Archive for the ‘China Top 10’ Category

The 10 Most Beautiful Museums in China

Thursday, January 14th, 2016
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Generally people visit a museum with the purpose to see  its exhibits inside – looking at art, getting educated, having family bonding time and engaged in social network.  But in the last couple of years, museum buildings themselves have become art.

There have been increasingly stunning museum architectural ventures cropping up all around China. Talented architects are competing to design and produce spectacular museums with “high face value”.

These unusual museums defy gravity, look surreal with wild imagination beyond your expectation.  We’ve rounded up the 10 most beautiful museums around China for your reference in case you are interested in peeking at one of these exquisite museums on your China tour.

1.  Ningbo Museum ( Ningbo Historic Museum) 宁波博物馆
Ningbo Museum (or the Ningbo Historic Museum) is located in Yinzhou District, Ningbo, an eastern coastal city in Zhejiang Province. The museum is mainly focused on Ningbo’ local history and traditional customs. It was open to the public on December 05,  2008.  The museum building is designed by Wang Shu, who later won the he Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2012.

The whole museum has a total construction area of over 30,000 square meters and its main building has three stories. With the first floor as the main base, the build starts to slant down on the second floor, allowing the whole building in a shape of a mountain and a boat, reflecting Ningbo’ geographical feature and its long history of oversea commerce.

Ningbo Museum

Ningbo Museum

There are two kinds of the outer wall decoration of the museum building. Parts of the walls are built of old tiles and bricks collected from torn-down old buildings in the process of the reconstruction of the old city in Ningbo.  Making use of the old building materials is the old way of building a house in an economical way before cement was ever produced. Some walls are built of the cement mixed with bamboo. bamboo is the typical Jiangnan plant.

The museum is home to over 60,000 exhibits on display housed in exhibition halls. They are on display according to different themes relative to Ningbo’s history starting from Hemudu Culture 7000 years ago.

Opening Time: 9:00 – 17:00  ( Mon – Sun )
Tel: 0574 – 82815555
Official Web: Ningbo Museum
Add: 1000 Shounan Middle Road, Yizhou District, Ningbo

2. 5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake Memorial Museum  5.12 汶川特大地震纪念馆
5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake Memorial Museum is set to commemorate the Wenchuan earthquake, which hit Sichuan on May 12, 2008 and left over 87,000 people dead or missing. It was officially open to the public on May 9, 2013. It is

The museum is designed by the Architectural Design and Research institute of Tongji University. The whole museum takes an area of 140,230 square meters with the construction area of 14,280 square meters and exhibition space of 10,748 square meters.

5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake Memorial Museum

5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake Memorial Museum

The principal building is named as “Cracks”, implying the museum is designed to capture the swift freeze-frames of the disaster moments and leave lasting memories for future generations. The style of the whole museum building is like a landscape using the methods of land cutting. There is a sinking plaza and walking path which extends to the placid lawn  and part of the building arises from the ground, implying new birth and hope.

Add:  Renjiaping Village, Qushan Town, Beichuan Qiang Autonomous County, southwest China’s Sichuan Province.
Tel: 0816-4831198 四川北川羌族自治县曲山镇任家坪

3. Yungang Grottoes Museum  云冈石窟博物馆
As the second largest city in Shanxi Province, Datong is situated in the far north, near the border with Inner Mongolia, a 6-hour train ride or 5-hour drive from Beijing.

In the year of 398, Datong was set up as the capital city of Northern Wei Dynasty (386 -557). In 493, Northern Wei Dynasty moved its capital city to Luoyang. The 97-year as a Northern Wei capital has left huge cultural heritage of that time to Datong.

In a valley at Yungang, some 16km west of Datong, there are more than 45 recesses dug into the hills and filled with Buddhist statues of various sizes and shapes, 51,000 altogether, later called Yungang Grottoes ( Cloud Ridge Caves ) listed UNESCO World Heritage in 2001.

Yungang Grottoes Museum is located on the west edge of the Yungang Grottoes Scenic Area. It is designed by Dapeng Cheng Do Union Architecture. It was completed in 2011.

Yungang Grottoes Museum

Yungang Grottoes Museum

The whole museum covers a total construction area of 9939.46 square meters with an exhibition hall and a multi-functional performing arts center.  To protect the ancient cultural heritage and the surrounding environment, a large part of the museum building ( an area of 6000 square meters ) is a most sunk underground.

