Saturday, August 20, 2011


(does not include Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, or Shanghai)

Trails of Indochina – 10/8 Phan Dinh Giot Street (Ho Chi Minh City, Tan Binh District); 011-84-8-3844-1005;

Sights & Sites
Crescent Lake (Yueyaquan) – 4 miles south of Dunhuang City;; surrounded by Echoing-Sand Mountain; visit both together; entry to area by either shuttle buses, located left of the entrance, or by walking along main path to lake when time permits; can also ride on camel.
Mogao Caves –; UNESCO World Heritage site; caves contain some of finest Buddhist art examples, spanning 1K years; 1st caves dug out 366 CE as Buddhist meditation and worship places.
Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park – (1) Linze Danxia Scenic Area (Nantaizi Village (Nijiaying County), 40 kms from Zhangye City & 20 kms from Linze County Town), (2) Sunan Danxia Scenic Area (Ganjun District, west of Zhangye & south of Linze County Town), & (3) Binggou Danxia Scenic Area (Kangle District, Sunan Uygur Autonomous County, 20 kms from Sunan Danxia Scenic Area);; regarding 3 areas: (1) Linze Danxia Scenic Area – most developed & frequented, with 4 viewing platforms, 1st being best & nearest (10 minutes from entrance, 2nd being 10 minutes from 1st but taking lots effort to get to top (666 steps up), 3rd allowing view over “7-Color Fan,” & 4th being largest, allowing view of variegated colors of Qicai Shan (“7-Color Mountain”); (2) Sunan Danxia Scenic Area – bigger than Linze Danxia Scenic Area, with fewer tourists & more beautiful scenery; & (3) Binggou Danxia Scenic Area – geologists call it “window lattice & palace-shaped Danxia topography,” shaped like camel, palace & shrine.

Sights & Sites
Guangzhou Opera House – Zhujiang West Road, #1; 011-86-20-38392888 or 011-86-20-3839-2666;; designed by Zaha Hadid.

Hailing Island
Sights & Sites
Maritime Silk Road Museum – Silver Beach; dedicated to artifacts gathered from, among other places, Nan Tianshun wreck.

Shenzen – 1 hour bullet train ride north of Hong Kong
Grand Hyatt Shenzen Hotel – 1881 Baoan Nan Road; 011-86-755-8266-1234;; 491 rooms; bay windows.
Kempinski Hotel Shenzen – Hai De San Dao, Hou Hai Bin Road; 011-86-755-8888-8888;
Shangri-La – 1002 Jianshe Road; 011-86-755-8233-0888;
Din Tai Fung – 175, 1F Zhenhwa Road (Futian); 011-86-755-8323-6998;; excellent café chain that elevates street food into something elegant; try xiaolong bao (soup dumplings).

Hotel of Modern Art – Dabu Xiang (Yanshan District); 011-86-773-386-5555;
Dinner Cave – Dabu Xiang (Yanshan District, at Hotel of Modern Art); 011-86-773-386-9066;; dine in limestone cave.
Sights & Sites
Mao’er Mountain National Forest Park – Tongren Village;; UNESCO Biosphere Preserve; 17K hectares; targets conservation of primary subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest ecosystem; highest peak in South China.

Sights & Sites
4-Hour Hike – Yangdi Wharf; buy tickets beforehand at nearby open-air stand; will involve 3 ferry crossings; ends in Xingping at Yellow Cloth Shoal (depicted on 20 renminbi note’s back).

Hainan Island
Banyan Tree Sanya – 6 Luling Road; 011-86-898-8860-9988 or 800-591-0439;; 61 pool villas are very private.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Sanya – 12 Yuhai Road; 011-86-898-8820-9999;

Le Meridien Shimei Bay – Shimei Bay; 011-86-898-6252-8888;; most secluded hotel in region; stunning infinity pool and open atrium; 275 rooms with 25 villas; excellent hiking and offshore island access.

