The state of borders worldwide is in constant flux and China has recently issued a temporary suspension of entry applicable to most-all foreign nationals wishing to enter Mainland China.
You may well wonder, who exactly would be wanting to enter China right now? It turns out quite a lot. Many schools were informed that they will be allowed to reopen soon and in turn, started to email their foreign teachers to return-to/start work, trade events such as Canton Fair were believed to be going ahead (and now postponed), and many factory/business owners sought to return as many factories and businesses were instructed to restart.
Many who did return prior to the entry ban were also caught by quarantine rules that have been in flux for some time. Prior to the entry suspension, foreigners had to quarantine for 14 days at home, which was changed to 14 days quarantine at a government quarantine center. Usually, this was a designated hotel, with the 14 days stay billed to the traveler.
Those costs for quarantine from first-hand reports vary wildly. From 300 RMB per day to almost 1,500RMB per day.
Current Entry Bans into China
In view of the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, China has decided to temporarily suspend the entry into China by foreign nationals holding visas or residence permits still valid to the time of this announcement, effective from 0 a.m., 28 march 2020. Entry by foreign nationals with APEC Business Travel Cards will be suspended as well. Policies including port visas, 24/72/144-hour visa-free transit policy, Hainan 30-day visa-free policy, 15-day visa-free policy specified for foreign cruise-group-tour through Shanghai Port, Guangdong 144-hour visa-free policy specified for foreign tour groups from Hong Kong or Macao SAR, and Guangxi 15-day visa-free policy specified for foreign tour groups of ASEAN countries will also be temporarily suspended. Entry with diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will not be affected. Foreign nationals coming to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs may apply for visas at Chinese embassies or consulates. Entry by foreign nationals with visas issued after this announcement will not be affected.
The suspension is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries. China will stay in close touch with all sides and properly handle personnel exchanges with the rest of the world under the special circumstances. The above-mentioned measures will be calibrated in light of the evolving situation and announced accordingly.
1. How about foreigners having a valid permanent residence card in China and are not in China at the moment? Are they affected?
So far, there isn’t a clear rule on whether a permanent residence permit holder is allowed to enter China. Some of our readers shared with us that permanent residence permit holders are allowed to enter the country. AnyHelper is still confirming with exit-entry officials. We believe more details will become available soon.
2. How about those having family visas and student visas?
The entry ban also applies to family/student visa holders.
3. For how long foreigners can’t enter China?
At the moment, we can’t guarantee how long the temporary measure will last. We believe the entry ban will last at least 1 month. We’ll keep you updated once the information becomes available.
4. Are foreigners who’re presently in China allowed to leave the country?
You’re free to leave China but please be aware of the reducing number of international flights and travel restrictions imposed by other countries.
5. As this is a temporary suspension, do we have to apply for a new visa after this ban is lifted or can we travel with our current visa if it is valid?
No clear policies on this yet. According to the announcement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, entry by foreign nationals with visas issued after the announcement will not be affected. But your visa application’s approval rate might be lower.
6. How about the issuing of the work permit? Is it still suspended? Do you have any news about that?
You can still apply for a work permit while the entry restriction is in effect.
7. Is it possible that foreigners with valid visas might be expelled from China?
The entry restriction applies only to foreign nationals with China visa and residence permits who’re trying to enter China. Those with valid visas and are living in China now won’t be expelled.
8. What if my visa expires? Any extension procedures outside China?
We believe new policies regarding the visa extension will be released soon. AnyHelper is closely monitoring the latest visa policies and will publish articles once the information becomes available.
9. What will happen if I’m in China and my visa expires?
The 2-month automatic visa extension rule applies to China visa holders currently staying in China and whose visas expire during the epidemic prevention and control period.
10. My visa will expire on April 20 and I’m in China now. Will my visa be automatically extended for two months?
We can guarantee that visas that expire before April 15 can be automatically extended, but we cannot guarantee whether the automatic extension rule will apply to visas that expire after April 15. The 2-month extension rule will be effective during China’s epidemic prevention and control period. New policies might be announced later.
11. Do I need to go to the exit-entry bureau to extend my visa?
No, it’s automatically extended. If your work permit expires, we can help you apply for an extension online first. For the residence permit, you will need to go to the exit-entry bureau to extend it if it’s expired. Connect with our visa specialist if you have any questions. Contact info can be found at the end of this article.
12. I’m holding a student visa and want to apply for a work visa, but my non-criminal record is not certified. Do I need to return to my home country for the certification?
For certain countries (such as Russia and India), their citizens can certify the non-criminal record in their embassy/consulate in China. Make sure to check with the embassy/consulate in advance.
13. My home’s country Chinese embassy and consulates (my country’s embassy and consulates in China) are all closed now and I can’t have my proof of kinship/degree certificate/non-criminal record certified. What should I do?
In this situation, AnyHeper can help you certify your documents online.
If your proof of kinship/degree certificate/non-criminal record can’t be certified, you can wait until the embassy/consulates reopen and apply for a new visa.
If your visa expires during the embassy’s/consulates’ closure, you can try applying for an extension at the exit-entry bureau and let them know your situation.
14. My visa expires on May 20 after the 2-month automatic extension. How can I stay in China after May 20?
You can apply for other visas within the 2-month extension period based on your eligibility, such as work visa, family visa, entrepreneur visa, or register a company and apply as a legal representative. You can’t apply for another 2-month extension after your first 2-month extension ends.
15. I’m not in China and can’t extend my work permit. What should I do?
We can extend your work permit online first. You can apply for a tourist visa or business visa to enter China (with a valid work permit) and convert it to a residence permit after the entry ban is lifted.
16. I’m in China and am nearing the end of the 2-month extension period. Can I apply for a stay visa?
Different cities have different rules regarding your status after the 2-month extension period. Contact your local exit-entry bureau for more info.
With China still in stages of Corona lockdown, and many other countries likewise, what to do? Travel is completely out for the time being and social distancing, staying at home while doctors heal the infected and scientists search for the cure is the state of play. So, chin-up and let’s go virtual touring.
The Palace Museum offers fifteen virtual galleries and tours of their collections along with a virtual tour of the Garden of Compassion and Tranquility. Amazingly, I suggest people who have been to the Forbidden City have probably not even seen much of these.
Zhengzhou Museum is an important window focusing on the historical and cultural city of Zhengzhou. Here they present (in Chinese) panoramas of varied sections of the museum including the Ancient Capital display, tracing the birthplace of Chinese civilisation, and more.
Google Earth has some very cool 3D imagery of Hong Kong including a lot of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. It’s fun to fly around and perhaps spot all the place you have been or add some places to the bucket list.
Baidu 3D and 360
Head to Baidu Maps and paste in the Chinese name of your favorite destination and you can usually explore 3D imagery and 360 degree panoramas.
The museum has a wonderful collection of local art, many of propbably been there in person at Victoria Harbour, here, you can view 140 selctions from the museum.
More? The list so far is suitable for all inside and outside of China, for those in China with Wechat (APP), Taobao Live, and Bili Bili logins, you will find even more live-streamed virtual tours of major attractions and tourist hot spots.
On 31 December 2019, the Chinese Government notified the World Health Organisation of cases of pneumonia occurring in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of which the cause was unknown. It has now been identified/labeled as a novel coronavirus (nCoV) sometimes referred to as 2019-nCoV and in media as Wuhan Virus, or simply Coronavirus.
It is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans and it is zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.
The WHO recommends: Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
In other articles the WHO has also stated to stay away from live animal markets.
Experts recommend proper hand-washing with soap and water as one of the best defenses with current guidance much the same as for any other respiratory illnesses, like the flu.
Li Lanjuan, a member of China’s National Health Commission, also suggested in the interview published on the Hubei Gov site that people should avoid large gatherings, frequently wash their hands, wear masks and make sure their indoor air is circulating.
There is also a Q&A on the Hubei Gov site answering some questions including recommended masks which include masks with ratings N95, KN95, DS2, FFP2. Also recommended to wear masks tightly to reduce any chance of transfer by airborne droplets and to replace masks regularly.
I think it is also wise to
not share utensils or participate in shared meals eg hotpot
not share towels, every house member should use independent towels that are washed and dried regularly in hot water.
wear gloves, and wash gloves daily in hot water
wash hands after contact with other people, outside objects etc.
stay away from sick people, at least 2m
when helping others who show symptoms, wear a mask and wash hands often
If you are eating meat, eggs etc, ensure it is cooked thoroughly
Update your Residence Details
Also, make sure your household registration is up to date. All foreigners in China must register their address with the Public Security Bureau (PSB) in their area. This is done by the hotel for tourists visiting and those staying long term and renting need to do this themselves.
This enables your government’s authorities, via the Chinese government, to locate you quickly in case of emergency.
If you have not done this, you should go to the nearest PSB and complete a Registration Form of Temporary Residence (临时住宿登记表) and you will need to take your passport and rental lease.
Stay alert for travel advisories and register travel plans
Keep in tune with your own government’s travel warnings. Most governments also offer the ability to register your travel plans and you should do so.
Respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and death.
If you show symptoms, report to a hospital, and notify your embassy. If you search expat hospital + city name, you should be able to find lists of hospitals in major tier-one cities that have a special area for foreigners.
Official daily updates
There is no shortage of news about the virus but not much of it is that useful to those in the middle of it. Do keep an eye the provincial government website in your area such as
Tianjin (天津市) is a provincial-level administrative region under the direct administration of central government, one of the nine National Central Cities, and one of China’s mega-cities. The city has 16 districts under its jurisdiction, with a total area of 11916.85 square kilometers, a built-up area of 1007.91 square kilometers, a resident population of 15.5 million with an urban population of 12.9 million.
Tianjin is located in northern China with the Bohai Sea in the east. It is located at the confluence of five major tributaries of the Haihe River. It is located 155km by road from Beijing while also being connected by High Speed Rail.
Tianjin is the main node of the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, the strategic fulcrum of the Maritime Silk Road, the “Belt and Road” intersection, the nearest eastern starting point of the Asia-Europe Continental Bridge, and the largest port city in northern China.
Tianjin, officially established in 1404, has always been an important transportation hub. After the middle of the Tang Dynasty, it became a hub for grain and silk transportation. The Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) set up Zhigu Village as a military outpost and during the Yuan Dynasty, it became a grain transfer center. During the Ming Dynasty in 1404, the city was officially built, and it is the only city in ancient China to have a record of the exact time of its establishment.
Attractions in Tianjin
Mount Pan (“Panshan Scenic Area”) (天津盘山风景名胜区)
Location: Jizhou, Tianjin
A 105 km² forest park surrounding 850 m Mount Pan, whose temples were first built in ad 25 during the Han. The four surviving temples include a 13-story dagoba and have all been renovated since the 1990s.
Guwenhua Jie (“Ancient Culture Street”) (古文化街)
Location: Nankai, Tianjin
A 560 m street lined with imitation Qing shops opened in 1986, selling traditional wares and snacks beside Mazu and Taoist temples (originally dating to 1326 and 1368, respectively) and a folklore museum.
Location: No.48, North Jiefang Road, Heping, Tianjin
Superb location in the central area and near Heping Road metro station. Modern, clean and amazing rates from $US15 for single capsules.
Tianjin is not only at the junction of the two traditional railway trunk lines: Beijing-Shanghai Railway and Jinshan Railway, but also at the intersection of Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Railway, Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway, Tianjin-Qinhuangdao Passenger Dedicated Line, and Tianjin-Bus Passenger Dedicated Line.
High speed rail stations are Tianjin Station (天津站), Tianjin South Railway Station (天津南站), Tianjin West Railway Station (天津西站), Junliangcheng North Station (军粮城北站), Wuqing Station (武清站), Binhai Station (滨海站), Binhai West Station (滨海西站), and Binhai North Station (滨海北站).
The Tianjin Binhai International Airport (天津滨海国际机场) is located in Dongli District, Tianjin, about 13 kilometers from Tianjin city center and 134 kilometers from Beijing. It is a domestic trunk airport, international airport, national first-class airport, and one of China’s major air cargo centers. It is a hub for Air China Tianjin Branch, Tianjin Airlines, Okay Aviation, Xiamen Airlines, and Galaxy International Cargo.
Metro line 2 connects directly with the airport and a taxi to the central area will cost around 80 yuan.
Metro map (click for larger version)
Current Lines and lines under construction
Beginning and end station
Beginning and end station
Tianjin Metro Line 1
Construction of Dongyan Project started and has opened to Lilou Station
Tianjin Metro Line 2
Binhai International Airport
Tianjin Metro Line 3
Tianjin Metro Line 4
Tianjin Metro Line 5
Beichen Science Park North
The First Affiliated Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Tianjin Metro Line 6
Tianjin Metro Line 7
Saida Eight Branch Road
Tianjin Metro Line 8
Tianjin Metro Line 9
( Jinbin Light Rail )
Tianjin Metro Line 10
Tianjin Metro Line 11
Under construction 
Tianjin Metro Line 12
Tianjin Metro Line 13
Airport Industrial Park
Landmark buildings in Tianjin
The Tianjin Tower (津塔): Tianjin’s new landmark building, with a height of 336.9 meters. It features an observation deck at 305.2 metres.
Drum Tower (鼓楼): Located in the center of the old city of Tianjin.
Jinwan Plaza (津湾广场): Located in the Financial Street area of Jiefang Road, Heping District, it is one of the 20 major service industry projects in Tianjin and a landmark area of Tianjin Financial City.
Tianjin Radio & Television Tower – Sky Tower (天塔): Sky Tower has a total height of 415.2 meters and covers an area of 300 acres. It is the fourth tallest tower in the world and the second tallest in Asia. It also has an observation deck at 200-meters.
Eye of Tianjin (天津之眼): The Eye of Tianjin is the Yongle Bridge Ferris Wheel, the only Ferris wheel built on the bridge in the world. The Ferris wheel is 110 meters in diameter, with 64 360-degree transparent cockpits mounted on the outside of the wheel. Each cockpit can seat 8 people.
Tianjin Specialty foods
Tianjin cuisine is heavily influenced by Beijing cuisine, due to its proximity, but differs by being sweeter, and focused on seafood.
Famous snacks are Goubuli (狗不理包子) is a famous and traditional brand of baozi (steamed buns with filling) that is famous throughout China. Guifaxiang (桂发祥麻花) is a traditional brand of mahua (twisted dough sticks). Erduoyan (耳朵眼炸糕) is a traditional brand of fried rice cakes.
A popular destination for foodies is Nanshi Food Street (南市食品街) which features over 100 stalls in one location.
The annual average temperature in Tianjin is about 14 ° C. It is the hottest in July and the monthly average temperature is 28 ° C. The highest temperature in history is 41.6 ° C. January is the coldest month with an average monthly temperature of -2 ° C. The historical minimum temperature was -17.8 ° C. The average annual precipitation is between 360-970 mm, and the average (1949-2010) is around 600 mm.
There are four distinct seasons
spring – windy, dry and little rain – Av. 16 °C – late March to June
summer – hot with concentrated rain – Av. 28 °C – June to August
autumn – moderate and comfortable – Av. 16 °C – August to October
winter – cold, dry, and snow – Av. -4 °C – October to March
In 2018, Tianjin’s gross domestic product (GDP) was 1,809.9 billion yuan, an increase of 3.6% over the previous year. The region has a per capita GDP of 120,606 yuan which is the third-highest in the country.
Major industries include petrochemical industries, textiles, car manufacturing, mechanical industries, and metalworking. Major manufacturers here include EADS Airbus who opened an assembly plant for its Airbus A320 series here. Tianjin is also home to the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin and the Tianhe 1A.
The Tianjin Binhai New Area (滨海新区) is a national reform pilot area based on high-level modern manufacturing and R & D transformation base, a northern international shipping center and an international logistics center, and a livable ecological new urban area. It is also the location of the Tianjin Free Trade Zone and Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City.
Like most countries, China has been on a transition to New Energy Vehicles (NEV), or Alternative Fuel Vehicle (新能源汽车) for some time with a strategy centered on pure electric vehicles, along with plug-in hybrid vehicles and fuel cell vehicles.
Not only critical for reducing city-level emissions (eg Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen) which were hitting record toxic levels, but also quite important for reduced reliance on imported fuels with China importing around 50% of its ever-growing oil requirements.
How did China become the world’s largest production base of electric cars?
In 2006, the government began to promote new energy vehicles and development in its “Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2006–2010)” and in 2009 launched the “Ten Cities, Thousands of Vehicles Demonstration Program” which created large-scale pilots in ten cities deploying electric vehicles in government fleets.
In 2011, the Central government’s Energy Conservation and New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan (2012-2020) (节能与新能源汽车产业发展规划) set some even clearer goals with examples being
by 2020, the production capacity of pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles will reach 2 million
by 2020, the average fuel consumption of passenger cars produced in that year will be reduced to 5.0 liters/100 kilometers, and the fuel consumption of energy-saving passenger cars will be reduced to 4.5 liters/100 kilometers. The fuel consumption of new commercial vehicles will be close to the international advanced level.
Focus on the construction of power battery industry clusters
Strengthen the R & D and production capacity of key components. Cultivate 2 to 3 backbone enterprises in the fields of drive motors and high-efficiency transmissions.
Develop alternative fuel vehicles according to local conditions. Explore the application of other alternative fuel vehicle technologies to promote the diversified development of vehicle energy.
What took place following was the development of state-led research centers, industry co-ordination, state-led investment together with a surge in private capital, preferential policies, along with large subsidies for end product buyers.
Seven years on and China is in the midst of an electric car boom with nearly 100 manufacturers and a highly established battery and drivetrain industry.
While there are numerous start-ups and NEV manufacturers, the largest local electric vehicle manufacturers in China are BYD Auto, JAC, BAIC, and Geely. It is also worth noting that China is home to the world’s largest battery maker for EV’s, Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL).
Hot start-ups in the electric car space include XPeng Motors who began shipping G3 2019 SUV and will launch their P7 Sedan in early 2020. NIO in partnership with JAC has released its ES8 and ES6 models. The Byton M-Byte is expected to enter production in 2020. Others include Singulato Motor, WM Motor, CHJ Automotive, JingChi, Youxia Motors, Polestar (Geely), Baojun, and Seres.
In 2017, the government began to gradually reduce preferential subsidies for the purchase of new energy vehicles which are set to be completely eliminated by 2020. Locally made new energy vehicles are still exempt from sales tax at this point which is believed to run until Dec, 2020.
From January to October 2019, the total production of automobiles in China was 20.444 million and sales 20.652 million. Of that, China’s new energy vehicle output was 983,000 units.
In total, it is estimated that there are about 400 million vehicles in China of which 3-5 million are electric/hybrid.
2020 China Electric and Hybrid Cars
Here is a list, with pics and specs, of the latest electric cars in China. These are all produced in China and approved for sales tax exemption (and are cars that you can actually buy and drive away). Some are from joint ventures with foreign automotive firms and many are wholly local development. Prices, where available, are estimates garnered from Sina Auto with USD$1 approx.= 元7.
The Future direction of New Energy Vehicles in China
New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan (2021-2035) is currently in planning with early indications of goals being set for
that by 2025, new energy vehicles will account for about 25% of new car sales
the average power consumption of new cars dropped to 12 kWh/100 kilometers, and the average fuel consumption of plug-in hybrid (including extended range) passenger cars dropped to 2 liters/100 kilometers.
continuing focus on pure electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid (including extended range) vehicles, fuel cell vehicles.
Some speculate that car sales in China will reach 35 million of which NEV’s could amount to 8.75 million. For an update on the new policy formation, keep an eye 新能源汽车产业发展规划
The arrival of Tesla
Tesla Gigafactory 3 is readying for production with the first batch in January or early February of 2020. The Model 3 from the Shanghai factory is priced at 355,800 yuan (US$50,595). The US-made Model 3 is no longer being imported in China and some speculate the price may reduce further as the last of the US imports are cleared from inventory.
The Model Y will also be produced in Shanghai. Tesla’s made locally in Shanghai should also be eligible for subsidies/tax exemption.
It is reported that an annualized production rate of 500,000 vehicles is expected out of the new Shanghai factory and have stated that they hope to see Model 3 production reach 3000 per week by early 2020.
They have also stated that their Supercharger network will be near doubled, increasing 39% to 362 stations within the coming months.
EV Charging networks in China
According to the EVCIPA (China Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Promotion Association – http://www.evcipa.org.cn), as of the end of May 2019, the number of facilities across the country totaled 976,000 units.
Public charging facilities make up about 40% of the near one million charging stations. The majority of the volume was recorded in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Fujian, Guangdong, Hunan, Hubei, Henan, Shandong, Shanxi, Shaanxi and Zhejiang provinces.
The largest recharging station operators in China who account for around 90% of the network are
Qingdao Teld New Energy Co., Ltd (Tgood) – currently has 47% of China’s EV charging market.
State Grid Corporation of China
Shenzhen Car Energy Network
Fuel Cell Vehicles
According to China.org.cn, China had around 1,200 fuel cell vehicles (mostly commercial) and less than 20 hydrogen fuel stations at the end of 2017.
The Chinese government has set a goal to have 5,000 fuel cell vehicles on its roads by 2020; 50,000 by 2025 and 1 million by 2030. To that end a deal has been struck between Toyota, one of the leaders in fuel cell technology, to enter the country.
Toyota Motor has partnered with Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) and FAW Group to form a brand that will launch hydrogen fuel-cell car models.
Toyota also supplies parts to Beiqi Foton Motor Co Ltd, Beijing SinoHytec Co Ltd, FAW and Higer Bus.
In a previous post, we took a dive into the development of China’s High Speed Railway (HSR) and running concurrently with that was the development of the EMU’s (electric multiple unit) being the Harmony model trains and the latest Fuxing model, aka China’s bullet trains.
When Liu Zhijun took the helm of the Ministry of Railways in 2003, he proposed and implemented the “leapfrog development” of railways in order to narrow the gap between railway locomotive equipment and international advanced levels as soon as possible.
In 2004, with high speed rail firmly on the national agenda, China’s Ministry of Railways implemented the “introduction of advanced technology, joint design and production, create Chinese brands (引进先进技术、联合设计生产、打造中国品牌)”. The basic principle, absorbing all the world’s EMU technology.
Working with China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corp (CSR) and China North Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corp (CNR), and their affiliates, the foreign companies included Canada’s Bombardier, Kawasaki of Japan, Germany’s Siemens, and Alstom of France.
Fun facts: the fastest speed set by an EMU in China is 487.3 km/h by a CRH380BL train on the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway during a testing run on January 10, 2011. The fastest service in daily operation is the Beijing–Shanghai high-speed railway which averages 291.9 and reaches top speeds of 350 km/h with the new Fuxing model EMU.
CRH Harmony (Hexie) EMU 和谐号电力动车组
CRH1 – Canadian Bombardier partnership
The prototype CRH1A EMU is the Regina C2008 type provided by Bombardier Transport. A joint partnership was formed between Bombardier and Qingdao Sifang would go onto produce the CRH1 models in China. CRH1 is mainly used for intercity transportation.
CRH1A: Nominal operating speed of 200 km/h, and a maximum operating speed of 250 km/h. The first units went into operation on the Guangzhou Shenzhen Railway in 2007.
CRH1B: The maximum operating speed is 200-250km/h, and the appearance of the car body is unchanged. CRH1B EMU was been assigned to the Shanghai Railway Administration in April 2009, and operated on the Shanghai-Nanjing and Shanghai South-Hangzhou intercity lines.
CRH1E: based on Bombardier’s ZEFIRO 250 series with a maximum operating speed of 250km/h. The group consists of 1 luxury soft sleeper car, 12 soft sleeper car, 2 second-class passenger cars and 1 dining car. On November 4, 2009, CRH1E went online and served as the D313/314 EMU train between Beijing and Shanghai.
By April 2018, a total of 260 CRH1 series high-speed trains had been shipped from the factory. (CRH1 has now been superseded by the CRH5).
CRH2 – Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric, and Hitachi partnership
Originally, the CRH2 was based on the E2-1000 Series Shinkansen design from Japan with the license purchased from a consortium formed of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric, and Hitachi. They are designed for 200 km/h operation but 250 km/h capable.
CRH2A: Nominal operating speed of 200 km/h, and a maximum operating speed of 250 km/h. As of October 2016, most of the CRH2A types were assigned to Nanchang Bureau, Chengdu Bureau, Shanghai Bureau, Nanning Bureau, and Guangzhou Bureau.
CRH2B: Designed maximum operation speed is 250 km/h. The first units were delivered on June 29, 2008, and came into service on the Hefei–Nanjing Passenger Railway on August 1, 2008.
CRH2C: Is China’s first locally made high speed train produce by CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co., Ltd. The first model was put into use on August 1, 2008 on the Beijing-Tianjin inter-city and Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed rail. The second model, with a top speed of 380 kilometers was put into operation on the Zhengxi High Speed Rail in early 2010.
CRH2E: is a sleeper train with a nominal speed of 200 kilometers per hour and a maximum operating speed of 250 kilometers per hour. It was first put into use on the Beijing-Shanghai railway on December 21, 2008. A newer version has since been released, CRH2E-NG which updates the original.
CRH2G: featuring resistance to high cold, wind and sand, high temperature resistance, high altitude adaptation, and UV resistance. Safe operation under high winds, suitable for the climatic conditions of the second double line of the Lan-Xin Railway.
CRH3 – The Siemens partnership
The CRH3 Hexie is a version of the Siemens Velaro high-speed train used in China on the Beijing–Tianjin intercity railway line, Wuhan-Guangzhou Passenger Dedicated Line, Zhengzhou-Xi’an Passenger Dedicated Line and the Shanghai–Nanjing intercity railway.
CRH3C: developed from German Railway ICE3 EMU. According to the contract, Siemens manufactured the first three CRH3C trains and some important components locally in Germany; and provided technical support and technology transfer to the Chinese partners, such as CNR Tangshan Rail Passenger Car, Yongji Electrical Plant, and the Ministry of Railway Research Institute. Tangshan Locomotive and Rolling Stock Factory produced the remaining 57 trains. The two sets of CRH3 trains imported from Germany were originally called CRH3A, Siemens internally called Velaro CN, the original numbers were CRH3-002A and CRH3-004A, and later changed to 002C and 004C. The first group of imported trains held a grand handover ceremony in Kohlerfeld on December 12, 2007. It was loaded and shipped in Bremen, Germany at the end of December 2007, and arrived in Tianjin, China in January 2008.
The domestic CRH3 EMUs manufactured by Tangshan Rail Passenger Cars in China are called CRH3C. Up to now, 80 sets of relevant railway bureaus have been manufactured and distributed, numbered CRH3001C to CRH3080C. Its structure is exactly the same as that of imported cars.
The first domestic CRH3C (CRH3C-3001) manufactured by Tangshan Railroad Coach made a maximum speed of 394.3 kilometers per hour on the test of Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway at 9:13 on June 24, 2008.
CRH3F: CRH3F is a 160km/h intercity EMU designed and manufactured by Tangshan Rail Bus Co., Ltd. CRH3F EMU uses aluminum alloy lightweight welded car body.
CRH3G: CRH3G is a CJ platform (intercity EMU) dominated by the former CNR. It is based on Siemens technology and CRH3C EMU as a prototype. It absorbs the advantages of CRH380B, CRH380C series EMUs and CRH5A EMUs. EMU platform with independent intellectual property rights. Developed by Tangshan Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co., Ltd., only one column is trial-produced, and the serial number is CJ2-0303.
CRH3G can be operated at three levels of maximum operating speeds of 160km/h, 200km/h, and 250km/h according to the needs of different operating lines such as main-line high-speed railways and intercity railways. The CJ platform EMU also has strong cost advantages and after-sales maintenance advantages.
CRH3X: CRH3X is divided into 250km/h speed platform and 350km/h speed platform. At present, this model has only one prototype which is being tested in Tangshan factory.
CRH3A: based on CRH3 EMU and CJ1 EMU (a prototype). It is manufactured by CRRC Changchun Railway Passenger Car Co., Ltd. It is designed to be able to adapt to 160-250km/h passenger dedicated line and intercity railway operation.
