Thursday, July 15, 2010

Zhouzhuang water town

Zhouzhang is known as the Venice of the East. It is the most famous water town in China. Situated only 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Suzhou and is noted for its profound cultural background and the well preserved ancient residential houses. This ancient town has a history of more than 900 years with many houses built in the Ming and Qing dynasties. There are about 100 houses with courtyards, and 60 of them have arch gateways made by carved bricks.

Zhouzhuang is surrounded by four lakes and the most spectacular of this are the water lanes and the stone bridges, mostly constructed during the Yuan, Qing and Ming dynasties. 

Zhouzhuang actually means the town of the Zhou family. Many of the houses here are open to public and you can see how the ancient people of China lived their everyday lives. This town is preserved very well and there are much to learn and see in Zhouzhuang. 

One of the most famous houses here is the Shen House built in 1742. Over 100 rooms are divided into three sections and each one is connected by arcades and aisles. The house was built by a millionaire merchant, who made his fortune from the silk trade. Here you will be able to see the Qint’s style complex which consists of several buildings and rooms connected to each other for different purposes, such as family visits, business meetings, the daughter’s room and the family room.  You will also be able to see the ancient safe where the owner hid his grand fortune in. 

Back on the water lane there are many places to stop and enjoy.  The double bridge, which from an angle looks like a dragon. It is two stone bridges that is connected at a corner of the street. There are many stone bridges here and all are unique features. Another famous sight is where you can see a bridge under a bridge, because of the distance you can see one bridge under an another.

A trip to Zhouzhuang can easily be combined with a trip to Shanghai and the World Expo. For more, check out

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

West Lake

"My soul can never get away from Hangzhou, half of the reason is regarding
the lake."

These are the words composed by the famous Song Dynasty poet Su Dongpo (960-1127) when he compared the West Lake to Xi Zi, the most beautiful woman in ancient China. These poetic sentiments leave one in no doubt of the glory of the scenery that inspired them.

Originally a shallow sea inlet, due to the laying down of silt this 5.68 square kilometers (about 1,404 acres) of water became the famous West Lake. With an average depth of just five feet the lake comprises five distinct sections. The largest part is known as the Outer Lake and it is bounded by the North Inner Lake, Yuehu Lake, West Inner Lake and Lesser South Lake. Held in the embrace of hilly peaks on three sides, this water wonderland has been an attraction for centuries and it is small wonder that it was a favorite imperial retreat. The lake and its environs have all the elements of a traditional Chinese garden but on a grand scale. The natural setting of strangely shaped peaks, serene forests and springs, dense foliage and a myriad of blossoms especially in springtime are enhanced by a treasury of sculpture and architectural features. Whatever the season, the panorama is pleasing to the eye and the nuances of light shade together with the moods of the weather present an ever-changing picture that justifiably has been described as 'intoxicating'.

A number of specific features can be singled out as worthy of particular note. To the south of centre of the Outer Lake is a man made island known as the Island of Little Oceans, that encloses four small lakes. From here one can view the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon when at night candles are lit in stone lanterns jutting out of the water thus creating the impression of the reflections of three moons. The scene is truly magical on the night of the Autumn Moon Festival. Solitary Hill Island lies between the Outer Lake and the north Inner Lake and is an ideal spot from which to admire the vista. The nearby Two Peaks Embracing the Sky is another impressive sight, especially when crossing the lake by boat.

Near to the lake can be found the Ling Yin Temple in its woodland setting near to Fei Lai Feng (Peak Flown From Afar). Legend has it that this limestone peak flew from India where it had formed part of a holy mountain. These are of particular interest to Buddhists and those who have a love of sculpture and art. The Mausoleum of General Yue Fei is a monument to the patriot who was murdered in 1141 at the behest of his archrival Qin Hui, the Song prime minister. These buildings like others in the vicinity of the lake such as the slender Six Harmonies Pagoda add to the calm and beauty of their surroundings.

