Easy Tour China 2016 Annual Meeting – An Exploration in Zhaoxing

The team of ETC held this year’s annual meeting in Zhaoxing, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, SW China’s Guizhou Province during January 13-15, with a special purpose of exploring the Dong villages of Zhaoxing, therefore crafting better and more specific Guizhou tour programs for our clients.

Guizhou tours to Zhaoxing

Transportation: China’s national HSR system has connected Guangxi and Guizhou by opening the Guangzhou Guiyang railway. It takes only 50 minutes for us to travel from Guilin to Zhaoxing (get on the train at Guilin Xi Train Station and get off at Congjiang Station).

Accommodation in Zhaoxing: Indigo Lodge

Zhaoxing Village: In the south of Liping country, Zhaoxing Dong Village is one of the biggest Dong villages in China where about 1,200 households and 6000 Dong people live in a traditional simple life. We arrived at night and were impressed by the stunning night view of the village when the wooden structures, towers, pavilions and bridges were lighted up.

Zhaoxing tours 

The next day is to explore in Zhaoxing Village, as well as the nearby Tang’an Village and Jilun Village. All of them have the well-kept ancient wooden drum towers, flower bridges, theatrical stages and arrays of Diaojiaolou, serene countryside… which are quite remarkable and making the places great for minority culture discovery and experiencing the laid-back rural lifestyle and getting away from the city chaos.

 

So if you would like to take an adventure to Guizhou and Zhaoxing, here we have crafted the wonderful trips connecting Zhaoxing and other minority destinations in China with unique itineraries and programs.

7-day Guizhou Highlight Tour including Zhaoxing 

11-day Mountain Tribe Adventure 

13-day Gateway to China Minorities

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

Alice’s Fantastic Journey to Shangri-La (Early November, 2015)

My Yunnan journey started at Kunming, with two stopovers at Dali and Lijiang, continued through theTiger Leaping Gorge, and finally reached the dreamland of Shangri-La.

There are regular buses (coaches) from Lijiang to Shangri-La departing every half an hour. The journey takes 4 ~ 5 hours, and is scenic and dramatic with gorges, rivers, mountains, waterfalls, terraced fields…

We were told to drink more water and exercise less in case of discomfort or even altitude sickness, as Shangri-La is 3200~3500m above sea level.

Half of the Dukezong Old Town was burned and destroyed in Jan 2014, and is still under reconstruction and expected to be completed by 2017. Walk through the narrow, intricate ancient streets to get lost in the track of time. The Moonlight Square is the way to the Guishan Park and the Giant Buddhist Temple where world’s largest prayer wheel is located. Standing beside the prayer wheel, I had the great panorama view of Shangri-La Town that is aloof from the outside world and embraced by the lofty mountains.

 

Shangri-La in early November doesn’t see many snowy days, so I changed the itinerary of taking the cable car up to the Shika Snow Mountain to visiting the Potatso National Park (but you’re still encouraged to ascend Shika Snow Mountain to overlook the sacred Meri Snow Mountain, Gaoligong Mountain, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the three sacred mountains in Daocheng, and also have a bird’s view of Napa Lake wetlands).

I’ve heard that Potatso National Park has its most beautiful time in spring and summer when the small wild animals make the lush forests alive and the wetlands and pasture are besprinkled with a variety of colorful flowers. However, Potatso in winter totally impressed me too and brought me a time of peace and tranquility, with its purified blue sky and liquid water in Shudu Lake and Bita Lake.

 

The little naughty squirrels were running everywhere in the forests and people can feed them with peanuts and sunflower seeds. Potatso National Park is an interesting place and worths at least half a day visiting by hiking and boating.

I felt that it was my great honor to visit the Songzanlin Lamasery – the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple complex in Yunnan Province, and reputed as the Lesser Potala Palace of Tibet. Built in 1679 by the Fifth Dalai Lama, the lamasery houses a wealth of stunning Buddhist art treasures. I was not a Buddhist, but still I visited it with reverence and pious heart.

Easy Tour China’s Raft Race: Who Are Going to Win?

We fled to Yangshuo last Tuesday, again!

The place is renowned for the amazing natural scenery and Laid-back countryside lifestyle, as well as being suitable for various types of outdoor sports, such as hiking, biking, rock climbing, Tai Chi practicing, bamboo-rafting, and also the raft race.

