Once a playground for foreign adventurers and socialites, the one-time whore of the Orient is now where home-grown tycoons build soaring monuments to capitalism and the locals party all night. But despite a past as evocative as it is notorious, Shanghai has dispensed with the rear-view mirror, pushed the pedal to the floor and is roaring towards its imagined future so fast that keeping up is almost impossible. New developments spring up weekly, while the rapidly growing middle classes work seven days a week in the hope of graduating to the big-time.
Along your China tours, you should never forget to experience Shanghai.
Recently featured in many business and travel magazines and newspapers, Shanghai has seemingly once again become the latest "It" city of the world. Much like in the first half of the 20th century, visitors from around the world are flocking here, drawn by curiosity, a sense of possibility, the lure of potential professional and financial success, or perhaps simply a desire to be in the coolest, brashest, and most exciting city in the new century. While Shanghai lacks the classical Chinese monuments of Beijing, its colonial legacy gives it a character all its own. When your Yangtze River cruises stops in Shanghai, why not take some time to experience this metropolitan?
This museum of East meets West on Chinese soil is also China's capital of commerce, industry, and finance, and the one city that best shows where China is headed at the dawn of the 21st century. Like Pudacuo National Park is a must-see in your Shangri-la tour, Shanghai is a must-visit along a complete China travel.
Strolling the Bund: The most widely known street in Asia, with its gorgeous colonial buildings that were the banks, hotels, trading firms, and private clubs of foreign taipans (bosses of old Shanghai's trading firms) and adventurers past, deserves to be walked over and over again. See up close the exquisite architectural details of the Peace Hotel, the Customs House, the former Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, and scores of other buildings, some lavishly restored, others closed awaiting development. Then head across the street to the Bund Promenade, where you mingle with the masses while admiring the splendor and grandeur of old Shanghai. After you've seen it by day, come back again at night for a different perspective. Many businessmen home and abroad like to discover this metropolitan along their China business travel of Shanghai.
Yangzhou Pinghua (popular tales) is a general term for storytelling in the Yangzhou dialect. Yangzhou Pinghua, also called Weiyang pinghua or pingci took shape in the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was first popular in north Jiangsu Province, with Yangzhou as the center, and then spread to neighboring Nanjing,Zhenjiang and Shanghai. When your Yangtze River cruises reaches to Nanjing, you would see the performance of Yangzhou Pinghua.
Traditionally, the pinghua performer wore a gown and sat behind a table, with a folded fan and a gavel (serving as a prop to strike the table as a warning to the audience to be quiet or as a means of attracting attention in order to strengthen the effect of the performance, especially at the beginning or during intervals). Since the mid-20th century, performers have not often used props. Experience Yangzhou Pinghua would be a much interesting experience along your China tours of Yangzhou.
The storytellers often added their own commentaries on the subjects and the characters. They also explained the origins of and material objects in the stories. So the audience, while watching their performances, was not only entertained, but also educated and enlightened. Like the folk art discovered along your travel to Shangri-la, Yangzhou pingshu has its own features.
The Yangzhou pinghua artists usually pass on their repertoires from generation to generation. Many items, such as The Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Outlaws of the Marsh all have adherents who have formed different schools. Some of the contents have become enriched in the course of being spread, being similar in content but varied in details. Since the founding of New China in 1949, many new novels have been adapted as Yangzhou pinghua. Medium-length and short items have appeared on the stage. However, the traditional repertoires still occupy a major place. Many students particularly like to learn the Yangzhou pingshu along their China educational tours of Yangzhou.
As a miniature of Chinese embroidery history, the history of pouches incorporates abundant etiquettes and regulations, as well as varied folk customs. For the ruling class, the pouch is a symbol of the ritual system. However, it is more practical than symbolic for common people. Along your China tours, you would see the diverse Chinese Embroidery Pouch displayed on the street.
An embroidered pouch is composed of two sides, the interior and the exterior. The exterior is embroidered while the mouth is threaded with a silk string which can be tightened and loosened. The pouch features two ribbons fastened to the two sides, a tassel stitched to the bottom, along with fringes and beads as ornaments. This kind of pouch is designed for paraphernalia and perfume, including the purse and the sachet. When your Yangtze River cruises reaches to the southern part of China, you would see the Chinese Embroidery Pouch designed by the southern people of China.