Dajintai Hotel – Gu Lou Jie 23; 011-86-37-8255-2888; guesthouse’s location and price make it standout; located next to night market; rooms are nothing special, just standard 2-star fare, but bathrooms are very clean, and tile floors in rooms sparkle; rooms facing street may be noisy, especially at night when market kicks into full gear.
Guo Yan –; 011-86-38-7115-2704; tours of China’s ancient Jewish enclave.
Shi Lei –; tours of China’s ancient Jewish enclave.

Sights & Sites
Longmen Grottoes – Yihe River banks (Luolong District); 011-86-37-9598-1342;; largest and most impressive Chinese art collection (late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties (316-907)); Buddhist.
Youguo Temple – 210 Beimen Street (Shunhe Huizuqu); 011-86-371-2282-6629;; Buddhist monastery complex built during Song dynasty (960-1279 CE); features Iron Pagoda towering in complex center.

Sights & Sites
Bashan Forest Park – Badong;; in foothill depths of canyon between Badong county (east about 5 km of Yangtze Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge); provincial park; worth special trip; cave at end of stone path that snakes through gorge; Buddha statue overlooks water; when reach cave, old man will take you on gondola ride through its chambers.
Mount Niutou Forest Park – Guizhou Road (Caijia County, Zhangwan District); 011-86-071-9863-3042.
Mount Wudang – Shiyan City (Danjiangko);; Taoist shrine, Wudang Mountain is located in Shiyan City, Hubei Province. Also called Taihe and Xuanyue Mountain, it renowned for magnificent ancient building complex and appealing natural landscape; on UNESCO World Heritage List; construction started in Tang Dynasty (618-907).
Shennongjia National Nature Reserve –; located at juncture of 3 counties (Badong, Fangxian & Xingshan); 70,467 hectares, encompassing 3 vertical vegetation zones (cold temperate, subtropical & warm temperate); hence, ideal for ecological research on biodiversity, typicality, etc.; UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Network member.

Sights & Sites
Guiyan Chansi Buddhist Temple – 20 Cuiwei Heng Lu; 011-86-027-8243-5212; 46.9K2 meters; originally established in 1658 in Qing Dynasty; “Guiyuan” originates from sutra, meaning to surpass existence’s limits, to return to purity and tranquility; Buddhist temple in garden style; 5 courtyards; eastern courtyard is entrance; after entering, northern courtyard on right, in which Amitabha, Kwan-yin Bodhisattva, and Dashizhi Bodhisattva worshipped (collectively, “3 western saints”; Wenshu Bodhisattva and Puxian Bodhisattva also worshipped; in southern courtyard, most famous hall is Lohan Hall (among 5 best Lohan halls in China); 500 Lohans here are vivid and lively just like real people; all identical in size, and each no more than 25 kgs; no 2 Lohans with same appearance or expression.

Sights & Sites
Shibaozhai Pagoda (Stone Treasure Stronghold) – Zhong County (Yangtze River’s south bank);; sheer cliffs into which 12-story pagoda build; constructed by Emperor Qianlong (1736-1796) during Qing Dynasty; historical inscriptions and wall carvings describe construction along circuitous stairway that leads from pagoda center to top.
3 Gorges Dam – Sandouping;; world’s largest power station in installed capacity (22,500 MW) terms.

Sights & Sites
Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall – 195 Chating Dong Jie (Jiang Dong Men); 011-86-025-8446-6460;; for people killed in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese army on and around December 13, 1937.
Nanjing-Sifang Art Museum – 178 Pearl Street (Pearl Spring, Pukou District); 011-86-025-6819-0789;

