Exploring China 中国 – a solo backpacking adventure …

An (English-speaking) Italian explores the mountains and cities of China ...

Part 1 : GuangZhou (GuangDong) | ShangHai | HangZhou (ZheJiang)

Part 2 : HuangShan (AnHui) | JiuHuaShan (AnHui) | Xi'An (ShaanXi)

Part 3 : Xi'An (ShaanXi) | HuaShan (ShaanXi) | HohHot (Inner Mongolia)

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Bonus film ...

BeiJing, ShangHai, Xi'An, GuiLin ...

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Plus, even more bonus films, starting with - Diabolo around China ...

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Hangzhou, located in eastern China's Zhejiang province, is renowned for its picturesque West Lake, traditional tea culture, and historic sites. Here's a guide for tourists visiting Hangzhou:

West Lake and Scenic Areas:
West Lake (Xi Hu): This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the centerpiece of Hangzhou's natural beauty, with its serene waters, pagodas, gardens, and surrounding hills. Visitors can take boat cruises, stroll along the lakeside paths, or rent bicycles to explore the area.

Leifeng Pagoda: Situated on the southern shore of West Lake, this historic pagoda offers panoramic views of the lake and the city skyline.

Lingyin Temple (Temple of the Soul's Retreat): One of the most important Buddhist temples in China, Lingyin Temple features ancient rock carvings, serene courtyards, and a large statue of Buddha.

Xixi Wetland Park: Explore the tranquil waterways, traditional villages, and lush greenery of this scenic wetland park, located on the outskirts of Hangzhou.

Tea Culture:
Longjing (Dragon Well) Tea Plantations: Hangzhou is famous for producing Longjing tea, one of China's most prized green teas. Visitors can tour the tea plantations in the nearby hills, learn about the tea-making process, and sample freshly brewed Longjing tea.

National Tea Museum: Learn about the history, cultivation, and cultural significance of tea in China at this informative museum located on the outskirts of Hangzhou.

Historic and Cultural Sites:
Six Harmonies Pagoda (Liuhe Pagoda): This ancient pagoda offers panoramic views of the Qiantang River and the surrounding countryside. It also houses a small museum showcasing Buddhist artifacts.

Hefang Street (Qinghefang Ancient Street): Stroll along this historic street lined with traditional shops, teahouses, and snack stalls selling local delicacies and handicrafts.

China National Silk Museum: Discover the art of silk production and the history of the silk trade in China at this museum, which features exhibits on silk weaving, dyeing techniques, and cultural artifacts.

Modern Attractions:
Hangzhou Grand Canal: Take a boat cruise along the Grand Canal, the world's longest and oldest canal, to admire the historic architecture and bustling waterfront scenes.

Hangzhou CBD (Central Business District): Explore the modern side of Hangzhou with its skyscrapers, shopping malls, and vibrant nightlife.

Practical Tips:
Transportation: Hangzhou has an extensive public transportation network, including buses, subways, and taxis. Bicycles and electric scooters are also popular options for getting around the city.

Weather: Hangzhou has a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and mild, damp winters. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit when the weather is pleasant and the landscapes are at their most beautiful.

Language: Mandarin Chinese is the official language, but English may not be widely spoken outside of tourist areas. It's helpful to learn a few basic phrases or carry a translation app.

Hangzhou's blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and modern amenities makes it a captivating destination for tourists. Whether you're exploring historic sites, indulging in tea culture, or simply enjoying the tranquility of West Lake, Hangzhou offers a memorable experience for visitors of all interests.

Shanghai is one of China's most dynamic and cosmopolitan cities, blending a rich history with modern skyscrapers and vibrant culture. Here's what you need to know as a tourist visiting Shanghai:

Historical and Cultural Landmarks:
The Bund: This iconic waterfront promenade along the Huangpu River features colonial-era buildings on one side and futuristic skyscrapers on the other, offering stunning views of Shanghai's skyline.

Yu Garden: Dating back to the Ming dynasty, Yu Garden is a classical Chinese garden with pavilions, ponds, and rockeries. The nearby Yu Garden Bazaar is a great place to shop for souvenirs and traditional crafts.

Shanghai Museum: Home to an extensive collection of Chinese art and artifacts, including bronzes, ceramics, paintings, and calligraphy, the Shanghai Museum is a must-visit for history and art enthusiasts.