No visitor to the West Lake and Hangzhou can fail to learn something of this city's most famous products, namely silk and Longjing (Dragon Well) Tea. Since the Tang Dynasty (618-907) silk products from Hangzhou have found their way all over the world. The National Silk Museum is the first Chinese national museum to be dedicated to silk culture and is the largest of its kind in the world. A similar museum is dedicated as homage to tea. Located at the West Lake Dragon Well Tea Plantation, the National Tea Museum provides a fascinating insight into the history and production of Chinese tea. Often referred to as the 'wonders of West Lake' Longjing (Dragon Well) tea and Hupao (Running Tiger) Fountain is each worthy of the attention of the visitor.

Another natural spectacle to be found here is the tidal bore of the Qiantang River that has enthralled people for centuries. Overlooking the river estuary stands the 13 storey high Six Harmonies Pagoda. Dating from 970 and built on the site of an earlier pagoda that served as a lighthouse, the name refers to the six codes of Buddhism i.e. harmony of the body, speech and thought and the renunciation of personal pleasure, opinions and wealth. A climb to the top of the pagoda carries the reward of an impressive view over the river.

Crossing the river is the Qiantang River Bridge. This is the first two-tier bridge to have been designed and built by Chinese engineers in modern times. The other great feat of much earlier engineering is the Grand Canal. Linking Hangzhou in the south with Beijing in the north, this is the longest man-made waterway in China and surpasses both the Suez and Panama canals.

We hope that this introduction to the delights of the area surrounding the West Lake will tempt you to visit them for yourself. You can be assured that the splendid and diverse landscape will remain long in your memory as you call to mind tour sites to be found south of the Yangtze River.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Zhujiajiao water twon

Located in a suburb of Shanghai City, Zhujiajiao is an ancient water town well known throughout the country, with a history of more than 1700 years. Covering an area of 47 square kilometers, the little fan-shaped town glimmers like a bright pearl in the landscape of lakes and mountains.

Endowed with another elegant name - 'Pearl Stream' - the little town is the best preserved among the four ancient towns in Shanghai. Unique old bridges across bubbling streams, small rivers shaded by willow trees, and houses with courtyards attached all transport people who have been living amidst the bustle and hustle of the modern big city to a brand-new world full of antiquity, leisure and tranquility.

Bridges in the Town:
It is said that to visit Zhujiajaio without seeing the bridges means that you have not really been to Zhujiajiao at all! Bridges in the town are distinctive and old, built during Ming and Qing Dynasties. The old town is thoroughly connected by 36 delicate spans in different shapes and styles, from wooden to stone to marble.

Small bridges are seen very easily there. Fangsheng Bridge (Setting-fish-free Bridge) is the longest, largest and tallest stone bridge, with five openings both in Zhujiajiao and in the Shanghai region. This bridge was built in 1571. On the bridge stands a stone tablet named Dragon Gate Stone, which is engraved with 8 coiling dragons encircling a shining pearl. On top of the bridge are 4 lifelike stone lions.

Lang Bridge (Veranda Bridge), also named Huimin Bridge, is the only wooden bridge and the most featured span in this town. It has wooden bars on the two sides and upturned eaves above, just like a narrow corridor.

North Street - Ancient Street:
In the town, there is an ancient street filled with representative ancient buildings from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, attracting great numbers of domestic and foreign tourists. That is North Street, which is the best-preserved ancient street in this suburb of Shanghai. Only one kilometer long, the whole street is at once primitively simple, yet very elegant. Strolling on this ancient thoroughfare and appreciating the historic buildings, long-established stores, and old bridges as well as the many narrow lanes is another enjoyment.

Zhujiajiao boasts imposing gardens as well as ancient dwellings built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Among the ancient architecture, Ke Zhi Yuan is the largest manorial garden in the town. The garden is commonly named 'Ma Family Garden' after a former host named Ma Wenqin.

Located in Xijin Street in the northern part of town, Ke Zhi Yuan features beautiful sightseeing and quiet and secluded surroundings. It consists mainly of three parts, including a hall area, an artificial hill area and a garden area. In the artificial hill area, there is magnificent symbolic architecture - a foursquare five-story building, on the top of which stands a diametric pavilion named 'Moon View Pavilion.' This building is considered the tallest architecture in the town.

