Dehang Miao Village

An Eventful Day at The Dehang Miao Village

Dehang translates to “beautiful valley” in the Hmong language, and it’s easy to see why. Located about 20km west of the city of Jishou, the village has been open for tourism since the 1980s. And most visitors make the trip over for two reasons: to experience local Miao culture and to hike through one of

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Southern Great Wall Fenghuang

A Walk Along China’s Southern Great Wall

The Fenghuang Ancient Town area has plenty to do and see. One can spend several days in town, exploring its hidden spots and cobblestone backstreets. But if you purchase Fenghuang’s ¥168 ‘through ticket,’ you’ll notice that it includes a few places well outside the city itself: Qiliang Cave and the Southern Great Wall. But is going

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Nanhua Mountain Phoenix Cultural Spot

Meeting a Mythical Bird at The Nanhua Mountain Phoenix Cultural Spot

Fenghuang, one of China’s most beloved historical towns, translates to ‘Phoenix.’  The legendary bird, in fact, has been a part of Chinese folklore and culture for around 8,000 years. And arriving in Fenghuang Ancient Town, I wondered if I’d get the chance to learn more about it. But while Phoenix imagery is abundant throughout the

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Fenghuang Tuojiang River

Fenghuang Ancient Town: The Ultimate Guide

It would be hard to look at pictures of Hunan Province’s Fenghuang Ancient Town and not feel drawn to the place. Its stilt houses, picturesque river area and cobblestone alleyways combine to make it one of China’s most scenic towns. But while domestic tourists flock to Fenghuang in droves, it remains well off the radar

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Zhangjiajie Golden Whip Stream

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (3 of 3): Hiking Huangshi Village

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is one of China’s, and the world’s, most breathtaking natural scenic areas. As China’s first ever national park, Zhangjiajie first opened its doors back in 1982. The huge sandstone pillars which it’s known for, however, were formed many millions of years ago. And most visitors flock to the Yuanjiajie and Tianzi Mountain districts

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Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Tianzi Mountain

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (2 of 3): Hiking Tianzi Mountain

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is one of China’s, and the world’s, most breathtaking natural scenic areas. First opened in 1982, it’s the country’s first ever national park. Zhangjiajie is known for its huge sandstone pillars formed by many years of water erosion, and there are a near countless number of them throughout the area. At

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Furong Town

Furong Ancient Town: Where Caves, Waterfalls & Tujia Culture Converge

Waterfalls? Caves? Traditional Chinese architecture? How about all three in the same scene? Furong Ancient Town, located in the northwestern part of Hunan Province, is undoubtedly one of China’s most unique historical towns. For whatever reason, though, it’s often overlooked by tourists – both international and domestic. And that’s all the more reason to come

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Tianmen Mountain Zhangjiajie

Tianmen Mountain: Heaven’s Gate in Hunan

Tianmen Mountain, located in the northwestern part of Hunan Province, is one of China’s most impressive national parks. The mountain is home to a number of geological mysteries, such as a massive hole in the rock known as ‘Heaven’s Gate,’ and Guigu Cave, a seemingly manmade yet natural square cavern. The large and colorful Tianmenshan

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Tianxin Pavilion Changsha

Top 5 Things to Do in Changsha

Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, is well off many travelers’ radars. Some might pass through on the way to Zhangjiajie National Park or Fenghuang. But the city of several million is more than just a transport hub. It has thousands of years of history, and a lot more to offer than first meets the eye.

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Yuelu Mountain Changsha

Changsha: Exploring Yuelu Mountain & Orange Island

Changsha, the capital of China’s southern Hunan Province, is home to around 5 million people. Yet, given China’s massive population, it doesn’t even crack the list of twenty biggest cities! As such, Changsha is largely unknown to foreign visitors, though some pass through on their way to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. But despite its relative

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Yu Garden Shanghai Tower

A Journey Through Time on a Trek Across Shanghai

With only a single day to spend in Shanghai, I wasn’t quite sure how to tackle this megalopolis of nearly 25 million people. How is one supposed to go about making sense of such a massive and dense place in so little time? Furthermore, Shanghai is in a constant state of change, meaning that information

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Yiyuan Garden Window

Getting Lost in Suzhou’s Ancient Gardens

Classical Chinese gardens are deliberately designed so that no matter where you stand, you can never see the whole thing at once. Exploration is absolutely essential if you want to get the full picture. But even if you spend an entire day at a single garden, you’ll never discover all of its secrets. Certain pavilions

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Hangzhou City View

Beyond West Lake: 5 More Things to Do in Hangzhou

There’s so much to see around Hangzhou’s West Lake area that it can be easy to overlook the rest of the city. But there are still plenty more things to do in Hangzhou, Marco Polo’s favorite town. From massive pagodas to the Grand Canal to the residence of the city’s own deity, it’s well worth

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Leifing Pagoda

Exploring Hangzhou’s West Lake: Part Two

Hangzhou’s West Lake, long considered by the Chinese to be a “paradise on earth,” has so much to offer that it takes more than one day to explore. In Part One, we went over a full day walking itinerary for special landmarks along the lake’s northern half. Now we’ll be looking at the southern half.

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Hangzhou West Lake

Exploring Hangzhou’s West Lake: Part One

Even though Marco Polo once called it the most splendid city in the world, Hangzhou remains a relatively obscure destination for foreign visitors to Asia. The city has been beloved by Chinese for centuries, however, and there’s even an old proverb which goes something like “Paradise in heaven, Hangzhou here on earth.” To be honest,

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Nanxun Huzhou Water Town

Nanxun: Huzhou’s Secret Water Town

Entering the town, I paused for a moment to wait out the rain under a covered walkway. For a little while it seemed like I was the only one there. But then I spotted some local residents across the canal, going about their daily chores. Some were hanging up laundry or sweeping the sidewalk, while

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Huangshan Anhui

Huangshan: Trekking Through the Kingdom in The Clouds

According to the map, I should’ve been standing directly in front of Huangshan’s third highest peak. But all I could see in front of me was a thick layer of fog – a total whiteout. Where was the peak I was supposed to climb? Maybe I made a wrong turn somewhere, I thought. I hesitated for

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