Top 10 Places in Yunnan

July 31st, 2014

Plan your Yunnan Tour?  Kunming as its capital,  Yunnan Province is located in the southwestern China bordering Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos with Tibet to the west, Sichuan Province and Chongqing to the north, Guizhou Province  to northeast and Guangxi Province to its east.

Yunnan is situated on a mountainous area with high elevations with a varied splendor of landscapes rich in plants and animal species.  About half of the ethnic minority people in China reside here with 26 different ethnic minorities in Yunnan.

If you are looking for the top things to do in Yunnan, so here is the list of the Top 10 Places in Yunnan.

1. Yuanyang Rice Terraces 元阳梯田
Yuanyang County is located in Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture in the south of Yunnan Province.  It is a Hani minority settlement with vast rice-terraced mountains. Part of the area now forms the 45th World Heritage Site in China.

Yuanyang is dissected into two parts – New Town and Old Town which are 30 km apart. Most people come to the old town known as Xinjie Town as the jumping off point to visit the nearby rice terraces.

The terraced paddy fields on the slopes are the collective masterpieces of labor by Hani minority people in their successive generations. Picturesque hilltop villages,  rice fields bouncing off mesmerizing colors at sunrise and sunset are your reason to make efforts to come to the Hani’s place.

Visiting Time: suggested 2 Days
Entrance Fee:  RMB 100
Location:  320 km south of Kunming and 120 km south of Jianshui
Opening Hours: all day
Best Time to Visit: Winter
How to Get There
Daily buses from Kunming and Jianshui

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

2. Tiger Leaping Gorge 虎跳峡
Tiger Leaping Gorge, located 60 kilometers north of Lijiang City, is one of the deepest gorges on the planet, and it has the best hiking trails in Yunnan. Tiger Leaping Gorge is sandwiched by Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to the east and Haba Mountain with plenty of trekking trails.

The 17km-long gorge is divided into three segments with an aggregate fall of 210 meters.  At the opening of the gorge, which is also the mouth of the Jinsha River, a Herculean pebble, about 30 meters wide, seems to be stranded amidst the billowing waves. Spring is the best time as the river turbulence is at its peak.

Visiting Time: suggested 3-4 hours, or for a longer periods of 2-3 Days
Entrance Fee: CNY 65
Opening Hours: 09:00-16:30
How to get there: There are no buses can reach the Tiger Leaping Gorge directly, you can take the Tourist Bus to the Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Best Time to Visit: spring and autumn

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge

3. Shangri-la 香格里拉
Shangri-La, previously Zhongdian, an ethnic Tibetan township and county set high in Yunnan’s northwestern mountains. Shangri-la is located 180 km northwest of Lijiang and 620 km of Kunming.

Shangri-la is home to the magnificent Tibetan monasteries in Yunnan and the most rewarding one known as Ganden Sumtseling Gompa with great charm. It is a over 300-year Tibetan monastery with about 600 monks.

Strolling around the old town of Shangri-la is one of  your reasons to come here. The old town is known as “Square Street” which has a web of cobbled laid-back streets and lanes, and old-time buildings. People also see other attractions in the old town,  white pagodas everywhere.

Visiting Time: suggested 1-2 day
Best time to go: spring and autumn
How to get there:
Take flights from Kunming or Lijiang; Daily buses from Deqin and Lijiang

 Shangri-la

Shangri-la

4. Deqin 德钦
Deqin Town is the seat of the Deqin Tibetan autonomous prefecture in northwestern Yunnan.  Deqin Town is located 180 km to the northeast of Shangri-la. Deqin is situated almost embraced by the one of the most imposing mountains in China – Meili Snow Mountain also known as Kawa Karpo at 6740 meters, the highest peak straddling Yunnan and Tibet.

Deqin town is the last outpost of Yunnan before entering Tibet. Seeing the magical Meili Mountain at sunrise and sunset is the main reason for people to come here. In addition, there are over 10 Tibetan temples in Deqin and Feilai Temple is worth a visit. Just located 10 km southwest of Deqin, Feilai Temple is devoted to the spirit of Meili Snow Mountain.

Visiting Time: suggested 1-2 day
Best time to go: Winter and spring
How to get there:
Daily buses from Shangri-la

 The golden summit of Meili Snow Mountain Deqin

The golden summit of Meili Snow Mountain Deqin

5. Shaxi 沙溪
Shaxi Old Town is located in Jianchuan County between Dali and Lijiang,  120 km northwest of Dali and 100 km southwest of Lijiang. It is a tiny hamlet, more rustic and tranquil than the commercialized Lijiang Old Town.

