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Customer Care > All > China Guide

China Guide:

A land of great diversity, China, the world's most populous and third largest nation, witnesses rapid development and exciting changes in recent years. It is a nation that is worth your attention and exploration with a lengendary history of 5000 years and amazing scenery,an old acient Oriental nation.

The Chinese Dragon:

To Chinese, the Imperial Dragon (or Long), is considered to be the primary of four benevolent spiritual animals, the other three being the phoenix, the unicorn and the tortoise. IChinese Dragont is believed that the Celestial Chinese Dragon is comparable as the symbol of the Chinese race itself. Chinese around the world, proudly proclaim themselves "descendents of the dragon". Dragons are referred to as the divine mythical creature that brings with it ultimate abundance, prosperity and good fortune.  

The Chinese Dragon is energetic, decisive, optimistic, intelligent and ambitious, symbolizing power and excellence, valiancy and boldness, heroism and perseverance, nobility and divinity. Having such unrivaled characteristics, the dragon symbolized the Emperors of China themselves, who were actually called dragons. China's first emperor was said to have a dragon's tail. Shen Nung, his successor was supposed to have been fathered by a dragon. The Chinese Emperor sat on a dragon throne, rode in a dragon boat and slept in a dragon bed. To distinguish the Chinese Imperial Dragon from all other dragons, only the Imperial Dragon bore five claws.

Unlike the negative energies associated with Western Dragons, most Chinese Dragons are beautiful, friendly, and wise. They are the angels of the Orient. Instead of being hated, they are loved and worshipped. Temples and shrines have been built to honor them, for they control the rain, rivers, lakes, and seas. Many Chinese cities have pagodas where people used to burn incense and pray to dragons.  

Everything connected with Chinese Dragons is blessed. According to the Chinese calendar, the dragon is the animal for those who were born in the year 2000 and every 12 years before or afterwards. The year you are born is believed to influence your personality. Thus, for the dragons, they are softhearted, healthy, respected, energetic, and eccentric. 

The Nine Entities (parts) of A Chinese Dragon

As imagined by the Chinese, the Chinese dragon has a serpentine body, four legs, and is usually without wings. It is said to be composed of various other animals on the Earth-the body of a snake, the antlers of a deer, the talons of an eagle, the soles of a tiger, the scales of a carp, and the eyes of a demon. It is believed that Chinese dragons have 117 scales.

 

There are two different views about the origin of dragons:

Origin One

The origin of the Chinese dragon is not certain, but some scholars believe that it originated from totems of different tribes in China. Some have claimed that it comes from a stylized Chinese dragondepiction of existing animals, such as snakes, fish, or crocodiles. For instance, the Banpo site of the Yangshao culture in Shaanxi featured an elongated, snake-like fish motif. However, the theory of snakes or fish as the origin of the Chinese dragon is not widely accepted.

He Xin suggested that the early dragon depicted a species of crocodile. Specifically, Crocodylus porous is the largest living reptile. The crocodile is known to be able to accurately sense changes in air pressure, and be able to sense coming rain. This may have been the origin of the dragon's mythical attributes in controlling the weather, especially the rain. The association with the crocodile is also supported by the view in ancient times that large crocodiles are a variety of dragon. For instance, in the Story of Zhou Chu, which talks about the life of a Jin Dynasty warrior, he is said to have killed a "dragon" that infested the waters of his home village, which appears to have been a crocodile.

Others have proposed that its shape merged from totems of various tribes as the result of the merger of tribes. The coiled snake or dragon form played an important role in early Chinese culture. Legendary figures like Nüwa and Fuxi are depicted as having snake bodies. Some scholars have noted that a myth arose that the first legendary Emperor of China Huang Di (Yellow Emperor) used a snake for his coat of arms. According to the myth, every time he conquered another tribe, he incorporated his defeated enemy's emblem into his own, which may explain why the dragon appears to have features of various animals.

 

Origin Two

There is another belief that the Long is based on the Indian Naga.

The Nagas were dragon like beings, semi-divine snakes with human faces and serpents' tails who occupied palaces (Patala), in the watery region under the earth. They are divided into four classes: heavenly, divine, earthly, and hidden, depending upon their function in guarding the heavenly palace, giving rainfall, damming rivers, or guarding treasures. In Burma, the Nagas combine elements of the dragon, snake, and crocodile, and give rubies to those they favor; in addition, they guarded and protected royalty. Chinese Dragon Kites were even known to be used in warfare.

 

Types of Dragons

It is known that there are nine major types of Chinese dragons. They are as follows:

1. Tianlong, the Celestial Dragons are the celestial dragons who pull the chariots of the gods and guard their palaces. 

2. Shenlong, the Spiritual Dragons, control the wind and the rain. 

3. Fucanglong, the Dragons of Hidden Treasures, are underworld dragons which guard buried treasures, both natural and man-made. Volcanoes are said to be created when they burst out of the ground to report to heaven. Chinese dragon

4. Dilong, the Underground Dragons, are earth dragons whose task it is to preside over rivers and streams. According to some accounts, they are the female counterpart of the Shenlong and they fly only in order to mate.

5. Yinglong, the Winged Dragons, are the oldest of all eastern dragons and the only kind with wings.

6. Qiulong, the Horned Dragons, are considered to be the mightiest dragons.

7. Panlong, the Coiling Dragons, are water dragons believed to mostly inhabit the lakes of the Orient.

8. Huanglong, the Yellow Dragons, once emerged from the River Luo and presented the legendary Emperor Fu Hsi with the elements of writing. They are known for their scholarly knowledge.

9. Lóng Wáng, the Dragon Kings, which actually consists of four separate dragons, each of which rules over one of the four seas, those of the east, south, west, and north.

 

The 4 Dragons: A Chinese Tale

Once upon a time, there were no rivers and lakes on earth, but only the Eastern Sea, in which lived four dragons: the Long Dragon, the Yellow Dragon, the Black Dragon and the Pearl Dragon.

One day the four dragons flew from the sea into the sky. They soared and dived, playing at hide-and-seek in the clouds.

"Come over here quickly!" the Pearl Dragon cried out suddenly. 

"What's up?" asked the other three, looking down in the direction where the Pearl Dragon pointed. On the earth they saw many people putting out fruits and cakes, and burning incense sticks. They were praying! A white-haired woman, kneeling on the ground with a thin boy on her back, murmured: "Please send rain quickly, God of Heaven, to give our children rice to eat.."
for there
had been no rain for a long time. The crops withered, the grass turned yellow and fields cracked under the scorching sun. Chinese Tale

"How poor the people are!" said the Yellow Dragon. "And they will die if it doesn't rain soon."

The Long Dragon nodded. Then he suggested, "Let's go and beg the Jade Emperor for rain."

So saying, he leapt into the clouds. The others followed closely and flew towards the Heavenly Palace.

Being in charge of all the affairs in heaven, on earth and in the sea, the Jade Emperor was very powerful. He was not pleased to see the dragons rushing in. "Why do you come here instead of staying in the sea and behaving yourselves?"

The Long Dragon stepped forward and said, "The crops on earth are withering and dying, Your Majesty. I beg you to send rain down quickly!"

"All right. You go back first, I'll send some rain down tomorrow." The Jade Emperor pretended to agree while listening to the songs of the fairies.

"Thanks, Your Majesty!" The four dragons went happily back.

But ten days passed, and not a drop of rain came down.

The people suffered more, some eating bark, some grass roots, some forced to eat white clay when they ran out of bark and grass roots.

Seeing all this, the four dragons felt very sorry, for they knew the Jade Emperor only cared about pleasure, and never took the people to heart. They could only rely on themselves to relieve the people of their miseries. But how to do it?

Seeing the vast sea, the Long Dragon said that he had an idea.

"What is it? Out with it, quickly!" the other three demanded.

"Look, is there not plenty of water in the sea where we live? We should scoop it up and spray it towards the sky. The water will be like rain drops and come down to save the people and their crops."

"Good idea!" The others clapped their hands. 

"But," said the Long Dragon after thinking a bit, "We will be blamed if the Jade Emperor learns of this.
"I will do anything to save the people," the Yellow Dragon said resolutely.
"Let's begin. We will never regret it." The Black Dragon and the Pearl Dragon were not to be outdone. 

They flew to the sea, scooped up water in their mouths, and then flew back into the sky, where they sprayed the water out over the earth. The four dragons flew back and forth, making the sky dark all around. Before long, the seawater became rain pouring Chinese Tale down from the sky.
"It's raining! It's raining!" "The crops will be saved!"

The people cried and leaped with joy. On the ground, the wheat stalks raised their heads and the sorghum stalks straightened up.

The god of the sea discovered these events and reported to the Jade Emperor.

"How dare the four dragons bring rain without my permission!" The Jade Emperor was enraged, and ordered the heavenly generals and their troops to arrest the four dragons. Being far outnumbered, the four dragons could not defend themselves, and they were soon arrested and brought back to the heavenly palace.

"Go and get four mountains to lay upon them so that they can never escape!" The Jade Emperor ordered the Mountain God.

The Mountain God used his magic power to make four mountains fly there, whistling in the wind from afar, and pressed them down upon the four dragons.

Imprisoned as they were, they never regretted their actions. Determined to do good for the people forever, they turned themselves into four rivers, which flowed past high mountains and deep valleys, crossing the land from the west to the east and finally emptying into the sea. And so China's four great rivers were formed -- the Heilongjian (Black Dragon) in the far north, the Huanghe (Yellow River) in central China, the Changjiang (Yangtze, or Long River) farther south, and the Zhujiang (Pearl) in the very far south.

Symbols of Rain and Water

The Chinese dragon is as a symbol of auspicious power in Chinese folklore and art, it is the embodiment of the concept of yang [male] and associated with the weather and water as the bringer of rain.

Chinese dragons are believed to be the rulers of moving bodies of water, such as waterfalls, rivers, or seas. They can show themselves as water spouts (tornado DragonKingor twister over water). There are four major dragons, one representing each sea,for instance the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea, Dragon King of the Western Sea, and so forth.

Because of this association, they are seen as "in charge" of water-related weather phenomenon. In pre-modern times, many Chinese villages (especially those living close to rivers) had temples dedicated to their local "dragon king." In times of drought or flooding, it was customary for the local gentry and government officials to lead the community in offering sacrifices and conducting other religious rites to appease the dragon, either to ask for rain or a cessation thereof.

China's Museums:

General Information
China as one of Four Cradles of Human Civilization boasts her two-river civilization (Yellow River Civilization and Yangtze River Civilization). The miraculous and glorious history and culture of China are always the pride of Chinese people today.Yellow River Hence, the first-time travelers in China may be deeply impressed by the hospitality and generosity of Chinese people as well as their sense of pride in Chinese culture and tradition. Most of Chinese people’s pride is based on the succession and protection of its tradition and history. Since 1978 Chinese people have given an unprecedented emphasis on the protection and extended reconstruction of museums in different regions of China as well as taking close notice of the importance of protecting cultural and historical relics and sites.This is because the brilliant Chinese and the elites of Chinese high-level researchers and policymakers have found the greatness of these remained treasures after a long time of suffering .
 
China became stimulated after the implementation of the policy of opening and reform. More and more Chinese, after visiting many developed countries in western society, call for the protection of China’s traditional culture, as well as the pure spirituality and humanity of the Chinese people, despite suffering the Cultural Revolution.
 
How to protect and reuse the heritage from ancestors in today’s life? In accordance with international convention museums, as the center of protecting history and culture, should be built and highlighted ahead of time, because the museum is the final home of those tangible and intangible remains of history. Then, no matter whether they are state owned or private, a large number of museums with different orientations are built and opened in China.
 
Today, the easiest way for foreigners to learn about Chinese history and culture is by visiting the related museums. Face-to-face talk and meeting the history of China is always available in the museums of China. it is said that Chinese history and stories are largely sleeping in thousands of museums of China. In this way, the dream of cultural and historical experience in China can only be satisfactorily realized in a museum.
 

Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show:

The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show, a wonderful performance of the ancient music and dance, is a must when you visit Xian. It is a performance of music and dance that originated in Tang Dynasty more than one thousand years ago. The Tang Dynasty (618-907A.D.) was the climax of China's development in music and dance. The performance has been recreated according to the poise of the dancers on the murals as well as ancient art and relics discovered in Xian. It is an outstanding exponent of this ancient stable and prosperous society, keeping alive its splendid culture and providing an insight into the peaceful life style of the period.



The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show is a combination of food and entertainment that showcases the costumes, music and dancing of China's Golden Age: the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The food is delicious and includes Xian dumplings, black mushroom consommé, prawns with honey glazed walnuts, beef tenderloin, fried rice, and jasmine tea.



By combining poetry with the skilled playing of musical instruments, singing, dancing and also stunning costumes, the modern presentation is certain to give you an impressive view of ancient China including its splendid history, brilliant arts, distinct traditions and customs.



The performances are various and include:



Act 1. Long live the Emperor.
This act is an instrumental ensemble showing the grand welcome of officials when the emperor comes to the court. Traditional Chinese musical instruments such as the drum, urheen, and Qin make the performance magnificent and exquisite.
 
Act 2. The white Ramie Clothe Costume Dance.
The white ramie was very popular in the Tang Dynasty, which was invented in Qin Dynasty (221-206 B.C.). Dancers wear the ramie clothe with sleeves resembling fairies flying over the sky, which makes the dance elegant and beautiful.
 
Act 3. Da Nuo Dance.
This dance is a kind of sorcerer's dance that can be traced back to the Zhou Dynasty. At that time, every year people danced to pray for better fortune, harvest and safety from diseases during New Year's Eve.
 
Act 4. Dance of Rainbow Skirt and Feather Garments.
It is said that this act is created as per a dream of Xuanzong. He dreamed of a trip to the moon and saw many fairies dancing with multicolored costumes. When he woke up, he wrote down the fairy's dance and recreated the dance with his concubine, Yang Guifei. This was the most famous dance during Tang Dynasty.
 
Act 5. King Qin Break the Battle Array.
King Qin refers to Li Shimin, the second emperor of the Tang Dynasty. He is respected for his great talent and bold vision. The dance was used to praise King Qin's achievements and excite the soldiers.
 
Act 6. The Spring Oriole's Singing.
This performance was used to celebrate the enthronement of the emperor played by Pai Xiao Solo, a kind of Chinese traditional instrument.
 
Act 7. Dance to Song.
Xuan Zong and his wife Yang Guifei lead their officers to pray for blessings to their people. Meanwhile, many beautiful women in Tang dresses step on the palace to show the Chinese fashion. The whole performance ends in songs and under sky rocks.
 
The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show has now become a classic entertainment that has been warmly appreciated by audiences running into hundreds of thousands for more than twenty years.

Shanghai Acrobatics:

Shanghai Acrobatics TroupeShanghai Acrobatics Troupe

The Acrobatics in Shanghai are not to be missed. They are held each night and last for about 2 hours. Established in 1951, the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe is one of the best troupes in China. Though they are often on tour, traveling the world from Chicago to Rome to Sydney, their home base and most frequent site of their amazing performances is in the city, from which the troupe takes its name. People from all over the country come here to witness the gravity defying stunts and amazing feats of balance and strength that are synonymous with a performance by these world-renowned acrobats.



Though the Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe has been around for years, they started playing their most famous shows in September of 1999, as the main event in the newly constructed Shanghai Circus World. Found on Gonghexin Road in the northern section of town, their performances were immediately hailed for their breathtaking stunts, and within a few weeks, the Circus World was immediately elevated to one of the most popular attractions in Shanghai. The troupe succeeded in their mission to bring back the grandeur and pageantry of the circus, most notably in their trademark performance called “Oriental Stories.” From then on, it was immediately billed as the number one circus on the continent. And with good reasons - various performers affiliating with the Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe were given special recognition after their signature trick, known as the Flying Trapeze, who won the gold medal in the National Acrobatics Contest. This also cemented their status as one of the growing Shanghai tourist attractions, as shows in the giant arena sold out in mere minutes.


 
An acrobatic show has become one of the most popular evening entertainments for tourists in Shanghai. You can enjoy gravity-defying contortionism, juggling, unicycling, chair-stacking, and plate-spinning acts in the show.
 
Shangahi Circus World
The other famous acrobatics troupe is Shangahi Circus World. Located at 2266, New Gonghe Road, Shanghai Circus World Shangahi Circus Worldis also considered as one of the best troupes. Unique in architectural shape and with a golden dome-like roof, it is another landmark building of Shanghai, an international cultural metropolis. It has the acrobatic field as the main building, rehearsal auxiliary building, animal room and commercial cultural city as necessary installations. The acrobatic field, which has a total of 1,638 seats, is equipped with modern lighting installations and surround sound.

To meet the increasing demands of the new situation, bold and resolute reforms were ushered into the cultural institutions of Shanghai. The Shanghai Circus World and Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe have both become the members of the Shanghai Culture, Broadcast, Film and TV Group. Joining hands with media and other cultural undertakings, acrobatics has made unparalleled development. Keeping the trend in the development of acrobatics and circus both at home and abroad, the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe is striving for new and higher goals of first-class culture.

Pearl River Night Cruise:

Pearl River Night Cruise
With a length of 2,214 km (about 1,376 miles), the Pearl River is the third largest river in China and the largest one in Guangzhou. The Pearl River is picturesque and adorned by charming views along the river. A cruise along the Pearl River has become a must for visitors to Guangzhou. Whether you choose a daytime or an evening cruise, it will be a highlight of your trip.

One cannot be considered to have visited Guangzhou if he or she hasn't cruised the scenic Pearl River. Views along the Pearl River in Guangzhou City are charming and gentle. Historical sites and unique architecture scattered along the Pearl River are numerous and are a goodly reflection of the Guangzhou culture. Among them are architectures in Shamian where converge a number of ancient architectures from various countries. The White Goose Pool that is one of the eight most famous scenes in Guangzhou, and is one of the ten characteristic bridges.

Compared with the daytime cruise on the Pearl River, the night cruise is even more fascinating under the sparkling lights. The night cruise starts from the White Goose Pool and ends at the Guangzhou Bridge in the east and Baihedong (White Crane Cave) in the south. This section offers visitors vistas such as 'Night Moon over the Goose Pool' and 'Red Heart of the Pearl River'.

Every visitor will be captivated by the beauty of the Pearl River during this two-hour evening cruise.

Longji Show:

Longji ShowThe Longji Show is an artistic drama of theatrical outdoor scenes made elaborately at a cost of about RMB10 million Yuan by the Guilin Performance of Tourism and Culture Co. Ltd., whose holding company is the Guilin Tourism Co. Ltd. This show embodies comprehensive strength of young artists of national level, and is performed in the form of theatrical outdoor-scene art invented uniquely in the country. This real and vivid art shows minority lifestyle of Guangxi. When outdoor scene is exhibited artistically in the theatre, the stage art becomes a realistic view and vice versa. It makes use of top-ranking lighting and dance art, and beautiful minority costumes to integrate perfectly with minority songs, dances and a realistic view of minorities. It exhibits the Longji terraces which are handed down from generation to generation over thousands of years and are made by Longsheng minorities such as Miao,Yao, Dong, Zhuang, etc.

It shows how Longji people work for life, how they lead their lives, and express their feelings. You will feel that the Longsheng terraces are magnificent and the minority songs and dances of Guangxi are attractive. When you come to the outdoor-scene theater, ancient wooden houses, suspension bridges, flowery zhuang brocades, Red Yao girls combing their long hair, singing local songs spinning and weaving, make you seem to be personally on the scene.

The outdoor scene art of Longji shows you strong-flavor lifestyle pictures of minorities in an artistic form, and puts you into the minority life of northwest Guilin to experience the strong-flavor lifestyle of minorities. Longji is the first creation of the conception of outdoor scene art of the domestic theater. It is a song to eulogize the natural and humanistic spirit of Longji. It is an ideal and reality of a harmonious talk between humans and the environment. All of these make people feel the spirit of Longji people and the magnificence of Longji, and make those who never came here before eager to come, and those who have come here to think the trip to Longji is worthwhile.


Impression of Sister Liu (Liusanjie):

 
Origins
Liu Sanjie Liu Sanjie tells a love story about a woman named Liu Sanjie, which means "Third Sister Liu". Her voice was so beautiful that it moved everyone who heard it. Born in the town of Liuzhou and working on the family farm with her two sisters, the legend is that a warlord falls in love with Sanjie but she is already in love with a man from her village. The warlord does not accept this and kidnaps her, but Liu Sanjie's lover and friends from the village set out to rescue her and the couple escapes, living happily ever after.
Location

The outdoor amphitheatre is located about 2 km from West Street, Yangshuo. The show is performed on the Li River itself. Twelve karst hills are illuminated, highlighting the area's natural geological wonders as a backdrop to the stage. The show can appear different each performance, as mist, rain, clouds and varying moonlight naturally alter the set of the stage. The show features more than 600 local people, who are mainly farmers, fisherman and young children from surrounding villages, performing to an audience of up to 10,000.

 
FeaturesImpression of Sister Liu (performance)
TThis is a huge performance, with a natural stage on water, one that you might have never seen or experienced before. With an area of 2 km along Lijiang River and 12 surrounding peaks of Guilin scenery, this is the largest natural theatre in the world. Its auditorium looks like a green terrace with panorama vision. Lighting and audio integrate with nature. There are 2,200 seats for the audience, of which 2,000 are for the ordinary people, 180 for VIPs and 20 for presidents. Unlike the traditional artificial stage performance, the performance on the natural stage is a great work of man and nature. Peaks appearing indistinctly, the reflection of mountains in the water, misty rain and the sounds of the bamboo forest, are all ready to join in the performance.
 
The show is performed every night of the week except during periods of heavy rain. The show runs Mon-Fri from 8 pm, however in the high season and weekends there are two shows, one starting at 7.30 pm and the final show at 9 pm. Tickets are available through Yangshuo Village Inn reception, or through travel agencies in Yangshuo.

Impression Lijiang:

 Impression Lijiang
The Ancient Lijiang City,  with a history of 800 or 900 years, began to take shape in the Southern Song Dynasty. Since it is in the middle of the Lijiangba Dam and surrounded by the green mountains and a river that runs through the forest, and looks like a green ink stone, it was given that name. The Ancient Lijiang City was put into the list of world cultural legacy by the World Legacy Committee of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization in 1997. 

 

This is a magnificent outdoor cultural show demonstrating the traditions and lifestyles of the Naxi, Yi and Bai peoples of the area. The show takes place inside Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Park at 3,500m in an outdoor theater which is specifically designed to showcase the mountain which is used as a backdrop. The production itself was designed by Zhang Yimou (director of Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Fan Yue and Wang Chaoge, has a cast of over 500 people, and a number of horses. However, the show does not have a plot and is directed towards tourists.

 

Huangpu River Cruise:

The HuangpuRiver (Huangpu Jiang) is the Shanghai's shipping artery both to the East China Sea and to the mouth of the YangziRiver, which the Huangpu joins 29km (18 miles) north of downtown Shanghai. It has also the Huangpubecome a demarcating line between two Shanghais, east and west, past and future. On its western shore, the colonial landmarks of the Bund serve as a reminder of Shanghai's 19th-century struggle to reclaim a waterfront from the bogs of this river (which originates in nearby Dianshan Hu or LakeDianshan); on the eastern shore, the steel and glass skyscrapers of the Pudong New Area point to a burgeoning financial empire of the future.
 
The Huangpu's wharves are the most fascinating in China. The port handles the cargo coming out of the interior from Nanjing, Wuhan, and other YangziRiver ports, including Chongqing, 2,415km (1,500 miles) deep into SichuanProvince. From Shanghai, which produces plenty of industrial and commercial products on its own right, as much as a third of China's trade with the rest of the world is conducted each year. A boat ride on the Huangpu is highly recommended: Not only does it provide unrivalled postcard views of Shanghai past and future, but it also affords you a closer look at this dynamic waterway that makes Shanghai flow.
 
Essentials
There are several ways to tour the HuangpuRiver. If you have time, a 3-hour (60km/37-mile) voyage along the Huangpu to the mouth of the Yangzi River and back allows for the most leisurely and complete appreciation of the river. There are also shorter river cruises (1-2 hr.) that ply the main waterfront area between the two suspension bridges, Yangpu Qiao in the north and Nanpu Qiao in the south, and an even shorter (30-min.) cruise from Pudong.
 
There are several boat companies offering cruises. They have a daily full 3-hr afternoon cruise (2-5pm) with the possibility of a full morning cruise during the summer. This cruise provides the best ticket offering, the most comfortable seats on the top deck, the best views, and drinks and snacks. As well, there are hour-long cruises every day at 9:30am, 10:45am, 1pm, 2:30pm, 3:15pm, 4pm, and 4:30pm. This company also offers a nightly hour-long cruise from the Bund to the YangpuBridge (7pm and 8:30pm). Cruise schedules vary depending on the season, and on weekends additional cruises are sometimes added, so check ahead.
 
Cruising the Huangpu
Between the stately colonial edifices along the Bund, the glittering skyscrapers on the eastern shore of Pudong, and the unceasing river traffic, there is plenty to keep your eyes from ever resting. Even on overcast days (the norm in Shanghai), the single greatest piece of eye candy as your boat pulls away is undoubtedly still the granite offices, banks, consulates, and hotels that comprise the Bund. Sadly for purists these days, however, the Peace Hotel with its stunning green pyramid roof and the Customs House with its big clock tower no longer have your undivided attention but have to compete with the towering 21st-century space-age skyscrapers that have sprouted in the background. Up close, though, the grandeur of the Bund is still undeniable.
Cruising the Huangpu
As the ship heads north, downstream, it passes HuangpuPark across from the Peace Hotel, still considered by many to be the loveliest piece of architecture in Shanghai. Others prefer the architectural perfection of the Jin Mao Tower on the opposite shore; it's certainly hard to take your eyes off the Jin Mao as it tapers majestically upwards. Also on the Pudong shore are the can't-miss Oriental Pearl Tower, the ShanghaiInternationalConvention Center with its twin glass globes, and a slew of hotels, offices, and malls of the Lujiazui Financial Area. 
 
Back on the western shore, north of HuangpuPark is Suzhou Creek (Suzhou He), formerly called the WusongRiver. Originating in Tai Hu (LakeTai), the 120km-long (72-mile) river was once much busier than the Huangpu, but silting in the lower reaches eventually diminished water traffic. The creek is spanned by WaibaiduBridge, which once linked the American concession in the north (today's Hongkou District) and the British concession south of the creek. Eighteen meters (60 ft.) wide, with two 51m-long (171-ft.) spans, this bridge has seen all forms of traffic, from rickshaws to trams to motorcars. Elderly Shanghainese still recall the days of the Japanese occupation when they had to bow to Japanese sentries guarding the bridge and seek special permission to cross.
 
North of the Suzhou Creek hugging the west shore are the old "go-downs" or warehouses of the many foreign trading firms. This area, known as Hongkou District, and the district to the east, Yangpu District, have been marked for rapid development after Pudong, though new modern towers (all no more than 3 years old) have already started to stake out the skyline. Less than a mile farther on is the International Passenger Terminal, where cruise ships from Japan tie up. The Huangpu River jogs east at this point on its way to the Shanghai shipyards, where cranes and derricks load and unload the daily logjam of freighters from the world's other shipping giants (United States, Japan, Russia, Norway). Eventually, all of this waterfront will be developed into a series of marinas and a combination of industrial and recreational areas.
Yangpu Cable Bridge
Before the Huangpu slowly begins to curve northward again, you'll pass the English castle-style Yangshupu Water Plant originally built by the British in 1882. The Yangpi Bridge, like the NanpuCableBridge to the south, is one of the largest such structures in the world. Boasting the longest span in the world, some 602m (1,975 ft.), the YangpuBridge is considered the world's first "slant-stretched" bridge. Its total length is about 7.6km (4 3/4 miles), and 50,000 vehicles pass over its six lanes daily. 
 
