nicechinatour

Hi, my name is Bella. Travelling is my favorite. I have travelled most places in China and want to share my China travel experience with others here.

Qigong, the Essence of Chinese Culture


Qigong is a traditional Chinese health maintenance exercise, considered by kungfu practitioners as a way of breath managing and mind regulating as well as a necessary part of kungfu practicing. Qigong has a long history in China. In ancient times, qigong-related content was normally called “inhaling and exhaling”, “energy guiding”, “qi flowing” and “qi managing” etc. Along your Beijing tour package, Kongfu performance is usually offered.



Qigong is also a key component of Chinese kungfu. Chinese kungfu can be divided into two categories. One is external style that is characterized by fast and explosive movements and a focus on physical strength and agility, such as Shaolin Boxing and Wudang Swordplay. The other is internal style that focuses on strengthening body health. The internal style kungfu mainly refers to qigong, which is a mind and body exercise aimed at disease preventing and curing, life prolonging and potential developing through regulating the mind, breath and the body.


The practicing of qigong basically falls into two major categories. One is still qigong which is dominated by quiet standing, sitting or lying to concentrate the mind. At the same time, the practitioner breathes in a special way to boost his or her circulating and digesting systems. Another is dynamic qigong, which is a set of slow movements or massage motions that are good for body strengthening if practiced regularly. I am sure exploring Chinese Kungfu would be a great experience along your China travel service.



There are three main schools of qigong. They are medical qigong, internal style qigong and wushu qigong, used for medical treatment, body strengthening and kungfu practicing respectively.


For foreigners, qigong may be a mysterious thing. Actually, it is something based on traditional Chinese medicine theory which holds that diseases are a result of the loss of balance in the body. The reason that qigong is capable of curing diseases and maintaining body health is because it is an exercise in which the cerebral cortex regulates internal organs through breathing movements to make the body function well.



To discover the scenery of China, the Shangri-la travel would be highly recommended, while for discovering the Chinese culture, Chinese Kungfu should never be missed.




  1. 2012/12/31(月) 01:02:46|
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Must-see Attractions in Xinjiang China


Heavenly Lake Scenic Spot in Tianshan Mountain


With an altitude of 1,928 meters, Heavenly Lake is located at the base of Bogda Peak, the highest peak of the east side of Tianshan Mountain, 110 km east of Urumqi. Covering a total area of 380.69 square kilometers, the scenic spot includes the lake and surrounding mountains. No China vacation packages to Xinjiang are complete without discovering the breathtaking Heavenly Lake Scenic Spot in Tianshan Mountain.



In the shape of crescent, the lake is 3,400 meters long, 1,500 meters wide at its widest point, and 105 meters deep at its deepest point, covering an area of 4.9 square kilometers. The water, sourced from mountain snow, is crystal clear. It has been given a beautiful name: "Pearl of Tianshan Mountain." In 1990, the Heavenly Lake Scenic Spot was included in the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve program.


In summer, Heavenly Lake is an ideal place to escape the heat; in the winter, the frozen lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains becomes a ski resort. The Heavenly Lake Scenic Spot in Tianshan Mountain would offer you unforgettable experience along your China tours.


Mori Forest of Diversiform-leaved Poplars



A forest of diversiform-leaved poplars, a tenacious ancient species, can be found at the south edge of Junggar Basin, 150 km away from Mori County, covering an area of 35 square kilometers. With a history of 65 million years, the forest is the oldest primeval forest of diversiform-leaved poplars in the world, and is known as a "living fossil".


Faced with broiling heat and droughts, the forest stills stand in the desert, brimming with energy and life. The trees are described as "having the ability to grow erect for a thousand years, live for a thousand years after falling, and the life remain undying after death for another thousand years." It is no wonder that so many China tour operators have arranged the Mori Forest of Diversiform-leaved Poplars to their Xinjiang itinerary upon the request of travelers.


Far away from urban and rural areas, the forest contains about 30,000 diversiform-leaved poplars with an average age of 200-400 years. The oldest tree, known as the "ancestor tree," has lived there for over 1,000 years, with its trunk measuring 3.1 meters in diameter.







  1. 2012/12/30(日) 23:39:58|
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Top Rural Retreats for 2013 China Travel



Yuntai Mountain in Niudachang



Niudachang, located in the southeast of Guizhou Province, is a town in the Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture in the southeastern part of Guizhou. The area has many ethnic minorities, in which Miao and Dong are the main body of the population. With mountains to the north and south, and several rivers crossing the area, the town features mist-covered mountains, gurgling springs, unspoiled forest. Unique customs, and a peaceful life of local residents also render the town addition allure. The must-see attractions around the town include Yuntai Mountain, Shanmu River, Wuyang River and Heichong scenic area. If your private China tour happen to cover Guizhou, then a visit to Yuntai Mountain in Niudachang should never be missed.


Peitian, Fujian



Peitian, nestled in the deep mountains of western Fujian Province, is a well-preserved ancient Hakka (Kejia in Chinese) village. Formed between the Ming Dynasty (1368- 1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1616- 1911), the town has a long history of 800 years. But after hundreds years, the area is still undisturbed and retains its original appearance. With a population of just over 1,400, the ancient architectural complex consists of 30 grand mansions, 21 ancient ancestral temples, six ancient Chinese schools, two memorial arches and a 1000-meter-long ancient street of cobblestones. Travelers can not only experience the unique local customs, but also enjoy a quiet and peaceful lifestyle. If your China vacation packages happen to cover Fujian, then a visit to Peitian is highly suggested.


Heijing, Yunnan



Situated in the center of Yunnan Province, about 60 kilometers west of Kunming, Heijing is a small town in the Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture. With abundant well salt, the town was one of the most important places for salt production in ancient China. But today, it boasts antique roads, houses, temples, arches, sculptures, and quiet and simple local life. The most distinctive attractions in Heijing Ancient Town include the gate of the town, Wu Family Mansion, Dalongci Temple, Confucius Temple and Qixingtai. Along your Shangri-la travel, you could pay a visit to Heijing, which would reward you an extraordinary experience.




  1. 2012/12/27(木) 23:23:58|
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Top Turpan Scenic Spot-Flaming Mountain


Turpan has long been the center of a fertile oasis at a basin of the central Xinjiang. The extreme heat and dryness of the summer allow the land to produce great amounts of high-quality fruit. There is a well-known folk song: "Turpan's grapes are ripe; Anarhan's heart is ecstatic…" Turpan is famous for its fruits, especially grapes, and the best place to enjoy the grapes is the Grape Valley. Along your Silk Road travel, you will see the Flaming Hill.



