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China New and Old

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AFAR Ambassador, Sherry Ott, traveled to China courtesy of the China National Tourist Office (www.cnto.org) and Wendy Wu Tours (www.wendywutours.com/china/USTOATravelTogether) as part of AFAR’s partnership with The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) (www.ustoa.com), whose members provide travelers with unparalleled access, insider knowledge, and peace-of-mind to destinations across the globe. For more info on Sherry’s journey, visit the USTOA blog (http://ustoa.com/blog).
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Lintong, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
The story of the Emperor Qin reads something like Game of Thrones, with hostages, feuding brothers, wars, and the ultimate unification and creation of what we know as China today. Wanting to protect himself in the afterlife, Emperor Qin created an...
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An old watch tower provides a great vantage point of Xi'an. The old city wall built in the 14th century of mud, limestone, and glutinous rice has been refurbished and runs 9 miles around the city with watch towers every 400 feet. Surprisingly the...
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Square dancing in China isn't what you think. I kept thinking it meant a fiddle, a cowboy hat, and some good country hoedown. But I learned pretty quickly that it simply meant dancing in the public square. Done mainly by older women, square...
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A traditional breakfast for the fast-paced businesspeople in Shanghai is warm, sweet soymilk and a fried breadstick. Yon Ho is a fast-food chain that started as a street stall in Taiwan and now sells its soy milk across China. To me the drink was...
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Nanshi Market in Old Town Shanghai is a place to see China's latest shopping crazes. The market is on a street surrounded by old buildings painted in red with traditional Chinese rooflines. Don’t let the term ‘Old Town’ fool you, though: The...
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4 Jingshan Front St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100006
The Forbidden City is not so forbidden any longer...based on the thousands and thousands of people there visiting it! I love the huge city, however it's a hard sight to visit because of all of the people, the massive space to cover (178 Acres),...
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A cocktail served in a bag - only in Asia! At Migas, the hip rooftop bar in Beijing, they serve cocktails the local way! I was delighted to see that my cucumber vodka drink was served in a plastic bag...taking it to a whole new level of hip! At...
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67 N Luogu Alley, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
Where do the hipsters go in Beijing? To the hutongs - the old neighborhoods of Beijing. Little alleyways and streets are a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. That's where we found the ultra hip Si---if coffee bar. I was...
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Beijing, China
The Great Wall of China runs more than 21,000 kilometers (over 13,000 miles), not as one continuous wall but rather as fortified wall sections. Some of the sections date back more than 2,500 years, though only 8.2 percent of the existing wall is...
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Zhongshan East 1st Rd, WaiTan, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000
Architecture lovers flock to the Huangpu River's western side to stroll the Bund, a waterfront tourist magnet in central Shanghai. There's a glorious mishmash of late-19th- and early-20th-century styles here, from Gothic revival to art deco. Walk...
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In Xi'an we not only ate dumplings (jiaozi), we learned how to make them. Chef Jin makes about 3,500 dumplings a night, which explains why her super power is to make dumplings lightening fast. Seriously, if you blink you’ll miss it and you all of...
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甲37 Dong'anmen St, WangFuJing, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100006
It might look slightly unappetizing to have a whole duck brought out to your table, but trust me on this and say ‘yes’ to Peking Duck when in Beijing! We went to Da Wan Ju, a small, local restaurant near the Wangfujing night market. Peking duck...
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Wangfujing St, WangFuJing, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100006
Don't expect to find any Beijing residents on Wangfujing Snack Street, home of spiders, scorpions, starfish and pretty much anything else that can be skewered and cooked. This is firm tourist territory, a place for visitors to test their mettle...