Top Things To Do In Guangzhou

Zhujiang_new_townThe historic city of Guangzhou is one that has been known in the west as Canton, and is actually the third largest city in China today.  The modern image of Chinese cities is certainly reflected here in Canton too, with the city centre filled with soaring new skyscrapers, and the city can also boast the second largest tower in the world too.  Despite this, the city also has a wealth of historical buildings in a variety of styles that reflects the changes throughout its history, and is also well known for its distinctive style of Chinese food.

See The City From The Canton Tower

Soaring majestically above the Canton skyline, the CantonTower was recognized as the tallest tower in the world for a short period before the title was usurped by the Tokyo Skytree in 2011.  However, the CantonTower still boasts the highest public viewing platform in the world, and this is certainly one of the best places from which to view the entire city.

The open space at the top of the tower is open air and is quite a large space too, but for the best view of the city visitors will need to use the clear cars that travel around the rim of the roof of the building to really get the best views of all.  It is also a wise move to consider viewing the tower at night, as the architectural design of the building has incorporated a large number of bright light panels all the way up the tower, making it a spectacular sight from ground level too.

Visit Baiyun Mountain

Although Guangdong itself is a very developed area, BaiyunMountain is a scenic and attractive area that is less than ten miles to the north of the city, and has been noted for its exceptional beauty for many centuries.  The attractive features of the mountain were noted as early as 225BC, and the emperors of several dynasties over the centuries have visited the site to enjoy its beauty and tranquility.

Today the BaiyunMountain still offers a wonderful view of Guangzhou, and can be accessed by cable car or by a bus service going almost to the peak itself.  There have also been a series of sculpture parks and ornate gardens created in the area, and for those of a sporting persuasion a golf course is also available.

Enjoy Cantonese Cuisine

The popularity of Cantonese cuisine has quickly spread across the world, with many Chinese restaurants around the world serving food of Cantonese origin.  The cuisine itself places a great emphasis on stir frying and steaming of food, and they will also use a wide range of meat beyond the standard cuts of pork, beef and chicken that would be used in western dishes.  The use of sauces is what really helps to set Cantonese cuisine apart from the rest of China, and it is really worth trying those like Hoisin sauce, Black Bean sauce and Oyster sauce in the city which has helped to make them dishes known around the world.

Visit The Temple Of The Six Banyan Trees

One of the most interesting buildings in the whole of Guangzhou is the octagonal Temple of the Six Banyan Trees.  There has been a temple on the site since the sixth century, but it has been rebuilt twice following fires, and the current temple dates from the fourteenth century.  The temple is a BuddhistTemple, and is a great example of how the pagoda architecture can be used to build tall buildings, and the colorful exterior of the building has been restored to display the temple in its full glory.

The Top Restaurants In Shanghai

ShanghaiRestaurantIn a city that boasts a cuisine as distinctive as that of the Shanghai region, it would be a crime not to try some of the traditional dishes of the area during a visit to the city.  Some of the traditional dishes in the area make use of the plentiful seafood to be found off the coast, with the hairy crab being a particularly popular choice.  However, along with the traditional restaurants offering authentic local cuisine, this cosmopolitan city also has many restaurants offering all manner of cuisines from around the world, and has some of the best chefs working here.

Wang Bao He

This is certainly one of the most popular restaurants in Shanghai for enjoying the famous hairy crabs, and as you would expect for such a delicacy the demand is high, with the restaurant often full during the season from September to November.  One of the Chinese traditions when cooking the crabs is to show them to the diner before they are cooked, but that is a tradition that may not be to the taste of every diner.  Many of the city’s most successful people dine in the restaurant, and although the prices may not be to the taste of a traveler on a budget, a taste of the hairy crab can be well worth the cost.

Din Tai Fung

Another restaurant in which to try local delicacies is the more economically priced Din Tai Fung, and although the location is in the middle of a shopping mall, it is still a great place to eat.  One of the signature dishes here is another traditional favorite, which is the Pork Xiao Long Bao.  These are essentially pork dumplings that are filled with soup, and the soup is usually sucked from the dumpling before eating the dumpling itself.  As well as offering these tasty treats, Din Tai Fung also has a menu that includes dishes from the rest of China and beyond too.