Located in the western part of Flaming Mountain, the Grape Valley is a zone of vineyards of 8 kilometers long and 0.5 kilometers wide. The grapes here are crystal and watery: some as green as emeralds; some as red as agates, some as small as pearls, while others look like olives. Its annual production of a dozen types of fresh grapes surpasses 6,000 tons. Creeks, small rivers, springs and various plants and fruits, including peaches, apricots, apples, pears and melons, make the valley even more beautiful and productive. Visitors can take a rest under the grape trees, taste the juicy grapes, or have a stroll in the valley. The best season to visit the valley is summer, when it is cool and ideal to escape from the heat. It has long been a tourist destination attracting visitors from home and abroad. Tasting the delicious grape in Turpan would be an interesting experience along your Silk Road tours.



The Flaming Mountain, the most famous attraction of Turpan, is a barren, eroded, red granite mountain in the north of the Turpan Basin. Nicknamed the "red mountain", it extends over 1,000 km long and is about 500 meters high, with its main peak at an altitude of 831.7 meters. The mountain is the hottest place in China. In the strong summer sun, the sandstones shine and the scorching air flows up, creating a flaming appearance at the mountain at certain times of the day. Because of the unique features of the mountain, there are gullies and trenches growing with green plants, small rivers and fruit trees. The mountain was mentioned in the classic novel Journey to the West, making it even more attractive to visitors.



When mentioning traveling in China, having the Tibet tours would be the first that come into your mind, while for many adventure-lovers, have a Silk Road travel would be highly favored by them. On the way, you would pass Turpan and see the renowned Flaming Hill.



  1. 2012/12/27(木) 00:28:54|
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Yunnan, the Home to Ethnic Minorities in China


In Yunnan life comes in a plethora of cultures. Surely, Yunnan Province is a special case for Chinese millionaires. And so is it for everybody else. Where else in China life comes in such a plethora of cultures? Out of China's fifty-five officially recognised ethnic minorities, twenty-five can be found in Yunnan, giving the province additional cultural value in terms of colourful festivals, unique customs, versatile clothing styles and the cuisine which will surely take your taste buds into paradise of peculiar flavors. It would be wise to start exploring Yunnan in the capital city of Kunming. One of the good destinations to continue could be the Old Town of Lijiang founded by the Naxi people. In 1997, this “Venice of the East” was claimed the UNESCO World Heritage site. That may be why so many travelers prefer to have the Shangri-la travel despite of fatigue.



Yunnan is noted for a very high level of ethnic diversity.[10] It has the second highest number of ethnic groups among the provinces and autonomous regions in China, after Xinjiang (which has forty-seven ethnic groups). Among the country's 56 recognised ethnic groups, twenty-five are found in Yunnan. Some 38% of the province's population are members of minorities, including the Yi, Bai, Hani, Tai, Dai, Miao, Lisu, Hui, Lahu, Va, Nakhi, Yao, Tibetan, Jingpo, Blang, Pumi, Nu, Achang, Jinuo, Mongolian, Derung, Manchu, Sui, and Buyei. Several other groups are represented, but they live neither in compact settlements nor do they reach the required threshold of five thousand to be awarded the official status of being present in the province. Some groups, such as the Mosuo, who are officially recognised as part of the Naxi, have in the past claimed official status as a national minority, and are now recognised with the status of Mosuo people. To experience the ethnic culture of Yunan, upon the request of clients, many China tour agencies have arranged different kinds of cultural activities for visitors.



Ethnic groups are widely distributed in the province. Some twenty-five minorities live in compact communities, each of which has a population of more than five thousand. Ten ethnic minorities living in border areas and river valleys include the Hui, Manchu, Bai, Naxi, Mongolian, Zhuang, Dai, Achang, Buyei and Shui, with a combined population of 4.5 million; those in low mountainous areas are the Hani, Yao, Lahu, Va, Jingpo, Blang and Jino, with a combined population of 5 million; and those in high mountainous areas are Miao, Lisu, Tibetan, Pumi and Drung, with a total population of four million.



An oft-repeated proverb tells the story of three brothers who were born speaking different languages: Tibetan, Naxi, and Bai. Each settled in different areas of Yunnan and Tibet, respectively, the high area, the middle area, and the low area.



For adventure-lovers, Silk Road travel would be their first option for China travel, while for the culture-lovers, a visit to Yunnan do has what they need.





  1. 2012/12/25(火) 23:33:01|
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Must-visit Attractions for Hong Kong Travel


Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront



Tsim Sha Tsui is the southern tip of the Kowloon peninsula, and a major shopping and tourist area. Avenue of Stars is modeled after Hollywood”s Walk of Fame, and boasts a Bruce Lee Statue and imprints of other Chinese movie stars. It points towards Victoria Harbour.


The Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront is as well the best place to watch the night view of the harbor. Every night, the tall buildings along Hong Kong harbor will set up light bulbs on their walls and form into a wonderful sight-seeing. China travel service to Hong Kong are incomplete if they do not cover Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront.


Hong Kong Disneyland



Hong Kong Disneyland is composed of the Hong Kong Disneyland Park, Disneyland Hotel (5-star) and Disneys Hollywood Hotel (4-star), and retail, dining and entertainment facilities. Hong Kong Disneyland speaks English and Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin). You will meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy. Themed areas there are Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. Hong Kong Disneyland has convenient transportation of being linked to Hong Kong public transit system. A visit to Hong Kong Disneyland would be an unforgettable experience along the Hong Kong tour, which is particularly true with children.


Victoria Harbour



Victoria Harbour, one of the most popular travel tourist attractions in Hong Kong, is a natural landform harbour situated between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula.


Victoria Harbour covers an area of about 41.88 square kilometers. Victoria Harbour is world-famous for its magnificent panoramic sight. Tower on the Victoria Peak is the best place to soak in the beautiful view. Vistas from the Culture Centre and Tsim Sha Tsui are also very nice. Number of people go for rides on the Star Ferry to see the harbour.


For recommendation of China travel, Yangtze River tour is highly recommended for scenery-lovers, while for the fashion and shopping-lovers, a visit to Hong Kong do have something for you.




  1. 2012/12/24(月) 23:29:52|
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Useful Tips for Jiuzhaigou China Travel


Due to its breathtaking scenery, many travel-lovers particularly request their China tour agents to add Jiuzhaigou Valley to their itinerary. For the convenience of travelers, some helpful Jiuzhaigou travel tips for visitors.