Shaxi Old Town was the essential station for the old Tea-Horse-Roads between Lijiang and Dali extending from Yunnan to India. Its remoteness has kept most of the old buildings intact – the old-time wooden houses, courtyards and winding streets. It is a wonderful laid-back place.

Its highlight is Sideng Jie, a square street, the soul and focus of Shaxi Old Town. The Sideng Jie Square Street comprises temples, fairs and markets, the stage, stores and inns, old trees, old lanes  and spacious cobbled streets, oft-lauded as ” the only remaining old town along the Tea-Horse-Roads.

Visiting Time: suggested 6-8 hours
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: all day
Best time to go: Feb – June and Sept – Nov ( non-rainy season)
How to get there:
Daily buses to Shaxi from Lijiang, Dali, Shangri-la andKunming

Shaxi Old Town

Shaxi Old Town

6. Bingzhongluo 丙中洛
Bingzhongluo Township is located in Nu Jiang River Valley, within the administration of Nu Jiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, 329 km north of Liuku and 43 km north of Gongshan, close to Tibet and Myanmar.

Bingzhongluo is a great springboard for hikes into the surrounding mountains and valleys. Nu Jiang River passes the Ridan Village of Bingzhongluo Township and forms a half circle bend, oft-lauded as ” The First Bend of Nu Jiang River”.  At the middle of the bend there is a village called “Kantong Village” with a sea level of 1710 meters, 500 meters higher than Nu Jiang River itself, forming a plain peninsula surrounded by water on its three sides.

The main reason to come to Bingzhongluo is to visit the friendly old-time villages  and the magical Nu Jiang River First Bend. Bingzhongluo still has the well preserved 70 km Tea-horse road leading to Tibet.

Visiting Time: suggested 1-2 day
Entrance Fee:  RMB 100
Location:   329 north of Liuku and 43 km north of Gongshan
Opening Hours: all day
Best Time to Visit: Spring and Autumn
How to Get There:
Going to Bingzhongluo is a bit tricky. Daily buses from Gongshan and Liuku
Note: If you want to have a photo opportunity of  “The First Bend”, you’d better ascend the Gongdangshan before 13:00.

The First Bend of Nu Jiang Rive

The First Bend of Nu Jiang Rive

7. Dali 大理
Dali Old Town has a rather glorious history which could be traced back to 738. In 738 the Nanzhao Kingdom was established with Dali as its capital. After several decades of chaos the Kingdom of Dali emerged in 937.

The Kingdom of Dali established by Duan Siping in 937 was controlled by the Duan clan and survived until conquered by the Mongols in the 12th century. 1856-1872 Dali was the headquarters of the Panthay Rebellion led by Du Wenxiu.

The old Dali City was rebuilt in the early 1400s by the Ming Dynasty. What you see in Dali Old Town today is the rebuilt Ming town. Since then, the fortunes of Dali have declined and its importance as a cultural and economic centre in the Yunnan area have been overtaken by Kunming.

Now Dali City is mainly populated by the ethnic groups such as Bai, Li, Dai, Zhuang, Miao, Hui, Wa, Naxi, and Han Nationalities with Bai nationality taking the majority.

Dali Old Town is sandwiched by Erhai Lake on the east and Changshan Mountain on the west. The old town is a laid-back place with a artery-like web of cobbled streets and lanes. Tourism is growing here, the old town still keeps its original outlook, more rustic and tranquil than the touristified neighbor – Lijiang Old Town.

Loafing around Dali Old Town and its nearby old time townships, villages and markets is an unforgettable experience in Yunnan: boating in Erhai Lake, ascending Cangshan Mountain, visiting the iconic Three Pagodas, shopping at local markets ( batik ).

Visiting Time: suggested 1-2 day
Old Town Entrance Fee:  free
Location:   400 km west of Kunming and 248 km south of Lijiang.
Opening Hours: all day
Best Time to Visit: Spring and Autumn
How to Get There
Going to Dali is a breeze.  You may take flights and trains from Kunming. Buses going all the major cities in Yunnan.

Three Pagodas in Dali

Three Pagodas in Dali

8. Jianshui 建水
Jianshui County is under the jurisdiction of  Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture in the south of Yunnan Province,  229 km south of Kunming and 140 km north of Yuanyang.

Since the Yuan Dynasty, Jianshui was the political, cultural and communication center in south Yunnan. Jianshui got the name because the basin was flooded every summer and autumn. In Mandarin, it was known as Jianshui. From the establishment of the city in the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD) to now, Jianshui County has had a history of over 1,180 years. It is one of the areas that have been deeply influenced by the Central Plains culture.

