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Pleasant Surprises: Unusual Things that China Made Me Enjoy

Most foreigners in China find that the country is a rich source of delightful discoveries affordable China tours. Despite my culture shock having been depleted quite some time ago, I never fail to be surprised by new things on a regular basis. Many people find however that one of the best kind of surprises is the surprise of the ‘pleasant’ variety. To clarify: these things are the things that we thought we would never enjoy, but when we get round to trying them we in fact find that we do actually like them.

Chinese Food

Chinese food in other countries is often very bland fare which is filled with head ache inducing MSG and has very little in the way of redeeming features. For this reason, prior to arriving in China I believed that I would struggle to find food that I enjoyed. On the contrary, upon my arrival I was completely overwhelmed by the broad variety of delicious foods on offer. The biggest pleasant surprise was that of tofu; in most western countries tofu is a much maligned ingredient that is seen as a poor substitute for meat. Several servings of mapo doufu (spicy tofu in bean sauce), doufu zhuan (deep friend tofu dumplings) and dofu si (tofu in vinegar shreds) and I was a true tofu ‘convert’.


For many people in western countries the common opinion about karaoke -or KTV as it is known in China-. Is that it is a tacky and mildly annoying pursuit that is a lame form of entertainment. How wrong I was about this much maligned activity. It turns out, in fact, that some of my most fun and memorable nights out in the Middle Kingdom have been ones enjoying Karaoke with friends. I must admit that I was reluctant to try but soon found that it was the perfect way to let your hair down. The beauty of KTV is that it lets people express themselves, have a joke and enjoy music and a drink in company. Prior to China I thought that it was an activity that I could not possibly enjoy my top China tours

Travelling by Bus and Train

In my home country public transport is a ‘necessary evil if you do not drive. The list of complaints are never ending; poorly planned routes that don’t go anywhere near to your destination and delays, delays, delays . In Beijing popular China tour package taxis are plentiful and relatively cheap, but the cost of bus and subway tickets is cheap beyond belief. With Beijing’s extensive subway lines which run like clockwork and stay clean all of the time you can travel tens of kilometers quickly and for less than the cost of a bottle of water. Beijing’s public transport is an amazing feet of civil engineering and a pleasure to use.


If many critics are to be believed, traditional Chinese medicine is an ineffective form of health care. Many people believe practitioners of TCM to be quacks or charlatans and consider ideas such as that of spiritual energy or ‘qi’ (phonetically pronounced – chee) to be hocus pocus or just downright silly. If you experience a blind masseur identify what kind of illness is troubling you just by the touch of the soles of your feet then you become a believer. Although not effective at curing all illnesses TCM is a more mild, gentle alternative to western style medicine which often relies on extreme and invasive procedures. Chinese medicine is a great way to manage chronic illness and commonly has less side-effects, a pleasant surprise and definitely not something to be sneezed at (if you pardon the pun)

Listed above is just a selection of things that I have changed my opinion about during my time living in Beijing. Furthermore, there are a great many other things about culture and life in today’s China that grow on a person . China is unarguably an Aladdin’s cave of interesting, exciting and culturally rich experiences just waiting to be discovered. Get out there and find them!

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03:49 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


National Forest Park on the Liupan Mountain

Located in the south of Ningxia province Silk Road tour, the Liupan Mountaini is also called Longshan Mountain. With an altitude of 2928 meters, the main peak of it is in the range of Guyuan County and Longde County of Ningxia. The mountain body is in the south and north direction with a length of about 240 kilometers and is the boundary mountain of the Loessil Altiplano in the north of Shan’xi against the one in the south of Shan’xi and the sinuous and rugged watershed of Wei River and Jing River. In the ancient times, the people have to travel six winding roads before they get to the top, hence the name Liupan Mountain. On the southeastern foot of the mountain is another scenic spot named Old Dragon Pond, one of the headstream of Jing River Yangtze River tour.

Continuing for more than one hundred kilometers, it has a natural second growth forest of more than 40,000 hectares. As the headwater of the Jinghe River, Qingshui River and Hulu River, its unique geographical position and the great zoological function play import role in mediating and humidifying the environment of the mountainous area in the southern Ningxia which is dry and barren. Recently, natural reservation and scenic spot had been built one after another on the Liupan Mountain.

The Liupan Mountain is always said “spring is closely followed by autumn”. On the top of its main peak—the Migang Mountain with an altitude of 2924 meters, you can enjoy a variety of amazing scenes at different times, the thick mist clouding the mountain-top in the morning, the mountains emerging in an endless stream in the day time, the green trees and wild flowers enhancing in the clear sky and mountain in spring, the unique landscapes with cool and refreshing air in summer, the red autumnal leaves covering all the mountains in autumn and the white mountains in snow in winter. In 1935, Mao Zedong once arrived at this scene spot with the Red Army on the Long March, so he composed down the resplendent Mount Liupan-to the Tune of Qing Ping Yue. At present, the Long March Memorial Kiosk is a lasting reminder of the Long March for tourist.

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07:38 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


The beautiful but less-known Hong'an Ancient Town

A Brief Introduction to Hong'an Ancient Town

Hong'an Ancient Town is located 47 kilometers away from Xiushan County, occupying an area of 52 square kilometers with a total population of 16,000 people. It is in the boarder of Chongqing, Hunan Province and Guizhou Province. It is called the "Southeastern Gate of Chongqing". In 2002, Hong'an Ancient Town was rated as the famous historical and cultural town of Chongqing Yangtze River tour.

Literature Breath of Hong'an Ancient Town
Overlook of Hong'an Ancient Town
Hong'an Ancient Town China tour deals is the prototype of Shen Congwen's outstanding novel-Boarder Town. Shen Congwen was born and brought up in Xiangxi of northwestern Hunan Province which is a boarder town of Hunan Province, Chongqing and Guizhou Province. He was touched by the beautiful landscapes and the unsophisticated, virtuous and warm-hearted local people in the boarder town. In 1934 after he returned Beijing from the boarder town, he wrote the masterpiece-Boarder Town, which depicted the mysterious and attractive land of Hong'an Ancient Town where a touching love story happened. Thus Hong'an Ancient Town was endowed with a rich literature breath.

Attractions of Hong'an Ancient Town

In Hong'an Ancient Town, the natural landscapes are fascinatingly beautiful. Natural landscapes include the Hongcha Bridge connecting Chongqing and Hunan Province best tours of China, and a mountain like an elephant's nose absorbing water. Sanbuguan Islet is also a famous natural scene. Sanbuguan means that none of the three places-Chongqing, Hunan and Guizhou governs the islet, for that the islet does not belong to any of them.

Magnificent human landscapes in Hong'an Ancient Town are rich. Ancient architectures with ethnic flavors are also abundant. Statue of Cuicui-the heroine of Boarder Town written by Shen Congwen stands on the bank of the river. Walking on the stone-steps streets, you can enjoy the view of blue bricks and black tiles on both sides and deep courtyards. Walls in Hong'an Ancient Town are equipped with high and firm fire-proof tubes, which is a unique scenery.

The most classical sight in Hong'an Ancient Town is the Steel Wire Ferries. There is a steel wire connecting the docks on both banks of the river. The wire also fastens the driving forces of the ferries. The ferries are pulled from one bank to the other bank.

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04:28 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)