Cycling in China visiting tourist sites
Traveling means visiting sites which means buying entrance tickets. In the years on the road I have visited many sites. Many of those site I had to pay to get in. I got an entrance ticket and there I went in.
Although many of the tourist sites were great, think about the Acropolis in Athens, or Angkor Wat in Cambodia, not all the tickets were great too.
A collection of entrance tickets is like having a collection of photos. Or you reading your dairies. Some people want to go back in time, they have the desire for a time machine. Photos, diaries and.... entrance tickets are such time machines.
But be careful, don't stay in the past. Bruce Springsteen sings:
"Memories come back to haunt you,
It's not that bad of course but memories, as we all know can be intense. When I decided to come to Malaysia and live here for awhile, I decided to bring my photos, slides, diaries and also my saved entrance tickets.
Gyantse, the fabulous Palcho monastery in Tibet
Now, looking at those tickets, many memories come back. But when I look closer, most of the tickets come from China. I do remember I was every time surprised how much work the Chinese made of the tickets. Look for yourself. Even when I came back to some sites, the tickets had been changed. A good example are the tickets of the Potala in Lhasa, Tibet. I went twice in the Potala, and I got twice different tickets. And twice the tickets were worth to keep. Look here:
Twice a ticket for the Potala in Lhasa
China was probably the country with the nicest entrance tickets I found. Some tickets were quite sophisticated. The Terracotta Warriors Museum in Xi'an had nice little plastic cards that looked like entrance tickets in the Beijing (and other) metros.
The Terracotta army museum also gave a little booklet with basic info in English and Chinese as an entrance ticket.
Does it mean in other countries you don't get nice tickets? Not in India where I have visited many magnificent sites. The ticket for the Taj Mahal was nothing much to mention.
The same goes for every other site I visited in India. Some tickets in Europe look good too. However, it seems in China they really want to impress the visitor right from the start.
Even small and unknown temples, in China you usually have to pay to enter a temple, were nice done.
And in case printing a nice ticket with a picture is either too expensive or pictures are not available, someone simply makes a drawing and prints it on a cheap piece of paper. It still looks good. Like the ticket for Moonhill near Yangshuo in south China:
Moonhill Yangshuo, a ticket on thin cheap paper, and it still looks nice
But even in more remote areas, fewer tourists visit, still the tickets look nice. In the south of Baoshan, there are a few quite interesting sites to visit. In Manxi, not far from the Burmese border, I visited a temple:
Minzu Wenhuagong, Manxi Baoshan China
And a sacred tree. Even though I suspected this was just another way to make a little money from tourist visiting, I got a quite nice ticket, printed on solid paper:
Parks in China
During my first visits in China, many of the remin (peoples) parks were not free for tourists.
The Green Lake Park is nowadays (at least it was in early 2006) free for everybody but during my first visit I had to pay a few yuan for entering. The park itself was quite nice and I received another of those nice entrance tickets.
Ticket for the Green Lake Park in Kunming Yunnan
Sometimes I saw the locals paying also. I found they get less nice looking tickets then me. So I started to search for those too.
As I can't put all the tickets on this page, I created a page with just entrance tickets. It's a photo page only so it may load a bit slow. Be patient please, the tickets are worth a look.
New! CommentsHave your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
The importance of Maps
Traveling without a map generates certain problems, I always have one with me. They are good companions and excellent ways to make new friends.
Traveling deep into Tibet
Mount Kailash, Namtso lake and Drikung monastery are not on everybody's "to do" list in Tibet. However, it is a magnificent 3 days trip, you organize yourself in Lhasa.
Accommodation in China
Finding accommodation in China is seldom difficult and can be dirt cheap, if you are traveling outside the usual tourist trails.