The following tips were contributed by travelers on the forum of travelchinaguide.com.
Great new late night jazz/blues club
Shanghai | LHARRITON | 2007-09-23 15:49:46 GMT-5
Check out The Blues Room. It's a new all night (at least till 4:00 AM) venue at 146 Tongren Lu, right off Nanjing West. They have really hot bands and a very friendly atmosphere. As a couple of American music nuts walking by around 11:00pm, we were attracted by the great blues sounds and we stayed all night. The best part was when all the other clubs in town closed down, their musicians came over and the place turned into an amazing jazz jam till early morning. We went back; apparently this happens every night. It opened recently -- downstairs from the 24-hour restaurant City Diner. Fun scene, especially if you love great music -- and the food we ate (Southern BarBQ style) was very good.
Kunming | WINDENERGY | 2007-08-05 20:50:09 GMT-5
Some resort destinations in China are very commercial and unappealing. But if you are looking for a first-class tourist destination where you can learn about Chinese culture and the native flora and fauna, then I highly recommend seeing the World Horti-Expo Garden in N.E. Kunming, China. There are "theme" gardens representing every province in China, as well as museums and international exhibits.
Miao Sister's Meal festival and Bullfight Festival May 1st
-General- | LOUISA | 2007-04-23 07:58:13 GMT-5
For backpackers who travel to a rural area - Kaili Guizhou (south China), this is a place rich in minority culture. The Miao, known as Hmong in the West, are one of the 56 Chinese minority groups. Several traditional villages are located on the hillside. Mountains, rivers and trees surround their wooden houses. The typical architecture consists oh houses on stilts surrounded by a balustrade. Villagers worship buffalos, fish, stones and bridges. As you travel from village to village you will feel the extraordinarily splendid customs of the people as well as experience nature and the Miao traditional lifestyle. Wooden water wheels move water from the river into the fields. Bull are still used to plough fields. Kaili has 158 festivals during the year and villagers celebrate them all, often by dancing and singing.
The Miao Sister's Festival and the bullfight festival takes place from May 1-5. The festival is designed to be fun because its main function is for young people to meet each other and find marriage partners. This festival provides an opportunity to travel around, socialize, meet friends and kinsfolk and be entertained by singing and playing the lusheng pipe, as well as dancing and bullfighting. A market is frequently set up during these events to allow villagers to buy anything that they need.
Yulong River by Bike & Bamboo Raft
Yangshuo | DANIELKENNEDY | 2007-04-07 05:24:31 GMT-5
One of the highlights of my family's trip to China was biking and rafting along the Yulong River. We started off from the beautiful Yangshuo Mountain Retreat where we were staying and rented mountain bikes. From there we rode through the villages, stopping along the way to take photos and ended up 20km up river on an ancient stone bridge. Some of the local kids were jumping off the parapet, which looked to be 10meters or more, into the clear water below. My son got up the nerve and jumped too! We crossed the bridge and biked about half way back on the other side, but the road was really rough in places so we decided to get in a couple of bamboo rafts. We were told not to pay more than 20 yuan per person. It took us almost an hour to get back to Yangshuo Mountain Retreat, where after a hot shower we had dinner outside under the stars. It was perfect!
Panda cubs are cute, but you can only take photos of the adults
Chengdu | DICKNKY | 2007-02-18 23:24:52 GMT-5
If you don't have time to get to Wu Long there is a Panda research centre just outside Cheng Du – it is not part of the zoo. You can take a bus, but a taxi is only about £3 (US$6) each way. The center is well run and has lots of information in English. When I was there they had ten cubs of less than one year old and they were very cute. They were all having their health check-ups on the day I visited and apparently you can hold one if you arrive on the right day of the week.
Suzhou | BETHANYBETHANY | 2007-02-08 21:14:08 GMT-5
When traveling in Suzhou, I suggest that you do not visit Zhouzhuang-the famed so-called ancient town. It is totally commercialized, more like a market! It is not worth 100 yuan at all! Maybe Tongli and Mudu would be a better choice.
