50+ Amazing Destinations in China on Roads Less Traveled

50+ Amazing Destinations in China on Roads Less Traveled

Here’s a list of over 50 unique destinations in China, from temples to remote villages, that will hopefully open things up a bit as to how unique, diverse and numerous the tourism attractions are that the country offers.

I can’t stress that enough, there are so many unique experiences in China. The country is so large and so diverse, it really is like a whole collection of worlds in one with over 50 minority ethnic cultures, history, and natural wonders. When itinerary planning for a China journey, you can shape any kind of experience that you want, it’s up to you.

For most people, they are happy to stick to the safety of standard tour-book experiences and the well developed, and well known major attraction destinations such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Macau. The slightly more adventurous will fit in Xi’an and the Terracotta Army, or Chengdu and its Panda Base, mountains and so on. All of these are awesome and great places to get started, but, China offers so, so much more.

Let’s try and list some unique & amazing attractions that we haven’t mentioned so far:

Hailuogou Hot Spring – Sichuan

Located among virgin forest and ice glaciers in Hailuogou Glacier Park.

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Mount Emei – Sichuan

Mount Emei is a mountain in Sichuan Province, China, and is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China. Read more

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Jiuzhaigou – Sichuan

Jiuzhaigou National Park is a network of valleys in China’s Sichuan province. It is most well known for its picturesque lakes.

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Leshan Giant Buddha – Sichuan

The Leshan Giant Buddha is an ancient 71-metre tall stone statue carved from the side of a mountain. Read more

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Guilin & Yangshou – Guanxi

Guilin, located in the northeast of Guanxi Province, is famous for its stunning karst landscapes, the Li River, and ethnic minority culture.

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Lijiang & Dali – Yunnan

The region is home to the Naxi and several other ethnic minority groups. The Lijiang Old Town is one of China’s famous ancient cities. Read more

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Shangrila – Yunnan

Shangrila is famed for its natural landscapes, Napaihai Natural Reserve, Blue Moon Valley, Meili Snow Mountain, and Songzanlin Monastery.

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Tiger Leaping George – Yunnan

Tiger Leaping Gorge, near Lijiang Old Town, is a scenic canyon on the Jinsha River and is part of the UNESCO listed Three Parallel Rivers.

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YuanYang Rice Fields – Yunnan

The terraced rice fields are a visual wonder and man-made wonder. Read more

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Dongchuan Red Land – Yunnan

Dongchuan Red Land is a unique natural wonder with its mountainous terrain covered with red, gold, white and brown due to soil minerals.

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Tengchong Rehai Hot Springs – Yunnan

Rehai is located west of Tengchong County. In addition to its hot springs, the place also boasts spectacular natural scenery and an ancient temple.

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Hakka Tulou – Fujian

The tulou are Chinese rural dwellings unique to the Hakka minority located in the mountainous areas in southeastern Fujian, China. Read more

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 Longtan Valley – Henan

The 12km Longtan Grand Canyon is part of Dai Mei Mountain World Geopark in Luoyang.

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Guoliang Tunnel – Taihang Mountain – Henan

The Guoliang Tunnel is carved along the side of and through the Taihang Mountains of Huixian, Xinxiang, Henan Province.

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Spring Temple Buddha – Pingdingshan – Henan

The Spring Temple Buddha is a colossal statue depicting Vairocana Buddha located in the Zhaocun township of Lushan County, Henan. It was completed in 2008.

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Nanjie Village – Luohe – Henan

Widely reported as being the last Maoist village in China. Join in and paint the town red 🙂

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White Horse Temple – Luoyang – Henan

White Horse Temple is a Buddhist temple in Luoyang which was established in 68 AD and is believed to be the first Buddhist temple in China.

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Hanging Temple – Shanxi

The Hanging Temple is built into a cliff near Mount Heng in Hunyuan County, Datong City, Shanxi Province. It was originally built by a monk over 1400 years ago.

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Zhangjiajie – Hunan

Zhangjiajie, a city in the northwest of China’s Hunan province, is home to the famed Wulingyuan Scenic Area. Read more

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Fenghuang Old City – Hunan

Hunan Fenghuang (Phoenix) Ancient Town, is a riverside town of traditional style built in the Qing Dynasty. Read More

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Three Gorges – Hubei

Three Gorges reservoir region is a mountainous stretch along China’s Yangtze River, between Chongqing and Yichang cities.

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Mogao Caves – Gansu

The Mogao Caves, also known as the Thousand Buddha Grottoes or Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, form a system of 492 temples located near Dunhuang in Gansu Province.

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Crescent Lake – Gansu

Yueyaquan is a crescent-shaped lake in an oasis, 6 km south of the city of Dunhuang in Gansu Province.

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The Maijishan Grottoes – Gansu

The Maijishan Grottoes are a series of 194 caves cut in the side of the hill of Majishan in Tianshui, Gansu Province which date back to the ancient Qin era (384–417 CE).

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Jiayuguan Fortress – Jiayuguan – Gansu

Jiayu Pass or Jiayuguan is the first frontier fortress at the west end of the Ming dynasty Great Wall, near the city of Jiayuguan in Gansu province

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Mount Taishan – Shandong

Located north of the city of Tai’an in Shandong province, it is one of China’s Five Sacred Mountains.

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Three Natural Bridges – Chongqing

The Three Natural Bridges are a series of natural limestone bridges located in Xiannüshan Town, Wulong District, Chongqing Municipality, China.

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Mount Danxia – Guangdong

Danxia Mountain is a geopark, containing many unusual landforms along with the largest and most beautiful scenic area in Guangdong Province.

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Huashan Teahouse – Shaanxi

Mt. Huashan is one of the five sacred mountains and on one of its peaks sits a traditional tea house.

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Longyou Caves – Quzhou

Found after draining a pond, these deep ancient caves are a complete mystery.

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Shi Cheng –  Hangzhou – Zhejiang

China’s Atlantis, yes, it’s a submerged ancient city for all you diving fans with a bent for history.

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Fangweng Hanging Restaurant– Hubei

Located in a cave and along the cliffside of Xiling Mountain, it offers a truly unique dining experience.

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Wudang Mountains – Hubei

The most sacred Taoist mountain in China, featuring several temples, including the palatial Nanyan Temple.

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Kangbashi (the ghost city) – Ordos

Kangbashi is a futuristic town built on a wasteland in Ordos that became a famous ghost city although nowadays it’s starting to fill up.

