China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Yunnan Province a Must Visit

Yunnan province in south China is one of my favorite places to visit.  Just north of Viet Nam, Laos and Burma, Yunnan has two distinct climates.  In the North are mountains and in the south there are semi-tropical forests.  In the middle is Kunming known as the Spring City because of its altitude and cooler weather during the summer at 5,000 feet. In the north  is LiJiang, Dali, Zhongdian, the Leaping Tiger Gorge and other remote spots like Lugu Lake famous for the beautiful lake surrounded by mountains occupied by the Muoso people who seldom if ever marry.  Most people go to Kunming to see the Stone Forest which is about two hours by car and a wonderful site to see which is one of the most unusual in the world.  In the south the city of Jinghong in the Xishuangbanna area has the only airport or is two days by bus from Kunming.  This area has many minority peoples living here with their own language, dress and culture. You may visit several of these minority villages to see how they live and work.  One group the men retire after marrying and the women do all the work.  Another live in stilted houses with two entrances; one for the women and one for the men.  Learning the customs of each group is interesting and makes for good photography.  This area also has beautiful parks that were once the research areas for tropical plants before the revolution.  There is also the Wild Elephant Preserve in the jungle which you may visit not far from Jinghong.  A walk way above the canopy of the forest/jungle makes it easy to tour with a cable car to bring you back.
Tourists usually spend about 4 days in the southern part of Yunnan and about 4 days in the north.
For more information on touring China contact me at   email:   My friends call me ChinaDave and I have travelled all over China for the past 26 years.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Visiting Shanghai

Most tours visit Shanghai but usually only for one day as an entrance or exit city to China.  I use to think of Shanghai only as a large big city like Hong Kong or New York.  However my opinion has changed in the last few years.  Yes it is large and very busy but also exciting.  The best museum in the country is located in Shanghai.  The Yu Garden area is #1 in China along with the oldest Tea House on the Crooked bridge leading into the Yu Garden.  The Tall  Pearl of the Orient T.V. tower has the greatest view over Shanghai at the top.  Often overlooked is the fantastic Museum in the base of the tower of the early 1900's designed like walking down an  old street in Shanghai during that period.  The Jade Buddha Temple, the old French Concession area, famous Shanghai Acrobats, Nanjing Road Mall, and a cruise on the river running through Shanghai are just a few of the sights worth seeing.  The MagLev train from Pudong Airport takes only 7 minutes to get to the city and at speeds of up to 285 mph.  The new fast trains also are located in Shanghai and can go to Beijing in less than 5 hours now leaving every half hour or less.   Exciting is one word I use to describe Shanghai but many other places to visit and see are also there besides the excellent food of the city.
For more information on Shanghai please feel free to contact me at  My friends call me ChinaDave and I have a wealth of information accumulated over 25 years of travel all over China during my 50+ trips working with my Chinese associate partners.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Why Tour China?

I have been traveling China for over 25 years.  The first time I went with a friend who had business there in 1989.  We went to Beijing, Xian and Chengdu.  I saw a 3rd. World country at the time; but as a business person also saw a country posed for great growth.  Wanting to go back and watch this growth besides being interested in the culture, I started a small business selling Goose Down and Feathers from Chinese suppliers to our largest producer of feather products in the U.S. right here in my home town of Seattle.  That venture allowed me to visit some of the remote parts of rural China where people lived and worked the same way for centuries.  Some still do using water buffalo to pull the plows and hand rice processing equipment.  Over the years I watched the tremendous growth in the cities with  sometimes a 100 or more cranes being used while they constructed large buildings and apartment houses.  I have seen them go from our 1940's style trains to the ultra modern trains of today with speeds up to 200 mph.  The over 50+ variety of cultures through out China each with their own customs and dress adds to the experience of visiting this ancient culture.  Ancient artifacts, museums, temples and sights such as the  Forbidden City, Terra Cotta Warriors and of course the Great Wall plus so many others add to the fantastic sights of China.  I have visited areas where they had never seen people from the outside world, had no t.v., electricity,  or running water.  Some of these places still exist.  In order to continue going to China to explore the country, with the help of Chinese Associate partners I started Interlake China Tours, Inc. of  Seattle in 1992.  Since then I have made over 50+ trips to China working with local contacts helping them develop their tourism industry.  It has been extremely rewarding and I look forward to each and every trip still seeing sights that I have missed.  I have shared the sights of China & Tibet with over 2,500  people doing private customized tours for individuals or small groups with special interests.  My wife and I travel to other countries during the off season and enjoy many other cultures but China still remains my favorite with so much that is different from one area of the country to another.   I hope I can share some of China planned just for you and your own interests.  My web site is:   My friends call me ChinaDave and you can contract me direct at   email:


Thursday, March 12, 2015


The Yangtze River cruise is the best known cruise in China which is a 4 day experience you will not forget.  However there is another river cruise that perhaps is not as well known.  It is a One day cruise down the Li River with some of the most spectacular scenery in China.  After a visit to Guilin with so many things to see, the cruise is one day down to the town of Yangshuo.  The scenery includes the hay stack like hills all along the river which in ancient times was actually the bottom of the ocean.  You will see farmers along the narrow river working their farms with water buffalo and fishermen fishing from their small bamboo rafts.   Once arriving in Yangshuo there are many things to do and sights worth seeing.  Hiking and Biking area available here as well as bamboo rafting.  Lots of great shopping too.  If you wish to have a cooking lesson there are full or half day cooking lessons available.  If that wasn't enough, there is one of the best shows in China each night on the river.  Over 900 local people are involved with animals, rafts, music and lights with the background of the hay stack like hills.  The Producer also did the Opening Ceremony for the Beijing Olympics so it is very professional and very worth seeing.   For more information on the Li River Cruise contact us at
Email:   Our web site is   We are just starting our 26th year in doing Tours to China and Tibet.  Our Experience and BBB rating of A+ insures your security and great tour always being in Good Hands.