Discover the World’s Last Shangri-la in Daocheng Yading

No matter how many times it has been mentioned, it still seems exist only in illusion – that is Daocheng Yading, known to us as “the last Shangri-la”. With an elevation of 3740 m, Daocheng locates in southeastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, and is under the administration of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, with about 95 percent of the population of 25,000 being ethnic Tibetan. The world’s “last Shangri-la” hides itself in perennially snow-topped mountain peaks, lush virgin forests, deep gorges, stretches of grasslands, scattered serene lakes, authentic hot spring…

Take a tour package to Daocheng Yading: 

14-day Yunnan+Sichuan Escape 

8-day Sichuan Getaway 

Meadows

With such great outdoor sceneries, Daocheng is a perfect place for adventuring, climbing, hiking, camping, horseback riding, as well as a retreat from the busy and trivial world. A trip to Daocheng Yading could be tough and challenging, due to the relatively isolated location and difficult trekking route. But when you reach the destination, you’ll realize all hardship has been totally worthwhile. There are several sights that you should not miss on the Daocheng Yading route.

Holy Mountain in Daocheng Yading

Yading Nature Reserve 

Yading means “Facing the Sun” in Tibetan. The nature reserve stands in the southern reaches of Daocheng County, where Mount Khongga (Nianqing konka Risumgongba in Tibetan) – one of Tibetan’s 24 sacred lands is towering to the sky. Its three holy snow-clad peaks Chenrezig, Jampayang and Chenadorje (with Chenrezig being the highest peak at 6,032m above sea level, peak Jambeyang 5958m, and peak Chandordje 5958m) call to all Tibetans and Buddhist to make a pilgrim here.

Snow Mountain in Yading

Zhenzhu Lake 

Within the Yading nature reserve, there are several pretty lakes, such as Wuse Lake (Five-colored Lake), Niunai Lake (Milky Lake) and Zhenzhu Lake (Pear Lake). Among them, the Zhenzhu Lake at the foot of Mount Xiannairi (Mount Chenresig) is the most appealing one. A walk of 30 minutes from Chonggu Monastery, Zhenzhu Lake is like a precious emerald twinkling in the forest, and an ideal place to photograph sunset and the reflection of Mount Xiannairi.

Zhenzhu Lake

Sangdui Town and Red Grass Land (Hong Cao Tan) 

Sangdui Town finds itself 28km northwest of Daocheng. A wide sweep of meadow spreads out along the highway, with the streams flowing through quietly. Look into the distance, the rolling hills are dotted with small villages, shepherds, cattle and sheep, showing us a tranquil world.

The drive to Sangdui Town takes you through charming Red Grass Land, with the lakes and marshes being teeming with bright red algae. What an impressive visual impact! This rare scene can only be seen in early October for about ten days.

Red Grass Land

How to get there:

By air: At an elevation of 4,411 meters above sea level, Daocheng Yading airport claims to be the world’s highest civilian airport. Fly from Chengdu to Daocheng Yading airport (65 minutes), then take shutter bus to Daocheng.

By bus: It takes 2 days to arrive daocheng from chengdu by bus (totally 22 hours), 1.5 days from Lijiang, and 11 hours from Zhongdian, Shangri-la.

Daocheng Yading

Six Must-visit Sights in Xian

First-time visitors to China should never miss Xian – used to be the capital city of 13 dynasties in ancient China, and now becomes one of the country’s most popular tourism cities. Xian offers much to discover, most of which are time-honored historical and cultural relics. Listed here are six must-visit sights in Xian, including world-famous Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum and amazing Mt. Huashan.

Find More about Xian, China

Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum

The 2200-year-old Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum in the tomb of Emperor Qin was first discovered in 1974, with about 8,000 terracotta warriors, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses were unearthed in three pits. The soldiers vary in height according to age, experience and social status. And each of them has special features and different facial expressions. This great legacy entered World Heritages sites In 1987.

Xian Old City Wall

Xian Old City Wall was built 600 year ago during Ming Dynasty, and now separates the city’s old parts which keep quaint atmosphere and the “new world” teeming with high modern buildings. I would highly recommend this old city wall by riding a bicycle (there are bicycle rent on the wall). It may cost one and half hour to drive around the wall.

