Easy Tour China Team’s 2-day Trip in Xingping & Yangshuo 2014

Trip in Xingping Yangshuo 2014

(Have a group photo in Beautiful Xingping town)

After months of hard working in the office, the whole team of Easy Tour China were rewarded with a delightful trip to Xingping, Yangshuo on August 22-23. During these two days, we had the peaceful and relaxing hours with our lovely colleagues on the most beautiful island of Li River while at the same time enjoying various fun activities to energize the body and mind.

 Xingping Old Town

(The old streets and houses in Xingping town)

Approximately 90km away from downtown Guilin, the 1300-year-old Xingping town is home to the epitome of sceneries along the Li River, with limestone Karst mountains and cliffs, still waters, and old villages on the lively countryside with backroads and paths. Xingping is therefore ideal for sightseeing, hiking, biking, camping and bamboo-rafting. We stayed overnight in the riverside guesthouse “Our Inn” on a tranquil island of Li River (can be accessed by ferryboat). Here, we had exciting eating watermelon contest, which offered so much joy and attracted everyone of us to participate in. When night fell, The dazzling stars filling the sky were all our eyes, and totally enchanted us all.

Eating Watermelon in Yangshuo

(The watermelon is ready! )

The next morning, we headed for another destination – the world-famous Yangshuo (25 km away). It is, despite the huge popularity of a visit, one of the most worthwhile places China has to offer. It would be so delightful to drench ourselves completely to the natural beauty of Yangshuo, but we had to finish a task first, the orienteering. This fashionable outdoor sport tested both our physical ability and intelligence.

Yangshuo Local Food

(Yummy, yummy)

Yangshuo Xingping Trip

(The stunning scenery along Li River)

Yangshuo Vacation

(Feel great among the limestone Karst mountains)

Yangshuo Outdoor Activities

(Participate in the orienteering in Yangshuo)

Top 5 Autumn Destinations in China

When autumn comes knocking, most travelers in China tend to flee to the outdoor world for the pleasant autumn color. China is full of fantastic autumn experience, with places to go to enjoy the stunning fall foliage with genial sunshine and clear sky, and to immerse in the most tranquil yet romantic atmosphere without having to follow the crowds. Here are 5 beautiful destinations to celebrate the autumn season in China.

Jiuzhaigou Valley

Jiuzhaigou Valley in China

Jiuzhaigou Valley

Deep in the heart of the 4500-meter-high perpetually snow-clad Min Shan Range, Sichuan province, Jiuzhaigou Valley ushered in its autumn season in the late August, with an amazing masterpiece of almost all colors displaying, from green to yellow, orange to deep red reflecting in the clear lakes, ponds and waterfalls, making it the heaven on earth. See:Jiuzhaigou Valley in Sichuan

Longji Rice Terraces

Guilin in Southern China is not only world famous for its Karst landscape, but also the Longji Rice Terraces. The terraced fields is a farm engineering wonder created by local the ethnic Zhuang in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Autumn is the best time to visit the terraced fields for the bright color. The entire mountain is covered by the golden color, extending to as far as your eyes can reach, offering a breathtaking view. See: Longji Rice Terraces in Guilin

Beijing Great Wall

Great Wall is a must-visit sight in China, and offers different yet majestic views all year round. October 15 till November 15 Is the best time to experience the autumn scenery of Beijing and Great Wall, when the autumn leaves are at their best – yellow, orange, pink, and red. Mutianyu Great Wall, approximately 70km north of Beijing is considered the best part of Great wall for autumn sightseeing tour, for its densely vegetation and being free of crowds and noise.

Pinjin Red Beach

There are a lot of opportunities to enjoy the autumn foliage, but how about the red waters? Make time to Panjin, China’s Liaoning Province in early October for this amazing red beach, which is formed by countless alkaline grasses standing one by one stretching to the horizon. Bring your camera to shot some fantastic photos from the wooden pier.

