Autumn in China is by far the best time to be here. The temperatures throughout the country are milder without the extremes you can experience in winter and summer, and without the wetn ess you’ll experience in the spring. While the days are getting shorter, you can have warmish daytime weather right into November in the north and central parts of China and in the south, you’ll find it can still be quite warm.
Xiamen cuisine is the main representative of Fujian cuisine which is famous throughout China. Besides local dishes, food of other parts of the country also can be found here, making this city a good destination for gastronomes. Being fresh, light, crispy and slightly spicy in taste, Xiamen cuisine is characterized by the following dishes:
Seafood is famous for its extreme freshness. The location of Xiamen on the southeast coast of China provides it with abundant sea products. Dating from the Qing Dynasty, the seafood locally is always a traditional delicacy make from fresh local fish, prawns, crabs and more, with the flavor depending on the various seasonings.
Herbal Meal has a long history in China and is celebrated at the Lujiang Restaurant in Xiamen. Here, the herbal meal is delicately made according to the seasons and the various effects of the herbs. It is delicious in flavor and very nourishing.
Vegetable Dishes in the Nanputuo Temple are made of vegetable oil, flour, beans, vegetables and fruits. In accordance with the disciplines of the traditional Buddhist diet, the vegetable dishes made here mainly depict the Buddhist ideas and topics, attracting many tourists from both home and abroad.
Local snacks should not be missed during your trip as they are great in variety and reasonably priced. Snacks have distinct flavors and some of them are listed below:
Tu Sun Dong is made from a sea product called ‘Xing Chong’ and is eaten with the seasonings including sauce, vinegar, chili, catsup, mustard and garlic. It is now becoming one of the most important cold dishes in any banquets.
Peanut Soup is simply made from peanuts but with very complicated production process. It has a sugary flavor and is best eaten with some dim sum dishes such as deep-fried twisted dough sticks, steamed stuffed buns and similar. Many believe the best Peanut Soup is served at Huangzehe Restaurant in Zhongshang Road.
Spring Roll is a fried rolled pancake filled with slices of various vegetables, meats and seafood. The local people like to have Spring Rolls as traditional snacks during festivals.
There are plenty of snacks that are not only well-known but also truly delicious including the Xiamen Pie, Oyster Pancake, Rice Dumplings and Shacha Noodles.
If you have ever noticed, the horizon appears awesome with the multicolored shadows on the sky.
As the sun is biding Good Bye, it emanates a lovely cocktail of colors ranging from yellow, golden yellow, red, purple, blue and many more
But this happens for a very small time during the dusk, its prominently seen over the mountains or the sea
I had tried to capture such lovely natural colors which the
i always loved the brilliance of these colors which disappears soon once the sun is set.
There are four city gate in four directions in Weishan Old Town, which is shaped like a square seal. As the remarkable building in Weishan Old Town, the Xinggong Tower is built in the center in Ming Dynasty. At a height of 11 meters, it consists of timberwork tower and brick foundation support.
The north city tower of Weishan Old Town is called Gongchen Tower with a height of 23.5 meters. The whole building was supported by 28 large pillars. Climbing up from the east or west gate and overlooking
, travelers can clearly see the four main streets extending to different directions and the dignified residences.
Majestically standing in the Weishan Old Town, the Xinggong Tower and Gongchen Tower has been the remarkable building. Inside the old town, the folk residences basically remain the traditional Chinese construction style of Ming and Qing Dynasty. Some are ‘Three Square with a Screen Wall’ and some are ‘Quadrangle Dwellings with Five Courtyards’. There are also many ancient buildings existed inside or outside Weishan Old Town, such as Confucius Temple, Wenhua Academy and Yuhuang Pavillion. Some exports praise highly after investigation of Weishan Old Town because of the intact preservation of Ancient Town.
Suzhou is located in southern Jiangsu Province in the center of the Yangtze Delta. Shanghai lies to the east, Zhejiang Province to the south, Wuxi City to the west and the Yangtze River to the north. The city is divided by the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal from north to south. Since 42% area of the city is covered by water, including a vast number of ponds and streams, it is praised as the ‘Venice of the Orient’. Built in 514 BC, this is an ancient city with over 2,500 years of history.
and routes running in parallel’, is preserved intact.
