National parks in China

With a huge population, and a booming, but still underdeveloped economy, the Chinese have opted for a get-rich-first lifestyle, after which they may think about protecting their environment. It is a curious fact that in a country so proud of an artistic and literary heritage extolling the love of natural beauty, even the most emblematic places are not safe from litterbugs who choke gardens, hills, and lakes with refuse. Continue reading “National parks in China” »

China with kids

China is not an ideal place for children. Even for adults, the rigours of independent travel test their stamina and patience. Organised tours are easier, but they may prove boring to most children. Some parents clearly decide that, since they want to see China, the children will have to as well, but most leave them at home. Continue reading “China with kids” »

Tips on Choosing Hotels and accommodation in China

Hotels in China present the full range of standards. Joint ventures with some of the world’s leading hotel groups have led to the development of hotels in the major tourist and international business zones whose commitment to quality is impeccable. In fact, it is possible to make a case for saying that China’s hotel standards are too high, with too many hotels targeted at the high end of the price range, leaving a dearth of reasonable quality hotels for travellers on a restricted budget. Continue reading “Tips on Choosing Hotels and accommodation in China” »

Chang Jiang Cruise Tour

A long, slow, lazy sail along the great riverine artery of central China. Tickets can be bought at Chongqing, although it makes sense to book through travel agents before you arrive. Different tour boats follow different itineraries and timings, although all follow the Yangtze on its course downstream. Allow 3 days. Continue reading “Chang Jiang Cruise Tour” »

Top tourist attractions in China

China is big and few people have the opportunity to return time after time, so your aim will probably be to see as many of the main attractions as possible on your visit. This will also be the aim, unfortunately, of just about all your fellow tourists, and that includes a fair percentage of the country’s own population as well. Continue reading “Top tourist attractions in China” »

Beijing Travel Guide: Top Tourist Attractions in Beijing

With a population of almost 11 million, Beijing is one of three special metropolitan areas in China (the others are Shanghai and Tianjin), separate from provincial control. As the national capital, Beijing is really in a special category of its own. While Shanghai and Guangzhou, among other cities, are far more vibrant economically, Beijing is the city of grace and style, lavishly endowed with the best of everything by the Communist Party top brass, if only because they have to live here too. Continue reading “Beijing Travel Guide: Top Tourist Attractions in Beijing” »

Chengdu travel guide: Things to see and do in Chengdu

Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province, an area of west central China noted for its mild climate and fiery food, as well as for being the home of China’s rare and endangered pandas. Chengdu’s great moment in history passed more than 2,000 years ago: in the 4th century BC it was capital of the Kingdom of Zhou. Continue reading “Chengdu travel guide: Things to see and do in Chengdu” »

Macau travel guide: best things to see and do in Macau

The Portuguese settled in Macao during the mid-1550s. Today, 95 per cent of its population is Cantonese-speaking Chinese. The remainder is mostly Portuguese, with a sprinkling of other foreign nationals. A reclamation project is under way to convert Taipa and Coloane Islands into one island, making space for the new Macao International Airport and increasing the territory’s land area by 20 per cent. Continue reading “Macau travel guide: best things to see and do in Macau” »