Taking a Trip to Huangshan

Taking a Trip to Huangshan

Huangshan is located in the Anhui province, eastern China's most rural province. A well-known name, Huangshan consists of 36 separate peak with some rising above 1,800m. While this province is not the wealthiest, it is definitely compensated with its astounding natural beauty. The peaks of Huangshan are easily hiked and each year, millions of visitors come here for its magnificent sunrise views.

Originally known as Black Mountains, it was renamed Huangshan. Legend has it that an emperor rode off from these peaks to heaven on the back of a dragon. Literally translated to Yellow Mountain, this long mountain range extends across four counties. A tourist spot, there are many hostels and campsites made available for nature lovers to stay a few nights while enjoying the hike up and down Huangshan. The most popular spot to catch sunrise is the Dawn Pavilion. Less crowded spots would be a bit further in at Refreshing Terrace, Lion Peak or Red Cloud Peak.

The hike up is pretty unchallenging. Even novice hikers will not find much difficulty climbing up. If you would like to feel safer, join a guided tour where you will hike up in a group. The peaks will definitely be colder so bring a waterproof jacket that is thick enough to withstand the cold wind. On a good day, you will be able to see the mountain range clearly with clouds floating nearby - a truly mesmerizing site that showoffs the beauty of mother nature. Once you reach the top, there are other things to do and see as well. They include the Fairy Walking Bridge, Turtle Peak, Flying Rock and of course, confronting extreme vertigo while overlooking this historical place.

Has China's Hainan cracked the secret to longevity

Has China’s Hainan cracked the secret to longevity

Has China's Hainan cracked the secret to longevity?

In Hainan, more than 200 of its 560,000 residents are aged a 100 over. This might not sound a lot, but it remains one of the highest ratio in the world. There are at least three centenarians –a term used for people aged over a 110 – in which there are less than 400 worldwide.

Residents in Hainan do not live a life of luxury. They live in shanty houses and survive on few dollars a day, it is mainly a simple life with a simple diet. This is perhaps the secret to their long lives. Farmers are the main profession in Hainan and residents claim that most of them do not exercise regularly as farm work is their ‘exercise' of the day. Researches have been conducted on the demographic in hopes of revealing the secret to longevity. They found that it is a combination of diligent, simple-minded and magnanimous lifestyle as well as a heavy vegetarian diet and eating sensibly. Of course, the classic idiom early to bed, early to rise applies too.

An active social life is key as well; men and women socialize daily in public parks – sipping tea and chit-chatting while listening to opera recordings. The locals claim that their regular consumption of alcohol is a contributory factor to living long. Their local grain spirit named Three Coconut Sprint is a famous choice of alcohol. A daily ritual, many of the older folks sip a shot of the spirit daily to keep warm. Combined with good climate and the soil which is naturally high in selenium, it can be said that Hainan possesses the right combination to an extra-long and fruitful life as it lacks the normative stress and environmental population that seems to be besiege most cities.

Foodie Cities in China

Foodie Cities in China

Foodie Cities in China

Chengdu As the capital of Sichuan Province, you would be well acquainted with the name, Sichuan where spiciness is synonymous with its signature dishes. A very popular Chinese culinary style, Sichuan food is not for the weak-hearted as the level of hotness might potentially numb your tongue and swell up your lips. Classic dishes are the Sichuan hotpot, kungpao chicken and mapo tofu. Be prepared with liters of water at your side if you don't usually consume spicy food.

Xi'an Located in the Shaanxi province, food here is a fascinating mixture of Chinese and Muslim. It has exotic meat platters that consist of camel and donkey. With one of the most bustling night markets in China, Lanzhou provides foodies with hand-pulled beef noodles that are soft and chewy. Vegetarians must try the Jiangshui noodles, a cabbage filled soup that has to be fermented for three days which eventually produce its tangy taste. The mutton and bread soup is also a specialty of Xi'an, a simple but delectable meal.

Turpan Another place that holds Muslim and Chinese cuisine together, Turpan is located in Xinjiang, northwestern part of the Silk Route. This town has the best Uyghur food and they have numerous halal restaurants. With slight similarities to Indian food, they serve lamb kawop and crispy rounded nang breads - large flatbreads -that can be dipped with banshi, a local dish. Banshi is basically mutton wontons served in light tomato broth with black-eyed beans and cilantro. Don't let the exotic names scare you; they might sound foreign but you will not regret trying out their local delicacies.

Qing'dao Located in Eastern China, Qing'dao is famous for its Tsingtao beer and crowded beaches. This city also serves one of the best seafood dishes in China. Accompanied by the local brew, local shrimps, clams, sea cucumbers, crabs and crayfish make up the seafood platter in this sunny place. The catch of the day can be chosen from tanks and customers can request for any method of cooking they prefer. One of its famed delicacy would be the steamed Hongdao oysters from Hongdao island. Steamed with ginger and vinegar, the freshness of the oysters can be tasted through the bland style of cooking – which essentially is the signature cooking style of the seafood dishes here.

China's First Trans-provincial Subway Opens

China’s First Trans-provincial Subway Opens

China's First Trans-provincial Subway Opens

China has been expanding since the turn of the century. With newfound zest and economic policies, this emerging superpower has been solidifying its economy and urban development to compete with global markets. The latest development of China would be the opening of its very first trans-provincial subway line. This line links the country's financial center of Shanghai with Kunshan City in neighboring Jiangsu Province.

At six-kilometer, this subway line is an extension of Shanghai Metro Line 11 and cost 1.85 billion yuan (approximately 294 million US$) to build. The extension features three elevated stations – Zhaofeng Road Station, Guangming Road Station and Huaqiao Station in Kunshan. The Huaqiao Station in Kunshan is a popular stop as most commuters transit daily from Kunshan to Shanghai for work. The new extension will cost commuters 7 yuan for a one hour journey, effectively saving around 20 yuan off their traveling cost. With this extension, Shanghai's Metro Line 11 is now the longest subway line at 72 kilometers.

Situated 50km away from Shanghai, Kunshan is a satellite city in the Suzhou region. Its immigrant population is larger than its local population while boasting a solid economy. It has been presented with the prestigious award from United Nations for its innovative approach to granting migrants the rights to essential services in the city. Its export-oriented economies has propelled the city to become one of China's most economically successful city while attracting more and more businessmen especially from Taiwan. The newly opened subway from Kunshan to Shanghai will definitely aid in business relationships between the two cities; allowing lower cost in travelling and easier commuting for businessmen and entrepreneurs.