Shangri-La Hotel Has Its First Luxury Hotel in Tibet

The Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa officially opened on April 17, 2014, and expects to boost luxury Tibet travel. The new opening in Tibet marks the hotel chain Shangri-La’s returning to its “home”. It was so named because of the hidden paradise amid Himalayan snowy mountains in Tibet, first written about by British author James Hilton 80 years ago.

Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa

Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa

Is there anything special about Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa?

The brand-new Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa is dedicated to leading guests to enchanted Tibetan culture. After arrival, guests will receive a white Khata (a piece of silk used as a greeting gift from Tibetan people) and then pray for good harvest and good luck. In the luxury guestrooms, there is yak milk tea served in unique Tibetan teapots. When guests check out, hotel staff will play Tibetan musical instruments and sing traditional Tibetan songs to pray for the guests and see them off.

The location of Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa

3650 meters above sea level, surrounded by magnificent glaciers and vast wilderness, the hotel has a great location within walking distance of some of Lhasa’s best-known attractions, including the Potala Palace and Norbulingka Palace. Potala Palace was sacred to the Buddha of Compassion, whom the Indians worshipped as Avalokitesvara and the Tibetans believe to be Chenresik, who passed his spirit into the Dalai Lamas. Potala Palace was served as the home of all the Dalai Lamas, while the Norbulingka was built to be the summer palace. See: Potala Palace

Potala Palace, Lhasa

Potala Palace

The guestrooms and restaurants of Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa

The hotel features 262 contemporary guestrooms and 17 hyper-luxury suites, as well as the exclusive Horizon Club Lounge. Rooms are spacious with a minimum size of 43 square meters and suites provide up to 250 square meters of luxurious space. Moreover, almost everything here is of quaint traditional Tibetan style, including the exterior architecture, the interior design, the restaurants, in the terms of dim and romantic lights, Tibetan hand-made blankets, lucky knots… At the hotel, guests can enjoy the enchanting views of the Potala Palace from different angles or the breathtaking mountains.

Guests can taste different cuisine in the hotel’s Shang Palace and the all-day dining restaurant. Shang Palace serves outstanding Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine. The all-day dining restaurant offers a variety of excellent international cuisine. Guests can also relax in the Shambala to have imported beers, whiskies and cocktails with mouth-watering Yunnan and Tibetan tapas.

Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa will be a perfect stay in Lhasa for a Tibet tour

With the opening of Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa, now we have found a perfect stay in Lhasa after a day of exploring the beautiful sites. Don’t hesitate any more, and just take a Tibet tour to get a ultimate visual and spiritual experience, to meet with Potala Palace, ancient monasteries, the snow mountains, the grasslands, holy lakes, as well as the hidden Shangri-la.See: Exciting Tibet Tours

Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa

Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa

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A Cultural Journey to China for Chinese Shadow Play

For most of the travelers, getting to know local traditions, art and culture is a huge part of the worldwide travel experience, especially the various enchanted folk arts. Chinese shadow play or Chinese shadow puppetry known as a very old form of theatre in China, is such kind of folk art that is acted by nifty silhouette figures made from leather or paper, accompanied by quaint old-world percussion and string music and singing, and tells an assortment of tales and stories. An authentic yet wonderful shadow play will offer a special China travel to remember!

Chinese shadow puppetry

How the shadow puppeteer works? 

Chinese shadow play was traditionally an evening entertainment, when there was no big flat-screen TV. People would entertain themselves with a simple shadow play and indulged in the lingering or adventurous stories. It is operated by puppeteers with their hands by using rods. A lamp illuminates a translucent cloth screen from behind, then the little figures create the illusion of moving images on the screen. Of course music and singing are added. Chinese shadow plays can be performed by large troupes with seven to nine performers, or smaller troupes of two to five people. This theatrical performances somewhat created ancient cartoons of China. Unfortunately, shadow puppetry shows face extinction today, and require more attention!