Hotel Soul – 27-33 Qiaosikong Alley (Pingjiang); 011-86-0512-6777-0777;; luxe yet relatively inexpensive, high-design hotel; in old part of town; short walk from Guanqian shopping street; short taxi ride from several classical gardens.
InterContinental Suzhou – 288 Wangdun Road (Wuzhong, Industrial District); 011-86-0512-6285-8888;; business-like yet chic hotel; spa and infinity pool overlooks Jinji Lake.
Pingjiang Lodge – 33 Niujia Alley; 011-86-0512-6523-3888;‎; place to stay with sense of history; 450 year-old merchant’s home; decorated with antique Chinese furniture; updated with modern bathrooms, broadband & televisions.
Tonino Lamborgini Boutique Hotel – 168 Xinggang Street (Industrial Park); 011-86-0512-6285-9999;; elite 92-room property; has won awards for modern design; on Jinji Lake; sip on sunset cocktails on motorboat.
De Yue Lou – 43 Taijian Long (Guanqian Street); 011-86-0512-6523-8940;; large, nondescript restaurant full of local banqueters; considered among city’s best.
Song He Lou – 72 Taijian Long (141 Guanqian Street); 011-86-0512-6727-2285;; brightly lit, white table-cloth restaurant of long-standing reputation; order Squirrel Fish and honey snap peas.
Tong De Xing – 624 Shi Quan Street (South Gate); 011-86-0512-6516-5206 or 011-86-0512-6511-3808;; proletarian-style canteen; famous for heavenly soup in single-bowl servings.
Sights & Sites
Garden of Cultivation (Yipu Garden) – 5 Wenya Lane (Tiankuqian, between Jinmen Gate & Lumen Gate); 011-86-0512-6727-1614;; small garden gem; reached via wandering route that passes through alleys.
Master of Nets Garden – Dai Cheng Qiao Road, 11 Kuo Jia Tou Xiang (Gusu District); 011-86-0512-6529-3190;; among China’s finest gardens; UNESCO World Heritage Site; originally called 10K Volume Hall; 1st constructed in 1140 by Shi Zhengzhi, southern Song Dynasty government’s Deputy Civil Service Minster; inspired by Chinese fisherman’s simple and solitary life, depicted in philosophical writings; after his death, garden passed through numerous hands and fell into disarray until around 1785 when Song Zongyuan, Qing Dynasty retired government official, restored; drastically redesigned garden and added multiple buildings; renamed it Master of Nets Garden; ownership passed to Qu Yuancun, classics and literature scholar, in 1795; added and remodelled buildings, planted trees, and arranged stones; ownership passed to Li Hongyi, imperial official and master calligrapher, in 1868; about half garden steles inscribed by him; ownership passed to He Chang in 1940, who restored; in his will, garden donated to government; now, 5.4K m² garden divided into east and west sections; eastern part consists of residential quarters, while gardens are located in western part.
Pingjiang Road – notable for quirky shops and restaurants.
Suzhou Museum – 204 Dongbei Street; 011-86-0512-6757-5666;; ancient Chinese art, ancient Chinese paintings, calligraphy & handmade crafts; I.M. Pei design.
Tiger Hill Pagoda – Tiger Hill; 011-86-0512-6532-3488;; 1K year-old, 7-story pagoda.

Sights & Sites
Poyang Lake National Nature Reserve – Poyang Lake;; China’s largest fresh water lake; on Yangtze River; main function is to protect endangered & rare migratory birds, especially Siberian Cranes (98% global number); 45 mammal species, 310 birds, 48 reptiles, 136 fish, 227 insects, 40 shellfishes, 46 zooplankton, 50 phytoplankton & 476 higher plants; 80% global Oriental White Storks & 70% White-naped Cranes populations in winter; also wintering site for largest Swan Geese population in world (more than 60K) & Tundra Swans (more than 80K).

Chengbao Hotel – Xinghai Bay Area;; landmark castle.

Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Casa do Antonio – 7 Rua dos Negociantes (Taipa Island); 011-853-2882-7892;; coffee shop.
Bars & Nightclubs
Macao Soul – 31A Rua de Sao Paulo; 011-853-2836-5182;; cozy wine bar-lounge bedecked with personal touches.
Terrace – Avenida da Republica (Inner Harbor, Fortaleza de Sao Tiago da Barra, at Pousada da Sao Tiago); 011-853-2896-8686;; housed in 17th Century converted fort; bar-café; Sangria is must.
Hac Sa (Black Sand) Beach.
Pousada de Mong-Ha – Colina de Mong-Ha; 011-853-2851-5222;; on verdant hill; 20 rooms decorated with Asian art and having garden views; part of Institute of Tourism Studies so students run day-to-day operations.
Pousada de Sao Tiago – Avenida da Republica (Inner Harbor, Fortaleza de Sao Tiago da Barra); 011-853-2837-8111;; 12-room boutique hotel in converted 17th Century fortress; small swimming pool in lush garden.
Wynn Macau – Rua Cidade de Sintra; 011-853-986-9966 or 800-780-5733;; like its Las Vegas sister-property; excellent restaurant; avoid monsoon months (June-September) standard rooms are sufficiently spacious.
Antica Trattoria da Isa – 40-46 Avenida Sir Anders Ljungstedt (Vista Magnifica Bldg, 1st Floor); 011-853-2875-5102;; family-owned Italian restaurant; some exotic specials (boar, for example).
Antonio’s – 3 Rua dos Negociantes (Taipa Island); 011-853-2899-9998;; authentic Portuguese food.
Restaurant Espaco Lisboa – 8 Rua das Gaivotas (Coloane Village); 011-853-2888-2226; Portuguese gastronomy bastion; must have reservations for good seat at this 100 year-old establishment (want to sit at table on petite 2nd-floor veranda.
Petisqueira – 15 Rua de Sao Joao; 011-853-2882-5354; standout, though unprepossessing, Portuguese eating establishment; homey; reservations necessary; market-fresh seafood; but, also, boar.
Il Teatro – Rua Cidade de Sintra (at Wynn Macau); 011-853-986-9966;
Lines Lab – 8 Calcada da Igreja de Sao Lazaro (at Albergue SCM); 011-853-2852-3869;; where Clara Brita and Manuel Correia da Silva dream up and execute innovative, clothing, furniture, handbags, and lighting.
Macau Creations – 5A Rua da Ressurreicao; 011-853-2835-2954;; Macaunese artist-designed products.
Portuguese Corner Shop – 8 Calcada da Igreja de Sao Lazaro (at Albergue SCM); 011-853-2856-2708;; traditional Portuguese goods, including filigreed jewelry and hand-painted tiles.
Tap Seac Gallery – 95 Avenida do Conselheiro Ferreira de Almeida; 011-853-8399-6699;; housed in historic neo-Classical building decked out with arched doorways and wooden shutters; modern art.
Sights & Sites
Albergue SCM – 8 Calcada da Igreja de Sao Lazaro; 011-853-2852-2550;; once home for unmarried women (called “Old Ladies’ Home”); Mediterranean villa complex surrounding shady courtyard that holds architecture, art, and fashion exhibitions and workshops.
Camoes Garden & Grotto – 13 Praça Luis de Camões (Center);; park with centuries-old trees; named after Portuguese poet banished to Macau; north of Ruins of St. Paul (8-10 minutes walk) and next to several World Heritage sites, including St. Anthony’s Church, Casa Garden and Protestant Cemetery.
Coloane Trail – Estrada do Alto de Coloane (near Recreational Fishing Zone); 5-mile hiking path; start at Arboretum, continuing along leafy loop (fairly flat); great views.
Guia Hill – Estrada do Engenheiro Trigo; 011-853-8394-3703;; access by cable car; 17th Century fort; great city views; can walk down 1.2 mile pedestrian path; check out nearby lighthouse and small chapel with faded biblical and Chinese-themed frescoes.
Largo do Senado – Historic City Center; also called Senate Square; paved area enclosed by buildings (Leal Senado, General Post Office, and St. Dominic’s Church); paved in traditional, black-and-white-wavy Portuguese pavement; Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro passes through square; UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Leal Senado (IACM Building) – 163 Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro; 011-853-2833-7676; granite staircase leads to hidden courtyard garden; portuguese tiles (azulejos, ivy-covered walls, and blooming flowers.
Mandarin House – 10 Travessa de Antonio da Silva; 011-853-2896-8820;; in UNESCO World Heritage Site district; massively renovated; 1 of only 2 19th Century Chinese-style dwellings left in Macau.
Senado Square – enclosed by Leal Senado building, General Post Office, and St. Dominic’s Church; pedestrian plaza that peninsula’s symbolic heart; with wavy black-&-white stone paving.
St. Paul’s Cathedral – Rua de Sao Paulo; considered Macau’s most famous landmark, this 16th Century cathedral’s ruins feature spectacular façade with intricate carvings by Japanese monks.
Taipa Houses Museum – Avenida da Praia (Taipa Island); 011-853-2882-7103;; 5 restored colonial-era (1921), wealthy Macanese summer villas; House of Regions of Portugal showcases Portuguese traditions; House of Islands looks at Coloane and Taipa history, with displays on traditional industries, such as fishing and fireworks manufacture; Macanese House offers snapshot of early 20th Century life.

