We loved Mian Shan area so much that we decided to postpone our planned trip to Xi’an in few hours, and take a speed train afternoon. So..whole morning we explored new areas of Mian Shan with Beautiful Taoist temples and valleys. Our favorites are: Chess Cave in Qixuan Valley
Zhujia Hollow Area
Lingbao God Temple
It takes almost an hour with taxi to drive from Mian Shan area to Jiexiu Speed Train Station. It’s a large modern facility, with wide road and large concrete empty space in front of the building.
Although, right next to the raised plaform , down below bordering farmer’s fields with greenery
We arrived to Xi’an by bullet train from Jiexiu. It was fun to look outside and to the screen of the tablo showing “250 km/hr” speed of the train.
After train we took a subway. It is very economical, comfortable and convenient way to travel in the city. Downtown Xian
Muslim Quarters in Xian with rows of small shops and restaurants with food to taste is a must area to visit in the evening while in Xian.
We stayed in Downtown Hotel Xi’an, very convenient hotel for travellers.
Next morning we took a bus to enormous exhibition of Terracota Army. It’s gigantic place and unbelievable artifacts attracts billions of people from around the world as a “Must See in China” tourist attraction.
Next early morning we flew to relaxing and beautiful Qingdao city- “Oriental Switzerland”
Qingdao Airport Terminal 2
Next morning we decided to visit Laoshan. It is a well known area, and better to visit it early in the morning before the crowds. Also, when you take a shuttle bus to temples, first start with the farthest areas to explore..
You need at least a day in Laoshan (better two, if you can arrange staying overnight in beautiful challets in this area.
Also, Qingdao is an interesting city as well. We visited Military museum, Bathing Beaches and downtown narrow streets..
Even we booked our tickets well in advance, the softsleeper was sold out, and we had left with hard sleeper choice only. Before the trip I worried about safety, and personal belongings in the train, but after great experience with hard sleeper, all our family would love to experience this trip again. may be we were lucky, may be all tourists in hard sleeper cars are so nice, that we ended up with new friends, and lots of great memories just from overnight trip.
Beautiful Pingyao Cheng Jia hotel we booked well in advance in advance, so in the morning, on the railway station, the driver from hotel was waiting for us. After 5-10 minutes ride, we comfortably explored our room, and hotel grounds. Pingyao Cheng Jia Hotel was decorated in national style, with mix of old and traditional, kang bed and carved furniture, and modern; heated floors and stylish showers.
Our stay in Pingyao Cheng Jia Hotel , probably is one of the finest experiences with hotels in China. After showers, and good breakfast we walked around the ancient city walls. Cause we were at the end of the touristic season, we were lucky to see only few tourists on our way, and had fun experience browsing and participating in local activities with personal attention.
After overnigh in Pingyao, next morning we took a short 25 minutes train ride to Jiexiu, than another 20 minutes on taxi to Mian Shan Touristic Area. Mian Shan met us with crispy clean mountain air and warm sunshine.
True! It was unbelievable experience, one-of-a-kind! We drop all our luggage in Yunfeng Hotel, and walked to one of the nearest Yunfeng Temple. From the Temple we took Cloud Road to the Heaven. The name said everything. Wow! No photos, or videos can descibe our feelings, and surrounding views..Tranquility, inviting warmth of bright sunshine, fresh air and panoramic breathtaking views were like a magic energy pouring into our bodies to give us enough to climb and walk for a day without any snacks and water stops. We were like hungry to see more and more of the surrounding beauty. All unique, and beautifully restored temples on high cliffs, untouched by centuries trees and rocks, peacefull smiles of locals, interactions with monks… all of these unforgettable experiences of joy we keep in our heads, and keep reminiscing often…
That day we explored also Rabbit Bridge area, Daluo Temple, Iron Chain Ridge and Universe Pagoda…
Dinner at Yunfeng Hotel was more delicious than expected, probably we were very hungry and tired…
Next morning after delicious buffet breakfast in Yunfeng Hotel, first we explored Qixian Valley Area with caves along the way. No any Wonderland-Disneyland or other amusement park can compete with natural beauty of the Valley and entertainment with climbing through the obstacles. This valley was the Highlight of the trip for our children. After the valley we took a shuttle bus to Zhujia Hollow Area visited Cave God Temple, Lingbao God temple and Sight Seeing Pavillion, then again shuttle bus, toFunnel Spring Area, visiting Daluo Temple & Beehive Spring, than magnificient Plank Road on Cliff… The Plank road on Cliff is another “Wow” experience of lifetime. Imagine CN Tower glass floor experience, when you walk on thick glass floor, which can withhold an elephant…so, like this, but without any glass, and thin planks offer you see-through-the-floor experience, while you walking above the clouds…Yes, it’s thrilling experience,..that’s why we came here to enjoy it…and tranquility..and crisp air..and sunshine…just made it to be perfect. If we ever happened to visit this Mian Shan Scenic Area again, we stay here at least a week, without rush, enjoying life together with local monks… Unfortunately our time in China was limited, and after lunch we rushed to shuttle bus, then to waiting us taxi to railway station, to take a speed train to Xi’an.
When I visited Qingdao, China on my first trip, right from the first day, I came up with ideahat I have to come again with my whole family. Children must see the different world, different culture and traditions,..show to them that not the whole world speak English…That there are places where you have to struggle with comprehention of foreign language.
Our trip to China was in November 2014. First of all, children are small enough, that in many placetickets either free, or half-priced, and also large enough to remember the trip and apreciate the excitement of travel.
We bought our airflight tickets, and booked hotels during the summer, when the prices were extremely low…Also, the High Travel season in China concidered in Spring and Autumn: August, September and October. We decided to travel in November, enjoying low volumes of tourists, while catching Indian Summer feel. Although Beijing weather was getting cold at nights, during the day it was just perfect, with clear bright skies, and no wind at all.
Traveling in Beijing is easy, inexpencive and fast.
Subway ssystem is clean,and easy to navigate, almost everywhere signs in Pynyin, so it’s easy to comprehend. Beijing Subway system is fast and efficient , platforms are equipped with mostly glass walls, and gates to access the tracks, ensuring safety, that none will fall on tracks.
We hired a taxi (600-700RMB for round trip from downtown) to visit China Great Wall section at Mutianyu. If you want to take a skylift and on the way back toboggan, it’s better to take the furtherst skylift, so while on the wall hiking you will be decending to toboggan ride, and wouldn’t have to come back. Views at Mutianyu Great Wall were breathtaking, with clear sky and visibility to thousands kilometers…
We spent almost whole day at Mutianyu, enjoying panoramic views, and warmth of Autumn Sun,and tranquility of surrounding mountains.
One of the practicalities came up to my mind is to bring some snack, and a bottle of water with you on the wall, and keep yourself hydrated and energised, so you can enjoy more time on the wall.
#2nd day we visited Forbidden City and Wangfujing Street
Forbidden City is a must place to visit., although after first half an hour it’s boring to kids. We found the clock museum, with enormous collection of mechanical clocks from miniature to gigantic waterclocks, worth visitng to return an interest of kids.
Wangfuijing Street has an interesting part as Wangfujing Snak Street where you can encounter weird snacks, like fried scorpions, starfish, fried seahorse, lizards…
That evening we spent in Red Theatre, watching performance on Shaolin…Performance was well horeographed, and performed.
Our last day in Beijing we were busy visiting Temple of Heaven.