Clusters of low-rise houses in the embrace of the city walls are all that remain of the Crow Post House village in Hebei province.
The Crow Post House village gives onlookers the false impression that it is deserted, and though residents remain in the village, their situation is far different from that of the past. Nearly all of the current residents are senior citizens or children; a stark contrast to the situation some 700 years ago when the village was considered a crucial strategic post. If you want to extend your Beijing tours, then traveling to Crow Post House would be a great idea.
Regarded as a major stop for horse riding messengers and traveling officials during the Ming dynasty, the village expanded from a few simple inns to the largest Post House within range of the nation's capital; as the village's military and postal significance increased.
Located in Hebei province, some 150 miles away from Beijing, it's as if time stands still in the Crow Post House village. Commercial tourism has not yet blighted the area, apart from an entrance fee of 30 yuan. But visitors will often find that they are free to wander into the village, especially if the person tasked with minding the entrance goes home early or is engaged in idle chitchat with his neighbors. Visiting this ancient time-forgotten house would be a great experience along your last minute deals for China travel.
Taking in a panoramic view of the village, one will see that it is made up of clusters of low-rise clay houses huddled together in the embrace of the remaining city walls. The internal structure remains unchanged from that of its heyday, with two gate towers situated to the east and west, stables in the northwest and barns in the northeast. Five straight-cut streets, bordered by shops and warehouses, cross each other in four directions.
Until 1913, The Crow Post House village was a prosperous area where businessmen would regularly gather. Every year during the Spring Festival, the small village would be packed with people from nearby regions who would come to sample the village's sensational temple fairs. But after the introduction of the modern postal system, a gradual decline set in and the village stepped back from its earlier glory days.
Time has taken its toll on the village, but evidence remains of its glorious past; though a large part of its city walls and houses are now dilapidated. A small number of residents who still live here have rebuilt their homes with bricks and red tile roofs, which easily stand out among a spread of earthy colored houses. Just minutes from the bustling atmosphere offered by your Shanghai tours, exploring this ancient house to refresh your soul and body would never fail to be a terrific experience.
However, the village has benefited from its weathered appearance. It has served as the backdrop of a succession of films including "A Chinese Odyssey", a popular comedy starring Stephen Chow.
There is not much to see in the village if you are looking for refurbished palaces and temples or well planned exhibitions, but every item and artifact that remains is steeped in history.
According to the fifth national census in 2000, the Primi population is 33,600. Their language, Primi, is a member of the Tibetan-Burman group of the Sino-Tibetan phylum. In the past, Primi was written using Tibetan characters, however, today, most write in Chinese.
Though a few of the Primi do follow Lamaism and Taoism, most believe that many gods and their ancestors influence their lives, They are led by wizards in their ceremonies for peace, happiness and harvest.If your last minute China travel deals cover this site, you should never miss discovering it heartily.
Food and food Culture:
The Primi ethnic group depends on agriculture and livestock, together with small industry and handiworks. The staple food of the Primi is corn, supplemented with rice, flour, oats and so on. Beef, pork and other meats are eaten, though not dog meat, and various teas, tobacco and wine are enjoyed. The tea is often held in ox horns or drunk with a bamboo straw.
The Primi people are warm-hearted. Guests are toasted with one cup of wine after another. When the guests depart, they are given four gifts: a drumstick, a piece of pork, a bag of tea, and a bottle of wine.
The Primi people's houses are constructed of timber. Central to the room, and the family's activities, is a burner. Usually the head of an ox or sheep is used as decoration as well as being a symbol of wealth. These architectures would be a great highlight of your China Tibet tours.
There are some interesting customs in Primi life. When the children reach the age of 13, they attend a ceremony that indicates they will be regarded as adults in future. From then on, they can join many social activities. The girl's mother will give her a little milk cow in advance as her dowry. The girl will feed on it carefully and when she gets married, she will take the cow with her to her husband's home. Distinctive Culture would be a great experience along your Tibet tours.
Lying on the west bank of the Pacific Ocean, the east edge of Asian continent and the tip of the Yangtze River delta, Shanghai is a fair leap port strategically well-located. Shanghai is one of China's largest economic centers and a city of historical and cultural relics. It has three islands in its territory: Chongming, Changxing and Hengsha Island with Chongming Island as China's third largest island.
Favorite Sights & Experiences:
Strolling the Bund: The most widely known street in Asia, with its gorgeous colonial buildings that were the banks, hotels, trading firms, and private clubs of foreign taipans (bosses of old Shanghai's trading firms) and adventurers past, deserves to be walked over and over again. See up close the exquisite architectural details of the Peace Hotel, the Customs House, the former Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, and scores of other buildings, some lavishly restored, others closed awaiting development. Then head across the street to the Bund Promenade, where you mingle with the masses while admiring the splendor and grandeur of old Shanghai. After you've seen it by day, come back again at night for a different perspective. If your China travel agents have included this metropolis in your itinerary, you should never miss the Zhujiajiao Water Town in urban area of Shanghai.
Admiring the Collections in the Shanghai Museum: China's finest, most modern, and most memorable museum of historic relics has disappointed almost no visitor since it opened in the heart of People's Square. Make it a top priority, and allow a few hours more than you planned on.
Surveying Shanghai from Up High: After crossing the Huangpu River from old Shanghai to the new Shanghai), enjoy the ultimate panorama from either the sphere atop the Oriental Pearl TV Tower or the Jin Mao Tower, two of Asia's tallest structures. On a clear day, you can see forever.
Cruising the Huangpu River: A 27km (17-mile) pleasure cruise from the Bund to the mouth of the mighty Yangzi River, past endless wharves, factories, and tankers at anchor, gives substance to Shanghai's claim as China's largest port and the fact that nearly half of China's trade with the outside world travels these same waters. To enrich your China tour deals of Shanghai, cruising along the Huangpu River should not be missed.
Shopping 'til You Drop: To paraphrase a local saying, if you haven't shopped, you haven't been to Shanghai. Savvy local shoppers know if you want greater choice and better deals, Huaihai Lu with its slew of international boutiques and large department stores is the place to shop. Branching off and parallel to Huaihai Lu, Maoming Lu, Xlngle Lu, and Changle Lu are also home to a number of delightful small shops. Even if you're the kind of person who only shops once a year, a visit to Nanjing Lu, the "Number One Shopping Street in China" is practically required, if only for a chance to marvel (or shudder) at the sheer numbers of people, people, people everywhere! A pedestrian mall makes strolling and browsing that much easier and that much more crowded.
Bargaining for Fakes: Shanghai has any number of antiques markets where you can hone your bargaining skills, but none more colorful than the Fuyòu Market in the old Chinese city (at the western end of Shanghai's restored old street, Shanghai Lao Jie). Half the fun is in rifling through all the personal collections of memorabilia and antiques that the vendors seem to have scavenged; the other half is in dramatically protesting the high prices quoted, walking away, then being called back by a vendor newly willing to deal. The same process and joys of bargaining apply when trying to purchase knock-off designer goods, but caveat emptor. Bargaining in the Yuyuan Market would be a great experience along your Shang tour package.
Tackling Hairy Crab: The name says it all. The signature dish of Shanghai is absolutely scrumptious, but it is seasonal (autumn), and it is best enjoyed at a big local restaurant.
Rediscovering Shanghai's Jewish Past: In the mid-19th century, Sephardic Jews from the Middle East helped make Shanghai a great city. In the mid-20th century, thousands of Jewish refugees flooded the International Settlement north of the Bund. Today, this history can be encountered at the Ohel Moshe Synagogue, where the curator, Mr. Wang, has vivid accounts of this little-known but important Jewish ghetto.
Watching the Acrobats: This has "TOURIST" stamped all over it, but it's nevertheless a totally worthwhile pleasure, especially since Shanghai's dazzling troupes are rightly considered China's very finest at this ancient craft.
