Tailored Trips

Lu d iO OL ngzhong Hu ngl ng XiO Ancient ngql ng Town O D h ng Guly ngO OK ilT QTngy nO L ngsh ng Sani iangcPSJj.anSt uz h OGuiMn DaxuO Hu ngy o O D aTnO ODioch ng DeqinO OYad ng N f Shangri-ia0n0Lugu Lake feo VoY l ng Xu shan THE TRADITIONAL VILLAGE & TOWN TOUR From Guil n (pl54) visit Ji ngt uzh u (pl64) in beautiful karst surroundings and take a bus to D x (pl65) on the Li River. Overnight amid the historic architecture of Hu ngy o (pi 79), then explore Zhuangand Yao villages around L...

The Bouyi

The Bouyi, the 'aborigines' of Guizhou, are of Thai origin and closely related to the Zhuang of GuangxT. Most travellers will come upon them in the Huangguoshu and Anshun areas. They are generally very poor, in sharp contrast with the postcard images of starched and ironed costumes or ring-of-confidence sparkling teeth. Bouyi dress is dark and sombre, with colourful trimmings. Both men and women wear white- or blue-checked head scarves. Batik cloth dyeing is one of the many skills of the Bouyi....

Gorge trek

There are two trails the higher (the older route, known as the 24-bend path) and the lower, the new road, replete with belching tour buses. Only the high trail is worth hiking. Arrows help you avoid getting lost. Then again, as one of our all-time favourite traveller quotes goes, 'Remember the high road leaves less time for drinking beer in Walnut Garden'. The following route starts at Qiaotou. To get to the high road, after crossing through the gate, cross a small stream and go 150m. Take a...

Transport

The landscape is viewable in a day, but you can spend the night in the village of Ping'an at the heart of the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces and allow yourself more time to visit the sights and make the long trek to the village of Dazhai. Terraies C-Ohn) Fms'sn O'Am) Guilin g< JJI'.m> Well within the geographic and cultural orbit of Guizh u and H n n, the L ngsh ng region is a beguiling patchwork of Dong, Zhuang, Yao and Miao minority villages. Other villages can be visited en route...

Zuo Jiang Scenic Area

Roughly 190km southwest of Nanning, Zuojiang Scenic Area (Zuojiang Fengjingqu) provides opportunities to view karst formations, with the added attraction that the region is home to around 80 groups of Zhuang-mi-nority rock paintings. The area is also one of the last remaining habitats of the rare white-headed leaf monkey. There's no reason to dwell in Ningming. The town is the launching point for a Zuojiang adventure but, to be brutally honest, you do not want to spend any longer here than is...

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Table tennis 43 Tagong Grasslands 393-5 Tagong Temple 393 taichi 43,170 Taihua Temple 236 Taijiang 132 taijiquan 43,170 Taijitii 257 Taiping Rebellion 26, 198-9 Tang dynasty 25,27, 28 Tao Te Ching 45 Taoism 45 taxis 490 TC G Nordica 227 tea 71, 72, 330 telephone services 474-5 television 44 Temple of Heaven Park 83 temples & pagodas, iff also monasteries Bal Ta 240-1 Bamboo Temple 234-5 Baohua Si 318 Baolun Si 443-4 Black Pagoda 336-7 Chaoyang Temple 214 Chongsheng Temple 259 Confucian...

Chongzuo gtE

0 0771 pop 330,000 www.chongzuo.net At the 122km point along the train line from Nanning to Pingxiang is this pleasant, manageable city, well worth a stop for its Ecology Park, distinctive leaning pagoda and Stone Forest. Chongzuo is largely situated south of the Zuo River (IjLtLy Zuojiang) as it loops though town. Jiangnan Lu (ttjiiSir Jiangnan Lu), the principal road running east-west, is intersected at right angles by busy Xinmin Lu (0T K Sir Xinmin Lu). The long-distance bus station is on...

Hailuogou Glacier Park

Hailuogou Glacier slides - literally - off the eastern slopes of Gongga Shan to form the lowest glacier in Asia. No 1 Glacier ( frjc jl Yihao Bingchuan), the main glacier, is 14km long and covers an area of 16 sq km. It's relatively young as glaciers go around 1600 years old. The top of Hailuogou can offer incredible vistas of Gongga Shan and the surrounding peaks, all above 6000m, but how much you actually see is entirely up to Mother Nature. Constandy framed with a backdrop of snowy peaks,...

Ocean Person

Westerners without Chinese-language skills will be oblivious to the sheer variety of local slang for foreigners. Laowai ( K i'b) - which literally means 'person from the outside' - or 'foreigner' -remains ubiquitous and you will hear the epithet repeatedly voiced, typically by Chinese men. Despite decades of exposure to Western films, the sudden appearance of Westerners can still spark considerable curiosity. Waiguoren (literally 'person from a foreign country') is a politer alternative and is...

Detian Waterfall fliti

The world's second-largest transnational cataract with a total width of 200m, Detian Waterfall (Detian Pubu Ig 0771-263 6808 www.detian. com admission Y80 S dawn to dusk) is Asia's largest. It may not be Niagara Falls, but the waterfall is still fantastic and the setting sublime, with its descending levels and powerful cacophony of water. On top of viewing the gorgeous falls spilling down in huge pleats of water into secondary and tertiary cascades, there's the spectacle of the surrounding...

Baohua park

On the southeastern outskirts of downtown Gejiu, largish and pretty Baohua Park (Baohua Gongyuan admission Y2) butts up against Qiling Hill and is built around Baohua Si (Baohua Temple). The temple was constructed from 1670 to 1675 during the Qing dynasty by a Taoist monk. Later expansions took place in the 20th century. Many of the pavilions and temples have faded but the Lingguan Pavilion, Liang Hall and Baiy-uan Tower have all been preserved. Footpaths wind through the park, taking in some...

Gongga Monastery ta PJlf

This monastery (Gongga - or Konka or Kong-kar - Gompa) is situated at the western foot of Gongga Shan, a mountain increasingly popular with hardcore, experienced mountain climbers. The monastery was ravaged during the Cultural Revolution but is currendy enjoying something of a revival. It is of the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism and forms part of a pilgrimage route around the holy Minya Konka, the local Tibetan name for Gongga Shan. The monastery is very remote and can only be reached on foot...

Sleeping

Chongqing may not be a Pearl of the Orient, the Paris of the East, or a modern, Olympic host city. But at least the price of a night's accommodation reflects this - it's up to a third less than what you'd pay in Hong Kong, Shanghai or Beijing. Unfortunately, there's little in the way of true budget accommodation, but dependable standard midrange options can be had for not much more than a budget room. If you can afford the splurge, top-end living is ultimately the best bargain. Always ask for a...

Around ruili

Most of the sights around Ruili can be explored easily by bicycle. It's worth making frequent detours down the narrow paths leading off the main roads to visit minority villages. The people are friendly, and there are lots of photo opportunities. The Tourism and Tra ffic Map of Ruili shows the major roads and villages. The shortest ride is to turn left at the corner north of the post office and continue out of the town proper into the little village of Mengmao. There are half a dozen Shan...

Emerald Pagoda Lake Shudu Lake H

Some 25km east of Shangri-la, the bus to Sanba (see Baishuitai, following) can drop you along the highway for Emerald Pagoda Lake (Bita Hai admission Y190), which is 8km down a trail (a half-hour by pony). Yes, this is an absolutely laughable admission price, and it was just being introduced at the time of writing. Hopefully there will be enough outcry (and subsequent drop in tourism) for officials to rethink this. If you do decide to visit, there are lots of hiking options and ponies can be...

Rongshui fijC

Another town central to Guangxi's minority culture, Rongshui is a possible third node on a Longsheng-Sanjiang-Rongshui loop out of Guilin for travellers not crossing into Guizhou. Thirteen minority groups are represented in this county, with Miao making up 37 of the total. Large numbers of Yao, Zhuang and Dong also live in the county. Apart from the minority cultural experience, Rongshui's most famous attraction is Yuanbao Shan, a couple of hours to the northwest, a rustic mountain with some...

Kngding Dardo Darsedo

The biggest city in the region, K ngding's core is amass of busy shopping streets surrounded by eerie, underpopulated clusters of low grey buildings. Most travellers doing the Tibetan Hwy will need to stay in K ngding at least one night, though there are lots of places to explore in the outlying areas if you want to hang around longer. K ngding is also famous throughout China for a popular love song called the 'K ngding Love Song' that the town's surrounding scenery inspired. The comma-shaped...

