Where to stay

For the most comfort, stay in one of the several full-service hotels near the entrance to Emei Shan. At the summit, the Jin Ding Dajiudian is quite comfortable (see below). Other than that, if you want to overnight on the mountain, be prepared for relatively spartan accommodations. Beginning at Baoguo Si the first temple you encounter upon entering the Emei Shan scenic area and continuing to the summit, all the monasteries have guesthouses with rates ranging from 15 to 160 ( 2- 20) per night....

Xianggelila Zhngdin

Yunnan Province, 651km (390 miles) NW of Kunming, 198km (119 miles) NW of Lijiang To its majority Tibetan residents, the capital of the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, a small town on the road between Lijiang and Tibet, is known as Gyalthang. To the town's smaller Han population, it's still called Zhongdian. To tourist authorities, hotel owners, and tour operators around the country, the town is now the earthly paradise of Xianggelila (that's Shangri-La to you). A rose never had it so...

Wild China Xuzhdu

This historical Han dynasty town, located 649km (402 miles) from Shanghai in the northwest corner of Jiangsu Province at the junction of three other provinces (Henan, Shandong, and Anhui), has always been a contested site. More than 200 wars have been fought here, the most recent being an important showdown between the Guomindang (Nationalists) and the Communists from November 1948 to January 1949 in the battle of Huaihai. The Communists won. Today, this mid-size industrial city is an important...

Info

(K156, 12 hr.), Chengdu (K114, 18 hr.), Dali (K446 or K732, 8 hr.), and Shilin Stone Forest (K440, 90 min.). Tickets can be purchased at the railway station (& 0871 612-2492) south of town from 6 30am to 11 30pm. The 5933 train departs from Kunming's North Railway Station (Bei Huoche Zhan) on Friday and Sunday at 4pm for Hekou (17 hr.), after which it continues on to Hanoi, arriving there at 8 10pm local time. By Bus Kunming has a number of long-distance bus stations, all within 5 minutes of...

HuTzhou Architecture

The main courtyard in HuTzhou houses is flanked on three sides by buildings with downward sloping roofs, meant to aid the collection of rainwater, which symbolized wealth. This open-air courtyard provides the only illumination as there are few, if any, outside windows. Buildings typically have two or three overhanging stories these upper floors were the havens (or prisons) of the women of the house, who had to rely on peepholes and small windows in the closed-off verandas to survey the...

Exploring Kuqa

Friday is the most interesting day to be in town, as humanity pours in from the surrounding countryside for the Kuqa Bazaar iS f, filling the old town with unforgettable sights and smells. Eric Teichman, making the first motorized journey across Xinjiang, found himself greatly inconvenienced The streets were so packed with Turki peasants that it was difficult to force a passage with the trucks. . . . We lost our way in the maze of narrow streets round the bazaar of Kuchar and it was after 4...

Exploring Langmu Si

The town is home to two major Geluk monasteries, Sertri Gompa ( 10 1.25 admission) and Kirti Gompa ( 13 1.60 admission), situated in Gansu and Sichuan respectively. Both were razed during the Cultural Revolution and rebuilt during the early 1980s. Together, they house about 1,000 monks. True to the factional traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, they refer to each other as that place in the other province. While the buildings are of recent construction, both are lively centers of worship, and the...

Fast Facts

Banks, Foreign Exchange & ATMs None available. Internet Access The fastest connection is at the Ruyi Wangba (& 0892 8173437). Located just east of the main intersection, they're open from 9am to midnight. They charge 4 (50i) per hour but may try to overcharge you. Dial-up is 163. Post Office The main post office (open 9am-12 30pm, 3 30-7pm) is a few minutes' walk east of the main intersection on the corner of Weiguo Lu and Jianghong Lu. Gyantse Dzong (Jiangzi Zdng) Towering above the...

Around jianshuI

Primarily an attraction for Chinese tourists, Yanzi Dong (Swallow's Nest Cave 30 3.75 open 8 30am-5pm), located 28km (17 miles) east ofJianshui, hosts hundreds of screeching swallows which arrive every spring and summer to build their nests on the cave's walls and ceilings. In the past, locals would climb to the cave with bare hands and feet to collect the swallows' nests, which fetch a tidy sum on the market because of their supposed health-enhancing properties. Today, nest-collecting is...

