintiandi is famous for modern elements, catering, shopping and you can experience the old Shanghai also. You can also visit some ancient towns like Qibao Ancient Town, Zhujiajiao Ancient town, Fenjing Ancient Town.

Avoiding tourist Traps

The main difference between the tourist attraction and tourist trap is that the tourist attraction offers you genuine interest and something of sightseeing or recreational values and is worth to your money as well as time whereas the tourist trap is set up for your exploitation. What you will be offered is not worth money and the time and tourist generally feed disappointed, cheated and bored. There might be the difference of the opinion here on value for money and what is worthwhile.  The tourist trap to one might look genuine attraction to another.

It is therefore necessary that you should be very much careful about the products that you are going to buy is a genuine one and you are not influenced by the views of any person. You should also see that the things that seems interesting and you want to take home with you is the worthy one and not a fake one.

If you are interested in some particular product then you should make sure that you are purchasing it for the genuine shop and getting a receipt after your purchase. This will also help you to prevent from any kind of problem occurring during the transportation of those items to your place or country.

It is seen that there is a huge chance of tourist trap at shops, lone hawkers at various tourist attractions as well as other tourist-frequented locations which sell over priced goods or unsuspecting market.  There is a huge difference between the local price, tourist price and foreigner price and it is the principle in the mindset of many vendors.

It is also necessary that you should be prepared and get some information about the places that you are going to visit. You can also take the help of the travel agencies or the tour guide if you feel any problem.

 

What to Buy and where to buy

Most of the travelers want to take some mementos or bargains. With having so many options available with you, shopping in China can be confusing, time consuming and exhausting for you. So, the following tips would help you to make your experience easy and better.

You should not buy everything on the very first or second day. Each city is having its own specialty. You can buy Cloisonne, fresh water pearls from Beijing. Xi’an is good for the shopping of Terra Cotta soldiers’ replica, Tangsancai and antique furniture. You can buy silk carpets from shanghai and longjing Tea and silk from Hangzhou. Suzhou is famous for silk whereas scroll paintings and China Southern Sea Pearls are famous items of Guilin. You can also buy Mounted butterflies, Dali Batik and Pure tea from Yunnan and carpets and jade articles from Xinjiang. Thang-ka ortanka which is sheep skin wall hanging can be bought from Tibet.

Shopping in China

Shopping in China

You should not feel obligate for shopping. If your guide is offering you shopping opportunities as a courtesy and if you are not interested at all, say no to them. Some of them might be enthusiastic and thinking that this is what you want but you should not be embarrassed and say that you do not want that directly and immediately that you do not want to go with the shopping. You will find many attendants trying to help you in making a purchase. But, it does not mean that you have to by it. You should look around and choose by your own.

Shopping can be a great idea in China and you can expect the items at very low price that you cannot get at your home. You can also get some of the branded items at a very reasonable and discounted rate in China. But, you should be cautious of the fake items at the same time. Most of the Antique buyers have seen that their antique item is fake. The antiques should be officially certified to be able to be exported legally. The penalty for the same is very severe. You should keep all the certificates, receipts and official documents which are received after purchasing any antiques.

chinese shopping

chinese shopping

 

How to Plan a First Trip to China

If you are planning for the first trip to China then you would want to see all of the main and popular tourist attractions of the country. You will not like someone saying that you have not seen this place or you have not really experienced the country of China.

Your trip to China might be once in a lifetime experience for you and you will want to make it to count. China is a very big country. So, there will be a question in your mind that how can you see such a huge country in just a few day of travel.  You would also like to experience the beautiful sites of China as much as possible.

Xitang Water Town

Xitang Water Town

The country of China is full from beautiful scenic places, historical buildings, Hills, beaches and all other things which a tourist look in any country. But, most of the travelers on their first trip to china mainly focus on the historical and cultural aspects of China.  Most of the travelers also look at the natural scenery of China and minority culture is another highlight. Big cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong, Xi’an, etc. are very much famous for shopping.

If you are going for the first time then it is advisable that you should take it easy. You should not go for too much adventure on the first trip. If you are looking the possibility of the more in-depth; visit for exploring this country in the future.

Being a new country can be very much exhaustive with the bombardment of senses like new sights and sounds, new customs, new language to process, different food, different time zone and different climate. So, you need not make your itinerary too much hectic.

Fenghuang ancient Town

Fenghuang ancient Town

You might be detracted by over extending yourself from your visit so it is recommended that you explore only the best of the easily accessible China for the first time. You should spend your rest of the trip by relaxing and taking in ambience.