Chinese Shadow Play

The history of Chinese shadow play

The shadow play has its origin from a romantic story more than 2000 years ago, written by the great Chinese historian Sima Qian of Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD). In his story a man named Shaoweng “revived” Wu Emperor’s favorite concubine who had died from illness, by asking Wu Emperor (of Han Dynasty) to sit behind a curtain, watching those “magic practices”. The performance of Shadow play came to flourish in Song Dynasty (960 AD – 1279 AD), and gradually spread to the West world in the 13th century when Mongols conquered China.

Shadow play     Shadow Play in China

How to make a silhouette figure of Chinese shadow puppetry 

Shadow play was very popular in China. They are Peking shadow puppetry, Chuan shadow puppetry, Shannxi shadow puppetry and others, each with their own characteristics. Yet, the making methods of silhouette figures are almost the same. Firstly, pick the appropriate material – the hides of donkeys or oxen. Secondly, soak the hides in water, remove the hair, meat residue and shave it thin. Thirdly, draw the outline of the figure. Fourthly, carve. Fifthly, apply the color. Sixthly, Iron the figure into a flat one. Finally, string the different parts of the figure together, and make sure each part can move flexibly.

Shadow puppetry in China  

Shadow puppetry shows in Xian

Chinese shadow plays can be historical plays, fairy tales, legends, romantic stories, ghost stories, plays of social criticism… Shaanxi shadow puppetry is believed to be the most typical. The Academy Gate Cultural Street in Xian is a nice place for shadow puppets souvenirs of various sizes and colors. Moreover, you can have a shadow play in the following theatres of Xi’an. Just better for you to read the play first to learn the story.

ⅰ. Yi Su Theatre (易俗大剧院) on North Avenue

ⅱ. Gaojia Theatre (高家大院) at the North Gate of Muslim Quarter

Chinese Shadow Play on YouTube depicts the famous story – The Journey to the West

Shadow Play in Xian

The Disneyland Park in Shanghai Will Be Scheduled to Open in 2015

The soon-to-be-developed Shanghai Disneyland Resort will be the second Disney park in China (following Hong Kong Disneyland), the third in Asia, and the sixth worldwide. The theme park began its construction on April 8, 2011 and is expected to be completed at end of 2015.

Shanghai Disneyland Resort

Shanghai Disneyland Resort



Located in Shaxin town, Shanghai’s Pudong District, the much anticipated Shanghai Disneyland Resort will boast Shanghai Disneyland, a Magic Kingdom-style park, two themed hotels (with a total of 1220 rooms), a large retail, dining and entertainment area, an artificial lake, parking and transportation hubs, and other facilities.

It’s said the Disneyland in Shanghai is going to be the first Pirates-themed land, inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and therefore named “Treasure Cove”. In “Treasure Cove”, visitors will have a chance to travel with Captain Jack Sparrow on an epic journey to find Captain Davy Jones’ treasure.

Plan a Shanghai Tour to Visit Shanghai Disneyland Resort with https://www.easytourchina.com/china-super-value-tour-2014

In addition to the “familiar” castles for prince and princess, there are also some quaint Chinese style structures in the Shanghai Disneyland – the ancient Chinese garden, which is involved in a 46000-sqaure-meter Magic Kingdom-style park and makes the Disney theme park of Shanghai unique and really exotic. The Magic Kingdom-style park will be home to Disney characters, who will welcome the visitors just here.

For travelers who plan to do some shopping in Shanghai, China, Shanghai Disneyland Resort will be another good choice, apart from Nanjing Road and Xintiandi, as a luxury shopping compound named Shanghai Village will be added next to the theme park, with a good deal of international and Asian brand stores as well sophisticated restaurants and cafes. Value Retail’s Chairman Scott Malkin said it will be “the most important tourism outlet shopping location in Asia.”

