Friday, August 30, 2013

Two Chinese sites make 'beautiful' list

Cormorants in Tongli
Two locations in China are among those CNN identified as 31 beautiful sights on this incredible planet.

No. 5 on the list is cormorant fishing in China while Fenghuang is No. 13.

The article suggests drifting down the scenic Nanxi River in Zhejiang Province as the best way to see cormorant fishing where fishermen use these birds to catch fish. The birds dive off a boat into the water and come back up with a fish. We saw this demonstrated in a canal when we visited Tongli, a water town an hour's drive from Shanghai. Wenzhou is the nearest big city for those wanting to drift the river in a bamboo boat.

Fenghuang is an old town in Hunan Province that is popular with backpackers, the article notes.The 1,300-yer-old town was made popular in a Chinese novel, Frontier City. The small town only ha about 200 houses, 10 alleys and 20 streets. It sounds like the type of place I'd like to spend a few hours just walking around. Daily bus service is available from the provincial capital of Changsha.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Plan early for travel to China

If you're planning a trip to China, be sure to leave plenty of time to get your visa. The Chinese government is increasing the time to process visa applications from five days to 15 days on September 1, according to this article in China Daily. Apparently the immigration folks want more time to verify the information on the application.

The good news in the article is that the Chinese may be lowering the cost of visas for citizens of some countries, including the United States. The visa fee is now $140. I frankly can't see them lowering it that much because the Chinese practice reciprocity -- they charge the same fees for foreign visitors that another country charges Chinese citizens to visit that country.

Other new visa requirements went into effect July 1, though apparently aren't being implemented until September 1.


This article , by a law firm with offices in China and the United States, offers an excellent appraisal of the Chinese visa situation by comparing the old and the new visa regulations.

The main change for tourist visas is dropping the requirement for airline and hotel reservations to be included with the visa application. An itinerary will still be required and reservations may be requested from some applicants.

Are you going to China?

If China is in your travel plans, check out Cheryl's China, my website that is loaded with ideas and tips to help make your trip more enjoyable.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Two Chinese cities deemed unfriendly

Two cities in China made the list of the world's top 20 unfriendliest cities;: Guangzhou and Shenzhe, both in South China, The list was drawn up by Conde Nast Traveler magazine and based on a reader survey, with a summary article published on CNN. Some 46,000 people participated in the magazine's annual survey.

Guangzhou, capital of Guandong Province, ranked No. 14, while Shenzhen, just across the border from Hong Kong, was rated No. 11. Newark, New Jersey, was named the world's unfriendliest city by travelers; seven other U.S. cities were on the list.

No city in China made a companion list of the world's friendliest cities, while Charleston, South Carolina, was the only U.S. city on this list; it ranked at No. 5.