Weiqi in Chengdu
Chengdu | PILIPILI | 2007-02-05 23:24:09 GMT-5
Have you ever heard of Weiqi? Chengdu is the birthplace of this game. A Frenchman lives in Chendu, he is avid to promote a relationship between the east and west concerning this game.
His blog has many pictures, articles, even some professional games; his address is: chengduweiqicenter.blog4ever.com
Master of the Nets
Suzhou | EEUREKA | 2007-01-05 22:49:43 GMT-5
If you decide to go to Suzhou for a visit make sure you stop by the Master of the Nets Garden. It is the smallest garden in Suzhou, but is most well known because of its beauty. It was built in the 12th century, and then abandoned and later restored during the 18th century. This garden is one of the most beautiful gardens in all of Suzhou. You can walk through the old house and admire the beautiful architecture and magnificent woodwork. Take a few moments to sit and just enjoy the beautiful garden with its strange and wonderful trees and plants. This can be a very relaxing place to escape to after all the hustle and bustle of the city.
De Tian Da Pu Bu (Da Tian Great Waterfall)
Guangxi | APAULT | 2006-12-27 05:20:39 GMT-5
DeTian Da Pu Bu (DaTian Great Waterfall) is on the Mekong River bordering Vietnam and is accessible by bus. It is worth the 80 yuan entrance fee. It does not take long to tour the whole waterfall and take a quick walk around the Vietnamese market at the top (imitation foreign brand perfume, etc. So it is probably best to bus in at an early hour and get out the same day; I arrived from the unexciting town of Daxin for 20 yuan.
There is a resort hotel in the park, and a couple of cheap hotels (60 yuan, clean) outside the vendor packed road up to the park.
It is also interesting to see how the Vietnamese cross the river wading and by boat, especially when the river is high!
Nanning | APAULT | 2006-12-27 05:02:44 GMT-5
A visit to Yangmai village less than 40km to the west of Nanning is a must for people interested in history and modern village life rolled into one. The area has many historic buildings and encourages small-scale tourism while continuing normal rural activity. A sandy beach provides an ideal place to barbecue, except in the rainy season (summer).
There are local foods and crafts for sale, restaurants both cheap and classy, small shops and a net café. Yangmai is along the Yongjian River on a peninsula and the village is only accessible via village bus (referred to in some literature as a tourist bus). It takes 90 minutes to go by bus because the bus must cross the river on a ferry. Passengers may get out, and travel on some narrow dirt roads. The cost in 2006 was only 8yuan.
Both a guesthouse and a motel type accommodation are available in the village. The first is as you enter the village on the left (the bus passes it), price and standard unknown, the other is located by the river near some restaurants, (last building on the left) and costs 40 yuan per night. No soft mattresses are provided; only bamboo sleeping mats but the accommodation has air conditioners.
It is worth having a guide to explain the sights but there are no official English-speaking guides. I found a university student who acted as an excellent guide. Try asking the bus driver for assistance finding an impromptu guide.
If you don’t want to stay overnight make sure you take the early bus to go there and check the schedule carefully for the last bus that leaves. The way in is the only way out!
Ignore tourist information and maps that suggest a train stops there; it is obsolete information
Yangmai has a local delicacy, sha gao, which looks like a jam sandwich. It has a soft slightly crumbly white outer layer with a soft fruit paste inside. The nearest western equivalent I can think of is a fig roll (UK and Aus). By the river you can buy excellent barbecued seafood on sticks.
Fenghuang | BETHANYBETHANY | 2006-11-30 01:52:55 GMT-5
Fenghuang may be not familiar to non-Chinese people. I am looking forward to a visit there. I myself do not exactly know why. Maybe it is because of the Chinese writer Shen Congwen who lived there and wrote many moving stories about this location.
1 Ticket for 2 Days
Pingyao | RITA | 2006-11-14 01:15:19 GMT-5
The ancient city ticket costs 120 yuan and includes 19 spots, which cannot be covered within one day. Make sure to go to the Ticket Office at the North Gate to get a signature (or stamp) there before 6pm, so that you can continue using the ticket on the next day. Without the signature (stamp), you will have to purchase a new ticket.