Dragon Bridge

With its higgledy-piggledy steps, this lovely arched bridge (Yulong Qiao) was built in 1412 during the Ming dynasty and is among Guangxi's largest at 59m long, 5m wide and 9m high. Note how the walls of the bridge lean inwards with age. It would take a full day to head up to Dragon Bridge and come back on the trails by bike, but definitely worth it. Pack your lunch and some water and enjoy a picnic along the banks of the Yulong River. From Yangshuo, head out towards Moon Hill and, before...

Recommended Vaccinations

Specialised travel-medicine clinics are your best source of information they stock all available vaccines and will be able to give specific recommendations for you and your trip. The doctors will take into account factors such as past vaccination history, the length of your trip, activities you may be undertaking and underlying medical conditions, such as pregnancy. Most vaccines don't produce immunity in individuals until at least two weeks after they're given, so visit a doctor six to eight...

Customs

Chinese customs generally pay tourists little attention. There are clearly marked 'green channels' and 'red channels'. Duty-free, you're allowed to import 400 cigarettes or the equivalent, two bottles of wine or spirits and 50g of gold or silver. Importing fresh fruit and cold cuts is prohibited. You can legally only bring in or take out Y6000 in Chinese currency. There are no restrictions on foreign currency however, you should declare any cash exceeding US 5000 (or its equivalent in another...

Around Maerkang

For intrepid travellers, the forested valley around Ma'erkang is sprinkled with Tibetan villages and is well worth exploring. Just get out on the main road and hail down anything buslike heading out of town. Zhuokeji - jSSS Choktse is a compact Tibetan village around 7km east of town. Just above the cluster of stone houses is a derelict watchtower fortress that once belonged to a local chieftain and in which Mao Zedong is said to have slept when the Long March passed by. There are several...

Activities

The areas around Songpan are dotted with idyllic mountain woods and emerald-green lakes. One of the most popular ways to experience the scenery is by horse trek. Guides can take you out through pristine valleys and peaceful forests, all aboard a not-so-big, very tame horse. Many travellers - from hardy backpackers to families with children - rate this experience as one of the highlights of their travels in Sichuan. Treks are organised by Shun Jiang Horse Treks Shunjiang L y uM dui 0 7231201...

Sights Activities

At the north end of Huancheng Beilu is Jingf ng G ngyu n jftj - lzl Jingfeng Park , a meander-worthy park of skyscraperesque yet droopy pines, flower-lined paths and some fine historic structures right near the entrance, including a somnolendy proud pagoda, a Confucian temple, and a memorial hall to local Bai success stories. The real highlight in town is the extant Ming and Qing architecture. Nearly two dozen residential courtyards are quite well preserved. An architectural stroll is lovely...

Getting There Away

To get to the places listed above, take a bus from Guiyang's Hebin bus depot to Mufeng from where you can walk the kilometre to nearby Matouzhai and then the 750m or so to Shuitouzhai. However, that's only one small corner of the valley and you may not see some of the waterfalls and more dramatic scenery. Alternatively, you could hire a car from Guiyang for half a day to explore the valley and then have the driver drop you off in Shuitouzhai where you could stay the night. From there, you could...

Digging in the dirt

Budding palaeontologists and anthropologists will love the Ch xi ng region. Near L f ng, in the region's east, bone fragments of palaeo-anthropoids two to eight million years old have been unearthed. Over 120 dinosaurs dating back up to 200 million years have also been found here in what is though to be one of the world's largest dinosaur burial grounds, and a dinosaur museum has recently been established. The famed Yuanmou Man was unearthed near Shangnabang village in Yu nm u, bordering Ch xi...

The Yubeng Kawa Karpo Treks

A trek to the fabulous Yubeng Waterfall MtiTiilS Yubeng Shenpu is an adventurous trip and fast becoming one of the most popular 'other' treks for those dismayed by the numbers of trekkers along the Tiger Leaping Gorge. At the bridge over the Mekong River the road leads 6km to Xidang and another 3km or so to a hot spring. Then it's possible to arrange pony hire to take you 25km four to six hours to Yubeng village, where there are half a dozen basic guesthouses, including Mystic Waterfall Lodge...

Other Villages

Hotels can be found to the west of the Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge and there's a mushrooming brood in the villages ofYanzhai and Ma'an Zhai just east of the bridge. Countryside International Hotel j liHSi tS Xiangcun Guoji Luguan 0772-858 2813 fax 858 2813 tw with shower Y30, tr without shower Y30 After crossing the bridge, turn right and it's straight ahead on your left on the cusp of the small village of Yanzhai. Twin rooms are clean in this newly built place, staff speak English and...

Sanjiang

Xinglianxin Hotel Sf tlS Xingliangxin Binguan 862 6988 11 Furong Lu IMl1- - s d tr q Y50 78 98 128 E Cheap and clean rooms with air-con, shower squat loo , TV and heating in this new outfit just up from the Sanjiang Hotel. Look for the sign that simply says 'hotel', next to a Lianhua supermarket branch. Modest discounts available. Chengyang Qiao Hotel fSPBfS5 iii Chengyang-qiao Binguan 861 7431 s Y108-118, d Y138-158 IE Next to the Agricultural Bank of China, scuffed rooms are OK here with...

Mosques

The oldest mosque in Kunming or at least on the site where a mosque has sat the longest , the 400-year-old Nancheng Mosque N nch ng Qingzh n G si 51 Zhengyl lu can be recognised by its telltale greenish onion domes, though the lower floors essentially look like the white-tiled offices that they are Even worse, in 2005 the once-lively strip of Muslim restaurants and shops selling skullcaps, Arabic calligraphy and pictures of Mecca nearby got its marching orders from the city government and has...

Nanjiang Xiagu riJ rJiJ

This valley located about 90 minutes outside of Guiyang is beautiful. Waterfalls plunge over its edges and clusters of Bouyi villages nestle among the lush greenery and rice terraces. One long, winding road goes through it all and the scenery seems to go on forever. This area hasn't been developed for tourism at all and no English is spoken anywhere. However, there are some subtle signs that may slowly change. A couple of viewing pavilions have been built near some of the more attractive and...

Shangqingsi Roundabout To Liberation Monument By

Have also inspired masterworks of Chinese literature and art. Major historical sites have disappeared and a few have been transplanted since the Three Gorges Dam opened in 2006. But the mountains remain the stuff of paintings, despite losing 145m and counting to rising waters. For details on Yangzi River trips see p461. Cruise tickets can be purchased through your hotel or from the agencies around Chaotianmen, although shop carefully as amenities vary greatly while prices may not. The main...

Drinking

When it comes to Chongqing nightlife, a couple of ground rules apply hotspots all turn over fast and frequently, so you should ask around for the latest obsession and, in these parts a good time starts with green tea-whiskey cocktails and invariably ends at a KTV karaoke bar. So you can consider yourself warned. Deyi Shijie Minquan Lu amp Xinhua Lu KfeSft W T Start the night at this massive KTV bar and club complex with a constantly changing line-up of tenants including some of the following...

Stone Forest

About 4.5km from town, Ch ngzu 's diminutive Stone Forest Sh l n admission Y10 is a rather contrived geological attraction of jagged limestone formations, but the maze of rocks can be surprisingly tranquil, especially if you visit late in the afternoon. It's more than an hour's walk from town. A motorcycle taxi is about Y5. A few decent hotels can be found near the long-distance bus and train stations. Jinyuan Luguan ifeHtfeif 0 783 0894 Jiang-nan Lu illSSI s Y20-50, tw Y30 IE Very simple...

Baishuitai fijCn

Breathtaking scenery, possible pony rides, and a splendid chain of Tibetan villages leads to Baishuitai admission Y30 , a limestone deposit plateau 108km southeast of Shangri-la. For good reason has this become probably the most popular slow route between Lijiang and Shangri-la. The terraces, reminiscent of those found in Pamukkale in Turkey or Huanglong in Sichuan, are resplendent in sunlight, but can be tough to get to if rainfall has made trails slick. The terraces are around the small Naxi...

Drung Valley Dulong Jiang

Separated from the Nujiang Valley by the high Gaoligong Shan range and only reached by road in 1999, this is one of the remotest valleys in China. The valley is home to the Drung ethnic group see the boxed text, p300 . The Drung River actually flows out of China into Myanmar, where it eventually joins the Irrawaddy. At present there are no buses into the valley. You'd have to hire a minivan from Gongshan for the rough 96km trip to the county capital Dulongjiang. Beyond that, most travel is on...

