Category Archives: China

China to open high-speed train service

The much anticipated opening of high-speed passenger service from Beijing to Guangzhou, a distance of 2298 kilometres is scheduled to begin on Wednesday this week, officials said. Travelling at an average speed of 300 kilometres per hour, the new line will slash the time it takes to travel by rail from the capital to the southern commercial hub from the current 22 hours to just eight.

chinasfasttrain

The line will have 35 stops. Besides Zhengzhou, they will include other major cities such as Wuhan and Changsha. Sections linking Zhengzhou and Wuhan and Wuhan and Guangzhou are already in service.

Authorities say that they have taken steps ahead of the new line’s opening to improve maintenance and inspection of infrastructure, including track, rolling stock and emergency response measures.

Voted best winter attraction by National Geographic

The Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in Northern China was established in 1985 and is held annually from January 5 and lasts for over one month. Harbin is the capital city of Heilongjiang Province and this is China’s original and greatest ice artwork festival, attracting hundreds of thousands of local people and visitors from all over the world.

harbin_ice_festival

The city’s location accounts for its arctic climate which provides abundant natural ice and snow. Subsequently, the ‘Ice City’ of Harbin is recognized as the cradle of ice and snow art in China and is famous for its exquisite and artistic ice and snow sculptures. The fabulous Ice Lantern Festival was the forerunner of the current festival and is still the best loved part of the overall event in the opinion of all who come to Harbin each year.

Read more here.

Foreign visitors banned from Tibet

Foreign tourists are understood to have been banned from the Tibet Autonomous Region following a series of self-immolations by Tibetans protesting against Chinese rule.

Several tour operators in China received notice to cancel group tours to Tibet with foreign visitors.

The CEO of Tibet Travel Expert said the government stopped approving applications of foreign tourists on May 28.

Read more here.

Luxury hotel in old communist war ship

International luxury hotels are popping up on the horizon in China faster than ever, but affluent Chinese travelers have indicated a new desire for accommodation — somewhere more historic, alternative and communist.

A former Soviet aircraft carrier under renovation in Tianjin is set to become China’s first ex-naval hotel in 2012.

Read more here.

The Chinese are coming

The continued growth in Chinese outbound and domestic travel will change the global hospitality industry for ever, reveals the WTM Global Trends Report 2011 released yesteraday at World Travel Market.

To go with the flow some major hotel chains have adapted to Chinese tourism. Hilton Worldwide has launched Hilton Huanying, meaning “welcome” in Chinese, which ensures that its service is tailored to Chinese guests when travelling abroad; reception staff are fluent in Mandarin; the in-room entertainment includes a wide range of Chinese TV channels and breakfast caters for Chinese tastes.

InterContinental will launch a dedicated upscale Chinese brand by 2013. Its Holiday Inn Express brand in China has been renamed and translates as “Smart Choice”.

World’s largest airport soon to open in China

London Heathrow Airport has topped the world’s busiest airport list (by international passengers) for the past 11 years, but the rank will certainly change when Beijing’s Daxing airport opens.

Currently under construction, the new airport will be Beijing’s third airport — after Beijing Capital International Airport and the semi-military Nanyuan Airport — and will occupy a total of 54 square kilometers with nine runways.

Due to be completed in 2015, Daxing airport is expected to handle 120 to 200 million passengers a year. That’s twice, or even three times, the capacity of Heathrow’s current annual passenger flow.

Read more here. 

Jackie Chan Museum to open in Shanghai later this year

Designed along the theme of “China symbol, kung fu star, charity ambassador,” the museum is located within the Changfeng Ecological Business District (CEBD) in Shanghai’s Putuo district beside Suzhou Creek. More precisely on the intersection of Daduhe Lu (大渡河路) and Yunling Dong Lu (云岭东路).

According to information provided by CEBD (in chinese), the 10,000-square-meter museum will house an Avenue of Stars, a gallery for movie art, a four-story Italian restaurant and Chan’s own movie studio.

And according to Chan himself, fans will be able to meet and talk with Chinese celebrities while touring the studio.

If you are heading to Shanghai in December or next year then do head off to this museum and take some pics – please send them to Trailsurfers.

Annual tourist gathering goes fatal

Viewing the tidal bore has become an annual tradition for residents, attracting hundreds of visitors each year in Qiangtang River in Haining, in east China’s Zhejiang province.

The astonishing natural phenomenon, which is an abrupt uprising of river water, happens when the moon’s gravity influence tides from the sea, moving them upstream, resulting in the bore. Despite the authorities warning onlookers to stand back from the river bank, many failed to listen to the advice (no surprise here since they are chinese) and end up trying to out-run the wave when it heads towards them.

Bores only occur in a few locations throughout the world, usually in areas with a large tidal range and where incoming tides are funnelled into a shallow, narrowing lake or river.

China’s Qiantang River boasts the largest bore, up nine metres and travelling up t0 40 kilometres an hour.

I have been to China 3 times and I just have to write this, based on  my personal experiences and the above event:
I do not understand why many people in china fail to listen to instructions. This is visible on airplanes, train stations, in any crowd, shopping malls to just name a few places and situations. They see the “Fasten Seat Belt” sign on landing but they still un-clip their belt to head for the exit – dude, the plane is still taxing into the docking bay.  You guys must relax, the time of one piece of loaf on the market is over. Mao is dead you do not need to defy him anymore the instructions and rules in society are good ones, they make us all get about our business without pushing and placing others in danger.

Five cool budget hostels in Shanghai

Shanghai is overtaking New York in terms of cost of living. If you are scheduled for a visit and on a budget then this article from CNN is a must read.


Doorm room in Captain Hostel

Top 5
1. Koala Garden House
2. Captain Hostel – I stayed there in 2008 and it was a great place to meet fellow travellers.
3. City Central Youth Hostel
4. Mingtown Hiker Youth Hostel
5. Le Tour Traveller

If you want to stay in one of these gems then you better book ahead.

China takes to the sky

Chinese airport development is set to take place at an astonishing rate over the coming five years. By 2015, China – which already has 175 – is set to become home to no less than 220 airports. Its new airport construction programme includes four major air travel sites and regional hubs that provide transport links to the most remote parts of China.