The pouch boasts a great variety of designs and patterns. There are different patterns for pouches of different uses, but praying for luck is the common subject. Some depict love and marriage, such as "phoenix and peony" and "butterflies and flowers." Some wish for longevity and more children, such as "golden melons and children," "pomegranate seeds" and "kylin carrying a son." Along your Shangri-la tour, you could also see the Chinese Embroidery Pouch designed by Chinese ethnic groups.
Some others express good wishes through animals and plants. Besides, there are also various utensils indicating good luck and happiness. Different subjects convey different emotions. It is in the colorful threads that people embody their feelings and expectations. Many students particularly like to buy some Chinese Embroidery Pouch along their China educational tours.
Fengyang Huagu, also called Huagu Xiaoluo or Shuangtiaogu, is a local Quyi genre in Fengyang County, East China's Anhui Province. The origin of Fengyang Flower Drum, formed during theMing Dynasty(1368-1644), mingles with sorrow and sadness. At that time, plagued by floods and droughts, many people were forced to leave their homes and went out begging, usually in pairs: one beat the drum, the other beat the gong, and they sang together. When your Yangtze River cruises come to Anhui region region, you should never forget to experience the Fengyang Huagu there.
Most performers were husband and wife, or sisters-in-law. This was the earliest form of Fengyang Flower Drum. During the performance, the two sang together while sitting on a bench and beat gongs and drums without the accompaniment of thread or string instruments. Discovering the Fengyang Huagu of the Anhui region would be a much interesting experience along your China tours of Anhui region.
Later, Shuangtiaogu replaced Flower Drum, i.e. the performer that holds a small drum in her left hand and beats it with a double-drum arrow in her right hand. Flower Drum artists brought back many kinds of folk songs and music from other places, gradually enriched arias of Fengyang Flower Drum and developed several dancing and singing forms based on Flower Drum tunes. It is no wonder that so many agents have extended their Shangri-la tour to Anhui region, offering travelers great chances to experience Hui culture along their trip. In this case, Fengyang Huagu would be a must-have for them.
Fengyang Flower Drum does not have long traditional repertoires, its contents are mainly love stories and the singing style is relatively flexible. Fengyang Flower Drum is widespread and has a certain influence on the tunes and performance styles of Quyi arts in other places. Students particularly like to learn the Fengyang Huagu along their student tours to China of Anhui region.
Since the opening and reform in 1978, Fengyang Flower Drum has become a popular entertainment which locals perform enthusiastically to celebrate special occasions. No longer singing sorrowful ditties, it now is sung to tell of love stories and new lives, absorbing modern artistic elements. With its unique local flavor, Fengyang Flower Drum is becoming famous both at home and abroad. Many businessmen also like to discover the Fengyang Huagu when their China business travel come to Anhui region.
The Dragon Boat Festival for the people in northern Guizhou was to make totem dog with mugwort and hang it on lintels. It would be kept their till the following year, and then added more mugwort to it. It grew bigger every year to over 2 meters long. Both Han and Miao nationalities followed the same custom. If a kid got sick, they would take some mugwort from the dog's tail and boiled it in water as medicine, which would rid of pestilence. Shaanxi, a tiger totem area, people hanged mugwort tiger on the lintel. Nowadays, it has changed to using stuffed "mugwort tiger" made in fabric and stuffed with dried mugwort incense. Stuffed tiger is sewed on children's clothes on the Dragon Boat Day for safeguard. Its lovely puffy shape gained the name of "Ai tiger/' some kids wear a stuffed tiger and a rooster on each shoulder as a local saying goes: "The rooster holds you in the mouth, and the cat (tiger) watches over you." If your China tours just falls onto the Dragon Boat Festival, chances are offered to experience these folk customs.