On December 6, 2017, the CRH3A EMU was officially operated with the opening of the Xicheng Passenger Dedicated Line. After a few months of operation, due to insufficient power of the locomotive, it could not adapt to the long ramp of the West Chengdu Passenger Dedicated Line. The CRH3A of the Chengdu Bureau Group was successively transferred to other lines of the group, and all CRH3A attached to the Xi’an Bureau were transferred to the Chengdu Bureau.
As of January 2018, CRH3A has put into operation a total of 59 groups, including 28 long passenger production and 31 car production.
CRH5 – The Alstom partnership
Developed from the Alstom “New Pendolino” series. In 2004, a contract was signed with Alstom and in 2007 3 train sets produced by Alstrom were shipped to China. Later units were built/assembled locally in China by Changchun rail passenger cars through French technology transfer. These high-speed trains were then officially designated as CRH5A. Production continues in China with over 200 train sets having been put into service. The designed operating speed is 250 km/h.
CRH5A: It was first put into service on April 18 2007 on the Beijing-Harbin line.
CRH5E: this train is the first high-altitude sleeper EMU in China. CRH5E has served as D335/D336 trains from Beijing Station to Qingdao North Station since January 2019.
CRH5G: can operate at minus 40 ℃, and has the ability to resist wind, sand, rain, snow, fog, ultraviolet and other severe weather. In 2017 it went into operation on the Baolan High-speed Railway.
CRH5H: is designed for sandy conditions, high ultraviolet conditions, and temperature extremes. It was put into service on the Lan-Xin Railway. Operating speed is 200km/h and 300km/h capable.
CRH5 EMUs have become the main train for 200-250km/h operation replacing the CRH1/2.
CRH6 – China CSR Sifang Co., Ltd
CRH6 EMU is suitable for short-distance commuter passenger transportation between cities and between urban and suburban areas, and meets the operational requirements of large passenger capacity, rapid boarding and landing, and quick start and stop. CRH6 EMUs were developed by CSR Sifang and were rolled off the production line in Qingdao in 2012.
CRH6A: 200 km/h and is used between Guangzhou and Shenzhen, Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway, Guangzhou-Zhaoqing Intercity Railway, Wan Hui intercity rail, Chengdu-Guanguan Railway with variants on the Shanghai Jinshan Railway and Beijing Sub-Center Line.
CRH6F: 160 km/h and is used on the Changsha-Zhutan Intercity Railway, Hainan Donghuan Railway, Ningbo-Yuyao intercity railway.
Municipal EMU: 140km/h and is in use on the S1 line of the Wenzhou Municipal Railway.
As of November 2019, a total of 111 CRH6 series EMU trains have been shipped from the factory.
CRH380 – Various Manufacturer
The Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China and the former Ministry of Railways jointly signed the “China Joint Action Plan for Independent Innovation of High-Speed Trains” on February 26, 2008, and the CRH2-380 high-speed EMU was the most important project of the joint action plan.
In June 2009, the Ministry of Railways invited manufacturers to bid for 320 domestic high-speed EMUs with a speed of 350 kilometers per hour. CSR Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., Ltd. was one of the successful bidders.
CRH380A: The development project of Sifang’s high-speed EMU with a speed of 380 kilometers per hour is CRH380A (or CRH2-350), which is based on the second phase of CRH2C (CRH2-300). Continuous operating speed is 380 km/h, maximum operating speed is 400 km/h, and maximum test speed is 496 km/h or more.
In May 2010, Sifang demoed a customized a 1:1 physical model of a CRH380A head car, which was exhibited at the China Railway Pavilion of the Shanghai World Expo and was unveiled until the end of the World Expo.
In September 2010, CRH380A-2501 – CRH380A-2510 entered the Shanghai-Nanjing High-speed Railway and Shanghai-Hangzhou High-speed Railway for high-speed tests.
On September 28, 2010, CRH380A conducted high-speed tests on the Shanghai-Hangzhou Passenger Dedicated Line. At 10:40 a.m. on that day, the trial speed of the CRH380A-2501 train from Shanghai Hongqiao to Hangzhou was 413.7 km/h. Less than an hour later, at 11:37, on the way back from Hangzhou to Shanghai Hongqiao for trial operation, the top speed reached 416.6 km/h.
From October 26, 2010, CRH380A officially entered service on Shanghai-Hangzhou Passenger Dedicated Line. On December 3, 2010, CRH380A began in Wuhan-Guangzhou passenger operation.
On April 16, 2012, CSR Group officially signed a contract with the Hong Kong MTR Corporation to implement the purchase of 9 EMUs based on CSR Sifang CRH380A new-generation high-speed train technology platform for the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Railroad. The first train was delivered on September 23, 2016 and went into service on September 23, 2018.
CRH380B: CRH380B EMU is a new generation of high-speed EMU based on CRH3C. Compared with CRH3C, the continuous operation speed is increased from 300 km to 350 km, the maximum design speed is increased from 350 km to 380 km/h, and the maximum test speed is 400 km/h.
CRH380C: The CRH380C EMU is a new generation of high-speed EMUs developed on the basis of CRH3C and CRH380BL. Compared with CRH3C, the continuous operating speed is increased from 300 km to 350 km, and the maximum design speed is increased from 350 km to 380 km.
CRH380D: uses the Bombardier ZEFIRO 380 ultra-high-speed EMU as the technology platform, with a nominal operating speed of 380km/h, a maximum operating speed of 400km/h, and a maximum test speed of more than 480km/h. As of August 2016, 85 CRH380D series EMUs have been shipped from the factory and belong to the Shanghai Bureau Group and the Chengdu Bureau Group.
The prototype of the CJ1 train is derived from the CRH380B platform and is led by China CNR Corporation Limited (CNR). It is designed and produced by Changke AG, a subsidiary of CNR, and was unveiled on the June 8, 2013. The CJ1 EMU is based on the CRH380BL technology platform, and draws on the advantages of CRH380BL, CRH380CL , CRH380B , CRH5 EMUs, and developed independent intellectual property rights EMUs. The CJ1 EMU can operate at three speed levels of 160 kilometers per hour, 200 kilometers per hour, and 250 kilometers per hour according to the needs of different operating lines.
The CJ5 hybrid EMU is a power-dispersed hybrid EMU developed by CRRC Changchun Railway Passenger Car Co., Ltd. , which can choose from three types of power supply: external electric supply, battery power supply, and internal combustion engine. In the external power mode, the maximum train speed is 160km/h; in the internal combustion engine/battery mode, the maximum speed is 120km/h.
CJ6 type EMU is made by Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co., Ltd. It is designed for 160km/h operation as an intercity EMU. The basis for this EMU is for export (to Malaysia and Macedonia), and for use on the Changsha–Zhuzhou–Xiangtan intercity rail.
CR Rejuvenation (Fuxing) EMU (复兴号电力动车组)
The Fuxing EMU train, or Chinese Standard EMU, is the very latest addition to China’s train fleet. It is developed by the China Railway Corporation and is promoted as having fully independent intellectual property rights belonging to China.
Note, while Harmony model trains used the CRH prefix, Fuxing trains use only CR.
CR400AF: Power decentralized train with an operating speed of 350km/h, manufactured by CRRC Qingdao Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock and Qingdao Sifang Bombardier Railway Transportation Equipment.
CR400BF: Power decentralized train with an operating speed of 350km/h, manufactured by CRRC Changchun Rail Passenger Car and CRRC Tangshan Locomotive.
CR300AF: Power decentralized train with an operating speed of 250km/h. It is manufactured by CRRC Qingdao Sifang Locomotive.
CR300BF: Power decentralized train with an operating speed of 250km/h. It is manufactured by CRRC Changchun Rail Passenger Car.
CR200J: power centralized train, operating speed of 160km/h, made by Nanjing Puzhen Rolling Stock, Qingdao Sifang Locomotive, Tangshan Rolling Stock, Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive, Datong Electric Locomotive car, Dalian Locomotive Vehicle manufacturing.
Fuxing Development Timeline
In 2012, led by the China Railway Corporation and the China Academy of Railway Sciences, the CRRC (a merger of China’s CNR and CSR loco manufacturers) began the development of China’s standard EMUs.
On July 15, 2016, the “Fuxing”, as it would be later known, was tested on the Zhengxu High Speed Rail at a speed of more than 420 kilometers per hour.
On June 25, 2017, China Standard EMU was officially named “Fuxing”.
On June 26, 2017, the two-way launch of the Fuxing at Beijing South Station and Shanghai Hongqiao Station at both ends of the Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Rail.
From April 10, 2018, the railway implemented a new train map, and the number of Fuxing EMUs increased.
On June 26, 2018, the Fuxing EMU has been in service one year and carried 41.3 million passengers.
From July 1, 2018, the national railways implemented a new train schedule, and 16 more Fuxing EMUs were put into operation.
Beginning August 8, 2018, all Beijing-Tianjin intercity will be replaced with Fuxing high-speed rail trains with an operating speed of 350 km/h on the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway.
From June to September 2018, the China Railway Corporation organized the CTCS3 + ATO train control system test of the Beijing-Shenzhen comprehensive test section, and the Fuxing achieved automated driverless operation at a speed of 350 km/h.
In October 2018, 17 super long version of the Fuxing was unveiled, with a body length of 439.8 meters and a capacity of 1,283 passengers.
On December 24, 2018, new Fuxing models were introduced, including 350/250/160 km/h versions.
On January 5, 2019, the new CR200J type Fuxing train will also gradually replace traditional ordinary speed trains on the Beijing-Shanghai line.
On August 8, 2019, the first C8802 Fuxing train from Urumqi to Korla departed from Urumqi Station, marking that Xinjiang has also entered the era of the Fuxing train.
On August 16, 2019, Dali to Lijiang launched the Fuxing EMU for the first time.
On September 20, 2019, China Railway Investment Co., Ltd. released three tenders for the 350km/h Fuxing EMU procurement project, including 768 for 16 marshallings, 170 for 17 marshallings, 40 will be used for the formation of 8 alpine vehicles, for a total of 978 vehicles.
Fuxing Train features
Compared with the CRH series of the Harmony, the Fuxing high-speed EMU has the following major upgrade points:
The Fuxing has been evaluated for 600,000 kilometers of use, which is 200,000 kilometers more than European standards. The design life of the Fuxing is expected to be 30 years, while the Harmony model is 20 years.
Low-resistance streamlined head and smooth body design have reduced the resistance of the train by up to 12.3% compared with the existing CRH380 series. During operation, the energy consumption per capita of 100 kilometers decreased by about 17%.
Fuxing has an intelligent sensing system with more than 2,500 monitoring points, which is about 500 more than previous models. The temperature of the cooling system, the state of the braking system, and the environment of the guest room are monitored in all directions in real-time. It can collect more than 1,500 items of various vehicle status information to provide comprehensive fault diagnosis and maintenance support. In addition, when the train is abnormal, it can automatically alarm or warn, and can automatically limit speed or stop measures according to the safety policy. A collision energy absorption device is also added at the connection between the head of the car and the carriage. When an accidental collision occurs during low-speed operation, the device can be deformed to improve the passive protection ability of the EMU.
On August 1, 2008, China opened its first true high speed railway, the 120 km long Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway. By the end of 2019, around 11 years later, the operating mileage of China’s railways will reach more than 139,000 kilometers, of which 35,000 kilometers are high-speed rail, making it the largest rail network, and largest high speed rail network in the world.
What is High Speed Rail (HSR)? The National Railway Administration of China has defined China’s high-speed railway as a passenger-dedicated railway designed to operate at speeds of 250 kilometers per hour or more. Included in that high-speed railway classification are lines that operate at 200 km/h that are capable of 250 km/h.
As new advancements in rail technology are implemented, Chinese railways are likely to be divided into high-speed railways (250-380), fast-speed railways (160-250), and ordinary-speed railways (80-160).
As a rail passenger, when buying tickets for China’s modern high speed trains you will come across these classifications
C-Class – (Chengji 城际) are intercity trains operating on high-speed track usually at or below 200km/h
D-Class – (Dongche 动车) is the second-fastest high speed train usually running at speeds from 200km/h to 250 km/h
G train (Gaotie 高铁) is the fastest passenger train in China and generally run long distances with top speeds of 250-350km/h
The fastest operating line currently is the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail which on September 21, 2017, with the introduction of the Fuxing model trains, raised the operating speed to 350 km/h reducing Beijing-Shanghai’s journey time to 4h 28m for the 1,318 km journey (with two stops).
The Transformation of China’s Rail Network
In 1978, Deng Xiaoping (then leader) visited Japan and took a high-speed train on the Shinkansen railway. It was at this point that high-speed railway officially entered the Chinese public vision. A time when China’s total population reached 1.1 billion supported by only 5,300 kilometers of railways shared between cargo and passenger trains.
Throughout the 80s and 90s, China’s passenger transport system remained overloaded and slow, while elsewhere through Europe and Japan, fast trains capable of commercial operation of 200 km/h were coming online.
In 1993, commercial train service in China averaged only 48 km/h (30 mph) with few lines reaching 120 km/h. But not for long, since the time of Deng’s visit to Japan, a lot of debate and research had gone into solving China’s rail woes and a realization of the importance of connecting regions for numerous social and economic benefits was promoted.
Through various “speed up” campaigns, in 1994 they had reached the classification of “fast rail” with 160 km/h diesel locomotives on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Railway.
Concurrently, through the ’90s investigation into high speed rail was taking place, inspired by Japan and its Shinkansen trains with an eye to linking Beijing and Shanghai. It should be said, there was reportedly also opposition to high speed rail, as many viewed it as costly and with little evidence of profitability demonstrated elsewhere in the world. Regardless, high speed rail entered into state planning.
The Guangzhou-Shenzhen Railway line was chosen to be a testbed and in 1996, China and South Korea jointly developed high-speed trains and conducted tests on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Railway line.
In 1998, the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Railway line was electrified and Swedish-made X 2000 trains were introduced raising the line speed to 200 km/h making it China’s first, fast-speed rail line and nearing the target for classification of high speed rail.
In the planning of China’s high speed rail system, Maglev technology was also a hot topic of debate. Although conventional rail won out, the Shanghai Maglev experiment was completed in April 2004. It is the fastest rail line in the world at 431 km/h yet it does not connect into, nor is it classified as part of China’s HSR network and only connects Shanghai Pudong International Airport to Longyang Road Station, a total distance of 30 km.
Continuing with conventional rail development and post the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Railway line experiment, the first dedicated high speed rail line was constructed connecting Qinhuangdao in Hebei province to Shenyang in Liaoning province. The Qinhuangdao-Shenyang passenger railway is 404km long and opened in 2003 operating at 200 km/h. It was increased to 250 km/h capable in 2007. Originally it was serviced by the locally made China Star EMU which set a record speed in testing of 321 km/h yet in commercial operation was limited to 160 km/h and was later replaced by CRH trains (see ‘high speed train development’ towards the end of page).
Shortly after that in 2008, the first 300km/h + high-speed railway line came online with the opening of the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway. It was designed to be 380 km/h capable and operates at 350 km/h. It is hailed as China’s first true HSR line. The first trains used on this line were the newly developed CRH2 EMU.
In 2009, the second true high-speed railway opened being the Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed railway. It was also a 380 km/h capable line.
On October 26, 2010, the Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed railway section of the Shanghai-Kunming high-speed railway was officially opened for operation. This is another high-speed railway with a design speed of 350 km /h, which was opened in 2010 after the Zhengxi Passenger Dedicated Line and Shanghai-Nanjing Intercity.
By this time in 2010, the operating mileage of China’s high-speed railways has reached 7,431 kilometers.
On November 15, 2010, the entire Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway was opened. The line runs through 7 provinces and cities such as Beijing, Shandong, and Shanghai. The line is 1,318 kilometers long, with an operating speed of 350km/h and the capability of 380km/h.
These rail lines were major milestones on the development of China’s high speed rail network post which a development boom began. A plan for a 4+4 national HSR grid having four vertical lines and four horizontal lines connecting the major regions of the nation was released.
The 4+4 national HSR grid was largely completed by the end of 2015 and now serves as the backbone of China’s HSR network.
In July 2016, the state planners re-organized the national HSR network (including HSR lines in operation, under construction and under planning) into the 8 + 8 HSR Network being eight vertical and eight horizontal HSR “passageways”, almost doubling the network.
The Eight Verticals
Dandong-Guangxi Coastal passageway (沿海通道)
Beijing–Shanghai passageway (京沪通道)
Beijing–Hong Kong passageway (京港)
Harbin–Hong Kong (Macau) Passageway (京哈～京港澳通道)
Hohhot–Nanning passageway (呼南通道)
Beijing–Kunming passageway (京昆通道)
Baotou (Yinchuan)–Hainan passageway (包（银）海通道)
Lanzhou (Xining)–Guangzhou passageway (兰（西）广通道)
The Eight Horizontals
Suifenhe–Manzhouli passageway (绥满通道)
Beijing–Lanzhou passageway (京兰通道)
Qingdao–Yinchuan passageway (青银通道)
Eurasia Continental Bridge passageway (陆桥通道)
Yangtze River passageway (沿江通道)
Shanghai–Kunming passageway (沪昆通道)
Xiamen–Chongqing passageway (厦渝通道)
Guangzhou–Kunming passageway (广昆通道)
According to the tasks identified in the “Medium- and Long-Term Railway Network Planning (中长期铁路网规划)”, by 2020, the modernization of China’s railways will be basically completed. Passenger dedicated lines will reach more than 15,000 kilometers. All provincial capitals and large and medium-sized cities have rapid passenger railways. Bohai Rim, The Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta regions will form an inter-city rapid passenger transport network.
Important lines of China’s HSR Network
Wuhan-Guangzhou Passenger Dedicated Line
Wuhan-Guangzhou Passenger Dedicated Line is the southern section of Wuhan-Guangzhou Passenger Dedicated Line (Wuhan-Guangzhou Section), located in Hubei, Hunan and Guangdong, with a total length of 1068.8 kilometers. The total investment is 116.6 billion yuan with operation beginning on 26th December 2009. The maximum operating speed is 394 km/h, and Wuhan to Guangzhou can be reached within 3 hours. The travel time from Wuhan to Guangzhou has been shortened from about 11 hours to about 3 hours, and direct travel from Changsha to Guangzhou takes only 2 hours.
Beijing-Shanghai Passenger Dedicated Line
Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway is one of the original “four vertical and four horizontal ” passenger dedicated lines in China. The line runs from Beijing South Railway Station to Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station with a total length of 1,318 kilometers. It runs through the three municipalities directly under the Central Government of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and the four provinces of Hebei, Anhui, and Jiangsu, and connects the two economic zones around the Bohai Rim and the Yangtze River Delta. The total investment is about 220.9 billion yuan. It opened to traffic on June 30, 2011.
Beijing-Hong Kong-Taiwan High Speed Rail (proposed)
The Beijing-Hong Kong-Taiwan high-speed rail is a national trunk high-speed rail that passes through the “Millennium Plan” Xiong’an New District. It will run in a north–south direction from Beijing to Hong Kong, with a branch leading from Hefei to end at Taipei across the Taiwan Strait. It will connect the cities of Beijing, Xiong’an, Fuyang, Hefei, Jiujiang, Nanchang, Ganzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong on the main line, as well as Fuzhou and Taipei on the branch line.
Beijing-Guangzhou Passenger Line
Connecting Beijing, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan and Guangdong provinces with a length of 2298 km. The design speed of the whole line is 350 km / h, and the current running speed is reduced to 310 km/h. This high-speed railway passenger dedicated line is one of China’s “four vertical and four horizontal” passenger dedicated network, forming a high-speed passenger corridor that runs parallel to the Beijing-Guangzhou railway, runs through the north and south of China. The Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed railway will enable passenger-cargo separation of the Beijing-Guangzhou railway. The Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed rail line opened for operation on December 26, 2012.
Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Passenger Dedicated Line
The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High Speed Railway is a high-speed railway that connects two major cities of Guangdong province to Hong Kong. In total it is 143 km in length and was opened on 23 September 2018. It is a 350 km/h capable line.
Harbin-Dalian Passenger Dedicated Line
The Harbin-Dalian HSR is a key project of the national “11th Five-Year Plan” and an important part of the Beijing-Kazakhstan Passenger Dedicated Line, and one of the “Four-vertical and Four-horizontal”. It officially opened for operation on December 1, 2012. Currently, it starts from Harbin in Heilongjiang Province in the north and Dalian in Liaoning Province in the south. The line is the world’s first alpine high-speed railway operating at high latitudes and low temperatures in winter. The project cost 95 billion Yuan.
Southeast Coastal Passenger Dedicated Line
The line departs from Hangzhou East Railway Station, goes south along the southeast coastline of China, passes through Ningbo, Taizhou, Wenzhou, Fuzhou, Xiamen and other places, and arrives at Shenzhen North Railway Station, with a total length of about 1,450 kilometers. The line can also be transferred from Shanghai East Railway Station to Shanghai-Kunming Passenger Dedicated Line (Shanghai-Hangzhou Section) to Shanghai. On December 28, 2013, the Southeast Coastal Passenger Dedicated Line was fully opened.
Qingtai Passenger Dedicated Line
The Qinghai-Taiyun Passenger Dedicated Line refers to the existing Qingdao-Taiyuan Railway, and the four cities of Economic South, Dezhou, Hengshui, and Shijiazhuang. It consists of the Jiaoji, Shide, Shitai, and Beijing-Shanghai Railway sections, and is an important part of the South Coal Transport Channel. It is also an important channel for foreign transport in Shanxi Province. The special line is about 770 kilometers long. The speed target is above 200 km/h, and the electric trains and trains are automatically controlled.
Xulan Passenger Dedicated Line
The Xuzhou-Lanzhou High-speed Railway is an important part of China’s medium and long-term railway planning. It consists of the Zhengxu Passenger Dedicated Line, the Zhengxi Passenger Dedicated Line, the Xibao Passenger Dedicated Line, and the Baolan Passenger Dedicated Line. From Xuzhou to Shangqiu, Kaifeng, Zhengzhou, Luoyang, Xi’an, Baoji to Lanzhou, the total length is about 1,400 kilometers, and the line direction is generally parallel to the existing Longhai Railway.
The Zhengxu Passenger Dedicated Line runs from Zhengzhou East Station in the west to Xuzhou East Station in the east, with a total length of 361.9 kilometers, including 252.8 kilometers in Henan Province, 73.4 kilometers in Anhui Province, and 35.6 kilometers in Jiangsu Province. The total estimated investment for the line is 48.62 billion yuan. The design speed is 350 km/h.
The Zhengxi Passenger Dedicated Line is 484.518 kilometers long and the designed speed is 350km/h. Its estimated total investment was 54.668 billion yuan.
The Xibao Passenger Dedicated Line starts from the Zhengxi Passenger Dedicated Xi’an North Passenger Station of the Xi’an Railway Junction in the east, passes Xianyang, Yangling, Caijiapo to the west to Baoji, with a total length of 138.107 kilometers. A total investment of 17.97 billion yuan.
The Baolan Passenger Dedicated Line connects Baoji to Lanzhou with a total length of 401 kilometers, including 355 kilometers in Gansu and 46 kilometers in Shaanxi. The total estimated investment is 64.69 billion yuan.
Shanghai–Wuhan–Chengdu passenger railway
Known as the Hu-Han-Rong Passenger Dedicated Line, it departs from Shanghai, passes through Nanjing, Hefei, Wuhan, Chongqing and other cities and reaches Chengdu. Design speed is 200 ~ 350 km / h (some sections 160 km / h). It is one of the four east–west high-speed rail corridors and was completed and opened in 2013.
Shanghai-Kunming Passenger Dedicated Line
The Shanghai-Kunming Passenger Dedicated Line is one of the “Four Vertical and Four Horizontal” fast passenger corridors. It passes through six provincial capitals and municipalities, including Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanchang, Changsha, Guiyang, and Kunming. At 2264 kilometers, it is the longest east-west line in China. It consists of three sections: Shanghai-Hangzhou Passenger Dedicated Line, Hangzhou-Changzhou Passenger Dedicated Line and Chang-Kun Passenger Dedicated Line. The Shanghai-Kunming high-speed railway is an east-west railway aorta that runs from Shanghai in the east to Kunming in the west and has a designed speed of 250-350 km/h. The total investment of more than 300 billion yuan.
Tianjin-Qinhuangdao Passenger Dedicated Line
The main line of the Tianjin-Qinhuangdao Passenger Dedicated Line is 261 kilometers long with a design speed of 350km/h. Tianjin, Junliangcheng North, Binhai, Binhai North, Tangshan, Luohe , Beidaihe and Qinhuangdao. It opened 1st Dec, 2013.
Xicheng Passenger Dedicated Line
Xicheng HSR has a total length of 643 kilometers leads from Xi’an North Station and goes southwest via Hanzhong, Guangyuan, Mianyang, and Deyang to Chengdu East Station. The design speed is 250km/h.
Yungui Passenger Dedicated Line
The Yunnan-Guizhou Railway starts at Kunming South New Passenger Station and runs east through Honghe, Wenshan, Baise to Nanning Station. The total length is 710 kilometers. The total investment is 89.92 billion yuan.
Guiguang Passenger Dedicated Line
The Guizhou-Guangzhou High-speed Railway (Guiyang-Guangzhou) links Guiyang City, Guizhou Province, and Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province. Opened: December 26, 2014. A total length of 857 kilometers, 207.5 kilometers in Guangdong, 348.5 kilometers in Guangxi, and 301 kilometers in Guizhou. The project investment was 85.8 bn Yuan.
High Speed Train development
CRH is China Railway High-speed, there are several models CRH1 – CRH5. These models have introduced advanced technology from Japan, Germany, France, and other countries, which has been digested, absorbed and localized.
For a detailed breakdown of all the Harmony and Fuxing models see the next post on Chinese EMU’s.
CRH380A (CRH380A, CRH380AL) = local by CSR Corporation
CRH380B (CRH380B, CRH380BL) = Hitachi
CRH380C (CRH380CL) = Siemens
CRH380D = Bombardier
CR Series Fuxing EMU
Also known as Chinese Standard EMU (Electric Multiple Unit), it is China’s new locally developed high speed train. The introduced CRH was improved, mixed with European and Japanese standards, and produced with Chinese characteristics (according to Chinese literature on the topic).
It is promoted to be more advanced than the European and Japanese standards on EMU technology.
CR models are divided into three basic types of 400, 300, and 200 relating to their top speed capability suited to meet different market needs.
Chongqing (重庆市) is located in the southwestern part of China’s inland, bordering Hubei and Hunan in the east, Guizhou in the south, Sichuan in the west, and Shaanxi in the north. The total area of 82,400 square kilometers, jurisdiction over 38 districts (counties) with a resident population of 31,017,900 and a GDP 2.036319 trillion yuan.
It is located in the eastern basin, the terrain sloping from north to south of the Yangtze River valley with mountainous landscape accounting for 76% of the land area. The Yangtze River itself runs from west to east across the territory for 691 kilometers.
It is a national historical and cultural city. Chongqing is the birthplace of the “Hongyan Spirit” and the birthplace of Bayu culture. The city was also a capital during some short-lived ancient dynasties and from Nov 1937 to May 1946 it was the capital of the National Government under the KMT.
Today, Chongqing is a municipality directly under the Central Government (one of four) and classified as a national central city, a megacity, an international metropolis, and economic, financial, scientific and technological innovation, shipping and commerce and logistics center. That’s quite a mouthful and as you can probably gather, it’s a very import city in southwest China.
Chongqing is also an important strategic fulcrum of the western development, the important connection point of the “Belt and Road” and the Yangtze River Economic Belt, and the inland open highlands.
It is also a comprehensive transportation hub in the southwest of China that integrates east and west and connects North and South. Its Jiangbei Airport is one of the “top ten” airports in China’s inland, and the Port of Chongqing is the largest river-rail public water port area in China.
Chongqing is the largest industrial and commercial city in the southwestern region, the country’s important modern manufacturing base. There are eight national key laboratories, 10 national engineering research centers, 67 colleges and universities, as well as featuring many strategic projects such as China (Chongqing) Experimental free trade area, the new (Chongqing) Strategic Internet Interoperability demonstration projects, Liangjiang New District, Yuxinou International Railway and others.
