Suan Cai Jiaozi – New Year’s Soul in Dongbei

February 7th, 2016
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Suan Cai, literally “sour vegetable”, is a traditional Chinese pickled Chinese cabbage. Jiaozi are a kind of Chinese dumplings eaten across China, especially popular in Northern China.

Jiaozi with Suan Cai fillings mixed with minced pork are the most festive food during Chinese New Year in Dongbei ( Northeast China ).

China Snow Town

China Snow Town in Dongbei

Dongbei (Northeast China) is historically known as “Manchuria”. It now mainly encompasses China’s three northmost provinces – Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang, economically and politically among the most important regions of China.

China’s Northeast is favored by travelers with the main draws being skiing, sledding and skating all winter.

China Snow Town in Dongbei

China Snow Town in Dongbei

Spring Festival ( Chinese Lunar New Year ) is the time for family reunion. Dongbei people working and living in other provinces are returning home.

Fatherd and mothers in high ages at villages and the end of street alleys are eagerly waiting for their sons and daughters coming home.

China Snow Town in Dongbei

China Snow Town in Dongbei

Beside expecting the bonding time, every Dongbe wanderer would be nostalgic of the fragrant smell of Suan Cai Jiaozi! Jiaozi are one of the major foods eaten during the Chinese New Year.

Jiaozi with Suan Cai and minced port fillings are most favored by Dongbei people,  the common Chinese New Year’s atmopshere in Dongbei.

China Snow Town in Dongbei

China Snow Town in Dongbei

On the New Year’s eve, a host would  take out Suan Cai preserved in a big jar, mincing port and making dough. The family members will get together, and make dumplings, talking and laughing.

Not long, the making of Jiaozi is finished. The host would put Suan Cai Jiaozi into a boiling wok. In a few minites, delicious dumplings will be placed on the table.

Take a pickled Chinese cabbage preserved in a big ceramic vat.

Take pickled Chinese cabbage preserved in a big ceramic vat.

Jiaozi with Suan Cai fillings have a bit taste of sour, a appetizer for drinking Baijiu (Chinese spirit) and favored by Dongbei people who like drinking alcohol due to the cold weather.

Plan your Northeast China Tour (Dongbei tour)? Don’t miss having a bite of Suan Cai Jiaozi!

Pickled Chinese cabbage

Pickled Chinese cabbage

 

Chopped pickled Chinese cabbage

Chopped pickled Chinese cabbage

 

Suan Cai Jiaozi fillings: pickled Chinese cabbage and minced port

Suan Cai Jiaozi fillings: pickled Chinese cabbage and minced port

 

Mixing chopped Suan Cai with minced port

Mixing chopped Suan Cai with minced pork

 

Making Jiaozi

Making Jiaozi

 

Finished Jiaozi

Finished Jiaozi

 

Boiled Suan Cai Jiaozi

Boiled Suan Cai Jiaozi

 

Eating Jiaozi (Dumplings)

Eating Jiaozi (Dumplings)

Some of the photos from internet, any questions, just drop a line.

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Top 10 Places to Visit in Northeast China (Dongbei)

Feeling Chinese New Year’s Atmosphere in Shanghai

February 5th, 2016
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Plan your Shanghai Tour during Chinese New Year? Maybe this is your first time to visit China during its Spring Festival, the biggest national holiday in China just like Christmas in the west. Definitely you won’t miss the golden opportunity to look for the places in Shanghai that have the new year’s most festive atmosphere and rich traditional customs for Chinese New Year’s Celebration.

In the “Old Shanghai” memory, spring festival reminds us of the happy time when the whole family members got busy around the kitchen place,  accompanied by the loud and unstopping firecrackers in the dark outside and joyful laughing heard from the streets, unlike today’s ready-made new year eve dinner at restaurants or a smart vacation during the new year period.

Chinese New Year, or popularly known as Spring festival, is the best time to look for the old day happy time and return to the Chinese traditional elements which have been fading or forgotten when people are busy with their work most of the year. Now it’s time to go back to what we are.

Chenghuang Miao ( City God Temple of Shanghai )
In the old China, each city had a city god to protect and bring luck to its city. Shanghai is no exception with its City God Temple lying within the old walled city, adjacent to Yuyuan Garden. Today when local people talk about the “City God Temple”, it doesn’t only refers to the temple itself, but the large traditional district of commerce in the city surrounding the temple.

The City God Temple of Shanghai along its same-name traditional area is home to Shanghai’s most traditional place with over a hundred stores and shops, and most of these store buildings are nearly a century old. This is the most festive place to celebrate Chinese New year.

Viewing Chinese lanterns is one of the most favorite spring festival activities following the ban on the firecrackers in Shanghai.

Viewing Chinese lanterns at Shanghai Chenghuang Miao.

Viewing Chinese lanterns at Shanghai Chenghuang Miao.

Guessing lantern riddles is a China’s unique traditional pastime coupled with lantern festival. Lantern riddles are written on or under lanterns and people gather around lanterns to guess an answer from a word,a poem or a phrase. Rows of lanterns hanging overhead for people to guess, adding much to the festivity of Chinese New Year.

Guessing lantern riddles

Guessing lantern riddles

Kids like watching a traditional Chinese peep show, the shadow magic and it also attracts many adults home and abroad.

Watching a traditional Chinese peep show

Watching a traditional Chinese peep show

Chenghuang Miao is peppered with yummy snacks and delicious local Shanghai food. Nanxiang steamed stuffed buns are the famous local snack. The steamed buns are noted for thin wrap, big stuffing, strong flavor and tender meat.