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Buxian Bridge Huangshan – Anhui

Buxian bridge is a fairy tale like bridge located in Huangshan Scenic area. Read more 

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Chinese Pyramids of  Xianyang – Xian

The mysterious burial mounds of ancient Chinese emperors located near Xi’an.

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The Giant Buddha of Guifeng – Jiangxi

Measuring 470m in length and 60m tall, the gigantic sleeping Buddha is part of the Guifeng Scenic Area. It was constructed in 2004.

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West Xia Imperial Tombs – Ningxia

The Western Xia mausoleums at the foot of the Helan Mountains in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of northwestern China includes nine imperial mausoleums and 250 tombs of imperial relatives and officials.

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Haohan Qiao — Brave Men s Bridge – Hunan

The ancient bridge was a wooden plank bridge and has been upgraded to a glass bridge spanning 300m across a canyon in Shiniuzhai National Geological Park. More Glass Bridges

haohan-qiao-brave-men-s-bridge-yueyang-china

Jiaohe Ruins – Tulufan Diqu – Xinjiang

Jiaohe or Yarkhoto is a ruined city in the Yarnaz Valley, 10 km west of the city of Turpan in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. It was the capital of the Jushi Kingdom.

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Kanas Lake – Xinjiang

Located in Kanas Nature Reserve, also known as Xinjiang Kanas National Geopark, is located in Burqin County of Altay City within the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

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Kaiping Dialous – Jiangmen – Guangdong

Diaolou are fortified multi-storey watchtowers in village countryside, generally made of reinforced concrete. They are a living remnant of East-Meets West fusion.

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Yan Huang Plaza – Zhengzhou – Guangdong

The sculpture of Emperors Yan and Huang was carved from a mountain on the Yellow River near the city of Zhengzhou. It stands 106 metres tall with a 55-meter base platform and 51-meter busts on top. The construction lasted 20 years and was completed in 2007.

Hallstatt China – Huizhou – Guangdong

A perfect clone of an Austrian Village.

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Zhujiajiao Water Town – Shanghai

Located in Shanghai with a history of 1700 years it is one of the best-preserved water towns in Shanghai. Read More

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Zhenyuan Ancient Town – Qiandongnan – Guizhou

Zhenyuan Ancient Town is located in the Qiandongnan, in the east of Guiyang and features more than 160 scenic spots including traditional architecture, caves, palaces, pavilions, temples, and rivers.

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Congjiang – Qiandongnan – Guizhou

Home to the Miao and Dong minorities, a journey into local folk customs and traditions.

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Huangguoshu Falls – Guizhou

Huangguoshu Waterfall is one of the largest waterfalls in China and East Asia located on the Baishui River in Anshun, Guizhou province.

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Wuyuan – Jiangxi

Wuyuan is reputed as the most beautiful countryside in China featuring rape flower fields and numerous villages.

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Mati Temple – Gansu

Mati Temple Grottoes are Buddha grottoes located in Linsong Mountain of Gansu Province.

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Longwu Monastery, Tongren, Qinghai

Rongwo Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Tongren County, Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai, China

longwu-temple

Sanya Phoenix Island – Hainan

Phoenix Island is a new island resort in Sanya – Hainan

phoenix-island-sanya

Dashiwei Tiankeng – Guangxi

A giant sinkhole of sorts at 613 meters deep the primitive forest at the bottom of Dashiwei Tiankeng is the largest of its kind around the world.

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China is packed with endless attractions and experiences, including historical, modern and natural. There is also a large number of World Heritage Sites. For me, the most unique experiences are well off the beaten path. The more regional you go and the smaller the city, the further back in time you go, and the more fascinating things get.

The Essential Intro: Guiyang City of Guizhou China

The Essential Intro: Guiyang City of Guizhou China

Guiyang, it’s shopping and eating, then, more shopping and eating. And that’s it. Oh, there’s banks in between the restaurants and stores, so you can get more money out and continue shopping and eating. The place is famous for it :D. Fortunately, there’s also some ancient history, amazing people, amazing food, temples, and mountain parks full of crazy monkeys.

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

Guiyang CBD

It’s one of China’s poorest regions, although, a  walk through the streets of Guiyang and you’ll see nothing but luxury shopping malls with high-end brand names like Cartier, Gucci and so on. Jewelry stores selling gold abound as do stores selling 5000RMB shirts and 100000RMB crocodile skin shoes.

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Look past all that and you will see a vibrant culture and the continuation of time-old traditions, square dancing is wildly popular, anywhere there’s a large public space will soon be filled with the older generation line dancing at the morning and night. Ballroom dancing is also popular to a lesser extent, with older couples taking each other hand in hand and swinging to the music. There’s a real openness and special feeling of commune that comes with even just watching, we really lack this in the western elderly lifestyle I believe.

It’s also the home to two very famous brands, Moutai and Laoganma chili sauce, and it’s the future base of China’s Big Data ambitions with many companies such as JD and Alibaba planning/making investments into the city.

On the stranger side, walking around the paths Qianlingshan Park and you meat hear someone singing out a folk song through a battery-operated mini karaoke machine, bizarrely when I heard this, I looked up and there was the guy, by himself standing among the trees, with his microphone and speaker, singing his heart out like some sort of Casanova to beauties walking below, unfortunately for him, this time it was just a smelly old laowai.

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Qinglingshan Park, its monkeys and Hongfu Temple are the star attractions of this city. The temple is beautiful and it’s a practicing temple inhabited by monks, and you can witness scripture readings, chants and wandering monks. It gets busy on the weekend with lots of people going there for exercise around the asphalt mountain tracks, and people just for the day out to relax.

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Getting there is easy as it’s very central to the city, you can take a taxi or the number one bus also stops there. Up to the temple is fairly relaxing stroll with some stairs and inclined paths up to the temple with lots of monkeys along the way. On arrival you’ll find plenty of snack stalls, and Siwawa restaurants, more about that one later. Head to the left and you’ll find the ticket box which is probably one of the best value tickets in China at 10RMB. In the gate and admire the beautiful gardens while keeping an eye out for the monkeys. Why? They’re cute little savages. If you’re carrying anything, they’ll want some of that action, be a bag, drink, anything. They’re not afraid to jump on your head either, much to the amusement of other park guests who’ll be filling their SD cards with happy snaps of the foreigner with a monkey on their face.

