The essential guide to Chinese cuisine

The essential guide to Chinese cuisine

Every self-respecting foodie-traveler with an interest in China has probably heard about bizarre and interesting dishes like the bird's nest soup, snake meat or thousand year old eggs, mostly because for a Western palate some of these delicacies are a bit too...adventurous. But what about the basic needs of a tourist who goes to China for the first time? What culinary delights are to be expected? It's a well known fact that Chinese fast foods and restaurants outside of China often tweak thei... [ read more ]

The natural wonders of Yangshuo

The natural wonders of Yangshuo

China has many scenic landscapes that you have probably seen on the covers of travel magazines and on postcards, and the most memorable and iconic image of China is probably one that involves karst mountains. Even among ancient traditional Chinese landscape paintings there are many examples that immortalize this interesting geographical features. And one of the best places in China where you can admire the karst scenery is Yanghuo, a lovely county and city close to Guilin. Yanghuo combines t... [ read more ]

The best Chinese destinations for tea lovers

The best Chinese destinations for tea lovers

In the Western world, the British are famous for their love of tea, but their tea-obsession is nothing compared to the reverence with which tea is treated in China. Chinese tea, as opposed to 5 o'clock tea parties, is not just a daily occurrence meant for socialization - it is a way of life. The Chinese are the original tea drinkers, who have discovered the wonderful taste and health benefit of tea thousands of years ago. The practice of tea preparation and tea drinking has come a long way s... [ read more ]

A guide to historic Xian

A guide to historic Xian

The proud and ancient city of Xian has been the capital of China for over a thousand years, under the rule of a dozen dynasties and many remarkable rulers. A city such as this could not avoid becoming a center for art, culture and knowledge, and even today, when its glory has faded considerably, Xian is still enveloped in some of the past mystique. A visit to Xian is an essential part of any travel experience in China, not only because it holds some of the most dramatic sights in the country... [ read more ]

The most spectacular festivals in China

The most spectacular festivals in China

Sightseeing is surely a good way of getting to know a place, but it is not the kind of thing that allows you to see into the soul of a country or a culture. It is at times like festivals when you get to really see what the people are made of: you can see them at their happiest, find out what they like to do, and which parts of the culture are the most celebrated by the masses. This applies to whichever country you are visiting, but it is especially important in China, where there are more fe... [ read more ]

A traveler's guide to Guangzhou

A traveler’s guide to Guangzhou

Beijing and Shanghai are the largest and most famous Chinese metropolises, but they are not the only one. Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, probably gets less mentions in tourist brochures than its other two counterparts, but to those who know a bit of history, the name of Canton might sound more familiar. Guangzhou, or Canton as it was called in the past, has a distinct language and cuisine - Cantonese. Colorful Guangzhou with its neon-lit skyscrapers, large markets, shopping ma... [ read more ]

Chinese New Year traditions: the Lantern Festival

Chinese New Year traditions: the Lantern Festival

Of all the countless Chinese holidays, none is better know or more fun for Chinese and foreigners alike than the Chinese New Year. If in the western parts of the world the New Year is celebrated in the middle of winter, the Chinese New Year seems to take place at a more fitting time - the beginning of Spring, a time of renewal. The celebration of the New Year starts on the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar, and ends 15 days later, with the resplendent Lantern Festival. If yo... [ read more ]

Top 5 sacred mountains in China

Top 5 sacred mountains in China

Buddhists and Taoists in China have beautiful and ancient temples where they can pay their respects to their deities, but man-made buildings, no matter how intricate and lovingly constructed, have to rival with nature's wonders when it comes to how sacred their are. Mountains have always had a special place in Chinese religions, either because they were thought to support the sky, or because they were home to mystics and sages. Fact is, even today mountains are revered and they are a place o... [ read more ]