Beijing | BETHANYBETHANY | 2006-11-09 03:33:25 GMT-5
Beijing has several scenic spots that are clean, convenient to get to and well equipped with modern facilities: the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Fragrant Hills, Wangfujing Street and Tiananmen Square are all worth a visit. Never visit the World Park -- it is rubbish. I hate to see reduced world-renowned attractions.
Xian | BETHANYBETHANY | 2006-11-09 03:17:41 GMT-5
I am now in Xian. I've been to most of the attractions in and around this city. Most of them are not as fantastic as people have said. Lots of historical sites are just too new- they are reconstructions of a former site but I do recommend Huashan, the Small wild Goose Pagoda, Huaqing Hot Springs and the Baxian Temple.
Finally Peace and Quiet!
Xian | LOVESASIA82 | 2006-10-28 21:00:05 GMT-5
The Great Mosque was so nice. It was the most beautiful "tourist attraction" I went to while in Xi'an. DO NOT forget your camera as you will want to take a million pictures and they will all be postcard perfect.
It is only 12 yuan (1.70 CAD) so if you are in Xi'an for a long period of time and you are staying close to the Mosque you can always go there for some peace and quiet. Tourists were few and it was very peaceful. Bring a book or your journal to write in, the place is nice and relaxing. To get there just take a taxi to the drum tower and go through the big tunnel. Once through you are in the Muslim Quarter of Xian. I would take a nice alleyway to get there it is to your left once through the tunnel. You will see some tables and will notice a long alley. Keep going till you get to a point where you can make a turn. You will see a window where you can pay and the entrance. I can't remember if it says "The Great Mosque" in English but I don't think so. If these directions are confusing see "shopping".
What a walk!
Xian | LOVESASIA82 | 2006-10-28 15:08:11 GMT-5
When you are in Xi'an you really should walk or bike on the wall that surrounds the city. I believe that you may arrive to the top from the "North Gate" only.
I felt tired by the time I had climbed the stairs to get to the top of the wall.
It takes about an hour (if you just walk) but I would take up to two hours because you will want to look over the wall and take pictures of the city from up there. It is really nice and well worth the money, about 40 yuan. This is one of the more expensive tourist sites but once you on the wall there are also some great art shops and vendors. Don't buy the paintings because you can get them cheaper in the Muslim market.
Shanghai | DUNC | 2006-10-08 04:34:56 GMT-5
After 6pm as the city is lighting up, the tower is just 50 RMB, (OCT 2006) compared to Harbin's Dragon Tower at 90 RMB (Rip Off) – this is a great way to see the city, a modern marvel. If just to see the inside of the world's highest hotel, what a stunning design!
All the usual souvenirs, post cards and drinks available.
Nanjing | KLUE | 2006-08-06 18:26:05 GMT-5
The Nanjing Museum is a wonderful place to spend time. I got stuck in a fascinating art (contemporary painter) show and spent two days there...viewing just the show. So be sure to check out the temporary exhibits as well as the permanent collections. Also, the bookstore is a wonderland of books covering Chinese art. I bought many volumes unavailable in the US. Additionally, there is a very lovely, quiet, air-conditioned lunch, tea, ice cream parlor right next to the Museum.