More photos of Qinglingshan Park and Hongfu Temple

Be sure to admire the lake, the public square dancing, the men serenading on the hillside among the trees, the monkeys, the different aspects, the cave and most importantly the temple.

Eating in Guiyang can be challenging for some, they love strong flavors and love spicy food. It’s a choice of two ways to die from mouth burning fury here with extensive use of Sichuan Pepper and chili. A safe meal that is a local specialty is Siwawa, and it’s quite tasty and super fresh.

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Siwawa is is a little like Beijing Duck, in that you get a plate of 10cm round super-thin pancakes which you then load up with tidbits and sauce and much away. Fillings include pickled vegetables, cucumber, coriander, peanuts and more which you place into the pancake, fold up and spoon on a little chili sauce. It’s a must-try.

A special vegetable used in Siwawa is Zhe Er Gen, a peppery root vegetable which is native to Guizhou, be sure to try it out (the thick short root vegetable in the picture above among the noodles and pickled radish.

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At night you’ll find barbecue stands on the streets just about everywhere, there are also a few designated snack streets, which feature loads of stalls selling all sorts of spicy treats. Two common snacks are BBQ tofu and meat skewers.

Another popular dish is Bean Curd Hot Pot, it doesn’t sound so inviting but actually it’s delicious.

Guiyang Photo Gallery

Another key attraction not to miss is the Qingyan Ancient city, it’s a short drive out of the city and a pleasant half day. It’s a tourist attraction, make no doubt, it’s packed with stalls inside the old buildings along the cobblestone streets but hey, that’s China style. Actually, it gives you a chance to try, or at least take photos, of many of the popular local snacks such as pigs, which this spot is famous for. There’s loads of chili snacks and tofu too, along with rose jam and peanut candy.

Qingyuan Ancient City Gallery

 

Walk around the parks in the morning or afternoon and your sure to hear whip-cracking that belongs to the popular pastime of Changeluo, A game of spinning top, where whips are used to keep the top spinning. If that doesn’t take your fancy, try joining the square dancers nearby.

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Guiyang Facts

  • Chinese name: 贵阳市
  • Population: 4,696,800
  • First records: Spring and Autumn period (771 to 476 BC)
  • Minority:  Miao and Bouyei ethnic minority
  • Per capita GDP of 74,493 yuan ($10,720)
  • Connectedness: city-wide free WiFi/China Mobile/China Unicom/China Telecom
  • Industry: Regional commercial hub and IT Industry (big data)

Best places to stay in Guiyang

Major tourist attractions

  • Qingyan Ancient Town (青岩古镇) – a preserved ancient city from the Ming Dynasty era
  • The Jiaxiu Pavilion (甲秀楼) – a 400-year-old pavilion that sits atop a rock in the Nanming River
  • Qianling Park (黔灵公园) – The park is on the mountain of the same name and also features the large and ancient Hongfu Temple.
  • Xifeng Concentration Camp (息烽集中营) – an old prison from the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937
  • Guiyang Confucius Institute (孔学堂) – a functioning education center with its roots dating right back to the remaining Confucian Temple which was built in 478 BC.
  • Xifeng Hot Spring (息烽温泉) – located over 100km from Guiyang at the foot of South Songming Mountain. There are many hot springs in this area including Yu hot spring, Baoli international hot spring, Guiyu hot spring and Quan Tianxia hot spring.
  • Huaxi National Wetland Park (花溪湿地公园) – an urban scenic wetland located about 12KM away from the city center.

Getting there

Guiyang East railway station (贵阳东) – this station connects to the Shanghai–Kunming high-speed railway and Chongqing–Guiyang high-speed railway. It is 21 min and about 40 RMB in a taxi to the city center from the station.

Guiyang North railway station (贵阳北站) connects to the Hangchangkun Passenger Railway and Guiyang–Guangzhou high-speed railway.  It is 15 min and about 20 RMB in a taxi to the city center from the station.

Guiyang Longdongbao International Airport (贵阳龙洞堡国际机场) – services most airports in the country with flights offered all major Chinese airlines. A taxi from the airport to the city center takes around 70 min costing around 45 RMB. Alternatively, there are shuttle buses taking around 60 mins/20 RMB that terminate at Jinyang Bus Station in the city. From the airport you can also take High Speed Rail to North station which costs 13 RMB and takes around 10 min, then a taxi from there to your final destination.

 

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

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

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

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

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Tourists will be attracted to the white water rafting that the city is famous for, hot spring resort and numerous smaller attractions. On my last visit to the city I checked out a few of these, such as Taihe, Feilai Si and more, this time I wanted to stay a little longer.

To be honest I missed the best weather that the city offers, for several months I was unfortunately bed bound and didn’t spring back to life until well into winter. And here’s an important point, It’s probably not a great winter city. Being well inland from the coast it suffers from winter haze and it’s much, much colder than Shenzhen. But come mid-spring and into summer, you will love this place, as Qingyuan remains a touch cooler than Shenzhen, Hong Kong or Guangzhou, while also offering plenty of even cooler nature escapes.

For a quick visit, the must-see spots in the city itself as mentioned earlier, are the white-water rafting, Taihe Mountain, Baijia Mountain (be sure to visit the fantastic Pane Cafe there) and Feilai Temple.

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Living in the city is quite comfortable, you can get around by public bus to almost everywhere on any bus for a flat rate of 2RMB, which makes things easy. Motorbike taxis are the mainstay of public transport, which if your new to China, this is something to see. Girls sitting side-saddle, playing with their mobile phone (or a mirror or their hair), hanging onto nothing, while the motorbike taxi weaves its way in and out of cars, amazing. But, they probably grew up riding everywhere on bikes, sitting on dad’s lap, hanging onto the handlebars, with mom and grandma hanging on behind dad. Come here, you’ll see what I mean. If you’re not into bikes there are also taxis, they charge by the meter or a flat fee, you may also want to check out Didi Dache, it can be quite useful in this city.

Most places are easy to walk to, and it’s quite interesting to do so. The place is full of character, and by walking around you can really get to mingle in with the daily lives of a city which is still quite traditional. I never felt worried wandering around, I never got anything but friendly smiles. But a small warning, some of that tradition may be eye-opening for some, such as dog meat restaurants and so on. It’s not a rich city either, so you’ll strike many things, don’t let it put you off, here you gain a real insight into the Chinese life, and in some way, it’s like looking into a lens of the past giving a greater appreciation for the journey of many Chinese. I think this is especially true if all you have seen is Shenzhen, Hong Kong or Guangzhou.

