Top 4 Scenic Train Routes Starting from Guangzhou

Of all the means of traveling, taking a train is the best way to experience grand China’s sheer splendor and unbeatable landscape. Below are our picks of top 4 scenic train routes starting from Guangzhou, one of China’s most vibrant city favored by all foreigners. Head for one of these routes by rail, and we promised you will be in for a treat, with sparkling lakes, magnificent waterfalls, thrilling mountain views, picture-perfect desert, and excellent Chinese food!

Recommend China train tours from Guangzhou  

Guangzhou Night Scene

1. Guangzhou – Lhasa

The train ride from Guangzhou to Lhasa is hands-down the country’s most beautiful route and running all the way to holy Lhasa. Sit back and enjoy the unparalleled wilderness scenery when the train traverses the world’s highest plateau, through snow-capped mountains, tranquil lakes, great prairies the Tibetan villages.

Local food and snacks: buttered tea, highland barley wine, dried beef and mutton

The length: 4980km

Passing by: Changsha, Wuchang, Zhengzhou, Xian, Lanzhou, Xining, Golmud, Naqu

Guangzhou Lhasa Rail

2. Guangzhou – the Ancient Silk Road

This route connects modern world’s metropolis and the old Silk Road, and features the most exotic scenery in this nation. Passengers will pass by the cradles of Chinese civilization like Tianshui and Xian, and unique Danxie landform in Zhangye, as well as the awesome desert…

Local food and snacks: all kinds of noodles, and snacks made of flour

The length: 3900km

Passing by: Shaoguan, Zhuzhou, Changsha, Yueyang, Wuchang, Zhengzhou, Luoyang, Sanmenxia, Hushan, Xian, Xianyang, Tianshui, Lanzhou, Wuwei, Jinchang, Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Liuyuan

Guangzhou to Silk Road

3. Guangzhou – Lijiang

From Guangzhou to Lijiang, the train glides through the most appealing minority area in China of photogenic scenery – Guangxi of woodlands, Luoping famed for stretches of rape flowers, and the famous Stone Forest en route to Kunming, Dali and Lijiang. Most people are fascinated with this place’s old towns, and romantic and laid-back vibe.

Local food and snacks: crossing the bridge noodles, delicious dishes made of fresh vegetables, wild mushroom, fish, chicken…

The length:1637km

Passing by: Zhaoqing, Yulin, Guigang, Nanning, Baise, Xingyi, Luoping, Stone Forest, Kunming, Dali

Lijiang in Yunnan

4. Guangzhou – Anshun

The train ride from Guangzhou to Anshun offers a romantic approach to lesser-visited Guizhou province, a mysterious mountainous area that is worth a insight vacation. It snakes through green hills with waterfalls, crisscrossed rivers and canyons, and peaceful villages of various ethnic minority groups.

Local food and snacks: Guizhou Cuisine is of spicy flavor, and similar to Chuan Cuisine and Hunan Cuisine. The most famous snacks include beef rice noodles, tofu mariko, red oil rice tofu, bean paste pancake.

The length: over 500km

Passing by: Zhaoqing, Maoming, Hechun, Yulin, Guigang, Nanning, Baise, Xingyi, Kunming, Qujing, Liupanshui

Anshun City View

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6 Extraordinary Sites Along Historic Silk Road

While the historic Silk Road needs no introduction, it really boast a wealth of exotic and amazing cities and tourist sites all along, of long history, profound culture, peculiar mountainous landscape, stretches of desert vast grasslands, as well as some finest examples of human art. Check out these 6 extraordinary destinations along Silk Road for a life-time experience in China!

12-day Silk Road Adventure by China Orient Express (Beijing to Urumqi)

Silk Road

Silk Road

Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian

Ancient Xian is the China’s capital city, and the starting point of legendary Silk Old on the East. Today Xian still boasts numerous relics, while Terra Cotta Warriors Museum is the most famous one. The museum has been divided into several parts, with three 3 pits accommodating thousands of life-sized terra-cotta warriors and vividly horses and chariots of Qin Dynasty (221BC-207BC). It is famed as the world’s eighth wonder.