Black Valley Scenic Area (黑山谷风景区)
Location: Qijiang, Chongqing
Black Valley Scenic Area is located in the foothills of the Dagu Mountain in the transition from the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau to the Sichuan Basin. It is located in Heishan Town, Chongqing. There are mountains, peaks, gorges, cliffs, forests, bamboo seas, waterfalls, clear water, caves, antique plank roads, pontoons, and gardens.
Jinfo Mountain (金佛山)
Location: Nanchuan, Chongqing
Jinfo Mountain is an isolated mountain with cliffs up to 300 m surrounding its relatively flat top, surrounded by forest. With its outstanding karst features and superb biodiversity, Jinfo Shan has been listed as a tentative World Heritage site since 2001.
Youyang Taohuayuan Scenic Area (酉阳土家族苗族自治县桃花源景区)
Location: Youyang, Chongqing
Located in the southeastern part of Chongqing, the Xiangyang Tujia and Miao Autonomous County is located in the hinterland of the Wuling Mountainous Area. Taohuayuan is a scenic spot with a total area of 50 square kilometers. It consists of seven parts: ancient Taoyuan, Fuxidong, Taohuayuan Square, Taohuayuan National Forest Park, Zhangzhou Ancient City, Taohuayuan Style Town, Erqi Mountain Shiwaihuayuan Cultural Theme Park. It is adjacent to the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, Zhangjiajie, Fenghuang Ancient City and Fanjing Mountain. The Taohuayuan Scenic Area integrates Qin and Jin history and culture, Tujia folk culture, natural ecological culture, and the underground symbiotic karst geological wonders of the Tiankeng cave.
Small Three Gorges (小三峡)
Location: Wushan, Chongqing
Located in Wushan County, Chongqing. The Wushan Little Three Gorges is a tributary of the Madu River at the Dicui Gorge of the Daning River. It is the general name for the Changtan Gorge, the Qinwang Gorge and the Sanjiao Gorge.
Dazu Rock Carvings (大足石刻旅游景区)
Location: Dazu, Chongqing
Located near Dazu in Chongqing. Dazu Rock Carvings are China’s most famous stone artworks and belong to the late Tang and early Song Dynasty, featuring mainly Buddhist themes. There are more than 4000 sculptures here. They are also UNESCO listed.
Longgang Geological Park (重庆云阳龙缸国家地质公园)
Location: Yunyang, Chongqing
Longgang Geological Park is characterized by peculiar landforms such as karst, deep karst caves, grasslands and stalagmites. The world’s longest cantilever bridge can also be found here.
Simian Mountain (四面山)
Location: Jiangjin, Chongqing
The Simian Mountain is located in the northern slope of the Dagu Mountain in the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. The Simian Mountain is a tourist destination for leisure and holiday. It is a combination of mountains, water, forests, waterfalls and stones.
Wulong Karst (武隆喀斯特旅游区)
Location: Wulong, Chongqing
Wulong Karst Tourist Area is located in Wulong District of Chongqing City. It has rare karst natural landscapes, including caves, tiankeng, ground seams, canyons, peaks and mountains, and alpine grasslands. Wulong Karst Tourist Area includes three parts: Chongqing Wulong Tourist Attractions Tiansheng Third Bridge, Fairy Mountain and Furong Cave.
Chongqing Fuling Wuling Mountain Great Rift Valley Scenic Area
Chongqing Longevity Bodhi Ancient Town
Chongqing has a subtropical monsoon humid climate with an average annual temperature of 16-18 ° C. The areas of Banan, Yongjiang, Yunyang and other places in the Yangtze River Valley average a little higher at 18.5 ° C, and Qianjiang and Liyang in the southeast average a little lower at 14-16 ° C.
The average of the hottest month is 26 ~ 29 ℃ (July), and the average temperature of the coldest month is 4-8 ℃ (January). The wettest months are from May to September, accounting for about 70% of the total annual precipitation. It is especially rainy at the turn of spring and summer.
Due to the dual effects of terrain and climate, Chongqing is foggy, and is known as the “fog capital”. The annual average foggy day is 104 days. The average annual foggy day in London, England, known as the world ’s foggy city, is only 94 days, and Tokyo, Japan, is only 55 days. The Yunwu Mountain in Laoshan District has as many as 204 days of foggy weather throughout the year, making it the foggiest place in the world.
Chongqing’s economic construction has basically formed a pattern of coexistence of large agriculture, large industry, large transportation, and large circulation. It is the largest economic center city in the southwest and the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.
In 2018, Chongqing’s GDP was 2.0363.19 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 6.0% at comparable prices. By industry, the added value of the primary industry was 137.827 billion yuan, an increase of 4.4%; the added value of the secondary industry was 832.879 billion yuan, an increase of 3.0%; and the added value of the tertiary industry was 1,056.613 billion yuan, an increase of 9.1%.
The area of cultivated land in Chongqing is 1.622 million hectares, with high development of agricultural arable land and comprehensive development of agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and sideline fishing. It is an important food production area, a commercial pork production base, and a nationally renowned high-quality fruit, mustard, tung oil (China wood oil), and tobacco.
Chongqing is one of China’s old industrial bases and an important modern manufacturing base in the country. It has formed the world’s largest electronics and information industry cluster and China’s largest domestic automobile industry cluster. It has also formed equipment manufacturing, integrated chemical, materials, energy and consumer goods manufacturing. It is also the world’s largest notebook computer production base and the world’s second-largest mobile phone production base.
Chongqing food is hot and spicy, and the region is also one of the birthplaces of the much-loved hot pot. In March 2007, Chongqing was awarded the title of “Chinese Hot Pot Capital” by the Chinese Culinary Association. The cuisine of Chongqing draws from one of the eight great Chinese cuisines, Sichuan Cuisine.
Representative of Chongqing food culture: Chongqing hot pot (重庆火锅), Shuizhu (水煮肉片), Twice-cooked pork (回锅肉), Pickled fish (酸菜鱼), Laziji (辣子鸡), Spring chicken (泉水鸡), Hot and sour noodles (酸辣粉), Yuxiang shredded pork (鱼香肉丝), and Chongqing Noodles (重庆小面).
Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG) (重庆江北国际机场) – main airport hub
Qianjiang Wulingshan Airport (JIQ) (黔江武陵山机场) – small domestic
Chongqing Wushan Airport (WSK) (重庆巫山机场) – small domestic
Chongqing Yongchuan General Airport (重庆永川通用机场) – under construction
Wulong Fairy Mountain Airport (武隆仙女山机场) – under construction
Chongqing Jiangnan Airport (重庆江南机场) – under construction)
Chongqing is a national comprehensive railway hub. It is also the main channel for land trade between China and Europe via the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe Railway (渝新欧铁路).
The region is well serviced by high speed rail with the main stations being
Chongqing Railway Station (重庆站)
Shapingba Railway Station (沙坪坝站)
Chongqing North Railway Station (Chongiqngbei, 重庆北站)
Chongqing West Railway Station (Chongqingxi, 重庆西站).
Chongqing is the largest inland port city in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and even in western China. It is also a shipping center in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The Yangtze River and the Jialing River and its tributaries within the region form a water transport network with Chongqing as the center. There are 136 navigable rivers. There are dozens of ports and passenger and cargo terminals along the river, such as Main City, Wanzhou and Fuling all forming Port of Chongqing.
Chongqing Rail Transit
Aka metro or subway, covers the main areas of the urban core and inner suburbs. Click image for a full metro system map.
Current Lines (as 2019)
Line 0 Loop Line: West Railway Station – North Railway Station – West Railway Station
Line 1: Xiaoshizi – Shapingba – Jiandingpo
Line 2: Jiaochangkou – Yudong
Line 3: Main Line: Yudong – Jiangbei Airport; Branch Line: Bijin – Jurenba
Line 4: Min’an Avenue – Tangjiatu
Line 5: Dalongshan – Garden Expo Center
Line 6: Chayuan – Yuelai/Beibei
Line 10: Liyuchi – Wangjiazhuang
Lines to be Opened:
Line 9: Huashigou – Gaotanyan
Line 7: Shuangfu – Zhuangyuanbei
Line 8: Jieshi – Renmincun
Line 11: Tushan – Gongyeyuanqu
Line 12: Jinfengnan – Lujiao South
Line 13: Huxi – Yuelia
Line 14: Shuitu – Yulin
Line 15: Shuangbei – Fangyuanba
Line 16: Xiangjiagang – Fuxing
Line 17: Jiangjin – Xiyong
Chongqing Raffles is the new riverside construction that is set to define Chongqing and become the cities new landmark.
It will feature metro, bus, and ferry terminal at the podium level, above which are six his rise towers of 250m tall and two towers of 350m in height. The towers are a mixed-use, including residences, offices, Ascott Raffles City Chongqing serviced residences, and InterContinental Raffles City Chongqing hotel.
The unique feature of the development is the Crystal which is a ‘horizontal skyscraper’ spanning four towers. It features gardens, dining, bar, clubhouse, infinity pool, and a glass-bottom observatory looking down onto the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers.
It will also house the mega-mall, Raffles City Chongqing.
Shopping in Chongqing
There are four main shopping areas/streets and several mega-malls.
Yangjiaping Pedestrian Street (杨家坪商圈) – a major commercial area with malls, cuisine and entertainment. Zhigang Avenue is a popular foodie street. large area centered on Yangjiaping Main St, Juilongpo
Jiefangbei (解放碑步行街) – great place for souvenirs and grazing with a large snack street. Large shopping area in Yuzhong.
Nanping pedestrian street (南坪步行街) – modern and upmarket area, it has 20 large and medium-sized shopping malls, supermarkets, chain stores
Guanyinqiao Walking Street (观音桥步行街) – 400 meters stretch featuring shopping, leisure, food, and entertainment – it is famous nationally
Shapingba Three Gorges Square (沙坪坝三峡广场) – a commercial area with Three Georges theme
SML Central Square – Modern mall with major brands including H&M – No.89, Minquan Rd, Yuzhong
MixC Chongqing (重庆万象城) – modern mall with Apple flagship store – 55 Xiejiawan Main St, Xiejiawan, Jiulongpo
Raffles City – part of the new Raffles construction, currently the largest mall in Chongqing with over 400 international and local brands
Metropolitan Plaza (大都会广场) – modern mall with luxury brands, cinema, ice skating rink and bowling alley- 68 Zourong Rd, Yuzhong, China
Times Square (时代广场) – modern mall in Jiefangbei (解放碑步行街) area.
Yunnan Province is located in China’s southwest with Kunming serving as the capital of the province. It is adjacent to Guizhou and Guangxi in the east, Sichuan in the north, Tibet in the northwest. It has an international border with Myanmar in the west and Laos and Vietnam in the south.
The total area of Yunnan Province is 394,100 square kilometers. As of August 2019, Yunnan Province has 8 prefecture-level cities, 8 autonomous prefectures, which are subdivided into 129 county-level divisions. See Cities and Counties further below.
In 2018, the resident population of Yunnan Province was 48.295 million, with a total production value of 1.7881 trillion yuan, the added value of the primary industry was 249.886 billion yuan, the added value of the secondary industry was 695.744 billion yuan, and the added value of the tertiary industry was 842.482 billion yuan. The per capita GDP 37,136 yuan.
The climate of Yunnan belongs to the subtropical plateau monsoon type.
The northwestern part of Yunnan has a cold-zone climate, with no winter in summer and short spring and autumn. The eastern part of Yunnan and eastern Yunnan have a temperate climate. The southwest and southwestern Yunnan belong to the low-heat valley, and some are in the Tropic of Cancer. To the south, into the tropics, there is no winter in the summer, and it rains into the autumn. In the province, there are three climates of cold, warm and hot (including subtropical).
The average temperature in the province, the hottest (July) monthly average temperature is between 19 °C and 22 °C, the coldest (January) monthly average temperature is above 6 °C ~ 8 °C, the annual temperature difference is generally only 10 ° C ~ 12 ° C. It is cooler in the morning and evening, and hotter at noon, especially in winter and spring. The daily temperature difference can reach 12 °C ~ 20 °C. The province has a long frost-free period. The southern border has no frost all year round. The frost-free period in the south is 300-330 days, and the central region is about 250 days.
The wet season (rainy season) is from May to October, with 85% of rainfall concentrated; the dry season (dry season) is from November to April, and precipitation accounts for only 15% of the year. The geographical distribution of precipitation differs greatly.
Yunnan has the highest number of animal species in the country. There are 1,737 vertebrates, accounting for 58.9% of the country. Among them, 793 species of birds, accounting for 63.7%; 300 species of mammals, accounting for 51.1%; 366 species of fish, accounting for 45.7%; 143 species of reptiles, accounting for 37.6%; 102 species of amphibians, accounting for 46.4%.
There are many rare and protected animals in Yunnan, and many animals are only found in Yunnan.
Yunnan is the province with the largest ethnic group in China. In addition to the Han nationality, there are 25 ethnic minorities with a population of over 6,000. Among them, 15 ethnic groups are unique to Yunnan, and the population accounts for more than 80% of the total ethnic population of the country.
At the end of 2015, the number of ethnic minorities in the province reached 15.83 million, accounting for 33.4% of the province’s total population. It is one of the three provinces with a minority population of more than 10 million. There are 6 ethnic minorities with a population of more than 1 million in the province; 9 with less than 100,000 and less than 1 million; 8 with less than 10,000 and less than 100,000; and more than 6,000 with less than 10,000. The ethnic minorities in Yunnan are interlaced, showing large mixed habitats and small settlements.
Ethnic groups include the Yi, Bai, Hani, Tai, Dai, Miao, Lisu, Hui, Lahu, Wa, Nakhi, Yao, Tibetans, Jingpo, Blang, Pumi, Nu, Achang, Jinuo, Mongols, Derung, Manchus, Sui, and Buyei.
Yunnan is a multi-ethnic province with rich and colorful languages. The Han language of Yunnan belongs to the Northern Languages (Southwest Mandarin). The languages of other ethnic groups belong to the Sino-Tibetan and South Asian languages. In addition to the common Chinese language of Hui, Manchu and Shui, all the ethnic groups in Yunnan have their own language, and 22 ethnic scripts are used. Among them, the Yi language language has a certain historical origin with Thailand. The Naxi people have a long history of Dongba culture, and the Dongba script is a hieroglyph that is still inherited.
The largest pillar industry in Yunnan is the tobacco industry. The sugar industry and the tea industry are traditional backbone industries other than smoke in Yunnan. The rubber planting industry is an important traditional industry in Yunnan. The flower industry is an emerging industry in Yunnan and a key province for sugar, tea and rubber. It is also Asia’s largest fresh cut flower export base.
Review In 2018, Yunnan Province achieved a total production value of 1,788.112 billion yuan, 8.9% over the previous year. Among them, the added value of the primary industry was 249.886 billion yuan, up 6.3%; the added value of the secondary industry was 695.744 billion yuan, up 11.3%; the added value of the tertiary industry was 842.482 billion yuan, up 7.6%. The three industrial structures were adjusted to 14.0:38.9:47.1. The province’s per capita GDP was 37,136 yuan, an increase of 8.2% over the previous year.
In 2018, the per capita disposable income of Yunnan residents was 20084 yuan, an increase of 9.5% over the previous year. The per capita disposable income of urban residents was 33,488 yuan, an increase of 8.0%; the per capita disposable income of rural permanent residents was 10,768 yuan, an increase of 9.2%. The per capita consumption expenditure of urban residents was 21,626 yuan, an increase of 10.6%. The per capita living expenditure of rural residents was 9,123 yuan, an increase of 13.6%.
As of 2018, Yunnan Province has operated 15 civil transport airports, with Kunming Changshui International Airport as the core, and 14 other trunk feeder airports as the supporting airport network system. The province’s passenger throughput exceeds 1 million passengers.
Kunming Changshui International Airport 昆明长水国际机场
Lijiang Sanyi International Airport 丽江三义国际机场
Xishuangbanna Gasa International Airport 西双版纳嘎洒国际机场
Diqing Shangri-La Airport 迪庆香格里拉机场
Dali Airport 大理荒草坝机场
Zhaotong Airport 昭通机场
Wuhu Airport 泸沽湖机场
Pu’er Simao Airport 普洱思茅机场
Baoshan Yunrui Airport 保山云瑞机场
Linyi Airport 临沧机场
Wenshan Puzhehei Airport 文山普者黑机场
Tengchong Hump Airport 腾冲驼峰机场
Dehong Mangshi Airport 德宏芒市机场
Wuyuan Airport 沧源机场
By the end of 2018, Yunnan’s railway operation mileage was 3,848 kilometers, including 1,026 kilometers of high-speed rail, and 9 cities were connected to the railway, of which 7 were high-speed rail. There are 8 railway projects under construction, 4 of which are scheduled to be completed and operated by the end of 2020.
The major High Speed Rail Stations in Yunnan are Kunming Railway Station, Chuxiong Railway Station, Dali Railway Station, and Lijiang Railway Station.
There are 5 main rivers and their tributaries in Jinsha River, Minjiang River, Honghe River, Nanpan River and Nujiang River, with a total length of 14,200 kilometers. Among them, there are more than 8,000 kilometers of waterways that can be developed and utilized, and there are more than 30 plateau lakes and 5,500 reservoirs of various types.
Main ports: Jinghong Port, Simao Port, Shuifu Port, Qijiang Port, Kunming Port, Dali Port.
Yunnan is typified by karst caves, virgin forests, flowers, cultural relics, traditional gardens, and ethnic customs. There are more than 200 scenic spots in the province, and there are 134 scenic spots above the national level A, including 12 national scenic spots and 53 provincial-level scenic spots. There are 6 national historical and cultural cities, 11 provincial-level historical and cultural cities, 6 national historical and cultural towns, 14 provincial-level historical and cultural towns, and 14 provincial-level historical and cultural villages.
Potatso National Park (普达措国家公园)
Location: Diqing, Yunnan
Potatso National Park or Pudacuo National Park is a 1,300-square-kilometre (500-square-mile) national park located in Shangri-La County, Yunnan Province. Pudacuo National Park has geological features, lake wetlands , forest meadows, river valleys, rare animals and plants, etc. The original ecological environment is well preserved and is part of the ” Three Parallel Rivers ” World Natural Heritage Site.
Stone Forest (昆明市石林风景区)
Location: Kunming, Yunnan
The Stone Forest or Shilin is a notable set of limestone formations about 500 km2 located in Shilin Yi Autonomous County, Yunnan Province, People’s Republic of China, near Shilin approximately 90 km (56 mi) from the provincial capital Kunming. The tall rocks seem to arise from the ground in a manner somewhat reminiscent of stalagmites, or with many looking like petrified trees, thereby creating the illusion of a forest made of stone. Since 2007, two parts of the site, the Naigu Stone Forest (乃古石林) and Suogeyi Village (所各邑村), have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites as part of the South China Karst.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山)
Location: Lijiang, Yunnan
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is a mountain massif or small mountain range in Yulong Naxi Autonomous County, Lijiang, in Yunnan province. The view of the massif from the gardens at the Black Dragon Pool (Heilong Tan) in Lijiang is noted as one of China’s finest views. The mountain is part of Yulong Snow Mountain National Scenic Area and National Geological Park, an AAAAA-classified scenic area. The Park operates a tourist cable car that takes you to an observation platform at an elevation of 4,506 m (14,783 ft) and if you feel up to it you can climb a few hundred steps to one of the highest observation platforms in the world at an elevation of 4,680 m (15,350 ft) for close views of the snow peak.
Three Pagodas (崇圣寺三塔)
Location: Dali, Yunnan
The Three Pagodas of the Chongsheng Temple are an ensemble of three independent pagodas arranged on the corners of an equilateral triangle, near the old town of Dali, Yunnan province, China, dating from the time of the Kingdom of Nanzhao and Kingdom of Dali in the 9th and 10th centuries. The Three Pagodas are located about 1.5 km (0.93 mi) north of Dali old town. They are at the east foot of the tenth peak of the massive Cangshan Mountains and face the west shore of the Erhai Lake of ancient Dali.
Old Town of Lijiang is the historical center of Lijiang City, in Yunnan, China. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town has a history going back more than 1,000 years and was once a confluence for trade along the “Old Tea Horse Caravan Trail” and is famous for its orderly system of waterways and bridges.
World Horti-Expo Garden (世界园艺博览园)
Location: Kunming, Yunnan
It is located in the northeastern suburb of Kunming, 6 kilometers from the urban area, bringing together horticultural achievements around the world. It includes five pavilions of China Pavilion, International Pavilion, People and Nature Pavilion, Science and Technology Museum, and Big Greenhouse, 34 exhibition gardens in China’s domestic exhibition area, and 30 exhibition gardens in foreign exhibition areas. There are also many special landscape parks and corporate exhibition areas.
Tengchong Volcanic Scenic Area (腾冲热海风景区)
Location: Baoshan, Yunnan
Tengchong is a famous geothermal scenic spot in China. There are 64 geothermal activity areas in the whole area, and there are more than 80 hot springs. The highest water temperature is 96.3 °C. Among them, the most powerful and external display is the Tengchong Hot Spring, which is about 8 kilometers in the west of the city. Surrounded by green hills, it is full of water, with sulfur ponds in the north, Songshan Mountain in the south, Zhongxiao Temple in the east and Banana Garden in the west.
AAAA Attractions in Yunnan Province
Scenic spot name
Kunming City 昆明市
Jiuxiang Scenic Area
Yunnan Ethnic Village
Kunming Xishan Forest Park
Kunming Grand View Park
Kunming Golden Temple Scenic Area
Kunming Guandu Ancient Town
Yunnan Wildlife Park
Kunming Colorful Yunnan Scenic Area
Qujing City 曲靖市
Luliang Color Shalin Scenic Area
Luoping Jiulong Waterfall Group Scenic Area
Zhanyi Pearl River Source Scenic Area
Shizong Phoenix Valley Life and Culture Theme Park
Huize County Sea Grass Mountain View
Qujing Shizong Fungi Mountain
Yuxi City 玉溪市
Tonghai Xiushan Park
Yuxi Yingyuetan Leisure Culture Center
Yuxi Huilong Ecological Park
Chengjiang Luchong Scenic Area
Baoshan City 保山市
Tengchong and Shunjing District
Chuxiong Prefecture 楚雄州
Lufeng World Dinosaur Valley Scenic Area
Chuxiong Yiren Ancient Town
Yuanmou Tulin Scenic Area
Wuding Lion Mountain Scenic Area
Chuxiong State Museum
Chuxiong Zixi Mountain
Honghe Prefecture 红河州
Aogu Ancient Cave Scenic Spot
Jianshui Swallow Cave Scenic Area
Jianshui Confucian Temple
Maitreya Spring Ecological Park Scenic Area
Yuanyang Hani Terraced Field Scenic Area
Jianshui Tuanshan Ancient Village Scenic Area
Jianshui Zhujia Garden Scenic Area
Wenshan Prefecture 文山州
Qiubei Puzhe Black Scenic Area
Pu’er City 普洱市
Pu’er National Park
Pu’er Ximeng Suspension Longtan Scenic Area
Pu’er Tianshili Dibo Bio-Coffee Valley
Xishuangbanna Dai Nationality Park
Xishuangbanna Primeval Forest Park
Xishuangbanna Tropical Flower Garden
Xishuangbanna Wild Elephant Valley Scenic Area
Jing Hong Man listening to the park
Xishuangbanna Wangtianshu Scenic Area
Xishuangbanna Dai Buddha Temple
Xishuangbanna Tea Horse Road Scenic Area
Xishuangbanna Yujinglai Scenic Area
Xishuangbanna, Zhaozhuang, Xishuangjing
Dali Prefecture 大理州
Dali Nanxun Fengqing Island
Binchuan Chicken Foot Mountain Scenic Area
Heqing Yindu Water Town Xinhua Village Scenic Area
Jianchuan Shibaoshan·Shaxi Ancient Town Tourist Area
Dali Ancient City
Xiangyun Shuimu Mountain Cultural Tourism Area
Dali Laoshan Ancient City – Yubaoshan Tourist Area
Dali Butterfly Springs Park
Dehong Prefecture 德宏州
Lianghe Nandian Xuanfu Department
Mangshi Bana Xi Zhenqi Garden
Lijiang City 丽江市
Lijiang Yushui Village Scenic Area
Ninglang Lake Scenic Area
Lijiang Shuhe Ancient Town Scenic Area
Lijiang Black Dragon Pool Scenic Area
Lijiang Guanyinxia Scenic Area
Lijiang Dongba Valley Scenic Area
Lijiang Laojun Mountain National Park Dawn Scenic Area
Deqin Meili Snow Mountain Scenic Area
Shangri-La Tiger Leaping Gorge Scenic Area
Shangri-La Grand Canyon Balaguezong Scenic Area
Diqing Shangri-La Songzanlin Temple Scenic Area
Diqing Shangri-La Blue Moon Valley Scenic Area
Zhaotong City 昭通市
Shuifu West Grand Canyon Hot Springs Tourist Area
Yunnan cuisine is known as Dian cuisine (滇美食). It is predominantly spicy but varied and diverse due to the mix of ethnicities. It is also one of only two provinces featuring a traditional cheese which is made by the Bai people and known as Rushan (乳扇) and made from cows milk, and Rubing (乳饼) when made from goats milk.
Popular dishes include Crossing Bridge Noodles (过桥米线) whose common ingredients include thin slices of ham, chunks of chicken, chicken skin, strips of bean curd sheets, chives, sprouts, and rice noodles. Other popular dishes include Steam Pot Chicken (气锅鸡), Yiliang roast duck (宜良烤鸭), and Jidou liangfen (鸡豆凉粉) which is a type of jelly made from ground chickpea or lentils.
The area is also, of course, famous for Pu’er tea and in modern times coffee production.
Here is a list of China’s Top 20 Largest Cities by population with GDP and GDP per person. The population stats are from the 2018 census and financial data is the latest issued data at the time of writing (late 2019).
They are in order of population ranking.
Population (million): 31.01 | GDP (billion RMB): 2036.3 GDP per person (RMB): 65933
Chongqing is the only municipality directly under the Central Government in the central and western regions, a national central city, and the economic, financial, science and technology, shipping and trade logistics center in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. It is the western development important strategic fulcrum and an important junction on the Yangtze River economic belt. Chongqing is located in the southwest of China’s inland, east of Hubei and Hunan, south of Guizhou, west of Sichuan, and north of Shaanxi. With a total area of 82,400 square kilometers, it administers 38 districts and counties (autonomous counties). It has the titles of being Chinese hot pot capital, China’s exhibition city, and the hot spring capital. Chongqing is a subtropical monsoon humid climate with an annual average temperature of 16-18°C.
Population (million): 24.23 | GDP (billion RMB): 3267.9 GDP per person (RMB): 135000
Shanghai is one of China’s four municipalities directly under the Central Government and is China’s economic, financial, trade, shipping, and technology innovation center. Shanghai is located in East China. The total area of Shanghai is 6340.5 square kilometers, and it has jurisdiction over 16 municipal districts. Shanghai has a subtropical monsoon climate with four distinct seasons.
Population (million): 21.54 | GDP (billion RMB): 3032.0 GDP per person (RMB): 140000
Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and one of the four municipalities directly under the Central Government of China. Beijing is a national political center, a cultural center, an international exchange center, a science and technology innovation center, and a world-famous ancient capital. The city is also the seat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. Beijing is located in North China, with a central location adjacent to Tianjin and Hebei. The total area of Beijing is 16410.54 square kilometers. The climate in Beijing is typical of the semi- humid continental monsoon climate in the north temperate zone. It is hot and rainy in summer, cold and dry in winter, and short in spring and autumn.