Sampling Shanghai's Jazz Scene: The Peace Hotel Jazz Band's nightly performances of New Orleans-style jazz, with some members who have been playing here since before the Revolution (1949), are the ultimate piece of colonial nostalgia, but if this doesn't grab you, modern and more improvisational jazz can be heard at a number of true blue joints: the Cotton Club, Club JZ, and the House of Blues and Jazz.
Drifting in a Gondola through a Water Village: There are any number of picturesque "water villages" near Shanghai where you can be paddled in a gondola along streams and canals as you pass traditional arched bridges, quaint stone houses, and classical Chinese gardens. Two villages stand out: Tongli and Nanxun.
Eating Xiao Long Bao: Unless you're a vegetarian, not trying Shanghai's favorite (pork) dumpling while you're here is tantamount in some circles to not having been to Shanghai at all. The "little steamed breads" spill broth in your mouth when you bite into them. You can find them everywhere, but Crystal Jade Restaurant serves up the best in the city.
Shennong Stream is a left tributary of the Yangtze River, located in the Hubei Province of central China. Fed by tributaries some of which come from the Shennongjia Forestry District, the stream flows south, falling into the Yangtze opposite the city of Badong.
Originally the Shennong Stream watercourse consisted of a wild river traversing a tortuous alignment flanked by almost vertical limestone cliffs; however, since the beginning of the construction of the Three Gorges Dam downstream on the Yangtze, the water level has risen approximately 155 metres at the mouth of Shen Nong Stream.(Jin, 2006) The lower reaches of the Shen Nong Stream are presently a torpidly flowing river, most of whose previously scenic vertical gorge is now submerged. By the completion of the dam construction in 2009, a further 20 metres of gorge will be inundated. Shen Nong Stream is also known by its Chinese name of "Shen Nong Xi". If your Chongqing tours covers the Yangtze River, then boating on the Shennong stream would be arranged for your exploration.
The banks of the Shennong Stream Stream have been inhabited since at least the Han Dynasty; the primary ethnic group of the river valley has been the Tujia people. Early history of settlement in the Shennong Stream Gorge is evinced by the hanging coffins stowed in clefts on the high vertical limestone clefts; it is a puzzle to modern man as to how the heavy coffins were stowed on such steep, ostensibly inaccessible places. The coffins themselves were typically carved from a single layer section of a tree trunk, which was approximately 90 cm in diameter; although the lid section was split off to be separate. Some of these coffins can be seen presently from canoes traveling along the Shennong Stream Stream. The coffins are typically 30 to 150 metres from the bluff top above and 25 to 70 meters above the river surface. Most commonly a coffin rests on two sturdy hewn poles that have been wedged within limestone cleft or cave to form generally level platform. Many of these coffins have been lost or destroyed due to the Three Gorges Dam construction, which has led to inundation of many of these river reaches; some coffins, however, have been retrieved for cultural presentation and archeological study. For example, one such coffin was retrieved about 10 km west along the Yangtze River mainstem and is preserved on display at the White Emperor's Palace, within an historical Daoist Temple situated high above the inundation level along the Yangtze. Along the Yangtze River cruises, it would be discovered.
The Shennong Stream Stream Valley is also the site of a number of historical battles in Chinese history. In an early battle, Liu Bei, an emperor of the three kingdom dynasty, incinerated the fleet of Lu Xun (Three Kingdoms), Marshall of the Wu Kingdom, effectively cutting off the pursuit of the latter general. This naval battle took place in the lower reaches of Shennong Stream in the Longchang Gorge at the Rang Kou Xi tributary.(Chao, 2005)
Parrot Gully within Yingwu Gorge along the Shennong Stream exhibits numerous large horizontal incisions carved high on the limestone, which are vestiges of an earlier aerial plank road; moreover, this trace of earlier civilization may be a clue as to how the coffin sites were accessed via an intricate network of aerial planks. At Parrot Gully Liu Chunjum, a general of the Taiping Dynasty fought a number of battles.
May you just have experienced the natural beauty of China during your Hangzhou tours, while for discover the diversified landscape of China further, then traveling to Yangtze River is quite necessary. Then the luring Shenong stream is scheduled for your exploration.
Wudang Wushu is one of the key schools of Chinese martial arts. It originated in Wudang Mountain in Junxian County of Hubei Province during the Ming Dynasty. Wudang Mountain is one of the four famous Taoist mountains in China. According to legend, the great Emperor Zhenwu cultivated himself and became a real Taoist master, hence the saying of "It is only emperor Zhenwu who really deserves it", after which "Wudang (meaning the same as the saying in Chinese) Mountain" is named. Some China tour operator have arranged Wushu Experience in their itinerary. While Wudang Wushu, an ancient one, would fall onto their first choice.
With a long history, Wudang Wushu is broad and profound. The Wudang Taoist Zhang Sanfeng of the late Yuan Dynasty and early Ming Dynasty created the concepts of Wudang Wushu and has been honored as the founder of Wudang School. By ingeniously combining the essence of I Ching and Tao Te Ching with wushu, Zhang Sanfeng created Wudang Wushu that's dominated by Tai Chi Chuan, Hsing I Chuan and Pakua Boxing with important bodybuilding and health keeping values. Wudang Wushu is different from Shaolin Wushu during your last minute China travel deals of Zhengzhou in many aspects.
After continuous innovation, improvement and enrichment by Wushu masters of later dynasties, Wudang Wushu became a major school of Chinese martial arts. It has long been honored as the most authoritative kungfu in the south alongside Shaolin, the most authoritative wushu in the north. Wudang Chuan, also called “Neijia Chuan” (meaning soft, internal martial arts) is aimed at health preserving and a means of self defense. Wudang Chuan values martial spirit rather than strength, focusing on the principle of “levering a ton of weight with four ounces of force” and “letting flexibility control hardness”. Meanwhile, Wudang Chuan is more for defence than attack. Its functions and features also include prolonging life, helping cure and prevent diseases and boosting intelligence etc. No popular China travel package of Chinese martial art theme is complete without Wudang Wushu created in Hubei Province.
Wudang Wushu embodies distinctive Taoist culture and is a natural combination of Wushu and regimen, profound in both traditional wushu culture and scientific theory. It’s in line with the concept of internal cultivation and external exercising that integrates physical with psychological training. Currently, Wudang Wushu has been introduced overseas, becoming a sport activity for health preserving, disease curing and life prolonging.
The highway from Guilin turns southward at Yangshuo and after a couple of kilometer crosses the Jingbao River. South of this river and just to the west of the highway is a limestone pinnacle with a moon-shaped hole penetrating the hill. Hence the name Moon Hill. It's one of Yangshuo's most visited sights. With an elevation of 380 meters, the hill is 230 meters in relative height and 410 meters in length. There are over 800 marble stairs leading to the cave. The stairs were completed in 1981, giving easy access to those who want to get a close view of the cave. The cave is about 50 meters in height and width and is shaped like an archway. If you go to Guilin for traveling purpose, you should pay a visit to Moon Hill along your Guilin travel.
On a sunny day, blue sky and white clouds can be seen through the cave and on cloudy and rainy days, the "moon" is deep in mist. Viewed from different places, the moon takes on different shapes, sometimes full moon, sometimes half-moon and sometimes crescent, forming a marvelous spectacle in Yangshuo. A series of caves have been opened up not far from Moon Hill: the Black Buddha Cave, New Water Caves and Dragon Cave. If you head out to Moon Hill, you will undoubtedly be intercepted and invited to visit these other caves. The villages people will always be pleased to see you and will give you a great welcome. This refreshing experience would different with the historical atmosphere offered along your Xian travel.
