Located in the Longjing (Dragon Well) Village -- a tea growing area south of the West Lake District in Hangzhou, the China Tea Museum was completed and opened to the public in October 1990. It occupies an area of 3,500 square meters and comprises 4 groups of buildings with displays outlining the traditions of growing tea south of the Yangtze River. Here you can learn about the history of tea, the best varieties and the etiquette of tea drinking in China. Along your Hanghzou tour package, you could pay a visit to this museum.
The four separated buildings are respectively of exhibition, tea sipping and tasting, tea service ceremony, and multi-function. The exhibition building is again divided into 6 exhibition zones, including history of tea-growing, the varieties and distribution of tea in China, events related to tea, various tea utensils used in the old dynasties and tea-drinking habits in different parts of China with tea-related culture. Visitors can also learn about the scientific and technological aspects of tea growing and processing. To save time, you could extend your Suzhou tour package to Hangzhou and visit the mesmerizing West Lake while tasting Dragon Well tea.
No.2 building has been a fine locale for a number of cultural activities on tea, including a series of international seminars on tea culture and exchange.
No. 3 and 4 buildings serve as tea drinking and performance sections, which not only introduce you the way to drink tea in detail, but also display various drinking rituals seen in different provinces and foreign countries.
One of the largest theme museums in Hangzhou City, the China Tea Museum lies with the green hills at its back and tea plantations in front. In the museum the trees made a shade everywhere with flowers in bloom all the year round. It is a calm and quiet place for relaxing and enjoying a cup of tea. Upon the request of clients, many China tour operators have include the Chinese tea tasting experience in their itinerary, which is well reviewed by clients.
Opening Hours:8:30-16:30 (Oct. 8 - the next Apr. 30); 9:00-17:00 (May 1 - Oct. 7);Close on Monday
Bus Routes:Take bus 27 or Y3 (Tourism Bus Line 3) and get off at Shuangfeng Station.
And the 3,900-meter-long Lupu Bridge has a second claim to fame. It's the world's first ever completely welded bridge structure. In construction a hefty 35,000 tons of steel were used and it took over 700 tons of paint to have the Lupu Bridge ready to meet the public. In your China travel cover Shanghai, then you could walk on this impressive Lupu bridge.
Built to rigorous safety standards, the structure is designed to withstand a force-12 hurricane and an earthquake measuring seven on the Richter Scale.
Like the Sydney Harbor Bridge, the structure serves as a stunning sightseeing attraction. However, unlike the Nanpu and Yangpu bridges, also in Shanghai and crossing the same Huangpu River, the viewing platform of the Lupu Bridge is located at the very top of the structure's giant bow-like support archway. Along your Shanghai tours, when you head to Zhujiajiao Water Town, you would cross this bridge.
This allows visitors to enjoy breathtaking views. Adding to the whole experience is the more than 300-step climb up the "slope" of the arched rib which makes for an unforgettable experience itself.
But no great physical effort is required as sightseers take a high-speed transparent elevator up to the main deck of the bridge before walking up the steps along the arch rib for about 280 meters.
At the top there's a viewing platform which is about the size of a basketball court, and it offers splendid views of the scenery around the Huangpu River. No China tour packages to Shanghai is fantastic enough without visit this impressive bridge.
Address: No. 909 Luban Road;
Entry: 80 yuan;
Traffic: Various city bus lines lead to the bridge. Get off the bus at Luban Road stop or Lupu Bridge stop.
The Silk Road or Silk Route is a modern term referring to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa. Extending 4,000 miles (6,500 km), the Silk Road gets its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade along it, which began during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). The central Asian sections of the trade routes were expanded around 114 BC by the Han dynasty, largely through the missions and explorations of Zhang Qian, but earlier trade routes across the continents already existed. Along your Silk Road travel, you would have a feeling of tracing back to ancient times.
Trade on the Silk Road was a significant factor in the development of the civilizations of China, India, Persia, Europe and Arabia. Though silk was certainly the major trade item from China, many other goods were traded, and various technologies, religions and philosophies, as well as the bubonic plague (the "Black Death"), also traveled along the Silk Routes. To the adventure-lovers, no classic China tour package is complete enough without experiencing the ancient silk road.
The main traders during Antiquity were the Indian and Bactrian traders, then from the 5th to the 8th century AD the Sogdian traders, then afterward the Arab and Persian traders.
The Silk Road gets its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade, a major reason for the connection of trade routes into an extensive transcontinental network.
The German terms "Seidenstraße" and "Seidenstraßen"- 'the Silk Road(s)' or 'Silk Route(s)' were coined by Ferdinand von Richthofen, who made seven expeditions to China from 1868 to 1872.Some scholars prefer the term "Silk Routes" because the road included an extensive network of routes, though few were more than rough caravan tracks.
When mentioning places for China travel, many people may recommend China Tibet tours, while to me, I think a silk road travel is also worthwhile for visitors.
Along with Tsimshatsui, Causeway Bay is where shoppers in Hong Kong love to spend their money. If the crowds in Hong Kong overwhelm you, wait until you see the intersection of Hennessy Road and Sogo, one of the most popular department stores in the area on one of the busiest streets. If you are a shopping-lovers, then a visit to Causeway Bay would be a great experience in your Hong Kong tour package.
Shopping in Causeway Bay is not confined to the biggest department stores of Mitsukoshi, Sogo and Lane Crawford. Jardine's Crescent and Lee Garden Road are two of the best spots for bargain hunters in Causeway Bay. All of your favourite name brand clothes are here, as well as watches, luggage and electronics.
If the lanes are not your style, a bit more up market is the new Lee Gardens and Times Square. The latter is a popular multi-purpose complex where one can shop, eat, bank or catch a movie all in an afternoon. In addition to shopping, people come to Causeway Bay for the restaurants, pubs, karaoke bars and nightclubs. If your China tour operator offers some free time along your Hong Kong travel, then a visit to Causeway Bay should not be missed.
Foodies will appreciate the wide variety of restaurants in the area. On Jaffe Road, Cannon Street and Houston Street, you will find restaurants serving Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican or Spanish. The hardest part will be deciding which restaurant to choose. After dinner, why not try your luck at the nearby Happy Valley Racecourse. The locals love betting on the races and who knows, maybe it could be your lucky day. A full day in Causeway Bay will be, without a doubt, one of the highlights of your stay in Hong Kong.
No China vacation deals to Hong Kong is perfect enough without offering some free shopping time for visitors. During your free time, a visit to Causeway Bay would never disappoint the shopping-addicts.
Beijing has more than 20,000 hectares of foliage in its surrounding mountains, spanning 230 kilometers. Maple, smoke trees, persimmon, hawthorn, gingko, torch trees, birch, aspen, hickories, linden, chestnut, walnut, sawtooth oak, jujube and more to beautify Beijing.
Leaves change color based on a variety of factors including light level, temperature, soil conditions and more. Get an eyeful of nature's painted canvas! Plan a fall foliage getaway with tour-Beijing travel service - some pre-arranged tours as well as the customized tours per your specific request. To promote the deals in autumn, many a China travel agency have extend their itinerary to these less-explored but suitable for traveling in autumn.