Mount Maiji Grottoes in Tianshui

No matter whether you have heard about Mount Maiji Grottoes or not, it bears being recommended. First excavated in Later Qin of the Sixteen Kingdoms period (384AD-417AD), Mount Maiji Grottoe is one of the top four famous Buddhist grottoes In china. Maijishan Grottoes preserves 194 grottoes, with 7,200 pieces of clay or stone statues and mural paintings stretching over 1,300 square meters. Mount Maiji Grottoes resembles a huge honeycomb and is known as an ” Oriental Statues museum”.

Jiayuguan Pass & Overhanging Great Wall

While Great Wall is a must-see sight in China, Jiayuguan Pass & Overhanging Great Wall are the similar constructions along old Silk Road. Jiayuguan Pass is known as the western starting point of a section of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty (1368AD-1644AD), and the best preserved of the Great Wall’s ancient military fortresses. Seven miles away, overhanging Great Wall is another important defensive work in Jiangyuguan City.

Crescent Lake & Singing Sand Mountain in Dunhuang

Crescent Lake and Singing Sand Mountains together create a fantastic scene in the wild desert of Silk Road. The Crescent Lake is an oasis Gobi desert, surrounded by numerous sand dunes. And the sand dunes gradually gown into a sands mountain. Singing Sand Mountain is so named for the sound of the wind being whipping off the dunes.

Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang

The Mogao Grottoes find itself 25 km southeast of downtown Dunhuang, and is known as the world’s greatest treasure house of Buddhist art. Therefore, it is also named the Caves of Thousand Buddhas, with its construction beginning in 366 AD, and 492 grottoes contain 45,000 square meters of murals and more than 2415 painted sculptures still existing today.

Heavenly Lake & Tianshan Mountain in Xinjiang

Mt Tianshan stands at a an elevation of around 5000 meters, and was listed a UNESCO world natural heritage site in 2013. While Tianchi Lake (Heavenly Lake) is deep-blue lake hided away in snow-capped Tianshan Mountain and surrounded by hills covered with fir trees and grazed by horses. It will be a unique yet relaxed experience to take a boat on Tianchi Lake.

Top Ten Temples And Monasteries in China

For those who have long been fascinated with the sacred temples of the East, we are doing an article on all over China’s amazing temples and monasteries, and come out with top ten most fascinating ones, all with ancient Chinese architectural style and spiritual peace. Here they are, in no particular order:

Recommended China Religious Tours

13-day Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour to China

15-day Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour to China with Tibet 

White Horse Temple (白马寺)

White Horse Temple

12 km east of downtown Luoyang, White Horse Temple is believed to be the first Buddhist temple in China and one of the cradles of Chinese Buddhism. It was first built in 68 AD during Han Dynasty as a summer resort for Emperor Liu Zhuang, and now boasts Hall of Heavenly Kings, Hall of Great Buddha, Hall of Guidance, Qiyun Tower and many other sites.

Shaolin Temple (少林寺)

Shaolin Temple

Built in 495 AD during Northern Wei Dynasty, Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng Country has been world-famous for Zen Buddhism and Shaolin Kung Fu (martial arts). Many people from home or abroad has come all the way to Shaolin Temple to learn Kong Fu and find an inner peace.

Recommended China Kong Fu Tour

Daxiangguo Temple (大相国寺)

Daxiangguo Temple

Another famous Buddhist temple in Henan province, Daxiangguo Temple locates at the center of Kaifeng city, and was established in Northern Qi Dynasty (550 AD– 577 AD). A pilgrimage tour to Daxiangguo Temple should focus on its magnificent layout and solemn Buddhist activities.

Jokhang Temple (大昭寺)

Jokhang Temple

Make an ultimate pilgrimage to Lhasa for the 1300-year-old Jokhang Temple, which is one of the most sacred places in Tibet. Every day, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple. Jokhang Temple houses a pure gold statue of the Buddha Skyamuni when he was12 years old.

Lingyin Temple (灵隐寺)

Lingyin Temple

First built in 326 AD, Lingyin Temple is a profoundly peaceful and spiritual hideaway in Hangzhou and one of the most prestigious Buddhist monasteries in China. The halls, elegant Buddhist statues, and a wealth of Buddhist grottoes and stone carvings on the adjacent Feilai Peak made remarkable artistic achievement in the religious arts.

Famen Temple (法门寺)

Famen Temple

Famen Temple finds itself 120 km away from Xian city, and is renowned as a Buddhist sacred land, because the finger bone relic of Sakyamuni was enshrined and worshiped here. It was built during the Northern Zhou Dynasty. After climbing up to the Fanmen Temple Pagoda, visitors will have a great mountain views.

Ta’er Temple (塔尔寺)

Ta'er Temple

25 km southwest of Xining, Qinghai province, Ta’er Temple is a famous Lamaism Temple in China and the birth place of Tsongkhapa, founder of Gelug school of Tibet Buddhism. It is a large ancient architecture groups mixing both the Tibetan and Han architectural styles, and consisting of scripture halls, Buddha halls, a lama’s residence, and pagodas. Yak butter flowers, mural and barbola are three highlights of Ta’er Temple.

Hanging Monastery (悬空寺)

Hanging Monastery

Built into a near-vertical mountain cliff over 50m above the ground near Mt. Heng, the 1,400-year-old Hanging Monastery is an architecture gem, and listed as one of the “World’s Top 10 Most Odd Dangerous Architectures”. Moreover, it is the only existing temple mixing Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

Jinci Temple (晋祠)

Jinci Temple  

located 25km southwest of Taiyuan City, Jinci Temple is believed to be built before the Northern Wei Dynasty (386 AD-534 AD). It is more like a large ancient garden featuring historical cultural relics and beautiful landscape. The major sites of Jinci Temple include the Hall of the Holy Mother, Chaoyang Cave, Santai Pavilion and Guandi Temple.

Labrang Monastery (拉卜楞寺)

Labrang Monastery

Located in Xiahe County, Gansu province, Labrang Monastery was first founded in 1709 during Qing Dynasty, and is an important monastery of the Gelug of Tibetan Buddhism. Labrang Monastery is also a precious ancient museum, with a collection of tens of thousands of cultural relics, 60,000 Tibetan classics, and over 70,000 pieces of wood carving Sutras.

Highlights along Qinghai-Tibet Railway

Wild West China’s most stunning natural landscape is best seen as taking a train trip on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which is a great engineering wonder in the world and famed as the “Sky Way”. The 1,956-kilometer-long Qinghai-Tibet Railway stretches from Xining of Qinghai Province to Lhasa, Tibet and officially opened to traffic in July 1st, 2006.

Recommended China Tibet Tours 

Tibetans Welcome the Trains

The Golmud-Lhasa section of the rail extends 1,142 kilometers through Tuotuo River, Yan Shi Ping, Tanggula Range, Nagqu, Damxung and Yambajan, with 960 kilometers being over 4000 meters above sea level, and the highest elevation being 5,072 meters above sea level at Tanggula Range, making it the world’s highest railway and also the longest on a plateau. Qinghai-Tibet Railway is regarded as a landmark achievement in China, as it overcomes the special engineering difficulties at high attitude area of permafrost, hypoxia, fragile ecology and inclement weather, and also makes great effort to protect the environment, flora and fauna.

Map of Qinghai-Tibet Railway

map of Qinghai-Tibet Railway

Train to Lhasa

Qinghai-Tibet train has 2 carriages of soft sleepers, each can accommodate 32 people; 8 carriages of hard sleepers, each can accommodate 60 people; 4 carriages of hard seats (bigger than those of the normal trains in China), each accommodates 98 people. So totally the train can accommodate 936 people.

So far, there have been seven train routes to Lhasa: daily train from Beijing to Lhasa, and also Xining-Lhasa, Shanghai-Lhasa, Guangzhou-Lhasa, Lanzhou-Lhasa, Chengdu-Lhasa and Chongqing-Lhasa.

