China’s Top Destinations in April for Terraced Fields & Blooming Flowers

China is never short of historical sites and natural wonders, but the romantic towns and villages with amazing terraced fields or blooming flowers are the most iconic highlights in April. Take a journey from Danba Town in Sichuan to Nyingchi in Tibet, from Fengshan Town in Guangxi to Congjiang Town in Guizhou to explore the best of the beautiful spring season of China.

Yili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang

There is a large area of virgin almond forest dating back to Middle Ages in Xinyuan Country, Yili Prefecture. The almond trees are in full bloom for only four or five days from April 10 to 20. Morning hours will be perfect time for the serene sunrise and the almond blossom in the color of white or pink stretching for a few tens of kilometers.

Travel to China in April

Tour to China in Spring

Nyingchi Prefecture in Tibet

Make a romantic approach to ‪‎Nyingchi in spring season for the ‘Peach Blossom Valley’‬, where the thousands of peach trees will be in full bloom and scattered in the grassy pasture land, with the permanent snow-capped mountains as the background.

Travel to Tibet in April

Tibet tours in April

Danba Tibetan Town in West Sichuan

Ranked as the top of the most beautiful villages in China, Danba boasts profound yet unique Jiarong Tibetan cultures and beautiful girls. Usually in early April, stretches of pear flowers are in bloom embracing the local Tibetan dwellings and ancient watch towers, and extending to the Jinchuan River.

China tours in April

Maojiabu Scenic Area (茅家埠) in Hangzhou

Hangzhou is intoxicatingly beautiful in the springtime, but the famous attractions such as West Lakes and Xixi Wetlands may be overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you’re encouraged to visit Maojiabu Scenic Area for distinctive riverside dwelling houses, Hangzhou green tea culture and Buddhist culture.

China trips in April

Tour to Hangzhou

Fengshan Town in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

Fengshan Town features groups of Karst peaks as beautiful as those in Guilin and Yangshuo. There are also fascinating Karst caves, pits and naturally formed bridges. Travel to the countryside to experience the Chinese pastoral life in this busy farming season.

Tour to Guangxi

Guangxi tours in April

Congjiang Town in Guizhou

Inhabited by many minority tribes including Miao, Dong, Zhuang, Yao, etc., Congjiang features amazing terraced fields named Jiabang Terraced Paddy Fields. April is a one of the best time to visit Jiabang, when farmers will irrigate the fields then plant rice seedlings.

Tuor to Guizhou

Guizhou tours in April

Jiangling Terraced Fields in Wuyuan Town, Jiangxi Province

In China’s most beautiful countryside Wuyuan, there are terraced canola‬ flowers fields surrounding the scattered traditional villages with Huizhou architectures and dwellings in April.

Travel in China in April

Experiencing Dong Culture at Zhaoxing’s Grain Rain Festival

With over 1000 different festivals celebrated by 48 different minority groups in one year, Guizhou is one of the two provinces in China (the other one is Yunnan Province with 51 minority groups) that offer best minority culture experience.

Minority culture tour to China

Soon on April 19 (the 13th day of the third lunar calendar month), Dong people in the thousand-year-old Zhaoxing Dong Village will celebrate the Grain Rain Festival (the 6th solar term of Chinese 24 solar terms), with various fun-filled activities and unique cultural experiences for Dong people’s agricultural civilization and very old traditions.

Tour to Zhaoxing Dong Village Guizhou

One of the most beautiful ancient villages in China, Zhaoxing Dong Village retains the traditional layout and architectures. The villagers have been living a simple humble life and devoting themselves to preserving the Dong culture and customs, such as the ‘Kam Grand Choirs’ which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Site in 2006.

Tour to Zhaoxing, Guizhou

Trip to Zhaoxing, Liping, Guizhou

To celebrate the Grain Rain Festival, traditionally Dong people will ‘eat black rice and sow the rice seed’, so as to mark the beginning of busy farming season, show respect to the hard-working cattle, and give an important and special gift to the sweetheart. The ‘black rice’ is made from sticky rice with the leaf juice of Vaccinium bracteatum Thunb. It is usually considered as a love token according to the traditional Dong marriage customs.

Guizhou specialty food

Guizhou speicalty food

Therefore Grain Rain Festival is also a big day for unmarried men and women. Young men will throw bamboo baskets with presents into young women’s houses for ‘black rice’, meat and wine. Then the man will sing a folk song to get back the basket, yet remain wary of the girl’s sneak attack by applying soot with oil on the man’s face, named ‘Da Hua Lian’. Finally people of all ages including both the locals and travelers join in the ‘Da Hua Lian’. It turns to be a Carnival Night!

