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China Travel Blog

Here you find travel articles of our Pyala travelers who visited China before you!

Trip in Ningxia ---Grasslands, Forests Park & Dersert

I went to a mysterious land in north China this summer -- Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.  

It was a short but nice trip with a lot fun.  

Yinchuan is the capital of Ningxia province, covered by desert, rivers, and mountains.  

We went to the grasslands near Yinchuan on the first day. The grasslands are located in Erdos, a city in another province (Inner Mongolia), but it’s quite close to Yichuan, only about 50 min by car. It was cloudy at noon, but sunny at sunset time. The weather was changing fast on the wild grasslands, just like that of the sea. You could stay in the yurts and have meals in the scenic area. But the meal is just so so, and there are a lot of shows you could enjoy, sucn as horse racing, marriage ceremony of Mongolian people, and bonefire evening etc.

Next day we went to Suyukou Forest Park, which belonged to Helan Mountains. There are luxuriant trees, steep cliffs and murmuring streams.  
The magnificent Helan mountains and beautiful views still could be seen even under the hazy weather. And you could also see the shiny green moss all over the mountains, and different mushrooms.

The third day, we went to our final stop, a place full of fun as well as amazing scenery—Shapotou.  
Shapotou, situated in Zhongwei County, lies on the north bank of the Yellow River where it crosses the southeastern border of the Tengger Desert.  
Shapotou Tourism Area is regarded as one of the five most beautiful deserts in China. Standing on the sand hill, one can see the Yellow river waving to the east, Xiang mountains rolling to the distance, as well as a large area of oasis underfooting.

And there are a lot of entertainments there such as sand slide, camel riding, river drifting etc. You could have special experiences in such a beautiful place. For example:

The Yellow River
Drift Floating along the Yellow River on a sheepskin raft - the most unpretentious of vehicles - is something of a special thrill. When a sheep is killed the locals will remove the skin and skillfully make a balloon out of it. A number of these balloons are strung together to form a buoyant base for a floor of bamboos. This sheepskin raft may look flimsy, but it is eminently safe. Experienced boatmen will make sure that you cannot only sense the excitement but also enjoy the fascinating scenery along the way.

Yellow River Cableway Slide
The cableway slide across the Yellow River at Shapotou has won fame as the First Yellow River Cableway Slide. The cableway here is 820 meters (about 897 yards) long, 54 meters (about 59 yards) high above the water and the slide is at an average speed of 8 m/s (about 26 feet per second). The cableway at Shapotou is unique in China, in that it depends totally on gravity to set it in motion.

After the cableway slide, It's the bumgee jumping place! And I jumped. Crazy cool, at the moment when you realized you were already in the sky!!! 

Pity that I didn't see the camels due to the rain. But we had a lot of fun there.

In a word, it was a nice trip~~

Fanny from China  30/08/2016

My wonderful time in Huangshan

On 11 Nov. 2016, My friend Yan and I began our trip to the most famous Mountain in China --- Huangshan,  the most beautiful village-- Hongcun with Hui style, and Tachuan village with the most beautiful autumn scenery. 11-11 become a special day in recent years in china, since it's four 1, which means Single Day for people who are still single. Then almost all the shops on line will give big discounts for almost all the goods on 11-11. Now it's more and more popular these years because of the sales. On this special day, we set out.

Our first stop: Mountain Huangshan. An old saying goes: The landscapes of the Wu Yue (which is the name of Five Famous Mountains in China) tops those elsewhere, and the landscape of Huangshan Mountain tops that of the Five Famous Mountains. That means, Huangshan Mountain offers the best landscape in China. I came with full of bright hopes, while it rained with heavy fog for three days! Pity? No! Because we could see what a fairyland it is in the foggy time! The heavy wind blowed the fog, and then the mountain was suddenly shown in front of us. How amazing it was! Granite and rocks appeared, and then outline of trees appeared along the ridges, then we saw the colors! Green pine trees standing on the top of the stiff rocks, still slim and graceful in such a bad weather! The mountain is picturesque, and we are just in the wonderful picture.

