China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Temples in China

Temples in China are like churches in Europe. They are all beautiful but you can't see them all and they start looking all alike after awhile. So it is important on a tour to perhaps see the best ones which can be identified by your tour operator or your guides. Having travelled through China for 25 years I try to see as many as possible and identify those worth the efforts of visiting by my clients. The temple above is less than 15 years old but very unique located out in the middle of Sichuan province at 10,000 feet. Decorated in 24ct. gold leaf it can be seen for 50 miles away on a sunny day. It is estimated at today's value the gold on the outside is worth in excess of U.S. $8 million dollars. Note the front door is decorated in copper leaf and gold leaf with the roof and decorations done in pure gold leaf. Photographs of this temple inside are not allowed and receives very few visitors in this remote area. On my web site  this temple is included in my package tour listed as an Ecological Tour of Sichuan province going up the Tea Horse Road to Danba at 10,000 feet and over a pass that reaches close to 17,000 feet above sea level. For more interesting temple visits let us plan a tour just for you. Tours to China has been our business for 23 years. Let us send you our references of clients who do not mind telling you about their private custom tour to China designed just for them. As a China Tour Operator we like to think we create lasting memories for you rather than just site seeing a beautiful country with kind and friendly people. Click on the photos for a full screen view!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Children of China

For people who want to interact with the local people in China, you will find the children most active especially in the small towns or countryside. You may hear a enthusiastic "Hello" with a big smile as you pass by although many young people are learning English now in primary school as the #2 language. I am finding more and more young people who speak English if they are not so shy. You will note in the photos above how well dressed the children are and this is typical with a wide variety of clothes available or made by their family. In the minority areas you will often see children dressed in their traditional clothes worn every day such as the little girl dancing above. She came to my guide in the afternoon and had him ask me if I would dance with her that evening at the nightly dance in the Square. Of course I agreed and she sought me out that evening to dance as awkward as I was at their traditional dancing. I often bring wrapped American candy such as Tootsie Rolls to share with them on special occasional meetings such as these. If you bring your own children to China, chance meetings with Chinese children can often be done in city parks especially on weekends. Visiting schools is often difficult as it tends to disrupt classes but sometimes in the remote areas teachers often enjoy visitors since the children do not often have an opportunity to interact with foreigners. We specialize in private custom tours to China for the past 25 years. I particularly enjoy doing tours for families where you will be able to meet Chinese families not only in the parks but in their homes to see how they live too. For more information contact us at  or view my web site at   Click on the photos for a full screen view.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

YuHu Village

 I have been planning tours for clients to go to China since 1992 and traveled through out China since 1989. My trips now are working with my local suppliers all over China reviewing sites, hotels and looking for those very unique places to send my clients. One of those special places shown above is YuHu village with all houses, roads, buildings etc. all made from the round stones found in the area. Strangely enough the famous explorer, Joseph Rock, actually lived here until the late 1940's before the revolution. His home is still there and can be visited. Located not far from LiJiang it is an interesting village to visit not only because of the rock designs but because it is a typical old rural China village with no shops and has changed little in the last 200 years. Joseph Rock made his home here because he loved the rural quiet atmosphere which it still maintains. You will seldom see tourists here and it is like walking back into history. This village along with some others can all be visited in one day each with their own unique atmosphere such as Baishan with shops and the famous Dr. Ho's Clinic, Wenghai which is very primitive and Lashi if you are interested in horse back riding. For some unique China Tour Packages and Custom Tours to China, check my web site at:   Click on the photos for a full screen view!