Mangshan National Forest Park
Mangshan National Forest Park is to the east of the Ming Tomb’s Reservoir, 35 kilometers from the center of Beijing City. There is nearly 86 square kilometers forest within the park. The forest coverage is up to 86.5%, which is the largest in Beijing. Every autumn, there is a Red Leave Festival lasting from October to late November. If your China tour deals fall into autumn, then a visit to Beijing to these sites has something for you.
Shangfangshan National Forest Park
The Shangfangshan National Forest Park, with an area of 340 hectares (840 acres), is situated in Hancunhe Village, Fangshan District, and about 70 kilometers (44 miles) from Beijing. With its main peak 860 meters (2,820 feet) high, the park is characterized by vast area of woods, nine marvelous karst caves, twelve stupendous peaks, seventy-two ancient temples, and the largest stupa group in North China.
Botanical Garden in the view without introduce more naturally “looks graceful” Fall to the botanical gardens, in addition you can see red leaves, but also many of the South do not have close contact with fruit such as plum, crabapple, etc., but this time it is when they mature. The first Botanic Gardens in heavy spots are Cherry Vale, valley streams running, the cool and pleasant, Journal of Dalian tactfully. Construction of a wooden plank Botanic Gardens, winding deep valleys, and large in both sides of the plant are a national treasure – Metasequoia glyptostroboides.
May you just have enjoyed the beauty of China along Yangtze River cruises, but to discover the history of China, a travel to Beijing, the capital of China, is what you can not miss.
Beigong National Forest Park
Beigong National Forest Park was constructed in October, 2002, located in the Fengtai District, west suburb of Beijing City. It covers an area of 9.145 square kilometers. And it is the biggest park whih is closest to the city center. There is the largest colorful foliage forest which covers an area of more than 4000 mu, including the red maple trees, yellow ginkgos and metasequoias, purple Prunus cerasiferas and green oriental arborvitaes. It is beautiful and will never let you down. With unbeatable charm, Beijing do make a great contribution to China tourism.
Diaoyutai Ginkgo Road: visit the artist’s paradise
Diaoyutai you are familiar with, there is a wall in the Guesthouse tall ginkgo tree planting over the path, the arrival of autumn, the leaves become a golden garden trees. Winds, leaves the fireflies as a small fan, scratched into the whereabouts. At this point with the perspective of the vision looked long path, as if into the autumn paradise. Beijing beauties are often at this time is in here taking pictures, Beijing’s university students have also circulated this is paradise dating argument. Autumn, there are many photography enthusiasts, art lovers in here looking for inspiration, creation. If your China travel packages cover Beijing, you should never miss visiting these must-haves.
Baiwangshan Forest Park
Each autumn the mountain of Baiwangshan Forest Park is beautifully decorated with splendid red foliage. The common smoke tree is the main species, while the intoxicating red leaves on the torch trees resemble countless burning torches on the mountain. Here, the autumnal shades are special for several reasons. The park has a great variety of trees, including a large quantity of mature maples. Besides, the geographical location of the park offers a superb habitat for these trees. Each year in October, Baiwangshan holds Red-Leave Festival during which period nearly up to a thousand red leaves seem to compete with each other, bright and intoxicating. Two best locations to appreciate red leaves in Baiwangshan: one is a Youyi Booth; the other is Lanfeng Booth stands on the top of the mountain. No Beijing tour is complete without visiting these attractions.
Photo taken on March 1, 2011 shows the night view in a house in Heshun Township of Tengchong County, southwest China's Yunnan Province. Located in west Yunnan Province, the Heshun Township is a small ancient town with pleasant climate and tranquil surroundings. Small as it is, the town is a charming place in many ways. Eighty percent of its population is returned overseas Chinese or families of overseas Chinese. It used to be an important stop on the ancient "South Silk Road" where the Chinese culture converged with that of the Southeast Asia and the West. It owns the nationwide largest country library. Besides, it also displays a harmonious picture of nature and people with blooming cole fields, evergreen hills and old-fashioned dwelling houses. Nowadays, Heshun has become a hot tourist destination for worldwide travelers. If your China tour packages covers Yunnan, a visit to Heshun Town would never disappoint you.
The meandering stone paths are all being torn up, pipes being laid beneath. Even with the construction, the town is very quiet and slow-paced. The mornings come early and old women sell pickled vegetables and rice noodles outside the village's library. The evenings also come early and children skip home downhill in the darkened alleys. Beside the lake, families have made small fires and sit around on heavy, ski-lodge wooden benches warming their hands. To enrich your travel to Shangri-la, a visit to Heshun town is a good idea.
Heshun is a beautiful old village, but with a twist: half the town's inhabitants haven't returned yet. For the 6,300 residents currently living in the village, nearly 6,000 others are still overseas working, waiting to retire and return to Heshun. It appears the town is destined to become a retirement home for overseas Chinese. Despite its remote location near China's border with Myanmar, the town has always had connections to the outside world. Back in the Ming Dynasty, Heshun's first generations of overseas traders traveled frequently to Myanmar and dealt in jade. These days, there's said to be a Heshun-er on every continent. These years, many China tour agents have included this peaceful town into their itinerary as a highlight for their deals. This seems makes sense now.
Over the years, this legacy of international trade has put its stamp on the town. Exotic goods from Southeast Asia and beyond have trickled into town via old caravan routes. The Li family mansion, home of one of the village's most wealthy trading families, boasts Japanese pottery, French stained glass and a 19th century Italian clock.
Dining on prime Yangcheng Lake hairy crabs in Shanghai can be an expensive business.But fear not,there are homely options to try the delicacy in farmer-run"crab house"on its home turf.Let's go on the trail of the tasty crustacean.
Taking a real bite of famous Yangcheng Lake hairy crab is an increasingly expensive culinary experience in Shanghai. So city gourmets are finding new ways to keep their dining budget reasonable, while still ensuring the same flavor authenticity - and having some fun going on a trip to the home of the crab at the same time. If your Yangtze River cruises finishes in Shanghai, you could enjoy this famous Yangcheng Lake crab, which would never disappoint you.
"Most hairy crabs produced in Yangcheng Lake are supplied to five-star hotels in Shanghai due to limited production," says Zhang Longgen, a crab farmer in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, whose crab farm is located in the middle of Yangcheng Lake.
Generally, a pair of hairy crabs - one male and one female - served in Shanghai hotels and fine dining restaurants cost around 300 yuan (US$48) or more.
So many Shanghai locals choose to make a trip to Yangcheng Lake and taste the delicacy in a crab house, a type of eatery run by crab farmers, offering a simple yet authentic dining experience. In Hong Kong tours, you could served the palatable crab in many easily available classic restaurants.
Crab houses, concentrated on the lakeside, usually consist of a three-story building built over the water. It includes holding areas where live hairy crabs are transported by farmers from their cages in the center of the lake. Land side, the house may also feature a small garden, planted with vegetables.
Inside the restaurant, there are public and private dining rooms, generally accommodating up to 250 customers. Some have mahjong rooms for entertainment.
