WildChina Blog


Featured Bloggers

In The News
The absolute latest updates in China travel information.

On the Road
Our tales from the trail and dispatches straight from the source.

Travel Tips
What to bring, where to go, and how to get around China.

Mei Zhang
WildChina founder, entrepreneur, mother.

Andrew Stein
Fulbright scholar exploring environment, agriculture, and tea.

August 29th, 2014

Along China’s Silk Road

By: WildChina | Categories: Adventure Travel in China, China Travel


When you first heard of the Silk Road, you might have had romantic ideas of a smooth road made out of silk. In reality, the Silk Road is not even a road at all but an ancient network of trading routes that linked China all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. Also, the road is not paved in silk and was far from a smooth journey in historic times. Judy Bonavia describes it well below:
“The early trade in silk was carried on against incredible odds by great caravans of merchants and animals traveling over some of the most inhospitable territory on Earth, including searing, waterless deserts and snowbound mountain passes. Beginning at the magnificent ancient Chinese city of Chang’an (Xi’an), the route took traders westward along the Hexi Corridor to the giant barrier of the Great Wall, then either orth or south of the Taklamakan Desert to Kashgar before continuing on to India and Iran, or farther to the great cities of Constantinople, Damascus and Baghdad. For today’s traveler, it is not only the weight of history that makes the Silk Road intriguing, but the incredible diversity of scenery and ethnic people along the way.” -The Silk Road: Xi’an to Kashgar

The Silk Road earned its title because silk made up a large proportion of trade along this route. Originating in China, silk-making was China’s well-guarded secret for almost 2,000 years. Silk was so valuable to people that prices were calculated in lengths of silk, just like they had been calculated in pounds of gold. It even became a currency used in trade with foreign countries.

Silk was not the only good traded on the Silk Road-people traded bronze, bamboo products, teas, medicine, and porcelain. There were many available routes to travel; ome were shorter and more dangerous, while others were longer and safer. Most of the things traded along the Silk Road were luxury items because the profit, to some, was worth the risk.


People exchanged religion, culture, philosophy, and art along the Silk Road. The route connected merchants, monks, and nomads from around the world and was an ancient highway for globalization. Innovative ideas that were traded along the route, like grape winemaking and paper money, are still in use today. By allowing people to make their first contact with distant civilizations, the Silk Road helped lay the foundations for the modern world.

Today, these ancient routes aren’t used to trade goods and ideas with other countries. Instead, the Silk Road is traveled by people who want to see the land and learn about the history and culture of the region. Most of the Silk Road is located in Xianjiang province in northwest China. Xianjiang is home to 47 ethnic minorities, including the Uygur, the major ethnic group living here. Uygur are the second largest Muslim ethnic group in China. They have their own Islamic culture and Turkic language, which uses a modified form of the Arabic alphabet.


China’s northwest region is home to the beginning of the old, dangerous route, earning the nickname, “Wild West of China”. Today the region is safe and more accessible. While in this part of the country you feel like you are in Central Asia, not typical China. The people, clothes, culture, and cuisine are influenced from the ancient trade routes. Those who visit are fascinated by the diverse culture, people, and landscape.



If you are interesting learning about the Silk Road, we recommend reading, The Silk Road:from Xi’an to Kashgar, by Judy Bonavia. For a hands on experience, WildChina offers a trip, Along the Silk Road, departing in October.



Tags: ChinaSilkRoad .

August 27th, 2014

6 Facts about Tibet

By: WildChina | Categories: Adventure Travel in China, China tours, Tibet Travel

Nature and religion define Tibet, so if you’re interested in viewing sacred sites or beautiful nature, it  should be on your list of travel destinations. Tibetans have a distinct culture and religion that sets them apart from the rest of the world. Along with rich history, Tibet has some of China’s most striking natural scenery, including vast grasslands, blue lakes and sky-high mountains.

tibet road to gyantse

1.Foreign travel to Tibet used to be restricted.
Tourists were first permitted to visit Tibet in the 1980s. Since then, people have been traveling to Tibet to learn about Buddhism and see the pure nature. The main tourist attractions are the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple , Namtso Lake, Samye Monastery, and Mt. Everest. Some areas remain restricted to tourists.