The scenic spots outlined here are just a sampling of the pretty attractions of Zhujiajiao. Old narrow lanes, peculiar stone hawsers on the riverside and old residences also make you enjoy yourself so much as to forget to go home.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Yuyuan Garden

YuyuanYuyuan Garden is believed to have been built during the Ming Dynasty, more than 400 years ago. The exquisite layout, beautiful scenery and the artistic style of the garden architecture have made the garden one of the highlights of Shanghai.

Yuyuan literally translated means Happy Garden. It is located in the center of Shanghai's Old City, a few blocks south of the Bund. It has a total area of about two hectares (five acres) and more than 40 attractions The inner and outer gardens were both built in the Ming Dynasty classical style, with numerous rock and tree garden areas, ponds, dragon-lined walls and numerous doorways and zigzagging bridges separating the various garden areas and pavilions.

The garden covers a significant space and includes a few halls and other buildings of interest. Its cultural relics include: century-old furniture, calligraphy and paintings of famous artists, clay sculptures and brick carvings, some inscriptions and couplets.

One of the highlights of the garden is the Exquisite Jade Rock. It is a 5-ton, porous, beautifully-shaped, grotesque rock, which is said to have been carried from Taihu (Tai Lake) in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. The rock is characterized by its wrinkled appearance, slender shape, translucent nature and numerous holes eroded by water. An interesting legend goes that the rock was found some 1000 years ago, and it was originally one of Song Emperor Huizong's private collection before it found its way into Yu Garden.

The surrounding bazaar area provides good shopping opportunities, where traditional Chinese products and gold and jewels are on sale.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Get up close and personal with Pandas at the Bifeng Gorge Panda Reserve!

 During the May 2008 earthquake, the panda specimen suffered a crushing blow and over fifty giant pandas living in captivity became completely homeless. In order to save these national treasures, Wolong National Natural Reserve has, since May 15th, carried out an evacuation plan. Twenty-seven giant pandas were transferred in batches to Chengdu, Fuzhou and Beijng, and the rest were moved to Bifeng Gorge Base of China Panda Protection and Research Center.

     Bifeng Gorge is located in Ya'an City, which is just over one hour by bus from Chengdu. In 2003, the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Pandas and the State Forestry Administration chose this gorge as a new giant panda base. The gorge, "V" shaped, is composed of two small gorges, which measure 4.3 miles and 3.7 miles long respectively. Standing between 2,297 to 6,467 feet high, the Bifeng Gorge is famous for the views of varied vegetation, valleys and waterfalls. Its excellent original landscape attracts more and more visitors each year to explore its wild beauty.

     Endowed with good quality water and air, Bifeng Gorge Base of China Panda Protection and Research Center is a satisfactory place for the growth of pandas, and what is more important, it was only slightly damaged in the earthquake. It is a comprehensive conservation project combining tourism, research and giant panda breeding in one place. It is divided into the giant panda breeding zone, baby giant panda care zone, research center, bamboo woods and office area.

     The pandas are assured of healthy growth in theirTwo lovely pandas new home, and good news continually flows from Bifeng Gorge Base. In the morning on July 6th, 2008, the panda "Guo Guo" gave birth to the first twin cubs in the base. Guo Guo, the great panda mother, came to the base on June 24th when she was 119 days pregnant. She was really strong and brave to have these baby pandas after surviving the big earthquake, overcoming the difficulties of bumping and shaking on the long journey, and adjusting herself to the new environment. The panda twins were the first pair of giant pandas born in 2008 worldwide, which brings new hope and more power to the recovery of the earthquake-stricken area and the affected forest area.

  In 2008, there were 13 baby pandas surviving in the Bifeng Gorge Base. On Feb.12nd, 2009, the base held a simple ceremony for these small pandas as they attended the panda kindergarten. It is known that the giant pandas, who temporarily live in the base, will return to the Wolong National Natural Reserve after its restoration in two or three year's time.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

What is the World Expo?