From eastern Gansu to Central Shaanxi plains, people wear vests with totem frog and tiger symbols as antidotes to the five poisonous (snake, scorpion, lizard, beetle and centipede). Kids carry on their backs stuffed mugwort animals like snake, frog, crab (its eight feet symbolize the sun rays), with "five poisonous" pendants. On the chest are small ornaments of legendary animal figures stuffed with dried mugwort, including the snake, the monkey, the rat, the dragon, the horse, the cow or plant bags of the pumpkin, the garlic, the grape, the peach, and the bean. There are also symbols of perpetual life like the eight diagram lenses, star anise, or broomcorn, pyramid-shaped dumplings, lotus bud fireworks, book casket, fan, etc., a variety collection. Their creative, casual design seemed far better than the embroidery craft works with complicated design and intensive craftsmanship. When your Yangtze River cruises reach to southern area of China, you would see how the people living in southern area of China celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival.
In northern Shanxi, the symbol of perpetuity must be pasted in the center of the lintel on the Dragon Boat Day. There are two types, the "Haystack" and the "Silver ingot," pasted above the door in the center of the lintel to keep away the "perverse trend." People also wear on them imitation articles of silver ingot; for children age 3 and younger on the shoulder; and age five or older on the back. Girls put it in their hair braids. What Dragon Boat Festival is to Han people, Torch Festival is to the Miao ethnic groups discovered along your travel to Shangri-la.
Another custom is to eat pyramid-shaped steamed dumplings made with glutinous rice, red been and jujubes wrapped in reed leaves. Imitation of its hexagon shape is one of the most popular ornaments to wear on the occasion. With blue, red, white, yellow and black threads winding around it, it is quite eyes-catching. The colors of the threads stand for spring (blue), summer (red), long summer (white), fall (yellow), and winter (black). These are the colors of grass and trees from sprouting to withering a year round. In the eyes of the Chinese community, red, yellow, blue, white and black five colors are the colors that compose the universe. Many businessmen also like to join the locals to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival along their China business travel.
There are about 14 species silverfishes available in China. Neosalunx taihuensis is the most famous species. It is named as it lives in Taihu (a fresh water lake in China). Silverfish is also called Chinese Whitebait, Icefish, Noodlefish etc. Silver fish is a kind of freshwater fish. They live in some freshwater lakes only around Yangzi River in China such as Taihu, Chaohu, Poyanghu etc. When your travel to Shangri-la come to Anhui region, you should never forget to taste the Chaohu silverfish(Anhui). Silver fish has the following characteristics:
Transparent. The whole body of alive silver fish is transparent. The foreside body looks cylindric and rearward body a little flat. The head is flat also and mouth is very short. It will die immediately after leaving from water and turn in to milk white and semi transparent. Silver fish has no bone,only has gristle. They almost have no scale also, only have 1 row of scale on body. Many businessmen also like to taste the Chaohu silverfish(Anhui) along their China business travel of Anhui.
One year live. The life of silver fish is only one year. Silverfish have 2 reproduce groups. The adult fish will die after giving birth. The baby silverfish will grow up to adult in the same year. The 2 reproduce groups are Spring Group and Autumn Group. No China tours to Anhui is complete if the Chaohu silverfish(Anhui) is missed.
Silverfish is very delicious. As the fish is transparent, it looks very nice. The harvest season of silverfish is from Sep to Nov. The quantity of silver fish is not so big, only hundreds tons per season. As the quantity of silverfish is not big, the process of silverfish is also not prevail. They can by packed as block frozen or dry. Taste the Chaohu silverfish(Anhui) in Anhui and see how different the flavor is between Anhui food and Yunnan food tasted along your Shangri-la tour.
Beijing Planetarium is a National first-level natural science museum. Its main purpose is to popularize science and to hold exhibitions. It is a scientific institution for popularizing astronomical knowledge to the public and promoting the spirit of science, popularizing scientific ideas and science's critical methodology. It is a "Palace for Science", "to explore the mysteries of the universe and to benefit society". It currently comprises Building A and Building B. If you are just enjoying your China tours of Beijing with your kids, a visit to the Beijing Planetarium would be a great choice for you.
Building A was built in 1957 and has a total area of approximately 5000 square meters and a usable area of 2,700 square meters. It was the first large-scale planetarium in China. At one time it was the only planetarium in Asia. It contains the Celestial Theater, plus an Eastern Exhibition Hall and a Western Exhibition Hall. Every year, during summer vacation, Many China educational tours would flock to Beijing to see the Beijing Planetarium, offering students great chances to get close to science.
