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.
Everything you wanted to know about Chinese dumplings including the different types, how to make authentic Chinese dumplings, filling recipes, dipping sauces, and more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Wuyi Mountain, or Wuyishan, is a famous scenic tourist area and summer resort in China. It is located at the junction of Jiangxi and the northwestern provinces of Fujian. The northern section of the Wuyi Mountains has a total area of 999.75 square kilometers. It is a typical Danxia landform with its tallest peak being Mt. Huangguang at 2,158 meters (7,080 feet) and is one of the first national key scenic spots.
Mount Sanqing, or Sanqingshan, is a UNESCO Global Geopark located within the region of Shangrao City, Jiangxi Province. The mountain features three main summits being Yujing, Yushui, and Yuhua. Yujing is the tallest at 1817 meters.
Xidi Village is an original and well preserved traditional Chinese village that features Anhui-style architecture dating to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and 3,611 Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was founded in the Northern Song Dynasty Huangyou Period (960-1127) and further developed in the middle of the Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty era.
Lost to time and only rediscovered in the late 1800s, the ancient city remains were once China’s first capital under the Shang Dynasty which ruled from 1600 to 1046 BC.
Xiong’an New Area (CN: 雄安新区) is a new mega urban area and smart city project that encompasses three counties and 500 villages located in a strategic area that lies within the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei triangle. What makes this project unique is, not only the scale and the vision, that it is directly under the management of the CCP Central Committee and the State Council.
Let’s take a deep dive into the world of Chinese tea and explore types of tea with popular varieties, growing regions, selection, brewing, and wrap up with a little bit of culture.
Many people consider bread as a new product into the Chinese food culture but, actually, it has a history almost as long as the nation itself. Grinding grains into flour dates back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) when mills were introduced from foreign countries via the Silk Road. It is touted that the mantou came into being during this time.
Trade war or not, ecommerce in China is on a continuing boom and it’s hard not to pay attention to the innovation that’s taking place especially in automation of freight and warehousing, and the massive size of some of the online portals like JD.com which has been valued at over $55 billion.
Here’s the main holiday dates for China 2019 and the dates to join in on amazing festivals (or hide under the bed and avoid the crowds and transport chaos :))
Here is a reading list of the must-read China books in selected genre including The Four Chinese Classics, Culture, Geopolitics, Politics, Corporate and Business, Economics, Personal Perspectives, Sociology, Philosophy, History, Modern History, and Military – History & Strategy.
Did you know that China has some 52 sites listed under UNESCO World Heritage? Ranging from ancient wonders to natural wonders, you’ll be amazed once more by some that you will know, and some that many never knew existed.
Want to learn more about China? Learn to speak Chinese? How about listening to the latest views of China watchers, political figures, and current affairs in China? Well, here is my pick of the top 40+ podcasts that are freely available on the internet.