Largest Buddha in the World – Leshan, China



The Leshan Buddha at Leshan, Sichuan China is the largest Buddha in the world. Carved into the sandstone side of a cliff, it is over 1300 years old. Two rivers meet here and you can take a boat out onto the river for a close up view and to take photos as I did here. Known by the Chinese as Da Fo, the Buddha took 90 years to carve. To the left of Da Fo are steps carved into the cliff so you can climb down to the foot of the Buddha. To show you the size, each toe of his foot is 25 feet long and each ear is 22 feet long. There are steps to the right of the Buddha going up inside the cliff to the top where you will find the Mahaoya Tomb Musuem with many artifacts shown in it. There is also a statue of the Monk who organized the carving of the Buddha. Leshan is located just south of Chengdu and can be visited in just one day either from Chengdu or on the way to Chongqing. Staying overnight in Leshan is always interesting as there are few western tourists and a nice city to enjoy the local culture without a crowd of tourists around every corner. Another city near by is Zigong known for the ancient museum of Dinosaurs and an ancient salt mine over 2000 years old. Again another city where few if any tourists visit and you can really get into the local culture. For more places to visit check my web site at www.interlakechinatours.com and you might want to subscribe to my Blog and be notified each time I write a new story.  Click on the photos for full screen view    25 Years of doing Quality Tours to China!

Stone Forest of China


From a distance it looks like you are approaching a major metropolitan city with countless tall buildings. Actually this is one of the rare areas of the world where million of years ago the earth coughed up these stone figures. The clusters extend for many miles around in this area just 3 hours from Kunming in Yunnan province of China. I went there several years ago as part of my business as a China Travel and Tour Agency to China and Tibet. It can be seen in one day with a return to Kunming that evening or you can stay overnight in a local modest hotel and spend the night there too. Near by is a village to walk through which specializes in growing tobacco. You will see some minority people selling their handicrafts there also with many hand made and unusual gifts. Few tourists stay overnight so it is always interesting to spend the later part of the day and early morning hours without tourists around so that you might enjoy the area more. There are paths all through the Stone Forest with flower gardens and shrubs that make it a wonderland of nature and for peaceful meditation too. AS a China Tour Planer and Tour Operator for the past 16 years, I have many more interesting places like this that I will be writing about in future blogs. Sign up to get email notifications of my future writings. I would appreciate hearing from readers too to let me know what you would like to read about. email me at: interlak@eskimo.com Thanks, ChinaDave

ART OR JUST A GAME?



Is it ART or just a child’s game with a candy reward? Outside many primary schools is someone with a table like you see in the photo above. There is a board with a spinner on it and pictures of many different animals in a circle like a dart board. The child pays a small amount to spin the dial and it then stops at one of the pictures. Some pictures are large and some are small….a game of Chance? The man then takes a liquid sugar usually colored and squeezes it onto a hot plate seen at the bottom of the photo and makes many different designs into animals. He then creates the differnt animals and designs after it hardens on a stick and gives it to the child. If the child’s luck is good he receives a large animal which is good to eat….but I also look at it as a piece of art. What do you think? Let me know your comments. As a Tour Operator to China doing Tours to China and Tibet only, I come upon many interesting and entertaining enterprises in China including the home made portable Cotton Candy Machine that I wrote about earlier. When in China some of the most interesting days are just taking a walk through the back streets or villages spending a day poking around and checking out whatever you come upon. Keep reading my blogs for future stories that I will be writing about. After 20 years I have a lot of stories to tell about my adventues in China. Check out my web site at www.interlakechinatours.com and sign up here to be notified when I write future blogs. Thanks, ChinaDave