What overwhelms river passengers even more than the long industrial shoreline is the traffic slinking up and down the waterway from the flotilla of river barges to the large rusting hulls of cargo ships. The Huangpu is, on the average, just 183m (600 ft.) wide, but more than 2,000 oceangoing ships compete with the 20,000 barges, fishing junks, and rowboats that ply the Huangpu every year. As the river curves north, you will pass the small island, Fuxing Dao, which is to be developed into an ecological and recreational theme park.
 
Quick Cruise from Pudong
A brief (30-min.) but dramatic cruise along the Huangpu can be picked up on the Pudong side of the river. The cruise won't get you far, only upriver to the old ShiliupuWharf and back,15 minutes each way, but the cityscapes on both sides will give you a sweeping perspective of Shanghai old and new.
 
Features
Riding a cruise along the HuangpuRiver, you will take a glimpse of the history of Shanghai. On one side of the river, there is the Bund, a landmark of Shanghai. Lining the boulevard of the waterfront are grandiose solid buildings of Western style dating back to the early 19th century. You will also see the ParkBridge, the first toll bridge in Shanghai; the People's HeroesMonument and HuangpuPark, the city's first park. On the other side is the image of a new Shanghai.

 

Beijing Opera:

Beijing OperaBeijing Opera is a traditional theater form that combines singing, dialog, dance, music and acrobatics. It was performed in the late 18th century but it became popular in the 19th century, especially during the Qing Dynasty. While the popularity of Beijing Opera has waned in recent years, despite attempts to modernize it with contemporary storylines, it is still considered a pinnacle in Chinese culture. Beijing Opera will continue to aim for future development as it strives vigorously to hold its worthy place, a status for which no other forms of art can be allowed to substitute. 
Features
A traditional Beijing Opera can depict over 1,400 storylines, though recently some new plays and adaptations have emerged. Most of the stories are based around Chinese history and folklore. The Beijing Opera uses a special dialect of Chinese that can be very difficult to understand. Fortunately, many of the most popular theaters now offer subtitles in both English and standard Mandarin.
 
There are four main roles in every Beijing Opera. The Sheng, or main role, is a male character who typically sings in a very high voice. The Jing is a supporting male role, always depicted with a painted face, and characterized by a strong voice and forceful body movements. The third male role is the Chou, or clown, which is also a painted face character and has a close relationship with the opera's percussion accompaniment. The final character type is the Dan, or female, role.
 
The stage scenery of a Beijing Opera is typically very sparse. Instead, the focus of the story falls upon the actors, who narrate events with highly stylized and symbolic movements that are timed precisely with accompanying music.
 
Peking opera can be enjoyed in several places with daily shows. Peking opera is a mix of singing, music, dance and acrobatics with elaborate costumes. Traditional instruments such as the two stringed fiddles, lutes, drums and gongs are used. The story is normally a myth or historical event.
 
The most popular Beijing Opera theaters are: Zhengyici Theater
Zhengyici Theater
No. 220 Xiheyan Dajie (6303-3104)
 
Huguang Guild Hall
No. 3 Hufang Lu (6351-1309)
 
Changan Grand Hall
Changan Building
No. 7 Jiangguomennei Dajie (6510-1309)
 
Li Yuan Theatre
L located inside the Qianmen Hotel (6301 6688)
Chang An Grand Theatre, 7 Jianguomennei, Dongchen District (6510 1155)

Beijing Acrobatics:

Beijing AcrobaticsOver time, acrobatics was developed into a performance art and became known worldwide through performances along the Silk Road. Whether old or young, educated or illiterate, an appreciation simply requires you to see. There is no language barrier or cultural border. One thinks of the Chinese saying, "one minute on a stage costs a performer ten years of training," when watching the skill of Chinese acrobats.
 
The prestigious China Acrobatic Circus has secured another impressive feather in its cap by scooping the Golden Clown award at the 28th International Monte Carlo Circus Festival. A series of eye-popping feats of acrobatic brilliance won over judges impressed by the 13-strong Chinese troupe's bowl-balancing, magic and dance skills. The use of traditional red Chinese fans on stage added to the visual appeal of a stunning sequence of performances. The Golden Clown is the third top prize brought home by the China Acrobatic Circus from international contests in the past three years. In 2003, a ropewalk performed by Zhang Fan won the French Republic President Award.
 
The China Acrobatic Circus also won the Crystal Award at the French Macy International Circus Festival. Delighted circus director Sun Lili said: "More and more Chinese are now proud of our breathtaking acrobatics." Such spectacular performances can be enjoyed every evening at Universal Theatre.
 
There are several famous Beijing acrobatics theaters, including: Chaoyang Theater
Chaoyang Theater                    
36 East Third Ring Road, Chaoyang District (6507 2421)  

 

Tianqiao Acrobatics Theatre 

 East Beiwei Road, Xuanwu District (6303 7449)

 

Universal Theater                   

Dongsishitiao Lijiaoqiao, Chaoyang District (6502 3984)

Wansheng Juchang                  
North Beiwei Lu, Near Qianmen Dajie (6303 7449)

Trip Planner:

GWV Helps You Make Better Trip Plans
 
Package Tours
The tours can include: the hotels, the flights, the private touring with excellent English-speaking guide and vehicles, the admission tickets, the daily ABF( American breakfast), other meals, some cultural evening activities, and all the transfers.
 
Independent travel with limited assistance

We can book hotel rooms, the flight and train tickets; we can arrange the airport transfers; or just arrange the guiding services if you can make other arrangements by yourselves. Each single service is available from us.


 
We also offer services for those who are on business trips in China
Extension touring services before or after business, or touring services during business trip time. Such arrangements are: private city touring with English-speaking guides and vehicles, airport transfers, flight or train tickets, hotel bookings, etc.
 
Seat-in-coach Tourssight-seeing bus
If you have been in China and need freedom and flexibility of independent travel, seat-in-coach tours may be ideal for you. You just e-mail or call us to book it, and we will arrange the local tour guide to contact you. Either half-day or full day seat-in-coach tours are available from us. No deposit is needed for reservation. The local guide will collect the money when you have decided to join in seat-in-coach tours.
 
All the itineraries just give you some ideas of where to go and what to see, but if you come on your own, with family or friends, and want to do something different, the tour can be tailor-made for you to meet your needs, and we will do the best for you.

Backpacking in China:

General Information
As most of the travel guides are being updated once in 2 - 3 years and China is continuously changing and developing, many things may change at any time. Therefore, backpackers need to reconfirm many things before they arrive in China to make their travel foolproof. It may be a good idea to learn to speak a little Chinese language. Although the English-speaking population is still quickly increasing, you will meet many people who do not understand English. It is very difficult to make them understand you if you cannot speak some Chinese especially in suburban and remote areas where they do not meet with many tourists.
  
No. 1: Lijiang (YunnanProvince)  Lijiang

The minority town of Lijiang, north of Yunnan province and next to Tibet, has been a backpackers' heaven for years. This small "Venice of Orient" is one of the most charming spot of China, thanks to its clear water canals running the small cobbled alleys. The Naxi people, with their markets and traditions, add color and music to the place while the surroundings mountains offers an easy escape to the tourist crowd.


No. 2: Langmusi (SichuanProvince)

The Tibetan village of Langmusi is a relatively new discovered backpackers' spot. With its big Lamasery, friendly locals, surrounding mountains and relative quietness, this place is as close to Tibet as you can get in China. It is much more peaceful and authentic than the touristy city of Xiahe in the north, although this might change when it clearly appears on traveler's maps. 

 
No. 3: Xishuangbanna (YunnanProvince)

The region bordering Laos and Burma is another area where you would see everything. If not for the Chinese tourists who come here to experience Thailand without a passport, it's a particular way of life that makes it a favorite for travelers who have spent any amount of time in China. However , if the trip involved people who have been to Thailand or Laos, they might be better off visiting other minorities’ areas. 


No. 4: Yangshuo (Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region)  Yangshuo

China's banana pancake capital remains in a good position. But this has probably more to do with its amazing scenery and surrounding villages than the atmosphere of Yangshuo itself. Now invaded by tourists, Chinese and westerners, you will appreciate it much better after a few weeks in China than at the beginning of your trip.


No. 5: Beijing (Beijing Municipality)

The capital of China requires no presentation. Considering the cost, Beijing is not exactly a backpackers' paradise but it is an unavoidable one due to its cultural treasures. Without seeing Beijing, you do not really visit China!

No. 6: Sanjiang (Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region)

The traditional Dong village of Sanjiang is one of those places you hesitate to recommend by fear of a touristy invasion and not being able to listen to the water wheels in the future.  Easily accessible from Yangshuo, it retains the charm, quietness and authenticity long lost by its more famous neighbor.  For peaceful backpackers only!

No. 7: Tiger Leaping Gorge (Yunnan Province)Tiger Leaping Gorge

This place finished first in our travelers' rating! Arguably the best trek of China, easily accessible from number one Lijiang, it receives its flow of visitors in summer. Thanks to its danger and difficulties, very few Chinese tourists however bother to walk the upper road, which remains mostly a place for westerners. For fit and dry backpackers only!

No. 8: Zhaoxing (Guizhou Province)
The remote province of Guizhou is relatively forgotten by travelers. The adventurous backpackers will be rewarded by splendid minorities’ villages (the best example being Zhaoxing), colorful markets and some of the best rice terrace scenery of China.

No. 9: Songpan (Sichuan Province)

This minority area has become very popular over the years thanks to its horse treks and its convenient location between Chengdu and Langmusi. The village itself has some charm but the definite attraction is to explore the spectacular mountainous countryside full of Tibetan villages, with a four-legged friend and its attentive master.

 
No. 10: Dunhuang (Gansu Province) Dunhuang
This fairly relaxed place is above all the site of the Buddhist caves of Mogao, one of the best in the world. However considering that quite a few people are disappointed by what they see and how they see it (Datong offers a better cave experience), we would rather concentrate on its other attraction: the SingingSandMountains, the biggest and most impressive sand dunes of China!
 
No.11: Guilin (GuangxiZhuang Autonomous Region) 

Guilin is a favorite of backpackers and tourists in general, thanks in large part to the beautiful scenery. The landscape could be right out of a painting. The city is famous for its limestone karst mountains, a most relaxing Li River cruise, minority villages and terraced fields, and the backpackers' paradise - Yangshuo.

Adventure Travel:

China Adventure Tours are specially designed for people who prefer independent and adventurous traveling. If you want to see and experience the real China, join China Adventure Tours now. All the itineraries just give you some ideas of where to go and what to experience, but if you come on your own, with family or friends and want to do something different. All the tour can be tailor-made for you to meet your needs, just as your wishes , we will do the best for you.
 
China Adventure Tours
China is a great country for adventure travel. Its rich diversity can suit all tastes. From the towering mountains, vast deserts, wild rivers there are countless places that will fully satisfy your curiosity and make your life-long adventure dreams come true. There are a lot of snow mountains above 5,000 m in the western part of China, and many of them are very suitable for non-professional mountaineering lovers. 
Horse-riding
Trekking is becoming more and more popular now in China. There are many types of trekking tours available including trekking by horse or by camel. These tours, as well as offering exciting vistas of mountains and deserts, also provide a capability to get acquainted with the ethnography, traditions and history of Chinese people.
 
Camel Safari
Camel Safari is one of the unique ways to explore wild parts of China. A Camel Safari at the top of this ship of the desert is a most exciting and soft adventure. Riding a camel is not as easy as people consider. It is neither a great test of endurance. It is a great experience to explore the Taklamakan - a vibrantly, living, desert, very colorful and hospitable.
 

Itineraries of 2 to 7 days can be arranged traversing approx. 40-50km a day on camel. These itineraries are planned in the region of Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Gansu. Nights halts are usually given near the village to provide opportunities to mingle with the local village folks and to provide insight to the traditional way of their life and culture. Besides one camel per person on the safari, a camel cart accompanies the tour to handle baggage and allow riders to take rest as and when required.

 

Bike
China is called the Kingdom of Bicycles, and it is a great country for biking tours. No matter where you go in China, you can always rent a bike (most hotels provide this service) and hire a local bike guide. In this way, it is very convenient for you to visit some interesting places for locals (not for travelers), to explore and discover the true face of China.

China is the hometown of giant pandas. Nowadays, wild giant pandas only live in the western part of Sichuan province, concentrated in two nature reserves: Wolong and Wanglang. In Wanglang nature reserve the pandas live in wild environment, and in Wolong nature reserve the  pandas live in a half-wild environment.

 
Trekking & Hiking
Trekking in China is greatly favored by lovers of nature. Hiking and trekking can get our body working hard enough, to benefit us both physically and spiritually. There are many nice places for trekking and hiking in China. During the trekking, people can enjoy the various landscapes as ancient Great Wall, wide sparse deserts, beautiful mountains, carpet-like grasslands and Tibetan plateau; during the trekking, people can also experience the hospitality of local villagers and diverse culture. 
 
Overland & Off-road

Off-road (or overland) touring in China is one of the closest ways to touch China and know the country. China has a diverse landscape that includes alpine mountains, plateaux, canyons, grasslands and deserts. And various ethnic minorities as Tibetan, Mongolian and Uyghur, live in their compact communities with ancient history and unique culture and customs.

 
 
Panda Bear TourPanda Bear
Panda bears are the special animals of China. They are the great gifts given to mankind by nature. Their beautiful fur, mild character, and honest look has made them very popular all over the world. It is reported only about 1,000 giant pandas exist in the world today and 80% of them are living and breeding in the mountains and forests in the northwest of Sichuan.

As a carnivore, 99% of the panda’s food is made up of bamboo. The arrow bamboo is its main food item. It eats the bamboo with great dexterity and its powerful bite and jaws crush it easily. It eats up to 15-20 kg of bamboo, much of which passes undigested and can be seen in its large green droppings. In spring it moves to a lower elevation to obtain the fresh umbrella bamboo shoots just emerging from the ground.

 
Baby Panda BearSolitary as the Panda Bear usually is, it seeks out partners during the mating season. It usually becomes sexually mature at around 5-6 years of age. In spring, the female comes into heat for a few days. Many males will compete to copulate with her. After a gestation period of 4-5 months, one of two cubs may be born. They are pink and helpless with weight around 60-130g. The mother will only care for one, but protect it day and night. They father plays no part in care of the infant. Mother stays with the infant for about 1.5 years.
 
Pandas can usually have babies only once every two years. The low birth rate is a source of concern as the number of pandas in the wild is decreasing. So they are threatened with extinction - only about 1,000 pandas live in the wild. The wild pandas live in six isolated forest areas in central China. Laws were placed in protecting panda reserves set aside by the Chinese government especially for Panda Bear conservation. Of these 16 reserves, 11 are in Sichuan.

 
Some of the main Panda Bearreserve spots in China:
The Giant Panda Breeding Research Center in Chengdu: About 6 kilometers north of the zoo, this research station and breeding ground for both giant and lesser pandas has been in operation since 1990, but was opened to the public only in early 1995. About 12 to 14 pandas currently reside at the base. The base now covers about 36 hectares, but the breeding ground area is projected to grow to over 230 hectares sometime early in the next century. Except dig some research work like artificial insemination of panda, the center is also like a natural park and let visitor to see a live Panda Bearin something resembling its natural habitant.
Wanglang Nature Reserve: Wanglang Nature Reserve, established in 1963 by the Sichuan Forestry Bureau, is located in the Minshan Mountains in some of China’s most important Panda Bearhabitat. Wanglang, whose purpose is to protect theWanglang Nature Reserve giant Panda Bearand its habitat, and the 10 other nearby reserves in remote areas of northern Sichuan are critical to the continued survival of the giant panda. There are estimated to be about 30 wild pandas living in Wanglang. At Wanglang you have a unique opportunity to experience the lush forests, beautiful mountains, and thick bamboo groves of the panda’s home. Additionally, you can visit the colorful Baima people who have lived in the area just outside the reserve for hundreds of years. Because there are no captive pandas at the reserve and because wild pandas live in high mountain areas in thick foliage and avoid humans, you will probably not see a Panda Bearat Wanglang, However, your trip to the panda’s home will be one you will talk about for years to come and your visit to Wanglang will help support conservation of the world’s treasured creatures, the giant panda. 
Fengtongzhai Nature Reserve: National Reserve, established in 1975. In mountains & valley area of 39000 hectares reserved, located at Baoxing County, between east longitude of 102 o 48′- 102 o 47′ and north latitude of 30 o 19′- 30 o 20′, total animals about 380 species, 395 kinds of plants in this area. There are 7 conservative portions in this reserve. About 250Kms from Chengdu. Now there are 4 captive giant pandas. In its history, the Preserve has ever treated and cured 23 giant pandas, and 20 of them alive. For these pandas, 12 of them sent to other places (country) as gift by China Government, 8 of them placed back to wild condition (their real family).
 
Eco Tour

Birding, biking, riding, and plants tours in China are all attractive eco tours in China. Anyone who is interested in nature can find their paradise in China since China has such a great biological diversity in forests, grasslands, deserts, plateaux and wetlands, together with its large size. It is the third richest country in the world in terms of native species. In terms of animals and plants, this richness manifests itself in thousands of species recorded throughout the country, including some of the most spectacular and fascinating in the world, such as the Giant Panda, Golden Monkey, etc. Supporting eco-tourism is a way to save the environment and a "win-win development strategy for undeveloped rural areas.”

 

Cultural Exploration
As an ancient country over 5,000 years with 56 ethnic nationalities, China has rich resources in customs, arts, religion, architecture, cuisine, science, etc. Chinese Taiji, Daoism, Cuisine, Tea, Silk, and traditional Chinese medicine have been learned and welcomed by people in America, Europe, and more and more people are interested in them. And China is also developing with booming speed, with annual increase of 10% in GDP. Aiming to build up Friendship Bridge between China and world, Great Wall Vacation is making an effort to develop China culture tours. We have organized tourist from America, Europe, Australia, with our help, they have reached their aim of learning and communicating with Chinese culture. The tours include folklore festivals, tea ceremonies, religious pilgrimages, cultural communication, Qigong, Taiji,and Kong Fu learning, traditional Chinese medicine, cuisine, business investigating, etc. You can give us your need in any specific fields, and we will plan for you. We are looking forward to meeting you in China. 

 

Yangtze River Cruise Notes & Tips:

Never Cruised Before?
 If you’ve never had a cruise along the Yangtze River but would like to get one, there are some pieces of advice on choosing and booking a cruise vacation to share, which can help you a lot. It is quite sure that attractions on the river bank, shore excursions and ship activities and service are all important aspects to consider.
 
 
Before a Cruise
1. What is the best time to have the cruise?Cruise
Spring and autumn are the most favorable seasons to take a river cruise. Average temperatures of cities, clothing tips at daytime and nights, packing smarts and cash money on board should be considered. In addition, tips on health care, reminding of proper documents, ticket fares and staterooms for families with kids on ships and even pets are included here.
Generally, the average weather is windy, humid and few sunshine. The average temperature reaches 30C (86F) in July and 10C (50F) in January. Either spring or autumn is the best season for a river cruise. During summer, thunderstorms are frequent which causes the river water to rise. This usually occurs between July and September. The winters are always short and cold.
 
2. How far in advance to book the cruise?
We recommend that you book as early as possible to secure your preferred ship. The Yangtze Cruise trip is very popular and ships fill quickly, especially in peak traveling seasons. Book early to avoid disappointment!
 
3. How do you get to the ship and how early should you arrive?
If you have purchased our cruise packages or tours, we will provide and arrange the necessary transfers to the ship, which means that you do not need to check in to the ship all by yourselves. Our tour guide will meet and lead you from your destination airport to the cruise ship.
If you prefer to check in at the cruise ship yourselves, you need to get the details of your itinerary (the port's name and location and the time of departure) from the cruise company or travel agent. Usually you need to arrive several hours before the cruise ship departs.
 
4. What clothes should you bring?
We suggest that you bring a light jacket, jeans, T- shirts and lightweight windbreaker if you are planning to commence your cruise during spring or autumn. A light sweater is handy for cooler days. Bring some cotton T-shirts, shorts, a hat/cap, sunglasses and suntan lotions if your cruise is during summer. Sweaters are a must during winter. Do not forget to bring comfortable walking shoes/ sandals/ sneakers. 
Usually there will be two formal nights including the Captain's Welcome Cocktail Party and Dinner and the Captain's Farewell Dinner. We suggest that you dress up accordingly for such a formal occasion. Coat and tie for gentlemen and a formal dress or gown for ladies are recommended.
 
5. How do we treat passengers with special medical or physical needs?
If you have special medical, physical or other relevant needs such as the use of a wheelchair, you must inform us when you book your trip to check if appropriate assistances or necessary facilities are available. Over the years, cruise companies have aimed to improve their facilities so that travelers who are physically challenged can enjoy their trip as fully as possible. Handicapped staterooms on ships for clients with special needs are often available. It is a "converted" regular-sized cabin fit for the needs of physically challenged customers. On some ships narrow corridors, lips on the doorways, and steps at public area are unavoidable. Ships cruising along the Yangtze River may inevitably docks at some of the rural area like small towns or village, elevator and cable cars are not readily available. Wheelchair access may be limited and sometimes impossible. We recommend that passengers with special needs travel with a companion who can provide required assistance.
 
6. What if you will be arriving late?
If you think you will probably miss your ship as scheduled due to unavoidable reasons, please contact us immediately. We need to hear from you so that we could contact the cruise company and inform them about your situation. Nevertheless, we will try to provide the best solution.
 
7. When you disembark, how and where will you find my guide?
After the ship anchors, you will see our guide on the landing and holding a board with your name written on it.
 
8. What if I plan to disembark earlier than scheduled?
If you have to disembark before the ship arrives at its terminal, you are requested to get off at the nearest dock. Kindly inform us if you plan to disembark earlier than expected when you make the booking so that you can get the actual fare. To let the ship dock at any other place that is not included in the itinerary will greatly increase the quoted price of your trip.
 
Choose a Cruise ItineraryYangtze Cruise
We offer the most popular cruise plans for your reference. These plans follow the itineraries passing the major port cities along the Yangtze, including Chongqing, Yichang, Wuhan and Jingzhou. You can choose an upstream or a downstream cruise according to your travel plan.
Itineraries with cruising between Chongqing and Wuhan on deluxe ships are the most popular for tourists. Different Cruise Lines have their own featured travel plans cater to different customer demands. You can visit our Cruise Ship Gallery for the detailed itinerary for each ship. Cruise length, ports of call, shore excursions therefore varies with the itinerary and the heading way you choose.
 
There are three plans popularly recommended.
Plan A: Between Chongqing and Wuhan
Cruising by Victoria Cruises, President Cruise, Regal China Cruises, Splendid China, Yellow Crane.
 
Plan A takes 3-4 nights and 4 days down stream and 5 nights and 6 days upstream. Three GorgesThis is the most popular plan for it includes the splendid Three Gorges, Great Dam with a culture excursion to Jingzhou (Shashi) - a historical and cultural city and Wuhan - another important industrial and commercial centre in the central part of China. If you have not purchased transportation and you are responsible for getting to the ship, this plan is a favorite choice because both in Chongqing and Wuhan it is very convenient for you to take a plane to most of the big cities in China. Of course this plan is more expensive.
 
Advantages:
More time on-board for leisure and entertainment, ideal for senior travelers and families
More Chinese culture-feature programs e.g. lectures on Chinese paintings, Martial art, Finger-boxing classes, etc.
No long bus transfers between cities
Easier access to docks, airports and deluxe hotels
Disadvantages:
More time on-board, costs more
Less adventurous for backpackers and trekking lovers

Plans B and C:
Plan B: Between Chongqing and Yichang
Cruising by East King & East Queen, Pinghu 2000, Qianlong, Three Kingdoms, MS Queen, Oriental Emperor, Guobin ships (eight Isabella cruise ships), Zhongyi
Plan C: Between Chongqing and Jingzhou (Shashi)
Cruising by Beidou (Star Dipper), M.S. Zhaojun, Gonggashan, Yangtze Angel, China Sunshine
 
Plan B takes 2 nights and 3 days for a downstream cruise and 3 nights and 4 days upstream (East King & East Queen take one more day and night) and Plan C takes 2 nights and 3 days for the downstream and 4 nights 5 days upstream. These two are comparatively shorter, cost less but still covers all the Three Gorges and the Great Dam. However, Mt.LushanJingzhou (Shashi) has no airport and it takes 2-3 hours from Shashi to Wuhan by bus. The airport in Yichang has limited flights to China's big cities. Budget travellers and backpackers may find them more cost-efficient. Also since Plan A is very crowded during the high season (April, May, September and October), you can choose either of these two alternatives.
Victoria Cruises also extend its Classic Yangtze with plans to Mt. Lushan in Jiujiang, Mt. Huangshan and Shanghai and some Winter Specials offer cruising between Fengjie and Yichang.
 
Advantage: Costs less
Disadvantage: Long bus transfers

Upstream
Upstream means sailing from lower part of the river (such as Wuhan, Shashi, or Yichang) up to the higher part of the river (such as Chongqing and Fengjie).
 
Advantages:
Cruising at the speed between 15 - 18 Kilometer/hour, allows enough time for sightseeing and photography
Costs less, usually 10 - 30% lower than that of downstream
More time on-board for leisure, entertainment and Chinese culture programs and activities
Disadvantages:
Comparatively lower speed
Night sailing sometimes
The time passing the Gezhouba ship lock is usually around 4:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m.

Downstream
Downstream means sailing from the upper part of the river (such as Chongqing and Fengjie) down to the lower part of the river (such as Wuhan, Shashi, or Yichang). Usually cruising downstream will take less time than upstream but with comparatively high cost.
 
Advantages:
Fast speed, between 28 - 30 kilometer/hour
No night sailing
All scenic sites are arranged in the daytime, enough time for shore excursions
Disadvantages:
Less time for each scenery scenic section
For example, only several 15-17 minutes for the 8-kilometer Qutang Gorge, less time for photography
Costs more
Very hot during the high season

Most cruise lines have adjusted their itinerary and on-board programs to allow tourists to enjoy both the river landscape and life on ships.
 
On-Board Experience
All events, however small, are given to assure you a pleasant experience on board. Here we offer detailed introduction to categories of decks and cabins. Dining and entertainment facilities on board are satisfying. Information on the cruise cost is available including the general cost of a Yangtze cruise and extra expenses on special items on board such as the secretarial services and facilities to stay in touch with your friends or families. Additionally you should pay high attention to our tips for security, luggage and valuables.

Tibet Taboos:

Taboos on Diet

Tibetan people, especially the initiated Buddhists, do not kill living things. They don’t kill cows or sheep although they eat beef and mutton. Tibetan people do not take horse, dog and donkey meat and do not eat fish either in some areas, so please respect their dietary habits.

Generally, Tibetans do not eat fish, shrimps, chickens and eggs. But their dietary habits have already changed a lot in recent years with tourists’ coming into Tibet.
At dinner, do not eat large mouthfuls. Do not chew your food noisily. Drink soup without making noises.

 

Taboos on Social Courtesies

Who goes first? Let the guests or the elder people go first when you walk together with them.
How to call Tibetans? When you talk, use honorific expressions. When you address somebody, please add "la" behind the name to express respect.
Keep smiling When greeting or seeing off a guest, smile to him or her while you bend your body forward and bend your knees.
Sitting gestures. If you are asked to sit down, please cross your legs, do not stretch your legs forward or face your soles towards others. Do not gaze around casually.
About gifts You should accept the gift with both hands. While presenting the gift, you should bend your body forward and hold the gift higher than your head, with both hands. Do not accept things or give things to others with one hand.
About tea While offering tea, wine or cigarettes, you should offer them by both hands and do not touch the inside of the bowl with any of your fingers. When the host presents you a cup of ghee tea, you should wait until the host holds the cup with both hands to you and take the tea.
About wine When the host presents you a cup of wine, you should dip your ring finger in the wine and flick the wine in the air three times to express your respects to the heaven, the earth and the ancestors before sipping the wine. The host will fill the cup, and you take a sip of the wine again. After the host fills your cup for the fourth time, you have to bottom it up. Remember when the host fills the cup, you should lower the cup a little with both hands to show respect.
 