Where to stay: There are more than a hundred hotels, which can offer more than 20,000 beds, ranging from star graded to economic ones. There are several choices for you.


For those who want to make the trip extremely enjoyable, Sheraton Jiuzhaigou Resort and Jiuzhai Paradise International Resort & Convention Center are good choice. Sheraton Jiuzhaigou Resort offers you excellent breakfast and comfortable bed, which is only 1.5km to the entrance. Jiuzhai Paradise International Resort & Convention Center has a fabulous lobby with a steel structure and glass roof, and Qiang style stone pillbox, and flowing water with some beautiful birds hovering in. This resort is located on Ganhaizi semi-marsh land, about 20km to the entrance.



Some four-star and four-star-standard hotels, such as the Jiuzhai Grand Hotel, Xinjiuzhai Hotel and CTS Hotel, are not far from the entrance.
Another nice hotel worth recommending is Jarpo ancient town, which means the king town in Tibetan language. It is located near ganhaizi semi-marsh land, 55km to Jiuhuang Airport and 27km to the entrance of Jiuzhaigou. It is a lovely small town with all buildings in Tibetan style decoration, with villas and shopping streets available.


Some economical ones secretly stay in Heye guesthouses owned by local Tibetan people which is just at the entrance of Jiuzhaigou Valley. But this is officially forbidden in order to protect the enviroment,all visitors are requested to stay out of the valley. This would be the first thing that you need to handle along your China travel to Jiuzhaigou.



Where and what special to eat: Nuorilang restaurant is not the only choice in the valley. Located at the cross of three gullies, it is always very crowded. Buffet served there. During your journey you can see three Tibetan villages, there are Heye village, Shuzheng village and Zezhawa village. It is easy to find food in Shuzheng village and Zezhawa village, especially Shuzheng village is so popular as a shopping mall.


There are still much more choices outside the valley, such as fungus soup hot pot in Jiuzhaishanzhen Restaurant and traditional Tibetan food in Zangwangyanwu Restaurant.Even hamburgers and fried chickens, French-fries can be found near the entrance at the same price as those in Chengdu.Goat barbeque party is so exciting. When dark fallen, setting a camp fire in local Tibetan garden, with a goat baked, drinking butter tea and Qingke barley liquor, singing and dancing with the Tibetan family. You can hardly describe what a wonderful life it is! These dinning tips would be great helpful for your China travel deals to Jiuzhaigou.
Entrance fee: The tickets to Jiuzhaigou include the sightseeing ticket and the traffic bus ticket. In low season(Nov.16th to Mar.),the ticket fee is 80 Yuan while in the high travel season(April 1st to Nov.15th) it is 220 Yuan. The traffic bus fee is always 90 Yuan. For the visitors who are interested in hiking in Jiuzhaigou national park can buy only the sightseeing tickets. There is a very nice newlly-built wooden plank road in the park.


The entrance fee to Huanglong national park is 200 Yuan from Apr. to 15th Nov. and 80 Yuan from 16th Nov. to march the next year.







  1. 2012/12/23(日) 23:16:33|
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Snow-coved Xue Bao Ding in Sichuan China


Xue Bao Ding lies in Songpan County, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. In the Aba region of north central Sichuan is a range of peaks known as the Min Mountains. Mt. Xue Bao Ding is the highest peak of the range, known to the local Tibetans as Shar Dung Ri. Though it is just 5588 meters high, the mountain is strangely awesome and perennially snowcapped. For the adventure-lovers, the snow-capped Xue Bao Ding would be a must-have along their Sichuan China travel.



The Tibetans form the majority of the population in the area, are pious practitioners of Buddhism, and in this region Bonism. Bon was the dominant religion in the area before the arrival of Buddhism - and today the region continues to be a Bon stronghold. Also living here are Muslim, Chinese, Qiang, and Yi peoples. The walk into the mountains presents visitors lush valleys dotted with farms, evergreen forests, and small monasteries representing the Buddhist, Bon, and Daoist religions. While walking, Mt. Xue Bao Ding continually looms higher in front of us. Visiting (in fact trekking ) there will take about 3 days on the Bon religion's pilgrimage route. The route takes three days and crosses several high, non - technical passes before dropping us into the World Heritage site of Huanglong. Many hiking-lovers particularly request their China tour operator to arrange the Xue Bao Ding into their itinerary of Sichuan.



The other option is to trek through the upper valleys which lead to the glaciers of the peaks, and several exquisite lakes. This trek is perfect for those wishing to experience the indigenous peoples of Aba as well as a mountain landscape of great beauty in an area totally unspoiled by tourism. The low angle of Mt. Xue Bao Ding makes it an attractive goal for climbers interested in one day semi - technical ascents. Depending on group interest, this climbing option can be included with little extra cost.


Although it looks easier for mountaineers on its appearance,but in fact the loose snow on the mountain slope will cause a lot troubles to mountaineers, in 1985, several members of Sino - Japan mountaineering team stayed there for ever.because the climate here is relatively warm, and the rainfall is more than other places for its geographical location in a valley on the souther side of huge Min shan mountain ranges.


Breathing the fresh crisp air and appreciating the untouched scenery of Xue Bao Ding would be the unforgettable experience along their private China tours.





  1. 2012/12/20(木) 22:55:37|
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Time-weathered Jiaohe Ruins Along Silk Road Travel


The Jiaohe Ruins is an ancient Chinese archaeological site found in the Yarnaz Valley, 10 km west of the city of Turpan, Xinjiang province, China. It is a natural fortress located atop a steep cliff on a leaf-shaped plateau between two deep river valleys. Both the Nara National Cultural Properties Research Institute and the Xinjiang Cultural Relics Bureau have been cooperating in a joint venture to preserve the ruins of the site since 1992. The Jiaohe Site is located about ten kilometers to the west of Turpan, Xinjiang. Along your Silk Road tour, you will see this site.



Jiaohe was the capital of the former Cheshi Kingdom concurrent with the Han Dynasty. It became Jiaohe Prefecture of Gaochang Kingdom in the period between the Sixteen States and the Northern Dynasty. After 640, the fourteenth year of the Zhenguan Period during the Tang Dynasty, it turned to Jiaohe County of Gaochang Prefecture. Due to years of destruction done by wars, it came to decline gradually between the ninth century and fourteenth century. Discovering the time-weathered Jiaohe Ruins would be a great experience along your Silk Road travel.



The Jiaohe Ruins is the largest, earliest and best-preserved city with adobe buildings in the world. The government offices, temples, pagodas, residential blocks and streets are well-preserved in the ancient city.