The Blog of ChinaDave in Seattle



Thank you for finding and reading my Blog on China. I am known by my friends as “ChinaDave” for obvious reasons since I have been working in China for 20 years and almost 50 trips there. I go through China looking for special places to send my clients as a Tours To China internet company. I am basically a China Tour Planner but often referred to as China Travel Service, Agency or China Tour Operator. I do mostly custom tours for clients wanting private tours or groups who come to me looking for a tour to China out of the ordinary or something that caters to their interests and doesn’t fit a standard cookie cutter mold. You see me trying a Chinese home made cigar made by my Chinese friend….and did I get sick! I don’t smoke so it made it worse of course. The other photo is of a worker in a Woman’s Buddhist Monastery located outside of Chengdu in Sichuan province. I am 6 feet tall and I don’t think she is more than 4 feet. They are always so friendly and hospitable. If you enjoy reading my blog, please let me know. Just a short email will encourage me to write more often. Let me know what you would like me to write about too. I have thousands of photographs and slides plus stories I can tell non-stop until they either put me away or lay me away in the “dirt bed”. My email address is: interlak@eskimo.com Thanks I will appreciate it.

Best Hot Springs in China




This is the best Hot Spring in all of China and one of my little secret places. I have spent 25 years and over 50+ trips to China looking and searching for special places to send my clients. Interlake China Tours of Seattle is my company specializing in Tours To China as a China Travel Agency and China Tour Operator for the past 25 years. This Hot Springs is located in a National Park amongst fantastic mountains and rural scenery. I stumbled onto this hot springs while putting together one of my specialized package tours to China which you can find on my web site at www.interlakechinatours.com There are 14 pools that are at different levels on the mountain side with the hottest pools at the top and they get cooler closer to the bottom. There is a modern restaurant, lockers with showers and even some cottages to stay in if you wish to stay overnight or for a period of time. Up the mountain further is a cable car that goes up onto the mountain further with possible snow fields during the fall months. Lots of hiking trails as well within the park. At the bottom of the mountain just outside the park is a small town with a four star hotel with all the modern facilities and friendly people through out the town always hospitable to strangers. The Austrians in the photograph were the first western tourists that I had seen in a week. Check my web site and other stories in my blog for more interesting places to visit in China.  The Hot Springs is included in my 10 Day Sichuan Mountains tour listed on my web site at:   www.interlakechinatours.com    Click on the photos for full screen viewing!

Wild Elephants & Tigers in China?




China is well known for Pandas but yes they do have many other species including Tigers and Wild Elephants. The Forest that you are seeing is a wild elephant preserve in southern Yunnan province in the middle of a jungle. You can take a cable car over the top of the jungle back to where you may stay overnight or for a longer time in one of the small cabins built for two people. The walk way is above the jungle floor about 20 feet and is a wonderful quiet safe walk listening to the sounds of the jungle. Being a China Tour Operator, I have traveled all through China for 25 years checking out places to send my clients who are looking for a tour that doesn’t fit the standard mold. I customize tours to individual tastes and interests. There is a village at the edge of the jungle where you can stay in cottages or the lodge too. There is a program put on by the local people who work at the village lodge with elephants, dancers and music each day too. In order to get to this area there is an airport in a near by city in Xishuangbanna called Jinghong. Although a small area in the middle of the jungle just 1 hour and 20 minutes by plane south of Kunming, there are many other places to visit in this area including many minority tribes with their colorful dress and customs. If you are interested in visiting this area as part of a tour of China, please contact me through my web site at www.interlakechinatours.com Our 25 years of experience in China will insure your satisfaction of a special tour planed just for you. Click on the photos for a full screen view.

The Hanging Temple



The Hanging Temple you may have read about in travel books, but it is not in a convenient location for most tours so few people manage to go there. As a Tour Operator to China only, I have traveled through China for the past 20 years checking out new and unusual places to visit in China. The Hanging Temple is over 1400 years old and was built into the cliff and supported by large wooden pegs and poles attaching it to the cliff. The monks are gone now but it has been well preserved for many people to enjoy. You can go through the entire temple and monk’s living quarters seeing their brick beds with fire pits under them to keep them warm at night as well as many paintings and artifacts still in the temple. It is one of the most interesting temples in all of China and totally topen to the public. Located just south of Datong in the north of China, you can check out a packaged tour that I call “Ancient China Capitals Tour” on my web site. www.interlakechinatours.com Actually since 90% of my business is customized tours to the client’s interests, you can incorporate it into any custom tour that fits your needs and interests. I am a U.S. company with 20 years experience, and work with highly experienced Chinese associate companies directly for local pricing and depenable service. References of past clients are furnished of course.

