Destinations of China: Beijing, Tibet, Xian, Shanghai and Chengdu

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Destinations

1. Beijing capital of the People's Republic of China, it is the nation's political, economic, cultural, educational and international trade and communication center. Located in northern China, close to the port city of Tianjin and partially surrounded by Hebei Province, it also serves as the most important transportation hub and port of entry. Now it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with about 140 million Chinese tourists and 4.4 million international visitors in a year.
 
Beijing Attractions:
 
great wal of china, china travel, beijing sightseeing, tours to beijingGreat Wall of China The Great Wall of China is one of the most awesome sights in the world, and also known in China as the Great Wall of 10,000. It is an ancient Chinese fortification built from the end of the 14th century until the beginning of the 17th century, during the Ming Dynasty, in order to protect China from raids by the Mongols and Turkic tribes. It is a paved, elevated highway that snakes across the hills for more than 3,000 mi/4830 km. It is wide enough for carts and horsemen to travel along the top. A barrier to persistent invaders from the north, it was also a dividing line between settled agriculture on the plain and nomadic life in the mountains. It is built of brick and stone and filled with earth as well as the bodies of conscripted laborers who died building it. Much of it is in disrepair, but several sections have been reconstructed near Beijing. When it was originally built 2000 years ago by the Qing dynasty it was a sturdy "No Trespassing" sign directed at neighboring kingdoms. To peasants in rural areas the Great Wall is less majestically considered as "old frontier". It's a classic and well-preserved example of Ming defense with high and wide ramparts, intact parapets and sturdy beacon towers. The first major wall was built during the reign of the First Emperor, the main emperor of the short-lived Qin dynasty. This wall was not constructed as a single endeavor, but rather was created by the joining of several regional walls built by the Warring States. The Wall stretches over a formidable 6,350 km (3,946 miles), from Shanhai Pass on the Bohai Gulf in the east, at the limit between China proper and Manchuria, to Lop Nur in the southeastern portion of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It was located much further north than the current Great Wall, and very little remains of it. A defensive wall on the northern border was built and maintained by several dynasties at different times in Chinese history. The Great Wall that can still be seen today was built during the Ming Dynasty, on a much larger scale and with longer lasting materials (solid stone used for the sides and the top of the Wall) than any wall that had been built before. The primary purpose of the wall was not to keep out people, who could scale the wall, but to insure that semi-nomadic people on the outside of the wall could not cross with their horses or return easily with stolen property.

Forbidden City - Also known as the Palace Museum, there are twenty-four emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties lived in the Forbidden City, which got its name because it was off-limits to ordinary citizens and is the biggest and best-preserved cluster of ancient buildings in China. It was originally built in the 14th century, but because of fires and other catastrophes, it has been rebuilt several times. It lies 1 kilometer north of the Tian'anmen Square, with its south gate, the Gate of Devine Might (Shenwumen), facing the Jingshan Park. 960 meters long and 750 meters wide, the world largest palace complex covers a floor space of 720,000 square meters, having 9,999 buildings.
 
forbiddon city, beijing city, beijing sightseeing tour
 
Temple of Heaven - The Temple of Heaven is located in spacious Tiantan Park, south of the central city, and is China's largest existing complex of ancient sacrificial buildings. Occupying an area of 273 hectares with four gates at the cardinal points, and walls to the north and east, it is three times the area of the Forbidden City. The Temple of Heaven is less a religious site than a historical one. Dating to the 15th century, it was where the emperor made an annual pilgrimage to pray for good harvests. It is made up of several notable buildings, such as the Altar of Prayer for Good Harvests, Imperial Vault of Heaven and Circular Mound Altar. Chinese emperors usually paid strong veneration to Heaven, the Supreme Being that governed the universe.
 
Summer Palace - The Summer Palace is one of the China's largest and best-preserved imperial gardens. It is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design, integrating the natural landscape of hills and open water with man-made features into a harmonious and aesthetically exceptional whole. With a concentration of the best of ancient buildings as well as styles of gardening, it is a virtual museum of traditional Chinese gardening. The Summer Palace with its cool features - water, gardens and hills - was the palace of choice for vacationing emperors and Dowager Empresses during the summer time. It was badly damaged by Anglo-French troops during the Second Opium War (1860) and its restoration became a pet project of the Empress Dowager Cixi, last Qing dynasty rulers. The 100-odd examples of traditional architecture in the park include pavilions, terraces, temples, pagodas, waterside gazebos, covered corridors, stone bridges and the famous marble boat. The palace occupies a total area of 290 hectares, three quarters of which is made up of shallow lakes.
 
