Badaling and Mutianyu are two sections of the Wall popular with big tour groups. They are crowded, the Wall has been restored, and there are souvenir stands everywhere. Other sections, such as Simatai and Jinshanling, have not been restored and the big tour buses don't go there. You usually have to arrange your own transport to these sections, but lots of young foreigners do it. I rec Simatai, Jinshanling, or similar sections. The Wall is crumbling, there are few annoying souvenir touts, and it's quiet. I went to Simatai a few years ago and I was the only one there. With the surrounding mountains, the silence was fantastic.Forbidden City and Summer Palace are worth doing, plus Tiananmen Square... you could go see Mao's body, too, which I haven't actually done yet. Highly suggest renting some bicycles and spending a few hours biking around the hutong, which are a maze of alleys that form the heart of the city. Lots of old courtyard homes through there, really nice. Otherwise, the government has been doing a great job of destroying anything of historical or aesthetic value in the name of progress (a common lament among expats here). But the old core generally remains. It's also a great city for cycling, cuz it's flat and there are wide bicycle lanes.There's a mosque in the heart of the Muslim community that might be worth checking out, but it's under scaffolding at the moment so I haven't seen it. The Yong He Gong Tibetan Buddhist Lamasery is pretty cool -- doesn't compare to anything in or near Tibet, and it's touristy, but it's a colourful temple and worth seeing when you are here. You can hear the monks chanting, which is kinda cool, and there are some nice Buddhas.Silk Alley Market is really good for cheap, fake designer brands. Set aside money for clothes, pirate DVDs, stuff like that because it is DIRT cheap. Don't leave empty-handed if you can avoid it. Everything there is cheap, but you gotta bargain.>Can you suggest restaurants that we can >visit while we are there?There are restaurants EVERYWHERE. Houhai Lake has some nice bars and restaurants. You should have duck while you're here -- Quanjude is the famous place for that. And the night market in Wangfujing is worth seeing for all the fried insects, snakes and scorpions on sale. Yummy.
The sacred Mount Tai ('shan' means 'mountain') was the object of an imperial cult for nearly 2,000 years, and the artistic masterpieces found there are in perfect harmony with the natural landscape. It has always been a source of inspiration for Chinese artists and scholars and symbolizes ancient Chinese civilizations and beliefs.
We are in the town of Tai'an. It is a smallish place, only half a million people. heh. The food is terrible and the city is, well, a typical Chinese city. One funny thing about Chinese restaurants, is that in smaller cities (6 million or less), the restaurants have fairly rigid opening and closing times. If you want a meal at 3 PM, forget about it! Chinese people eat exactly at meal times. No snackers in this country. We tried to eat at 3 PM yesterday and encounted several restaurants where the staff was slumped over the tables, sleeping. Tables were covered with old dishes
At Peregrine, we also focus on taking the hassles and tedium out of travelling for you, so you can focus on the scenes around you. We transfer you from the airport on arrival. All your accommodation and transportation is taken care of. Private buses are used on all longer road journeys. The hotels in the towns and cities are well located, have private facilities and, in the tropics, are air-conditioned and often have pools. Some more basic local accommodation is often included as a highlight. All your entrance fees are included.
Start May 9th - and May 23rd
April 10th to May 1st
Imaginative Traveller Online Asia adventures
Experience the exciting atmosphere of Hong Kong, cycle through the stunning landscapes of Guilin and cruise through dramatic gorges along the fabled Yangtse River. Visit Kunming, the city of Eternal Spring, and the bizarre Stone Forest at Shilin. Take an amazing train journey into Sichuan province, home of the panda and the best cooking in China. You'll see the largest stone Buddha in the world, the remarkable Terracotta Army at Xi'an, and visit the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.
March 11th to March 26th