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I spent a lot of time in this city by myself, between ill-health, my work life of being stuck on a laptop, and wandering and pondering. Actually, I went on quite a journey in this city, reflecting on society and it’s relationship with the disadvantaged, and also studying different several philosophical texts, mostly Asian. To be honest, I think I grew a lot here, which makes Qingyuan a special place for me I guess. Perhaps just a combination of my age, time, nature and the traditional aspects of the city led me to become more aware or at least wanting to be.

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You won’t go hungry here, especially if you like cooking for yourself, which you probably should. It has an excellent supermarket, Darunfa, opposite Zhongshan park and just a short walk from the city square. You can get anything you want there, fresh and super clean. It also has a great deli, fresh roasted meats, Dian Xin, bakery etc etc. I would walk to there every third day or so, about a 4km round trip as it was a tad difficult to catch a taxi or bus near where I lived. There is a free supermarket bus, but I never really fathomed how that operated. The walking was probably good for me. If you go to the supermarket, be sure to go to the shop that sells the bean juice, they make the bean juice from dried ground beans, nuts, seeds, and the like, healthy stuff. But also, the staff there at the time of writing are just so special, 4 girls who are like rays of sunshine, always laughing, always smiling and always welcoming, be sure to say hi, I will miss them.

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There are endless fresh food markets where you can get a swag of vegetables for 3oRMB or so. You’ll notice something interesting with the meat, which is all pork and chicken, in that it’s never refrigerated. Cantonese really don’t seem to like refrigeration. A culled pig will arrive at the market early in the morning on the back of a bike, and be butchered throughout the day, all day, in Guangdong weather. Goes against everything we are taught in the west about meat and food safety, but they’ve have been doing things this way for longer than we have been around. Regardless, I always purchased meat from the supermarket and vegetables from the farmers’ markets.

You’ll also want to try the Cantonese roast meats, you’ll see the stalls, it’s delicious! I would often buy from one particular stall and this was hilarious, she could only speak a little Mandarin, so, when I went there and while chopping up my order of roast pork, she would teach me a word in Guangdonghua and I would share a word in Mandarin, crazy right? I will miss that roast meat stall 🙂

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The cafe scene in Qingyuan is booming with options, in this area the city is quite progressive. Here are the places you must check out, for fantastic coffee (nearly Australian standard!) try Pane Cafe at Darunfa or Roccoco Cafe on Shangkuo St. For Hong Kong style milk tea go to Lao Jie Fang on Nanmen St, they also do a great pork bun and other HK style dishes. Nearby on Nanmen St is 1881 Movie, they also have a great value milk tea, there own version of an HK style milk tea and it’s a very comfortable place to relax. Also near the corner of Nanmen and Shangkuo St is Tealand, Taiwan style milk tea and snacks but in a comfortable cafe style environment. On that same street corner but towards the river you’ll find a Chaukee restaurant, it’s a chain store with several branches in the city, delicious, clean and simple. My other favorite cafe was Orange Cat Coffee, this was a regular for me, great milk tea and almost perfect french toast.

While talking about food, not to miss the local delicacies such as the quite famous Qingyuan chicken and of course the local Cantonese cuisine, a simple favorite for me is the chang fen from the alleyway off Shuguang 2nd Road, opposite the hospital.

There is one other type of cafe in Qingyuan that I could not believe how many there were, cat cafes. There is Alley Cat, Honey Cat, Mr Cat, some other cat I can’t remember, and there are probably others. Yes, these ones have a whole bunch of luxury breed cats you pat while you slurp away on your milk tea.

Time to relax? I will save you the biggest treat for last. The newly constructed ‘Oriental Charm Spa’, which features swimming, sauna, khan steam room, 3D movie theater, 2 different Virtual Reality attractions, a pinball arcade, pool tables, ping-pong, playground for kids, personal sofa chairs, and free food. Free, surprisingly healthy and very delicious food from the buffet, or fresh by order at four times a day. Amazing right? Well, you can go there for just 88RMB. That’s unbelievable value. But not only that, the staff are terrific people, be sure to say hi.

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I think my favorite part of this city has to be Taihe, it’s easy to get to, and swimming in the pure mountain water rock pools is the one most refreshing things, second would be the walk to Feilai Temple along the river and the temple itself.

Qingyuan Photo Gallery

One thing to note about the region is the language, Qingyuanhua, slightly different from Guandonghua and almost completely different from Mandarin, most speak Qingyuanhua and some don’t understand Mandarin. You will find a few English speakers, but certainly not as common as in Guangzhou or Shenzhen.

Hotels are moderately priced, as are rental properties, in Shenzhen you may pay between 4000-6000 for a clean modern one or two-bedroom apartment, in Qingyuan it ranges from 1000-3000. Big difference. For property purchase, at the time of writing there were advertisements for new apartments starting from 3500RMB per SQM, in comparison to Shenzhen which would be 20,000RMB per SQM and up.

It’s easy to get to Qingyuan, simply take the fast train from Shenzhen North/Futian Station or Guangzhou South. There are also buses from Shenzhen, but I think the train is better, and also buses from Guangzhou and Guangzhou airport, a bus from Guangzhou is convenient as the cities are quite close. From Qingyuan Station, there is an orange bus number 9, which runs into the central area costing 2RMB, a taxi will cost around 30-40 RMB.

Map inc Top Attractions in Qingyuan and recommended places to stay

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Shaoguan and Nanhua Temple [inc. Top Attractions and Hotels]

Shaoguan and Nanhua Temple [inc. Top Attractions and Hotels]

Shaoguan is a quick and easy getaway from Shenzhen or Guangzhou being linked by the High Speed Rail. It takes about 2 hours from Shenzhen and 1 hour or so from Guangzhou.

On this trip I came from Qingyuan, I missed the fast train having ended up at the wrong train station but I managed to exchange my ticket and hitched a ride on the much slower T8354 train. This one takes about two hours from Qingyuan to Shaoguan, and it’s a bit of a squashy ride on the hard seats, but it’s full of life, once the train starts rolling the attendants chuck on a microphone and walk up and down the isle spruiking various wares. Don’t expect any peace on this ride.