 
Taboos on Behaviors
Do not spit or clap your palms behind Tibetan people.
When visiting any dagobas, monasteries or Mani piles, please go around them clockwise (not of the Bon). Do not cross any musical instruments used in the Buddhist mass. Do not cross any fire-pans.
Do not relieve yourself near any cattle pens, horse stables, or sheepfolds.
Do not throw any bones into fires.
Do not touch others’ heads with your hands.
Do not use paper with Tibetan characters as tissue, or wipe off mess with the paper.
Do not step on the threshold when entering the tent or house. Do not spit in front of the Tibetan people.
In the tent, men sit on the left side, and women on the right side.

When there is someone ill or when a woman is giving birth to a baby, Tibetans will make a sign in front of their houses. Some people light a fire in front of their houses. Some place a branch or a red cloth tag in the doorway. Do not enter the house if you see the sign.

Tibetan people believe that there are auspicious days and ominous days for everyone. On the ominous days, people can do nothing but stay at home chatting or go to worship the gods and Buddha to avoid the mischance. The Tibetans believe that the end of each Dizhi (the 12 Terrestrial Branches, used in combination with ten Celestial Stems to designate years, months, days and hours) and the beginning of the following Terrestrial Branch in the Tibetan calendar is an ominous year. People should be more careful when they reach their ages of 13, 25, 37 and 49 and so on, which are believed to be one’s ominous years in their life.

On the outskirts, you cannot drive or disturb the sheep or cows wearing red, green or yellow cloth strips because these animals are the Tibetan sacrifice to worship gods. Eagles are the sacred birds in the eyes of the Tibetan people. You should not drive them away or injure them.
 
Taboos Related to Belief

Do not whirl round the prayer wheels anticlockwise.


Do not enter the monastery without permission. Do not smoke in monasteries. Also it is banned to touch the statue of Buddha and religious articles and scan the sutra books, toll the bells or beat the drums. Do not touch any amulets or the prayer beads that the Lama wears. Be quiet when you are in the monastery, and sit erect. Do not take the seat of the Living Buddha. Do not make noise, hunt or kill any animals near the monastery.


Do not make a racket when you arrive at a mountain (rackets at the quiet mountaintop are believed possible to cause sudden storm or hailstones).


 

Tibet Entry Permit:

Tibet Travel Permits

Tibet Reopened to Foreign Tourists on June 25 2008, after being closed to travelers since mid-March 2008. Tibet Tourism Bureau has started to issue Tibet Entry Permits but there are many restrictions. There are overall four documents required for foreign tourists who want to travel freely in Tibet.


1. Chinese Visa - you can apply for at a Chinese Embassy in your country;


2. Tibet Entry Permit - It is issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau and is a must for foreigners to enter Tibet;


3. Travel Permit: It is required when you are planning to travel to the closed areas in Tibet, which you can obtain after you arrive in Tibet


4. Military Permit - you have to obtain if you are planning to travel to some military sensitive areas.


As a local travel agency, our company is able to assist you to process all of those above documents if you book a Tibet tour with us.

 
Passport & Visas
All individuals entering Tibet must hold a passport valid for at least six months. If you are entering Tibet from China, your Chinese visa must be valid. Only travelers with tourist visas (not business, resident or student visas) are permitted. Entering Tibet from Nepal, either by friendship highway or by air requires a separate visa valid for Tibet from the Chinese embassy in Katmandu (30-60 day visas are the normal and it normally takes 2 weeks to obtain it.). You may apply for a group visa from us (minimum of two people in a group and you must leave China with this person unless you can change the visa inside China).
 
Tibet Entry Permit
Customers whose travel arrangements are made by our company will receive their Tibet Entry permit from our local office in the city where they depart for Tibet, e.g. Chengdu, if by air, Golmud if by Qinghai-Tibet Highway. You are required to present this document when boarding the flight to Tibet. Great Wall Discovery will make all necessary arrangements to obtain the correct documentation for you if you book a tour with us.
 
How to apply for a Tibet Entry Permit?
Tibet Entry Permit is not available by independent travelers. Travelers have to travel in tour group and ask their travel agent to apply it for you. Please prepare the following documents before asking your travel agent to apply permit.
A copy of your Passport;
A copy of your China visa (tourist visa);
Full names, Gender, Date of Birth, Passport number, Nationality, Occupation;
Additional Requirements for F visa customers.
If you are F visa (business visa) holders, you are required to provide additional information to Tibet Tourism Bureau to get a Tibet Entry Permit:  
If you are working in China, a certification in Chinese by your company in China is required;
If you are invited to China for business, research, lecture, scientific-technological and culture exchanges, short-term advanced studies or inter practice for a period of no more than six months, a certification by your Chinese travel agency is required.
As for the certification, you are required to provide your full names, nationality, passport number, dates of entry and exit China, and the stamps of your company or your travel agency.
 
What are Travel Permits?
A Travel Permit, also called Aliens' Travel Permit (A.T.P), is required to visit closed areas. It is issued by Foreign Affairs Section of the Local Public Security Bureau (PSB). The Law on the Control of Entry and Exit of Foreigners (Order of the President of the People's Republic of China (No.31), 22.11.1985, Chapter 4), says:
Article 20: Foreigners who hold valid visas or residence certificates may travel to places declared open to foreigners by the Chinese Government.
Article 21: Foreigners who desire to travel to places closed to foreigners shall apply for travel permits from local public security organs [i.e., the police].
 
How to apply for it?
We will assist you in applying for it after your entering Tibet. Our guide will ask you for your passport and the Tibet Entry Permit and submit it to the Foreign Affairs Section of PSB. It normally takes several hours and the cost is 50 Yuan/person.
 
Which parts of Tibet are listed as the closed areas?
At present, you have to apply for a Travel Permit if you are planning to visit the following places:
Tsetang: Samye Monastery, Tomb of Tibetan King, ChangdrukTemple, Yumbulakhang
Shigatse: Sakya Monastery,Mt.Everest, Rongbuk Monastery
Gyangtse: Pelkor Chode Monastery & Kubum Stupa
Nqari Region
Basumtso Lake in Nyingchi Region
Chamdo Region
 
The Lhasa and Nagqu regions are open to foreign travelers and there is no need for Travel Permit.

Tibet Transportation:

How to Get There?
Get to Tibet by Airplane
For typical tourists, the best way to get there is by plane. There are flights to Gongkar airport, 95km (59mi) from Lhasa, from Beijing, Chengdu(daily departure!), Chongqing, Xining, Chamdo, Xian, Zhongdian, and Kathmandu.

Chengdu is a very important hub city for flights going to and from Tibet. There are at least two flights from Chengdu to Lhasa every day. If you want to go there from Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou, you have to make a stop in Chengdu. Anyway, Chengdu is the best place to see Giant Panda Bears, and the Ancient Sanxingdui Ruins. The "terra-cotta warriors No. 2", is also in Chengdu. So an overnight stay in Chengdu is a good idea.

The flights going to Lhasa from Chengdu are all very early, and the planes are all very comfortable. The flight itself is a great experience. When you look out of the window about 20 minutes before landing, you will see a breath-taking and incredibly beautiful view of the snow-capped mountains!

On the way to Lhasa, the plane flys ever so closely to the snow capped mountains, so close that you can almost touch the peaks! You can see many mountain peaks at an altitude of over 7,000 meters concentrated in a single location! Yes, Tibet has many of them! It is quite an exhilarating experience even if you only get to see it from the inside of the plane.
 

Travel to Tibet by Train
Nowadays you can take a train to Tibet on the world's highest Qinghai-Tibet railway! By traveling on a train to Tibet, although it takes a much longer time than by plane, you can enjoy the wonderful landscapes and unique experience of seeing thousands of miles of the "roof of the world”.

 
Drive to Tibet in 4 Wheel-Drive Vehicles!
For those very adventurous people, driving a 4 wheel-drive vehicle to Tibet is an incredible choice that will be remembered for the rest of your life. This drive does require a lot of courage and determination.
You can drive to Tibet via 5 routes:
Sichuan (Chengdu) to Lhasa: 2159 kilometers to 2407 km
Yunnan (Kunming) to Lhasa: 2317 kilometers
Qinghai (Xining) to Lhasa: 1947 kilometers
Xinjiang (Yecheng) to Lhasa: 2743 kilometers
Kathmandu to Lhasa: 943 kilometers
Among the above routes, driving from Qinghai or Kathmandu ("friendship highway") is the easiest route. We do not recommend that you drive to Tibet using any of the other routes unless you are a ‘professional driver’ and an adventurer with all of the necessary gear and backup support.

Our company can operate 4 wheel driving tours to Tibet. If you would like to take a real adventure by driving all the way to the rooftop of the world, please contact us.

Tibet Accommodation:

In most cities and counties in Tibet, there are hotels and guesthouses for lodging. But the service may be inferior to those of the inner regions of China. In Lhasa, lodging ranges from guesthouses to four star hotels. In Shigatse, Gyangtse, Tsedang and Nyingchi, the highest standard is three stars. In Tingri, Zhangmu and Nakchu, the highest are two stars while in other smaller or remoter areas, accommodation is mainly in guesthouses.

In Lhasa and Shigatse, there are more star hotels. There are 40-50 star hotels in Lhasa and 10-20 in Shigatse. Except for the golden weeks of May Day Holiday, National Holiday and Shoton Festival, the hotels are not difficult to book. There are fewer star hotels in other regions, but there are always rooms unoccupied due to fewer travelers. In the low season, the hotels almost go out of business, while in peak season, the charges are about 30% higher, and sometimes up to twice as much.

Most of the standard rooms of the star hotels in Tibet have private washrooms with water heaters. The guesthouses have their own public bathrooms with fixed timer service. Usually Internet service is accessible in the business center or the separate Internet café in the hotels, and private Internet service may be offered in the luxury rooms of a hotel. Usually every room of the hotel is equipped with a drinking bottle or thermos, with drinkable hot water provided. Coffee is uncommon is the rooms, but many hotels have a separate café.

For traveling to the well-trodden areas in the major cities or towns of Tibet, no tent or sleeping bag is needed, for there are many star hotels that provide good services. However, when going to remote areas where only guesthouses are available, you should bring a sleeping bag to keep warm and clean. You can bring a tent if you would like to camp for the night, such as at Namtso Lake. Tents and sleeping bags can be easily hired in Lhasa. Many travel agencies offer such service, as do some stores in the square of Potala Palace.

Tibetans welcome travelers to their houses. Nowadays, Tibetans have opened many hostels themselves, which are very popular with travelers for they can have close contact with local people and learn about their customs. In Lhasa, there are many hostels of this kind in the old district, especially around Barkhor Street.
 

Mountain Sickness:

Acute Mountain Sickness and its Treatment
 

An altitude over 3,000 meters (9,843 feet) is usually defined as high altitude. Since most places in Tibet are higher than this level, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), also called Altitude Sickness, is the biggest health risk to tourists in Tibet. AMS is common at high altitudes due to the decreasing availability of oxygen. Most people will experience differing degrees of symptoms at high elevation. The occurrence of AMS is dependent on the altitude, the ascent rate and individual physical condition. Symptoms of AMS include headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and disturbed sleep. Most people will experience one or more AMS symptoms upon their arrival in Tibet. The symptoms will usually gradually decrease in severity during acclimatization. Mild AMS usually will not interfere with mild activity.

However, AMS can be very serious, with the most serious symptoms being High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), which can be fatal. Symptoms of HAPE include weakness, shortness of breath, even at rest, impending suffocation at night, and a persistent productive cough with white, watery, or frothy fluid. Symptoms of HPCE may include headache, ataxia, weakness, hallucinations, psychotic behavior, coma and loss of memory. Both approach and strike at night and can be fatal. Immediate descent is the surest treatment.

Before visiting Tibet, get as fit and healthy as possible, both physically and psychologically. Visitors having records of heart, lung, other organ problems or anemia should consult their doctor before making the decision to visit Tibet.

AMS can be lessened or avoided with proper acclimatization, which will also ease and reduce AMS symptoms. A gradual ascent will allow your body to acclimatize to higher altitudes and the decreased oxygen supply. Go no higher 300 - 400 hundred meters (984 - 1,312 feet) daily and have a rest after each 1,000 -meter (3,280-foot) ascent. Medication also helps to prevent AMS. Mild AMS symptoms can be treated with proper medication. If medication does not relieve the symptoms, go to hospital or evacuate immediately to safe altitude.

 
Precautions to Prevent or Lessen the Effects of AMS
Since fluid loss usually accompanies the acclimatization process, drink plenty of fluids (3 - 4 liters daily at least) and eat carbohydrate food to keep the body properly hydrated;
Do not over-exert and only partake in light activity immediately after your arrival;
Don't smoke, drink alcohol or take other depressants such as tranquilizers and sleeping pills. These will depress the respiratory drive and limit oxygen intake. Always keep in mind the following rules which will ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip to Tibet;Any sickness at high altitude is AMS until proven otherwise; Never go higher with symptoms of AMS; It is significant that you report any symptoms of AMS immediately to other group members in the trip.

 
How To Avoid Mountain Sickness
An altitude over 3,000 meters (9,843 feet) is usually defined as high altitude. Since most places in Tibet are higher than this level, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), also called Altitude Sickness, is the biggest health risk to tourists in Tibet. AMS is common at high altitudes due to the decreasing availability of oxygen. Most people will experience differing degrees of symptoms at high elevation. The occurrence of AMS is dependent on the altitude, the ascent rate and individual physical condition. Symptoms of AMS include headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and disturbed sleep. Most people will experience one or more AMS symptoms upon their arrival in Tibet. The symptoms will usually gradually decrease in severity during acclimatization. Mild AMS usually will not interfere with mild activity.

However, AMS can be very serious, with the most serious symptoms being High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), which can be fatal. Symptoms of HAPE include weakness, shortness of breath, even at rest, impending suffocation at night, and a persistent productive cough with white, watery, or frothy fluid. Symptoms of HPCE may include headache, ataxia, weakness, hallucinations, psychotic behavior, coma and loss of memory. Both approach and strike at night and can be fatal. Immediate descent is the surest treatment.

Before visiting Tibet, get as fit and healthy as possible, both physically and psychologically. Visitors having records of heart, lung, other organ problems or anemia should consult their doctor before making the decision to visit Tibet.

AMS can be lessened or avoided with proper acclimatization, which will also ease and reduce AMS symptoms. A gradual ascent will allow your body to acclimatize to higher altitudes and the decreased oxygen supply. Go no higher 300 - 400 hundred meters (984 - 1,312 feet) daily and have a rest after each 1,000 -meter (3,280-foot) ascent. Medication also helps to prevent AMS. Mild AMS symptoms can be treated with proper medication. If medication does not relieve the symptoms, go to hospital or evacuate immediately to safe altitude.
 
When you are in Tibet
 
Rest right after your arrival. You should not do anything strenuous on the first day. Brisk walking and running are not advised. We suggest that you do not smoke nor drink alcohol too. Do not eat too much for dinner.

It quite often happens that people feel short of breath. If it is not serious, please do not rely on oxygen equipment all the time so that you can acclimate yourself to the high altitude as early as possible.

Do not take showers or bathes too frequently especially on your first night in Tibet. This will help you avoid catching severe colds.

If you feel chilly or feel very uncomfortable, you need to tell your guide about this. Your guide could send you to the best hospital available in the area.
 

Travel Notes & Tips:

The order of Chinese names is family name first, then given name. Among some 440 family names, the 100 most common ones account for 90% of the total population. Brides in China do not adopt their husband's surnames.

Among Chinese, a popular way to address each other, regardless of gender, is to add an age-related term of honor before the family name. These include: lao (honorable old one), xiao (honorable young one) or occasionally da (honorable middle-aged one).

Unlike the Japanese, Chinese do not commonly bow as a form of greeting. Instead, a brief handshake is usual. While meeting elders or senior officials, your handshake should be even gentler and accompanied by a slight nod. Sometimes, as an expression of warmth, a Chinese will cover the normal handshake with his left hand. As a sign of respect, Chinese usually lower their eyes slightly when they meet others.

Moreover, embracing or kissing when greeting or saying good-bye is highly unusual. Generally, Chinese do not show their emotions and feelings in public. Consequently, it is better not to behave in too carefree a manner in public. In addition, it is advisable to be fairly cautious in political discussions.

Chinese do not usually accept a gift, invitation or favor when it is first presented. Politely refusing two or three times is thought to reflect modesty and humility. Accepting something in haste makes a person look aggressive and greedy, as does opening it in front of the giver. Traditionally the monetary value of a gift indicated the importance of a relationship, but due to increasing contact with foreigners in recent years, the symbolic nature of gifts has become more popular.

Present your gifts with both hands. And when wrapping, be aware that the Chinese ascribe much importance to color. Red is lucky; pink and yellow represent happiness and prosperity; white, grey and black are funeral colors.

The popular items include cigarette lighters, stamps (stamp collecting is a popular hobby), T-shirts, the exotic coins, all of which make a good gift to Chinese.
 
And the following gifts should be avoided:
1. White or yellow flowers (especially chrysanthemums), which are used for funerals.
2. Pears. The word for Pear in Chinese sounds the same as separate and is considered bad luck.
3. Red ink for writing cards or letters. It symbolizes the end of a relationship.
4. Clocks of any kind. The word clock in Chinese sounds like the expression the end of life.
 
China is one of those wonderful countries where tipping is not practiced and almost no one asks for tips. The same thing goes even in Hong Kong and Macao, except in some luxury hotels.
 
Traditionally, there are many taboos at the table, but these days not many people pay attention to them. However, there are a few things to keep in mind, especially if you are a guest in a private home.

1. Don't stick your chopsticks upright in the rice bowl. Instead, lay them on your dish. The reason for this is that when somebody dies, the shrine to them contains a bowl of sand or rice with two sticks of incense stuck upright in it. So if you stick your chopsticks in the rice bowl, it looks like this shrine and is equivalent to wishing death upon person at the table!

2. Make sure the spout of the teapot is not facing anyone. It is impolite to set the teapot down where the spout is facing towards somebody. The spout should always be directed to where nobody is sitting, usually just outward from the table.

3. Don't tap on your bowl with your chopsticks. Beggars tap on their bowls, so this is not polite. Also, in a restaurant, if the food is coming too slow, people will tap their bowls. If you are in someone's home, it is like insulting the cook.

 

What to See:

What to See

Before traveling to China, you need to read some background information to enrich your visit. China has a long history that encompasses many dynasties and social changes and includes many ethnic cultures, all making the country very complex. Beijing Opera, Chinese embroidery, Chinese Kung Fu, and Chinese silk are all world-famous attractions. Our web pages provide a brief introduction about Chinese geography, history and culture. Start to uncover the wonders of China today.
 The Forbidden City
1. The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City, or Palace Museum, sits at the center of Beijing, directly north of Tiananmen Square where the famous portrait of Mao Zedong hangs on the palatial crimson wall. It was the imperial seat for Ming and Qing dynasty emperors from 1420 until 1912 when the last emperor, Pu Yi, abdicated. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
 
2. The Great Wall
The Great Wall winds its way across China covering over 4,000 miles (6,700km). While the latest construction occurred after 1368 during the Ming Dynasty, construction of the Great Wall began over 2,000 years ago. In fact, the Great Wall is actually made up of a number of interconnecting walls spanning China that different dynasties and warlords constructed over the years.
 
3. The Terracotta Warriors
Discovered in 1974 when a local farmer was digging a well, the terracotta army, buried in 210 B.C. with the first emperor of the Qin dynasty, is a breathtaking site. The thousands of life-size figures have individually unique faces and hair and armor styles appropriate to their rank. The museum of the Terracotta Army is located in Xian, Shanxi province.
 
4. Karst Mountains in Yangshuo
Illustrated on the 20 RMB or Yuan (Chinese currency) note, the Karst Mountains are famously beautiful in China. Located in the south of China in Guangxi province, they can best be viewed from Yangshuo, a small town outside Guilin, a major city in Guangxi Province.
 
5. The Yangtze River and the Three Gorges Dam
Best seen by tour boat down the Yangtze River, the Three Gorges Dam is a modern construction marvel. The dam is the world's largest as well as the world's biggest hydroelectric power station. The river itself is the world's third longest and the Three Gorges are the natural highlight of the boat cruise.
 
6. Jiuzhaigou
Jiuzhaigou Valley is a nature reserve located in China's Sichuan province. A beautiful example of China's varied landscape, Jiuzhaigou is famous for its crystal blue lakes and multi-level waterfalls. It is populated by a number of Tibetan villages so is also a superb place to see and experience.
 
7. Potala Palace, Lhasa
Now a Chinese museum, the Potala Palace was traditionally the seat of the Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhists' spiritual leader. Famous for its imposing white walls surrounding the inner red palace, the building sits at an altitude of 3,700 meters, or over 12,000 feet. The Potala Palace is located in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.
 The Bund, Shanghai
8. The Bund, Shanghai
The Bund, meaning embankment, was historically the seat of Shanghai's most powerful businesspeople in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Bund is a fabulous place to see examples of Shanghai's rich architectural history, illustrated by the HSBC Building, built in 1923 and at the time said to be "the most luxurious building between the Suez Canal and the Bering Strait."
 
9. Giant Pandas
Three hours outside Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, is the Wolong Nature Preserve, the largest panda reserve in China. The center tries to ensure the Giant Panda species can continue to exist. Tourists can observe pandas in their natural habitat and can also help researchers feed and play with these beautiful and threatened animals.
 
10. Modernity in Hong Kong
See modern China and Asia at the cutting edge with a visit to Hong Kong. Walking down the Kowloon side promenade gives the traveler a view of some of the most beautiful modern architecture in China, dominated by the Bank of China Tower.


What to Eat:

What to Eat

As one of the three world famous cuisines, Chinese cuisine has been developing over noodlesfive thousand years. China has a vast territory with a large number of people belonging to 56 ethnic groups. As a result, various local flavors formed because of the diversity of geography, climate, customs and products. Many Chinese local cuisines are very popular both at home and abroad.As early as the years in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Shandong Cuisine, Jiangsu Cuisine, Guangdong Cuisine and Sichuan Cuisine, had begun to take shape. With the further development of the catering industry, Zhejiang cuisine, Fujian cuisine, Hunan cuisine and Anhui cuisine also became eminent, being named eight cuisines of China together with the other four.
 
The Four Cuisines of China:
Shandong Cuisine: it is fragrant, fresh, tender and pure in taste, and the representative dishes are braised sea cucumbers with spring onions, braised shark's fin with crab yolk and braised mullet egg.
 
Jiangsu Cuisine: it is famous for choice ingredients, delicate preparation and moderate taste, and the representative dishes are beggar's roast chicken, fried mandarin fish with sweet and sour sauce, and stir-fried sliced chicken with egg white sauce.
 
Guangdong Cuisine: it is noted for variegated ingredients, novel and bizarre in style, and most dishes taste sweet. The representative dishes are steamed turtle with chives sauce, crispy suckling pig, and fried whole shrimps.
 
Sichuan Cuisine:it is famous for various tastes and subtle variations – and especially famous for being spicy. The representative dishes are fish flavored pork slices, Gongbao chicken cubes, and Mapo tofu.

Chinese local cuisines are well known for their excellence in color, aroma, taste, shape and fine dishware. They feature choice ingredients, fine ways of cutting, abundant seasoning, dainty matching ingredients, and dishware.

Some Popular Food in China: hotpot hotpot, barbecue, seafood, venison and various local snacks.
Cooking Method: frying (including deep-frying, quick frying and stir frying.), braising, stewing, steaming, smoking, roasting, caramelizing as well as mashing.
Condiments: table salt, sugar, cheese, vinegar, butter, pepper, soy sauce, cream, curry, mustard, tomato sauce, honey, gravy, jam, cube sugar, ginger, garlic, shallot, mayonnaise and sweet soybean paste.
Additionally, with French, German, Italian food as the representatives, all kinds of Western food have appeared and been developing in China, including various western dishes, KFC, McDonald's and other western-style fast food. In addition, Japanese Cuisine, Korean Cuisine and Southeast Asian Cuisine have also become more and more popular in China.

 


Transportation of China:

General View

Transportation plays a very important part in travelling. Throughout its vast territory, China has a very comprehensive system of transportation, which includes civil aviation, railways, road traffic, and water transportation. Although the terrain is complicated in China, the transportation is very convenient. As transportation in China becomes more accessible and more reliable, it is also becoming more technologically advanced. Modern modes of transportation such as express highways, electrified railroads, metros, light railways, and maglev railways are becoming increasingly common, especially in larger cities.

Introduction of Different Means of Transportation

Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, great efforts have been made by Chinese government to establish a comprehensive transportation system that comprises civil aviation, railways, highways, and water transport.

Civil Aviation

Apart from the economic factors, traveling by air is probably the first choice of most travelers.During the reformation, China made great efforts to build and expand airports. By the end of 1999, more thanairplane 140 airports had been opened to civil aircraft. Over 80 of these can accommodate large airplanes such as Boeing 777s, 767s, 757s, 747s and A340s. Over 750 domestic, 128 international and 21 regional air routes have been set up, which in total cover a distance of some 1.522 million km. With Beijing as the hub, domestic airlines cross the whole country linking 136 cities. The international airlines link 58 cities, including Bangkok, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt, Jakarta, Karachi, London, Los Angeles, Milan, Moscow, Nagoya, New York, Paris, Singapore, Tashkent, Tokyo and Vienna in 39 countries and regions.China's civil aviation has justifiably won universal praise. The entire staff has been trained according to international standards. The majority of the aircraft fleet has been imported from the U.S., Britain and Russia. There is no language barrier aboard the planes since all staff can speak fluent English and flight announcements are made in English as well as Mandarin.In major cities in China, plane ticket booking is available via a computer network or the Internet. Plane ticket booking is available at all civil aviation ticketing offices, travel agencies and hotels. Airport tax is required for domestic flights and international flights. 

Long Distance Buses

Overland buses are the most important means of transport in many parts of China, especially where there is no railway line. By 1999, over 1.352 million km highway has been put into use. The overall length of expressways has reached 9,083 km. Now, all counties, towns and townships are easily accessible by road.Bus is the cheapest means of transport, but also is correspondingly slow. Long distance buses can be divided into soft-seat and soft-sleeper buses. Some are equipped with TV, air conditioning and a toilet. Compared with the train, travel by bus is more flexible as there are regular breaks during the journeys.Seats on the bus are numbered, so it is advisable to book a ticket and seat well in advance. The booking could be made through the travel agencies and hotels.

Subway

The four cities - Beijing Subway, Shanghai Subway, Guangzhou Subway, and Tianjin Subway - all boast well-equipped subway systems, with all the stations, ticket-booking offices and Shanghai Subway transit points clearly marked with their names both in Chinese and English. In every subway train, travel information is read alternately in Chinese and English.The subway transportation operates 18 hours per day, normally between 5:10 and 23:30 local time, with an interval of four to six minutes between every two trains. The hours between 6:30 and 8:30 and between 17:00 and 19:00 are the morning and evening rush hours respectively. 