Kanas (Hanas) Lake in Xinjiang

Kanas Lake in autumn reminds us the heaven on earth, and is widely favored by photographers, with picturesque wild landscape dyed with vivid, dramatic colors. Late September to early October is best time for an enchanted autumn scenery of Kanas Lake, when visitors will see the leaves in various colors, peaceful green water, untouched plants and lovely animals embraced by snow-capped mountains…

The Most Beautiful Historical Streets in China

The romantic atmosphere of China’s historical streets, imposing ancient buildings in an elegant layout, friendly people with soft smile, dozens of small stores and markets selling all sorts of odd or unfamiliar items and mouth-watering local food, bustling or quite, all recalls the old China, and the time which has been forgotten…

Beijing Guozijian Street

This east-west street was initially built during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), where the Temple of Confucius and the Imperial College (Pinyin: guo zi jian) are located, thus the name Guozijian Street. By connecting Beijing’s several well-preserved hutongs, visitors can expect the original ancient Beijing street style here with the old dwellings, Pailou (an old Chinese gate) and temples.

Beijing Old StreetConfucius Temple in Beijing

Pingyao South Avenue

Also named Ming Qing Street, it was known as the “Wall Street of China” in history, for its prosperous past of being the financial center of China. Allow yourself some time to visit a few exchange shops to discover China’s first banks and those souvenir shops all built with bricks and stones completely in the Ming and Qing architecture style.

Pingyao Old Street

Tunxi Old Street

The maroon-flagstone street, 2 or 3-story shops of elegant Huizhou architecture style, enchanted teahouses offering famous Qimen Black Tea and Tunxi Green Tea, all promise to offer visitors a stress-free trip to China. The nearby Yellow Mountain is also an unmissable sight in Huangshan.

Huangshan Old Street

Suzhou Pingjiang Road

Pingjiang Road can be found on Suzhou’s oldest map drawn in Song Dynasty (960-1279), when it was the main avenue of the eastern city. It will be so relaxed to have a stroll on this old riverside street, passing the narrow lanes, private gardens, museums with red lanterns, and obsessed by the traditional Chinese string music.

Suzhou Old Street

Lhasa Barkhor Street

The 1300-year-old Barkhor Street in Lhasa used to a pilgrim circuit around the sacred Jokhang Temple, and today has extends to the entire old Tibetan district of Jokhang Temple. The streets are lined with hundreds of shops, stalls, teahouses selling all manner of Tibetan handicrafts, religious articles, and local snacks.

Lhasa Barkhor Street

Shanghai Old Street

Originally named Fangbing Middle Road, the street extends for 825 meters, and showcases the dramatic changes from Ming and Qing dynasties till the modern times when Western culture flooded into Shanghai. When walking on the Shanghai Old Street, you are likely to feel that you are back to a bustling open-air market of 1900s.

Shanghai Old Street at Night

Beihai Zhuhai Road

First built in 1883, Beihai’s old street Zhuhai Road is 1.44 kilometers long and is 9 meters wide, and was the most bustling commercial street in Beihai city (it used to be one of the ports of Maritime Silk Road). Along the street were housed consulates, churches post offices, banks, chambers of commerce belonging to 13 different countries, and also unique overhang-style buildings, which combine both Western and Chinese elements.

Beihai Old Street

Yangzhou Dongguan Street

The 1122-meter-long DongGuan Street is an ancient avenue in the city center of Yangzhou, with two majestic gates standing in the two ends, connecting the Grand Canal on the east and the National Road on the west. In the past, it was not only the water and land transportation route in Yangzhou, but also a commercial and cultural centre. There are many old shops here, some are established in 1800s.

Yangzhou Old Street

Qingdao Badaguan

Badaguan is comprised of 8 tranquil streets (now has been increased to ten) near the coastline, named after eight great strategic passes of the ancient times. It used to be home to the US, Britain, Germany, Russia, Japan and many other countries’ embassies. The historical mansions along the streets are in a in a variety of architectural styles. Each street is lined with a single species of tree, like plane tree for the Shanhaiguan Street, and crape myrtle for the Zhengyangguan Street.

Qingdao Eight Passes Street

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Yangshuo

Peaceful and relaxing hours with the family or friends at the pubs can be enjoyed while at the same time providing various exciting and fun outdoor activities. This is what you can expect from a classic Yangshuo tour. Yangshuo, 65 km southeast Guilin city, has been world famous for its breathtaking scenery of hills and rivers. It is a great laidback base that offers many reasons for your visit and stay.

Yangshuo Biking

Yangshuo Biking

1. UNESCO Limestone Karst mountains

The distinctive Karst landscape is formed from the dissolution of layers of soluble bedrock, such as limestone, dolomite and gypsum. Yangshuo and Guilin in South China has the world’s most diverse karst landforms, and been listed as the UNESCO World natural Heritage site on June 23.2014. A four-hour cruise trip down the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo allows travelers to admire the dramatic scenery of typical Karst peak cluster in various shapes.

