Questions & Answers on China Tourism

I have been writing and updating my blog for the past 8 years.  It has been read by more than 80,000 people.  With over 400 entries and photos which I mostly take myself, I am running out of subjects to write about.  I go back and update the information on past blog entries to keep the information current.  What next?  How about suggestions from you the readers on subjects that you are interested in.  I have travelled through China for over 25 years working with my Chinese partners checking out every possible tourist attraction as well as checking hotels and new areas opening up.  If you have specific questions, I will be happy to answer them or obtain an answer from one of my Chinese partners on site.  You will not get a sales pitch from me or added to any spam list.  My name is Dave and I live in Seattle.  You may call me at  (206) 368-9074 if you do not care to email me.  Looking forward to hearing from some of my readers. You can email me at   email:   interlak@eskimo.com    ChinaDaveSilk-Road-TourWild-Goose-Pagoda-ParkDave-and-the-Pandas-03

Yangshuo & Li River Cruise

The town of Yangshuo is just north east of the city of Guilin, one of the best places to spend some interesting time in China.  From Guilin you can take the day cruise down the Li River to Yangshuo which is famous for the Impression Sanjie Liu show on the river with over 900 local people.  The Li River cruise in itself is one of the most beautiful day cruises past the countryside dotted with haystack like hills and rural scenery.  Yangshuo is a small town in which to spend a day on your own or with a local guide such as Wendy who will take you around and perhaps have lunch at her home too. Leaving the large cities and into the small towns and villages leaves you with the full experience of what I call the “Real China“.   It remains one of my favorite places to visit when I am in China myself.  Not far away too are more interesting places to visit that few tourists ever get to visit.  Let my 26 years of planning tour itineraries for clients to their specific interests help you in planning your tour.Li-River-Cruise-BoatWendyLi-River0005Fall-20070006

Use of Guides in China

Some people question the use of guides when travelling in different countries.  I have to agree with them sometimes especially in countries where it is easy to get around and English is a major 2nd. language.  China is not one of those.  Guides add greatly to a tour in China.  The language problem is one with so many different dialects or completely different languages.  Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing are all different from each other to name some of the most important ones.  There are 57 different nationalities in China each with their own language and sub languages.  Thus just for languages the guide can be very important to you.  Sightseeing is another one which is most important as you may walk right by an important sight without knowing it without a good guide.  Your particular interests can be taken into consideration with a guide as well without having to see sights that may not be as interesting to you but are included in a standard tour.  It is why I do mostly Private Customized Tours to my customer’s special interests.  One must also know that guides MUST have a Special Permit issued by the government which shows they have had special training in guiding tourists.  It is illegal to act as a guide for tourists without this permit and the guide can be arrested and you left holding the bag so to speak.  For more information on guides email me at interlak@eskimo.com   My name is Dave and I am always glad to help.  Guide-and-Driverimage15Group-LectureGuides-and-Tipping

50% OFF on Yangtze River Cruise

If you book a Yangtze River Cruise by April 1st with at least a 10 day China Tour customized to your interests, you will receive the cruise at 50% off.  Just mention that you want the 50% off deal on the Yangtze River Cruise.  Note we use the 5 Star Century Cruise Line  www.centuryrivercruises.com   Booking must be completed by April 1st with the sailing date completed by Oct. 31st.    We do customized private tours to your special interests and whether it is a budget tour or a deluxe tour.  All receive the same professional tour plan.  You should be able to see and do what you are interested in rather than a stock tour with general interests.  Contact us for details.  My friends call me “China Dave” and you can email me at   interlak@eskimo.com  We have been here in Seattle for 26 years doing Tours To China.  Ask us for a list of references of people you may contact about their tours and our services.  We are rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau.   We look forward to planning a tour just for you. Yangshuo Resort0003dadnpandasabout100