City Buses and Taxis

All China's major cities have good transport networks. As well as public buses, there are the tour buses, mini buses, and taxis. Buses in Chinese towns are always crowded. The fare depends on distance, and is payable to the conductor. A taxi is often the most convenient means of travel in the city. They are available at airports, railway stations and hotels and can be flagged down in urban areas. The total fare depends on the starting meter price, which can range from 5 to 12 Yuan, and the distance. Extra fees are charged for waiting and low speed driving during traffic jams. The minibus is a compromise between the relatively expensive taxis and crowded public transport. Charges are a little more than on the bus, about 2 Yuan or more depending on distance, but it is very convenient for it can stop at any point you want along the route. Tour buses are managed by travel agencies, hotels and airports and are provided for short tours. They are normally equipped with air conditioning and TV. A tour guide is usually present on these buses.

Bicycle

There are bicycles for rent in some hotels in Beijing and some other tourism cities. Riding old-fashioned pedicabs for a tour of Beijing's Hutongs and back alleys proves a unique tourist experience. You should be able to purchase a reliable Chinese bicycle for about 30 USD.

Trains

The rail network forms the backbone of the Chinese transport system and serves most of cities. Visitors can explore much of China by train and many find it an efficient and inexpensive means of travel. The cost is around 25 percent less than comparable air services. The railway traverses the whole country. Beijing is the hub of the north-south lines while the west-east line centre is at Zhengzhou.Chinese trains differ from those in other countries as the seating is not separated into first and second class areas. In China, the accommodation on the trains is divided into four categories, namely, soft-sleeper, soft-seat, hard-sleeper and hard-seat.There are washrooms on the trains. The toilets, irrespective of class, are not usually very hygienic and it is a good idea to bring your own toilet paper. Boiled water is available on trains and dining cars on long distance routes only.Reservations should be made in advance, especially during the holidays and travel season. Tickets may be purchased directly from rail stations or booked a few days in advance from your travel agencies, hotels, or ticket office. 

Waterways / Cruise

Another method of travel in China is via the waterways. Navigable inland waterways in China total 111,000 km and there are some 5,000 berths in the harbors, of which over 1000 are 10,000 ton class berths. The major inland navigable rivers in China include the Yangtze River, the Li River, the Pearl River, the Heilongjiang, the Huaihe, the Qiantang, the Minjiang and the Huangpu, as well as the Grand Canal. The most famous cruises in mainland China are the Yangtze Cruise and the Li River Cruise. The Yangtze River, known as the golden waterway of China's inland river transport, is of 6,300 km (about 3937 miles) length. The annual water transits of both freight and passengers account for over 70 percent of China's total capacity. It generally flows from west to east.

The whole Li River cruise may be divided into three sections. The first part is from Guilin to Ox Gorge (about 46km, 4 hours' voyage); the second part from Ox Gorge to Water-Dropping Village (17km, 40 minutes' voyage) and the third part from Water-Dropping Village to Yangshuo (20km, 2 hours' voyage). There are professional travel ships that serve these cruises. The main ships are East King, East Queen, Victoria Series, Regal China Cruises, and Presidents, which are all five-star travel ships, Yellow Crane, Splendid China, which are four-star travel ships, and so on. Ocean shipping in China is divided into two major navigation zones: the northern and the southern zones. Shanghai and Dalian are the main ports in the northern zone, and Guangzhou in the southern zone. Today, there are more than twenty major coastal harbors in China. Shanghai Harbor ranks among the 10 largest in the world, with an annual capacity of over 100 million tons. Nanjing Harbor, with an annual capacity of 40 million tons, is China's largest river harbor.


Tourist Map:

This wide collection of China maps will help you plan your China tour. You can view maps for specific cities or browse the provincial maps to gain a better understanding of China's geography.



The cartographic team regularly updates our company’s maps. However, new information goes through a rigorous screening process that takes considerable time. We welcome your additions via our support form, but cannot guarantee that they will be integrated into the map.



The places and addresses you find on our maps are positioned by latitude and longitude. Because of the difficulty of placing every location on a specific point using data with varied precision levels, some points may appear slightly inaccurate in relation to one another. Our cartographic team strives to create the most accurate maps possible, and appreciates hearing about any problems customers find with geographic data. Please send your comments and suggestions to us.





 

Family Travel:

Family TravelTravel to China on a special tour designed just for your family. Whether you would like help coordinating a trip with business or organizing the family holiday, Great Wall Vacation (GWV) lets you create a personalized itinerary according to your family's specific timing, goals, budget, and interests. We can arrange educational and fun activities specifically with your children's ages in mind. If you would like to combine some of the itineraries for our set trips with yours, our team will work with you to modify the program, add or subtract sites and events based on what appeals to you, or focus it on a particular theme. Alternatively, design an entirely new trip guided by the help and advice of our team.

Our dedicated staff draws on its deep knowledge and experience in China, international cross-cultural programming and in-country logistical skills to create tailored family-oriented educational programs that meet your needs. Program areas of interest may include but not be limited to art, culture, community service, education, environment, fashion, film, media, Chinese language, manufacturing, technology, and so on. Our team will work with you to design a trip that will spark a lasting relationship between you and your areas of interest in China.
 

MICE:

MICE

Definition

The acronym MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) is used to refer to a particular type of tourism in which large groups, usually planned well in advance, are brought together for some particular purposes. Recently, there has been an industry trend towards using the term "Meetings Industry" to avoid confusion from the acronym.

Most components of MICE are well understood, perhaps with the exception of incentives. Incentive tourism is usually undertaken as a type of employee reward by a company or institution for targets met or exceeded, or a job well done. Unlike the other types of MICE tourism, incentive tourism is usually conducted purely for entertainment, rather than professional or educational purposes.

Features
MICE tourism usually includes a well-planned agenda Conference and Exhibition Centercentered around a particular theme, such as a hobby, a profession, or an educational topic. Such tourism is a specialized area with its own trade shows (IMEX) and practices. MICE events are normally bid on by specialized convention bureaus located in particular countries and cities and established for the purpose of bidding on MICE activities. This process of marketing and bidding is normally conducted well in advance of the actual event, often several years. MICE tourism is known for its extensive planning and demanding clientele.
 
The Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) segment of tourism caters to such corporate programs tailor-made to suit the client's requirements in any part of the world. The size of the convention, facilities required, competitive pricing, natural attractions, safety and opportunities to shop are some of the factors considered before selecting a MICE destination.

Social Structure of China:

China MapSocial Structure of China

China, the world's largest society, is united by a set of values and institutions that pass across extensive linguistic, environmental and sub cultural differences. Residents of the southern and northern regions of the country might not understand each other's speech, enjoy each other's favorite foods, or make a living on each other's land, and they might describe each other with derogatory stereotypes. Nonetheless, they would regard each other as fellow Chinese, members of the same society, different from the Vietnamese or Koreans, with whom some Chinese might seem to have more in common. Chinese society, since the second decade of the twentieth century, has been the object of a revolution that is intended to change in fundamental ways. In its more radical phases, such as the Great Leap Forward (1958-60) and the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), the revolution aimed at nothing less than the complete transformation of everything from the practice of medicine, to higher education, to family life. In the 1980s China's leaders and intellectuals considered the revolution far from completed, and they intended further social change to make China a fully modernized country. It had become increasingly clear that although many aspects of Chinese social life had indeed undergone fundamental changes because of both political movements and economic development, the transformation was less than total. Much of the past either lived on in modified form or served to shape revolutionary initiatives or to limit the choices open to even the most radical of revolutionaries.

Chinese Traditional Social Structureold China

Throughout the centuries, some 80 to 90 percent of Chinese have been farmers. The farmers supported a small number of specialized craftsmen and traders and also an even smaller number of land- and office-holding elite families who ran the society. Although the peasant farmers and their families resembled their counterparts in other societies, the traditional Chinese elite, often referred to in English as the gentry, had no peers in other societies. The national elite, who comprised perhaps 1 percent of China's population, had a number of distinctive features. They were dispersed across the country and often lived in rural areas, where they were the dominant figures on the local scene. Although they held land, which they rented to tenant farmers, they neither possessed large estates like European nobles nor held hereditary titles.

They achieved their highest and most prestigious titles by their performance on the central government's triennial civil service examinations. These titles had to be earned by each generation, and since the examinations had strict numerical quotas, competition was fierce. Government officials were selected from those who passed the examinations, which tested for mastery of the Confucian Classics. Elite families, like everyone else in China, practiced divisible inheritance, dividing the estate equally among all sons. The combination of divisible inheritance and the competition for success in the examinations meant that rates of mobility into and out of the elite were relatively high for a traditional agrarian society. The imperial state was staffed by a small civil bureaucracy. Civil officials were directly appointed and paid by the emperor and had to have passed the civil service examinations. Officials, who were supposed to owe their primary loyalty to the emperor, did not serve in their home provinces and were generally assigned to different places for each tour of duty. Although the salary of central officials was low, the positions offered great opportunities for personal enrichment, which was one reason that families competed so fiercely to pass the examinations and then obtain an appointment. For most officials, office holding was not a lifetime career. They served one or a few tours and then returned to their home districts and families, where their wealth, prestige, and network of official contacts made them dominant figures on the local scene.

China Regional Distinctions 

Regional distinctions in ways of life and standards of living were marked in traditional China and continue to have a strong influence on contemporary Chinese society. China's size, poorly developed transportation system, and state controls on migration mean that regional differences in income and in life chances remain large. Contemporary Chinese commentary, while certainly explicit on the role of class, has tended to ignore regional variation. This may reflect the characteristic emphasis on Chinese unity and uniformity, as well as the difficulty of fitting regional analysis into a Marxist framework. Nevertheless, both geographical position and a community's position in administrative and regional hierarchies act to limit income from sideline occupations, cash crops, village industries, and even such matters as marriage choices.

Yunnan-Guizhou PlateauIncomes and educational standards in the 1980s were highest in the productive lower Chang Jiang (Yangtze River) Valley and central Guangdong Province regions and lowest in the semi-arid highlands of the northwest and the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, as they had been since the late nineteenth century. The lowest incomes and living standards were in the peripheral areas inhabited by minority nationalities. Within all regions, there were distinctions between urban cores, intermediate areas, and peripheries. Villages on the outskirts of major cities had more opportunities for production of cash crops such as vegetables, more opportunities in sideline occupations or subcontracting for urban factories, and easier access to urban services and amenities. Higher village incomes were reflected in better housing, higher school attendance, well-appointed village meeting halls, and a high level of farm and domestic mechanization. For settlements on the periphery, however, even if only a short distance from urban centers, transportation was difficult. Such settlements had changed little in appearance since the 1950s and devoted most of their land and work force to growing staple grains. Many children in these villages dropped out of school before completing primary education, as physical strength and endurance were more highly regarded than book learning.

There is clearly a degree of overlap in the four fields of social differentiation (work units, party membership, urban-rural distinctions, and regional distinctions). The top of the hierarchy is occupied by those who work in state organizations, belong to the party, live in a major city, and inhabit a prosperous region. Correspondingly, the least favored inhabitants are peasants whose villages are located in the remote parts of poor regions. What is most impressive about social differentiation in modern China is the extent to which key variables such as region and rural or urban status are ascribed, and not easily changed by individual effort. This is the negative side of the security and stability that attracted China's populace to the party and its programs.

The social structure of China has a very long history, going from the feudal society of imperial times to the industrializing and urbanizing society of today.
 

Social Structure in Imperial China

Prior to the creation of a Chinese empire by Qin Shi Huang, the Zhou Dynasty instituted a series of laws that defined the rights and obligations of the king, rulers of vassal states, high officials and the literati. However, the political situation was so unstable that little consideration was given towards formal law. From the Qin to the late Qing (221 B.C.-1840 A.D), the Chinese government divided Chinese people into four classes: landlord, peasant, craftsmen, and merchant. Landlords and peasants constituted the two major classes, while merchant and craftsmen were collected into the two minor. Theoretically, except for the position of the Emperor, nothing was hereditary.
the costume of Han dynasty
During the 361 years of civil war after the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-220 A.D.), there was a partial restoration of feudalism when wealthy and powerful families emerged with large amounts of land and huge numbers of semi-serfs. They dominated important civilian and military positions of the government, making the positions available to members of their own families and clans. [Robert Mortimer Marsh, "Mandarins: The Circulation of Elites in China, 1600-1900", Ayer (June, 1980), hardcover, ISBN 0405-12981-5] [The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 13, 30] After the Tang Dynasty's emergence, the government extended the Imperial examination system as an attempt to eradicate this feudalism.

By the 1880s, China's population was between three hundred and fifty million and four hundred million, or about seventy million households. In Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, the industrial working class emerged in response to the greater usage of modern machines. Although the industrial revolution had created a blue-collar working class worldwide, it still remained a significant minority amongst China's working class, which mainly included traditional craftsmen and laborers. This meant that the majority of people remained peasant farmers. However, the small upper class changed dramatically. This was due in part to military reforms carried out in the late Qing. At the beginning of the Qing dynasty, the Manchu conquerors instituted the Eight Banners military system, which organized Han Chinese, Manchus, and Mongols into a bureaucratized military system that atrophied over time. In the nineteenth century, the Qing social system was challenged from within and without. Natural disasters and exorbitant taxes and levies led to peasant rebellions, most notably the Taiping Rebellion. Defeat at the hands of the British and French in the Opium Wars further demonstrated that China was weak militarily and the Eight Banners were not up to the challenge of maintaining order and defending the country.

Yuan ShikaiDuring the 19th century, the military began a gradual restructuring that would theoretically enable it to fight rebels and foreign invaders alike. Generals Zeng Guofan, Zuo Zongtang, and Li Hongzhang became both field marshals and governors, instituting military schools throughout the provinces. In keeping with traditional practices, their associate generals inherited positions as provincial governors. In 1867, during a period of massive modernization of the educational system, the first naval academy was founded, and by 1910, national military exams were obsolete, as national military schools were institutionalized in the provinces. By 1911, seventy such schools existed. These military reforms helped to bring about the fall of the Qing dynasty. In the  late Qing, Yuan Shikai enacted a second generation of military leadership, and later Yuan Shikai was in office as the second president of the Republic of China. Before his death, Yuan Shikai opened a complex of six exemplary military schools at Baoding (a city a hundred miles south of Beijing), and Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-Shek) was one of its graduates.

 



Social Structure in Modern China

 1911 to 1949

After 1911, China entered the Warlord Era. During this time, industrialization was slow to non-existent; between the years 1920 and 1949, the industrial sector had only increased by less than three million members, mainly women and children working in cotton mills. The main changes in social structure were military. In 1924, the Soviet Union helped Sun Yat-sen rebuild the Nationalist (Kuomintang, KMT) military force, most notably through the training school at Huangpu, a small town near Guangzhou. Many military leaders of the following decades were Huangpu graduates, including Lin Biao, who later rose to fame with Mao. After the allied forces of the Kuomintang and the Communists reunified China, Chiang Kai-shek, with the help of underworld forces such as the Green Gang, attacked the Communists. This had the effect of suppressing labor unions.

 

1949 to 1976

After 1949, the revolutionaries became the ruling class. The Communist Party cadres became the new upper class. The misuse and manipulation of the ration system by members of the cadre class threatened to change them into a new class of privileged bureaucrats and technicians, mere descendants of the pre-revolutionary ruling class of cadre technocrats and selected representatives of the old proletariat. Whereas in the past, their position had been accessed primarily through acceptance to the best schools, now cadre status came to give them access to materials and options not fairly distributed amongst all. Housing had always been in demand in China, particularly in the larger cities, and cadres were protected from the intense competition for living space.In the countryside, the landlord class was eliminated during the land reform. In 1959, there were ten million state cadres, thirty-five million state workers, and two hundred million peasants. Chinese society was typical of agrarian societies because the peasant class composed the majority of the population.  

Following the implementation of land reforms, Mao instituted a process of collectivization in response to the a few Chairman Maoselling of land by peasants to the new generation of rich landowners. Afraid of creating a new landlord class, Mao instituted a system of communes where land was supposed to be worked equally by peasants. His idea was to capitalize on the sheer number of peasants and effectively produce a surplus harvest that would help industrialization. This was known as the Great Leap Forward, which was a failure that resulted in the deaths of twenty to thirty million peasants. Just as farmers were put into communes, state workers were placed in large work units called Danweis (State-run enterprises). Since urban education reform was growing at a rate much faster than in rural areas, more and more workers were high school graduates. The slowing down of state industries and the increasing number of qualified middle class candidates contributed to the fact it became more and more difficult to obtain a position as a state worker. At this time, the Hukou system was implemented, which divided the population into urban and rural residents. This was done to make distribution of state services through State-run enterprises and communes easier, and to better organize the population in preparation for a possible invasion from the Soviet Union. The Hukou system made it illegal to migrate from the countryside to the city.

During the Cultural Revolution, the composition of society changed again. Schools were closed and many youth were sent to the countryside, putatively to learn from the peasants. Concern for peasants was reflected in the rural medical and educational services known as barefoot doctors and barefoot teachers. The life expectancy of peasants increased from less than forty years before 1949 to more than sixty years in the 1970s. At the same time, peasants were still the most illiterate, most powerless, and poorest social class. 

 

 After 1979

After the Reform and opening-up policy was implemented in the late 1970s, the Communist system Mao had instituted disintegrated in the face of economic development. In the countryside, communes disappeared by 1984. State-run enterprises began to lay off workers, "smashing the iron rice bowl" because of their expense and inefficiency. Although technically illegal under the Hukou household registration system, peasants began to look for jobs in cities and in other rural areas. Although state workers and urban collective workers did not decrease absolutely, their percentage dramatically decreased within the Chinese working class. In 1991, the number of the peasant workers was 113 million, surpassing the number of state workers. In 1993, the number of peasant workers was 145 million, almost equaling the combined numbers of state workers, urban collective workers, and urban non-state workers. As of 2006, there are 150 to 220 million peasant workers, also known as migrant workers or the floating population. Migrant workers have become the main body of the Chinese working class.

DengThe huge growth of the floating population is due to the Reform and Opening policy. After 1979, capitalist-owned enterprises became responsible for most Chinese economic growth and job creation. There are several important reasons for the dramatic development of the non-state sector after 1979. First, before 1979, the Chinese economy was a shortage economy with a demand much higher than the supply. Second, after 1985, there was a huge amount of surplus rural labor. Third, there was a serious shortage of services in urban areas. Fourth, in 1978, Deng stopped Mao's policy of "up to the mountains and down to the countryside." A need was fulfilled by illegitimate private sectors willing to hire migrant workers, and the government made no move to stop it. Even with the systematic ignoring of the residence permit law, it is still a barrier to urbanization (urbanization lags 20% behind industrialization) it allows for discrimination against migrant workers. 

The Chinese Communist Party has adapted to this new system. From 1979 to 1993, the number of cadres increased from 18 million to 37 million. After 1993, the cadre class increased by several million members until finally reaching a plateau of 40 million due to the central government's actions to freeze membership. Cadres, party members, and state professionals have become the main body of the capitalist class. According to official statistics, in February 2003, 29.9% of capitalists were Communist Party Members. This is interesting in light of the fact that capitalists are now involved with between 70-85% of China's GDP. Despite this, there is tension between capitalists and the Communist state, most notably caused by taxes, lack of access to state bank loans, and the capitalist connection with the underworld. The capitalist class manages three-fourths to four-fifths of mainland China's GDP, but only pays one-third or less of aggregate taxes. The state enterprises pay the other two-thirds. Most capitalists successfully evade taxes, helped by local governments. In all the annual meetings of the national congress and national political consultative conference, capitalist legislators and representatives always complain about the difficulties in getting loans from state banks. Most of them said that during the process of their development they never got one cent in loans, and complained that in their localities the standard bribe for a loan is as high as 20 to 30% of the loan. China is still an industrializing agrarian society and has a long way to go to realize an industrial society, so the overwhelming majority of the people do not have access to the best of China's recent improvements. Most modern young adults in China do not go to college whose entrance is obtained by passing the College Entrance Examination, the standardized test at the end of the year. In the year 2000, less than 90 percent of the population finished junior high school, and less than 85 percent finished senior high or vocational school. As recently as 2000, only 80 percent of the population went to college.



Tianjin Cuisine:

Tianjin cuisine is derived from the native cooking styles of the Tianjin region in China, Shiba Jie Mahua
and it is heavily influenced by Beijing cuisine. The city is famous for preparing a wide variety of snacks both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Goubuli Baozi (steamed stuffed bun) is one of the oldest snacks served in the city. The snack has grown so much in popularity that now it is found in almost all the eating out places in other parts of China. Shiba Jie Mahua (fried dough twist) is a sweet smelling and crispy snack that can also be stored for few months. Another traditional featured Tianjin snack is the fried cake. The snack has a distinct flavor with crispy outer surface and inside having soft thin bean feeling that is sweet in taste.


Another characteristic of Tianjin cuisine is its utilization of Tianjin preserved vegetables, which is similar to the salt pickled vegetable, or yancai of Guizhou cuisine, but the former takes much longer to prepare than the latter, usually half a year. Another clear distinction between the two is that instead of having two separate steps of salt pickling and then fermentation, the salt pickling and fermentation is combined in a single step that takes a much longer time: Chinese cabbage is mixed with salt and garlic together and then fermented, which creates the unique garlic flavor and golden color. In order to preserve the unique taste, Tianjin preserved vegetable is often used for soups, fishes, and stir fried and directly eaten.

Caoji Donkey Meat
Caoji donkey meat, acquired fame because the founder was named Cao, and has around more than a 200-year history. Caoji donkey meat, selects fresh high quality donkey meat, and is matched by the many kinds of spices, added to the pot on a slow fire to boil for seven to eight hours. Caoji donkey meat, which richly contains the protein and has a crisp taste, is easy to chew and has a tasty flavor. It is renowned near and far.
 

 The "Goubuli" Steamed Stuffed BunGoubuli Baozi
The Steamed Stuffed Buns or Goubuli Baozi, an old all time favorite snack of Tianjin, is a steamed bun with a twist on top. With a history spanning over 150 years Goubuli Baozi is not only sold at the restaurants of Tianjin, but has even swarmed into countries like Korea, Japan and America.

 

The Palace Snack -"the Fruit Kernel Opens"
“The fruit kernel opens” takes the shelled peanut, the cashew kernel, the walnut kernel, the melon seeds and nuts, the almond, the loose seed kernel and the many kinds of legumes as its main ingredients. With various spices and other fragrances added, it has a robust appearance and flavor.

Introduction of China Accommodation:

Introduction to China Accommodation

Hotels range from five-star to one star-rated, inexpensive hostels, local guesthouses and roadside inns. Some hotels offer typical Chinese or local features and architecture, while others are completely modern, and of course there are those that are simply average.



Not all the hotels can accommodate foreign visitors, but three, four and five star-rated hotels certainly do. There are both domestically run hotels and international chain hotels, especially in highly developed or tourist cities, where you may find Sheraton, Shangri-la, Hilton, Hyatt, Holiday Inn, Four Seasons, and so on.



Price, however, is not a good guide to quality. Eastern China, for instance, is far more expensive than western China. Large cities are more expensive than small cities. Tourist cities are more expensive than non-tourist cities. Most hotels charge much higher rates during major holiday periods, particularly around Chinese New Year, the first week in May and the first week in October. Even within a major city, a more expensive hotel is not necessarily the best.



Quality can also vary considerably between hotels of the same star rating. Standards of service and cleanliness vary in the lower star-rated hotels, as does the amount of English that is spoken. Four and five star hotels, particularly those from international chains, have some staff who speak reasonable English, but it is unusual to find the majority of the staff not speaking any English. In three star hotels the people on the reception desk can usually be relied on to speak some English. It is not difficult to reserve a hotel by phone, fax or on the Internet. However, hotels of less than three stars may not have staff with good English-speaking skills, which makes phone or even e-mail reservations difficult or unreliable at times. Many travel agencies, tourism or transportation companies offer a reservation service, and there are many on-line reservation centers offering very fast and nice service.



Do not leave money or valuables lying about in your room. Take them with you or leave them in the security in the room or at the receptionist if it is available. Common check-in and checkout times are respectively after 2pm and before noon. Extra costs will be charged if you check in before 6am.




 

How to Rent a Tent:

Tent Ratings
Tent names usually include a seasonal and occupancy rating. Warm weather, or 1- season tents are for summer use when good ventilation is a major requirement; however, many 1-season tents will not keep you dry 3-season tentduring a heavy rain. 3-season tents are the most versatile, providing good ventilation and protection against heavy rain and light snow. 4-season tents utilize sturdier fabric and poles and can withstand high winds and heavy snow. When you rent a camping tent for winter use, consider a convertible. These winter tents convert into 3-season tents through the removal of panels. Tent ratings also include weight, an important consideration if you are backpacking. If you do not like sleeping snugly, rent a tent with an occupancy rating one person higher than the number of people who will be sharing the tent.
 
Rental Logistics
When you rent a camping tent at a local store, look at availability far in advance of your trip to ensure they have the model you want; the selection may be limited. When you rent from a chain, you can pick up the tent at a local outlet or a store near the campsite. Use the store’s web site to determine whether the model you need is available at a convenient location. You can also rent your camping tent from vendors specializing in direct online rental. These vendors often have a larger selection than gear stores that focus primarily on equipment sales. They will ship the tent directly to your door, but you will have to repack it and ship it back after the trip. Camping tents are also available at camp stores and gear outlets at popular parks and trailheads and as option at private or concessionaire-run campsites where site fees and equipment rental can be combined into vacation packages.
Long before you need to rent your camping tent, check on the vendor’s reservation (or shipping-time) requirements and cancellation policies. Some vendors will add a cleaning fee if you return a tent dirty or wet.
 
Personal Style
When you rent a camping tent, you can opt for creature comforts and space or for a minimalist style. When you are backpacking or spending most of your time hiking, climbing, fishing or kayaking, a utilitarian tent may suffice. When you are car camping or spending time with family and friends around the campsite, a more spacious tent may be more convenient. When you rent a camping tent, you always have the luxury of selecting the exact model you need for the people, the season, the weather and the trip.

Hotels in Main Tourist Cities:

Hotels in Main Tourist Cities

BeijingBeijing hotel(5 star) Outside

As far as Beijing accommodation is considered, the city offers many accommodation options in varying rates. You can choose to stay in the cheap hotels or youth hostels or even check out the mid-range or high-end hotels. The luxurious and comfortable hotel rooms offer you all the comforts of a home environment.

Beijing accommodation consists of a great number of hotels that include Budget, Cheap, and many rivaling the highest international standards. Other than hotels, budget travelers can seek the low rated Hostels, youth hostels and such other facilities.

Some of the Budget Hotels in Beijing offer facilities like air-conditioned rooms, large beds, personalized service and much more. The rate usually starts from around 31 Yuan per night. The mid-range hotels in Beijing offer accommodation at a rate of around 180 - 300 Yuan per night. The facilities available include cleaning of the room twice a day by the staff and free Internet access. The high-end hotels include Five Star Hotels that offer accommodation at a rate of around $150 per night.

 

Shanghai

Shanghai, the eighth largest city of the world, is also the largest city in China. Shanghai hotel(5 star) Lobby

Shanghai is one of the highly popular tourist destinations of the world and tourism in Shanghai is a booming industry. Here, we give you a brief idea about Shanghai accommodation. Each year, tourists come to this wonderful metropolis and wonderful vacations.

If you plan to take a tour of the famous city of Shanghai, you will always look for some accommodation which is cozy, comfortable and offers the facilities and services that are convenient enough to make your vacation in Shanghai all the more enjoyable. Numerous world-class luxurious hotels, star hotels and budget hotels accommodate the tourists that pour in here. The famous Chinese hospitality makes your tour a thing to cherish forever.

Shanghai is home to many luxury hotels, which are right up there with the very best in the hospitality industry. There are internationally acclaimed and reputed hotels such as the Park Hotel, JW Marriott, JC Mandarin, Grand Hyatt, Four Seasons, Ritz Portman and many others. As one can expect, services of these upper crest hotels have a price. However,you don't have to worry if your budget doesn't allow you the luxury of the highest quality. There are numerous cheap Shanghai accommodations, hotels and budget hotel chains like Super Group, 168 Motel etc. They are dedicated to serve you without compromising much on the quality and comfort.