Jing'an Temple: One of Shanghai's most famous Buddhist temples, Jing'an Temple is known for its beautiful architecture, peaceful atmosphere, and towering golden Buddha statue.

Modern Attractions:
Shanghai Tower: Ascend to the observation deck of this iconic skyscraper, the tallest in China and the second-tallest in the world, for panoramic views of the city.

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower: Another iconic landmark, this futuristic tower offers observation decks, a glass-bottomed skywalk, and a revolving restaurant.

Shanghai Disneyland: Located in the Pudong district, Shanghai Disneyland offers a magical experience for visitors of all ages with its themed lands, attractions, and entertainment.

Shopping and Entertainment:
Nanjing Road: One of the world's busiest shopping streets, Nanjing Road is lined with department stores, boutiques, and restaurants. Don't miss the nearby pedestrian-friendly Nanjing Road East, known for its lively atmosphere and street performers.

Xintiandi: This upscale shopping, dining, and entertainment district features a mix of traditional Shikumen-style buildings and modern amenities, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

French Concession: Explore this historic neighborhood known for its tree-lined streets, charming cafes, boutiques, and art galleries.

Culinary Delights:
Shanghai Cuisine: Sample local specialties such as xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), shengjianbao (pan-fried dumplings), and Shanghai-style noodles.

Street Food: Wander through the city's bustling food markets and snack streets to taste a variety of street foods, from savory pancakes to grilled skewers.

Practical Tips:
Transportation: Shanghai has an efficient public transportation system, including the subway, buses, and taxis. Consider purchasing a rechargeable transportation card for convenience.

Language: While Mandarin is the official language, English is widely spoken in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants.

Weather: Shanghai experiences four distinct seasons, with hot, humid summers and chilly winters. The best times to visit are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and comfortable.

Etiquette: Respect local customs and traditions, such as using polite language and avoiding loud behavior in public places.

Shanghai offers a captivating blend of old and new, with its historic landmarks, modern skyscrapers, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine. Whether you're interested in history, architecture, shopping, or dining, Shanghai has something to offer every type of visitor.

Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, is a dynamic metropolis located in southern China, serving as the capital of Guangdong Province. As one of China's oldest and largest cities, Guangzhou boasts a rich history, vibrant culture, and modern urban amenities. Here's a guide for tourists visiting Guangzhou:

Historical and Cultural Significance:
Historic Trading Hub: Guangzhou has a long history as a major trading port and commercial center, dating back over 2,000 years. It played a crucial role in the ancient Maritime Silk Road, facilitating trade and cultural exchange between China and other parts of the world.

Cultural Diversity: As a melting pot of cultures, Guangzhou has a diverse population, influenced by various ethnic groups and foreign traders throughout history. This cultural diversity is reflected in the city's cuisine, architecture, and traditions.

Top Attractions:
Canton Tower: As one of the tallest structures in China, the Canton Tower is an iconic landmark and a symbol of Guangzhou's modernity. Visitors can ascend the tower for panoramic views of the cityscape, dine in rotating restaurants, and experience thrilling attractions like the Sky Drop and Bubble Tram.

Yuexiu Park: This expansive park in the heart of Guangzhou is home to several attractions, including the iconic Five-Ram Statue, Zhenhai Tower, and the Guangzhou Museum. Visitors can stroll through lush gardens, admire ancient artifacts, and enjoy recreational activities like boating and tai chi.

Chen Clan Academy: Built during the Qing Dynasty, the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall (also known as the Chen Clan Academy) is a masterpiece of Lingnan architecture. It houses a vast collection of traditional art, wood carvings, and ancestral tablets, offering insights into the region's cultural heritage.

Shamian Island: Located along the Pearl River, Shamian Island is a tranquil oasis with tree-lined streets, colonial-era buildings, and charming cafes. Visitors can wander through the island's historic neighborhoods, admire European-style architecture, and relax by the waterfront.

Guangzhou Opera House: Designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, the Guangzhou Opera House is a striking architectural masterpiece that hosts world-class performances and cultural events. Visitors can attend opera, ballet, concerts, and other artistic performances in a stunning modern setting.

Culinary Delights:
Cantonese Cuisine: Guangzhou is famous for its delicious Cantonese cuisine, characterized by fresh seafood, dim sum, roast meats, and flavorful stir-fries. Visitors can sample authentic dishes at local restaurants, street food stalls, and traditional teahouses throughout the city.

