Archive for the ‘China Travel’ Category

How to Spend Spring Festival in Beijing

Thursday, February 15th, 2018
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When planning Beijing tour during Spring Festival or Chinese Lunar New Year, many first-time visitors would ask the same question “How to spend Spring Festival in Beijing 2018?”.

Spring Festival or Chinese lunar new year 2018 starts on Feb 16,2018, the start of the Year of Dog according to the Chinese zodiac.

The official 3-day Spring Festival holiday plus 2 connected weekends make 7 consecutive days off from Feb 15 to 21, 2018. 

There are many choices to celebrate the new year in Beijing. Different people have different tastes in terms of sightseeing, events, shopping, entertaining,etc.

You may check out my personal suggestions for spending Spring Festival in Beijing as follows:

1. How to spend Chinese lunar new year’s eve in Beijing ( Feb 15,2018)

1) Participate in the new year activities at your hotel, such as making dumpplings…
2) Find a comfortable bar to kill your time during the new year’ eve
3  Spend Chinese new year’s eve with a local family
4) Stay up for the TV gala
5) Purchase some fireworks or firecrackers at the local outlets

6) When new year comes, go out for viewing the fireworks and join in them

2. Beijing Temple Fairs

Visiting one or two temple fairs is a must for spending Spring Festival in Beijing. Though temple fairs in Beijing don’t have much change every year, people still flock there to sense and feel the new year,  which main activities include special local food and snacks, plentiful products of arts and crafts, souvenir stalls, food vendors and recreation places for the games.

At a temple fairs, you will eat local flavor, view or buy local arts and crafts and play games at a temple fairs.

Major temple fairs in Beijing

Period: Feb 15 – 21, 2018
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 5:00pm
Entrance Fee: RMB 10 ( non-temple fair time: RMB 2 )
Children under 1.2 meter high: free
Bus lines:
North Gate: 743、822、35、41、957、750、705 get off at Guangminglou
Northwest Gate: 60、8、116、6、12、352、958 get of Beijing Amusement Park
East Gate: 122、51、T3 Get off at Beijing Tumor Hospital
Add: No.8, Longtanhulu, Chongwen, Dongcheng District, about 1km east of Temple of Heaven
Complaint Tel: 67144310, 67185980

Longtan Park Temple Fair

Ditan Park Temple Fair
Period: Feb 16 – 21, 2012
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 5:00pm
Entrance Fee: RMB 10
Children under 1.2 meter high: free
tel: 6421-4657
Bus lines:
13, 116, 62, 44, 117, 909, 800, 807, 820, T2, 27, 104, 358, 119, 407, 328, 803, 18, 850, 113, 858, 644, 643 or Subway Line 2 at Lama Temple
www.dtpark.com
Chaoyang Park Carnival
Period: Feb 15 – 21, 2018
Entrance fee: 10 RMB
Add: 1 Chaoyang Gongyuan Nanlu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Bus Lines:  No. 31, 117, 302, 406, 608, 703, 705, 731, 758, 750, 815, 831, 834, 8473. 

Ice Skating

There are a number of open-air ice skating rinks inside some lakes in Beijing. Shichahai Lake and Kunming Lake in Summer Palace are two of the most important outdoor ice skating rinks for many local skaters.

There are a few top indoor ice skating Rinks such New World Champion Skating Rink, all Star Ice Rink, New World Champion Skating Rink and more.

Ice Skating on Shichahai Lake

A nice soak in one of Beijing’s many hot springs is an excellent way to the perfect place to wash off the dirt and relax your body. There are three popular hot spring resorts around Beijing: Chunhuiyuan Hot Spring Resort, Jiuhua Spa & Resort and Huaxia Hot Spring.

Chunhuiyuan Hot Spring Resort and Jiuhua Spa & Resort Actually have the same springhead – Xiaotangshan hot spring. Xiaotangshan has been famous for its hot springs for over 300 years. Local legend has it that the imperial family of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) went there to relax.