The World Expo, also sometimes known as the World’s Fair, is the name given to various large public exhibitions held in different parts in the world. The World Expo aims to promote the exchange of ideas and development of the world economy, culture, science and technology, in order to allow exhibitors to publicize and display their achievements and improve international relationships. The first expo was held in 1851 in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, under the title “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations.” The vent was an idea of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, and was the first international exhibition of manufactured products. As such it influenced the development of several aspects of society, from art and design, education, international trade and relations, and even tourism.

The first expo set the precedent for many later international exhibitions, later called “World’s Fairs”, which are held to the present day, with the latest one being in Shanghai in 2010. The World Expo serves as an Olympics for industry, science and economics. The main attractions at World Expos/Fairs are the national pavilions, created by participating countries. Some notable World’s Fairs include the one held in Paris in 1937 (where the Nazi Germany and Soviet Union pavilions stood face-to-face), the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, which gave us the Space Needle, and the 1964 World’s Fair held in New York City, where the Disney Corporation held a large sway over the event. This years World Expo in Shanghai promises to be the biggest and most extravagant in the event’s history, as this year’s expo will see a record number of countries and organization participating, as well as being the most attended expo ever.

Shanghai 2010 Expo Package Tours

If you want to get in on the excitement of this year’s expo, visit the expo through one of Great Wall Adventure Club’s Shanghai 2010 World Expo Package Tours. You have 7 different tour options to choose from, with also having the ability to custom design your own tour to give yourself the most special expo experience. Available at the lowest possible rates, our tour included free airport transfer, centrally located hotel (possible options include the 5-star Shanghai Courtyard Marriott), Expo tickets, English-speaking guide, and a private car and driver. If you book your own flights, the package cost for two is $1,398 for three days and two nights (as of March 18, 2010).

In addition to attending the expo, you’ll also get the chance to discover one of the world’s great cosmopolitan cities, Shanghai, Oozing with culture, style, and adventure, Shanghai is the ideal city to host the World Expo, and exploring the city will be a perfect compliment to visiting the expo. On our tours, you will also have the chance to visit two of China’s most beautiful cities, Hangzhou (famed for its West Lake), and Suzhou (known as the “Venice of the east”). Our World Expo package tours come highly recommended, even by the Wall Street Journal.

If you want to star the process of signing up with one of our World Expo Package Tours, then just fill in the information on the 2010 Shanghai World Expo Tour Planner at the bottom of the page, and a Great Wall Adventure Club Travel Specialist will contact you within 1 business day. 

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The best Chinese airlines

Air China

Air China is China's principal international airline, and is the designated flag carrier of the People's Republic. Based in the capital of the world's most populous country, the airline has occupied a special place in the hearts of aircraft manufacturers and foreign airlines eager for access to the untapped potential of the Asian market. Air China's logo, made up of the letters "VIP" styled into the form of a phoenix, reflects the carrier's aspirations regarding customer service. The airline flies a young fleet of about 70 planes, carrying about 16 million passengers a year.
At its launch in 1988, Air China operated 32 international routes to 31 destinations, and also connected 30 cities within China. It was China's largest carrier, and the only one allowed to carry China's national flag. Great Wall Adventure Club has great deals with cheap flight fares with Air China.

China Southern Airlines

One of China's top three airlines, along with China Eastern Airlines and Air China, China Southern Airlines operates a fleet of about 260 aircraft (mainly Boeing and Airbus jets) from its hub in Guangzhou and about 20 regional bases. It serves more than 140 destinations, including about 120 throughout China and more than 20 in other countries, primarily in the Asia/Pacific region. China Southern Airlines extends its international network via code-sharing partnerships with carriers such as Delta Air Lines, KLM, and Japan Airlines. Government-owned China Southern Air Holding Company owns just over 50% of China Southern Airlines. Great Wall Adventure Club offers discounted flight tickets for China Southern Airlines.