Shaanxi Provincial Museum

china

The museum has a superior collection of about 370,000 exhibits displayed mainly in five halls: introductory hall, permanent exhibitions, special exhibitions, temporary exhibitions, and National Painting Hall, vividly showing the long history of China’s Shaanxi province from prehistoric times (1,150,000 years ago – 21st Century BC) to about 1840 AD. By visiting the museum, you’ll be deeply impressed by China’s tortuous development and splendid ancient culture.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a one of the most famous Buddhist pagodas in China. It was built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty (618—907) to protect the scriptures and statues brought back from India by Monk Xuan Zang (602-664). The pagoda now has becomes an symbol of old Xian city, and a should-not-miss attraction when touring the city.

Small Goose Pagoda

Small Goose Pagoda area includes the Xian Museum and Jianfu Temple (Buddhist Temple), and is actually a tranquil park. The 43.38-meter-tall Small Wild Goose Pagoda was  built in 707 during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and is a real wonder for having overcome more than seventy earthquakes. And the museum with its exhibits shows us the glorious history of Xian.

Mt. Huashan

Mt. Huashan finds itself 120 kilometers east of downtown Xi’an. It is the Western Mountain of the Five Holy Mountains in China, and famous for Taoism culture. it’s highly recommended to take the breathtaking planked road to feel the mountain’s “danger” with steep cliffs and precipitous drops.

Discover the Old Parts of Shanghai

Shanghai is one of the legendary cities in China that has lived through the most serious destructive war, and now is experiencing an unprecedented rapid development and becomes China’s most vibrant metropolis! Most of us have seen Shanghai’s innovative lifestyle with arrays of skyscrapers, bustling streets, trendy entertainment venues and exciting shopping centers. Yet do you know the old parts of Shanghai? They are cultural water town and old streets full of city memory.

Zhujiajiao, Shanghai

Zhujiajiao, Shanghai

Yu Gardens

Yu Garden (Occupying just 5 hectares) located at the heart of Old Shanghai (very close to the Bund) is a place to enjoy the rare tranquility and shy away from modern and hectic Shanghai. It is one of China’s loveliest private classical garden that began its construction under the guidance of a landscape artist, Zhan Nanyang in 1559 during Ming Dynasty, and was finished 18 years later in 1577. The original owner was an official, named Pan Yunduan. Today part of the garden has became the bazaar and local guildhalls, but over 20,000 square meters remain of tall rockeries, halls, ponds and pavilions linked by zigzag corridors. (Visit http://www.easytourchina.com/scene-v182-yu-garden for details)

Yu Market & Town God Temple

Next to Yu Gardens is Yu Market and Shanghai’s Town God Temple area, boasting ancient Chinese streets and architectures. Town God Temple, built during the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming, Dynasty is one of the orthodox Taoist temples in Shanghai. Today, Yu market and Town God’s Temple area has been transformed into a bustling tourist and shopping center, offering all kinds of delicious local snacks and foods. There is a pretty pond connecting the bazaar and Yu Garden. Half way is the tea house named Hu Xin Pavilion, where you can have a rest and enjoy a cup of tea. Yu Market & Town God Temple area is magnificent in the evening, when all ancient structures are light up.

Explore Shanghai on http://www.easytourchina.com/china-super-value-tour-2014

Zhujiajiao Water Town

If you want to discover the old Shanghai, Zhujiajiao ancient town is a must-see sight. It was a typical south China water town about 50 kilometers away from Shanghai downtown. Zhujiajiao is well-known for both historic sites and natural scenery. There are beautiful waterways,  36 ancient bridges, several time-honored temples and more than 1000 ancient houses tracing back to China’s Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. (Visit http://www.easytourchina.com/scene-v188-zhujiajiao for details)

Tian Zi Fang

Located at Taikang Lu, Tian Zi Fang is a narrow lane teeming with local style Shikumen Houses, and now becomes an art center in Shanghai, featuring numerous galleries and design studios, fashion and interior outlets, as well as cafes, bars, restaurants and fashion shops. By visiting Tian Zi Fang, we can find the historical and cultural aspects of Shanghai of 1900s with its brick walls and brick pedestrian roads…

4 Off-the-beaten-track Sights in Yunnan to Find Tranquility

When the peak tourist season comes knocking, many of us tend to shy away from the crowd and flee to somewhere tranquil yet full of charm and romantic style. Yunnan in southwest China boasts quite a few lesser-known sights with relatively remote location, which are preferred by those addicted to peaceful scenic world. Travel in Yunnan with the off-the-beaten-track sights, you’ll be richly rewarded with unique landscape beauty, lighter crowds, and a place almost to yourself.