The exhibition hall is a one floor long-span space, 6 meters deep underground and the highest elevation above ground is 5.8 meters. The museum building appearance above the ground is designed in an arching shape with 4 meters wide and 40 meters long. The performing arts center is built on based the former histrionic place in south edge with an underground floor as high as 3.6 meters.

Opening Hours: 8:30 – 17:30

4.  Shanghai Natural History Museum 上海自然博物馆
The new Shanghai Natural History Museum has replaced the original Natural History Museum with more exhibition space. Completed in April, 2015, it is designed by Perkins+Will’s Global Design Director Ralph Johnson.

The museum is located in the Jing’an Sculpture Park in the center of downtown Shanghai. The overall appearance of the principal building is inspired by the nautilus shell, one of the most simple biological form found in nature. The wall on the east implies earth’s vegetation, and the stone wall on the north signifies shifting tectonic plates and canyon walls eroded by rivers.

Shanghai Natural History Museum

Shanghai Natural History Museum

The museum is home to over 240,000 samples, including over 62,000 pieces of animal specimens, 135,000 plant specimens, 700 specimens of the Stone Age, and 1,700 specimens of minerals.

Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:15 (Closed on Monday)
Enetrance fee: 30 yuan
Add: 399 Shanhaiguan, Jing’an District, Shanghai.

5. Dafen Art Museum 大芬美术馆
Da Fen is a village in Longgang District, Shenzhen City which borders Hong Kong on the south. The village has an area of 4 square km with a population of 300 native villagers. Dafen Village is dubbed as “Da Fen Oil Paintings Village”.

The “Oil Painting” story went back to the year 1989,  when a Hong Kong artist came and settled in Da Fen Village. He rented the local residential houses and hires arts students and artists to imitate the original and famous oil paintings to be sold on the international markets. Later Da Fen Village got world famous for its massive productions of oil paintings.

Dafen Art Museum

Dafen Art Museum

The construction of Dafen Art Museum was sponsored by the Shenzhen Municipal Government and the Longgang District Government.  It has a total construction area of 16,866 square meters with three structural layers. The whole building is built with rich Chinese traditional cultural elements – the mix of Yin and Yang, black and white, and “roofed patio” often used in the ancient architeture. The museum buildings implies the spirit of the village-in-city:fusion, openness, moderation and peacefulness.

Add: Da Fen Village, Longgang District, Shenzhen City

6. Shanghai Museum of Glass 上海玻璃博物馆
Shanghai Museum of Glass is built on the former Shanghai glass manufacturing site in Baoshan District. It is designed by Logon Architecture.  Apart from its glass themed exhibition, Shanghai Museum of Glass also offers  plentiful activities and entertainment to attract people for interaction.

Walking in the factory-turned museum, visitors will feel the vivid transition between the old and the new as well as  the fascinating imagination produced by the common glass creativity.

Shanghai Museum of Glass

Shanghai Museum of Glass

Opening Hours; 09:30 – 17:00 ( Closed on Monday)
Entrance fee: 20 yuan
Tel: 021-6618970
Official Web: Shanghai Museum of Glass
Add: 685 Changjiang West Road, Baoshan District, Shanghai

7. Gaoligong Museum of Handcraft Paper 高黎贡手工造纸博物馆
Gaoligong Museum of Handcraft Paper is located in a field next to Xinzhuang village on the west edge of the southern Gaolugong National Nature Reserve, Tengchong, Yunnan. The museum is designed by Tao  Trace Architecture Office.

Xinzhuang Village has a long history of handicraft paper making. The handicraft paper making museum is set to preserve and carry on the tradition as cultural heritage. The museum is composed of exhibition rooms, book stores, work space for interaction.

Gaoligong Museum of Handcraft Paper

Gaoligong Museum of Handcraft Paper

The museum is like a mini-showcase of the village while the village provides a broad view of the handcraft paper making. The museum building meshes with the nearby village and landscape. The building is creatively made with traditional Chinese wood structural system of nail-less tenon connection.  Local materials are used including bamboo, and volcano stone.

8. National Museum of China 中国国家博物馆
The National Museum of China is a four-storied main building with two symmetrical wings, extending over 300 meters north and south along the eastern side of Tian’anmen Square.

The building was one of ten outstanding architectures constructed in 1959 to mark the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.