The theater runs ultra-high-definition 8 KX8K shows of celestial phenomena, which currently have the highest definition of all planetariums throughout the world and give audiences a magnificent and artistic show. The Beijing Planetarium has for decades, using its own unique performance methods, been presenting to generation after generation, the vast mysteries of the universe. It plays a very significant role in the popularization of science. Many businessmen also like to visit the Beijing Planetarium with their children along their China business travel of Beijing.
Building B has several exciting parts: Digital space theater, 3D theater, 4D theater, exhibition hall, two observatories. After 50 years of public use by roughly 18 million visitors, it’s under rebuilding and will be reopened in March 2008. There are a planetarium and two exhibition galleries in old Planetarium. Beijing Planetarium is one of the powerful planetaria in the world. It has made great contributions to popularize astronomy. This may be the reason why so many
Yangtze River cruises deals designed for students have stretched their itinerary to Beijing Planetarium.
Crafts of the Miao People
The Miao people are very skilled at handicrafts, such as embroidering, weaving, paper-cutting, batik, and jewelry casting. The Miao embroidery and silver jewelry are delicate and beautiful. From hats, collars, and cuffs to skirts and baby carriers, the patterns on their clothes are extremely colorful, complicated but with clean lines. Girls of around seven will learn embroidering from mothers and sisters, and when they become teenagers, they are quite deft. Many businessmen particularly like to buy some crafts along their China business travel of Yunnan in order to find some potential business opportunities.
Clothes of the Miao People
Clothes of the Miao ethnic minority are diverse across regions. Men wear short coats and trousers, while women decorate themselves with very dainty and dazzling skirts and jewels. On their skirts, there are many patterns taking themes from life such as flowers, birds, etc. One of the most attractive, pleated skirts has as many as forty layers! Students also like to dress the clothes of the Miao people for photographing along their China educational tours of Yunnan.
New Rice Tasting Festival
The New Rice Tasting Festival is worth mentioning. To express their gratitude for the harvest, they will stream the newly ripe rice, brew wine with new rice, cook dishes with newly-picked vegetables and freshly caught fish. If your China tours of Yunnan just fall onto this period, you should never miss exploring the New Rice Tasting Festival of the Miao people.
The Lusheng dance is a unique musical performance of the Miao ethnic minority during nearly every celebration. While playing the lusheng, a kind of wind instrument, they dance in demanding patterns, and sing to each other. Along your China tour, appreciating the Lusheng Dance is of course a must-have for your Yunnan trip.
The Lusheng Festival is the most influential festival of the Miao minority. It is popular throughout Guizhou, Yunnan, and Sichuan provinces. The Lusheng Festival in Kaili, the famous tourist hub in Guizhou province, is considered to be one of the grandest celebrations of the Miao. Along your China tours of Yunnan, you would see the locals celebrating the Lusheng Festival along your trip.
Sisters' Meals festival
The Sisters' Meals festival is for the celebration of love (similar to the western Valentine’s Day). It is celebrated by the Miao people in Guizhou province, especially in Taijiang and Jianhe Counties along the banks of the Qingshui River. It is the oldest Asian Valentine’s Day. It is no wonder that so may travelers particularly request their tour agents to discover Yunnan area after they have enjoyed the Yangtze River cruises.
New Year of Miao Ethnic Group
According to Miao custom, the tenth lunar month is the beginning of a new year. Therefore the Miao New Year festival, the most important festival for Miao people, is usually celebrated around this time. However, the exact date varies each year and is only disclosed one or two months in advance. Regular updates can be found on our website as the festival approaches. Along your Shangri-la tour, you would see the Miao people celebrating the New Year.
The celebration of the Miao New Year in Leishan, Guizhou Province is the grandest among Miao festivities. During the event tourists can enjoy watching enchanting Miao customs come alive through various kinds of ethnic activities. These include the festival parade that features Miao girls and women in traditional Miao dress, the traditional music of the Lusheng (a kind of musical instrument made of bamboo), bullfights, horseracing, and of course, lots of singing and dancing. Many student tours to China have stretched their itinerary to Yunnan area to discover the culture of Chinese ethnic groups.
