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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

Beijing Attraction: Forbidden City [Photos]

One of China’s most famous and historically significant cultural sites, the Forbidden City served as the residence of 24 of China’s emperors from the early Ming dynasty until the abdication and expulsion of the last emperor Puyi in 1924. Construction of the imperial palace began in 1406 at the order of the Yongle emperor (who also commissioned the Temple of Heaven) and was reportedly built by over a million workers, including thousands of highly skilled craftsmen. The palace complex has an area of approximately 720,000 square meters, and includes 980 surviving buildings, protected by a huge wall, moat and watchtowers. Built using the finest materials of the day, the ‘city’ is still very well preserved, and recently underwent extensive conservation and restoration work in the run-up to the 2008 Olympic Games. The buildings are made largely of wood and stone,

April 10, 2012 | Scott Adam

Afrojack @ Spark Beijing [Photos]

Beijing Hosts World Renowned DJ at Spark Club We didn’t know what to expect. It was a seemingly quiet Sunday night in downtown Beijing, with most people resting up and getting ready to start a full work week.  Scattered groups of foreign and domestic tourists wandered around the outside area of The Place on Guanghua Lu, admiring the enormous TV screen that stretches the entire length of the promenade.  It appeared to be any other night in China’s capital city. Yet there was a small group of people who knew why Sunday, April 8th, was a special night.  Despite almost no outside promotion or advertisements, people began to line up outside the doors of Spark Beijing, all of them bursting with energy, ready to welcome one of the world’s most celebrated DJ/producer. Nick Van De Wall, better known by his

April 9, 2012 | Scott Adam

Top 3 Hutong Hangouts in Beijing

  1.) Salud, 66 Nan Luo Gu Xiang At the heart of Beijing’s most famously commercialized converted alleyway, Nan Luo Gu Xiang, is a rum and tapas bar with a bit more than just Latin infusion.  A warm wooden interior and a diverse, fashionable patronage makes Salud the paradigmatic example of “hutong hip.” Notable libations include the house-infused Havana Rum in flavors like mango, anise, coffee, and pineapple.  During the colder months, I like to go with the warming apple and cinnamon combination.  The low ceiling upstairs is a great place to hang out and you will often see groups of people playing dice, board games, or other drinking activities. Live music is often scheduled for weekends, and currently, a Gypsy Jazz Jam Session is being hosted weekly by The Beijing Hot Club. 2.) The Vineyard Cafe, 31 Wudaoying Hutong

April 6, 2012 | Scott Adam

Shanghai to Beijing: Traveling at High-Speed

China takes great pride in it’s highly developed rail network, and for good reason. Connecting commerce from the coast to the capital, the G-series high-speed trains run daily between Beijing and Shanghai.  For around 555 yuan, you’ll be able to snag a hard seat – which is not nearly as uncomfortable as it sounds – and embark on the five and a half hour journey that covers nearly 1,320 kilometers (820 miles).

March 27, 2012 | Scott Adam

New Trend Amongst Young Chinese Males

There is a new trend beginning to gain traction on the streets of Shanghai, up to Beijing, and down to Shenzhen. In heroic displays of neo-chivalrous behavior, young Chinese gentlemen can frequently be seen strolling alongside their companions, casually carrying a designer handbag. This selfless act, demonstrated with the highest level of confidence and humility, has recently helped redefine the concepts of romance and chivalry amongst many young, doughey-eyed Chinese love birds.  It is a remarkable act to witness, one that I admittedly may not be able to pull off myself.

March 25, 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

Jin Shan Ling Great Wall (Photo Gallery)

The entire Great Wall of China, including all sections, spans more than 6,000 kilometers across Northern China.  6,000 kilometers in length – that is nearly 2,000 kilometers longer than the North American continent. Jin Shan Ling, a section of The Great Wall that lies about two hours north of Beijing in Hebei province, is perhaps the most breathtaking and mountainous portion of the remarkable structure.  Unlike other sections of The Great Wall, such as Badaling and Mutianyu, Jin Shan Ling is far less touristy and also less restored.  Crumbled sections of the wall add character and authenticity as well as a degree of difficulty to the hike. Though it was still early in March, U China Travel ventured out to The Great Wall at Jin Shan Ling to stretch our legs and capture some of the spectacular scenery before the

March 11, 2012 | Scott Adam

Shop Like A Local At Dongjiao (Photo Gallery)

Just south of the Dawang Lu subway station lies a massive indoor/outdoor market complex called Dongjiao Market. Dongjiao feels decidedly authentic; which is a coveted trait in a city modernizing at break-neck speed.  It is not cleanly by Western standards.  Hey, it isn’t even really cleanly by Eastern standards – it’s a dirty market.  But it is also a buzzing market, full of energy and oddity. And with those dirt stained stalls comes dirt cheap prices. The entire complex houses vendors of every imaginable variety –  bicycles, tea sets, flashlights, linens, Tupperware, sneakers, art supplies, sporting goods, puppies, cell phones, candles, skinny jeans, cutlery – if it exists, it can be found at Dongjiao. One of the more interesting (and also photogenic) parts of Dongjiao is the fresh seafood, meat, and produce market housed inside one of the complex’s airplane

February 18, 2012 | Scott Adam