2.Tibet is considered one of the most secluded regions on earth.
Tibet is the least populated province in China, mostly due to its mountainous and harsh geographical features. The mountain ranges that surround Tibet create a barrier from the rest of the world, leaving some places in Tibet uninhabited. The mountains in Tibet average 22,960 feet high, earning the nickname “Roof of the World”. In Tibet, there are five mountains over 26,240 feet, including the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. Tibet is a great playground for hikers. Also, frequent flights to Lhasa, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, and several highways to Tibet have made Tibet easily accessible.


3.Buddism is the foundation of Tibet’s culture and everyday life.
In Tibet, Buddhism is not just a religious belief, it is a  way of life. You can see the influence of Buddhism throughout this region. Tibetans view the environment as a place where humans and nature coexist, therefore most of their land is colorful and pure. There are a great  amount of sacred sites, such as monasteries, nunneries, and palaces, to explore while in Tibet.

4.47% of the world’s population depends on the flow of fresh water from Tibet.
The Tibetan plateau has the third largest store of water and ice in the world. Tibet is the sources of many of Asia’s rivers. Tibet’s glaciers, rivers, forests, lakes, and wetlands provide key environmental resources to Asia.

5.Tibet is sometimes called the “Sea of Dances and Songs”.
Tibetans love music and dancing. Every night local people get in a circle around a fire and dance the night away. While visiting Tibet, you can participate in a nightly dance while sipping on one of their  national drinks, salted butter tea or Tibetan chang. Chang is an alcoholic drink that is made of barley, rice or millet. Tibetans of all ages drink chang at funerals, dinners, and celebrations.


6.Tibetan people believe Lake Yamdrok carries deep spiritual meaning.
Many pilgrims visit the lake prior to making important decisions, they believe the turquoise water of Lake Yamdrok carries deep spiritual meaning. Lake Yamdrok is one of the many beautiful place to visit in Tibet. Clear blue lakes, deep valleys and rivers, snow covered mountains, and green forests can all be found across the region.













Tags: adventure travel China China travel Tibet .

August 24th, 2014

Stand In The Majestic Roof of the World:Tibet

By: WildChina | Categories: Adventure Travel in China, China Travel, Tibet Travel

Why Tibet?
People have many kinds of travel styles and adventure levels: some people like to get away and relax on a beach, some seek thrills like bungee jumping or scuba diving, while others enjoy visiting historic sites and learning new information. Here at WildChina, we like to keep our adventure level high and our travel style a mix of exploration and luxury. One place that brings out our adventurous side is Tibet.
Tibet is not the first place that pops in your head when planning a trip to China. It is very different from the China you see on TV or in the media. The mountain ranges that surround it make it one of the most secluded regions on earth, giving this region its own cuisine, faith, and landscape. Along with rich history, Tibet has some of China’s most striking natural scenery, including vast grasslands, blue lakes and sky-high mountains as well a great amount of sacred sites, including monasteries, nunneries, and palaces. If you’re interested in viewing sacred sites or beautiful nature, Tibet should be on your list of travel destinations.

“Rich or poor, all come full of devotion and with no inner misgivings to lay their offerings before the gods and to pray for their blessing. Is there any people so uniformly attached to their religion and so obedient to it in their daily life? I have always envied the Tibetans their simple faith, for all my life I have been a seeker.”
― Heinrich Harrer, Seven Years in Tibet

Buddhism developed in Tibet and the surrounding Himalayan region in the beginning of the 7th century. Tibet’s long history of Buddhism has inspired the building of many religious sites. In Tibet’s largest city, Tsedang, you can find Buddhist monasteries, monuments, tombs and royal burial sites. Samye Monastery, the oldest standing Tibetan Buddhist monastery, is a Tibet highlight. Samye is both a monastery and a village and used to be a school for Tibetan Buddhism. Some Tibetan Buddhists travel on foot for weeks to reach this popular pilgrimage destination.

