South East China offers a great variety of beautiful landscapes, nature, culture, lively cities and much more. I have collected in this page some tips and recommendations to experience the best of China.
Our travel in a nutshell:
Our travel started from Shanghai international airport where we landed on early morning in July. From Shanghai we drove about three hours to Hangzhou for the next three days. From Hangzhou the journey continued first to the Sone Forest and Kunming, and then to Lijiang, which is located on the Tibetan plateau at 2’400 m above sea level. From Lijiang we drove through picturesque landscape route to see the Tiger Leaping Gorge and further to Shangri-La, a town in 3’200m above sea level. There we stayed in a beautiful Rhinga village enjoying the simple countryside living and the beautiful nature of the area. From Shangri-La we continued to Guilin, one of the most beautiful cities of Southern China, and finally from there to Hong Kong, our last destination before Europe.
Highlights of our travel in China:
Part 1: Hangzhou, the green city of China
Part 2: Visiting Anji Bamboo Forest
Part 3: The Stone Forest and the beautiful butterflies
Part 4: Lijiang, the colourful city of minorities
Part 5: On the Tibetan Plateau
Part 6: From Guilin to Yangshuo and back
Part 7: Two amazing cities: Hong Kong and Macau
The best destination hotels in China:
Amanfayun, Hangzhou: This is one of the most amazing hotel resorts I have ever visited. Built in the spirit of a traditional Chinese village, Amanfayan is situated on the outskirts of Hangzhou, in a hidden valley to West Lake. The property is comprised of 47 stone courtyard dwellings, some of which are over 100 years old. For more information, visit www.amanresorts.com.
Four Seasons, Hangzhou: In Four Season you know what you get – outstanding service and ultimate comfort. In addition, this hotel is one of the most amazing properties Four Seasons have with its intimate lakeside village, melding centuries of tradition to chic contemporary style. For more information visit www.fourseasons.com.
Banyantree Hangzhou: Splendour of nature and centuries-old cultural legacy meets you at Banyantree Hangzhou. The hotel is a combination of an exemplary depiction of traditional Chinese architecture and modern architecture, set within tranquil natural surroundings near Hangzhou West Lake. For more information visit www.banyantree.com.
Banyantree Lijiang: This resort is like from a painting with its own pagoda and the garden lake. Located in Yunnan province, Banyantree Lijiang is an hour’s drive from the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, a sacred sanctuary which has protected the ethnic minorities and their unique cultures since ancient times. If you will visit Lijiang, this is the place to stay. www.banyantree.com.
Banyantree Rhinga: This place is the queen of destination hotels. It is located in a remote paradise of a hidden village of Rhinga, in Tibetan valley in 3’400 m above sea level. Surrounded by snow capped mountains, the hotel offers awesome views and experiences within a tranquil retreat. Where else you can see yaks wondering through the hotel area every morning to the mountains and then returning back in the evenings… not to mention the cute little piglets playing around the hotel area. It is an experience as a such! For more information visit www.banyantree.com.
Best time to visit:
Everyone says it is spring – but that is the season when everyone else will be there too. We visited in July, which is the rain season in some parts, nevertheless, the experience was absolutely amazing!