China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Visiting Shanghai

Most tours visit Shanghai but usually only for one day as an entrance or exit city to China.  I use to think of Shanghai only as a large big city like Hong Kong or New York.  However my opinion has changed in the last few years.  Yes it is large and very busy but also exciting.  The best museum in the country is located in Shanghai.  The Yu Garden area is #1 in China along with the oldest Tea House on the Crooked bridge leading into the Yu Garden.  The Tall  Pearl of the Orient T.V. tower has the greatest view over Shanghai at the top.  Often overlooked is the fantastic Museum in the base of the tower of the early 1900's designed like walking down an  old street in Shanghai during that period.  The Jade Buddha Temple, the old French Concession area, famous Shanghai Acrobats, Nanjing Road Mall, and a cruise on the river running through Shanghai are just a few of the sights worth seeing.  The MagLev train from Pudong Airport takes only 7 minutes to get to the city and at speeds of up to 285 mph.  The new fast trains also are located in Shanghai and can go to Beijing in less than 5 hours now leaving every half hour or less.   Exciting is one word I use to describe Shanghai but many other places to visit and see are also there besides the excellent food of the city.
For more information on Shanghai please feel free to contact me at  My friends call me ChinaDave and I have a wealth of information accumulated over 25 years of travel all over China during my 50+ trips working with my Chinese associate partners.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Why Tour China?

I have been traveling China for over 25 years.  The first time I went with a friend who had business there in 1989.  We went to Beijing, Xian and Chengdu.  I saw a 3rd. World country at the time; but as a business person also saw a country posed for great growth.  Wanting to go back and watch this growth besides being interested in the culture, I started a small business selling Goose Down and Feathers from Chinese suppliers to our largest producer of feather products in the U.S. right here in my home town of Seattle.  That venture allowed me to visit some of the remote parts of rural China where people lived and worked the same way for centuries.  Some still do using water buffalo to pull the plows and hand rice processing equipment.  Over the years I watched the tremendous growth in the cities with  sometimes a 100 or more cranes being used while they constructed large buildings and apartment houses.  I have seen them go from our 1940's style trains to the ultra modern trains of today with speeds up to 200 mph.  The over 50+ variety of cultures through out China each with their own customs and dress adds to the experience of visiting this ancient culture.  Ancient artifacts, museums, temples and sights such as the  Forbidden City, Terra Cotta Warriors and of course the Great Wall plus so many others add to the fantastic sights of China.  I have visited areas where they had never seen people from the outside world, had no t.v., electricity,  or running water.  Some of these places still exist.  In order to continue going to China to explore the country, with the help of Chinese Associate partners I started Interlake China Tours, Inc. of  Seattle in 1992.  Since then I have made over 50+ trips to China working with local contacts helping them develop their tourism industry.  It has been extremely rewarding and I look forward to each and every trip still seeing sights that I have missed.  I have shared the sights of China & Tibet with over 2,500  people doing private customized tours for individuals or small groups with special interests.  My wife and I travel to other countries during the off season and enjoy many other cultures but China still remains my favorite with so much that is different from one area of the country to another.   I hope I can share some of China planned just for you and your own interests.  My web site is:   My friends call me ChinaDave and you can contract me direct at   email:


Thursday, March 12, 2015


The Yangtze River cruise is the best known cruise in China which is a 4 day experience you will not forget.  However there is another river cruise that perhaps is not as well known.  It is a One day cruise down the Li River with some of the most spectacular scenery in China.  After a visit to Guilin with so many things to see, the cruise is one day down to the town of Yangshuo.  The scenery includes the hay stack like hills all along the river which in ancient times was actually the bottom of the ocean.  You will see farmers along the narrow river working their farms with water buffalo and fishermen fishing from their small bamboo rafts.   Once arriving in Yangshuo there are many things to do and sights worth seeing.  Hiking and Biking area available here as well as bamboo rafting.  Lots of great shopping too.  If you wish to have a cooking lesson there are full or half day cooking lessons available.  If that wasn't enough, there is one of the best shows in China each night on the river.  Over 900 local people are involved with animals, rafts, music and lights with the background of the hay stack like hills.  The Producer also did the Opening Ceremony for the Beijing Olympics so it is very professional and very worth seeing.   For more information on the Li River Cruise contact us at
Email:   Our web site is   We are just starting our 26th year in doing Tours to China and Tibet.  Our Experience and BBB rating of A+ insures your security and great tour always being in Good Hands.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