So I arrived at Shaoguan East station and there are plenty of taxis floating about, buses and more. I asked for a taxi to the hotel and got pointed to a motorised rickshaw, OK, after some negotiation, and another guy jumping in and offering a private car, the homemade ramshackle looking pedicab driver agreed to 18 RMB, much cheaper than the private car for 50. I knew I was still paying too much, but, I’m a foreigner and if you only pay twice as much as the local things are probably OK.

The Shanshui Hotel is a little way from the city centre but still convenient, there’s a MKC, yes MKC aka a fully fledged KFC clone and a supermarket nearby. Across the road, there’s also a train ticket office if you need to buy like I did.

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One hotel staff spoke a little English and they were all very friendly, the place is clean and the rooms have a fresh new feel at the time of writing, very clean too. Free wi-fi in room, flat screen TV and it’s quite. Happy choice.

The next day I am in the taxi (which was cheaper than the rickshaw) back to the Shaoguan East station (Shaoguan Dong) to find the bus that heads to the Nanhua Temple. Just as pictured on the website here, the bus arrived after about 15-minute wait and for 6 RMB and about 30 minutes later I was at the temple.

This is most definitely one of the more interesting temples I have been while in China, certainly, it’s the best in Guangdong. Considering its founder was Hui Neng, one of Buddhisms founders in China, I guess it should be too.

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I was fortunate to be there in the morning and witness the monks going about there rituals and song.

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The temple grounds are quite large and there are still quite a few people visit during the weekday, I can imagine it being quite a bustling place on weekends, it must be considering there are direct buses from Guangzhou to the temple. Entry cost to the temple is a very reasonable 20 RMB, made even more satisfying by the intently focused monk reciting script, even whilst taking my money and handing over the change, she was not distracted for a moment from reading aloud.

It was an insanely hot day, but with the beautiful big trees, the place feels cooler than anywhere else, regardless, if it was a bit cooler I am sure I would have stayed longer. All in all, I spent about 3 hours wandering and watching.

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I think there are a lot more things to do in the city, but it was simply too hot. So, I have a good reason to go back.

It’s not a very big place and most of it is very old, but new residential developments are taking place and there are at least one reasonably new shopping mall and others underway. Seems this city like most in China is going through renewal.

Near the Metro Plaza, which is beside the Ramada Hotel, there’s pedestrian shopping street featuring mostly clothes shops. The surrounding streets also have various shops. You will probably struggle to find a good coffee outside the western hotels but I did see a couple of coffee shops, no time to try but will for sure next time.

For eating, it was mostly Cantonese cuisine while I was there which is always good.

Whilst its far from matching Shenzhen or Guangzhou for economic clout, there is someone who owns a gold-clad Lamborghini

 

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Map: Featuring the Top Shaoguan Attractions and Places to Stay

 

 

The Top Attractions in Shaoguan

1. Danxia Mountain (丹霞山)
2. Jinji Mountain (阴阳石)
3. Nanhua Temple (南化神寺)
4. Guangdong Grand Canyon (广东大峡谷)
5. Nanling National Forest Park (南岭森林公园)
6. Caoxi Hot Spring Holiday Village (曹溪温泉度假村) – 广东省韶关市曲江区转溪桥
7. Nine Torrents and Eighteen Shoals White Water Rafting (九泷十八滩)

 

 

兴隆寺 Xingfu Longgu Temple – Qingyuan

兴隆寺 Xingfu Longgu Temple – Qingyuan

Out along Provincial Road there’s numerous sight seeing attractions and one of those is Xingfu Temple across from the Niuyuzui scenic area. Getting to either is easy, take the bus number 24 which terminates at the gate of the scenic area, then walk through the main gate and follow the path for 5 minutes.

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Map Location:

A morning at Fei Lai Temple of Qingyuan

A morning at Fei Lai Temple of Qingyuan

Reading the net and according to locals, during the week boat hire to Feilai Temple is quite expensive, so I was pleased to find that you can walk there. There’s actually lots of tour boats going up and down the river, but most are private chartered for tour groups and they don’t stop at the temple, although apparently there are other boats on the weekend.

The walk to the temple takes a track through the riverside village houses and on to a small track that follows the Biejiang river. There’s great views along the way and its about 30-40 minutes, quicker if you run, but don’t do that.

To get to Baimao Fishing Village take bus number 207, when you get off, walk to the river and you’ll see all the boats, then head left and follow the narrow path through the village houses and along the river. Remember to take some water and snacks.

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Address: Fei Lai temple 飞来 walking from  Baimao Fishing Village, Take bus 207 which terminates at the village.

太和古洞 Qingyuan Taihe Ancient Cave

太和古洞 Qingyuan Taihe Ancient Cave

Here’s an amazing spot in Qingyuan that you should definitely take the time to visit. Featuring amazing natural scenery, a temple and pure mountain water rock pools for swimming.

I will never forget swimming in amazing rock pools after the walk to the temple at the top of the mountain. The temple is not big, but worth the healthy walk up the steps to the top enjoying the amazing views along they way.

At the base of the mountain there is a public swimming pool, walk to the right and straight past that and up the mountain trek. It’s stairs all the way and winds it’s way up alongside the amazing valley stream and inviting rock pools. The water is crystal clear and you’ll see many locals collecting water as they believe it is quite pure and has health giving properties.

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Address: 太和古洞 Qingyuan Taihe Ancient Cave – Taihe Rd – Take bus 602 which terminates at the large entrance gate

Maanshan and the Tang Dynasty Poet Li Bai

Maanshan and the Tang Dynasty Poet Li Bai

The city of Maanshan is located in Anhui Province alongside the Yangtze River and only 30kms from Wuhu and 40kms from Nanjing the capital of Jiangsu Province. The city is home to well over 1 million people.

The city is mostly known for it’s steel and automotive industries, although it remains a city with a liveable feel.

As for tourist attractions, the most notable is the Cai Shi Ji Scenic Area at the base of Cuiluo Mountain. The scenic area is quite large and can easily consume the best part of a day just wandering the traditionally landscaped gardens and exploring the temples.

The area also features an art gallery dedicated to Li Sanzhi reputed as a master of calligraphy.

Theres a wooden walkway hanging above the Yangtze River from the side of the mountain which also leads to the Emei Pavilion, also seemingly hanging from the side of the mountain above the flowing water below.

