Baisha Village: An honorable Naxi Old Town under Yulong Snow Mountain

UNESCO world cultural heritage Lijiang old town in Southwest China’s Yunnan province consists of three small villages: Dayan Village, Shuhe Village and Baisha Village. Compare with Dayan’s bar hopping and endless streams of tourists, or Shuhe’s sharp contrast of busy days and dull nights, Baisha Village is distinctive, less commercialized and rather serene. It was surrounded by natural white sand, hence the name “Baisha” (white sand).

baisha lijiang

Baisha old town Yunnan

The honorable Baisha Village resides at the foot of the Yulong Snow Mountain (Jade Dragon Snow Mountain), and is approximately 10km to the north of Lijiang Ancient Town. It is the place that  Naxi people firstly settled and local Mu Family Governors originated, which was the biggest and most prominent family in Lijiang. The Mu Family began the construction in Baisha during Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), with the building of Baisha Old Street and Beiyue Temple. Gradually, Baisha became the economic, political and cultural center of Lijiang, until the Mu Family moved to Dayan Village (the current Lijiang Ancient Town) during the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644).

baisha village lijiang

naxi people in Lijiang

Today, Baisha Village still retains rows of ancient Naxi style architectures and many cultural relics, including Dabaoji Palace, Liuli Temple, Fuguo Buddhist Temple ruins, Wenchang Palaces and the famous Baisha Murals, most of which were completed during the Ming Dynasty.

china lijiang tours

china lijiang tours

The Baisha murals, also known as Lijing Frescos, are the highlights of Baisha Village tour and the precious information for the research of Chinese ethnic people’s arts and religions. The 44 pieces of Baisha murals were initially created three hundred years ago, and mostly drawn from the early Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911). Painters of Han, Tibetan, Naxi, Bai and other nationalities contributed to the murals and made them a great fusion of different styles of art and culture. Most of the paintings tell hallowed religious stories of Taoism, Buddhism, and Tibetan Buddhism.

Baisha murals

lijiang baisha murals

Travelers are encouraged to have a leisure stroll around the village to enjoy the simple, slow lifestyle, enchanted traditional Naxi culture, tranquil streets lined up with ancient dwellings and the pleasant rice fields. If you come here on the twelfth day of the first month of Chinese lunar calendar, you can join the grand religious festival. The ancient halls on the village’s east street will be open for sacrifices to the Gods, and people of different minorities in Lijiang will gather here.

trip to lijiang yunnan

trip to lijiang china

 

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8 Famous Noodles to Try in China

China is a foodie heaven, showcased in the eight Great cuisines and thousands of dishes and delicacies. But it isn’t all about dining in the luxury restaurants with a rich feast. It also shows very unique style and great attainments in noodle – a simple but most popular food in China. Noodles are easy to cook, with a wide range of cooking methods and ever-changing flavors. Here is a list of China’s top 10 noodles.

Recommended China Culinary Tour

1. Fried Bean Sauce Noodles (炸酱面)

China culinary tour  China noodles

Beijing’s most iconic noodles – the noodles are stirred with small pieces of vegetables and fried sauce. Prepare the cucumber, cedrela sinensis, bean sprouts, green beans and soybeans as the side dishes. Then fry the bean source based on ground meat, onion, ginger and soybean paste.

2. Hot Dry Noodle (热干面)

what to eat in Wuhan China

It is Huhan people’s favorite food, and the most popular breakfast in Wuhan. The noodles are in medium size and of light yellow color. It tastes slightly spicy and salty.

3. The Shaved Noodles (刀削面)

Chinese noodles

The shaved noodles feature authentic Shanxi flavor. Knead dough into regiment, and slice it into medium-thick pieces and boil them. When the noodles are done, add minced meat and seasonings.

4. Lanzhou Hand Pull Noodles (兰州拉面)

Chinese handmade noodles
how to make chinese noodles

Hand-pulled noodle is a type of Lanzhou noodle. It’s very dramatic to watch the noodles being made. The dough is twisted, stretched and folded, then made into strands. The side dishes include sliced cucumber, chill oil, egg, beef and coriander Leaf. And the soup is boiled by cattle bones or sheep bones.

5. Dan Dan Noodles (担担面)

what noodles to eat in China

A popular dish in the gourmet city, Dan Dan Noodles are made by hand roll, and taste excellent.

6. Pian Er Chuan Noodles (片儿川)

China Hangzhou noodles

A famous local delicacy in Hangzhou, the noodles are cooked with light soup, and stirred with delicious toppings including fresh potherb mustard, fresh bamboo shoots and lean meat.