The long history of Jianshui has produced its splendid culture. Due to its early development, Jianshui produced thousands of scholars. Moreover, with the influence of the grand Jianshui Confucius Temple, it was rightfully called “the Cultural City” since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

The reason to come to Jianshui is to visit the mesmerizing town of old time buildings,  a huge confucius  Temple,  a cave peppered  with swallows, and the yummy local cuisines rarely seen in other places in Yunnan. Other attractions include Zhu Family Garden, Chaoyang Gate and Zhilin Temple.

Visiting Time: suggested 1 day
Old Town Entrance Fee:  free
Location:   229 km south of Kunming and 140 km north of Yuanyang
Opening Hours: all day
Best Time to Visit: March and April; September and October
How to Get There
Going to Dali is quite convenient.  You may take the daily buses from Kunming

Jianshui Old Town

Jianshui Old Town

.9. Lugu Lake 泸沽湖
Lugu Lake, which is located in the North West Yunnan plateau, is home to the Mosu minority(China’s only matriachal society), and what has to be some of China’s most spectacular scenery.

Lugu Lake is a natural lake in the Hengduan Mountain System, and has a horseshoe shape. It is called the “mother lake” by the Mosuo people. Lugu Lake is 48.5 square kilometers in area and about 93 meters deep at its deepest point. Most people go to Lugu Lake from Lijiang. There is a six or eight hour bus ride up and down mountains on narrow dirt roads.

Entrance Fee: CNY 80
Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00
How to get there: take shuttle bus at Old Town to the Lugu Lake which will take you aroud CNY 100

Lugu Lake

Lugu Lake

10. Xishuangbanna 西双版纳
With its capital city of Jinghong, Xishuangbanna is a Dai minority autonomous prefecture. Xishuangbanna, popularly called Banna, is located in the southern tip of China, bordering Laos, Myanmar, and close to Vietnam and Thailand with a 996 km borderline.

Xishuangbannan, literally “Ideal and Magical Paradise” in Thai, is famous for its tropical rain forests and ethnic minority folk customs, one of China’s tropical tourist area.  Bannan is a varied land with rich plants and animal species.

The reason to come to Xishuangbannan is to bath in sunshine, experience the minority folk customs (water-splash festival), and visiting tropical botanical gardens.
Visiting Time: suggested 2-4 day
Location: southern tip of Yunnan and China
Best Time to Visit: October – June
How to Get There
Air: Xishuangbanna Gasa Airport is the second largest airport in Yunnan, located just five kilometers from the downtown. Flights to Kunming, Shanghai, Chengdu and other major cities in China run regularly. There is one weekly international flight to Luang Prabang.

Waterway: There are international waterage line to Laos.

Highway: The speedway from Jinghong to Menghai, Mengla, and Kunming.

The city has the largest public transportation center in Xishuangbanna and connects travelers to nearby cities, towns and villages.

Xishuangbanna

Xishuangbanna

Any questions, just drop a line.

Top 10 Attractions in Guangxi

July 29th, 2014

Plan your Guangxi Tour? Guangxi is a provincial level region officially known as Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. ” Zhuang”  is  the largest minority group in China, now making up over 30% of the  population in Guangxi, hence the name of “Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region” given to the former Guangxi Province. Guangxi is located in the southern China,  adjacent to Vietnam in the south.

Guangxi is one of the most beautiful provinces in China: karst scenery in Guilin and Yangshuo,  biking or hiking through  the primeval villages and lush valleys; Detian Waterfall that separates China and Vietnam, feeling the grand and mighty cascades; the magnificent Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge, being amazed by the ancient people’s engineering feat; Huangtao ancient town, immersing yourself in the ancient traditional architecture and Guangxi’s star attractions list could be on and on.

Looking for top things to do in Guangxi? So here is our Top 10 Attractions in Guangxi.

1. Detian Waterfall 德天瀑布
Detian Waterfall is located about 245km to the west of Nanning, the largest waterfall in Asia, and the second largest transnational waterfall in the world, which separates China from Vietnam.

The Detian Waterfall is over 200 meters wide and has a drop of more than 70 meters. Its water rushes down a three-tiered cliff with tremendous force.

It is the largest waterfall in Asia, and the second largest transnational waterfall in the world, connecting with a waterfall in Vietnam. The fall is awe-inspiring, and its thunder is audible before it even comes into view. The changing seasons transform the natural scenery of the waterfall throughout the year.