(Read more about Gulin onhttp://www.easytourchina.com/city-c17-guilin)

2. Refreshing outdoor activities to the peaceful countryside

Explore Yangshuo to the fullest by hiking or cycling to the beautiful countryside for the limestone hills, enchanted villages with well-arranged farms, buffalos, meandering rivers, mud brick houses and peaceful rural life. There are plenty of good trekking routes including Yangdi to Xingping, Moon Hill Trek, Li River trekking, etc. Yangshuo is also a perfect place for rock climbing with over 70,000 unique karst peaks there for climbers of all levels. There is an grand rock climbing festival held in October every year.

3. Laid-back vibe in the West Street

West Street (Xi Jie) is just standing in the town center of Yangshuo, and was built during the Sui Dynasty around 590 AD. Many foreign visitors have found West Street so attractive for its unique blend of different cultures and being teeming with pubs, shops and stands selling various kinds of snacks and souvenirs.

4. Bamboo-rafting on the Yulong River

if you’re longing for a little tranquility and a lazy afternoon in Yangshuo, we recommend you a bamboo-rafting trip on Yu Long River. The river is 43.5km long, 38-61m wide, with limestone peaks and rural villages on both banks.

(Read more about Yulong River on http://www.easytourchina.com/scene-v252-yulong-river)

5. Interesting cultural classes

Trip to Yangshuo, an interesting thing is to participate in many kinds of cultural classes, which promise to bring fun for both adults and children. There are cooking schools to learn how to cook Chinese food in a farmhouse in the countryside village, Tai Ji class to practice Taiji by the riverside, and Martial Arts class to learn the authentic Chinse Kong Fu.

(Read more about Yangshuo on http://www.easytourchina.com/city-c60-yangshuo)

Discover China’s Most Famous Water Towns

A cultural journey to China, the captivating water towns known as Venice of China with exquisite waterways located in China’s Jiangnan area (south of the Yangtze River’s lower reaches) are must-see destinations. Peaceful and relaxing hours at an ancient house or in a small boat gently dropping down the town river can be enjoyed while at the same time providing the authentic water town life of China centuries ago…

China Water Towns

1. Wuzhen Water Town (乌镇)

80 km away from Hangzhou city, the 1200-year-old Wuzhen town locates at the north of Tongxiang City of Zhejiang Province, with the ancient Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal running across. Ranking the first among the most famous water towns in China, Wuzhen is well-known for its imposing ancient building complex and elegant old town layout of ancient docks, waterside pavilions and corridors, stone bridges of all sizes cross the streams winding through the town.

China Wuzhen Water Town

2. Zhouzhuang Water Town (周庄)

Initially built in 1086 during the North Song Dynasty, today’s Zhouzhuang has been a very popular tourist destination in China. With its profound cultural background, the well-preserved ancient dwellings from Ming and Qing dynasties, and the refreshing watery views, the small town has attracted numerous artists and litterateurs to paint or make here their new home. It is still worth an in-depth visit, regardless of the chaos of the tourist crowd. But try to find out the tranquil and authentic Zhouzhuang yourself in the low season and by visiting the old batik’s workshop, and the old wine workshop.

China Zhouzhuang Water Town

3. Xitang Water Town (西塘)

Xitang is conveniently located within 100 kilometers from Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou, and offers a peaceful world to flee away from the noisy metropolitan life. Similar to the other water towns, Xitang also has cobbled streets, old buildings, arching bridges, crisscrossed rivers, and rowing boats. Furthermore, it boasts a beautiful waterside street and corridor as long as 1000 meters. In spring, Xitang becomes a stunning Chinese ink wash painting when being veiled with mist and rain.

China Xitang Water Town Xitang Town

4. Tongli Water Town (同里)

18 km away from downtown Suzhou, Tongli is one of the top 6 water towns in Jiangnan region and surrounded by 5 lakes. The ancient town (with a history of over 1000 years) has been divided into 7 islets by 15 crisscrossed rivers, and linked by 49 century-old stone bridges. Therefore in Tongli, the small boat is the daily means of transport for every family. There are also old temples and typical Suzhou private garden that are worth a visit.

China Tongli Water Town

5. Nanxun Water Town (南浔)

Nanxun is one of the most well-preserved old towns in Jiangnan Region. It is simple, humble, and much lesser known than the other water towns, but famous for its cultural heritage and 5 historical private gardens. A visit to Nanxun, you should not miss the ancient Huizhou architecture, the sophisticated Xiao Lian (little lotus) Garden, the waterfront Bai Jian Lou (100 houses), and the mouth-watering local snacks.

