Visit one of the number of Kung Fu schools in Beijing to catch a performance from the acrobatic Shaolin monks - or even attend classes to learn some Kung Fu skills yourself. To get the real Karate Kid experience, visit Beijing Qinghe Shaolin Kung Fu School, where some of the Karate Kid II movie was filmed.
Visits and classes are cheaper with a group and several tour companies offer half and full day tours with transfers.
The ancient city wall of Xian is one of the best preserved in China. This enables visitors to walk, or cycle, the entire 14 kilometers of its top. The wall itself is impressive at around 12 metres in height and approximately 14 metres wide.
The ride itself is relatively easy - although the cobblestones do make it a little bumpy in place. Single or tandem bikes can be hired in several places on along the wall's top, including near the South Gate. There are good view over Xian from the top of the wall, as well as the occasional small kiosk where you can buy ice creams and drinks. To ride the whole circuit takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours at a leisurely pace. You pay a deposit of around 200 yuan to hire a bicycle which is reimbursed in your return, and a hire fee of approximately 40 yuan for 100 minutes hire of a single bike.
The kindly ambience is very appropriate for walking, or to relax and spend some time independently,.. where the tropical trees like coconut ,mangroves ..also green flowery hedges , and so on .
The Mermaid.. the noticeable monument :
Mermaid statue Overlooking on clean comfortable seats that distributed throughout.
a lot of people in the public parks grill and eat in the nice evenings..really it is good to see..or to experience..
Think Jurassic Park - but for real. Dinosaur Valley, located approximately 80 kilometers from Kunming, boasts the world's largest collection of dinosaur skeletons. A museum has been erected on the site featuring reconstructed skeletons and bones found in the vicinity, as well as an undercover dig site where you can see the ongoing work of archaeologists in progress.
There a a range of amenities on site, including a restaurant, toilets and even a medical clinic. Some dinosaur themed rides (that were out of action when I visited) and some slightly corny concrete dinosaur examples round out the displays.
Well worth a visit, particularly if you are looking for a way to break up the trip from Kunming to Dali.
On an April 2007 cruise to Asia we made an overnight stop at the Chinese port Xingang (Tianjin) China.
Tianjin is China's third largest city (after Shanghai and Beijing) with a population of over ten million people and it’s ranked as the 15th largest city in the world. In a port talk we were shown pictures of the city and I wanted to see the "ancient cultural street."
When the authorities cleared our ship, I went to find a taxi. The ship gave us a card with the port name in English and in Chinese script and an excellent city map. When I exited the port gate the drivers started shouting "Taxi" and I was surrounded by a number of drivers. They wanted fares to Beijing. When I said "Tianjin" that caused some of the drivers to lose interest in my business. But one driver grabbed me by that arm and started to take me to his cab. I stopped. We first needed to negotiate the price and the time. I managed to convey I wanted a four-hour trip to Tianjin going to the cultural street. Now the price! The cruise ship staff said $75 to $100 would be reasonable for a several hour trip to Tianjin. So I wrote $75 on a piece of paper and held it up. One driver wanted $100. I wrote $80. The driver said, "No, best price $90!" I said, "Best price $80" and looked for others that may want my business. Around me swirled conversations in Chinese. "Tianjin! Tianjin" someone was shouting. Then I looked at the driver and said, "Best offer $80!" The driver definitely said "no." A lady driver standing on the edge of the group stepped forward and said, "Ok $80." I agreed and we went to her cab. I read in a Chinese travel article that said, ”If you don’t feel like a heartless, exploitive, colonialist sleaze ball after buying something, you can know one thing for sure: You have drastically … overpaid.” I know I probably was being over charged but my intent in traveling is not to exploit the locals.
I got to into the front seat of the taxi. The passenger side seat belt was rigged so it could not be used. It is a requirement that all taxis be have seat belts - in the back seat for passengers. There was a partition between the back seat and me. I could have gone there but that would have eliminated any communications with the driver. So I stayed in the front seat. If the taxi had air conditioning it wasn't on, the driver partly opened the windows. Now we were off. I had no idea how far Tianjin was from the port. There is an expressway that goes to Beijing with exits into Tianjin, but we didn’t take that we stayed on the city streets.
