So to China again – the world’s most populated country!! Now, when you think of World Heritage Sites in China you must mean The Great Wall, The Forbidden Palace, The Terracotta Warriors, etc…?? No, sorry, not today and not for this travelling Northern Irishman. China was the first Asian country I ever visited and my flirting love affair with it’s land of endless possibilities continues…so here I bring you 3 very unknown and unusual UNESCO World Heritage Sites in China which I have visited recently.
1. Fujian Tulou Buildings in Fujian Province, China – situated is deep countryside with valleys and mountains all around, this is a splendid set of old style buildings known as Tulou. There are hundreds of them and they were built to house full families and Chinese clans back in the day. You can go inside most of them and they are not too busy or touristic, especially for those non-Chinese. This makes your visit seem so special and amazing. A great heritage site! [
Quick Guide – Get to the city of Yongding in Fujian Province. Once you’re there you will realise that there are many bus tours out to these buildings and numerous drivers offering them. If you’re a foreign tourist, they will probably come to you. However be aware of rip offs and drivers cutting special buildings off your trip.
2. Danxiashan Mountains, Guangdong Province, CHINA: Hidden shyly in the north of Guangdong Province, this range of mountains, hills and odd rock formations lets your mind wander into a real unknown part of China, at least for the non-Chinese amongst us. It’s not a guided tour or anything like the buildings in Fujian, this is very much a Do It Yourself style hiking and climbing opportunity. The views at sunset are amazing, as is the tough ascent for sunrise the following morning.
Easy Guide- Head to Shaoguan in China and then get a bus from the main bus station out to the Danxia mountains – you will probably arrive at a resort called Jin Jiang or Yao Tang village. You can stay the night there and use it as your base to do the hiking. Don’t miss penis rock on the hikes!
3. Kaiping Dialou, Guangdong Province, CHINA: It’s amazing that in a country so vast as China, that a scattered array of almost 2,000 impressive tower style buildings almost goes un-noticed! Well it’s easy to get lost in China, luckily these buildings have outlasted their builders and as recently as 2007 they were declared a World Heritage Site, and deservedly so! This was actually my MOST recent venture into China, just a couple of weeks ago, so you’ll hear a lot more about it. [
Quick Guide – Get to the city of Kaiping and stay in the Milan Hotel. It’s a great central hotel within a 2 minute walk from the bus station (YES a real 2 minute walk – I really travel remember!). From there ask at reception about doing the tour out to the amazing Diaolou. There are leaflets in reception.
So there you have it – 3 fascinating World Heritage Sites to see in China! Love the travel lifestyle!
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Tea is a national obsession in Sri Lanka and here where it is grown is a great spot to visit on your travels. Sri Lankan tea is famous the world over and when in the country you should head to the Hill Country and visit tea factories and plantations. It’s just marvellous! Head to Haputale which houses the impressive Dambatenne Tea Factory, built and created by Thomas Lipton who came from Scotland and made it his base over one hundred years ago. You can get a tour of the factory up in the hills![
The Haputale valleys and Dambatenne Tea Factory are in the middle of nowhere! It’s a hard place to get too but if you love tea then you need to find a way to get here!
How do you get to the Dambatenne Tea Factory?
It’s not going to be easy to get there. There are no rail or bus links directly, so your best bet is to get to the mountain village of Haputale first and get a local bus over to Dambatenne. Tuk tuks/three wheelers are also available. You can also go with a tour group. A local driver was my preferred option and worked a treat. [
How much does visiting Dambatenne Tea Factory cost?
It’s a simple 250 Rupees fee payable at the door and in cash only. There might be a slight delay to wait until one of the workers is available to show you around but it will be worth it – this place is off the beaten track!
How long does a tour of the Dambatenne Tea Factory last?
It can be split into three parts and takes about 20 – 25 minutes, here are the three parts:
1. First of all you visit a room upstairs where the tea has just arrived in from the mountains. Here the tea leaves are put into machines ready for the process.
2. Visiting the downstairs room where the tea goes through different levels of refining and is eventually left out to rest before being heated.
3. Finally the tea is heated, later cooled and put into large bags ready to be shipped worldwide!
No photos are permitted during parts 2 or 3. The below photo is from the upstairs room. The workers are hard at work while you’re walking around, for this reason I respected the “no photos” rule. With regards to opening hours, check and ask around at the time, as a general rule it’s normally 9 – 5pm but don’t take my word for it.
What else can you do on the tour?
The tour is fast and will be over in a flash but it’s still really worth doing. There is no shop to sit and have a tea though which I found incredible – I wanted a cup! There isn’t even a souvenir shop but you can buy packets of Dambatenne Tea to take away with you, which I did. The only real souvenir.
The packet of tea cost 300 Rupees and that’s the Dambatenne stuff. However the better tea called Simondou costs a whopping 1,100 Rupees! You can also buy them in the nearby towns of course.
What else can you do near to the Dambatenne Tea Factory?
It’s such a mountainous region so there are four other things to do which is best done with a driver:
1. Admire the views of the mountains
2. Walk at leisure round the endless tea plantations on the hills
3. Have a cup of tea with a great view over the landscape
4. Visit Haputale town and stay in a hotel, check out the markets and shops (there is also an ATM in the town)
So that’s really all there is to it – it’s a short and sweet tour but definitely worth doing!
I’m heading to get a cup of tea…a lifestyle of travel!
In the modern days, the differences between the Western and Chinese brides are getting smaller and smaller. Even though there might be some differences in the way they expect men to treat them, you need to know that they can be easily understood. So let’s get started to take a look how to win the heart of your Chinese bride.
Approach her in a casual manner an aggressive approach will surely not impress a Chinese girl, since women from this part of the world are far more modern that we think.
You can begin by introducing yourself and saying Hi, without touching her hand or any other part of her body.
Don`t think that they can not speak English. English is a really popular language all over the world and in recent times more and more Chinese brides have started to learn this language. The popularity of this language has managed to break the Chinese boundaries. Therefore, don`t talk bad when you are in the presence of a Chinese bride just because you think she does not understand English.
Prepare yourself for Cultural Differences The differences between the Western and Chinese cultures are obvious and they need to be considered, even though Chinese brides are starting to learn more things about the western world. You should make an effort to understand these differences if you really want to get close to a Chinese bride . In terms of dating, Chinese brides tend to value the traditional and romantic aspects. Even though this might sound a little bit stereotypical, you will surely find this out on your own on the first date. You have to respect them and treat them with politeness if you really want to win their heart.
When you date a Chinese bride, you need to consider some conventional and romantic aspects. You might think that this theory applies to all women out there, but Chinese brides really value these aspects. If you treat her with respect, you will gain a bid advantage right from the start.
Dating a Chinese girl may be as good as dating one girl from your own race if you possess gentlemanly manners.
Each woman is quite different women. The last advice I can give you is winning your Chinese bride’s heart is just the beginning. To make a successful relationship long term you should always care about each other and you should be willing t to take great efforts to maintain the relationship in the long term. Good luck!