Guangzhou

Guangzhou is dotted with a number of scenic spots and historical sites. It is one of the most famous tourist hubs in China. Besides a beautiful landscape, Guangzhou enjoys a subtropical humid monsoon climate. Guangzhou accommodation caters to the need of every tourist who visits the place every year.

Hotels in GuangzhouGuangzhou hotel(5 star) Swimming pool

Guangzhou, a major metropolis in south China, boasts more than 50 hotels of international level ranging from 3 to 5 stars. Guangzhou accommodation is distributed in six important areas that include:

The shopping center Beijing Road

The HaizhuPlaza

The bustling Huanshi Dong Road 

The Tianhe Stadium

The Embassy Area

The Canton Fair Exhibition Center

Since the Liuhua and Pazhou Complexes are the only two centers in use during Canton Fair, the hotels around these two complexes are always in high demand. Almost every hotel offers free shuttle bus service to the two complexes. Because of the large number of visitors, hotel space in Guangzhou is very tight during the fair.

Guangzhou accommodation is close to international standards. Most hotels are equipped with modern facilities such as private bathrooms, air-conditioners and comfortable beds. Prices are moderate except during the biannual Canton Fair when room rates rise rapidly. There is a huge rush of tourists during the Canton Fair and so visitors should do their reservations at least one or two months earlier than usual.

 

Chengdu

Blessed with a favorable climate with such varied attractions, Chengdu is swarmed by people almost every time througout the year. Hotels in Chengdu provide accommodation to travelers whatever their budget is. Chendu hotel(5 star) Lobby

Adjacent to Xinnanmen bus station, Jiaotong Hotel offers good accommodation to tourists visiting Chengdu. The room fare is inclusive of free breakfast. You can start your day with either Chinese or Western foods. The hotel offers other facilities like bicycle rental and internet access.

Kempinski Hotel provides luxurious accommodation to travelers. Located in the affluent southern part of Chengdu, the hotel offers a nice view. All rooms have 24-hours free access to satellite television. A mini bar is also housed inside this facility.

If you want to stay in a cozy place, head for Sim's Cozy Guest House. Managed by a Sino-Japanese couple this place offers cheap accommodation in Chengdu.

Many travelers due to the hotel’s proximity to the railway station favor Jingrong Hotel. Apart from the positional advantage, the hotel offers all modern facilities and a comfortable accommodation place at a reasonable price.

If the cheapest accommodation is what you are searching for in Chengdu, search no more. Mainly the backpackers frequent Chengdu Mix Hotel. The hotel,however,does not compromise on quality and is equipped with facilities like free internet, cheap DVD rentals and a lot more.

There are numerous other hotels too. Minshan Hotel and Holiday Inn Crown Plaza are among some of the best places to stay in Chengdu.

 

DalianDalian hotel(5 star) Lobby

Dalian is sub-provincial city in the eastern part of Liaoning Province of China. Dalian is one of the favorite tourist destinations in China. Dalian accommodation provides tourists with the perfect hotel facilities that make tours to Dalian all the more enjoyable.

There is no dearth of Dalian accommodation. Tourists can find suitable hotels to stay in. The hospitality sector of Dalian offers luxurious star hotels, mid-range hotels and cost-effective budget accommodation. Accommodation is available according to your requirements and tailor-made to keep to your budget obligations.



There is plenty of luxurious accommodation in Dalian. The top end of the hotel industry in Dalian is predominantly operated by large and reputed hotels. Some of the big players of the international hotel chains run star hotels in Dalian. These star hotels provide tourists with most modern forms of amenities. The service and hospitality offered by them is outstanding. The hotels are able to achieve consumer satisfaction, enabling them to run their business successfully. The prices are usually set based on international standards.



The mid-range accommodation of Dalian is made up of 3-star or 4-star Chinese-run hotels. These hotels offer decent sized clean rooms and quality dining service. The staff of the hotels is usually conversant with English language. There are numerous hotels that fall under this category, and some of them are very popular.



Like the rest of the cities in China, Dalian is also less resourceful when it comes to budget accommodation. Foreign tourists are not accepted by many of these hotels. A better option in this case is to go for university guesthouses or youth hostels.



Dalian’s Victoria Hotel has been built by two corporations of China and Canada jointly. It is international four-star standard. The hotel covers an area of 2,700 sq m and the building area is 10,000 sq m. Total investment is up to 90,000,000 RMB. The hotel has a business center and beautiful gardens.  Mountains in the distance form a colorful backdrop.




ShenzhenShenzhen hotel(5 star) Twin-bed room

Accommodation forms an important part of traveling and tours. The accommodation includes numerous options like cheap yet clean and hygienic facilities available in the range and many other things. Here there are hotels that provide packages which includes food, accommodation, spa and often with complimentary breakfast or dinner. The tourists must consider these things. In case of a “corporate” visit, the facilities of seminar halls, banquets and golf or tennis courts need to be considered.

 

HangzhouShangri-La Hotel(Toilet)_Hangzhou

You can never short of suitable accommodation on your visit to Hangzhou. There are plenty of hotels and guesthouses ranging right from the 5- star ones to the ordinary budget hotels for those looking for a more economical option. Most of the hotels are located in the city center where most of the shopping malls are located. The West Side Lake also offers good accommodation facilities and a panoramic view of the surrounding area often makes the tourists choose accommodation near the lake. However, there are also hotels near the railway station that will make transportation easier for you.

Luxury Hotels:

The luxury hotels are mostly star rated and expensive but they also provide you with excellent facilities and service. Here are the names of some of the luxury hotels in Hangzhou:


Longhill Business Hotel Hangzhou: This is a four star hotel that not only provides you with excellent room services but also allows you to hold large conferences, business meetings or celebrate a private occasion in their large function hall. The hotel is accompanied with gym and restaurants.



Regal Plaza Hotel: this hotel is located in the City Centre and is rated as a five star hotel. The hotel was opened to the visitors in the year 2004.



Shangri-La Hotel: This hotel in Hangzhou offers complete luxury treatment to the guests and offers everything from fitness centers, swimming pools, restaurants and business centers to comfortable wheelchair accessibility.


Budget Hotels:

Center Hotel Hangzhou: This hotel is conveniently located near the railway station and consists of 184 guest rooms.

Lily Hotel Hangzhou: This hotel is situated near the picturesque WestLake and the room rates are quite cheap compared to the spectacular view that it offers of the surrounding area. The hotel has 155 guest rooms.

Being a popular weekend destination for the people living in the nearby cities, it is advisable that you make a prior reservation in specific hotel especially if you are traveling in the peak season

 

GuilinGuilin hotel(5 star) Outside

There are not so many hotels in Guilin, although Guilin is a very famous tourism city. Guilin hotels recommended by us are suggested by our travelers. The price of Guilin hotels is not very high, so we suggest 4-star and 5-star hotels in Guilin. They provide better service and equipment.  

Note of Guilin Hotel Reservation: Price of Guilin hotels will be affected by Golden Week Holiday (MAY 1-3, OCT.1-7) each year.

Payment at Guilin Hotels:

Most Guilin hotels accept credit card upon arrival. Some hotels need guarantee by credit card when a reservation is made. Some 3-star hotels need prepayment during national holidays or large-scale exhibitions.

 

XianXian(5 star) Lobby

You will never worry about not finding a good Xian hotel. As the capital city of Shanxi province, Xian is a very famous international tourist city. Xian hotels cover all star rating levels and all locations in this city, from 3-star to 5-star and from downtown to airport. Many famous hotel management brands are available such as Sheraton, Holiday Inn and Shangri-la.



Some Xian hotels are in ancient Chinese style. Many foreign travelers prefer this kind of hotel.



Note about Xian Hotel Reservations: Price of Xian hotels will be affected by Golden Week Holiday (MAY 1-3, OCT.1-7) each year.



Payment at Xian Hotels:


Most Xian hotels accept credit card upon arrival. Some hotels need guarantee by credit card when a reservation is made. Some Xian hotels need prepayment during national holidays or large scale exhibitions.

 

Hong Kong

There are hundreds of hotels in Hong Kong, including several high-class ones. Most of the hotels are located in Tsimshatsui, which is the place for shopping, food, and entertainment.

Causeway Bay, North Point, and the New Territories also have some very good hotels. Central, Admiralty and Wanchai, which are the financial districts, also have fantastic hotels.Hongkong hotel(5 star) Fitness center

Hotels in Hong Kong are top class, with world-class facilities and comforts. There are hotels that cater to all classes of tourists, with all budgets and various needs. Prices of rooms start from $100 to $200 on average and may go up to $600 per day. There are also some hotels where the prices of rooms start from less than $100 and they come in the budget category. Some of the most popular hotels under the $100 are the City Garden Hong Kong, Wharney Hotel, South Pacific Hong Kong, Majestic Hotel Hong Kong, Kimberley Hotel, Park Hotel Hong Kong, Royal Pacific Hotel, and New World Renaissance Hong Kong.

Hotel rooms in the range of $100-$150 include: Marco Polo Gateway Hotel Hong Kong, Marco Polo Prince Hotel, Regal Hong Kong Airport Hotel, Novotel Century Hong Kong, Harbour Plaza Hotel, Marco Polo Hotel Hong Kong, Hong Kong Hyatt Regency Hotel, Excelsior Hong Kong, Holiday Inn Hong Kong Golden Mile, and Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel. Then there some higher-priced  hotels such as the Renaissance Harbour View, Kowloon Shangri-La Hong Kong, JW Marriott Hong Kong, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong Hotel, Inter-Continental Hotel (formerly The Regent), Grand Hyatt Hong Kong and Peninsula Hotel, which have rooms priced at over $200.



However, the most premium hotels are the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Panda Hotel, Emperor Happy Valley Hotel, The Charterhouse, Kowloon Hotel, Dorsett Olympic Hotel, Cosmo Hotel, Guangdong Hotel, and the Dorsett Sea View Hotel, among many others. Room rents for these hotels are in the range of $700-$1,000 or more per day, for a standard room. The different kinds of hotel rooms are generally the standard rooms, deluxe rooms, deluxe courtyard room, grand deluxe view room, and suites like the superior suite, deluxe suite and others. Most of the Hong Kong hotels offer excellent cuisine consisting of fresh seafood, which is one of the specialties of Hong Kong. They also offer sightseeing services, cruises and night tours, airport transfer services, and host several indoor facilities such as: restaurants, bars, saloons, pools, gardens, spas, conference rooms, champagne bars, fitness facilities, and heated pools, massage treatments, and even Tai Chi and Yoga classes. The rooms are huge and offer high-speed Internet connectivity, television with cable, mini bars, massage showerheads, and other facilities.


Chinese Star-rating Hotels' Facility and Difference:

Chinese Star-rating Hotels: Facilities and Differences
The China National Tourism Administration has issued a standard to rate hotels in China from one to five stars. The basis for ratings is as follows: China National Tourism Administration issued a standard to rate hotels in
China from one to five stars. The basis for ratings is as follows:
 
Five-Star Hotels
Five-star hotels are usually palatial with huge lobbies, their standards not quite matching the best of Paris or New York, but very close. Service should be better than the four-star hotels described below. There areFive-Star Hotel(Twin-bed room) many hotels of five-star international standard, just as good as hotels in Washington or Ottawa except for the standard of English. Some hotels have their own fleets of Mercedes limousines or Toyota vans that make regular runs to the airport or city center. Executive floors supply concierges and free continental breakfasts; best western food and probably the best Chinese food in town, and the most luxurious breakfast buffets. Many have magnificent ballrooms and lobbies and cater to foreign business people on expense accounts.
 
Four-Star Hotels
Four-star hotels should provide luxurious and spacious soundproof rooms, low-noise toilets, and hair dryers. They should have guests and service elevators, background music, health club, Four-Star Hotel(Twin-bed room)swimming pool, sauna, business center, greenhouse, 24-hour door attendant, reservations accepted through fax/telex, 24-hour room service, and onward reservations in China for guests. A guest reception and assistant manager should be available in the lobby 24 hours a day. Laundry should be returned by the next day. The restaurants in four-star hotels should provide two kinds of Chinese food with the last order no earlier than 9pm. Bar service should be available until 1 am. There should be a 24-hour coffee shop and a breakfast and dinner buffet. A clinic should be on-site. A business center with photocopying, typing and translation services should be available, as should a ticketing agency with city tours and babysitting services.
 
Three-Star Hotels
Three-star hotels must have : at least well-decorated guest rooms with dressing table, desk, drawers and closet; carpet or wood floor; telephones in every Three-Star Hotel(Twin-bed room)room with international direct dial(IDD); mini-bar and refrigerator; color television sets, in-house movies, music; writing materials; sun-proof curtains; and bed turn-down service. They must have single rooms and suites, Western and Chinese dining rooms(with English-speaking attendants, and the last order no earlier than 8:30pm), 16-hour coffee shop, banquet hall or function room, buffet breakfast and bar service(until midnight), and 18-hour room service.  
 
They must also have elevator service, washroom, equipment and service for disabled people, disco or karaoke, foreign exchange, safe deposit boxes, store, camera film developing, fax and telex service, luggage storage, 24-hour laundry and dry-cleaning, wake-up calls, shoe polishing, and taxis. They should be able to mend articles of everyday use for guests. They should accept major credit cards. They must have an emergency electricity supply for public areas, medical services, 16-hour a day doorman, and message service, guest reception, and managers on call. An assistant manager should be in the lobby 18 hours and railroad timetables available.
 
Two-Star Hotels
Two-star hotels must have at least 20 guest rooms, 95% with private baths, 50% with telephones, and 16 hours of cold and hot running water, Western and Chinese breakfast must be offered.
 
One-Star Hotels
One-star hotels must have air-conditioning, coffee shop, dining room, and at least 20 guest rooms, cleaned daily. Of course, 75% must have private baths. They must have central heating, a lobby with information and reception desk, postal service, and 12-hour a day cold and hot running water.

China's Economy Hotels:

An economy hotel, called a “bed and breakfast” hotel in Western countries, offers standardized hotel services with a better price/performance ratio than luxury hotels, because it keeps only a high-standard accommodation facility. It has no accessory facilities for meetings, entertainment and catering, and cuts down on procurement costs and staff through standardized brand operation and facility management.
 
Most of China’s economy hotels are located in Shanghai, Beijing, and Jiangsu Province. China's domestic economy hotel chains, such as Home Inns, Jin Jiang Inns, and Motel168, have been rapidly developing, as have foreign economy hotel brands such as Super 8 and Green Tree Inn.  While foreign brands are on the rise, China’s domestic brands dominate the economy hotel market, with the top two domestic brands, Jin Jiang Inn and Home Inns, showing the strongest market position and development trends.
 
Jin Jiang Inn & Hotels Management, Inc. Jin Jiang Inn(Beijing)_Twin-bed room
Jin Jiang Inn is a subsidiary of Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels (Group) Company Limited ("Jin Jiang Hotels"), the largest hotel conglomerate in China. The company’s hotel portfolio ranges from the economy to the five-star. HOTELS magazine ranked Jin Jiang Hotels 22nd in the world for 2005 in terms of total number of hotel rooms.
 
Home Inns & Hotels Management, Inc.
Home Inns & Hotels Management, Inc., headquartered in Shanghai, has vastly expanded its nationwide network of economy hotels since its founding in 2002. As of October 1, 2007, the Home Inns hotel chain consisted of 200 properties.
 
Super 8 Hotels (China) Co. Ltd.
Super 8, which operates in China under a licensing agreement between Wyndham Worldwide Corporation and Tian Rui Hotel Investment Corporation, was among the first foreign economy hotel chains to enter tSuper 8 Hotels(Beijing)_Twin-bed roomhe market when it opened its first hotel in Wangfujing, Beijing in June of 2004. The brand has since expanded to first-tier cities such as Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai, as well as second-tier cities such as Dalian, Liaoning, Chengdu, Sichuan, Hangzhou, Harbin, Heilongjiang, Xiamen, and Fujian. Super eight China plans to continue the expansion to smaller cities and major highway locations.  
Super 8 capitalizes on the “first-mover” advantages of a foreign economy-hotel brand. These include modest price, high standards, and established brand reputation. Super 8's target customers are Chinese middle-class business and leisure travelers who appreciate good value and international levels of quality and service. Super eight maintains the same high international standards in China as its sister properties in North America, despite differences in areas such as room size and parking lot space.
 
Other Brands
Foreign economy-hotel brands such as Days Inn (Wyndham), Ibis (Accor), and Holiday Inn Express (Inter Continental) also have a presence in mainland China. The most competitive advantage of foreign versus domestic hotel chains is management expertise and technology. This applies especially to the central reservation system offered by foreign hotels, which helps advertise and simplify access to the hotel for international tourists. Meanwhile, domestic economy hotel chains take the advantage of local business knowledge, making progress in adapting the foreign hotel chains’ operation model.

Chinese Wine:

A Brief Introduction about the Development of Chinese Wine

Chinese wine, as a special form of culture, has a history of more than five thousand years and has developed a unique style. Wine has a close connection with Chinese culture both in ancient and modern times. According to the book “The Spring and Autumn in the Cup” by Lin Chao, wine drinking is something of learning rather than eating and drinking.  

Wine permeates into every field of life: law, philosophy, ethics, morality and social customs. Wine became a part of political life due to the fact that most emperors and ministers in ancient China were fond of wine, playing an important role of moderation and destruction. The story, how Emperor Taizu of Song deprived a military commander of his command by serving him wine, is just one case.

The functions of wine were divided into three main categories by the Chinese people - to cure diseases, for longevity and for the practice of etiquette. For several thousand years, however, the functions also include drinking wine drinking wine to bring joy, to forget worries and to boost one's courage. Wine can be harmful to people’s health if they drink too much. To put it simply, wine is a sign of social civilization with rich connotations.
 

Alcohol Classification

White Liquor

Chinese white liquor is the traditional distilled alcohol.Maotai Liquor Its brewing history can be traced back to the Yuan Dynasty. White liquor is made from various ingredients rich in starch like grains and potatoes through complex fermentation and distillation.Chinese white liquor often contains over 40% alcohol.  Chinese liquor, characterized by clear fluid, pure content, lingering aroma and strong pungent flavor, is widely produced around the country. Among them, white liquor in these three regions is quite famous - Shanxi, Sichuan and Guizhou. The most well-known Chinese white liquor includes the Maotai Liquor, Five Grain Liquor, Xifeng Liquor and Shuanggou Liquor.

 

Yellow Liquor

Yellow liquor derives its name from the yellow or brown color of the fluid, which is brewed from grain like sticky rice. Its process of braising, fermentation and compression is complex. The most distinct feature of yellow liquor is that its taste is influenced by the aging process. Generally, the longer the aging process, the better the flavor. Yellow liquor contains a high content of amino acids, sugar and vitamins, and it is nutritious. It is light with about 15% -18% alcohol. The lower region of Yangtze River is the most famous area producing yellow liquor.

 

Rice Wine

Rice Wine, made from rice, is a fermented beverage. Generally, it is clear and somewhat sweet, with alcohol content ranging between 12% and 20%.Rice wine is usually drunk warm and also used in cooking. It is produced in both mainland China and Taiwan.

 

Beer

Among the liquor family, beer is the most popular of all, with the largest number of consumers.Qingdao Beer Beer has the lowest alcohol content of about 2.5% - 7.5% when compared with other alcoholic beverages. At present, the annual output of beer ranks second in the entire world. Qingdao Beer is the most famous brand in China, which is produced in the city of Qingdao, where an annual beer festival is held offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy its fragrant taste.

 

Drinking Rites

New Year Wine of the Korean Nationality

This type of wine is the most famous for the Korean New Year Festival “Rosh Hashanah”. The main ingredient of the New Year Wine is rice, while the supplementary ingredients are several Chinese traditional medicinal materials such as root of balloon flower, parsnip, mountain pepper and cassia bark. It is known to have the effects of expelling the evil and prolong life span and used for self-drinking and entertaining guests during the Spring Festival.

 

New Grain Wine of the Hani Nationality

The New Grain Alcohol is a kind of home-made wine. Every year,prior to the autumn harvest, the Hani nationality, who lives in Yuanjiang in Yunnan Province, holds a sumptuous ceremony according to customs of drinking new grain wine to celebrate the joyous harvest of bumper grain and the safety of people and livestock.

 

Chinese Drinking Vessels

Bronze drinking vessels

During the Western Zhou dynasty, drinking vessels reached their historical peak, driven by the bronze boom. Various shape of drinking vessels appeared in the Western Zhou Dynasty, with various functions according to the occasion and the user. The design and the shape of the vessel usually symbolized the social status. Vessels with the design of tigers and dragons were often used by people with higher status.

 

Lacquer vessels

After the fall of the Western Zhou Dynasty, lacquer quickly replaced bronze and became the main material to make drinking vessels. Both the use and appearance of the wine-storing vessels and the drinking vessels were different. The most well-known drinking vessels were those ear-shaped lacquer cups.

 

Clay Vessels

The quality of the clay is superior to lacquer, thus, clay was chosen to make drinking vessels later. The on-table vessel was necessary and possible due to the appearance of tables for dining. A kind of stoup-like vessel with beak and handle became the main wine container at that time. Other materials sometimes used to make wine containers include gold, silver, ivory and jade.

Ancient Education in China:

Private Schools Thriving in the Spring and Autumn Period

In the Spring and Autumn Period(770 B.C. – 476 B.C.), private schools prevailed.Confusius At that time, many scholars of different schools of thought spread their teaching in this way. Confucius, the great educator, devoted all his life to the private school system and instructed most students. Confucianism was established at that time. Besides that, other schools such as Taoism also taught widely and this led afterwards to 'a hundred schools of thought' in the Warring States Period.

 

Recommendation through Observation in the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.)

In 136 B.C. during the reign of Emperor Wudi (156 B.C. - 87 B.C.),the government introduced a system which was named 'taixue', under which students were required to study the classical Confucian books and take examinations. Those with good marks would directly be given official titles. In the Han Dynasty, the most prevalent method was merely through observation, without any system for testing a person’s ability. The Officials would see who was intelligent and recommend individuals to their superior, which obviously restricted the source of talented people, leading to nepotism and corruption.

 

The Nine Grades of Rank in the Regime System in the Jin, Northern and Southern Dynasties

The Nine Grades of Rank in the Regime System (or Jiupin Zhongzheng system), employed the following method: in each state and county there was an official acting as 'Zhongzheng' with authority to decide how people were ranked in the local precincts according to ability. Although it had no relationship originally with family background, the 'Zhongzheng' was himself invariably a member of the upper class. Thus the disadvantages gradually became apparent and the system was abolished before long.

 

Imperial Examinations as the Main Form of Education

Keju (the system of the Imperial Examinations), which began to be put into practice in the Sui Dynasty and lasted for more than 1,300 years, became the method by which talented people were recognized and selected for future positions. The imperial examinations comprised two parts namely an arts exam and the wushu exam. The arts examination included composition, study of books, laws, calligraphy, paintings and so on, while the wushu examination was used for selecting military officials but was not subject to the same degree of importance as the arts examination. Under this system, children from poor families had opportunities to attend the examination and bring honor to their families. Despite the significant effect of promoting Confucian culture and education, it also influenced education systems in many other countries like Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, and similarities can be found in the personnel selection methods employed in France, America and Britain. Today's education system is surely its successor.

 

Radiation in the Tang Dynasty

The Tang Dynasty adopted the personnel selection system and gradually refined it. The main subjects of the examinations were writing and study of classical books, Empress Wu Zetianwhich were the most popular, as well as mathematics, law, calligraphy, etc. Most prime ministers during that feudal period were titled 'jinshi', and were good at writing. Candidates who passed the highest imperial examination held by the Board of Rites would have a promising future as court officials. The most successful scholar was then granted the title of 'zhuang yuan', the second 'bang yan', and the third 'tan hua'. When the results were declared, there would be much celebrating among these joyous people. During the reign of Empress Wu Zetian, she asked questions of candidates herself in the imperial hall. This was the initialization of the interview. She also created the form of Wushu examination in subjects such as the use of firearms.

 

Innovation in the Education System

In the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279) subjects raised by the government had been much fewer than that in the Tang Dynasty, but the examination for 'jin shi' was still fashionable. Meanwhile, regardless of form and content, the system underwent great innovation. Firstly, the extension of matriculation was broadened. Secondly, the frequency of exams was limited to a fixed 'once every three years'. Thirdly, so far as content was concerned, while the earlier examinations laid much stress on the ancient classical texts, the great reformer Wang Anshi (1021 - 1086) advocated an innovation which was much more practical. Finally, to prevent the practice of favoritism, examinees' names were closely covered on their papers, which were then exchanged among different local examiners. In the Song Dynasty, few governmental schools were erected, but it was the vogue for scholars to set up numerous private educational organizations - 'shu yuan' which were to cultivate talented people, to encourage a devotion to learning, as well as to spread culture. Scholars were invited to give lectures and students were provided with dormitories, desks and food while studying on their own. Subsequently, most of these institutes became places where students prepared for exams.

 

Full-Bloom in the Ming Dynasty

With the coming of the Ming Dynasty, the imperial examination system reached its period of full bloom. The provincial and metropolitan examiners tested only 'eight-legged' essays. They were required to write in a fixed style with a fixed word count - it had to be eight paragraphs, while imitating the tone of the classics. Eventually, it was realized that this method was harmful as it stifled both creativity and imagination. Once these bookworms had passed their exams, they could go further to take the simpler test set by the emperor. There were no failures during the Ming Dynasty, but each candidate's placing on the pass list was decided personally by the emperor.

 

Declination in the Qing Dynasty

As the tight hold on affairs held by the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) became more and more unpopular, the education system also needed fresh ideas and input as it was a disservice to the country. A trend appeared towards the way in which the positions of court officials could be purchased and this sometimes even gave rise to unlawful pass to the degraded system.

Chongyang Festival:

In China, the number 9 is regarded as a yang number, as opposed to 6, which is a yin number.Chrysanthemum So, on the ninth day of the ninth month (Chinese lunar calendar) every year since ancient times, the Chongyang festival has been celebrated. Chongyang is principally an outdoor festival, and people's activities on that day ainclude walking, hill climbing, eating chongyang cakes, appreciating chrysanthemum blooms and drinking chrysanthemum wine and wearing cornels.


Climbing Hills

People started to climb hills in honor of the Chonyang festival in ancient times and the practice continues strongly today. There are no rules on how high people should climb; just reaching some altitude is enough. For example, many people climb hills or high pagodas on this special day.

Eating Chongyang CakesChongyang cakes

Another custom that has been preserved since ancient times is the eating of Chongyang cakes, which are also known as flower cakes, chrysanthemum cakes, five-color cakes and some other names. Nowadays, all of the soft cakes eaten in honor of the Chongyang Festival are all called Chongyang cakes.

Appreciating Chrysanthemums and Drinking Chrysanthemum Wine

It is said that Tao Yuanming, a very famous poet in the Jin Dynasty loved looking at chrysanthemums and drinking chrysanthemum wine very much. Poets and high-level officers who were influenced by Tao Yuanming’s beautiful poetry accompanied Chongyang feasts by appreciating chrysanthemums and drinking chrysanthemum wine since they felt it brought them closer to the great man. This lead to the popularization of the tradition and so it as has been passed down the generations ever since.

Middle Autumn Festival:

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the 15th of the eighth month /Chang'e flying to the moonis the date for the traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. The reason for celebrating the festival during that time is that it is the time when the moon is at its fullest and brightest. Almost every traditional Chinese festival has a connection with legends. The best known stories of the Mid-Autumn Festival are Chang'e flying to the moon, Jade Rabbit making heavenly medicine, and Wu Gang chopping the cherry bay. Those stories have been passed down from generation to generation alongside the celebrations of the festival itself. Today for young children, listening to the stories is still an important part of their way to celebrate the Moon Festival.