China Eastern Airlines

No one has to dig his way to China anymore: China Eastern Airlines transports passengers and cargo to some 120 destinations in China and about 20 other countries. It operates a fleet of about 195 aircraft, including Airbus and Boeing models, mainly from its hub in Shanghai. The carrier is one of China's three largest, along with Air China and China Southern Airlines. China Eastern Airlines extends its network via code-sharing agreements with carriers such as Air France, AMR's American Airlines, Japan Airlines, and Korean Air Lines. CEA Holding, a company owned by the Chinese government, controls a 62% stake in China Eastern Airlines. Great Wall Adventure Club can assist you to find cheap domestic discounted fares with China Eastern Airlines.

Hainan Airlines

Hainan Airlines is an airline based in Haikou, Hainan, People's Republic of China. It is a privately owned airline and the fourth largest airline of China by fleet size. It operates a scheduled domestic services network based in Haikou on the island of Hainan and Ningbo on the mainland. It has begun to add international services. Its main base is Haikou Meilan International Airport (HAK), with hubs at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (XIY) and Ningbo Lishe International Airport (NGB). Great Wall Adventure Club can help you buy domestic flight tickets with Hainan Airlines at the lowest prices.

Shanghai Airlines

Shanghai Airlines was established in 1985 as the first commercial airline other than the airline operation division of the Civil Aviation Administration of China. It flew to over 150 domestic, regional (Macau), and international routes (Osaka, Seoul, Bangkok, Phuket, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City) by the end of December 2005. In 2006, the airline signed an agreement to begin codeshare flights with United Airlines between China and the United States. Also in 2006, Shanghai Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding with THAI which includes codesharing flights and reciprocating frequent flyer program benefits for members. On 10 May 2006 it was announced that Shanghai Airlines will become the 19th member of Star Alliance. Great Wall Adventure Club can book flight tickets with Shanghai Airlines that allow you to exchange a boarding pass with E-ticket. 

Shenzhen Airlines

The airline was established in October 1992 and started operations on 13 September 1993. It was formed by the CAAC and Shenzhen government, with financial participation by Air China, Overseas Chinese City Economic Development Corporation, Bank of China and Shenzen South Tongfa Industrial Corporation. It is one of the most profitable airlines in China. It is currently owned by Guangdong Development Bank (65%), CNAC (Air China) (25%) and Shenzen Investment Management (10%). Great Wall Adventure Club can assist you to buy cheap domestic ticket for flights out of Shenzhen.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Qingdao- A little piece of Germany in China

Qingdao, a beautiful seaside city, is located in the southeast part of Shandong Province. To the east, a short distance across the Yellow Sea, lie Korea and Japan, making Qingdao an important city for international trade.

For thirty-three years, up to 1949, Qingdao was a colony of Germany and Japan. Thus, Qingdao has a great deal of European architecture. This foreign architecture -a remnant of the colonial past- now beautifies this seaside city.

The red roofs, green trees, blue sea, and azure sky form a bright and colorful picture of Qingdao. The city is sometimes known as the Switzerland of the Orient.

Surrounded by the sea on three sides, Qingdao attracts many tourists with its charming seascape. Sights like the Eight Passes Villas, the Zhan Bridge, Wusi Square, Mt. Laoshan, will help you remember Qingdao. Just walking on the sand and listening to the surf breaking on the beach becomes enjoyable.

Qingdao offers food with distinctive flavors--especially seafood. So take this chance to enjoy the delicious seafood of Qingdao. Also, Qingdao is the home of the famous Qingdao (Tsingtao) Beer. Have a bottle of pure Qingdao Beer right here in Qingdao!>
The Qingdao Municipal Government recognizes the importance of the tourism industry and has further plans to develop tourism in Qingdao. To enhance the tourism industry, Qingdao now sponsors the Qingdao International Beer Festival, the Qingdao International Sea Festival, Beach Culture Festival, the Sea Affection Festival, and the Summer of Qingdao Festival.

In cooperation with the Beijing Olympic Games 2008, Qingdao will hold the Sailing Competition in the Olympic Games in 2008. This great event brings a great opportunity for this charming city to build its bright future.

