In the Middle Kingdom there are places that will not leave anyone indifferent. Most of them are definitely on the visiting lists of professional travelers. And even if it is not easy to get there, what you see will exceed all expectations. After reviewing my list of places required to visit in China, you will be surprised, since there are no popular Shanghai and Beijing in it. My list is about another, still little-known China, even for tourists. And before I talk about it in detail, I will explain how to get to China and what to expect from it.
Arriving in China, you fall into another world. On the other side of the globe, there really are other people living – this concerns not only traditions. For example, going on a trip to these places, do not be surprised if you do not see a lot of cows and can not buy milk – there is no special enzyme in Asians that is responsible for lactose absorption, therefore our favorite milk is not a priority.
Just want to warn you – forget the fairy tale about cheap China. It is a myth. And although, by Chinese standards, food in ordinary cafes and public transportation is inexpensive, for us everything will be somewhat different. The bus can cost 2-3 yuan (8-12 UAH), there is no fixed cost in the metro, the price will depend on the number of stations that need to be passed to the destination station. All taxis in China work on the counter, on average, moving around the city – 10-25 yuan (40-100 UAH). What is really expensive in China is the entrance tickets to parks and local sights. But believe, landscapes are worth the money requested.
It is relatively easy to get a visa to China. You do not need to contact a specialized agency, you can save $ 20-30 (510-770 UAH) and apply independently. On the official website of the Chinese Embassy in Ukraine, we download a questionnaire, fill it in electronic form and a printed version, along with other documents, submit to the consular department on the days of reception in the queue. For tourist purposes it is necessary to apply for a visa category L. Consular fees for any type of visa are fixed – 1800 UAH.
For air tickets there is one general rule – the earlier you buy, the lower the price. On average, tickets in both directions will cost $ 500-700 (12-17 thousand UAH). There are direct flights from Kiev to Beijing, and you can “play around” with dates, transfers and airlines to find the most suitable option for you, for example, Kiev-Istanbul-Shanghai.
The average budget for a tourist two-week trip to China, excluding air tickets and visa fees – $ 1,700-2,000 (43-50 thousand UAH.). Is China worth the money? Worth it. Moreover, the Celestial is worth it to return to it again.
Well, the visa is ready, we stocked up money, and now – on the road!
1. THE CITY OF HANGZHOU
One of the most romantic cities in China with charming Xihu Lake (Zhejiang Province)
Getting there: by train: Beijing-Hangzhou – 600 yuan (2,290 UAH), Shanghai-Hangzhou – 300 yuan (1,150 UAH); by plane: Beijing-Hangzhou – 1000 yuan (3,800 UAH).
When to go: the end of March – the beginning of May.
What to see: Chinese Silk Museum, Pharmacy Museum, Leifant Pagoda, Qu Yuan Garden, Red Carp Pond, Jintsy Monastery, Tea and Plantation Museum, Xihu Lake.
How many days it takes to visit: 2-3 days.
“Heaven is heaven, and on earth, Suzhou and Hangzhou,” the Chinese speak of these cities with such love. But I will talk about Hangzhou – this is the first place where the easiest way to get from Shanghai is by high-speed train (300 km / hour). A bit trite, think those who know China. However, I simply could not make it to the list of places to visit. The city has a lot of tourists, although it does not spoil it at all.
This city is an important administrative center, the capital of Zhejiang Province and … eastern Venice. Here – romance at the magnificent Lake Xihu, paved paths, arched Chinese bridges, views of the pagodas, cherry blossoms in spring, willows, peach and plum trees, an abundance of silk and plantations of one of the most expensive varieties of green tea – longjing. How do you like this combination for one place? I think it is worth to call.
Here is a short list of things that you just need to do in this beautiful Chinese city: rent a bike and ride along Xihu Lake, climb the pagoda to enjoy the view of the lake and the city from a height, ride a boat, attend a tea ceremony with a Long Ching tasting and, Of course, wander along the old Qinghefan street. By the way, this ancient pedestrian street will entice you with its abundance of tea shops, souvenir shops and mountains of variegated silk.
All museums and gardens of Hangzhou are open to the public for free, optionally you can buy an audio guide. But for the entrance to the pagoda (40 yuan / 150 UAH) or a boat trip will need to pay. The cost of a boat trip varies depending on the boat itself, an average of 50 yuan (190 UAH) per person.