Great Scenic Hiking Resort



As a Internet Tour Operator and China Travel Agency specializing in only Tours to China, I am often asked about hiking places or a place to just enjoy the countryside as part of a Tour to China. The resort pictured above is near Guilin on the Li River and a wonderful peaceful and part rustic place to relax, hike and with a great pool for swimming. Meals are simple and the grounds are fairly remote from the large cities with just a small village near by. Few tourists ever find this resort and you probably will not find western foreigners staying here either. The rooms are simple with western facilities although there is a spacious Presidents Suite with two bedrooms for about the price of a standard room in a 4 star hotel in Shanghai. Near by across the fields is a commercial cave complex worth visiting too. I have several other resorts ranging from very expensive to back packers resorts too located around China. The expensive resorts usually have spas, some with golf coarses and others within national parks with first class service. I even have one with a Disneyland like amusement park and golf coarse in a remote area. If you are interested in Modern Art, I even have a hotel of modern art where famous artists from all over the world come and work while living there for a time. IF you are looking for such a place during a tour of China be sure to check out my web site at: www.interlakechinatours.com or contact me, ChinaDave at interlak@eskimo.com

Weifang International Kite Festival




China is known for kites and the Weifang, Shandong Kite Festival is one of the best in the world. Held every April, delegates from all over the world come here once a year to fly their kites on the “Flying Field”. In the photo above you see me with my American kite which I was honored to be able to fly it on the Kite Field, where the first kites were ever flown hundreds of years ago. My kite hangs in the Weifang Kite Museum to this day. The large kite you see in the photo is taken up into the air by being pulled by a jeep with wires. Same with the Dragon Kite which extends over 1/2 mile long. The variety of kites is unbelievable with one eagle kite actually made out of bird feathers. The Opening of the 3 day event starts with a parade of participants and a fantastic show in the stadium beyond the imagination and more like the half time show at the Super Bowl. It ends with a fireworks display the size of a New York 4th of July celebration. I have a small collection of hand made kites that I fly now and then here in Seattle in the form of Eagles which is fun to fly when seagulls are around as they are afraid of them. My business is of course Tours to China and you can check out my web site or email me about attending the Weifang Kite Festival as part of a tour. My web site is: www.interlakechinatours.com or email me at interlak@eskimo.com  25 Years of doing Quality Tours!
                          Click on the photos for full screen viewing!

Collector’s Hand Carved Stone Tea Pots




As A China only Tour Operator, I go to China quite often to check out new places to send my clients and to meet with my business partners. Providing first hand up to date information is important in planning Custom tours to China and Tibet to my client’s interests. A few years ago I found an artist chiseling a stone making a tea pot out of it. It takes several weeks and sometimes much longer to make one in many different designs as I found out. This is an old art form from one particular stone that is good for this purpose as one slip and the piece can be ruined. There is only one school for teaching this near a quarry south of Nanjing. I and a Chinese friend went to find the school because only a few artists chisel these tea pots and all learned to do it at this school. We found the area but local people refused to tell us where it was located for fear that we would steal the process and find the quarry. When I bought my first tea pot, I paid $65 U.S. for it. I had my friend tell the artist that I was sorry but it would never see a tea bag as I considered it a piece of wonderful ART. He looked up with a tear in his eye and thanked me profusely. He then reached under his work bench and brought out the tea pot that you see to the right by itself. He also brought out a newspaper clipping that showed he had won 1st Prize in Shanghai for Best Art of the Show. He put it in a box and would you believe….GAVE it to me as a gift. He said, he knew it would be in a home that appreciated his art and wanted me to have it. I never saw him again and have yet to find these beautiful pieces of art anywhere else in China. A wonderful find and that is what China is all about. Check out my web site at wwww.interlakechinatours.com I hope you will find treasures of your own. Click on the photos for a full screen view.