Bamei Village (坝美)

 Bamei in Yunnan

Have you ever heard the Chinese legendary story A Peach Blossom Valley told by litterateur Tao Yuanming of Eastern Jin Dynasty? which depicted people lived in an isolated and serene land, taking the easiest way through life. The 600-year-old Bamei Village is just the peach blossom valley in modern days.

It is located in a hidden valley, 450 km away from Kunming, and can only be reached by boats. After about 20 minutes’ boating, an agricultural fairyland emerges, with clear streams, green fields, bamboos and banyan trees, as well as Zhuang people working around the farm with wooden rake and wooden water wheel. With no roads and electricity, it is pristine and undisturbed by modernity.

Spring is the best time to visit Bamei, as there peach blossoms in full in valley, and rape flower glitters the mountains and fields.

How to get there: Take regular bus from Kunming East Coach Station to Guangnan County (about 7 hours). Then change NO.3 bus from Guangnan Passenger Station to Bamei Village (1 hour).

Babao Town(八宝)

Yunnan Babao

Babao is another Zhuang Autonomous Town in Guangnan County, Wenshan Prefecture. With the picturesque Karst landscape similar to Guilin’s, Babao is also known as “Small Guilin on the plateau”. It’ll be so relaxed to take a bamboo raft down Baobao river, obsessed by intoxicating vision of Karst peak clusters, pretty waterfalls and vast stretches of fields with 13 Zhuang villages dotting.

How to get there: Take regular bus from Kunming East Coach Station to Guangnan County (about 7 hours). Then change another bus from Guangnan Passenger Station to Babao town (1.5 hour).

Puzhehei (普者黑)

Puzhehei, Yunnan

Located 11 kilometers from Qiubei county, 282 km south of Kunming, Yunnan Province, Puzhehei is of typical karst landform, boasting about 200 Karst peaks and 80 serene lakes, as well as vast farmlands, meadows and scattered Yi villages. It’s a real pleasure to row a canoe along the winding 21-kilometer water corridor through Xianren Lake, Puzhehei Lake and Luoshuidong Lake and indulge in the relaxing idyllic scene. Never miss the delicacies made of fresh fish, shrimp and lotus on the floating restaurants (boats).

How to get there: Puzhehei can be reached from Kunming by either bus or air. By bus: take bus from Kunming East Coach Station (4 hours) to Qiubei county, and then change Puzhehei special-line bus (0.5 hours). By air: fly from Kunming to Wenshan Puzhehei Airport first (50 minutes) and then take a taxi to the scenic spot.

Shaxi Old Town (沙溪)

Shaxi,Dali

located roughly halfway between Lijiang and Dali, Shaxi is used to be a bustling trade market on the ancient Teahorse Road. Walking on the quiet cobbled street, you may feel like being back to a forgotten era, with leisurely life and old local houses all around. Here the world drops away… You can purchase some batik bedspreads, cushion covers and clothing here, and try the peculiar and delicious food made of wild plants and mushrooms.

How to get there: Take bus from Dali Xiaguan Bus Station or Lijiang Bus Station to Jianchuan (3 hours from Dali, 2 hours from Lijiang), then take mini-bus to Shaxi (about 45 minutes).

Tips for Attending A Chinese Wedding Party

Many people’s attitude towards marriage is almost the same: devotional, cautious, enthusiastic yet a bit nervous, so are Chinese. Chinese are also expecting a grand wedding party, with all relatives and friends present to express the blessings and witness their love. Modern Chinese wedding ceremony still carries out many of the traditions and customs while also conducting some innovations. So it is important for guests to be conscious of etiquette concerning different parts of the wedding party, from attire to gifts. And as we understand there are do’s and don’t’s when attending a Western wedding, the same goes with a Chinese wedding.

More about Traditional Chinese Wedding

Chinese wedding paper cut

Modern Chinese wedding party is much simpler than the traditional, yet can’t leave out some essential parts:

Firecrackers often signaled the start of celebration when the bride and groom enter the wedding venue (usually a large-scale restaurant). Traditionally, the bride should be dressed in red as it symbolizes joy and prosperity. However, most brides today choose Western white wedding dress for the opening of the ceremony.