3 Weeks Left for 50% Off Yangtze River Cruise

There is 3 weeks left to obtain 50% OFF on a Yangtze River Cruise aboard the beautiful luxury Cruise Line,  Century River Cruises.   If you have us do a 10 day or more private custom tour to your specifications, the cruise is 50% off starting at $398 per person.  If you would like to book the cruise alone to go with your own arrangements it can be purchased as little as $798 per person.  The 4 day itinerary takes you through some of the tallest Gorges in the world down one of the longest rivers in the world.  Luxury sailing with all meals included, and off boat excursions each day combined with an up close tour of the Yangtze River Dam site.  Entertainment each evening in the spacious lounge and during the day many classes are available and included.  Cabins are strictly Deluxe and comfortable with your own private balcony or up on the spacious top deck in lounge chairs.  For more details contact us at  Email:   or call us in Seattle at (206) 368-9074    Our 25 years Experience in China and BBB rating of A+ gives you the security of knowing that you will always be in good hands.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Quality China Tours for 25 Years

We are going into our 26th year of doing Tours to China and Tibet.  Over 2,500 people have enjoyed travel to China with us from many countries all over the world.  We specialize in Custom Private Tours for Individuals or Groups that come to us with a special interest or needs.  My 25 years of travel throughout China and Tibet working with my Chinese associate partners and their many travel services has given me a great deal of insights into China.  I have watched and experienced China from an undeveloped country to a modern world state in just these 25 years.  There is still much of Old China present to enjoy along side modern China with it's fast trains and ultra modern airports and sky scrapers.  Remote villages following the old culture is still there to enjoy making China one of the most visited countries for tourists in the world.    The Yangtze River is one of the longest and most beautiful rivers in the world with cruise ships sailing between the tall cliffs and sights along the river.  Of course visiting the largest Dam in the world is also part of it.  This year to introduce the U.S. Market to the 5 Star luxury, Century Cruise Line, we are featuring a 50% Off price for all cruises booked by April 15th when combined with a 10+ day China tour.  Prices start at $398 per person.  After April 15th the price will be $795.  High season space  (April/May and Sept./Oct.) is limited at this time so bookings need to be made soon.  For more information contact us at    Century Cruise Line web site is:  Click on the British flag for English.   I sincerely hope we can do a tour for you to your budget and interests.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Suzhou City of Parks, Gardens and More

Suzhou a city just a short train ride from Shanghai is known for its Classic Gardens and Parks.  Over  80 Classic Gardens which date back hundreds of years is considered the #1 Garden City in China.  The Humble Administrator's Garden is #1 in China.  Others to see with limited time are the Lingering Garden,  Master of the Nets from the 12th century and the Lion's Grove Garden to name a few.  I do Garden Tours of China and of course Suzhou is in the itinerary for sure.  Many people go to see the well known sights of China but a definite stop should be Suzhou for a day or more.  I like to send people through the lake country visiting small old villages before arriving in Suzhou which gives people a view of rural life in China.  The Grand Canal passes through Suzhou and worth the time to take a short boat ride through the back neighborhoods of Suzhou not seen from the streets.  A great walking street is Pinjiang Lu Lane along the Canal with local houses, cafes, shops and of course Tea Houses. Tiger Hill Park is one of the famous  parks where you will see the 7 story tall Cloud Rock Pagoda built in the 10th.Century.  During the tourist season a show is put on in the park with over 100 participants in colorful dress.  Suzhou is also one of the centers for Silk with  27 factories with a history of over 4,000 years.  You may visit the #1 Silk Factory to see how silk is made as well as shopping for factory samples from all factories in one location..  Suzhou has one of the most fascinating museums in China with living attractions and art which is a must for museum lovers. 
Close to Shanghai, it is worth an extra day or two to visit Suzhou if you have a Free Day available on your Group Tour to China or if taking a Custom Private Tour, ask your Tour Operator to include Suzhou in your itinerary.  To end the day or evening one of my favorite Tea Houses is the QianTang Cha Ren with many old antiques, wonderful choices of tea and snacks.  For more information you may contact me at:   26 Years of doing Tours of China!

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