Monday, December 14, 2015

Beijing offers beautiful ice skaing

Shichahai Lakes in the summer
The three lakes in central Beijing have been named one of the 10 most beautiful places to ice skate during the winter in the world.

CNN recently compiled a list that includes Red Square in Moscow and Lake Louise in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

The article notes the lakes --, Houhai, Qinghai and Xihai, known collectively as Shichahai -- offer ice skating in a rink that is surrounded by historical architecture. The phoeo they used with the brief explanation shows the Drum and Bell towers, two Beijing landmarks, in the background.

While the lakes are bluely serene in the summer, they freeze over in the winter. Many people ice skate wearing every day shoes,, while others wear regular ice skates. They also push each other around on metal chairs.

If I were compiling the list, I also would have included Kunming Lake at Beijing's Summer Palace on the list. It's another popular place with ice skaters who can look up to Longevity Hill while they're on the ice.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Site in China joins UNESCO World Heritage list

China landed one site on UNESCO's World Heritage list for 2015; 24 sites from around the world were added to the list this year.

The international organization recognized the Tusi in the mountains of southwest China. The area is noted for its form of tribal government that existed from the 13th to the 20th centuries. The Tusi were hereditary rulers from several tribal or minority domains. The Tusi system can be traced back the third century BC.

"Its purpose was to unify national administration, while allowing ethnic minorities to retain their customs and way of life," UNESCO says.

Laosicheng, Tangya and Hailongtun Fortress are included in the new World Heritge site that was announced on July 4.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Chinese food experts: what's this?

What is this food?

I love visiting night food markets when I'm traveling in China. sometimes I even sample a few foods IF I know what they are.

This picture shows a pile of something that's been cooked and sliced. In its whole form, it looks like a humongous egg shell, Does anyone know what it is and what it tastes like?

If you know, please leave a comment below.

Are you going to China?

If a trip to china is in your future, please check out my website, Cheryl's China, for tips and suggestions. If you have any questions about travel in China, please feel free to email me.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

2015: the Year of the Sheep

Sheep at a county fair
Are you a sheep? If you are, then 2015 is your year.

Chinese New Year, which is February 19, will honor the sheep. The featured animal in the Chinese zodiac changes every year, operating on a 12-year cycle. 2014 was the Year of the Horse.
Chinese New Year, known as Spring Festival, is the biggest holiday of the year in the Middle Kingdom. It's comparable to a Western Christmas celebration, when people return home to spend the holiday with their families. Hundreds of millions of Chinese will travel during this time.

The sheep is among the most popular of the animals in the Chinese zodiac.

Sheep personality traits
If you were born in the Year of the Sheep, your personality traits will include being gentle, compassionate, determined and creative. You’ll also have a tendency to be pessimistic and moody, and would rather run away from your problems than stick around and face them.

You are most compatible with people born in the years of the horse, pig and rabbit, and least compatible with those born in the years of the dog, rat and ox,

If you’re superstitious, you should avoid the numbers 6, 7 and 8, as they won’t bring you luck. Numbers 3, 4 and 9 are considered auspicious for sheep.

Celebrities born in past years of the sheep include Michelangelo, Mark Twin, the Tang Emperor Li Shimin, the Empress Dowager Cixi who embezzled funds from the Chinese Navy to build the Marble Boat at Beijing’s Summer Palace, and Chinese actors Chow Yun-Fat and Zhang Ziyi.

Predictions for a sheep's year
The year of one’s birth animal usually means that person will have good luck for that year. That might not be the case in 2015 for sheep, according to fortune tellers. No matter how hard they work, sheep shouldn’t expect a promotion or salary raise this year; they will be lucky to get through the year in their job, though some months working will be easier than others,

Fortune tellers also say when it comes to wealth, sheep should be cautious about investments and should reduce expenses to make it easier to make ends meet. Buying a house would not be a lucky move this year. 2915 is not a good year to get married; already married sheep will need to work hard to maintain the relationship with their spouses. To maintain their health, sheep should stay away from sharp objects, exercise regularly and avoid greasy foods, which is good advice regardless of which animal is featured.
Are you going to China?
If a trip to China is in your travel plans in 2015, be sure to check out my website, Cheryl's China, for tips and suggestions of things to see and do. Please feel free to email me if you have questions about travel in China.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Five Chinese cities among world's most popular with tourists

Five cities in China were among the most popular cities for international tourism in 2013. CNN recently published a list of the top 25 cities in the world that received the most international tourists.