National Museum of China

National Museum of China

Opening hours:
9:00 – 17:00; Closed on Mondays
Tickets issued until 15:30
Last admission at 16:00
Official Web: National Museum of China
Add: 16 East Chang’an Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing

9. Luyeyuan Stone Sculpture Art Museum (Mrgadava Museum) 鹿野苑石刻博物馆
The stone carving museum is located Yunqiao Village, Xinmin Town, Pi County, Chengdu, Sichuan Province. The museum is designed by Liu Jiakun (Collaborator: WANG Lun).

The whole museum take an area of  6,670 square meters with the construction area of 1.037 square meters. The museum building is constructed with reinforced concrete, shale brick, pebble, blue stone, glass and Steel.

Luyeyuan Stone Sculpture Art Museum

Luyeyuan Stone Sculpture Art Museum

It is a private small scale themed museum, displaying over 1000 stone sculptures ranging from Han Dynasty to Ming and Qing dynasties. The musuem is mainly focused on Han and Tang dynasties. .

Add:  Yunqiao Village, Xinmin Town, Pi County, Chengdu 成都郫县新民场镇云桥村
Tel: 028 87976166

10. Lanyang Museum 兰阳博物馆
Lanyang Museum is located in Yilan County, Taiwan. It is designed by the architect – Kris Yao from Artech Architects. It is adjacent to the wetland in Toucheng Town, Yilan. The museum introduces the natural history of Yilan as well as its culture and landscape.

Lanyang Museum

Lanyang Museum

The museum appearance is like a huge rock rising from the water surface. The museum building is based on the local common geographical features.  Its construction style is inspired by the natural Cuesta rock formation.  The building is composed of interlacing solid and glass volumes. The solid volume is designed for exhibition and administrative spaces;  the glass volume is set as the main lobby and the restaurant area.

Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17: 00
Tel: 03-9779700
Add: 750 Sanduan, Qingyun Road, Toucheng Town, Yilan, Taiwan 台湾宜兰县头城镇青云路三段750号

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Top 10 Museums in Beijing

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Top 10 Places to See Autumn Leaves in China

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
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Plan your China tour in autumn? Autumn leaf peeping time in China varies from north to south, and east to west given the size of China and its diversity of climate and geography. Basically from mid-October to mid-November,  most of China’s landscapes start to transform from their summer shades of green into the reds, oranges and yellows, signs of the colorful autumn.

If you are a leaf peeping fan and happen to visit China during the fall foliage period, you may choose one or two places to comfort your eyes and relax yourself with viewing the autumn leaves. We at Tour Beijing have leafed through the top 10  fall foliage destinations in China that we think are worth your exploration on your China autumn trip.

1. Ejina Qi (Banner), Inner Mongolia 内蒙古额济纳旗
Ejina Banner is in the most west end of  Alashan,  west of Inner Mongolia, adjacent to Alxa Right Banner in the east. Ejina Banner has a drought, extreme arid desert steppe climate with four distinctive seasons. It features rainless, abundant sunshine, and great temperature difference. The annual average temperature is 8.3℃. The number of annual dust storm is up to 14.

Ejina Diversifolius Poplar Forest National Nature Reserve is one of the three largest poplar forests in the world with mesmerizing autumn scenes sought after by numerous tourists and photographers.

Best Visit Time: October
Transport:
Ejina Banner is linked to Hohhot by an overnight train 15 hours. If you’d like to travel to Alxa Left Banner, you may choose first to take your train to Yinchuan, the capital city of Ningxia, then drive 114km up to Bayanhot, the capital of Alashan.
Overland travel is the most popular mode of traveling around Alashan. The three banners (Left, Right and Ejina) are connected by the regional roads. Also the three banners are linked to outside cities or provinces through a few destinations.

Autumn Leaves Ejina Qi (Banner), Inner Mongolia

Autumn Leaves Ejina Qi (Banner), Inner Mongolia

2. Moerdaoga National Forest Park , Inner Mongolia 内蒙古莫尔道嘎国家森林公园
 Moerdaoga National Forest Park ia the first national forest park in the Greater Khingan Range (Greater Xing’an Mountain ) within Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the biggest national forest park of its kind in China.