7. Stewed Noodles (烩面)

China gourmet tour

It is a traditional snack in Henan province, Central China. There are mutton stewed noodles, beef stewed noodles and five-delicacies stewed noodles.

8. Wonton Noodles (馄饨面)

Wonton and noodles

Wonton Noodles are most famous in Hong Kong and Canton area. The wonton stuffing is made of lean meat, shrimps, crabs or any other sea food. And the noodles are cooked in chicken soup or nutrition soup.

Top Spring Destinations in China

For most Chinese, spring has already kicked in! Its striking land awakens and is a riot of color right now. In spite of the drizzle, China in spring season makes a compelling case for all travelers and promises to ignite the wanderlust in the new year.

There are soft outdoor adventures to the tea plantation fields in the mountainous areas, and delightful old town or water town vacations. Got a need for a fascinating photography destination? Find yourself the colorful blooming flowers that blend into the fresh green hugs.

1. Experiencing tea culture and picking tea leaves

Travelling to China in spring offers visitors a great opportunity to explore the birth places of top Chinese teas – Longjing green tea in Hangzhou, Maofeng tea in Huangshan, Wuyi Rock Tea in Wuyishan and Pu-erh Tea in Yunnan. Most of the teas have their harvest time with busy tea-picking in spring and summer. You can join a tea tour and pick the very fresh tea leaves along with the experienced tea farmers.

China Tea culture tour

Top China tea vacations

2. Water town in springtime

Several romantic water towns scatter in East China’s Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai cities. When spring comes, these old corners of the world are energetic and lively again with the blooming flowers. The time-honored architectures, stone-paved lanes, various arched bridges, quint docks with ferries, and the twisting rivers and streams together create an intoxicating scene.

Trip to see China water town

China Suzhou Hangzhou tours

3. Discovering China’s old capital – Xian

Vibrant spring blooms in Xian.

The breeze blows gently, flushing out the depressing winter blues. People get out of home, and walk on the old streets, have leisurely cycling on the ancient wall, and ascend the old pagodas to enjoy the breath of spring. For a Xian spring tour, visitors should not miss Terra Cotta Warriors and the distinctive local food and snacks.

China Xian Terra-cotta worriors tour

China Xian bus tour

4. Hiking to Longji Rice Terraced Fields

It is tempting to spend your China spring break with a hike to Longji (in Guilin) to see the marvelous rice terraces. Now the rows of fields are irrigated and filled with water, providing great photo opportunities. Moreover, visitors can experience charming Zhuang and Yao minority culture.

China guilin bus tour

Longji rice terraces tour

5. Celebrate the traditional festivals of ethnic people

Spring becomes a fun-filled season, when the friendly and enthusiastic ethnic people in Southwest China (mainly in Yunnan and Guizhou provinces) celebrate their magnificent festivals. Join the local people, put on their colorful festival clothes, and enjoy the carnival by celebrating the Sister’s Meal Festival of Miao People, Water-Splashing Festival of Dai People, March Street Festival (March Fair) of Bai people, etc.

China traditional festival tour

China ethnic group tours

6. Hakka Earthen Building with spring scenery

Hakka Earthen Buildings in South China’s Fujian province are still well preserved and embraced by the beautiful green world in spring. With its unique shape, ingenious structure, and large scale, Hakka Earthen Building or Tulou building was seen as the unknown missile ramps with secret weapon by an American spy in 1970s. Now people have the chance to descend into this mysterious world.

China Tulou tour

Fujian tulou vacation

7. Enjoy the flowers blooming

Spring vacations offer a great opportunity to shake off the rust from a long winter and enjoy all kinds of flowers blossoming. Make your way to Luoping in Yunan or Wuyuan in Jiangxi to witness seas of golden rape flowers, which mix perfectly with the Karst mountains and ancient Huizhou architectures separately. While in Luoyang, you will see the grand Peony Festival from April 1 to May 7.

China spring tours

trip to China in spring

Shangli: China’s Qing Dynasty Ancient Town in Ya’an, Sichuan

If you’re after ancient town adventures in China, allow yourself another stress-free trip to Shangli, 27 km north of Ya’an city center, Sichuan province. With a small green area of 75.8 square km, Shangli was an important stop of the less well-known South Silk Road (also known as the Tea Horse Road, and witnessed the splendid cultural and economic exchanges from Southwest China’s Sichuan and Yunan to Burma, Thailand, then finally reaching India and Middle East) and retains many Qing Dynasty architectures today.