The Ming tombs - The Ming tombs are natural sites modified by human influence, carefully chosen according to the principles of geomancyming tombs, beijing attractions, china attractions to house numerous buildings of traditional architectural design and decoration. Ming tombs lie in a broad valley to the south of Tianshou (Longevity of Heaven) Mountain in Changping County, about 50 kilometers northwest of Beijing proper. To the southwest of this valley, a branch of the Yanshan Range suddenly to breaks off and forms a natural gateway to the 40-quare-kilometer basin in which the tombs were built. This gateway is "defended" on each side by the Dragon and Tiger hills, which are said to protect this sacred area from winds carrying evil influences. Thirteen out of the 16 Ming emperors are buried in this peaceful valley. The first emperor to be buried here was Yongle who died in 1424. His tomb, Chang Ling, and that of Emperor Zhu Yijun, Ding Ling, who died in 1620, are the only two opened to visitors today. On November 30, 2000, the Ming Tombs were chosen for the List of the World Cultural Heritage by the United Nations Heritage Commission.
 
Tian'anmen Square located in the heart of Beijing, and occupies an area of 440,000 square meters, big enough to hold half a million people. The square has witnessed the Chinese people's struggle against foreign aggression and reactionary rule at home. And also this was the site when in 1949, from a rostrum on the Gate of Heavenly Peace; Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China. For over a hundred years, many ceremony and demonstrations have been held here. Today the square is a place for people to wander and fly kites.
 
2. Tibet, exposes travelers to the untouched, raw beauty of mountains and high deserts. This mystical land enchants every visitor. Whether you want to fly in or take the new high-speed train, our Tibet tours offer you the best accommodations and transportation around this remote highland. Whether you want to spend a few days in the capital of Lhasa or spend two weeks touring monasteries and seeing Mt. Everest, our Tibet tour consultants can customize a Tibet tour itinerary just for you. Enjoy Tibet tours and make them to be your lifetime experiences.

Tibet Attractions:
 
tibet, tibet travel, travel to tibet, potala palacePotala Palace - The world famous Potala Palace is located on 'Red Hill', in the west of old Lhasa. It was originally built in the 640's, during the reign of King Songtsan Gampo. The 13-story palace stands 117 meters high and has over 1000 rooms. It covers an area of 130,000 square meters. The entire building is made of stone and wood, with walls averaging 3 meters thick. The Red Palace contains various chapels and mausoleums for previous Dalai Lamas. The 5th Dalai Lama's mausoleum is in the west part of the palace and is 5-storeys high. His enormous Chorten is gold-covered and inlaid with diamonds, pearls, turquoise, agate and coral. The whole structure stands 14 meters high. The White Palace contains the living quarters of successive Dalai Lamas and their tutors. The offices of the old Tibetan government and their assembly halls are also located here. The original Potala was destroyed in the 9th century, during the end of the Tubo Kingship era. It was rebuilt during the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama and completed in the late 17th century. It became known as the 'Winter Palace' in the 1750's, when the 7th Dalai Lama built the Norbulinka Park as his summer residence. The Potala is full of elaborate artwork and frescos that tell many stories. They portray religious subjects as well as the customs and traditions of Tibet. The frescos in the west hall depict the life story of the 5th Dalai Lama. One picture describes an important meeting between the 5th Dalai Lama and the Chinese Emperor Shun Zhi in 1652. It was after this meeting that the title 'Dalai Lama' was bestowed on him and successive leaders of Tibet. The Potala contains many precious works of art, including ornately decorated statues, sculptures and Tibetan painting. The topmost hall in the Potala is called 'Sasong Langjie'. It contains a portrait of the Qing Emperor 'Qianlong' bearing the words 'A long, long life to the present emperor' written in Han, Manchu, Mongol and Tibetan. Dalai Lamas came to pay homage to this portrait on each Tibetan New Year's Day. The Potala has been a sacred place for hundreds of years. Thousands of pilgrims from Tibet, other parts of China and abroad come every year to pay homage. Their devotion is shown by the difficult journeys they make to reach their 'Holy city.'
 
Jokhang Temple - The Jokhang Temple, situated in the centre of old Lhasa, was originally built in 647 A.D. It is said that the site was chosen personally by the wife of King Songtsan Gampo, the Tang Princess Wen Cheng. It was built by craftsmen from Tibet, China and Nepal and thus features several architectural styles. The Jokhang is the spiritual centre of Tibet and the holiest destination for all Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims. In the central hall is the Jokhang's oldest and most precious object -- a sitting statue of Sakyamuni when he was 12 years old. This was carried to Tibet by Princess Wen Cheng from her home in Chang'an (the present Xi'an city) in 700 A.D. It is a gilded statue adorned with many jewels, in an elaborate setting. Pilgrims have prostrated themselves in front of this statue for centuries. In front of the Jokhang stands an old and withered willow tree said to be planted by Princess Wen Cheng. In front of the willow is a 3 meter high pillar, which is a treaty stone recording the alliance between the King of Tibet and the Emperor of China in 823 A.D. The three-level roof of the Jokhang offers splendid views the Potala Palace. The golden roofs are superbly crafted with many birds, beasts, bells and other intricate figures.
 