Moerdaoga” literally means that “set out for flight riding your horses” that was legendarily said by Genghis Khan who tried to integrate the tribes. The forest park is adjacent to the Hulunbuir Grassland on the south, the Erguna River on the north, packed with old and tall trees and numerous streams and rivers. The Moerdaoga turns into a “five-colormountain”, a perfect place to see autumn leaves.

Best Visit Time: Late  September and early October
Transport:
It is quite convenient to travel to Hulunbeier by train with wide train network. Hailar has trains connecting Beijing, Baotou, Hohhot, Harbin, Dalian, Qiqihaer, Boketu, Moerdaoga, Manzhouli, Jiaergeda. So beside Hailaer, many of the cities and banners has railway stations, forming easy train routes within Hulunbuir. Or you may take long-distance buses to Moerdaoga.

 Moerdaoga National Forest Park

Moerdaoga National Forest Park

 

3. Kanas, Xinjiang 新疆喀纳斯
Kanas is located in the northern tip of Xinjiang. The Kanas Lake (Kanasi Hu) means “beautiful, rich and mysterious” in Mongolian. The lake is nestled in the deep forests and mountains of Altay. The lake is 1,374m above sea level and covers an area of 45sqkm (10 times bigger than Tianchi on Bogda Mountain) with the deepest point of 188m.

The long bean-shaped lake reflects the surrounding snowcapped mountains. The Kanas Lake in autumn is at its best with the beautiful foliage. Legend has it that huge monsters live in the lake. They often has take away horses and camels drinking into the water by the lake and later swallow them, a similar story of “Nessie Monster”.

Best Visit Time: Late  September and early October
Transport: Take flights or travel overland to Kanas.

Autumn Leaaves at Kanas, Xinjiang

Autumn Leaaves at Kanas, Xinjiang

4. Miyaluo, Sichuan 四川米亚罗
Miyaluo, literally “Playful Pateau” in Tibetan, is located in Li County, Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, about 263 km north of Chengdu, between Chengdu and Jiuzhaigou.

Miyaluo Scenic Area is the largest red leaves viewing landscape in China, with 3688 square km, 127 km long from east to west, and 29 km wide from north to south,  180 the size of Fragrant Hill Red Leaves Scenic Area in Beijing. When autumn comes, the whole Miyaluo becomes a sea of red leaves, a stunning view of the fall foliage seldom seen elsewhere.

Best Visit Time: Mid- September – Mid-October
Transport: Take buses from Chengdu to Miyaluo.

Fall foliage at Miyaluo, Sichuan

Fall foliage at Miyaluo, Sichuan

5. Daocheng, Sichuan 四川稻城俄初山
Daocheng is a county under  Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, on the most southwestern Sichuan, about 760 km from Chengdu. Daocheng is a mysterious and pure plateau, a place enticing numerous travelers for spiritual fulfillment.The stunning beauty of Dacheng is the autumn colors that bounce off from Echu Mountain (Mt.Echu). “Echu” literally means “glistering mountain”.  It is a high mountain at the altitude of 5140 meters. Hiking up the valleys, you will see the layers of forests coated by myriad colors, red, yellow, orange, green, a mesmerizing spectacle.

Best Visit Time: Mid- September – Mid-October
Transport: Take buses from Chengdu to Daocheng

Fall foliage at Mt.Echushan, Daocheng.

Fall foliage at Mt.Echushan, Daocheng.

6. Jiuzhaigou National Park , Sichuan 四川九寨沟
Jiuzhaigou literally means “Nine Village Valley” in Chinese. Listed as World Cultural Heritage in 1992. Jiuzhaigou is well known for its beautiful water – multi-level waterfalls and colorful lakes, and magnificent autumn scenery. Jiuzhaigou is located in Jiuzhaigou County of the Aba Tibetan Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province, 436km north of Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province.Jiuzhaigou has three valleys naturally formed in a Y shape. The Rize Valley 17km long and Zechawa Valley 18km long flow from the south and meet at a confluence where they form the Shuzheng valley 15km long in the middle, continuing to flow north to the mouth of the Shuzheng Valley. All the three valleys are accessible both by shuttle bus and boardwalks.

There are 17 waterfall groups, 47 springs and 114 lakes in the park. People usually first visit Shuzheng Valley, then either visit Rize Valley or Zechawa Valley. People have to spend almost whole day in the three valleys. There is a service center in the confluence where the three valleys meet with a big restaurant providing three kind of buffet lunch. There is also a grocery by the restaurant where you can buy instant noodles, biscuits, fruits, water and mnay more to feed yourself.