Entrance Fee: CNY 80
Opening Hours: the whole day
How to get there: There is one Special Tourist Bus at Langdong Station of Nanning to Detian Waterfall every day at 9 a.m., and you have to get back before 3:30 p.m.

Detian Waterfall

Detian Waterfall

2. Huangtao Ancient Town 黄姚古镇
Huangyao Town is located in the northeast of Zhaoping County of Hezhou City, about 190 km southeast of Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, south of China. “Huang” and “Yao” are the main surnames of the people who live here, hence the name of the town “Hangyao”.

The town originated in Song Dynasty with a history of over 900 years. Here you are back to a time tunnel, feeling its history and its past busy prosperity and a place to settle your heart peacefully here. The town is nestled in the mountains with picturesque view resembling a Chinese painting.

Visiting Time: suggested 1 Day
Entrance Fee:  RMB 100
Location:  northeast of Zhaoping County of Hezhou City, about 190 km southeast of Guilin
Opening Hours: 07:00 – 18:00
Best Time to Visit: late September – early November
How to Get There
Daily buses from Guilin and Yangshuo to Huangyao.

Huangtao Ancient Town

Huangtao Ancient Town


3. Leye-Fengshan World Geopark 乐业-凤山世界地质公园
Located within Leye County of  Baise City, about 400km northwest of Nanning, Guangxi,  southwest China, the Geopark is dominated  by myriad karst features: large underground rivers, karst windows, natural bridges, extensive cave systems, etc.

The most impressive landscape features are a number of large depressions, the Tiankengs (sinkholes), with nearly vertical walls and a depth and diameter typically more than 100 m each, home to primeval forests.   Two Tiankengs are the biggest draws in the park –  Chuandong Tianeng and Dashiwei Tiankeng.

Visiting Time: suggested 4 hours
Entrance Fee:  RMB 90
Location:   400km northwest of Nanning, Guangxi
Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:00
Best Time to Visit: April – October
How to Get There
Daily buses or motorbikes taking you from Leye County to the  park.

 Leye-Fengshan World Geopark

Leye-Fengshan World Geopark

4. Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge 程阳风雨桥
Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge is located in Sanjiang County, about 168 km northwest of Guilin.  It is one of the most outstanding wind and rain bridges of Dong style in Guangxi.

Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge is a typical Dong people’s architecture, built 1912, a stone bridge, 64.4 meters long,3.4 meters wide and 10.6 meters high. On its five stone piers are covered with wood boards on which stand five wooden pavilions which house a wooden corridor lined with benches for people to keep from rain and take a break.

Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge is a combination of  bridge, corridor and pavilion, a unique feature of Dong style architecture. The five pavilions are built with a four-story tower style pavilions each with double eaves, elaborately decorated.  A 50 yuan entrance ticket allows you to walk though the bridge and visit the Dong villages dotted nearby.

Visiting Time: suggested 1 hour
Entrance Fee:  RMB 60
Location:   168km northwest of Guilin, Guangxi
Opening Hours: all day
Best Time to Visit: July – October
How to Get There
Daily buses from Guilin

Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge

Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge

5. Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terrace  龙脊梯田
Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces are located in Longsheng , about 77 km north of  Guilin’s city center, a massive clusters of  rice terraces at the altitude of 1180 meters and the lowest at  380 meters.  Now the area of Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces features  three major scenic viewing districts – Jinkeng-Dazhai Hongyao Rice Terrace, Pingan Zhuang Minority Rice Terrace and Longjigu Zhuang Minority Village Rice Terrace.

The terraces of rice fields are a famous scenic area featuring the  farming  epitomized by terraces of paddy fields, natural landscapes and minority culture. The paddy fields  are an engineering wonder, rising up to the mountain scattered with ancient minority villages. Most  locals are Zhuang and Yao, and also you will see Dong and Miao people.

Visiting Time: suggested 1-2 day
Entrance Fee:  RMB 80
Location:   77 km north of Guilin
Opening Hours: all day
Best Time to Visit: Spring and Autumn
How to Get There
Daily buses from Guilin

Dragon's Backbone Rice Terrace

Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terrace

6. Mingshi Tianyuan 明仕田园
Mingshi Tianyuan is a scenic area featuring beautiful mountains and rivers with a  nickname of ” Little Guilin Landscape”.  I t is located in Daxin County, about 210 km west of Nanning, the capital city of Guangxi.

The 20 square  km scenic area is featured by karst peaks and lush rivers dotted with villages, bridges and paddy fields,  farmers plowing,  herding children playing water, a picturesque pastoral painting of the Northern China.

Biking, boating or strolling around this fairy tale wondrous area is a rare opportunity for those seeking mesmerizing pastoral landscapes.