Hong Kong was the world's most visited city, with 25.6 million travelers going there in 2013. The former British Colony reverted to Chinese rule in lavish handover ceremonies in 1997. It's a shopper's paradise. with golden sand beaches and a harbor teeming with traffic.

Macau took sixth place behind London, #4, and Paris, #5, for most visitors. The former Portuguese colony, which also has reverted to Chinese governance, received 14.3 international visitors in 2013. Macau has opulent casinos that are only a short boat ride away from Hong Kong, making it popular with day-trippers.

Shenzhen, a special economic zone just across the border from Hong Kong, took eighth place with 11.7 international visitors.

Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton in  Guangdong Province, landed in 16th place on the list of the top 25 cities getting the most visitors. Famous for its trade fairs, Guangzhou welcomed 7.6 million international visitors.

Shanghai,, the biggest city in China, received 6.1 million international tourists to occupy 22nd place. Shanghai, famous for its riverfront, the Bund, is the financial capital of China.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Two Chinese cities make NYT's annual list

Two places on China made the New York Time's annual list of places to visit in the coming year.  Chengdu, in southwest China, made the list at No. 44, and Shanghai, the country's largest city, was No. 46 on the paper's annual list, which featured 52 places to go in 2015.

I've been to both cities before. I spent almost a week in Chengdu in 1997, and loved it. I visited Shanghai on my first trip to China in 1984, and have been back twice since then, most recently in 2008, when we spent 10 days there. The changes between the first and last trips have been mind-boggling. We're contemplating a return trip in 2015.


Pandas are popular in Chengdu
Chengdu is well known for its pandas, so any visit there should include a trip to the panda breeding center. Besides the pandas, the paper picked Chengdu because of its firey food scene and new sophisticated boutique hotels.

I can attest to the spiciness of the food. Generally, if cooks in small neighborhood restaurants, like we favor, know they're cooking for foreigners, they'll tone the food down.  Apparently the waitress at one restaurant forgot to tell the chef the gungbaojiding (chicken cubes in a spicy peanut sauce) was for me. The dish was loaded with chili peppers. I screamed for more water with every mouthful. It was the best gungbaojiding I've ever eaten!


An exhibit at Shanghai Museum
The paper picked Shanghai because of the new art museums that have opened recently in the financial capital of China. The museums are the Long Museum, located on the west Bend; the Yuz Museum, which opened in a remodeled airport hanger, and the 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum, which is housed in the former French pavillion at the 2010 World Expo site.

One of the best museums in China is located in Shanghai: the Shanghai Museum. It's not totally full of fine art, as are the above museum, but contains artifacts and art from thousands of years of Chinese history.  I've been there twice and each time come away fascinated by the museum's wide variety of contents.  The museum is so popular, it limits the number of people who visit daily to 8,000 people, so go early. Admission is free.

Are you going to China?

If a trip to China is in your plans, check out my website, Cheryl's China, and feel free to email me if you have any questions about travel in China.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Four spots in China among world's most colorful landscapes

Four scenic spots in China made the list of the 15 most colorful landscapes in the world. The list was compiled by CNN.

The spectacular landscapes can be found in China at:
  • Danxia Landform in Gansu Province. The colorful hills look almost surreal, as if they were a modern art painting, rather than the world of Mother Nature. Sandstone and minerals created the colors millions of years ago.
  •  Rice fields in Yunnan Province. Located in Yuanyuang County, the terraced rice fields are separated by dikes of earth in geometric patterns. The Hani minority people created the terraced paddies more than 1,000 years ago for growing red rice. When the paddies are flooded, the water is like a reflection pool, mirroring the blue sky, clouds and a red sunset. Later, they’ll turn to green as the rice shoots up.
  • Luoping Basin, Qujing Prefecture. Each March, the fields, which are punctuated with conical mounds, glow yellow when canola plants bloom.
  • Red Beach, Panjin, Liaoning Province. Seaweed in the Liahe River delta turns a bright red in the fall, thus giving the beach its name.
Are you going to China?

If a trip to China is in your plans, please check out my website, Cheryl's China, for tips and suggestions. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.