The tallest of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China, Mount Emei is the home of the first Buddhist temple built in China in the 1st century. Spotted with no fewer than 76 Buddhist monasteries, Mount Emei is not just a place for enlightenment — with spectacular views of the sunrise and endless seas of clouds, it’s a place to completely immerse yourself in China’s natural wonders.
Emei Shan literally means “Delicate Eyebrow Mountain” — it derives its name from two peaks which face each other and look like the delicate eyebrows of a Chinese classic beauty. The range stretches more than 200km from south to north, with its main peak, Wanfo Top, 3,100m above sea level. Since ancient times, Emei Mountain has been described as “Beauty Under Heaven.” It is 5km to the top, which takes around 10 hours on foot. If you choose to walk it all, plan for a full day up and a full day down. Monasteries along the way offer reasonably-priced lodging, and there are several comfortable lodges on the summit. Remeber to dress in layers – a 20°C temperature variance between base and summit is normal.
A full day’s hike to the summit is an unforgettable experience undertaken by many, but minibuses and cable cars are faster alternatives for travelers short on time. Some spend the night to see the sunrise, others quickly turn around and head back.
Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China, it is also known as the ‘Spring Festival’, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally ran from Chinese New Year’s Day itself, the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month. The evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the “Lunar New Year”. This year it falls on the 10th of February 2013 and is the year of the snake.
There are many legends about the festival in Chinese culture. In folk culture, the Spring Festival is There are many legends about the festival in Chinese culture. In folk culture, the Spring Festival is also called “guonian” (meaning “passing a year”). It is said that the “nian” (year) was a strong monster which was fierce and cruel and ate one kind of animal including human being a day. Human beings were scared about it and had to hide on the evening when the “nian” came out. Later, people found that “nian” was very scared about the red color and fireworks. So after that, people use red color and fireworks or firecrackers to drive away “nian” every year. As a result, the custom of using red color and setting off fireworks remains. More information about Chinese New Year in China tour chinatourguide.com.
Waking up on New Year, everybody dresses up. First they extend greetings to their parents. Then each child will get money as a New Year gift, wrapped up in red paper. People in northern China will eat jiaozi, or dumplings, for breakfast, as they think “jiaozi” in sound means “bidding farewell to the old and ushering in the new”. Also, the shape of the dumpling is like gold ingot from ancient China. So people eat them and wish for money and treasure. Southern Chinese eat niangao (New Year cake made of glutinous rice flour) on this occasion, because as a homophone, niangao means “higher and higher, one year after another.” The first five days after the Spring Festival are a good time for relatives, friends, and classmates as well as colleagues to exchange greetings, gifts and chat leisurely.
Jiuzhaigou is a World Heritage-listed scenic area of outstanding beauty in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, about 400 kilometers north of the capital city of Sichuan Province, Chengdu. The scenic area is over 80 kilometers long and covers an area of 60,000 hectares. It is so called because there are nine villages of Tibetan people here, and the name Jiuzhaigou means “Nine-Village Valley”.
There are six scenic spots in Jiuzhaigou area, namely Changhai, Jianyan, Nuorilang, Shuzheng, Zharu and Heihai. It is such a world renowned scenic area because of its cascading waterfalls, snowy peaks, colorful forests and green lakes. For many visitors the Tibetan people in the area count as another attraction adding an ethnic flavor to this fabulous area. The sides of the valleys are covered in dense vegetation. The wildlife here is shy, but the range is equally impressive, including 27 protected rare and endangered species like the giant panda, golden monkey, gnu, white-lip deer, black-neck crane, swan, lovebirds, red-belly golden pheasant, snow leopard, forest musk deer, and otters. However, visitors are more likely to spot some of the 141 bird species than one of the very few pandas remaining in the park. It is an extravaganza of natural wonders, a pure unspoiled land which contains waterfalls, alpine lakes, tranquil grasslands, snowy mountains views and Tibetan villages. You won’t know what the area will offer until you have been there. Jiuzhaigou is incredibly picturesque particularly in autumn when the mountains, valleys, lakes are shrouded in autumn colors. Warm days, cool nights, and great vistas of saturated yellows, reds, and green mixed with the blue lake water are autumn scenes of Jiuzhaigou.