Lost Heaven – The Bund

A short walk away from the old financial district of Shanghai lies Lost Heaven, which offers a combination of Chinese dishes along with food from Burma and Laos.  The international flavor here is certainly displayed in its hefty drinks menu, with imported wines and beers appearing alongside local drinks.  The food itself is very nice indeed, and the food is beautifully presented as well as being delicious, with the crab cakes being a particular highlight.  Although this is quite a large restaurant it is certainly worth booking in advance as it can get particularly busy at weekends.

Southern Barbarian

The Southern Barbarian is a restaurant that has made a significant effort to attract visitors to Shanghai to the restaurant, and the English language promotions certainly make it easier than some other places to order your food.  The culture at the Southern Barbarian is to bring the classic dishes and home cooking of Yunnan province to the big city, and this has certainly proved a hit so far with the bustling restaurant serving favorites like Yunnan goats’ cheese.  One dish that was a little too adventurous for us during our visit was the deep-fried bumblebees.  The only drawback with the restaurant is that it is a little difficult to find on your first visit.


One of the newer restaurants on the Shanghai scene, Lingo is a classic French bistro that can be found at the heart of the city opposite the Marriott Hotel.  For those who are looking for something distinctly different from Chinese cuisine the restaurant menu here is very good, and with an impressive selection of French wines it also has an authentic feel to it.  The food itself was excellent, but it is the classics that really help the restaurant to stand out from the local cuisine, with the cheese fondue being absolutely sensational.

The Top Places To Go In Beijing

Beijing-birds-nest-stadiumThe Chinese capital is not only one of the largest cities in the world, but it is also one of the most interesting places to go for those looking for a fascinating and historic city to visit.  The city has played a vital role in the growth and development of China as an economic force, but also thrust China into the world’s attention when it hosted the Olympics spectacularly in 2008.  Any visitor to Beijing will not find themselves short of places to go, with some of the most spectacular locations in the country to be found in the area.

The Forbidden City

No visit to the Chinese capital is complete without a visit to the area that used to be known as the ‘Forbidden City’, but is now given the more welcoming name of the Palace Museum.  This complex houses some of the most impressive examples of traditional Chinese architecture, and the wooden structures are amazingly ornate and show an exceptional level of skill and craftsmanship.

The history of the complex stretches back to the fifteenth century when the emperor at the time moved the capital city back to Beijing, and the construction itself lasted over a decade and had over a million laborers working on the project.  The impressive architecture of the Forbidden City has led to the area being designated an UNESCO world heritage site.

The Bird’s Nest Stadium

A much more modern icon of Beijing was constructed for the Olympics in 2008, and the Bird’s Nest Stadium is certainly the most impressive structure constructed for the event.  The stadium itself is one of the most striking buildings in the whole of the China, and when the stadium is lit up from the exterior, and displays the amazing red color behind the metal outer shell.  There are a number of events held at the stadium, but it is also possible to attend one of the guided tours of the stadium daily, which are very popular.

Tian’anmen Square

Although it may not be the most visually impressive area of Beijing, there is no doubt that the historical significance of the square is known around the world.  Lying a short distance away from the Forbidden City, this large open space has often been the site of many important events in Chinese history, and has often been the focus of mass protests.  A number of protests have taken place in 1919 and 1976, but it is the student protests of 1989 that led to one of the most enduring images in a generation, when one white-shirted man stood in the path of a train of tanks trying to exit the square.

The Summer Palace

The Summer Palace is one of the most idyllic and beautiful places in the area, and to think that it so close to the heart of the second largest city in China is absolutely remarkable.  Lying on the shores of Kunming Lake, the Summer Palace was originally designed as ornate gardens as far back as the seventeenth century, and a number of subsequent emperors developed and added to the temples and grand halls.  One of the most interesting of all is the marble boat, which is a faithful recreation of a traditional Chinese boat made entirely from marble lying on the shore of Kunming Lake.

