A trip around China 中国

Filmed in summer 2009.


Places include:


1: BeiJing and the Great Wall


2: PingYao, Xi'An


3: XiaHe, ChengDu, LiJiang, ZhongDian, DaLi


4: ShiLin, YangShuo


5: YangShuo, Hong Kong


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The Great Wall of China is one of the most iconic and awe-inspiring attractions in the world, drawing millions of tourists each year. Here's a guide for tourists visiting the Great Wall:

History and Significance:
Historical Significance: The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications built over centuries to protect China from invasions by nomadic tribes from the north. Its construction began as early as the 7th century BC and continued through different dynasties, with the most famous sections built during the Ming Dynasty (13681644 AD).

Length and Structure: Stretching over 13,000 miles (21,196 kilometers), the Great Wall is not a continuous wall but a series of walls, trenches, and natural barriers, including mountains and rivers. Its main purpose was to provide defense and control trade routes along the northern border of China.

Visiting the Great Wall:
Sections to Visit: While the entire Great Wall is massive, certain sections are more accessible and popular among tourists. The most visited sections include Badaling, Mutianyu, Jinshanling, and Simatai. Each section offers unique features and experiences.

Badaling: This section is the closest to Beijing and is one of the most well-preserved and accessible sections of the Great Wall. It can be crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Mutianyu: Located about 1.5 to 2 hours' drive from Beijing, Mutianyu offers a less crowded but equally impressive experience. It features restored sections as well as more rugged and original parts.

Jinshanling and Simatai: These sections are farther from Beijing but are known for their scenic beauty and relatively fewer crowds. They offer a more authentic and adventurous hiking experience.

Tips for Tourists:
Best Time to Visit: The Great Wall can be visited year-round, but the best times are spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant, and the scenery is beautiful.

Avoiding Crowds: To avoid crowds, consider visiting the Great Wall early in the morning or during weekdays. Badaling tends to be busiest, so opting for less-visited sections like Jinshanling or Simatai can provide a more peaceful experience.

Wear Comfortable Clothing: The Great Wall involves a fair amount of walking and climbing stairs, so wear comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for hiking.

Stay Hydrated and Sun-Protected: Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat, especially during hot summer months, as there may be limited shade on the Wall.

Respect the Environment: Help preserve the Great Wall for future generations by refraining from littering, defacing, or damaging the structure.

Cultural Insights:
Learn about the History: Take the time to learn about the history and significance of the Great Wall through signage, guidebooks, or guided tours.

Capture Memories: Don't forget to bring a camera or smartphone to capture the breathtaking views and memories of your visit.

Interact with Locals: Engage with local vendors, tour guides, or fellow travelers to gain insights into Chinese culture and customs related to the Great Wall.

Visiting the Great Wall of China is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that offers not only breathtaking views and photo opportunities but also a deeper appreciation for one of the world's most remarkable architectural achievements.

Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province in southwest China, is a vibrant city known for its rich history, spicy cuisine, and relaxed lifestyle. Here's a guide for tourists visiting Chengdu:

Cultural and Historical Attractions:
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding: One of the most popular attractions in Chengdu, this conservation center allows visitors to observe giant pandas in a semi-natural habitat.

Jinli Ancient Street: Located next to Wuhou Shrine, Jinli Ancient Street is a bustling pedestrian street lined with traditional Sichuan-style buildings, shops, teahouses, and street food stalls.

Wuhou Shrine: Dedicated to Zhuge Liang, a famous military strategist of the Three Kingdoms period, and Liu Bei, the emperor of the Shu Kingdom, Wuhou Shrine is a historic complex with beautiful gardens and ancient architecture.

Du Fu Thatched Cottage: This museum and park commemorates the Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu and features reconstructions of his former residence and gardens.

Culinary Delights:
Sichuan Cuisine: Chengdu is renowned for its spicy and flavorful Sichuan cuisine. Don't miss the opportunity to try local specialties like mapo tofu, hot pot, and dandan noodles.

Hot Pot: Chengdu's hot pot is famous nationwide. Enjoy a communal dining experience where you cook various meats, vegetables, and other ingredients in a bubbling pot of spicy broth.

Natural Beauty:
Mount Qingcheng: Located about an hour's drive from Chengdu, Mount Qingcheng is one of the birthplaces of Taoism and offers picturesque hiking trails, ancient temples, and serene scenery.