Great Wall at Simatai
Beijing | GERALDINE | 2006-07-27 22:05:50 GMT-5
I am sure that all parts of the Great Wall have their own special features and attributes that make them worth visiting but our trip to Simatai was a wonder in the making. Apart from the bus ride with more than 30 people jammed into our 18-seater bus and the scary driving, an experience in itself, the Wall at Simatai was indeed a stunning sight. It certainly tests your physical fitness: some parts are extremely steep. This part of the wall is in a more original condition than the likes of Badaling and that in itself is worth seeing. Parts of the wall have crumbled away, with only the walkway winding up the very steep terrain of this area remaining. You can see the towers disappearing off in the distance. There is a real sense of achievement to have walked on this part of the wall and you should not be put off by the long bus ride from Beijing!! From here you can see for absolutely miles and the peace and quiet of the place - due to few tourists and even fewer birds in the area - are hard to match with the bustle that is often seen on other parts of the wall. You can truly make this a leisurely visit to the Great Wall of China. Make sure you take plenty of water as it is a strenuous climb and they charge a fortune for water on the wall! If you have expended all your strength by the time you walk up you can take a serene ride down on the cable car to be confronted by the stalls at the base where you can buy - a must have - I survived the Wall T Shirt .
Kebabs in the Muslim quarter
Xian | GERALDINE | 2006-07-27 21:49:53 GMT-5
A must do visit in Xi'an is to have kebabs in the evening in the Muslim quarter. As evening sets in, the Muslim quarter comes alive with a plethora of food stalls creeping out on to the streets. The smell of coal burning is everywhere and the kebabs are a delight not to be missed!! All sorts of meats - watch what you get! The smoky coal taste permeates through the street and the kebabs and they are just delicious! While eating them you will have your own free entertainment as you watch the cooks working over the hot coals and then delivering vast handfuls of searing hot kebabs to the tables - a real delight!!
Yangshuo | RMOKRISKI | 2006-07-21 07:02:10 GMT-5
Be sure to go out hiking on Moon Hill. The views are magnificent, and the women who march up besides you are great examples of capitalism at its finest (waters: at the bottom of the hill = 3 yuan, middle = 10, top = 15).
Beijing | MELODYNYELLOW | 2006-07-15 06:28:21 GMT-5
If I ask you where do you want to go in Beijing? You may answer "Forbidden city, Great wall, Summer palace...things like that"
Yes you are right; those historical places are really nice and attractive to foreigners. But as far as I can see, Hou hai should be your "must see" in Beijing. There are many nice little teahouses, Chinese styles bars, restaurants and Beijing opera theaters here. It must be one of the best places to go in Beijing.
Bike riding with a guide
Yangshuo | GERALDINE | 2006-07-27 22:09:29 GMT-5
It was a wonderful day riding through the rice fields and remote villages with Esther, our guide. For a very good price, Esther, who we found in West Street, took us where ever we wanted and showed us the real life of the village people outside of the Yangshuo township. It certainly was a memorable day – we should have taken sunscreen though as it was gorgeous weather and the singlet top shape on my back stayed with me for weeks after!! Riding through the villages amongst the karst hills, balancing on narrow tracks between the rice fields, stopping in at a small village for lunch- unbelievably amazing!!
Longsheng | GERALDINE | 2006-07-27 22:12:10 GMT-5
You just have to go and experience the minority villages at Ping'an - the rice terraces just out of Longsheng. A couple of hours bus ride from the main station at Longsheng using the Ping'an bus are well worth the ride. You can get very good accommodation around the fields and wonderful food. We were lucky to get invited by some local women to their village for lunch. A long trek through the picturesque fields to their village and then we were treated to ice cold coke and we were able to watch them prepare our chicken for lunch along with potatoes, fern fronds, YUMMY- beans and beer! It was so delightful and peaceful in the terraces that I did not want to leave!!
Hainan | MURY | 2006-05-18 05:45:55 GMT-5
We were pleasantly surprised when we landed at Sanya. The place and hotels are really nice and welcoming. The beaches are beautiful. Get out to the hot springs - try to avoid places with to many kids - I love them but they reduce the "chill-out factor" - there are some new ones that are really nice. The food in Sanya is superb - look for places with fewer smokers and cleaner tables.
Our friends had fun looking for pearl necklaces and things.
Dali | SWISSANDY | 2006-03-06 03:22:14 GMT-5
Dali is a great place to hang out some days or weeks but be careful of your Visa - time doesn’t stop in Dali. Go to the CaffeinClub its the best coffee I ever have in China. And if you are there try the milkshakes... If you stay in the friends-guesthouse take care of your stuff the room-cleaner has long fingers. And don’t smoke ganja sold by the old women; its very bad and expensive..