The Bangbang Army

Ever since the first resident could not carry his groceries up the stairs of this mountain city, these porters for hire have been an essential element of Chongqing. The Bangbang are named for the characteristic bamboo pole or 'bang' they carry on their shoulders. They hustle for work around the docks, bus stations and department stores, offering to climb where no cart or mule could go, carrying loads few could bear and only earning an average Y100 a week. Their numbers exploded in the 1990s...

Trekking the nujiang valley region

Looking at maps, hiking over the mountains into the Mekong Valley, particularly from G ngsh n to YezhT or Y nm n in D qTn prefecture seems a snap, but once there it's clear that you need a trustworthy guide and camping equipment. One route from F g ng to Y n W V L is covered in the F g ng section see p299 . Pilgrimage trekking routes lead from the north of the valley into Tibet to join a pilgrimage circuit of Kawa Karpo see p296 but again you'd need to arrange this with an expert travel agency....

Emei Shan

Emei Mountain Distances

Declare Nation Temple to Long Life Monastery Long Life Monastery to Elephant Bathing Pool Elephant Bathing Pool to Jieyin Hall Jieyin Hall to Golden Summit Temple Golden Summit Temple to Elephant Bathing Pool Elephant Bathing Pool to Immortal Peak Monastery Immortal Peak Monastery to Venerable Trees Terrace 6km Venerable Trees Terrace to Pure Sound Pavilion 6km Pure Sound Pavilion to Leiyin Temple 9 5km Leiyin Temple to Crouching Tiger Monastery 1 5km Crouching Tiger Monastery to Declare Nation...

Taxi

Taxi flagfall is Y7, plus a Y1 petrol charge. If you like the look of a taxi driver, book him or her for the day to whisk you around Guilin's sights. A car will cost around Y100 for a daylong tour if you don't have the time or the inclination to take to public transport, but remember that few taxi drivers speak any English. AROUND GUILIN Jiangtouzhou i I -Jf With its gorgeous narrow cobblestone alleyways, bucolic rhythms and pastoral aspect, this peaceful village - located in a region where...

Yading Nature Reserve ET Mffi

Stunning alpine scenery, snow-capped peaks and endless opportunities for horse treks draw more and more people to this nature reserve Yading Ziran Baohugu admission Y150 S ticket office 8am-6.30pm each year. The terrain is also dotted with lakes and monasteries and is the reason Daocheng is increasingly showing up on travellers' itineraries. The ticket office is open year-round, except when snow occasionally closes the road in winter. The best time to visit is autumn when the colours are...

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Sanyuangong Monastery 307-8 satellite launching centre 434-5 scams 468 schistosomiasis 497 sculpture 47-8 S rxu 401-2 Seven Stars Park 158 sexually transmitted diseases 498 Sh ngch ng Longmi n Si 339 Shanghai 86-91,87 accommodation 89 attractions 88-9 food 89-90 internet access 86 medical services 86 shopping 88 tourist offices 87-8 tours 91 travel to from 90 travel within 90-1 visas 88 Shanghai Art Museum 88 Shanghai Municipal Historical Museum 88 Shanghai Museum 88 Shanghai World Financial...

Sleeping Eating

Unless you arrive in Qiubei late in the afternoon or early evening, there's no need to stay there, as the park does have accommodation -dirt-cheap through to apathetically maintained midrange. You can pretty much double any price listed here May through July. Minsu Nongjia KfSifei 0 461 8358 Puzhehei village per bed Y15 From the final stop of the bus from Qiubei, walk over the bridge into Puzhehei village. Look for some characters painted on a cinder-block wall. Here's your cheapest option in...

SIGHTS

From Central ifi your first port of call should be the Victoria Peak til II at 552m it's the highest point on Hong Kong Island. The best way to get there is via the thrilling Peak Tram tijTiSt 2522 0922 www.thepeak.com .hk one-way return adult HKS22 33, child amp senlor HKS8 15 S 7am-mldnight , a funicular running every 10 to 15 minutes from the lower terminus behind St John's Building at 33 Garden Rd, Central, to the recently renovated Peak Tower SeW fill at the top. The views in clear weather...