China 中国 from the air – a breathtaking journey …

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Hong Kong

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The Great Wall (JinShanLing / SiMaTai, close to Beijing)

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QingHai province

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JiuZhaiGou and HuangLong, SiChuan province

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Crescent Moon Spring / Lake, 6 km from DunHuang, GanSu province, north west China

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Guilin and YangShuo, GuangXi province

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The Tibetan Plateau, far south west China

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HuiZhou, GuangDong province, south east China

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TianShan Mountain area, XinJiang province, far west China

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MoGao Grotto, YuMenGuan, YangGuan, JiaYuGuan, YaDan, DanXia; all in GanSu province

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Tian Tan Giant Buddha, Hong Kong

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GuangZhou, provincial capital of GuangDong and close to Hong Kong

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Various places in China

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The Great Wall of China is one of the most iconic and awe-inspiring attractions in the world, drawing millions of tourists each year. Here's a guide for tourists visiting the Great Wall:

History and Significance:
Historical Significance: The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications built over centuries to protect China from invasions by nomadic tribes from the north. Its construction began as early as the 7th century BC and continued through different dynasties, with the most famous sections built during the Ming Dynasty (13681644 AD).

Length and Structure: Stretching over 13,000 miles (21,196 kilometers), the Great Wall is not a continuous wall but a series of walls, trenches, and natural barriers, including mountains and rivers. Its main purpose was to provide defense and control trade routes along the northern border of China.

Visiting the Great Wall:
Sections to Visit: While the entire Great Wall is massive, certain sections are more accessible and popular among tourists. The most visited sections include Badaling, Mutianyu, Jinshanling, and Simatai. Each section offers unique features and experiences.

Badaling: This section is the closest to Beijing and is one of the most well-preserved and accessible sections of the Great Wall. It can be crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Mutianyu: Located about 1.5 to 2 hours' drive from Beijing, Mutianyu offers a less crowded but equally impressive experience. It features restored sections as well as more rugged and original parts.

Jinshanling and Simatai: These sections are farther from Beijing but are known for their scenic beauty and relatively fewer crowds. They offer a more authentic and adventurous hiking experience.

Tips for Tourists:
Best Time to Visit: The Great Wall can be visited year-round, but the best times are spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant, and the scenery is beautiful.

Avoiding Crowds: To avoid crowds, consider visiting the Great Wall early in the morning or during weekdays. Badaling tends to be busiest, so opting for less-visited sections like Jinshanling or Simatai can provide a more peaceful experience.

Wear Comfortable Clothing: The Great Wall involves a fair amount of walking and climbing stairs, so wear comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for hiking.

Stay Hydrated and Sun-Protected: Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat, especially during hot summer months, as there may be limited shade on the Wall.

Respect the Environment: Help preserve the Great Wall for future generations by refraining from littering, defacing, or damaging the structure.

Cultural Insights:
Learn about the History: Take the time to learn about the history and significance of the Great Wall through signage, guidebooks, or guided tours.

Capture Memories: Don't forget to bring a camera or smartphone to capture the breathtaking views and memories of your visit.

Interact with Locals: Engage with local vendors, tour guides, or fellow travelers to gain insights into Chinese culture and customs related to the Great Wall.

Visiting the Great Wall of China is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that offers not only breathtaking views and photo opportunities but also a deeper appreciation for one of the world's most remarkable architectural achievements.

Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, is a dynamic metropolis located in southern China, serving as the capital of Guangdong Province. As one of China's oldest and largest cities, Guangzhou boasts a rich history, vibrant culture, and modern urban amenities. Here's a guide for tourists visiting Guangzhou:

Historical and Cultural Significance:
Historic Trading Hub: Guangzhou has a long history as a major trading port and commercial center, dating back over 2,000 years. It played a crucial role in the ancient Maritime Silk Road, facilitating trade and cultural exchange between China and other parts of the world.

Cultural Diversity: As a melting pot of cultures, Guangzhou has a diverse population, influenced by various ethnic groups and foreign traders throughout history. This cultural diversity is reflected in the city's cuisine, architecture, and traditions.

Top Attractions:
Canton Tower: As one of the tallest structures in China, the Canton Tower is an iconic landmark and a symbol of Guangzhou's modernity. Visitors can ascend the tower for panoramic views of the cityscape, dine in rotating restaurants, and experience thrilling attractions like the Sky Drop and Bubble Tram.

Yuexiu Park: This expansive park in the heart of Guangzhou is home to several attractions, including the iconic Five-Ram Statue, Zhenhai Tower, and the Guangzhou Museum. Visitors can stroll through lush gardens, admire ancient artifacts, and enjoy recreational activities like boating and tai chi.

Chen Clan Academy: Built during the Qing Dynasty, the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall (also known as the Chen Clan Academy) is a masterpiece of Lingnan architecture. It houses a vast collection of traditional art, wood carvings, and ancestral tablets, offering insights into the region's cultural heritage.

Shamian Island: Located along the Pearl River, Shamian Island is a tranquil oasis with tree-lined streets, colonial-era buildings, and charming cafes. Visitors can wander through the island's historic neighborhoods, admire European-style architecture, and relax by the waterfront.

Guangzhou Opera House: Designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, the Guangzhou Opera House is a striking architectural masterpiece that hosts world-class performances and cultural events. Visitors can attend opera, ballet, concerts, and other artistic performances in a stunning modern setting.

Culinary Delights:
Cantonese Cuisine: Guangzhou is famous for its delicious Cantonese cuisine, characterized by fresh seafood, dim sum, roast meats, and flavorful stir-fries. Visitors can sample authentic dishes at local restaurants, street food stalls, and traditional teahouses throughout the city.

Qingping Market: Explore Qingping Market, one of Guangzhou's oldest and largest markets, to experience the vibrant atmosphere and diverse array of local specialties. From exotic fruits and spices to live seafood and herbal remedies, the market offers a sensory feast for visitors.

Practical Tips:
Transportation: Getting around Guangzhou is convenient with its extensive public transportation system, including buses, taxis, and the Guangzhou Metro. The city's efficient transportation network makes it easy to navigate between attractions and neighborhoods.

Language: Mandarin Chinese is the official language spoken in Guangzhou, although Cantonese is also widely spoken by locals. English may not be widely understood, especially in more remote areas, so it's helpful to carry a phrasebook or translation app.

Weather: Guangzhou has a subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and mild winters. The best time to visit is during the cooler months from October to March when the weather is more comfortable for outdoor activities.

Currency: The currency used in China is the Chinese Yuan (CNY). Credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants, and shops in urban areas, but it's advisable to carry cash for small purchases and transactions.

Guangzhou offers a fascinating blend of ancient history, modernity, and cultural diversity, making it an enchanting destination for tourists seeking to explore the treasures of southern China. Whether marveling at iconic landmarks, savoring Cantonese cuisine, or immersing oneself in the city's vibrant culture, Guangzhou has something to offer for every traveler.

GanSu map
GuangDong map
GuangXi map
QingHai map
SiChuan map
XinJiang map

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