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Planning for a Summer Trip to China

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Inspiration for an upcoming trip to China with stops in Beijing, Xi'an, and Yunnan. I lived and worked in Yunnan for several years, so these are mostly ideas for Beijing and Xi'an.
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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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24 Zhonglouwan Hutong, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
Explore the back streets near Andingmen Station for a glimpse of everyday life in the hutongs of Beijing. While in the area, stop for a drink at the unexpectedly hip Siif Cafe. As the sign out front says, they have good coffee, along with...
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2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100096
How a complex of German-built factories became one of East Asia’s hottest art destinations is also the story of modern China. When construction on a number of electronics factories began in Dashanzi in 1956, the area was farmland. Joint...
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15 Guozijian St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
Across the street from the Lama Temple is the Guozijian, or Kong Miao. However, as my philosophy teacher warned, the Confucian philosophy is not to be confused with religion—that is to say, this is not really a worshipping temple. Rather, it’s a...
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Want to learn how to make tasty dumplings? Or hand-pulled noodles? Or the cuisine of Hunan, Yunnan and Sichuan? The Hutong is a cozy retreat where you can gather with a small group and—all tools provided—learn how to make a dish or two. The Hutong...
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Beiyuanmen Snacks Street, Lianhu, Xi'an, China, 710001
You can't visit Xi'an without having a dumpling feast. Defachang is considered one of the best dumpling houses in the region. Call ahead to request the 18-course dumpling banquet so you can sample the many varieties. One of my favorites is this...
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70 South St, ZhongLou ShangQuan, Beilin Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710001
Nice place to visit and see Xi'an
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Nanliu Alley, ZhongLou ShangQuan, Beilin Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China
There are many night markets in Xi'an. One of the best is in the ancient city, near to the old Drum and Bell Towers. It's the perfect starting point for an evening walk through town or just a great option for fresh, authentic, and cheap food.
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28 Xianning W Rd, JiaoDa ShangYe JieQu, Beilin Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China
11 April, 2012 - Jiaotong University - Xi'an, China. The Wutong trees (called "Parasol" or "Phoenix" trees in English) are just now getting their leaves. In a few more weeks the leaves will be as large as oak or maple leaves. Jiaotong University...
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Tumen Shangquan, Lianhu, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
We call this yang rou pao mo. It's a bread and lamb stew. It has a terrific smell and a terrific taste. Have a try, or your trip to Xi'an will be worthless.
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Lintong, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Visiting the famous Terracotta Army was on my bucket list, and I was lucky enough to see it recently. As I entered the first pit, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Right in front of me was the section holding the life-size terracotta warriors all lined...
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Zhangjiabao Shangquan, Weiyang, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
We spent a great day with our German and Israeli friends biking the old city wall in Xi'an I had never biked on top of an old city wall before. The bikes were a little bit old and used, but it was a ton of fun! I definitely enjoyed it more than...