Haixi Mongol& Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
Sights & Sites
Baigong Pipes – Mount Baigong; pipe-like features found on & near Mount Baigong, about 40 km southwest of Delingha; some pipes associated with 3 caves within front face of Mount Baigong; mouths of 2 smaller caves have collapsed; only largest cave, which is 18' high, can be entered; similar formations found on shore & within Tuosu Lake, also transliterated as Lake Toson, which lies 260' from largest cave’s mouth; on lake’s beach, about 130' from largest cave’s mouth, apparently flat-lying, hollow, pipe-like features found, reddish-brown because consist of 30% ferric oxide (oxidized iron).

Sights & Sites
Hanging Temple – Hengshan (Hunyuan County); temple built into cliff (246' above); built more than 1.5K years ago; includes Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist elements; structure kept in place with wooden crossbeams fitted into holes chiseled into cliffs.
Yungang Grottoes – Wuzhou Mountain; 011-86-352-302-6230; yungang.or; UNESCO World Heritage site; ancient Chinese Buddhist temple grottoes; rock-cut architecture from 5th-6th Centuries; 252 grottoes with more than 51K Buddha statues and statuettes.

Pingyao (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Jing’s Residence – 16 East Main Street; 011-86-354-584-1000;; boutique hotel.

Sights & Sites
Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors & Horses – Qinling North Road (Lintong); 011-86-2-9391-1961;; terracotta sculptures depicting China’s 1st Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s army; funerary art form dating from 3rd Century BCE.

Hard Wok Café – Mount Emei, near upper monastery.
Sights & Sites
Mount Emei –; Chinese Buddhism’s highest holy mountain; must climb Ks stairs and stay overnight at monasteries along 32-mile path; at apex is “Golden Summit,” home to huge, gold multi-faced Buddha on 4-headed elephant; great spot for sunrise; can take buses and/or cable cars halfway up; make sure to visit Venerable Trees Terrace and Wannian Temple.

Astor Hotel – 33 Taier Zhuang Road; 011-86-22-2331-1688;

Imperial Tours – 2-2004 Wanguocheng, 1 Xiangheyuan Lu 1; 011-86-10-8440-7162;; Beijing-based tour operator that is regional authority.

Green Lake Hotel – South Cui Hu Nan Lu 6; 011-86-87-1515-888; Hilton; rooms well maintained and luxuriously appointed with huge king-size beds; lake is wonderful area to stroll, as is university.
Gingko Elite – 16 Cuihu Dong Lu; 011-86-87-1516-6972; modern décor; excellent Shanghaiese and Yunnanese cooking; multilevel, high-design space; small, tasteful private rooms sleekly done in wood and glass; try delicious cold rice noodles and pan-fried goose breast with abalone sauce.
Sights & Sites
Cui Hu – interlinking ponds and trees in city center;large enough that can forget what lies beyond perimeter; benches by water.