Drepung Monastery - Drepung Monastery, situated west of Lhasa, was founded in 1416 by one of Tsong Khapa's disciples. It was the largest and richest of the three major Yellow Sect monasteries in Lhasa, and it also became the most powerful. It is one of the largest monasteries in the world. The 5th Dalai Lama enlarged Drepung and ruled there while the Potala was being built. This magnificent monastery was built on an enormous scale, resembling a huge walled city. From its roofs, one can enjoy a scenic view of Lhasa city. According to religious records, during the foundation of Drepung, Tsong Khapa discovered a magical white conch shell with counter-clockwise whorls, believed to be buried by the Buddha Sakyamuni. Tsong Khapa bestowed this religious treasure to Drepung, and it can still be seen today in the Great Sutra Chanting Hall. As the most prosperous of the 'Gelukpa' monasteries, Drepung had seven colleges and, at its height, housed over 10,000 monks. It owns many splendid murals, elaborate statues and other rich treasures. A giant golden statue of Buddha 'Jiangba Tongzhenma' sits near the precious conch shell.
 
Barkhor Street - The Barkhor is found in the heart of Lhasa circling the Jokhang Temple. It means 'a pilgrim's inner circuit', and is the oldest street of old Lhasa city. It dates back to the foundation of the Jokhang and is an essential pilgrim route. Houses and small inns were built along the street. As time went on, shops and businesses also set up in the Barkhor, and it slowly became a prosperous area. In the past 30 years many more services and facilities have opened, shops have increased and the street is scattered with stalls. It bustles with activity and is always jam-packed with trades' people. It is a 'must' for souvenir-hunting tourists. Many people call the Barkhor 'the window of Tibet' as it is a typical reflection of Tibetan life. It is a magical place, full of the mystery and wonder that is associated with Tibet.
 
Mt. Everest - It is the highest peak in the world. Its Tibetan meaning of 'Goddess the Third' adds more mysterious color and magic power to the subject. As a result, it has intrigued all kinds of people since it was first discovered. Pilgrims trek long distances to present a pious worship, climbing enthusiasts run great risks to challenge its high altitude and the common visitors also yearn for a reverent look at this holy peak. Its altitude is now about 8,844.43 m. (29,017 ft.). It is the dominant peak of Himalayas, the northern brae in Tingri County of Tibet and the southern in the Nepal. The area has 4 peaks above 8,000 m. (26,247 ft.) and 38 peaks above 7,000 m. (22,965 ft.), hence the laudatory title 'the Third Pole of the Earth'. As the supreme point of the world, Mt. Qomolangma is also blessed with many extreme wonders. The top part of the mountain is covered with snow all the year round. When the glaring sun shines on the mountain, the peak is just like a white pyramid miraculously transformed by the Goddess, leading us to imagine her semblance further. More often than not, the thick freely moving clouds and fogs, seeming as if a flag with the mast of the peak was swinging, will shroud the peak. This peculiar phenomenon is known as 'Flag Cloud'. An additional wonder generated here are the bright glaciers, where ices are formed into various shapes like bridges, pagodas and others. You can also find miles of efflorescent rock physiognomy there, such as stalagmites, steal, stone sword, and stone pagodas. The climbing pathfinders call this splendor at such high attitude 'the Largest Park on the High Mountain'.
 
3. Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, is located in the central area of the Northwest of China. Xian is one of the most ancient capitals in China because Xian had been the capital of 12 dynasties from 1046 BC to 907 AD. During Han and Tang dynasties, Xian was called Changan that literally means "Eternal Peace". Xian is the starting point of the ancient Silk Road and well-known as the site of the life-size Terracotta Army. Xian is a great place for travelers to learn more about glorious ancient China because it is the birth cradle of Chinese civilization.
 