5. Snow Skiing

Skiing has become increasingly popular with Chinese. There are over 10 ski resorts around Beijing which are suitable for both beginners and advanced skiers.

To meet the various needs from customers, most of the the Beijing ski resorts offers snow related activities such as stimulative Motorcycle on snow land, snow flying disk, romantic sleigh drawn by dogs or houses, Ice garden, and Snow garden.

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Escorted Beijing tour in Winter
Don’t want to go the do-it-yourself tour? No worries, here are some options for guided tours to Beijing for your winter trip.

Beijing Winter Tour .

Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P

(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P 
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

Top 10 Attractions in Chengdu, Top 10 Things to Do in Chengdu

Thursday, November 16th, 2017
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Plan your Chengdu tour?  We’ve prepared a list of the top 10 must see attractions in Chengdu, which may be helpful for your planning your short trip to Chengdu.

Chengdu the provincial capital and largest city of Sichuan, is located on the edge of the fertile plains of the Red Basin in China’s Sichuan Province. Chengdu has a history of 2,000 years with numerous historical places of interest.

Millenniums of history have left Chengdu countless historical and cultural sites definitely worth visiting. Also, your trip to Chengdu is not fully complete if you have not visited the Panda Research Base. Plenty of interesting attractions await your visit.

No. 01 Panda Breeding and Research Center
The Giant Panda Breeding Research Base is located on the mountain of Futoushan in the northern suburbs of Chengdu. It has been created and imitated the pandas’ natural habitat in order that they might have the best possible environment for rearing and breeding.

The Research Base shows many practical specimens of the Giant Panda, including fossils, dissected anatomical remains, diet specimens, etc. Additionally there is a Giant Panda Museum together with research laboratories and a training center.

Entrance Fee: CNY 58
Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00
How to get there: take Buses No. 45, 71, 69, 302, 83 or 60 and then transfer to Chengxiang Bus No. 1 to the Panda Breeding and Research Center

Panda Breeding and Research Center

Panda Breeding and Research Center


No. 02: Dujiangyan Irrigation Project
Dujiangyan is an irrigation infra-structure built in 256 BC during the Warring States Period of China by the Kingdom of Qin. It is located in the Min River in Sichuan.

Dujiangyan Irrigation Project is still in use today to irrigate over 5,300 square kilometers of land in the region. The project consists of three important parts, namely Yuzui, Feishayan and Baopingkou scientifically designed to automatically control the water flow of the rivers from the mountains to the plains throughout the year.

Dujiangyan Irrigation Project

Dujiangyan Irrigation Project

Entrance Fee: free
Opening Hours: 08:30-17:00 (weekdays); 08:00-18:00 (weekends)
How to get there: take Bus No. 649 to the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project

No. 03: Jinsha Site Museum
Jinsha Site Museum is one of the highlights of your Chengdu Tour. The Jinsha Relics Museum is just about 5 km west of the downtown Chengdu. It is located at No.02, Jinsha Site Road, Chengdu. It is easily accessible by taxi and buses. It can be reached by the bus lines 5, 7, 82, 83, 96, 111, 311, 401, 502, 503A and Tourism Bus 901.

Ticket fee: RMB 100 per person 4D Ticket: RMb 20 per person Guide Service (English): RMB100 less than 10 people

Enquiry: 028 – 87303522
Complaint: 028 – 87303511
Emergency: 028 – 87303533
Opening time: 08:00 – 18:00

Jinsha Site Museum

Jinsha Site Museum

No. 04: Qingcheng Mountain
Qingcheng Mountain means “Green City Mt.” because the whole mountain is covered by green trees, like a city. Being 17kms from Qingcheng Mountain scenery spot, Qingcheng Mountain is famous for its beauty and quietness.

This Mountain is also one of the birthplaces of the Taoist religion. With over 20 temples and religious sites for Taoism With over 20 temples and religious sites for Taoism, it exudes a strong flavor of Taoist culture and the buildings demonstrate the Sichuan style of architecture.