Population (million): 16.33 | GDP (billion RMB): 1534.2 GDP per person (RMB): 94782
Chengdu is the Sichuan provincial capital, deputy provincial city, a State Council national key high-tech industrial base, trade logistics centers and integrated transportation hubs, important central cities in the western region. In 2018, the city has jurisdiction over 11 districts and 4 counties, and administers 5 county-level cities. Chengdu is located in the southwest of China, in the western part of the Sichuan Basin, in the hinterland of the Chengdu Plain. It has a flat terrain, a river network, rich products and developed agriculture. It belongs to the subtropical monsoon humid climate and has enjoyed the reputation of “the land of abundance” since ancient times. It is a global electronic information industry base, also featuring 30 state-level scientific research institutions, 67 national-level research and development platforms, 56 colleges and universities, about 3.89 million talents; and 285 of the world’s top 500 enterprises.
Population (million): 15.59 | GDP (billion RMB): 1880.9 GDP per person (RMB): 120000
Tianjin is a municipality directly under the Central Government, a national central city and an economic center in the Bohai Rim region approved by the State Council. By 2018, the city has jurisdiction over 16 districts with a total area of 11,916.85 square kilometers, a built-up area of 1007.91 square kilometers, a resident population of 15.59 million, an urban population of 12.9681 million, and an urbanization rate of 83.15%. Tianjin is located in North China.Tianjin is the main node of the Sino-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor, the strategic fulcrum of the Maritime Silk Road, the intersection of the “Belt and Road”, the nearest eastern starting point of the Eurasian Continental Bridge, and the largest port city in northern China, the first coastal open cities. Tianjin is a warm temperate semi-humid monsoon climate. Near the Bohai Bay, the impact of the marine climate on Tianjin is more obvious.
Guangzhou City (广州市)
Population (million): 14.49 | GDP (billion RMB): 2285.9 GDP per person (RMB): 157668
Guangzhou is the capital city of Guangdong Province, the sub-provincial city, the national central city, and the important central city, international trade center and comprehensive transportation hub approved by the State Council. By 2018, the city has 11 districts with a total area of 7,434 square kilometers, a built-up area of 1249.11 square kilometers, a resident population of 19,940,400, an urban population of 1,284,400, and an urbanization rate of 86.38%. Located in the south of China, bordering on the South China Sea and the northern edge of the Pearl River Delta, Guangzhou is the headquarters of the Southern China Theater Command, a national comprehensive gateway city, the southern gateway to China, the central city of the Pan-Pearl River Delta Economic Zone and the hub city of the Belt and Road.
Population (million): 13.02 | GDP (billion RMB): 2422.1 GDP per person (RMB): 186320
Shenzhen is a sub-provincial city under the jurisdiction of Guangdong Province, a planned city, Special Economic Zone, a national economic center city and an international city approved by the State Council. Known as “China’s Silicon Valley”. As of 2018, the city has jurisdiction over 9 districts with a total area of 1996.85 square kilometers, a built-up area of 927.96 square kilometers, a resident population of 13 million, and an urbanization rate of 100%. Shenzhen is located in South China, Southern Guangdong, the east bank of the Pearl River Estuary, east of Daya Bay and Dapeng Bay and is also the four central cities of the Greater Bay Area. It is an international integrated transport hub, international High-Tech innovation Center, one of China’s three major national financial centers, a future global maritime center, China characteristic socialist demonstration zone, and comprehensive national science center.
Population (million): 11.08 | GDP (billion RMB): 1484.7 GDP per person (RMB): 135136
Wuhan is the provincial capital of Hubei, one of the country’s important industrial bases, science and technology base and integrated transport hub. PLA troops are guaranteed residencey here. In 2018, the city has 13 districts with a total area of 8659.15 square kilometers, a resident population of 11.081 million, and a regional GDP of 1.48 trillion yuan. Wuhan is the core city of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the strategic fulcrum of the rise of Central China, the comprehensive innovation reform pilot zone, and one of the three intellectually intensive areas of the country. China Optics Valley is committed to creating a global entrepreneurial and innovative entrepreneurial center. According to the request of the National Development and Reform Commission, Wuhan is accelerating the establishment of a national central city supported by four major functions: the National Economic Center, the High-level Science and Technology Innovation Center, the Trade and Logistics Center and the International Exchange Center.
Nanyang City (南阳市)
Population (million): 11.98 | GDP (billion RMB): 356.6 GDP per person (RMB): 35554
Nanyang is a prefecture-level city, located in the southwest of Henan Province. By the end of 2018, the city had jurisdiction over 2 administrative districts, 4 development zones, and 10 counties, with a total area of 26,600 square kilometers and a resident population of 100,136,000 (including Dengzhou). Nanyang is a national historical and cultural city with a history of more than 2,000 years of construction and is the birthplace of Chu and Han culture. South-to-North Water Transfer , originating from Nanyang and Sichuan. Nanyang Xichuan is one of the largest core water source areas in the center of the Taoshui Canal Project in the middle line of the South-to-North Water Transfer Project of the world’s largest water transfer project. Nanyang is located in the transition zone from subtropical to temperate zone. It belongs to the humid and semi-humid climate of the monsoon continent, with four distinct seasons.
Linyi City (临沂市)
Population (million): 1124 | GDP (billion RMB): 471.7 GDP per person (RMB): 42818
Linyi, a prefecture-level city located in the southeast of Shandong Province, on the west bank of the Yellow Sea, the junction of the Yangtze River Delta Economic Circle and the Bohai Economic Circle, the Dongpu Sea National Key Development Zone and the Lunan Lingang Industrial Belt. Is a famous trade city and logistics capital, and is one of the country’s major logistics centers and wholesale trade center.
Shijiazhuang City (石家庄市)
Population (million): 1095.1 | GDP (billion RMB): 608.2 GDP per person (RMB): 55723
Shijiazhuang is the political, economic, scientific, financial, cultural, and the provincial capital of Hebei Province. It is one of the important central cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region approved by the State Council. As of 2018, the city has 8 districts, 11 counties, and 3 county-level cities under its jurisdiction, with a total area of 14,464 square kilometers, a built-up area of 28,372 square kilometers, a resident population of 10 million, and an urban population of 6.917 million. The urbanization rate is 63.16%.
Harbin City (哈尔滨市)
Population (million): 1085.8 | GDP (billion RMB): 630.05 GDP per person (RMB): 57837
Harbin, also known as Bingcheng, is the capital city of Heilongjiang Province, the sub-provincial city, and the core city of Harbin Metropolitan Area. The State Council approved the important central cities in Northeast China and the important manufacturing bases of the country. As of 2018, the city has jurisdiction over nine districts, seven counties, hosted two county-level cities, with a total area of 53100 square kilometers, built area of 435.28 square kilometers.
Suzhou City (苏州市)
Population (million): 10.68 | GDP (billion RMB): 1859.7 GDP per person (RMB): 162000
Suzhou is under the jurisdiction of Jiangsu Province. It is a State Historical and Cultural City, Scenic Tourism City, National High-tech Industrial base, and one of the important central cities in the Yangtze River Delta. As of 2018, the city has jurisdiction over 5 districts and administers 4 county-level cities, with a total area of 848.842 square kilometers, a built-up area of 461.65 square kilometers, a resident population of 10.72117 million, an urban population of 815.39 million, and an urbanization rate of 76.05%
Baoding City (保定市)
Population (million): 10.46 | GDP (billion RMB): 358.9 GDP per person (RMB): 21708
Baoding is located in the central part of Hebei Province and Taihang Mountain. It is one of the central cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The total area of Baoding City is 22,190 square kilometers. As of the end of 2017, it has jurisdiction over 5 municipal districts, 15 counties, and 4 county-level cities ( Dingzhou is directly governed by the province), with 1 country. In April 2017, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council decided to establish the Xiong’an New District of Hebei Province, involving the three counties of Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin in Baoding City and surrounding areas.
Zhengzhou City (郑州市)
Population (million): 10.13 | GDP (billion RMB): 1014.3 GDP per person (RMB): 101349
Zhengzhou is the provincial capital of Henan Province, an important central city in central China, the country’s important integrated transportation hub, trade and logistics center. It is located in the north of central Henan Province, Kaifeng in the east, Luoyang in the west, the Yellow River in the north and Xinxiang and Jiaozuo in the north, and Xuchang and Pingdingshan in the south. Zhengzhou has jurisdiction over 6 municipal districts and 1 county, and administers 5 county-level cities, with a total area of 7446 square kilometers, an urban area of 1010 square kilometers, and a built-up area of 549.33 square kilometers in the central city, the urban built-up area of the city is 830.97 square kilometers, the urbanization rate is 72.2%.
Xi’an City (西安市)
Population (million): 10.00 | GDP (billion RMB): 834.9 GDP per person (RMB): 85114
Xi’an is the capital city of Shaanxi province. It was the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, the core area of the “ Belt and Road ” and an important center in western China. The city is an important research, education and industrial base of the country. UNESCO’s ” World Historic City ” was established in 1981. It has jurisdiction over 11 districts and 2 counties and administers Xixian New District, with a total area of 10,752 square kilometers. Xi’an is one of the important birthplaces of Chinese civilization and the Chinese nation. In history, more than a dozen dynasties have built capitals here.
Population (million): 9.17 | GDP (billion RMB): 345.4 GDP per person (RMB): 36289
Handan City, Hebei provincial city, located in Hebei Province. has 6 districts, 1 county-level city, 11 counties, 1 national-level development zone and 1 provincial-level development zone. Located in the heart of the Jinci, Shandong and Henan provinces, and the heart of the Central Plains Economic Zone, it is an important transportation hub in the North China region.
Wenzhou city (温州市)
Population (million): 9.12 | GDP (billion RMB): 600.6 GDP per person (RMB): 65055
Wenzhou is a prefecture-level city in Zhejiang Province. It is a national historical and cultural city, an important commercial and trade city on the southeast coast, and one of the regional central cities in Zhejiang Province. The city’s land area is 1,612.94 square kilometers, and the sea area is about 11,000 square kilometers. The city governs 4 municipal districts, 5 counties, and 3 county-level cities.
Population (million): 9.08 | GDP (billion RMB): 615.6 GDP per person (RMB): 65721
Weifang, a prefecture-level city under the jurisdiction of Shandong Province, is located in the middle of Shandong Peninsula, adjacent to Qingdao, Rizhao, Zibo, Yantai and Linyi. The climate is a warm temperate monsoon semi-humid continental climate, and the urban landforms are from north to south, from low to high, forming several steps. As of 2016, it has jurisdiction over 4 districts, 6 cities and 2 counties. In 2017, the total population was 9.363 million. Weifang City is the world’s kite capital, national environmental protection model city, national health city, national garden city, China’s outstanding tourism city, national advanced city of scientific and technological progress, national circular economy demonstration city, and won the China Habitat Environment Award.
Zhoukou City (周口市)
Population (million): 8.95 | GDP (billion RMB): 268.7 GDP per person (RMB): 30668
Zhoukou City, a prefecture-level city under the jurisdiction of Henan Province, is located in the southeast of Henan Province, in the hinterland of Huanghuai Plain, east of Fuyang City, Anhui Province, west of Luohe City and Xuchang City, south to Zhumadian City, and north to Kaifeng City and Shangqiu City. By the end of 2018, Zhoukou City had jurisdiction over 2 districts, 7 counties, and 1 county-level city with a total area of 11,959 square kilometers.
Zhejiang province (浙江 zhè jiāng) is located on the southeast coast of China with Hangzhou as its capital. It borders the East China Sea to the east, Fujian to the south, Anhui and Jiangxi to the west, and Shanghai and Jiangsu in the north. The total area of Zhejiang Province is 105,500 square kilometers.
By the end of 2018, Zhejiang Province had 11 provincial cities (including two sub-provincial cities ), 20 county-level cities, 32 counties, 1 autonomous county, and 37 municipal districts.
As of the end of 2018, preliminary accounting, the annual gross domestic product (GDP) of 5619.7 billion yuan (801 bn USD), an increase of 7.1% over the previous year.
At the end of the year, the resident population of the province was 57.37 million, an increase of 800,000 from the end of the previous year. In October 2019, Zhejiang was selected into the National Digital Economy Innovation and Development Experimental Zone.
Zhejiang has a subtropical monsoon climate with significant monsoons, four distinct seasons, moderate annual temperatures, abundant sunshine, abundant rainfall, and humid air. The annual average temperature is 15-18 °C.
January sees the lowest temperatures and July the highest. May and June are concentrated rainfall periods. The extreme maximum temperature is 44.1 °C, the extreme minimum temperature is -17.4 °C; the annual average rainfall in Zhejiang Province is 980-2000 mm.
AAAAA Rated Attractions in Zhejiang
5A is China’s top rating for attractions and scenic areas.
Hengdian World Studios (横店影视城)
Location: Jinhua, Zhejiang
Hengdian World Studios is a film studio and tourist attraction located in Hengdian, Zhejiang Province. It is the largest film studio in the world. The movie studio is operated by the privately owned Hengdian Group founded by Xu Wenrong. Sometimes called “Chinawood”, Xu turned acres of farmland in central Zhejiang into one of the largest movie studios in Asia. Construction began in the mid-1990s and has been ongoing ever since with the possible recent addition of the replica of the Old Summer Palace
Xikou-Tengtou scenic spot (溪口)
Location: Ningbo, Zhejiang
It is located 20 kilometers southwest of Ningbo City. The total viewing area of the scenic spot is 140 square kilometers. The main attractions are Xuedou Mountain and Chiang’s former residence. Xikou Town was the birthplace of Chiang Kai-shek and the hometown of Chiang’s father and son. During the Republic of China, it became the command center of the National Government.
Nanxun Old Town (南浔古镇)
Location: Huzhou, Zhejiang
Nanxun Ancient Town is located in Nanxun District of Huzhou City, at the junction of Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it was a famous silk town in the south of the Yangtze River. It is an ancient town in the south of the Yangtze River with abundant human resources and a combination of Chinese and Western architecture. Nanxun Ancient Town Scenic Area covers an area of 34.27 square kilometers
Location: Taizhou, Zhejiang
Shenxianju Scenic Area, located in the south of Xianju County in the southeast of Zhejiang Province. The scenic area is 158 square kilometers and has has five key attraction areas – Shenxianju, Jingxing Mountain, Shisandu, Gongyu and Danzhu. The area has numerous peaks, waterfalls, rivers and forests.
West Lake (西湖)
Location: Hangzhou, Zhejiang
West Lake is a freshwater lake in Hangzhou, China. It is divided into five sections by three causeways. There are numerous temples, pagodas, gardens, and artificial islands within the lake. West Lake has influenced poets and painters throughout Chinese history for its natural beauty and historic relics, and it has also been among the most important sources of inspiration for Chinese garden designers. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011, described as having “influenced garden design in the rest of China as well as Japan and Korea over the centuries” and reflecting “an idealized fusion between humans and nature”.
Yandang Mountains (雁荡山)
Location: Wenzhou, Zhejiang
Yandang Mountains, or Yandangshan, refers, in the broad sense, to a coastal mountain range in southeastern Zhejiang province in eastern China, covering much of the prefecture-level city of Wenzhou and extending to the county-level city of Wenling in Taizhou prefecture. Mt. Yandang is known for its natural environment, arising from its vertical rock faces and pinnacles, mountain slopes with forests and bamboo groves, streams, waterfalls and caves. The area also hosts several temples and shrines, many of them with a long history; characteristic for the temples is that many of them are built inside caves or in mouths of caves.
Mount Putuo (普陀山)
Location: Zhoushan, Zhejiang
Mount Putuo is an island southeast of Shanghai in Zhoushan, Zhejiang, China. It is a renowned site in Chinese Buddhism and is the bodhimaṇḍa of the bodhisattva Guanyin. Mount Putuo is one of the four sacred mountains in Chinese Buddhism, the others being Mount Wutai, Mount Jiuhua, and Mount Emei (bodhimaṇḍas for Manjushri, Kṣitigarbha, and Samantabhadra, respectively).
Qiandao Lake (千岛湖风景区)
Location: Hangzhou, Zhejiang
Qiandao Lake, a human-made, freshwater lake located in Chun’an County, Zhejiang Province, China, was formed after the completion of the Xin’an River hydroelectric station in 1959. Also known as Thousand Island Lake, its main attractions are Meifeng Island, Monkey Island, Longshan Island, Lock Island, and Tantan Island.
Location: Jiaxing, Zhejiang
Wuzhen is a historic scenic town, part of Tongxiang, located in the north of Zhejiang Province. Wuzhen is divided into six districts. These are: the traditional workshops district, the traditional local-styled dwelling houses district, the traditional culture district, the traditional food and beverage district, the traditional shops and stores district, and the water township customs and life district. Following an east-west-east circuit created by these six districts, visitors can witness reenactment of traditional practices and cultures.
South Lake (南湖(嘉兴))
Location: Jiaxing, Zhejiang
South Lake is a lake in the South of Jiaxing, Zhejiang, China, and covers an area of 0.54 km². It is also known as “Mandarin Duck Lake” due to the its shape. Alongside the lake are the ruins of the Misty Rain Tower, which was first built in the 10th century AD. In the year 1548, during the Ming Dynasty, the local government dredged the waterways and piled up the mud into the center of South Lake, forming an islet. The Misty Rain tower was rebuilt on the islet the next year. In the following years, a group of ancient garden-style architectures emerged around it.
Xixi National Wetland Park (西溪国家湿地公园)
Location: Hangzhou, Zhejiang
Xixi National Wetland Park is a national wetland park in China, located at the west part of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, a total of 1,150 hectares (2,800 acres). The park is densely crisscrossed with six main watercourses, among which are scattered various ponds, lakes and swamps. XiXi Wetland has a history of more than 1,800 years and an abundant cultural heritage. It’s the original site of Chinese South Opera; it has a traditional dragon boat contest; it contains the vivid life of a water village, featuring silkworm feeding and silk production.
Lu Xun’s residence (鲁迅故里)
Location: Shaoxing, Zhejiang
Lu Xun’s hometown is located in Lu Xun Middle Road, Shaoxing City, Zhejiang Province. It is the true place to interpret Lu Xun’s works, taste Lu Xun’s style, and feel Lu Xun’s life situation. It is the best preserved, most cultural connotation and classic style of the ancient city of Shaoxing. A historical district with a unique Jiangnan style. Lu Xun’s hometown covers an area of 50 hectares with a total investment of 1 billion yuan.
Tiantai Mountain (天台山)
Location: Taizhou, Zhejiang
Tiantai Mountain, or Tiantai Shan, is located in Tiantai County near the city of Taizhou, Zhejiang. The main scenic spots are Guoqing Temple, the Shiliang Waterfall, the Huading National Forest Park, the Chicheng Mountain and the hometown of the Monk, Ji Gong., and more.
Location: Jiaxing, Zhejiang
Xitang is a historic town in Jiashan County, Zhejiang, China. It borders Luxu Town in the north, Yaozhuang Town in the east, Ganyao Town in the southeast, and Tianning Town and Town in the west. Xitang is a water town crisscrossed by nine rivers. The town stretches across eight sections, linked by old-fashioned stone bridges. In the older parts of town, the buildings are set along the banks of the canals, which serve as the main transportation thoroughfares in the area.
Mount Jianglang and Nianbadu (江郎山)
Location: Quzhou, Zhejiang
Jianglang Mountain is located in Shimen Town, Jiangshan City, Chenzhou City, Zhejiang Province. Jianglang Mountain Scenic Area consists of three parts: Sancha Stone, Eighteen Qu, Tashan, Niunifeng, Xunhu Lake (name used by Qinglong Lake) and Xianju Temple. With an area of 11.86 square kilometers, the Jingyuan type is dominated by natural landscapes and has a rich cultural landscape.
Root Palace Buddhist Cultural Tourism Zone (根宫佛国文化旅游区)
Location: Quzhou, Zhejiang
The Root Palace Buddhism Cultural Tourism Zone is located in Kaihua County, Zhejiang Province. It features exhibitions of root sculptures, bonsai arts, stone appreciation and ancient gardens. These exhibitions contain a root sculpture of Sakyamuni, the biggest root sculpture in the world, and a huge root sculpture of an array with 500 arhats, which is 680 meters long. The scenic area has a large number of resources in different types, mainly including local landscapes, water scenery, ruins and relics, architectural designs, human activities and climatic landscapes.
AAAA Rated Attractions of Zhejiang Province
China’s AAAA rating represents national-level attractions and scenic areas with the province having many. Here is a list of them all with cities and Chinese names for more destinations beyond the 5A listings above.
Zhejiang Cuisine (Zhe 浙菜) features dishes that are not greasy, having but instead a fresh, soft flavor with a mellow fragrance. The cuisine consists of at least four styles, each of which originates from different cities in the province.
Hangzhou: characterized by rich variations and the use of bamboo shoots.
Shaoxing: specializes in poultry and freshwater fish.
Ningbo: emphasizes freshness and salty dishes and specializes in seafood.
Wenzhou: a source of seafood and poultry and livestock.
Popular dishes are
Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH)
One of China’s top ten airports
Ningbo Lishe International Airport (NGB)
Domestic and international
Wenzhou Longwan International Airport (WNZ)
Domestic and international
Under construction (open in 2021)
Yiwu Airport (YIW)
Domestic + Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Bangkok, Nha Trang
Luzhou Airport (JUZ)
Taizhou Luqiao Airport (HYN)
Under construction (open in 2022)
Zhoushan Putuoshan Airport (HSN)
Zhejiang is well serviced by high speed rail including the
Shanghai-Hangzhou High Speed Rail
Nanjing-Hangzhou High Speed Rail
Hangzhou-Ningbo High Speed Rail
Hangzhou-Changzhou High Speed Rail
Hanghuang High Speed Rail
Shanghehang High Speed Rail (under construction)
Hangzhou-Wenzhou High Speed Railway (under construction)
Coastal Ningbo, Shanghai, and Zhoushan Islands are served by multiple passenger ships every day, forming China’s busiest maritime passenger “Golden Triangle”. Also, there are several cruise ships departing from the Hangzhou-Suzhou and Hangzhou-Wuxi sections of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal every day. Ningbo is also a major cargo port.
The main coastal ports in Zhejiang are: Ningbo port, Zhoushan port, Taizhou port, Zhapu port, Wenzhou port; the main inland river ports are: Hangzhou port, Jiaxing port, Huzhou port, and Shaoxing port.
Here is a collection of photos of the new Beijing Daxing International Airport, aka Starfish. As of late last month it has slowly been receiving domestic and now international flights. Nanyuan airport has now closed as a public airport with Beijing now serviced by the Beijing Capital Airport and the new airport at Daxing.
The airport has a lot of high tech features which is employed to make the traveling experience smoother.
In this intro to the broad range of authentic Chinese foods, we’ll cover the top food categories with the popular dishes to try for each one, plus, their Chinese names so you can order with ease.
Chinese cuisine is one of the world’s top cuisines featuring a diverse range of dishes from various regions and ethnic groups in China. It has a long history, exquisite technology, rich variety, numerous genres, and unique styles. It is also the crystallization of thousands of years of culinary activity.
There are many varieties of Chinese dishes, so so many, and generally, they are best classified firstly by region and ethnic group, such as the Eight Major Cuisines of China, each having unique characteristics in cooking styles, ingredients, and final texture, look, and taste. Continue reading about the cuisines of China.
To introduce Chinese foods we can also categorize by type of dish of which there and numerous variants, so let’s explore.
Types of Chinese Food
With a brief intro, and top dishes to try, the categories are Soup, Noodles, Stir fry dishes, Hot pot, Roast meats, Fish and Seafood, Vegetable dishes, Tofu dishes, Bing (flatbreads), Mantou & Baozi (steamed bread), Pastry, and Desserts.
Soup (汤 – Tang)
Soups are an essential and large part of overall Chinese cuisine. They are highly regarded not only for taste but also for nutrition along with soup (decoctions) widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Most Chinese soups are meat-based broths, many are slow-cooked bone broths, with varied end taste profiles covering sweet, sour, spicy.
Popular Chinese soup dishes
Noodles can be made from numerous starches with the most common being wheat noodles aka miantiao (面条) and the next being rice, aka fen (粉). Noodles have a history in China of over 4000 years and the variations of noodle and broth are immense, to say the least. Wheat noodles are historically common to northern China and rice noodles to southern China.
Stir fry dishes (炒菜)
In Chinese cooking stir-frying reigns supreme and whilst simple it has several styles and utilizes time-learned skills to bring out the flavors in different ingredients without nutrient loss.
Hot Pot (火锅)
Hot pot, or huǒ guō, is an ancient Chinese practice that is wildly popular today in Chinese society with hot pot restaurants everywhere you’ll go. Region to region, there are unique styles and ingredients according to the character of the area.
Roast meats are especially popular in southern China having their own category, Siu Mei. Xinjiang BBQ stalls are popular nationwide and especially so in western China.
River fish and Seafood Dishes (河鲜与海鲜菜)
Seafood is, as you’d expect, hugely popular in the coastal provinces. Fish is popular, and symbolic nationwide. Techniques and dishes vary from province to province.
Vegetable Dishes (蔬菜)
Super fresh vegetables are at the core of the Chinese cuisine experience and play a role in almost every dish whether combined with a starch or protein along or solely as a vegetable only dish. The range of daily fresh vegetables available at markets across China is large and diverse mating well with cooking techniques that retain nutrients and reveal flavors. More about vegetables in China.
Tofu Dishes (豆腐)
Tofu, or dòu fǔ, is Chinese creation dating back to the Han Dynasty and is widely used in its three forms of silken, soft and hard.
China, especially northern China, has a large array of wheat flour products with a famous one being Bing (餅) and its numerous variants. More on Bing.
Mantou (饅頭) and Bao (包子)
Mantou is a steamed bun made from a leaved flour dough and when a filling is added it becomes a Bao, or Baozi, of which there are numerous variants from savory to sweet.
Surprisingly, China has an extensive range of pastries in eight categories by method and under 12 genres by region.
Chinese desserts do a superb job of combining natural ingredients with sweetness while retaining nutritional elements.
The flavor genre within China is diverse due to being a multi-ethnic country. Due to differences in geography, climate, property, culture, beliefs, etc., the flavors of the dishes vary greatly. Within Chinese cuisine, there is what’s known as the Eight Major Cuisines which are the most popular and influential. They include Lu cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, Cantonese cuisine, Su cuisine, Zhejiang cuisine, Hunan cuisine, and Anhui cuisine.
Beyond those, there are perhaps hundreds of smaller regional and even village specific cuisine styles and dishes. Read more about the cuisines of China.
Chinese Cooking characteristics
Chinese cuisine emphasizes color, aroma, taste, shape, and nutrition. Symbolism also plays a role.
Color: color can make a dish pop and reflect its nutritional appeal. Sometimes it is set off with some vegetables, tomatoes, onions, etc., in order to achieve better visual effects.
Fragrance: aroma is important but is also acquired. An example being stinky tofu.
Taste: the soul of the dish. It is the product of the combination of the main ingredients and seasonings of the dishes and skill.
Meaning: People have associations or meaningful dishes. Certain dishes are very symbolic may that be representing reunion, such as dumplings.
Shape: paying attention to the chef’s skills of presentation.
Nurturing: its the belief of many Chinese that medicine is not as good as food, and the nutritional elements of a dish are highly considered.
Everything you wanted to know about Chinese dumplings including the different types, how to make authentic Chinese dumplings, filling recipes, dipping sauces, and more.
The humble Chinese dumpling, or jiaozi (餃子) has a history of more than 1,800 years being a traditional specialty food and a staple food and local snack with so many regional variants. They are also symbolic of Chinese New Year.
Dumplings originated in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD), and at that time, the dumplings were medicinal and created by the famed Chinese pharmacologist, physician, inventor, and writer of the Eastern Han dynasty, Zhang Zhongjing (張仲景; 150—219 AD). He created dumplings with mutton and medicinal herb fillings to help ‘warm’ people who were experiencing frostbitten ears during northern winters.
Dumpling is actually a fairly broad category in China and here I will introduce the key types although most of this article will be focused solely on jiaozi.
is the most common Chinese dumpling. They have numerous filling variants and can be boiled, steamed or fried. They are also symbolic of Chinese New Year and the Winter solstice.
Potsickers, guotie (鍋貼)
simply Jiaozi that are wrapped differently and cooked in a pan instead of being boiled to create a distinctly different product.
popular throughout southern China they are wrapped differently and made with a meat or shrimp filling and served in a chicken broth. Wonton can also be deep fried. They use a different skin to jiaozi.