Changchun | PEA28COCK | 2006-02-21 03:42:58 GMT-5
If you go to Changchun, you shouldn't miss Errenzhuan, a kind of traditional folk art of Dongbei (Northeast part of China). A good place for you to enjoy it is Heping Theatre, located at No.295, Chongqing Lu, Changchun.
Jiujiang | JABAROOTOO | 2006-02-23 07:43:15 GMT-5
Located near the Yangtze River this is where you'll catch the bus to Lushan, a luxurious mountain retreat with a European influence. Expatriates established Lushan as a summer retreat from the summer heat of the Yangtze plains early in the last century.
ERA-Intersection of Time
Shanghai | POSH | 2006-02-15 01:04:39 GMT-5
Guess who I met?! Tom Cruise! We both went to the acrobatic show 'ERA-Intersection of Time'. The show is so good, romantic and breathtaking, and full of Shanghai Culture too. It won't end till 2010, so don't miss it if you are in Shanghai.
Maybe it's because of Tom that night, everybody seemed so excited. Great great night and great great show from Shanghai!
About Great Wall
Beijing | FLANKER | 2006-02-11 23:42:39 GMT-5
Badaling Great Wall was rebuilt after the establishment of the PRC; therefore, it lacks a natural feel. Also, it is usually crowded. But I strongly recommend the cruise from Jinshanling to Simatai, in which you can take a walk on a 10 kilometer original Great Wall. The whole trip takes 1 day and costs about $10. (Traffic fees are not included.)I tried it. It's pretty good!
Laoshe Tea House
Beijing | CALIFORNIA | 2006-01-19 01:20:59 GMT-5
Most of tourists groups will visit Laoshe Tea House to drink tea and watch Beijing Opera!
If you are a self-traveler, you can find it easily: Qianmen West Street NO.3!
Yu Yuan Gardens
Shanghai | INMEDIC | 2006-01-11 13:12:52 GMT-5
If you go to Shanghai, you must go to the Yu Yuan Gardens. You must take a tour of the garden itself. There is a small fee to walk through it but it will be worth it. There is no fee to walk through the shopping areas and if you want to pick up any gifts this is one of the places to buy them. You can bargain with the seller to get a good deal. There is a lady there who sells hand painted eggs and puts them in a frame. They are beautiful. They are worth picking up. There are also many restaurants you can eat at, from Chinese food to western food - McDonalds. The visit to the gardens is well worth spending a few hours there.
Puppet Manchurian Palace
Jilin | CALIFORNIA | 2006-01-05 00:49:54 GMT-5
The capital of Jilin Province, Changchun, has the emperor’s home - for the Last Emperor of China! Maybe you have watched the film "Last Emperor"!
If you go to the city of Changchun, this Puppet Manchurian Palace can't be missed!
The city is not very big, if you take a taxi from here to there, only 5RMB---10RMB.
Prince Gong's Garden
Beijing | CALIFORNIA | 2005-11-30 03:33:22 GMT-5
Prince Gong's Garden is a traditional yard in Beijing, if you go to Houhai Bar Street, you can visit it along the way. The place has many historical things inside.
Jiankou Great Wall
Jiankou| CALIFORNIA | 2005-11-21 02:57:00 GMT-5
The Great Wall is famous all around the world. Large it crosses a few provinces. Near Beijing, is Badaling, Mutianyu, or Simatai Great Wall, but when you view the Great Wall from TV, the images all come from the section called Jiankou.
From downtown Beijing – take Dongzhimen Coach Station to Huairou District, 6RMB, and then rent a car, the whole trip about 90-120RMB, Gate Ticket 10RMB.
You can spend two days there and live in farmer's houses, about 10-40RMB/per night.