Note: Out of respect, always walk around Tibetan Buddhist religious sites or monastery in a clockwise direction and don’t climb onto statues or other sacred objects


“Tibet has not yet been infested by the worst disease of modern life, the everlasting rush. No one overworks here. Officials have an easy life. They turn up at the office late in the morning and leave for their homes early in the afternoon.” ― Heinrich Harrer, Seven Years in Tibet

Tibetans live a easygoing life. They like music, games, and dancing. In Tibet you can participate in a nightly dance with locals, sample yak cheese, yoghurt, or butter, while sipping on the national drink, salted butter tea.
Tibet’s richest cultural marvels are found in Tibet’s capital, Lhasa. Buddhism is not just a religious belief, for many it is a way of life. Lhasa has been the center of Tibet’s political, religious, economic and cultural activities since the Fifth Dalai Lama moved the capital here in 1642.
This city is home to Potala Palace. This palace has served as both the winter residence of each Dalai Lama and the religious and political center of Tibet for 300 years. In 1645, it was built without either nails or the use of wheeled equipment. Today, it provides dormitories for the staff of the Dalai Lama schools, chapels, print house and tombs.


“The country through which we had been travelling for days has an original beauty. Wide plains were diversified by stretches of hilly country with low passes.We often had to wade through swift running ice-cold brooks. It has long since we had seen a glacier, but as we were approaching the tasam at Barka, a chain of glaciers gleaming in the sunshine came into view. The landscape was dominated by the 25,000-foot peak of Gurla Mandhata; less striking, but far more famous, was the sacred Mount Kailash, 3,000 feet lower, which stands in majestic isolation apart from the Himalayan range.”
― Heinrich Harrer, Seven Years in Tibet

Tibetans view the environment as a place where humans and nature coexist and overconsumption of resources is looked down upon. Because of these Buddhist beliefs, the nature in Tibet is pure and well preserved. Gyantse is a great city to visit if you enjoy nature. Located 14,500 feet above sea level, the turquoise Yamdrok Lake is a famous stop for Tibetans and travelers. While visiting Yamdrok Lake in Gyantse, you can see views of Mount Donang Sangwari (17,400 feet) and the white peaks of Nojin Gangzang (23,000 feet). Be careful of altitude sickness; the mountains in Tibet average 22,960 feet high, earning the nickname “Roof of the World”.

The land, faith, and culture make Tibet an unforgettable experience.

In October, WildChina is going on a journey to Tibet. On our Soul of Tibet trip, we explores sacred sites and nature, while experiencing Tibetan Buddhism. Want to up your adventure level? Contact info@WildChina.com for more information.


Tags: China travel Tibet .

August 15th, 2014

Yunnan’s Ancient Tea&Horse Caravan Road

By: WildChina | Categories: Adventure Travel in China, Best China Tour Operator, China travel guide

Where in China can you experience a mix of history, culture, and nature?      
You can explore some of China’s most diverse cultures, ecology, and landscapes in Yunnan Province, just south of the Tibetan Plateau. Yunnan features green low-lying valleys, white-capped mountains, and a vast assortment of ethnic communities. This diverse terrain is home to the beginning of The Ancient Tea and Horse Caravan Road, or “The Silk Road of Southern China”.

The 3,100-mile route of the Ancient Tea and Horse Caravan Road started in Southern China, passed through Tibet, Burma, Nepal, and ended in India. China’s desire to import horses from Tibet and Tibet’s desire to import tea from China was the main motivation of the trade along the Tea and Horse Caravan Road. Traveling this route was difficult due to its diverse terrain, and one minor misstep could be fatal for both trader and animals.


Today, the Tea and Horse Caravan Road attracts people from all over the world with its assorted teas, mixed cultures, stunning landscapes, and ancient centers of trade. By traveling along this route, travelers can experience both ancient and modern China by learning about the culture of local ethnic communities, hiking in the ancient tea tree forests, and exploring the scenic mountain, rivers and valleys.