Visiting Time: suggested 1-2 day
Entrance Fee:  RMB 100
Location:   210 km west of of Nanning
Opening Hours: all day
Best Time to Visit: Spring and Autumn
How to Get There
Daily buses from Nanning and Daxin County

Mingshi Tianyuan

Mingshi Tianyuan

7. Zuo River Scenic Area 左江风景区
Zuo River ( Zuo River) is famed for its limpid water, weird caves and high peaks,  hence the saying that ” Li River in the north and Zuo River in the south.” Zuo River originates from Vietnam, passing by the west of Guangxi for 345 km.  The most charming part of the river falls within Chongzuo City,  about 230 km southwest of Nanning, capital city of Gangxi.

The highlight of Zuo River Scenic Area is to boat along Zuo River,  gaping at the rock murals 260 meters high on the sheer cliffs. The murals are perched on the cliffs, 43 meters high, 200 meters wide, depicting people, animals, moon, sun, arrows and more.  The murals feature rich imagination, vivid expressions, the masterpieces of the world rock murals.

Visiting Time: suggested 1-2 day
Boating: RMB 120 ( Wharf: Shangjin Pier at Longzhou County of Chongzuo City 崇左市龙州县上金码头)
Location:   230 km west of of Nanning
Opening Hours: 8:30 – 18:30
Best Time to Visit: Spring and Autumn
How to Get There
Daily buses going from Nanning to Longzhou County, connecting Bus 6 for Zuo River Scenic Area

Zuo River Scenic Area

Zuo River Scenic Area

8. Weizhou Island 涠洲岛
Weizhou Island is 36 nautical miles south of Beihai’s city center. It is the largest and youngest volcanic island in China, south of Beihai, north of Hainan Island and west of Leizhou peninsula.

Weizhou Island originated from the lava gushed from the volcanic eruptions,  featuring volcanic scenery, weird caves, fine beaches and dense forests. Bedsides,  there are more historical sites to explore in terms of the long civilization in the island, temples, church, missionary and the list is on and on.

Visiting Time: suggested 1-2 day
Location:   230 km west of of Nanning
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 20:00
Best Time to Visit: April  - Nov.
How to Get There
Daily boats running between Beihai and Weizhou Island( RMB 120)

Weizhou Island

Weizhou Island

9. Yangshuo 阳朔
Situated 65 kilometers to the southeast of Guilin, Yangshuo is an ancient city with a history of over 2,000 years. It is famous for its spectacular views of karst hills and limpid rivers. The Li River and Tianjia River pass through the town. A commercial street with bars in the town is also a favorite among visitors. Yangshuo is a must visit during your trip to Guilin! Yangshuo and the surrounding countryside are a scenic, quiet and incredibly beautiful place.

It is your break from various noises in the city. The area around Yangshou is dotted with Karst peaks and the Li River meanders its way around them. Getting out into the countryside to see traditional rural life is so easy. You can wander the town by bike and you can go on foot or by boat. It is feasible to go with or without a guide.

Native produce is quite rich due to the fertile land which includes fruits such as oranges, tangerines, pomelos, chestnuts, and kumquats.It attracts thousands of tourists each year.

Visiting Time: suggested 2-3 Day
Entrance Fee:  Free
Location: 65 southeast of Guilin
Opening Hours: all day
Best Time to Visit: March- early October
How to Get There
Daily buses boats from Guilin to yangshuo

Yangshuo

Yangshuo

10. Li River 漓江
Li River passes Guilin City and flows towards Yangshuo.  Li River is  a tributary of Zhujiang River. The length of Li River starts from the city of Guilin to Yangshuo, about 83km of waterway. Li River is one of the most beautiful rivers in the world.

The 80-km-long waterway from Guilin to Yangshuo resembles an artists’s masterpiece, painted with rolling mountains, featuring karst cliffs, unique caves, and lush fields. The 80-km water-way is flanked by the hills for about 40km. All the hills are lined with bamboo and green belt.

Very often the cruise boats start from Zhujiang Wharf. First you take about 40 minutes drive from Guilin city to the wharf. Then take 4 to 5 hours cruise to a beautiful and tranquil ancient city – Yangshuo.

Visiting Time: suggested 4-8 hours
Li River Cruising:  RMB 210 ( summer ) ; RMB 190 ( winter )
Location: 65 southeast of Guilin
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 22:00
How to Get There
Take a taxi to Zhujiang Pier to cruise along Li River.

Li River

Li River

Top 10 Attractions in Guilin
Top 10 Attractions in Nanning

Any questions, just drop a line.