Guilin Yangshuo Yulong River trips

This time in Yangshuo, the active and energetic staff of Easy Tour China was allocated randomly into three groups and would complete in the raft race on Yulong River – it was for fun and also the team building by performing as one great team. None of us wanted to lose.

Outdoor activities in Yangshuo China available Outdoor sport in Yangshuo

Upon arrival, we cooled off with the unexpected shower, and began the exciting raft race! Team I was led by Wei and Ricky, Team II by Thomas and Zhao, while Team III by Charlie and Kyle.

What to do in Yangshuo The Yulong River Bamboo rafting race

First of all, we should build the raft according to our own ideas with some tires and plastic pipes. When all the three teams had finished, we strove to drive the raft for 30km across Yulong River and captured a flag, then drove back. It was also our own choice to decide how to push the raft forward, by swimming or paddling by hands. Of course the first team to return to the start line was the final winner.

The water-friendly activities on Yulong River Yangshuo

The raft race on Yulong River Yangshuo

Can you guess who the winner was? It was Team II with team members including Silvia, Peicy, Lydia and Yuri. They were just so fast. And the second and third place went to Team III and Team I separately. Sorry to Wei and Ricky 😛

China Yangshuo discovery by outdoor sports

unique Yangshuo Yulong River experience

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)

Easy Tour China Team Bike to Yao Mountain

There’s no better way to experience the sheer splendor of Guilin’s Karst landscape than by biking. Therefore, some of ETC team make a plan to cycle around with the purpose of finding out the great cycling routes in Guilin for our clients and friends, while relaxing and enjoying ourselves at the same time. Last Thursday, we had our first biking tour to Yao Mountain, approximately 10 km northeast of downtown Guilin.

Biking in Guilin

909m above sea level, Yao Mountain is the highest mountain in the city, and a should-not-missed destination for all cyclists in Guilin. Before arriving at the foot the Yao Mountain, we have to bike on a bumpy and rugged road with a continuous line of cars, which was surely not a pleasure at all. But it was worth it, – we were awarded with a great view of the endless undulating mountains of Karst geography, which has just been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list recently.

Yao Mountain is different from most of the other stone hills in Guilin, and covered with fertile soil and luxuriant vegetation. With the well-constructed road, it is an ideal place for moderate hiking and cycling (there are also cars running up and down). However, the 8.5 km winding road’s several hairpin turns and rather large tilt brought a real challenge for we first-timers.

Sunset of Yao Mountain

Finally we reached the halfway up the mountain at around 19:00 pm, and enjoyed the beautiful sunset. But it was too late to keep climbing. So we decided to turn back. We hope that next time we can reach the top.

Here we would like to share with our biking tips of descending Yao Mountain. So that you can enjoy the thrill downhill under safety.

1. Get low on the bike to get a low centre of gravity, so that you can be better stabilized.

2. Most of the time, use more rear braking. And it’s good to brake earlier into corners, and less during the turn as the bike goes through leaning angles.

3. Always be concentrated to the hairpin turns, road signs and cars in front.

4. Control the speed, especially when the night falls (we descend at night this time)

ETC 2013 Annual Meeting Falls on Jan 8th

Of all the company events during the whole year, the annual meeting, no doubt, remains the main attraction for we easytourchina team! Our 2013 annual meeting just fell on Jan 8th 2014 and was held in Jinzhongshan Holiday Resort, 48 km north of Guilin downtown. The 7- square-kilometers Jinzhongshan Holiday Resort features Longevity culture, as well as original ecological forests, karst topography wonder and nice hot spring. it was so comfortable and interesting to have the company party there!

Our gereral manager Wei was giving a speech

The meeting began with our managers’ speech, summarizing 2013’s work, expressing their gratitude to employees and motivating the passion for work, followed by dinner banquet with tasting local dishes. With the 2014 Horse Year is coming, we toasted and sent wishes to each other.

Dinner Time

And then activities time was coming! One important feature of ETC’s annual meeting was that we always paid much attention to the staff interaction and entertainment. This year, we had advertisement performance time, lottery draw time, and watched an amazing video recording dribs and drabs of the whole team’s company life made by our technical staff, winning everyone’s praise.

Performance Time

Group Picture

The next day, on Jan 9th, we hike to Tian Keng, a karst topography wonder and a nice complex of caves and stones. It is the only Karst cave in Guilin which you can go into it from the base. Hiking along it, we heard the clear water dropping, smelt the fresh air from the nature, watched the rare species from centuries ago…

karst topography wonder in Yonfu, Guilin

Tian Keng