On the menu are farmers' dishes, a culinary style popular in the countryside, defined by fresh natural ingredients that are simply cooked. It is no wonder that so many private China tour arranged the farmer’s dishes for foreign visitors to taste the authentic Chinese food. It seems make sense now.
Founded during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD), the town of Yangmei burgeoned during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD) and reached its heyday during the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912 AD), when it became a major port on the Yongjiang River. Through more than a thousand years, Yangmei ancient town was prosperous for the developing of waterway transportation but also depressed for it. Built in Song dynasty and developed in Ming dynasty, it met the most prosperous time in Qing dynasty. Even now, it still preserves architectures of Ming and Qing dynasties, such as ancient street, lane, temple, shrine, house, tree, port, Wenwu pagoda, and beacon tower, all of them having an old-fashioned and antique lasting flavor. Entering the town, old houses of Ming and Qing dynasties are presented one by one, as well as other historical relics like Qizhu house, Juren's (the former second degree candidate in the provincial examination) house, Jinshi's (the former third degree candidate in the national civil service examination) house, Muyi gate, Jinyue monument, Huang's garden, old streets and lanes, ancient windows, carving eaves and lichened basement, from which a sense of peace and mildness is pervading. No China tour packages is complete enough without covering Yangmei Ancient Town in the itinerary.
There were 8 scenic spots which are still addressable in Yangmei, namely the Sunset Reflected on the Dragon Pool, Green Trees on Thunder Peak, Sword in the Spring, Pavilion Facing the River, Moon Night on the Beach, Medication on the Slope, Rosy Clouds Watching in the Pavilion and the Sound of Beach and Pine Forest. Walking along the beach, Yangmei wonder stones appraised by the traveler Xu Xiake in Ming dynasty can be found here or there, like steeple stone, penguin stone, golden frog stone, sea lion looking back stone, horse stone, dolphin kissing stone, all of them with their fantasies and stories. Being 15.3 meters in height, its main building is in the shape of a square like an imperial seal, thus called the Imperial Seal. With a majestic appearance, Kuixing Tower is not only a precious historic relic, but also an important memorial for the 1911 Revolution. This old-fashioned and antique lasting flavor old town lures many China tour agents to explore it with its unbeatable charm.
In addition, there are two historical relics in the ancient town. One is the former residence on Jinma Street for the revolutionists, Liang Zhitang and Liang Lieya, leaders of the 1911 Revolution. It was the secret place for meetings of Zhengnanguan Revolution leaded by Sun Yet-sun, the first president of the Republic of China. The other one is Kuixing Tower built in the first year of Qinglong period of Qing dynasty (1736 A.D.).
Located in the lower reaches of the Zuojiang River, the ancient town is surrounded by a river at three sides. About 30 kilometers away from the capital city Nanning, it has a convenient transport both by water and by land. Started from Nanning, the boat will enter the Zuojiang River after operating on the Yongjiang River for above 30 kilometers, and then arrive at Yangmei ancient town. It is no wonder that so many China travel deals of ancient towns discovery theme cover here. It seems make sense now.
Baisha Village is so much different than its counterparts and provides a more tranquil experience than Shuhe and Lijiang old towns. Although we did not walk through the whole place but we managed to find a few restaurants serving local food. There is also a very nice small Cafe serving real coffee with a very cozy atmosphere (forgot about the name). Opposite this Cafe, there is a very small wine bar opened by a Frenchman who apparently lives in Shanghai. We saw at the back of this wine bar, there are very nice rooms in the open courtyard but we did not ask if they are open for rent. Pity we did not have time to try this place as it was lunch time when we visited, but the owner and the other lady were very welcoming and explained to us about their place. We also took some pictures with 4 very elderly women who were sitting by the streets with fruits and vegetables who apparently were acting as "models" for photo-taking. I reckon this place will develop more in the future so go there before it becomes too commercialized. Very interesting village to visit! Travelling in this peaceful village is totally different from explore the boundless desert along your Silk Road tour.
In this peaceful town, there is a yard called 'Shali Book House', which is named after a Naxi author. At the gate, we are warmly greeted by the owner, who invites us in to walk around at ease. Golden corns and dried wild delicacies, as well as knick-knacks shining with distinguished Naxi flavor decorate the yard. In the spacious room, we saw a lot of books for sale. The author is Shali, the big brother of the owner. All his works are about his hometown's charming scenery and Naxi ethnic culture. However, Shali passed away the year before. People here are so kind and naive, which are different from the modern people walking along on the bustling street along your Shanghai tour package.
He Shixiu, highly skilled self-taught doctor who has spent all his life researching herbs and curing people. Photo courtesy of sina.com It is said that Lijiang has three weird people: Xuanke, who initiated the Naxi ancient music association; He Zhigang, talented calligrapher with no arms; and He Shixiu, highly skilled self-taught doctor who has spent all his life researching herbs and curing people. Just next to Shali Book House is Doctor He's house. The 88-year-old expert invited us to drink one of his cure-all herb teas and told us numerous stories about how he cured countless patients at home and abroad.
Bidding farewell to Doctor He, I strolled around and enjoy the perfect sunshine at noon in the town of Baisha. Although there are not many famous scenic spots, I was still impressed by the easy life local residents are living, and their attitude as well. The world here is as pure as the melted snow water, as clear as the sky.
A few minutes from the vibrant city-life offered along your Hong Kong tour package and get close to the naïve Chinese ethnic people to refresh yourself. I am sure this would be a great experience along your China travel.
The charm of a great capital, such as Paris, Rome or London, reveals itself the moment you arrive. It is in your face, obvious for all to see. But to appreciate the essential character of Beijing, you may need to spend some more time. But in the long term, the effort is likely to prove more rewarding than the instant delights of Paris or Prague, and the unique experience is one you will want to revisit, physically or in memory. Call it the hidden magic of Beijing.
Last month, in "Beijing Blitz", we introduced a few less well-known places worth visiting in the historic city, such as the 798 Art Zone, Wudaoying hutong and Huguang Guild Hall. Here are a few more hidden gems where you can soak up the charm of the ancient capital. Caochangdi Art District has attracted more than 300 art bodies. Beijing is undoubtedly a must-have along a China travel package, then a visit to these places would be a great idea for you.
Caochangdi Art District
If the 798 Art Zone is to Beijing what Chelsea is to New York, then Caochangdi is like the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn. Caochangdi, which means grasslands, is as its name suggests, a quieter, more idyllic pasture for Chinese modern artists, compared with the more commercialized 798 Art Zone. This haven is located next to the Fifth Ring Road in the northeast of the city, and surrounded by a boisterous street life. Caochangdi has attracted more than 300 other art bodies, including galleries, photographic studios and documentary filmmakers, with its cheaper rents and "purer" artistic atmosphere. These art spaces are scattered among residents' houses, but stand out either through their avant-garde architecture or the various art forms of their creative interiors. How to get there: Take a 418, 688 or 402 bus to Caochangdi station. Many China tour deals of Chinese art discovery theme cover this site. It seems make sense now.