Top 10 Attractions in Guangdong

July 21st, 2014

 

Plan your Guangdong tour? With Guangzhou ( Canton ) as its capital city, Guangdong  Province is often considered as the southern gate to the mainland China, adjacent to Hong Kong and Macau. Guangdong is historically known as the  starting point of Maritime Silk Road and the birthplace of China’s revolutionary past.

The northern Guangdong is home to the magnificent landscapes featuring the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage crowned Danxia Mountain and the forested Mount Lufoshan; the eastern Gaungdong is blessed with beautiful beaches. Besides its wondrous natural beauty,  Guangdong boasts unique culture represented by the flamboyant watchtowers at Kaiping, also a UNESCO Cultural Heritage and Hakka’s coiled dragon houses in Meizhou.

With much to be discovered in Guangdong, here is our Top 10 list for the attractions in Guangdong.

1.   Kaiping Diaolou (Kaiping Watchtowers ) 开平碉楼
Kaiping is world famous for its Diaolou (fortified village houses or known as watchtowers), pristine villages and old townships. Kaiping Diaolous and villages were listed as World Cultural Heritage in 2007 for their harmonious fusion between Chinese and Western structures.

Kaiping Diaolous were originally built in the early Qing Dynasty and fully developed in 1920s and 1930s. There are mainly three kinds of fortified village towers:  Watch Towers, Communal Towers and Dwelling Towers.

Watch towers were built to guide against any possible forays by bandits; communal towers were built collectively with the fund raised by all the villagers. They would hide themselves in case of bandits’ attack. These kinds of communal towers were often built behind villages while watch towers were built at the entrance of a village. Dwelling Towers were built as a combination of a residential house and a watch tower. Today, approximately 1,833 diaolou towers remain standing in Kaiping County.

All the diaolou towers are now scattered around the villages in Kaiping County.  Some villages have been chosed by the local tourism bureau to be open to the public. These selected villages have been turned into a large “Diaolou Tourist Site” with tourism administration.  A combo ticket allows you to visit three villages where the most representitive diaolou towers stand. The three villages are Zili Village (自立村) in Tangkou Township, Majianglong Village (马降龙村) in Baihe Township and Jinjiangli (锦江里) in Jiangang Township.

Most of the tall and impressive diaolou towers were funded and built by oversea Chinese returning home from South Asia, Australasia, and North America.  The Kaiping diaolou towers were built in a variety of architectural styles featuring a perfect combination of traditional Chinese watchtowers and classical European architecture.

The combo ticket also allows you to visit Li Garden ( 立园) in Beiyi Xiang,which was built in 1936 by Mr. Xie Weili, a Chinese emigrant to the United States.  On your village trip in Kaiping, you can visit Chikan (赤坎), the charming old town with the featuring Qilou structures.

How to go to the selected villages in Kaiping from Guangzhou

1) Take buses: you may take buses to Kaiping Yici Bus Station from Guangzhou Bus Station ( by the Guangzhou Railway Station) : 145-149 Huanshi West Road, Guangzhou Tel: (020)86661297.  When you reach Yici Bus Station in Kaiping, you may connect local buses to your selected villages.

2) Hire a private vehicle with a driver or self-drive. It is highly advised to hire a private car or van to tour freely around these villages.         Check out how to visit Diaolou from Guangzhou for more information.

Kaiping Diaolou (Kaiping Watchtowers )

Kaiping Diaolou (Kaiping Watchtowers )

2. Shaoguan Danxia Mountain Geopark 韶关丹霞山
Danxia Mountain Geopark is situated about 15 km north of Shaoguan’ city center in the northern Guangdong. It is a UNESCO World Culture site. Danxia is the name of a landform translated from Chinese, a unique landform originated in China,  mostly found in the Guangdong, Jiangxi and Hunan provinces.

Basically there are three walking trails up to the mountain. Or you may take a cable up to the mountain. The three hiking trails are a little apart, you need to take the free shuttle buses going to each starting points of the hiking paths. Most people would like to visit Yangyuan Stone  ( Penis Hill ), Yingyuan Stone ( Female Stone), Double Breasts Stone and sleeping beauty stone, hence the nickname of Natural Sex Museum.

It is feeling great to hike to the hilltop as if you are floating over clouds with lakes and rivers down, and with the majestic views of the Danxia range!

Visiting Time: suggested 2-Days
Entrance Fee:  RMB 100; RMB120 (holidays)  Valid for 2 days
Location: about 15 km north of Shaoguan’s city center
Opening Hours: all day
Best Time to Visit: Spring and Autumn
How to Get There
Take the highspeed train from Guangzhou South Railway Station to the city of Shaoguan, then connect the local tourist bus going to the geopark. You stay overnight in Shaoguan or hotels near the park.

