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Things To Do In Shanghai: Disc Cart Indoor Karting

Shanghai, China: a global metropolis with a swelling population of over 23 million.  It is a city rich with international flavor, from the famous colonial architecture of The Bund to the tree-lined streets of the Former French Concession.  For those concerned with fine dining and vibrant nightlife, Shanghai will not disappoint. Yet most travelers need an itinerary filled with more than just eating, drinking, and sitting by the pool.  And if an adrenaline filled afternoon is what you are seeking in Shanghai, Disc Cart Indoor Karting is the perfect place to satisfy your need for speed. Located about 20 minutes from the city center, just past East China Normal University, Disc Cart Indoor Karting sits near the outside gate of Changfeng Park in Shanghai’s Putuo District.  You will know you are close when your nose catches the unmistakable scent of

June 19, 2012 | Scott Adam

Culinary Tours: Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

Introduction “Culinary Tours” is a new feature post from U China Travel that explores the depth and diversity of culinary China. China is a fascinating and complex country, rich in ancient history while swelling with modern development.  Regardless of the rapid changes in Beijing and beyond, the Chinese people always have had and always will have a deep appreciation for food. Our first “Culinary Tour” features one of China’s most intriguing yet least talked about regions – the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Located in Northwest China, the Autonomous Region of Xinjiang does not fit most foreigners preconceived notions of traditional Chinese culture.  Xinjiang is home to one of China’s most famously controversial ethnic minorities, the Uyghur Muslims.  As a result, the regions cuisine reflects the values and culture of the Uyghur people. Due to the relatively remote location, unique geography,

June 10, 2012 | Scott Adam

Beijing’s Water Cube Turns Water Park

Beijing’s famous National Aquatics Center, better known as “The Water Cube,” will forever retain historical significance since the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.  The blue bubbled structure was the place where Michael Phelps put on a record breaking performance, winning an astonishing 8 gold medals. Now, 4 years since the Beijing Olympics, the Water Cube is no longer used for record-breaking relays.  Rather, the enormous 12,000 sq. meter facility now houses the “Happy Magic Water Cube, Beijing Water Cube Water Park,” Asia’s largest indoor water park. The following excerpt has been taken from CNNGO: “The water park, which takes up about half of the 12,000-square-meter complex and, according to state media, is now the largest in Asia, features a wave pool, lazy river, spa area and 13 water slides and rides, including the Bullet Bowl, Speed Slide and Tornado.  A couple

June 7, 2012 | Scott Adam

1st Annual Beijing Craft Beer Festival

The Event In a country where the signature beers could accurately be described as light, watery, and containing an alcohol content less than 3.5 percent, the 1st Annual Beijing Craft Beer Festival was a decidedly landmark event for both foreign and local beer aficionados. As traditional Beijing fashion would have it, the inaugural event was held in the depths of a relatively obscure hutong, just south of Qianmen.  Just after 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 2nd, hop hungry foreigners began filing into the Beijing Shijingshan Electrical Relay Factory. It was a day of bright sun and dark lagers. At the door 200 RMB entitled festival go-ers to 15 “tasters” and 2 full glasses of their favorite craft beer.  The space was crowded and unconventional – much like Beijing – with dirty floors and graffiti covered walls.  It provided the kind of

June 6, 2012 | Scott Adam

Beijing Attraction: The Great Wall at MuTianYu (Gallery)

Fast Facts (What You Should Know) Located in the Huairu county, just 80 kilometres from Beijing’s city center Mutianyu is the longest restored and accessible section of the wall Mutianyu stretches 22 kilometers and is composed of solid slabs of granite, gravel, and earth. The wall reaches 8 meters at its highest point and 5 meters at its widest span. A series of 22 watchtowers spaced approximately 1-kilometer apart mark this run of the Great Wall. Constructed first in the Qi Dynasty (550-577), Mutianyu was rebuilt in 1568 and remains in that condition today. Getting to The Great Wall at Mutianyu The most hassle-free way of getting to Mutianyu would, of course, be through U China Travel. We arrange private drivers and guides for most of our guests, which includes hotel pick-up and drop-off in a comfortable sedan or spacious van.