Entrance Fee: CNY90 (the front mountain); CNY 20 (the latter mountain)
Opening Hours: 08:30-17:00 (weekdays); 08:00-18:00 (weekends)
How to get there: There are Tourist Buses for Qingcheng Mountain from Chengdu Train Station and Ximen Bus Station. The price is 60 per person and takes about 2 hours.

Qingcheng Mountain

Qingcheng Mountain


No. 05: Wenshu Temple
With a history of more than 1,000 years, Wenshu Temple is the largest and the best-preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu. It has been a popular destination for visitors and pilgrims alike for centuries.

 Wenshu Temple

Wenshu Temple

There is a tallest iron pagoda in China near the entrance to the Wenshu Temple, the Peace Pagoda of a Thousand Buddhas.

The most outstanding objects in the Wenshu Temple are these over 300 statures of the Buddha, which are made by iron, wood, stone, and clay. The most distinguished one is a jade Buddha brought back from Burma by a Buddhist monk on foot in 1922.
Entrance Fee: RMB5
Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00
How to get there: take Buses No. 16, 55 or 64 to the Wenshu Temple


No. 06: Du Fu Thatched Cottage
Du Fu, a well-known poet of Tang Dynasty, has a strong influence in the field of Chinese poem. Du Fu Thatched Cottage is the former residence of him.

The cottage consists of six important parts: the Front Gate, the Lobby, the Hall of poem History, the Water Pavilion, the Gongbu Shrine and the Thatched Cottage. There are exhibits that provide details of Du Fu’s life and work. In addition, statues, stone carvings, paintings, and calligraphies by famous writers of different dynasties are also on display.

Entrance Fee: CNY 60
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:30
How to get there: take Buses No. 36 or 17 to get there

Du Fu Thatched Cottage

Du Fu Thatched Cottage

No. 07: Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi
 Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi in Chinese literally means “Wide and Narrow Alleys”. Here they particularly referred to the two famous lanes in Chengdu – Kuan Alley (wide lane) and Zhai Ally ( narrow Lane). Both Kuan Alley and Zhai Alley (Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi) are the gentrified ancient alleys from Qing Dynasty ( 1644 -1911 ) in Chengdu.

Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi is one of the three historical relic protection areas in Chengdu. This area is actually mainly composed of three lanes – Kuan Lane, Zhai Lane and Jing Xiang Zi as well as the old grid pattern streets and courtyards formed by the three parallel alleys.

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: All day

Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi

Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi

 No. 08: Wuhou Shrine
Now Wuhou Shrine is more than a shine. Instead, it has become a museum, the largest museum in China displaying the relics and introducing the history about the Three Kingdom.

Wuhou Shrine has incorporated the Liu Bei’s Tomb and Liu Bei Temple into one huge museum. In addition, Wuhou Shrine also includes the Sanyi Temple and 50 statues of the heroes in Shu Kingdom.
Entrance Fee: RMB60
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:30

Wuhou Shrine

Wuhou Shrine

No. 09: Jinli Old Street
Jinli Old Street is located to the east of the Wuhou Memorial Temple of Chengdu. As recode, the street was built originally as early as Shu Kingdom and is called “The First Street of the Shu Kingdom”.

Listed in “the ten commercial pedestrian streets of the Nation” in 2005, Jinli Old Street combines the ambience of ancient and modern China. Strolling down the narrow street, you will find yourself surrounded by an old world. . The wooden steles and the brick-walls exhibit an ancient charm.

Entrance Fee: free
Opening Hours: the whole day
How to get there: take Buses No. 1, 82, 57 or 29 from the downtown to the Jinli Old

Jinli Old Street

Jinli Old Street

No. 10: Sanxingdui Museum
The Sanxingdui Museum is located in the northeast of the Sanxingdui remains, near the Duck River. It is a modern theme museum which is 40 kilometers to the north of Chengdu. The museum was opened to public in October 1997. Covering 200,000 square meters, the total investment has reached over 30 million yuan.The whole design of the museum is simple, but with a solemn style. The museum has become a place of cultural and tourist attractions enjoying prestige both at home and abroad and one of the three exquisite spots Sichuan has offered to the world tourism.