Shaoguan Danxia Mountain Geopark

Shaoguan Danxia Mountain Geopark

3. Guangji Bridge at Chaozhou  潮州广济桥
Guangji Bridge is located in the east of Chaozhou. It is the bridge is reputed as one of China’s four famous ancient bridges with the other three being the Zhaozhou Bridge, the Lugou Bridge and Luoyang Bridge.

Guangji Bridge was originally built in 1171 in Song Dynasty,  a pontoon bridge spanning Han River supported by 86 giant boats, named Kangji Bridge. Gangji Bridge went through repeated destruction and reconstructions in the centuries.  Later 24  piers were built to straddle the Han River with the middle part still supported by boats.

So a part of Guangji Bridge is still supported by boats as a pontoon bridge. When it is open, there is a space for boats to pass through. It can also be close.   It is the first open and close style pontoon bridge in China,maybe in the world.

Visiting Time: suggested 2 hours
Entrance Fee:  RMB 60
Location: East of Chaozhou City
How to Get There
Take Bus 3

Guangji Bridge at Chaozhou

Guangji Bridge at Chaozhou

4. Hakka Coiled Dragon Houses ( Weilongwu) 梅州客家围龙屋
Coiled Dragon Houses are one of the five vernacular residential buildings in China. The Coiled Dragon Houses were originated in Meizhou area inhabited by Hakka people.  Hakka people are one of the major eight groups of the Han nationality. Meizhou is known as the epicenter of the Typical Hakka Culture.

Hakka people settled down in Fujian,Guangdong and Jiangxi Province starting from Song Dynasty through Ming and Qing dynasties originally aimed at avoiding wars and natural disasters that occurred at their home place in the central China.

A typical coiled dragon house is  enclosed, walled structure which is mainly composed of two semicircles. The front half is a crescent fish pond and the other half cirl is the main residential building constructed resembling one, or two,or even more coiled dragon with  halls that serve as spaces for ritual and other lineage activities, with the top hall housing the ancestral shrine of the lineage.

In comparision with the earth round house which is set  vertically, coiled walled dragon houses are extended  outward in a series of concentric half-circle rings, with open-air flagged stone pathways separating the circles.

Visiting Time: suggested 1-2 day
Location: Meizhou is over 500 km northeast of Guagzhou City
How to Get There
Take buses to Meizhou from Guangzhou (4 hours) and Shenzhen (3 hours)

Hakka Coiled Dragon Houses ( Weilongwu)

Hakka Coiled Dragon Houses ( Weilongwu)

5. Beaches in Yangjiang 阳江滨海沙滩
The city of Yangjiang is located on the southeast coast of Guangdong, about 230 km to the southwest of Guangzhou. Yangjiang has a coastline of 458.6 km with over 20 fine beaches totaling 35.4 km. The beaches are different in size and shape all blessed with the blue water and finest sand. Dajiaowan (大角湾) and ShiliYintan (十里银滩) are considered the best of the beaches.

Dajiaowan Beach and Shili Yintan Beach are connected by pedicabs or 40-minute walk. A 50 yuan ticket allows you the unlimited entry into the two beaches in two day coupled with free admission into Maritime Silk Road Museum of Guangdong.

The Maritime Silk Road Museum is just near the Shilin Yintan Beach. The museum houses the remains of the 30-meter long Song Dynasty shipwreck that was sunk near the island.  The ship is said to be headed for Middle East or Africa. Over 7000 pieces of merchants on board kept in a sealed glass tank. But only 200 pieces of porcelain, copper and gold are on show. The research work is still process to have more excavation.

Visiting Time: suggested one day
Entrance Fee:  RMB 50 ( Dajiaowan, Shili Yintan and the Musuem)
Location: 50 km from the city center of Yangjaing,  230 km southwest of Guangzhou
How to Get There
Take buses from Guangzhou, Shenzhen and other major cities in China

Beaches in Yangjiang

Beaches in Yangjiang

6. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall 孙中山纪念馆
The Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall was built in honor of the great Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Completed in 1976 and designed by the famous architect Wang Da-wei, it is one of Taipei City’s most well known landmarks.

The exterior of the hall contains some gardens, and decorative historical walls. It has many wide open spaces where the people of Taipei often go to spend some time relaxing. The interior of the hall includes a main hall entrance with a statue of Sun Yat-sen and many exits to other parts of the hall, containing historical artifacts.