For those looking for an authentic shopping experience in China, Panjiayuan Market in the south of the capital would be a wise, discerning choice. The covered outdoor market offers any type of Chinese craftwork and antique imaginable. Exploring the rows of stalls and specialized sections, you stumble across antique paintings and calligraphy, jade jewelry, wooden and lacquered boxes, carved bone opium pipes, and many other relics from a bygone era, such as the Ming or Qing dynasties. Of course, some are fake - like those you think you got for a bargain. But whether you are a browser or buyer, you will probably find a treasure or two to take home. Hillary Clinton did. She bought two art pieces here. The best part is that the sellers never yell at passers-by, so customers can enjoy leisurely browsing without the hassle and pressure of confrontational salesmanship. The flea market is at its best on weekends, when thousands of sellers from all parts of China arrive with their local crafts and specialties. These less-known places are good idea for your Beijing tour package.
As the highest lake in Yunnan Province, Bita Lake lies in the east of Shangri-La County of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, and is over 3500 meters (about 3828 yards) above sea level. Covering an area of about 159 hectares (around 393 acres) with an average depth of 20 meters (about 22 yards), Bita Lake is famous for its limpid water and its beautiful scenery which is set against the mountains and forests surrounding it. If you are planning a Yunnan travel, then a travel to Shangri-la is what cannot be missed.
Bita Lake is widely recognized as 'A Pearl on the Plateau' and the most attractive lake in Shangri-La. Legend has it that a goddess dropped her mirror carelessly to the earth when she was making up. The mirror was broken into pieces and they became lakes on the plateau. Among these pieces, the most beautiful piece with green jade turned into today's Bita Lake. The breathtaking Baita Lake would be a great highlight along your Shangri-la tour.
In the center of the lake stands an islet shaped like a boat sailing in the lake. The islet is 30 meters (about 33 yards) above the water level, and is covered with rare plants and also includes spruces and rhododendrons. Here, birds twitter happily and flowers release their pleasant fragrances. When stepping on the islet, one feels as if they are arriving at Xanadu, and tourists have frequently remarked about how they have felt intoxicated by the aura, beauty and tranquility.
May you just have enjoyed your Shanghai tours and discovered the prosperity of metropolis in China. Do you want to escape yourself from the bustling cityscape? If yes, a visit to Shangri-La has something for you.
The robe embroidered with dragon patterns was made for the exclusive use of an emperor during the Qing dynasty. The ritual of embroidering dragon patterns on the emperor's robe, however, dates back to as early as the Zhou Dynasty (11th century-256 B.C.). If your China tour agents have arranged some Chinese ancient culture discovery activities along your travel, then you will have chance to see the dragon robe in some palace.
During the Yuan and Ming, the emperors were already wearing robes graced with dragon patterns, but it was not until the Qing that they were named “dragon robes” and became part of the official attire system. A dragon robe is either yellow or apricot-yellow dragons in color, and embroidered with nine yellow dragons and five-hued auspicious cloud patterns. In your Beijing tours, you will see the dragon robe in the impressive Forbidden City.
The clouds are interlaced with twelve other patterns—the sun, the moon and stars (representing the light of the throne), mountains (synonymous to stability to changes) auspicious bird (denoting elegance and beauty) water reeds (which represent purity and cleanness), and fire (meaning light). According to imperial Qing rituals, the emperor's dragon robe was a kind of auspicious attire for lower-grade celebrations and ceremonies—it as by no means the highest grade of imperial attire.
The dragon robe that was passed down from one emperor to another is embroidered with a dragon on the front and the back, before or behind the knees, on the shoulders, and on the lining of the chest. Thus a total of nine dragons are embroidered on a dragon robe. Observed from the front or behind it, five dragons could be seen at a glance, because in Chinese tradition the figures nine and five tallied with the dignity of the throne. Discovering the costume of emperors would be a great experience for getting more about Chinese culture along your China travel.
Tibetan Buddhist sculpture in the Ming and Qing Dynasties has its own unique characteristics.
The sculpture “Mountain of 500 Arhats” carved out of purple sandalwood, the Buddhist niche carved out of nanmu wood and the Grand Buddha carved out of white sandalwood in the Yong he Lamasery in Beijing are praised as the “three matchless pieces of wood sculpture”. The Grand Buddha is carved out of a single log of white sandalwood, with 18 m of it above the ground and the other eight meters below ground. The “Mountain of 500 Arhats” is nearly 5 m high, 3.5 m wide and 30 cm thick. The 500 arhats, each 10 cm high, are made of gold, silver, bronze, iron and tin. These Buddhist sculpture are just similar as the one discovered along your Tibet tours.
Statues of the Buddha in the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism (also known as Lamaism) are mostly made of gilded bronze, but some are made of gold or silver. In the collections of artistic works in the Palace museum, there are many precious pieces, such as the standing statue of Maitreya and the seated statue of Sakyamuni is 45 cm tall; together with the halo and the lotus-throne pedestal, the statue is 90.5 cm high in total. With his right shoulder exposed Sakyamuni is rotating the “wheel of the law” (an emblem of the power of the Buddhist doctrine, which crushes all delusions and superstitions just as a wheel crushed anything it passes over). The simplicity of the statue itself forms a distinct contrast with the splendor of the halo and lotus throne. No Chinese culture discovery is complete without including the Buddhists figures exploration along your last minute deals for China travel.
The imperial mausoleums of the Ming and Qing Dynasties are guarded by monumental stone animals. In the Xiaoling Mausoleum of the Ming Dynasty in Nanjing, on each side of the tomb passage are lined up 12 pairs of six stone animals, namely, lions, xiezhi (a fabulous animal reputed to be able to distinguish between good and evil), camels, elephants, qilin (Chinese unicorn) and horses, and two pairs of civil officials and military officers. The Ming Tombs near Beijing cover an area of about 40 sq km. eighteen pairs of grandiose stone civil and military officials and animals line the approach to the mausoleum.
Miniature carvings using jade, stone, ivory, bamboo, horn, wood and clay materials were quite will developed in Ming and Qing Dynasties. There was a special jade workshop installed in the former Imperial Palace during the Ming Dynasty. A masterpiece of the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty is a huge jade carving weighing seven tons, titled, “Yu the Great (reputed founder of the Xia Dynasty) Harnessing the Floods”. In addition, the wood carvings of Dongyang, Zhejiang Province, and the clay figurines of Huqiu in Suzhou, Huishan in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, are quite famous, but most of them were made by unkown artisan. The colored clay figures made by “Zhang the Clay-figurine Master” of Tianjin in the late Qing Dynasty are vivid and lively, demonstrating the extraordinary workmanship of folk sculptors.
These year, Chinese-culture-lover becomes more and more, which makes so many China tour agents arrange the Tibetan Buddhist sculpture exploration activities in their itineraries, which is really a great reflection of Chinese culture.
Chinese folk art reflects the long history of popular customs and traditions in Chinese culture. Deeply rooted in agriculture, people’s daily life and rituals are inevitably connected with nature, the surrounding landscape, and the various captivating tales told from one generation to another about the origin of the world, mankind, and mythological beings that once roamed the earth. The handicrafts and objects created by the common folks for everyday use are thus a combination of practicality and local customs, traditions and beliefs. No wonder that the last minute deals for China travel are so popular among travel-lovers.
