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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

2016 China Holiday Dates

2016 China Holiday Dates

Here are the unconfirmed dates for public holidays in China, 2016.

Holiday Name Statutory Days of Holiday 2016 Date 2016 Day of the Week 2016 Days Off (TBC) Summary New Year’s Day 1 day Jan. 1 Friday Jan. 1–3 The beginning of a new year based on the Gregorian calendar. Chinese New Year 3 days Feb. 8 Monday Feb. 7–13 Also called Spring Festival Qingming Festival 1 day Apr. 4 Monday Apr. 3–5 Tomb Sweeping Day May Day 1 day May 1 Sunday May 1 – May 3 Labor Day. Dragon Boat Festival 1 day Jun. 9 Thursday Jun. 9–11 Dragon Boat racing and Zongzi. Mid-Autumn Day 1 day Sep. 15 Thursday Sep. 15–17 Chinese family reunion National Day 3 day Oct. 1 Saturday Oct. 1 – 7 The founding of the People’s Republic of China.
The Top 15 Hotels in Changsha

The Top 15 Hotels in Changsha

These Changsha hotels are chosen based on their reviews by fellow travelers, proximity to the city center and suitability for foreign travelers.

Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, is home to 7 million people and renowned for it’s spicy local cuisine. Popular attractions are the Mawangdui Han Tombs, Yuelu Academy Park, Orange Island, Hunan Provincial Museum, Kaifu Temple and Huangxing Road. But most likely, it’s a place of business or base destination while heading onward to Zhangjiajie, Fenghuang, Wulingyuan and Shaoshan the birth place of Mao Zedong. read more

How to: Using WeChat Pay to Simplify your Daily Life in China

How to: Using WeChat Pay to Simplify your Daily Life in China

If you have been in China more than a day, you probably have WeChat on your phone by now. But, it’s much more than a social sharing and messaging servicing, it can really simplify a lot of necessities in China daily life.

for foreigners, WeChat Pay can simplify a lot of daily tasks such as buying Mobile Recharge/Top Up, ordering a taxi via Didi Dache, buying tickets and importantly, in your circle of Chinese friends, Lucky Money and the infamous Hongbao.

What can I do with WeChat Pay?

Some of the services offered via Wechat Pay: read more

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. read more

Fly China for Less with New Budget Airlines

Fly China for Less with New Budget Airlines

Fancy a flight from Shanghai to an island paradise for 9RMB? Welcome to the new wave of budget airline carriers opening up in China that’s smashing airline travel costs.

Aviation is a huge growth sector in China with the domestic growth at 11%, with Chinese airlines carrying an additional 9 million domestic passengers in 1Q2015 compared to 1Q2014 and international growth growing by a whopping 57% in 1Q2015.

As this big giant monster they call China stomps it’s way into the richest nation in the world, everyone wants to go on holiday it seems! Happy days for the travel industry. read more

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. read more

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? read more

Coming to China? Here’s your one page resource list

Coming to China? Here’s your one page resource list

Here’s a whole bunch of resources for China travelers and Ex-pats, enjoy.

Travel Inspiration
Trover features an easy to use pinterest style interface for perusing travel photos of China, plus map
http://www.trover.com

Travel Booking
http://english.ctrip.com (accommodation and flights – has English speaking booking service)
http://www.elong.net (accommodation and flights)

Trains
http://seat61.com loads of advice on train journeys, train types, stations, seating configurations and more.
http://www.chinahighlights.com Book China train tickets online
http://www.cnvol.com/ – searchable train schedules
http://en.wikipedia.org/../../../File:Rail_map_of_China.svg – Rail network map including High Speed Rail read more

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. read more

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. read more

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: read more

Lets Eat… Clay Pot Noodles

Lets Eat… Clay Pot Noodles

Claypot Noodles (罐罐面) 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. read more

Lets Eat… Sichuan Dry Hot Pot

Lets Eat… Sichuan Dry Hot Pot

Sichuan (or Szechwan/Szechuan) Cuisine is wildly popular, but UNLESS, you have a real penchant for spicy food it might not be the first place to start your culinary adventures. I mean real spicy. Once you have been here a while you’ll probably grow more and more accustomed to spicy food and really start to love Sichuan Cuisine.