Entrance Fee: CNY 80
Opening Hours: 8:30-18:00 (the first exhibition hall); 8:30-18:30 (the second exhibition hall)
How to get there: take the Bus No. 6 to the Sanxingdui Museum

Sanxingdui Museum

Sanxingdui Museum


Tip:  Hassle-free Chengdu Guided Tours
06611
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Chengdu Guided Tours:

Panda Highlight Day Tour  from US$65 p/p
Panda Classic Day Tour  from US$95 p/p
Leisure Chengdu Day Tour  from US$65 p/p
One Day Chengdu Dujiangyan Mt.Qingcheng Tour  from US$100 p/p

Chengdu 2 Day Excursion Tour with Hotel  from US$260 p/p
Chengdu 3 Day Classic Tour with hotel  from US$230 p/p
Chengdu 4 Day Highlight Tour  from US$420 p/p

4 Day Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Tour  from US$920 p/p
5 Day Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Huanglong Tour  from US$1060 p/p

Chengdu Lhasa 5 Day Tour  from US$815 p/p
Beijing Xian Chengdu Shanghai 11-Day Tour from US$1560 p/p
Chengdu Car Rental from US$55

Further Readings


Any questions, just drop a line.

 

Top 10 Attractions in Lhasa, Top 10 Things to Do in Lhasa

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017
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 There are so many great places to see in and around Lhasa that it’s important to check out the most popular attractions for your short Lhasa Tour.

It’s always good to have some advice and recommendations from friends who have visited Lhasa.

The top 10 Lhasa attractions are listed below in order of popularity based on the visitor in latest available numbers. If you have more time after visiting these great attractions,  you still have many more things to do during your stay in Lhasa.

Top #01:  Potala Palace
The Potala Palace is located in the middle of Lhasa city. The name of the palace was taken from Mount Potala, the living place of the Goddess of Mercy. The palace was first built by King Songtsen Gampo in 637 for the purpose of greeting his bride Princess Wen Cheng of the Tang Dynasty in China.

During the reign of The Fifth Dalai Lama, Potala Palace wasthe rebuilding of Potala Palace was started in 1645. Later the Dalai Lama and his government moved into Potala Palace in 1649.Today the Potala Palace has been turned into a museum. The Potala Palace was listed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994.

The palace is 400 metres wide from east to west and 350 metres from north to south. It has the sloping stone walls with average 3 meters thick, and 5 meters thick at the base. There are 13 stories in the palace buildings, which accommodate more than 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and about 200,000 statues.

Check out the link: Best Places to Take Picture of Potala Palace Lhasa

Lhasa Potala Palace

Top #02: Jokhang Temple
The Jokhang Temple is located within the Barkhor Street in the downtown of Lhasa city. The temple was first constructed during the reign of king Songsten Gampo. It was founded to please Bhrikuti – the Nepalese princess. 

It was recorded that many Nepalese artists came to build the temple.For most Tibetans Jokhang Monastery is the most holy and important temple in Tibet.

Jokhang Temple

 

Now Jokhang Temple was under the control of the Gelug school.In 2000, Jokhang Temple was added to the list as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site with the Potala Palace, a spiritual centre of Lhasa.

Top #3: Norbulingka
Norbulingka is a park-style park the west of Lhasa city. Its construction was started in 1755. It was used as a summer resort as well as administrative centre and religious centre for the successive Dalai Lamas from the 1780s till the 14th Dalai Lama’s self-exile in 1959.

Norbulingka

 

In 2001, Norbulingka is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.It is a unique showcase of Tibetan palace architecture.Norbulingka park is regarded the first and best park in Tibet. Summer and autumn are at its best, becoming hubs of entertainment with dancing, singing, music and festivities.