Naxi Ancient Music Hall...Save your money
Lijiang | BILL888 | 9/15/2005 7:35:57 PM GMT-5
I agree with one of the other travelers that this "concert" is a major rip off. First, it is not bilingual; the old man in charge spoke only a few phrases in English and one of these was to apologize that he would not speak English since he did not want to upset the Chinese-speaking people in the audience. Second, most of the performers were literally falling asleep on stage when they were not yawning. Third, it is not actually Naxi music they perform but Chinese music. So save your money and just take a peek inside the hall during the day if you want to see what it looks like. Plus, don't let them cheat you---the tickets should cost 30 yuan, not 140 yuan.
Have a good time in Suzhou!
Jiangsu | CUTEBABE | 2005-8-10 23:05:33 GMT-5
I'd like to say something about Suzhou-the most famous and beautiful city in China. I have been living in this city for almost five years and really love the place. It is not a very modern city but is developing fast! It is a place where you can enjoy Chinese traditional culture. There are many historic sites worthy of seeing, the most famous one is ZHUOZHENG PARK, quite magnificent, and my favorite! And there are many lakes and bridges go across the whole city.
If you have time to go there and stay there for a couple of days, you will find it diver
Sik Sik Yuen Garden
Hong Kong | PRAISEHIMANYHOW | 2005-8-2 10:24:18 GMT-5
Sik Sik Yuen Garden is a veritable oasis of serenity amid the chaos of Hong Kong's bustling city life. The garden is a peaceful green spot, and both tourists as well as locals visit this spot.
This sanctuary offers viewers a picturesque Kodak moment in just about every inch of the garden. As an exotic yet traditional Chinese garden, Sik Sik Yuen is full of pavilions, ponds, streams, rocks, bridges, flowers, trees, a corridor, and a man-made waterfall.
The garden is one of two gardens on the Wong Tai Sin Temple Compound. Along with the Sik Sik Yuen Garden, the other features of the Wong Tai Sin Temple include: the triple-arch gate; two terraces; the main altar; the Three Saints Hall; the five geomantic buildings of Bronze Pavilion, Archives Hall, Fountain, Yue Heung Shrine, and Earth Wall; the Unicorn Hall; the Ye Mut Hall; the Fung Ming Hall; and the Nine Dragon Wall Garden.
After a leisurely stroll through Sik Sik Yuen, if you enjoy having your fortune told then you can visit the fortune-telling arcade, which also is a part of the Wong Tai Sin Temple complex. Additionally, there are oblation stalls that are in this complex.
Sitting Mother Buddha Statue (Guanyin)
Guangdong | PRAISEHIMANYHOW | 2005-7-26 2:36:03 GMT-5
This awe-inspiring statue of the sitting Guanyin or Mother Buddha is a 61.9-meter-high copper sculpture considered to be the largest one of its kind in the world. She sits atop the famous Xiqiao Mountain located in the southwestern part of Nanhai City and is well worth the steep climb to Daxian Hill peak.
The Mother Buddha is my favorite of the top scenic spots in Foshan. The mountain also is breath taking,filled with luscious green trees, bubbling springs, gorgeous waterfalls and fragrant flowers. A "must see" in southern China.
Wow!!! What a place
Jiuzhaigou | BUDDHA | 2005-5-18 0:27:36 GMT-5
To all you travelers out there, this is a place that you must go to. I went during the May Day Holidays, it was crowded, but if you like hiking you can get away from the crowds.
Around every corner there was something more beautiful than the last. Lots of waterfalls and lakes are so clear that you can see the bottom. The lakes are a vivid blue and aqua. There are also many Tibetan Villages to see along the way, quite interesting.
Also I went to a Tibetan Cultural Show in the town at night, which was very interesting and hands on.
So get up off you chair and go now!!
P.S I have been told that the best time to go is autumn. But I still thought it was beautiful in May.
