China & Hong Kong
Spotlight on China & Hong Kong
China is a different world. From shop-till-you-drop metropolises to the epic grasslands of Inner Mongolia, China is a land of cultural and geographic diversity. The yin of revolutionary zeal is being balanced by the yang of economic pragmatism. China is a country of great contrasts, with picturesque rural landscapes and congested cityscapes, and natural beauty ranging from the untamed to the idyllic - from the windswept plains of the Gobi Desert and Mt. Everest's notorious northern face to Yángshuò's gorgeous karst scenery. China is huge and wild enough to satisfy your explorer instinct, and is a great rollercoaster ride for anyone with a little time and an instinct for travel.
Beijing is the country's economic, cultural and transportation center as well as a famous historical capital of China. Located in northwest North China Plain, Beijing is the second largest city in China with a population of more than 11 million and is ideal to visit all year. There are numerous museums and libraries with the largest collection of books in the country. It also serves as a center for science and technology. It is a hub of communications, with good railroad and air links with all parts of China and with major cities of the world, thus facilitating the rapid development of tourism as an important industry in Beijing. Beijing is an ancient city with a long cultural history. The four feudal dynasties--Jin, Yuan, Ming, and Qing had all set up their capital here and it became a most concentrated place of the country's scenic spots and historical sites. The best known are the Palace Museum, the Summer Palace, the Great Wall and the Temple of Heaven. Beijing aims to develop into a modern international metropolis.
Important sites in Beijing: Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, the Great Wall, Ming Tomb, Tiananmen Square, Hutong, Lama Temple, Beihai Park, Beijing Capital Museum, Yashow Market .
Hong Kong – As Asia’s premier gateway to China and Southeast Asia, Hong Kong offers a great travel experience. Visitors will find everything from hiking, horse racing and sailing to internationally renowned art galleries and lively art festivals. Some of the best hotels, dining and shopping in the world are found in this metropolis. Hong Kong is one of the world’s great cities and a delightful realm of natural wonders and serene rural villages. With its wealth of cultural attractions, Hong Kong invites exploration and inspires interest to even the most experienced traveler. Sights include Museum of History – which houses a collection of archaeological finds and historic photographs providing an introduction to Hong Kong’s history. Cultural Center is the city’s newest performing arts venue. The Space Museum’s dome, where Omnimax shows and astronomy exhibits are featured, is nearby. Adjacent is the Museum of Art. Stanley Market is an open-air market for browsing and finding bargains in fashions, leather, porcelain, and linens. Jade Market is a specialty market featuring 450 stalls with jade items.
Xi'an - with five million inhabitants and capital of Shaanxi Province - is one of the more pleasant of Chinese cities, more prosperous than any other city in inland China except Chengdu, with streets full of Japanese cars, stores flooded with temptations, and stylish locals in new discos. It's far richer than the surrounding area, a fact which becomes clear after a bus ride into surrounding plains. The city is also a primer in Chinese history, as between 1000 BC and 1000 AD it served as imperial capital for eleven dynasties. Find a wealth of important sites and relics hereabouts: Neolithic Banpo, the Terracotta Army of the Qin emperor, the Han and Tang imperial tombs, and in the city itself, the Goose Pagodas of the Tang, the Bell and Drum towers and Ming city walls, as well as two museums holding a treasury of relics from the most glamorous parts of Chinese history. The city is very popular with foreign residents, and many come to study, as the colleges are regarded as some of the best places to learn Chinese.
Important sites in Xian: Terra-cotta Army, Banpo Museum, Shaanxi Provincial Museum, Xian Great Mosque, Huaqing Hotspring, City Wall, Big Goose Pagoda, Forest of Stone Steles Museum .
Shanghai - Shanghai is a teeming metropolis of 11 million, bustling with energy, towering skyscrapers, art deco buildings, honking traffic, and shopping crowds. Once here, visitors will find Eastern ways abound: Tai Chi along the Bund, the serenity of exquisite ponds and gardens, and an endless flotilla of sampans edging along the Huangpu River. Explore Shanghai old and new: the busy bazaars and alleyways of the Old Town, Yu Garden, Wuxingting Tea House, Long Hua Temple and more.
Important sites in Shanghai: Shanghai Bund, Shanghai Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai Xin Tian Di, Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Huangpu River .
Guilin is known for its enticing and unique scenery. Chinese often refer to it as the world's most beautiful scenery, and its beauty can be acknowledged after a tranquil trip down the Lijiang. Over centuries many poets and painters have been drawn here and have praised the beauty of Guilin in their works. Du Fu, a very famous poet of Tang Dynasty so said of its climate: "When it is scorchingly hot everywhere in the Five Ridges, only Guilin has temperate weather." Guilin offers travelers a number of interesting sights.
Important sites in Guilin: The Li River, The Reed Flute Cave, Seven Star Park, Guilin Folded Brocade Hill, Fubo Hill, Elephant Trunk Hill, Fubo Hill, Solitary Beauty Hill, Longji Terraced Field in Longsheng, Fengyu Cave in Lipu County Guilin
Yangtze River – The Yangtze is the longest Asian river, about 3,400 mi long. It rises in the Kunlun Mountains in Qinghai (Tsinghai) Province, and flows to its mouth in the East China Sea, about 14 miles north of Shanghai. Ocean-going vessels may navigate the river to Hankou, a distance of almost 600 miles from the sea. For about 200 miles inland from its mouth, the river is virtually at sea level. The delta flows through Jiangsu Province, largely a deltaic plain consisting of silt deposited by the Yangtze and one of the chief rice-growing areas of China.
Important places and sites along Yangtze River: Chongqing City, Fengdu, Baoshizha, Wanxian, Shennong Stream, Lesser Three Gorges, Three Gorges, Three Gorges Dam and Yichang City, Wuhan City etc.
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