China is for lovers: where to go on Valentine's Day

Culture | by Amber Mizerak
Posted: February 10th, 2012 | Updated: February 21st, 2012 | Comments
Shanghai Bund Life is all about sharing and we here at Chinatravel want to share some good ideas with you, our loyal readers, so you can impress your loved one this Valentine's Day. Why? Because we want you to be happy and feel loved and then travel with your loved one all around China. Here are some Valentine's Day hotel deals for you to start with.


This Valentine's Day eat dessert first. Why not? Life is short. Celebrate your bond with that special someone by making something together, and, no, I don't mean babies. A few bakeries around Shanghai offer DIY (do it yourself) classes where you and your mate can whip together a tasty treat. More after the jump.... Meishi Meifu DIY Cake and Sweets Bakery offers English-speaking sweets-making classes on weekends. You and your special friend can grab an apron and make chocolate, cakes or pastries. What a great way to spend quality time together and then enjoy the fruits of your labor afterward. Call in advance so they can prepare your ingredients. Tel: (86 21) 6145 5242; Room 606, No. 2 Hongqiao International Mansion, Lane 1551 Changning Lu (Chángníng Lù, 长宁路); approximately RMB 150 If sweets aren't your thing, you can make pizza at Aike DIY Baking House. Or if you're like me and you don't really like the kitchen in general, there are plenty of other options when it comes to making things-try jewelry, candles, soap, T-shirts, or arts and crafts.Tel: (86 21) 5161 5657; Room 215, Shengda Mansion, 179 Guangji Lu (Guāngqǐ Lú, 盧光啟) Afterward, if you can still manage to work up an appetite, head for a romantic dinner. When I think romance, I think Italian food, red wine, pasta and dessert... who can pass up tiramisu? We heard good things about Casanova, an old house turned Italian restaurant on 913 Julu Lu (Jùlù Lù,巨鹿路). We also heard Whisk, a tucked away restaurant dedicated to chocolate, is worthy of a visit. To seal the deal at the end of a great night our friends at À la Carte Maps added a section on their new Shanghai  map that includes "Where to kiss in the 'Paris of the East.''' Their suggestions include the romantic gardens of Yong Foo Elite and the heady heights of the 85th floor in the Park Hyatt Shanghai infinity pool. Sounds dreamy. Want to know more? Head to their website to find out! For restaurant details check out SmartShanghai.


Lijiang Lupu Lake Many Chinese friends have told me Lijiang is the place to go for love. Whether it be the narrow old streets or the magical scenery, they are onto something. We recommend renting a boat on Lugu Lake. Not only will you witness the amazing natural beauty, but you will get a glimpse into the ways of the Mosuo people, a matriarchal minority group of about 40,000 who settled around Lugu Lake. They believe women rule in all matters of life—my kind of people! The women rarely marry—marriage didn't even exist until the 20th century and when lovers would visit, the custom was for the men to leave by dawn. But ladies, don't send your men packing just yet. The Banyan Tree Resort in Lijiang, the "Venice of the Orient," is a great place to cuddle. Their romance specialists know how to do romance right and will help to make your time there as warm and fuzzy as possible. (Private tours to Lugu Lake approximately RMB 2,000)


Yangshuo We've done some research and it looks like you won't be able to go hot air ballooning this year in Yangshuo, but there are plenty of other romantic things you can do. A local recommended a nice river cruise or raft trip. You can book a Xingping to view the karst peaks featured on the back of the 20 yuan note. Just you, your lover (and the driver of your boat) surrounded by the stunning landscape. I can feel the love already. (Private tours approximately RMB 800) And after a long day of admiring the jutting karst peaks head to The Pure Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant for the romantic ambiance, a tasty meal, even better wine and some quality time with the person you love. 7 Die Cui Lu (Diécuì Lù, 叠翠路)


Hangzhou's West Lake Water seems to be a theme on this list, but where better to visit than West Lake. One legend has it that a white snake transformed herself into a woman and seduced and then married a young scholar. Their love was not accepted and the white snake was imprisoned, but the scholar eventually rescued the white snake from captivity. How romantic. A boat ride on West Lake while being serenaded by a Chinese flute will put love in the air. Fuchun Resort, situated on the banks of Hangzhou's Fuchun River, offers an ancient Tibetan couples massage that is sure to please, and if that isn't enough, booking a room with a private outdoor Jacuzzi is a fine way to celebrate your love. (Approximately RMB 3,100)


Yunnan's Dali With love already in the air, it's hard to resist staying in Erhai Lake combined with a bottle of Yunnan wine equals an unforgettable romantic getaway. Luckily Yunnan is known for its beautiful weather year 'round. During the day couples can take a horse-cart ride to Erhai Lake or hike around in the fields taking in the local culture. (Approximately RMB 850) It's always nice to snuggle up to a movie with the person you love. You might want to check out Five Golden Flowers, a love story about the China's Baizu Minority people. We are romantics at heart, so if you are looking for other ideas, have no fear, we've got lots on romantic Chinese destinations here on the blog. Happy Valentine's Day! Love, the Chinatravel Team
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