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.

November 11th, 2014

Listen for WildChina CEO, Mei Zhang on NPR

By: WildChina | Categories: Beijing, China Travel, WildChina Announcements, Zhang Mei

We knew that this week’s APEC conference would bring leaders from the world over to Beijing to discuss important policy issues, but we didn’t expect an announcement that would directly affect WildChina!

Last night, just before the official start of APEC, President Obama announced a reciprocal agreement with China to grant 10 year travel and business visas.

Others had made the connection that this was big news for WildChina – and for our outbound travel department, Beshan – and sure enough, at 7am this morning, our CEO and founder, Mei Zhang received a call from NPR’s Morning Edition asking for her take on the new policy.


meizhang-5 copy Founder and CEO, Mei Zhang at the Forbidden City

These new visas, effective tomorrow, mean that Chinese travelers will have an easier time visiting the US. They also mean that, for our US clients, after you come and fall in love with China for the first time, you’ll be able to return time and again to explore all the layers of this fascinating country – all without the hassle of reapplying for a new visa.

Those in the US tuning into NPR on your way to work, listen in for Mei at 6am Eastern Time. And if you miss it, just head on over to the Morning Edition site for the segment.



Tags: APEC visa .

October 28th, 2014

Rosewood Brings Ultra-Luxury to Beijing

By: Kayla Paramore | Categories: WildChina Announcements, WildChina Travel Tips

Photo credit: Hospitalitynet.org

Rosewood Hotel Group, known for their ultra-luxury brand and curated local experiences, has opened their first Asia property in Beijing. The hotel is lavished with curated art pieces making the whole experience like a living gallery. Rosewood focuses on giving guests a ‘sense of place,’ hand-selecting experiences for an authentic taste of the city where they stay. Our very own, Mei Zhang, CEO of WildChina, was chosen as one of the hotel’s two curators for Beijing and offers her own unique Beijing experience suggestions to Rosewood guests. The hotel is located in Beijing’s Chaoyang district, just across from the iconic CCTV tower, and has 283 rooms and suites, beginning at 50 square meters, some of the largest in the city.

Visit the website for more details.



Tags: RosewoodBeijing WildChina Travel Tips .

August 14th, 2014

Sixth Year in a Row! Travel+Leisure Names Mei Zhang Top Travel Agent for China

By: Megan McDowell | Categories: In the News, 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.”

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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 In the News Mei Zhang travel in China WildChina .

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: WildChina Experts Yunnan Earthquake .

September 2nd, 2013

WildChina Update: Earthquake in Yunnan

By: WildChina | Categories: WildChina Announcements, WildChina Travel Tips

On Saturday, August 31st, a 5.8-magnitude earthquake occurred China’s southwestern province of Yunnan.  The quake hit the counties of Shangri-La and Deqin, on the border with Sichuan, at 8:04 a.m. local time.

No WildChina travelers have been hurt or seriously affected by the incident.

Local authorities have reported 3 casualties and 50-plus injured, mostly due to landslides caused by the quake.

The roads connecting Shangri-La and Deqin have been blocked by landslides, and the Songtsam Benzilan and Songstam Meili hotels in the area are also temporarily closed due to power outages.

Since Saturday, over 300 aftershocks have been recorded by the China Earthquake Networks Center, with the largest measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale. In the short term, the Tibetan Autonomous Region of Deqin recommend tourists and residents in Shangri-La not visit Tiger Leaping Gorge, Meili Snow Mountain and Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey National Park.  Local tourism authorities have also shut down some scenic spots to avoid potential risks.

If you are a WildChina traveler and had a trip planned to Shangri-La, one of our travel consultants will be in touch with you or you can email us at: info@wildchina.com.

Much of western China, and its neighboring areas of Central Asia, is prone to earthquakes caused by the impact of the Indian Plate into the Eurasia Plate. Over time, this collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates has lead to the formation of the Himalayan Mountains, the Tibetan Plateau, and the mountains of southwest China, Central Asia and the Hindu Kush.


UPDATE – September 10, 2013:

There are currently no restrictions on traveling to Shangri-La, though access to some of the more remote regions in Yunnan continues to be affected.

If you intend to travel to northern Yunnan–specifically to Meili, Deqin or Weixi, please note that the road heading west from Nixi is currently closed. This restricts access to Songstam Lodges (Meili/Benzilan) and to western Sichuan via Derong. Songstam Meili is scheduled to reopen to the public on September 17th, while Songstam Benzilan will remain closed until further notice. 

If you are planning to visit the Yading nature reserve (Sichuan), the road to Xiangcheng from Shangri-La is open, though it is in poor condition and WildChina does not recommend taking it during this period. In addition, the road between between Tibet and northern Yunnan remains closed.

We are paying close attention to the situation and will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.


Tags: .

August 30th, 2013

WildChina Update: Earthquake in Urumqi

By: WildChina | Categories: WildChina Announcements

BREAKING – August 30, 2013

At 1:27 p.m. local time, a 5.1-magnitude earthquake was registered by the China Earthquake Networks Center in Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China.   The epicenter was at a depth of 12 kilometers (approximately 7.5 miles).

As of 3:44 p.m. today, no casualties or injuries have been reported. There are currently no WildChina travelers in the area of the earthquake.

As with all earthquakes of this magnitude and higher, visitors and residents are advised to travel with care and be mindful of aftershocks.

We at WildChina will continue to monitor the situation and provide any updates that become available.



Tags: wild China WildChina WildChina travel xinjiang xinjiang earthquake Xinjiang Travel .

March 25th, 2013

Photography in Jiuzhaigou: Snap the shutter, roll on adventure

By: WildChina | Categories: Adventure Travel in China, Exclusive Access China, WildChina Announcements

Jiuzhaigou National Park isn’t as likely to be visited by people traveling to China as the Great Wall is–but it should be.