An ancient tale has it that a famous Tang Dynasty poet, Li Bai (701-762), fell to his death here, lost to the murky depths of the mighty river, while ‘trying to embrace a reflection of the moon’ . Some say that perhaps he may also have been drunk and fell in while gazing at the moon, while finding words for a new poem, all of which he had a great passion for, apart from falling. There’s a tomb here which holds his garments, and memorabilia of the famed poet.

A statue of Li Bai and the painting of mountain area.

At the top of the mountain is Santai Pagoda was built in 1642 and later reconstructed in 1999, it’s 30 metres high and being on top of the mountain it provides amazing views over Maanshan and the Yangtze.

More photos of Maanshan and Cai Shi Ji Scenic Area.

Map featuring Ma’anshan Hotels

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Confucius Temple Nanjing (Fuzimiao Scenic Area) [Travel Tips & Key Info]

Confucius Temple Nanjing (Fuzimiao Scenic Area) [Travel Tips & Key Info]

A shopping market packed inside the historic buildings surrounding the Confucius Temple, aka Fuzimiao, makes for a popular place to visit in Nanjing, be it night or day.

The entry gate

It was night when we first strolled into the area and after passing the traditional old Chinese gate and past the Pizza Hut, KFC, and various clothes shops that have wiggled there way into the old buildings we were met with a river alit with color.

The Qin Huai river

Cobblestone streets run alongside the Qin Huai river and old stone bridges run across which made a perfect place to enjoy the colorful display of lights on show and the performance taking place on the boat. Not sure if it happens every night but it was on this particular Sunday night. You’ll also notice a long screen wall featuring dragons along the bank of the river near Wende Bridge (文德桥).

It’s a great place for a casual stroll, light shopping and there’s plenty of options for lunch or dinner including western or Chinese style. You can find lots of curios, trinkets, and clothes here but perhaps more appealing to local visitors.

the market area

We went back the next day to take in the temple itself, which is not large, but quite interesting.

The murals inside the Confucius temple

 

A statue of Confucius himself stands tall at the temple entry

The Jiangnan Examination School is a museum of the imperial examinations that took place in China’s ancient days. The exams held here would determine who would enter the ranks of government.

Whilst it’s free to wander around the market area and the river, there is a charge for entering the Confucius Temple itself albeit not too expensive. There is also a large modern mall, Nanjing Aqua City, nearby on Jiankang Rd.

Admission: the pedestrian area is free, but at the temple itself (夫子庙 – Dacheng Hall) it will cost 30 RMB and 25 RMB for Jiangnan Examination School (南京科举博物馆).

Address: 秦虹路1号 Confucius Temple Scenic Area Pedestrian Street, Qinhuai, Nanjing

Chinese Name: 南京夫子庙-秦淮风光

Hours:  08:00-21:00 for the paid attractions, shops will open later

Getting There: Subway Line 3 to Confucian Temple Station (夫子庙)

Map featuring hotels near the Confucius Temple

 

Hotels nearby: My personal picks would be JI Hotel or the Holiday Inn Nanjing Aqua City.

Nearby Fuzimiao: A little further along Jiankang Road, you’ll find Aqua City (南京水游城) which is a modern mall offering lots of shops, eateries, and cafes. There is a Zara, H & M store, Starbucks, and cinema here. Not far, perhaps by taxi, from the temple area, you’ll find Egret Island Park (白鹭洲公园) and Bailuzhou Park which is quite nice, and further down the road is Zhonghua East Gate (中华东门).

Confucius Temple map

this useful map scanned by tiwy.com provides a guide to the temple itself and some historical insight. Click image for larger version.

Welcome to Nanjing – The Top Ten Attractions, Hotels, Must Try Foods & Transport

Welcome to Nanjing – The Top Ten Attractions, Hotels, Must Try Foods & Transport

Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, is a beautiful, charming and ancient city that has a progressive feel. It has a long history dating back as far as 472 BC and has been the home of many of China’s emperors thus giving the city a rich treasure trove of cultural relics and historic sites. 

 

Dr. Sun Yat Sen Statue

 

Nanjing’s rich history traces back to 495BC and has been the country’s capital on more than one occasion. It was the capital of the Ming empire from 1368 to 1421 during which time it was also believed to be one of the largest cities in the world.

 

Confucius Temple

 

In 1842, during the Opium War, British troops invaded Nanjing and the Treaty of Nanjing was drawn between the Chinese and the British.

In 1911 the city was central in the revolution led by Dr. Sat Yun Sen which led to the downfall of Chinas last emperor and the Qing Dynasty. It was at that time the then-new Republic of China was formed. Chiang Kai-shek took over leadership of the Kuomintang (KMT) political party led by Dr. Sat Yun Sen in 1925.

 

Archways through South Gate

 

As much as the city has seen some great times in Chinas history, it has also seen some of the worse. The year was 1937 when the Japanese, just after taking control of Shanghai, invaded Nanjing and in a bloody battle took control of the city. During their 6 week occupation the Japanese were brutal, inflicting was is now referred to as the Nanjing Massacre where it’s claimed 300,000 Chinese died.

 

Nanjing Massacre memorial entry statue

 

Not long after the Japanese occupation had ended, old political battles re-ignited, and the growing Chinese Communist Party (CCP) led by Mao Zedong, which had played a lead role in driving the Japanese out of the country, was keen to see the in-power KMT party step aside. After failed negotiations of the Americans for peace between the two groups in 1946, a civil war saw the demise of the KMT party. The KMT party fled to a nearby island and formed what is now Taiwan.

As you can see, Nanjing, for better or worse, has been part of several major events in history and in the forming modern China itself. For its historic attractions, its place in Chinese history, and it’s modern rebirth, it’s on my list of the top cities to visit in China.

 

Nanjing Eye Pedestrian Bridge

 

Today, Nanjing is a modern metropolis home to over 8 million people. Nanjing is a major education center, transport hub, and tourism center.

More posts about Nanjing
Zhonghuamen Gate – South Gate, Zhonghua Lu
Nanjing Museum – 321 Zhongshan Donglu
Presidential Palace – 292 Changjiang Lu
Confucius Temple (Fuzi Temple) – Qinhuai
Memorial Hall of the Nanjing Massacre – 418 Shuiximen Street.