Jiuzhaigou Valley: While it's a bit further from Chengdu (requiring a flight or long bus ride), Jiuzhaigou Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its stunning turquoise lakes, waterfalls, and colorful forests.

Modern Attractions:
Chengdu Research Base of Tianfu Giant Panda Breeding: In addition to the Giant Panda Breeding Base, this newer facility focuses on breeding and research for giant pandas and other endangered species.

Sichuan Opera: Experience traditional Sichuan opera performances featuring colorful costumes, face-changing (bian lian) techniques, acrobatics, and puppet shows.

Practical Tips:
Transportation: Chengdu has an efficient public transportation system, including a subway and buses. Taxis and ride-hailing services like DiDi are also readily available.

Weather: Chengdu has a humid subtropical climate with mild winters and hot, humid summers. It's advisable to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly.

Language: While Mandarin is the official language, the local dialect in Chengdu is Sichuanese. English may not be widely spoken outside of tourist areas, so consider learning a few basic phrases or carrying a translation app.

Chengdu offers a blend of cultural heritage, culinary delights, and natural beauty, making it an enticing destination for travelers seeking an authentic Chinese experience. Whether you're exploring historic sites, savoring spicy cuisine, or marveling at the region's natural wonders, Chengdu is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Yangshuo, situated in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China, is renowned for its breathtaking karst landscapes, serene rivers, and vibrant local culture. Here's a guide for visitors to Yangshuo:

Natural Beauty:
Karst Mountains: Yangshuo is famous for its iconic karst mountains, which rise sharply from the surrounding plains, creating a dramatic and picturesque landscape. Visitors can explore these unique limestone formations by hiking, biking, or taking boat cruises along the Li River.

Li River: The Li River, one of China's most scenic waterways, meanders through the karst mountains of Yangshuo, offering stunning vistas at every turn. A leisurely boat cruise along the Li River is a must-do activity for visitors, providing opportunities to admire the breathtaking scenery and capture iconic views of the karst peaks reflected in the water.

Yulong River: The Yulong River, a tributary of the Li River, is another picturesque waterway that flows through Yangshuo's countryside. Visitors can enjoy bamboo rafting or kayaking on the Yulong River, passing through idyllic villages, rice paddies, and bamboo groves along the way.

Outdoor Activities:
Cycling: Yangshuo is a cyclist's paradise, with scenic countryside roads and trails that wind through rice fields, orchards, and traditional villages. Renting a bicycle and exploring the surrounding countryside at a leisurely pace is a popular activity for visitors.

Rock Climbing: With its towering karst cliffs and limestone peaks, Yangshuo is a premier rock climbing destination in China. Experienced climbers and beginners alike can find suitable routes and climbing spots in the area, with options for guided tours and equipment rental available.

Cultural Experiences:
West Street: West Street (Xi Jie) is the main thoroughfare in Yangshuo's town center and a hub of activity for tourists and locals alike. Lined with shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars, West Street offers a vibrant atmosphere and is a great place to shop for souvenirs, sample local cuisine, and soak in the town's unique charm.

Impression Sanjie Liu: Directed by renowned filmmaker Zhang Yimou, Impression Sanjie Liu is a spectacular outdoor performance staged on the Li River. Featuring a cast of hundreds of performers, including local fishermen and farmers, the show combines music, dance, and light effects to showcase the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the area.

Practical Tips:
Weather: Yangshuo has a subtropical climate with mild winters and hot, humid summers. The best time to visit is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is most pleasant and the landscapes are lush and green.

Accommodation: Yangshuo offers a range of accommodation options, including guesthouses, boutique hotels, and hostels catering to various budgets and preferences. Staying in the town center allows visitors to easily access attractions, restaurants, and transportation options.

Local Cuisine: Don't miss the opportunity to sample Yangshuo's delicious local cuisine, which includes specialties such as beer fish and Guilin rice noodles. Many restaurants in Yangshuo offer outdoor seating with panoramic views of the surrounding karst landscape.

Yangshuo's stunning natural scenery, outdoor activities, and vibrant cultural scene make it a popular destination for travelers seeking to explore the beauty of southern China. Whether cruising along the Li River, cycling through the countryside, or immersing oneself in the town's bustling street life, Yangshuo offers unforgettable experiences for visitors of all ages and interests.

