China trip – BeiJing 北京, Xi’An 西安 and YangShuo 阳朔

Filmed in 2012 ...


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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.

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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