China’s Hani Rice Terraces Was Named World Heritage Site

On June 22, 2013, the results of the 37th session of the UNESTO’s World Heritage Committee were in, and China’s cultural landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces was listed as a World Heritage site! The addition takes the total number of World Heritage Sites in China to 45, ranking second worldwide. According to Tong Mingkang, deputy director of China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage, Hani people were so proud and would take this day as their honey day for being granted this prestigious awards.

Yuanyang locates in Honghe Prefecture, southeastern Yunnan province, where the major inhabitants are Hani people who live with several other minorities such as the Yi and Miao. The terraced fields have been carved out of dense forest of Ailao Mountain by Hani people for at least the past 1300 years. UNESCO said it “an exceptional way a specific interaction with the environment mediated by integrated farming and water management systems”. It is a witness of extraordinary harmony between man and nature. China submitted the Honghe Hani Terraced Fields for World Heritage Site status in 1998, and finally got her wish.

Yuanyang is also a destination for fantastic ethnic culture reflected by the Hani and Yi villages, their mushroom-shaped houses, the time-honored festivals, as well as the ethnic costumes and interesting trading markets. That is why UNESCO’s document describe the property as – “it is comprised of the forest at the hilltop, the stockaded villages below the forest, the terraced fields below the villages and the Honghe water system below the terraced fields”.

Yuanyang has long taken credit for having the most beautiful rice terraces and is known as the paradise for tourists and photographers alike. From November to April is the best time to come to Yuanyang, as the terraces are filled with water.

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World’s Most Terrifying Airport in Hong Kong Reopens As a New Cruise Terminal

Hong Kong drew world-wide attention on June 12 for its new cruise terminal, Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, was officially launched in Kowloon City! More than 3000 passengers mainly from Australia, the United States, Britain and Singapore on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas disembarked in Hong Kong at around 7:45 p.m. local time, and received a warm welcome with dragon and lion performances. As the cruise’s debut at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, Hong Kong ushered in a new era of luxury cruise.

Hong Kong's New Cruise Terminal opens

Mariner of the Seas

The site of Kai Tak Cruise Terminal 15 years ago was one of world’s most terrifying airports located right in the city with a runway all the way down into the sea, exceptionally difficult for pilots to fly into and out of. Now the old airport has got a new life, and reopens its gate to travelers as an awesome cruise terminal. The terminal is reported to cost HK$8.2 billion ($1 billion), and has two berths that is able to accommodate the biggest cruise ships in the world.

Hong Kong's New Cruise Terminal Opens

The old airport, a real challenge for pilots

Currently 19 ships have been scheduled to dock at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in the following 12 months, while Royal Caribbean first called Kai Tak Cruise Terminal its home port. With a great market potential and cruise activity picking up in Asia, it is believed that Hong Kong will see a huge increase in traffic when it was actually finished.

Contact us for a customerized Hong Kong tour.

Hong Kong's New Cruise Terminal Opens

Passengers on Mariner of the Seas

Travelers on Mariner of the Seas were full of praise, and thought Kai Tak Cruise Terminal was even more luxury than Singapore’s Marina Bay Cruise Centre opened last year, nevertheless, much remains to be settled. Subsidiary facilities at the terminal including the façade, hotels, restaurants and shuttle buses system will be ready no earlier than October this year. But when completed, it will be one of the biggest public roof gardens in Hong Kong, as well as a well-appointed commercial center.

Hong Kong's New Cruise Terminal opens

Dragon and lion performances

Special Foods for Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival or Duanwu Festival took root in ancient China over 2000 years ago, and now reminds people of a number of folk traditions and myths. Perhaps the best part of all traditions is the Dragon Boat Festival foods, as it is not only delicious and somewhat legendary but also considered as the regimen food especially for this season – the 5th lunar month in Chinese calendar, which is also named the Bad Month for poisonous insects and snakes begin to infest, and the hot weather is likely to bring various diseases.

Zongzi

Zongzi surely first comes to mind when most Chinese think of the Dragon Boat Festival. The festival’s traditional snack is made of glutinous rice wrapped by bamboo or reed leaves usually in the shape of ox horns. Glutinous rice is rich in minerals and vitamins. Zongzi can be more nutritious when added with meat, dates, peanuts, salted duck eggs and other ingredients. With lotus seeds or Vigna radiata, Zongzi is tasty and a remedy for fatigue in summer day.

Read more on how to make Zongzi

Gragon Boat Festival Foods

Zongzi

Salted duck eggs

The salted duck eggs have a soft briny smell, a very liquid egg white and a firm-textured, orange-red round yolk that looks like the crab cream. Tradition has it that it is good to eat salted duck eggs during the Dragon Boat Festival as the burning summer is coming. The salted duck eggs are nutrient-rich and has some effect on the treatment of heat stroke.

Gragon Boat Festival Foods

Salted duck eggs

Realgar wine

People in ancient China drank realgar wine at the Dragon Boat Festival for the protection from diseases and tend off evil. In nowadays it is not longer for people to drink realgar wine (realgar wine is highly toxic when being heated, therefore, consult the experts before drink it), but take it as an external medicine to cure wound caused by mosquito bites.