Visiting Time: suggested 1-3 day
Entrance Fee:  RMB 220  (peak season ) and RMB 80 ( winter season)
Location:  436km north of Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province
Opening Hours: 6:30 – 18:00 (April – Nov.15);  6:30 – 17:00 (Nov.16  – March);
Best Time to Visit: Mid-October to early November
How to Get There
First take flight from Chengdu to Jiuhuang Airport where you connect the local bus for Jiuzhaigou

Fall Foliage at Jiuzhaigou

Fall Foliage at Jiuzhaigou

7. Wulingyuan ( Zhangjiajie )  武陵源(张家界)
Wulingyuan Scenic Area is located about 30 km north of Zhangjiajie’s city center. Wulingyuan Scenic Area was listed with UNESCO World Heritage 1992. This world heritage site is popularly known as “Zhangjiajie Senic Area” rather than “Wulingyuan” mainly because Wulingyuan Scenic Area is under the administration of Zhangjiajie City.

Wulingyuan Scenic Area (Zhangjiajie Scenic Area) includes three main areas: Zhangjiajie National Forest ParkTianzi Mountain Nature Reserve and, Suoxi Valley Natural Resource Reserve (including Baofeng Lake and Yellow Dragon Cave). The American film – Avatar depicted “Hallelujah Mountain” by taking the real view of “South Pillar of the Heaven”, a famous attraction in Wulingyuan Scenic Area.

Wulingyuan Scenic Area are  famous for its unique hills, queer rockss and peaks, tranquil valleys, clear streams, abundant fauna and flora and hospitable climate.

Visiting Time: suggested 2-3 Days
Entrance Fee:  RMB 248 ( a through ticket )
Location: about 30 km north of Zhangjiajie’s city center
Opening Hours: All day
Best Time to Visit: Mid-October to Mid-November
How to Get There
Zhangjiajie is easily accessible by air, train and highway. Then connect local buses going to Wulingyuan Scenic Area.

Fall Foliage at Wulingyuan ( Zhangjiajie )

Fall Foliage at Wulingyuan ( Zhangjiajie )

8. Wushan, Chongqing 重庆巫山红叶
Wushan County is in the northeast of Chongqing with Yangtze River passing through, about 437 km to the northeast of Chongqing’s city center. Wushan’s temperature  provides a perfect condition for the growth of maple  and other red leaf trees.

Every year Wushan entice huge number of visitors to experience the stunning mixed landscape of rivers, mountains and red leaves. The red leaves at Wushan have a longer period of leaf peeping from late September to December.

Visiting Time: suggested 1-2 Day
Location: about 437 km northeast of Chongqing’s city center
Opening Hours: All day
Best Time to Visit: October – November
How to Get There
Buses or boats from Chongqing or Yichang.

9. Qixiashan, Jiansu 江苏南京栖霞山
Qixiashan Scenic Area is located  in Qixiashan District of Nanjing, about 26 km to the northeast of Nanjing’s city center. Qixiashan has three peaks – the main peak is Fengxiang Peak at the altitude of 286 meters; Longshan Peak on the northeast and Hushan Peak on the northwest. Qixiashan is rich in ecological fossils and oft lauded as “Natural Geography Museum”.

Qixiashan is peppered with historical relics and sites. But its biggest draw is its autumn color. Qixiashan is reputed as one of the four most famous maple leaf viewing spots in China. When autumn comes, the while mountain area is blanketed with red leaves of maple trees.

Visiting Time: suggested 2-4 hour
Location: about 26 km northeast of Nanjing’s city center
Best Time to Visit: October – November
How to Get There
Buses or from Nanjing city center

Red Leaves  at Qixiashan, Jiansu

Red Leaves at Qixiashan, Jiansu

10. Fragrant Hill  北京香山
Located in the east part of western hills and 28 kilometers northwest of the Beijing City, Fragrant Hills Park is a large park of hills and forest. It is rich both in natural sceneries and cultural relics. Its highest peak is Xianglu Peak (Incense Burner Peak), 557 meters high.

The hill is dotted with maple trees, smoke trees and persimmon trees. When autumn arrives, fiery red leaves blanket the entire mountain. Every year, a huge number of tourists flock to the park. The cable cars are a great way to hike up the hill and enjoy the spetacular fall scenes at the same time.