Qingdao and Korea:

Since the first Korean companies began doing business in Qingdao in 1988, Korean people have lived here. Thousands of Korean people now live and work here, which makes Qingdao the city with the most Korea investment enterprises in China. And Qingdao also has the largest Korean population in China. With years of cultural exchange, they have established deep, close friendships and mutual trust with the native Chinese people.

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Monday, July 5, 2010

While touring Shangai and the Expo, experience a taste of luxury at the Shanghai Downtown Courtyard Marriott Hotel

Near 100% rating by Expedia and TripAdvisor!
"The service was superb. The staff was plentiful and always available and eager to help. The room was beautiful, pristine, nicely appointed, and had an American soft bed! Apples in the room. The hotel is brand new and spotless. After a month of standard Chinese hotels, and firm beds, I found this to be heavenly. Location is very good." --  TripAdvisor

This is the first hotel in Shanghai to be built, designed and opened specifically in preparation for the Shanghai 2010 World Expo.
• All guest rooms command spectacular views of the city center and are fully equipped with the latest technology, including free Wi-Fi internet, a 200-square-meter fitness centre and a sun-lit indoor swimming pool
• Located in downtown Shanghai, the hotel is just steps away from the Xujiahui commercial area and only two minutes from the Xujiahui Subway Station. One of Shanghai's largest shopping centers - Gang Hui Gateway is across the street. Oriental Plaza, the Pacific Center and the Meiluo City are around the corner. There are top Chinese and Western restaurants in the intersection close to the hotel. KFC, McDonald's, Pizza Hut and other fast-food restaurants are also available. The largest Cathedral of Shanghai is behind.
• The hotel is also just a short walk from Shanghai’s famed French Concession, a popular tourist destination filled with European-style buildings, hip cafes and bars, and is a major hub of Shanghai’s vibrant nightlife.
• The Shanghai Courtyard by Marriot Hotel is about 10 minutes from the World Expo site in Puxi, and about 15-20 minutes from the World Expo site in Pudong. Guests can also take Subway Line 9 and transfer directly to Subway Expo Line 13 to connect to the Expo sites. Transfer wise, the hotel is only 15 minutes to the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, which is Shanghai's second airport, and mainly serves domestic flights.

World Expo tickets and day passes are guaranteed to all guests who stay with Courtyard by Marriott Hotel!

Newly opened in Feb., 2009. Nearly 100% positive rating by Expedia and TripAdvisor!

  • Marriott Rewards category: 3 

Exclusive Club Offer 

US$155 without breakfast OR US$185 with breakfasts. Act now to grab this promotional offers. *Standard Rooms (double or king). For suites, please email us for price.


Enjoy super savings on the luxurious and quality service from Marriott. Reserve today and save for your next stay!  For fast reservation or inquires, please contact your specialist at Great Wall Adventure Club by email:

Guest Rooms in Detail 

  • 364 guest rooms, including 105 executive deluxe rooms, 18 executive suites and 1 chairman suite
  • Spacious rooms combine comfort and functionality, and feature a well-lit desk and ergonomic chair
  • Daily housekeeping & evening turndown service, as well as concierge and room service
  • 32-inch LCD TV with satellite channels
  • High-speed internet access, telephones & voicemail system, personal in-room safe
  • Mini-bar, cable/satellite TV, in-room tea- and coffee-making facilities

Guest Room Information (may vary by room type)

General Room Amenities

  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm clock
  • Bottled water
  • Coffee maker/tea service
  • Crib
  • Electrical adapters
  • Individual climate control
  • Luxury bedding - crisp linens, thicker mattresses, custom comforters, fluffier pillows
  • Pillows: down/feather
  • Pillows: foam
  • Rollaway bed
  • Safety box
  • Hair dryer

Room Entertainment

  • Cable channel: CNN
  • Cable channel: ESPN
  • Cable channel: HBO
  • Cable/satellite TV
  • Color TV

Business Amenities (may vary by room type)

  • Electrical outlet: desk level
  • Phone feature: voice mail
  • Two-line phone 
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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sanya, China's Hawaii and tropical getaway!

