China Tour Information

Am glad you found my web site.  As you can see I have retired or at least in the process of closing down the business.  It has been 25 years of most interesting experiencesPanda0001 of my life.  In my work life I held many positions in business either as VP of Sales, President of some companies mostly in the Lawn and Garden field.  I also developed a few retail products which are still being sold today.  Retired at age 47 I became interested in China as a culture and country that was going to be a world power some day…..that day has come already.  When you go to China you will find the most friendly people and they love Americans and American culture.  China can be very overwhelming to say the least.  It is important to do research on where you want to go and what you want to do and see. Trying to see too much only has you wasting time in airports and train stations.  Group tours in my estimation for China is not a great experience since they are of general interest and there are a few bad ones as well.  A private tour with your special interests and the way you want to do it is best.  This does not waste time and a well planned tour will give you the best experience possible with many good memories to take home.  Being fully retired now (in off season we travelled to many other countries spending as much as a month in each one) I love to share my information without expecting anything in return.  Please feel free to contact me with your questions and I will be glad to help you.   You can email me at    email:  interlak@eskimo.com   I will give you our home number when you contact me.   Happy Travels,  ChinaDave   P.S.   Note my Archives on the right side here with over 450 short stories of tour information that I have updated over the years.

Time to Retire after 25 Years!

There is always a time to retire from what I never considered a job but one of my pleasures of life.  After 25 years of traveling throughout China planning tours and trips for over 2,500 people it is time to retire.  I will still have the web site up for the balance of this year but will try to continue to write my Blog and help people with their questions and tours at no cost.  I worked in China for 5 years also working with Chinese companies and government agencies.  This gave me a wide entry to the Chinese market place and I found my enjoyment of learning all about China from the late 1980’s to the present experiencing the fantastic growth and changes in China.  From the late 1980’s when there were only 26 modern aircraft in the whole country to todays ultra modern airports, trains and the latest aircraft to serve the tourist industry.  I look forward to your questions on tourism in China and Tibet using me as a source of free individual information.   My friends call me  ChinaDave and my email address is interlak@eskimo.com     It has been a very interesting adventure learning about one country and having many rewarding experiences that make for good memories.Dr.-Ho0006ChinaDave0001ChinaDave0002ChinaDave0003Silk-Road-TourFamily-Visits0001Dave-and-the-Pandas-03Facing-Potala-Palace_07Villages-of-Yunnanabout100ChinaDave

Stone Tea Pots

I have travelled throughout China for 26 years.  There are thousands of things one could collect in China but of all things, I found that I admired their hand chiseled Stone Tea Pots.  Very rare now as a special stone must be used so they do not crack or break while being chiseled.  Some often takes months to make.   They are expensive because of the detail required to make them and is fast becoming a lost art.  The special stone was quarried south of Nanjing where there use to be a school to learn how to make what I believe is ART.   During my travels in the last 10 years I have not found any again and the ones I have purchased were from the artists I found at art fairs.  Perhaps you may find some art treasures as well during your visits to China.  IMG_1153IMG_1151

The Bamboo Sea

There are many National Parks in China.  One that is often overlooked is the Bamboo Sea.  Just a few hours by car or van from Chongqing, it contains a wide assortment of Bamboo groves.  You may take a cable car across the park to view the bamboo from the air as well as walking through the bamboo forest.  If you would like to stay a second day there is a fantastic resort just outside the park that I have stayed at while working in the area.  For more information on visiting the park, please contact us in Seattle.  Our email address is   interlak@eskimo.com  Fall-20070001Elephant-Preserve0001Fall-20070004

Independent Travel in China

My wife and I travel during the off season throughout Europe taking one country each year for a month.  We find it very easy to make arrangements as many things are done about the same as in the U.S.  There are also many helpful sites to obtain information on hotels and sites.   I have travelled throughout China for 25+ years from times when there were only 26 modern aircraft in the whole country (1989).  Today either by train or by air is most modern and convenient.  However booking transportation is much different than in the U.S.  With over 1.3 billion people in the country it can often be overwhelming dealing with the local infrastructure.  Renting a car is possible but highly not recommended.  Before attempting to travel in China on your own you should obtain as much information as possible.  Here I have over 400+ stories with photos to help you.  For additional information feel free to contact me with your questions with no pressure to sell you a tour.  My name is Dave and my email address is:  interlak@eskimo.com   Chinese food0003Hotels-BikingLiJiang0001Wild-Goose-Pagoda-ParkDave-and-the-Pandas-03Silk-Road-Tour

