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This enchanting hideaway is set around the attractively revamped city of Guilin, in the heart of rural Guangxi Province. Yangshuo, a little to the south, makes for a low-key introduction to the area, and offers a picture-postcard view of what is, to many, the essence of this vast country in which 60% of the population still live on the land. Water buffaloes toil in paddies amidst towering limestone outcrops and the landscape seems to come fresh from a scroll painting. A number of China’s ethnic groups can be found in Guangxi, as indicated by its long-winded official moniker, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, reflecting the fact that the most prevalent minority are the Zhuang people. The hills around Longji, north of Guilin, are the place to witness hilltribe lifestyles unchanged for centuries, the impossibly steep rice terraces making for an awe-inspiring backdrop to the simple wooden villages and their impressive traditional architecture. This guide is based on our full China Adventure Guide, which is 640 pages. It’s designed to enable you to gain the most from China during your trip. All the major sights in the destinations covered are described, but so are little dumpling houses, lively markets, walks through narrow old streets, places to study tai chi. The focus is on adventure in every sense of the word—from kayaking and balloon trips to learning the ancient art of calligraphy or fengshui. There are new experiences waiting at every turn, all of which help you get closer to understanding what China is today and how it got here. For each region, activities range from Dragon Boat racing, Chinese cooking and language lessons, as well as the more usual golfing, hiking, boat and bike rides. All the accommodation and eating choices are detailed as well, followed by nightlife. Names for all places, attractions, hotels, and restaurants are shown in Chinese characters as well as in English. That way users can communicate well with taxi drivers and ask directions by showing the book page, which will have a picture of the attraction as well. The Yangzi is China’s greatest river and the Three Gorges are one of its most stunning stretches, steeped in myth and legend, and, until recently, notoriously dangerous and difficult to navigate. A cruise along the Yangzi is one of the country’s premier attractions. The Three Gorges are best (and most easily) appreciated heading downstream and thus are dealt with in this order, starting with Chongqing, then the cruise along the Yangzi, and finally Yichang, where you can take a plane or train to your next destination. We travel to grow- our Adventure Guides show you how. Experience the places you visit more directly, freshly, intensely than you would otherwise – sometimes best done on foot, in a canoe, or through cultural adventures like art courses, cooking classes, learning the language, meeting the people. This can make your trip life-changing, unforgettable. All of the detailed information you need is here about the hotels, restaurants, shopping, sightseeing. But we also lead you to new discoveries, turning corners never before turned, helping you learn about the world in a new way- Adventure Guides make that possible. “Having traveled extensively through China over many years, I can see the book’s intimacy, not only with the locations, but also with the locals in each place. The author reveals the secrets that he’s learned from his long association with China.” (Jason Williams, Managing Director, Grasshopper Adventures). “A thorough guide not only to traveling in China but also to the country’s history and culture, this should satisfy the novice and seasoned traveler alike. Each city and region is covered from all angles, including activities for those traveling with children. An informative read for those unfamiliar with the country and an excellent way to brush up for the more experienced traveler, this is an excellent guide for planning a China vacation.” (Publishers Weekly)
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