Biking in China

Clients are often asking me about biking in China. One of the best places I have found is near Guilin where you can bike out to Yangshuo town amongst the hay stack like hills. Flat roads are easy with little traffic and the scenery is fantastic. One can rent a bike for about $3 per day and it is a great way to visit the many villages and countryside along the Li River. As you can see above I really get into the spirit of it. The shorts I had made for about $4 since I only had long pants with me. The shirt I bought to the chagrin of the shop keeper who made the shorts for me. It says "I have no Money" which I thought appropriate to keep the "sellers" away. Actually it got many snickers from the local people perhaps thinking that I didn't know what it meant. In any case I and my guide had a fantastic day visiting local villages and farmers in their fields. We had lunch with a family in their home in the countryside too. Finding a good local guide to take me around and translate with the local people really made the day perfect. To this day I still recommend "Wendy" Li in Yangshuo to take my clients around her area where she lives near Yangshuo. A half day biking and a half day at the local cooking school gives you a real China experience you won't soon forget. Tours to China is my business for over 25 years. I hope I have the opportunity to plan a tour just for you and your special interests.  Check out my web site at: 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Minority People's of China

There are 57 minority peoples in China with the Han people being the greatest in numbers. Above you see only three of them. Top is the Zhrung people living mostly in south central China province of Guizhou. In the middle photo are the Naxi people mostly living in and around LiJiang in Yunnan province. The bottom photo is a Mosuo woman which is the only matriarchal society in China living around Lugu Lake which is north of Kunming in Yunnan province. Many of the minority people live in south central China with Yunnan province probably having the greatest number of groups. The minority people are very proud of their nationalities and wear their distinctive clothes with pride. The Zhrung women in the top photo all wear their hair in the same style. The color of their clothes and design often characterize the difference in their nationalities. We can design a tour just for you to visit many of the minority people with their varied dress and learn more about their customs and daily living. We have had 25 years experience in travel through out China. Tours to China is our business and Chinese culture is our interest and passion. Let us do a tour just for you to your interests.
                 Click on the photos for a full screen view.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Yangtze River Cruises

Many people thought that after the dam was built that the Yangtze River Cruises would cease running. Actually they have gotten better but business slowed a bit until this year as more people are aware of it now. The Gorge is still very high and the cruise is better than ever. It is a nice relaxing few days break during a China tour to cruise the Yangtze with daily activities, off boat sights, nightly entertainment and great meals or just relax on deck to enjoy the scenery and boat traffic on the river. Victoria Cruises, a U.S. owned line, is our choice of Lines however the Century Line shown above has introduced new boats one of which I sailed on recently and experienced their hospitality. Beware of tour operators who offer very low prices for cruises as there are many poor Cruise boats on the river as well with older boats and cleanliness issues. I recommend the U.S. Victoria Line, Century and the Century Line as your best choices. Prices vary from mid range to luxury suites. For more information on Cruising the Yangtze, contact me at  I have been on the Yangtze cruise 8 times to keep up with the changes in life along the Yangtze.. As an experienced China only Tour Operator doing Tours to china for the past 25 years we can help you plan a tour to your interests and expectations. Check our web site at for packages including the Yangtze River Cruise. Click on the photo for full screen viewing.   and  

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Site seeing in China can often be very overwhelming at times. With so many sites some often get overlooked and can be walked by without knowing it. The Beijing Hotel is one of those sites right in the middle of Beijing. It is a very historical part of history in China since much of what happened both politically and socially happened at the Beijing Hotel. Above is a photo of the entrance to the Grand Ballroom. Often left open, take a peek inside and you will see one of the great Ballrooms of Asia still kept as it was when it was built. Actually the hotel is a series of additions and now has three hotels within it. The Beijing Hotel, Raffles Hotel and the Grand Beijing Hotel. You can walk through the main hall that leads through all three hotels with shops, restaurants and classical decor of China. Located on the corner block of Wangfujing street and Changon Avenue right in the central area it is a must walk through site to visit. The hotels were redecorated a few  years ago and brought up to date but still maintains its classic atmosphere.
For more unheralded sites of interest contact us at Celebrating our 25th. year of travel to China. Your U.S. contact for exceptional private custom tours to China. Let our experience plan a tour to your personal interests.  Check our web site at: