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Banyan Tree Hotels-Luxury Experiences Throughout Urban and Rural China

The Banyan Tree is a popular chain of boutique hotels. With 11 locations throughout China, these 5-star hotels each offer their guests something different and indulgent. Huangshan Resort and Spa Located a few kilometres away from the quaint and beautiful Hongcun and Xidi villages, this Banyan Resort and Spa is easily accessible on your trek and trip up or down Mount Huangshan. It is the only Banyan Tree in the eastern province of Anhui, located just north of Shanghai. The building is designed in the traditional and distinctive Hui style of Chinese architecture and is a scenic spot at the foot of Mount Huangshan. There are villas and hotel suites on-site, and the resort offers guests a breakfast buffet, a spa and both indoor and outdoor event rooms, all amongst the luscious green of the Huangshan villages and mountain. On

November 18, 2016 | Jennifer Richardson

Kaifeng: An Ancient Capital with Chrysanthemums

  The third city in our Henan series is the city of Kaifeng. Located by the southern bank of the Yellow River, Kaifeng was once the world’s most populous city at the beginning of the second millennium C.E. It was China’s capital during the Northern Song dynasty (from 960-1127) and again from 1013-1127. City gates, parks and some unique architecture make Kaifeng a noteworthy stop on any trip to China.   HISTORY Kaifeng is home to the oldest Jewish population in China, also known as the Kaifeng Jews. It is estimated that about 100 families of Jewish ancestry still remain in Kaifeng. While there was a significant drop in the population and practices of the Jewish customs after the city’s synagogue was destroyed in the 1960’s, there’s been a recent interest among many members to recapture their roots and ancestry.

May 3, 2015 | Jennifer Richardson

Things to Know Before Your Trip to Yunnan Province

WHAT TO BRING A camera, a raincoat if you are going in the rainy season because there might be heavy monsoon rains, a fleece for the cold mountain air at night, water bottle to refill, some thermal wear and a wool hat is recommended if visiting Shangri-La and going on higher treks in the north of Yunnan and Deqin county. Wool socks are ideal for circulation during treks up Yunnan’s many mountains. THE WEATHER Kunming: Kunming is known as the “City of Eternal Spring”. It enjoys a temperate climate but can snow between December and February. With the highest amount of rainfall starting in June and lasting until September, the best time to go is between March and May. Dali: The high elevation in Dali of 2007 meters (6585 feet) along with the low latitude creates a milk subtropical climate.

December 11, 2014 | Jennifer Richardson

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

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

Food Feature: Epic Chuan’r

It is meat-on-a-stick.  There are few street foods more straightforward than this. Don’t you see the beauty in the simplicity? Chuan’r, as it is referred to here in Beijing, is one of the most widely available street foods in the capital city, cooked on make-shift grills set up on nearly every street corner.  It is also, in my humble opinion, a revolutionary drunk food, worthy of the highest possible praise for its straightforward deliciousness.  I mean, there really is nothing like it. On countless occasions I’ve found myself stumbling around the back alleys of Beijing, Yanjing in hand, searching for that glowing symbol of satisfaction – the chuan’r sign.  You know when you are close, fragrances of tender lamb meat and cumin fill the night sky, twirling and swirling and teasing your nostrils. Night after night, beer after beer, craving

April 12, 2012 | Scott Adam

Restaurant Review: Din Tai Fung

In Asia, the name Din Tai Fung is synonymous with dreamily delicate dumplings. Xiao Long Bao (小籠包) to be exact – the steaming soup-filled kind, delivered in woven baskets and slurped down by millions of customers around the globe in flavorful bliss.  These delicacies was part of my first real introduction to Asian food and they immediately turned me into a believer.  How could something be so intensely powerful yet also positively delicate at the same time? Din Tai Fung has been voted a Top 10 Restaurant in the World by The New York Times, an accolade that they won’t shy away from showing off.  Originating in Taiwan, Din Tai Fung now has locations across the globe including countries such as: Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, and the United States. Legend has it that Bingyi Yang, born in Shanxi Province,

April 10, 2012 | Scott Adam

Restaurant Review: Lotus Land (SH)

Tucked away from the seas of endless skyscrapers and futuristic orbed towers of Shanghai, a blissful bohemian enclave resides within the side streets of Tai Kang Lu. Tian Zi Fang, as it is referred to for tourism purposes, is a conglomeration of winding narrow alley-ways and red brick buildings.  These brick buildings have been converted into storefronts and now host a maze of art galleries, craft stalls, kitchy clothing shops, cat cafes, open-air drinking hang-outs, and ethnic restaurants. Lotus Land Indian Cuisine rests in the heart of Tian Zi Fang.  Occupying three narrow stories, Lotus Land has transformed this prime location into the perfect blend of cozy and cultural.  Lounge style seating around the outside of the main dining area on the second floor helps set the laid back vibe that permeates the space. The food was on point as

April 3, 2012 | Scott Adam

Restaurant Review: Bian Yi Fang Roast Duck (Beijing)

When you come to Beijing you have to visit all the sights. Of course you go to The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, Tian’anmen Square, and The Summer Palace.  But a proper day of sightseeing around China’s capital city is not complete until it has ended at one of Beijing’s many Kao Ya Dian, or Beijing duck restaurants.

March 21, 2012 | Scott Adam

Food Feature: Di San Xian

Eggplant.  Potatoes.  Green Peppers. It isn’t any more complicated than that.  Yet somehow this combination, when stir fried together with a dark and savory sauce, manages to be both remarkably flavorful and wildly addicting. To me, this is Dong Bei cooking at it’s best.  Hearty, starchy, and beautiful in its simplicity.

March 12, 2012 | Scott Adam