Before the completion of Shanghai Disneyland Resort, you may choose other sites and attractions for your Shanghai visit, such as Oriental Pearl TV Tower, The Bund, Yu Garden, Town God Temple, Shanghai Museum, Jade Buddha Temple and so forth. (Visit https://www.easytourchina.com/scene-c16-shanghai for details)

7 Steps to Make Authentic Chinese Dumplings

Dumpling (jiǎo zi) is unarguably the most popular and highest-profile Chinese dish, with very good reasons: firstly, making and eating dumplings is an important activity for families on traditional Chinese festivals like New Year’s Eve of Spring Festival and Winter Solstice, especially for those in northern China. Secondly, somehow the Chinese dumpling has become a work of art, thanks to the constantly innovate and develop in the making method. Dumplings are made into cute little animals, leaves, flowers… Xian Dumpling Banquet just offers this kind of artistic dumplings! Thirdly and most importantly, dumpling is easy to make, simple food yet delicious, and favored by both Chinese and Westerns!

Xian Dumpling Banquet

Follow the 7 steps to make authentic Chinese dumplings at home:

Step 1 Prepare the ingredients and seasonings

1) 250 g all purpose flour, 150 ml water, 80 g pork (ground), 150 g cabbage (you can choose shrimp and other vegetables if you like)

Ingredients for Making Dumpling

2) 20 g green onion, 1 g salt, 15 g ginger, 1/3 teaspoon of white pepper, 10 g Soy sauce, 10 g sesame oil, 5 g cooking wine, and red chili oil (optional)

Seasonings for Making Dumpling

You may also want to know more about Chinese cooking

Step 2 Make dumpling dough

Put 4 cups of flour into a large bowl, mixed with 1 g salt. Then stir it well, and gradually add small quantities of warm water until you get a smooth dough. let the dough rest for about 30minutes to be fermented.

Flour       

Step 3 Make dumpling fillings

Clean the meat and chop it into ground. Clean the cabbage and cut it into small slices. Put the ground meat and cabbage slices into a bowl. Add some finely chopped ginger and green onion, as well as proper quantity of salt, cooking wine, white pepper, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Stir well to mix.

Dumpling Filling   

Take a fantastic China culinary tour

Step 4 Make dumpling wrappers

Take out of the dough and put it on a clean flat board. Sprinkle some flour on it. Rub the dough into a stick, and cut it into 20 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a flat circular wrapper about 3 inches in diameter with your hand and a rolling pin. Put the wrappers in a dish. Make sure that each wrapper is coated with some flour so that they won’t stick together.

   Make dumpling wrappers

Step 5 Wrap dumplings

put a small spoonful of filling at the center of the wrapper. Smear a little water on the edge of the wrapper, then fold and pinch the wrapper from the middle to the two outer sides, forming a half-circle shape dumpling.

 Making Dumplings

Step 6 Make the dipping sauces

Mix salt, white sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and red chili oil in a small dish, and stir it well. The amount of the seasonings can be appropriately used according to your personal taste.

Dumpling Source  

Step 7 Boil the dumplings

You’ve got to get a wok with water. Add the dumplings one by one into to the water until the water is boiling. Add in 1/4 table spoon of water when it boils. Repeat this twice again. Turn off the heat. Finally your dumplings are ready! Remove the dumplings to a dish, and feast on it with your well-prepared authentic dumpling dipping source.

Boil Dumplings   

Highlights Along Yangzte River China

Calling all cruise lovers, especially those overseas Chinese and people addicted to Chinese culture and art! Take a deluxe Yangtze cruise to the most magic River in China for a lifetime trip to remember. You’ll see what’s on the horizon for this mysterious country. During the cruise, there will be delightful shore excursions taking you to some of China’s legendary cities and mysterious sights, which are the highlights along Yangzte River you should not miss.

Yangtze River

Yangtze River

Chongqing

Located in the upper reaches of Yangtze River, Chongqing is one of the regular starting points (at Chaotianmen docks) of Yangzte River Cruise. It is known as the “mountain city”, as it is surrounded by stretches of mountains and pretty river valleys. When touring in Chongqing, you should not miss Chiqikou Old Town, and the spectacular Buddhist Dazu Rock Carvings. Besides, spicy Chongqing cuisine is a must-try food in China. See: Yangtze River summer promotion for solo travelers and families with kids with the luxury 5-star M.S. Yangzi Explorer.