Being a vast and diverse country with over fifty minorities groups, China is homeland to myriad different types of folk handicrafts. Chinese folk art can be broadly divided into costumes and embroidery, paper cuts, New Year woodcut prints, toys, wood carvings, pottery and dough figurines, masks, batik and fabric dyeing, weaving, architectural ornaments, shadow puppets, lacquer, and jewelry. In this exhibition at the Chinese Culture Center, we have assembled many of these objects in celebration of Chinese New Year—1998 being the Year of the Tiger.
Because family continuity and prosperity are of utmost importance in traditional Chinese society, parents would provide great care to their children to ensure they would grow into adulthood. However, they usually attributed the death of children to evil powers rather than to poor hygiene, lack of medical attention or malnutrition. As a result, parents would adorn their children’s costumes and toys with auspicious designs to symbolize the presence of other supernatural powers to deter evil spirits. For example, according to popular belief, children’s clothing and footwear in the shape of animals could be used to frighten off malicious spirits or fool them into thinking that the child was only an animal and not a human being, therefore, not worth harming or snatching away. Experience of discovering Chinese folk art is totally different from that walking along the glorious Silk Road travel, which focus much on Chinese culture discovery.
There are several types of patterns and images that appear frequently on children’s clothing, adornments, and decorative objects. Of these images, the most common are: the tiger which is believed to be the king of the forest and fierce enough to frighten off malicious spirits; the rooster whose loud crow every morning scares away evil ghosts; the pig which symbolizes abundance and also fools the evil into thinking that the child is only an unworthy pig; the fish which is a homonym of the Chinese word for surplus; the bat, which is a homonym for good fortune; the deer which signifies wealth as the word is a homonym of the Chinese word for the salary of a Chinese official; the five poisons (scorpion, lizard, centipede, snake, and toad) which have the effect of neutralizing evil; the lotus and pomegranate which symbolize fertility (because of their many seeds); and the peach which represents longevity.
Other kinds of auspicious imagery are found on woodblock prints. These prints, also called nian hua, are pasted onto doors, walls, and furniture of homes, business establishments, and temples in Chinese villages and towns. The iconography reflects traditional Chinese folk and popular cultures. The images are of gods and deities, heroes and sages, to whom the Chinese prayed and worshipped in return for protection and blessing. In ancient China, people believed that numerous gods inhabited the Three Realms (heaven, earth, and the underworld) and ruled over human affairs and destiny. To fulfill their hopes for a bountiful harvest, healthy male heir, official promotion, and other auspicious wishes, people sought the blessing of these deities by representing them graphically in a medium that has become a unique folk art tradition known as "paper gods" or "paper joss." With the development and proliferation of printing, the Chinese were able to mass produce woodblock prints since the late Ming dynasty (mid-sixteenth century) to satisfy the high demands.
The most popular characters appearing on prints are the door gods Qin Qiong and Yuchi Gong, the demon catcher Zhong Kui, the Three Star Gods of Happiness, Wealth and Longevity, the God of Wealth, and Guanyin—the Goddess of Mercy. Playful, plump children are also favorite during New Year times to symbolize the wish for many sons to come or a blessing for good fortune. It is during Chinese New Year that people hope for a plentiful and prosperous year to come.
May you just bored with the cityscape discovered along a Beijing tour and want to get close to culture. If yes, discovering Chinese folk art to get more idea about Chinese culture is highly recommended.
Cuotaiji is a kind of ancient drama that only exists in Luoga stockaded village in Bandi Town of Weining Yi, Hui and Miao Autonomous County of Guizhou Province." Cuotaiji" is the transliteration of the equivalent in Yi language of Bandi Town. In Yi language, "cuo" means human being or ghost, "tai" means change and "ji" means playing games and disporting, so "cuotaiji" is usually translated to "the age when the human being was formed" or "the game of human's change", and it is usually abbreviated to "human changing drama". But some scholars regard that "cuotaiji" reflects hard scenes of migration and opening up virgin soil of the ancestors who changed to ghosts and gods, and the Yi people want to draw support from the ancestors to protect and bless the descendants. Therefore it will be more appropriate to interpret "cuotaiji" into "a game of asking the ancestors who have changed to ghosts and gods to protect and bless the descendants" or "a game of human's changing to ghosts and gods". If you want to enrich your travel to Shangri-la, a visit to Yunnan ethnic village to discover the culture of ethnic minorities in China would never disappoint you.
Due to the scarce historical data, it is hard to prove the exact age when "cuotaiji" initially appeared. The analysis of the drama content tells us that "cuotaiji" was possibly gestated in the Han Dynasty, and it was continuously modified and supplemented in later generations, and it was in the middle Qing Dynasty that "cuotaiji" finished its essentials. Nowadays it is only in Luoga stockaded village in Bandi Town of Weining Yi, Hui and Miao Autonomous County of Guizhou Province that "cuotaiji" still exists. Because of the the backward medical and health care, remote and isolated geographical position, and the inconvenient transportation, the local villagers are accustomed to adopting methods of offering sacrifice to mountain god, shooting powder-fire, rolling eggs and reciting ghosts to dispel catastrophes and diseases and pray for peace. If your China vacation packages covers Yunnan, you would be shocked by the colorful of culture of ethnic minorities in China.
Wen Daohua, the chairman of "cuotaiji", is of Yi ethnic group, and five generations of his family before his father were all "bimo"(a knowledgeable elder who is proficient in scripture and other folk activities) and all of them took part in and presided over the performance of "cuotaiji". "Cuotaiji" is usually performed from the 3rd day to the 15th day of first month in lunar calendar every year in a purpose of expelling evil influences and invoking blessings as well as praying for abundant harvest. The performance is usually held in evenings in a flat ground beside the village or between hills. If natural or man-made disasters happen, or the harvest is bad, then "cuotaiji" will be held one time for several years.
These years, culture-themed itinerary are hot cakes, so many China tour operators have arranged different kind of culture-themed tours to prompt their deals, which proves quite beneficial to them.
The Dong ethnic group is distributed throughout the juncture of Hunan, Guangxi and Guizhou Provinces. Drum towers and storm-proof bridges containing many folk customs and cultural features are the main public buildings.
Buildings in Dong villages lack encircling walls and courtyards because there are many families and village-wide activities that are carried out in the open in front of the drum towers at the village center. If want to extend your travel to Shangri-la, you could visit the wooden architecture of the dong minority in the Ethnic Village in Yunnan, which would be a great experience along your travel.
Dong drum towers can be divided into two kinds; pagoda types and hall types, with the former accounting for the majority.
According to Dong legend the drum tower was built to look like a cedar tree, and the overall outline really does look like a cedar, and embodies the concept of worshipping big trees. Inside, four big pillars stand erect, and benches between the pillars encircle the central fire-pond. A big drum hangs down from the top of the tower, and is beaten whenever something happens. The pagoda is also found in a hexagonal or square form in addition to the octagonal.
The storm-proof bridge, also called the 'gallery' or 'pavilion' bridge, means building a corridor on the wooden cantilever flat bridge and a bridge tower on the stone bridge pier and bridge abutment. The bridge tower looks very much like a drum tower, but its plane is only in a square or rectangular shape, not a polygonal form. These dwellings are totally different from house seen along your China Tibet tours.
