The Top 15 Spa Hotels in Beijing & a Hot Tip for Beijing Travelers

The Top 15 Spa Hotels in Beijing & a Hot Tip for Beijing Travelers

I remember Beijing well, so many places to explore, so much walking, so many activities, and the flu. That’s Beijing, it can really wear you out because it’s simply one destination that there is so much to take in, and so much to do. So, make sure to plan for a pitstop and some time for rejuvenation.

How? Here’s my tip, book yourself in for one night, at least, at a superb hotel that offers loads of amenities then sit back and chill. Don’t let fatigue destroy your plans or distract you from getting the most out of your time in the city.

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Going to Shenzhen? Essential Shenzhen is the must have eBook

Going to Shenzhen? Essential Shenzhen is the must have eBook

If you are visiting, day touring or moving to Shenzhen for work or business then this is the must-have guide book, Essential Shenzhen.

At least I hope it is! Coz, I wrote it. I had a simple aim with this guide book, which was to give you the fast-track for getting the most out of your time in the city. I spent over four years in Shenzhen and have put all those discoveries into this book.

The eBook is available for download on Amazon Essential Shenzhen.

For example, here’s the index from the book

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The Cost of Living in China – for Travelers & Expats

The Cost of Living in China – for Travelers & Expats

How much does it cost to go to China? Take a look on the travel forums and it’s one of the most common questions there is, so, let’s break it down.

Just like anywhere, there’s a big difference between holidaying and living for extended periods so let’s tackle it in two parts.

Holidaying in China: The Costs

It is a bit like how long is a piece of string, it depends on the level of comfort your seeking and where you want to go and what you’d like to see. For this example, lets’ focus on Tier One cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou.

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Your One Page Guide to Yum Cha (Dian Xin)

Your One Page Guide to Yum Cha (Dian Xin)

A relaxed morning with a table full of delicious sweet and savory treats, with trolleys passing at regular intervals offering up even more, sound like your kinda thing? Then for sure you’ll be a fan of Dian Xin, also referred to as Yum Cha.

It’s a specialty of Guangdong province and it’s not to be missed. It’s also wildly popular in Hong Kong of course, but here’s a hot tip, head to Guangdong where it’s only part the price and sometimes twice as good. I’ll suggest a few places later in the post.

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The Essential Intro: Guiyang, Guizhou China

The Essential Intro: Guiyang, Guizhou China

Guiyang, it’s shopping and eating, then, more shopping and eating. And that’s it. Oh, there’s banks in between the restaurants and stores, so you can get more money out and continue shopping and eating.

Guiyang is the capital of Guizhou and It’s one of the most unusual capitals that I had visited in all my time in China. It’s, well, different. It really has its own identity, but then it doesn’t, some call it a mini Hong Kong. and that’s probably the best way to describe it. It’s just a city full of people shopping and eating, threaded with peoples desire to be rich and be seen to be rich.

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Qingyuan – A peaceful outpost of Guangdong’s Mega-Cities

Qingyuan – A peaceful outpost of Guangdong’s Mega-Cities

Looking for a nearby escape from the mega-metropolises of Shenzhen or Guangdong? Then this place is probably just for you. Fresh air, nature and simple laid back life make this small city a gem.

I shouldn’t say small, actually it’s quite large in size, being a prefecture-level city that has numerous other cities under it’s wing. The actual Qingyuan city is quaint and comfortable in many ways, it abounds with nature and features a beautiful river, the Beijiang, running through it’s center.

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Lets Eat…. Chang Fen (Rice Noodle Rolls)

Lets Eat…. Chang Fen (Rice Noodle Rolls)

This simple dish is a real favorite of mine and a staple of the Cantonese breakfast scene. Take an early morning wander along the streets anywhere from Hong Kong to way out past Guangzhou and you wont be able to miss it.

Rice noodle rolls, or zhu cháng fen (cantonese: chee cheong fun) which translates literally to pig intestine noodle, named so only due to its looks.

Every morning the steamer, specially for making rice rolls, is parked out front of the shop and the chef goes to work producing rice rolls fresh on demand as customers grab breakfast on their way to work.

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Let’s Eat… Offal Hot Pot

Let’s Eat… Offal Hot Pot

Here is something YOU SHOULD try, when your Chinese friends take you to a beef hot pot restaurant, get ready for all kinds of offal and intestine, they love the stuff. And to be honest, it’s well worth trying and with the different sauces and condiments, it’s delicious, but some bits are a tad chewy… The restaurants in the city center or malls mostly use packaged or frozen goods, but, if your lucky, you can track down the odd place that butchers on site with a carcass delivered fresh every night. Unmissable experience, but vegetable hot pots are probably still the one for me.