When mention China travel, a travel to Shangri-la would be the first mind for many people, while to discover China further, I think a Silk Road travel would reward you more.





  1. 2012/12/20(木) 00:27:50|
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National Aquatics Center, Also Known as Water Cube, in Beijing China


Located on the west side of Landscape Avenue in the Olympic Green and to the west of Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest), the National Aquatics Center contains the official 2008 Olympics swimming facility. The construction started on December 24th, 2003 and was finished on January 1st, 2008. It measures 177 meters (194 yards) long, 177meters wide, and 30 meters (98 feet) high and covers an area of 62,950 sq meters (75,287 sq yard). It has four floors: one at street level, two above, and one below. Its floor space reaches 79,532 sq meters (95,119 sq yard), while the below street level area is no less than 15,000 sq meters (17,939 sq yard). The one below served as the service area during the Olympics. The first floor is for tourists. The auditorium is on the second floor with 6,000 fixed seats (2,000 of which are movable), and 11,000 temporary seats. The third floor is strictly for business. Along your Beijing tour package, you should never miss visiting the Water Cube.



Design Idea


The Water Cube design combines modern technologies with Chinese traditional values. In tradition, Chinese conceptualized a square Earth and a round Heaven, and this formed the design's central theme. Moreover, the cube shape dominates ancient urban buildings. The National Aquatics Center's design is of traditional style to meet all its functional requirements. The National Aquatics Center, designed by Chinese and Australian, is the first building in the world built upon "the soap bubble" theory, and sports a polyhedral steel-framed structure. Many China vacation deals of Beijing have included this site into their itinerary.



The ETFE (the ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene copolymer) membrane insulates the Water Cube. This advanced membrane structure is formed by 3,065 bubble-like pneumatic cushions of all sizes. The National Aquatics Center becomes the first large-scale public project coated with the membrane, and it also has set up a new world record for its massive deployment.



The National Aquatics Center looks like a huge blue box, from which it takes its nickname: the Water Cube. The Water Cube is blue in order to reflect sunlight. The National Aquatics Center shines in the sunlight like a pearl in water. From the inside of the National Aquatics Center, you may discover that the pneumatic cushions of all sizes are just like sea bubbles. No China travel service of Beijing is fantastic enough without visiting Water Cube.


Various high technology and green technology are present in the National Aquatics Center construction. Popular Science magazine chose it the Best of What’s New of 2006.



  1. 2012/12/18(火) 23:49:09|
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Introduction of Exorcizing Dance in China


Commonly called "the ghost opera" or "the ghost dance", the exorcizing dance is a kind of dance originated from the ancient exorcizing culture. It is honored as "the living fossil of Chinese dance". The exorcizing dance derived from the totem worship of the clan society in ancient times. Originally, it was a dance believed capable of driving away ghosts performed at sacrificial exorcizing rituals. Later, the dance gradually evolved into a festive sacrificial performance normally staged between the first and 16th day of the first month on the lunar calendar. Today, the exorcizing dance is still performed in rural areas in Jinagxi, Guizhou and Yunnan etc. Along your travel to Shangri-la, you may have chance to discover the exorcizing dance.


Nuo Masks



People often wear the mask of a certain character in exorcising dance, or Nuo dance performance, such as mythic images, ordinary figures and historical celebrities. Thus an enormous pedigree of gods driving away the plague is constituted, with a saying goes like this, "With the mask a human being becomes a god".


Temple of Nuo Gods



The Temple of Nuo Gods is the habitat of all gods (the masks) and the major location for holding the ritual of exorcising dance. People in different places worship their own god in Nuo altar, such as the Qingyuan God, Nuo God and Goddess and the Ouyang Jinjia General. In order to show respect to the gods, people in some places would hold a regular ceremony to imitate the patrol of the dignitary, accompanied by music and drumbeats and a crowd of people. Chinese culture discovery would be a great experience along your China tour deals.


Nuo Opera



The Nuo opera is a kind of opera formed on the basis of folk sacrificial ceremony and drama. It originates in remote antiquity, when in the pre-Qin period there appeared the exorcising dances and songs entertaining both gods and human beings. In the period of the late Ming and early Qing Dynasties, operas thrived everywhere in China. The exorcising dances assimilated the formats of Flower Drum Opera, Festival Lantern Opera, Hui Opera and Mulian Opera, thus forming different genres and artistic styles.


To explore China, the Silk Road tour do offer the exciting experience of tracing back to ancient times, while I think the Chinese culture discovery has something different for travelers.









  1. 2012/12/17(月) 23:52:54|
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Chinese Culture Discovery- Little New Year


New Year (Chinese: Xiaonian), which falls about a week before the lunar New Year, is also known as the Festival of the Kitchen God, the deity who oversees the moral character of each household. In one of the most distinctive traditions of Spring Festival, a paper image of the Kitchen God is burned on Little New Year, dispatching the god's spirit to Heaven to report on the family's conduct over the past year. The Kitchen God is then welcomed back by pasting a new paper image of him beside the stove. From this vantage point, the Kitchen God will oversee and protect the household for another year. The close association of the Kitchen God with the Lunar New Year has resulted in Kitchen God Festival being called Little New Year. Although very few families still make offerings to the Kitchen God on this day, many traditional holiday activities are still very popular. Many China travel deals have added Chinese culture discovery activity in their itinerary. If your travel falls onto spring festival, you could see how Chinese celebrate Chinese little new year.



Studies of popular Chinese religion indicate that the Kitchen God did not appear until after the invention of the brick stove. The cooking stove was a fairly late development in the history of human civilization. Ancient writings indicate that the Fire God, the earliest form of the Kitchen God, was worshipped long before the stove was invented. Zhu Rong, China's ancient Fire God was a popular folk deity and had many temples built in his honor. Stone lined fire pits, an early form of the brick stove, are still commonly used among China's ethnic minorities. People in these regions make offerings to the Fire Pit God. People living in different regions of China have different ways for celebrating little new Year, the ones discovered on your Tibet tours are different from the ones along your Xian travel.



The Kitchen God appeared soon after the invention of the brick stove. The Kitchen God was originally believed to reside in the stove, and only later took on human form. Legend has it that during the Later Han Dynasty, a poor farmer named Yin Zifang was making breakfast one day shortly before the Lunar New Year, when the Kitchen God appeared to him. Although all Yin Zifang had was one yellow sheep, he sacrificed it to the Kitchen God. Yin Zifang soon became rich. To show his gratitude, Yin Zifang started sacrificing a yellow goat to the Kitchen God every winter on the day of the divine visitation, rather than during the summer as had been customary. This is the origin of the Kitchen God Festival, or Little New Year.
To explore the beauty of China, many people may think of Yangtze River cruises, while to explore Chinese culture is another must-have for your China travel. Just start your Chinese culture exploration from knowing little Chinese New Year.