Visiting Time: suggested 3-4 hour
Entrance Fee:  RMB 10
Location:  Norrthwest of Beijing
Opening Hours: 6:30 – 19:00
Best Time to Visit: Mid-October to early November
How to Get There
Take public buses

Red Leaves at  Fragrant Hill

Red Leaves at Fragrant Hill

Add-on
Top Place to See Autumn Leaves in Beijing
Top Places to See Autumn Leaves in Xian
Top Places to See Autumn Leaves in Shanghai

Top 10 China experiences

Thursday, June 21st, 2012
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Plan your China tour? China is huge both in population and landmass. As a first time visitor to China, you will definitely experience some degree of culture shock in terms of landscapes, historical sites, culinary and etc.

The following 10 top travel experiences in China are meticulously selected from the actual travel experiences by the clients coming from www.tour-beijing.com. This top 10 China experiences could be used as a guidance for you to plan your trip to China.

1. The Great Wall
The Great Wall of China is one of the outstanding symbols of China’s ancient civilization. The Great Wall now exist in bits spanning over approx. ten thousand kilometers from its eastern tip at Shanhaiguan and its western tip at Jiayuguan. The Great Wall was built in different or overlapping dynasties.

The Great Wall around Beijing, the wall extended from Beijing to its eastern tip at Shanhaiguan is relatively in better shape than other sections of the great wall. The wall winding from Beijing to Shanhuaguan was built, or mainly reconstructed on the previous wall for over 10 years (1570 – 1580 ) in Ming Dynasty under the leadership of General Qi Jiguang (1528 –1588).

Beijing has an easy access to the Great Wall of China in such sections as Badaling Great Wall, Juyongguan Great Wall, Huanghuacheng Great Wall, Mutianyu Great Wall, Jinshanling Great Wall and Simatai Great Wall. So, your Beijing trip must include an excursion to any of the Great Wall mentioned above.

People who have climbed the Great Wall are true heroes. Give yourself a whole day to rewind on a Great Wall tour around Beijing. A hike on the wall get you a sense of Chinese history helpful in understanding Chinese people’s psyche and their physical environment.

Mutianyu Great Wall

2. The Bund in Shanghai
As one of the largest cities in the world, Shanghai has been the frontrunner for the economic and cultural development in China in the past 20 years. If you want to see a China of 2000 years old, you should visit Xian; if you want to see a China of 1000 years old, you visit Beijing and if you want to see a China of 200 years old, you should visit Shanghai.

The Bund and its east skyline of Pudong new development zone is the avant-garde area in China and the world as well in arts, architecture, finance and etc.  The colonial-era buildings in early 1920s flanked by the Bund and the most advanced and modern structures by its neighbour in Pudong area across Huangpu river posts a sharp contrast to the fast development in Shanghai.

A ramble along the Bund, especially after dark, is a must activity on a Shanghai tour for a first time visitor to experience this fast changing and developing metropolitan city of Shanghai.

Pudong skyline Viewed from the Bund

3. Terra-cotta Warriors in Xian
A glimpse of the terra-cotta Army on your Xian tour will definitely send you a strong cultural shock on your first time China tour.

Discovered in 1974 by the four local farmers who drilled a well about 30km east of the downtown Xian. Later, the unearthed Terra-cotta Army was unquestionably the most important archaeological discovery in the last century, often regarded as the eighth wonders in the world.

Standing inside one of the pits housing the life-sized terra-cotta soldiers, nobody won’t be moved and touched in front of the masterpieces made 2000 years ago! These terra-cotta soldiers were used as bodyguards protecting the first emperor in Chinese history – Qin Shi Huang (259 BC – 210 BC), king of the Chinese State of Qin from 246 BC to 221 BC.

No unearthed terra-cotta soldiers are found to look alike – soldiers and officers well-organized in infantry units and war chariots. The first emperor’s tomb next is still kept in intact. The time to open the tomb of Qin Shi Huang is unknown since the present science and technology is not advanced enough to protect the tomb once it is unearthed.

Pit 1 of Terra-Cotta Army Museum

4.Tiger Leaping Gorge
Tiger Leaping Gorge is the haven for hikers who seek to travel in a natural and scenic area. Each year Tiger Leaping Gorge attracts a great number of travelers from home and abroad. A scenic canyon on the Jinsha River ( the upper reaches of Yangtze River, the gorge lies 95km northwest of Lijiang, the most beautiful ancient city in Yunnan Province.

