Longji Rice Terraces

One of the most beautiful days you can have is outside Guilin in the mountains viewing the Longi Rice Terraces.  They are some of the most beautiful in China.  A guide can take you there where there are some small villages and hotel that overlooks the rice terraces for lunch.  The Dragon’s Back Ridge is above which can be hiked as well.  Near by are small villages of the Dong and Zhrung people.  The women have the longest hair in the world as they only cut it once during their life time.  This can all be done in one day but if you are interested in hiking, the guide can take you up further to a small village with a wonderful old hotel with modern facilities to stay overnight..  You can then hike back on the Dragon’s Back Ridge to the hotel overlooking the rice terraces where your car and driver will meet you.  For any that do not want to hike, they may ride with the driver back to the hotel below while others hike with the guide.  Just one more adventure amongst many available in China.  ??????,?? (Rice terraces in early morning mist, Guangxi ProvinceGuizhou0001Longji-Rice-Terraces0001

Traditional Chinese Hotel

There are many traditional Chinese Hotels now as the tourists seem to really enjoy the experience at least once.  There are several different levels and many with very updated facilities can be very expensive.  One that I stayed at is the Blossom Hill Boutique Hotel in Lijiang.  There are two of them but I enjoyed the older one best as the original structure was kept while the other is more modern Chinese traditional.  The lounges, library, breakfast area and everything with an open court yard makes the atmosphere very special.  When I was there we had an evening social provided by the hotel in the courtyard.  It was a great time to meet local Chinese people as well as a few tourist who managed to find this hotel.  The hotel is not easy to find as it is in the quiet part of the Old Village so having a guide always helps.  Breakfast is included and the breakfast room has all the Chinese traditional character one would expect and more. Although traditional Chinese, the bathroom is totally modern and unique.  For more information contact us at   email:  interlak at eskimo.com  My name is Dave and I have stayed at several hundred hotels in China and Tibet over the years.  Part of my job is inspecting hotels that we recommend so that you comfort is insured.Boutique-HotelsBoutique-Hotels0002Boutique-Hotels0001Boutique-Hotels0003

The Li River Day Cruise

Li-River0001Everyone knows about cruising the Yangtze which takes about 4 days and is fantastic.  Few people know about the Li River cruise.  The cruise starts near Guilin and takes about 4.5 hours of some of the most beautiful scenery in China down to the town of Yangshuo.  The cruise is through the beautiful haystack like hills and you see rural China life as it really is close up.  Lunch is served on the boat and arriving in Yangshuo you will enjoy good shopping and local color.  In the evening on the river is the famous Impression Sanjie Liu with over 900 local people participating along with animals at night on the river against the haystack like hills.  The music and lighting are not to be believed and I think it is the best show in China.  It is produced by the man who did the Opening Ceremony for the Beijing Olympics which was outstanding to say the least. One can take a bamboo raft ride, hike the hills or go biking through other villages.  If you are interested in learning to cook Chinese food, there is a school with half day or full day classes.  It is a hands on class so you cook right along with the instructor and then enjoy the fruits of your labor too.  For more information contact us at  interlak@eskimo.comLi-River-Cruise-Boat

Best Air Service to China

Little known Hainan Airlines is one of the best ways to fly to China.  Flights now from Seattle, San Jose, Chicago, and Boston all Non-stops.   Service to Beijing and new service direct to Shanghai from Seattle.  Connecting flights from many major cities has code share which means very low cost flights within the U.S. to the departure hubs.  From Seattle non-stop to Beijing is just 11 hours and is most beautiful flight route.  Leaving Seattle up the coast of Canada, Alaska out over the Aleutian islands, down across Siberia and into Beijing.   Free air from California to Seattle and return. Service is the best and I have flown with them over 50 times.  Business class is like First class on any other airline.  Food is great and drinks are free.  Hainan is the only line we book directly for best Tour Operator prices when we book your tour.  For more information contact us at   interlak@eskimo.com   Our 26th Year of Touring China and Tibet only. We have an A+ rating with the BBB alsogyhhAir-Map-to-China

Time to Book a Tour!

We are entering the time to think about booking your tour to China.  Doing research is the first thing but too much can only confuse you.  China is as large as the U.S. so depending on the time you have available, you should plan on seeing what you are most interested in.   A good plan is important so you don’t over plan and try to see too much in a short time.  You will find yourself spending a lot of time in airports and train stations plus going to and transferring from them.  Going to or coming from the airport in Beijing can often take as long as the flying time from Shanghai or Xian to Beijing.  Booking a tour early is also important to get the best internal flights, hotels and trains.  I book tours starting here in October and the booking season usually narrows down to the end of May or early June.  Best times to tour China for weather is Mid March to the end of April and then again in the fall from September through October with the exception of the first week of May and October.  Both are National holidays and most people get a full week off at that time.  Transportation and hotels can be difficult during those weeks and high prices are normal besides the number of domestic tourists crowding the sites.  For more information keep reading our blog which I go back and keep the information current on previous Posts  that I have written over the years..  ChinaDaveDave-and-the-Pandas-03

Tours to Your Interests and Needs!

I have been in the tour business for 26 years to just China and Tibet.  I started out doing standard group tours to the usual sights.  I wasn’t much different than the rest of the tours on line.  People would often ask if they could see a sight that wasn’t on the tour and I quickly learned that I should do private independent tours to people’sLiJiang0001interests and needs rather than general off the shelf tours.  Today I do mostly private tours designed to the customers interests and needs.  I also do some group tours for groups that come to me with their own specific needs and interests.  After all you should see what you are interested in rather than spend valuable time seeing things you may not have any interest in.  Some people love museums and others often feel it is a waste of their time. Each has their own likes and dislikes.  Rather than group standard meals, it is nice to be able to express your likes and dislikes and be able to sit down at a table and be served food prepared just for you rather than stand in line for a Buffett with steamed food.    My blog contains much information that I have gathered over the years but if you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me without being added to a spam list or be subject to a sales pitch.  My name is Dave and you can email me at interlak@eskimo.com or give me a call at  (206) 368-9074 here in Seattle.