  1. 2012/12/17(月) 00:31:56|
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Recommended Rafting Places in China



River rafting is a quite exciting sport that beloved by many people, especially the young. Screaming, laughing,ups and downs, getting wet totally, all give you an exciting and relaxing experience. In addition, if the scenery is gorgeous, the journey will be more pleasing. Here we lisited top 10 places for river rafting in China, ranging from river rafting, gorge rafting to underground rafting, which is a true feast for rafting lovers. For adventure-lovers, no last minute deals for China travel are crazy enough without rafting outside.


Shapotou (Ningxia, Yinchuan)



Perhaps only in the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Ningxia, in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, can you see such a unique vehicle for water travel - sheepskin rafts. Drifting on the Yellow Rivers, where the water moves rather quickly, the small vessel allows one to feel the special complexity of the mother river. Experience breathtaking excitement and appreciate the unusual folk-custom scenery on the both sides of the Yellow River. A unique experience indeed. To rafting in this area, you could particularly ask your China tour agents to add this site to your itinerary and they would be pleased to do that.


Minjiang River (Sichuan, Wenchuan)



Stemming from Qianlixue, near Min Mountain, and gathering around Huanglongshui of Jiuzhai, this river flows across Zang County of Qiangzhai, breaks through magnificent and beautiful Minjiang River Canyon before leaping down the Dujiang Dam. Minjiang’s power and beauty together with strength and kindness and extremely of the nearby mountains tell a story of harmony for both man and nature to learn from. Surging down the Minjiang River is a elarge part of the Dajiuzai Rafting Tour Projects. Be sure to check those out if you choose to pay homage to this place. Many top10 China tour package available on the website includes this activity in their itineraries.


Maling River (Guizhou, Xingyi)



After China’s first International Kayak Competition, held in 1998 at the Maling River, met with great favor, this gem of a river turned into an international attraction for kayakers the world over. The reason is that the Maling River rafting route is more than 50 kilometers, over 80 dangerous shoals, above 70 deep pools, and more than 60 bends. Even more seductive is the nearly 30 kilometers of “Slot Drifting” in its lower reach. People who like to challenge themselves are keen to access this spot. No wonder that it is referred to as the “No.1 place for river rafting in China”.


 


  1. 2012/12/14(金) 00:06:38|
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Interesting Puppet Shows in China


Called "marionette show" in ancient China, a puppet show is a theatre performance in which puppet figures are made to move by puppeteers pulling strings or by putting their hands inside them. To enrich their itineraries, many China tour operators have arranged this to their itineraries, which is well-reviewed by travelers.



In China, the origin of puppets dates back to the Shang Dynasty, when the custom of burying slaves alive with their deceased masters was practiced. Of the 3,000 funeral objects excavated from the Yin Ruins in Anyang City, there are pottery figurines of slaves with cangues. In the Warring States Period, there appeared entertaining figurines used in story-telling and singing performances as props. And such art forms became popular. After the Han Dynasty, a puppet show gradually developed into a folk art combining opera, literature, sculpture and painting that appealed to both humans and divinities. Viewing this show would be a great experience of your China vacation deals.



During the Three Kingdoms Period, there were "water-driven one hundred play" featuring exquisitely-made puppets performing humanlike singing, dancing and acrobatics. In the Song Dynasty, puppet shows enjoyed an unprecedented boom, with a wide variety of puppet types used in the plays, including string puppets, rod puppets, water puppets, pyrotechnic puppets, iron stick puppets, glove puppets and flesh puppets etc.



During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, puppet plays caught on in all areas. By integrating with local operas, various kinds of regional puppet plays came into being, such as Heyang string puppet play of Shaanxi and Zhangzhou glove puppet play of Fujian. Puppet shows also advanced with the times. After the movie came into being, they found their way into the movie field, creating increasing impact of puppet shows. It is no wonder that so many private China tour have puppet plays enjoyment in the tours as an discovery of Chinese culture, which seems make sense now.



In former times, a puppet show was one of the most popular entertaining art forms among ordinary people. Such shows were usually staged on occasions like sacrificial rituals and festive banquets, adding color to people's life. In modern times, however, puppet shows suffered decline due to war chaos. But they caught on again shortly after the war.



After 1949, except for a handful of private puppet troupes, most others were restructured as government-funded troupes. While retaining traditional plays, these puppet troupes created a large number of modern plays, also known as "civilized new plays".





  1. 2012/12/13(木) 01:10:28|
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National Stadium, Affectionately Known as Bird's Nest in Beijing China


The National Stadium, affectionately known as Bird's Nest, is situated in Olympic Green Village, Chaoyang District, Beijing. It was designed as the main stadium of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The Olympic events of track and field, football, gavelock, weight throw and discus were held there. Since October, 2008, after the Olympics ended, the National Stadium has been opened as a tourist attraction. Now, it's the center of international or domestic sports competition and recreation activities. If your China travel covers Beijing, National Stadium would definitely a must-have along your Beijing travel.



The design of this large stadium was accomplished together by Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron and Chinese architect Li Xinggang and the others. The designers didn't do any redundant disposals to the look of the stadium. They just exposed the steel structures entirely and let them become the most natural appearance. The form of the stadium looks like a big nest which embraces and nurses human beings. Also it looks rather like a cradle bearing human beings' hope of the future.



The construction of the National Stadium started on December 24, 2003. On July, 2004, the project was stopped temporarily due to the amendment of the design. On December 27 of the same year, the construction was resumed and finished in March, 2008. The gross cost of the whole project is 2,267 million Chinese yuan (about 33 million dollars). This well-designed National Stadium would be a great highlight along your Beijing tour.



The stadium covers an area of about 258 thousand square meters (99.614 square miles), which can accommodate 80,000 fixed seats and 11,000 temporary seats. Its appearance was formed by big steel frames. Its top surface is saddle-shaped with the major axis of 332.3 meters (1,090 feet) and the stub axis of 296.4 meters (972 feet). The tallest point of the stadium is 68.5 meters (225 feet) above the ground and the lowest point is 42.8 meters (140 feet). The top is covered by semi-transparent air bubble film. This kind of material is waterproof and can make enough sunshine penetrate into the stadium. Owing to that, the lawns in it can grow well.