Lijiang is your springboard city to extend your hike to Tiger Leaping Gorge. So your Lijiang Tour should cover an excursion to the scenic gorge.

The stunning views of the canyon often keep hikers to remain here for 2 or 3 days due to its mesmerizing environment. Now Tiger Leaping Gorge has become a well organized paradise for backpackers with its plenty of inns, cafe, and restaurants.

Tiger Leaping Gorge

5. Yangtze River Cruise
Yangtze River is the longest river in China and the third in the world. Three Gorges & Dam Cruise is the highlight of the lifetime Yangtze River Cruise, which has been long sought after by romantic cruising lovers. Chongqing to Yichang route is by far the most travelled section of the Yangtze, winding through the Three Gorges and passing the namesake Dam.

Cruising on Yangtze River and passing through Three Gorges Dam makes you feel and see the picturesque views on both sides of the huge river and tremendous change which has taken place in China.

Yangtze River Cruise

6. Huangshan Mountain
Huangshan is the most beautiful mountain in China. It is located 240km to the west of Hangzhou and 40 minute flight from Shanghai. Huangshan Mountain is well known for its sunrise and sunset, granite peaks, the gnarled forms of ubiquitous Huangshan pine trees, and the other-worldly sea of the clouds.

Also much of Mount Huang’s reputation comes from its significance in Chinese art, literature and profound cultural resources.

The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO listed Mt. Huangshan as Natural and Cultural Heritage in 1990. The nearby villages of Hongcun and Xidi were also named part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. In 2002, Mount Huang was named the “sister mountain” of Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps.

Pine trees in Huangshan Mountain

7. Potala Palace in Lhasa
Potala Palace is the symbol of Tibet. A visit to Potala Palace is one of your highlights on your Lhasa tour. You may walk around Potala Palace in a clockwise direction, a religion kora and take some pictures of Potala Palace from different angles and spots. Wandering on the path around Potala Palace takes you about 40 minutes.

The monastery-like palace, reclining against and Red Hill, was the religious and political center of old Tibet and the winter palace of Dalai Lamas.

The building measures 400 meters east-west and 350 meters north-south, with slopping stone walls averaging 3 m thick, and 5 m thick at the base and with copper poured into the foundations to help proof it against earthquakes.

Potala Palace in Lhasa

8. Li River in Guilin
Li River is located in Guilin  and the cruise on Li River is the highlight of sightseeing tour in Guilin. The Li River winds and meanders its way for about 80 km from Guilin to Yangshou. The 80-km-long waterway from Guilin to Yangshuo resembles an artists’ masterpiece, painted with rolling mountains, featuring cliffs, unique caves, comfortable boats.

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 starts 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.

Li River in Guilin

9. The Silk Road
The history of Silk Road dates back to more than 2,000 years. It started in Chang’an (present Xian, Shaanxi Province) in the east and extended to Rome, Italy in the west.The route passes through Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai Provinces, Ningxia Hui and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions and then stretches over the Pamirs, further extend to Central and West Asia and finally gets to the east bank of the Mediterranean Sea and Eastern Europe.

The total length of the Silk Road is over 7000km, over half of which is within China. An adventure trip along the Silk Road will offer you an inside look at China’s history and culture.

Jiaohe Ancient City in Turfan along the Silk Road

10. China’s Cuisine
Oversea foodies will have good food experience while traveling China simple because China is a foodies paradise for its rich variety of food. The big difference between Chinese and Western eating manner is that in the West, everyone has their own plate of food, while in China people share the dishes placed on the table.

A typical Chinese meal starts with cold dishes. These are followed by the main courses, hot meat and vegetable dishes. Finally a soup is brought out, which is followed by principal food, usually including rice or noodles or sometimes dumplings.

Chinese cooking is a world difference from Western cooking. Beijing cooking tour offers you an insight knowledge about Chinese cooking.

Making fried buns with meat fillings

Further Readings


Top 10 Places to Visit in China
How to Pack for your China Trip
Plugs and Sockets in China
China Tour Packages
Learning Useful Chinese Phrases for Travellers 
How to Recognise Chinese Currency

Any questions, just drop a line.