 

Gazing at the Moon

Gazing at the Moon is an ancient tradition from the Zhou Dynasty (around 500 BC) when people held ceremonies to welcome the full moon, with huge outdoor feasts of moon cakes, watermelons, apricots, apples, grapes and other fresh fruits. The popularity of this ancient tradition began to grow during the Tang and Song Dynasties when people of high rank held banquets in their big courtyards. They drank fine wine, watched the moon and listened to music. Common people who could not afford as big parties as the rich would lay some food such as moon cakes and fruits on a table in the courtyard and pray to the moon for a good harvest. This underwent a great rise during the Song Dynasty, and historical documents tell about mid-autumn night in the capital, where people would stream to the night markets and together with their families admire the beauty of the full moon. There are also many classic songs and well-known verses about this tradition.

 

Eating Moon Cakes

Moon CakeEating moon cakes while gazing at the full moon is a central part of the mid-autumn festival throughout China, and it is a symbol of family unity. At the very beginning, the moon cakes were served as a sacrifice to the Moon. The words "moon cake" first appeared in the Southern Song Dynasty, even though, at that time, the moon cakes were not round. Nowadays, moon cakes are given as presents to loved ones and they represent people’s wishes to be together during the mid-autumn festival.

Chinese Festivals:

Traditional Chinese festivals are colorful and rich in content, most of which are based on the Chinese lunar calendar.
 
Spring Festival (Chinese Lunar New Year)
For Chinese people, the Spring Festival is the most important occasion. No matter how far they are away from home, Chinese people are eager to go home and get together with their families for this special festival. The Spring Festival begins on the first day of the first lunar month and lasts for 15 days.
 
Legends of the Spring FestivalNian
The Spring Festival is also called Guo Nian in Chinese. Guo in Chinese means "pass over", and the Nian in Chinese refers to a mythical beast which will bring bad luck.According to an ancient Chinese legend, a big horned monster called Nian, who lived at the bottom of the sea all year, would come out on the eve of the Spring Festival. Prior to the appearance of Nian, all the people would flee from their home to remote mountains to escape the danger, since Nian would devour livestock, crops and even villagers, especially children.
 
One Spring Festival Eve, as the villagers of Taohua (Peach Blooms) Village were preparing to flee, an old beggar came here with a stick and a bag in his hands. However, no one in the village had time to care about the beggar except for an old woman who gave him something to eat and suggested that he flee to the remote mountains to escape the dangerous Nian. But the old beggar refused to do so, and he said with a smile “If you let me stay in your house for one night, I will do you a favor and get rid of Nian.” The old woman doubted what he said, and tried to convince the old beggar to escape the danger, but he only smiled without reply. Under such circumstances, she fled to the mountain leaving the old beggar in her house.
 
As midnight fell, the monster Nian rushed into the village, and found something different. The old woman’s house was well illuminated, and her door was decorated with red paper. Seeing these, the monster Nian quivered all over and howled fiercely to throw himself at the house. As he approached the door, Nian heard fireworks exploding. At that moment, the door was opened and the old beggar in red came out, bursting into laughter. Nian turned pale with fright and escaped with great haste.
 
Next day, the villagers came back and were astonished to find that everything was in good condition. Suddenly, the old woman recalled what the old beggar had said and told the other villagers.
Then the villagers rushed to the old woman’s house and found the door was decorated with red paper, fireworks in the yard were still exploding and all candles were alight. At that moment, they realized that the monster Nian was afraid of the color red, the sound of fireworks exploding and the light from the candles. Wild with joy, the villagers celebrated the coming of the New Year and the good fortune it brought. From then on, each Spring Festival Eve, every family would glues red paper beside their doors with couplets written on them, and stays up late or all night (Shousui) to wait for the New Year's coming, lighting lanterns and exploding fireworks.
 
Spring Festival Celebrations
Chinese people may celebrate the Spring Festival in slightly different ways with almost the same wishes, that is, they wish their family members and friends to be healthy and lucky during the coming year. The celebratory activities include Chinese New Year Feast, firecrackers, giving lucky money to children, ringing the New Year bells and Chinese New Year Greetings.
 
House Cleaning
It is a very old custom to clean houses in the days before the Spring Festival, which can be traced back to thousands of years ago. According to the customs, the dust is associated with “old”, thus, cleaning houses means bidding farewell to the “old” and ushering in the “new”. Days before the Spring Festival, Chinese families clean their houses, sweeping the floor, washing daily household items and cleaning away the spider webs, in the hope of a good coming year.
 
House Decoration 
It is one of the house decorations to post couplets on the doors, on which good wishes are expressed. Spring Festival couplets are usually posted in pairs for the consideration of the connotation of even numbers, which are associated with good luck and auspiciousness in Chinese culture. XI
 
In northern China, people are used to posting paper-cut on windows, meantime, they post on the door a red "(Xi)" which means good luck and fortune. Thus it is customary to post "(Xi)" on doors or walls on auspicious occasions like wedding ceremonies.
 
New Year Feast
Spring Festival offers a chance for family reunion. The New Year’s feast, with all the family members getting together, is a “must” banquet. The food for the banquet varies according to regions. In south China, it is customary to eat “niangao” (New Year cake which is made of glutinous rice flour) means “higher and higher every year” .In north China, “jiaozi”(dumplings)is a traditional dish for the feast.
 
Shousui—Staying Up Late
Shousui means to stay up late or all night on New Year's Eve. After the New Year Feast, families sit together and chat happily to wait for the New Year’s arrival.
 
Setting Firecrackers
Lighting Firecrackers used to be one of the most important customs in the Spring Festival celebration. However, the government has banned this practice in many major cities due to the danger and the deafening noise from lighting firecrackers. In small towns and rural areas, people still hold to this custom. Right as the clock strikes 12 o’clock at the midnight on New Year’s Eve, cities and towns are lit up by the glitter from fire, with deafening sound. Families stay up for this joyful moment.
 
Bainian: New Year Greeting
On the first day of the New Year or shortly thereafter, everyone wearing new clothes greets relatives and friends with Gongxi (congratulations), wishing each other good luck and happiness during the New Year.
On the first day of the Spring Festival, it is customary for the younger generations to visit the elders and wish them good health and longevity.
 Lucky Money
Lucky Money
Lucky money refers to the money given to children from parents, grandparents, or others as New Year gift. It is believed to bring good luck and ward off monsters. Money is put into red envelopes since Chinese people consider red a lucky color.
 
Spring Festival Taboos
Typical Spring Festival taboos are the following: A married daughter is not allowed to pay a visit to her parents’ house on the first day of the Spring Festival for a visit from a married daughter on this day is believed to bring bad luck to the parents, leading to economic hardship for the family. Sweeping on this day is associated with sweeping wealth away.
 
During the New Year Festival season (from the 1st to 15th day of the Lunar New Year) the following taboos are apply: Crying is believed to bring bad luck to the family. Breaking tools or other equipment during this period is associated with a loss of wealth for the year ahead. A visit to the hospital in this period is believed to bring illness for the coming year. Thus visits to the hospital in this period are avoided except for extreme emergency.
 
Spring Festival Greetings
Happy New Year!
Wishing you a prosperous New Year!
May you always get more than you wish for!
Peace all year round!
Good luck in the New Year!
Wishing you health and longevity!
May fortune smile upon and favor you with many blessings in the coming year!
 
Traveling during the Spring Festival
Traveling in China during the Spring Festival time has both advantages and disadvantages.
 
The main advantages are: 
1. There will be fewer people at tourist attractions since most of the Chinese will be at home with their families.
2. It is a great chance to observe the local customs.
3. It enables you to see authentic celebrations such as fireworks, Dragon Dancing, Lion Dancing, NiuYangge(traditional dance in northern China)and other interesting celebrations.
 
Disadvantages
1. Public transportation is quite crowded.
2. Northern China is extremely cold, and most of China is cold.
 
Some tips on traveling China during Spring Festival 
1. Try to avoid trains and buses, but use private car or bus as means of transportation in cities.
2. Bring warm clothes.
3. Make flight and hotel reservation in advance.
 
Lantern Festival
According to the Chinese calendar, the night of January 15 witnesses the first full moon of the New Year and marks the end of the Spring Festival.
 
LanternIn the years of Yongle (58—75 A.D) in the Han Dynasty, the Ming Emperor strongly supported Buddhism, which was a newly emerging religion in China at that time. The emperor sent Cai Yin ( famous Buddhist monk) on a pilgrimage to India to locate Buddhist scriptures. The emperor ordered to build a temple to house the scripts after he did so successfully. Buddhists believe that the aura of Buddha can dispel darkness, thus to symbolize this, the Ming Emperor ordered his people to light lanterns in the court and temples on 15th of January according to the Chinese lunar calendar. Chinese people have lit lanterns on January 15 ever since to celebrate the Lantern Festival.
 
Customs of the Lantern Festival
1. Eating Yuan XiaoYuan Xiao
Yuan Xiao is a dish consisting of stuffed dumplings of glutinous rice flour stuffed with all sorts of things like sesame seeds, bean paste, sugar, walnut kernels or jujube powder. Literally, “Yuan Xiao” is Chinese for Lantern Festival. In some parts of China, it also called Tang Yuan. Enjoying Yuan Xiao with family during the lantern festival is an important tradition that symbolizes unity and happiness within the family.
 
2. Lantern riddles
Since the Tang Dynasty, Guessing lantern riddles has become a popular addition to the Lantern Festival. The game is to write riddles and have other people to guess them, which is a popular part of the Lantern Festival and provides great exercise for the brain.

 

Western Festivals in China:

Christmas Day in ChinaChristmas

Although it is not a public holiday in China, Christmas Day enjoys great popularity in China. Especially in urban areas, Christmas trees, lights, and other decorations permeate on the streets and in department stores. Children hang up muslin stockings in the hope of Christmas gifts delivered by Dun Che Lao Ren, the Chinese Santa Claus. Attendance at Christmas Eve Mass has also become popular in recent years.

 

In China, though the commercial aspect of the holiday is spreading, it is mainly Christians who celebrate Christmas, and only a small part of the Chinese population is Christian since Christianity is not an officially sanctioned religion in China.

 

Preparation

1. Set up Christmas tree, usually an artificial tree, and decorate it with paper chains, paper flowers and paper lanterns.

2. Help children hang muslin stockings for Christmas gifts from Santa Claus.

3. Participate in local festivals (like Hong Kong’s Ta Chiu Festival), which may or may not be directly associated with Christmas.

4. Go to church. Midnight Mass is popular with the small Catholic population.  

 

Valentine’s Day in ChinaValentine's Day

Chinese convey their extraordinary romance and tender love to their lovers in a unique way on Valentine’s Day, a traditional western festival. On that day, thousands of pairs of lovers send gifts (such as flowers and chocolate) to each other, symbolizing love, even their marriage.

 

Valentine’s Day is also a golden business opportunity for commercial businesses that are iattempting to create romance. Delicately packed boxes of chocolate in supermarkets and department stores, red, yellow and white roses in follower shops, lovers walking along the street with roses in hands, all these add more romance and sweetness.

 

Varied opinions towards Valentine's Day

A pair of college students in love said the festival gave them a chance to express love. However, it would not be as exciting for the older people as they do not know what Valentine’s Day is and the festival is for the young in their view.

 

Most people consider, it an occasion to express love. Valentine’s Day has become increasingly celebrated in China as globalization has become increasingly intense. "Such a romantic festival may improve the exchanges of feelings among lovers.” said a translator from China, “Our love is still young though we are in middle age.” said a lady in her 40s, who chose a tie and a bundle of roses for her husband.

Qingming Festival:

The Qingming Festival, a very old festival, usually comes on between Aperil 4 and 6 of according to the lunar calendar. Qingming is a good time to be outdoors as plants are returning to life after the severe winter.The Qingming Festival has many colorful and interesting customs, of which the most important one is“Saomu” (meaning "sweeping tombs"). Other customs includes taqing (a spring trip away from home), tree planting, and kite flying.

 

Saomu

Saomu, which means commemorating the dead at their graves,zhiqian is most commonly practiced among the Han nationality, as well as some other ethnic groups in China.According to custom, people should take wine, food, fruits and “zhiqian” (paper made to resemble money for the dead) to the graves. The food, fruits and wine should be placed before the grave and zhiqian should be burned at the grave as an offering to the dead. People also add some fresh soil and cover the grave with tender tree branches.

 

Taqing

Taqing means “Spring Trip”. As nature comes to life at this time of year, taking trips away from home is a very pleasant and popular activity.

Tree Planting

Since ancient times, people have planted trees during the Qingming Festival to mark the start of spring. In 1979, tMarch 12 was designated as Tree Planting Day in China.

Kite Flying

People like flying kites in spring, whether in the daytime or at night. Sometimes, small lanterns are tied onto the kite string, or to the kite itself. The lanterns light up the night sky and look very romantic.

Festival Features:

Traditional Chinese festivals are colorful and rich in content, which are of great importance in Chinese culture. Most of the traditional festivals in China are based on the Chinese lunar calendar. 

There are also three key national holiday periods in China--Chinese New Year in February; International Labor Day-the first week of May, and National Day-the first week in October. At these times, many people plan to travel, thus all travel bookings are extremely tight. Therefore, hotels generally increase their prices and flights and trains can be very crowded.

Dragon Boat Festival:

The traditional Dragon Boat Festival in China is on May 5, which has a history of more than 2,000 years. On that day, people hold dragon boat racing, eat Zongzi and hang calamus and Chinese mugwort to celebrate this festival.

 

Dragon Boat Racing

Dragon Boat Racing is a main activity in the Dragon Boat Festival. It is said that in the past, a famous minister named Qu Yuan suicided through jumping into the Miluo River. People felt very sorry about his death and they rowed their boats to rescue him. They tried their best to catch up with him, but when they arrived at Dongting Lake, Qu Yuan's body could not be found any more. This is said to be the origin of Dragon Boat Racing. In different places, the tales about dragon boat racing are different.

 

Eating ZongziZongzi

Eating Zongzi during Dragon Boat Festival is an old tradition in China. Zongzi is a kind of pyramid-shaped mass of glutinous rice wrapped in leaves. The most outstanding representative is the Zongzi in Jiaxing of Zhejiang Province. Zongzi is not only popular in China, but also has been spread to Korea, Japan and some other countries in Southeast Asia.

 

Hanging Calamus and Chinese Mugwort

Hanging calamus and Chinese mugwort is an important activity during the Dragon Boat Festival. Even in today, Chinese families follow this to celebrate this traditional festival.

Water Splashing Festival:

The Water Splashing Festival is a celeberation of the New Year in the Dai Calendar. It is not only the first Buddhist festival at the beginning of a new year but also the most important festival of the Dai, De-ang and A-chang ethnic groups. 
The Water Splashing Festival usually lasts for three days. Water Splashing FestivalAll people in a village will take a bath and wear new clothes, and then go to worship Buddha on the first morning. As well as this, in the first two days, people hold dragon-boat competitions to say farewell to the old year. On the last day, they carry out the "lucky" activities welcoming the New Year.  People assemble in the Buddhist temple, building a tower with sand. All people sit around the tower and listen to the chanting of Buddhist scripture. Then a Buddhist statue will be carried out into the yard and splashed by all women in the village, which is so-called bathing for the Buddha. After such religious rite, all young people will go out of the temple and splash water on each other for pleasure. All passers-by are involved in water splashing, and congratulations are expressed to each other. Spray flies everywhere, and everyone is shouting for fun. The water splashing brings good luck and happy cheers to all the villages around.

Tibet Shoton Festival:

The Shoton Festival, a traditional Tibetan festival, is held annually in late June and early July in theTibetan calendar (about August in the Gregorian calendar). Thousands of Buddhists flock to Lhasa from all over the world and prostrate piously for their pilgrimage during the festival. In Tibetan language, Shoton Festival means a festival to drink yoghourt.
  
Buddha Exhibition Ceremony 
The Buddha exhibition in Drepung Monastery is the prelude of the Shoton Festival tangkawhich is held at the foot of the Gebeiwoze Mountain. The quiet valley becomes filled with excitement. With the sound of the sutra bugle reverberating through the valley, about 100 lamas will carry the large-scale tangke portraying Qamba Buddha (or Maitreya) out of the Coqen Hall of the Drepung Monastery and step toward the west of the monastery where a special platform is set up for the Buddha picture exhibition. At this moment, the mulberry smoke arises from all directions and bugles resound. The large tangka then will be slowly opened up. People rush up to offer white hada. Countless hada fly in front of the Buddha picture, forming a great scene. In no more than two hours, the tangka will be rolled up again and carried back. People cannot see it again until the following year.
 
An Opera Performance 
Starting from the following day of the Shoton Festival, Tibetan Opera is performed from 11:00 a.m. to dusk every day at Norbulingka and the Longwangtan Park opposite from the PotalaPalace. Tibetan OperaDue to limited time, those performances are parts of Tibetan Opera, otherwise, only one opera can last for several days. Then people go to the courtyard of Gandain Phodrang to watch Tibetan Opera. In the afternoon, the activities centre moves to Norbulingka. In the following week, the major activity is watching the Tibetan Opera. During the Shoton Festival, the Tibetans bring along the old and the young and call on relatives and friends to the Lingka gardens. Thus, the Norbulingka and other parks of Lhasa are dotted with colorful tents.

March Fair of Bai Ethnic Group:

Lasting for 21 days, from March10 to March 21, the March Fair, Bai Ethnic Groupalso known as the Kwan-yin Fair is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Bai Ethnic people in Dali ancient town in southwest China’s Yunnan province. During the March Fair, the streets in Dali town are full of temporally stalls selling a great number of items. Nowadays the March Fair has become a prosperous commercial fair with tens of thousands of participants and a total volume of trade of over ten millions each year. Besides the Bai ethnic people, other minority groups such as the Yi, Tibetan, Naxi, Nu, and Hui in that region will all throng to the fair that day.
 
Currently there is no reliable record about the start of the March Fair. A local legend goes as follows: at the beginning of the Tang Dynasty, a devil called Luocha occupied the territory of today’s Dali and persecuted the people. During the Zhenguan Period, Kwan-yin from the west (today’s India) punished the devil and saved people from their suffering. From then on, people would gather in the ancient town, offering vegetables to Kwan-yin.

Today's Museum of China:

Shanghai Museum is perhaps China's  typically modern museum famous for both best facilities and rare collectionsShanghai Museum.         
With the development of modern-day social life and the economy, museums have as become popular tourist destinations. Museums also have become a center of culture-related behavior, education and international communication. In China, with the prevalence of compulsory education and the large enrollment in higher education, more and more educated people have become used to going to museums for leisure and further study.
 
In order to meet the diversity of needs of tourists, much advanced equipment has been installed in Chinese museums as well. Exhibition halls, infrastructure, collection displays and types of museums are all of a very high standard. Furthermore, there are also a lot of themed activities and academic conferences held by many organizations or individuals free of charge to visitors. Visitors can get detailed information about China and be astonished by China’s achievements both in ancient and modern times. Most museums in China also present visitors with many types of free souvenirs.
 
Nowadays, the Beijing Palace Museum, National Museum of China, Beijing Capital Museum, Taipei National Palace Museum, Shaanxi History Museum, Nanjing Museum and Shanghai Museum are widely accepted as China’s Top Museums.
 
Today, the large-scale Chinese museum network can fully serve the different needs of travelers who are interested in China. The museum services can meet all the needs of visitors. Museums can show the visitors what China is – past, present and future! An old Chinese saying goes: Everything from books or indirect sharing is superficial - only self-education and practice is effective.
 
To learn about China, Chinese museums are always your best choice when you are ready to make a start.

 

The Differences between Coffee and Tea:

Origin Place:
Coffee: EthiopiaTea leafCoffee bean
Tea: China
 
Origin Period:
Coffee: 9th Century AD
Tea: 2737 BC
 
Binomial Name:
Coffee: Coffee Arabica, Coffee Benghalensis, Coffee Canephora, Coffee Congensis, Coffee Dewevrei, Coffee Excelsa, Coffee Gallienii, Coffee Bonnieri, Coffee Mogeneti, Coffee Liberica, Coffee Stenophylla
Tea: Camellia Sinensis
 
Cultural Connotation:
Coffee: Fast Paced
Tea: Genteel
 
Types of Consumption:
Coffee: Drip Coffee, Espresso, Brewed, Instant, Decaf Brewed, Decaf Instant
Tea: White Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea, Black/Red Tea, Post Fermented Tea, Yellow Tea, Kukicha
 
Properties Related to Fighting Cancer:
Coffee: None of the ingredients in coffee have been associated with fighting disease or enhancing health. Research is still undergoing on whether the high content of caffeine in coffee is a risk or not.
Tea: Tea contains Tannin and Catechin related to preventing cancer and heart diseases.

The Origin of Chinese Tea:

Tea originated from China. It was in the southwest part of China that Chinese tea was first found. Southwestern China, with a large coverage of primeval forest, is located in the tropical and sub-tropical climate zone. The warm and moist climate is the perfect cradle for tea trees. Ancient wild tea trees with 2,700 years of history and ancient planted tea trees with 800 years of history can still be found there.

The following are probably the earliest records of Chinese tea.
Shen Nong Shi, God of Agriculture, was one of the prehistoric representatives of the Chinese people. It is said that he invented agriculture, medicine and that he found tea.

Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (the God of Agriculture's Book of Herbs) recorded, “The God of Agriculture personally tasted hundreds of herbs. As a result, he was hit by 72 poisons in a single day. Fortunately, he found the tea trees and used the tea leaves to neutralize all poisons.”
 

The Important Role of Chinese Tea:

In China, the Chinese drink tea at every meal for good health and simple pleasure. The beverage is considered one of the seven necessities of Chinese life, along with firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce and vinegar. Chinese tea, as an important part of the Chinese traditional culture, has played an important role in boosting the development of economy. Moreover, it has gradually developed into splendid tea culture and become a bright pearl of the spiritual civilization of the society. The Chinese tea not only embodies the spiritual civilization, but also develops the ideological form. It is beneficial in enhancing people’s cultural accomplishment and art appreciation. There are not only books specially discussing tea, but also a large number of records about tea life, tea history, tea law and production technology of tea in historical books, local records, notes, textual studies and ancient books of calligraphy.

The Development of Chinese Tea:

Historically, the origin of tea can be dated back to around 2,700 B.C. Tea was originally regarded as a detoxifying medicine. It grew to great social prominence during the Tang (620—907 A.D.) and Song (960—1279) Dynasties. Tea was appealing to people both at home and abroad due to its contribution to good health. Since the fifth century A.D., tea has been exported by land and sea throughout Asia, reaching Europe in 1610. It was Dutch traders that first brought tea to Europe, but it was the British who greatly developed it, transplanting it to India in the early 1800s.

The Custom of Drinking Tea:

Drinking Morning Tea in Guangdong

Drinking tea has become a habit for Guangzhou residents, especially morning tea. When they meet in the morning, Morning Tea in Guangdongthey meet in the morning, they usually greet each other by "Have you drunk tea?" indicating their love for tea. As a popular saying goes: “A cup of tea in the morning, no need for consulting a doctor.” Guangzhou residents like to drink tea in the teahouse, where they not only drink tea but also eat pastry as breakfast. In addition to morning tea, they drink afternoon tea and evening tea as well. Their habit of drinking tea in the teahouse not only means drinking but also means people want to spread news, enhance friendship and negotiate business. From these we can see that drinking tea is a mode of social exchange, which has become an important factor for the long history of prosperous teahouses in Guangzhou for centuries. Tea drinkers in Guangzhou can be classified into two categories: One is the regular tea drinkers who will go to a fixed teahouse each morning and have "One bowl" (spareribs rice) and "Two pieces" (pastry). These groups of people are usually elderly retired people. Another kind is Sunday tea drinkers who go to drink tea on holidays. They usually eat various kinds of pastry and taste tea in an easy and comfortable manner instead of taking only "One bowl and two pieces".

 

Teahouses in Sichuan

Teahouses are very common in Chengdu. Many civilian teahouses with abundant local characteristics are located in famous resorts, busy streets or narrow lanes.Tea Houses Teahouses to Sichuan people are a lifestyle. Every morning, at about 5:00 or 6:00 am, teahouses open for their customers. Some people even wash there, and then drink tea and have breakfast, which is a special scene in Chengdu. Many people pay 10 Yuan and spend a whole day in the teahouse, enjoying tea, reading newspapers and playing with birds in cages. In addition, you can enjoy wonderful services like massages, thus you not only relax your body but also your mind. Mah-jongg is an indispensable part of the local people’s life. Most old men play mah-jongg with their peers in teahouses Middle-aged people play mah-jongg with neighbors or family members at home after work or in teahouses at the weekend. Young people will choose elegant decorated teahouses as their meeting place and play mah-jongg with friends.

 

Teahouses in Beijing

Most teahouses in Beijing are expensive, and the burgeoning coffee houses and bars become more attractive to young people. In Beijing, the teahouse has become a symbol of luxurious enjoyment Lao She Tea Houseand taste. Lao She Tea House is one of the famous teahouses in Beijing. Every day, at about 9 am, the Lao She Teahouse opens to customers. Lao She Tea House, founded in 1989, was named after Mr. Lao She, a famous artist in China. It occupies an area of more than 2,600 sq m and provides an antique-flavor and Beijing-styled environment. In the Lao She Tea House, you can watch wonderful performances by celebrities from folk arts and drama on any given day while enjoying famous tea, palace snacks as well as traditional Beijing flavors. It has been a window for exhibiting the national culture and a bridge that connects China with the world.

Tea Snacks:

All tea snacks may be divided into four groups: substantial snacks, light snacks, sweet snacks, and fresh snacks.

 

The first group of snacks includes the dishes that  are pies and pasties with substantial fillings: pastiesmeat, duck, eggs, cabbage, fish, rice, mushrooms, potatoes, cottage cheese, etc. or with combinations of these fillings: meat and mushrooms, rice and eggs, and so on. Basically, barankas (short pastry of a wheel-form) can be ascribed to substantial snacks — if you spread them with butter, they become a very substantial food. Crepes with fillings are substantial snacks, of course, in the case when the fillings are meat, chicken (with mushrooms and horse-radish), vegetable mix, and other pleasant tastes.

 

The second group of snacks (light) consists of dishes which can be alternated with substantial snacks, and which are convenient to eat. Convenient is not only at the table. If tea drinking is informal, one can walk around or stay at the window with light snacks, plunged in thought. Light snacks include, first of all, different sandwiches — they are so nice to eat during a conversation and they do not distract.

The third group of snacks (sweet) consists of sweets and delicacies, of course. These snacks are normally served after substantial and light snacks — and after a sound pause, when guests relax after all previous dishes and converse meditatively with each other. Sweet snacks include any sweet pastry, chocolate, jam, honey, nuts, and crepe with sweet fillings.

Finally, the fourth group of snacks (fresh) is similar to light snacks but is used to alternate it with sweet snacks, and not substantial. When guests are unable to eat crepe with jam any more, they can be substituted with fresh or canned foods. Better fresh, of course. Apples, pears, grapes, slice of melon or watermelon, peaches, apricots, strawberries, raspberries — anything your heart desires. You may serve it with whipped cream, if you want.

The order in which the abovementioned snacks should be served is self-evident. Start with substantial and light snacks. After the guests have eaten (that is the first time they have become full), make a pause — satiety disposes to leisurely conversation, and such a pause will afford the guests pleasure and relaxation. The duration of the pause is arbitrary, depending on circumstances. An experienced host will easily know the coming of the psychological moment for serving the second portion of snacks — sweet and fresh.