In the National Stadium, the designs of everything are humanistic. The bowl-like stands zone surrounds the court. The stands can be changed in many ways, which can satisfy the needs of different numbers of spectators in different periods. During the Olympics, the temporary seats were set at the top of the stands zone. Rows of the stands distribute scientifically. No matter where the spectator is seated, the whole game can be seen without any visual obstruction. The stadium adopted the electro-acoustic public-address system. It makes the index of voice definition reaches 0.6. This number assures that all the audience can hear the broadcast very clearly. What's more, there are more than 200 wheelchair seats intended for the disabled. Many architectural experts think that Beijing National Stadium not only is a symbol building of the 2008 Olympics but also set a very good example to the world's architectural history.


No China vacation packages to Beijing is complete without discovering the world-renowned National Stadium.



  1. 2012/12/12(水) 00:48:02|
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Must-visit Shopping Area in Beijing China


The Silk Market



Up until 2005, this market was called Silk Street and had the same location but was an outdoor market. Today, everything is covered by a roof and this market is probably the most visited by foreign tourists in Beijing. Just like HongQiao Pearl Market offers more than pearls, Silk Market offers a lot more than just silk. In the basement floor you'll find shoes, belts, handbags and suitcases etc. On the first and second floors there are mainly designer clothes. Be careful to try on everything you buy here, to be sure you get the right size. Many China travel agents has arranged the Silk Market to their travelers in order to enrich their itinerary, which seems workable and beneficial.



Silk products are sold on the third floor: ties, tablecloths, traditional clothes as well as dressing gowns, underwear and many other products made of silk, and children's wear. There are also tailors here, willing to make suits or dresses for tourists that often pay a little more than they should. Floors four and five have jewellery, pearls, Chinese crafts and art, watches, electronics etc. Having walked all the way up here, you'll probably be quite tired of all the yelling salespeople pulling at you. In that case, continue to one of the restaurants on floors five and six, where you can sit down and eat something.


Panjiayuan Market



Panjiayuan Flea Market, or Panjiayuan Market, or Panjiayuan Antique Market, or whatever names you use, is a must for those who like something really Chinese. Panjiayuan for me, it is also a place for nostalgia, finding some things reminding me of the time during 1960s. Shopping boutique in Panjiayuan market would be a great experience along your Beijing tour.


People often say the difference between the old and the young is that the old have the past before and the young have the future ahead. Maybe I'm really geting older now. Panjiayuan is one of my favorite places to digg into the past. Every year I will go there to fill my working heart with some sentiment. People need to feel, not just work and work!



Panjiayuan Market is located No.18, Huaweili Road, just 100 meters east of Panjiayuan Bridge on the east third ring road. It is its main gate - the north gate. If you take the bus or taxi here, you'd better enter the north gate. If you drive to Panjiayuan Market, you should go through the west gate. The west gate has a huge park lot while there is no parking place at the north gate. To get to the west gate, you just drive past the north gate westward and turn left at the first traffic light, for about 100 meters on your left side, you will find the west gate.



To travel China, many people may recommend the fantastic Yangtze River tour, but to explore the ancient history of China, Beijing travel is suggested, which do have much to offer for history-lovers. Along your Beijing travel, you should never miss shopping in the above two shopping areas.





  1. 2012/12/10(月) 23:50:55|
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Flower-embraced Jiayang Mini Steam Engine Train in Sichuan China


From Leshan Great Buddha down to south about 50km, there is a train called Jiayang mini steam engine train. It is a steamed train (locomotives) on the narrow gauge tracks to transport passengers and coals daily in the area. It is the major transportation to link local residents living in mountains with the outside world. Because of its unique and rare in China, it became a tourist attraction as well. A visit to Jiayang mini steam engine train as an extension to your Yangtze River tour in Chongqing would a great idea for you considering short distance and visit-value.



Train is running from Bagou town to Shixi town, both in Qianwei county. The rail is about 20km long with a track width in 762mm (half of standard tracks in gauge), and it was built in 1958. Train will take about two and half hour for a round-trip in a maximum speed of 35km per hour. When loading with passengers, the train speed is limited to 20km per hour.



There are usually seven cars for the train, and each car on the train has only 18 seats. Every day there have four trains to and from Bagou and Shixi. However, during holidays, extra steamed trains are available for tourists. It is reported that many China tour agents have arranged this off-the-beaten site to their itinerary in order to meet the needs of clients, which turns out to be efficient and beneficial.



There are eight stops in the rail, and four are scenic stops for tourists. Stations are Shixi, Yaojing, Mifengyan, Caibazhi, Xianrenjiao, Jiaoba, Bagou, and Huangchunjing.



Jiayang mini steam engine train carrying tourists and villagers runs in Qianwei County, southwest China's Sichuan Province, March 20, 2011. Built in 1958, Jiayang mini steam engine train with a narrow rail gauge, used to be a coal transportation. Later, added some passengers carriges, it became the major transportation for local villagers living in and around the mountainous Bagou town and Shixi town. As the steam trains disappear in the world, more and more tourists from home and abroad came here to visit the mini steam engine train.



No China travel deals to Sichuan of scenic discovery theme is complete without covering this ancient Jiayang mini steam engine train in their itinerary.



  1. 2012/12/10(月) 00:09:11|
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Huanglong Scenic Area



Located in the southern part of the Minshan Mountain range, Huanglong is a scenic and historic area in northwestern Sichuan, extending over an area of 700 square kilometers (70,000 hectares). No China travel deals to Sichuan are fantastic without visiting the enchanting Huanglong Scenic Area.


This area is known for its colorful pools created by calcite deposits, especially in Huanglonggou (Yellow Dragon Gully), as well as for its diversity in forest ecosystems, snow-capped peaks, waterfalls and hotsprings. Its highest peak, or Xuebao Peak, measures a height of 5,588 meters and is covered with eternal snow. It is located at the eastern end of China's currently remaining glaciers.



Huanglong is also home to many endangered species, including the Giant Panda and the Sichuan Golden Snub-nosed Monkey. Huanglong was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1992 and listed in the World Human and Biosphere Reserve by the UN in 2000.When browsing the website, I found that many a classic China tour package has included Huanglong into their itinerary as a highlight to attract travelers.


Dujiangyan Irrigation System



Dujiangyan is an irrigation infrastructure built by Governor Li Bing of the Qin State in 256 BC, during China's Warring States Period (476-221BC). It is situated on the Min River in Sichuan Province, near its capital Chengdu.