The Tang Paradise
Xi'an | DEE0228 | 2005-4-30 11:55:10 GMT-5
The Tang Paradise, also called the Great Tang Dynasty Lotus Park, is a newly opened cultural theme park of royal gardens in Xi'an. With an investment of 1.3 billion yuan, the theme park was completed in two years. It is the largest scale Tang culture display in China. Strolling through Tang style architectures, you may read Tang poems on the sculptures listen to Tang music and watch Tang dances shows. It's a good place to feel and enjoy the culture, traditions, architectures, and eat traditional delicacies created during the Tang Dynasty.
Location: On the eastside of Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Qujiang District, Xian
Admission Fee: 50 Yuan
Best time to visit: In the evening, there will be hilarious Tang Dynasty Shows and water screen movies on the square.
Xidi Village and Hongcun Village
Anhui | FERRERO | 2005-4-14 18:00:26 GMT-5
Xidi Village is located in the southeastern part of Yixian County. Among 300 Ming and Qing dynasty residences, there are 124 are well-preserved residences. The village has been praised by architects as one of the best-preserved ancient houses and as one of the most beautiful villages in the world. Hongcun Village is about 11 km from the county town of Yixian County. Hongcun is famous for its enchanting mountains and waters. The shape of this village is just like an ox lying leisurely beside a stream in front of a mountain.
Both of the two villages were added to the World Cultural Heritage List in 2000.
China's most famous seaside resorts
Dalian | ICERAIN | 2005-3-29 11:01:17 GMT-5
The following seaside resorts are the most famous in China:
Dalian (Liaoning Province),
Beidaihe Beach (Hebei Province),
Qingdao Beach (Shandong Province),
Xiamen Beach (Fujian Province),
Sanya (Hainan province)
The Potala Palace
Lhasa | ELCABRON | 2005-3-5 6:36:28 GMT-5
The Potala Palace, maybe the most famous building in Tibet, known by every tourist, is still able to keep its promise, even if you have seen all the movies and reports you won’t be disappointed, because it is incredible!
Lhasa | ELCABRON | 2005-3-5 3:39:29 GMT-5
This Pilgrimage Circuit around the Jokhang Temple is crowded with praying pilgrims and full of shops with pilgrim equipment. Prayer Flags, Prayer Wheels, everything a pilgrim needs. The assortment gets completed by a huge number of food stores (fresh meat and Yak butter most of the time) and delicious street kitchens. The heart of the Barkhor Area is the Jokhang Temple.
You cannot get enough of the vivid Tibetan life in this part of the town!
Lhasa | ELCABRON | 2005-3-5 3:35:23 GMT-5
Because it is the holiest Tibetan Temple many pilgrims do their prayers inside and around this place. They circle the Temple through the surrounding alleys by touching the ground with their full body length all the way on their pilgrimage circuit. Very impressive! Inside the Jokhang Temple there is another pilgrimage circuit full of prayer wheels around the center hall. There are also several stories and you can walk up to the golden roof, from where you have a nice view over parts of the Barkhor Area all the way to the Potala Palace.
Lhasa | ELCABRON | 2005-3-5 3:28:06 GMT-5
The Sera Monastery is situated just a few kilometers outside the Holy City of Lhasa, the Seat of the Gods. In past days there were more than 5.000 inhabitants, reduced to a few hundreds nowadays. But still the huge number of buildings and alleys give the impression of a small city.
But don’t think of monasteries as ancient anymore. I've seen monks with mobile phones. And with an entrance ticket you can get a CD-Rom, I couldn’t believe it! One of the most interesting things to me was the Debating Classes that take place everyday in Sera. A great number of monks come together and discuss their philosophical and religious standpoints. Each argument is stressed by clapping with your hands. Most of the times it is a one-on-one, and sometimes there are two or even three monks discussing with only one opponent. In the end they reach consensus.
Lhasa | ELCABRON | 2005-3-5 6:43:59 GMT-5
Within close distance around Lhasa you can find the major monasteries of the Gelugpa Order. Drepung is still the biggest one with round about 600 monks today. In the past it was the largest monastery of the world with more than 10.000 monks. Don’t get lost in the narrow alleys embraced by beautiful decorated buildings – these are the size of a small city! But you can still see many ruins of destroyed buildings from the Cultural Revolution. The surrounding is also worth viewing. On the left side you can take a hike up to the picturesque stone paintings. Behind the monastery toward the mountain you can see a rock plateau where traditional sky burials took place. In one sentence, Drepung is a MUST!