Under the guidance of a wedding MC, the bride and groom first bow to Heaven and Earth, then parents and each other, attended by applauses of the audience. Many newlyweds still keep the tradition of drinking wedlock wine.

Then there will be a grand feast to entertain guests, with around 12 delicate dishes and fine wine. The bride then will change into a traditional gown, usually a red cheongsam. At the banquet, the newlywed couple will toast to guests and thank them from table to table. The wedding banquet has been modified a bit nowadays for young people to play some tricks and games on the young couple, somewhat like the clinking of glasses in the Western culture.

Chinese wedding feast

Do’s and don’t’s when attending a Chinese wedding ceremony

1. It is better for guests to wear clothing in pink, purple, orange, yellow and other bright colors, but not the red, as it is just for the bride on this special day. And avoid the black or white, which represents mourning and death.

2. Traditionally, pregnant women or someone who recently lost a family member should not attend the wedding, as the newlywed couple have strong life force that may harm the unborn baby, and the family of death could bright bad luck.

More Travel Photos of Traditinal Chinese Wedding 

Chinese wedding candy

3. Do not get stuck on the gifts for the newlyweds, as the most appropriate gift would be cash or cheque in a red envelope. The amount of monetary gift is entirely up to the giver.

4. The food is of utmost importance to Chinese. It is considered impolite to show dislikes about the food, or leave a wedding feast before the final dish is served.

Chinese wedding cups  Chinese wedding wine

Five TCM Therapies to Try While Touring China

With people’s consecutive wild fantasy, tourism is no longer confined to sightseeing, cultural experience or business trip, and has become pervasive, deeper into every aspect of our life, from personal odd interest to serious scientific research. It is no wonder medical travel has seen its big time! Now travelers can have inexpensive thorough heath examination while touring Malaysia, have orthodontic treatment in Hungary, and cosmetic surgery in Korea. Then what is for medical travel in China? That’s definitely traditional Chinese Medicine. Listed here are five TCM therapies you may have a try when touring China.

Top China Tours by Interest 

1. Herbal medicine & diet therapy

Herbal medicine     Medical Food

Chinese herbal medicine aims to prevent and treat diseases. It is mainly made from plants with its leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds. Some mineral and animal products are also used in TCM. In this way, herbal medicine has no or little side effects. To strengthen the effect of herbal medicine on the body, TCM also emphasize diet therapy. It is medicinal diet using selected food ingredients and superior herbs. Diet therapy gets increasingly popular, not only because it cures sickness, but also it could be a delicious Chinese dish.

2. Acupuncture and moxibustion

moxibustion

Acupuncture involves the stimulation of specific points of 14 meridians on the human body by using acupuncture needles. It is for raising the level of internal energy and multi-medicinal purposes. Acupuncture is often accompanied by moxibustion – the application of heat to specific points or areas on body, usually for chronic diseases . Each treatment takes 20 to 30 minutes. Patients may feel sore, numb, warm, swelling and relaxed.

3. Tui na & massage 

Acupuncture  Massage

Tui na or massage is the most popular TCM therapy among travelers in China. It is to manipulate the channels of body by hand, foot, forearm elbow or special tools in the forms of thumb presses, rubbing, percussion, and stretches. Based on TCM theory, a massage is able to cure diseases, relieve muscle pain & stiffness, adjust dislocation of the joints, and so on.

4. Cupping

Cupping

This 2,500-year-old TCM practice involves placing special cups (usually glass cups) warmed with heated air on painful areas of the body. As the cups cool, they suck the skin, helping draw toxins out of the body. However, it is not recommended to apply cupping to patients of fevers, skin diseases and bleeding disorders, as well as to a pregnant woman’s abdomen.

5. Gua Sha

Gua Sha

Gua Sha constitutes an important part of traditional Chinese Medicine. It is continually abrading the skin with a rounded object (could be a ceramic spoon, a piece of jade, or a smooth animal bones), until red spots called Sha bruising cover the area (it take 3 to 10 days to heal). Gua Sha has a quick effect on pain and diseases causes by functional disharmony of the internal organs.

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