Dujiangyan is the only existing ancient hydro-power project, featuring diversions without a dam, in the world. It is widely regarded as the "ancestor" of the world's hydro-power culture, with a history dating back over 2,200 years. It also functions as a means for preventing floods and plain shipping. It is still in use today, irrigating over 5,300 square kilometers of the region's land. It is no wonder that many private China tours to Sichuan have covered this great site.



Dujiangyan is known as one of the "three great hydraulic engineering projects of the Qin Dynasty." The other two are the Zhengguo Canal in Shaanxi Province and the Lingqu Canal in Guangxi Province.


Dujiangyan is also one of China's better-known touristic spots, with many historic sites surrounding the area.


If you are planning to travel China, then a good new is offered. ChinaTour.com is now offering the promotional China vacation deals for Christmas for Christmas. Please visit ChinaTour.com for details.









  1. 2012/12/06(木) 23:43:59|
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Qingping Market came into existence in 1979. It has over 2000 stall along 1-km-long Qingping Lu and Ti Yun Lu in the north of Shamian Island. It is the largest street market in Guangzhou. Over 60, 000 people shop there every day. If you want to extend your Hong Kong tour package, then a visit to Guangzhou could be a great idea. During your Guangzhou travel, you should never miss visiting this ancient market and enjoying the pleasure of bargaining.



As one of the first markets to flourish after China’s ‘reopening’, until very recently Qingping Market had something of a notorious reputation for its trade in exotic animals. Health scares mean that most of that has now been swept away, but what remains is a fascinating sprawl of literally thousands of stalls scattered over a number of streets. The focus these days is mainly on medicinal herbs and various vegetation. But you’ll still find plenty of places proffering weird and wonderful merchandise including dried seahorses and scorpions, not to mention a few tiger claw vendors who continue to warily carry on their business from the streets. Qingping Market is centered on Qingping Lu and Tiyun Lu (which runs parallel to Luersan Lu to the north). There are also stalls all the way along Luersan Lu from west of Zhuji Lu to east of Qingping Lu. It’s well worth taking an half an hour or so to wander around the area. To recommend some must-have for your last minute deals for China travel, then a visit to Qingping Market would be a great idea.



Directions: The Qingping Market is directly opposite Shamian Island to the north. Take exit D from Huangsha subway station, go left as you exit and continue straight along Luersan Lu. You will start passing market stalls. Continue until you reach Qingping Lu.



I had heard about the Qing Ping market from a couple of other travelers. They told me not to miss it if I made it to Guangzhou as it was huge and held all sorts of interesting items! They were right! For me it was very intesting as I could see so many "exotic" animals and a different way of life that I hadn't experienced before. I was totally appalled and intrigued at the same time with finding dogs being butchered but at the time I didn't understand that the dogs were raised to be slaughtered unlike the dogs that were kept as pets. Once I understood that! it was easier for me to understand. (I know some of you won't like the idea of this) Like most westerners (except vegetarians) I don't have any problem with seeing butchered cattle so I don't know why seeing the dogs upset me at first. There are different sections in this huge market. You can find endless rows of seafood, turtles, fish, snakes, and all parts of animals are on display for your shopping pleasure.....gosh you name it and you can find it here. There were other parts of the market that had dry goods but I didn't visit that area. It's a place that I would need 3 rolls of film for if I ever had the chance to return.



Christmas China Travel Deals

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  1. 2012/12/04(火) 23:47:50|
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The Delicate Gourd Carving in Lanzhou


Gourd carving is a well-known traditional craft. Craftsmen use needles to draw people, landscapes, flowers, and other patterns on specially bred gourds, accompanied by poems or calligraphy. The craftsmanship is delicate, exquisite and impressive. With its ethnic characteristics, it is favored by domestic and foreign appreciators.



Lanzhou gourd carving originated out of practicality. Lanzhou City, as the most important spot on the Silk Road, attracted many merchants. Merchants from the Hu tribe held water in giant gourds that were sculpted with Chinese characters and patterns, and Chinese inland merchants transported the gourds to foreign countries. At that time, gourd carving techniques were rough. Medicine sellers hung huge gourds with the Chinese character “药(yao)” (medicine) in the doorway of their shops. During the Tang dynasty, the carving technique of gourds developed in a more exquisite way, turning the gourds into art pieces. Along your Silk Road travel, you would visit Lanzhou, where gourd carvings are ubiquitous.



Gourd carving is a special art, not only because it has a long history in Lanzhou City, but also because people who learn carving have abundant artistic training. A master of carving should have exquisite carving techniques and knowledge of Chinese classical culture, poems, ancient books and records, calligraphy, and drawing. Therefore, the subjects for gourd carving are abundant: Tang poems, Song Poetry, Buddhism, famous classic writings, various plantations, flowers, birds, fish, insects, natural sceneries, etc. The abundant knowledge of the sculptor makes his every piece unique, accurate and exquisite. Today in Lanzhou City, there are many gourd sculptors. Even the gourds found among a vendor’s items is delicate.



There are two kinds of gourd-carving techniques. The first method employs specially made steel needles in different sizes, engraving the patterns in thin lines on the surface of the gourds, and then paints inks on the lines to bring them out. The technique is called “portray.” Another method involves hollowing out the gourds, then drawing the patterns in thick lines. The technique is called “carving.” When the patterns are down, “卐” patterns are drawn. For the last step, chemical or silver pedestals are added to the gourds, and the whole production process is finished. Along your Tibet travel, you could also see the delicate gourd carving on the street.



Gourd carving can be divided into two categories: gourd-engraving and gourd-carving. Gourd-engraving differs from other gourd sculptures in its production process. It mixes mold-production, engraving, heating, collating, and becomes a comprehensive gourd art. It uses various-sized natural gourds, reorganizing the parts into various gourd sculptures.



If engraving is added to the collage, the gourds become more artistic. The methods used on gourd-engraving are based on the experience of bamboo-carving and wood-carving. The sculptor is required to be peaceful in mind, accurate and delicate in technique, slight in strength, and slow in pace. This is how exquisite gourd sculptures are produced.



Gourd-carving, namely carving calligraphy and paintings on gourds, produces artistic gourds for people to appreciate. Gourd-engraving is a three-dimensional art, but in gourd-carving, all the work is done on the surface of the gourds. During your Shangri-la tour, you may also see this.
Gourd-carving is said to have originated in Gansu Province. People carved the gourds into simple patterns for appreciation. With continued improvement of craftsmanship, specialized gourd-carving art was formed.



