The 4 Best Cities for Jewish History in China

China has a history of Jewish immigration and settlement that dates back for centuries. You might even be surprised by what there is to learn about the fascinating exchange between the Middle Kingdom and the People of the Book. Seek out the stories, past and present, of China’s Jewish community in these Chinese cities.

Not even historians can be certain about precisely when Jewish people first set foot on Chinese soil, a gap in history often answered with a combination of guesswork and Jewish mythology. Earliest records point to Jewish merchants from Central Asia who journeyed to the Middle Kingdom along the legendary Silk Road. Trade documents in an ancient form of Hebrew have been found dating back to 400 A.D. These records mark the first of many chapters of Judaism in the pages of Chinese history. For those of you wanting to know more, visiting these 4 cities is a must.

shanghai-jewish-refugees-museum-tourChina Jewish Museum in Shanghai
Photo by Bernhard Wintersperger via Flickr
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6 Unbelievable Historic Sites You Never Knew Existed in China

Starting in the Shang Dynasty in 1600 BC, China has kept written records of its civilization’s progress through the ages. Despite the rise and fall of dynasties, from the poetry of the Tang to the porcelain of the Song, the central characteristic of Chinese society has stayed intact for millenia. This cultural richness makes the Middle Kingdom a great place for history buffs.

 

China probably has the oldest continuous history of any country or civilization. Long-lost artifacts, ancient archaeological sites and other historical gems still lay hidden within its vast lands waiting to be discovered.

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old-summer-palace-ruinsPhoto by JQ Li via Flickr

Sights like the Great Wall outside Beijing and the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an are classic destinations for the history buff. But for those who think of themselves as more of an Indiana Jones type, rare treasures of Chinese history rest just off the beaten path. With thousands of sights to thrill the history buff, we dug up some of the best places around the country that will give you the Chinese history lessons you never took.


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4 Sacred Taoist Sites in the Wudang Mountains

The Wudang Mountains (Wudangshan in Chinese) are widely referred to as the most sacred of China’s Five Great Mountains. Taoist philosophers have been drawn to the mountain’s peaks, to meditate and practice martial arts, for centuries and we have designed a brand new journey to the region. Perfect for those who are curious about the breeding grounds for this ancient philosophical system, these are our pick of the top 4 sacred Taoist sites on our Wudangshan: Taoist Heartland Tour.

Taoism is an ancient philosophy that has a strong hold over China’s past and present. Dating back to the 4th century BCE, Taoism, or ‘Dao’ 道 as it is known in Chinese, has advocated harmony with the natural flow of the universe, ‘Wu-Wei’ or freedom from intention, and connection with the natural world.

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Taoism rose to prominence in China during the 7th century, and, blended with rural religion, maintains huge popularity in the Middle Kingdom today. Sacred sites of Taoism are scattered across mainland China but there’s no place quite like the Wudang Mountains for connecting with Taoist history and contemporary practice.

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4 Thrilling Mountains to Easily Summit in China

If your idea of a thrilling holiday is conquering mountains so high that you can look down on the clouds, then China has got you covered. Discover four iconic mountains that you can easily summit in one day from Sichuan to Hubei.

Everyone has a different idea of what makes a perfect mountain: perhaps you like being able to look down on the clouds far below you, after just having conquered an 1800 meter high peak. Or, perhaps riding an elevator to the top and enjoying breathtaking views without breaking a sweat is more your thing. Either way, China has got you covered. From Zhangjiajie to Wudangshan, discover four thrilling mountains that you can also summit in one day’s hike or an easy cable-car ride.

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Our Top Destinations in China for 2017

2017 is upon us and we bet you have “travel more” as one of your New Year’s resolutions.  If you’re ready to make the most of this new year, we’ve created a seasonal guide to our 7 top destinations in China for 2017.

Strolling through delicate gardens of spring blossoms, lounging on a semi tropical beach in summer or dancing alongside locals at raucous minority festivals in autumn, imagine what 2017 could have in store for you. It’s time to start planning your getaways for this upcoming year!

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Only Have one day in Angkor Wat? Here’s How to Make the Most of it

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Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. Photo by Poswiecie via pixabay.

Hidden in the jungles of Cambodia lie the ruins of Angkor Wat, the largest religious structure in the world, the symbol of modern Cambodia, and the seat of power of the Khmer Empire between the 9th and 13th centuries. Angkor Wat is the largest and most famous site inside the 400 square kilometer Angkor Archaeological Park. Ancient myths claim that this massive structure was constructed in a single night by a divine architect – this may or may not be true, but if you only have one day in which to discover the temple and the myriad of other sites in the park, then you have to be pretty on the ball. Here’s how to make the most out of your day.
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Adopt an Elephant for a Day in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Many dream of riding an elephant through a jungle in Southeast Asia. The strength and beauty of these animals is a sight to behold. We’ve partnered with the best elephant farm to create this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Fortunately, if you care about the welfare of elephants, it’s still possible to go elephant riding in Thailand – you just have to be discerning. Wild elephants in Thailand are now an endangered species, and those held in captivity for the entertainment of tourists are often cruelly mistreated. Patara Elephant Farm makes it their mission to reverse the negative impact of elephant entertainment and allow visitors to become custodians of these unique animals.

 
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The Best Southeast Asia Destinations

At WildChina, we’re not afraid to strike out in the direction of new and exotic frontiers which has led us to develop a collection of journeys that go beyond the walls of the Middle Kingdom. With our signature hallmark of authentic luxury travel, we’ve painstakingly crafted our Beyond China collection. Ancient history, white sand beaches, delicious food and spiritual discovery: Southeast Asia has it all!  Learn why these places are our pick for the five best Southeast Asia destinations. 

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As your plane winds its way towards one of the major Southeast Asian airports – perhaps Bangkok or Phnom Penh – and the towering skyscrapers of these modern capitals come into view, spare a moment to think about the ancient empires which these cities sprung up to replace. In these cities, traditional beliefs and heritage mingle among the neon street signs and vertiginous apartment blocks, making a fascinating starting point for your journey. But the most fascinating destinations often lie outside of the major cities.

Southeast Asia has wilderness and metropolis, history and hedonism, colonial heritage and traditional cuisine. Here are a few of the best Southeast Asian destinations beyond the major capitals:

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Kunming’s 100-year-old Restaurants

The capital of Yunnan province, Kunming has served as a gateway for Southeast Asian countries for centuries and a number of the city’s restaurants have been in business for nearly as long!  We’ve worked with Spoonhunt– an app that helps foreigners find authentic Chinese cuisine – to uncover these hidden gems sprinkled throughout Kunming.

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Kunming, also known as the City of Eternal Spring, has had its ups and downs as a city. First established back in 279 BC, it didn’t become an official Chinese municipality until 1935. It was an important Chinese military center, American air base, and transport terminus for the Burma Road during WWII and although the city has undergone considerable development in recent years, Kunming is home to a number of restaurants have been serving delicious regional cuisine for over a century.

Here are some of our favorites.

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You Won’t Believe This is a Traditional Chinese Breakfast: Northeastern Provinces

We’re collaborating with a new app- Spoonhunt– to bring you the best foodie finds in China. Start your day the Chinese way with these classic dishes that locals all over the Middle Kingdom tuck into at breakfast time. These are our top picks from the northeastern provinces. 

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If you’re visiting China for the first time, you may not notice what Chinese people eat for breakfast. There’s no cereal, toast, or scrambled eggs, so what are locals lining up for at 7am?

Everything from temperature and humidity to taste palate and available ingredients, shape the first meal of the day in different regions across China. Here are a few to look out for on your journey through the Middle Kingdom.

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