China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Favorite Summer Destination

Summer months are very hot and humid in China; but some people must go during that time because they are either out of school or have summer vacations only. As a tour operator to China, I look at sending people to cooler areas as well as the popular Beijing, Xian, Guilin and Shanghai. LiJiang in northern Yunnan province is one of those places at 7000 feet amongst the snow capped mountains. A photographer's paradise, LiJiang Old Town has no cars, with narrow streets, wonderful sidewalk cafes and restaurants as well as many small to large hotels at reasonable prices. One can now fly to LiJiang directly from many destinations. It is also a nice area to stop, rest and smell the roses during a busy day in day out tour too. Lots of great shops, restaurants, and local culture. It is also a jumping off spot for Lugu Lake and the Musuo people, Shangrila where the Tibetans are located at 10,000 feet and wonderful countryside villages between them all. Ask me where I would spend a week in one place and I would tell you LiJiang. Another is my Mountain tour up into the mountains near Chengdu in Sichuan province to 12,000 feet with few if any tourists and wonderful parks, natural hot springs, remote Tibetan villages and even the Panda bears. Tours to China is my business and I love sharing it with others. Check my packaged tours on my web site for ideas on your own special private custom tour.   Click on the photos for a full screen view!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

600 Year Old Buddha Carving

After 25 years and 50+ trips through out China I have had many experiences and thousands of stories to tell. One of them is the time I was hiking through the hills outside of Guilin in south China. We came upon some young men working at tearing down a very old temple that was no longer in use in order to make way for a new road that would be going through. They had built a fire to burn the old wooden parts of the temple and were knocking down the stone parts by hand. On the curved peaks of the roofs are often carved animals or other carvings. The Buddha above was just laying on the ground with other wooden parts all with worm holes and rotting wood. I saved the piece above and gave the workers about $10 for beer money which they were very pleased. "One man's trash; is another man's Treasure". The temple was over 600 years old so probably the Monk is that old too. When touring China be on the look out for those small treasures that make good memories. In another blog page you will read about my collection of hand chiseled tea pots out of a rare stone that was once more valuable than gold. That was over 15 years ago and I have never found them again anywhere in China. Rare finds are yours if you look closely. Tours to China is my business; but over time I have become to love the country and the people even more.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Food Allergies in China

As a Tour Operator to China the past 25+ years, I am asked about food allergies often and how to handle it in restaurants. When you are with a guide of course you advise the guides when you first meet them that you are allergic to certain foods or additives. Oil is used to cook many foods of course in the wok so if you are allergic to peanuts or nuts of any kind you should advise your guides. Many different oils are used in cooking. Some people are allergic to shellfish of any kind and may be difficult to advise a waiter in a restaurant if you are by yourselves. I have a statement written in Chinese and English that I can send you as an attachment to give to waiters. Contact me at If you are vegetarian, the word for vegetarian sounds like this: "Chur Sue" Waiters will understand that if you are alone and do not have a guide with you. For more information on food and food allergies, please contact us at anytime. Tours to China is our business and our concerns are for you to enjoy yourselves visiting this great culture.   Email:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Using ATMs in China

We are use to using ATMs in most countries when we travel. In China there are ATM machines in most large cities but do not always accept all cards. Before using an ATM in China check to make sure your card is acceptable. You put in the amount of your currency and out comes the exchange in Yuan at the going rate. There is a charge of course by your bank as well as the service. Lately I have found ATMs right in many 4 and 5 star hotels or less known foreign exchange money machines too. Many hotels are referring people to nearby banks these days since many hotels do not accept debit or credit cards for exchange. Good old cash is still exchanged at most hotels however. For more information on money and exchange, contact us at We will always be glad to help you. Tours to China and Tibet is our business for over 20 years.