Lijiang (includes Baisha)
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Freshnam Café – 119 Wuyi Street (Old Town, 68 Wang Jia Zhang Alley); 011-86-135-7838-3745 or 011-86-139-8887-1277; on quiet strip; good place to read book and drink tea.
N’s Kitchen – 17 Jishan Alley (Old Town); 011-86-888-0512-0060; look for bright yellow stairs and follow up; coffee.
Bars & Nightclubs
Bells Restaurant & Bar – 1 Square Market (Old Town, 2nd Floor); 011-86-888-518-5199; New Zealand wines.
Freshnam Café – 119 Wuyi Street (Old Town, 68 Wang Jia Zhang Alley); 011-86-135-7838-3745 or 011-86-139-8887-1277; on quiet strip; simple setting for live music (folk) and interesting beers.
Stone Crows – 134-2 Wenzhi Alley (Old Town, Wuyi Street); 011-86-133-6888-1832; Irish-run pub; excellent mixed drinks.
AmanDayan – 29 Shishan Road (Gucheng); 011-86-;; in UNESCO-protected Old Town.
Banyan Tree – Yuerong Road (Shuhe); 011-86-888-533-1111;; Himalayan retreat, 6.5K feet above sea level with 55 villas facing Jade Dragon Snow Mountain’s glacial peaks; high stone walls encircle compound of interconnected private courtyards, where roofs with upwardly curved tips emulate Naxi culture (preserved at nearby UNESCO world heritage site); each room has outdoor hot tub or plunge pool; May-July for rhodedendrons’ full bloom; all villas face snowy peaks.
Blossom Hill Inn Neverland – 97 Wenzhi Lane (Old Town, Wuyi Street); 011-86-888-516-9709;; 17-room boutique off quiet alley; centered around stone courtyard; breakfast included.
Zen Garden Lion Hill – 37 Shuang Shi Alley (Old Town, Xinhua Street); 011-86-888-518-9799;; 16 antique-furnished rooms with views.
88 Snack – 88 Wuyi Street (Old Town); 011-86-888-518-3111;; unassuming facade masks best Naxi restaurant in town; try Dongba spicy chicken; can order deep-fried dragonflies.
Here – 58 Baisha Street (Baisha); 011-86-888-539-6997; elegant Italian food (pastas and pizzas); also, cats are all over place.
N’s Kitchen – 17 Jishan Alley (Old Town); 011-86-888-0512-0060; look for bright yellow stairs and follow up; hippie breakfasts.
Bicycle Rentals – Red Sun Square (at Ali Baba Cafe); 011-86-133-8888-7827.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Chinese Medicine Clinic – Baisha Street (Baisha); 011-86-888-514-2015; ask for Dr. Ho, age 90; will diagnose ailments in good English and offer you mystery tea for small donation.
Prague Cafe – 80 Mishi Xiang (Old Town); 011-86-888-0512-3757; multinational food in Bohemian atmosphere.
Bunong Bells – 73 Lower Xingren Lane (Old Town, Wuyi Street); 011-86-888-0512-6638; stylized bells like those used on caravan trail horses.
Dongba Paper Workshop – Lower Xinyuan Lane (Old Town, Guangyi Street); 011-86-888-511-2288; chain; can make own paper.
Miliang – 14 San Yuan Village (Baisha); 011-86-130-9744-0079; hand-painted linen bags.
Sights & Sites
Baisha – 6 miles north of Old Town; 1-street village and original Naxi capital; at Jade Dragon Snow Mountain’s base; can get there by bike.
Lion Hill Park – Gucheng District; 15 hectares with green trees (more than 40 ancient, 800 year-old cypress trees); landmark building is Wangyu Tower, from which tremendous views.
Mu’s Residence – Guanyuan Lane (Gucheng, Guangyi Street, at lane’s end); 011-86-888-0512-2572; Lijiang’s former ruling family’s former home; follow path that winds uphill, past Taoist Temple, part way up to Lion Hill Park.
Old Town – UNESCO world heritage site; more than 800 years old; once confluence for trade along old tea horse road; famous for orderly bridge and waterway system; differs from other ancient Chinese cities in architecture, history, and culture of its traditional residents, Nakhi people; home to Jade Water Village, Dongba cultural center, and Lugu Lake.
Square Market – Old Town; main plaza; view up hill and surrounding lanes are extraordinary.

Anantara Xishuangbanna Resort & Spa – Menglun; 011-86-691-893-6666;; dreamy, riverside location.

No comments:

Post a Comment