Moon hill is usually part of day's sightseeing. You can ride a bicycle through smaller villages to get to Moon hill. There are several routes that you can take to get to Moon Hill. The original tourist route is called, "To Moon Hill the local way". This ride is nice but it is now crowded with locals selling postcards, back rubbers, tacky souvenirs or you may get a local dressed up to look like a farmer. They are just posing to try to get you to take a photo for which they will want money. Some locals put coloured ribbons on water buffalos horns to also try to get you to take photos for money. We recommend that you do the bike ride late in the afternoon as many have gone home and you can avoid the hawkers. Along your Hangzhou travel, you may have see the peaceful West Lake, while this enchanting Moon Hill would enrich your idea on breathtaking scenery of China.
Another route that will take you to moon hill is the "new local way". This ride is a bit longer but there are no people trying to selling you anything on the way. This ride will give you a glimpse of the rural lifestyle. You can also take in the old village of Long tang or have lunch at the Mountain Retreat which is situated on the Yulong River and has stunning views. If you do not have the energy for a bike ride, you can hire a motor rickshaw to take you there. You need to negotiate the price with the driver of the rickshaw. The price will depend on the length of time you want to have access to the rickshaw.
Wang Xiuyun (L) receives a bundle of roses from her 93-year-old husband Yu Xingbao at Kongjia Village, Jinan City, capital of east China's Shandong Province, Feb. 14, 2011, the Valentine's Day. The elderly couple has been married for 74 years.
A newly-wed couple walk in a garden in Macao, south China, Feb. 14, 2011. Lots of Macao couples chose to get married on the Valetine's Day.
A vender glued with slips of heart-shaped paper sells roses in downtown Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, on the Valentine's Day of Feb. 14, 2011. If you are lucky enough, during your China vacation packages, you may have chances to see how Chinese people celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Huang Desheng, 104, and his 99-year-old wife Cheng Yinzhi hold a bouquet of roses outside their house in Leping City, east China's Jiangxi Province, Feb. 14, 2011. It is said to be the first time for the elderly couple to celebrate Valentine's Day.
Contestants take part in a wife-carrying competition held in a park in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province, on Feb. 14, 2011, the Valentine's Day. If your see this scene along your travel, I am sure that it would enrich your China vacation deals greatly.
A pair of lovers shows a stone with words they wrote as a sign of love in a park in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province, Feb. 14, 2011, the Valentine's Day.
A pair of lovers together color a ceramic sculpture in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, on the Valentine's Day of Feb. 14, 2011.
Single young people play a game during an activity for blind date in Hohhot, capital of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Feb. 14, 2011, the Valentine's Day. Some 2,000 people took part in the activity Monday. Some China travel agency particularly arranged this kind of folk custom experience for travelers, which is highly favored by foreigners.
A pair of parrots are seen in Suzhou Zoo in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province, Feb. 14, 2011.
Shaoxing's legacy ranks it as one of the first and most famous historical and cultural cities in China. Shaoxing is famous for its long history, its culture, and the natural beauty of mountains and water. Tourists can enjoy exploring Shaoxing's wine culture, its stone culture, its history of calligraphy, Buddhist sites, and of course the rivers and bridges. To experience the ancient town flavor, some travelers particularly ask their China travel agents to cover Shaoxing. I am sure they would be mesmerized by the peaceful atmosphere of it.
Located in the northwest part of Jiangxi Provence, adjoining Zhejiang and Anhui Provence, Jingdezhen is known to the world mainly because of its porcelain production. In the long time development, Jingdezhen porcelain has been formed its own four special features, that is, “White like jade, bright as a mirror, thin as paper, sound like a chime.
Villages lie along small rivers, trees stand on riverbanks, and old farmers leisurely drive ducks toward a pond, forming a typical Chinese countryside scene. The county's glorious past can still be found in its uniquely-built houses, most of which, big or small, feature white walls, black roofs, elegant eaves, and dark green footstones. If your China tour deals are of off-beaten-path discovery, then Wuyuan is your best choice.
Hongcun is a village in Yi County county, Anhui Province.The village is arranged in the shape of an ox with the nearby hill (Leigang Hill) interpreted as the head, and two trees standing on it as the horns. Four bridges across the Jiyin stream can be seen as the legs whilst the houses of the village form the body. Inside the “body”, the Jiyin stream represents the intestines and various lakes such as the “South Lake” (Nanhu) form the other internal organs.
The architecture and carvings of the approximately 150 residences dating back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties are said to be among the best of their kind in China. One of the biggest of the residences open to visitors, Chenzhi Hall, also contains a small museum. Some popular China tour package of ancient town discovery has included Hongcun and Xidi in their itinerary, which are all well-reviewed by travelers.
Furong Town is in the north bank of the west water, the Tujia special buildings are scattered along the mountainside, overlapped if you see from far, and it goes to the half way of the mountain, and formed a 2.5 kilometers of Long Street. The street road is covered by stone slabs, and the ages washed them to leave a cold shining surface.
Fenghuang covers an area of 1700 km with a population of 370,000. There are the minority ethnic groups, such as Miaos, tujias. Fenghuang was described as“the most beautiful ancient city in China” by the famous writer Louis from New Zealand. Fenghuang has lots of relics and the sightseeing, the ancient city’s mountains and Tuo river, residents and establishment, temples and pavilions and so on.
Jiuzhaigou, the Amazing Fairyland in China
Jiuzhaigou Valley, reputed as a "fairyland", is situated in the Jiuzhaigou County of the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province, China. 40 km down the snow-capped Minshan Mountains there is a magic valley where scatter over 100 multicolored lakelets of various sizes, which are named "haizi " by the local Tibetans, the superb mountain lakelets gifted by nature to this place. Jiuzhaigou consists of nine Tibetan villages distributed between the thick virgin forests and "haizi", hence the name. Due to its special geographical features, many people joined different kind of China customized tour to visit Juizhaigou to discover this reputed fairyland in China.
The scenery in Jiuzhaigou is simply charming in all seasons. The spring witnesses green buds coming out of branches and waterfalls flowing briskly; in summer, the lakes are surrounded by green shades where birds sing and dance in between; leaves turn colorful in autumn while everywhere becomes a color palette; in winter, while the mountains and valleys are wrapped in snow, the waterfalls are much of some running jades. Considering limited time and energy, some people prefer to visit Jiuzhaigou after finishing their Chongqing tour, because they are near to each other.
In a secluded pure land deep on the plateau, where the tranquility reveals our heartbeats and the breathtaking sceneries of the four seasons linger, you can hardly confess your feelings in any earthly words. Jiuzhaigou is a divine place of water. Water is the soul of the place, embodied by the mountain lakes and waterfalls. The water in Jiuzhaigou is crystal clear, yet presenting multicolored and twinkling brightness with refractions of the depositions formed under the lakes by dissolved limestone and multiple minerals. Coupled along the lakeshore with the inverted reflection of the tree colors, which will change with seasons, the scenery of lake and mountain builds Jiuzhaigou into a magic dreamy wonderland. What a holy pure “fairyland”! For Xian tours, you may be overwhelmed by the impressive Terracotta Army, but for Jiuzhaigou travel, you may be hooked by the breathtaking scenery of it. You may have the illusion that you are in the fairyland.
Cuisine refers to a dish system possessing distinctive flavors and features in a certain region. China is a time-honored multi-ethnics nation with a vast territory and abundant resources, and every ethnic group has its unique abundant dishes. Regional cuisines have taken shape after long-history evolution under the influence of geographical environment, climate, products, cultural tradition, folk customs and other factors. The most influential and representative ones are Lu, Chuan, Yue, Min, Su, Zhe, Xiang and Hui Cuisines, which are commonly known as “Eight Major Cuisines”.
Lu Cuisine refers to Shangdong dishes, featuring dense taste and favor of shallot and garlic, especially apt at the cooking of seafood, soup and a variety of bowels. Famous flavored dishes include Dezhou braised boneless chicken, braised intestines in brown sauce, and braised Yellow River carp with sweet and sour taste.
Sichuan Cuisine refers to Sichuan dishes, and it is famous for diversified, vast and dense taste. Dishes with the greatest reputation include fish fragrant shredded pork, Ma Po peppery beancurd, and noodles with peppery sauce. After your Yangtze River cruises, you may have chances to taste the spicy Sichuan food.