Recommended China Train Tours 

 Lakes along Qinghai-Tibet Railway

Highlights along Qinghai-Tibet Railway

Visitors will expect the added bonus by enjoying a train trip to Tibet instead of taking a flight, as Qinghai-Tibet Railway offers breathtaking and majestic sceneries while traversing several mountain ranges and numerous lakes and rivers on its way to Holy Lhasa. There are 45 stations along the Golmud-Lhasa section, each with unique landscape. And nine stations were especially designated for their nature wonder and have special sightseeing platforms.

Highlights along Qinghai-Tibet Railway

Qinghai Lake and Bird Island – Qinghai Lake is the “Blue See” on “the Roof of the World” (Qinghai-Tibet Plateau) and famous for Qinghai Lake Cycling Race. On the western shore of Qinghai Lake, the Bird Island is a paradise for varieties of birds (including migrating birds).

Kunlun Mountain (Mt. Yuzhu Station) – The legendary Kunlun Mountain is known as the ancestor of many mountains in this area and China’s largest mountain system, at an altitude of between 5,500 and 6,000 meters above sea level, with its main peak Mt. Yuzhu being at an altitude of 6,178 meters above sea level.

 Tibet and Train

Chaerhan Salt Lake – The lake was originally part of the ocean in primordial times, and now become a majestic sight catching passengers’ eyes on the Tibet railway.

Tuotuo River Station – Here passengers can have a spectacular view of the Source of Yangtze River, China’s longest river, from the train.

Buqiangge Station – have a glance at the dreamland of Kekexili Nature Reserve on the northern Tibetan Plateau for Kekexili lake, Sun lake and Xuelian lake, as well as the plateau wildlife including Tibetan antelope, wild donkeys and wild yaks.

 Lakes in Tibet

Tanggula Station – here the Tibet train comes to the highest point between two snow mountains.

Cuona Lake – the highest freshwater lake in the world, and famed as a holy lake by local Tibetans.

Naqu Station & Damxung Station – Changtang Grassland with the most magnificent pastoral view extends from Nagqu to Damxung along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. Holy Namtso Lake is also between those two cities.

Yambajan Station – Yambajan is world-famous for a peculiar phenomenon of hot springs boiling on the cold plateau.

Grassland along Qinghai-Tibet Railway

Ancient Chinese Capital Xian Is to Offer 72-hour Visa-free Stays

Northwest China’s Xian will start offering 72-hour transit visa exemptions for foreign nationals from 51 countries in Europe, America, Oceania and Asia in the following two or three months, said local authorities. As a result, travelers from the designated 51 countries who hold a valid passport, third country visas and have plane tickets leaving for a third country or region via Xi’an Xianyang International Airport (XXIA) within 72 hours can enjoy the policy.

Xian

Xian



Xi’an Xianyang International Airport (XXIA) will apply the visa-free policy to passengers. Foreigners granted visa-free stays will be able to visit Xi’an, Shaanxi’s capital city, and Xianyang City for up to 72 hours, according to a statement issued by the provincial government.

Xian, once the capital cities of 13 dynasties over a history of over 2,000 years in ancient China then will be the eighth city in China to carry out this policy, following Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Dalian and Shenyang. (Know more about Xian onhttps://www.easytourchina.com/city-c15-xian)

Xian in Shaanxi boasts time-honored history, brilliant and gorgeous culture, as well as unique and excellent local food, especially the noodle food. All of these make it one of China’s most popular destinations for both inbound and outbound travels. Terracotta Warriors museum, the Eighth wonder in the world, is a must-visit for a Xian tour. Other famous sights in Xian include Xian Old City Wall, Shaanxi Provincial Museum, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Mt. Huashan and so much more. Moreover, Xian is the starting point and eastern end of ancient Silk Road, where camels and caravans came and went carrying various goods, and linking the West and East. (Know more about Chinese Silk Road on https://www.easytourchina.com/idea-v700-adventure-to-silk-…)

The 72-hour visa-free policy expect to boost Xian’s, and even Shaanxi province’s tourism, and will also benefit a lot for businessmen and overseas Chinese, who are willing to travel this city more frequently. Statistics shows that a total of 285 million tourists visited Shaanxi in 2013, 797,000 of whom made their trips via XXIA. And most of the visitors been to Xian find it such a fantastic experience to travel around this city with its unique culture!