How can you get there?
WildChina can take you on a 13 day journey along the route of the Ancient Tea and Horse Caravan Road in Yunnan. The first stop, Xishuangbanna, is the original place of pu’erh tea production. In Xishuangbanna, you can buy premium pu’erh tea at Menghai market, meet the descendants of the first tea cultivators, and stay in an Aini Village homestay. We pass through Dali as we follow the route through sloping valleys, golden barley and canola fields to Shaxi. After Shaxi, we see Lijiang’s Old Town and the legendary Yangtze River on our way to Shangri-La. In Shangri-La, we explore Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan lamasery in Yunnan, the Napahai Lake, and visit a nearby artisan village.


Are you a spontaneous planner?
Join us this October in Yunnan! This is our last small group trip of the year, led by Jeff Fuchs, the first Westerner to have ever traveled the whole road. Our journey to China’s  Ancient Tea and Horse Caravan Road begins October 15 and ends October 24. If you’re interested in retracing the steps of those who traveled this ancient road, contact info@wildchina.com.

Like to make plans in advance?
If you’re interested in tea or Yunnan cuisine, keep your eyes open for our 2015 small group departures which include a tea-based journey of China and Taiwan with Jeff Fuchs and a special gastronomic tour of Yunnan with expert Fuchsia Dunlop.






Tags: China tours China travel china travel guide .

August 14th, 2014

Sixth year in a row! Travel+Leisure Names Mei Zhang Top Travel Agent for China

By: WildChina | Categories: Luxury China Travel, WildChina Announcements

When booking a trip, the travel company you choose can make the difference between an ordinary or extraordinary travel experience. To guide travelers in the right direction, the editors of Travel + Leisure assess hundreds of travel agents around the world and select the best to make up their annual list of “A-list Top Travel Specialists”. WildChina’s founder, Mei Zhang, is featured on their 2014 list for her standard-setting services in China travel. The elite list features 133 of the world’s top advisors, arranged by location of expertise.

“There’s a reason we use the term advisor to describe the members of our 2014 A-List,” said Travel + Leisure News Editor and “Trip Doctor” columnist Amy Farley. “These destination experts offer much more than booking services. They offer insider insights, unparalleled access, the ability to create a seamless itinerary, and value.”

i-RV4cDcC-L A-List 2014[5][2] (1)

Mei can now add this accolade to her list of awards and recognitions, which include:Travel + Leisure’s   2009-2012 A-Lists of Top Travel Agents, Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist in 2010 and 2011, and The Daily Beast’s 2012 list of Women in the World. Riding on Mei’s 14 years of experience in the luxury travel industry, WildChina provides both insider access to China and personalized service. WildChina’s specialties are China, Tibet and custom luxury itineraries.

According to Mei, she “witnessed the push and pull between economic development and conservation of both nature and culture in Yunnan.” This push and pull inspired her to create WildChina to provide people with a sophisticated version of Chinese culture and nature through first-hand travel.

WildChina has also received acknowledgments for our luxury travel services, which set the bar for tailored, authentic travel experiences. In 2009 National Geographic selected WildChina as one of Adventure Magazine’s Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth, Traveler Magazine’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime, and Harvard Business Reviewed named WildChina “a leader in its field.”

Travel + Leisure’s thirteenth annual A-list will be featured in the September issue of Travel + Leisure and on travelandleisure.com. Congratulations Mei!

Tags: China travel chinatravelservice Mei Zhang travel in China WildChina .

August 8th, 2014

Discover China’s Treasures

By: WildChina | Categories: Best China Tour Operator, China tour, China tours, China Travel, China travel guide, Luxury China Travel


If you’re coming to China for the first time, there are four absolute must-see destinations which represent the best of classic China: Beijing, Xi’an, Yunnan, and Shanghai.