May 27, 2012 | Scott Adam

Restaurant Review: HaiDiLao Hot Pot

Is HaiDiLao the king of hot pot restaurants? Possibly. Is HaiDiLao the king of restaurant hospitality and customer service in China? Definitely. As a foreigner, this place is a must-visit.  The popular chain recently won several Reader’s Choice Awards from The Beijinger, including: Best Service and Best Dining Entertainment. How good is the service?  What sets HaiDiLao apart from all the other hot pot joints? Valet greets you out front, opens your taxi door and escorts you through the revolving doors.  A hostess quickly takes note of the number of people in your party and escorts you to a waiting room, but not just any stereotypically drab waiting room.  You will immediately be served iced lemon tea and a small platter of dried snacks, think popcorn and nuts.  Women will be offered complimentary on-site manicures while men receive complimentary shoe shines.  They also have

May 24, 2012 | Scott Adam

One Night in Beijjing (CBD/Sanlitun)

U China Travel takes you for One Night in Beijing, as we mix style with substance and sustenance in the capital city. Since Beijing is such a monstrosity of a city, this post is focused specifically on the CBD (Central Business District) and Sanlitun areas. Dinner: Da Dong Roast Duck Beijing is a city of plenty, and plenty of options exist within the cities diverse culinary scene.  One could delve into delectable dumplings at Din Tai Fung, enjoy excellent Yunnan food at Dali Courtyard’s spectacular candle-lit space, sample spicy Sichuan hot pot at Hai Di Lao, or enjoy contemporary Hunan cuisine at Karaiya Spice House in Sanlitun. However, no meal is more quintessential Beijing than Peking Duck.  And in Beijing, the place to get Peking Duck is Da Dong Roast Duck. Dip the crispy skin into the sugar – it’s an

May 24, 2012 | Scott Adam

A Picture of Life in China (Part II)

Nobody travels without a camera these days, and we aren’t any different! Check out our collection of recent photos taken around China, though largely concentrated around the streets of Beijing and Shanghai. These pictures are posted daily on our Facebook page.  If you did not get a chance to see them on the U China Travel Facebook Page, you can get a sample below:   May 10: This past week we had the pleasure of visiting the Summer Palace with some visitors, and as you can see, the place is remarkable. Click here for our Beijing Attraction: Summer Palace Gallery to see all the photos from our day at the quintessential Chinese garden palace. May 11: The heat of summer is approaching Beijing which means more patios, rooftops, and other outdoor drinking and dining areas will be filling up across the city. This

May 21, 2012 | Scott Adam

Gulou Drum Show in Beijing (Video)

Beijing, China’s capital city, is steeped in the rich culture of an endlessly interesting ancient culture.  There is no better place to provide an introduction to Chinese culture.  Individuals from every corner and every province of the world’s most populous country call Beijing their home.  It is representative of ancient history and modern prosperity. Though much of traditional Beijing has changed as a result of the pressures of modernization, the Gulou area – north of Tiananmen Square – has been preserved and is now a buzzing hub of activity for tourists and locals alike. Gulou is the location of The Drum and Bell Towers, a well known attraction in Beijing.  The Drum Tower offers a “Drum Show” on a daily basis at the top of the Drum Tower. U China Travel offers an inside look at the performance below and

May 16, 2012 | Scott Adam

Destination: Longyan Hakka Homes (Fujian Tulou)

Longyan — Home to the Hakka People **UNESCO World Heritage Site Despite not being an itinerary staple for first time travelers to China, Fujian province is perfect for visitors wishing to appreciate the full scope of China’s geographic and cultural diversity.  Located on the southeast coast of mainland China, Fujian province borders Jiangxi to the west, Guangdong to the south, and Zhejiang to the north. Though the geography of Fujian province varies greatly, the western part is largely rural, dominated by farmland and mountainous areas.  In the southwest region of Fujian is the modest city of Longyan, home to the Hakka people. Making up more than 75% of the population in Longyan, the Hakka people were originally immigrants from Northern China who set up walled villages behind peculiar looking earthen structures.  The earthen structures, or Fujian Tulou, became a UNESCO Heritage Site

May 16, 2012 | Scott Adam