A Chinese Visa Is Required

When planning a tour to China do not forget the Chinese visa which is required to visit China or the Tibet permit if you are going to Tibet.  Group Tour companies as well as private arranged tours do not generally include the Visa applications required.  You can download the information and forms needed on line.  I use CIBT.Com for which I get a small discount for my clients.  Just ask and I will have the kit emailed to you too.  The Visa is valid for an extensive time for 30 day visits.  An extension is possible but must be done in China.  Special visas for business and students can also be applied for.  The Chinese Consulates do not accept applications by mail but if located in your city you can apply in person.   A visa service like CIBT.Com takes care of the application to the Consulates.   Cost can average from $140 per person  (most recent cost) at the Consulates or about $200 if applied through a Visa Service plus the delivery charge each way with UPS, FedEx or other service.  Again these are the most recent costs and can change.  For more information on a Visa, I will be glad to answer any questions or you may contact CIBT direct.

The “Friendly” Chinese People

Musuo-In all my travels over the years I find the Chinese people to be one of the friendliness people in the world along with their great sense of humor.  Their faces light up when they meet you whether waving back at you or the children saying their little English of  “Hello”.   They are as curious of you and you will be of them.  In the countryside houses have no door bells so a friendly “Hello” or “Ni Hou” is received with an open door and often invited to tea.  Your guide can translate for you and these open house visits are very special to learn more about their life and how they live.  As they say, “You are a Guest of the Country” so you are treated as such too.  If you are ever lost while taking a walk, just take out a map and someone will step out of the crowd who speaks English and will help you.  Often if close by they will even take you there.  I have many hundreds of great memories in my 50+ trips over the past 25 years to China of such meetings and some have turned into long time friendships.  For more personal questions, please feel free to contact me by email at interlak@eskimo.com   My name is Dave and live here in Seattle.tibet-womanGeneral-ChinaZhrung-LadyGuides-and-TippingMs.-LiVillages-of-Yunnan

Hot Springs in China

When touring it is really nice to take a day off and relax…especially at a Hot Springs.  During a trip through the Sichuan mountains while working on a new tour itinerary I found this very delightful Hot Springs with fantastic views.  There are five different levels of hot mineral springs water each with a different temperature.   The views of the valley and snow topped mountains are outstanding.  During the morning we took a cable car across a glacier field to the snows where we found some local people selling snacks at that level.  They had hiked up the 6 mile gorge to sell their hot snacks kept warm on hot coals.  Going down the cable car we had lunch at the bottom and then proceeded down to enjoy the mineral hot springs before heading down the mountain.  One can see the itinerary that I put together in my Packaged Tours under Mountain Tour.  For more information contact me at   email:  interlak@eskimo.com   My name is Dave and I have been enjoying the hot springs during my trip through the Sichuan mountains for several years where few tourists ever go.  Hot-SpringsHot-Springs0002Hot-Springs0001

Tibetan Temples in China

Visiting-a-MonasteryTibet to China is like Alaska is to the U.S.  A bit distant to get to and little (continued below the photos)

guidetibet-womanMonastery-0002Zhonglu-Village-Danba_07more expensive as well.  I usually ask clients for their reasons to go to Tibet as it adds a lot of cost to a China Tour.  Most say it is because it is mysterious or remote.   Others say they are interested in the Tibetan culture and religion.  Only 1/3rd of the Tibetan people live in Tibet now.  Many live in northern India and the rest in China.  One does not have to go to Tibet if just interested in their culture or religion.  There are many villages and towns in China that are Tibetan with beautiful Monasteries.  With good planning some can be worked into a China tour without needing to go to Tibet.  Zhongdian and the mountains of Sichuan are just two places.  On the plateaus of the Sichuan mountains are beautiful remote monasteries with some of them trimmed in 24 ct. gold which can be seen for miles.   For more information please let us hear from you.  My name is Dave here in Seattle and you can email me at  interlak@eskimo.com

Cave Homes in China

Cave HomeCave PeopleThere are thousands of cave homes in China mostly in the North.  Both warm in the winter and cool in the summer they make ideal homes for those that want to live in the ancient ways of their forefathers.  There are rural caves carved into a hill side and lined with waterproof materials to keep dry.  There are also urban cave dwellers who dig a large square hole in the ground and then dig caves off of it.  Kitchens, living areas, bedrooms all can be made for whole families.  I have been in these caves and find them very comfortable although a nice view from a window is not possible of course.  Normally when on a private tour your guide may know of a family that you might visit in their home.  Group tours seldom have such a tour as you can imagine hosting a large group of people.  For more information on where to visit these unique homes, email us at    interlak@eskimo.com    My name is Dave and I am always willing to share information on travel in China.