Cantonese dim sum (點心)
Dim sum features numerous dumpling variations including har gow, siew mai, lo mai gai and crystal dumplings. They all use different skin to jiaozi.
are triangle or cone shaped, glutinous rice dumplings that can be filled with red bean paste, Chinese dates or cured meat depending on region. Glutinous rice dumplings are traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival (端午節).
are a soup dumpling. They use a similar but larger and thicker skin than jioazi and contain a ground pork and soup mixture.
are smaller dumplings made with glutinous rice flour and filled with sweet sesame, peanut, red bean paste. Tangyuan may also be served without a filling. Tangyuan are eaten on the 15th day of Chinese New Year, or the Lantern Festival.
is a Tibetan dumpling and popular through southern Asia. It is very similar to jiaozi although sometimes much larger with unique fillings such as cheese, pork, chicken, goat meat and buffalo meat. Dipping sauces are also unique using tomato-based chutney.
Yao Gok 油角
Yao Gok is a Cantonese speciality that is popular during Chinese New Year. It is deep fried and has a peanut, sesame and sugar filling.
Making Authentic Chinese Dumplings
There are four simple steps packed with complexity, a) making the filling, b) make the dumpling wrappers or skins, c) fill and wrap the dumpling, and d) boiling/frying.
A. Dumpling fillings
There are endless recipes for dumpling fillings and every household will undoubtedly have it’s own passed down from family member to family member. Dumpling stuffing is mainly divided into meat filling, meat and vegetable filling, and vegetarian filling.
Pork is the most popular filling ingredient. Rather than ground pork it is hand-chopped which creates a more even consistency to take on the flavors of the seasoning and improved mouthfeel. A small amount of water is added to the meat so it doesn’t dry out during cooking, along with chopped green onion, ginger, pepper or allspice, salt, a small amount of soy sauce, and cooking wine. Note water is added after the seasonings. If the meat is very lean you may add some oil then stir evenly in one direction, then adjust the saltiness. You can also use this method to make beef and mutton filling.
1. wash the cabbage and cut into fine slices, and mix well with vegetable oil.
2. Cut the pork into fine granules and with ginger, diced green onion, salt, pepper, cooking wine, msg, sesame oil, and then add the cabbage. Stir together.
3. refrigerate for 20 mins
1. The ratio of fat to lean meat of pork is 4:6.
2. Some people like to add some vinegar to the chopped cabbage, wait, and then squeeze out any excess water
B. Dumpling skins
Dumpling wrappers are readily available in most supermarkets and Asian supermarkets. Alternatively, you can make your own
420g all-purpose flour. The most common is wheat flour, and some places use buckwheat flour.
210ml water. Use cool water.
1/2 teaspoon salt
After kneading the dough for a few minutes, shape into a ball and let it rest 20 minutes so the flour can absorb the water. Knead again for 5 or so minutes until it is smooth and elastic, shape into a ball.
Place the kneaded dough on the chopping board and knead it into a cylindrical strip with a diameter of 2-3 cm. Cut into small pieces of about 1.5 cm. Squash by hand and then use a rolling pin to form a dumpling skin with a moderate diameter (4-7 cm) and a thickness of about 0.5-1 mm.
C. Stuffing the dumpling and pinching
Add a heaped teaspoon of the filling to the wrapper and be careful not to spread the filling too close to the edge. In a bowl, add a little water and cornstarch. Moisten the outer edge of the dumpling wrapper with the cornstarch mix and fold the edges over the meat and pinch to seal. It’s important to not have any filling on the edges so as to get a good seal, thus, in many cases less filling is better, noting that the seal is critical.
For the various ways to fold/pinch dumplings, here’s a great video
D. Cooking the dumpling
Four ways to cook your fresh dumplings
Boil enough water in the pot, add the dumplings, stir and stir in the pan to prevent the pan from sticking. After returning to the boil, pour in a cup of cold water, cover the lid, boil again and then pour a cup of cold water again. After a total of three cups of cold water, turn off the heat. And they are ready.
In a pot or wok, heat the oil to 160 °C and deep-fry the dumplings about 2 minutes until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper or rack.
Bring the pot water to the boil. Add a slice of carrot under each dumpling and place it in the steamer basket (or use parchment). Place onto pot and steam for around ten minutes.
Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Add 10 or so dumplings and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the bottoms are browned. Add 1/3 cup water and cover with a lid. In about 5 minutes the water should be gone and they are ready.
Dumpling dipping sauces
In the supermarket look for naturally brewed, light soy sauce. Lee Kum Kee is a solid brand. Sichuan pepper oil (prickly ash) is also a nice addition to soy if you can find it along with chili oils.
Simple spicy sauce Ingredients: Chili powder 4tsp, toasted white sesame seeds 4tsp, garlic 4 cloves, green onion 5, rice wine vinegar 4 tsp, soy sauce 4tsp, vegetable oil 3 tbsp
Process: finely chop garlic, onions, and place in a heatproof bowl with paprika and sesame seeds. Heat oil, pour into the bowl and add soy, vinegar, and stir.
Xiuying’s dumpling sauce
Ingredients: amounts as desired – Green onions, garlic, ginger, chopped chili or chili powder, rice wine vinegar, salt, chicken powder (or chicken stock powder), soy sauce
Process: add garlic and ginger to a heatproof bowl. Heat some oil, and add to bowl. Add other ingredients and stir.
These are all authentic Chinese dumplings filling recipes. You can safely exclude the MSG should you wish.
Ingredients: 250 grams of coriander, 150 grams of minced/chopped pork, soy sauce, cooking wine, salt, msg, sesame oil
Process: 1. wash the coriander and chop, mix with a little sesame oil. 2. combine pork with a dash of cooking wine, soy, msg, and salt, and mix well. 3. Finally, add the coriander and stir well.
Ingredients: 1 fennel, 1 ounce of pork, 375 grams of seasoning wine, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, half a teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of water, sesame oil 4 tablespoons
Process: Wash the fennel and chop, chop the minced meat and mix thoroughly with all the seasonings, and then mix with the fennel to make the filling.
Tomato egg dumplings
Ingredients: 300 grams of cooked eggs (fried) and 300 grams of tomatoes; 8 grams of onion, 5 grams of ginger, 6 grams of salt, 5 grams of sugar, 10 grams of sesame oil.
Process: 1, the egg into the oil pan stir fry (to be tender) 2, tomato diced 3, add seasoning, mix well clockwise
Leek and shrimp dumplings
Ingredients: 150 grams of shrimp, 150 grams of lean pork, 150 grams of fresh amaranth; ginger, leek
Process: Cut the lean pork to about 0.4 cm, add the wine and soy sauce for more than 20 minutes, and take the shrimp and cut to the same size as pork, add a small amount of soy sauce and cooking wine and marinate for 20 minutes. Chop the leek, add finely chopped ginger, salt, msg, a pinch of five spice, a dash of peanut oil, a dash of sesame oil, and stir the meat and shrimp evenly.
Fish dumplings Ingredients: 700 grams of peeled fish, 50 grams of pork fat, 200 grams of garlic chives, 50 grams of green onion, cooking wine, ginger, salt, msg, broth.
1. Chop/mash the fish. Cut the pork fat meat into fine pieces. Chop the chives.
2. Combine the fish, wine, onion, ginger, MSG, salt, and stir, and finally, add fat meat, and chives. Mix until elastic, and add a little water if necessary.
Pork mushroom dumplings
Ingredients: Pork 400 grams, Dried shiitake mushrooms 15, green onion 50 gm, salt, Oyster sauce 10 gm, soy sauce 15 gm, vegetable oil
Process: Soak the mushrooms with warm water for about an hour, drain while saving the water, slice then dice into small cubes. Chop the onions. Chop the pork finely and add a little of the mushroom water. Keep stirring the meat until it becomes gooey. Add everything together, stir again.
Folk customs surrounding dumplings
Chinese New Year
Eating dumplings is also a folk tradition unique to the Chinese during the Spring Festival/CNY. The custom of eating dumplings varies from place to place with some places eating dumplings on New Year’s Eve, and some places eat dumplings on the first day of the new year. In Chinese, the word for dumplings 饺子 sounds like 交子 with 交 (Jiāo) meaning “exchange” and 子(zi) meaning midnight hours.
Eating dumplings during the Spring Festival means good luck. In addition, dumplings are shaped like ingots, and dumplings mean that they are wrapped in good fortune.
In the northern region, there is the Winter Solstice Festival (冬至) and dumplings are again an integral feature of traditional customs at this time.
Dumplings are not just a kind of food, but also a representative of Chinese cuisine, and an integral feature of the culture. They are also used symbolically echoing aspirations.
Celery stuffing – that is, the meaning of diligence and wealth. Diligence: diligence, hard work; often, diligent (frequent) continuous, that is, diligent. It is a blessing for a steady stream of material wealth; it is a blessing for hard work and pragmatism.
Leek stuffing – that is, the meaning of long-term wealth. It is a material wealth that prays for a blessing for a long time, and hope that people will last forever – health, harmony, happiness.
Cabbage stuffing – that is, the meaning of Baicai. Pray for a hundred kinds of wealth; or a good wish for the newlyweds.
Mushroom stuffing – that is, the meaning of the drums. Drum: It rises and bulges. The shape of the mushroom is like an upward arrow or the momentum of the stock market. It is upward and full of drums, which means that it is a good thing; or it is a good wish for the younger generation to express their hopes.
Rapeseed stuffing – that is, there is a fortune. It is rich; you are blessed with wealth, and you are more blessed.
Fish stuffing – that is, the meaning of Yucai. Yu: That is, the rest, more, bless you more than a year, that is, the surplus. The hard work is to get wealth, and the rest is health.
Beef stuffing – It means the meaning of bullishness, the favorite of the stock market friends, every day in the bull market, the cow is the cow’s wealth; more wish friends are healthy and bullish.
Mutton stuffing – that is, the meaning of foreign wealth.
Jujube stuffing – symbolic of lucky money is the lucky dumplings.
Sweet stuffing – It is a sweet food or a dumpling, a moon cake, etc.; it is more homogenous with the genius, which means that it is rich.
Think China doesn’t have some amazing scenic beaches? You might be surprised. Beach culture has never really been a big thing in China but lately, it is growing fast and exposing more of the scenic coastal areas that the Country offers.
Here are the top ten beaches and coastal areas of China
Hainan is an island province that has been receiving a lot of investment and is growing into China’s Hawaii featuring beaches and tropical lifestyle. The most popular beach destination is Yalong Bay (亚龙湾) located 28 kilometers southeast of Sanya City (三亚市). It is a half-moon bay at the southernmost tip of Hainan. It has a 7-kilometer-long silver-white beach. The submarine world of Yalong Bay is rich in resources, including coral reefs, various tropical fish, and precious shellfish. The annual average temperature is 25.5 °C, the seawater temperature is 22-25.1 °C, and is suitable for swimming all the year-round.
Other popular beaches in Hainan include Wuzhizhou Island (蜈支洲岛) – see the main image for this page, Boundary Island (分界洲岛), West Island (和西岛), Lingshui Island (陵水呆呆岛), Wanning Shimei Bay (万宁石梅湾), and Boao Bay (博鳌).
Hailing Island, Yangjiang, Guangdong (广东阳江海陵岛)
Located on Hailing Island in Yangjiang City, it features ten beaches and is one of Chinas Top Ten Islands. The island has been developing with modern tourism resources and is becoming more popular now there is a high speed rail connection. The main beaches here include Shi Li Beach (十里银滩), Dajiaowan Bay (大角湾景区), East Island Golden Beach (东岛金沙滩), and Oriental Silver Beach (东方银滩).
Dapeng Peninsula is adjacent to Daya Bay in the east, bordering Huizhou, holding Dapeng Bay in the west and overlooking the New Territories of Hong Kong. It has unique mountain and sea scenery, tourism resources and huge development potential. Popular beaches here include Xichong Beach (西冲海), Dongchong Beach (东冲海滩), Yangmeikeng Beach (杨梅坑), Jiaochangwei Beach (较场尾海滩) and in the nearby Yantian district, there is the popular Dameisha Beach (大梅沙海滩) and Xiaomeisha Beach (小梅沙).
Nearby to Dapeng, Huizhou also has the beautiful Sanmen island and Huizhou Xunliao Bay.
Beihai Silver Beach (Guangxi) 银滩（广西北海）
Beihai Yintan is the only national-level tourist resort in China built in ethnic minority autonomous regions. It is known as the first beach in China. The area exceeds the total area of Yantai, Qingdao, Dalian and Beidaihe beaches. The water quality is the national first-class standard. The seawater ebbs quickly, the tide rises slowly, and the swimming safety factor is very high. It offers suitable conditions for swimming nine months of the year.
Gulangyu (Xiamen) 鼓浪屿（厦门）
Gulangyu Island is located in the southwest corner of Xiamen Island, Fujian Province, across the sea from Xiamen. Famed for its colonial architecture, beauty, and climate, it also features six beaches with the largest being Aberdeen Beach 港仔后海滨浴场).
Qingdao (Shandong) 青岛（山东）
Qiangdao has a long coastline featuring some 32 bays and almost 70 islands. Qingdao is a major seaport, naval base, and industrial centre. The world’s longest sea bridge, the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, links the main urban area of Qingdao with Huangdao district, straddling the Jiaozhou Bay sea areas. The most famous beaches here include Shi Lao Ren (石老人), Golden Sand Beach (金沙滩), Beach No. 1, 2 and 3 (第一海水浴场, 第二海水浴场, 第三海水浴场), and Silver Beach (银沙滩).
On the east coast of Mount Putuo, there is a beach about two kilometers long, called Qianbusha, which is the largest beach on Mount Putuo. The sand surface is flat, clean and soft, which is comparable to the Beihai Silver Beach.
Gold Coast (Hebei Changli) 黄金海岸 (河北昌黎)
The beautiful Qinhuangdao Gold Coast is located on the coast of the Bohai Sea. The coastline is 52.1 kilometers long. It has the characteristics of fine sand, soft beach, clear water and flat tide. It is an ideal place for swimming, sunbathing, and a nature escape. The most attractive sport on the Gold Coast is sand-skiing. It is somewhat famous for its “lonely library” positioned in the middle of the beach (pictured).
Bangchui Island (Dalian) 棒槌岛 (大连)
Bangchui Island is located in the eastern section of Binhai Road, Dalian, about 5 kilometers southeast of Dalian. It is a scenic spot with mountains, sea, island, and beach as the main landscape. One of the most famous hotels in China, the Bangchuidao Hotel is located here. It is surrounded by mountains on three sides, surrounded by the sea; the north is surrounded by mountains, and the south is open sea and flat sandy beaches.
Da nan Bay Beach, Hebao Island (Zhuhai, Guangdong) 荷包岛大南湾海滩 (广东省珠海市)
Located at the southwestern tip of Zhuhai, Guangdong, the total area is about 13 square kilometers and the total length of the coast is about 28 kilometers. The Danan Bay beach is about 4 kilometers long and has a width of 200-500 meters. The sand is soft and even and delicate. The seawater is clear and transparent. It is also one of the quietest beaches on this list.
This guide will provide an easy to digest intro to China’s famous cuisines with dish suggestions. I truly believe that the more knowledge you have about the local cuisine, the more rewarding your food experiences in China will surely be.
It’s fair to say that one of the key experiences in China is the diverse food cultures and cuisines. They are quite proud of their culinary abilities, and rightly so. Perhaps born from doing a lot with a little, they have mastered the use of natural ingredients, balancing tastes and bringing out amazing flavors.
The most famous Chinese cuisines are the “Four Major Cuisines (四大菜系)” which are Sichuan (川菜; Chuāncài), Shandong (鲁菜; Lǔcài), Cantonese (粤菜; Yuècài) and Huaiyang (淮揚菜; Huái yáng cài).
Expanding on the Four Major Cuisines is the modern “Eight Major Cuisines (八大菜系)” of China which is perhaps more representative of the diversity in techniques, ingredients, and dishes found across the nation. The Eight Cuisines are Anhui (徽菜 Huīcài), Cantonese (粤菜; Yuècài), Fujian (闽菜; Mǐncài), Hunan (湘菜; Xiāngcài), Jiangsu (苏菜; Sūcài), Shandong (鲁菜; Lǔcài), Sichuan (川菜; Chuāncài), and Zhejiang (浙菜; Zhècài) cuisines.
Whether you are in China for a long stay or short, it’s useful to have a basic knowledge of the key eight great cuisines.
The Eight Major Chinese Cuisines
Yue (Cantonese Cuisine) (粤菜)
Overall, the cuisine is famed for lightly cooked fresh vegetables, medicinal soups, bbq meats, and dim sum. It is one of the most popular cuisines with foreign visitors. Dim sum is perhaps the most well-known product under Cantonese cuisine, it is incredibly popular throughout Guangdong and Hong Kong, and an important feature on local culture.
Popular dishes include
Chuan (Sichuan Cuisine) (川菜)
Originating in the Sichuan Province this cuisine is well known for its mouth burning and lip numbing qualities! Featuring bold flavors and spiciness via the use of lots of garlic and chili peppers, along with Sichuan peppercorn. Peanuts, sesame paste, and ginger are also prominent ingredients in this style.
Popular dishes include
Hui (Anhui Cuisine) (徽菜)
Derived from the native cooking styles of the Huangshan Mountains region in China and is similar to Jiangsu cuisine, but with less emphasis on seafood and more on a wide variety of local herbs and vegetables.
Popular dishes include
Lu (Shandong Cuisine) (魯菜)
With a long history, Shandong Cuisine once formed an important part of the imperial cuisine and was widely promoted in North China. Some consider it the most influential of all the cuisines. However, it isn’t so popular in South China (including Shanghai). Shandong Cuisine features a variety of cooking techniques and the wide use of seafood.
The typical dishes on the local menu are braised abalone, braised trepang, sweet and sour carp, Jiuzhuan Dachang, Dezhou Chicken.
Min (Fujian Cuisine) (闽菜)
Fujian cuisine consists of four styles, which are
Fuzhou: the taste is light, often with a mixed sweet and sour taste. Fuzhou is famous for its soups.
Western Fujian: there are often slight spicy tastes from mustard and pepper and the cooking methods are often steam, fry and stir-fry.
Southern Fujian: spicy and sweet tastes are often found and the selection of sauces used is elaborate.
Quanzhou: the least oily but with the strongest taste/flavor of Fujian cuisine.
Popular dishes include
Su (Jiangsu Cuisine) (蘇菜)
Known for its soft texture and use of ingredients according to the seasons. Jiangsu cuisine consists of many styles with Huaiyang cuisine being the main type. Other styles include:
Nanjing: its dishes feature a balanced taste and matching colour, with river fish/shrimps and duck being popular ingredients, Jinling salted dried duck is one of the most popular dishes.
Suzhou: emphasis on the selection of material, stronger taste than Nanjing cuisine, and a little on the sweeter side.
Wuxi: fresh water produce is common. Other notable dishes include Yangzhou steamed Jerky strips (dried tofu, chicken, ham and pea leaves), triple combo duck, dried duck, and Farewell My Concubine (soft-shelled turtle stewed with many other ingredients such as chicken, mushrooms, and wine).
Popular dishes are
Zhe (Zhejiang Cuisine) (浙菜)
The dishes are not greasy, having but instead a fresh, soft flavor with a mellow fragrance. The cuisine consists of at least four styles, each of which originates from different cities in the province.
Hangzhou: characterized by rich variations and the use of bamboo shoots.
Shaoxing: specializes in poultry and freshwater fish.
Ningbo: emphasizes freshness and salty dishes and specializes in seafood.
Wenzhou: a source of seafood and poultry and livestock.
Popular dishes are
Xiang (Hunan Cuisine) (湘菜)
Hunan cuisine, sometimes called Xiang cuisine, consists of the cuisines of the Xiang River region, Dongting Lake and western Hunan Province, in China Hunan cuisine is well known for its hot spicy flavor, fresh aroma and deep color making it similar to Chuan cuisine. Hunan Cuisine is often spicier using a lot more chili, contains a larger variety of fresh ingredients, and tends to be oilier. Hunan cuisine often uses smoked and cured goods in its dishes.
Popular dishes are
Other cuisines of China
Tibetan Cuisine (西藏美食) – Dishes include Roast mutton chops, Yak meat, Pickled Radish, Shapale which is like a meat pie and momos which are a dumpling available with either meat or vegetable filling. Drinks include Barley Wine and Buttered Tea.
Hakka cuisine (客家菜) – is the cooking style of the Hakka people, who originated in the southeastern Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Fujian, but may also be found in other parts of China and in countries with significant overseas Chinese communities. Dishes include salt-baked chicken, duck stuffed with rice, Yong Tao Foo which are noodles in clear consume with all sorts of bits and bobs like tofu, fish balls, meat etc.
Mongolian cuisine (蒙古美食) – With Mongolia itself having an extreme continental climate and the people traditionally having a nomadic lifestyle the cuisine primarily consists of dairy products, meat, and animal fats and the use of vegetables is perhaps limited by lifestyle and conditions. Mongolian cuisine is also influenced by Chinese and Russian cuisine.
Dongbei (东北菜美食) – the region has a cuisine which has been influenced by it’s history and the interactions between neighboring countries including Korea, Mongolia, Russia and even Japan. Noticeably missing is rice and you’ll see lots more dumplings or potatoes as the staple. Popular dishes include dao shao mian (wheat noodles), shui jiao (dumplings), liang mian (cold noodles), Dongbei dala pi (cold rice and noodles), Guo bao rou (sweet & sour pork), Chinese saurkraut and pickled foods are also popular.
HK cuisine (香港美食) – Hong Kong cuisine has Cantonese cuisine (Yue) at its core with history having played a role in its cuisine expansion to become a melting pot of global food culture. Along with Cantonese cuisine, in HK you’ll find western foods, many types of cuisines from mainland China, Japanese, Korean, Indian are all easy to find, there’s also lots of fusion between European, Western and Asian food cultures which is a fantastic thing. A few unique Hong Kong specialties include Pineapple buns, Lap Cheong (sausage), Hong Kong Milk Tea and Yin Yang (coffee and tea), Hong Kong-style French toast.
Hubei cuisine (湖北菜) – Hubei cuisine is known for it’s attention to detail in presentation and use of steaming techniques. Hubei cuisine also uses various peppers and spices to boost the taste. There are three distinct styles: Wuhan style, which specialises in soups and noodle dishes. Huangzhou style, which is more oily and tastes saltier. Jingzhou style, which specialises in fish dishes and the use of steaming. Popular dishes include Wuhan Hot Dry Noodles, Minyang Three Steamed Dishes and Shaomei (dumpling).
Jiangxi cuisine (赣菜) – Jiangxi Cuisine (Gan Cuisine), it, like neighboring regions makes liberal use of chili and tea oil for cooking. Most of the dishes are served hot and fish, tofu and black beans feature prominently. Popular dishes include Xunyang Yupian ( Braised Shredded Herring), san bei jiao yu (fish with three sauces), lu shan shi jī (braised frog).
Jing cuisine (京菜) – being the capital city of China it’s cuisine has had influences from all over the country, especially Shandong, along with cuisines that grew from the days of the “Emperor’s Kitchen” inside the Forbidden City. It’s very snack orientated such as Beijing yogurt served in stalls or Xian Bing which is a wheat-based dough that can have a variety of fillings. Popular dishes include the well known Beijing Duck or Peking Duck, Zha Jiang Noodles, Mongolian Hot Pot.
Qingzhen cuisine (清镇美食) – Northern Chinese Islamic cuisine originated in China and is heavily influenced by Beijing cuisine, with nearly all cooking methods identical, and differs only in material due to religious restrictions. Key ingredients are beef, lamb and mutton, with noodle soups being popular. Popular dishes include Lamian, Yang rou chuan (lamb kebabs), Nang (bread).
Shanxi cuisine (山西美食) – or Jin cuisine, is derived from the native cooking styles of Shanxi province in China, and it is famed for noodles, its fried flatbread and its vinegar production. he methods of cooking include deep-frying, stir-frying, quick-frying, grilling and braising. Dishes include Guo Shao Yang Rou (Braised Mutton), Fu Ru Rou (Braised Pork with Pickled Bean Curd Sauce) and Tang Cu Yu (Sweet and Sour Fish), Daxiaomian (hand shaven noodles) and Tou-nao Lamb Soup.
Yu cuisine (俞美食) – The Yu cuisine, typical of Zhengzhou and Henan, takes as its inspiration the flavors and textures of the grains and animals of the region. A popular local dish is He Ji Hui Mian, the hand-stretched wide noodles in a mutton broth that includes goji berries, cilantro, and tofu skin. Also popular are Zhengzhou roast duck, Hu La Tang (foreign spicy soup) and Guo Guo Yang Rou Tang (Guo country mutton soup), Liyu Sanchi (fish).
Dian cuisine (滇美食) – Yunnancuisine. Popular dishes include Crossing Bridge Noodles whose common ingredients include thin slices of ham, chunks of chicken, chicken skin, strips of bean curd sheets, chives, sprouts and rice noodles. Other popular dishes include Steam Pot Chicken, and the area is also of course famous for Pu’er tea.
Qian Cuisine (黔菜) Guizhou cuisine is known for its spiciness and sourness, popular dishes include Fish in Sour Soup, Crackling Fish with Zao Pepper, Huaxi Beef Rice Noodles.
Macanese cuisine (澳门美食) – is unique to Macau and is a fusion of southern Chinese and Portuguese cuisines. Common cooking techniques include baking, grilling and roasting. Typically, Macanese food is seasoned with various spices including turmeric, coconut milk, cinnamon and bacalhau. Famous dishes include Galinha à Portuguesa (Portuguese-style chicken), Galinha à Africana (African chicken), Bacalhau (dried and salted cod), Macanese Chili Shrimps and Stir-fry Curry Crab. The most popular snack is Pork Chop Bun. The most popular dessert is Ginger Milk and of course Egg Tarts.
In this guide, I am going to introduce a legendary part of Cantonese cuisine and culture that is dim sum, yum cha, and zao cha. Including all the top dim sum dishes you need to be trying, plus their Chinese names and pics for easy ordering at any dim sum restaurant near you.
To go for Morning Tea, or Zao Cha, is common in southern China and is a highlight of the traditional culture of Guangdong and Hong Kong. Families will gather in the mornings, especially on weekends, and head to the nearest restaurant to enjoy a banquet of snacks known collectively as dim sum (点心 – Dian Xin).
Dim Sum is a highlight of Cantonese Cuisine and is popular across the country and ubiquitous across southern China. The Xiguan area of Guangzhou is considered to be the birthplace of the most authentic Cantonese dim sum. History wise, it dates back to the period of the Xianfeng Emperor of the Qing dynasty (1831 – 1861).
To clear up some terminology
Dim sum (点心 – diǎn xīn) – literally means dessert or snack and in this context refers to all the menu items, savory and sweet.
Zao Cha (早茶 – zǎo chá) literally means ‘morning tea’ and refers to going for breakfast at a dim sum restaurant.
Yum Cha (飲茶 – yǐn chá) literally means drink tea and refers to going to eat at a dim sum restaurant.
So, you will often see Dim Sum restaurants, Yum Cha restaurants, and maybe have someone ask you to go for Zao Cha, or if its after morning time, go for Yum Cha. The end result is the same, eating delicious bite-sized snacks (Dim Sum) with tea to wash it down.
Whilst going for morning tea with the family or group to eat dim sum at the favored restaurant is still a strong tradition, it is also easy to find small cafes and restaurants serving Cantonese dim sum at any time of day especially in Guangdong and Hong Kong. It is also fairly easy to find a Cantonese dim sum restaurant in any major city in China.
You’ll be able to easily spot a good Yum Cha restaurant, it will be full in the mornings, with people waiting, and on Sundays, forget about it, it will be packed all day! It’s a favorite of all Cantonese people and especially the older generation who like to get together with family, talk, eat, and drink tea.
