Chengdu might look like a typically gray Chinese metropolis of skyscrapers and chaotic traffic, but beneath the concrete exterior is one of China’s most inviting, charming cities. Life moves just a little more slowly here. The teahouses fill up quickly on weekends with locals practicing calligraphy and cracking sunflower seeds, and at the Chengdu panda research center, the city’s most famous residents seem content lazing about in trees most of the time.
One of our travelers recently sent the following cover letter with their trip evaluation. We are happy to share such a wonderful report.
I am pleased to return the evaluation for our recently completed trip. As with our previous experience with China Advocates, the trip has been a positive experience and well deserving of an “Excellent” rating.
The China Advocates trip design, planning and itinerary was frankly amazing. It was a true “Insider’s” view of the areas and communities we visited and far beyond what we could have planned using western guidebooks as a resource. In looking back at our experience and comparing our travel with the initial itinerary, our guides must have had a check list of what was promised. Other than the couple of situations beyond control, the trip was as promised if not more.
Special thanks must be given to our “local guides” for both their knowledge and for their personal attention to our comfort and care. Our local guides went far in expanding our understanding of modern China, it’s traditional ways and the peoples of China.
On June 21, 2015, China is hosting the first International taiji and yoga festival in the historic Dujiangyan, to celebrate international Yoga day. Located in the hills outside Chengdu, the natural beauty and serenity has attracted Buddhists and Taoists who built grand monasteries and simple hermitage for centuries. 2,000 years ago, Li Bin and his son created the ancient irrigation system, managing the flood flowing down from the mountains into Chengdu Plain. The result has not only controlled the flood damage, but turned Chengdu Plain into a Heavenly Paradise with constant water supply and abundance of food when the rest of the country was threatened by famine and wars. Dujiangyan Irrigation System is a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.
Greetings from Beijing,
I spent the morning at Zhongshan Park, west of the Forbidden City. This is my childhood playground where my dad took me ice skating in the winter.
There are magnificent cypresses here as old as the Imperial Palace. The corner tower, the city wall, and the moat of the Forbidden City still render the flavor of the old dynasties along the northern border.
A classical Chinese garden with bamboo covers the lush ground. A traditional courtyard contains what Chinese have treasured for centuries–orchids, paintings and Taihu rocks, all are delightful surprises for my eager return.
Charlotte Xu Dewar
Founder of China Advocates
In this unique time-lapse video of Shanghai, JT Singh leads us through the world-class dynamic city of Shanghai. A wonderful artistic interpretation from a local resident. “‘Walk in Shanghai’ is only an introductory tour of Shanghai’s urban streets. The remaining story of Shanghai’s suspense and beauty can only be experienced in person, and through using your legs as the main mode of transport.”
Last night’s Met Costume Institute Gala embraced the theme “China: Through the Looking Glass,” allowing Conde Nast Traveler the perfect opportunity to interview celebrities from Madonna to Usher about their travel habits and latest trip to Asia. See the photos and quotes on the Conde Naste Traveler website at: Celebrity Travel Talk at the Met Gala.