This drive was longer than I expected. Sitting in the front seat of a Chinese car is not for the faint hearted. So for the next hour we weaved in and out of lanes, passing cars, trucks and buses, all with appropriate blasts on the taxi’s horn. The side roads are reserved for people, with carts and on bikes. This is where the problems are since they tend to drift into the traffic lanes. At one point I pulled out my Tianjin map, I thought I could find the road we were on, but couldn’t. On the street map I located where I wanted to go but had no idea where we were. The driver was watching me look at the map. At one stoplight she looked at it as, I pointed out where I wanted to go. But when I started to put the map away she indicated that I should leave it out. That’s when I got a feeling that she doesn’t know Tianjin. It was getting windy outside and the city was immersed in a haze. This is not surprising since China has sixteen of the worlds twenty most air polluted cities.
The part of town we were now going through might be called a shabby and had a cobblestone street. Then the driver pulled over at a street corner. I assumed the “Ancient Cultural Street” must be nearby. It wasn’t. As I left the cab the driver pointed to the building on the corner, it was a public toilet. This was a “loo” stop. All major Chinese cities have public toilets and it was cleaner then one might expect. The driver was asking policeman for directions. Then we got into the taxi and were off again. Now we only traveled a short distance and then we pulled into a parking lot where the driver parked the taxi; again I assumed this was the cultural street. It wasn’t. We caught another taxi; I was in the front seat and my driver in the back seat. This driver drove near to what I assumed was the downtown Tianjin then crossing the Hai River we arrived at the cultural street. My driver paid the fare of 12 Yuan (about $1.50).
The ancient culture street is located on the east side of Tianjin’s old town. The famous Tian Hou (Heavenly Empress) Temple stands in the center, dividing the street into two sections Gongnan and Gongbei. At one time this was the site of the Tianjin Garrison. The entire street is about one third of a mile long and was rebuilt in 1985. The taxi stopped near the Yuan Haung Ge, a Taoist temple in an excellent state of preservation. It was built in 1368. Near by is the Tian Hou Temple the oldest building in Tianjin dating from 1326. In 1984 the Temple was turned into a museum.
The street has over 100 stores built in the classical Chinese hutong architectural style. If one can’t find a Chinese souvenir here, then it doesn’t exist! During my visit it appeared that I was the only foreigner on the street. I noticed as I was enjoying the street my driver was looking out for me. When I went into a store she followed me in keeping me in eyeshot. I went into one store filled with Chinese snuff bottles. These are slender bottles with stoppers on them. They are clear glass and the designs are painted on the INSIDE so they could be viewed from the outside. When I was in Xiamen a few days before, I was watching a lady paint one of these bottles. I bought a small one in Xiamen but the quality of these bottles was much better. The one I really liked was $120; this was a splendid art object. I decided to pass on that but found one for about $38 to $40. This bottle, only about four inches tall had detailed Chinese winter scene of mountains, small temple, ice-covered trees and a frozen stream. On the opposite side of the bottle the scene continues with more frozen trees and mountains. I don’t recall what the original price was but we agreed to about $38 and I was going to pay with two American Twenty dollar bills. My driver seeing me put the $40 down on the counter immediately pulls out of her “fanny pack” a huge pile of American and Chinese currency and instantly converts the American dollars into Yuan. When we left the store she said “Dollar-Yuan” pointing to her supply of cash. So if I needed Chinese money she was my personal cambio. I really wasn’t looking for any thing in particular; I just wanted to look and see what was being sold and to enjoy the mood of the place.
As I was looking at things I noticed that my driver was also looking at boxed Mahjong sets. She seemed surprised when I said “Mahjong.” She showed me one set and did thumbs up. It wasn’t that expensive and at one point I thought she was negotiating the price. I saw some Mahjong sets in Shanghai that didn’t look as good as these. The quality of the merchandize in these stores was very good.
Time was quickly flying by and since I negotiated only four hours for this trip I thought it was time we leave. I figured it would be a quicker getting back to the port since the driver knew where it was. I really wanted to stay longer but without any command of the language I thought it best to leave. The ship gave us a small card with the port name in Chinese. I pointed to my watch and said, “Lets go back to the port.” The driver didn’t understand me. So I pulled out the little card and pointed to the port name. “Ok” she said and we headed for one of the decorative gates that mark the boundary to the street, stopping along the way to look at things.
We exited on a busy street with waiting taxis and my driver got one to take us back to the parking place. The route this driver used a different route back, so I saw a more of the city. After we transferred back to "our" taxi the wind added to the interesting drive back thought the city to the ship. In the spring, Northern China experiences an occasional Gobi Desert sandstorm. As it was getting progressively windier during my visit with some powerful gusts it was obvious that a sandstorm was in progress.