Yue Cuisine is Guangdong-style cooking, featuring fry, deep fry, braise and pot-roast, etc., with special clear, light, crisp and fresh taste. Famous dishes include roast suckling pig, fried greasy-back shrimp, oyster sauce beef, and Guangdong-flavored moon cake.
Min Cuisine refers to Fujian dishes, with choice seafood as main raw materials, featuring the combined flavor of sweetness, sourness and saltiness as well as beautiful color and fresh taste. The most famous flavored dishes include steamed abalone with shark’s fin and fish maw in broth, fish ball, Fuzhou thin noodles, and pad and fried oyster.
Huaiyang Cuisine is a style of cooking prevalent in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, famous for pot-roast, stew and simmer, featuring soup regulation and fumet preservation. Representative dishes include stir-fried eel, white gourd bowl, steamed bun stuffed with three sorts of diced meat, and steamed dumpling with meat fillings. If your China travel deals cover this place, you may have chances to explore the specialties of this region.
Zhe Cuisine is Zhejiang style of cooking, featuring freshness, tenderness, mellow fragrance, cleanness and non-oiliness. Famous dishes include Longjing stir-fried shrimp, West Lake water shield soup, Jiaxing steamed glutinous rice, Ningbo glutinous rice balls, and Huzhou multi-layer steamed bun.
Xiang Cuisine is Hunan style of cooking, featuring fragrant-peppery, hot-peppery, sour, spicy, burnt-hot, and fragrant-fresh taste, with sour-spicy taste as the most favorite flavor. Famous dishes include Dong’an chicken, Zu’an shark’s fin, and lotus seedpod with crystal sugar.
Hui Cuisine is Anhui style of cooking, featuring common usage of ham to diversify taste and crystal sugar to increase freshness, apt at roasting and pot-roast, with heat control being attached with importance. Famous flavored dishes include stewed hen with stone fungus, smoked pork, mung bean battercake and farfalle noodles. To reward travelers a perfect China travel, some popular China tours have covered Chinese cuisine exploration. Then Hui cuisine is what can not be missed.
Dishes in the “Eight Major Cuisines” in China are characterized by diversified cooking skills, with each having its strong points. These styles of cooking are once personated in the following way: Su and Zhe Cuisines are comely and plain beauties in the south regions of the Yangtze River; Lu and Hui Cuisines are guileless and sincere men in North China; Yue and Min Cuisines are dissolute and elegant childes; Chuan and Xiang Cuisine are personages with abundant cultivation and acqierement. Being prevalent across China, the “Eight Major Cuisines” have been adding rich flavors into people’s diet, which also reflect the important role of diet in the Chinese life.
Shaolin Kungfu is a kind of martial arts practiced by monks under the special Buddhist culture of the Songshan Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng City, Henan Province. Taking martial art skills and actions as the performance form and Buddhism belief and Zen wisdom as the cultural meaning, the Shaolin Kungfu has a complete technical and theoretical system. Generally, the tour offered by China tour agents has covered Shaolin Kunfu experience in Shaolin Temple, Zhengzhou China. This experience would be a great feast to travelers’ eyes and they would be shocked by their terrific skills.
The Shaolin Temple, built in the Nineteenth year of Taihe Period during the Northern Wei Dynasty (495), is a cultural space for the development of the Shaolin Kungfu. The Shaolin Kungfu, which is originally practiced by the Buddhist monks whose duties were to protect the temple, has been gradually developed into an art of perfect technology, abundant meanings and high reputation in the whole world after more than 1500 years of development. According to martial art books registered by the Shaolin Temple, there are several hundred sorts of routines of Shaolin Kungfu practiced by monks of generations, among which, several dozen are the representative of boxing routines that have been handed down. In addition, there are 72 stunts and Kungfu of special sorts like capture, wrestle, discharging bone, point percussion and Qigong. Altogether 255 routines of boxing art, weapon and mutual practice are still practiced today. If your China travel deals covers Beijing, you may see the famous Shaolin Kungfu performance named “Legend of Kungfu” is Hong Theater in Beijing.
The Zen wisdom of Buddhism has endowed the Shaolin Kungfu with profound cultural connotations. The Buddhist commandment has evolved into the commandment of Kungfu practicing, displayed by the Kungfu morals of the practicers. This evolvement has endowed the Shaolin Kungfu with such characteristics as abstention, modesty and reservation, as well as taking regard to the inner strength, terseness and to winning by striking only after the enemy has struck.
The Shaolin Kungfu is an outstanding representative of the Chinese Wushu culture, and is the most representative performance form of the Shaolin culture. To wide spread Chinese culture, many popular China tours has arranged Shaolin Kungfu for foreigners to experience the profound Chinese culture.
The Seven Stars Cave, also known as Qi Xia Cave and Bi Xu Cave, is located in the Seven Stars Park of Guilin in Guangxi Province. The cave got its for the seven peaks supposed to resemble the star pattern of the Big Dipper constellation nearby - four peaks in the north are called Putuo Hill, three in the south are called Lunar Hill. The famous Seven Star cave is just located at the halfway the Putuo Hill.
About 1,000,000 years ago, the area was an ocean. As time went by, the changing crust lift the channel up, so today, we can see the beautiful cave which was once under the ocean. If you are having Guilin tours, you will visit this famous Seven Star Park.
The cave is a special scenic spot, which has three floors. Each floor has pillars, stalagmites, stone flowers, and stalactites.
In Sui and Tang Dynasty (581-907A.D.), this cave was a tourist destination; it also attracted great many literature giants. During the Sui Dynasty (581-618A.D.), people called it Qi Xia Cave, and its famous for its beauty. This kind of karst landscape is totally different with that in your Yangtze River cruise in your Chongqing tour.
A great Buddhist named Shang Xianqian, wrote the "Qi Xia Cave" on the cave's rock 590.The book "Guilin Scenery" of Tang Dynasty states: There were a clear green spring and a great many magic stones in the cave. If you want to know about the most marvelous views of Guilin, you should go around the Seven Star Cave and the Lu Di Cave.
After the wars of ancient times, many magical stories about the cave had spread throughout the area. For example, in 1852, the second year of Emperor Xianfeng of Ch'ing Dynasty, the army of uprising called Taipin Tianguo ("Heavenly Kingdom of Peace"), had its command station in the Qi Xia Temple.
What are the special things of the cave that have attracted so many literature people and soldiers? The cave is about 1 kilometer long. The widest place of it is 43 meters and the highest 27 meters. The average temperature is about 20 Celsius level. The water keeps flowing from the rock cracks and the lights shining in the cave that make it look like a crystal palace.
It was reported that Guilin has contributed a lot for China tourism, while Seven Star park makes great contribution to Guilin tourism, which attracts uncountable travel-addicts to pay a visit annually.
There are eight main spots of the scenic: Six Caves Heaven, Tow Caves Mansion, Cave in Cave and so on. The stalactites in the cave look like different kind of plants and animals. You may be wonder: is this a natural place or a manmade museum of art. After your visit, you will know why scenery in Guilin is so famous through out the world.
It is very cool in the cave, so if you want to escape from the heat in summer, this is a good choice. In the cave, your problem is no longer the heat but the possibility of catching cold, so take an overcoat with you.
Tea house (Chaguan), a special place for the Chinese to have tea, is very popular in the Yangtze River area; it is mostly called tea house (Chalou) in provinces like Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan, and is called tea pavilion (Chating) in Beijing and Tianjin of north China. Historically, there are some other names for it, such as Chaliao, Chafang, Chasi, Chashe, Chayuan, Chawu and Chashi. Although these names vary, the forms and contents are basically the same. Along your Yangtze River cruises, you may the tea house in the villages when you have the shore excursion.