Ideally, you should eat all the snacks on the table — if not all of them have been eaten yet, just put them aside. On the contrary, leave light snacks on the table, you can even add some more — they combine well with sweet snacks. Basically, this very set of snacks (light, sweet, and fresh) should stay on the table until the end of tea-drinking. But if one of the guests wants to have ‘those wonderful cabbage pies’ again — just bring them back.

 

Tea Snacks and Tea Feast:

Tea snacks refer to the food that is mixed with tea. 

 

Tea mixed with other food for human consumption is an extension of the ancient tea law. According to investigation, such cakes have a history of more than three thousand years. Tea can be mixed with food to enhance the nutrition value of food and medicinal functions since some ingredients contained in tea will not be dissolved in water and beneficial to health. Tea snacks are not only suitable for middle-aged and elderly people, but are also suitable for the young. For cancer patients who have just experienced surgery and radiotherapy, it may reduce the side effects of radiotherapy.

  the Tea Garden of Phoenix Mountain

A tea feast is delicious and healthy novelty for gourmets. The feast is to infuse tea into dishes by diversified cooking methods. Stir-fried prawns with Phoenix Mountain Tea is a typical delicacy. Permeated with the aromatic and highly prized Phoenix Mountain Tea, this dish pleases one's palate with the lingering fragrance of the tea and the crunchy texture of the shrimp.

The portion is not big, but the taste is excellent. The food presentation and table setup are elegant and full of cultural flavor.

 

Tea Feast Menu:
Combination of Jellyfish, Sliced Goose, Cuttlefish and Beef Shin
Deep Fried Prawns with Phoenix Mountain Tea
Braised Bird's Nest Soup with Green Tea "Bi Luo Chun" Dongting Lake
Sautéed Scallops with "Mao Jian" Green Tea, Xing Yang
Baked Scallops with Green Tea "Mao Feng", Yellow Mountain
Baked Cod Fish with "Long Jing" Tea, HangZhou
Fried Glutinous Rice and Diced Preserved Meat with Jasmine
Baked Pastry with Green Tea
Steamed Shrimp Dumpling with "Guan Yin" Tea
Seasonal Fresh Fruit Platter

Tea and Health:

Tea is a natural and healthy drink. People have enjoyed drinking it for thousands of years, and this tradition has developed and remained popular until now. Modern research indicates that tea contains many nutrients that help to build up good health.

Tea is refreshing and helps you work efficiently, and it is a thirst quencher and helps digestion of food. Tea is helpful for disinfecting and alleviating inflammation; also helpful for urinary output and to purge toxins. Tea makes nutrition sense and is good for health. Tea helps fitness and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

The relationship between tea and health has been examined ever since the first infusions of Camellia sinensis about 4700 years ago in China.

 

ShennongThe legendary emperor, Shennong, claimed in The Divine Farmer's Herb-Root Classic that Camellia sinensis infusions were useful for treating conditions including tumors, abscesses, bladder ailments, and lethargy. The possible beneficial health effects of tea consumption have been suggested and supported by some studies, but others have found no beneficial effects. The studies contrast other claims, including anti-nutritional effects such as preventing absorption of iron and protein, usually attributed to tannin. The vast majority of studies have been of green tea; however, some studies have been made of the other types of tea derived from Camellia sinensis, such as white, oolong black tea and green tea. Tea is helpful for prevention of atherosclerosis, LDL cholesterol, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, liver disease, weight loss, neurodegenerative diseases, and even halitosis.

Introduction of Tea Wares:

Different kinds of tea wares serve different categories of tea. Green tea goes with white porcelain or celadon without a cover, while scented tea with celadon or blue and white porcelain with a cover. Black tea goes well with purple clay ware with white inside glaze, or with white porcelain or warm colored wares or coffee wares. Purple clay ware is the best choice for Oolong tea. In a word, the harmonious combination of function, material, and color of tea ware is quite essential to taste the essence of tea.

Tea wares mainly include ovens, teapots, cups, tea bowls and trays, etc...

How to brew Kong Fu Tea:

You are probably most familiar with the Chinese words Kung Fu due to its reference to the martial arts. Kong Fu TeaHowever, by association, these words actually have other meanings in Chinese. Kong Fu actually refers to hard work, labor, and dedication toward any task or any goal. The process of brewing Kong Fu tea well demonstrates this meaning. Here’s how to indulge in the beauty and warmth of Kong Fu tea in the comfort of your home.

Step 1: Prepare a tea set. A tea set includes a tea tray (hollow tray with a container inside which can contain all the water that will be spilled during the process), teapot, fair cup (a separate tea vessel), tasting cups, and aroma cups (sniffer cups).
Step 2: Prepare the tealeaves in advance, so that they are ready to be placed in the pot as soon as it has been warmed.
Step 3: Rinse all vessels with hot water. It also warms the vessels since the hot water is then poured into the serving pitcher and from there into the tasting cups. This is done because at room temperature. Ceramic tea ware is usually quite cold and unsuited to brewing fine teas whose temperature must be carefully controlled. After rinsing, the water should be discarded into the draining tray or a wastewater bowl.
Step 4: Prior to infusion, pour hot water over the leaves and then quickly pour it off, which removes any dust from the leaves. This step prepares the palate to appreciate the full flavor of the tea.
Step 5: Use pure or mineral water to brew the tea. Tap water should be avoided, since its chemical treatment will impart undesirable flavors and odors, which may interfere with the delicate aromatics of tea.
Step 6: Fill the pot to the top with hot water and cover it. Pour water over the top of the pot, drawing the stream over the air hole until a little water comes out the spout. When this occurs, you know that the pot is full and heated to the right temperature.
Step 7: Pour the water into the fair cup to heat it.
Step 8: Add tea leaves
Oolong Tea: As for light oolongs, such as Bao Zhong and Imperial Green, use 70°-80°C (158°-176°F) water and an infusion time of 3 to 5 minutes is enough, while for darker styles, including Tieguanyin and Yan Cha—between 80° and 90°C (176-194°F) again steeping 3 to 5 minutes.
Black Tea: Water between 85° and 95°C (185°-203°F) and a three-minute infusion works best for black tea.
PureTea: Use hot water and infuse the tea for 3-5 minutes.
Step 9: When the leaves' essence has come out, pour the tea out into the pitcher (fair cup).
Step 10: Distribute the tea from the fair cup to the aroma cups, keeping the pitcher close to the cups and pouring slowly, which reduces the movement of the tea and maintains its temperature.
Step 11: After the aroma cups are filled, position one tasting cup upside down over each aroma cup. After tasting cups are positioned, take each cup pair and quickly flip it: this is a very delicate step since the cups are becoming hot on the outside. After this is done, each guest will lift the aroma cup and drink the scented tea.
Step 12: At this moment, the aroma cup can be brought near the nose to appreciate the fragrance of the tea.
Step 13: After smelling it, drink the tea from the tasting cups. Drink by taking small sips that allow us to fully enjoy the taste, aromas and qualities of the tea.
Step 14: A green tea of good quality will allow up to four or five brews. Add water to the teapot and start again from point 10 to your will.

Chinese Tea Categories:

Famous Chinese tea can be categorized into six main categories: green tea, black tea, Oolong tea, white tea, compressed tea and jasmine tea.
 
Green Tea
Green Tea is a type of tea made solely with the leaves of Camellia sinensis, which has undergone minimal oxidation during processing.
With the new shoots of appropriate tea trees as raw materials, it is made by adopting the typical techniques of inactivation, rolling and drying. According to different ways of drying and inactivation, generally it can be divided into stir-fried green tea, roasting dried green tea; sun dried green tea and steamed green tea. The Green Tea is characterized as "green leaves in clear soup with a taste of strong astringency". The production areas are mainly distributed in provinces such as Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangxi.
 
Famous Green Tea
West Lake Dragon Well Tea is usually called Dragon Well for short, which is produced in the mountainous West Lake Dragon Well Tearegions around Longjing Village to the southwest of West Lake in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province. Dragon Well tea is famous for several wonders - fragrance wonder, flavor wonder and shape wonder. With such elements as amino acid, catechu and vitamins, Dragon Well Tea has the effect of stimulating the production of body fluid, quenching thirst, refreshing the body, benefiting thinking, digesting food, removing greasiness, diminishing inflammation and detoxification.
 
Xinyang Maojin, produced in Xinyang County in the Dabie Mountain in the south of Henan Province, is reputed as being” the first of Huainan teas”. It is picked before the grain rain of every year. Its appearance is slender, round and straight. It has emerald green color and bright and clear liquid.
 
Biluochun is produced in the eastern and western mountains of Dongting in Wu County, Jiangsu Province. The appearance of the finished product is tight and slender. The liquid is green and clear, with a sweet aftertaste. It has the effect of stimulating the production of body fluid and is refreshing.
 
Black Tea Yixing Black Tea
Black tea, which is also called fermented tea, takes as raw materials new shoots of tea trees that are suitable for making this tea. The typical processing techniques are wilting, rolling, fermentation and drying. Short and long-term black tea consumption reverses endothelialvasomotor dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease.
 
Famous Black Tea
The dried tea is black with extremely obvious golden hair. The liquid is brilliant and bright, thick and with lasting fragrance and a refreshing taste.
 
Yixing Black Tea ,
With tight appearance, it has small tender shoots. The color is black. The soup looks like red wine with fragrance and thick flavors of flower and fruit. It can endure repeated infusions.
 
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea is a traditional Chinese tea somewhere between green and black in oxidation. Oolong Tea, also called blue tea, and is a kind of semi-oxidized tea. Dongding Oolong TeaIt has both the quality of green tea and black tea, enjoying a good reputation as green leaves with red edge. There are several sub varieties of oolong, like those produced in the Wuyi Mountains of northern Fujian and in the central mountains of Taiwan. The pharmacological effects of the Wulong tea are profoundly manifested in reducing weight and keeping fit, etc.
 
Western Baozhong Tea, a light half-fermented Oolong tea, is produced in Taibei City and Taoyuan County in the north of Taiwan Province. It has the effects of strengthening the heart, promoting the discharge of urine, dispelling fatigue, controlling cholesterol and preventing the hardening of arteries.
 
Anxi Tieguanyin, belonging to the highest grade of Oolong tea, is produced in Yaoyang Town of Anxi County, Fujian Province. It is harvested four times a year, of which the spring tea is the best. It has long enjoyed a good reputation as the king of teas. Its effects include purifying the heart, brightening the eyes, preventing arteriosclerosis and reducing fat and weight.
 
Dongding Oolong Tea is produced in the Dongding Mountain, which is the branch range of the Phoenix Mountain in Nantou County, Taiwan Province. The soup is orange yellow and tastes pure, thick, sweet and moist. The spring tea is the best.
 
White Tea 
White tea is the uncured and non-oxidized tea leaf. It is a specialty of the Chinese province Fujian. The leaves come from a number of varieties of tea cultivars.
 
Pekoe Silvery NeedleWhite Tea
It is also called silver needle for short and also named pekoe. Pekoe tea is the only one that belongs to the highest grade of the white tea category. The light fragrance appears once taken in the mouth. It is cold in property. Its effects include relieving internal heat, keeping a fever down and reducing pathogenic fire. It is regarded as a good medicine for curing measles.
 
White Peony
White Peony is fragrant and tippy with fresh and pure taste. The liquid is apricot yellow or orange yellow and clear. It is cool and refreshing, with the effects of keeping down a fever and reducing pathogenic fire.
 
Jasmine Tea (Scented Tea) 
Scented tea is made by mixing and fumigating tealeaves and scented flowers, letting tea assimilate the fragrance of flowers by taking advantage of the absorption of tealeaves. JasmineThere are such categories as Jasmine Tea, Pearl Orchid Scented Tea, Rose Tea and Sweet-scented Osmanthus Tea, etc. while processing the scented tea, pile up tea dhool and fresh flowers giving off fragrance layer upon layer so that the tea can assimilate the fragrance. After the fragrance of flowers is absorbed, replenish with new fresh flowers and fumigate the tea according to the above method. Scented tea has a strong fragrance. It gives out a fragrant smell and presents a feeling of getting one’s ideas straightened out after being drunk. It is quite popular in Huabei and Northeastern areas of our country. In recent years, it is also sold abroad.
 
Compressed Tea (Tea Bricks)
A compressed tea (also called pressed tea, or tea brick) is made up of fresh tea leaves through primary processing traditionally, kneading, Tea Bricksdrying to 18-40% water content, compressing, fixation of shape, further drying and packing,and features a simple preparing process. Tea bricks are blocks of whole or finely ground tealeaves that have been packed in molds and pressed into block form. Brick tea often contains high levels of fluorine compounds, since it is generally made from old tealeaves and stems, which accumulate fluorine.
 
Pu Er Tea
Pu Er Tea, produced in Xishuangbanna and Simao in Yunan Province, has a long history. The fresh leaves of Yunan broad-leaf tea trees are taken as the material. Pu Er TeaAfter being steamed and pressed, Pu Er Tea can be made into Pu Er Tuo Tea, Seven Son Cake Tea and Pu Er Brick Tea. Its various effects include reducing cholesterol , reducing weight, promoting digestion, sobering up and relieving internal heat, etc. After taking wine and meat, people often infuse a cup of Pu Er Tea to promote digestion, sober up and refresh themselves. It enjoys a good reputation of beauty tea, slimming tea and longevity tea.
 
 
Lei Tea and Oil Tea Oil Tea
Besides the famous brands of tea in China, there are special kinds of tea among the minority people - Leicha (Pounded Tea) in Hunan and Oil Tea in Guangxi.
Lei Tea, with a history of more than 1,600 years, can stimulate body energy and be good for the liver and stomach.
Oil tea, popular among the Miao and Dong minority nationalities in Guangxi, has a similar procedure as the Leicha. The local people often entertain their guests with oil tea on festivals and holidays.

 

Development of Chinese Literature:

Chinese literature developed differently in various times. Following are introductions to Chinese literature in the early Qin Dynasty, Qin and Han Dynasties, Tang Dynasty, Song Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty, Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty.

 

Early Qin Dynasty

The Early Qin Dynasty saw the birth of Chinese culture and the dawning of Chinese literary development. The literature  that developed through this period was in fact very primitive, built on ancient fables and legends that had been passed on from generation to generation through word of mouth since ancient times, but its cultural spirit exerted a strong influence on Chinese literature for many generations to come.

 

The Analects of Confucius

The Analects, also known as the Analects of Confucius, aConfuciusre considered a record of the words and acts of the central Chinese thinker and philosopher Confucius and his disciples, as well as the discussions they held.

 

Written during the Spring and Autumn Period through the Warring States Period (ca. 479 B.C.- 221B.C.), the Analects is the representative work of Confucianism and continues to have a tremendous influence on Chinese and East Asian thought and values today.Chapters in the Analects are grouped by individual themes. However, the chapters are not arranged in any sort of way so as to carry a continuous stream of thought or idea. In fact, the sequence of the chapters could be said to be completely random, with the themes of adjacent chapters completely unrelated to each other.

 

Since Confucius' time, the Analects have heavily influenced the philosophy and moral values of China and later other East Asian countries. For almost two thousand years, the Analects had also been the fundamental course of study for any Chinese scholar, for a man was not considered morally upright or enlightened if he did not study Confucius' works. The imperial examination, started in the Jin Dynasty and eventually abolished in the dying years of the Qing Dynasty, emphasized Confucian studies and expected candidates to quote and apply the words of Confucius in their essays.

 

Shi Jing (Book of Songs)

Shi Jing, translated variously as the Classic of Poetry, the Book of Songs or the Book of Odes,Book of Songs is the earliest existing collection of Chinese poems. It comprises 305 poems, some possibly written as early as 1000 BC. It forms part of the Five Classics.The poems are written in four-character lines. The airs are in the style of folk songs, although the extent to which they are real folk songs or literary imitations is debated. The odes deal with matters of court and historical subjects, while the hymns blend history, myth and religious material.The three major literary figures or styles employed in the poems are fu, bi and xing. Fu means straightforward narrative. Bi means explicit comparisons. Xing means implied comparisons

 

Qin and Han Dynasties

Fu is a type of descriptive prose interspersed with verse and is a unique form of Chinese literature. It originated during the Han Dynasty, which was the first unified and prosperous dynasty in Chinese history. Fu is an artistic literature form that facilitated outstanding development in this period. In combining poetry with prose, this literary style is very forceful and expressive. The most influential representative of this literary style is Sima Xiangru, and his greatest works are Zeus fu and Shanglin fu.

 

Shi Ji (Records of the Grand Historian)

The Records of the Grand Historian, also known in English by the Chinese name Shiji, written from 109 BC to 91 BC, was the magnum opus of Sima Qian, in which he recounted Chinese history from the time of the Shi JiYellow Emperor until his own time. (The Yellow Emperor, traditionally dated ca. 2600 BC, is the first ruler whom Sima Qian considers sufficiently established as historical to appear in the Records.) As the first systematic Chinese historical text, the Records profoundly influenced Chinese historiography and prose. In its impact, the work is comparable to Herodotus and his Histories.

 

Joseph Needham wrote in 1954 that there were scholars doubting that Sima's Records of the Grand Historian had contained accurate information about such distant history, including the thirty kings of the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600–c. 1050 BC). While many scholars argued that Sima could not possibly have had access to written materials that detailed history a millennium before his age, Needham has another conclusion. Actually, the discovery of oracle bones at an excavation of the Shang Dynasty capital at Anyang matched twenty-three of the thirty Shang kings that Sima listed. Needham writes that this remarkable archaeological find proves that Sima Qian "did have fairly reliable materials at his disposal—a fact which underlines once more the deep historical-mindedness of the Chinese."

 

Yuefu Songs with Regular Five-Syllable Lines

This book contains 24 Yuefu songs, including "the Peacock Flew to the Southeast," and "the Ballad of Mulan".Yuefu Songs In China "poetic education" in the original meaning is learning The Book of Songs. This is the first comprehensive anthology of Chinese poems including including 305 poems of the Zhou Dynasty (1122-256 B.C.). It was originally called Shi (Poems) and Shi Sanbai (Three Hundred Poems). Each poem in The Book of Songs was set to music and could be sung. The compilers classified the 305 poems into folk songs, ceremonial songs, and sacrificial songs, according to their contents and the style of the music. Folk songs, which were popular among the people, made up the best part of The Book of Songs, while ceremonial songs and sacrificial songs were used mainly on sacrificial or ceremonial occasions to eulogize the merits and virtues of the Son of Heaven and of his forefathers.

 

Tang Dynasty

China is a country of poetry and Tang poetry represents the pinnacle of excellence in the entire history of Chinese classic poetry. In the early Tang Dynasty, poets like Shangguan Yi, Shen Quanqi, and Song Wenzhi established the form of lüshi, which has a strict structure comprising of eight lines containing five to seven characters adhering to a strict tone and rhyme scheme.

Bai Juyi

Bai JuyiHe is most notable for the accessibility of his work. It is said that he rewrote any part of a poem which one of his servants was unable to understand. He tried to use simple language and direct themes. Two of his most famous works are the long narrative poems Song of Eternal Sorrow, which tells the story of Yang Guifei, and Song of the Pipa Player. Like Du Fu, he had a strong sense of social responsibility, and is well-known for his satirical poems, such as The Elderly Charcoal Seller. Bai Juyi's accessibility made him extremely popular in his lifetime in both China and Japan, and he continues to be so today.

 

Du Fu

Du Fu was a prominent Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty. Along with Li Bai (Li Po), he is frequently called the greatest of the Chinese poets. His own greatest ambition was to serve his country as a successful civil servant, but he proved unable to make the necessary accommodations. His life, like the whole country, was devastated by the An Lushan Rebellion of 755, and the last 15 years of his life were a time of almost constant unrest. He has been called Poet-Historian and the Poet-Sage by Chinese critics. His works include The Chariots Go Forth to War"The Fireflies" and “The Parrotetc..

Li Bai

Li Bai or Li Po was a Chinese poet.Li Bai He was part of the group of Chinese scholars called the "Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup" in a poem by fellow poet Du Fu. Li Bai is often regarded, along with Du Fu, as one of the two greatest poets in China's literary history. Approximately 1,100 of his poems remain today. Li Bai is best known for the extravagant imagination and striking Taoist imagery in his poetry, as well as for his great love for liquor. Like Du Fu, he spent much of his life travelling, although in his case it was because his wealth allowed him to, rather than because his poverty forced him.

One of Li Bai's most famous poems is Drinking Alone by Moonlight, which is a good example of some of the most famous aspects of his poetry -- a very spontaneous poem, full of natural imagery and anthropomorphism. Li Bai actually wrote several poems with the same title.

 

Song Dynasty

Lu You

LuYouLu You wrote over ten thousand poems, in both the shiand Ci forms, plus a number of prose works. In his poetry he continues to articulate the beliefs which cost him his official career, calling for reconquest of the north. Watson identifies these works as part of the legacy of Du Fu. Watson compares a second body of work, poems on country life and growing old, to those of Bai Juyi and Tao Qian. Lu You had written a lot of poems in his whole life, more than 10000, still having 9300 after erasing some of them himself. Lu You wrote many poems. Among his most famous are "To Son", “Rainstorm on Nov. 4”, “Mei Flower”, “Phoenix Pin”, etc.

 

Wang Anshih

Wang An-shih (1021-1086) was the most famous reformer in Chinese history, a poet, and a scholar. He developed a program of far-reaching reforms, which was vigorously attacked in his own day and has been controversial ever since.

The 11th century in China was a period of rare intellectual brilliance, the most creative phase of the Confucian revival, which imparted new force and vitality to old values and produced lasting achievements in philosophy, history, and literature. Yet, China was troubled by the military threat of the Khitans and Tanguts in the North and Northwest, economic problems associated with the growth of population and increasing economic complexity, acute fiscal problems, an expensive and ineffective military establishment, and a bureaucracy which was far removed from the ideal of competent, devoted, and disinterested service. Concerned scholars widely supported the reform attempts undertaken by Fan Chung-yen in the 1040s, but the more extensive program of Wang An-shih in the 1070s in the end antagonized most of his illustrious contemporaries.

 

Wang Anshih was a noted poet. He wrote poems in the shi form, modeled on those of Du Fu. He was traditionally classed as one of the Eight Great Prose Masters of the Tang and Song.

 

Su Dongpo (Su Shi)

Su Dongpo was a writer, poet, artist, calligrapher, pharmacologist, and statesman of the Song Dynasty, and one of the major poets of the Song era.

Around 2,700 of Su Dongpo's poems have survived, along with 800 written letters. Su Dongpo excelled in the Shi, Ci and Fu forms of poetry, as well as prose, Su Dongpocalligraphy and painting. Some of his notable poems include the First and Second Chibifu (The Red Cliffs, written during his first exile), Nian Nu Jiao: Chibi Huai Gu (Remembering Chibi, to the tune of Nian Nu Jiao) and Shui diao ge tou (Remembering Su Che on the Mid-Autumn Festival). Su Shi also wrote of his travel experiences in 'daytrip essays', which belonged in part to the popular Song era literary category of 'travel record literature' that employed the use of narrative, diary, and prose styles of writing. Although other works in Chinese travel literature contained a wealth of cultural, geographical, topographical, and technical information, the central purpose of the daytrip essay was to use a setting and event in order to convey a philosophical or moral argument, which often employed persuasive writing. For example, Su Shi's daytrip essay known as Record of Stone Bell Mountain.

 

Yuan Dynasty

During the Yuan Dynasty, drama and novels became the mainstream of artistic creation and Poetic Drama Set to Music emerged as the most popular literature form. Local Classical Opera in South China also reached further development at the same time. On the other hand, poetry and prose, which were previously recognized as the orthodox form of literature, gradually declined, although San Qu, a kind of poetic drama, was a new form established in this period. While San Qu took the form of poetry, it was more forceful in expression.

 

Guan Hanqing

Guan HanqingGuan Hanqing, "the Old Man of the Studio", was a notable Chinese playwright and poet in the Yuan Dynasty.Guan was born in the capital city of the Yuan Dynasty, Dadu and produced about 65 plays, mostly in vernacular Chinese of the time. He has been considered as one of the Four Great Yuan Playwrights, the other three being Ma Zhiyuan, Bai Renfu, and Zheng Guangzu. Fourteen of his plays are extant, including:

The Injustice to Dou E a.k.a. Snow in Midsummer

Saving the Dusty-windy a.k.a. saving the Prostitute a.k.a. Rescued by a Coquette

The Conference of a Single Dao a.k.a. Meeting the Enemies Alone a.k.a. Lord Guan goes to the Feast

The Pavilion of Moon-Worship

The Butterfly Dream

The Wife-Snatcher

The Riverside Pavilion

The Jade Mirror-Stand

 

Ming and Qing Dynasties

During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the development of the novel in China went through three important stages. These were Xiantang Note Novel, Legend Novel in Tang Dynasty, and Huaben Novel in Song and Yuan Dynasties. These three stages culminated in a booming period for the novel as an artistic form of literature during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

The six most famous novels in this period were Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong, Outlaws of the Marsh by Shi Naian, Pilgrims to the West by Wu Chengen, Plum in the Golden Vase by Lanling Xiao, Scholars by Wu Jingzi, and A Dream of Red Mansions by Cao Xueqin. The first four of these listed books were honored as the "Four wonders of Books" in the Ming Dynasty and the "Four Classic Novels of China", and the lasy two were the most representative creations of the saga novel during the Qing Dynasty.

 

Journey to the WestSun Wu Kong

Journey to the West is a household legend and myth throughout East Asia, especially China, and among Chinese throughout the world. It is based on the real life monk Xuan Zang's (also known as Tripitaka or Tang San Zang) pilgrimage to India, to fetch back some Buddhist scriptures. Nonetheless, this fictional retelling focuses on San Zang's first disciple, the monkey king, Sun Wu Kong, who captured readers' hearts and imagination with his bold, daring, and mischievous personality. He was also very rebellious. As a matter of fact, Wu Cheng En wrote Journey to the West to criticize China's political system and society.

Dream of the Red Chamber

Dream of the Red Chamber, originally The Story of the Stone, is a masterpiece of Chinese literature and one of the Chinese Four Great Classical Novels. It was composed in the mid 18th century during the Qing Dynasty, attributed to Cao Xueqin. The work has brought about the field of Redology and is generally acknowledged as the highest peak of the classical Chinese novels. The novel is remarkable not only for its huge cast of characters (most of them female) and psychological scope, but also for its precise and detailed observation of the life and social structures typical of 18th-century Chinese aristocracy.

The Water Margin

Attributed to Shi Naian Luo Guanzhong, this novel depicts the joining of heroes to a bandit group in the Liangshan swamps. The earliest editions date from the early 16th century and there is evidence of the historicity of the Shi Naianmain heroes during the Song period. Song Jiang, Wu Song and their followers were forced by bad officials, defamation and their own violent temper to go underground. Every one of them has his own story, and this shows that the novel is composed of many small parts and traditions, that are even themes for theatre plays. The bandit group promises to help Song emperor, Huizong, fight against the intruding Liao armies and therefore is given grace in spite of their crimes. Most popular editions do not describe the final battles against the Liao Empire in the north. The political content of the novel made it the object of occasional banishment during the Qing Dynasty for glorifying bandits, and of an example of a peasant uprising under a revolutionary leadership during the Maoist era. There exist a few sequels and continuations of this novel, that has been very popular for describing the brotherhood between honest men and thus also is given the title "All men are brothers".

 

The Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Myths from the Three Kingdoms era existed as oral traditions before any written compilations. In these popular stories, the characters typically took on exaggerated characteristics, often becoming immortals or supernatural beings with magical powers. With their focus on the history of Han Chinese, the stories grew in popularity during the reign of the foreign Mongol emperors of the Yuan Dynasty. During the succeeding Ming Dynasty, an interest in plays and novels resulted in further expansions and retelling of the stories.