When we returned to the port I gave the driver $100 for the trip. I knew a 20% trip was high but we accomplished what we set out to do. Then she gave me a kiss on the cheek. She was quite happy. Then she added “Beijing” indicating tomorrow. She wanted to take me to Beijing. I was already booked on a trip going to the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. Honestly I thought I would have been great to have a personal driver and she would have given me a good trip.
I love wandering in the crowded streets.. hanging out in front of shops windows and exhibitions peddles..
so the pedestrian streets are the most attractive place to practice this hobby, where diminished distances between you and others, which makes you face some surprises and sometimes even ironic.
any way to meet an old friend in a foreign country , is very difficult, but certainly you'll see people reviewing their skills, their goods or their beauty, their dress, etc. .. All this entertains frequently.
But the most importance of all these, that you see there a lot of people close to you, and definitely should you smile each other.
The city of Shenzhen is a very convenient place to practice this hobby ..
Panda Breeding and Research Center 6 miles from the center of Chengdu was much more than I thought it would be as a person that is not big on zoos. The captive breeding population is around 85 I was told. It really is an absolute "world-class research facility, conservation education center, and international educational tourism destination." The enclosures are really well done and cared for with lots of space for the pandas. We arrive on a warm spring and the bamboos were dancing in the warm breeze and the bird songs filed the air. We enjoyed the flower like Jasmine, azaleas and butterflies and the wonderful smell of the white flowers on the camphor trees. really a great experience VTers just wish had my VT flag along with me
The now have a panda channel in TV in English and Chinese on CNTV, kids seem to know all the pandas by name it was very cute.
In addition to the giant they are also breeding red pandas this was very interesting as well. When we went through the Red Panda breeding and cub area on of the red pandas had gotten out of the enclosure on to the raised wooden walkway as we walked by it seemed to have no concern about us at all .
Travelling along Chinese rivers is an interesting experience. I joined Li river's cruise, China's top one, and the shortest (I think), taking only half day, but part of our group went to Yellow river cruise, for three days.
They didn't come too convinced, and agreed with the preference of Li river. The cruise is generally done down river, from Guilin to Yangshuo, but may also be done in reverse way, or partially, renting a small boat or raft in one of the villages in its banks.
While planning your trip to China, look out for the "Four Great Ancient Capitals of China". The Chinese often refer them as the following cities:
2) Xi'an (Chang'an)
I have visited the above four cities and learnt so much about the history of China through appreciate the beauty of ancient sites like Beijing's Forbidden City, Nanjing's Ming Xiaoling Tomb, Xi'an's Terracotta Army. , Luoyang has the Longmen Grottoes and a nice museum displaying the art and culture of Tang Dynasty.
In Chinese: 中國四大古都, Zhōngguó Sì Dà Gǔdū.
this is the street full of light from department store high end, bookstore, children store, many food stall selling candies and roast duck, and in wangfujing food street a lot of souvenir to buy just huggle the price by half you will be suprise they will give in..
this is a nice park with all the pine tree changing color , cool air, people dancing, taichi, playing card and majong, the beautiful temple of good harvest and imperial vault nice to take picture and stroll in the park for a relaxing walk.
the great wall of china really is a very majestic place with cool wind and fog , matching the zigzag road somewhat tiring specially for our senior, the down side is that the step way some has bigger brick other smaller higher chance of getting fall make sure you always put your hands on handrail to prevent from fall, take the cable car or sliding car to better conserve energy and time..
this is the palace where the empress and its royal family relax during summer time because of the cool fog and air that touches your face , specially riding a boat at the kumming lake to reach the 17 arch bridge a nice experience...
this park is nice with cool breeze of wind the soft leaves that touches your hair, the pine tree changing color, people boating at the lake and seen the nine dragon screen wall and the white dagoda, seating on the bench seeing lotus flower bloom at the lily bed, a nice park to relax..
forbidden city the house of the emperor as you can see you walk through the meridian gate there are several gate to pass to reach each forbidden house , almost all of them look the same with lion and dragon and golden script in the roof , nothing spectacular, nice to take picture have the feeling your inside the forbidden city..
Having lived in Beijing for a number of years, I had stayed in relatively few hotels in the city -...more
The Hotel is truely a mixture of ancient and modern decore built in a Gothic Style, it once was...more
We enjoyed our stay at the Holiday Inn Shifu. It was right in the middle of a busy shopping precinct...more
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