The tea booth (Chatan) and small tea house (Chaliao) existed long before in China. During the Song Dynasty, Chasi and Chafang, where tea was sold, were already ubiquitous. The tea shop industry was further developed in the Ming Dynasty. At the same time, the business of selling big bowls of tea began prosperous in Beijing and was included as a formal industry into 360 industries. During the Qing Dynasty, since the Manchu aristocracy often spent their time in tea houses, they become important activity places for people from all walks of life, such as high officials, merchants and underlings, there. To the Chinese people, tea house, similar to the cafes in western countries, are social places where various kinds of social information are gathered and spread and where customers taste tea and talk about birds, news and daily things. In order to attract customers, stages are built in some tea houses to play tom-tom, Storytelling (Pingshu) and Beijing opera, making these tea houses amusement places. The drama Tea House, written by famous Chinese writer Lao She, revealed vividly the unstable society of the last phase of the Qing Dynasty through describing various kinds of people’s words and behaviors in a tea house. These years, China has greatly developed and many foreigners request their China tour operator to arrange Chinese culture discovery into their itinerary. For discovering Chinese culture, tea culture can not be missed. Start Chinese tea culture discovery from exploring Chinese tea house.
The rise of Tea House is closed related with Chinese tea culture. After several thousand years of development, the Tea House has become a part of life for the Chinese people. Now, people who come to Beijing will be attracted to those famous tea houses to experience Chinese tea culture. Chinese tea culture has its own features, which attracts thousands of travel-addicts to book diverse last minute China travel deals to experience it.
Traditionally, where ever rice is the staple, rice congee is the Chinese baby's first solid food. It is also fodder for the convalescing when bland food is called for. But it is best enjoyed as a foil for savoury side dishes, most commonly for breakfast. Maybe you could require the China travel agency to arrange this dishes as breakfast for you during your China travel.
I cup rice (long, medium or short grain)
6 cups water
There is no fixed list of side dishes, but in Taiwan, most accompaniments are pre-prepared, preserved dishes, many quite salty. These can be found at your Chinese grocery store. A typical range of side dishes is pictured in the photo: from the left, clockwise: Chinese sausage, fermented tofu in chilli, dried Oriental radish (daikon), bamboo shoots in chilli oil, stewed peanuts, pickled young ginger, pickled celtuce stem, and in the centre, salty duck eggs. Try also Anchovies with Peanuts and Pickled Cucumber Salad. This featured Chinese breakfast would enrich your China vacation deals in terms of Chinese cuisine exploration.
Wash rice until water is reasonable clear, drain
Boil water, add rice
Stir as you bring the rice to the boil again
Simmer on a very low heat for 20 minutes, (do not cover). The last 5 minutes may need an occasional stir to prevent sticking
Turn heat off. Stir to equalize heat
Put lid on pot and let rest for 10 minutes
Serve with accompaniments
Some educational tours in China particularly arranged the cooking class for foreign students, and this easy dish is also included.
Wudaokou,literally in Chinese the fifth level crossing of the Jingbao Railway, is a neighborhood in the Haidian District of North West Beijing. It is around 10 km from the center of Beijing, between the fourth and fifth ring roads, and has good public transport links including a train station on Line 13 (the CityRail line) of the Beijing Subway. It became a commercial center in Haidian during the 1950s following the establishment of schools. Until as recently as 2001 the area consisted mainly of Hutong neighborhoods and late 1960s apartment blocks, but major development has erased many of these old structures, replacing them with luxury apartments and science parks. Many China travel agents has included this site to their deal, which are all well-reviewed among clients.
International Students in Wudaokou
Wudaokou is also known for its large number of international students. Wudaokou's popularity as an international student area is reflected in its large number of bars and nightclubs (including Bar Loco, Pyro, Lush and Propaganda), which generally offer cheaper prices than many similar clubs in more central areas, such as Sanlitun.
While centrally located along Beijing's Line 13 Subway, the 2-lane in each direction Chengfu Lu (Chengfu Road), which runs east-west under the light-rail subway line, suffers from severe traffic congestion problems regardless of rush hour primarily because of heavy foot traffic due to subway users as well as other pedestrians looking to go from the west side of Wudaokou to the east side. Also, railway tracks parallel to and less than 30 meters away from the subway tracks cross Chengfu Lu. The railway tracks limit ways of getting from one side of Wudaokou to the other. China tour deals with Wudaokou offered a great chance for travelers to discover this ancient place in Beijing.
A vender is selling Converse shoes in Wudaokou
Each foreign student's experience may vary, but generally Wudaokou has been described as a "global village" with young people from around the world. Walking on the street there, you can see various interesting people: students living simple lives but infatuated with vendor’s stand selling old books, rock-singers shuttling around with their guitar, foreigners practicing their Chinese language while walking or riding a bus or cab, Japanese or Korean students (who are always ahead of the trend) dying their hair green or gray...here we have so many people with different backgrounds and cultures, and everyone is trying to overcome the language obstacle to communicate and enjoy their time living in China.
However foreign students are reported to like Wudaokou not only because of its lifestyle, but also for its unique cultural atmosphere. There are more than ten universities in Beijing's Wudaokou area, and the majority are China's top universities, including Beijing University, Qinghua University, Beijing Language and Culture University. Because of this, when Chinese and world leaders come to Beijing, they offer come to Wudaokou to speak. It is no wonder that student tours to China with Wudaokou is so popular.
Located on the Ming Mountain on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, Fengdu County is known to most Chinese as the 'Ghost City'. Having nearly two thousand years' history, the Ghost City combines the cultures of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism with the mystique of ghosts. Many famous literary works like Journey to the West, Apotheosis of Heroes and Strange Tales of a Lonely Studio contain vivid references to Fengdu. Some China business tours to Yangtze River are hot cakes these days, which offers businessmen refreshing experience of relaxation.
Fengdu got its name as the Ghost City in the Eastern Han Dynasty. Two officials from the imperial court Yin Changsheng and Wang Fangping decided to come to Ming Mountain to practice Taoist teachings. Through self-cultivation they became immortals. Combining their surnames produces the term "Yinwang" meaning the "king of hell." Later, during the Tang Dynasty, a stupendous temple was erected on Ming Mountain depicting life in hell. It displays demonic images and torture devices and reflects the notion that good people will be treated well in the afterlife and that bad people will be punished by going to hell. Some Chinese-culture-explorer particularly arranged Fengdu Ghost City in their tailor-made China tours to discover Chinese culture further.
White Wuchang-------who is regarded as the ghost who leads the soul of the dead to the underworld in China ghost culture
In the Chinese vision of the afterlife, the dead (or ghosts) must undergo three major tests to enter the netherworld. These tests are taken at three locations - Nothing-To-Be-Done-Bridge; Ghost Torturing Pass and the Tianzi (son of heaven) Palace. These three locations are among many attractions in the Ghost City.
Visitors coming here will marvel at the artisanship of ancient craftsman, the unique styles of architecture and the culture of the ghost. Whatever your beliefs, you are constantly reminded the "Good will be rewarded with good, and evil with evil." A major highlight here is the annual temple fair every March 3 - 5 featuring all kinds of folk activities and performances. The Fengdu Ghost City would offer you a great experience along your Yangtze River cruises.
Admission Fee: CNY 80
Cable Car: CNY 20 (round-trip); CNY 15 (one-way)
Opening Hours: 09:00 to 17:00
"There is a paradise in Heaven, and there are Suzhou and Hangzhou on earth." While strolling around in the elegant Chinese gardens in Suzhou, you may find another town not far from it also interesting for its well-preserved old architecture. This is Luxiang, an ancient town.
Boasting the best architecture quality and most quantity in the southern range of the Yangzte River Delta, Luxiang ancient town got its fame due to the 1995-year movie, "Shanghai Triad", directed by world-renowned Zhang Yimou, and staring Gong Li. The town therefore won itself another name, "Gong Li Island". Many travelers prefer to visit this ancient town after finishing their Hangzhou tours, because they are quite near which each other. Yes, this kind of tour arrangement is really money-friendly and time-efficient.