This region represents an oasis of natural beauty striking enough to rival Yosemite National Park and the Galapagos Islands. Indeed, this breath taking landscape is the very reason WildChina has teamed up with National Geographic photographer Michael Yamashita to offer a photography trip to this “picture perfect” destination.

For those of you on the road to becoming the next Ansel Adams, this adventure provides an exciting opportunity to hone your skills.

Jiuzhaigou–a UNESCO World Heritage Site and World Biosphere Reserve–is a national park worthy of the international recognition it has received.

Home to exotic birds and the giant panda, Jiuzhaigou is a China wildlife safari all unto itself.

But honestly, can you blame these creatures for making their homes in the area? Book now to reserve yourself a spot in the neighborhood from April 2-8.

Throughout your adventure in this utopia Michael Yamashita will be at your side ensuring you get the most out of both your shots and the experience.

If you are interested in this journey be sure to reach out to us sooner than later as April is around the corner and spots on this adventure are getting snapped up faster than the shutter on your camera.


 If you are curious about participating in this journey, or have other questions about travel in China, send us an email at info@wildchina.com and we will be happy to assist you.

For those of you looking for a fantastic photography adventure to another region of China, WildChina also offers an expedition along the Silk Road with Sean Gallagher. Sean’s work has appeared in publications including TIME Magazine, The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, Der Spiegel and National Geographic China. In 2010, he was the official photographer for the visit of British Prime Minister, David Cameron, to China. If you’re up for a focused look at this ancient highway look no further.


Tags: Ansel Adams Gallagher Jiuzhaigou Jiuzhaigou National Park Michael Yamashita Sean Gallagher Shangri-la UNESCO wild China WildChina WildChina travel World Biosphere Reserve World Heritage Site China .

March 13th, 2013

Can I breathe that?

By: WildChina | Categories: Environment, WildChina Announcements, WildChina Travel Tips

Stories of pollution in China are all over the news. In the midst of this flurry of information, you probably have a lot of questions about what exactly it all means.

To start, what is the cause of all the pollution?

(Beijing on a clearer day and on a more polluted day)

Although car exhaust does contribute, the majority of the pollution arises from China’s heavy industry–in particular its steel production. Although the tools exist in these plants to limit their emissions, the issue is complicated by the conflict of private and public industry.  While it is difficult to say what steps China will be taking the future, it is definitely not an issue that has escaped the notice, or the ire, of the country’s population which is putting more pressure on the government to figure it all out.

For now though, you are probably wondering–what does this mean for me and my family when traveling to China?  Right off the bat, the best person to give you answers is your doctor. Not only do they know your individual medical history, but they are also trained health professionals who know the ins and outs of the possible effects of air pollution–the rest of us decided long ago that 5+ years of graduate school wasn’t in the cards.

All of China isn’t polluted all of the time.

If you are on a WildChina adventure, chances are you won’t be spending your time where the pollution is at its worst: in China’s 2nd and 3rd-tiered cities (these are cities smaller than Beijing and Shanghai but larger than Shangri-La). The rural provinces such as Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guizhou all boast air clean enough to rival that of the Rockies. In the main cities, like Beijing and Shanghai, it’s true that we’ve had those rare, “crazy bad” days that attracted so much attention, but those are few and far between. Both Beijing and Shanghai have large communities of expats from all over the world who have yet to be turned away by bad air. In fact, most days, Beijing has the capacity to look like the picture below–which is #nofilter and completely unedited.

(Blue skies over the Forbidden City in Beijing)

If you’re planning a trip to China, feel free to contact us for the latest updates on the current environmental situation. We monitor both the current and projected pollution levels and can advise you accordingly. For clients who are interested, we can also provide face masks that cover the nose and mouth in case you hit a bad day during your time here–just let us know in advance so we can have them ready for you when you arrive. Traveling to new places always means new conditions we are not familiar with. We feel the most important thing on any journey is to be informed on your destination before you set out. Our hope is that this post has provided you with useful information.


If you have any other questions about pollution or travel in China, feel free to send us an email at info@wildchina.com and we will be happy to assist you.

pollution comparison photo by BBC News, Forbidden City photo by Minnie Kim


Tags: air pollution in China China air pollution Forbidden City Guangxi Guizhou wild China WildChina WildChina travel Yunnan .

February 7th, 2013

It’s all about the love

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

Travel + Leisure is once again conducting their World’s Best Survey, a comprehensive look at the very finest organizations in all things travel. The survey covers airlines, airports, cities, cruise lines, destination spas, hotels, islands, rental-car agencies, and–most importantly!–tour operators.  Survey closes the first week of April.

If you have enjoyed traveling with us in the past year, jump on the link above and let us know your thoughts. WildChina works hard around the clock to provide the best possible experience we can for our travelers in China. If we’ve done that for you in the last year, show us some love! Until next time, safe travels.


If you have any other questions about travel in China send us an email at info@wildchina.com and we will be happy to assist you.

Image by Travel + Leisure

Tags: Travel + Leisure wild China WildChina WildChina travel World's Best Awards .

February 7th, 2013

WildChina’s Beijing Office Closed for Chinese New Year

By: WildChina | Categories: WildChina Announcements

WildChina’s Beijing office will be closed February 9th through 15th for China’s Spring Festival (better known as Chinese New Year). During this time the U.S. offices will remain open to answer any of your travel questions. If you are thinking about travel this spring, now is the time to start planning!

Send us an email at info@wildchina.com and we will be happy to answer your questions.

Happy Year of the Snake!

Tags: Chinese New Year Spring Festival wild China WildChina WildChina travel Year of the Snake .


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