China – Many Cultures in One Country

China is like a tour of many countries with over 57 different cultures within its borders.  Each has their own dress, language and unique customs.  Over 90% are Han Chinese which we often think of as the typical Chinese.  Same as when people refer to us as Americans.  I answer, “What does an American look like?”   We Americans are of many races and cultures as well.  There are many different cultures in south China between Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi provinces to visit with many just miles apart.  Far western China is the home to many different cultures as well often mistaken for middle                              (continued below photos)ShowsKashgar0001Facing-Potala-Palace_07Cloisonne0001Shi-Mao-Ting-or-SherryMs.-LiMusuo-Nancys-China-2012-497General-Chinaeastern people.  Tibet has several cultures too.  Only 1/3rd of the Tibetans live within the Tibetan borders.  The others live in North India, and the Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Qinghai.  During the late fall many Tibetan tribal people come to Lhasa to trade their goods and buy needed supplies for the year.   Left over money after selling their goods and buying supplies is often spent on having a good time before returning to their homes in the remote areas of Tibet.  After travelling throughout China and Tibet for the past 25 years I have learned to appreciate the wonders of an ancient culture that continues to fascinate me over and over again.  Friendly people, great food, ancient cultures and modern China is all in one country to visit.  We specialize in showing you your special interests with customized private tours to your needs and requests.

Yangtze River Cruise

One of the best cruises in the world is the Yangtze River cruise.  Not a long cruise, one lasting about 4 days but one of the most beautiful river cruises in a very historic and interesting country.  The 3 Gorges are fantastic and the side trips off the boat the same.   The Yangtze river is very smooth and one hardly realizes they are really sailing.  Going through the Largest Locks in the world and then visiting them on land is something to be remembered.  There are many ship lines on the river however one needs to be very careful which line they choose.  Some are not as clean as they should be and if the cost is very cheap, there is a reason for that.  A top choice line is not that much more but the comforts and amendments are important for a memorable cruise.  I represent the Century Line with new ships, great food and activities of all kinds including some off ship sightseeing and evening shows all included.  To check them out go to www.centuryrivercruises.com    I have special prices for you when booking a land tour of 10 days or more.  For more information contact us at www.interlakechinatours.com    My name is Dave and we have over 25 years experience in China travel and rated A+ by the BBB of Seattle. Yangshuo Resort0003

China Safe for Tourism

Air-Map-to-ChinaWith all the problems in so many countries and air flight warnings, there are still some safe countries to tour in relatively safe conditions.  China is one of them.  No guns are allowed in China.  There are severe penalties for breaking the laws.  I have travelled China for 26 years and find it much more safe than my own city here at home.  China, and most of southeast Asia are safe places to visit.  Hainan Airlines which I represent has direct non-stop flights from Boston, Chicago, San Jose and Seattle.  Connections from most large cities to these hubs have special prices too when linked with an international flight.  From Seattle it is just a 11 hour flight to Beijing.  Flying up the coast of Canada, Alaska, Aleutian Islands, Siberia and into Beijing.  Flying new 787’s from most areas insures a safe and smooth ride to Beijing or Shanghai with returns from Hong Kong, Shanghai or Beijing.  Ask for my list of references that you may contact about their tours and/or my services.  26 years experience in doing tours to China with my Chinese Associate Partners with a A+ rating from the BBB.  Contact me for further information at:  interlak@eskimo.comGuizhou-Province0002Dave-and-the-Pandas-03Old-and-New-China

Silk Road Tours

China has so many faces but most people only know about the major sites such as the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Pandas and the cities of Beijing, Xian and Shanghai.  There are so many different sides to China but one of the most interesting is the Silk Road and deserts.  So much history is still visible in the ruins as well as some of the ancient sites, art caves and old villages.  The people too are different as there are many cultures unlike we think of Chinese people.  Their clothing, food, art and culture are quite different even from each other.  It is an area of contrast that one does not often see in a tour.  For more information on the Silk Road, we can plan a tour to your specific interests or offer you some of our packaged Silk Road tours shown here on our web site under the pull down heading of tours.  Our 25+ years experience of Travel in China is sure to please you and make good memories of a fantastic country.  Gobi-DesertSilk-Road-Heavenly-LakeSilk-Road-Tour

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