Terracotta Warriors and Horses - It is the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China. Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, begun to work for his mausoleum at the age of 13 in 246B.C. after ascending the throne. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his afterlife. In 1974, when a group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb, it caught the attention of archeologists immediately. They came to Xian to study and to extend the digs. They had established beyond doubt that these artifacts were associated with the Qin Dynasty (211-206 BC). The State Council authorized to build a museum on site in 1975. When completed, Terracotta Warriors became landmarks on all travelers' itinerary. The museum covers an area of 16,300 square meters, divided into three sections: No. 1 Pit, No. 2 Pit, and No. 3 Pit respectively. They were tagged in the order of their discoveries. No. 1 Pit is the largest, first opened to the public on China's National Day, 1979. Altogether over 7,000 pottery soldiers, horses, chariots, and even weapons have been unearthed from these pits. Most of them have been restored to their former grandeur. Since Oct. 1st, 2010 the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum have been combined into one large tourist area. The Terra Cotta Warriors is a sensational archeological find of all times. It was listed by UNESCO in 1987 as one of the world cultural heritages.
xian travel, travel to xian
Shaanxi History Museum: Shaanxi History Museum was constructed from 1983. It was opened to the public on 20 June 1991. The museum is architecturally in the Tang style, with a "hall in center, storied buildings in corners". Shaanxi was the ancient imperial capital of China, having been the seat of more than 13 feudal dynasties, including the Zhou, Qin, Han, and Tang dynasties. The province is rich in cultural relics. With the completion of the Shaanxi History Museum, it collected over 370,000 precious relics which were unearthed in Shaanxi Province, including bronze wares, pottery figures, and mural paintings in Tang tombs. Since the opening of the museum, it has followed the policy of collecting, conservation, publicizing, education, and scientific research, using its many historical relics, and conducted various types of display. The relics have also been exhibited overseas in cities in Japan, France, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. The exhibit, main part of the museum is composed of three sections: the Basic Exhibition Hall, the Theme Exhibition Hall and the Temporary Exhibition Hall.
 
Muslim Street: Just as its name implies, Muslim Street is the hub of the Muslim community in Xian City. It is about 500 meters long from south to north. Some of the constructions are restaurants; while others are stores. But there is one thing in common: the owners are all Muslims. All the Muslims here are the pious and devout followers of Islam so they form a tight knit community, which maintains its own culture and traditions to today even in such a modern society. When you have been here, you must try the snacks. Yang Rou Pao Mo(Shredded Bread Soaked in Mutton Stew) is the No.1 representative among Xi’an Snacks. Roast beef, mutton or lamb are also high recommended. And if you like the Chinese steamed stuffed bun, the most famous brand is Jia San. Its ingredients are beef or mutton mixed with the soup decocted from the bones of sheep or cattle. The kinds of snacks there are countless and all of them will make your mouth watering. Besides the food, you could find various souvenir there, such as the special local products and artware. Please enjoy yourself here.
 
Ancient City Wall: The first landmark visitors will encounter in Xi'an is the ancient city wall, which stretches round the old city. Xi'an was originally a walled city, and even today the wall is considered a landmark dividing the city into the inner part and the outer part. The city itself is neatly arranged along the city wall. Xi'an City Wall was erected in the 14th century Ming Dynasty, under the regime of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. After its enlargement in the Ming Dynasty, stands 12 meters high. There is a rampart every 120 meters. The ramparts that extend out from the main wall were built to allow soldiers to see enemies trying to climb the wall. The gates of the city wall were the only way to go into and out of town. Therefore, these gates were important strategic points, which the feudal rulers racked their brains to try to defend. In Xi'an's case, the north, south, east and west gates, each consist of three towers: the gate tower, which holds the drawbridge, the narrow tower and the main tower. The gate tower stands proud of the wall. It is used to lift and lower the drawbridge. The narrow tower is in the middle. Its inner walls have square windows to shoot arrows. The main tower is the innermost one, and forms the entrance to the city. When you climb the City Wall, you could hire a bike or sightseeing battery car for a circle tour that will be an enjoyable and interesting experience.
 
4. Shanghai is China's leading industrial and commercial city and major financial center, as well as a famous historical and cultural city. The policy of reform and opening up to the outside world has transformed Shanghai into a sophisticated metropolis with a well-developed network of land, air and sea transportation. China tour operator offers the travelers the diversified Shanghai tours, including Recommended Shanghai Tours, Shanghai day tour, Shanghai Extended Tours and Shanghai chauffeur Services...
 
The Oriental Pearl TV Tower It is located in Pudong Park in Lujiazui, Shanghai. Stands a staggering 468 meters (1535ft) making it the tallest tower in Asia. The tower, surrounded by the Yangpu Bridge in the northeast and the Nanpu Bridge in the southwest, creates a picture of "twin dragons playing with pearls". The base of the tower is supported by three seven-meter wide slanting stanchions. Surrounding the eleven steel spheres that are "strung" vertically through the center of the tower are three nine-meter wide columns. There are three large spheres including the top sphere, known as the space module. Then there are five smaller spheres and three decorative spheres on the tower base.
 
