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May 26 2015

Don't "Beijing to Xi'an" without Pingyao!

Category: Destinationstravel42 editorial team @ 05:59

This guest post comes from Tom Cintorino, Northstar Travel Media's Executive Vice President, Digital Media, and Managing Director, China and Southeast Asia. Tom has spent more than a year living in China and managing the relaunch of Northstar's Travel Weekly China and Travel Weekly Asia brands. For more about Tom and his work with Northstar, see his bio on Northstar's Leadership page

Like a cultural buffet, foreign tourists packaged to China are too often fed their experience from a cookie-cutter menu.

From Bejing's Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and Summer Palace, tourists are airlifted or shot on a bullet train to Xi'an, where they see the Terracotta Warriors and perhaps a made-for-tourists stage show about the Song dynastic period. But there is so much—perhaps the heartiest helping—in the in-between cities in China. The culturally important venues left for the domestic tourist give us both a glimpse back in time and an experience in the present.

Pingyao is one of these cities. It's a domestic traveler's weekend getaway that made its mark in history by having the very first bank in China. It is a small, well-preserved, walled city with shops and eateries threaded between ticket-required access to the courthouse, Confucius temple, and of course, the first bank.

The streets of Pingyao, China, at night

 

I don't recall where I first heard about Pingyao, and it didn't matter. One impulsive blue-sky Friday afternoon, I booked a hotel, packed my bag, and took off for Beijing's South Station. More...

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Apr 7 2014

5 alternative destinations in China

Category: Destinations | SightseeingKaren @ 08:44

China is enormous, and it's obviously impossible to see the whole country in one visit. But let's say you've already seen Shanghai and Beijing, cruised the Yangtze River, hiked on the Great Wall, viewed the terra-cotta warriors at Xi'an and braved Tibet's altitudes. What's next? travel42's recently updated China guide offers a slew of suggestions, but here are five of our top choices. More...

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Jan 13 2012

Sampling Chinese Tea in Hong Kong

Category: Destinations | DiningMegan Leader @ 10:58

The bustling city of Hong Kong seems to be the least likely place to enjoy a quiet cup of tea. However, drinking tea is a beloved Chinese tradition enjoyed throughout the country, and Hong Kong is no exception. You'll find that tea is incredibly popular in this city among businesspeople and families alike—there's even a museum devoted to tea ware. More...

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Oct 20 2011

Five Foot Races for the Adventurous Athlete

Category: RecreationMegan Leader @ 06:15

Nearly every large city in the world has its own annual marathon. But for travelers looking for something a little more exotic, these five foot races are sure to pose unique challenges to even the most experienced marathoner.More...

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