Ctripper posts come to us directly from the good folks at Ctrip, China's top online travel services provider (and proud sponsor of ChinaTravel.net). Stay tuned for Ctrip special offers, travel tips, news on new travel deals and products, and slices of life-in-China from Ctrip staff and interns.
Roll up, roll up, it's Ctrip competition time again and boy, have we got a summer contest for you—Win Your Dream China Vacation!
Starting August 1, we challenge you to Shanghai where you'll begin your adventure. Your journey can take in up to four cities and also includes two nights of Art Deco decadence at Shanghai's 5-star Fairmont Peace Hotel!
The winner will be chosen by a public vote, so you'll have to get creative to stand out from the crowd. And with China chock-full of Beijing, or the breathtaking landscapes of Guilin? The newly-minted metropolis of Shenzen, or the exotic jungles of Xishuangbanna? To give a little food for thought, we turned to the Ctrip English team to see where our eclectic bunch of China travelers would head:
"… I'd recommend Lijiang or Dali and Jiuzhaigou then my next stop would be Sanya and... maybe Tibet" said the Marketing Department's Shirleen Yu.
"Beijing," was the decisive answer from Lu Yin, also from marketing. "It's the capital of China, just like Paris in France or London in the UK. It's a must-see city."
Ctrip and China Travel editor Aimee Groom suggested Yangshuo, explaining: "For me it was the archetypal image of rural China; rice paddies, water buffalo, karst mountains, bamboo rafts and cormorants... even though the town itself is touristy, you can quickly get beyond that and out to a place where things move at a slower pace."
Picking a destination is only half the battle of course—you've also got to decide what to see when you get there. So back to the Ctrip crew, whose must-see China attractions ranged from the Xi'an City Walls to the mysterious lake monster of Jilin's Lake Tianchi. One thing that had everyone in agreement though, was that there was a landmark that no one visiting China should miss:
"The Great Wall, it's… great! It's like a huge dragon on the mountains, and you can even see it from outer space" exclaimed Winnie Wang from the Activities Department.
"The Great Wall, because it is truly spectacular and exceeded my expectations," said Hayden Yogman from Ctrip's Marketing Department.
Hayden goes on to point out however, that sometimes the best attractions are just the daily life of any town.
"I think in any city, getting out of the hotel and the tourist traps to see the actual street life is important. Seeing what people sell in the markets, how they interact, etc. This is when you really learn about the world outside of your bubble."
One great way to break out of those tourist comfort zones is to tuck into some local foods.
Editor Sascha Matuszak, for example, recommends sampling some Inner Mongolian and Tibetan delicacies such as, "Yak milk yogurt, horse yogurt, camel yogurt and rose tea."
If your tastebuds aren't quite up to that, don't worry, you certainly won't go hungry. As translator Cindy Fan says, "There are too many good restaurants worth a visit in China."
The final ingredient for any China travel itinerary is a place to rest your head after a long day of sightseeing. Where do our Ctrippers suggest staying?
"I'd recommend the Yangshuo Resort Hotel. I had a relaxed vacation there. It has very new, nice facilities and the hotel organizes activities like caving" said translator Vivian (苗一凡).
"The SWFC tower, 'cause it's quite a view," said designer Brice Bougreau.
"The Jiuzhaigou and offers stunning views. LIVE IN PARADISE!"
If you can't live in paradise, then at least seize the chance to visit and Win Your Dream Vacation with Ctrip!
So mull, imagine and dream of all that China has to offer and take a step toward making it reality... get your thinking cap and create your perfect China itinerary—we can't wait to see your ideas!