There is also some national controversy about the ethnic composition of Dali Kingdom. While Chinese historians have no doubt that is a mainly Bai kingdom, Thailand historians suggest that the ancestors of the Dai were the ruler of this kingdom. This may be the reason why many students particularly like enjoy the educational tours in China of Yunnan discovery, so that they could get close to the Chinese ethnic groups in depth along their trip.
Anyway, the years that follow the Mongolian conquest of Yunnan, and the establishment of the Yuan dynasty, were lived as a peaceful dynastic change in Yunnan lands. Only after the Ming emperors consolidated their power in the Central Plains, they started the effective control of Yunnan. From then on Chinese and Bai cohabit peaceful in this region of Yunnan. Many of the Bai nobility kept their political power until the end of the Chinese dynasties. Dali was the main political, economical and trading center in Yunnan. No travel to Shangri-la are complete if discovering the Bai ethnic groups are missed.
During the dynastic times have been some occasional uprisings. The most important of them was the Muslims lead Panthay Rebellion that in the 19th century created a country seeking recognition by the European powers. Why not take the China tours of Yunnan to discover the Bai ethnic groups’ history further along your trip?
After more than a decade of rule over Yunnan, the Panthay regimen was overturned in one of the bloodiest wars in the province. The bloodshed that followed the end of Panthay Rebellion left its marks well into the 20th century, when the Republican and Communist administration narrowed their control of Bai lands. Nowadays more of the Bai, living as lowland farmers around Erhai Lake, have a quiet live working in their rice fields, only disturbed by the occasional arrival of a bus loaded with tourists. May be this just show us the reason why so many travelers still prefer to visit Yunnan area to discover the daily life of the Chinese ethnic groups after they have enjoyed the beauty of China along their Yangtze River cruises.
Sichuan Opera is a type of Chinese operas that has been around since 1700. It has stylized and refined movements, with exquisite and lively acting. Its series of stunts include the famous “face-changing” Bian Lian. Face-changing in Sichuan Opera is a rare art heritage and considered a national treasure by many Chinese. If your China tours cover Sichuan region, never forget to discover the Face Changing of Sichuan Opera.
Bian Lian, a rapid mask-changing technique, is one of the most fascinating, artistic charms of Sichuan Opera. It is an ancient dramatic art form that takes many years to perfect. In Chinese opera, facial makeup is usually painted, but in Sichuan Opera, the performer can change his or her facial makeup in the snap of a finger right on stage. When your Yangtze River cruises come to Sichuan region, never forget to squeeze some time to discover the face changing of Sichuan opera.
By just waving their arms and twisting their heads, performers are able to change their painted masks repeatedly. Master Peng Denghuai, a famous Sichuan Opera maestro, can change 14 masks in 24 seconds and his feat was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. Many tour agents have arranged the Sichuan part discovery along their Shangri-la tour, offering travelers great chances to discover Chinese ancient culture besides exploring the natural beauty of China.
As Bian Lian is an unique aspect of Sichuan Opera, this technique is considered a secret and has always been closely guarded within the family of the performer. A performer can only take in male apprentice only when he himself has become a master of the art. Traditionally, females are forbidden to learn this art as, according to Chinese culture, they marry out of the family and so increase the risk of leaking the secret to outsiders. Many student tours to China have arranged the Facing Changing discovery for their students’ itinerary, offering students great chances to discover Chinese culture.
In the southeast of Yangshuo County, there lies the Yangshuo Cultural Relic Landscape Garden. This garden is famous for the many intriguing inscriptions, pavilions and natural beauty. It is also endowed with some of spectacular water scenery for which the Li River is so popular. The garden has three famous cultural relics, Jingguan Path (Scenery Path), Jian Shan Temple and Ying Jiang Pavilion, which attract tourists from around the world. No China tours of China natural beauty discovery are complete if the Yangshuo County is missed.