Chongqing

Chongqing

Mt. Huangshan

In the lower reaches of Yangtze River, Mt. Huangshan has long been well-known for its grotesque rocks, odd-shaped pine trees growing out of cliffs, fantasy sea of clouds, intoxicating sunrise and authentic hot springs. Mt. Huangshan is a UNESCO cultural and natural heritage site that offers year-round pleasure. See: Mt. Huangshan

Mt. Huangshan

Mt. Huangshan

Fengdu Ghost City

If you take a cruise on Yangtze River, you’ll encounter the legendary Fengdu ghost city. Fengdu got its reputation as the “Ghost City” in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 – 220). It must be the oddest city in China – an entrance to hell. Everything here was designed as hell: a variety of ghost sculptures of different modeling, various punishing instruments and wild demon images, Odd, scary and interesting! See: Fengdu Ghost City

Fengdu Ghost City

Fengdu Ghost City

Three Gorges Dam

Three Gorges Dam is for you to be in close contact with China’s majestic modern engineering project. It is the major part of the Three Gorges Hydropower Station, which was completed in 2009, and claimed to be the world’s largest of its kind. See:Three Gorges Dam

Three Gorges Dam

Three Gorges Dam

Shibao Zhai Pagoda

Shibao Zhai Pagoda leans against the 220-meter-high Mt. Yunyin (Jade Seal Hill) on the north bank of Yangtze River and has been known as a gem of ancient Chinese architecture. It is an all-wood pagoda that measures 56 m high with a total of 12 floors. You’ll be dazzled by its odd-looking shape comprising of bright yellow entrance gate, mottled walls, and the layout of the halls. See: Shibao Zhai Pagoda

Shibao Zhai Pagoda

Shibao Zhai Pagoda

Shennong Stream

Located in Badong County, Hubei Province, Shennong Stream features breathtaking views on the north shore of Yangtze River and rises from the south slope of Mt. shennongjia – the highest peak in central China. The 60-km-long Shennong Stream resembles a huge dragon that sneaks through towering mountains and deep Valleys from south to north. Prepared to be seduced by deep blue lakes, marvelous waterfalls, thrilling plank roads on the Cliff, interesting Tujia minority culture, as well as amazing Karst caves.

Shennong Stream

Shennong Stream

Discovering Guizhou for Ethnic Minority Festivals in April

April is a lovely month in China to enjoy the pleasant spring days: the earth is gradually heating up, and flowers of all sorts are blooming in a riot of color. April is also one of the best time to experience wonderful Chinese ethnic minority cultures, as various festivals of different ethnic groups just being held in this month. Head to the rarely-visited minority mountain areas of southwestern China’s Guizhou province in April for those interesting yet authentic festivals & fairs, and we promise you’ll be dazzled.

Know More Ethnic Festivals in Guangzhou 

Dong woman

The Lunar March 3rd Festival of Dong People

China is composed of Han people and 55 ethnic minorities. And the country’s diversified ethnic culture can best be seen in Yunnan province and then Guizhou province. Join the Dong people in Baojing Town, Zhenyuan County to celebrate the Lunar March 3rd Festival (also named “Firecrackers Festival”), falling on April 2nd, 2014.

The festival usually lasts for five days, with a variety of fun activities, including Dong people’s preparations for ploughing, grabbling firecrackers competition, and a large-scale folk song and dance party (Bamboo dance, umbrella dance and others) among young boys and girls. Zhuang people mainly inhabiting in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region also celebrate the Lunar March 3rd Festival.

The Lunar March 3rd Festival of Dong People

Sisters Meal Festival of Miao People 

Of the 49 ethnic groups in Guizhou province, Miao has the largest population. Miao people’s Sisters Meal Festival celebrated on the March 15th in Chinese lunar calendar (April 14th, 2014) is one of the most important festivals for the group, especially the Miao girls. Head for Taijiang County in southwest China’s Guizhou to celebrate this festival with local people.