 

The Top Ten Attractions & Things to do in Nanjing

1. Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum(明孝陵)
Address: Xuanwu, Nanjing
Opening hours: 06:30 – 18:00
Admission:70 yuan

2. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum(中山陵
Address: 7 Shixiang Road, Xuanwu District, Nanjing
Opening Hours: 08:30-17:00
Recommended Visiting Time: 2 hours
Admission:80 yuan

3. Presidential Palace(总统府)
Recommended Visiting Time: 1-2 hours
Address: 288 Changjiang Rd, Xuanwu Qu, Nanjing
Admission:40 yuan

4. Qinhuai River(秦淮河) & Fuzimiao Confucius Temple
Recommended Visiting Time: 2 hours
Address: Confucius Temple Scenic Area Pedestrian St, FuZiMiao
Confucius Temple Admission:40 yuan

5. Purple Mountain (Zhongshan Mountain National Park – 紫金山)
Recommended Visiting Time: 4-5 hours
Address: Mount Zijin is located in eastern Nanjing City
Admission:Free – Admission to the Purple Mountain Observatory:15 yuan

6. Linggu Temple(灵谷寺)
Address: Zhongshan Scenic Area – Xuanwu, Nanjing
Admission:15 yuan

7. Nanjing Qixia Mountain(栖霞山)
Address: Qixia Mountain is located 22 kilometers (13.67 miles) northeast of Nanjing City
Admission:20 yuan

8. South Gate of City Wall(中华门)
Recommended Visiting Time: 1 hour
Admission:25 yuan

9. Xuanwu Lake(玄武湖)
Recommended Visiting Time: 3-4 hour
Admission:Free

10. Yuejiang Tower(阅江楼)
Address: Located at the top of the Lion Mountain in the northwest of Nanjing
Admission:40 CNY

 

There are many more historic sites and places to see in Nanjing including:

Botanic Gardens – Zhiwu Yuan
Nanjing Treaty History Museum – 116 Chao Yue Lou
Ming Palace Ruins – Zhongshan Donglu
Yangzi River Bridge and Bridge Park
Martyrs Cemetery – Yuhua Lu
Zifeng Tower (one of the worlds tallest) near Gulou Metro Station
Hunan Road – shopping and food street at Shiziqiao Street
Zhenghe Memorial Park
Drum Tower – 6 Zhongyang Lu
Bell Tower – Beijing Dong Lu
Mochouchu Park and Lake – Hanzhongmen Street

 

The Top Ten things to Eat in Nanjing

 

 

1. Nanjing Salted Duck (金陵盐水鸭)
2. Tangbao (汤包)
3. Duck blood soup (鸭血粉丝汤)
4. Dumplings in red-bean soup (赤豆元宵)
5. Zhuang Yuan Dou (状元豆)
6. Fried Bean Curd in Chicken Soup (回卤干)
7. Rice Cake (糕团)
8. Tofu jelly (豆腐涝)
9. Hairy crab (固城大闸蟹)
10. Pan-fried beef dumpling (牛肉锅贴)

 

The four top food streets are Shiziqiao (狮子桥), Confucius Temple (夫子庙), Sanpailou (三牌楼) and Mingwalang (明瓦廊) where you can find a cluster of street food stalls and restaurants offering local specialties.

 

Map of Attractions plus the Top Ten Nanjing Hotels

 

 

Alternate picks for the top Nanjing Hotels based on guest reviews.

 

 

Transport in Nanjing

 

Flights
Nanjing Lukou International Airport is one of the main air hubs in the country. You can fly domestically and internationally to over 70 destinations. CN Website only: http://www.njiairport.com. The airport is located around 43 KM from the city center and there are two shuttle lines operating between the two, each cost 20 CNY per trip. A taxi from the airport will cost around 100 CNY + to the city center. You can also take the metro line S1 to South Railway Station and transfer to either line 1 or 3 depending on your final destination.

 

Train
The city has two railway stations being Nanjing Railway Station and South Railway Station.

You can take metro line 1 to Nanjing station and catch the newer D and G fast trains as well as the slower K and Z trains to numerous destinations inc. Shanghai, Suzhou, Ningbo, Beijing, Chengdu, Nanning, Guangzhou, and Xian.

You can take metro line S1 (Airport Line), Line 1 or Line 3 to South Railway Station and catch D and G fast trains to numerous destinations inc Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Wuxi, Changsha, Xian, and Xiamen.

 

Bus
The city has 5 dedicated tourist bus lines servicing all the major attractions as follows

Y1: Nanjing Railway Station (07:30-16:30) – Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum (08:15-17:15)
Nanjing Railway Station — Zhongyangmen — General Bus Station — Xuanwumen — Drum Tower — Jiming Temple — Sipai Building — Presidential Hall — Ruins of Ming Palaces — Zhongshanmen — Weiqiao — Meiling Palace — Nanjing Underwater World — Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum

Y2: Yuhua Tai (08:00-16:20) – Nanjing Underwater World (08:40-17:00)
Y2-1: Yuhuatai — Zhonghuamennei — Changle Lu — Sanshanjie — Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao) — Yanggongjing — Daxinggong — Presidential Hall — Jiefang Lu — Ruins of Ming Palaces — Zhongshanmen — Weiqiao — Mt.Meihua — Meiling Palace — Nanjing Underwater World
Y2-2: Yuhuatai — Zhonghuamen Chateau — Changle Lu — Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao) — Yanggongjing — Daxinggong — Presidential Hall — Jiefang Lu — Ruins of Ming Palaces — Zhongshanmen — Weiqiao — Qianhu—Shixiang Lu — Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum — Nanjing Underwater World — Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum — Shuixie — Linggu Temple

Y3: Hongshan Zoo (08:30-14:45) – Linggu Temple (09:15-16:30)
Hongshan Zoo — Huangjiayu — Nanjing Railway Station — Huamu Company — Xinzhuang — Suojin Village — Taipingmen Lu — Mt.Zijin Telpher — Liaozhongkai Tomb — Zhongshan Botanical Garden — Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum — Nanjing Underwater World — Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum — Shuixie — Linggu Temple

Y4: Nanjing Passenger Port (07:45-18:30) – Yuhuatai Cemetery (06:30-18:00)
Nanjing Passenger Port — West Railway Station — Rehe Lu — Yancangqiao — Dingshan Hotel — Dinghuaimen — Northern Station of Shicheng Lu — Southern Station of Shicheng Lu — Caochangmenqiao — Guofangyuan — Hanzhongmen — Jinling Building — Kangyi Garden — Jiangdongmen — Mochou Lake — Shuiximen — Sanshanjie — Zhanyuan Lu — Fuzimiao — Zhonghua Lu — Yuhuatai — Gongqingtuan Lu — Yuhuatai Cemetery