The main hall houses three figures of Buddha each over 7 meters high (about 22.97 feet) that show a sense of the sublime. Some forty-eight josses add to the atmosphere of the temple which attracts tourists from all over the world. Backed by the Green Lotus Peak, the Jian Shan Temple overlooks the torrential Li River and standing in front of the temple, you can see the surging water that passes by all year round. It is no wonder that so many tour companies have arranged the Yangshuo discovery along their Yangtze River cruises deals to promote sales.
To the east of the Jian Shan Building, the Yingjiang Pavilion stands quietly on the mountainside. It is an eight-angled pavilion with two storeys. Unlike a traditional pavilion, the upper floor has seven windows and one gate, and from each of these, there are uniquely different views of the county seat, the river alongside, sunrise, sunset and so on. Lose yourself in the breathtaking Yangshuo area, and you would have an illusion of enjoying a Shangri-la tour.
Other features of the garden include the many remarkable rock formations, natural waterfalls and constantly flowing steams. Surrounded by hundred year old green trees and mirrorlike waters of the Li River, the Yangshuo Cultural Relic Landscape Garden has become an outstanding attraction for visitors to Guilin. Every year, during summer vacation, many China educational tours would flock to Yangshuo to discover the natural beauty of China. In this case, Yangshuo Cultural Relic Landscape Garden would be a must-have for them.
Ancient towns in China are always somewhere special because of their scenery and traditions, which are living fossils of ancient lifestyles, festivals, custom, aesthetics and social relations as well as rooted clanship. Nowadays it is easier for Chinese people to seek traditional Chinese culture in these ancient towns than in urban cities. Apart from that, there is one thing that can be found only between those narrow streets and winding rivers, and that is tranquility. Here are top 30 ancient towns in China in random order. If you want to experience China ancient towns along your China tours, a visit to the following sites would never get you disappointed.
Xitang is only 90km away from Shanghai, because the convenient transport, no mater by bus or by train from Shanghai you can reach there very fast. It is a small, mysterious and typical water township in southern China with over a thousand years of history. Many tour agents have arranged the Xitang village discovery along their Yangtze River cruises deals, offering travelers great chances to discover Chinese water towns.
Wuzhen is an old town in the south of Yangtze River Delta in China with a history of more than 1300 years. It is located in the north of Tongxiang City, Zhejiang Province, with Huzhou City to the west and close to Wujiang County of Jiangsu Province to its north. If you have enjoyed the natural beauty of China by your travel to Shangri-la, while a visit to Chinese water towns would be another must-have to discover the natural beauty of China further.
On the list of Records of Gardens South of the Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River is Nanxun, the only town containing a total of five large gardens. Nanxun boasts numerous historic sites and enchanting natural landscapes, and has both a rich cultural heritage as well as the poetic, waterside charm seen in areas along the Yangtze River. Every year, many
China educational tours would flock to Zhejiang to discover the beautiful watertown Nanxun.
The Arxan National Forest Park in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, which is shown in this photo courtesy of the resort's information office, has turned into a world of sheer white. With all voices sucked up by thick snow, the peaceful scenery is revitalized in the lenses of large numbers of photography fans. If your China tours just happen on winter, a visit to the Arxan National Forest Park in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region would be a must-have along your trip.
The Arxan National Forest Park in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, which is shown in this photo courtesy of the resort's information office, has turned into a world of sheer white. With all voices sucked up by thick snow, the peaceful scenery is revitalized in the lenses of large numbers of photography fans. What Shangri-la tour is to Yunnan, Arxan National Forest Park to Inner Mongilia.
The Arxan National Forest Park in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, which is shown in this photo courtesy of the resort's information office, has turned into a world of sheer white. With all voices sucked up by thick snow, the peaceful scenery is revitalized in the lenses of large numbers of photography fans. During the winter vacation, many China educational tours would flock to Inner Mongolia to discover the Arxan National Forest Park.
The Arxan National Forest Park in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, which is shown in this photo courtesy of the resort's information office, has turned into a world of sheer white. With all voices sucked up by thick snow, the peaceful scenery is revitalized in the lenses of large numbers of photography fans. Many tour companies also arranged the Arxan National Forest Park into their China business travel, offering businessmen great chances to get closer to nature along their trip.
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