Travel in Sichuan for 8 Extraordinary Destinations

We’re talking about Southwest China’s Sichuan province, the beautiful and resourceful land, home to the giant pandas, with Chengdu as its capital city. For those expecting a most rewarding experience and some wildness exploration in China, you can’t miss the heavenly West Sichuan of breathtaking views, with its grand grassland, the sweeping plateau, turquoise water, quaint Tibetan villages, temples… Here we list 8 extraordinary destinations in Sichuan – see which one inspires you!

Recommended China Sichuan Tours

Wild Sichuan

1. Chuanxi Plateau 

Chuanxi Plateau covers a large area of Ganzi and Aba in West Sichuan, and boasts some of the world’s most appealing destinations – Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong, Siguniang Mountain, Gongga Mountain, Buddhist land Seda and the legendary Daocheng Yading. Charming Chuanxi Plateau has long been regarded as the a perfect place for sightseeing, camping, hiking, safari and photography.

 Chuanxi Plateau

2. Daocheng Yading

Daocheng Yading sits in splendid isolation amid the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, and is famed as the world’s “last Shangri-la” surrounded by permanent snow-topped mountain peaks. After its first appearance in the book of Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton 80 years ago, countless travelers has traced his course to look for Daocheng Yading, and are given an extraordinary experience both visually and spiritually.

Tibetan Girl  

3. Jiuzhaigou Valley

Hided away in perpetually snow-clad Min Shan Range, Jiuzhaigou Valley has ever-changing sceneries all year round. Walkways wind between its 100+ Hai Zi (lakes) of various sizes, shapes and colors, and seduce visitors into a real magic world. The 18-km-long Rizegou stretching from Nuorilang Waterfall to primeval forest is the highlight of Jiuzhaigou Valley, including Pearl Beach Waterfall, Five-flower Lake, Panda Lake and Arrow Bamboo Lake.

Jiuzhaigou

4. Ruoergai Grassland

In the north of Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province, the 13,745-square-mile Ruoergai Grassland covers four counties- Ruoergai, Aba, Hongyuan and Rangtang, and claims to be the fourth largest grasslands in China. Ruoergai Grassland comprises the world’s most amazing natural sceneries – vast meadow, lush virgin forests, deep valley, dreamy flower lake, the first bend of Yellow River… It is also home to many Tibetan nomads and a wetland of dozens of species of nesting birds, including some rare species of cranes, eagles and vultures.

Ruoergai Grassland

5. Qionghai Lake

One of China’s best lesser-known destinations, Qionghai lake finds itself five kilometers outside of Xichang, and is the second largest fresh-water lake in Sichuan (31 square kilometers). The crystal and limpid water blends in the magnificent mountains, creating a peaceful and harmony world. Qionghai Lake is ideal for relaxing strolls, boating and cycling.

Qionghai Lake

6. Mt. Emei

Mt. Emei is most famous for its Buddhist status and wild monkeys. It is one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China, together with Mt. Wutai, Mt. Juihua, and Mt. Putuo. Delve into its Buddhist culture further with charming mountain views endowed with azaleas, firs, sea of clouds and dotting temples. And the naughty wild monkeys will accompany you all the way up to the top of Mt. Emei.

Monkeys in Mt. Emei

7. Xinduqiao

Xinduqiao, a small Tibetan town in Sichuan, has long credit for having the most beautiful plateau pasture scenery on earth, therefore it is known as a Photographer’s Paradise. Mid October till late November is the best time to visit Xinduqiao, travelers will be reward with a 10-km-long “Photographer corridor” of golden cypress, stretches of grasslands, lucid streams and magic sunlight.

Xinduqiao

8. Huanglongxi

40 km away from Chengdu, Huanglongxi ancient town has a history over 1700 years and still keeps a rustic charm. Just have a leisure stroll on the old curving cobbled streets, and discover a number of temples, simple and unsophisticated wharves, and the houses tracing back to the Qing Dynasty.

Huanglongxi