Imperial Tours’ China Luxury Travel Blog
Yong Le (r. 1402-1424), the third Ming Emperor, moved the capital of China back to Beijing in order to fortify Northern China against the continuing threat of the bellicose Mongols. It was he that razed the palaces of Kublai Khan, built over a century earlier, to redesign the Forbidden and Imperial Cities in their new location slightly to the south-east. Since then, with only minor interruptions, the Forbidden City has served as an exclusive seat of government. Just as commoners were not allowed...
Upon arrival at Beijing's Capital International Airport, you will be met at the gate by airport VIP staff who will lead you through immigration, baggage claim and customs. The remainder of the evening is at leisure. Treat yourself to a swim or spa treatment, take a stroll in the local neighborhood, or dine at one of our recommended restaurants (Raffles Hotel - Landmark Room).
This morning we take you to one of ancient China's most sacred
Xi'an and its surrounding area is at the very heart of China's history. This city served as the capital seat of twelve dynasties for more than 1100 years, and its Wei valley is the legendary birthplace of Chinese civilization. It was here that the mythical Yellow Emperor (third millennium BC) conquered the other warring tribes to give birth to the Chinese nation.
Over the centuries successive capitals have changed their names and locations, as well as their characters. The remains of Ga...
Renowned for its numerous gardens and canals, Suzhou is frequently mislabeled as the "Venice of the East". Its size and trading volumes though once significant nonetheless do not warrant such a grandiose comparison. Rather, it is best to think of Suzhou as the most distinguished of a multitude of canal towns, dotted around the Yangzi delta.
Suzhou's history dates back to the early seventh century BC at which time the semi-mythical ruler, He Lu, of the Kingdom of Wu is said to have...
Shangri-La - is there another word so redolent of a utopia on the roof of the world? Since the publication of James Hilton's novel "Lost Horizon" in the 1930s, the western imagination has been gripped by the promise of an earthly paradise somewhere high in the Himalayas . Hilton had travelled in the region a few years before his novel was published, but never gave the exact location, and to this day it remains a mystery. (In a telling mirror image, Chinese culture has long been obs...
Few cities show as many contradictory aspects as westernized Shanghai. Those who glibly argue that this swinging city is all about money, not politics, should be reminded that the Chinese Communist Party was founded here. Others who see it as a city without a heart need only imagine the elation of those Jews who fled here from the Nazi Holocaust - at that time Shanghai was their only available refuge. Is Shanghai foreign or Chinese in essence, giving or grasping in nature, progressive or reactio...
Lying at China’s southern most point, Hainan Island has at various times been a Chinese penal colony, suffered invasion and exploitation by the Japanese, used as a port of free trade, and, in its current incarnation, is an island that China likes to compare with Hawaii. The comparison is not out of place as tourism and a naval base prop up the economies of both places.
The first Chinese to settle Hainan Island were the Li people. During the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC to 24 AD), man...
The picturesque old town of Lijiang , with its wooden buildings, canals and bridges, sits some 8,000 feet above man and time. It is situated in north-western Yunnan Province, about 100 miles directly to the west is Myanmar (Burma), a little further to the north-west is Tibet, while directly north, past the magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, is the Chinese province of Sichuan. Lijiang lies, then, at a crossroads between different worlds, a fact strongly represented in the history, languages...
According to ancient mythology the Yarlung valley - not Lhasa - is the homeland of the Tibetan people. The first Tibetan king stepped off a heavenly ladder onto earth not in Lhasa, but here. The Yarlung valley was also the kingly seat of the first Tibetan kings as well as their burial site. This being the case, why is Tibet's capital at Lhasa rather than in the Yarlung valley?
As with many aspects of Tibet's culture, the answer lies in her religious life. For Tibet's original Buddhi...
From 1120 in the Northern Song dynasty to the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911, Huangshan was located in what was known as the Huizhou prefecture.
Devotees of the "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms", a Chinese historical fiction that describes the warring period from 220-280 A.D., will be thrilled to learn that a former residence of General Caocao is located in Huizhou, and that near to it, nine Cao family tombs have been discovered.
Notwithstanding this third century claim to fame,...
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