Welcome to the Year of the Pig! In Chinese culture, the Pig had a knack for arriving late to important events, dead last, in fact. But you know what? He showed up and made it in the end. The Pig also symbolizes Wealth. So here's to you, Pig! Ever thought of experiencing Chinese New Year in China? It can be fantastic - if you plan in advance!
New Year's Eve in China is a huge national holiday where locals travel home to be with their families, and the cities become mostly populated with tourists. New Year's is actually a great time to visit China's smaller towns and less touristy areas, like the rainbow mountains of the Hexi Corridor in Gansu, northwest China. Buddhism was brought to China along this route, as well as merchants from Europe and Middle Asia who entered China on the Silk Road for business. Among this area's treasures today you can admire over 1,000 years of Buddhist art at Mogao Grottoes, the "Louvre of the East."
For the best weather consider visiting China in April-May and September-November when you'll also find fewer crowds to the third most visited country in the world. China has so much to offer culturally curious travelers - local lessons, timeless festivities, and remote discoveries around every turn. Here are some more ideas for your Chinese explorations.
New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong
Begin the evening with dinner at the Mandarin Grill and Bar, proud to have retained its Michelin star for the sixth year running under Executive Chef Uwe Opocensky. After, the real celebrating begins as you board a private luxury boat for a sail along the island’s captivating waterfront. Enjoy live entertainment on board and watch the incredible fireworks over Victoria Harbour at midnight in the country that invented fireworks.
Life as a Local
Take a tai chi class at the ancient Temple of Heaven, a beautiful example of classic Ming architecture. Ride a pedicab through a Beijing hutong, a neighborhood of small winding alleyways. Cycle Xian’s well-preserved City Wall. Stroll through an herbal medicine market in Hong Kong. Take a wooden boat through charming Zhujiajiao, a traditional water village. Enjoy must-see landmarks like the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the Terra Cotta Warriors, accompanied by an archaeologist.
Yangtze River Cruise
Take to the Yangtze River aboard a luxury cruise vessel, complete with a private balcony and windows to enjoy the scenery along the way. It’s estimated that the banks of this river provide homes to almost a third of China’s population. Pass through breathtaking gorges, home to protected species such as monkeys, mountain goats and wild boar. Visit the isolated temples of the White Emperor City, taking the nearly 1,000-step journey to the top to be rewarded with majestic views below.
Call or email me to arrange these exceptional experiences and more in China!