The mild climate makes the city a desirable destination all year round. Touring the wonderful ancient water towns in the vicinity or lingering in the exquisite classical gardens in the downtown area, you will truly know the charm of a ‘paradise on earth’.
As the saying goes – ‘Gardens to the south of the Yangtze River are the best in the world, and Suzhou gardens are the best among them’. These gardens attain their high reputation not only for their vast numbers, but also for their charming natural beauty and harmonious construction. At present more than 60 gardens are kept intact in the city, and some of them have been listed in the World Heritage List.
The world of Chinese tea is at once easily accessible and nearly impossible to fully grasp. Even when choosing one specific variety — such as southwest China’s famous Pu’er tea (普洱茶) — the permutations, growing conditions and serving methods appear endless. For more than three generation, the Shi family has sought to find a subtle balance between obsessive connoisseurs and the newly initiated while sourcing the finest leaves from the prefectures of southern Yunnan.
Tea has been drunk in China for a few thousand years, although no one knows explicitly when the practice began. Chinese myth points to the demigod Shennong (神农) as the godfather of tea drinking, while DNA analysis suggests the first strain ever to be cultivated — Camellia sinensis — was endemic to portions of modern-day Myanmar, Yunnan and Sichuan provinces and put into cultivation about 3,000 years ago.
Over time, of course, tea became China’s drink of choice — as ubiquitous as water, steeped in history and available in a dazzling array of flavors. For families such as the Shis, tea is as much a philosophy as it is a product. Without being too trite, it influences the quality and tenor of their lives. This is a fact borne out not only monetarily, but on a daily and seasonal basis.
“Tea can become a discipline that fosters an unhurried temperament while encouraging psychological introspection,” says Ms Shi. She is the head a family tea business in southern Yunnan called Gift from the Forest Teas (森之馈). The origin of the business grew out of her experiences more than 20 years ago, when an adolescent Ms Shi and her grandfather would hike through the rainforests of Xishuangbanna (西双版纳) in search of wild tea trees — some of them centuries old. After collecting enough leaves, they would return home and carefully prepare the forest-gathered tea.
While this preparation process is at least a few centuries old — varying from village to village and sometimes house to house — today everyone in China knows the end result is one of the country’s most sought-after tea varieties, Pu’er. The method Shi learned from her grandfather, at its most basic, is fairly simple — pick, sort, clean, sun-dry, hand-rub, dry by roasting, shape into a desired shape, wrap in banana leaves and allow to ferment in the sun.
For Shi this process is by now ingrained and intuitive. But the science of making high-quality Pu’er tea involves careful temperature modulation, the precise stimulation of enzymes and perfect timing. “To me,” she explains, “the procedure involves going through the required and proper motions, but also necessitates personal ethics and aesthetics. You have to use your hands. This is paramount.”
And so each spring and autumn, Ms Shi can be found traveling the Yunnan countryside in search of small-hold, forest-based farms that live up to her expectations. She focuses almost entirely on areas in Lincang (临沧), Pu’er, Yiwu (易武) and the slopes of Bulang Mountain.
Local weather conditions — temperature, humidity, sunlight and rainfall
levels — factor into the job of selection, as do soil quality, elevation, and the use of pesticides and fertilizers. “All of these considerations affect the taste and quality of tea,” she says. “You cannot violate the basic laws of nature. Ecosystems need to be left in as much of a natural state as possible, and the most important thing is that the plants are free from pollution.”
While the sun rises at about a quarter to eight on a winter morning, the old ladies who live nearby gather and are ready to start their day by dancing and practising taichi at Green Lake Park (翠湖公园) in the centre of Kunming. Many youngsters nowadays may not understand the obsession these ladies have for dancing in public areas, but the tradition is decades old.
Over the following decades, ballroom dancing — seen as a symbol of Western culture — gradually vanished from China. However, in the 1980s, as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution subsided, and the reform and opening period began to unfold, people started to seek out entertainment activities to reconnect themselves with society. In such a comparatively loose cultural and political environment, there was a trend of people starting to dance again.
This took place all over China, not only in ballrooms, but also in public areas such as parks and squares. While some retired people actively learned from the younger generation who voluntarily came to learn and sometimes teach, others were too shy to take part, and instead just watched. Now, retired people in Kunming gather everyday at Green Lake Park for recreation, health and community.