Imagine stepping back in time while strolling through a traditional Beijing hutong (alleyway). You can watch (or join) elders participating in a heated game of Chinese chess or mahjong, smell  locals cooking traditional snacks like jianbing (pancakes) and baozi (steamed buns), and hear a local playing a traditional Chinese tune.

Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an. Photo by Kristen Kuan, a WildChina traveler.


The historical city of Xi’an is famous for the remarkable Terracotta Warriors. Most visitors view them from a public viewing gallery. WildChina, however, arranges special access to the museum’s lower deck so that you can take a closer look at these proud sculptures.Who doesn’t like a backstage pass?



Yunnan is breathtaking: its low valleys, white-capped mountains, and rustic towns will please the eye. Yunnan is one of China’s most diverse provinces, home to a number of ethnic minorities.Imagine going to a colorful festive dinner party in a local Naxi minority courtyard home while listening to the sound of traditional Naxi music

 Only a short drive north, Shangri-La is home to beautiful rivers and mountains. Aside from beautiful scenery,Shangri-La is also filled with beautiful experiences. Take the chance to immerse yourself into Tibetan culture by sharing a cup of tea with a local family and local residents for their daily evening dance around the Old Town Square.

Bund Night-34


Step into the “Paris of the East”. You can experience an evening cruise on the Huangpu River that cuts through the diverse city. The skyline that surrounds both sides of the river provides a glimpse into two different faces of Shanghai. The beautiful European-style buildings in the Bund will make you feel like you are back in 1930’s Shanghai while the futuristic skyscrapers of Pudong will take you to the future.

The bad news is, a trip like this can take months to plan due to the language barrier and the amount of sought-after destinations. The good news is, WildChina has a small group trip scheduled to these destinations September 7-September 18. Chinese Treasures is one of our most popular small group trips which highlights the classic images of China and immerses you in Chinese culture and history. This trip is perfect for people who have a sense of adventure and want to experience the past, present and future of China. Starting with a Peking Duck feast and ending with a Shanghainese farewell dinner, you’ll get to taste the diverse cuisines of China, discover local culture, people and sites in luxury. Let WildChina and our guides help you Experience China Differently. There is still time to join in on this trip! To secure a spot on our journey, email WildChina at info@wildchina.com.

Tags: China tour China travel China travel experts .

August 7th, 2014

Yangmeizhu Xie Jie: The Best of Transformed Hutongs

By: WildChina | Categories: Beijing, China tours, China Travel, China Travel Tips, Exclusive Access China, WildChina Travel Tips

You know you have to hit the hutongs and get a pedi-cab ride, hear about the royal families and institutes that lived in those gray brick-and-tile mansions. But what about the rest of the hutongs, the real ones that old generations of ordinary citizens who lived there and passed it down to their grandchildren and their grandchildren?

We didn’t forget about them! If you are interested in checking out the daily hutong life of modern China, here is the best representation of all transformed hutongs in Beijing. Away from the tourist sites, we present…

YANGMEIZHU XIE JIE- referred as YMZ alley below (direct translation: Skewed Red Bayberry and Bamboo Street)

Old & New YMZ alley Old & New YMZ alley

Qianmen, as a must-visit tourist site, should give you an idea of how people lived in old China, described in the books of Lisa See. But honestly, Qianmen area has changed so much from what it used to be. Everything looks so… twenty-first-century! There are H&M, Zara and Starbucks lined up on the street. The surrounding area is also much more modern. If you are there, then ditch the artificial facilities and mingle with the culturally rich local lives at YMZ alley.

What can you find here?
YMZ is named after a legend of Mrs. Yang, a very skilled matchmaker and the happy marriages she brought together. The street was then turned into a bevy of famous publishing bureau during the Republic of China era. The mixture of vintage and avant-garde, that’s the difference between YMZ and the other not-so-cool hutongs. You will find independent designers, such as “casual location” and book cover designer studios that exhibit inspiring notebooks from all around the world. These tiny studios and boutiques deliver a positive yet mellow vibe to their native Beijinger neighbors. The residence on YMZ alley also shares their most welcoming tradition, treating these residence-nouveau as their new family members. Arriving at the doorsteps, we look at the YMZ in a whole new, admiring light.