Built in the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279), the ancient town is filled with various old streets featuring the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) style as well as well an array of preserved old villages with a history of thousands of years. There used to be many famous people living in the town, including 41 scholars and 2 Zhuangyuan, or top contestants in former imperial examinations.
There are around 30 Ming and Qing dynasty (1644-1912) old buildings maintained in the town at present, encompassing 10,000 square kilometers. Villagers live a simple life near Mt. Hangu. Six lanes in the town lead to Taihu Lake. Walking through the worn long lanes, you may feel like walking through an episode of history. To promote their deals, China travel agency have arranged this ancient town into their Suzhou deals, which are quite popular among clients.
Luxiang appears more impressive in spring, with a backdrop of rows of lush tea trees and fragrant fruit gardens growing lavishly. This place boasts the famous tea called Biluochun, which used to be reserved only for the imperial family.
While looking down from Mt. Hangu in the north of the town, a panoramic view jumps at your eyes. On drizzly days, white walls and black tiles loom against cheerful blossoms, resembling a dream-like paradise.
On the other side of Mt. Hangu, there is an islet called Beijianhu Islet. Reeds flourish on the islet; wild animals often pay visits here. If your last minute China travel deals happen to cover Suzhou, you should never miss visiting this ancient town.
Luxiang ancient town: 50 Yuan (7.6 US dollars), Diaohualou (Carved Building): 35 Yuan (5.3 US dollars).
Take bus 502 at the Suzhou railway station to Dongshan, and then take bus 500 to get to Luxiang ancient town. Or there are tourist coaches to take
you there from Suzhou City.
You can stay at guest houses in Luxiang, costing about 30 Yuan per night, or Diaohualou Hotel in Dongshan.
Biluochun Prawn is a widely known cuisine.
Meanwhile, don't forget to take some oranges home. Once selected as a location for a TV show 'The Oranges Are Red,' Luxiang is famous for juicy and sweet oranges.
Situated on the bank of the Jia Ling River, not far from its confluence with the mighty Yangtze is the ancient village of Ci Qi Kou, formerly known as Long Yin. Covering an area of some 1.2 square kilometres (291.6 acres) it is 14 kilometres to the west of Chongqing Municipality. If your China tours fall to Chongqing, you should never miss visiting this ancient town, where the antique atmosphere would be offered.
It was named as it had supplied large amount of porcelain dating during Qing and Ming Dynasty. However, the village was also an important supply post for shipping on the river, a fact that explains why there are so many shops lining the twelve lanes paved with their large flagstones that form the main routes. Here you will find many outlets for craftwork, groceries and the like as well as a horologist, photography supplies, drugstore and a tempting supply of roasted nuts and seeds. As one would expect there are also many teashops and restaurants to cater for the many visitors who come to see something of a way of life that has existed here for so many centuries.
It is often said that a visit to China is a cultural experience. This is never more true than when you visit a place such as Ci Qi Kou where you will find the local residents dedicated to their traditional way of life, unaffected by modern influences to be found in the larger towns and cities. Above all, you will find a friendly welcome awaits you as the people of Ci Qi Kou share their special way of life with you for the duration of your visit. The Ciqikou Old Town would be the great highlight for your Chongqing travel.
Many restaurants and small shops lots of different kinds of snacks and gourmet food.
A place to see how things looked 60 years ago.
A preserved classroom where Samuel CC Ting studied.
“Face Changing” Sichuan Opera performance at a teahouse.
Various flavors of fried red chili peppers.
Transportation: Ciqikou Old Town is about 3 or 4 kilometers away from the main Shapingba retail and business center, so you can take buses or taxis.
The area is a pedestrian area.
There are more rustic buildings and older looking streets away from the entrance. You can walk south along the main street away from the entrance and leave behind the crowds of tourists.
Other attractions in the urban area include the Three Gorges Museum and the Great Hall of the People. They are next to each other. The Chongqing Zoo is a popular highlight in the southern part of the city. Chongqing University is about three kilometers away along the river. For exploring Chinese ancient town, no China tour packages are complete without covering Ciqikou Old Town.
Guilin rice noodles
The snack-Guilin rice noodles is a staple of the locals' diet, with a long histoy that can be dated back to the Qin Dynasty. Legend has it that when Qin troops painfully suffering from the diarrhea, a cook created Guilin rice noodles for the army as they could not be accustomed to local food. It is pliable but strong, fragrant, mellow, and extremely cheap(about 2.5 RMB a bowl). Besides, the dish is served in a bowl of soup made from pork, beef, garlic, peanuts, peppers and radish slices, very savoury and aromatic, making you mouth watering at once.
Guilin rice noodles can be found in almost all the local eateries, and the most famous one would be the hoese meat rice noodles of Huixian Lou. It is a must-taste snack in Guilin. Please do have a try and you are assured to love it! If you are having your Hangzhou tour, you should never miss tasting these snacks.
Yangshuo Beer Fish
How about a juicy Li River fish, cooked with fresh beer (brewed with Li River water), tomatoes, garlic leaves and ginger slices? Isn't it wonderful? This is a famous specialty of Yangshuo County, also a great tourist spot with breathtaking sceneries. Having a taste of it would be an unforgettable culinary experience. The best place to enjoy the dish is the famous West Street, for the beer fish here is the most traditional. Here a group of people can sit around a table and eat delicious Yangshuo Beer Fish in a warm atmosphere. What an exciting feeling!
Lipu Taro Looped Meat
Lipu Taro Looped Meat is a famous traditional dish served in the traditional Guilin banquets. It is always found during festivals or important events. This dish is made of taro from Lipu County (104 km south of Guilin) combined with streaky pork, red pepper, garlic spread, Guilin fermented bean curd, wine, honey and many other seasonings. It is no wonder that some people particularly want to arrange the Lipu Taro Looped Meat into their China customized tour. It seems make sense now.
Before the streaky pork and taro are steamed in bamboo steamers, they must be deep-fried in vegetable oil. The finished dish is golden in color and aromatic. The taro's flavor and the pork's freshness blend perfectly to create a wonderful dish.
In addition, this dish has certain health benefits, such as eliminating heat and purging fire, as well as softening the complexion. This famous dish is available at almost every restaurant in Guilin.
Oil Tea（You Cha）
Oil Tea is a distinctive flavor of Guilin, though many minorities of Southern China drink it. Every county of Guilin has people who regularly drink oil tea; however the most famous oil tea drinkers are the Yao people of Gongcheng. This kind of food is totally different with that in your Tibet travel.
Oil tea is prepared by frying tealeaves (which are pounded with a hammer-like wooden pestle to release the flavor) with garlic, salt, ginger, chili, possibly other ingredients and of course oil (usually peanut oil) in a wok. Water is then added and the mixture boiled.
The tea, which is more like a broth, is poured through a wickerwork sieve (or tea strainer) into a large bowl for serving (and cooling). The leaves in the strainer are pressed with the tea-hammer to squeeze out the oil tea. The oil tea is served into individual rice bowls for drinking.
The snails of Guilin are big and meaty. Sour peppers, specially-prepared in Guilin, are always used in the snail-cooking process. Cooked also with shallot, ginger and "Three-Flower Liquor", the end result is sour, spicy and very delicious. The tail of the snail is cut off before cooking for both the chef's and the consumer's conveniences. When enjoying Yangtze River cruises, some people flock to Chongqing to have Hot Pot, while in Guilin, you should never forget to taste the Guilin Snail.
The Wulong Karst is a natural karst landscape located within the borders of Wulong County, Chongqing Municipality, People's Republic of China. It is divided into three areas containing the Three Natural Bridges, the Qingkou Tiankeng and Furong Cave respectively. It is a part of the Wulong Karst National Geology Park as well as part of the South China Karst, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.20 kilometres (12 mi) southeast of Wulong County town, the area lies on the border of Baiguo and Yuhetao villages. If you happen to have your
Chongqing tours, you should never miss visiting the Wulong Karst.