Sanya is situated on the southernmost tip of Hainan Province, covering an area of 1919.58 square kilometers (about 741 square miles) with 209.1 kilometers (about 130 miles) long coastline. Sanya has many natural advantages. Possessing a number of excellent harbors, Sanya is an important port for import and export of trade with foreign countries. Therefore, Sanya is also named the 'South Gate of China' to stress its importance while it plays a vital role in the life of the southern part of China in areas of the economy and politics to transportation.

However, for most visitors, Sanya is a noted tourist resort with mountains, sea, river and city. The favorable climate is hot in summer but warm in the three other seasons so attracting large numbers of followers from both home and abroad every year. The whole of Sanya is related to the sea where you can enjoy a unique tropical oceanic landscape that is totally different from the other provinces of China. Sanya Bay, Yalong Bay and Dadonghai, all golden seaboards of Sanya, are some of the first choices for visitors to spend their holidays. Instead of a busy and exhausting journey, you can relax totally here by strolling along the beaches and breathing the fresh air. If you are an enthusiast of exciting water activities, Wuzhizhou Island is your place to challenge the mysterious and changing sea. Additionally more than 20 ethnic groups including Han, Li, Miao, Hui inhabit Sanya becoming a wonderful place to appreciate the various cultures of China.

In the last years Sanya developed to become a getaway from Hong Kong and a relaxing place for extending a holiday without a long trip back home. The first international Resort hotel was opened and managed by Swiss hotelier N.C. Solari in 1999, in Yalong Bay.

Presently, international hotel chains have established in what is becoming a world-known destination, especially following the Miss World beauty pageant in Crowne Plaza, a hotel along Yalong Bay. The resort in Sanya Bay, the Palm Beach Resort and Spa welcomed the first Miss China beauty pageant in modern times. The organizer Julia Morley was decided by Sanya to welcome the international pageant the following year.

In 2009 legendary hotel group Mandarin Oriental opened their first property in mainland China in the Dadong Hai area of Sanya.

Because of geographical and political circumstances unique to Sanya, many niche markets have been cultivated in Real Estate, Food and Beverage management, Chinese Language and Cultural exchange, Agro-tourism, and Wilderness Adventures (just to name a few).

Sanya attracts many international travelers as can be seen by the many Russian and English signs throughout the city.

Tasting the local dishes is a must on your journey. Sanya never shirks in its efforts to entertain its guests with a variety of seafood and delicious tropical fruits all the year round. Both of the star-rated hotels and a number of roadside booths serve the freshest seafood. Shopping is also a must on your journey, so don't forget to choose some sea products and beautiful decorations for you or your friends and relatives back home.

Along with the developing economy of this region, Sanya has become much easier for visitors to reach where domestic and international flights can take you in the shortest time. A journey by train and ship will take you a little more time but give you more opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty around you. With good quality, star-rated hotels and reasonable hostels distributed everywhere in Sanya and waiting for you, there is no need to worry about accommodation.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Experience the southern metropolis of Nanjing!

Lying on the south bank of the Yangtze River, Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, is one of the most delightful of Chinese cities. Known as the Capital City of Six or Ten Dynasties in China's history, it has a brilliant cultural heritage. Yuecheng, the first recorded military defense constructed in early 472 B.C., opened the long history of Nanjing. In the following years, the city reached its height of splendor at various times. In 229, Sun Quan, one of the three heroes in China's Three Kingdoms Period (220 - 280), to strengthen his influence in the middle valley of the Yangtze River, moved the capital of his kingdom to Jianye - present Nanjing. From that time on, the city served as the capital for several dynasties in China's history. In 1356, in a peasant rebellion, Zhu Yuanzhang, later the Emperor Taizu of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), conquered the city and renamed it Yingtian Fu. In 1368, Zhu established the Ming Dynasty - the last feudal dynasty ruled by the native Han people - and gave Yingtian Fu the new name of Nanjing. Ten years later, the emperor made Nanjing the capital of the country. The mausoleum of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang is perching on the southern slope of the Mount Zijinshan in the northeastern part of the city.