The gourds used for carving are herbal fruits, solid, smooth, yellowish brown in color, looking like eggs. Therefore they’re called “egg gourds.” Mostly they’re round, but some of them are oval. Lanzhou gourd carving started during the Qing Dynasty. Legend has it that there was a tailor named Wang who often sculpted scenic patterns on egg gourds for himself to appreciate. This can be considered the start of Lanzhou’s gourd-carving business.



When it came to the Republic of China (1912-1949), a number of people sold sculpted egg gourds as toys, and caught people’s attention. Between 1914 and 1921, due to people’s wide advocacy and creative works, sculpted gourds stepped into upper society, and became a precious artistic gift among officials. Gourd carving is a branch of Chinese carving, which would be a great highlight of your China vacation deals.
"Hu mang" is the most famous product of Lanzhou. Lanzhou Special Craft Community, formed by Ruan Guangyu, created “The West Chamber,” “The Water Margin,” “A Dream in the Red Mansion,” “Pilgrimage to the West” and other products, making “Hu mang” a shining star on the market. Ruan Wenhui, using his knowledge of and specialty in Chinese painting, created many techniques such as “ink portray,” “imitation,” “color carving,” and “miniature.” Many of his miniature gourd sculptures are part of the national collection of the China National Arts and Crafts Museum.



  1. 2012/12/04(火) 00:07:40|
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The Breathtaking Muli in Sichuan China


In present day Muli little has changed - aside from the practice of robbery and pillage, that is. Officially opened to tourism a few years ago, modern Muli's only road, planned to connect the Tibetan Autonomous County with neighboring Daocheng, remained uncompleted at the end of 2001, and living conditions are hard. Local government plans include much-needed environmental reforms forbidding logging activities on hillsides, and a determination to attract tourism money that is shared by local residents. For the time being, however, the multi-ethnic region continues to follow traditions that is has done for generations, unchanged by tourism. If your China travel deals for Sichuan has no ideas, then a visit to Muli to discover the ethnic minority culture there never disappoint you.



Muli lies on the border of Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, just north of the famous lake of Lugu. Until 1953, it was a Gelugpa Buddhist kingdom, dubbed "The Yellow Lama's Kingdom" by explorer Rock. Historically, Muli was influenced by the southern Nanzhao Kingdom of the Yi (653-902) and the later Dali Kingdom of the Bai (1137-1253), as well as Mongol intruders under Kublai Khan. Those days are long gone, however, and today Muli is part of the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan. The scenery viewed in Muli is just similar to the ones discovered along your Tibet tours since both of them are of highland landscape.



Visitors to Muli are treated to a wonderful land of 17 ethnic groups, breathtaking scenery, virgin forests, and more than 900 peaks that soar to above 4000 meters. There are three Buddhist monasteries, with the biggest one, Muli Dasi, serving as home for the Living Buddha of Muli, who holds the highest status in Tibetan religious culture.



The spiritual center of the region is the Gongga mountain range in western Muli, a holy trinity of peaks comprised of Jambeyang, Chanadorje and Chenresig. Each year in late May when the harvest is completed it's time to embark on a pilgrimage to the mountain range, where the Pumi ethnic group believe the beginning and end of all life is. Since all the souls of the dead will travel to Gongga, it is deemed important to make the journey at least once in a person's lifetime to ensure the soul knows the way.


May you have had the travel to Shangri-la and enjoyed the paradise on earth. If you want to extend your Yunnan travel, a visit to Sichuan would be a great idea, which has much to offer.



  1. 2012/12/03(月) 00:19:14|
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Visit-worthy Ancient Town of Dachang China


In the deep hinterland of the Three Gorges, there is a small town called Dachang. The town is the only well-preserved ancient town in the Three Gorges area. Two years ago a red warning line along with the words "143 meter high submerged zone" were marked on the old city walls. The lines were indicative of the town's fate. When the on-going Three Gorges Project, the world's largest water conservation works, starts to store water in June 2003, Dachang will be submerged forever. If want to refresh yourself and have no idea about your China tours, then a visit to Dachang ancient town would be a great choice.



Dachang has a history of more than 1,700 years. The town still preserves its original semblance, even though it has been threatened by various wars over the years. Under the administration of Wushan County in Chongqing City, Dachang covers an area of nearly 100,000 square meters and has a population of 37,000 people. The ancient settlement town has two major streets: one is 150 meters long from north to south, and the other is 240 meters from east to west. When mentioning the town of Dachang, people always think of the old saying, 'One lamp lighting the whole town.' Dachang is the smallest among the cities and towns discovered along the Yangtze, so it is also called "Miniature Ancient Town." Along your Yangtze River cruises, you would see this site on the way.



The south gate is the town's main link to the outside world. The crystal clear Daning River, a branch of the Changjiang River, flows past the town, and there are dozens of steps paved with polished stone slabs that lead from the gate to the riverside. A several hundred-year-old scholar tree stands like a guard at the gate, its roots growing from the cracks of the archway. A damaged stone lion at the side of the gate silently faces the Daning River, looking desolate in the rays of the setting sun.



Traditional houses line both sides of the streets in Dachang. Mostly built during the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the early years of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the houses are made of blue bricks and tiles, with wooden facades, upturned eaves, and carved and painted beams, all of which reflect the beauty of the old buildings. No China tour packages of cultural discovering theme are complete without covering this ancient Dachang ancient town.


In Dachang, the Wen Family Courtyard is the largest and the best preserved of these historical buildings. It was built in the early years of the Qing and covers an area of 320 square meters. The house is an old style Chinese structure, and can be divided into three parts: the entrance hall, the central hall, and the rear hall. All are supported by wooden beams and roofs. The wooden windows are decorated with exquisite engravings.



According to Wen Guanglin, the tenth-generation owner of the Wen Family Courtyard, the house was built by his ancestor, who was a governor during the Qing Dynasty. Nowadays, Wen Guanglin lives in the courtyard with one of his sons and a grandson. His other son has moved to Guangdong Province. It is no wonder that so many China tour agents have included this site into their ancient town discovery itineraries, it seems make sense now.


Because of the Three Gorges Dam Project on the Yangtze River, Dachang ancient town and its fertile lands would have been submerged. To protect and save this historic town, an ambitious plan was launched to move the three city gates, Wen's family compound and 37 other ancient buildings to a new site four miles away. Before the move, every brick, tile and pillar was marked for easy reassembly. Antique materials were used to replace those that cannot be moved. Some residents of the town have moved back, but others have relocated to different provinces. Now, visitors to the new town will still be able to see wine making, weaving and other arts, customs and traditions of the old town.



  1. 2012/12/03(月) 00:04:38|
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