Shaghai, shaghai TV tower
 
Shanghai Museum - As a museum of ancient Chinese art, Shanghai Museum possesses a collection of 120,000 precious works of art. Its rich and high-quality collection of ancient Chinese bronze, ceramics, painting and calligraphy is specially celebrated in the world. Founded and first open to the public in the building previously of the horseracing club at 325 W. Nanjing Road in 1952 and then moved into the former Zhonghui Building at 16 S. Henan Road in 1959, the museum developed very quickly in aspects of acquisition, conservation, research, exhibition, education and cultural exchanges with other institutes. In 1992, the Shanghai municipal government allocated to the Museum a piece of land at the very center of the city, the People's Square, as its new site. The whole construction took three years, from August 1993 to its inauguration on October 12th, 1996. The 29.5 meters high new building has a construction space of 39,200 square meters. Its unique architectural form of a round top with a square base, symbolizing the ancient Chinese philosophy that the square earth is under the round sky, is a distinguished architectural combination of traditional feature and modern spirit. The present Shanghai Museum has eleven galleries and three special temporary exhibition halls. It extends warm welcome to the visitors from all over the world. 
 
shanghai travel, sightseeing in shanghaiYuyuan Garden - Yuyuan is the famous gardens in Shanghai, Located in the center of Shanghai's Old City, one of the few remaining old tourist sites in Shanghai. It was constructed in the period of Emperor Jiajing's rein of Ming dynasty from 1559 and completed in 1577. It has a history of more than 400 years. It is a famous classical garden in the south of China, the total area of which is over 20 thousand square meters. Surrounding the gardens is Shanghai's bazaar, a maze of small streets and alleyways where vendors sell their wares and food stuffs to the visiting tourist and locals. That is why he called this garden "Yuyuan" - because "yu" in Chinese means "peace and health"-- a place of peace and comfort in the heart of bustling Shanghai, dates back to the fabled Ming Dynasty. Now a popular tourist destination, Yuyuan began as a private garden created by Pan Yunduan, who spent almost 20 years - and all of his savings - to build a garden in order to please his parents in their old age. The main scenic spots in the Yuyuan Gardens are the Urban Mountain Forest, Hualin Charming Valley, Spring Famous Historical Site, the Most Enjoyable Water-Stone Site, Treasure in the Universe and Garden within Gardens. In the garden are ridges and peaks and zigzag paths, beautifully decorated. On the walls are brick-made dragons curling around, as vivid as life, an unique sight of the their kind. They have maintained the artistic style of the south of China during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Urban Mountain Forest is located at the west of the garden district; there are Shansui (three ears of grains) hall, Rain Swirling Tower, Grand Artificial Hill, Hall of Elegance and other scenic sights. The Grand Artificial Hill is the cream of the Yuyuan Garden, a legacy of Ming dynasty. It was constructed in accordance with the design made personally by the well-known mason Zhang Nanyang. In the Hualin Charming Valley are waterside pavilion, winding corridors, Yihang, Floral Tower and other scenic sites. The Most Enchanting Water stone site is situated at the eastern part famous for its ponds and artificial hills. 
5. Chengdu, known as the "Heavenly State" is the capital of Sichuan province. It is one of the most important economic centers and transportation and communication hubs in Southwestern China.
 
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding - The giant panda is beloved by people from all over the world. It is a symbol of world biodiversity, conservation, peace and friendship. The giant panda is also nature's gift to Chengdu and the province of Sichuan. It is a special and highly valued resource in Chengdu. All local and foreign visitors enjoy the beauty of giant pandas. They are also deeply concerned with the current status and future of giant pandas. The Chengdu Municipal Government decided to establish the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in March 1987. Leaders of the Central Government, Provincial Government, and Municipal Government, as well as people from foreign countries, have all contributed to building the Research Base.
 
Du Fu's Thatched Cottage - The thatched cottage of the famous Tang dynasty poet Du Fu (712-770AD) lies at the side of the Flower Washing Brook in west Chengdu. Du Fu (AD 712-770) lived in a period when the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), one of China's most flourishing dynasties, began a slide into decline. Seeking refuge from the rebellion war, Du was forced to move to Chengdu. With the aid of friends, he built a thatched cottage by the Flower Bathing Brook and settled here for 4 peaceful years. It was here that he wrote 240 of his 1400 poems. Once, a storm destroyed the roof of the thatched cottage. This led to the writing of one of his masterpieces, "the Song of Autumn Winds Destroying My Cottage".

 

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