Dali, located in Yunnan Province in southwestern China, is a charming and culturally rich destination that attracts visitors with its stunning natural scenery, ancient history, and vibrant local culture. Here's a guide for visitors to Dali:

Historical and Cultural Significance:
Ancient City: Dali Ancient City, also known as Dali Old Town, is a well-preserved historical town that dates back over 1,000 years. It served as the capital of the Kingdom of Dali during the Tang Dynasty and later as an important trading post on the ancient Tea Horse Road.

Bai Minority Culture: Dali is home to the Bai ethnic minority, whose unique culture and traditions are evident throughout the region. Visitors can explore Bai villages, interact with locals, and learn about their traditional customs, architecture, and craftsmanship.

Top Attractions:
Erhai Lake: One of Dali's most iconic natural attractions is Erhai Lake, a vast freshwater lake surrounded by picturesque landscapes. Visitors can take boat cruises on the lake, cycle along its shores, or hike to viewpoints for panoramic views of the water and surrounding mountains.

Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple: Located just outside Dali Ancient City, the Three Pagodas are iconic symbols of the region and date back to the Tang Dynasty. The pagodas are set against the backdrop of Cangshan Mountain and are surrounded by lush gardens and temples.

Cangshan Mountain: Cangshan Mountain is a scenic mountain range that towers over Dali and offers numerous hiking trails, scenic viewpoints, and opportunities for outdoor adventure. Visitors can hike to waterfalls, explore alpine meadows, and enjoy panoramic views of the valley below.

Xizhou Ancient Town: Xizhou Ancient Town is another well-preserved historical town near Dali, known for its traditional Bai architecture, historic courtyards, and vibrant market streets. Visitors can wander through the town's narrow alleyways, visit ancient temples, and sample local delicacies.

Cultural Experiences:
Bai Architecture: Explore the distinctive Bai architecture found throughout Dali, characterized by white-washed walls, gray tiled roofs, and intricately carved wooden decorations. Visitors can tour traditional Bai homes, visit ancient temples, and learn about local building techniques.

Cultural Performances: Experience traditional Bai music, dance, and theater performances at local venues and cultural centers in Dali. These performances often showcase traditional costumes, musical instruments, and storytelling techniques unique to the Bai culture.

Practical Tips:
Weather: Dali enjoys a mild climate year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is most pleasant and the landscapes are lush and green.

Transportation: Getting around Dali is convenient with its network of buses, taxis, and bicycles. Many attractions are within walking distance of Dali Ancient City, while others can be reached by public transportation or organized tours.

Accommodation: Dali offers a range of accommodation options, including boutique hotels, guesthouses, and traditional courtyard homes. Staying in Dali Ancient City allows visitors to immerse themselves in the town's historic atmosphere and vibrant culture.

Dali offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and traditional charm, making it an enchanting destination for visitors seeking to explore the treasures of Yunnan Province. Whether hiking in the mountains, wandering through ancient towns, or immersing oneself in local culture, Dali has something to offer for every traveler.

Lijiang, located in the northwest of Yunnan Province in southwestern China, is a picturesque ancient town renowned for its stunning natural scenery, rich cultural heritage, and well-preserved traditional architecture. Here's a guide for tourists visiting Lijiang:

Historical and Cultural Significance:
Ancient Town: Lijiang Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a well-preserved ancient town with a history dating back over 800 years. It was an important stop on the ancient Tea Horse Road, a trading route connecting Yunnan with Tibet and Southeast Asia.

Naxi Culture: Lijiang is home to the Naxi ethnic minority, whose rich cultural heritage is reflected in the town's architecture, music, and customs. Visitors can experience Naxi culture through traditional music performances, local festivals, and visits to Naxi villages.

Top Attractions:
Lijiang Old Town: Explore the cobblestone streets, winding alleys, and historic buildings of Lijiang Old Town, which is renowned for its traditional Naxi architecture, wooden houses, and flowing canals. Highlights include the ancient Mu Residence, Black Dragon Pool Park, and Sifang Street.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain: Towering over Lijiang, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is a majestic snow-capped mountain range known for its breathtaking scenery and diverse ecosystems. Visitors can take a cable car ride to the mountain's summit, hike along scenic trails, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Lijiang Mural: Baisha Village: Baisha Village, located near Lijiang, is home to a collection of ancient murals dating back to the Ming Dynasty. These exquisite frescoes depict scenes from Chinese mythology, religious rituals, and daily life, providing insights into the region's cultural heritage.