What can you do there?
1. No set menu, no named cuisines, book a family dinner at Casual Location with local Chef Jiawen, he will surprise you with his healthy and delicious jiachangcai (home cooking.)
Casual Location 米念, reserve for tailored dinner:158 1030 0334 (two days ahead)

Casual Location Dinner Setting Casual Location Dinner Setting

2. Are you a crafty person? If yes, then check out Old Zhang’s Wood-carving New Year Painting. A picture tells a thousand stories. Here you can learn a thousand traditions, urban legends, and bizarre cultural metaphors from all the carving designs.
Reserve with Old Zhang 老张的木板年画 13522641374

Old Zhang's Shop Old Zhang’s Shop

Why we think it’s cool?
If a laowai (Chinese for “foreigner”) wrote a book about this little alley, you know it’s pretty cool. Michael Meyer, a professor from Pittsburgh University and Peace Corps volunteer, lived in this alley for many years His book, The Last Days of Old Beijing, talked about stories of his neighbors—the 75-year-old granny moving out of the hutong that she lived in for her whole life, urbanites and Gen-Ys advocating the transformation of this old neighborhood, experts and scholars finding the significance of keeping these timeworn establishments.

Michael's Book Michael’s Book

With its legendary historical background and all the contemporary creative souls, this hutong is the new up and coming gem of Beijing.

Book a tour with us. Our Classic China series, which range from 11 to 13 days, all include Beijing as a destination. Our next departure is the Chinese Treasure trip that starts from Beijing and ends in Shanghai.

Classic China series:  Palace & Panda | Family Fun | Monuments & Mountains | Soul of Tibet | Chinese Treasure

Our Classic China series fuses our spirit of adventure and sense of luxury with China’s most iconic routes to create distinctive journeys especially designed for first time visitors. Rather than simply catching a glimpse of the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square, we bring you superior access to experts, local experiences, and exclusive venues so you can get beneath the surface and experience China differently. Feed and care for pandas alongside their rangers or practice taichi with locals at the Temple of Heaven. Experience the real China in style with our Classic China journeys.

Photo credits to 时尚廊Trends Lounge



Tags: beijing tours Best China Tour Operator China tour china travel guide .

August 4th, 2014

An Update on the Yunnan Earthquake and Our Future Trips

By: WildChina | Categories: WildChina Announcements

BBC News Provided the Epicenter Map BBC News Provided the Epicenter Map away from Tourists Area

Ludian, a remote county in Northeast Yunnan, experienced a 6.1-magnitude earthquake yesterday. No WildChina travelers or future trips are affected.                   

The WSJ Quake Epicenter Map The WSJ Quake Epicenter Ma


On August 3rd, a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck a rural part of Northeastern Yunnan. The epicenter was in a mountainous region largely covered by agricultural lands, far from the tourist centers of Dali and Lijiang in the South. No WildChina traveler or future trips will be affected by the earthquake.There have been reports of at least 381 casualties so far. We hope more lives can be saved through the rescue effort.

A total of 7,000 rescuers are working on disaster relief. Among those, 5,000 soldiers belonging to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from Chengdu are searching for more survivors and moving villagers out of the region. Government troops and the Red Cross Society of China also reacted immediately, distributing thousands of relief supplies and equipment. Relief goods were quickly handed out to people in the affected area. The surrounding villages and neighboring provinces have suffered a lesser degree of damage.

If you have an upcoming trip with us to Yunnan, Sichuan, or Guizhou, your WildChina travel consultant will get in touch with you.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Tags: .