Top #4: Barkhor Street 
Barkhor Street is a historical and religious street surrounding Jokhang Temple and located in the downtown area of Lhasa. Barkhor Street is the most important and popular devotional kora(circuit), actually a pilgrim circumambulation.

Barkhor Street

Everyday local Tibetans coming all part of Tibet to pray and walk around the Jokhang Temple.Most of them come from the remote villages or mountainous areas. They come here once a year.

Top #5: Sera Monastery
Sera Monastery is one of the three most important Gelukpa temple. It is located 2km north of Lhasa. The other two Gelupa temples are Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery.“Sera” literally means wild rose in bloom, telling the fact that the temple was built on the hill covered with wild roses.Now there are over 3,000 monks living in Sera.

 

Sera Monastery


Sera is most well known for the lamas in the temple engaged in debating activity each afternoon starting from 3:000pm. The Sera Monastery is subject to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, established by Tsong Khapa.

Top #6: Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery is located at the foot of Mount Gephel, 5km northwest of Lhasa. It is one of the three Gelukpa temples in Lhasa with the other two being Ganden Monastery and the Sera Monastery. Drepung Temple is the largest of all Tibetan monasteries.

Drepung Monastery


At its peak, Drepung Temple was the largest temple in the world with over 10,000 monks. The tombs of the Dalai Lamas from second to fifth are buired in Drepung Monastery. From 1645, when the Fifth Dalai Lama founded the Potala Palace as Tibet’s political and spiritual center, the bodies of later Dalai Lamas were entombed here instead.

 

Top #7: Tibet Museum 
Tibet Museum is the provincial museum of the Tibet Autonomous Region. It is located in the west of the city of Lhasa, not far from Norbulingka and Lhasa Hotel.Its construction was completed on October 5, 1999. Tibet Museum is the first modern museum in the Tibet Autonomous Region. It has a huge collection relative to the cultural history of Tibet.

Tibet Museum


With an area of more than 53,959 square meters, Tibet Museum is mainly in Tibet style such as Tibetan doors, beam-decoration, patterns and so on, aimed at creating the atmosphere of authentic Tibetan art.

Top #8: Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake is located at the sea level of over 4000 meters with a surface area of 1,920 square kilometres. 

Top 10 Attractions in Lhasa


The salt lake is the kargest lake in Tibet.Namtso Lake boasts of fice islands of different sizes. The weather at Namtso Lake is prone to abrupt sudden change. Snowstorms are very common in this region.

Top #09: Yangbajing
Yangbajing is a town about 90km north-west of Lhasa city. The town is located in a green valley just south of the Nyainqêntanglha Mountains.This area is famous for the Yangbajing hot springs, which have been used to generate much of the electricity for the city of Lhasa. There is a thermoelectric power plant on the edge of the Yangbajing hot springs area.

The thermoelectric power plant was founded in 1977. It is the first plant for development of geothermal power not only in Tibet but in the whole China.The Yangbajing hot springs field is at the sea level of 4290–4500 meters. It is the highest altitude plant of hot springs in China.  The water feels at 30 degrees, which is above the boiling point at that sea-level.

 

 Yangbajing

Yangbajing

Top #10: Ramoche Temple
Ramoche Temple is a buddhist monastery, regarded as an important temple just after Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. It is located to east of the Potala Palace and north of the Jokhang Temple.It is often called “Minor Jokhang Temple”.As the sister temple to the Jokhang Temple,  Ramoche temple was completed about the same time as Jokhang Temple.

Ramoche Temple


T
ip : Hassle-free Lhasa  Guided Tours

06611If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Lhasa guided tours:

4 Days Lhasa City Tour  Starting RMB 2500
5 Days Lhasa Namtso Lake Tour  Starting RMB 3390 p/p
6 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Tour  Starting RMB 3950 p/p
8 Days Lhasa Mt.Everest Kathmandu Tour  Starting RMB 5540 p/p
9 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Everest Namtso Group Tour  Starting RMB 6110 p/p
8 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Mt.Everest Tour  Starting RMB 5230 p/p

Further Readings


Any questions, just drop  a line.