Following officials' advice of "building walls and producing grain to consolidate the rule", the emperor ordered the construction of city walls. Today's majestic walls in Nanjing, the longest of its kind in the world, are the result of that phase of construction. Zhonghua Gate, simply meaning 'Chinese Gate', is a noted attraction for tourists in the present city center.

In spite of its glorious times, the city also witnessed the hardest moment of this nation. In 1839, the Opium War burst out after Lin Zexu, an assiduous official, burnt twenty thousand boxes of opium in Humen. On a battleship in Nanjing's Xiaguan, the corrupt Qing government, under threat by Britain troops, signed the notorious Nanjing Treaty, the first of the 'Unequal Treaties' which ceded Hong Kong away from China for more than hundred years. Following this treaty, invasions and colonial rule of the western countries intensified and China sank into a harder and darker time.

Peasant groups of Taiping rebelled against the Qing government in 1853 and established the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom in Jinling, Nanjing's name at that time, and formed an army. Unfortunately, the peasant regime was short-lived and in 1864, troops of Qing government won the city back. Nowadays, in Xuyuan Garden , one can still see part of the palace of Heavenly King of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom.

It was the Revolution of 1911, the Chinese bourgeois democratic revolution led by Dr.Sun Yat-Sen that overthrew the Qing Dynasty. On the first day of 1912, Dr. Sun Yet-sen gave his simple but sublime address on the inauguration held of the new Republic of China. Today, a memorial hall in the Mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, houses a statue of Dr. Sun sculpted out of white marble.

There are two further negative memories of the city. On April 18th, 1927, Chiang Kaishek launched the counter-revolutionary 4.12 Coup and established his power in Nanjing. Also, in 1937, the inhuman Nanjing Massacre happened. In six weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese people were killed including women and children.

No atrocity can go unpunished. After eight years of resistance, in 1945 the brave Chinese people eventually drove the barbarous Japanese invaders out of China's homeland and the war criminals got what they deserved. However Chinese people will never forget the history. Pictures of the atrocities of Japanese soldiers taken by Japanese army photographers are exhibited in the Memorial Hall to the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre.

Finally, on April 23rd, 1949, Nanjing was liberated by the People's Liberation Army and the Kuomintang's power in China was ended.

City of Culture:

Dr. Sun Yat-sen's MausoleumIn addition to historical sights, memorials, museums and cultural sights also attract thousands of travelers. The famous Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao) is not only a memorial place for the Great Sage in China but has a surrounding area bustling with shops, restaurants and a snack street housed in traditional Chinese architectural buildings. In the city center, Nanjing Museum is a must for travelers with a collection of more than 420 thousand pieces, including about 2,000 that are rare and valued. The observatory on Zijinshan Mountain to the east of the city center was the first modern observatory built in China.

Qin Huai River, in the southwest of the city, extends one hundred kilometers. The river used to be the most flourishing part of Nanjing in the old days. In many Chinese novels, it is renowned as a place which nurtured beauties and romance. Today, it is a place for people to recall the old splendor of this historical city. Like all sights in Nanjing, it tells the story of past, present and future of the city.

Modern Metropolis:

Like most major cities in China, Nanjing is developing rapidly. Great changes have taken place in the city. Modern highways and railways connect the city with most major cities throughout the country and it is becoming a sparkling metropolis akin to Shanghai and Beijing with skyscrapers, luxury hotels, fashion shopping malls, supermarkets and highly-developed economic zones throughout the city. Transport in the city is very convenient with the new metro service in addition to taxis, public buses, tourist special lines and other means of transport. Modern amenities in luxury hotels make your trip a comfortable one. Dazzling shopping malls and department stores can be found in the commercial areas of the city with stocked plenty of international brand names. Nanjing is also home to several colleges and universities and a large foreign population. The city is become an international metropolis with new faces every day.

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