China Off The Beaten Path

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by blueskyjohn
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by blueskyjohn
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by blueskyjohn

China Off The Beaten Path

  • Great Wall

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    Visiting the Great Wall of China is a must when in Beijing. Most people will visit the extremely touristy and most visited section of the wall at Badaling which is only about 50 miles (80km) outside of Beijing. Many others will opt for the Mutianyu section of the wall which is older than the Badaling section and from many accounts better to visit....

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  • Shenzhen

    Guangzhou Off The Beaten Path

    Hi to all virtual turists!!! My tip is about the place worth visiting in Shenzhen.. It's one of its beaches - Xiao Mei Sha... (As it turned out there're 2 main beaches - Da Mei Sha and Xiao Mei Sha).... It was funny trip bcs nobody of my friends don't know how do to get there ))) From Guanzhou we went by train. First we bought tickets at Guangzhou...

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  • Hua Shan Mountain

    Xi'an Off The Beaten Path

    Huashan is a sacred Taoist mountain 120 km to the east. Bus go from the train station to the base. It is fantastically beautiful, but hard work to hike. I've got a whole page for it here.

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  • Leshan Grand Buddha

    Chengdu Off The Beaten Path

    Leshan is located about 120km south of Chengdu and is easily reached by bus, which takes about 2 hours. Leshan is famous for one thing - the world's largest Buddha. Known as Dafo, he sits at the confluence of three rivers, namely, Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River. His measurements are staggering. He is 71 meters (about 233 feet) high, and...

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  • Hutongs

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    For visitors looking for a fun way to experience Beijing's hutong, you should consider doing a motorcycle sidecar tour. I know someone who recently started a company called Peking-Around (www.peking-around.com) that does small tours and can cater to your needs. Motorcycles can swiftly squeeze into little-seen areas of the city, not to mention race...

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  • Xiqiao Shan Teng.

    Guangzhou Off The Beaten Path

    While hiking around Xiqiao Shan, you will find many of these beautifully designed small Chinese pavilions called tengs... They are a great place to stop and relax, escape the heat on a sunny day or escape the rain on a stormy day... We came across this one while investigating a crumbly old staircase that went off in an unknown direction, leading us...

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  • City Wall

    Xi'an Off The Beaten Path

    The big, solid volume of the walls make the long and wide moat that surrounds them look like a "insignificant" detail, but we are forced to admit that its perfect conception was an effective defense, and it helps today to enhance the views of the walls and the sensation of power that they emanate.

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  • Beijing's Parks

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    Somewhere near the Confucius and Lama temples we wandered into a large public park. I do not remember its name. What made it enjoyable to stroll around was all the activity going on inside. There were people singing. People practising musical instruments. People doing tai chi. Elderly people taking part on exercise courses. There was even a very...

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  • Sha Min Island

    Guangzhou Off The Beaten Path

    When you enter the area of this island, you might wrongly think that you are in the early 1900s. If the Bund is the proof of foreign power in Shanghai, the Shamian would be the one in Guangzhou. Buildings here are in Westerner style, even though a lot of them are not well maintained yet you can still find it fascinating. A lot of new wed couples...

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  • Beijing Underground City

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    Don't bother with The Underground City. It is very difficult to find and when you find the entrance you will discover that is no longer open to tourists. We looked for it on two trips to Beijing. On the last trip we finally discovered the entrance only to learn that it is closed. There is a sign at the entrance indicating that it is closed. Very...

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  • Rural Areas of Beijing

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    Beijing International Art Camp (BIAC) is situated near the highway to the airport and frankly speaking, it is not very easy to find, even on a taxi. It's situated inside a village called "Suojia Cun", perpendicular to the street "Laiguangying Dong Lu". A lot of artists are moving to this new art camp from Dashanzi. The art camp is divided into...

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  • Ming Tombs

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    50 kilometers (30 miles) northwest from Beijing lies the Ming Tombs - the general name given to the mausoleums of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). The mausoleums have been perfectly preserved, as has the necropolis of each of the many emperors. The site was chosen by the third Ming Dynasty emperor Yongle (1402–1424), who moved the...

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  • Shops/Souvenirs

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    If you feel like a bit of pampering and have a little spare time - treat yourself to a hairdresser's visit. They are open till really late which is perfect and as it was very cold during our visit to Beijing it was so nice being pampered and not having to freeze whilst washing our hair under open showers!! The Red Lantern House is located on the...

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  • Markets

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    There are numerous markets throughout the city. I visited one of the larger ones. It had seperate sections for produce (fruits and vegetables), spices, meats and fish, clothing and beverages. There was also an area where locals can have a bite to eat for breakfast.

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  • Marco Polo Bridge

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    There's plenty more to see around the Marco Polo bridge area (or Lugouqiao Bridge as it's known in Chinese) than just the bridge itself. The bridge leads directly to the gates of the recently restored town of Lugouqiao (in the district of Wanping). The gates are a spectacle worth seeing. They are the only entrance through the city walls that...