Here is a guide to the different menu items you’ll commonly find at a Dim Sum (点心 – diǎn xīn) restaurant
Deep fried dumpling with pork and chopped vegetables. The wrapping is sweet and sticky, while the filling is slightly salty and savoury.
Dumpling soup (灌湯餃; guàntāng jiǎo; guntōng gáau)
Soup with one or two big dumplings.
Roll (捲 – gyún)
Spring roll (春卷; 春捲; chūnjuǎn; chēun gyún)
A deep fried roll consisting of various sliced vegetables (such as carrot, cabbage, mushroom and wood ear fungus) and sometimes meat.
Tofu skin roll (腐皮捲; fǔpíjuǎn; fuh pèih gyún)
A roll made of tofu skin filled with various meat and sliced vegetables.
Fresh bamboo roll (鮮竹卷)
A roll made of tofu skin filled with minced pork and bamboo shoot. Typically served in an oyster sauce broth.
Four-treasure chicken roll (四寶雞扎)
A roll made of tofu skin filled with chicken, Jinhua ham, fish maw (花膠) and Chinese mushroom.
Rice noodle roll (腸粉; chángfěn; chéungfán)
Steamed rice noodles, rolled and filled with meats or vegetables inside but can be served plain. Popular fillings include beef, dough fritter, shrimp, and barbecued pork. Often served with a sweetened soy sauce.
Zhaliang (炸兩; jaléung)
Steamed rice noodles, rolled around youjagwai (油炸鬼). Typically doused in soy sauce, hoisin sauce or sesame paste and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Bun (包子 – bāau)
Barbecued pork bun (叉燒包; chāshāo bāo; chāsīu bāau)
Buns with barbecued pork filling. They can either be steamed to be white and fluffy or glazed and baked to golden. The baked variant are called (叉燒餐包; chāshāo cān bāo; chāsīu chāan bāau).
Sweet cream bun (奶黃包; nǎihuáng bāo; náaih wòhng bāau)
Steamed buns with milk custard filling.
Lotus paste bun (蓮蓉包)
Steamed buns with lotus seed paste filling.
Pineapple bun (菠蘿包; bōluó bāo; bōlòh bāau)
a bread roll with a topping textured like pineapple skin, usually sweet. Does not contain pineapple.
Cake (糕 – gōu)
Turnip cake (蘿蔔糕; luóbo gāo; lòh baahk gōu)
puddings made from shredded white radish, mixed with bits of dried shrimp, Chinese sausage and mushroom. They are steamed, then cut into slices and pan-fried.
Taro cake (芋頭糕; yùtou gāo; wuh táu gōu)
puddings made of taro.
Water chestnut cake (馬蹄糕; mǎtí gāo; máh tàih gōu)
puddings made of crispy water chestnut. Some restaurants also serve a variation made with bamboo juice.
Steamed meatballs served on top of a thin tofu skin.
Phoenix claws (鳳爪; fèngzhuǎ; fuhng jáau)
Deep fried, boiled and then steamed chicken feet with douchi. A plain steamed version is known as “White Cloud Phoenix Claws” (白雲鳳爪; báiyún fèngzhuǎ; baahk wàhn fuhng jáau).
Spare ribs (排骨; páigǔ; pàaih gwāt)
Steamed pork spare ribs with douchi and sometimes garlic and chili.
Beef tripe (金錢肚)
Is a popular Cantonese dish where the beef stomach (reticulam) is brined and then lightly fried giving a crispness and fresh taste.
Beef entrails (牛什; 牛雜)
Pieces of beef entrails such as tripe, pancreas, intestine, spleen, and lung; served in a bowl of master stock
Siu mei (烧味; 燒味; shāowèi; sīuméi)
Cantonese style barbecue meat, Siu Mei, has many types including BBQ pork (燒鵝 char siu), roasted goose (燒鴨 siu aap), marinated steamed chicken (白切雞), soy sauce chicken (豉油雞), and roast pork with crisp skin (燒肉 siu yuk).
Chicken wing (雞翼)
deep fried (炸雞翼) or marinated in soy sauce and spices (瑞士雞翼)
Seafood (海鲜 – hǎi xiān)
Deep fried squid (炸鱿鱼须; 炸魷魚鬚; zhàyóuyúxū; ja yàuh yùh sōu)
Similar to fried calamari, the battered squid is deep-fried.
Curry squid (咖哩鱿鱼; 咖哩魷魚)
Squid served in a curry broth.
Vegetable (菜 – cài)
Steamed vegetables (油菜; yóucài; yáu choi)
Popular varieties include lettuce (生菜; shēngcài; sāang choi), choy sum (菜心; càixīn; choi sām), gai lan (芥兰; 芥蘭; jièlán; gaailàahn) or water spinach (蕹菜; wèngcài; ung choi). Served with oyster sauce.
Fried tofu (炸豆腐)
Deep fried tofu with salt and pepper
Rice (米 – mǐ)
Lotus leaf rice (糯米雞; nuòmǐ jī; noh máih gāi)
Glutinous rice wrapped in a lotus leaf. Typically contains egg yolk, dried scallop, mushroom, and meat (usually pork and chicken). A lighter variant is known as “pearl chicken” (珍珠雞; zhēnzhū jī; jānjyū gāi).
Chinese sticky rice (糯米飯; nuòmǐ fàn; noh máih faahn)
Stir fried (or steamed) glutinous rice with savoury Chinese sausage, soy sauce steeped mushrooms, sweet spring onions, and sometimes chicken marinated with a mixture of spices including five-spice powder.
Congee (粥; zhōu; jūk)
Rice porridge such as the “Preserved Egg and Pork Porridge” (皮蛋瘦肉粥; pídàn shòuròu zhōu; pèihdáan sauyuhk jūk)
Dessert (甜点 – tián diǎn)
Egg tart (Chinese 蛋撻; pinyin daahn tāat)
Baked tart with egg custard filling.
Tofu pudding (豆腐花; dòufuhuā; dauh fuh fā)
Soft tofu served with a sweet ginger or jasmine flavored syrup.
Sesame ball (煎堆; jiānduī; jīn dēui)
Deep fried chewy dough with red bean paste filling, coated in sesame seeds.
A dessert made up of many layers of sweet egg dough.
White sugar sponge cake (白糖糕; báitáng gāo; baahk tòng gōu)
It is made from rice flour, white sugar, water, and a leavening agent.
Coconut pudding (椰汁糕; yēzhī gāo; yèh jāp gōu)
Light and spongy but creamy puddings made with coconut milk, with a thin clear jelly layer made with coconut water on top.
Tong sui (糖水)
Popular varieties include black sesame soup (芝麻糊), red bean soup (红豆汤; 紅豆沙), mung bean soup (绿豆汤; 綠豆沙), sai mai lo (西米露), guilinggao (龟苓膏; 龜苓膏), peanut paste soup (花生糊), and walnut soup (核桃糊).
Dim Sum is very western palate friendly, there are chicken feet and offal which some may dodge at first, but I really recommend even giving those a try. In general, Guangdong cuisine is one of the most palatable to foreign visitors and Yum Cha is definitely an experience not to miss.
Ordering at a Yum Cha Restaurant in China
When ordering you’ll probably get a pencil and sheet of paper with tick boxes, if you are lucky it will have pictures, otherwise, just show the waiter pictures of your picks and they’ll fill the menu in for you. Some modern restaurants now use iPads which makes life easy.
Also note, the Chinese used on this page is Mandarin (and simplified Chinese), some in southern China and Hong Kong may not understand it as they speak Cantonese and use traditional Chinese script. Regardless, the pictures should get your order underway.
On weekends when things get really busy you can order with the waiter or they may have trolleys coming buy and you simply pick what you like from it. At some larger restaurants, everything is ready and you simply go and chose what you like, the waiter stamps your card, and you return to the table with your choices or the waiter will bring it over.
You’ll also get given a card, on which the waiter will note down what you have received. At the end of the feast, simply call the waiter over and they’ll go and tally things up and give you the bill.
In southern China, most dim sum is found at morning tea restaurants. There may be small shops selling dim sum all day but it can often be a lesser version. In Hong Kong, there are high-end restaurants and smaller mom and pop restaurants selling dim sum and the distinction on quality is not so clear, both can be great or average. Fortunately in HK, you can use Open Rice or Google reviews to find a good option near you.
At most places in China, expect to pay around 100RMB for two people and be disgustingly full, in HK can be quite a bit more.
Here is a list of super delicious dishes in China that can be found in most cities and that visitors to China will love at first bite.
For the new visitor, Chinese cuisine can seem a little intimidating and even altogether scary when not well understood, it can take a little while to adapt and for some, it may be a bridge too far. Dishes such as fried duck head (鸭头), fertilized eggs (活珠子), pigs blood jelly (血豆腐), or even steamed chicken feet (豉汁蒸凤爪) may turn off many a new visitors stomach. But, don’t fear, there are plenty of foreigner-friendly foods to start your China journey with.
Here is a list of some of the dishes from various cuisines of China that are readily available in most major cities across China, and best of all, they are delicious. What’s not listed, as many lists do, is Americanised Chinese food, these are all authentic dishes of China.
If you are traveling in China, keep this list handy as I have included the Chinese names so you can show it to anyone and get directed to the nearest restaurant or street stall.
Sweet and Sour Pork (咕噜肉 – gū lū ròu)
Sweet and sour pork is one of Guangdong’s traditional feature dishes. This dish began in the Qing Dynasty and was very popular with Europeans and Americans in China at that time whose first contact with China was Guangdong province and Cantonese cuisine.
Dumplings (饺子 – Jiǎozǐ)
Cuisine: no specific cuisine but originates from Nanyang, Henan
The humble dumpling has a history of more than 1,800 years and is a traditional specialty food that is popular among the Chinese people and especially so with foreigners. It is also the must-prepare dish during the Spring Festival which are eaten on the eve of Chinese New Year. There are inumerate variants using all kinds of combinations of vegetables, pork, prawns etc and can be steamed or steamed and fried.
Potsticker (锅贴 – guōtiē)
Cuisine: no specific cuisine but originates from Henan or Guangdong or Liaoning according to three differing legends.
The cause of many debate, but Pot stickers and fried dumplings can not be confused. The two are not the same. The difference is the cooking technique also filling recipes differ along with origin. Potstickers are cooked in the pan, fried dumplings are boiled and later fried. Shapes also differ. Regardless, they are equally delicious!
Xiaolongbao (小笼包 xiǎolóngbāo)
Cuisine: Jiangnan Cuisine/Jiangsu Cuisine
This soup style dumpling dates back to the Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127) and the ancient capital Kaifeng. It was refined during the Song and Qing eras to become what we know today as the Xiaolongbao (that originates from Changzhou). It is a famous traditional snack in Jiangnan area and especially popular with foreigners visiting Shanghai. There are many variants nationwide from small bite size pieces to large bun style soup dumplings that come with a straw.
Wonton (云吞 – húntún / yúntūn)
Cuisine: Catonese Cuisine
A staple dish in southern China and Hong Kong, wontons are small bite sized dumplings typically served in a light chicken broth with noodles. The wonton skins are made of eggs and flour and the fillings are usually made from pork, vegetables (such as coriander, celery) and chopped green onion, and also mixed with shrimp, fish, egg yolk, mushrooms. You can aslo order wonton without noodles, and fried wonton is popular in HK.
Whilst it sounds simplistic and bland, it’s actually a magic combination and a common staple dish in China. This dish also raved about for its nutritional properties along with being super delicious when cooked with the right technique.
Peking Roasted Duck (北京烤鸭 – Běijīng kǎoyā)
Cuisine: Beijing cuisine
According to legend, the beauty of roast duck is derived from a thousand yearl old breed of duck that was especially bred for this purporse. What we do know is that it is the most famous dish of Beijing and is absolutely delicious. The competition between restaurants and chefs over who has the best Peking Roast Duck is fierce! The most famous is Quanjude (全聚德) which originated in 1864 and has many branches operating today worldwide as well as its original store at No.30, Qianmen Street, Beijing.
Twice cooked pork (回锅肉 – huíguōròu)
Cuisine: Sichuan cuisine
The pork meat is boiled, cooled, and then fried along with ginger, garlic slices, onions, peppers, bean paste etc. Can be a bit spicy for some. Another dish with a long history dating back to the Northern Song Dynasty and refined to what we see today in the late Qing Dynasty.
Steamed Buns (包子 – Bāozi)
Cuisine: all cuisine
If there was one ubiquitious food in China across all regions and cuisines this would probably be it. It is a common breakfast staple coming in variants with fillings including pork and cabbage (猪肉白菜包子) being the most popular, or shredded vegetables, etc. In Cantonese cuisine there is the famous BBQ pork bun. There are aslo sweet versions with custard, red bean etc. Mostly they are steamed, sometimes steamed and fried on the botttom. Too many varities to mention and it’s hard to find one that is not delicious. It’s origins date back to the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280).
Zhaliang (炸两 – zháliǎng)
Cuisine: Cantonese cuisine
Popular in Hong Kong and Guangdong it is a reltively recent dish consiting of a fried dough stick, special sauce, and wrapped in a rice roll. A popular breakfast snack and delicious.
Dim Sum (早茶 Zǎochá)
Cuisine: Cantonese cuisine
Morning tea, where the family gathers for breakfast is longstanding tradition in Guangdong and its easy to see why its stood the test of time. Dim Sum (or Dian Xin/Yum Cha/Zoacha) presents a large range of bite size dishes to choose from which are time proven favorites. It would be hard to find someone from any region of the world who didn’t greatly enjoy dim sum.
Chinese Hamburger (肉夹馍 Ròu Jiā Mó)
Cuisine: Shaanxi cuisine
Its history can be traced back to the Warring States Period where the meat gravy
was made from pork belly with the addition of 20 different spices. The bun is a flour bun that is crisped on grill before being stuffed with gravy and it is super delicious and super comfort food.
Rice noodle rolls (肠粉 – chángfěn)
Cuisine: Cantonese cuisine
Rice rolls are ubiquitious across Guangdong and a popular breakfast staple. Fillings for the rice roll include pork or beef, shrimp, greens, eggs, and vegetables. It’s origins can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE).
Lanzhou Beef Noodles (兰州拉面 – Lanzhou Lamian)
Cuisine: Gansu Cuisine
The dishes claim to fame is the hand pulled noodles which involve a range of techniques from the dough to the art of ‘pulling’ the noodles. The broth is made from beef bones and chicken fat and spices. A reecentl dish compared to some on this list that dates back some 200 years to the Qing Dynasty and became popular in the 1980’s.
Slow Cooked Soup (老火靓汤 – lǎo huǒ tāng)
Cuisine: Cantonese cuisine
For many years, soup has become an indispensable part of Guangzhou people’s life and it has become the established pattern of the banquet in Guangzhou to drink soup before meals. Loa Huo Tang is considered a tonic and there are numerous recipes with differing properties.
Char siu (叉烧 – chāshāo)
Cuisine: Cantonese cuisine
Pork roast is a traditional dish in Guangdong Province, It has a red color which comes from the glaze, it is succlent and slightly sweet. The pickled lean pork is hung on a special fork and placed in the oven for grilling. A good pork roast should be soft and juicy, with a bright color and a fragrant smell.
Buddha’s delight (罗汉斋 – luóhàn zhāi)
Cuisine: Cantonese cuisine
The vegetarian dish dates back to the Song Dynasty where it was a favorite of monks and became popular in the wider community. This dish is somewhat symbolic as well as delicious, named after the eighteen arhats, it is a “family portrait” of the temple flavor, and is carefully prepared with 18 kinds of fresh fragrant ingredients.
Stir-fried vegetables (炒青菜 – Chǎoqīngcài)
Most all restaurants will have several wok fired vegetable dishes. They may be mixed vegetales but usually single vegetable such as Chinese cabbage/bok choy with garlic and soy/sesame oil sauce.
Scallion pancakes (葱油饼 – cōngyóubǐng)
Cuisine: Shangdong cuisine
Made from an uleavened flour dough that is rolled out into thin layer and fried, often in scallion oil. Sesame seeds and fresh scallions are often added.
Fired Dough Sticks (油条 – yóutiáo)
A breakfast staple across the country where it is eaten alongside soy milk (doujiang). It can be eaten as it is, crispy with a slight chewiness, or it can be adden to a Jianbing, wrapped in a rice roll (zhaliang), or dipped in hoisin sauce. It has origins in the Song Dynasty.
Fresh Soy Milk (豆漿 – dòu jiāng)
A popular staple breakfast drink consumed alongside youtiao. Soymilk originated in China, and it was said that it was invented by Liu An, the Huainan King of the Western Han Dynasty more than 1900 years ago.
Biang Biang Mian (油泼扯面 – biángbiángmiàn)
Cuisine: Shaanxi Cuisine
It is said to have a history of more than 3,000 years. The noodles are thin and broad made from a flour dough which is formed into wide long strips. The noodles are typically served covered with a hot peanut oil with a small amount of ginger, onion, chili, and maybe chives. recipes differ shop to shop.
Wuyue (五岳) is the general name of the five famous mountains in Chinese Han culture and is the product of the combination of ancient folk mountain god reverence, the concept of the Five Elements and imperial excursions and meditation in ancient times.
The “Five Sacred Mountains” (or Wuyue – 五岳), also referred to as the Five Great Mountains, began with Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty (157 BC – 87 BC). “Yue” in Wuyue means high mountains. During the Wei, Jin and Southern and Northern Dynasties, Buddhism and Taoism began to build temples and carry out religious activities on the Five Sacred Mountains.
Emperors of ancient China would perform excursions to the mountain peaks and offer non-human sacrifices on a regular basis. This tradition became a ritual of the state according to Confucianism and was one of the must-do activities upon becoming emperor. This tradition continued right up until the fall of the last dynasty in 1911.
While the Five Great mountains are not denoted as sacred mountains of either Buddhism or Taoism, they do have a strong Taoist presence and many Buddhist temples.
The Five Great Mountains remain places of pilgrimage to this day with many young people having the goal of climbing all five and retracing the footsteps of the ancient emperors during Imperial China. The mountains are popular tourist attractions and are well developed featuring good tourist and transport services and several are national AAAAA rated scenic sites.
Mount Tai, or Taishan, is a mountain of historical and cultural significance located north of the city of Tai’an, in Shandong province, China. Mount Tai has been a place of worship for at least 3,000 years and is a National AAAAA level tourist attraction.
Mount Heng (Hunan) (衡山) – Wuye South Great Mountain
Province: Hunan | Height: 1,300 metres (4,265 ft)
Hengshan, is a mountain in southcentral China’s Hunan Province known as the southern mountain of the Five Great Mountains of China. Heng Shan is a mountain range 150 kilometres (93 mi) long with 72 peaks. The Huiyan Peak is the south end of the peaks, Yuelu Mountain in Changsha City is the north end, and the Zhurong Peak is the highest at 1,300 metres (4,300 ft) above sea level. At the foot of the mountain stands the largest temple in southern China, the Grand Temple of Mount Heng (Nanyue Damiao), which is the largest group of ancient buildings in Hunan Province.
Mount Hua, or Huashan, is located near the city of Huayin in Shaanxi province, about 120 kilometres (75 mi) east of Xi’an. It is the western mountain of the Five Great Mountains of China, and has a long history of religious significance. It is a National AAAAA level scenic spot featuring skywalk, temples, stone formations, caves, waterfall etc.
Mount Heng (Shanxi) (恒山) – Wuyue North Great Mountain
Mount Heng, or Hengshan, is located in north-central China’s Shanxi Province, known as the northern mountain of the Five Great Mountains of China. Heng Shan in Shanxi Province is sometimes known as the Northern Heng Shan, and the one in Hunan Province as Southern Heng Shan. Both mountains have the same pronunciation in Chinese, and the Southern Heng Shan is also one of the Five Sacred Mountains.
Mount Song (嵩山) – Wuyue Center Great Mountain
Province: Henan | Height: 1,500 metres (4,921 ft)
Mount Song, or Songshan, is a mountain in central China’s Henan Province, along the southern bank of the Yellow River, that is known as the central mountain of the Five Great Mountains of China. It is a National AAAAA level tourist attraction and world heritage listed site. It is noted for its rich cultural heritage as the birthplace of Zen, the Taoist holy land, and the origin of kung fu.
Here is a list of the top ten snack streets and its no coincidence that they are also near to major scenic areas. Also fascinating is that many of them have been famed destinations of the Chī huò (foodie) for centuries.
They really are quite special destinations especially for food and culture lovers offering the chance to try a massive range of China’s most-loved specialty snacks in one location. If you are traveling to one of these areas it’s a must-do experience to go strolling and grazing.
Xi’an 西安 – Huimin Street 回民街
Xi’an Huimin Street is a famous food and culture street in Xi’an. There are a large number of food shops on both sides of the street. There are nearly 300 kinds of special flavor snacks, which make people linger and forget the charm. Here you can eat almost all Xi’an snacks, including: various Kebabs (烤肉串), Paomo (羊肉泡馍) – lamb soup with flatbread, soup dumplings (灌汤包子), spicy sheep hooves (麻辣羊蹄), Water Basin Mutton aka lamb stew (水盆羊肉), Cured beef and mutton (腊牛羊肉), Liangpi (凉皮) – cold noodles, Hulatang (胡辣汤) – spicy soup. Read more about Xi’an
Xiamen 厦门 – Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street 中山路步行街
Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street is an old city block and retains a relatively complete modern history. Many tourists who go to Gulangyu will come and visit. There are all kinds of Xiamen snacks and popular items include Xiamen Glass Noodles (面线糊), Oyster omelet (海蛎煎), Shacha Noodles (沙茶面), Xiamen Fish Balls (厦门鱼丸). Read more about Xiamen and Gulangyu
Shanghai 上海 – City God Temple 城隍庙
Shanghai City God Temple has a history of more than 800 years. From the beginning of the Song Dynasty to the contemporary vicissitudes of life, Shanghai’s City God Temple has become a famous tourist attraction in Shanghai. It is a must to try Xiaolongbao (小笼包) – soupy meat dumpling, Shengjianbao (生煎包)- steamed meat bun, Pear Syrup Candy (梨膏糖), Shanghai Yoghurt (上海老酸奶). Read more about Shanghai
Beijing 北京 – Ghost Street/GuiJie 簋街
Ghost Street is the name of the dining street in Dongzhimen near the Lama Temple. On the street less than 1km long, a series of restaurants, including hot pot, barbecue and other flavors of Sichuan, Shandong, Guangdong, and Hunan. It is the most famous of the spicy crayfish (属麻辣小龙虾), grilled fish (烤鱼), spicy snail (辣田螺), chili frog (饞嘴蛙), Roast pigs trotters (烤豬蹄), Steamed chicken with ginger (霸王雞).
Lijiang 丽江 – Sifang Street 四方街
In the beautiful and romantic environment of the ancient city of Lijiang, you can feel the enthusiasm of the people of all ethnic groups wearing colorful national costumes. On the sides of the short and narrow streets, you can eat the national snacks with special characteristics. Dishes to try include Preserved pork ribs (腊排骨), Butter tea (酥油茶), Chickpea jelly (鸡豆凉粉), Goat hot pot (黑山羊火锅), Chicken hot pot (汽锅鸡). Read our intro to Lijiang
Chengdu 成都 – Jinli 锦里
It is natural to mention Jinli in Chengdu snacks. Chengdu Jinli snacks have a wide variety of colors and local characteristics. Going to Chengdu and not going to Jinli for snacks, you will regret it. Tea houses, cafes, bars, inns, etc. and at dusk, Jinli will light up and have a charm, suitable for taking pictures. Dishes to try are Rice cake (凉糕), Sichuan steamed pork buns wrapped in leaves (叶儿耙), Broken heart bean jelly (伤心凉粉), Meat patties (牛肉焦饼). Read our intro to Chengdu
Wuhan 武汉 – Hubu Lane 户部巷
Hubu Lane is located in Wuhan, Hubei Province, a famous historical and cultural city in China. It is a 150-meter-long century-old lane. It is known as the “first lane of Chinese-style snacks”. Its prosperous early stalls have been enduring for decades. Popular dishes are Wuhan hot dry noodles (石婆婆热干面), Chen Ji red oil beef noodles (陈记红油牛肉面), Wanshi rice wine (万氏米酒), Bean Curd Skin Roll (何记豆皮), soup steamed dumplings (麻婆灌汤蒸饺), beef noodles (好来牛肉面) etc.
Nanjing 南京 – Confucius Temple 夫子庙
Confucius Temple Food Street was built in 1997 and is located at the southern end of Confucius Temple. Some of the more famous dishes are Jiang Youji’s potstickers (蒋有记的锅贴) – dumplings, Beef potstickers (牛肉锅贴) from Lianhu Gaotuan Shop (莲湖糕团店), Crispy duck heads (香酥鸭头), Half egg and half chicken (半鸡半蛋的旺鸡蛋) – boiled chicken egg at the embryo stage. Read our intro to Nanjing
Hangzhou 杭州 – Hefang Street 河坊街
Hefang Street is a Ming and Qing antique pedestrian street, where snacks, antique calligraphy and paintings, and shops are gathered. There are many traditional food stalls on the short streets and there are many snacks here including Southern Song pastry (有南宋糕点), aunt cakes (姑嫂饼), Glutinous rice cake or Mochi (姑嫂饼), osmanthus moon cake (桂花月亮糕).
Chongqing 重庆 – Jiefangbei Pedestrian Street 解放碑
The most famous pedestrian street in the city and the area is home to a staggering 3000 stores. Snacks to try include Hot and sour noodles (酸辣粉), Golden roast trotters (金榜蹄名烤豬蹄), Meat Dumplings in Spicy Sauce (抄手), Barbecue (烧烤) – you’ll see open grill stalls everywhere.
Chinese zodiac (十二生肖), or Shēngxiào, is deeply ingrained in Chinese culture and folklore as a system of interpreting character traits and fortune-telling via animal characters connected to a time cycle on the traditional Chinese calendar. Your birthdate is matched to one of the twelve animals or zodiacs and it is believed that you will likely share the character traits they represent. In this basic sense, it shares similarities with the Western zodiac system and star signs.
In Chinese culture, still today people will enquire with the zodiac system especially for matchmaking and consulting on compatibility along with even some who still profile people by their zodiac sign whether that be with work relationships, employment etc. The zodiac remains popular as the mascot of Spring Festival which is when the new zodiac year begins with the Chinese New Year and in entertainment and pop culture.
The origin of the Chinese Zodiac is related to animal worship. According to records unearthed in Yunmeng County of Hubei province that were recorded during the Qin dynasty era (221 to 206 BC) there was a relatively complete zodiac system in the pre-Qin period. Further records indicating the earliest documentary of the twelve zodiac signs similar to those used today dates back to the Eastern Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD).
Yet, even with that knowledge, the cultural origin of the twelve zodiac signs has not been resolved, and scholars of ancient and modern times have different opinions.
Unlike the Western Zodiac system that changes by month according to the Gregorian calendar, the Chinese Zodiac changes by year according to the Chinese Lunar calendar (although Chinese astrologers may also use the solar calendar).
The Twelve Chinese Zodiacs
The zodiacs number twelve, which coincides with the ancient people’s understanding of natural phenomena. Twelve is an interesting number in Chinese thinking and that can be important in a culture that is very superstitious about numbers. “Twelve days” is the collective name of the weather in ancient times; “Twelve meridians” to describe the human body meridians in TCM; ancient music has “twelve laws”; diet has “twelve foods”; dressing has “twelve clothes” and so on, in ancient times.
Relevant to the Zodiac, twelve is the number of years in Jupiters cycle and twelve is the number of lunar cycles in one year. Chinese Zodiac is of course tied to ancient Chinese lunar and solar calendars.
Along with being connected to the traditional Chinese calendar, the Chinese zodiacs are also connected to the Twelve Earthly Branches (地支) and the Ten Heavenly Stems (天干) linked with the five classical elements of metal, water, wood, fire, and earth. Each zodiac is also linked with a yin and yang element, all of which create 60 years of combinations known as the sexagenary cycle or ganzhi (六十干支).