Nanxiang steamed stuffed buns

Nanxiang steamed stuffed buns

Joy City Shopping Mall
The downtown Joy City Shopping Mall is sought after many people in 80s and 90s. The grand Ferris Wheel, the trendy and fashionable shopping spaces, all saturated with festive atmosphere. The massive wheel stands on the top of the main building,  106 meters above th ground.

The grand Ferris Wheel

The grand Ferris Wheel

The festively decorated indoor shopping areas in Joy City Shopping Mall.

The festively decorated indoor shopping areas

The festively decorated indoor shopping areas

Qi Bao Old Town 
If you still feel the festive atmosphere is not strong enough at the two-mentioned places, take the subway line 9 and drop here in Qi Bao Old Town, feeling and having a glimpse of a traditional China old town after seeing too much glint of the metropolitan Shanghai, Qibao Ancient Town, a tiny water town would be a nice alternative if you cannot make it to other water towns like Zhujiajiao Water Town, Zhouzhuang Water Town and Tongli Water Town.

The narrow lane is packed with people.

The narrow lane is packed with people.

The old town is mainly composed of three stone arch bridges, two canals and 4 major streets and several side lanes. Qibao old town was originally formed in the later Han Dynasty, developed from Song Dynasty and prospered in Ming and Qing dynasties with a history over 1000 years. Today Qibao has become an interesting place for leisure, sightseeing and shopping, a good getaway from busy Shanghai.

Qi Bao Water Town

Qi Bao Water Town

All photos from internet, any questions, just drop a line.

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Seeing Great Wall of China from the Sky

February 4th, 2016
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Plan your Great Wall tour? Maybe you are torn by the question “Which section of the Great Wall to hike, Badaling or Mutianyu?”. Many first-time travelers would choose Mutianyu Great Wall thanks to its good online comments along with the good word of mouth.

The main factor for good comments on Mutianyu is its less crowdedness. But when it comes to the grandeur of the Great Wall itself, Badaling Great Wall is not outweighed by Mutianyu Great Wall. “Badaling” literally means “Mountains Stretching in Eight Directions”.

Therefore, Badaling Great Wall snakes on the mountain ranges in many directions, more changeable and impressive,  unlike Mutianyu Great Wall which monotonously undulates on the mountain range roughly from east to west. That’s one of the reasons why Badaling Great Wall has always been so crowded.

Let’s get away from the question – Badaling or Mutianyu in terms of hiking. Don’t you have an itch for flying over the Great Wall of China? Viewing the Great Wall of China from the sky? At present, Badaling Great Wall is the only section commercially open to the helicopter tour.

Seeing the Great Wall of China from the air by helicoper is an exciting adventure and delivers unrivaled photo opportunities to capture images of China’s iconic landmark. Beijing Helicopter tour is also a great way to impress business associates, start up a little romance, or have a blast with a group of friends.

Beijing Capital Helicopter Co.,Ltd.
Beijing Capital Helicopter is a joint venture between Beijing Government and HNA Group with each side invented RMB 0.42 Billion, the only professional helicopter company for the aerial tourism flights in Beijing.

The Helicopter Crew Members

The Helicopter Crew Members

The helicopters appointed for aerial tours are the R-44 Helicopters from USA. Each seat in a helicopter has the insurance coverage worth RMB 2 millions.

Beijing Badaling Airport 
Beijing Badaling Airport has a good location in Yanqing with the overall weather forecast system, about 80 km northwest of Beijing city center.  It has an area of 211,788 square meters with one mixed concrete runway of 800 meters long and 30 meters wide as well as one parking apron of 12,000 square meters.

Beijing Badaling Airport

Beijing Badaling Airport

The main aviation facilities include the airport waiting hall  of 3,000 square meters, a hangar of 900 square meters, a working space of 650 square meters and living quarters of 1,000 suqare meters.

The Robinson R44 Helicopter
There are four Robinson R44 Helicopters that cater to the aerial tour of Badaling Great Wall. It is a four-seat light helicopter produced by the Robinson Helicopter Company. Based on the company’s two-seat Robinson R22, the R44 features hydraulically assisted flight controls.

 Robinson R44 Helicopter

Robinson R44 Helicopter

Now it is one of the most welcome light helicopters in the world. The helicopters are known for a smooth ride and exceptional visibility from within the spacious cabins. The Robinson R44 is 11.6 meters long,  1.6 meters high; maximum speed: 250 km/h, and range: 560 km.

The Four Seats of R-44 Helicopter

The Four Seats of R-44 Helicopter

Badaling Aerial Tour
The helicopter company mainly operates the 15-minute  and 30-minute flights over the Badaling Great Wall including its wild, original and unrestored extended section of the Great Wall.

For Badaling Helicopter Tour, check out Beijing Helicopter Tours.

Flying over Badaling Great Wall

Flying over Badaling Great Wall

 

Fly just above Badaling Great Wall

Fly just above Badaling Great Wall

 

Just hover above the Wild Badaling Great Wall

Just hover above the Wild Badaling Great Wall


Beijing Aerial Travel Tips

1. For the regular 15-minute and 30-minute aerial tour, you need to book 4 days in advance.
For your custom charters ( to Tangshan, Beidaihe…), you need to submit your specific request in two weeks.
2. If you want to cancel your booked flight, please notice us of your cancellation in 48 hours otherwise 10% cancellation fee will be charged.
3. In case of the grounding of helicopters because of force majeure (weather, air-control…), You will be noticed of the grounding at the earliest time. You will have either your flight date changed or money refunded.
4. You should participate in an aerial tour based on your health condition. Those travelers are not recommended to take an aerial tour who are either over 60 years old or suffer from Hear Disease, Hypertension, Cardiovascular and other diseases.

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Visit Badaling Great Wall by Train