Prince William's China tour started on March 1 and ended on March 4, at the invitation of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs. The four-day tour, which marked the first visit to mainland China by a British royal in 30 years, was done in Beijing, Shanghai, and Yunnan. If you haven't been following, read on the useful travel tips to find out what the Duke of Cambridge did and visited in China alongside.
Even for Prince William, the Forbidden City is a must-go. Sticking with the initial plan, he visited the Hall of Supreme Harmony, Hall of Central Harmony, and Hall of Preserving Harmony. "Phenomenal" is the word he used to describe the scale and detail of the Chinese imperial palace.
The awe-inspiring Forbidden City
Besides the brief tour, Prince William also went to the Shijia Hutong Museum, a historic courtyard property hidden behind the modern hotels and trendy boutiques of Wangfujing Street. This neighborhood once dwelled some of China's top famous writers, artists, and diplomats, and was renovated last year under the cooperation of the local municipal government and the Prince's Charities Foundation China owned by Prince William's father, Prince Charles.
Everyone loves the Forbidden City, so it would be unnecessary to explain why you should put it on your Beijing-to-do list. Speaking of Shijia Hutong Museum, as it was launched last year, some improvement would be needed. In comparison, living Hutongs in Houhai and Shishahai are of greater value to peek into the local's life.
Hutong is a shortcut to the folk cultures of Beijing.
Shanghai is often embedded in any China tour just as this 13-Day Colorful China with Yunnan suggests. While in Shanghai, the first stop for Prince William was the Shanghai Dragon Art Museum, where he opened the Great Festival of Creativity for 2015 the UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange. In the evening, he attended the premiere of the Paddington film at the Shanghai Film Museum, a well-information place for film buffs to easily spend a day without a dull moment.
Shanghai is never short of art and culture. The dynamic city is dubbed the "city of the future" while the meantime, well maintaining the traditional customs observed through centuries. In addition to where Prince William visited, the Bund, Tianzifang (an arts enclave), and the French Concession are recommended a go. You may also check out the 5 unique things to do in Shanghai.
The Bund in the daytime
Tianzifang develops from a renovated residential area.
On the final day of his China visit, Prince William arrived in Xishuangbanna, an autonomous prefecture of Yunnan province. He was warmly welcomed by locals from the Dai minority village and poured with "lucky water", which is seen as a gesture of blessing. The Duke tasted Zongzi (glutinous rice dumplings in bamboo leaves) and learned what measures locals take to co-exist with the wild elephants. After visiting a wildlife sanctuary called Elephant Valley, he delivered a key speech at the Botanical Gardens, focusing on conservation and the illegal wildlife trade.
Xishuangbanna is famous for its minority cultures, natural resources, and wildlife amounts. However, the tour expense is much higher than in the other Yunnan cities like Dali, where minority customs also are well-preserved, and Shangri-la, a harmonious valley with amazing natural landscapes.
Yunnan is a rising destination thanks to its rich minority cultures and simple lifestyle.
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