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  • Universities

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    The Beijing Language Institute is a wonderful place with many trees and a lot of nice people from all over the world. Please see my travelogue! It is the best place in China to learn Mandarin. Now it is called "Culture and Language University" If you are looking for general informations where to study Chinese in Beijing, than this website is...

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  • Museums

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    This museum is very interesting, if you want to see enormous scelletons of dinosaurus and other animals from millions of years ago. It also houses an exhibition about Beijing man and evolution. In another floor there a thousands of jars with animals and other . It is located on Yongdingmen Street not far from the Temple of Heaven. Further...

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  • CCTV Tower.

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    CCTV auxiliary is burned down 2009 March in a ridiculous accident caused by people making fires on top of the building to celebrate a Chinese traditional holiday. What's in the picture is the building after this multi-billion entertainment.

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  • Chengde

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    In 1703, Chengde, (located approx 150 miles, 250km north-east of Beijing), was chosen by the Kangxi Emperor as the location for his summer residence. Constructed throughout the eighteenth century, the Mountain Resort (known in Chinese as Bishu Shanzhuang, literally "avoiding the heat mountain villa") was used by both the Yongzheng and Qianlong...

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  • Beijing Zoo

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    Beijing Zoo is one of those places that is *just* off the beaten track, but one which is often on that secondary list of places once visitors ahve seen the main sights of Beijing. I am not a great supporter of zoos or safari parks in general, but in Less Developed Countries they can play an important role in educating people about the environment....

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  • Great Bell Temple

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    Da Zhong Si. The temple was known as Juesheng Si (Awakened Life Temple), but clearly there wasn't enough awakening going on, so a 46 1/2-ton bell was transported here on ice sleds in 1743. The third hall on the right houses clangers garnered from around Beijing. Some were donated by eunuchs wishing the relevant emperor long life, with hundreds of...

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  • Lama Temple - Yonghegong

    Beijing Off The Beaten Path

    Lama Temple, short for Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple, is better known as Yonghe Temple. I was intrigued to visit this 315-year old significant temple which is said to be one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world. Building constructions started in 1694 but it was only in 1744 that it got converted...

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  • Kaifeng - huge but non-touristic city

    For those who seek for a city not dominated by tourists - visit Kaifeng :)There is no:- hostels (only cheaper hostels)- many old historical monuments- interent cafe for foreigners in the center- ease in comunication on a train stationBut:- in saturdays evenings there is famous food market - all streets in a city center transform into one big...

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  • What's to do after seeing the tourist...

    My goodness, why are you hopscotching all over the place? Anyway, here's my offering: On your "free day" in Beijing sleep late, have a long, peaceful breakfast, then go outside to catch a bus. To where? Who cares! Go anywhere the bus takes you for a half-hour or so and then get off and explore. Nothing interesting, grab another bus and do it again....

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  • Dongguan - Qifeng Mountain

    Short hike to Qifeng Mountain, in the homonym park which is situated in the center of Dongguan (or Dongwan) in the Guangdong Province.The imposing park entrance gate, fashioned in the traditional Chinese style and under construction at the time of my visit, opens onto a pond which is probably man made and home to numerous Coi fish. Signs are in...

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  • The Secret Wall Tour

    Leo's Hostel runs a "secret tour" to the Great Wall, which was probably the highlight of my visit to China. A few of us got in a minibus very early in the morning for a 2 hour journey to the wall. We had arrived in a farming village in the middle of nowhere. Here a really old man took us up a goat trail for about 1 mile. It was quite a steep climb,...

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  • Massage Center of Blind Person

    Tucked away in a corner of the old French concession in Shanghai is the "Massage Center of Blind Person". No hanky panky in this somewhat seedy looking joint, just a great massage at an unbeatable price. However, I have to be honest and say that the night we went here, not only could we not find any blind persons, we didn't even find nearsighted...

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  • Traditional Neighborhoods

    At first glance, Guangzhou seems like an enormous construction zone in which glittering skyscrapers and highrise residential buildings are being constructed at a feverish pace. However, the city, like all Chinese cities, contains many traditional neighborhoods. These areas are worth visiting to get a glimpse of the lifestyle of the majority of the...

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  • Garden of Cultivation

    Even though all of Suzhou's gardens are on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, it seems most tourists end up at the Master of the Nets garden and this one, the Garden of Cultivation, which is smaller and in the midst of the labrinyth of streets and canals, doesn't get as many visitors.It is small but it's also less crowded and a great place to go...

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  • Da Wall

    Okay, you may be asking yourself: Really? Off the beaten path? The Great Wall? But let me explain.There are a lot of different places you can go to see the Great Wall. The Junggyuon Pass is one of the less visited and I think I know why. If you have trouble walking this is NOT the section of the wall you should go to. There are large sections of...