China Nanxun Water Town

6. Luzhi Water Town (甪直)

18 km east of Suzhou city, the 2500-year-old Luzhi town is hailed as one of the top ten famous Chinese historical townships and was awarded a Township Preservation Award by UNESCO in 2014. Visitors are most likely to be impressed its ancient dwellings and streets, a 1300-year-old gingko tree, and 41 time-honored bridges of the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties in various sizes and shapes. So Luzhi is also called Bridge Town.

China Luzhi Water Town

7. Others

Zhuajiajiao Water Town (朱家角) – it is the closest water town to Shanghai (50 kilometers apart), and a laid-back base featuring historical buildings, cultural sites, beautiful scenery, and well-appointed modern resorts.

Shanghai Zhujiajiao Water Town

Gubei Water Town (古北水镇) – it is recommended mostly because of being located at the foot of Simatai Great Wall (the most authentic Great Wall in Beijing) in North China. The renovation of this 1000-year-old town has been beautifully done. Visitors now can combine Great Wall and water town for an innovative Beijing tour.

Beijing Gubei Water Town

Simatai Great Wall

8 Travel Tips for Pregnant Woman

The nine-month pregnancy makes many of the active expectant mothers so boring and nervous at home, and they are longing for some relaxing and happy time by planning a vacation, while at the same time providing a good chance of seeing the wide world ahead for the unborn baby. However, traveling while pregnant – whether by plane, train, car or cruise – could be very troublesome and highly risky. To ensure a safe and comfortable travel during pregnancy, here are some helpful pointers and tips for you to keep in mind.

Traveling while pregnant

1. Time your trip well

It’s best to schedule your vacation during the second trimester (week 13 – week 28) of pregnancy, which is usually considered to be the most appropriate period for travelling and much safer for a long-distance trip. While travelling during the first trimester (week 1 – week 12) may increase the risk of bleeding or miscarriage. Try not to travel after 36 to 38 weeks of pregnancy.

However, for most pregnant women, it is likely to experience nausea, discomfort and fatigue during the trip.

2. Dress comfortably

Wear the loose cotton clothing and comfortable, supportive shoes, which are good for travelling, especially if you’re expecting lots of walking. Leave alone the nylon undies, tights and tight trousers. In addition, prepare the right size of swimwear and underwear. You won’t want to squeeze your beautiful bump into a costume which is suddenly too small.

3. Carry your medical notes

Always remember to consult with your doctor before you set off, discuss on your travel dos and don’ts. And finally ask him/her to write you a note with your prenatal and medical records.

4. Avoid going to the crowded places

Being in a crowded, noisy place like the railway station, shopping street, or amusement park, the pregnant women could be knocked know accidently, thus increase the potential danger to you or the baby.

5. No high risk activities

High risk activities like climbing, riding, windsurfing, skiing, snowboarding, skydiving, etc are absolutely not allowed while pregnant. But, enjoy your trip to the fullest with brisk walks, yoga, massage, reading by the seaside, low-impact swimming or having an art lesson. If you are in China, try the porcelain lesson.

Travel tips for pregnant women

6. Avoid the long journey

The pregnant women are discouraged to take a long journey for the full nine months, as you may face unsafe food, sleeping loss, more fatigue and bumps on the air or gravel roads. It is best for you to choose a domestic destination, instead of a far-off place.

7. Carry healthy snacks and enough water

Take good care of yourself with plenty of healthy snacks and water bottles in case you get hungry at any time and miss your won diet. Furthermore, pregnant women are dehydrated much faster than others, so make sure you always carry enough water. And also make sure you have known how far apart the rest areas (restrooms) are on your journey.

8. Air tips for pregnant woman

>> Check your airline’s pregnant flyer policy before booking the ticket. — Find International Flights to China

>> According to most airlines, pregnant women before 32 weeks will be treated like normal travelers. And there shouldn’t be any problems for the first two trimesters when flying. The airlines may require a note from your doctor if you are scheduled to deliver within 30 days of takeoff.

>> Book an aisle seat so that you have a little more space and can easily reach the bathroom as needed.

>> Try to walk up and down the aisle frequently on the plane to reduce the risk of a blood clot, or thrombo-embolism.