The Great Wall Of China

The Great Wall of China is an engineering feat to match the construction of the Pyramids in Egypt, and no visit to China would be complete without a trip to the wall.  With a number of sections of these huge fortifications within fifty miles of the city, many visitors to Beijing will catch the bus to the wall, to stand astride the fortifications that are up to five meters wide and up to nine meters high in places.  Although the common myth that the wall can be seen from space is just a myth, it is certainly one of the most impressive creations built by man.

The Top Natural Destinations In China

The Jiuzhaigou Valley For a country that covers so much of the world’s surface and has over ten per cent of the world’s population, it is unsurprising to find out that there are hundreds of national parks to be found across the country.  Many of these have achieved international recognition for their beautiful surroundings or rare species, so here we have picked out some of the very best national parks that are worth the trip for those visiting China.

The Jiuzhaigou Valley

This is truly one of the most spectacular areas in the whole world, and the remarkable thing is that the valley itself was almost completely cut off until logging work began in the late 1980s.  The valley itself is named after the nine villages that lie along the length of the valley, and lies very close to the Tibetan plateau and is inhabited by generally Tibetan people.

The first aspect of the valley that is truly spectacular is the series of lakes that have formed along the valley.  With crystal clear waters many of these spectacular lakes show off a rainbow of colors, and some like the FiveFlowerLake is so clear that the old tree trunks that have fallen into the lake of the year can be clearly seen.  The other aspect of the valley that is amazing is the series of waterfalls that can be found between these lakes, as the water flows down the valley.

Wolong National Nature Reserve

If there is one animal that is associated with China more than any other it is the Giant Panda, and one of the main functions of the Wolong area is to protect these endangered animals.  The researchers that work in the area try to promote the breeding and the recovery of the Giant Panda while trying to protect their natural habitats.  As well as the Giant Pandas, there are over 4,000 species to be found in the area, and these also include species that are under threat like the Red Panda and the Golden Monkey.

The Stone Forest Of Lunan

The name of the site itself will tell people a lot about what they can expect here, and the Stone Forest, or Shilin as it is called locally is a remarkable site where the stone rises in narrow columns.  Although they don’t actually have any trees in these forests, the stone forests do have the aspect of petrified trees.  Much of the areas around these outcroppings have been landscaped, but it is when you stand among the rocks themselves that you will get a real sense of the majesty of the site, and why thousands flock here every year.  The park itself is around 140 square miles in size, and can be reached from the city of Kunming.

Wulingyuan Scenic And Historic Interest Area

Another one of the parks dedicated to China’s remarkable rock formations is Wulingyuan, which boasts some truly spectacular pillars rising thousands of feet into the air.  One of the best locations from which to view these giant quartz-sandstone pillars is the ZhanjiajieNational Park, and the sight of these giant pillars rising from the densely forested valley floor is truly remarkable.

One of the interesting aspects of the area is that one of the pillars has actually been named the ‘AvatarHallelujahMountain’ because of the dramatic similarity between the pillar and the floating mountains in the science fiction film ‘Avatar’.

Guilin-Lijiang River National Park

This is one of the most spectacular rivers in the world, and the natural scenery to be enjoyed along the course of the river is truly amazing.  The dramatic cliffs that rise above the river in pillar-like formations are spectacular when viewed from the river, which is really the only way to get a true feel for this amazing area.  This valley is so iconic in Chinese culture that it has actually been replicated on one of the country’s banknotes, and a trip to this area is certainly money well spent.

The Top Cities To Visit In China

Beijing_forbidden_city_palaceThe change that has been seen in China over recent years as it opens up to the world has been dramatic to say the least, and the burgeoning tourism industry in the country is really starting to welcome visitors to the once Communist states.  As you would expect with the largest country in the world, some of the cities are absolutely huge, but they can also be fascinating places to visit.


The capital city of China has a population that is estimated to be slightly over 20 million people, but it is also one of the oldest and most important sites in Chinese history, the seat of government for so many emperors over the centuries.  One of the most important attractions in Beijing is the ‘Forbidden City’ which was home to emperors for over five centuries, and is now one of the most important museums in the country.  The wooden buildings are a part of a huge palace complex that is designated as an UNESCO world heritage site.

