Tag archives for China

Land of peaks, valleys, and monasteries, Yunnan is home to the largest number of ethnic groups in China. The gateway towns of Shangri-La (much of which, sadly, burned in January 2014) and Lijiang showcase area traditions and cultures, but many interesting sites lie in the countryside. Here’a an insider’s guide to this wondrous region.

For those of us blessed (or cursed) with incurable wanderlust, the allure of an unexplored city or destination is hard to resist. But, this time of year, what I crave is tradition and a deep-rooted sense of home. I asked ten of my most trusted friends around the world about their favorite winter traditions in their home cities, and it put me in a wonderful, festive, globally inspired mood. I hope their stories do the same for you. Happy Holidays!

A Buddha carved into rock at the Yungang Grottoes has looked over the bleak plains of northern China for more than 1,500 years. Pilgrims journey to this UNESCO World Heritage site through the gateway city of Datong, a former imperial capital turned soot-stained coal city. But those industrial scars are fading.

Since 2007, the illegal ivory trade has more than doubled. If the massacres do not stop, our children could be the last generation to see an African elephant in the wild. As travelers, we can — and must — do something about it. Here are the crucial actions to take.

The Radar: Travel Lately

The Radar: The top travel news, stories, trends, and ideas from across the web. Got Radar? Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTravel and tag your favorite travel stories with #NGTRadar. Check back on the blog each Wednesday for our Travel Lately roundup.

Of all the countries we’ve visited as a family, the hardest, by far, was China. As a family that believes there are things to be learned from everything in life, we try to turn even the most frustrating experiences into teachable moments. Here are the lessons we took away from this one.

Urban Insider Annie Fitzsimmons previews how her favorite hotels will be ringing in the new year.

China is the world’s most populated country. Find out how to avoid offending the 1.3 billion people who live there (and even make friends) by following cross-cultural guru Dean Foster‘s advice on how to navigate this vast and fascinating nation.

The Radar: The top travel news, stories, trends, and ideas from across the web. Got Radar? Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTraveler and tag your favorite travel stories from the Web #ngtradar. Check back on the blog for our roundups.

The Radar: The top travel news, stories, trends, and ideas from across the web. Got Radar? Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTraveler and tag your favorite travel stories from the Web #ngtradar. Check back on the blog for our roundups. Photograph by Grant Bishop, Flickr.

Where Is Shangri-La?

Since James Hilton imagined Shangri-La in his bestselling 1933 novel Lost Horizon, a host of Himalayan areas have laid claim to this earthly Eden. But only one place—Zhongdian in China’s southwestern Yunnan Province—has officially gone by the name Shangri-La County since 2001.

Photos: Where You Went

Our jet-setting friends on Facebook continue to amaze us with their weekend travel plans. Here’s a taste of the places you and your fellow gallivanters have visited lately.

The Radar: Top travel news, stories, trends, and ideas from across the Web. Got Radar? Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTraveler and tag your favorite travel stories from the Web #ngtradar. Check back for our round ups.

Photos: Where You Went

Happy Valentine’s Day, travelers! Our readers boast impressive travel résumés. That’s why we ask you the same question on Facebook every Friday: Where are you traveling this weekend? See photos of where you — or readers like you — went, and get inspired to plan your next trip. Want to share your photos with the National Geographic…

China plans to build more than 50 new airports in the next five years, and its population — with nearly 500 million Internet users and counting — is becoming more “global” each day. But to grasp what China meant and means today, you have to get out of the big cities and go rural. Nine…

China’s Wild West

By Annie Fitzsimmons “Welcome to the Wild West of China,” my guide said as we touched down in Lijiang after a 4-hour flight from Shanghai. Though I didn’t yet spot any cowboy boots, I was indeed far west in the Yunnan province, at the foothills of the Himalaya; bordered by Laos, Vietnam, and Burma. For…

I Heart My City: Colleen’s Beijing

In our January-February issue, now on newsstands, writer Colleen Kinder shows travelers how to tap into expat communities to give their trip an insider edge. To research the article, Colleen consulted several expat cultural houses and foreigners’ clubs in Beijing, China– her new home. She picked up so many great tips that, for today’s I…

For this week’s #FriFotos* theme, skylines, we chose a photo of the sun setting behind the office towers in downtown Shanghai, China. The photo was submitted to our My Shot community by Staffan Holgersson and selected by our editors for a Your China Photos gallery. Do you want to see one of your photographs featured on…

Family: Speaking in Tongues

Immersion programs merge language with culture. By Lisa Armstrong From the September issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine. While simply traveling abroad makes you a more enlightened global citizen, you can deepen the experience through language immersion programs that offer cultural excursions. These four provide a range of activities and stays with local host families. Note:…

By Christine Wei This past Monday, Chinese communities from all over Asia gathered to cheer on their favorite teams at colorful dragon boat races in celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival. The holiday was born, as legend goes, when wrongly exiled court official and scholar Qu Yuan drowned himself to protest corruption and maintain his…

The next time you travel, engage the locals in their national pastime.  Pick up beach soccer in Brazil, shuffle mahjong tiles in China, or soak in the Széchenyi Baths, the place to play chess in Budapest. [Lonely Planet] Don’t want to travel alone? Globetrooper helps connect like-minded travelers to create, plan, and go on adventures…

Mega-Museum Opens in China

The National Museum of China opened on March 17th in Beijing after a $380 million “facelift.” The nearly two-million-square-foot mega-museum containing over a million objects in 48 exhibition halls is purported to be the largest in the world. The revamped museum, located on Tiananmen Square, combines the former Museum of Chinese History and the Museum…

In our January-February edition of Traveler 20– a round-up of travel-worthy happenings taking place around the globe– we profiled the upcoming mummy exhibit “The Secrets of the Silk Road,” set to run from February 5th through June 5th at the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology. Yesterday, the Washington Post reported a sad…

Places Rated: Hainan’s Overdeveloped Coast

The November/December issue of Traveler features our annual “Places Rated” survey of destination stewardship, and this year 340 expert panelists rated 99 coastal destinations around the world. Here on the blog, we’re going to highlight some of these coastal destinations and are interested in adding your feedback to the mix. What do you think? China:…

My Perfect Day: In Beijing

During my recent trip to China, I had the chance to catch up with Iain Shaw, a well-connected Scotsman who’s been living in the country for six years and acts as the deputy editor at The Beijinger, and runs the travel and nightlife sections at the excellent and informative local city guide. I asked him to share his perfect…