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  • Temples

    Ask your driver to drop you at the 'Temple of Bliss'. Pay your RMB10 entrance, look around the temple and then stay in the temple grounds. You can walk through to the next temple, the Seven-Tiered Pagoda Temple. This has its beautiful pagoda, but also a large statue of Guanyin. The covered walkway behind the pagoda has wonderful paintings. The red...

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  • Hongbo Square - Hongjun Jie Area

    If you walk down the hill towards the train station from Hongbo Square, you'll see classic russian architecture on both sides. The real gem is at the bottom of the hill, though, on your right as you approach the station. The low yellow building with the large canopy above the main door is the 'Lungmen Grand Hotel'. According to the plaque, this...

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  • Hongbo Square - DongDazhi Jie Area

    Leave Hongbo Square, not along the main Dongdazhi Jie, but along the minor road which runs parallel to it on its left. The road is short, more of a small square really, and ends up in a mall. On this short stretch you will see two of Harbins most exquisite villas. I am sorry, again I don't know anything about either, but they must have been...

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  • Train Station and XiDazhi Jie Area

    Some amazing buildings and the heart of the 'real' Harbin. It would be a real shame if you left Harbin having only seen the touristy places. This part has so much to offer. I walked SW from the Train Station along Tielu Jie. People crowd around long distance buses and old railwayman's cottages line the street. I turned left almost at the end of...

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  • Jiuzhaigou

    Fairytale landscape, beautiful colours, high snowcapped mountains - just beautiful and completely unexpected in China!The story of a four-days trip to Jiuzhaigou in 1987, when almost nobody knew about Jiuzhaigou, you find on my Jiuzhaigou-page

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  • Rugged coast of Longhai's Ancient...

    This beautiful coast is located at about 30 minutes from the port of Zhangzhou. It's name in Chinese is 龙海古火山,literally "Longhai's Ancient(old) Volcano". The beach is nice, with some good waves at summer for the surfers. The south tip of the beach is an ideal point for landscape photographers. Packed with...

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  • Rugged coast of Longhai's Ancient...

    This beautiful coast is located at about 30 minutes from the port of Zhangzhou. It's name in Chinese is 龙海古火山,literally "Longhai's Ancient(old) Volcano". The beach is nice, with some good waves at summer for the surfers. The south tip of the beach is an ideal point for landscape photographers. Packed with...

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  • Yangtze River / Three River Gorges...

    One person's waste of time is another person's heaven. I have brought a tourgroup several times through the Three River Gorges, (Qutang, Wu and Xiling)and I enjoyed it every time. There were those on my tours who were indifferent, but generally it was one of the highlites. The trip usually starts in Chungqing. There are numerous sites on the way,...

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  • Datong

    Datong has beautiful temples, old streets and the not so far away Yungang Caves with Buddhist sculptures which date back from early 11th century. Some of the sculptures are even older.Datong is along the track of the Transsiberian Railway. Not far away from here, the railway track is winding its way up to the Mongolian Desert.I revisited Datong in...

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  • get to know the villagers around beijing

    I think this is one of the few places in Beijing still unspoilt by mass tourism, and non-chinese folks resident in beijing have yet to discover its charms. chang ping distric in beijing, from er bo zi cun's little traditional chinese market, to chang ping town centre's busy streets and its surrounding mountains, this place is worth a day trip. take...

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  • Chinese Military History Museum

    While travelling on the Beijing Subway I noticed that one of the stops was called "Chinese Military History Museum" and that it was only a few stops away from where I was staying. This invariably meant that I must go and see it. There are plenty on boy's toys to have a look at including boats, planes and tanks. In the upstairs galleries there are...

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  • Mausoleum of Mao Zedong

    The Mausoleum is the final resting place of Mao Zedong who was the Chairman of the Communist Party of China. Upon his death his body was embalmed and later placed in the Mausoleum, despite the fact that he wanted to be cremated.The Mausoleum is located on the southern side of Tiananmen Square, in Beijing. I went in the morning and there was a queue...

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  • Eat with the locals at (literally)...

    I was in China about eight years ago with a tour group. We stayed in relatively pricey hotels but all our meals were not included. I discovered that in most of the big, expensive hotels that cater to American tourists, there is a cafeteria in the basement where the staff eat. I discovered this quite by chance when I got into an elevator with one of...

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  • Road trip to Tianjin from Beijing

    Take a road trip to Tianjin when you are having a weeklong vacation in Beijing. Tianjin is located approximately 120 kilometres south-east of Beijing. Tianjin is a city rich in history. It boasts of a history longer than Beijing. Tianjin covers a total area of approximately 11,000 square kilometres. It has quite a large city with a population of...

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  • Road trip to Chengde from Beijing

    Take a road trip to Chengde (preferably a two day one night trip) when you are having a weeklong vacation in Beijing. Chengde is located north of the Great Wall in North Hebei Province, approximately 220 kilometres from Beijing. The Imperial Summer Palace (Bishu Shanzhuang in Chinese) is a mountain resort used by the emperors as summer retreat...

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China Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of China off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for China sightseeing.
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