Shanghai Old Quarter
Shanghai | ELCABRON | 2005-2-21 0:41:57 GMT-5
A must see in Shanghai is certainly the Old Town of Shanghai. And I am not talking about the new tourist traps built close around the Yu Yuan Garden, where only strange souvenirs are offered. Skip that and check the narrow alleys that surround it. Streets with houses not higher than two stories, no sewer systems except the cans in front of the doors in the morning and washed clothes hanging over the streets from one house to another. This is the last part of the true old city. There are no tourist shops but busy Chinese shops, street kitchens and market alleys, where Chinese people shop. Everything is vivid and relaxed at the same time, because there are no cars, no modern progress disturbing the scenery.
But steel and concrete is already at the gates! Skyscrapers are coming closer each time I get to Shanghai.
I hope that even despite missing luxury of modern living some parts get protected, like the Hutongs in Beijing.
Snow and Ice World
Harbin | YCATSOLONG | 2005-2-20 18:33:31 GMT-5
Got to Harbin about 11:30pm from a flight from Kunming. The airport is a fair way out of Harbin. All the taxi drivers hounded us to take a taxi into town. Very expensive trip, better alternative is to take the bus - only 20 yuan. Buses wait outside the airport. Found a nice, cheap little place to stay for 40 yuan right near the train station, very warm and comfortable. Next day took a taxi (20 yuan) to the ice and snow festival. Remember, Harbin's temperature can get to - 35 degrees Celsius so keep warm! The entrance fee is 80 yuan but I guess if you are in Harbin, you probably should go and see it. There are lots of slides to keep people amused and the sculptures are quite impressive, if you have not been to Quebec that is. The wind is very cold though and we got ripped off - a pot of tea cost 40 yuan! It was tasty though. Beware, it's quite expensive to purchase anything, including slides and taking photos of camels, just try and sneak a slide in, it's good fun. Remember: if you are not accustomed to cold weather, be prepared. I've been living in Mudanjiang (about 4 hours train from Harbin) for 3 months and I'm still not used to it, I am Australian though.
Suzhou | PRVNK | 2005-2-19 23:25:03 GMT-5
Have you been to Tongli? If not, skip Suzhou main city and go to Tongli. It is serene, calm, quiet and peaceful.
40 minutes away from Suzhou city, costing 8.5 RMB by bus, the place is from ancient china you could say.
Gulangyu Island, Xiamen
Xiamen | KARAOK | 2005-2-5 12:19:43 GMT-5
The excellence of Gulangyu isle:
Natural environment and all kind of old buildings
Sunlight Rock; Shuzhuang Garden; Xiamen Museum; Huandao Road; small alleys on the island
Wu Zaitian Snack Bar, Huang Zehe Peanut Soup, Lin Ji Fish Ball
Another Naxi ancient music-Dongba ancient music
Lijiang | AUSTIN | 2005-1-5 12:27:35 GMT-5
If you enjoy the Naxi ancient music - why not also enjoy the Dongba ancient music?
It is a really genuine local and traditional art but not proud as the Xuanke. These two are just opposite on the same street, also great rivals. Without trouble you just can enjoy, even love, the senior Dongba performer, singing unbendingly while playing the whelk clarion or ox horn. Without preaching the best one to really enjoy and taste the true Naxi ancient music and culture.
And also it is much cheaper than the Xuanke.
Xin Tian Di
Shanghai | DAISY | 2004-12-20 11:11:39 GMT-5
If come to Shanghai, Xintiandi should not be missed. It is located at the crossroad of Huaihai Rd and Fuxing Rd. There you can visit the shops, restaurants and bars built from Shikumen housing - Shanghai unique and traditional architecture. This place holds a totally different mood from Beijing’s Sanlitun.