In Around Manzhouli

A few Russian wood houses still stand in the center of Manzhouli, and the free flow of cash and vodka lends a certain exhilaration to the place, but most points of interest lie elsewhere. The closest attraction, only 10km (6 miles) west of town, is the old Sino-Russian border crossing (Guo Men 8am-5pm 20 3). Nothing much happens here anymore, as most Russians enter China through a new border crossing further north, but it is worth visiting simply to see the cccp still printed on the gate that...

Other Sights In Beijtng

Bai Ta Si (White Dagoba Temple) The 51m (170-ft.) Tibetan-style dagoba (stupa) from which this temple gets its name is the oldest and largest of its kind in the city. It was constructed between 1271 and 1279 by a Nepalese architect and has been renovated several times since. The large hall at the back of the temple, supposedly left the way it was at the end of the Qing dynasty, contains statues of Buddhas from each of the three periods Bhaisajya (past, also known as the Medicine Buddha),...

Where To Dine

Downtown Dandong is full of small, nondescript home-style restaurants and jiaozi houses, and the river promenade has a number of upscale Japanese and Korean eateries. The Dandong Chaoxian Fandian (S (& 0415 213-1506 open 10am-9pm), northeast of the railway station at Qi Jing Jie 37, serves the best Korean cold noodles (lengmiin) in town for a mere 3.50 (50i). Two blocks west of the Yalujiang Qiao and jutting into the river, the Anddng Ge (& 0415 314-5801 open 9 30am-9 30pm 60- 100 8- 12...

Entry Requirements Mainland China Visas

All visitors to mainland China must acquire a visa in advance. In general, visas are not granted at the border. Visitors to mainland China must have a valid passport with at least 6 months' validity and two blank pages remaining (you may get away with just one blank page). Visa applications typically take 3 to 5 working days to process, although this can be sped up with the payment of extra fees to as little as 1 day if you apply in person. L (tourist) visas are valid for between 1 and 3...

Tianjtn

Tianjin is a large, metal-bashing metropolis only 142km (89 miles) east of Beijing. It lies just 56km (35 miles) upriver from the port of Tanggu, an occasional cruise-ship stop and 30-minute bus or taxi ride from Tianjin. If you take taxis in China, the chances are that you'll have ridden in one of its products, the Tianjin Xiali, a rattletrap which is self-dismantling on rough roads, now facing fierce competition from Sino-foreign joint-venture vehicles almost universally more robust. (The...

Manchukuo Tour

For complete details, see chapter 4 Focus The highs and lows ofJapanese Manchuria Length 12 days Highlights The Last Emperor's palace the grim Unit 731 biological weapons testing museum the extravagant former Yamato Hotel in Harbin Route & major stops Divide your time among Dalian (Lushun naval base, Japanese architecture in downtown Dalian), Shenyang (9.18 Museum of the Japanese occupation, Zhang warlords' courtyard residence), Changchun (Old Manchukuo Buildings, the Puppet Emperor's...

Chngdu

Dot the sacred mountains of Sichuan, Hubei, and Hunan were first constructed at this time. In addition to being the home of five holy Buddhist and or Daoist mountains, this area contains some of China's most beautiful scenery in northern Sichuan and northern Hunan and lays claim to seven World Heritage Sites. Until recently, most foreign travelers came to this part of central China to see the Three Gorges the spectacular 24km (150-mile) channel comprising Qutang, Wu, and Xlling gorges but with...

Wild China Yining Gulja

YTning, 692km (429 miles) west of Urumqi, has always been a tenuous possession of the Chinese empire, surrounded by the richest farmland in central Asia, and closer to Moscow than Beijing. During the QTng dynasty, it was the furthest point of banishment. Surrounded by high peaks and blessed with a mild climate, YTning is now a Han city with a smattering of Kazaks and Uighurs it boasts hearty cuisine and access to the fascinating Qapqal XTbo Autonomous County (Cha Xian). The colonization of...