Overnight I stayed in Beihai Hotel, which is located on the mountains. The room on the mountain is always basic, but it's clean. Hot water is supplied for 24 hours. It's good. And Shizi Peak is in front of the hotel, which you could enjoy sunrise in a good weather. However I didn't even see the sun for my days on the mountain, so I have a good reason to come back again, for the always beautiful sunrise~

I am already looking forward to my next visit to Huangshan.

What are you waiting for?


Fanny from China

My Qinghai Trip within one week

In northwest part of China, there is a vast land, widely varying superb and enticing landscape, offering from the ranges of gleaming mountains with glacier-capped peaks over 6000 meters high to the gobi desert dunes of Qaidam, from lush ranchland to the sapphire-like lakes of vast area, all this has created a land of marvel, mystery and diversity. This is Qinghai province, a sparking jewel set on the northwest plateau of China, wherein the Yangtze River, the Yellow River as well as the Mekong River take their source.

I had a trip to Qinghai at the end of Apr, and traveled several amazing places around Xining, such as Qianlian Snow Mountains, Dadongshu Bealock, Qinghai Lake, Danxia landform in Kanbula National Park, clear Yellow River in Deqing county, and Repkong arts (one of the Tibetan Buddhist culture) in Tongrong, and Ta'er Lamasery in Xining.

It's a natural and cultural trip within one week. If you want to experience Tibet culture but cannot go to Tibet due to different reasons such as Tibet permit, Tibet close occasionally, etc, then you could consider Qinghai-Tibet Plateau as your best option! In Xining, you could visit the famous birthplace of Tibet Lama Tsong Khapa in Ta'er Lamasery; and appreciate students study Thangka Arts in Repkong.

In the following days, I will update my blog to show my trip as well as introduce each place in the following days. 

If you're interested in Qinghai trip, pls don't hesitate to contact me.


A route to jagged rocks after Shaolin Temple

If you are very interested in Chinese Kongfu, you must hear about the Kongfu Temple-- Shaolin Monastery. The Temple lies in Song Mountain, which is also known as Zhong Yue (middle mountain), one of the famous Five Daoism Mountains of China. 

In the Shaolin scenic spot, you can enjoy a swirling Kongfu show, get a KongFu lesson or visit the temple and learn more about its history and Zen Buddhism. Most of our clients end the tour after visiting pagoda forest. But what they do not know is that the very beautiful Shaoshi Mountain with natural jagged rocks is also in the scenic spot. The rocks are shaped by the winds for hundreds and thousands of years, jagged, grotesque, like bamboo shoots, like pages of books. It's pity if you miss the bizarre rocks. 

You just walk the big road after visiting Pagoda Forest, then you will see a cable car station, but do not take this one, less view from it, continue going along the road after a few minutes, and here is a big cable car station, taking this one, and you could have a wonderful view for the rocks, and also walk through the sky road along the face of the cliffs. It's amazing!

You could walk along the sky road till a bridge between two mountains, and walk back the same way and get down by cable car, or cross the bridge, and go along the way to Sanhuang Temple, then climb down the mountain through another exit. It takes about 4-5 hours for the whole natural journey.  


Trip to Harbin in the New Year

Harbin is the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang Province in Northeast China. It is known for its bitterly cold winters and is often called the "Ice City." It is also notable for its beautiful ice sculptures in winter and its Russian legacy,and it still plays an important part in Sino-Russian trade today.

At the beginning of New Year in Jan, the coldest season in China, and My friend and I went to the almost coldest city in China. Here I am, the Icy city, Harbin! We took train to Harbin and visited ice sculptures on the second day. The ice sculptures were changing colors under the sunset, from dazzling gold to soft blue, then night coming, what a fantasy land becuase of the colorful lights placed in the sculpures! What a different world from the daytime! Amazing and Fantastic! There are also a lot of recreational facilities such as slide, skating, shows etc in the Snow World.

