Hutongs in Beijing are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences. It reflects the culture of grassroots Beijingers and has a very special and significant position in the rich history and culture of Beijing. If you like to make your Beijing tour more perfect, a tour to the Hutong is highly recommended.
Sarina and Silvia, two travel specialists from EasyTourChina.com, had made study trips to Xi”an, Beijing, Shanghai, and Suzhuo in mid-Noverber 2012.
The Great Wall, one of the greatest wonders in the world. The Great Wall was originally built for defense and plays a significant role in China’s history. Like a gigantic dragon, it winds up and down across mountains, grasslands, plateaus and deserts, stretching thousands of miles from east to west of China.
There is an old saying said well “Until you reach the Great Wall, you’re no hero”. A wonderful tour to the Great Wall is a must for your trip to China. The famous sections of the Great Wall include the Badaling, Huanghuacheng, Mutianyu, Jiankou, Gubeikou, Jinshanling and Simatai. In all of these, I prefer to visit Mutianyu Great Wall as it is less visited and more beautiful compared with other sections.
Nanputuo or South Putuo is a famous 1,000-year-old Buddhist temple in Xiamen, a seaside city in East China’s Fujian Province. The temple is so named because it is south of the Buddhist holy site Mount Putuo in Zhejiang Province.
Nanputuo Temple is situated at the foot of Wulao Peaks, overlooking a graceful sea. The buildings of Nanputuo are spread over the mountainside of complicated topography, mostly on a central axis. Impressively, all the buildings are marked with multi-layered roofs decorated with yellow glazed tiles and carvings of animals. Thus, it creates a generally solemn and magnificent atmosphere.
Every day, monks do their morning and evening chanting to purify the minds. For visitors, they would burn incense and pray here. And, the vegetarian food, with a uniquely light and fresh taste, is also a big draw.
The 29th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival kicked off in Harbin, capital of northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province on January 5, 2013. This year, it will last to February 28th. The annual event brings a sparkling winter wonderland to the city of Harbin; and millions of tourists from all over the world brave the chilly temperatures to experience it.
The event, as one of the world’s four major ice and snow festivals, features a wide range of ice-related activities including ice sculpture competition, ice lantern, skiing, winter swimming competition, sledding, and much more. There are three main exhibition areas namely Harbin Ice and Snow World, Sun Island Scenic Area and Zhaolin Park.
Harbin Ice and Snow World
Harbin Ice and Snow World is the largest ice and snow park in the city, which is nicknamed “the Ice Disneyland”. This year, it features majestic ice castles and sculptures of fairytale characters. While the white sculptures look spectacular during the day, they are even more magical at night thanks to the bright LED lights that are embedded inside. It presents a colorful and warm aura to the icy wonderland.
Sun Island Scenic Area
During the festival, the Sun island scenic area has been turned into a massive exhibition ground for snow sculptures in all shapes and sizes. These snow art works range from life-size human figures, animals, mythical creatures, to huge buildings of different types and styles.
The international ice lantern festival held here offers visitors a chance to appreciate the best ice and snow artworks in the world. When the night falls, the park becomes a glittery world with beautiful ice lanterns resplendent with different colors. Modern techniques endow the lanterns with light, sound and action.
This tour journal was writen by Silvia, a travel specialist from EasyTourChina.com. In mid-Noverber, she had made study trips to Xi’an, Beijing, Shanghai, and Suzhuo.
Before I went to Beijing, I have heard many times about one local drink – Douzhir (Fermented soybean milk). Local Beijingers like this drink very much and most of them drink it every day, but people from outside Beijing are not used to it and think it smelly and rancid. Because of this, drinking Douzhir becomes a mark of Beijingers. Anyway, no matter how terrible it is, I decided to have a taste.
Our friend in Beijing recommended a snack shop to us which has a history of tens years – Lao Ciqikou Douzhir Dian. This shop locates at North exit of Temple of Heaven, so after the visit to Temple of Heaven, we went to this shop. It was easy to find it out as there were many people standing in line there. Finally we got our Douzhir and its mate Jiaoquan (fried flour ring), some pickled mustard tuber. Firstly, wow, it tasted really different with soybean milk. I still didn’t know why Beijingers like this. Secondly, I didn’t like to waste food, so drank it up slowly. At last, I said it might be not that bad. A lady who shared a table with us recognized that we were tourists from other province; we were told that she started to drink Douzhir when she was a little girl and now couldn’t leave it anymore. Also, she insisted that Douzhir was very good to health.
It was interesting to taste local food and we thought food was a very important part of our trip. Douzir, maybe one day I will be addicted to you.