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4 TCM food remedies for Weight Loss

4 TCM food remedies for Weight Loss

Carrying a few extra pounds, I’m bypassing the local dim-sum restaurant and went on the hunt for local solutions for weight loss and here’s what I come up with.

Firstly, everyone agrees, you can’t put in more than you give out, meaning, you need to burn more calories than you eat. Damn, I really do have to do exercise.

Interestingly, I’m not a big eater, had dropped bread from the diet some time ago, don’t drink soda and stuck to just one or two cups of tea or coffee each day. Where was the weight coming from?

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The Top Value Accommodation options in Tsim Sha Tsui, HK

The Top Value Accommodation options in Tsim Sha Tsui, HK

Tsim Sha Tsui is a popular location from which to base a Hong Kong trip, there are numerous attractions in the area such as the Star Ferry, Victoria Harbour, Museums, Mosque and endless shopping via the major malls, Ladies Market, Temple St Night Market and much more.

These top 15 accommodation options are based on primarily visitor reviews, but also value and location.

Philippine Hostel 1-star hotel

Area: Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Located in Hong Kong, 109 yards from iSquare. It features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. Each room includes a flat-screen TV.

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The Top 15 Hotels in Zhuhai

The Top 15 Hotels in Zhuhai

Zhuhai is conveniently connected to Macau making it a popular destination wth travellers. It’s also a beautiful coastal city featuring attractions such as Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, Lovers’ Road, Imperial Hot Spring Resort, The New Yuan Ming Palace, Ocean Spring Resort, Jintai Temple, Mexi Memorial Arch, many islands and much more.

The Top 15 Hotels in Zhuhai (ranked by value, location, foreign friendly, review rating) :

Zhongshan Yihe Grand Hotel
5-star hotel

Area: Zhongshan
Located in the vibrant Xingzhong Avenue within walking distance from entertainment and shopping options. It boasts 5-star facilities like an indoor pool, a spa and tennis courts.

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The Top 15 Xiamen Hotels

The Top 15 Xiamen Hotels

These hotels in Xiamen are picked based on their visitor reviews, location, suitability for a foreign guest and value.

Xiamen is a beautiful coastal city in Fujian Province, a city I really enjoyed especially the island, Gulangyu, and also heading inland to Yongding to visit the Hakka Tulou buildings.

Hotel Indigo Xiamen Harbour
5-star hotel

Area: Siming, Xiamen
A 5 minutes’ walk from Huangu Ferry Marina, offers relaxing beachside living in modern guestrooms with free wired internet. All rooms offer wide windows that allow much natural light and the fresh ocean breeze in.

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Conquering Southern China – the Documentary

Conquering Southern China – the Documentary

In this documentary series, the two vloggers ride their hand built 125cc bikes from Huizhou in Guangdong Province to Kunming in Yunnan Province. Along the way they tackle the toughest roads, meet fascinating locals, try weird food and witness breathtaking landscapes; it’s China like you’ve never seen it before.

According to Shenzhen Daily, editing should be completed by mid 2016 and hopes are for it to be picked up Nat Geo or the like. Can’t wait to watch the full adventure.

You can also find the preview/trailer on:
http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_186193499_type_99.html

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The Top 15 Hotels in Central, Hong Kong

The Top 15 Hotels in Central, Hong Kong

Central is the financial heart of Hong Kong, featuring not only the business district but also numerous attractions such as the Peak Tram, Hollywood Road, the Mid Level Escalators, world famous shopping and more.

JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong 5-star hotel

Area: Central District, Hong Kong

Sitting at top the prestigious Pacific Place Complex. It has direct access to the Admiralty MTR subway station and Pacific Place Shopping Mall.



Conrad Hong Kong 5-star hotel

Area: Central District, Hong Kong

It has direct access to Pacific Place, a prestigious shopping and entertainment complex.

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The Top 15 Hotels in Shenzhen, China

The Top 15 Hotels in Shenzhen, China

Hotels are chosen based on suitability, overall value, star rating, location and visitor reviews.

Shenzhen was a city that I spent a lot of time in, living there for more than two years. It’s convenient, with it’s metro system, and offers a lot of western comforts. It is mainly visited for it’s significant electronics industry, proximity to Hong Kong, and job opportunities but it also offers tourist attractions and value shopping.

The Top 15 Hotels:

Hilton Shenzhen Shekou Nanhai
5-star hotel

Area: Nanshan, Shenzhen
Located in Shekou District, Shenzhen, offering outdoor pool and indoor pool. Free Wi-Fi access is available in all public areas.

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The Top 15 Luxury Hotels in Hong Kong

The Top 15 Luxury Hotels in Hong Kong

The Top 15 luxury hotels in Hong Kong based on location, value, star rating and most importantly, visitor reviews.

Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel 5-star hotel

Area: Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Featuring an award-winning restaurant overlooking Victoria Harbour. It’s a Marriott Luxury & Lifestyle Hotel in Hong Kong, on the scenic Wanchai Waterfront.



Grand Hyatt Hong Kong 5-star hotel

Area: Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Directly connected to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) and a 5-minute walk from Wanchai MTR Station and Star Ferry Pier. It offers a 50-metre heated outdoor pool and a spa. Its elegant rooms overlook Victoria Harbour from floor-to-ceiling windows. Free WiFi is provided.

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The Top 15 Hotels in Shanghai

The Top 15 Hotels in Shanghai

Chosen by value, suitability for foreign guests, proximity to city center and visitor reviews, we believe these are the best hotels in Shanghai.

I cannot say that Shanghai was my favorite city in China, I’m not a big city person, but I most certainly enjoyed the several visits there, enjoying the many tourist attractions and for trade shows.

Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai
5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
Located in the heart of Jing’an District, Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai. It boasts a spa and wellness centre, an indoor pool and gourmet cuisines across several stylish restaurants and bars. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the property.

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The Top 15 Hotels in Nanjing

The Top 15 Hotels in Nanjing

These Nanjing Hotels are chosen based on central location, overall value, visitor reviews and suitability for foreigner guests.

Nanjing is the capital of Jiangsu, it’s an ancient city yet it is also a modern metropolis. It’s main attractions include Zhonghua Gate, the Mausoleum of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, Presidential Palace, the Mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and the Nanjing Massacre Memorial.

Intercontinental Nanjing
5-star hotel

Area: Gu Lou, Nanjing
Centrally located in Gulou Square, features modern rooms with flat-screen cable TVs. Free parking is offered in the hotel.

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The Top 15 Hotels in Guangzhou

The Top 15 Hotels in Guangzhou

These Guangzhou hotels are selected based on proximity to the city center, visitor ratings, overall value and suitability for foreign visitors.

Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong, and in all respects, a mega-city with population exceeding 9 million. Popular attractions include Yuexiu Park, Canton Tower, Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Baiyun Shan, Bright Filial Piety Temple, Chimelong Tourist Resort and Baomo Garden to name just some.

It’s also a key destination for international trade featuring regular trade shows mostly held in the Panyu District, and many wholesale markets with the clothing markets being world famous, it’s also famous for shopping at Shanxiajiu Pedestrian Street and Beijing Lu shopping street, see here for a full list.

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The Top 15 Macau Hotels

The Top 15 Macau Hotels

The city is of course famous for it’s casinos but also for it’s Portuguese heritage. It’s a place I quite enjoy visiting, a fusion of cultures and much more. Macau is a must visit, and here’s the top 15 hotel options based on visitor reviews and overall value.

Casa Real Hotel
5-star hotel

Area: Macau Center, Macau
Located adjacent to the Macau Ferry Terminal and offering an indoor pool. Each room has a flat-screen TV, air conditioning and a minibar. Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a bath and a hairdryer.

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The Top 15 Hotels in Foshan

These Foshan Hotels are ranked and chosen based on their suitability for foreigners, their locations and by the reviews of previous guests.

Foshan is a famous industrial city in Guangdong, located south of Guangzhou. Foshan is the ancestral home for overseas Chinese including it’s most well known, Li Xiaolong (Bruce Lee).

U Service Apartment 4-star hotel

Area: Foshan

A 3-minute walk from the Ancestral Temple and Lingnan Tiandi. Features self-contained accommodations with free Wi-Fi. It also provides car rentals and meeting facilities.

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The Top 15 Hotels in Dongguan

The Top 15 Hotels in Dongguan

These Dongguan hotels are chosen and rated based on their suitability for foreigners, proximity and guest reviews.

The city is located between Shenzhen and Guangzhou, and is renowned as an industrial region being home to many factories and there are several trade shows throughout the year. For travelers, key points of interest are Humen Bridge, Naval Battle Museum & Opium War Museum, New South China Mall, Keyuan Garden and Yinxian Resort.

Leisure Hotel 4-star hotel

Area: Dongguan

Located 11 miles from Guangdong Modern International Exhibition Centre in Dongguan. It features a restaurant and free WiFi throughout the property. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant.

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Inside: A China Hoverboard Factory

Inside: A China Hoverboard Factory

Some months back, while in Shenzhen, I had the opportunity to visit an Electric Balance Scooter factory, or if you like, Hoverboard factory.