Three Natural Bridges
The Three Natural Bridges, a series of natural limestone bridges located in Xiannushan Town, Wulong County,are the nucleus of a 22 square kilometres (8.5 sq mi) conservation area which includes the following features:
Tianglong Qinglong and Heilong limestone bridges;
Yangshui River Karst Canyon;
Central Shiyuan Tiankeng;
Lower Shiyuan Tiankeng;
Seventy-two Branch Cave;
Hidden Monkey Stream;
Hidden Baiguo Stream.
These attractions would be a great feast for your Chongqing travel.
Qingkou Tiankeng Scenic Area
The Qingkou Tiankeng Scenic Area is located around Houping Village, Wulong County and includes:
The five Shiwangdong tiankengs and nearby caves. This is the only currently known sinkhole cluster in the world formed by surface water erosion.
Furong Cave is located in Jiangkou Town, Wulong County some 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the county town. The cave is 2,846 metres (9,337 ft) long and features numerous vertical shafts running through the limestone. Stalactites and other sedimentary features abound throughout the Furong Cave.No Chongqing tour package is fantastic enough without covering the amazing Wulong Karst, which would be a great feast to your eyes.
The Guangyuan Thousand Buddha Cliffside Statues lie on the east bank of the Jialing River, 4 kilometres north of Guangyuan City, Sichuan Province.
The Thousand Buddha Cliffside Statues are on the wall of the cliff that is about 420 metres long and about 40 metres high, whose scale is the largest among the grottoes in Sichuan Province. The grottoes and shrines there are arranged layer upon layer, which reach 13 layers at most. It was recorded on a stone tablet built in the fourth year (1854) of the Xianfeng rein in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) that there used to be altogether more than 17,000 statues on the cliff. However in 1935, about half of the statues were destroyed when the cliff was blown up to make for the Chuanshan Road.
Now, there only exist more than 400 shrines and grottoes, and more than 7,000 statues. According to the History of Guangyuan County, there are 27 segments of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), 5 segments of the Five Dynasties Period (907-960), 26 segments of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), 26 segments of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), 8 segments of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1911), and 41 segments without exact record of date. Besides these, there are one more hundred inscriptions and Cliffside stone carvings of the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing Dynasties. If your China tours cover Sichuan, you should never miss visiting this site and you would be overwhelmed by its large scale and vivid scriptures.
Taking the Dayun Cave as the centre, the statues on the Thousand-Buddha Cliff can be divided into two parts: the north and the south. The famous grottoes in the south part include the Big Buddha Cave, the Lotus Cave, the Sakyamuni Cave, the Thousand-Buddha Cave, the Sleeping Buddha Cave, and the Multi Treasures Buddha Cave, etc.; those in the north part include the Three World Buddhas (Amida Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha and Bhaisajyaguru Buddha) Grotto, the Maitreya Buddha Grotto, the Three Buddha Bodies Shrines, the Vairocana Buddha Shrine, and the Hiding Buddha Cave of the Qing Dynasty, etc. There is a fine collection of the carving works from the Northern and Southern Dynasties Period (386-581), Tang, Song to Qing dynasties (618-1911), all of which have feature particular artistic flavour and exquisite craftsmanship.
The Dayun Cave, lying in the centre of the Thousand-Buddha Cliff, is 3.8 metres high, 3.6 metres wide and 10.6 metres long. In the right middle of the cave, there is a standing statue of the Maitreya Buddha (Laughing Buddha), with broad shoulder, fat body, round face, and curved eyebrows. He seems composed and happy, exposing his abdomen with eternal laugh. Behind the statue there is a cone-shaped stone wall, along both sides of which are carved many small shrines and Bodhisattvas. There are two deep shrines cut in each side, which house seven statues, including one Buddha, two disciples, two Bodhisattvas and two Hercules. The two walls were carved into half-round, engraved with 148 Bodhisattvas, all in attires flying in the sky and showing very special dispositions. The life-like Buddha figures would offer you an unforgettable experience in your China tour packages to Sichuan.
The Buddhas in the Big Buddha Cave and the Three-Sage Shrine, with small eyes and thin lips, look fine and delicate. The attendants, with prominent foreheads and deep Nasolabial folds, seem simple and elegant. Their hair is arranged into two buns on the top of the head, and two ribbons hanging from the ears and the capes are placed in front of the abdomens. The two grottoes are different from other ones in terms of the features of the Lotus Throne and the Buddha Shrine. They must have been the works of the Southern and Northern Dynasties Period. There are inscriptions written in the first year (555) of the Tiancheng reign of the Liang Kingdom in the Southern Dynasty (420-589) in the Three-Sage Grotto on the right side of the Dayun Cave. The three statues in the grotto, with simple and unsophisticated facial expressions and elegant clothes, are similar to the statues in Big Buddha Cave, and all of them are the earliest statues in the Thousand-Buddha Cliff.
The Lotus Cave was named after a lotus with a diameter of 1.2 metres in the right middle of the sunk panel. People in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) painted peonies around the lotus, and the seedpod of lotus was painted as Bagua Taiji (the Diagram of the Eight Trigrams and Cosmological Scheme) of Taoism. In the east, north and south walls of the cave, each one has a big shrine, with one Buddha and two attendants in it. The Buddhas, with a round face and broad shoulders, are in the round-collared clothes with cassock covering just one shoulder, and there is a peach-shaped halo behind each Buddha. In the space between the three shrines, there are 96 small shrines and 130 more statues such as Buddha, Arhat and Bodhisattva. In the Sleeping Buddha Cave, the Sakyamuni was sleeping on one side, with serene expression. The disciples standing behind him are in different postures and expressions. Some of them are beating their breasts, some are crying or sobbing. At each side of the Buddha, stands a Bodhisattva, who is against a Borneo Tree that has a dragon crouching around the trunk. There are two series of basso-relievos on the north wall of the grotto, narrating the story of the Buddha burning himself in the gold coffin. This shrine is the masterpiece of the stone-carved statues of the Tang Dynasty. For offering an fantastic Sichuan travel experience to travelers, many China tour agents have arrange this scenic spot to their itinerary, which are all best-sold among clients.
There are other exquisitely-carved small shrines in the Thousand-Buddha Cliff, in which are vivid figures, such as the artists in Hu dressing, goddess dancing with the music, flying man with two wings, soldiers in a suit of armour, all kinds of birds and beasts, fairy tales and so on. It is the treasure house of the art of China ancient grottoes because of their rich contents.
Shangri-la is on Diqing Plateau in the northwest of Yunnan Province. The word "Shangri-la" originates from a paradise of the same name in the novel Lost Horizon by English writer James Hilton. Diqing Plateau happens to be a beautiful land with snowy valleys, alpine lakes and tranquil grassland, just the same as the paradise in the book. For this reason, Diqing was officially renamed Shangri-la in 2001.With its unbeatable beauty, it attracts many scenery-lovers to join different kinds of China tours to discover it.
Snow mountains like Meili, Baimang and Haba are towering on the snow-covered Diqing Plateau. They are the lowest-latitude snow mountain group in the northern hemisphere. These sacred and charming mountains standing in the northwest of Yunnan have added holiness and beauty to Shangri-la. On the huge mountain range of the broken mountains, there are low-latitude oceanic glaciers rarely found in the world. For discovering an complete Yunnan, many China tour agents have arranged Shangri-La in their itinerary, which is well-reviewed among travelers.
These glaciers are like gigantic white dragons lying in the valleys, adding a mysterious color to the imposing snowy peaks and fields. Alpine lakes like Shudu Lake and Napahai Lake are dotted in the high mountains and lofty peaks of Diqing Plateau like embedded pearls. In summer, green lush trees and multicolored blooming flowers make the area a fairy land. River bends and valleys crisscross the plateau, the most famous ones being "the First Bend of the Yangtze River" and "Tiger Leaping Gorge". No China tour packages to Yunnan is complete without visiting Tiger Leaping Gorge, the highlight of Shangri-la travel.
In addition to the fascinating natural scenery, Shangri-la is also a place blessed with various types of folk music and dance, traditional folk art with unique charm as well as mysterious religious culture, making the place a "paradise" everybody yearns for.
Tips: There are six decent hotels (North Peak Hotel, Wuyun Peak Hotel, Middle Peak Hotel, East Peak Hotel, Zhenyu Gong, Chaoyang Gong Hotel).
There are also many hostels (￥50 for a bed for a night) on the mountain.
You can choose to stop anywhere during your climb according to your individual physical needs. The prices at the hostels are negotiable.
On the second day, after watching the sunrise at the East Peak in the early morning, continue your way to enjoy the scenery of the rest three peaks. Reaching Nantian Gate from East Peak requires 35 minutes' walking and then you will also pass the Changkong Zhandao (an ancient plank road built along the surface of a cliff), one of the most dangerous spots of Mt. Huashan. It is only about 4 meters long and 0.33 meters wide. Refresh yourself before you go for the next stop. Some businessmen particularly like to join different kinds of China business travel for relaxation while doing business. In this case, Huasha is highly recommended.
Then you need 25 minutes' walking to pass by Yangtian Chi to reach the South Peak (2160 meters high), "Monarch of Mt. Huashan". On reaching there, you can be proud to say that you've conquered Mt. Huashan. The walk to West Peak (2082 meters high) needs another 35 minutes and there are no railings along this way, only an old wooden plank to support you. You can visit the Taoist Temple and Cuiyun Palace for a while.
Continue to walk downwards for another 30 minutes to the Middle Peak where you will have a chance to visit the Jade Maiden Temple, a Taoist temple, Rootless Tree and Sacrificing Tree. Middle Peak is actually can be regarded as a branch of the East Peak and the view is not outstanding; so you can miss out this part if you are feeling exhausted. Now, you have come across all the five peaks of Mt. Huashan and it's time for you to get down. For some travelers who have special need for Huashan travel, customized China tours would come to their preference since it is tailor-made according to your needs.
From the Middle Peak, you can return North Peak through Jinsuo Guan and Canglong Ling the same way which takes about an hour. Then take the cable car to the foot of the mountain and catch the shuttle bus back to Xian.
•You should take gloves, a raincoat, a walking stick, any necessary medicines and a flashlight.
•The average temperature on Mt. Huashan is 6.8 degree and you need take enough clothes.
•You can rent an overcoat for CNY10 – 20 per person on the mountain.
•Leave any large luggage at the foot of the mountain.
•Don't drink too much during your climb as there are only a few toilets on the mountain.
•The best seasons for visiting Mt. Huashan are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to October).
•Please do remember to avoid climbing on holidays of China, such as the May Day (May 1st to 3rd) and the National Day (Oct 1st to 7th). Hope the above tips would bring much pleasure for your China travel.
This is a brief description of the Mt. Huashan trekking route divided into three sections.
1st section: Foot of Mt. Huashan (Yuquan Yuan)-->Huixin Rock-->North Peak
Road conditions: Winding Road from Yuquan Yuan to Qingke Ping
Stone Stairway from Qingke Ping to Huxin Rock
Precipitous ladders from Huxin Rock to North Peak
2nd section: North Peak-->Jinsuo Guan
Road conditions: Precipitous ladders
3rd section: Jinsuo Guan-->Top of the rest Main Peaks
Road conditions: Flat Road and some ladders.
You have the option of three ways to start out on the first section. The first option is to start trekking from Yuquan Yuan at the west gate of Mt. Huashan where you can view nearly all the important sightseeing spots along the first section. The second option is to take the cable car from the east gate direct to the North Peak. This saves you some of physical effort at the beginning enabling you to view as much as possible of the scenery of the five main peaks. The third option is to start trekking from the east gate on foot. Few of people take this option as the entire route means climbing the stone stairway and there are few of sightseeing spots along the way. It is generally agreed that Huangshan Mountain contributes greatly to China tourism, which attracts many visitors every year.
The west peak
Now let's explain the trekking trail in more detail, as tourists usually will adopt one or the other of two ways to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Mt. Huashan. Should you have a tight schedule, just take one day for your exploration. This will require departure from Xian at 08:00 in the morning to arrive at Mt. Huashan (Yuquan Yuan) at 10.00 am. Take the bus (CNY10) to the east gate of Mt. Huashan where the cable car will take you up to the North Peak in only 7-8 minutes. This ride is more than 1500 meters long and runs from 07:00 until 19:00 (Apr to Oct) but only from 09:00 until 17:00 (Nov to Mar). The charge is CNY80 per person for one way and CNY150 per person for the round trip. From the North Peak, you have a series of paths to reach the remaining four peaks. You will have 3 to 5 hours trekking time but ensure you are in good time for the last cable car down the mountain to avoid being stranded. For seeking of travelers’ safety and convenience, many China travel agents has arranged cable car to climb Huangshan Mountain.
Trekkers, who want to reach the East Peak to watch the sunrise, can climb from Yuquan Yuan at night. Having watched the sunrise, you can visit the Middle Peak, South Peak, West Peak and return to Jinsuo Guan to the foot of the mountain. This one way trip needs about 8-10 hours and this is also considered as a relatively safer way for nervous climbers because they will avoid seeing the dangerous cliffs in the dark but they will miss out on some of the sightseeing highlights as a consequence. With its unbeatable beauty, Huangshan appeals numerous travel-addicts to join different kinds of China tour deals to discover its charm. Come to China to discover it and you will never be disappointed.
Chinese tattoos have become a raging phenomenon among tattoo enthusiasts of the western world. Chinese tattoos offer beautiful characters with a sense of the exotic and often much deeper meaning than that which lies on the surface. During your China travel, you may see many local Chinese people have tattoos, which is deemed as kind of beauty and becomes very popular among the young.
Ci Shen - Chinese Tattoos
The art of tattooing has been known in China for thousands of years. Tattooing in China is called Ci Shen (Or Wen Shen), a term that means literally “puncture the body.” Although the art has been known in China for ages, it has for the most part been an uncommon practice. Throughout Chinese history tattooing has been seen as a defamation of the body, something undesirable.
Water Margin, one of the four classical novels of Chinese literature, does reference tattooing. Water Margin tells the stories of bandits of Mount Liang area of China during the early 12th century. The novel talks about the 108 companions of the historical bandit Song Jiang. Three of these characters are referenced as having tattoos covering their entire bodies. If you want to explore Chinese tattoos, you may ask your China tour agents arrange more local special places to see the Chinese with diverse Chinese tattoos.
The most famous tattoo in Chinese history comes from the legend of the Chinese general Yueh Fei. Yueh Fei served the South Song Dynasty. During battle with northern enemies the Field Marshall under whom Yueh Fei served betrayed the South Song and went over to the enemy.
In protest Yueh Fei resigned and returned home. His mother grew angry with him, telling him that his duty was first and foremost to his country, despite all else. To remind him of this fact she tattooed four characters on his back with her sewing needle. These characters, jin zhong bao guo, are difficult to translate but mean something like “Serve his country with ultimate loyalty.”
At some points in Chinese history Chinese tattoos were also used to mark criminals. Criminals convicted of a severe crime would be ordered to have a tattoo printed on their face and exiled into a faraway land. Even should the criminal ever return the tattoo would mark them forever as a criminal? This form of punishment was known as Ci Pei (Tattoo/Exile).
Some people come people for appreciating beautiful scenery of China and they head to enjoy the Yangtze River cruises. While from my own opinion, to discover a complete China, why not discover Chinese culture? Start your China culture exploration from Chinese tattoos!
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