July 15th, 2014

China Travel Tips for the First Time Visitor

By: WildChina | Categories: China tours, China Travel, China travel guide, China Travel Tips

First time to China?
China can appear daunting for the first time traveler. At first glance, the highways, skyscrapers, and streets lined with various shops and restaurants invoke recognizable home comforts, but the cultural and linguistic differences can catch you off guard. WildChina has put together these ‘survival’ tips that will help to prepare you for a smooth-sailing first time experience in China.China can catch travelers by surprise with the mix of east and west in its largest cities.China can catch travelers by surprise with the mix of east and west in its largest cities.

Food & drink
One of the highlights of any China trip will undoubtedly be the food. Though WildChina only takes clients to top restaurants throughout our journeys, if you are seeking a taste of Chinese local life and authenticity, street food vendors and small local restaurants are a popular stop, even if tried only once. Bear in mind: food from these vendors may look, smell and taste delicious, but western stomachs may not be so hasty to agree. We would recommend bringing some medications from home to sooth an upset stomach, just in case.

Some tasty street-side snacks!
Some tasty street-side snacks!

In China, tap water is not safe to drink. Bottled water is provided throughout our journeys, both in the hotels and our own vehicles. Water is also widely available from shops, restaurants, and street vendors.

There is a tendency for drinks to be served hot in China. Water, milk and even beer are commonly enjoyed warm! If you like cold drinks,  try adding bing (ice) before the name of your drink when ordering. Helpful words: bing shui (cold water)  bing piju (cold beer).

Outside the comfort of 5-star hotels and restaurants, you are more than likely to encounter a Chinese squat toilet, which, for no prizes, involves a hole in the floor that you squat over. Squat toilets can be found in local bars, restaurants, and at many attractions. At first glance you might not like these toilets, but next to the Western sit-down toilets, they can be seen as a more hygienic experience because you don’t have to touch anything in a squat toilet. Note: Toilet paper and hand soap are not always provided in toilets, so always have some tissues and hand sanitizer handy.

Cash vs. Card
While major shopping malls, restaurants and hotels accept foreign credit/bank cards, smaller establishments and stalls will prefer cash. Actually, China is traditionally a cash society so it is advisable to ensure there is always a comfortable amount of cash on hand for drinks, snacks, and small souvenirs.



Certain websites and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google (including Gmail) are blocked in China. If you need to access any of these during your trip, you will need to set up a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs redirect Internet connection to allow access to blocked sites. They are easy to set up and can be downloaded from the web and app stores for free or for a small price.


Have a safe first trip in China! If you have any questions, contact us at info@wildchina.com. 

Tags: China travel travel to China WildChina Travel Tips .

July 7th, 2014

And the winner of our 2014 WildChina Explorer Grant is…

By: WildChina | Categories: Uncategorized, WildChina Explorer Grant


Ricky Qi!


Ricky Qi Profile

Every year, it is not an easy task to choose a WildChina Explorer. This year we received piles of inspirational applications and fun videos, making the reviewing process a lot of fun! It’s exciting to see up-and-coming China explorers wanting to get their hiking boots dirty. However, with every contest, not everyone can be a winner (though I wish they could be!).

After a long deliberation among our judging panel, they chose Ricky and his continued pursuits in filming a feature-length documentary about the Mosuo people, China’s last matriarchal society. Hovering between the borders of Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, his filming adventure will lead him on a month-long trek via horse caravan to some of the most remote and least documented places in the lower Himalayas.

Ricky Qi in Action edit

[Left: Teammate. Right: Ricky]

The son of Chinese immigrants, Ricky spent his childhood in Southern California. His travels have taken him to destinations from the fabled Scottish Highlands to the deep reaches of the Karakoram in Central Asia. He has devoted his life to film, exploring the medium’s ability to transfigure an audience’s perception of culture, place, and time. For the past two years, Ricky has been producing and directing a documentary. We at WildChina are excited to be a part of his journey into northern Yunnan and to follow his documentary’s story from remote villages into the beyond.

Check out his documentary’s teaser here.

Follow his expeditions on Instagram @supplythelight.


Congratulations on winning the 2014 WildChina Explorer Grant, Ricky!



Tags: 2014 WildChina Explorer Grant WildChina Explorer Grant .


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