Entrance Fee: CNY 10
Opening Hours:08:00-18:00
How to get there: take Subway Line 2 to the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall; or take Buses No.2, 27, 42, 56, 62, 74, 80, 83, 133, 185, 204, 209, 224, 229, 261, 276, 284, 293, 297, 305, 518 or 543, Guangzhou

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

7. The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall  陈家祠
The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall was originally  built by the 72 Chen clans for the accommodation and preparation for the imperial examinations from Chen families in 1894 in Qing Dynasty. Later it was turned to be the Chen Clan’s Industry College, and later middle schools afterward.

Now it is home to the Guangdong Folk Art.  The Chen clan ancestral hall is famous for the ornate decoration which is presented inside and outside the halls. A large collection of wood carving, stone carving, brick carving, pottery, plaster and iron engraving are seen on the walls,beams, columns, ridges and soon, a trove of Chinese folk arts.

A large collection of wood carving, stone carving, brick carving, pottery, plaster and iron engraving.

Entrance Fee: CNY 10
Opening Hours: 08:30-17:30
How to get there: take subway Line 1 to Chenjiaci Station; or take Buses No. 85, 88, 104, 107, 109, 114, 128, 193, 204 ,233, 250, 260 or 268 and get off at Chenjiaci Station; or take Trolley Bus No. 104, 105, 107 or 109

The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

8. Mount Luofo ( Luofoshan ) 罗佛山
Luofoshan is situated in Boluo County of Huizhou city in the north of Guangdong Province, about 70 km from Huizhou’s city center and 110 km from Guangzhou city. Luofaoshan is renown as one of the 10 famous Taoist mountains in China.

Luofoshan, also named “Dongjiaoshan”, is an AAAA National Level Scenic Area. It is the 7th cave of  the 10 major Taoist caves. It is reputed as the No.01 Mountain in Lingnan area. It is also famous for its herbal medicine.

Luofoshan features 432 peaks, high or low, 980 waterfalls and springs, 18 caves and 72 stone chambers. The main peak is Feiyun Summit 1296 at altitude. Luofoshan is massive  and mesmerizing with comfortable weather.

Visiting Time: suggested 3-4 hour
Entrance Fee:  RMB 60
Location: 70 km from the city center of Huizhou,  110 km from Guangzhou
How to Get There
Luofoshan has convenient transportation with buses coming from Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Huizhou and other major cities in Guangzhou

 Mount Luofo ( Luofoshan )

Mount Luofo ( Luofoshan )

9. Xunliao Bay Beach Resort  巽寮湾滨海旅游度假区
Xunliao Bay is located in the south of Pingshan Township of Huizhou city,  on the east cost of Guangdong Province. It is about 240  to the east of Guangzhou and 136 km to the east of Shenzhen and 98 km to the south of Huizhou’s city center.

Xunliao Bay is one of the purest bays in the east coast of Guangdong Province. Strolling on the finest beaches, bathing in sunshine, breathing fresh air, immersing yourself into the blue sky, white clouds, sand beaches and tidal waves, a poetic and romantic feeling.

The bay is jammed with hotels, restaurants. Water activities are plentiful, canoes, yachts, speedboats, motorbikes,  diving and the list is on and on, a perfect summer resort.

Visiting Time: suggested 6-8 hour
Location:  the south of Pingshan Township of Huizhou city
How to Get There
Busing to Xunliao Bay from Huizhou, Gangzhou, Shenzhen and major cities in Guangdong Province.

Xunliao Bay Beach Resort

Xunliao Bay Beach Resort

10. Seven Star Crags Park 七星岩公园
The park is located about 2 km north Zhaoqing’s city center, about 100 km west of Guangzhou. Seven Star Crags Park is reputed as “Immortal Fairyland” and “No.01 Woner in Lingnan”.

The park is composed of 5 lakes, 7 crags and 8 caves,  crags above lakes,  caves in the crags and rivers inside crags,  like a fairyland in a city rarely seen in other cities. The park features karst crags and lakes.  The seven crags line in the shape of the Great Dipper, hence the name of Seven Star Crags Park.  The Great Dipper shaped seven crags cut the lake into 5 parts,  creating a magnificent view!

Visiting Time: suggested half day
Entrance Fee:  RMB 60 ( excluding some pay caves )
Opening Hours: 7:30 – 17:30
Location:   2 km north Zhaoqing’s city center, about 100 km west of Guangzhou
How to Get There
Busing to the park from Gangzhou, Shenzhen and major cities in Guangdong Province.

Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park

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Top 10 Attractions in Zhuhai

 

Any questions, just drop a line.