There is a lot to unpack there, but the takeaway for today is that the Chinese zodiac system is on a 60-year calendrical cycle according to traditional Chinese calendars, the period for a zodiac sign is one year. For example, 2020 is the year of the Rat and marks the beginning of a new 12-year cycle of zodiac signs within the 60-year calendrical cycle.
Let’s go through the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac and what they mean plus their qualities:
The character is very clever. This person has a high degree of willingness, a strong desire, a great achievement, and a wealth of savings, a happy life, a rat. It also has keen observation, predictive power, and forward-looking power.
Earthly Branches: Zi | The Five Elements: Water | Yin Yang: Yang
Typified by honesty, patience, stubbornness, lack of communication, and gentle heart. Work diligently, independent, enthusiastic, may have hardships/spiritual troubles in the middle age. However, once a decision is made, it will go forward and execute. Any twists and turns will try to overcome and work hard.
Earthly Branches: Chǒu | The Five Elements: Earth |Yin Yang: Yin
Typical character is tolerant, strong heart, courageous, and compassionate. The middle-aged years are undecided and changeable. Good opportunities are available after middle age, and there are also people who are looking forward to the twilight years.
Earthly Branches: Yin | The Five Elements: Wood | Yin Yang: Yang
Typified by troubled early years yet if overcome things can turn out well. Strong, lively, authoritative, self-confident yet not easy to get along with others.
Earthly Branches: Chen | The Five Elements: Earth | Yin Yang: Yang
Lunar Month: Third | Lucky Numbers: 1, 6, 7; Avoid: 3, 8, 9 | Lucky Colors: yellow; Avoid: blue, green
Noble quality, praised by friends, but their hearts often sinister and jealous, making it difficult to maintain a permanent friendship, mood is easy taken by superstition, and lascivious, good to argue with people and often lose good opportunities.
Earthly Branches: Si | The Five Elements: Fire | Yin Yang: Yin
Happy, great social communication, good with other people’s affairs, respected by others, highly tolerant and successful. This person wants a good appearance, yet lacks observation on internal affairs, and is good at speculation. Not great with money.
Earthly Branches of Birth Year: Wu | The Five Elements: Fire | Yin Yang: Yang
In Chinese folklore, there is the story of the Great Race.
Yù Dì, or Jade Emperor, Ruler of the Heavens, wanted to devise a way to measure time, so he organized a race. The first twelve animals to make it across the river would earn a spot on the zodiac calendar in the order they arrived.
The cat and rat rose with the sun to get an early start, but because they couldn’t swim very well, they asked the kind-hearted ox to carry them across. Yet, just as they were about to reach the other side, the rat pushed the cat into the river and jumped off the ox’s head and across the finish line securing first place.
The ox came in second, with the powerful tiger right behind him. The rabbit, too small to battle the current, nimbly hopped across stones and logs to come in fourth. Next came the dragon, who could have flown directly across, but stopped to help some creatures she had encountered on the way.
After the dragon came the horse, galloping across the river. But just as she got across, the snake slithered by. The startled horse reared back, letting the snake sneak into sixth place.
The Jade Emperor looked out at the river and spotted the sheep, the monkey, and the rooster all atop a raft, working together to push it through the weeds. When they made it across, the trio agreed to give eighth place to the sheep, who had been the most comforting and harmonious of them, followed by the monkey and the rooster.
Next came the dog, scrambling onto the shore. He was a great swimmer but frolicked in the water for so long that he only managed to come in eleventh.
The final spot was claimed by the pig, who had gotten hungry and stopped to eat and nap before finally waddling across the finish line.
And the cat? The cat nearly drowned and vowed revenge and that is why cats chase rats to this very day.
And so, each year is associated with one of the animals in this order (minus the somewhat wet vengeful cat).
Calculate your Chinese Zodiac Sign
The individual Chinese zodiac signs are also linked to one of the five elements. This element most closely expresses the nature of this Chinese animal.
Feb. 20, 1920 – Feb. 07, 1921
Feb. 08, 1921 – Jan. 27, 1922
Jan. 28, 1922 – Feb. 15, 1923
Feb. 16, 1923 – Feb. 04, 1924
Feb. 05, 1924 – Jan. 24, 1925
Jan. 25, 1925 – Feb. 12, 1926
Feb. 13, 1926 – Feb. 01, 1927
Feb. 02, 1927 – Jan. 22, 1928
Jan. 23, 1928 – Feb. 09, 1929
Feb. 10, 1929 – Jan. 09, 1930
Jan. 10, 1930 – Feb. 16, 1931
Feb. 17, 1931 – Feb. 05, 1932
Feb. 06, 1932 – Jan. 25, 1933
Jan. 26, 1933 – Feb. 13, 1934
Feb. 14, 1934 – Feb. 03, 1935
Feb. 04, 1935 – Jan. 23, 1936
Jan. 24, 1936 – Feb. 10, 1937
Feb. 11, 1937 – Jan. 30, 1938
Jan. 31, 1938 – Feb. 18, 1939
Feb. 19, 1939 – Feb. 07, 1940
Feb. 08, 1940 – Jan. 26, 1941
Jan. 27, 1941 – Feb. 14, 1942
Feb. 15, 1942 – Feb. 04, 1943
Feb. 05, 1943 – Jan. 24, 1944
Jan. 25, 1944 – Feb. 12, 1945
Feb. 13, 1945 – Feb. 01, 1946
Feb. 02, 1946 – Jan. 21, 1947
Jan. 22, 1947 – Feb. 09, 1948
Feb. 10, 1948 – Jan. 28, 1949
Jan. 29, 1949 – Feb. 16, 1950
Feb. 17, 1950 – Feb. 05, 1951
Feb. 06, 1951 – Jan. 26, 1952
Jan. 27, 1952 – Feb. 13, 1953
Feb. 14, 1953 – Feb. 02, 1954
Feb. 03, 1954 – Jan. 23, 1955
Jan. 24, 1955 – Feb. 11, 1956
Feb. 12, 1956 – Jan. 30, 1957
Jan. 31, 1957 – Feb. 17, 1958
Feb. 18, 1958 – Feb. 07, 1959
Feb. 08, 1959 – Jan. 27, 1960
Jan. 28, 1960 – Feb. 14, 1961
Feb. 15, 1961 – Feb. 04, 1962
Feb. 05, 1962 – Jan. 25, 1963
Jan. 25, 1963 – Feb. 12, 1964
Feb. 13, 1964 – Feb. 01, 1965
Feb. 02, 1965 – Feb. 20, 1966
Jan. 21, 1966 – Feb. 08, 1967
Feb. 09, 1967 – Jan. 29, 1968
Jan. 30, 1968 – Feb. 16, 1969
Feb. 17, 1969 – Feb. 05, 1970
Feb. 06, 1970 – Jan. 28, 1971
Jan. 27, 1971 – Feb. 14, 1972
Feb. 15, 1972 – Feb. 02, 1973
Feb. 03, 1973 – Jan. 22, 1974
Jan. 23, 1974 – Feb. 10, 1975
Feb. 11, 1975 – Jan. 30, 1976
Jan. 31, 1976 – Feb. 17, 1977
Feb. 18, 1977 – Feb. 06, 1978
Feb. 07, 1978 – Jan. 27, 1979
Jan. 28, 1979 – Feb. 15, 1980
Feb. 16, 1980 – Feb. 04, 1981
Feb. 05, 1981 – Jan. 24, 1982
Jan. 25, 1982 – Feb. 12, 1983
Feb. 13, 1983 – Feb. 01, 1984
Feb. 02, 1984 – Feb. 19, 1985
Feb. 20, 1985 – Feb. 08, 1986
Feb. 09, 1986 – Jan. 28, 1987
Jan. 29, 1987 – Feb. 16, 1988
Feb.17, 1988 – Feb. 05, 1989
Feb. 06, 1989 – Jan. 26, 1990
Jan. 27, 1990 – Feb. 14, 1991
Feb. 15, 1991 – Feb. 03, 1992
Feb. 04, 1992 – Jan. 22, 1993
Jan. 23, 1993 – Feb. 09, 1994
Feb. 10, 1994 – Jan. 30, 1995
Jan. 31, 1995 – Feb. 18, 1996
Feb. 19, 1996 – Feb. 06, 1997
Feb. 07, 1997 – Jan. 27, 1998
Jan. 28, 1998 – Feb. 15, 1999
Feb. 16, 1999 – Feb. 04, 2000
Feb. 05, 2000 – Jan. 23, 2001
Jan. 24, 2001 – Feb. 11, 2002
Feb. 12, 2002 – Jan. 31, 2003
Feb. 01, 2003 – Jan. 21, 2004
Jan. 22, 2004 – Feb. 08, 2005
Feb. 09, 2005 – Jan. 28, 2006
Jan. 29, 2006 – Feb. 17, 2007
Feb. 18, 2007 – Feb. 06, 2008
Feb. 07, 2008 – Jan. 25, 2009
Jan. 26, 2009 – Feb. 13, 2010
Feb. 14, 2010 – Feb. 02, 2011
Feb. 03, 2011 – Jan. 22, 2012
Jan. 23, 2012 – Feb. 09, 2013
Feb. 10, 2013 – Jan. 30, 2014
Jan. 31, 2014 – Feb. 18, 2015
Feb. 19, 2015 – Feb. 07, 2016
Feb. 08, 2016 – Jan. 27, 2017
Jan. 28, 2017 – Feb. 15, 2018
Feb. 16, 2018 – Feb. 04, 2019
Feb. 05, 2019 – Jan. 23, 2020
Jan. 25, 2020 – Feb. 11, 2021
Feb. 12, 2021 – Jan. 31, 2022
Feb. 01, 2022 – Jan. 21, 2023
Jan. 22, 2023 – Feb. 09, 2024
Feb. 10, 2024 – Jan. 29, 2025
Jan. 29, 2025 – Feb. 16, 2026
Feb. 17, 2026 – Feb. 05, 2027
Feb. 06, 2027 – Feb. 25, 2028
Jan. 26, 2028 – Feb. 12, 2029
Feb. 13, 2029 – Feb. 02, 2030
Feb. 03, 2030 – Jan. 22, 2031
Jan. 23, 2031 – Feb. 10, 2032
So far we have looked at calculating your zodiac by birthday, this is just one pillar. You can actually assign a zodiac to your birth year, birth month, birth day, and birth hour. So, once you calculate your zodiac according to date of birth year, you can then expand that even further for in-depth character analysis according to Chinese zodiac wisdom via your month, day of the week, and even hour.
Marriage Partners according to Chinese Zodiac
Many Chinese still reference the zodiac system to inquire about partner compatibility with the belief that those of a certain zodiac sign match better with select others.
Rat matches with: dragon, monkey, ox, and should avoid horse, rabbit
Ox matches with rat, snake, rooster and should avoid horse, sheep, dog
Tiger matches with a horse, a dog, pig and should avoid snake, monkey
Rabbit matches with sheep, dog, pig and should avoid dragon, rat, chicken
Dragon matches with rat, monkey, rooster and should avoid dog, rabbit
Snake matches with monkey, ox, rooster and should avoid pig, tiger
Horse matches with sheep, tiger, dog and should avoid rat, ox,
Sheep matches with rabbit, pig, monkey and should avoid ox, dog
Monkey matches with rat, snake, dragon, dog and should avoid tiger, pig
Rooster matches with ox, dragon, snake and should avoid rabbit
Dog matches with tiger, rabbit and should avoid sheep, dragons, ox
Pig matches with sheep, rabbit, tiger and should avoid monkey, snake
The zodiac faith is a combination of traditional Chinese religious philosophy and art culture, supplemented by the association of the zodiac animal temperament, forming an imaginary belief system, which in turn affects people’s ideas and behaviors.
According to this logic, the operation of human society has nothing to do with any other events, but it naturally appears because of the zodiac attributes of human beings, which obviously cannot withstand verification. However, as a belief itself, it does not need logical proof, but it is directly considered to be justified. Therefore, the zodiac faith still has a market in contemporary folks and is constantly used.
Your Chinese Age vs Your Western Age
The virtual age is an important way of dating in China and is also popular in some countries in Asia. A newborn person is immediately one year old, and after the Spring Festival, is two years old. China has always been a lunar society, so the calendar used is the lunar calendar.
Calculating the year sequence (in ordinal) that a person is experiencing after birth is a traditional Chinese aging method and is also popular in other countries in eastern Asia. He/she is one year old at birth because it is the first year after birth, and has nothing to do with the pregnancy that has been experienced for nearly a year.
In China, the Spring Festival can also be regarded as everyone’s birthday, which is very much worth celebrating!
Although, in modern times and legally, the Gregorian calendar is used with age calculated as time spent after birth.
The four famous mountains of Taoism in China (道教四大名山) are Qiyun Mountain in Anhui, Wudang Mountain in Hubei, Qingcheng Mountain in Sichuan, and Longhu Mountain in Jiangxi. The four mountains are dedicated to the Guangzong Purdue Tianzun, the Zhenwu Emperor, the Moral Tianzun, and the Demon Protector.
Taoism is China’s native religion. The building of Taoist temples on the mountains began in the time of the Eastern Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) and continued until the end of the Qing Dynasty in the early 1900s.
Mount Longhu (龙虎山)
Province: Jiangxi | Height: 1300 meters (4265 ft)
Mount Longhu is located in Jiangxi, China. It is famous for being one of the birthplaces of Taoism, with many Taoist temples built upon the mountainside. It is particularly important to the Zhengyi Dao as it the Shangqing Temple and the Mansion of the Taoist Master are located here. It is part of a UNESCO listed area, a national AAAAA-level tourist scenic spot, and a national key cultural relics protection unit.
Mount Qiyun (齐云山)
Province: Anhui | Height: 585 metres (1,919 ft)
Mount Qiyun is a mountain and national park located in Xiuning County in Anhui Province, China. It lies some 33 kilometres (21 mi) to the west of Huangshan City. There are 33 temples on the mountain with the most popular being Yuxu Temple, Taisu Temple, Yuehua Street, and Wangxian Pavilion plus there are caves, pavilions and the natural scenery. It is a National AAA tourist attraction.
Mount Wudang (武当山)
Province: Shanxi | Height: 2,254 meters (7395 ft)
Wudang Mountain is located in the Lüliang region of Shanxi, China. The mountain has over 53 ancient buildings mostly related to Taoism with the highlight being at the top of Tianzhu Peak, where there is the Golden Temple built in 1416. It is the most prominent and representative Taoist building group in Wudang Mountain, and it is also the largest existing copper building group in China. The temple is 5.54 meters high, 5.8 meters wide, 4.2 meters deep and weighs more than 80 tons.
Mount Qingcheng (青城山)
Province: Sichuan | Height: 2434 meters (7985 ft)
Mount Qingcheng is located in Dujiangyan, Sichuan, China. It is considered one of the birthplaces of Taoism (Daoism) and one of the most important Taoist centres in China. In Taoist mythology, it was the site of the Yellow Emperor’s studies with Ning Fengzi. As a centre of the Taoist religion it became host to many temples. The mountain has 36 peaks. It is home to Dujiangyan Giant Panda Center and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and National AAAAA level tourist attraction.
With the introduction of Buddhism from India around the time of the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), temples and monastic halls were built on what would become the four famous mountains of Chinese Buddhism.
The four famous mountains of Chinese Buddhism (中国佛教四大名山) are Wutai Mountain in Shanxi, Putuo Mountain in Zhejiang, Mount Emei in Sichuan, and Jiuhua Mountain in Anhui. They are the dojos of Manjushri, Guanyin Bodhisattva, Samantabhadra, and Bodhisattva.
They are all UNESCO World Heritage listed, feature under China’s national cultural relics protection units, remain functioning centers of Buddhist practices with functioning temples and monasteries, and are national AAAAA rated scenic attractions.
Mount Wutai, also known as Mount Qingliang, is located at the headwaters of the Qingshui in Shanxi Province, China. Its central area is surrounded by a cluster of flat-topped peaks roughly corresponding to the cardinal directions. The north peak (Beitai Ding or Yedou Feng) is the highest (3,061 m or 10,043 ft) and is also the highest point in northern China. Mount Wutai is home to many of China’s most important monasteries and temples including Xiantong Temple, Tayuan Temple, Shuxiang Temple, Longhu Temple, Bishan Temple, and Lingying Temple.
Mount Putuo is an island southeast of Shanghai in Zhoushan, Zhejiang, China. It is the dojo for Guanyin Bodhisattva, and is also a famous island scenic tourist attraction. There are 20 or so preserved temples here with the most famed being Puji Temple which was built in Song Dynasty.
Mount Emei is a mountain in Sichuan Province. Emei is the dojo of Samantabhadra. The mountain is laden with temples including Baoguo Temple, Fuhu Temple, Qingyin Pavilion, Hongyingping, Xianfeng Temple, Jinding Huazang Temple, Wannian Temple along with the key attraction being the Golden Summit at 3077 meters featuring temple and iconic statue overlooking the clouds below.
Mount Jiuhua (九华山)
Province: Anhui | Height: 1342 metres (4402 ft)
Mount It is located in Qingyang County in Anhui province and is famous for its rich landscape and ancient temples. Jiuhuashan is said to be the dojo of the Tibetan King Bodhisattva (Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva or Dizang). The iconic temple here is Tiantai built atop of the peak of the same name. Other temples include Zhiyuan Temple, Huacheng Temple, Ganlu Temple, the Incarnation Grand Hall, Shangchan Hall, Longevity Palace, and Dongya Temple.
The Fifth Sacred Buddhist Mountain
Fangjingshan of Tongren, Guizhou Province ranks just outside the four famous mountains but is nonetheless an important spiritual destination currently and historically.
Mount Fanjing (梵净山)
Province: Guizhou | Height: 2,570 m (8,430 ft)
Mount Fanjing, located in Tongren, Guizhou province, is the highest peak of the Wuling Mountains in southwestern China, at an elevation of 2,570 m (8,430 ft). The Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve was established in 1978 and designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1986. Fanjingshan is a sacred mountain in Chinese Buddhism, considered to be the bodhimaṇḍa of the Maitreya Buddha. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018 and was promoted to be a National AAAAA Grade Scenic Spot.
Zhangjiajie (张家界市), a city located in Hunan Province, is famed for its mountainous regions featuring karst rock formations that were the inspiration for the scenes in the movie Avatar. Near to the city is the Wulingyuan Scenic Area featuring large-scale limestone karst landforms in the northern part of the scenic spot have been eroded and dissolved by the transition of hundreds of millions of years of rivers, forming spectacular landscapes and native wonders.
The area is also home to more than 400 species of wild animals and more than 850 species of plants many of which are classed as protected by national laws. Wulingyuan is known as the maze of nature, the museum of geology, the kingdom of forests, the gardens of plants, and the paradise of wildlife. It is also UNESCO listed and a national 5A tourist attraction.
Chinese name: 武陵源风景名胜 – Wulingyan Scenic Area – Pinyin: Wǔlíngyuán fēngjǐng míngshèng
UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site listed in 1992
Location: Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, 270 km to the northwest of Changsha (capital of Hunan)
An area with multiple attractions that can be visited across several days
Suited for nature lovers, photographers, hikers etc.
Wulingyuan Scenic Area Highlights
Wulingyuan Scenic Area area has a swathe of attractions and is broken into sub scenic areas and attractions, the key area is Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (which is broken into Suoxiyu, Yangjiajie, and Tianzi Mountain scenic areas), Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, and Tianmen Mountain.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (张家界国家森林公园)
Covering an area of 130 square kilometers it was China’s first national forest park. This area captures the essence of Zhangjiajie’s famous landscapes with over 2000 sandstone pinnacles and lush trees. Within Zhangjiajie National Forest Park the three main areas are Suoxiyu, Yangjiajie, and Tianzi Mountain. Each area of the park has its own character and attractions.
Tianzi Mountain Scenic Area (天子山风景区) – This area is known for its landscapes and vistas with its karts landforms, waterfalls, and clouds that flow in between.
Yangjiajie Scenic Area (杨家界风景区) – In 1992, a new scenic spot in Yangjiajie was discovered in the northwest corner of Zhangjiajie. This new scenic area has a total area of 3,400 hectares. Key sites here include Step into heaven (一步登天), King off the wall (绝壁藤王), Tian bo (天波府), Longquan Waterfall (龙泉瀑布)
Suoxiyu Scenic Area 索溪峪风景区 – There are more than 2,000 peaks in the Suoxiyu Natural Scenic Area, as well as 19 gullies and 6 streams. The main attractions are Baofeng Lake (宝峰湖), Huanglong Cave (黄龙洞), Baizhang Gorge (百丈峡), Shili Gallery (十里画廊)
Tour Route for Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park 张家界国家森林公园 →Huangshizhai 黄石寨→Jinhuaxi 金鞭溪→Bailong Tianti 百龙天梯→Yuanjiajie 袁家界→Wulongzhai 乌龙寨→Tianbofu 天波府→Old House 老屋场→Tianzishan 天子山→Helong Park 贺龙公园→Shili Gallery 十里画廊
Mar to Nov: 225 RMB/adults and 160 RMB/children between 1.3 – 1.5 meters
Dec to Feb: 115RMB/adults and 85 RMB/children between 1.3 – 1.5 meters
Free entry for children below 1.3 meters (65 RMB for the electric cart shuttle)
The admission ticket includes Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and its subsections Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve, Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve, Yangjiajie Scenic Area, and the electric cart shuttle. It also lasts for four days.
Cable car/elevator/train fees
Bailong Sightseeing Elevator: 65 RMB; 43 RMB for children between 1.3 – 1.5m.
Yellow Stone Cable: 65 RMB; 40 RMB for children between 1.3 – 1.5m.
Tianzi Mountain Cable Car: 72 RMB; 43 RMB for children between 1.3 – 1.5m.
Yangjiajie Cable Car: 76 RMB; 46 RMB for children between 1.3 – 1.5m.
Ten-mile Gallery Tourist Train (Shili Gallery): 38 RMB; 24 RMB for children between 1.3 and 1.5m.
Time: 2-4 days to explore all the sites
Open Hours: 7:30-17:00
Getting There: From Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station (张家界中心汽车站) take the bus to Wulingyuan Bus Station (张家界武陵源汽车站) near the Wulingyuan Southeast Gate (武陵源东南门) which takes about 50-70 minutes and costs 12 RMB.
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon (张家界大峡谷) and the Zhangjiajie glass bridge
Located near Wulingyan in Sanguan Township it offers the world-famous glass bridge that spans the epically beautiful canyon. The Grand Canyon is a 4A rated national scenic attraction that was only developed as recently as 2011. Main attractions here are
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon skywalk – the longest glass bridge in the world which also offers panoramic views over the valley
Plank road – a short plank path on the side of the mountain with spectacular views
Waterfalls – Tianhe Waterfall, Pearl wall, Butterfly Spring Falls, Cuitan Waterfall
Southern Red Flag Canal
Tickets: 256 RMB (includes Grand Canyon and Glass Bridge tickets)
Time: you can spend 4 hours here
Open Hours: 7:30-17:00
Getting There: From Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station (张家界中心汽车站) take the bus to Wulingyuan Bus Station (张家界武陵源汽车站) which takes about 50-70 minutes. Then take the “Wulingyuan–Grand Canyon” line (武陵源–大峡谷) to the site taking around 30 minutes.
Tianmen Mountain (天门山)
Located 8km away from Zhangjiajie city center, it is the highest mountain in Zhangjiajie, with the main peak of 1518.6 meters (4982.3 feet) high. It is famous for beautiful scenery and key attractions including
Tianmen Cave (天门洞) – aka gateway to heaven, an archway/cave that is often shrouded in clouds or mist, giving it the appearance of a gateway when looking from below
99 Bends – the amazing road that leads to the foot of Tianmen Cave
Glass Skywalk – there are three different sections on the mountain
Cliff Hanging Walkway – also has three different sections on the mountain
Tianmen Temple (天门山寺) – a Buddhist temple dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)
Tianmen Cable Car (天门山索道) The longest cable car in the world from the foot of the mountain to the tourist area takes 30 mins
Tickets: 258 RMB
Time: you can spend 4-6 hours here
Open Hours: 08:00-16:30
Getting There: It is cheap and convenient to take a taxi from anywhere in Zhangjiajie to get to the Tianmen Mountain ticket office (天门山国家森林公园索道售票处), and then take the cable car up to the top. Most people choose the A route which is cable car up and bus back down later in the day. It is suggested to get there early (before opening) to beat the lines.
April to May is Springtime and is a favorable time to visit with temps from 15 to 25c and whilst there is more chance of rain at this time of year it can also add to the beauty of the mountain. The average annual precipitation in the territory is 1380.0~1450.0 mm. The precipitation is unevenly distributed every month, concentrated in April to July. The concentration period of heavy precipitation is from May to July, and the precipitation reaches 650 mm, accounting for 46% of the total. From December to January, there is less precipitation, about 56 mm, which accounts for only 4% of the total.
August to September is a relatively dry season. August has the highest average of sunny days with 202.5 hours of sunshine; the least in February, the average is 55.7 hours. The period from September to October is also busiest with its sunny days and comfortable weather and little rain.
February to April are slightly windier than other months. The annual average wind speed is 1.1 m / s, which is larger from February to April, 1.3 to 1.5 m / s, and other months is between 1.0 and 1.2 m / s.
December-February can possibly see snow. The snowfall in Wulingyuan Scenic Area is mainly concentrated from December to February and temperatures range from 3 to 10c.
Getting to Zhangjiajie
Zhangjiajie Hehua Airport (张家界荷花国际机场) serves mostly local flights from major domestic airports across China. The airport is around 5 km from Zhangjiajie city and around 40 kilometers from Wulingyuan Scenic Area and Zhangjiajie Forest Park.
From the airport to the city, you can take bus #4 (4路内环) which does a loop of the city (see route on Baidu Maps) or take a taxi which will cost 15-20 RMB.
Zhangjiajie Railway Station (张家界站)
Is the original railway station servicing normal speed trains (K and T type trains) from cities such as Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Guiyang, Hangzhou, Kunming, Nanning, Zhengzhou and more.
The station is central to the city and also near to the Tianmen Cable Car ticket office. It is simple and convenient to take a taxi from here to your hotel/guesthouse. Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station (张家界中心汽车站) is also near the train station and from here you can take buses to Wuligyuan for 12 RMB (40-minute journey).
Zhangjiajie West Railway Station (张家界西站)
Located just 5kms from central Zhangjiajie it will offer fast bullet trains to major cities, it will open in late 2019/early 2020. It will connect to Changsha, Yichang, Guilin, Chongqing, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and others.
Where to stay in Zhangjiajie
Zhangjiajie central city area close to airport and train station
Twinning Hotel – New modern apartments, English speaking staff, restaurant, and free airport shuttle.
Huangshan, aka Yellow Mountain, is a famous scenic mountain located in southern Anhui Province. It features amazing scenery the exact liking to that in many famous Chinese paintings, along with rock formations, waterfalls, hot spring, and most famously its cloud viewing areas. It features 36 peaks with the main peak, Lotus Peak, being 1864 meters above sea level.
Huangshan Mountain Scenic Area is World Cultural and Natural Double Heritage listed, World Geopark, National AAAAA-class tourist scenic spot, national-level scenic spot, national civilized scenic tourist area demonstration site, and one of China’s top ten famous mountains.
UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site
Location: Huangshan City, Anhui
National 5A rated attraction
Ticket price: 190 RMB Mar to Nov and 150 RMB Dec to Feb.
Hours: Sunday to Friday 06:30 – 16:30 Saturday 06:00 – 16:30 (note that it is OK to stay on the mountain overnight)
Huangshan Scenic Area covers an area of 160.6 square kilometers
Huangshan is known mostly for its natural attractions and landscapes which include rock formations, unique pine trees, valleys of clouds (typical of late Autumn in the North Sea area), and hot spring. The mountain is also famed for its waterfalls with the three most noted being Renzi Waterfall (人字瀑), Baizhang Waterfall (百丈泉), and Jiulong Waterfall/Nine-Dragon Waterfall (九龙瀑).
The mountain is divided into key scenic areas which contain numerous attractions
Yuping Scenic Area 玉屏景区
Huangping Yuping Scenic Area is centered on Yuping Building (Yupinglou Hotel), with Lotus Peak and Tiandu Peak as the main body. A famed attraction is the Yuping Reclining Buddha (玉屏卧佛) and the Yupinglou Hotel (黄山玉屏楼宾馆).
North Sea 北海景区
It has plenty of wonders. Before your eyes flash the Shixin Peak, the Lion Peak, the Refreshing Terrace, the Monkey Gazing at the Sea, the Flying Stone and more. At 1690 meters above sea level, the Lion Peak is in the scenic area, and the cool terrace on the peak is the best place to watch the clouds and sunrise.
Songgu Scenic Area 松谷景区
Songgu Scenic Area on the north slope of Huangshan Mountain. It is a combination of the valleys of the Lion Peak, Camel Peak, Book Box Peak and Pagoda Peak. Walking up the mountain from Furongling, you need to climb more than 6,500 stone steps, with an altitude difference of 1,100 meters. Visit the Songgu Scenic Area to see the peaks of Furong Peak, Danxia Peak, Songlin Peak, Shuangsun Peak, Xianren Guanhai, Xianren Pao Road, Tiger Sangyang, Guan Gong Block Cao, Crouching Tiger Stone and other rock formations, Emerald Pool, Wulongtan and other water features. Ancient buildings such as Furongju and Songgu Chanlin.
Baiyun Scenic Area 白云景区
Huangshan Baiyun Scenic Area is located in the western part of Huangshan Mountain, covering an area of 1,655 hectares. The scenic spot is centered on the fishing bridge, the fishing bridge is located under the Shiren Peak, the convergence of Baiyun and Baimen two streams, 610 meters above sea level, the fishing bridge is also known as the Baiyun Temple.
Yungu Scenic Area 云谷景区
Located in the eastern part of Huangshan Mountain, Yungu Scenic Area is only 890 meters above sea level and is a valley. The main attractions in Yungu are Yungu Mountain Villa, ancient trees, rock formations, “Jiulong Waterfall” and “ Baizhang Spring ”.
Hot Spring 黄山-温泉景区
The Huangshan Hot Spring is spouted from the Ziyun Peak, and the Taohua Peak is separated from the stream. It is the first stop to enter the Huangshan Mountain through the Huangshan Gate. The amount of water in the hot springs is about 400 tons per day. It is always around the year. The water temperature is around 42 degrees per year. It is an alpine hot spring .
Choosing the season
Autumn (September – November) – Postcard-perfect scenes with color everywhere
Summer (Late May – August) – warm but not hot, cools off the higher you go.
Spring ( Late March – Early May) – everything is lush and blooming. It’s cool temp wise and often rains requiring warm clothing and jackets.
Winter (December – Early March) – off-peak season and some sections may even close yet everything is discounted and you get snow-covered peaks.
Around the mountain – there are no roads on the mountain so it’s cable cars and walking. You can walk the main sights circuit in a day although some may take a more relaxed approach and stay on the mountain overnight, catching the sunset and sunrise.
Crowds – Being such a popular attraction, it’s not recommended to visit during national holidays, and even weekends can be busy.
Here is a link to the Baidu Map which is useful, even though it is Chinese only, for having trails and icons for toilets food halls etc.
The Cable Cars
Yuping Cableway (玉屏索道) – Mar 2 to Oct. 31: Ticket Price 80 RMB Hours 06:20 – 17:40 (Mon to Fri); 06:00 – 17:40 (Sat to Sun and public holidays) | Nov. 1 – March 1: Ticket Price 65 RMB Hours 07:20 – 16:40
Taiping (黄山太平索道-丹霞站) – Mar 2 to Oct. 31: Ticket Price 80 RMB Hours 06:20 – 17:40 (Mon to Fri); 06:00 – 17:40 (Sat to Sun and public holidays) | Nov. 1 – March 1: Ticket Price 65 RMB Hours 07:20 – 16:40
Yangu Cable Car (云谷索道) – Mar 2 to Oct. 31: Ticket Price 90 RMB Hours 06:20 – 17:40 (Mon to Fri); 06:00 – 17:40 (Sat to Sun and public holidays) | Nov. 1 – March 1: Ticket Price 75 RMB Hours 07:20 – 16:40
West Sea Valley/Xihai (西海大峡谷观光缆车) – Ticket Price 100 RMB Hours 08:00 – 17:00; closed from December to March
Huangshan is in the subtropical monsoon climate zone. The mountains are high and the valleys are deep, and the climate changes vertically. The local topography plays a leading role in the climate. There are many clouds, high humidity and precipitation, forming a special mountain monsoon climate. There is no heat in summer and cold in winter. The average annual precipitation of the mountain top is 2369.3 mm, and the average annual rainy day is 180.6 days. It is mostly concentrated in April-June, with snow cover day 32.9 days, foggy day 259 days, strong wind 118.7 days, annual average temperature of 7.9 °C, summer maximum temperature of 27 °C, winter. The minimum temperature is -22 ° C, and the longest rainless period is 40 days.
Tankou is the name of the small one-street town that is right at the gate to the Huangshan Scenic area. It’s from here that you can take the special scenic area buses departing from National Line transfer station (新国线南大门换乘点售票处) that head up to the lower Yuping Cableway (玉屏索道), Yangu Cable Car (云谷索道) and to the Hot Spring Scenic Spot (黄山-温泉景区).
Tunxi district is the Huangshan city area and is approximately 60km from the mountain yet it is a popular base due it being more developed, more affordable accommodation, and having the airport.
No matter where you come from, all visitors to the mountain pass through the only gate at Tankou.
By High Speed Train
Huangshanbei Station (黄山北站), aka Huangshan North Station, is connected to the Fuzhou High Speed Railway which connects directly to Shanghai and Fuzhou.
Huangshanbei Station is 42 km from Huangshan Scenic Area, 18 km from Huangshan Tunxi, and 17 km from Huizhou Ancient Town.
There is a bus station at the train station with services connecting to Tankou (汤口) taking about one hour/20RMB ticket. They will take you to the terminal at Tankou where you can then take the scenic area buses that head up to the mountain’s lower cable car points, the bus ride is 20 RMB and 20 minutes.
Also at Huangshanbei Station, there are two direct buses each day that head directly to two of the lower cable car entry on the mountain.
From Huangshan Tunxi International Airport you can take a bus or taxi (15min/20 RMB) to the Huangshanbei Station (黄山北站) where you can take the bus as outlined above.
Staying at Huangshan
Staying on the mountain
There are some amazing hotels actually on the mountain where you can stay and capture the real mountain experience.
Huangshan Shilin Hotel – four-star scenic retreat on the mountain and only ten minutes walk from the main sunrise viewing spot.
Staying near the mountain at Tankou
As mentioned earlier, Tankou is a small town that serves as the gateway to the mountain scenic area.
Huangshan Lotus Villa – near to the entry gate of the scenic area and the bus station that takes you to the cable cars.
Staying at Tunxi
Tunxi is the main city of Huangshan and is 60km south of the mountain and Tankou.
The Three Parallel Rivers originate in the Tibetan Plateau flowing from north to south for 170 kms to Yunnan Province crossing several mountains along the way. It consists of the Salween River (怒江 Nujiang River), the Mekong River (澜沧江 Lancang River) and the Yangtze (金沙江 Jinsha River) and its mountain ranges. It is a UNESCO World Heritage protected area.
It forms a natural geographical landscape where the rivers, uniquely, do not meet. In the meantime, the shortest straight line distance between the Minjiang River and the Jinsha River is 66 kilometers, and the shortest straight line distance between the Lancang River and the Nujiang River is less than 19 kilometers.
The area is packed with scenic landscapes and is one of the most important ecological areas in China. This area accounts for less than 0.4% of China’s land area, but it has more than 25% of the country’s plant species. It is also home to 77 species of rare and endangered animals such as golden monkeys, antelopes, snow leopards, Bengal tigers, and black-necked cranes.
The Three Rivers Parallel Natural Landscape consists of the Nujiang River, the Lancang River, the Jinsha River and its mountain ranges, covering a total of 1.7 million hectares. It includes 9 nature reserves in Lijiang City, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and Nujiang Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province and 10 scenic spots.
The Three Rivers Parallel Area is divided into the following eight main areas:
Hongshan District 红山区
It includes the typical plateau planes in the Jinsha River Basin, the ancient glacial remnants with rich topography and features, rich plant ecosystems, plateau lakes and other landscape types. Among them, the most typical significance of the geological landscape of Nikko Nanbao Grassland and Xiaoxueshan Qikou Plateau.
Qianhu Mountain Area 千湖山区
The Qianhu Mountain area is covered with alpine icy lakes. According to incomplete statistics, there are more than one hundred high-altitude lakes of different sizes. Among them, Sanbi Sea and Big Black Sea. It has a unique landscape value of plateau forest lakes.
Yunling area 云岭片区
The area is home to a large population of golden monkeys. The protected area has a forest coverage rate of 76%, mostly in its original state, and its biodiversity is quite rich. Wild animals in the area are widely distributed. According to preliminary investigations, 28 species of mammals were recorded, belonging to 7 orders and 13 families.
Laojun District 老君山区
It features plateau lakes near Longtan and abundant flora forming amazing landscape views. Also in the area is Laojiang Mountain in Lijiang, which is the largest and most developed Danxia landform in China.
Laowoshan District 老窝山区
Located downstream of the Lancang River Basin, it features landscapes of alpine lakes, high altitude meadow of wildflowers and resources for conservation. The main attractions include Xinhua Lake, Laowo Mountain Alpine Ice Lake Group, Lalu River, Hongyan Cave Cave, and Lidiping Wild Flower, which are still in the original undeveloped stage.
Gaoligong Mountain Area 高黎贡山区
A concentrated display area for plant species diversity in the “Three Parallel Rivers” region. The Gaoligongshan Nature Reserve is the largest nature reserve within the World Heritage area.
Meili Snow Mountain 梅里雪山区
There are typical geomorphological features and rich geological relics in the Lancang River Basin, and it is the original habitat of the golden monkey.
Haba Snow Mountain 哈巴雪山区
The main peak of Haba Snow Mountain is 5,396 meters above sea level and is one of the most famous mountains in Yunnan. It is located on the northwest side of Tiger Leaping George.
Chinese name: 云南三江并流保护区 – The Three Parallel Rivers Protected Area
UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site
Location: Lijiang, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province
The three rivers: Salween River (怒江 Nujiang River), Mekong River (澜沧江 Lancang River) and the Yangtze (金沙江 Jinsha River)
Pingyao Ancient City is located in Shanxi Province with a history of more than 2700 years. It is the most complete ancient city in the Han nationality region of China. The city was founded on an existing settlement by Zhou Xuan Wang of the Zhou Dynasty sometime around 800 BC and during the Qing Dynasty, the city became the financial hub of ancient China containing more than half of the empire’s financial institutions from the 16th century right through to the late 19th century.
Pingyao Ancient City is known as one of the “four best preserved ancient cities” and one of the only two ancient cities in China that have obtained UNESCO World Cultural Heritage listing.
County Government Office 平遥县衙
County Government Office is located in the center of Pingyao Ancient City. It was built in the Northern Wei Dynasty and was extended in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties. The earliest preserved building was built in the Yuan Dynasty (1346).
Rishengchang Bank 日升昌票号
It was co-founded by Li Dajin, a wealthy businessman from Xi Da Pu Village, Pingyao County, Shanxi Province in 1823. It is the first of its kind in China’s national banking industry and was the economic lifeline of the Qing Dynasty in the 19th century.
The Temple of Confucius 文庙即孔庙
Pingyao Confucian Temple is located in the southeast corner of Pingyao County. It was built in the early years of Tang Dynasty. The large temple features a number of courtyards. It officially opened to tourists in 2004 and became one of the main cultural relics of Pingyao Ancient City.
Pingyao County Museum & QingXuGuan 清虚观
Pingyao County Museumis located inside the largest Taoist temple in the ancient city, Qing Xu Guan. It was built in the Tang Dynasty. The museum holds Buddha statues, artworks, and wood carvings from the Ming and Qing Dynasty eras.
City streets – Ming-Qing Street 南大街
The traffic veins of Pingyao Ancient City consist of four main streets (South Street, North Street, East Street and County Government/City God Temple Street), eight small streets and seventy-two lanes. Ming-Qing Street (South Street) is the central axis of Pingyao Ancient City, connecting the east and west streets in the north, and the South Gate at its southern end. A central highlight is the three-story Market Tower (see main image) and you can climb up and get a view out over the streets below.
Pingyao City Wall 平遥城墙
The Pingyao City Wall was built in the Western Zhou Dynasty Xuanwang Period (827 BC ~ 782 BC). During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it was repaired/rebuilt some twenty-five times. The wall is square in shape, with a perimeter of 6162.7 meters, a height of 10 meters, and a top width of 3-5 meters. It features six city gates with towers along with 72 watchtowers along its length.
You can hire a taxi out to the nearby attractions or your hotel/guesthouse can also organize a driver for you. The two temples are a must-see.
Zhenguo Temple 镇国寺
Zhenguo Temple is located in Haodong Village, 12 kilometers northeast of Pingyao. It was built during the Northern Han Dynasty. The temple is divided into two parts, from the south to the north, including the Tianwang Hall, the Wanfo Hall, and the Sanfo Building. The northern courtyard features two smaller halls. The Wanfo Hall is the main building of the front yard. It is one of the oldest existing wooden structures in China. Although the scale of the temple is not large, it is majestic and imposing. There are 14 colorful sculptures in the temple. There are statues of Buddha in the middle of the temple. The two disciples of Jiaye and Ananda are left and right. These are some of the last remaining wooden Buddhist sculptures from the era.
Shuang Lin Temple 双林寺
It is located 10km from Pingyao ancient city. Shuang Lin Temple was built in the Northern Wei Dynasty, facing south, the temple complex covers about fifteen thousand square meters within two parts. The western part is a temple, and there are three courtyards along the central axis. It consists of ten halls. In the east, it is a Buddhist temple, a house, and so on. In the ten halls of the temple, there are more than 2,000 statues preserved from the Yuan Dynasty to the Ming Dynasty (AD 13-17). They are known as the “treasure house of colored art”.
Qu Family Compound 佢家大院
Located 22km north of Pingyao. It is also an ancient and opulent family home that was built in the late Qing Dynasty.
Qiao Family Compound 乔家大院
Located 20 kilometers north of Pingyao, the two-acre mansion was built in 1756 during the Qing Dynasty. The former family home is a museum and insight into the lives of the ancient Chinese elite.
Wang Family Compound 王家大院
Located 35 kilometers away from Pingyaoin in Jingsheng Town of Lingshi County of Shanxi, Wang’s Compound is another ancient family mansion that dates back to the mid-1600’s. The site covers a staggering 45,000 sqm featuring forts and temples in the Ming Dynasty architectural style.
Chang Family Compound 常家大院
Located in Chetun Village, Dongyang Town, southwest of Yuci, Shanxi Province. It is another massive, ancient and palatial family home.
Zhang Bi Old Castle 张壁古堡
It is located 40 kilometers southwest of Pingyao. It is a fascinating site featuring a labyrinth of underground tunnels and above-ground fortress. The site also features remains from the Xia and Shang Dynasties and is known as the astrological village for its construction corresponding with constellations from Chinese mythology.
Chinese name: 平遥古城
UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site listed in 1997
National 5A attraction
Location: Pingyao County, Shanxi
Ticket price: 150 RMB and valid for 3 days – Shuanglin Temple: 35 RMB – Zhenguo Temple: 25
Open hours: High season (April-October): 08:00 – 18:30; Low season (November-March): 08:30 – 18:00
Staying in Pingyao
The beauty of Pingyao Ancient City is that you can actually stay inside, and many of the ancient traditional courtyard homes have been converted into tasteful boutique accommodations. Note, you don’t need a ticket to go inside the ancient city, the ticket is only for entry to the key sights inside.
City Wall Old House. Ji Residence Pingyao – The ancient courtyard has been in the same family for over 400 years. Clean and peaceful with an onsite coffee shop, a restaurant serving Western-style breakfast, large open courtyard, rooftop terrace, and a short walk from all the key attractions. It is located near the southern gate.
Jing’s Residence Pingyao – the five-star boutique accommodation is located in the center of town just off East Street in a tastefully rustic ancient building fitted with the mod cons. They serve a popular breakfast and offer bar, wifi, courtyard, library, transfers to the rail station and bicycles.
Pingyao is serviced by modern High Speed Rail and it is the recommended way to reach the city.
Pingyao Gucheng Railway Station (平遥古城站) connects the region to the nations High Speed Rail network with direct routes to Beijing, Xian, Taiyuan, Linfen, and Baoji. It is located around 4km from the ancient city.
A taxi from the train station is about 35 RMB. There is also the public bus #103/108 for 3 RMB and here is a Baidu Map of the bus routes.
There is also a Pingyao Station (平遥站) but this station and line only services older and slower K and T trains.
Pingyao Ancient City is a temperate monsoon climate with four distinct seasons and plenty of light. It is hot and rainy in summer and cold and dry in winter. The hottest in July of the year, the coldest in January, precipitation is uneven but mainly concentrated in the four months of June, July, August, and September.
The Chengjiang Fossil Site is located in the mountainous area of Yunnan Province and covers an area of 512 hectares. It is the most preserved early Cambrian marine fossils in the early Cambrian period, showing a wide range of invertebrate and spinal life hard tissues and soft tissues.
The Chengjiang fossil group records the formation of early complex marine ecosystems. The Chengjiang site has preserved at least 160 species of biological species and many mysterious populations and 196 other species. They are evidence of the mega-earth explosion of 530 million years ago. The main fauna on Earth today has emerged during this period. It opens an important window for academic research in paleontology.
The Chengjiang animal fossil group was first discovered by Hou Xianguang, a researcher at the former Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, on July 1, 1984. In the following 10 years, more than 50 paleontologists from more than 10 countries have helped uncover 50,000 fossils, nearly 200 species of sponges, coelenterates, brachiopods, annelids and arthropods, and rare animals.
UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site listed in 2012
Location: Maotian Mountain on the east bank of Fuxian Lake in Chengjiang County, Yunnan Province
The Honghe Hani Rice Terraces are the ancient system of rice-growing terraces developed by the Hani ethnic people some 1,200 years ago. Located in Yuanyang, Honghe Prefecture, Yunnan, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The terraces’ history spans around 1,200 years and cover a staggering 16,000 ha. The terraced rice fields cover four counties of Honghe Prefecture including Yuanyang, Honghe, Jinpin, and Lüchun with the core area of the terraces located in Yuanyang. (noting Honghe is the name of the greater prefecture and also an internal county, see the maps further below).
There are three major scenic spots in Yuanyang Terraces: Duoyishu Scenic Area, Bada Scenic Area, and Laohuzui (the Tiger Mouth) Scenic Area. In addition to the above three scenic spots, there are numerous other terraced fields of different shapes and unique features, but few tourists are involved because of the long-distance and inconvenient transportation.
The region also has different characters depending on the season with February seeing the bare fields full of water reflecting the sky above, and in April the terraces turn green as the rice starts to grow, and later in the year a yellowish-brown as the rice becomes ready for harvest.
The best place to shoot terraced sunrises: Duoyishu Scenic Area, the upper part of the terrace is relatively flat, and the lower part is steep. From the top, it looks like a giant waterfall pouring, which is extremely spectacular. The trees are often surrounded by clouds, and the wonders of the clouds are quite impressive. Duoyishu is a popular place to shoot terraced sunrises.
The best place to shoot terraced sunsets: the Tiger’s Mouth area, The sunset landscape here is a must. On the east side is the crescent-shaped Baoshanzhai terraced field with a beautiful shape and a strong three-dimensional effect. In the upper left corner of the farthest point of the Tiger’s Mouth, you can also see a galloping horse. This is the landmark of Yuanyang Terraced Field, which appeared on the cover of China National Geographic.
Jinkou Folk Village 箐口民俗村
Jingkou Hani Folk Village is located around 6km from Xinje. It is home to around 800 people of the Hani ethnic group who continue their traditional folk customs and way of life. The village practices a sustainable way of life through use of resources and agriculture. The homes are also quite unique and there is a Hani culture museum here too.
Tiger mouth Terrace 老虎嘴梯田
The Tiger Mouth Terraced Field Scenic Spot, or Laohuzui, is located 20 kilometers away from the old county town (Xinjie Town). There are more than 850 hectares of magnificent terraces in various fields.
Duoyishu Terrace 多依树梯田
Duoyishu Terraced Field Scenic Spot is located 23 kilometers away from the old county town (Xinjie Town). There are 650 hectares of terraced fields distributed in Duoyishu and Aichun. It is the best scenic spot for viewing and photographing the cloud terraces, sunrise and cottage. Near here is Shengcun Market (胜村市集) which is a local market of the Hani.
Bada Terrace 坝达梯田
The Bada Terraced Field Scenic Spot is located 14 kilometers away from the old county town (Xinjie Town), where there are more than 950 hectares of magnificent terraces. The Bada terraces are spectacular, beautiful in appearance and strong in three-dimensional. At sunset, the terraced fields are a golden and silvery beauty. It is also a popular scenic spot for viewing and photographing terraces, sunsets and cottages.
Chinese name: 红河哈尼梯田
UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site listed in 2013
Location: Yuanyang County, Yunnan
Ticket price: Daily ticket 100 yuan, weekly ticket 180 yuan (includes Tiger Mouth, Duoyishu, Bada Scenic Areas and Jingkou Folk village)
Best time to visit: December to April, best before and after the Spring Festival
Nearest town: Yuanyang (元阳 – Xinjie Old Town), of Yuanyang County
Visiting Yuanyang Terraces
The base for visiting the terraces is Xinjie Old Town (元阳) and from there you can take shared minvans that operate like taxis to the scenic area (20 RMB). After visiting the first site you can ask any minivan to take you to the next site (5 RMB a time) using translations below
Jinkou Folk Village 箐口民俗村
Tiger mouth Terrace 老虎嘴梯田
Duoyishu Terrace 多依树梯田
Bada Terrace 坝达梯田
Xinjie Old Town 元阳
The hotel/hostel you choose to stay at can also help with a private driver to take you around all the attractions.
Most like to spend at least two days here to capture all the sites and sunrise, sunset.
Jiangwai·Huawowo Boutique Hotel – new and modern four-star hotel very near to the entry of the scenic area. It also has views over rice terraces from the hotel.
For heading to the Yuanyang Rice Terraces, you need to get to the old town – Xinjie.
The bus departs from Kunming South/Nanbu Bus Station (南部客运站) and stops at Yuanyang Nansha County and terminates Yuanyang Xinjie Old Town (元阳). The distance between Kunming and Yuanyang is about 375 kilometers and it takes between 7-8 hours. There are stops along the way but you will want to pack your own water and snacks.
Alternatively, you can take the new intercity train from Kunming to Jianhshu (around 2 hrs) and then take a bus as per below.
You can take the bus from Jianshui Bus Station (建水县汽车站) to Yuanyang Nansha Station (元阳南沙汽车客运中心) and then take a taxi/minivan to Xinjie Old Town (元阳). The distance between Jianshui and Yuanyang is about 141 kilometers it takes about 3-3.5 hours.
Dazu Rock Carvings is one of the largest grottos in the world and is also UNESCO World Heritage Listed. Located in the Dazu District of Chongqing City, it has its beginnings in the Tang Dynasty, with development continuing through the Five Dynasties period and Song dynasties.
The historic sites are distributed in the southwest, northwest, and northeast of the county, a total of 23 sections. Baoding Mountain, or Baodingshan, has the largest scale and the most beautiful statues. In addition to Buddha statues and Taoist statues, there are also statues of Confucianism although Buddhist statues account for the largest proportion overall.
Dazu Rock Carving represents the highest level of grotto art in the 9th-13th centuries and is the last monument in the history of human grotto art. It shows the major developments and changes of Chinese grotto art styles in the Tang and Song Dynasties from different aspects and is irreplaceable for its historical and artistic value.
Baoding Stone Carving 宝顶石刻
It is 15 kilometers northeast of Longgang Street in Dazu District. The famous monk Zhao Zhifeng (1174 to 1252) built the cave temple here during the Southern Song Dynasty and it took more than 70 years to complete. Baoding Mountain is one of the holy places of Buddhism for Chinese. There are 13 landscapes and almost 10,000 statues here. It is the most popular site of all the carving sites in the Dazu area. There is also a temple here and Stone Carvings Museum.
Beishan Stone Carving 北山石刻
Originally engraved at the end of the Tang Dynasty and ended at the end of the Southern Song Dynasty. It is the largest stone inscription in the Dazu Rock Carvings, and is located on the North Mountain 2 km north of the Dazu District. The Beishan area is famous for its exquisite carving, exquisite craftsmanship and elegance. It shows the development and changes of Chinese folk Buddhist beliefs and grotto art styles from the end of the ninth century to the middle of the twelfth century (late Tang, Five Dynasties period, and through two Song Dynasties).
Nanshan Stone Carving 南山石刻
Nanshan is located southeast of the city of Dazu District. There are fifteen statues in the cliff here along with the Jade Emperor Temple. The Nanshan stone carvings originated in the Southern Song Dynasty (AD 1127—1279) and are all Taoist statues. They were supplemented during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Shijieshan stone carving 石篆山石刻
Shiqi Mountain is located in Fohui Village, Sanqu Town, 25 kilometers southwest of Longgang Street in Dazu District. According to the “Han Xing Ji Monument” of Fohui Temple, the statue was built in the 10th to 1096th period of the Northern Song Dynasty. The statue is about 130 meters long and about 3 to 8 meters high. The stone cliff statues of Shijie Mountain are typical of the “three religions” unity of the interpretation, Taoism and Confucianism.
Shimenshan stone carving 石门山石刻
Shimen Mountain is located in Xinsheng Village, Shima Town, 20 kilometers east of Longgang Street in Dazu District. The Shimen Mountain Cliff Statue is a Buddhist and Taoist imagery area created during the Song Dynasty featuring 13 caves with exquisite carvings
Chinese name: 大足石刻
UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site listed in 1999
National 5A rated attraction
Location: Dazu District, Chongqing
Earliest Carving Time: 650 AD during the Tang Dynasty
Number of Statues: Over 50,000
Area: 41,267 acres (16,700 hectares)
Ticket price: Baodingshan and Beishan Stone Carvings 140 RMB or individually; Baodingshan 115 RMB; Beishan 70 RMB; Shengshou Temple 15 RMB; Nanshan 5 RMB
Open Hours: 08:30 to 18:00
In Chongqing, you can take a bus from Caiyuanba Bus Station (菜园坝长途汽车站), Longtousi South Bus Station, Longtousi North Bus Station(龙头寺汽车北站), or Chenjiaping Bus Station (重庆陈家坪汽车站) to Dazu County Bus Station. Journey time around two hours. On arrival take either local bus or taxi to the scenic area as below.
From Dazu to the Baodingshan Rock Carving Scenic Area
You can take a bus from either
Dazu Passenger Transport Center (大足客运中心站) take bus 206 to Baodingshan
Dazu Bus Station (大足汽车站) take bus 205 to Baodingshan
Taxi – take a taxi for around 12 RMB.
Train to Dazu
You can take High Speed Rail from Chongqing West (重庆西) or Chongqing North Station (重庆北) to Dazu South Station (大足南站) with travel time around 50-60 minutes.
From Dazu South Station (大足南站) is around one hour by taxi (110 RMB) to Baodingshan. Alternatively, take bus 204 bus to Dazu Bus Station (大足汽车站) which takes around 60 min, and then take the 205 bus to Baodingshan with a total journey time of over 2 hours with waiting times (see the route on Baidu Maps).
Bus or train? It’s really a toss-up. Many prefer the bus.
You can take a train from Chengdu East Station (成都东) which will take between 65 to 85 minutes to reach Dazu South Station (大足南站). Then head from the station as described above.
Stay in Chongqing
DoubleTree by Hilton Chongqing – five-star branded hotel with English speaking staff at attractive rates. Centrally located in the heart of Chongqing near to restaurants, shopping, etc.
with approximate site location and bus/train stations