China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Men Don't Work? The Woman Do it ALL!

There is a place in China where the woman do all the work and the men retire after they get married. The Hani minority peoples of south Yunnan province are such a group. The woman above I met with her family in Qingko village south of Jinghong. She was about to be married and invited me to her wedding. There is a down size however to this arrangement and that is if they divorce, she takes EVERYTHING and he is left with nothing! They are a farming community and indeed the women were doing all the work and make a great home made wine. Their dance and musical chanting sounds very much like our American Indians. Since they have no locks on their doors, they carry their limited wealth in a bag with them wherever they go. I managed to buy one which of course was hand made as all their clothes are made and sewn themselves. After leaving the compound, I went to a local restaurant and yes, found many men playing cards, smoking and drinking wine. I asked what else they do during the day and they said they enjoy fishing too. At first glance it all sounded great but the men depend on the women for everything and it can all end quickly with a simple divorce. Divorce happens when they go to the village leader and take a small stick. They declare their divorce and the stick is then broken in half signifying they are now separated and divorced in the eyes of the village. There are over 57 minority peoples in China and although I haven't visited all of them I have visted many and will be writing about them in future blogs. Tours to China can be arranged at Hope to hear from you. ChinaDave

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Longsheng Rice Terraces are just outside Guilin in the mountains. If you are looking for the perfect hiking area not far from a large city, Longsheng is the place. One hotel there, the Ping An restaurant and hotel is a great moderate priced hotel with friendly people, great staff and modern facilities. For those looking for a luxury spot to just drink in the beautiful landscapes, the Li An Lodge is pure luxury as well as the cost. The rice terraces were built over 700 years ago and are inhabited by the Zhrung and Yao Minority peoples. In an earlier blog I wrote about the long haired Zhrung women who only cut their hair once in their life time. You can hike through villages seeing life as it is lived from day to day as well as hiking what the locals call Dragon's Back. For more out door hiking and walking areas in China, keep reading future blogs as I will point out some of the better areas to hike, bike and walk around China. As a China only Tour Planner, I check out new areas to visit during each trip and this will be trip #49 in October. This fall I will be visiting Lanzhou and the Labuleng Monastery at Xiahe, some remote villages in Sichuan province outside Chengdu and then a stop in my favorite small town of LiJiang in the mountains to visit my friend Dr. Ho of world wide traditional medicine fame. Having visited over 600 towns and villages through out China, I never tire of travel in China. There is so much to see and so many changes each year. Check out my web site at

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fishing with Birds in China

Amongst the many fantastic sights of China are the fishermen who fish with birds. An old profession in China it is still used today in many areas but also for the tourists to view too. The photograph above is near Yangshuo village at the end of the Li River Cruise. This gentleman posses for photos for a small donation. However in Guilin you must take the evening boat ride on the city lakes. It is one of the most breath taking rides I have ever taken with the lights and sights. And the fisherman who fish at night have their cormorants diving and catching fish off their small rafts. You will get a close up view of these fantastic birds who dive on their own and catch what I thought would be small fish but to my surprise they were bringing up some 3 and 4 lb. fish. There is a string tied to their throat so they can not swallow the fish; but it does not hurt the birds. They seem to enjoy their diving and bringing back fish to the raft and of course they get a reward from the fisherman too. We were within just 10 feet of the rafts while on the boat so we could see all the action close up. During your China Tours you will see many sites like this as well as others of a culture that is over 8000 years old. Tours to China can be done with a tour planner like myself who has 25 years of experience in planning customized tours to the interests of my clients. Check my web site at or contact me at  Click on the photo for full screen view.   

Friday, April 4, 2008

Shaolin Temple Monks of China

Kungfu and the Shaolin Temple of China are famous all over the world. Tourists come from every country to visit the Shaolin Temple between Luoyang and Zhengzhou in Henan Province. I visited there a few years ago and attended a performance by the Shaolin Monks. During the performance the lead monk came out with a bowl attached to his mid section by pure strength of his muscles. He challenged anyone in the audience to try and remove it. Being the only western person and sitting in the front row everyone wanted me to try. I have always thought there were some tricks to their feats of strength but had few doubts after I seen the breaking of bricks and the eating of light bulbs etc. I noticed that the monk was sweating and that maybe if I twisted the bowl rather than pull on it that I could get some air behind it and take it off. Sure enough, that is what happend although I made it look very difficult. I thought the crowd would be pleased but it was dead silent as I had caused the monk to lose "face" in front of his fellow monks and the people. I sat down quietly. After the performance the monk came out and asked the crowd to remain seated and called me up onto the stage. He bowed and offered his bowl to me as a sign of humility. The crowd seemed very pleased and of course I accepted it and still have the bowl to this day. Tours to China can include the Shaolin Temple and I will be glad to plan a tour just for you and your personal interests. See my web site at for more interesting places to visit.