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Archive for the ‘China’ Category

Visit The Guangzhou Zoo

June 11th, 2010 by

Travel junkies who are at the same time fascinated with animals would surely not pass up the chance to see the zoos of the countries that they are visiting.  It seems that there is one, if not more, zoo in every country and this is the reason why zoological parks or wildlife parks are common items in travel itineraries.

Photo by:  shoppingfan

Guangzhou, the capital of Guangzhou province, is no different. Guangzhou plays an important part as a port and heart of China’s trading engagements.  Because of this role, Guangzhou has become very accessible to the world.  But these days, millions of people head to Guangzhou not only for business but also to learn more about this region’s rich history and culture.  There are numerous wonderful historical and cultural sites to check out as well as wildlife parks.

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Shanghai Expo 2010

May 20th, 2010 by

For 184 days, China and the rest of the world draws its attention to the Shanghai Expo 2010, the biggest world fair in history. An event eight years in the making, the Shanghai Expo continues the world fair tradition of showcasing human inspiration and thought, a tradition which began during the 19th-century expositions in Great Britain and France. The Shanghai Expo is a history-making event in its own way, as well, by being the first expo organized in a developing country.

Photo courtesy by pamhule:

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Five Must-See Pagodas In China

May 6th, 2010 by

A pagoda is a multi-storied structure of stone, brick or wood that is shaped like a tower, and is usually used in Buddhist tradition to store sacred relics as well as the remains of prominent monks. Developed from the Indian stupa, these beautiful religious monuments can be found throughout many Buddhist countries in Asia, and many have historical importance in their regions. China has many famous pagodas, which not only serve as places of worship, but draw visitors from all over for as heritage sites.

Pagodas are built with many stories as a demonstration of majesty and worth in storing sacred relics. These were rebuilt with the help of the ruling class to show off its wealth and power, as well. These towers have three components: the base, which holds an underground chamber where the relics are kept; the body, where the statue of the Buddha is preserved, and the steeple ,which retains the stupa’s original form.

Here are five famous pagodas in China that are worth visiting:

Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Photo courtesy of gwydionwilliams:

Big Wild Goose Pagoda – built inside the Buddhist Temple of Grace in Xian, the capital city of the Tang Dynasty, this pagoda was asked to be constructed by the legendary monk Xuanzhuang (of Journey to the West fame) so he had a place to keep the sutras he procured from India. This 64-meter high pagoda was based on the ancient Indian wild goose pagoda (stupa), hence its name. Visitors have the option of paying to go up the tower, where various levels have points of interest, from the gold-coated bronze statue of Buddha to the exhibits of poems from outstanding Tang-era poets. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda has a smaller counterpart (appropriately called the Small Wild Goose Pagoda), as well as companion structures known as the Bell Tower and Drum Tower.

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Top Summer Retreats In China

April 29th, 2010 by

For centuries, the people of China have found refuge from the summer heat in a variety of places. Whether they are royal palaces or sacred mountains, these vacation spots offer cool weather, scenic views and natural wonders to bring relief from the heat and stress of urban life.

Here are four summer retreats located in China:

Mt. Emei

Photo courtesy of Mckaysavage:

Mt. Emei - located in Sichuan Province, this mountain is one of the four most sacred Buddhist mountains in China. There is a remarkable  temperature difference at different points of Emei, with a 14 degree centigrade change from the base to the peak. Thus, even on sultry July/August weather, the higher parts remain a blissfully cool 11 degree centigrade. Ancient woods, majestic waterfalls and a multitude of Buddhists temples all make Mt. Emei a  place to leave worldly concerns and focus on spiritual health. Baoguo Temple, Wannian Temple, Qingyin Pavilion and Gold Summit are some of the attractions to be found along the slopes of the mountain.

Mt. Emei is also a natural “Oxygen Bar”, where negative Oxygen ion concentration reach 0.1 to 1 million parts per cubic meter, some 500 to 1,000 times more than urban areas. Scientists agree that sufficient negative Oxygen ions can encourage metabolization in the human body to prolong life, improve sleep and decrease fatigue. Mt. Emei is 130 kilometers from Shuangliu International Airport, with regular overnight trains between Emei Shan and Kunming as well as bus routes between Chengdu and Le Shan.

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Xintiandi: The Newest Neighborhood in Shanghai

March 31st, 2010 by

Most travelers visit foreign countries hoping to experience authentic lifestyles while learning about the development of history and culture in the area. Others prefer sticking to more modern attractions, seeking out the neighborhoods and sites they can identify with the most. If you’re a true partier and lover of adventure than no trip to Shanghai will be complete without a visit to Xintiandi.

What is Xintiandi?

Highrise in the distance, Xintiandi area

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10 Things You May Not Know About Betel Nut Culture

February 25th, 2010 by

Betel nuts come from the betel palm, which is prevalent in Asian countries and is used in the same way as tobacco is used in Western countries. The walnut-sized growths come in bundles of 250 to 500 pieces. It is a mild stimulant, and is primarily consumed by chewing., which various Asian cultures creating their own practices and belief systems around this habit-forming nut.

Here are 10 facts you may not know about Betel Nut culture:

betel leaf

*Betel nuts are shaved into slivers for easier chewing, often combined with spices and tobacco by producers to give a more appealing flavor. These are usually wrapped in betel leaves (which comes from the unrelated plant evergreen Piper Betle) before being distributed to shops.

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10 Must-Try Anhui Dishes

February 18th, 2010 by

Anhui is one of the 8 great cuisines of China. This style of cooking, which was developed in South Anhei, Huai Bei and Yanjiang, is notable for its elaborate choice of cooking materials as well as the strictness of the cooking process. Ingredients are commonly found in mountain areas, such as bamboo shoots, stone frog, pangolin, mushrooms and tea leaves. Braising and stewing are common styles of cooking in this tradition, which are composed of southern Anhui region, Yangtze River region and Huai River region. Many Anhui dishes are stewed for hours and include dark, heavy sauces enhanced by sugar.

fried stinky tofu

Fried Stinky Tofu – Legend has it that a failed Anhui government examinee started a restaurant instead and chopped up tofu for cooking later. When he checked on the tofu several days later, he found they turned blue and smelly, but with a rich flavor. Today, this odorous snack food is sold by street vendors.

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Go With The Flow Of The Pearl River

February 5th, 2010 by

People who have been in some parts of China would most probably have come across the magnificent Pearl River which is located down South.  The Pearl River is also referred to as the Guangdong River and freely flows between Macau and Hong Kong as it joins the South China Sea.  This river ranks third in the list of longest rivers given that it is about 2, 200 kilometers long.  It follows after the equally famous Yangtze River and the Yellow River.

Welcome to the Pearl River

Based on available readings, the Pearl River got its name from a huge rock island that used to be found in the middle of the river and was always enveloped by water.  Because of its constant contact with the ravaging water, the rock became extra smooth and shiny similar to the polished and lustrous look of a pearl.  Because of this likeness with a pearl, the rock was then called the Haizhu Rock or Sea Pearl Rock and the river was consequentially referred to as the Pearl River – the river where the Pearl Rock can be found!

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Tour The Sites That Inspired The Movie Red Cliff

February 4th, 2010 by

Red Cliff is a 2009 film by John Woo that has already become a massive box-office hit in China. It focuses on the decisive battle during the Three Kingdoms era, a period of China’s long history that was romanticized in Romance of the The Kingdoms. This epic tale is one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature, and nearly every Chinese home possesses a copy. For those who want to visit the locations that are relevant to the story, here is a short guide.

Wuhou Memorial Temple

Wuhou Memorial Temple – a site in Chengdu that commemorates Zhuge Liang, the virtuous wuhou (premier) of the Kingdom of Shu, one of the three aforementioned kingdoms. Like many Chinese temples, this memorial is constructed along the north-south axis, with the main entrance facing south. 5 main buildings cover a huge area of around 37,000 square meters: the Front Gate, Second Gate, Zhuge Liang’s Hall,  Liu Bei’s Hall (Liu Bei was the emperor of Shu) and Liu Bei’s Tomb. There is also the Three Wonders Tablet, so-named because of its fine examples of calligraphy, carving and poetry. Visitors can fly to Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, then take Bus No. 11 from Renmin Nan Lu.

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7 Amazing Chinese Amusement Parks

December 30th, 2009 by

Roller coaster and thrill ride lovers around the world are constantly seeking the next great adventure ride. While some countries are devoid of amusements others are overflowing and you might just find a fun and exciting amusement park in a place you least expect – including throughout a number of amazing Chinese cities.

0515 - China - Bike Trip - Park - Ride

Here are just a few of the fun amusement parks you’ll find in China! Read the rest of this entry »

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Japanese TempleFrom castles to shopping malls and business districts, Sendai is vibrant and fast paced but this bustling city also boasts the name of “City of Trees” for its tranquil parks, the Hirose-gawa River and the beautiful zelkova trees that border the city’s streets. Bellhop Picks: Read more about other attractions in our Japan guide. See what fellow travellers have to say in the Japan tales section.
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    Top 5 Romantic Spots in Asia

    • Palawan, Philippines (39%, 182 Votes)
    • Boracay, Philippines (36%, 168 Votes)
    • Bali, Indonesia (31%, 143 Votes)
    • Agra, India (18%, 84 Votes)
    • Batangas, Philippines (17%, 79 Votes)
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