Beijing is also home to other historic structures such as the SummerPalace and the Great Wall of China is also only a short journey away.  For those looking for more modern examples of amazing architecture, the 2008 Olympics saw a number of sensational buildings constructed as sports venues, none more so than the spectacular Bird’s Nest Stadium.


While Beijing may be the capital of China, Shanghai has the accolade of being the largest city in China, and based at the mouth of the Yangtze River has always been one of the most important business hubs in the country.  For those in the ultra modern Pudong district it seems difficult even to imagine that Shanghai is anything but a historic city, but the European architecture of the Bund area, and a number of tall Pagoda towers in the city tell a very different story.

For those looking to relax after a tough day’s sightseeing or shopping, the FuxingPark is a charming area of French gardens surrounded by upmarket cafes and bars.  A short train ride from the city centre is the ShanghaiBotanical Garden, and this provides a great contrast to the bustling metropolis of the city centre.


Although it is not one of the largest cities in China, Xi’an should be on the itinerary of any visitor to China because of the amazing history of the city.  One of the greatest sights in the whole of China is the spectacular Terracotta Army featuring over eight thousand sculptures of life sized horses and soldiers that were created for the death of the first emperor Qin Shi Huang.

As you would expect with one of the oldest cities in China, Xi’an also boasts a number of historic buildings, including some of the most important examples of Pagoda architecture such as the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and the Famen Pagoda.  The city walls themselves are also very impressive and open to the public, while the Great Mosque of Xi’an is one of the most important Muslim sites in the country.


Nanjing is another city that lies on the YangtseRiver, and is also one of the most important cities in China.  Having served as the capital of China for many years, Nanjing holds many of the features that you would expect in a fortified city, and the city walls built in the fourteenth century are the longest in the world.

Visitors to the city will certainly want to visit the impressive Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, and after a long day walking the traditional evening pastime of boating on the QinhuaiRiver is a great way to relax.  The city also hosts an annual Plum Blossom festival, where the plum trees are all in bloom giving a wonderful colorful aspect to the city.


Guangzhou is the third largest of the cities of China, and lying near the south coast of China has a sub-tropical climate that makes it different from some of the northern cities.  The city was formerly known as Canton, and has seen significant modernization over recent decades, with the business centre in Zhujiang New Town and the CantonTower both being impressive sights.  The city also shows many signs of the English missionaries that were sent to the city in the nineteenth century, with the beautiful Shishi Sacred Heart Cathedral being one of the best examples.

Sightseeing in Hong Kong

One of the leading tourist destinations in the world is undoubtedly Hong Kong, thanks to the thousands of tourist attractions that await visitors. Whether it is taking in the year-round festivals that the region is known for, visiting the amusement parks or simply shopping around for the most exotic souvenirs to carry back home, you can bet there is something for every ardent traveler. Here are some of the things you should not miss out when you decide to visit this wonderland.

The Dragon Boat Festivalthis is an annual event that often takes place every year on the 5th day of the 5th moon, which can fall either on May or June when using the Western Calendar of events. It is a special festival on its own right, with lots of mouthwatering traditional delicacies, breathtaking parades, and the characteristic dragon boat races. If you happen to be in Hong Kong at this time of the year, this is one festival you wouldn’t want to miss. Needless to mention, you should ensure your camera has enough memory space to capture each and every detail of the festival, because the colors are rich, bright and just amazing.

The Chinese New Year – yet another annual event that takes place shortly after the 1st of January each year on the Western Calendar. It is marked by parades and festivities which last for a whopping 15 days, with the best of the best reserved for the 15th night of the holiday.

Ocean Park – want to experience nature at its finest in Chinese land, why not check out this theme park that features amazing shows and rides that are sure to cater to the entire family.

Lantau Island – want to learn about the history of this great land? Why not visit the Lantau Island that adorns the region’s skyline with grandiose features, such as the 100 foot tall Buddha statue that adorns the skyline in its charm and beauty.