Qingping Market: Explore Qingping Market, one of Guangzhou's oldest and largest markets, to experience the vibrant atmosphere and diverse array of local specialties. From exotic fruits and spices to live seafood and herbal remedies, the market offers a sensory feast for visitors.

Practical Tips:
Transportation: Getting around Guangzhou is convenient with its extensive public transportation system, including buses, taxis, and the Guangzhou Metro. The city's efficient transportation network makes it easy to navigate between attractions and neighborhoods.

Language: Mandarin Chinese is the official language spoken in Guangzhou, although Cantonese is also widely spoken by locals. English may not be widely understood, especially in more remote areas, so it's helpful to carry a phrasebook or translation app.

Weather: Guangzhou has a subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and mild winters. The best time to visit is during the cooler months from October to March when the weather is more comfortable for outdoor activities.

Currency: The currency used in China is the Chinese Yuan (CNY). Credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants, and shops in urban areas, but it's advisable to carry cash for small purchases and transactions.

Guangzhou offers a fascinating blend of ancient history, modernity, and cultural diversity, making it an enchanting destination for tourists seeking to explore the treasures of southern China. Whether marveling at iconic landmarks, savoring Cantonese cuisine, or immersing oneself in the city's vibrant culture, Guangzhou has something to offer for every traveler.

Xi'an, located in the heart of Shaanxi Province in northwest China, is one of the oldest cities in China and served as the capital for numerous dynasties, including the Qin, Han, and Tang. Renowned for its rich history, cultural heritage, and iconic landmarks, Xi'an is a must-visit destination for tourists. Here's a guide for tourists visiting Xi'an:

Historical and Cultural Significance:
Ancient Capital: Xi'an served as the capital of China for over 13 dynasties and played a crucial role in shaping Chinese history and civilization. It was the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, facilitating trade and cultural exchange between China and the West.

Terracotta Army: One of Xi'an's most famous attractions is the Terracotta Army, a vast collection of life-sized terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Discovered in 1974, the Terracotta Army is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a symbol of China's rich cultural heritage.

Top Attractions:
Terracotta Army Museum: Located about 30 kilometers east of Xi'an, the Terracotta Army Museum is home to thousands of intricately crafted terracotta warriors, horses, and chariots. Visitors can explore the excavation pits, marvel at the craftsmanship, and learn about the history of the Qin Dynasty.

Ancient City Wall: Xi'an is renowned for its well-preserved ancient city wall, which dates back to the Ming Dynasty. Stretching over 13 kilometers in length, the wall offers panoramic views of the city and is a popular spot for walking, cycling, and sightseeing.

Muslim Quarter: Explore the vibrant Muslim Quarter, located near the Drum Tower and Great Mosque of Xi'an. This bustling neighborhood is known for its lively street markets, traditional Islamic architecture, and delicious street food, including lamb skewers, roujiamo (Chinese hamburger), and hand-pulled noodles.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda: Built during the Tang Dynasty, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a prominent Buddhist landmark in Xi'an. Visitors can climb the pagoda for panoramic views of the city or explore the surrounding temple complex and gardens.

Shaanxi History Museum: Discover the rich history and culture of Shaanxi Province at the Shaanxi History Museum. The museum houses a vast collection of artifacts, including ancient pottery, bronze ware, jade, and Tang Dynasty murals, providing insights into the region's heritage.

Practical Tips:
Transportation: Getting around Xi'an is convenient with its extensive public transportation system, including buses, taxis, and the Xi'an Metro. Bicycle rentals are also available for exploring the city at a leisurely pace.

Weather: Xi'an has a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. The best time to visit is during spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) when the weather is pleasant and comfortable.

Language: Mandarin Chinese is the official language spoken in Xi'an, although English may not be widely spoken, especially in more remote areas. It's helpful to learn some basic phrases or carry a phrasebook or translation app.

Currency: The currency used in China is the Chinese Yuan (CNY). Credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and shops in urban areas, but it's advisable to carry cash for small purchases and transactions.

Xi'an offers a fascinating blend of ancient history, cultural heritage, and modern urban life, making it an enchanting destination for tourists seeking to explore the wonders of ancient China. Whether marveling at the Terracotta Army, walking along the ancient city wall, or sampling delicious street food in the Muslim Quarter, Xi'an has something to offer for every traveler.

AnHui map
GuangDong map
Inner Mongolia map
ShaanXi map
ZheJiang map

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