Guizhou minority groups tours

Dong festivals

>> If you are planning a minority culture tour to Guizhou and want to take part in Zhaoxing’s Grain Rain Festival on April 19, 2016, please contact us for more details.

A Spring Outing to Yangshuo and Hike to the Countryside

People never get tired of Yangshuo, generally, and we’re no exception. This place offers many cool and unique ways to amuse the friends and family, such as biking into the rural landscape, bamboo-rafting on the rivers for the awesome Karst mountains, rock-climbing on the scaring vertical peaks, and enjoying the peaceful and relaxing hours at a secret, quaint hotel. Or, do what ETC team was doing – hiking to the countryside of Yangshuo.

Tour to Yangshuo China

Yangshuo, with its surrounding pristine villages and old towns like Xingping and Fuli, offer numerous hiking trails to meet all difficulties. This time, we chose the trail from Jiuxian Village to the Yulong Bridge in Baisha Town, an easy and scenic route. We walked along the Yulong River, through the villages, and passed by paddy fields, vegetable fields and fruit gardens en route. On the photos, you can see that the country roads are rough and rugged, and sometimes difficult to figure out. However, we were rewarded with picturesque landscape and a great hiking experience.

Yangshuo hiking tours Yangshuo Hiking

The Yulong Bridge

Trip to Yangshuo

Yangshuo hiking adventure

Here we also would like to recommend two hotels, the Secret Garden Boutique Hotel and Jade Mountain Hotel.

The Secret Garden hides itself between towering Karst peaks & lush rice paddies in Jiuxian Village of Yangshuo. The hotel is converted from a group of Qing Dynasty dwelling houses, but restored and provides modern comforts. It is a wonderful place for visitors who desire serenity and a chance to experience the gentle rhythm of Chinese rural life.

Yangshuo hotels booking

Jade Mountain Hotel is a budget hotel and enjoys an ideal location by standing at the opposite of Yulong River. Therefore, you can have a relaxing walk along the river or enjoy doing the morning exercise like running and Tai Chi.

In this season of spring, the canola‬ flowers are in full blossom. Isn’t it beautiful?!

Yangshuo countryside hiking

China’s Ancient Village with Surprising Underground Courtyards

A number of cultural heritage sites in China remain unknown to a large percentage of travelers. For instance, few people experienced the life in the underground cave dwellings.

China ancient village tours

The cave dwelling has a history of 1500 – 2000 years, and is a typical and unique architecture in North Shannxi Province and the Loess Plateau area. It is of great historical, scientific and artist value. Today I’m going to introduce you the cave dwellings in Sanmenxia City,Henan Province, where there are more than 100 “underground villages” (in Chinese, 地坑院) with tens of thousands of “underground courtyards”.

>> Further reading for the cave-dwelling house in Qikou Ancient Town in Shanxi Province

Discover ancient villages in China

It takes a family two or three years of digging (6 or 7 meters) and renovation to build a underground cave house, and then the house can stand for hundreds of years. Renma Village and Miaoshang Village in Shanxian Town, Sanmenxia City boast the best-kept cave houses, some of which are over 200 years old and home to six generations.

Traditional Chinese dwellings cave dwelling in China

The underground cave dwelling is a magical creature of the natural environment, and an ideal dwelling house on the Loess Plateau. It is warm in winter and cool in summer with low-cost construction. Inside the courtyard, there is separated bathroom, sitting room, bedrooms, as well as livestock shed and storeroom. We have to walk through a more than 10-meter-long tunnel to go into the cave house. Nowadays, local people also get richer and renovate their courtyards with modern comforts and decorations. However, many of the courtyards are abandoned and ruined…

traditional folk houses in North China

traditional folk houses in China

Usually, a courtyard possesses a special kitchen with seven stoves in series. Burn firewood on one side, the heat flows and gets to every single stove. Thanks to the different amount of heat, the cook makes different dishes at the same time by frying, stir-frying, steaming, biasing and stewing separately.

 traditional local-style dwelling houses in China

traditional dwelling houses in Henan

Actually, the cave dwelling villages in Shanxian are better known for their paper-cutting masters, who always won golden medals at the “national paper-cut contest”.

Cave houses in China

Locals celebrate the Spring Festival in the underground cave houses, with traditional performances like yangko dance, traditional local opera, drum dance, etc

underground cave houses in China

Wedding at “underground courtyard”

Tour to Henan

Swan Lake – Located at Sanmenxia reservoir area, the Swan Lake sees tens of thousands of swans migrate here every year to spend the winter.

Trip to Swan Lake China

How to get there:

It is suggested to have a two-day trip to the cave dwelling villages and the Swan Lake. And make your way there from Xian City.

PS. Many wonder how the drainage system works at the underground cave dwelling. Well, you will have to figure it out by yourself with a journey there!