China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tibet Train from Lhasa to Chongqing

 I took the new Tibet train from Lhasa to Chongqing. The train leaves on the afternoon of the first day and arrives in Chongqing on the morning of the 3rd day. The trains are not much different from a regular Chinese train other than they have oxygen added to the air conditioning system. First class and second class sleepers as well as "Sit Up" cars are offered. Above you see the first class sleepers with two uppers and two lower berths. Mixed sexes can be in each car. The second class sleepers have three berths on each side or six berths to a compartment. Only a young backpacker would really book these. The sit up cars allow smoking and my observation was that I could hardly see one end of the car from the other through the smoke. Scenery is good the one and a half day of daylight travel. The dining car was not bad but is typical Chinese train food. Be sure to take food with you as well as water. Western and Chinese toilets are available as well as a clean up area with three sinks available in alternate cars. Out of 23 cars in the train, I was the only Caucasian person on the train although it was off season in November when I went but a great time to visit Tibet which I will write more about later. No matter what anyone tells you, tickets are difficult to obtain during peak seasons and the cost is usually much higher as they must be bought through 3rd. parties even by the larger travel services. Tickets often go to the highest bidder so no travel service can really guarantee tickets in advance since they can only be bought 10 days before departure. Travel Services who say they have tickets often offer lame excuses when they can not deliver them. Contact me at for more information. Tours to China for the past 25 years is my business and our only business.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Restaurants in the Remote Areas

In the very remote areas of China when there are no cities, there are often very small road side restaurants. One only needs to inspect them to see if they are clean. Since just about all Chinese food is cooked in a wok or boiled. I have never gotten sick. Above I was traveling with two friends and it was time for lunch. There were no cities close by so we stopped at a road side out of doors restaurant. My friend Mr. Li loves to cook so he went in and took over the cooking duties and made one of his favorite dishes. We enjoyed his cooking but paid the same amount as if the owner had cooked it too. Having good friends in China always seems to lead from one adventure to another. If you would like to take a cooking lesson in China, we now have half day or full day cooking lessons available if you are on a tour with us. You will learn to pick out the ingredients at the market and then take them back to the school and learn hands on cooking from the experts. Our business is Tours To China and we love having you learn more about the culture too. Check out our web site at We can do a private tour just for you.