The Dong national district is crisscrossed by streams, so storm-proof bridges can be found in almost every village, and some have more than one. It not only can keep out wind and rain, but also serves as a gateway to the village, and, all the more, is a place for villagers to rest and discuss matters. On grand occasions, relatives and friends from other villages come for a get-together. The whole village, dressed in their holiday best, assemble on the bridgehead to welcome the guests. They sing songs, propose toasts and dance Lusheng dances, demonstrating strong cultural customs. In selecting a site for a storm-proof bridge, great attention is paid to natural scenery, so that it can both decorate the landscape and enable visitors to enjoy the beautiful surrounding scenery.
May you just finished your Yangtze River tour and are hooked by the natural beauty of China. Do you still want to explore China further? If yes, explore the ethnic culture is highly recommended here. No China trip is complete without exploring Chinese culture. Start your Chinese culture exploration from the wooden architecture of the dong minority.
The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (hereafter Chengdu Panda Base) is a non-profit organization engaged in wildlife research, captive breeding, conservation education, and educational tourism. Panda, the treasure of China, is quite popular among visitors domestic and abroad. It is no wonder that the China vacation packages with Chengdu are hot cakes.
The Chengdu Panda Base was founded in 1987, with six giant pandas rescued from the wild. Today (2008) our captive population has increased to 83 individuals from that founding population of only six. Genetic diversity in the population is sustained by the exchange of preserved genetic material with other facilities. We are very proud that we have not taken any giant pandas from the wild for 20 years. This demonstrates our unique and uncompromising commitment to the conservation of the wild ( in situ ) population and the healthy growth of the captive ( ex situ ) population. If you want to interact with lovely pandas, you could request your China travel agency to arrange the relative activity into your itinerary.
Due to our research and commitment to animal health and welfare, 124 giant panda cubs have been born to our Base in 85 litters, 88 survived and now we have 83. To assist other institutions holding giant pandas we provide technical support and send our experts to assist with care, rearing, and breeding. So that all giant panda researchers can share their knowledge, we host the Giant Panda Annual Technical Meeting, inviting researchers from all over the world to share information to improve captive management for the conservation of giant pandas. No China vacation deals to Chengdu is not terrific enough without visiting Chengdu panda base.
The Chengdu Panda Base covers an area of 106 hectares and will be enlarged to 200 hectares during the third phase of our expansion. Red pandas, golden monkeys and other wild and/or endangered species live and breed here.
Shanghai Happy Valley is largest theme park in China, which is mainly composed of 7 theme area including Sunshine, Happy Hour, Shanghai Bund, Shangri-La, Ants Kingdom, Goldmine Town and Typhoon Bay. Just as its slogan says “Let us open the happy gate and step into the happy hall in the name of “happiness”, more than 100 amusement items are equipped in Shanghai Happy Valley including 12 world class amusement facilities. No China tour deals to Shanghai is complete without visiting the Shanghai Happy Valley, which is really a paradise of the young.
Shanghai Happy Valley has equipped various advanced entertainment apparatus including Wooden Coaster-Fireball, Diving Coaster, Gyro Swing, Mega-lite, Disco Coaster, Ants Kingdom, Splash Battle, OCT Theater, Shoot the Chute, Splash Over, Mine Train Coaster, Souring Dragon and Three Dimensions, Arthur Palace, Space Shot & Turbo Drop and so on. The River All Red is a large scale real show mixing with acrobatics, magic, circus and magnificent war of horse. The entertainment performance will be put on include the Happy Cube, Real Drama of Film Stunt “Shanghai Bund”, Theme Parade “Happy Cruise”, and Exotic Performances. In your Shanghai tour package, the crazy shy wheels in Shanghai Happy Valley may impress you most, which would reward you an unforgettable experience.
The various theme activities hold in Shanghai Happy are highly recommended, such as Fashion Culture Festival, Beer Carnival, Happy Halloween Day and Snow Festival, whenever these activities start a large number of visitors including local citizens are attracted to visit there. Enjoy a convenient transportation and superb location, visitors could take Metro Line 9 to Sheshan Station, then take a shuttle bus (Happy Line) it will transfer you directly to Shanghai Happy Valley. Shanghai Happy Valley is just a little resemble with the Happy Valley discovered along your Beijing tour package, but they has their own features. No matter when you come, both of them have something for you.
Four kilometers (2 miles) to the northwest of the Old Town of Lijiang, at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, lies a compact village hidden in the forest, the Old Town of Shuhe. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has listed it as an important component of Lijiang as it is a well-preserved example of a town along the ancient tea route and one of the earliest settlements of the ancestors of Naxi people. It is called 'the hometown of springs'. If you are just having a travel to Shangri-la, extending your Yunnan travel to Shuhe old town will never disappoint you.
Ambling along Sifang Street, you will feel time slowly flowing backwards. Though it is only 30 meters long (32 yards), the smooth flagstone remind you of their flourishing past. Listen carefully, you can even hear the light ringing sound of busy horses' hooves from far away places.
Qinglong Bridge, built of stone pieces, measuring about 25 meters long (27 yards), 4.5 meters wide (4.9 yards) and 4 meters high (13 feet), was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Among the countless old stone bridges in Lijiang, it is regarded as 'the First'. The deck has been pock-marked over hundreds of years, revealing the solemn passing of history. Houses in Shuhe old town is totally different from the houses in Hutongs along Beijing tours. Each of them has its own characteristics.
There is a deep pool at the end of the street, called Long Pool (Dragon Pool), from which the overflowing water winds through the village, and the bubbling sound can be heard miles away. Fishes in the pool are appreciated by every tourist, because they are close to people. When you throw food to them, they will fight each other for it. Beside the pool lies a broken stele. When knocked by a stone, it sends out a sharp and light ringing sound, which is very pleasant. Above Long Pool is a temple called 'Sansheng Palace'. Standing against the wooden railings, you can have a bird's eye view of the village presenting a poetic rural idyll.
Tired with the metropolis experience in the Shanghai tours and want to refresh yourself to experience the folk culture? If yes, a visit to Shuhe old town has something for you!
Heavy fog masked much of the half hour bus trip from Handan city in Hebei province to Guangfu ancient town.
It is a typical northern Chinese ancient town surrounded by an artificial river. Several newly rebuilt bridges span the river and connect the town with the outside world. The city wall stands ten meters tall on the other end of the bridges, showing authority and power which can't be violated. After your Beijing tour package, you could pay a visit to Guanggu as an extension, which would be a great idea for your travel.
The original wall was built in the Tang Dynasty with clay, and reinforced in the following years. The sturdiest part of the wall was made of sticky rice and lime in the Yuan Dynasty. It has withstood more than 800 years with minimal repair. With hundreds of years' weathering, most bricks have ragged edges from erosion. These old bricks have witnessed the transitions of the town for more than 1,000 years.
The town's layout and architecture dates back to the Ming Dynasty. Basic elements, such as the four streets, eight lanes and 72 corners are still kept well. However, most ancient houses have been replaced by newly built ones. These ordinary buildings with white tile walls stand out in this 2,600-year-old town. This kind of travel experience is totally different from the ones along your Shang tour package, which pay much attention to the peaceful atmosphere discovery.
The residence of Wu Yuxiang, a Tai Chi Chuan master, was built in the late Qing Dynasty and well preserved. The house is composed of three courtyard residences and a rectangular yard. Graphics of Tai Chi Chuan movements have been carved on the walls around the yard. Wu once taught more than 100 students here. Now, it is open to the public as a museum of Wu-style Tai Chi Chuan.
Climb up the city wall and look into the distance -- there is a huge swamp covering a total area of 30 square kilometers to the south of the town. A Tai Chi-themed park will be built in the swamp in the near future. To the north, old residences have been pulled down, and a large amount of pseudo-classic buildings are under construction in an attempt to reproduce the original appearance of Guangfu. Although built in the traditional style, these shining buildings are too young to tell the story of Guangfu town. However, locals report that these buildings have been sold out. Soon, restaurants, inns and stores will be opened here. China vacation deals to Hebei is imperfect without visiting the Guangfu village, which is really a must-have for your Hebei travel.
A gust of chilly wind raised a dust cloud from the construction site nearby, with a white plastic bag dancing along the street with the wind. An old peddler, wrapped up in his scarf, waited beside his stall at the entrance of the town.
With the opening of the 16th Asian Games around the corner, Guangzhou, the host of the games, is drawing an increasing amount of attention from sports fans and tourists around the world. However, besides its well known modernity, the city has much more to offer. Xiaozhou, a tranquil village in Guangzhou's suburbs, for instance, has all the allure of a southern water town. If you have no idea to enrich the China travel service you booked, then a visit to this luring tranquil village never fails to be a terrific experience.
Constructed by the end of Yuan Dynasty (BC.1026-1368) the architecture in Xiaozhou is typical of Lingnan style with single-arch flying buttresses and carved bricks. The small village unfolds on a vast green field, covered with trees and foliage. Brooks wind through clusters of houses, forming a maze of waterways navigated by picturesque bridges. On the water banks stand rows of time-honored ancestral temples and shrines. Strolling in the narrow flagstone lanes, visitors can actually feel the texture of history.
Among the grey-roofed low rise houses, the ones walled with oyster shells are the most eye-catching. The builders collected the shells from the nearby sea shores. The shells are moth-proof and efficiently drain off rain water. Most of the shell-walled houses have been demolished, but three have survived. Those houses stand as strong today as always, which shows the building skills of the locals. The China vacation packages to Guangzhou should never miss visiting this peaceful folk village.
Besides architecture, cultural traditions are also well kept here. A ceremony worshiping their ancestors is held every year on the Dragon Boat Festival. Families get together and visit relatives, even people working far-away from home return to join the celebration. Every one comes outdoors to watch the dragon boat race, feast the delicious and abundant food, and sing.
On ordinary days, people observe their simple and traditional lifestyle, which is a world away from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life. This quiet village life has led more than 60 artists to settle down here, including the famous Chinese painter Guan Shanyue and Li Xiongcai. They set up various kinds of workshops, art-themed parks and cafes in Xiaozhou, offering inspirations for fellow artists visiting Xiaozhou. Many China travel agents has included this village to their Guangzhou itinerary and these agents are rewarded much finally.
As handicraft works specific to Tibetan people, Thang-ka paintings refer to scrolled paintings mounted with satin fabric. Tibetan people mount these religious scrolled paintings with satin, then hang them up and worship them. In the Tibetan palaces, temples and the residential area or their manorial gardens, people are used to hanging up the Thang-ka. Nowadays, Thang-ka paintings are no longer as mysterious as before. Instead, they demonstrate to the whole world the exquisite techniques and wisdom of Tibetan people. Every stroke in Thang-ka paintings embodies the superb techniques of the artists as well as the respectful attitude towards Tibetan Buddhism. As Buddha images easiest to take along and worship, Thang-ka paintings are very useful in the religious sense. They are well-received both by numerous disciples and now by collectors.Along your Tibet tours, you will see this featured handicrafts.
A couple of procedures have to be followed before a Thang-ka painting is finished. First, stitch a piece of bottom cloth to a wooden frame. Process the bottom cloth through a special technique and make it smooth, clean, bright and devoid of holes. After the bottom cloth dries up, draw the outline of the figure with charcoal sticks, and then color it. After the painting is finished, decorate the periphery of the bottom cloth with satins of varied colors. String the upper and lower ends with wood spools so that the painting will be easy to hang up. Then cover the painting with a piece of silk which is as big as it, and a mounted scrolled Thang-ka painting is completed. Tangka painting would bring much deep memory along your Tibet travel.
Pigment is very essential in making Thang-ka paintings bright and beautiful. The pigment for Thang-ka paintings is made from non-transparent natural minerals (kallaite, corals, gold, and silver) as well as plants. Then animal glue is added in proportion with oxgall. Thang-ka paintings made with such pigment will remain bright-colored even after hundreds of years.
You will sense the originality of the artist if you get down to appreciating an exquisite Thang-ka painting which is characterized by delicate brushwork and smart composition. Appreciating the images of Buddha helps purify one's soul.
At present, as a type of Tibetan Buddhist painting art, Thang-ka has finally developed into an art form which incorporates exquisite techniques, fine coloring, as well as a perfect combination of form and content. This achievement should be attributed to the unremitting efforts of innumerable generations of artists.
Just escape from the busy atmosphere along Shanghai tours, come to Tibet to diciver the culture of Tibetan ethnic group. Start explore Tibetan culture from Tangka!
Chinese writer Tao Yuanming of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420) once described in his work of a legendary fairyland "Peach Blossom Valley" - a place completely isolated from the rest of the world. People there lived a simple, pastoral life. For centuries, Chinese people merely regarded this valley as an imaginary place.
But does such a fairyland really exist in the real world? A trip to Bamei Village in Guangnan County of Southwest China's Yunnan Province will lead you to an unexpected answer. Many people prefer to discover this ancient village along their travel to Shangri-la.
Journey to Bamei
After driving for over 40 kilometers north in Guangnan, where there is the border between Yunnan Province and South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, you will stop by a cave where there is a stream called Bamei River, which is the only way to reach Bamei Village.
Situated in a 30-square-kilometer fertile basin at an altitude of 700 meters, Bamei Village is sheltered by great amphitheatres of mountains.
Due to an inconvenient location and a hard transit, the village has escaped attacks by outsiders and the influences of the modern world, remaining as unadorned and pure as ever. Dwellings in this ancient village is different from the Hotongs in your Beijing tours, which pay more attention on folk appearance.
Bamei's Beautiful Scene
In the Morning
In the early morning, fog fills the entire village, covering the fields with thick and wet mist. Although people are not yet up, all kinds of domesticated animal sounds linger on faintly.
Under the Sunshine
At sunrise, the warm sunlight, like golden-colored silk, covers the earth. Red dragon flies dance in the field, while the river flows vibrantly.