Next Day we skied and also enjoyed snow sculptures in the Sun Island. A lot of works from artists at home and abroad were exhibited in the park. Beautiful, imaginative and wonderful! 
We spent three days there but we gained a lot of fun. If you rack your brain to worry where to go in winter and want to enjoy the snow and ice world with a lot fun, welcome to Harbin!

Fanny from China

Unknown Yunnan: Yuanyang Rice Terraces in Honghe district

Around Yuanyang you see more fascinating terraces of the Hani People. If you look at the state, you almost feels unreal: The small terraces filled with water resemble small mirrors that form a work of art where the artist find exactly the right balance managed between lines and light!
I had really squeezed at sunset moment in my arm, so I thought it was pretty unreal. Many colors between orange and red reflected in the water of the different cuts were part of lands.
I've been looking forward to the way to different village markets I visited. Here the hill tribes still wear their traditional embroidered clothing. Their hairstyle is frequently so special that I've wondered how anyone can think of that. Women with shaved heads and a red cap on tip. Women with complicated roll topped with a silver braided doojse which I can not name other than a silver butter dish. And with all this splendor I always thought; How long will these people ever dress and their unique culture can sustain? Is it a matter of a few years or a few decades?

Christel van Bree

Eating out in China!

South Silk Road (Yunnan cuisine) (according to Christel)
I looked a little surprised when I stepped through the door of a brand new white complex in New Soho and face to face with a cap including swimmer who just wanted to jump in the water. I thought it was in the warm atmosphere of a restaurant but found myself unexpectedly in a sports complex! But that's New Soho, every facet of modern life in one: work, live and relax together. Once passed by the pool felt it quickly more like a restaurant. Or at least as a cultural complex. The complex appeared on the famous modern Chinese artist Fang Lijun to be, a life-size painting of his hand hanging on the wall and art books with replicas of his works were signed by the painter himself, for sale. The restaurant once inside my heart was really just spring up. Lifesize modern art on the wall, a super hip decor and was also noticeable that the whole event took place on a glass floor. That felt a little insecure, like I was in the crooked house Fantasia Land. So the interior is exciting, the food must be bad, I thought suspiciously. But once the sticks to the mouth, I fell from one surprise to another.

The lesser-known ethnic Yunnan cuisine with diverse dishes and unfamiliar ingredients like hard cheese, pineapple rice, strange roots and tied frogs tasted very exotic in modern Beijing. The striking contrast between the traditional Yunnan dishes and the very trendy modern decor made my evening a great success! (booking recommended!)

Address: 3rd Floor, Bldg. D SohoNew Town, 88 Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang (661 5515) Metro Dawanglu

Bar Rouge (according to Wim)
Through a highly artistic elevator I rise up in one of the colonial buildings on the Bund, in Shanghai. When I get out, it seems not only whether I am literally gone up, but also ahead in time. While the Bund still breathes the atmosphere of the jaren'20 Shanghai, I step into a bar which is located right in the 21st century here. From the terrace, I have an amazing view of Shanghai "by night, the neon lights of Pudong with its futuristic skyline staring me forward. In the dimly lit bar itself staring enlarged portraits of Chinese. Behind the bar is to conjure an artist with cocktail glasses and bottles. Trendy music sounds through the speakers. Is this still the China where the nightlife are illuminated by fluorescent lamps, where the floor is covered in dirt and large bottles of beer filling the table. No; this is Inshanghai Bar Rouge, the place to be in the world's most fashionable city.

Situated next to the Wuhou Temple Snack Street, a name that does not really immediately salivating. Despite many (especially overseas Chinese) tourists, it is still very nice to eat there, especially with children. A long continuous row of food stalls makes for lots of choice. You can buy small snacks, as well as noodle dishes, sticks with watermelon, dumplings, tofu with delicious spicy sauce, etc. The favorite of our kids was a real sticky rice in bamboo stick. The bamboo stick is even close when it comes to ordering and places they split him in half for you so you can easily access the sticky rice with vegetables. For the food stalls are everywhere picnic tables where everyone sit down together. So you still have a nice conversation with Chinese people from London or New York, which "mainland" China just find that surprising as we are.