Wild China The Funeral Pits of Zibo

Once the capital of the Qi State during the Spring and Autumn (722-481 b.c.) and Warring States periods (475-221 b.c.) ZTbo today is a dusty industrial town better known for its glass and ceramic production. The town is located 116km (70 miles) east of Ji'nan in Shandong Province, but most of its worthwhile sights are actually in LinzT District about 35km (21 miles) east of ZTbo. The LinzT Zhongguo Guche BowuguSn (Li Museum of Chinese Ancient Chariots) (Qilin Zhen, Houli Guanzhuang), is about...

XUHUi Southwest Shanghai Expensive

Regal International East Asia Hotel (Fu Hao Huan Qiu Dong Ya Jiudian) fjfgp The best luxury hotel in the district, the Regal has all the trappings of a grand hotel, from its expansive white marble lobby to superb fitness facilities. This 22-story hotel, managed by an international team, has bright, modern guest rooms with all the amenities of a five-star establishment. Its Shanghai International Tennis Center offers Shanghai's best facilities. Hengshan Lu. 516 & 800 222-8888 or 021...

Three Ways To The Grasslands

BY BUS Two buses a day go to Xilamuren Da Caoyuan from the bus station. For a day trip, take the 7 50am bus no. 123 to Zhao He (terminus Chaganhada) for 14 ( 1.75), and return on the last bus around 3pm (check on the exact time before leaving). The drive takes about 21 l hours much of it through the scrub, wild grass, and cultivated forests that carpet the Da Qing Mountain range. About 65km (40 miles) out of Hohhot, the bus makes a 10-minute stop in the small town of Wuchuan. Before leaving...

UlAng yu

Amoy, as Xiamen was then known, was one of the first five treaty ports to be opened to foreign residence and trade after the First Opium War, and a British Consulate was opened in 1843. The first foreign settlements were on Amoy proper, but the town was then famously noisome, its alleys, some too narrow to allow the opening of an umbrella, funneling an extravagant palette of aromas from sewers inadequately concealed beneath the pavements. Surprisingly clean now, Xiamen was then reputed to be...

Travelers With Disabilities

China should not be your first choice of destination, and if it is, you should travel in a specialist group (although such tours to China are very rare) or with those who are fully familiar with giving you whatever assistance you may need. China is difficult for those with limited mobility. The sidewalks are china shop, and sometimes with pitying condescension because they are too stupid to speak Chinese. At some sights, out-of-town Chinese tourists may ask to have their picture taken with you,...

A kuling retreat to lu shAn

By the beginning of the 20th century the British had begun to establish Chinese hill stations to match the summer retreats they had established in India to escape the inferno there. The most celebrated of these was the artfully named Kuling, established in the late 19th century by the Reverend Edwin Selby Little, an Englishman missionary-cum-property speculator. He bought land and resold it to other foreigners in lots, laying out streets and naming them after Cambridge and Oxford. Around these...

Exploring The Central Mountain

Song Shan is made up of two mountain ranges, each with 36 peaks and dotted throughout with temples and pagodas. The larger range to the east is known as Taishi Shan, and the lesser range to the west is Shaoshi Shan. TREKKING THE MOUNTAIN Ascending the eastern or greater range (Taishi Shan) of Song Shan is more challenging as there are no cable cars to bail out the weary. The trail typically starts behind the Songyang Academy (Songyang Shuyuan). Stone steps lead all the way up to the 1,470m...

Relaxing With The Emperors

Bishu Shanz Zhuang (Mountain Resort for Escaping the Heat) & While the Winter Palace, as Beijing's Forbidden City was sometimes called, was the creation of the indigenous Ming dynasty, the summer palace at Chengde was entirely the creation of the Manchu Qing, and lay beyond the Great Wall in the direction of their homelands. Here the emperor and the Manchu nobility would play at the equestrian and military talents which had won them China in the first place, both with formal contests in...

Walk Around The Walls Of Chongwu

A little over 50km (30 miles) from Quanzhou, Chongwu has one of the best-preserved city walls in China. Measuring 2.5km (11 2 miles) long and dating from 1387, it is not yet the victim of much official recognition, and consequently is more natural than walls at Pingyao (p. 220). The bus ride there departs from the main bus station every 30 minutes from 7am, with the last one heading back at 6pm the fare is 8.50 ( 1). The bus takes an indirect route through towns and villages almost entirely...

Inexpensive

Flora Hotel (Huashen Luguan) Set to the east of Lhasa's main mosque, and run by a Nepali Muslim family who have made Lhasa their home, this tiny new hotel boasts spotless, spartan rooms with sparkling bathrooms. Staff speak wonderful English and are more courteous than those of Lhasa's allegedly upmarket hotels. Hebalin Lu, QTngzhen Si, 850000. & 0891 632-4491. Fax 0891 632-4901. 26 units (20 with bathroom). 180 ( 23) twin 200 ( 25) standard 30 ( 3.70) dorm bed. 20 discounts. AE, DC, MC, V....

The Best of China

Compiled and edited by Peter Neville-Hadley t's unfortunate for visitors to China that however impressive the country's sights, they are often dwarfed by the hype surrounding them. The Chinese travel industry is determined to shuttle tour groups around a limited shortlist of both truly magnificent sights and merely wannabe jaw-droppers, selling a highly imaginary picture-book China so over-promoted that it can hardly fail to disappoint. And yet beyond the world of the carefully cropped...

In Around The Town

Ch ngtian Si and N ngxi B w gu n (Ch ngtian Temple and N ngxi Museum) The museum, which doesn't keep the most reliable hours, is on the grounds of Ch ngtian Temple, which also goes by the name of its Xl Ta (West Pagoda). First erected in 1050, the pagoda did not survive Y nchuan's devastating 1739 earthquake. The existing pagoda dates from 1820, and visitors are allowed to climb the 11-story building. The museum collection is divided into four parts, distributed among three buildings. The first...

Appendix B The Chinese Menu

One of the best things about any visit to China is the food, at least for the independent traveler. Tour groups are often treated to a relentless series of cheap, bland dishes designed to cause no complaints and to keep the costs down for the Chinese operator, so do everything you can to escape and order some of the local specialties we've described for you in each chapter. Here they are again, listed alphabetically under the cities in which they are mentioned, and with characters you can show...

Fast Facts Shanghai

If you don't find what you're looking for in these listings, try the Tourist Hotline 021 6252-0000 or inquire at your hotel desk. American Express Holders of an American Express card can make inquiries about currency exchange, emergency card replacement, personal check cashing, and 24-hour access to an ATM at Room 206, Shanghai Centre, Nanjing XT Lu 1376 021 6279-8082 fax 021 6279-7183 . An American Express Cash Dispenser is installed near the office in Shanghai Centre. The office is open...

Mm

Idkah Mosque Altiga'er Qlngzhen SI 9 Ordaisnki Mosque Aodaylxlke Qlngzhen SI 11 Sunday Bazaar Xlngqltian Dashlchang 14 Yarbag Polohanisi 10 Yuan Jiu Xiao Pang Zhuafan Wanzlmian Guan Yarbag Polohanisi 10 Yuan Jiu Xiao Pang Zhuafan Wanzlmian Guan Gt Police E3 Post Office ffl Rail Station warm service, you may witness brawls between Uighur queue jumpers and Han security guards. Tickets can be purchased 5 days in advance. The ticket office is open from 10am to 7pm in summer, from 10 30am to 7 30pm...

Out Of Town

Yungang Shiku Yungang Caves Influenced by the Buddhist site of Bamiyan in Afghanistan and the caves of Kizil and Kuqa in Xinjiang, p. 295 , the stone carvings of Yungang are the earliest of their kind in China. Hewn in three stages between 460 and 524, they show the movement from a heavy reliance on Indian and central Asian artistic models to an emergence of Chinese traditions. The caves numbered 16 to 20 the Five Caves of Tan Yao were carved between 460 and 465 under the supervision of a...

Essentials

GETTING THERE From Lijiang's airport, 24km 15 miles and a 30-minute taxi ride around 80 10 southwest of town, there are daily flights to Kunming 50 min. as well as weekly flights to Guangzhou 3 hr. , Shanghai 4J 2 hr. , and Xishuangbanna 30 min. . Tickets can be bought at the CAAC Yunnan Airlines ticket office at Fuhui Lu, Minhang Zhan amp 0888 5161289 . CAAC airport buses for 10 1.25 depart from the office 90 minutes before scheduled departures. There is another CAAC office on the first floor...

Dalian After Dark

The majority of nightspots in Dalian are neon karaoke dives that cater to naughty Japanese businessmen, but there are a few pleasant exceptions. Resident foreigners favor the subterranean Makewei, known to English speakers as Dave's Bar south end of Qiyi Jie amp 0411 282-2345 open 1pm until late , a U.N. of watering holes just northeast of Zhongshan Guangchang. Americans, Russians, Europeans, Asians, and Africans mix and flirt at Dave's without prejudice over bottles of Tsingtao beer. There are...

China Calendar Of Events

China's festivals follow the traditional lunar calendar, and to increase confusion, some minority calendars operate according to different traditions. For conversion to solar Gregorian calendar dates, try the websites www.est-direct.com china lunarcal.php, or www.mandarintools.com. The Chinese tourism industry is increasingly inventing festivals to try to boost business. Unless indicated below, be wary of any festival with the word tourism in its name, for instance. Chinese New Year, is still...

By Ship

There are ferry connections from Incheon in South Korea and from Shi-monoseki and Kobe www.celkobe.co. jp in Japan to Tianjin from Incheon and Shimonoseki www.orientferry.co. jp to Qingdao from Incheon to Weihai from Incheon to Dalian from Osaka and Kobe in Japan to Shanghai www.fune.co.jp chinjif and www. shanghai-ferry.co.jp from Incheon and Busan in Korea to Yantai and from Hong Kong and Macau to various points around Guangzhou www. turbocat.com and www.cksp.com.hk and Fujian provinces,...

The bar scene Kowloon

Chasers One of several bars lining the narrow, alleylike Knutsford Terrace, which parallels Kimberley Road to the north, this is one of the most popular, filled with a mixed clientele that includes both the young and the not-so-young, expat and Chinese. It features a house Filipino band nightly from 10 30pm, playing rock, jazz, rhythm-and-blues, and everything in between, free of charge. Happy hour is from noon to 9pm Sunday and from 5 to 9pm the rest of the week. The bar is open daily from...

Maos Roots

Mao's father was a poor peasant compelled out of poverty to join the army. Years later he returned to Shao Shan with ambitions of bettering his lot. When Mao was born, his father owned 15 hectares 37 acres of land and was a middle peasant. By the time Mao was a teenager, his father had 22 hectares 55 acres and the status of rich peasant. Mao spent his childhood in Shao Shan working in his father's rice paddies and, from age 8, studying the Confucian Analects and The Five Classics meaning the...

Tangkou

There's a bakery, Weitejia Mianbaofang, on Yin Shi Jie, the main street under the bridge. Next door is a mini-supermarket where you can stock up on snacks, groceries, and drinks for the climb. HongdashT Jiudian This relatively new 2001 two-star hotel just down the street from the Zhounan Hotel has unremarkable rooms with firm beds and forgettable furniture, but at least the rooms are very clean and the furniture is still new. Bathrooms are basic but clean and there's 24-hour hot water. The...

The leaning towers of kaipng

Much of southern Guangdong is a sprawl of untidy and often grim manufacturing, where sweated labor produces the world's toys. But Kaiping, 136km 85 miles southwest of Guangzhou, 164km 102 miles from the Macau border, and also reachable by sea directly from Hong Kong, is China at its most bucolic. Peasants in conical straw hats bend over their plants, and position hand-powered threshing machines on shoulder poles, much as in other provinces. But here they often toil beneath the gaze of...

Side trip to a waterfall detian pubu

The world's second largest transnational waterfall next to Niagara Falls is 200km 124 miles west of Nanning on the Sino-Vietnamese border. The rainy season is from mid-June to early August, but any visit from May to early October will show you the pretty falls in their full glory. With a total drop of 60m 197 ft. , the waterfall actually comprises several layers of falls with the majority of its 200m 656-ft. span comfortably ensconced on the Chinese side. You can view them from 7am to 7pm for...

The Cruise Lines

The following liners have the best English-speaking guides and the best ships. And after years of experience with foreign passengers, most have removed from their itineraries excursions that require a thorough familiarity with characters and events of the Three Kingdoms in order to enjoy them. Take advantage of off-season rates book and buy in China compare prices bargain and ask what the excursions are. The prices quoted here are rack rates, but 50 discounts are standard even during high...