Along the river are dozens of waterwheels. Some are like a mother and child relying on each other; some are like a husband and wife; and some are completely like a whole family who work together. All of them make up unique scenery in Bamei. The time-weathered walls in this village is something like the remains of Gaochang Ancient City along the Silk Road tours.
The Lesser Three Gorges, considered by many as the true pearl of the Three Gorges area (an ancient Chinese saying claims that 'the Lesser Three Gorges of the Daning River are not as beautiful as the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, they are more beautiful'), are situated along a 50 kilometer stretch of the lower reaches of the Daning River, just beyond the point where the Daning River begins to swing southward enroute to its juncture with the west-east oriented Three Gorges stretch of the Yangtze River near the city of Wushan, Chongqing Municipality, which city also marks the western end of, or upstreams entrance to, Wu Gorge. The Daning River is also the largest tributary along the 192-kilometer, Three Gorges stretch of the Yangtze River. On the Yangtze River cruises, it will pass through the less three gorges and you would be hooked by its beauty.
Here sheer cliffs and steep mountains rise on either side, creating one of natural fine arts gallery as natural scenic wonders unfold on both banks of the river. Clear water flows between precarious precipices and peaks covered with green trees and bushes. Here you can board a small junk to enjoy the spectacular views and experience a water-borne sensation you never did before. Its "subtle mountains, clear waters, pretty rocks, dangerous rapids, sharp turns, fantastic caves, and stalactites in various shapes" characterize the natural landscape in the Lesser Three Gorges. Monkeys, mandarin ducks, water birds and fish can be seen in this area. In addition to the continuous natural scenery there are a number of historical places of interest along the way, such as suspending coffin, boat coffin, remains of ancient plank walkway. The area has been made one of the key nature reserves in China and is becoming known as a tourist attraction continuing to offer its charms. Due to its unbeatable charm, it attracts many travel-lovers to pay a visit, which makes the China travel deals with Less Three Gorges hot cakes.
If you like to explore the Lesser Three Gorges, to embrace the nature. Take those ships which stop at here. You will find the photographs, articles, poems and draw paintings enthusiastically about here. There are other scenic spots include: Yinwo (Silver) Shoal, Stalactite Buddhism Cliff, Mianyang (Sheep) Cliff, White Dragon Crossing the River Waterfall, MaduRiver. To extend their China travel, many travelers prefer to have Hong Kong tours after enjoying the beauty of Yangtze, which seems much time-efficient and wallet-friendly.
Sideng Street – an undisturbed fair along the Ancient Tea Horse Road
We now have no chance to see the appearances of Dali and Lijiang a decade ago, but we can have a look at the present Sideng Street. An important fair along the Ancient Tea Horse Road, Sideng Street still keeps the original look of thousand-year-old market fair. As it has not been disturbed by too many tourists, the ancient Sideng Street is probably the only survival of market fairs along the Tea Horse Road. If you have no idea about your last minute deals for China travel, then traveling to the Sideng Street is really a good idea.
Heshun – a charming border town
Heshun, the largest hometown of overseas Chinese in Yunan, has basically kept the architectural style of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in west Yunan region. Walking in Heshun Ancient Town is like entering a cultural labyrinth. Thousands of special residential house, arranged in close order, are built at the foot of the mountain along the riverside. It seems one could touch the age-old history and rich culture upon reaching out the hands. “It is like a miracle. Such a splendid village is hidden in the border land.” If you are having a travel to Shangri-la, then you should not miss visiting this ancient town by the way.
Qianyang – a hidden ancient town in Hunan, booming 1000 years earlier than Fenghuang
Zhaji–the last ancient village at the foot of Huangshan Mountain
While the village is similar to the water towns in the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River in construction, with bridges and meandering river around the residential buildings, Zhaji remains basically in its pristine condition, unlike the much trod-upon water towns in Jiangnan. Zhaji Village is second to none in south Anhui Province in terms of scale, and it is also one of the largest ancient residential complexes extant in China. The village still keeps the only architecture of the Yuan Dynasty – Degong Hall, and the most complete Ming Dynasty buildings – Aiyue (Loving Moon) Hall and Erjia Temple. Quite a lot of architectures built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties are well preserved. The age-old beautifulness of decadence and dilapidation of the village helps remind the visitors of the splendid history of China’s countryside. To choose some ancient attractions to enrich your China travel, then a visit to Zhaji would be a great choice for you.
Zhaojiabao Village – the pathetic shelter of the royal descendents of the Southern Song Dynasty
Zhaojiabao Village in Zhangzhou of Fujian Province was built by the royal Zhao family descendents of the Southern Song Dynasty during Emperor Wanli’s reign in the Ming Dynasty. It was constructed following the layout of Bianjing, capital of the Northern Song Dynasty. With a history of over 400 years, Zhaojiabao Village still keeps the original look, and is known as “the Capital of Song” and “Little Bianjing in South Fujian”. During your China vacation packages, the Zhaojiabao Village would surely be a highlight.
Baoshan Stone Village – The last paradise of Naxi people
Apart from the well-known Dayan Ancient Town, there is also a time-honored village in Lijiang. Located at the Jinsha River Grand Valley about 120km north of Lijiang, it is called Stone Village as it is built on a huge independent mushroom-shaped rock. It is the earliest gathering place of Naxi people. The village keeps well the most real aspect of Naxi people no matter in housing, architecture, or language. It is said that the discerning China tour operator arranging ancient towns in their itinerary are all well rewarded, because these ancient towns are all highly favored among travelers.
Silk Road is a trading route across the Eurasia in the history, through which the most influential goods freighted to the west was the silk products, hence the name. Generally, the Silk Road refers to the land passage initiated by Zhang Qian, a special envoy to the Western Regions, starting from Xi’an, passing Gansu and Xinjiang Province in China to the Central and Western Asia and connecting all Mediterranean countries. In the latter half of the 19th century, the German geographer Richthofen named this route the “Silk Road“, which has been followed to this day. Besides this route, there emerged the Southwestern Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road later. Along your Silk Road tours, you would be mesmerized desert on the way.
During the Western Han Dynasty, in order to unite the Great Yüeh-chin to fight the Huns, the Emperor Wu of Western Han Dynasty dispatched Zhang Qian as the special envoy to the Western Regions, which facilitated the formation and development of the Silk Road. The Road has witnessed a great number of celebrities in the history, including the outstanding envoys Zhang Qian and Ban Chao, famous monks including Tang Xuanzang and Fa Xian and lots of poets, artists and explorers. This kind of adventure-experience is totally different from the ethnic culture discovery along your Tibet tours.
Through the Silk Road, the Four Great Inventions of Ancient China, silk, porcelain, tea and jade articles were taken to the west, enlarging China’s influences to the western world; the characteristic animals and plants in western countries, such as grape, clover, blood-sweat horse and ostrich, as well as the Buddhism were introduced to China, helping expanding our vision and enriching the traditional art of China.
Lots of historic cultural sites remaining on the Silk Road, including the world-famous Dunhuang and mysterious ancient state of Loulan, now stand quietly on this ancient road.
When talking about China landscape discovery, many people may think of travel to Shangri-la, while for adventure lovers, silk road travel would meet all their need for adventure-seeking.
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