Gragon Boat Festival Foods

Realgar wine

Moreover, Gansu people eat Mianshanzi made of wheat flour on the Dragon Boat Festival date, while people in Henan Province and Zhejiang Province eat egg with garlic, people in Wuhan city eat eel, and people in Nanchang city eat eggs steamed with tea.

Gragon Boat Festival Foods

eel

Welcome to Become a Panda Volunteer in China

Bifengxia Giant Panda Base has been shut down for nearly one and a half month due to the Ya’an earthquake, and finally resumed operations on Children’s Day this month.

Want to work as a panda volunteer? Three conditions should be met: first you should be a giant panda lover; secondly you should support wildlife research and conservation; thirdly you are in good health. Easy Tour China is very glad to apply for the permits for our clients to work as a panda volunteer in Chengdu! Both Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and Bifengxia Giant Panda Base in Sichuan province which are dedicated to preserving pandas and preventing the panda from going extinct are offering the volunteer programs.

 

If you choose to be a panda volunteer, you will be rewarded with experiences that last a lifetime. How could you forget about working as a giant panda keeper to get close contact with these rare animals, especially with a panda volunteering certificate! The program is flexible in length, can be as short as one day, or lasting for one month and even longer, and fares vary accordingly. Contact us for the detail info.

Be a Panda Volunteer

Clients of easytouchina.com were feeding giant pandas

Generally speaking, volunteer activities may include but not be limited to:

• Cleaning the panda’s house/garden
• Cleaning general areas of the Panda Centers
• Feeding the pandas with food such as carrots, apples, panda bread and their nutritional biscuits
• Carrying, cleaning and weighting bamboo
• Watching the pandas’ activity and help the scientists to collect their behavior data
• Participating in research of the pandas and help in providing medical care for the pandas

Activities may be changed according to the seasons and the needs of center base. Then volunteers may also have rare opportunity to observe and participate pandas’ physical examination, mating, farrowing and some other scientific activities.

Be a Panda Volunteer

Clients of easytouchina.com were working with skilled panda keepers

Tips for panda volunteering in China

• Volunteers need to be mature, patient and cooperative.
• For safety reasons volunteers will be shadowed by a teacher at all times. Do as he/she tells you.
• Giant pandas are essentially wildlife and can be very dangerous. Be more alert when touching them and interacting with them.
• Always remember to follow the safety protocol.
• There will be an extra charge for taking photos of the panda or holding a panda.

Be a Panda Volunteer

Welcome to become a panda volunteer in China

Plank Road – Cliffside Path on Mt. Hua

Mountain Huashan, also called Mt.Hua, is located about 120 kilometers away from ancient city Xi’an. It is known as the most precipitous mountain on the global, famed for the narrow paths, precipitous crags and breathtaking mountain scenery. The ancient Proverb “From time immemorial the Mt. Huashan has been only one way to climb atop” testify this.

the iron ladder

(The starting point of a sky walk on Mountain Hua, below is the iron ladder; see the scenery around or at the bottom)

The plank Road on the South Peak of Mt.Hua is said to be the most dangerous place on the mountain range; it is Cliffside plank path built along the side of a vertical cliff. Below is the bottomless gulf which makes travelers shake with fear. So somebody who had walked on this road said it was more frightening than skydiving and bungee jumping.

footholds(See the footholds carved on the mountain; a man is on its journey)

Before starting the walk, travelers can rent out a harness (for security purpose, and travelers can attach the harness to the chain along the plank road). Come to the vertical “ladder” then go down for around 20 meters, which is consisted of some iron bolts that drilled into a narrow chute on the peak.

wooden plank

(The wooden plank road, the harness can attach on the chain along the road for safty use; see the seas of clouds under your foot)

The ladder lead the travelers to the short passage were a few footholds carved into the mountain face; “Don’t look down, you will feel dizzy”, this is the high recommendation from hero who had conquered the Cliffside Walk on Hushan Mountain.

Finished the stone steps, then come to the wooden planks which actually called Changkong Zhdnao, with English name aptly being “floating in Air Road”. It is around 20 meters in length and 0.3 (1 feet) in width. The half-rotten planks lay on some iron bolts that were drilled into the mountain every several meters and were held together by a few rusty nails. Most travelers hold on the iron chains along tightly and face the mountain instead of looking around for grand scenery.

cliff road(The narrow wooden path)

The plank eventually lead to a small cliff and a shrine where hero can have a little rest and check how much they are still shaking :0.

The same challenge comes when traveler need to finish the journey, take the original way back, the plank road first, then footholds, then ascending the iron ladder at the last. Avoid those travelers who are on their way of descending!

But anyway, the plank road of Mountain Huashan is not highly recommended for travelers. From point of Easy Tour China, we would highly recommend other hiking routes in Huashan instead of walking the plank road.

way back

(Ascending the iron ladder, the last part of the journey)