Disneyland – if you still can’t get enough of theme parks, you can bet that Disneyland will never disappoint. This is where you get to see all your favorite Disney characters in action as they present the most amazing parades and shows you have ever seen.

Stanley Park – strategically located just outside the busy metropolis, the Stanley Park presents a great experience for your memories in this region.  Ranging from mouthwatering delicacies to great souvenirs, you can bet there is something for every taste and preference out there.

Victoria Peak – this is a must visit place when you decide to take Hong Kong flights to this wonderland in Asia. With a cable powered tram, you can be bale to reach the peak of this grandiose tourist attraction that was named after the famous Queen Victoria. Be sure to visit the site when it is already at night and the entire district lit up and you will have the most breathtaking view of the city underneath.

When all is said and done, it is important to plan your itinerary in advance so as to coincide with the festivals that you want to experience in the region. The internet is a reliable place you can find useful information to help you not only know of the festivals but also plan accordingly.

Touring Around China

Tourists who visit China cannot come away from there without visiting one of the great man-made wonders of the world, The Great Wall of China. Before you set out on a tour to China make sure you get all the details from a reputed travel operator as there are many who may not offer the right options. Make sure you make plans in advance so that you enjoy your holiday when you opt for anyone of the tours.

The Great Wall of China stretches for nearly 6,700 kilometers over cliffs, deserts, hills and plateaus, separating nations from the Northwest corner to the East Coast of China. This wall is one of the most visited spots, as tourists travel in large numbers, to admire one of the most massive structures in the world that has 2000 years history to their name. Tours are given from any one of the nine sections that constitute the Great Wall of China. Every section is different from the other in the way it is preserved and the features offered.

The wall in Beijing is the most commonly visited as the segments that remain of the wall are the best preserved and interesting. The sections are further subdivided into seven different secions. These include Badaling, Jinshaling, Simati, Gubeikou, Mutianyu, Jainkous and Huanghuacheng and display the works carried out in the Ming dynasty before the city was conquered by Qing. The wall looks very large and more pronounced when it touches Beijing and therefore, this section has become popular, especially for tourists who visit China.

The Badaling is the most famous of these sections and most of the pictures of the Great Wall of China are shot from around this area, which is close to the Juyonguan Pass. In the tourist season, many visitors also make trips to the Mutianyu portion as one can view the massive remains and portions of the walls that are better preserved from here.

The other tour locations have their different eight perspectives of the history of the wall that goes back 2000 years. These include Tianjian, Shaanxi, Hebei, Shanxi, Ningxia, Gansu and Inner Mongolia, which stretch westward across the northern portions of the country.

You can expect to see variations in each segment of the wall that makes up the Great China Wall. Some are narrow and very old and offer a secluded glimpse of the wall and is therefore rarely visited. Tourists prefer to head to the more popular sections. Some sections offer hiking facilities as one can climb through hills and over mountains.

Whichever angle or section you select when you decide on tours of China, make sure you include the best of the lot which is the Great Wall of China tours.

A Winter Holiday in China


Last year I could feel itchy feet coming on as I did my calculations and realised that I had about a week off to take either in December or the first week in January. I wanted to travel far away and so I began searching!

My budget was limited to around $3,500. I had already been to South America, and Europe didn’t really appeal to me this time round. I wanted to go somewhere different. Given that China has always been a place I have wanted to visit, and you can’t say that it isn’t an unusual destination, I started looking for cheap flights to Beijing. All kinds of thoughts were going through my head. Would I have enough time to make the most of my trip? Would my budget stretch far enough to see everything I wanted to? Would it be better to save a long-haul journey for the summer when I have more time? I managed to find return flights with Air China for $1,528 from New York to Beijing and I just bought them without thinking twice.