A lot of the LED factories, e-cigarette factories in Shenzhen are located in the sub-districts, such as Shajing which is where we headed. Now, when the word factory is mention you may have conjure up images of large sheds or warehouse type buildings, yes there is those, but actually many manufacturers start out in industrial bases which are simply row after row of multi-level concrete slab buildings, nothing glitzy nor glamorous.

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The Top 15 Hotels in Xi’an China

The Top 15 Hotels in Xi’an China

Xi’an was one of my favorite destinations and I place I highly recommend to anyone touring China. You can read more about my journey here. These are top rated hotels in Xi’an that are also convenient to all the major attractions such as the Drum and Bell Towers, the Mosque, City Wall and so on, also they are highly suitable for foreign visitors. For the Terracotta Warriors, no matter which hotel, you’ll need to organise transport, for which the concierge at these hotels will be able to assist.

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A snapshot of China’s Staggering Growth in Satellite Images

A snapshot of China’s Staggering Growth in Satellite Images

Some images released by NASA give a visual insight into the staggering growth of one of China’s fastest growing regions, the Perl River Delta, Guangdong.

Once upon a time this fertile farmland with fishing villages on the coast and rice fields inland, has in just 17 years, grown from 10 million people to 42 million people.

From 1988

2014

Comparing the light green areas of farmland to the now light grey colored urban areas, it’s quite staggering with the urban area now covering 7,000 square kilometers. In comparison the greater metropolis of Melbourne Australia is 9,990 square kilometers and holds 4.4 million people.

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A quick trip to the Magical SanMen Dao

A quick trip to the Magical SanMen Dao

This is a spectacular place, beautiful, peaceful and simple. I was truly fortunate to have an old friend in town who offered me a chance to tag a long with a family trip to this beautiful spot. this trip was to Sanmen Dao (Sanmen Island) which is off the coast of Shenzhen, but I think technically its part of Huizhou.

Actually I’d thought I’d lost all the photos from this trip, but I have managed to find four!

After driving to Dapeng Peninsula from Baoan and then to Dongchong Beach where after arriving late at night we hired some tents and set up camp on the beach for the night. Whats more peaceful than going to sleep listening to the waves roll in?

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Two Days in Heyuan

Two Days in Heyuan

Heyuan is a city famous for it’s beautiful lake and the culture of the Hakka people, one of China’s larger minority groups. I had a chance to ride shotgun on a family trip from Qingyuan to Heyuan, so I jumped on board.

The major attraction is Wanlv Lake, which almost seems like an ocean. It features cruise boats which hop between it’s islands featuring various attractions. It’s also the reservoir that feeds Hong Kong with it’s water supply.

The dishes in Heyuan are Hakka style dishes the most famous being Braised Chicken in Gravy, Dongjiang Beancurd in Stuffed with Minced Pork, Strewed Pork, Chicken in Aspic, Mandarin Fish braised in Broth, Preserved Duck, Streamed Grass Carp, Stuffed Tri-treasure, River Prawn in Wine Sauce, and Potato Filament Pot.

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Lets Eat… Chickens Feet

Lets Eat… Chickens Feet

There’s not much that goes to waste around these parts, and that includes Chickens feet, not just spared out of thrift though, they’re a wildly popular snack and delicacy. You can find them at street food stalls, convenience stores, supermarkets and for a real treat, my favorite is Cantonese style chickens feet that you find at dian xin (dim sum) restaurant.

They’re not without there benefits according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, chicken claws are packed with collagen for one, rich in calcium, can apparently help soften blood vessels, along with cosmetic benefits.

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Inside a Walmart in China – Here’s five things you probably won’t see in a US Walmart

Inside a Walmart in China – Here’s five things you probably won’t see in a US Walmart

Supermarkets in China can be an eye-opening experience, I remember going to buy some chicken when I first moved here and, lo and behold, there was live chickens, pulled from the cage, beheaded and plucked before your eyes, it. Talk about fresh. Walmart is fairly tame, in comparison to the more traditional supermarkets, of which I’ll add some photos up in future posts.

Walmart is popular here, perhaps due to it’s perceived US prestige, but also by delivering quality goods, hygienic environment and high service standards, it has consumers trust. The US chain has done well to tailor itself to the local market and there’s a lots of interesting stuff you probably wont find at your local US Walmart:

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Lets Eat… Clay Pot Noodles

Lets Eat… Clay Pot Noodles

Claypot Noodles (???) are a popular meal in my local area, but there certainly not to be found everywhere, as I’d never really noticed them before. Just recently tried them out at a local sidewalk restaurant the other day, it’s a very popular place at lunch times and at night right through till 11 and I can see why. They serve a variety of these clay pot noodles, the one I tried was a pork bone noodle soup which tasty and a revitalizing kind of feeling, a bit like a really good chicken soup.

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