Where Have All the Bicycles Gone?

These photos are from a by gone past just 15 years ago.   Today, the millions of bicycles that we use to see are now mostly replaced by cars as well as millions of motor scooters and motorized bikes that we refer to as Mopeds. Someone riding a bicycle in Beijing is now rare. I walked 5 blocks down a main street in Beijing and only counted 5 pedal bicycles this past year, where one just 15 years ago could have counted hundreds. Gone are the bike parking areas like you see here replaced by scooter parking lots. More Pollution? Probably but most of them are run by battery.  When the battery starts to wear down they just pull into a station and swap it out for a charged one.  One can lease a battery rather than needing to buy one and there is no charging time.  Pictured here is an old bike from the 1980’s which could have been bought for just $12 U.S. back then as one of the standard means of transportation. Be Warned however, the battery operated scooters and Mopeds run silent and one needs to watch out when crossing streets.   For more information on Travel in China contact me via email at  Interlak@eskimo.com   This year will be my 25th year of travel in China and over 50+ trips through out the country as a Tour Operator to China and Tibet.

Which One is Your Buddha?

In China you will always find something interesting including some Temples.  The Temple here was a new one I discovered in the countryside one day.  The Temple is round and contains statues of over 100 Buddhas.  There are four entrances to the Temple.  The idea is that you may go in any entrance that you wish.  You then turn to the right and then start counting  Buddhas until you get to your age and that is your Buddha.  Being a bit heavy at 230 lbs, the Buddha at my age is pictured here and was quite realistic and my Chinese friends had a good laugh about it with me.  A well planned tour can give you many experiences and wonderful memories of a visit to China.   We have been doing tours to China for almost 25 years and I personally work with my local Chinese associate partners developing great tours and checking sights and hotels to insure excellent tours to my customers needs and wants.   Check out our web site at www.interlakechinatours.com    Private customized tours to your interests are our specialty.  You may only go to China once in your life so you might as well see what you are interested in since you can’t see everything in just one trip.  Over 25% of our customers go back again and we hope you will be one of them.  

China Tour Prices

I teach a class here in Seattle on Saturdays one day a quarter on Travel in China.  As a tour operator I understand how difficult it is to compare tours and find out which one is the best value as well as a good tour.  Travel is expensive today so most people want to compare tours but many people really do not understand the difference in costs.  Hotels in the central area are best for tourists so they can freely walk around and see sights during their free time.  Some tour companies put people either in the suburbs or neighborhoods outside the central area which are cheaper but very inconvenient as you must take a taxi every time you want to leave.  The cost difference and time spent is not worth the savings but it makes the tour company look good with the lower cost. The best way to compare tours is contacting the tour company and asking for a reference list of former customers so you can get an independent assessment of their tours.  You get what you pay for in China.  There are deluxe tours and budget tours and your budget needs to be met as well.  5 star hotels have a wide range in China in costs.  The best values are 4 star hotels.  Within the hotels there are rooms usually at 4 or 5 different levels in cost.  Tour operators generally book the cheapest of course unless you are on a private tour and request a Superior or Deluxe room.  For more information contact us with your questions.  We are always glad to give you advice whether you are a customer or not.  Email me at
interlak@eskimo.com     Our web site is  www.interlakechinatours.com   Our 25th Year of China only.