Traditionally it is a Valentine’s Day that allows a dating occasion for young Miao people. Miao girls wear the beautiful traditional dress and a set of silver accessories, and prepare “the Sisters Meal” with fresh fish, meat, wine, flower-shaped rice dumplings and colorful glutinous rice on their own. During the 3-day celebrating time, single men and women will sing folk antiphonally and exchange gifts. There are also other activities, such as canoeing contest, dragon dance, horse racing, bullfighting, lusheng performances, and so much more.

Miao Girl  Colorful Glutinous Rice for Miao Sisters Meal Festival

Tiaohuapo Festival of Miao People

Tiaohuapo Festival is one of the most important and oldest festivals for Miao people in Anshun, central west of Guizhou Province. The festival timing varies in different locations. It usually lasts for three days, when people dress in colorful traditional costumes, planting trees, playing music with Lusheng and dancing. The girls are dressed beautifully with hand-made embroidery clothes and artistic silver accessories. Therefore Tiaohuapo Festival is also a showcase of the most exquisite Miao costumes.

In addition to the bustling festival, Anshun also boasts peculiar natural sceneries of Karst peaks, caves and canyons, and famou Huangguoshu Waterfall.

Changjiao Miao Girls

Miao boy Playing Lusheng

Discover the Beautiful Ancient Architecture in Beijing

Given its long history of over 3000 years and the great culture tradition, Beijing offers a lot for us to discover, from great historic legacy to small lanes of unique street design, and beautiful ancient buildings. The ancient architecture in Beijing is really haunting and seduce us to deeply explore. Listed here are six sights in Beijing that you should not miss when for the marvelous ancient Chinese architecture.

The Great Wall

春天金山岭

Many people come all the way to China Just for the Great Wall! It’s a real miracle in the world, bearing exceptional testimony to the ancient Chinese civilizations and the achievement of China’s ancient architects. This defensive fortification was first built in the 7th century BC during the Spring and Autumn, and Warring States Periods, and now resemble a huge dragon winding its way through the mountains of North China.

Explore the best of China

The Forbidden City

故宫_副本

There are many reasons you might want to visit the Forbidden City (the Palace Museum in Beijing. Summer Palace). It was home to 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties with a history of around 600 years. To discover the architectural beauty of Forbidden City, you should not miss every piece of it, including the roof, wooden door, stone railings, red wall, bronze lions…

Summer Palace

北京

Summer Palace becomes even more popular thanks to Dragon Lady Cixi’s preference. For architecture lovers, it is a big draw, with typical Chinese stone bridge across the Kunming Lake, Buddhist pagodas, watchtower, as well as the complex buildings. It’ll be a nice place to cool off during Beijing’s hot Summer months.

Temple of Heaven

Built in 1420, the Temple of Heaven is where the ancient Chinese emperors had grand worship ceremony to heaven and earth. No wonder it is a masterpiece of architecture. It is a dignified complex of fine cult buildings set in gardens and surrounded by historic pinewoods. Check carefully on its overall layout, which symbolizes the relationship between earth and heaven-the human world and God’s world according to Chinese architecture culture.

Hutong 1696 The quaint hutongs in Beijing are some crisscrossing old narrow paths with courtyard houses built on each side. It can be regarded as a window into Beijing folk life. Travel along the hutongs, you may encounter some courtyard dwellings or Chinese quadrangles (Siheyuan), a basic pattern used for residences, palaces, temples, monasteries. You can ride a bike or take a pedicab to have a relaxed hutong tour. Yonghe Lamasery To research the architecture achievement of ancient China, you should not temple and monasteries. Yonghe Lamasery is a Tibetan Buddhist temple first built in 1694 as the residence of Prince Yong of the Qing dynasty. The temple architecture is a combination of Tibetan, Mongolian, and native Chinese. The chief artistic attraction is an 18-meter tall wooden Buddha carved from a single sandalwood tree imported from Tibet, the largest wooden statue on earth.