Sichuan Province is famous for it’s mouth numbing spicy food and liberal use of chilli and pepper. The Sichuan pepper comes in red and green varieties, most common is the red type, note that this type of pepper comes from the Prickly Ash tree common in Sichuan. Chilli is the red chilli, mostly used in dried form, and there’s lots of it. A famous dish and one that’s quite popular at the moment is Dry Hot Pot or Ganguo (干锅) which hails from the Chongqing area of Sichuan. It’s similar to the soup based hot pot, except, there’s no soup. read more

The benefits of Goji Berry (Wolfberry)

The benefits of Goji Berry (Wolfberry)

[translated from people.cn] Goji Berry(枸杞), also known as Wolfberry, according to traditional Chinese medicine, has tonifying the liver and kidney and nourishing blood for improving eyesight, anti-aging rejuvenation and other effects. Modern medical research found that Goji also has liver and functional in preventing fatty liver. Goji contains an active ingredient theophylline, it is effective in the treatment of liver disease. Pharmacological experiments have shown that theophylline may inhibit the deposition of fat in the liver cells and promote regeneration of liver cells. read more

The Top China travel destinations by month

The best months to see some of Chinas amazing destinations:

December: light color painting in Zhangjiajie

Line: Hunan Zhangjiajie-Fenghuang-jiangkou, Guizhou province

Main point: tianzi mountain snow, Tianmen mountain rime binggua, Fenghuang snow, fanjing mountain snow

January: half water, half flame

Line:-Haikou-Wenchang, Qionghai-Wanning

Main point: Wenchang Tai o, stone Park, Lake fishing, continental Islands, eastern suburb of Coconut Grove

February: Ailao string heaven

Line: Kunming-luoping County, Honghe Yuan Yang-BA-American-

Main point: Hani, luoping County read more

French Toast and Hong Kong Milk Tea

French Toast and Hong Kong Milk Tea

A popular snack you’ll find at Hong Kong tea restaurants is the local version of french toast.. the middle is filled with peanut butter, coated in egg batter then fried. Goes well with milk tea, which is another local speciality featuring a strong brew of black tea with condensed milk..

They take there tea very seriously  many tea houses will have there own secret recipe. Usually consisting of a blend of maybe 5-7 types of black tea leaves brewed for a little longer than normal giving it a very strong tea taste that cuts through the richness of the condensed milk. read more

Hong Kong Cuisine – local snacks and specialities

Hong Kong Cuisine – local snacks and specialities

A guide to some of the snacks and meals that are popular with the locals, and where to get them

[NOTE: this has translated from wechat and its a little imperfect, but I put here as a guide for food lovers looking for a genuine ‘local’ Hong Kong food experience.]

You can find out more about Hong Kong at our sister site http://thehkshopper.com which has an article on Dim Sum in HK and HK Tea Restaurants, both not to be missed on a food lovers visit to HK.

beef brisket noodles

Description: Brisket was tasty, not chew bad, remains refreshingly noodle road, and no lye smell, as saying that I was the most hated that lye flavor, I think it’s smelly, soup is also not a lot of the grease, eating, half the soup to drink lol! read more

2015 Public Holiday Schedule

2015 Public Holiday Schedule

Official Chinese public holidays for 2015:

  • New Year’s Day January 1st to the 3rd off with weekend shifted, and work recommencing on the 4th (Sunday).
  • Spring Festival/Chinese New Year: February 18th (Chinese New Year’s Eve) to the 24th off with weekend shifted.
  • Tomb Sweeping Day: April 5th off, with day off on the 6th.
  • International Labor Day: vacation starts May 1st combined with the weekend.
  • Dragon Boat Festival: June 20th to 22nd.
  • Mid-Autumn Festival: September 27th.
  • National Day: October 1st to 7th off, with work recommencing October 10th (Saturday).
  • read more

    Hot Tip for China Visa Renewal and Info on Shenzhen VOA/Port Visa

    Hot Tip for China Visa Renewal and Info on Shenzhen VOA/Port Visa

    Here’s a hot tip. Don’t overstay your visa, they really don’t like it. Over the four years or so of staying in China I was always on time with renewing my visa, in which case I would travel to Hong Kong and get it renewed, or, go to the local PSB (Public Security Bureau) in the mainland and get it renewed there.

    This time, through bad planning and stupidity, I had overstayed the visa by about four days, so I went down to the PSB at Louhu in Shenzhen, and was informed that I was to be given a deport notice and that I should leave the country. Dramatic! I explained that I had an apartment and other concerns to take care of, he said he would give me a 7 day visa to take care of my things. Also needing a new passport, they kindly allowed me extra time to arrange a passport replacement and then return to the PSB to get the 7 day visa pasted in. read more