Tiger Leaping Gorge: Located about 60 kilometers north of Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest river canyons in the world and a popular destination for hiking and outdoor adventure. Visitors can trek along scenic trails, admire dramatic cliffs and waterfalls, and experience the natural beauty of the gorge.

Culinary Delights:
Yunnan Cuisine: Lijiang is known for its diverse and flavorful Yunnan cuisine, which features fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and influences from neighboring regions. Visitors can sample local specialties such as Yunnan hot pot, crossing-the-bridge noodles, and yak meat dishes at restaurants and street food stalls throughout the town.

Old Town Snacks: Explore the bustling markets and food stalls of Lijiang Old Town to discover a wide variety of snacks and delicacies, including fried cheese, sweet pastries, and rice cakes. Don't miss the opportunity to try local specialties like yak butter tea and rose-flavored desserts.

Practical Tips:
Weather: Lijiang enjoys a mild climate year-round, with cool summers and chilly winters. The best time to visit is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and the scenery is beautiful.

Altitude: Lijiang is situated at a high altitude, so visitors should take precautions to prevent altitude sickness, such as staying hydrated, avoiding strenuous activity, and acclimatizing gradually.

Transportation: Getting around Lijiang is convenient with its network of public buses, taxis, and bicycles. Many attractions in and around the town can be explored on foot or by bicycle, while taxis and buses provide transportation to more distant locations.

Accommodation: Lijiang offers a wide range of accommodation options, including boutique hotels, guesthouses, and traditional courtyard homes. Staying in Lijiang Old Town allows visitors to immerse themselves in the town's historic atmosphere and vibrant culture.

Lijiang offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and traditional charm, making it an enchanting destination for tourists seeking to explore the treasures of Yunnan Province. Whether marveling at ancient architecture, hiking through majestic mountains, or savoring local cuisine, Lijiang has something to offer for every traveler.

Beijing, the capital city of China, is a vibrant metropolis steeped in history, culture, and modernity. Here's a brief overview of what you can expect as a tourist in Beijing:

Historical Landmarks:
The Great Wall of China: One of the most iconic structures in the world, the Great Wall is easily accessible from Beijing. Mutianyu and Badaling sections are popular among tourists.

Forbidden City (Palace Museum): A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this vast imperial palace complex was home to Chinese emperors for over 500 years. It houses numerous halls, courtyards, and historical artifacts.

Temple of Heaven: A masterpiece of Chinese architecture, this ancient temple complex served as a place of worship for emperors to pray for good harvests.

Summer Palace: A stunning ensemble of lakes, gardens, and palaces, the Summer Palace served as a retreat for emperors during the Qing dynasty.

Tiananmen Square: One of the largest city squares in the world, Tiananmen Square is flanked by important landmarks such as the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.

Cultural Sites:
Beijing Hutongs: Explore the narrow alleyways and traditional courtyard residences of Beijing's historic neighborhoods. You can take a rickshaw tour or simply wander around on foot.

Beijing Opera: Experience traditional Chinese opera performances at venues like the Liyuan Theater or the Chang'an Grand Theatre.

798 Art District: A hub of contemporary art and culture, this former industrial area is now home to numerous galleries, studios, and cafes.

Modern Attractions:
Olympic Park: Visit iconic structures such as the Bird's Nest (National Stadium) and the Water Cube (National Aquatics Center) from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

CBD (Central Business District): Marvel at the futuristic skyline of Beijing's modern business district, which includes landmarks like the CCTV Headquarters and the China World Trade Center Tower III.

Culinary Delights:
Peking Duck: Indulge in Beijing's most famous dish, crispy roast duck served with pancakes, scallions, and hoisin sauce.

Street Food: Explore the city's vibrant street food scene and sample local delicacies like jianbing (savory crepes), lamb skewers, and dumplings.

Practical Tips:
Transportation: Beijing has an extensive public transportation system, including the subway, buses, and taxis. However, traffic can be heavy, so plan your travels accordingly.

Language: While English is not widely spoken, especially outside tourist areas, many signs and transportation announcements are in English. It's helpful to carry a translation app or a phrasebook.

Weather: Beijing experiences four distinct seasons, with hot summers and cold winters. The best times to visit are spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) when the weather is mild and comfortable.

Etiquette: Respect local customs and traditions, such as removing your shoes before entering someone's home and using both hands to pass or receive items.

Beijing offers a rich tapestry of experiences for tourists, blending ancient heritage with modern innovations. Whether you're fascinated by history, culture, or culinary delights, there's something for everyone in this dynamic city.

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