I found China to be quite cheap, although Beijing is slightly more expensive than areas outside the city or less touristy parts. The good thing about visiting the Chinese capital in the winter is that there are fewer tourists, which means that sightseeing is much easier and you don’t have huge crowds of people in your photographs. Likewise, you will also find that entrance fees to most of the tourist attractions are lower, as are hotel rates. The downside is that it is very cold and I found myself constantly looking for somewhere to sit down and have a warm drink. I went alone and found it safe….in fact I found it more fun setting off on the adventure by myself. In the end the trip was perfect and I had plenty of time to sightsee.


5 Reasons to visit Hong Kong

hong kong market

There are many reasons to visit the Chinese island of Hong Kong. It has an assorted and colourful culture which is so different to that of the western world in so many ways, yet at the same time so familiar too. Below are just some of the reasons to visit Hong Kong:

The nature of Hong Kong is often neglected in favour of the built up city centre. The fact is however that around 60% of the island is undeveloped countryside, meaning there is great potential for a day out. The parks in particular make for a superb day out, as do the natural beaches.

Street markets
Hong Kong is famous for its traditional street markets which for centuries have been the century of commercial activity on the island. Although the country has now developed, these markets continue to flourish and the nature of some of the goods on sale will leave you gobsmacked. The noise, smell and sights all together give these street markets so much character and value to the tourist.


Whether it is a religious festival or the birthday of a significant figure, the Chinese love a festival. There are various festivals which take place throughout the year, including the Chinese New Year and the Dragon Boat Festival amongst many more. Often, during these festivals the streets are transformed into one big party, giving the Chinese the opportunity to demonstrate their unique flair.

Mixture of east and west culture

Many parts of Hong Kong are well developed and have a distinct western feel to them. There is a thriving business culture, many locals dress as westerners and the buildings are increasingly large and modern. In direct contrast however, there are many areas which still retain their eastern traditions. This makes it a perfect locations for those who enjoy experiencing different cultures whilst remaining in close proximity to that which they are familiar.

No Visa requirement

Despite being part of China, Hong Kong has different Visa requirements to that of the mainland. If you are visiting Hong Kong for a period of less than 30 days you will not require a Visa.

Guest post by James who works with Hong Kong rentals and Paris apartments.

Traveling China

xian city wallYou will get some everlasting memories, while making a trip to China. It is a perfect place for enjoying romantic getaways, relaxation, adventure and thrill. You can also enjoy comfortable accommodation, tasty dining, excellent shopping and delightful nightlife here. It is worth to shop around online to find the best deals to travel to China.

Guilin is a fabulous place to visit in China. The strangely shaped hills and green foliage ranging from bamboo to conifers make it a great attraction for tourists. Elephant trunk hill, Reed Flute Cave, Li River and Seven Star Park featuring a stone museum are the must see places in this city. You can reach the city by flight, bus or train.

Xian is situated in the central northwest China. Terracotta warriors are the most significant attractions of this place. They are the important archeological excavations of the 20th century. More than 7,000 ceramic soldiers, horses, chariots and weapons have been found out and most of them have been refurbished to their former magnificence.

Xian city wall is another important attraction. The wall has 18 gates that are open for all tourists. Big Wild Goose Pagoda is located 4 kilometers away from the downtown. It is a holy place for Buddhists. Its simple, yet in spring construction attract thousands of tourists every year. The surrounding scenery is very charming with water fountains and gardens.

Huashan Mountain is located 120 kilometers away from Xian. It is one of the five holy mountains in China. The narrow paths, high mountain ranges and steep cliffs offer a thrilling experience. It houses several Taoist temples. It is regarded as the sacred land of Taoism.

Shanghai is a famous international metropolis. It is becoming the most important economic, cultural, international and technical center of East China. It attracts more and more tourists every year. Shanghai Museum is an important place to visit. It is located in People’s Square. It is divided into eleven galleries and three exhibition halls. The galleries cover almost all the important kinds of Chinese art like Ancient ceramics, bronze, paintings, sculpture, Qing furniture and coins. You can find more than 400 pieces of wonderful bronze wares in this museum.

Jade Buddha temple houses two precious jade Buddhist statues. They are renowned for their rare cultural relics and porcelain artworks. The statues were carved with white jade that gives the beauty of sacredness to Lord Buddha.