Y5: Suojin Village (08:30-15:30) – Mingwenhua Village (10:30-17:00)
Suojin Village — Gangzi Village — Mt.Fugui — Houzaimen — Northern Station of Qingxi Lu — Qingxi Lu — Zhongshanmen — Weiqiao — Weigang — Nanjing University of Science and Technology — Xiaolingwei — Dazhamen — Nanjing Academy of Agricultural Sciences — Wukesong — Zhongshan College — Maqun — Maqun Park — Baishuiqiao — Qixi Lu — Qilinmen West Station — Qilinmen — Jinxiu Garden — Xicun — Jinsigang — Yangshanbeicai — Mingwenhua Village

 

Taxi
The flag fall for taxis is 2.9 CNY and 2.4-2.9 CNY per KM + 1 Fuel Fee. You will see taxis as pictured and also British style black cabs.

 

Metro (subway)
The metro is a very affordable way to get around being CNY2 for the first 10km (6mi), CNY3 for 10 to 16km (6 to 10mi) and increasing gradually in a similar fashion.

Nanjing Metro Map

 

Useful Nanjing Resources

Official Tourism Website (English version) – http://www.gonanjingchina.com

 

Watch

Watch this video from the English service of China’s national broadcaster. In this Travelogue episode, presenter Tianran explores the city of Nanjing in Jiangsu Province. 

 

 

The Lama Temple (YongHeGong) Beijing

The Lama Temple (YongHeGong) Beijing

The Lama Temple in Beijing is a functioning lamasery for Tibetan and Mongolian monks practicing Tibetan Buddhism. It’s open to visitors, and is a very popular tourist attraction featuring well preserved ancient architecture and artifacts, along with friendly monks roaming the grounds!

As a primer, the word lama is another name for a Buddhist priest, and a lamasery is a place for monks to practice their beliefs on the journey to becoming a lama. It’s somewhat hard to imagine that someone could find spiritual enlightenment in the middle of bustling Beijing, but nonetheless, this is quite a special place.

The site, built in the late 1600’s, was originally the palace of Prince Yin Zhen who later became an emperor. The palace then became a Buddhist monastery as it is today.

The large grounds are walled off from the surrounding city, although the nearby streets carry a similar theme to the temple with many shops selling related souvenirs and Buddhist ornaments.  Inside the walls are numerous halls, courtyards, pavilions, gates, towers and yards each having special significance and meaning.

 

Photo: Looking across the courtyard towards Yonghe Gate which contains statues of four ‘Heavenly Kings’ and is also the entry gate to the main area of the temple.

 

Courtyard panorama – click for larger image 

 

Panorama of Wanfuge Hall – Click for larger image

 

The pinnacle of the site is inside the Wanfuge Hall, which holds a massive 18-meter high statue of the Buddhist deity Maitreya. Amazingly the statue is carved from a single piece of sandalwood, unfortunately, no photos of the statue are allowed.

One big buddha…

 

Getting There

Address: 12 Yonghegong Dajie, Dongcheng, Beijing 

Taxi – Show the driver 雍和宫

Subway – Take Subway Line 2, or  5, to Yonghe Temple Station (雍和宫),  and go out Exit C

 

Tickets and Open Hours

Ticket: 25 RMB
Open: Apr. – Oct.: 9:00 to 16:30 | Nov. – Mar.: 9:00 to 16:00

 

Lama Temple Location Map including nearby hotels

 

For more sightseeing and attraction, reviews see all the posts about Beijing 

See my detailed guide to visiting Badaling section of the Great Wall, plus everything you need to know for visiting the Ming Tombs, the Summer Palace, and the Forbidden City.

 

Where to Stay in Beijing?

One of my top picks for places to stay is the Sofu Hotel, which has a small food street near its door, it’s four-star, and is a very short walk to Ping’anli Station which gives you access to Line 4 and 6. Another choice is the Novotel Xinqiao which is four star and very near Chongwenmen Station or the Ji Hotel at Xuanwumen Station. All three are super convenient for getting around the attractions of Beijing by subway.

See also, my hand-picked list of the top 15  spa hotels in Beijing.

 

 

Xian Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Musical Fountain show

Xian Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Musical Fountain show

It’s a crazy name that just peaks the imagination and leaves you wondering exactly what you are in for, but the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a must visit on the Xi’an tour. So what is it exactly?

A pagoda is a tiered temple commonly used throughout Asia as places of worship. The name “Big Wild Goose” refers to legend having that this was the place were a goose fell from the sky into the hands of hungry monks, believing it was a blessing from the gods they so named the temple.

The site is quite special to those of Buddhist faith being a place where the original Sanskrit sutras, collected during a years long pilgrimage of many countries by the monk Xuanzang, were translated into Chinese.

The area consists of three parts being the Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayan Ta), the Da Ci’en Temple, and the North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda. In the north square they have a nightly water fountain show which begins at 8pm (get there early to get a good spot).

There’s more info at the official Xi’an Tourism website here.

Big Goose Pagoda map with nearby hotels

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Jade Water Village in Lijiang

Jade Water Village in Lijiang

The Jade Water Village is located where a water spring exists at the base of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and this spring is scared to the local Naxi people. It is also the place where a famous American explorer, author, and botanist, Joseph Rock, lived for many years.

Now it is home to a large village including temples, traditional homes of the Naxi people, a theatre, and exhibits presenting the Naxi peoples Dongba culture.   

The photo below is of traditional paintings which stretch across four walls telling an ancient story of the Naxi people and the formation of their culture and the development of their love for nature.

There is also a large temple on the grounds featuring a courtyard with a traditional furnace used by the Naxi people.

 

The main must-sees in the site are Dongba Murals, Sacred Spring, and Shiluo Temple. Entrance fee is 50 RMB and it’s open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm. You can take bus #6 or bus #7 to get there (see Intro to Lijiang page for maps of the routes) or take a taxi which could cost 100 RMB.

 

Also see: Intro to Lijiang and the five must-see attractions

My pick for the best place to stay in Lijiang? Try Xilu Xiaxue Inn or Sleepy Inn in Shuhe

 

Jade Water Village Map Location

Address: Baisha Township, Yulong County, Lijiang, Yunan Province