17-day China Ancient Architecture Tour

China ancient town tours

Chengdu shangli old town tours

Don’t come expecting too much a theatrically odd experience to travel back in time. Some parts of the town have been rebuilt for granted and given relatively modern restaurants and hostels. However, visitors can still smell and enjoy the ancient flavor with the old trees and streams, old bridges and pagodas, ancient stone streets and lanes, as well as the wooden Qing-Dynasty-style dwellings, which survive and blend into the enchanted pastoral scenery.

trip to China ancient towns

The old town of Shangli

Two rivers flow through the old town, with the ancient stilted houses, bridges, memorial archway, bamboo grove, narrow cobbled alleyways, fields and hills reflected in the water, creating a refreshing and elegant painting. The layout of the streets was designed according to the word “井” (it means the ancient well with water dipped up). The wooden houses are scattered randomly over the town, among which, Han Family Compound built in Jiaqing Period (1796-1820) of Qing Dynasty is the best-known and well preserved. The doors, windows, colonnades and cornices of its seven tiny courtyards are delicately embossed, carved and inlayed with various designs.

trip to Shangli, Sichuan, China

China old town adventures

China village tours

The ancient bridges

There are more than 10 old bridges in the town, each with a distinctive style and showing the ancient craftsmen’s artistic skills. Er-Xian Bridge (Tow Gods Bridge) built in 1711- 1799 during Qianlong Period of Qing Dynasty is the most iconic bridge.

China old bridges photos

China shangli tours

China Old town tours

China Chengdu vacations

More inspiration in Ya’an

Many people make it all the way to Ya’an Bifengxia Panda Base to see the giant pandas, and even join the volunteer program to look after this cutest creature.

Ya’an is also a delight to tea enthusiasts, as being one of the cultural birthplaces of Chinese tea, and features a sacred tea mountain – Mount Mengding.

China bifengxia panda tours 

How to get to Ya’an and Shangli

Arrive in Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan. Take a bus from Chengdu’s Xinnanmen Bus Station or Shiyangchang Bus Station to Ya’an Tourist Bus Station, where there you take another bus to Shangli (the total journey time is about 2 to 2.5 hours).

Learn Authentic Kung Fu in China

Kung Fu is a treasure part of China, and an important cultural heritage of the world. It doesn’t refer simply to the old-fashioned fighting skills or self-defense – to be more precise, it is Chinese martial arts that blend physical exercise with the old oriental philosophy, meditation and aesthetic. Despite the baptism of time, Kung Fu remains dazzlingly divine and now attracts tens of thousands of people out there in the world to learn.

Shaolin Kung Fu

Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng County, Henan Province is the Mecca of authentic Chinese Kong Fu, where you can learn Shaolin Wushu – and get trained and inspired by the talented monks and martial arts masters. Shaolin Wushu is the biggest and most famous school of Chinese kungfu, with over 700 different martial arts routines and weapon trainings and emphasis on “unity of Zen and Martial arts.

China Kung Fu tours

With its diverse and multifaceted system, Shaolin Kung Fu students and learners are allowed and encouraged to pursue traditional routines for fitness, self-defense and athletics, or spiritual exercise for mediation according to individual interests.

Kung Fu school in China

Wudang Tai Ji (Tai Chi)

Tai Chi, short of T’ai chi ch’uan or Taijiquan, is an internal Chinese martial art, with Confucianism doctrines and the dialectics of yin-yang of Taoism in mind. People practice Tai Chi for defense, wellness, longevity and edifying temperament over centuries. Nowadays, Tai Chi has evolved and further developed and spread worldwide.

Learn Tai ji in China

With the simple set of slow movements, Tai Chi means to transform your body and give incredible health benefits according to Chinese traditional science of arteries and veins, at the same time strengthening your fighting capability.

Recommended China Wellness Tour to learn Taiji

China Taiji Kung Fu tours

Wing Chun (Ving Tsun / Wing Tsun)

When most Westerns think of Chinese Kung Fu, they think Bruce Lee – a legendary descendant of Wing Chun and apprentice to famous Ip Man (Ye Wen). It is Bruce Lee that first impressed the Western world with Kung Fu, and Wing Chun master Liang Ting who further promoted Wing Chun to over 60 countries and regions.

Brace Lee Kung Fu

Wing Chun is regard as one of the most effective close combat systems throughout the world. Based on sparring, it has various routines mixing internal forces with close proximity punching. The training equipment for learning Wing Chun includes punch bag, candle, crate circle, chopsticks, crabstick, sousands layer paper, and wooden stake.

wing tsun school

There are numerous reputable Kung Fu schools in China with helpful masters and professional Kung Fu training courses. You can join us for a fabulous Kong Fu tour to explore the birthplaces of different schools of Kung Fu, enjoy the culture of Chinese martial arts, and learn Kung Fu personally!