China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Monday, October 6, 2014

Shortest Flight to China from the U.S.

Hainan International Airlines of China is truly one of the best services to China.  Departing now from Boston, Chicago and Seattle with connecting low cost flights from many U.S. cities.  Non-stop flights from Chicago, Boston and Seattle with free air from California and Oregon to Seattle.  Seattle to Beijing non-stop is only 11 hours leaving and arriving at convenient hours.  From Seattle you arrive just in time for dinner and a good nights sleep.  Some airlines arrive in the late evening with less costly landing fees but inconvenient to you.  Hainan Air flies the new 787 Boeing aircraft that is smooth and has great service.  Business class is similar to other's First Class and has seats that open up flat for a good nights rest.  They even have  pajamas it you like and soft comforters and pillows.

The flight is very scenic flying up the Canadian coast, Alaska, the Aleutian islands and the Bering Sea, down across Siberia and into Beijing.  You depart from Seattle at 1:00 p.m.  and arrive in Beijing the following day at 5:00 p.m. having sunshine the whole way.  Returning home you can watch the sunrise over Alaska as you fly down to Seattle arriving during the late morning.   There are flights from Hong Kong or Shanghai connecting in Beijing to fly non-stop to Seattle, Boston or Chicago too.    Ask for a quote and check my web site for both  Packaged Tours and our specialty is doing Customized Private tours to your interests and needs. 
                   Click on the photos for a full screen view!


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Which Tour Should I buy to See China?

I have been teaching a class on Touring China for 15 years at local Universities and Community Colleges.   I have travelled throughout China and Tibet for 26 years.  One of the questions I get asked often is "How do I determine which tour to buy?"    Most people determine how much time they have available and then start checking tours either on the internet or with a local travel agent.  I have to agree it is difficult at best to compare tours without a great deal of knowledge about the country so most end up looking at Prices.  The cost of the tour should of course be on your list of considerations but should be down the list of your needs.  It is easy to compare international air costs which get you to China and back.   Nothing is worse than buying a poor tour and having to stick it out going home dissatisfied.   You spend a great deal of money so you should see what you are interested in and be comfortable with your tour arrangements.  Checking with tour operators you should ask for a list of references of their past clients.  If they can not furnish one, then you can eliminate them.  If you are just interested in seeing China in a general way, then a small group tour of 15 people or less or a private packaged tour is a good choice.  If you have specific interests and needs, then a Private Custom Tour to your interests and needs is a better choice from an experienced Tour Operator who specializes in China.   

For more information on touring China please contact me at   without any pressure to purchase a tour from my company.  My friends call me "ChinaDave" from Seattle.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

50% Off on a 5 Star Yangtze River Cruise

Watch for this ad in the International Travel News Magazine starting in November.  We are offering 50% off on the 5 Star Century Cruise Line Yangtze River Cruise.   Combine it with any customized private tour to your interests and specifications for a minimum of 10 days or more and we will include a Deluxe cabin with your cruise.  Bookings must be received and deposit made by April 15th.  Cruises must be completed by Oct. 31st.    This Promotional Price is offered to introduce the Century Line to the U.S. market.  To see their web site go to   Our 2015 web site will be up about November 1st featuring the cruises as we enter into our 26th year of business specializing in Tours to China and Tibet.   Contact us by email at:   for details and prices.  We are located in Seattle, Washington with associate partners in China.   Click on the Ad to enlarge for clearer view!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Xian's Terra Cotta Warriors Site

One of the must see sights for many people is the Terra Cotta Warriors site in Xian.  The Warriors seen here were unearthed in 1974 when three farmers digging a well found them.  The site is large and now has four pits unearthed and open to the public.   The Warriors were arranged at one time as an army to protect the Emperor Qin Shi Huang in front of his tomb.  The site took 38 years to build with over 700,000 workers.  The artisans who constructed his burial room were buried alive in the tomb to keep the location of the room secret.  The Tomb itself has never been opened as it has been considered too dangerous having very loose soil contaminated with arsenic to protect the tomb from grave robbers.  In a separate building there is a museum of artifacts found in the pits and near the tomb in excellent condition.  Well worth the small extra fee to visit it.  Located near the airport is a little known site called the Yangling Mausoleum over 2,500 years old.  This tomb of Emperor Jingdi of the Western Han Dynasty is actually open and you can enter it to see the inside burial place along with many artifacts well preserved and on display.  Because the Terra Cotta Warrior site is so famous, the Yangling Mausoleum often is overlooked and not included in most

tours.  As a tour operator I often suggest this site to clients who are interested in history and it is convenient to see it on arrival or departure from the airport.    Click on the photo for a full screen view.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wild Elephants in China?

Yes, there are wild elephants in China along with many other animals, birds and wild life including Tigers.  Here you see some of the wild elephants in Xishuangbanna are of south Yunnan province.  They are located in the Sanchahe Nature Reserve not far from the city of Jinghong.   Jinghong which is in the middle of one of the most diverse areas of China has the only airport in southern Yunnan province.  The home of many minority peoples each with their own customs and dress is one of the most beautiful areas of China and is seldom visited by western tourists.   There are many faces of China with countless Nature Reserves with birds of every species, wild monkeys including the rare Golden Monkeys which I have seen myself in upper Yunnan province.  I have toured many different countries around the world but China still remains one that continues to fascinate me with now over 50 visits to all corners of the country.  The variety of sites, 57 different nationalities each with their own customs and dress, festivals, food and very friendly people makes it much to look forward to during each of my visits.   Variety is the Spice of Life and China fits into that description from one end of the country to the other.  Check my web site for just a few of the tour packages to give you some ideas on where to tour but we specialize in doing Custom Private or Group Tours to your interests and needs.  For more information contact us at  
 email:   My friends call me "ChinaDave"

Monday, August 4, 2014

Yangtze River Cruises with New Low Prices PLUS 50% OFF UNTIL April 15th

 Sail the 5 Star Luxury Century Line Cruise on the Yangtze River in 2015.  When you book a minimum 10 Day Private Customized Tour to your specific interests by April 15th you will receive 50% OFF on the cruise.*  New Low Prices start at $398 to $448. pp. dbl. occ. for the Century Star, Century Sun and Century Sky.   Regular Season price is $795 to $895. pp. dbl. occ for the Deluxe Cabins after April 15th.  Junior Suites and Deluxe Suites are available at special 50% off prices too.  The Century Legend and Century Paragon  Platinum Series Ships are also 50% off starting at $598. to $698. pp. dbl. occ. with regular season prices of  $1195. to $1295. pp. dbl. occ. after April 15th bookings.      *Tours and cruise need to be completed by Oct. 31st.

                        Click on the photos for a full Screen View!

                            Century Cruises can be seen on line at:

  Watch for our 2015 web site starting Nov. 1st at: