Mysterious Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie was on my must see once in your life travel destinations. The vertical sandstone pillars of its Wulingyuan Scenic Area,best known from the movie Avatar, are so stunning as they were from another world. I arrived very conveniently by the Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport and was thrilled of the surrounding mountains of Zhangjiajie City and its fresh air. The first night I stayed at the Best Western hotel and enjoyed their superior service, rooms, and meals.

Our exploration of Zhangjiajie started by taking the Bailong Elevator, recognised by Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest outdoor lift, to bring us to the mountain top. The glass elevator is an absolute thrilling unique experience and the view on the top is just incredible.


Finally we went with the  Tianzishan cable car to even higher heights and even more spectacular views. Nothing is more enjoyable than a cable car ride with newly found friends in such a beautiful area. A monkey family joined enjoyed together with us this amazing place.

We concluded this unforgettable day by watching the rich performance of Zhangjiajie – “Charming Xiangxi”. A great display of its people, customs and legends.

The next day started with another highlight of Zhangjiajie – the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge.  The bridge decks are all paved with clear extraordinary large glass tiles.  Standing on the bridge, one can see the scenery at the bottom of the valley 400 meters below. It demands courage but honors it with an unforgettable experience.

After the bridge we walked down the mountain along a lavish green landscape and followed a river into a narrow canyon. This stunning day ended with a visit of the Huanglong Cave. Its cave system extends to 15 km and includes a boat ride on its underground river.

On the final day we went with the longest passenger cableway of high mountains in the world to the Heaven’s Gate at Tianmen Mountain. The natural arch has a height of 131.5 m and when I saw the  light coming through it, it really looked like the way to heaven to me.

Without a doubt Zhangjiajie is the greatest scenic area I have visited on my many adventures. Moreover, I truly believe there is not another place like this anywhere. It is even hard to believe this mysterious place actually exists on a our ordinary world. If I  could only visit one place in my life it would without a doubt be mysterious Zhangjiajie. Highly recommended for everyone to visit!

The destinations were all magnificent, the hotels luxurious, the food delicious and the care supreme. The itinerary was perfectly planned with a variety of destinations, everyone with their own characteristics and beauty. I can with all my heart recommend to visit Luoyang, a magnificent city to visit for everyone.  I was truly surprised of the stunning beauty and exciting experiences Zhangjiajie has to offer. Unfamiliar at first, our shared love for travelling forged an everlasting brotherhood. We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.



Luoyang – One of China’s Cradle of Civilization and Great Ancient Capitals

On the first day we visited one of Luoyang’s many Peony flowers gardens. The most beautiful flower perfectly planted as far as the eye can see. What a magnificent place to enjoy a warm spring day. Next, we visited one of China’s greatest ancient monuments – the Longmen Grottoes. They house tens of thousands of statues of Buddha and his disciples carved into the mountain. Listed by UNESCO World Heritage List as “an outstanding manifestation of human artistic creativity”. A true monument for the cultural sophistication of Tang China. Walking below the giant Buddha statues made me realize that we are just tiny drops in the vast river of time. After taking a short boat ride to marvel upon these statues on the river, we went to the White Horse Temple. It is the origin of Buddhism in China. Seeing the smoke of burning incense raising towards the heavens in the White Horse Temple filled me with inner peace. We concluded this amazing day by visiting the opening ceremony of the Peony flower festival. The show was just stunning to watch from our great VIP seats – from its ancient past, forged by history to the present day. It proved to me that China’s glory not only lies in its great past but that it also has the dedication, will and resources to extend it into the future.

The next day, we went for a boat cruise on the Yellow river. Passing steep rocks this vast river with all its history is one of the rivers everyone should see. After a great lunch we hiked the surrounding mountains and we had to overcome our fears while passing a glass bridge. After passing the monuments nature gifted this place, we passed a narrow canyon and returned to the city. Finally, we reached a temple and a pagoda from which we had a perfect view over the mountain ridges. The old part of the city contains a monumental city gate from which we enjoyed the view upon its busy streets. The day ended with a feast like for a king. I enjoyed 24 dishes of the spicy local cuisine. A meal to remember.

On the final day we started with a visit of Luoyang’s marvelous endless Peony gardens. Besides its natural works of art, we were also amazed by the craftsmanship of Luoyang’s artists. Beautiful works of silk and porcelain can be found in the city center. Our amazing adventure ended by participating in a TV production about China’s empress. After studying ancient Chinese poems, I had the great honor to perform by reciting a poem about Luoyang.

The destinations were all magnificent, the hotels luxurious, the food delicious and the care supreme. The itinerary was perfectly planned with a variety of destinations, everyone with their own characteristics and beauty. I can with all my heart recommend to visit Luoyang, a magnificent city to visit for everyone.  I was truly surprised of the stunning beauty and exciting experiences Luoyang has to offer. Unfamiliar at first, our shared love for travelling forged an everlasting brotherhood. We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.



Water Rhyme Jiangsu, deserves your annual tourism

Jiangsu is a precious place blessed with rich materials and intelligent folks since the ancient times. It boasts magnificent palaces and private gardens. The scenic spots in Jiangsu is well-known of its water towns, Kunqu opera, gardens, brocades, etc. It presents the water rhythm of abundant rice and fishes everywhere. It is a good place to find something new else in each season in Jiangsu. It explicates picturesque scenery, for example, you can visit the garden and ancient town, enjoy the rain and drink tea in the Spring, watch lotus and prevent sunstroke in the Summer, visit lakes, eat delicious food and live in folk houses in the Autumn, and play snow, climb mountain and make blessings in the Winter.Jiangsu is a beautiful place worthy you for a whole year of travel.

Jiangsu is born with water

The magnificent Yangtze River, the vast Yellow Sea, the canal of stretches, the openness of the water network, the static flow under the bridge in the south of the Yangtze River, the various styles of water and the water with different temperament blend and complement in the landscape of Jiangsu, generating the unique spirit and character of grand,warm, soft and full of tension of Jiangsu.

Jiangsu is a place of garden

Chinese gardens are a work of art. The ingenious combination of architecture, mountains and river, trees and flowers creates a flowing three-dimensional landscape painting, showing the intelligence and outstanding aesthetic sentiment of the Chinese nation. It is truly a shining pearl of traditional Chinese culture. Jiangnan Gardens are widely admired by the public for its distinctive features, while gardens in Jiangsu are of the best. Among China’s four major gardens, two are in Jiangsu, and the four major Jiangnan gardens are all situated in Jiangsu. All in all, what are the most unique and worthwhile gardens? Read this article and you’ll discover the six major gardens in Jiangsu that shouldn’t be missed!

Lion Grove Garden|The King of Rockery

As one of the four famous gardens in Suzhou, the Lion Grove Garden is a representative of the Chinese gardens in the Yuan Dynasty, meanwhile is recognized as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and a Major Historical and Cultural Site Protected at the National Level. The name of the garden is derived from the shape of various rocks in it, which are said to resemble lions. The Lion Grove Garden was built by a Zen Buddhist monk Tianru, in memory of his master abbot Zhongfeng. The name also refers to the Lion Peak of Mount Tianmu in Lin’an, Hangzhou, where abbot Zhongfeng attained nirvana. The Lion Grove Garden combines the traditional gardening techniques with Buddhism ideology. With the introduction of western gardening techniques and ancestral hall into the garden, the Lion Grove Garden has become a temple garden integrating the essence of Zen Buddhism and the joy of gardening. Inside it, there are cultural landscapes of classical Suzhou gardens like pavilions, terraces, mansions, halls and galleries. It is also known as the “kingdom of rockery” for its lakes and mountains, peculiar rocks, deep and mysterious caves that are famous worldwide. There are plenty of beautiful and exquisite lakes and rocks, twisting and labyrinthine caves, which are called the “18 great sceneries of Taoyuan”. If you want to experience the most mysterious and linking maze, go to the Lion Grove Garden!

Humble Administrator’s Garden|Rejoice With Every Step of Your Way

Constructed in 1509 during the Ming Dynasty, the Humble Administrator’s Garden has a history of more than 500 years. With its fantastic layout of mountain, bamboo, pine trees and water, the garden is praised as “a model garden” and is the No.1 among the equally famous Chengde Mountain Resort, Lingering Garden and Beijing Summer Palace. As a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and a Major Historical and Cultural Site Protected at the National Level, the Humble Administrator’s Garden is the only one in China to enjoy these four titles so far. The overall layout of the garden maintains the artistic styles of Ming Dynasty gardens, which are simple, vigorous and elegant. Centered on water, the garden comes with beautiful landscapes, exquisite pavilions, lush flowers and plants, meanwhile is full of poetic features and ambience of Jiangnan water town. The garden is divided into east, middle and west parts; while the east garden is pleasant and bright in pursuing of a pastoralism taste; the middle garden is the essence of the whole with well-arranged pavilions and halls, posing a sense of elegance; the west garden comes with quiet meandering paths and could bring you a pleasure of solitude. The Humble Administrator’s Garden is not the one to be missed if you come to Suzhou. Take a sip of tea in the garden, and enjoy the beautiful landscape there will surely be a rare and unforgettable experience.


Lingering Garden|Taoyuan Sweet Dreams

The Lingering Garden is also one of the four most famous gardens in China, well-known for its exquisitely-arranged constructions and numerous peculiar stones. The number of architecture in it ranks the 1st among all Suzhou gardens. The Lingering Garden as a whole is really particular about the layout of pavilions and towers, the cooperation of rockery and ponds, the contrast of flowers and trees, and different layers of close and distant views. The garden is divided into four scenic areas of the center, east, west and north by clusters of architecture. Each scenery is connected through windows and a corridor was built to connect all parts of the garden, where you can enjoy four different views of mountains and river, pastoral landscape, forests and courtyards. There are three unique highlights in the Lingering Garden, namely the Cloud Capped Peak, the Nanmu Hall, and the fish fossil, among which the Cloud Capped Peak is the most famed. The Cloud Capped Peak is a peerless piece of Taihu Lake stone with a combination of the characteristics of Taihu Stone – “thin, crinkled, leaky and transparent”. Like a dream of Taoyuan, the Lingering Garden is a detached but worldly place where you can stay, dine, relax, meditate and worship. The beauty of it needs you to immerse yourself in it to appreciate the proud strength of Taihu Stone, and to taste the exquisite romance of the ancients around pavilions.

Geyuan Garden|Bamboo Shadow of Four Seasons

Since the construction of gardens by salt merchants in Yangzhou back to the Qing Dynasty, there are many excellent and perfectly preserved classical gardens, of which the oldest, most complete, and most artistically valuable one would definitely be the Geyuan Garden. Now it has become a Major Historical and Cultural Site Protected at the National Level and the first group of national key parks. The Geyuan Garden is typically private residential retreat and is divided into the central garden, the southern residence, and a bamboo viewing area in the north. Renowned for bamboo stones, even the name of the garden “个” is the left part taken from the Chinese character “竹”, which means bamboo. Therefore, it could strike a chord with the various bamboos in the garden, and embody the temperament and mentality of the owner. Enjoy the beauty of four seasons one after another in the garden, this unique artistic technique is extremely rare in Chinese traditional gardens with a novel purpose and a tight structure, and is the only example among Chinese gardens. The Geyuan Garden is famous for the art of stacked stones, which adopts the method of “different mountains, different stones” to use bamboo stone, lake stone, yellow stone, and Xuan stone to create rockeries of four seasons, integrating gardening rules and landscape painting philosophies.

Master of the Nets Garden|Appealing Little Garden

The Master of the Nets Garden is a representative of medium-sized classical landscape gardens with artistic features and cultural values among Suzhou gardens. It is a model of “win more with less” and is known as “little garden, much essence”. If the Lingering Garden is a modest elderly person, the Humble Administrator’s Garden is a retired senior official, then the Master of the Nets Garden is no doubt a shy and adolescent Jiangnan girl. Centered on pool water, the whole garden is divided into 5 parts: the eastern residential area, the southern banquet area, the central pool area, the western inner garden and the northern study area. The annual Classical Night Garden in the Master of the Nets Garden is a classic travel product in Suzhou, so well-known both at home and abroad that it has been recommended by UNESCO as a specific tourist project. Every year from 4.1 to 10.31, performances such as storytelling, Kun Opera, folk dance, and folk music with rich Suzhou local characteristics are staged in various halls and pavilions. Come here to experience the oriental feast of all aspects.

Heyuan Garden|No.1 Garden in the Late Qing Dynasty

Built in the middle of the Qing Dynasty, the Heyuan Garden is a classical Chinese architecture, which integrates the essence of Yangzhou gardens and harmonizes with the elements of Western architecture. It is known as the “No.1 garden in the late Qing Dynasty”. There are 4 “No.1 in the world” hidden in the garden. The “No.1 gallery” refers to the complex corridor connecting towers in the western garden. The “No.1 window” refers to the flower windows on the gallery, which have various shapes like folding fans, vases, plum blossom, etc. Looking out of the window, the window is like a picture frame to capture different views from different angles. The “No.1 pavilion” refers to the Shuixin Pavilion in the pond center of western garden. Designed for garden owners to enjoy opera, singing, dancing and to appreciate the scenery, the Shuixin Pavilion is the only water theater in China. The “No.1 mountain” is the Pian Shi Shan Fang (片石山房), the only masterpiece of garden and stacked stone by Shi Tao, a great painting artist in the early Qing Dynasty. The organic harmony of the corridors, halls, pavilions, rockery and water will give people an artistic conception of “stillness in motion, motion in stillness”.

Jiangsu is a place of ancient town

A catalogue of ancient towns stand quiescently on the water, flowing and standing still forever. The ancient streets are hidden in the town with black bricks, and there are several old-style tea houses along the street. Bridges, flowing water and water towns have captured the hearts of many tourists, what is the most worthy of ancient towns for you to Pick? Today, I will recommend you the top ten ancient towns in Jiangsu to make you have a deep understanding of Jiangsu and ancient towns. Let’s Go!

Tongli Ancient Town – “Venice of the East”

Tongli is built in the Song Dynasty and located in Wujiang District, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. With a history of more than 1,000 years, it is one of the six famous water towns in Jiangnan and the only ancient town with a UNESCO World Heritage site. The town is surrounded by water, divided into 7 small islands by 15 rivers, and connected by 49 ancient bridges. Every house in the town is faced with water and has easy access to boats, forming its unique scenery. It is really amazing and beautiful to wander in this Jiangnan water town with blue stone paths, white walls, small bridges and lotus pond.

Zhouzhuang Ancient Town – China’s No.1 Water Town

Zhouzhuang is a simple and quiet water town located in Kunshan, Suzhou. It came into being because of water and is surrounded by rivers. Its streets are close to rivers and connected by bridges. Built in the Northern Song Dynasty, the town has a history of over 900 years and features a rich Wu culture. Zhouzhuang has been regarded as the treasure of the oriental culture with its beautiful scenery of water town, unique cultural landscape and folk custom.


Jinxi Ancient Town – Home to Privately-owned Museums in China

Jinxi, an ancient water town in the southwest of Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, has a history of over 2,500 years, featuring many lakes, water lanes and ancient bridges. It is a scholarly town boasting a great number of talents in the past one hundred years, including over 100 students studying abroad, over 200 professors, Astronomer Zhu Wenxin, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences Chen Huagui and Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences Qin Guogang. Jinxi is known for collections and has 15 private collection museums, which have become a new highlight and are worth a visit.


Luzhi Ancient Town – No.1 Town among Water Towns in China

Luzhi is located in Wuzhong District, Suzhou, and has a history of 2,500 years. Many people may mistake “甪直” as “角直”. Actually it is lù zhí. With a lot of small bridges and water lanes, people in the town have easy access to water. Known as the “Museum of Ancient Bridges in China”, Luzhi is surrounded by Cheng Lake, Wanqian Lake, Jinji Lake, Dushu Lake and Yangcheng Lake. Additionally, Wusong River, Qingshui River, Nantang River, Jiepu River, Dongtang River and Dazhi River are crossed within the town.

Fengqiao Ancient Town – China’s No.1 Town in Ming and Qing Dynasties

The poet Zhang Ji from Tang Dynasty depicted Maple Bridge in his famous poem Mooring at Night by Maple Bridge, making Maple Bridge a popular scenic spot. Situated in Huqiu District, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, Fengqiao town is at the intersection of an ancient post road and Maple River, made up of Maple Bridge Street and Hanshan Temple Lane. Now Fengqiao has become a relatively large and amazing scenic area with numerous historical sites, rich Wu culture and profound cultural background. It is not only a good choice for sightseeing, shopping and relaxation, but also a good place to learn about Suzhou.

Mudu Ancient Town – The Only Ancient Town Famed as China’s Garden Town

Mudu, located in the west of Suzhou and on the shore of Taihu Lake, has a history of more than 2,500 years, with beautiful scenery and rich resources. It is surrounded by the famous mountains in Wuzhong, such as Mount Tianping, Mount Lingyan, Mount Lion and Mount Qizi. Mudu is famed by the contemporary people as “No.1 Town in Wuzhong” and “the most beautiful town in Jiangnan”. It is said that Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty went to Jiangnan six times and visited Mudu six times, which shows the unique charm of this place.

Qiandeng Ancient Town – Hometown of Gu Yanwu and Birthplace of Kun Opera

Qiandeng is located in Kunshan and has a history of 2,500 years. It is the hometown of Gu Yanwu and also the birthplace of Kun Opera. The town features white walls and black tiles. Compared with other ancient towns in Jiangnan, it is a simple and relatively small town without a big name, commercialization or modern recreational facilities, making it a good place to enjoy the beauty of ancient towns in Jiangnan.

Yaowan Ancient Town – “An Amazing Water Town in Northern Jiangsu”

Yaowan is located in the southwest of Linyi, Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, and at the intersection of located Beijing–Hangzhou Grand Canal and Luoma Lake. Built in 618 (Tang Dynasty) and with history of over 1,300 years, the town is known for facing the sea in the east, Xuzhou (Pengcheng in ancient times) in the west, Huaisi in the south and Mount Tai in the north, and also known as “the golden triangle in the golden waterway”, “An Amazing Water Town in Northern Jiangsu” and “small Shanghai”. It is a stable and elegant town, featuring ancient houses, streets, shops, wharfs and historical sites, which forms its culture. Yaowan is the true portrayal of the ancient canal culture in the folk heritage.

Dangkou Ancient Town – China’s Town of Photography (in Ehu Town)

Dangkou is located in Ehu Town, the southeast of Xishan District, Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, facing Taibo Tomb and the Tombs of the Nobles of Yue Kingdom to the west, Suzhou and Changshu to the east. The town has crisscrossing waterways nearby, many lakes, small bridges and elegant environment, with Ezhun Lake to the east, Nanqing Lake to the south, Caiwan Lake to the north and Sushe Lake to the west. Dangkou is a beautiful and famous historical water town in Jiangnan, known as “small Suzhou” and “Silver Dangkou”.


Zhenze Ancient Town – Hometown of China’s Silk

Zhenze is located in the southwest of Wujiang District, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. With a history of over 2,000 years, it is a good place featuring not only small bridges and water, but also elegant and beautiful scenery. Zhenze town is the home to China’s well-known silk, where you can pick mulberry, pick mulberry leaves to feed silkworms and take baby silkworms home.


江苏是荷香满园的的江苏 Jiangsu is a place of scented lotus

The grace of Jiangsu is unique and its lotus is pure and sanctity. What a comfortable life for you to drink tea and watch lotus in the boat and listen to Kunqu opera and see wonderful landscape in the garden!Nanjing Xuanwu Lake, Mochou Lake, Yangzhou Slender West Lake, Suzhou Zhuozheng Lake……the next will lead you to visit our rivers and lotus!

Xuanwu Lake, Nanjing

Speaking of the best places to appreciate lotus, Nanjing, one of China’s eight famous spots for lotus-viewing, must be on the list. The vast and spectacular landscape of infinite lotuses is everywhere. Meanwhile, the combination of floating boats, flying dragonflies and blooming lotuses is there to offer a poetic picture. During the 2018 Xuanwu Lake Lotus Festival from June 16 – Aug 22, come with your friends to have a romantic date with this beautiful scenery of lotus!

Mochou Lake, Nanjing

The most characteristic lotus flower at Mochou Lake is the one that is wrapped by another, which is a very rare species among its kind. This type of lotus is usually pink, the petals large and round with a big flower wrapping a small one and the two outer layers of petals forming a flower pattern. The tips of flower fold slightly for protection and flowers are wrapped in the middle again.

Slender West Lake, Yangzhou

The growing of lotus has been a popular tradition in Yangzhou since ancient times, while the Slender West Lake is undoubtedly the nation-famous spot for viewing it. In the scenic area, not only can you enjoy the delicate lotuses planted in pools and big jars, but also immerse yourself in the fragrance of lotus with every step of your way. Take a stroll alongside lotus is the most romantic thing to do!

Humble Administrator’s Garden, Suzhou

Jiangnan gardens are like young girls in a boudoir with different dressing at different times. In summer, the garden comes with awesome sceneries as the ponds full of lotus leaves. Walking on the bridge is like moving in a cluster of lotuses. The picture as a whole will surely make the experience unforgettable.

Hongze Lake Wetland Park

In July, the lotus flowers in the wetland park bloom one after another in the Daguan Garden, Jiuyue Lake and Qianhe Garden. The Qianhe Garden is located on a small island in the southwest of the wetland park. There is a large pond full of lotus flowers in the middle of the island, forming a unique picture with islands and lakes existing altogether. The most unique landscape is still the “widespread wild ducks and lotus roots” of Hongze Lake. The playing ducks in the middle of the pond add more to the vitality of the lotus garden.

You can travel along with “water”and experience the pleasure by “rhyme”, and feel the fresh “water life” in Jiangsu. Nanjing’s Six Dynasties, Suzhou’s ancient town and gardens, Wuxi’s Taihu scenery, Changzhou’s theme park, Zhenjiang’s temples and mountains, Yangzhou’s Han and Tang culture, Taizhou’s national quintessence, Nantong’s Jiangtao tide, Yancheng’s red history, and the rare birds beast, the sealand of Lianyungang, the former residence of the great people of Huai’an, the pastoral scenery of Suqian, the relics of Xuzhou during Qin and Han dynasties…
Just come to Jiangsu!

Xiaoshan International Night of Wonders

Hangzhou’s world famous Westlake gets serious competition from XiangHu which is on the best way to overtake Westlake as the next highlight of Hangzhou. The lake is embedded in a beautiful landscape surrounded by green hills offering a stunning relaxing alternative to the overcrowded Westlake area.
I witnessed a breathtaking nigh of true wonders. The new lake show in front of a mighty music fountain invites all friends from near and far to enjoy an unforgettable night. Later we enjoyed live music at a wonderful beach and a relaxing night of music, games and fun at the campsite.

Don’t forget to check out XiangHu  and its night of wonders next time you visit Hangzhou!

Pujiang – A day in paradise

The most cheerful moment in human life, is a departure into unknown.  I was deeply moved to have the opportunity to Pujiang on a two day trip.  Pujiang is near Yiwu which I reached very conveniently and quickly by a high speed train. On a marvelous summer day with blue sky and a small breeze provided refreshing cool air I arrived not knowingly which wonders await me.

At first I enjoyed a walk through the ancient Songxi village, a beautiful and well preserved ancient town from the Tang Dynasty. It’s surrounded by steep mountains with green peaks glittering like emeralds shining upon this ancient place. Countless building with beautiful architecture invite its visitors. The Xu and Shao Ancestral Hall are especially beautiful. A monument of Chinese craftsmanship through the centuries. Moreover, two streams are interweaved into the village – creating a unique scenery unlike any I have seen before.

We continued our exploration after Chinese glorious past by visiting visiting the Jiangnan family estate. The family lived there for  15 generations – serving with its widely known loyalty and obedience China for centuries.  The impressive relics of ancient family culture and Ming and Qing architecture echo from their glorious past to the present day.

On a low hill before a beautiful landscape  the archaeological site Shangshan  displays secrets of its ancient past. The site is crucial as it provides the first evidence of human cultural activiteis during the Holocene starting Chinese civilization. An absolute muss-see for everyone interested in history.

After a wonderful day we arrived at Pujiang International Kaiyuan Hotel. An absolute stunning hotel with breathtaking view over Tongji lake. The perfect place to relax – the place was luxurious, the food delicious and the service courteous. I had a perfect view over Tongji lake and enjoyed a perfect sunrise. Highly recommended!

We walked along beautiful seaside of Tongji lake at Shangyue Ting and visited Xinguang village – A perfect synthesis between ancient and modern architecture.

I heard so often stories about the delicious grapes from the famous vineyards of Pujiang. My heart was full of joy when I had the opportunity to harvest grapes by myself. Never have I tasted such delicious grapes before. It felt to me like walking through the garden Eden.

Finally, we visited wild horse village hotel – the most luxury and stunning hotel I ever visited. Built into a steep mountain side it provides unmatched views and an unforgettable experience. I will definitely visit it when I return to Pujiang.  Who ever doubted that paradise exists should visit Pujiang. Its ancient history, stunning landscape and taste its delicious grapes makes it a paradise on earth – it is not a question if I return but solely when.

The Stunning Beauty of Taizhou, Jiangsu

Chinese Gardens

The best place to understand China’s culture is to wander through its magnificent gardens. Every garden is a perfect miniature landscape built for Chinese emperors and members of the imperial family, scholars, poets, government officials, soldiers and merchants over millennia to reflect and escape the outside world. The Classic of Poetry (Shijing) best describes a Chinese garden in a famous poet

The Emperor makes his promenade in the Park of the Spirit,
The deer are kneeling on the grass, feeding their fawns,
The deer are beautiful and resplendent.
The immaculate cranes have plumes of a brilliant white.
The Emperor makes his promenade to the Pond of the Spirit,
The water is full of fish, who wriggle.

I saw countless gardens during my many journeys through all parts of China. But never have I seen such a perfect harmony between man and nature before than when I had the great honor to visit the three gardens in Taizhou located in Jiangsu province.

Qiao Yuan garden

At first I was stunned by the beauty of the 400 year old Qiao Yuan garden built during the Ming Dynasty. Winding paths forming a maze escorting visitors along a lavish bamboo forest, pavilions of breathtaking craftsmanship and ancient trees to a pond full of colorful fish surrounded by rocks. In its center three ancient stones form a sword pointed towards the sky. When I saw it I could only think it’s a monument on earth challenging the beauty of heaven – what a testimonial of man, his ingenuity, craftsmanship and his search of a place on earth to mirror the heavens.

Tao Yuan garden

Taizhou is also blessed to have Tao Yuan garden at the Fengcheng River Scenic Area. We enjoyed the last days of a peach blossom unlike I have ever seen before. The garden is built in honor of Kong Shangren’s writing “Peach Blossom Fan”. He was a famous early Qing Dynasty playwright master who committed ten years of his life to reconstruct the collapse of the Ming dynasty in 1644. It is a love story between the young scholar Hou Fangyu (侯方域) and a courtesan named Li Xiangjun honored by several critics as China’s greatest historical drama. Walking through the garden I felt like reliving this crucial moment of China’s history and it seemed to me that behind every tree, every rock and every pavilion Hou Fangyu would confess his love to Li Xiangjun. It is a must see for everyone who appreciates Chinese culture and immortal love during dramatic times.


Mei Yuan garden

Taizhou wouldn’t be known throughout the world as greatest city in China to marvel Chinese gardens if it wouldn’t also be the home of Mei Yuan garden. The garden was built as a perfect synthesis of Qing and Ming Dynasty’s architecture in 1984 in honor of Mei Lan’s 90th birthday who is better known by his stage name Mei Lanfang. He is one of the most famous Peking opera artists in modern Chinese theater and exclusively known for his female lead roles (dan) of grace and refinement. Mei Lanfang is together with Shang Xiaoyun, Cheng Yanqiu, and Xun Huisheng named one of the “Four Great Dan”. A pure white statue of his famous female role Yang Taizheng in “The Story of TaiZhi” welcomes guests to his garden. Crossing a pond flourishing with fish, a statue of Mei Lanfeng sitting on a chair greets his countless fans who come to this place to pay their tribute to his genius.

Although the three great gardens in Taizhou should already include Taizhou, located in Jiangsu, in every travel itinerary, Taizhou also offers the cultural interested adventurer the ancient town of Chai Xu to explore. Countless perfectly preserved buildings with wood carvings of the Qing dynasty create a unique authentic historic atmosphere and visitors feel like walking through a street during the Qing dynasty.

Qinhu National Wetland Park

The second day started with the best breakfast I ever had in China. An authentic Taizhou breakfast with hot tea and three types of the best filled steamed buns I ever tasted provided us with plenty energy to visit the highlight of our Taizhou trip: Qinhu National Wetland Park, the first national wetland park in Jiangsu province and the second in China approved by the State Forestry Administration. It is also known as Magpie Lake because magpies settled there before.
At first the highest pagoda of Medicine Buddha built in water throughout the world can be seen on its shore and many ships with artistic giant sculptures travel through the giant main lake of this park. We enjoyed a boat road which brought us to many of the small river arms, which run through the park. Continuing or journey on a small boat we enjoyed Aquatic plants and reeds growing along the rivers and watched Elk and water birds. Many small boat tours and walks through the park allowed us to appreciate the beautiful scenery and the wild animals living among it.

Beautiful Xiaoshan

Many years I lived in Hangzhou and yet I didn’t know the treasures located to its south. Less than an hour away the Dongshan Village welcomes guests to experience their traditional rice festival. First we enjoyed a local performance and then entered its ancestors hall to learn the ancient way of making rice cakes. The rice powder and water are stirred by a mighty wooden hammer in a stone bowl. I had the honor to help the locals by hammering the dough into a race cake. Hard work, but tasting the fruit of our combined effort was more than worth it. Following the traces of China’s past we tried old traditional clothes from the Republic of China in the beautiful Hainiantiandi boutique hotel. We didn’t notice whether it’s winter or summer because we were so happy to take pictures together in this setting. The highlight was visiting a pottery master in Yingwushanfang. He showed me to make a bowl out of clay. I love to create, and to me, the ultimate freedom of expression is a blank canvas or a block of clay to capture whatever emotions my imagination gives me. I gained an unforgettable experience and an artwork to remember. After a long fulfilled day we spent the night at the absolute stunning First World Hotel near Xianghu and enjoyed its heavenly hot spring. No matter how long you stay in China and how much you travel, behind every corner another experience awaits you. Adventure is worthwhile.


The most cheerful moment in human life, is a departure into unknown lands. Far and long have I traveled without until I found Quzhou in Zhejiang province. A true treasure on the upper course of the Qiantang River bordering Hangzhou to the north, Jinhua to the east, Fujian to the south, and Anhui to the west. My journey started at Quzhou’s water pavillion gate and let me through a historic road to the ancient well preserved Gate of Dragon and Haven at the shores of the Qujiang river. I traveled far and long to all corners of the world, but it is the first time I truly fall in love. I had the honor to spend a night at Qujiang Oriental Hotel. A house where love abides and friendship is a guest, Is surely home, and home, sweet home for there the heart can rest. The rooms were unbelievable luxurious, the food delicious and the superior service unforgettable. Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I’ll miss you until we meet again.

The next day I found an absolute world wonder – the Chinese root carving art land in Kaihua which has been recognized as the most spectacular garden in the world. A wonderland of numerous unbelievable detailed and skilled wood carving works of expertise craftsmanship. It includes 500 breathtaking unique Arhat statues and several gigantic Buddha statues. After an amazing lunch, I followed a steep path into an untouched dense mountain forest. At first it seemed like only a few drops are forming a small insignificant looking waterfall. But what is a mighty stream, but a multitude of drops. We reached the origin of the mighty Qiantang river.

On the last day I had the honor to visit the Stone Forest in San Qu. Full of rocks shaped like all kind of animals, you think you see a lion around the corner but one got fooled by nature’s wonders: a whole zoo of stones in animal shapes. The last stop on this amazing trip were the Longyou caves. A recent discovery by local people which turned out to be natural cave reshaped by men 2000 years ago. A mystery from ancient times which can only be compared with Stonehenge or the Pyramides. Looking back to these amazing days I can only say that all places I visited in Quzhou were magnificent, the hotels luxurious, the food delicious and the care supreme. We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.


The Porcelain Capital of China Jiangxi province is producing pottery for 1 700 years. Amazing works displaying craftsmanship and artistry from ancient traditions to the modern day at its annual porcelain exhibition. A pleasant surprise was the display of the G20 dinner set. I also visited the oldest Porcelain manufacture in the world