 

The earliest attempt to combine these stories into a written work was Sanguozhi Pinghua, literally "Story of Sanguozhi", published sometime between 1321 and 1323. This version combined themes of legend, magic, and morality to appeal to the peasant class. Elements of reincarnation and karma were woven into this version of the story.

 

This novel reflects the Confucian values that were prominent at the time it was written. According to Confucian moral standards, loyalty to one's family, friends, and superiors are important measures for distinguishing good and bad people. In the novel, characters that were not loyal to the collapsing Han Dynasty are portrayed as bad people; on the contrary, modern mainstream ideology in Communist China would say that the deeply suffering masses were trying to overthrow the ruling feudal lords.

Desert in China:

Takelamagan Desert
Takelamagan DesertTakelamagan is the most mysterious among all the deserts, being both attractive and dangerous. It is a place to explore life, and its name means that you will never want to leave it if you visit it. In the 1970s and 1980s, mummies were found there. The highest temperature there reaches 67.2 C, and the temperature varies greatly between day and night, by about 40 degrees. It is the second largest quicksand desert in the world.

Tenggeli Desert
It is the largest quicksand desert in china, composed of quicksand dunes. The sand peaks are magnificent and the sand is smooth with golden colors. Diaopuoliang is the typical scenery of the desert, which is 39 m high. Its changeable appearance and different images have brought many unique types of scenery for tourists. Therefore, it will leave an impressive memory in its travelers.

Kubuqi Desert
This is the largest sound desert sea in China as well as the highest desert. The sand dunes are scattered. The famous Yinken Sound Sand is faces the mountains, like a crescent moon. The sand will sing when it is impacted, for example, when people walk on it. But when people stop walking, the sand keeps quiet. In addition, you will see the famous “Light of God”.

Badanjilin Desert
This is the Qomolangma among the deserts. The height difference between the mountains and the desert is more than 500 meters. It is different from other deserts in that there are more than 140 lakes in this desert. Around the desert, birds fly, and the lake and the mountain are well integrated, which makes visitors relax and enjoy themselves freely.

Gu-erbantonggute Desert
Gu-erbantonggute Desert
This is an original desert as well as a natural plant garden. Furthermore, it is a very active desert. More than 300 kinds of plants grow here, and the first level national preserved animals’ Asiatic wild ass, and boars, Mongolian gazelles, wolves, foxes and other animals also treat the desert as their home. Manasi Lake, has been dry for half century.

 

Zhaolin Park:

ZhaolinPark is a must see during the Harbin Ice Festival because it has a traditional program that shows the most excellentZhaolin Park Ice Festival ice lanterns. With water, lights and the natural ice from the SonghuaRiver running through Harbin as the material, the ice lanterns are made by freezing water, piling up ice or snow, then carving, enchasing, decorating, etc.. The ice lantern park tourist activities have been held here annually since 1963 and is said to be one of the most wonderful of 35 tourist attractions in China. There are numerous pieces of ice artworks in the park arranged in groups according to different themes depicting Chinese classic masterworks, European folktales and customs and so on. A great variety of objects such as buildings, gardens, flowers, waterfalls, European-styled churches, lions, tigers, and dragons are carved from ice. In the daytime, the ice sculptures are magnificent and life-like. Moreover, with the interspersion of the sparkling colored lights embedded in the sculptures at night, the park becomes a glorious and amazing ice world.

The Sun Island Park:

 Snow Sculpture ExpositionThe SunIsland Park is the site of the Snow Sculpture Exposition displaying a wonderful snow world. It has the world's largest indoor ice and snow art museum and it opens to the public from November every year. In addition, the annual International Snow Sculpture Art Expo is held right here in Sun Island Park, an important part of Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, and very famous both at home and abroad. 
The park can be reached by either a 20-minute bus/minibus ride from the pier (RMB40) or a taxi from the north, over the Song Wan Jeung Gong Road Bridge (Song Wan Jeung Gonglu Daqiao). 

YABULI(Heilongjiang) International Ski Resort:

Location      

The Yabuli International Ski Resort, the biggest and best ski resort in China, is 200 km (124 miles) east of Harbin and 120 km (75 miles) west of Mudanjiang in Shangzhi City, Heilongjiang Province.
 
Introduction
Yabuli International Ski ResortThe resort provides great skiing with high mountains and good snow. Local skiers enjoy the high elevation and the fact that the snow is neither too hard nor too powdery. The lowest temperature is -43C (-47.2F). Because of the high elevation, snow falls for a long period of about 170 days.
The ski resort includes two distinctive areas: the competitive section and the leisure skiing section. The alpine competitive skiing section reaches an altitude of 1,374 m (approx. 4,508 feet). Built according to international standard, this section provides an excellent environment for professional skiers. In the leisure skiing section, the highest altitude is only about 1,000 m (approx. 3,281 feet), and the area provides a comparatively safe environment for leisure skiing. There is also a German built slide where tourists can enjoy sliding down from the top of the snowy mountain. Doing skiing on the slide is easy and safe, bringing visitors a thrilling experience.
 
Activities
Yabuli Ski Resort is the biggest training centre for alpine skiers and the mountain hosts of many professional skiing competitions. In 1996, the 3rd Winter Asian Games were held here along with numerous the National Winter Games and other national and provincial competitions.Yabuli International Ski Resort Activity
Besides skiing, visitors can also take advantage of the other entertainment facilities at the resort, such as the mini golf course, tennis court, turf courts, hot-air balloons, and para-gliders among others. The combination of activities, the beautiful forest and comfortable facilities offer tourists a relaxing and fun vacation. In winter, the ski resort is a fantastic place for skiers; in summer tourists can escape the heat and enjoy fun outdoor activities. All year round the resort offers beautiful scenery.
 
Travel time
The period from November to late March of the following year is the best time to ski at Yabuli Ski Resort.

 

Harbin Ice and Snow World:

Introduction

Harbin Ice & Snow WorldFirst set-up by the Harbin Municipal Government in 1999, Harbin Ice and Snow World is by far the largest ice and snow art exhibition in the world. It is commonly referred to as possessing four of the key mosts: the most art attractions, the most beautiful night views, the most recreational activities and the most forms of entertainment. Furthermore, the festival is constantly evolving and each year brings with it a new theme, providing visitors with a totally unique experience from one year to the next.
 
Activities
The ice carvings at the Harbin Ice and Snow World are regarded as some of the world's finest examples of ice art, with visitors able to admire some of the largest and most majestic ice-sculpted masterpieces. Each of these ice carvings is designed in some way related to the festival's theme, enabling travelers to sample a variety of cultural flavors. For example, in its first year the festival's layout was designed around the idea of "Prosperous China and High-flying Longjiang", with the ice carvings depicting the rapid development of the country.
 
One of the highlights for any visitor to the festival is to visit the site at night when multicolored lights set underground illuminate the sculptures, revealing a whole new colorful dimension to the exhibits. The contrasts of the bright and dazzling lights against the dark night sky make the works look all the more spectacular.
 
Ice CarvingsHarbin Ice and Snow World is also a centre for various forms of recreation and entertainment, with a variety of opportunities on offer. Visitors will be amazed by the magnificent ice buildings, including an ice maze, ice bar, and even an ice hotel. If you are a fan of snow sports, then there is also the chance to participate in activities such as ice rock-climbing, skating, skiing, sliding, snow fights, ice golf, and ice archery. In addition to all this, special performances based on the festival theme are put on throughout the event, which will no doubt greatly entertain those in search of something a little less physically demanding.
 
Travel time
The best time to travel to Harbin is during the winter. The Harbin Ice Festival is held either in late December or in early January, and for those who dream of a proper winter experience, the Harbin Ice and Snow World is the place to make those dreams become a reality.

Harbin Ice Festival:

History

The Harbin Ice Festival, established in 1985, is held annually from January 5 and lasts for over one month. The fabulous IceHarbin Ice Festival Lantern Festival was the forerunner of the current festival and is still the best-loved part of the overall event in the opinion of all who come to Harbin each year. The Harbin Ice Festival provides the visitors each year a whole new world of ice and snow.  The first Ice lanterns were a wintertime tradition in northeast China. During the Qing Dynasty(1644 - 1911), the local peasants and fishermen often made and used ice lanterns as jack-lights during the winter months. At that time, these were made simply by pouring water into a bucket that was then put out in the open to freeze. It was then gently warmed before the water froze completely so that the bucket-shaped ice could be pulled out. A hole was chiseled in the top and the water remaining inside poured out creating a hollow vessel. A candle was then placed inside resulting in a windproof lantern that gained great popularity in the region around Harbin. From then on, people made ice lanterns and put them outside their houses or gave them to children to play with during some of the traditional festivals. Thus, the ice lantern began its long history of development. With novel changes and immense advancement in techniques, today we can marvel at the various delicate and artistic ice lanterns on display. 
 
Today's Ice Lantern
Nowadays, ice lantern in a broad sense refers to a series of  handicrafts using ice and snow as raw material combining ice artworks with colored lights and splendid music. The specific patterns of ice lantern include ice and snow sculptures, ice flowers, ice architectures and so on. Today, Harbin Ice Festival is not only an exposition of ice and snow art, but also an annual cultural event for international exchange. Every year, there are many ice sculpture experts, artists and fans from America, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Russia, China, etc. who gather in Harbin to participate in ice sculpting competitions and Ice Lanternto communicate with each other in the ice and snow world. In addition, Harbin ice lanterns have been exhibited in most of China's main cities as well as in many countries in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and Oceania. For more than 40 years, Harbin's natural resource of ice and snow has been fully explored to provide joy and fun for visitors to the city. Nowadays, during the festival, many sporting competitions are also popular including ice-skating, sledding and so on. Weddings, parties and other entertainments are now very much a feature of this ice world, adding their own contribution to the celebrations of this great festival of art, culture, sports and tourism. 

Qiaobo Ice and Snow World:

Qiaobo Ice and Snow World Recreation Center is located in the Mapochao Baihe National Forest Park. The distance from theQiaobo Ice and Snow World hotel to San Wan Qiao is only 25 minutes. It is the only in the hotel that people can enjoy skiing in all seasons. It covers an area of 40,000 sq m. People staying here have a wonderful and impressive experience.

 

The first and only indoor ski resort in Beijing, Qiaobo has a 150m bunny slope and a 260m long slope. Great place to cool off from the summer heat.
 
It covers skiing, catering, recreation, accommodation, KTV (Karaoke) and business. It can hold more than 400 people. There may be a few kickers and a waterslide pool, but that is temporary. The snow conditions are good; it is typical indoor-artificial snow.

 

Movable Type Printing:

During the Sui Dynasty, printing was accomplished by means of knife-cut laterally reversed characters on wooden boards, paint ink applied to these, and then characters printed on paper. At that time, it was a very painstaking task to print a book, since the wooden board could be used only once and the boards were specially made for the printing of each book.
The difficulty was solved by a lettering worker Bi Sheng in the 11th century, who spent 40 years making type for the ChineseMovable Type Printing characters. He used lime cement as the raw material, molded into square columns. He carved a laterally reversed Chinese character on the bottom of each column, and then fired these in a furnace. These columns could be arranged according to the contents of the book to be printed, so the type could be reused unlimited times. This technique is the rudiment of modern printing. Wang Zheng, an official who lived in the Yuan Dynasty, invented and developed the wooden type and typesetting method respectively. A few years later, he invented metal type, which greatly improved the printing quality.

The technique was introduced to Japan during the Tang Dynasty and to Germany in the 15th century. This printing technology has helped the cultural and scientific development in Europe since the Renaissance.

 

China climate overview:

China has a climate dominated by monsoon winds. It features clear temperature differences in winter and summer. InChina annual average temperature winter, northerly winds coming from high latitude areas are cold and dry, and in summer, southerly winds from sea areas at lower longitudes are warm and moist. In addition, climates differ from region to region because of the country's extensive territory and complex topography. In the southeastern part south of the Nanling Mountains, rains are plenty and the temperature is high all year round. In the Yangtze and Huaihe River valleys in the central part, there are four distinctive seasons. In northeast China, summer is short but there is much sunshine, while winter is long and cold. Precipitation is limited in northwest China where it is cold in winter and hot in summer. In southwest China of low latitudes, the land is elevated high, and it features vertical seasonal zones with temperatures differing from a valley to a mountain peak.
China has a climate dominated by dry seasons and wet monsoons, which leads to clear temperature differences in winter and summer. In winter, northern winds coming from high latitude areas are cold and dry; in summer, southern winds from sea areas at lower latitude are warm and moist.
In northeast China, summer is short but there is much sunshine, while winter is long and cold. Precipitation is limited in northwest China where it is cold in winter and hot in summer. In southwest China of low latitudes, the land is elevated high, and has characteristically vertical seasonal zones.
North
Northern winters, from December to March, can be extremely cold. Beijing may experience temperatures of -20°C at night, dry and no sun. Further north, -40 °C are not uncommon, and you'll see the curious sight of sand dunes covered in snow.
During the summer, from May to August, temperatures in Beijing can hit 38°C  (100F), coinciding with the rainy season for the city.
The best time for visiting the north is spring and autumn. Daytime temperatures range from 20 °Cto 30°C  (68F to 86F) and drop a lot at night. Precipitation is 6370cm (25-28 inches) per year.
Central
The Yangtze River valley has long and humid summer with high temperatures from April to October. The cities of Wuhan, Chongqing and Nanjing on the Yangtze are China's three famous “furnaces”.
Winters there, with temperatures dropping well below freezing, can be as cold as in Beijing, particularly as there is no heating in public buildings to the south of the Yangtze River.
It can also be wet and miserable at any time apart from summer. Since it is impossible to choose an ideal time to visit, spring and autumn are probably best. Precipitation averages around 76 cm (30 inches) per year.
South
Near Guangzhou, the summer is a season of typhoons between July and September. Temperatures can rise to around 38°C. Winters are short, between January and March. It's not as cold as in the north, but you'd better bring warm clothes with you while visiting.
Autumn and spring can be good times to visit, with day temperatures in the 20°C  to 25°C  (68F to 75F) range. Sometimes, it can be miserably wet and cold, with rain or drizzle. Precipitation averages 76 cm (30 inches) per year.
Northwest
It gets hot in summer, dry and sunny. The desert regions can be scorching in the daytime. Turpan, which sits in aChina precipitation depression 150 m below sea level, is referred to as the “hottest place in China” with maximums of around 47°C.
In winter, this region is as severely cold as the rest of northern China. Temperatures in Turpan during winter are only slightly more favorable to human existence.
This area of China climate experiences little rain, and consequently the air is very dry. Summers, however, can exceed 40°C, while winters may drop to -10°C. Precipitation averages less than 10 cm (4 inches) per year.
 

Overview of National Geological Parks of China:

China's State Forestry Administration says the nation's forest parks received more than 200 million domestic and inbound National Geological Parks of Chinatourists in 2006, an increase of 20% compared with the previous year.

The parks achieved RMB80 billion in combined income, as well. According to SFA, China has 1,928 forest parks throughout the country, which cover a total area of 1 513 hectares. The United Nations has listed 17 of them as Natural Cultural Heritage sites, and 10 of them have been listed as World Geoparks.

In recent years, China's forest parks have seen an annual 20% increase in tourist numbers and they have helped the country create more than 3 million jobs.

China's forest park construction and forest tourism have made great headway since 1982 when the first national forest park, Zhangjiajie Forest Park, was established. The foundation of these parks not only helps the country protect its natural resources and ecological environment, but also contributes to promoting the local rural economies.

 

National Geological Parks in China are unique natural areas giving priority to geological relics, which have national level science research and high value of aesthetics in community with other natural and cultural sites. The National Geological Parks are examined by experts organized by national administration and management departments and approved by the Ministry of Land Resources.

 

The Stone Forest Scenic Resort became one of the first groups of National Geological Parks of China in 2001 approved by the Ministry of Land Resources.

China's Architecture:

Together with European architecture and Arabian architecture, ancient Chinese architecture is an important component of the system of world architecture. People created many architectural miracles such as the Great Wall and Forbidden City.
The architecture of China is as old as Chinese civilization. From every source of information - literary, graphic, and exemplary The Great Wall- there is  strong evidence testifying to the fact that the Chinese have always employed an indigenous system of construction that has retained its principal characteristics from prehistoric times to the present day. Over the vast area from Chinese Turkistan to Japan, from Manchuria to the northern half of French Indochina, the same system of construction is prevalent; and this was the area of Chinese cultural influence.

That this system of construction could perpetuate itself for more than 4,000 years over such a vast territory and still remain a living architecture, retaining its principal characteristics in spite of repeated foreign invasions - military, intellectual, and spiritual - is a phenomenon comparable only to the continuity of the civilization of which it is an integral part.
 

Monuments and Memorials of China:

Sculptures of MemorialsA memorial is an object that serves as a focus for memory of something, usually a person (who has died) or an event that has great impact. Popular forms of memorials include landmark objects or art objects such as sculptures, statues or fountains (and even entire parks).
The most common type of memorial is the gravestone. Also common are war memorials commemorating those who have died in wars. Memorials in the form of a cross are called “intending crosses”.
Monuments and memorials in China - Chairman Mao's Mausoleum, Dr Sun Yat Sen’s Mausoleum and the Monument of the People's Heroes are described below.
 
Chairman Mao's Mausoleum
Chairman Mao's MausoleumThe Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, commonly known as the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, or the Mao Mausoleum, is the final resting place of Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China from 1943 and Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China from 1945 until his death.Although Mao had wished to be cremated, his body was embalmed, and construction of a mausoleum began shortly after his death. This highly popular attraction is located in the middle of Tiananmen Square, in Beijing, the capital of China. On this site had previously stood the Gate of China, the southern (main) gate of the Imperial City during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
 
Monument of the People's Heroes
Monument of the People's HeroesThe Monument to the People's Heroes, constructed from August 1952 to May 1958, was the first large scale memorial built in New China.

Towering 10 storeys high, its northern façade is dominated by the inscription, "Eternal Glory to the People's Heroes," in Mao Zedong's hand.

The 17,000 pieces of marble and granite, brought in from Shandong Province and Fangshan on the outskirts of Beijing, weigh over 10,000 metric tons. Being constructed of such high quality materials, the monument is projected to last 800 to 1,000 years.

Dr Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum
Dr Sun Yat Sen MausoleumSun Yat Sen, originally named Sun Wen, is the foregoer of the Chinese modern revolution, a famous revolutionist, politician and theorist. People respectfully call him the Father of China. He passed away in 1925 from cancer. To commemorate this great person, Zhongshanling (the Mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat Sen) was built on the Zhongshan Mountain, Nanjing City, in 1926. In 1929, his coffin was moved from Beijing to Nanjing and buried in Zhongshanling.
 

 

China's Cultural Relics:

China has nearly 400,000 known unmovable cultural relics above ground and underground. So far, the State Council hasChina's Cultural Relics listed 1,271 cultural sites under state protection and by 2015, the number may rise to 1,800. There are over 7,000 cultural sites under provincial-level protection and more than 60,000 under municipal and county-level protection. The national database for cultural relics information will be completed by 2015.

In recent years, cultural relics have come under increasing legal protection. China has signed four international treaties on relic preservation.

So far, the Chinese government has listed 101 famous historical and cultural cities under key national protection and 80-odd under provincial-level protection.

As a large traditional agricultural country, China has a large distribution of ancient villages, a rare phenomenon in the world. The natural environment as well as folk customs and handicrafts of these villages are well preserved. The Cultural Relics Authority is planning a major ancient village protection project; by the end of 2005, the names of 44 towns and 36 villages under special protection had been released.
 

China Temples:

Temples are a symbol of the long history and rich culture of China, and are regarded as valuable art treasures.

Generally speaking, temples are not only related to Buddhism. However, in Buddhism, there are many kinds of titles for temples. Official residences have been known as Temple since the Qin Dynasty. In the Han Dynasty, the residence of the monks from the West was also known as Temple. From then on, temples gradually became expressions of Chinese Buddhist architecture. It also can be said that when Buddhism spread to China, Chinese people called the Buddhist architecture Temple to show respect for Buddhism.

There are many titles for temples in Taoism. When Taoism was founded its religious organizations and activity venues were all called “Zhi”, also known as “Lu” and “Jingbao” .In the Southern and Northern Dynasties, the activity venues of Taoism were called Fairy House. During the period of the Northern Zhou Wu Di, it was known as “Daoist Temple”, meaning viewing star and the air. Till Tang Dynasty, the emperor regarded Laozi as his ancestor. However, the emperor’s residence was “palace”. Therefore, the Taoist Structure was called “palace”. Apart from these, there are other titles, such as “court”, "shrine”, like Wenshu Yuan, Bixia Shrine and so on.
In Confucianism the temple is called "temple”, "palace” and "altar", for example, Kong Miao, Wen Miao, Yonghe Lamasery, the temple of Heaven, etc.. Islamism has a "temple”, such as the Mosque. In Catholicism, the temple is called “church”. In civil society, it was known as “temple”, "shrine”. For example, the places where people worshipped ancestors, the deity or the former saptarsis were called the Imperial Ancestral Temple, Zhong Yue Temple, Xi Yue Temple, Nan Yue Temple, Bei Yue Temple, Dai Temple, and so on.
Cultural artifacts of every dynasty are well kept in Chinese Temple culture in China. In addition, temple culture has influenced every aspect of Chinese people's lives such as astronomy, geography, architecture, painting, handwriting, sculpture, music, dancing, antiquity, temple fairs, and folk-customs. The annual temple fair all over the nation has not only enriched the Chinese culture, but also improved the development of local tourism.
Three famous temples in China:
Luoyang White Horse Temple
White Horse Temple is located 12 km away from the east of Luoyang City. It was regarded as the "originating court in China". Established by the Eastern Han Dynasty in 68 A.D. when Buddhism started to spread, this temple is believed to be the first Buddhist temple built by the government in China. Covering a total area of 40, 000 sq m, the temple mainly consists of Tianwang Hall, Great Buddha Hall, Mahavira Hall, Jieyin Hall, Pilu Pavilion and Qiyun Pagoda.
Hangzhou Lingyin Temple
Lingyin Temple is situated at the foot of Lingyin Mountain, beside West Lake .It was built in 326 A.D. during the Eastern Jin dynasty (317 - 420 A.D.). Huili, an Indian monk, came to the area where he was inspired by the spiritual nature of the scenery to be found here. To his mind, this had to be a dwelling of the Immortals and so he gave the temple a name, "Ling Yin (Temple of the Soul's Retreat). When Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty toured South China, he named Lingyin Temple “Yunlinchansi Temple. When the temple was flourishing, it had nine buildings, eighteen pavilions, and seventy-two palace halls. The number of monks reached to 3,000. Lingyin Temple is one of the ten most famous ancient Buddhist temples in China.
Dengfeng Shaolin Temple
It is located at the foot of Shaoshi Mountain, 12 km away from the northwest of Dengfeng County in Henan Province . It was named after Shaoshi Mountain. Shaolin Temple was established in 495 during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534). Thirty-two years later, Bodhidharma, the legendary Indian monk, came to Shaolin to instruct in Zen Buddhism. Bodhidharma was known as the first ancestor of Chinese Buddhism, and the Shaolin Temple was regarded as the original place of Zen Buddhism. The Shaolin Temple is probably the most famous temple in China, not only because of its long history and its great importance in Chinese Buddhism, but also because of its martial arts, or Wushu .The temple mainly consists of Tianwang Hall, Mahavira Hall, Drum Tower Clock Tower, and the Sutra Collection Pavilion.

 
 

Jiangnan Water Towns Overview:

Jiangnan, the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, includes some regions of Anhui, Jiangxi and Zhejiang Jiangnan Water Towns,The area from Nanjing to Suzhou its center. Located in the Taihu Basin close to the East China Sea, the region is abundant in water resources, a features a mild climate and developed agriculture.
There has been agreement by Chinese people that Jiangnan is a region beautified by the literati of all generations. The region, known for its rich and prosperous land as well as its diligent and intelligent people, has been extolled and admired for thousands of years. The mist-covered green hills, the lakes brimming with glistening water, the delicate and serene gardens, the folk houses of black tiles and white walls, and the numerous pavilions, bridges, and rivers, all these characterize this region. When in Jiangnan, wherever you are, be it a city, a town, or a village, you feel like being in a scroll painting. This is Jiangnan, the embodiment of beauty, tranquility and elegance.

The traditional houses in Jiangnan have been built by the ingenious local people in open spaces which are surrounded by flowing water. The vivid traditional architecture is characterized by white walls and black tiles, is decorated by little bridges over brimming water. All these jointly present unique scenery.


Yunnan Kunming Sunshine Golf Course:

Located in the northern suburbs of Kunming, the Kunming Sunshine Golf Course is 6 km from the Jinxing Flyover to the Kunming-Qujing Expressway. To the southwest of the golf course is the Yuanqing Reservoir with an area of Kunming Sunshine Golf Course1.26 million m3; and this golf course is adjacent to Snake, Shuangru and Yuanbao Mountainswith a beautiful environment and fresh air. It takes only 15 minutes from the Workers' Cultural Palace at the center of Kunming to the golf course. 

 

Kunming Sunshine Golf Club is an 18-hole Par 72 Championship mountain golf course. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr, it is situated in heavily pine-wooded valleys that lend to its spectacular natural environment. Golfers of all levels will have an impressive and memorable golfing experience on the 7,217 yards course that designed to offer a pleasant challenge to golfers of all ability. Strategically located in Kunming city, Sunshine Golf Club enjoys easy transportation links with a distance of just 20 km Kunming Sunshine Golf Coursesfrom the airport and 8 km from the city centre. The course location leaves you extra time for sightseeing after finishing 18 holes. The low index holes cluster from Hole 13 to 16, with the 14th hole being the most memorable.

A Par 72 Championship course playing 7,231 yards that is the centerpiece of a 260 hectare master planned community provides an unmatched view of not only the golf course but distant views of Kunming . The diversity of the site terrain creates a truly unique and traditional golf course, which meanders through two separate and distinctly different valleys that possess a variety of native vegetation .The golf course will provide a test of golf that is challenging and enjoyable for all the different golfers’ abilities.

 

Service facilities

These include a practice ground and cafe.

China Gardens Overview:

Chinese gardens enjoy a rich heritage and they are very famous in the world history of gardens. China's diverse city gardens have earned a place in the world's three systems of gardens.
Old Summer PalaceChinese garden architecture includes both grand imperial gardens and delicate private ones. They are all fine combinations of natural beauty and manmade scenery. The running water, hills and stones create an artistic ambience with exquisite layouts of flowers, trees, gardens, bridges, and inscribed boards and scrolls hung on hall pillars.
Chinese gardens can be classified into three types. One is the reflection of practical theories, moral and political emphasis and the sense of social responsibility that are all highly valued by Confucianism. Another class is the supernatural reflection of the natural and peaceful cultivation advocated by Taoism. Another type of garden is the natural reflection of the owner's emotions aroused by the gardens. The well-known imperial garden, Yuanmingyuan or the old SummerPalace, the ancient Constant Taoist Temple of Sichuan's QingchengMountain and gardens owned by some literati are respective examples of these three types of Chinese gardens.
 
Unlike Chinese gardens, their western counterparts have a strong emphasis on geometric principles and construction. Chinese gardens incorporate the belief that man is an integral part of nature and therefore give a lot of attention to the natural scenery and the feelings of visitors.
 
The Chinese garden may be regarded as a miniature of the Chinese landscape. The main principle of Chinese garden art is to recreate nature, to present its essence without an artificial effect. The design of  the Chinese garden is a process of abstraction and stylization of the existing landscape. The final aim of creating a natural form in Chinese garden is to celebrate the human spirit.
 
A Chinese garden is divided into different scenic sections but the garden as whole must be unified under a central theme.The five elements of classical Chinese garden are Rock, Water, Plants and buildings.
 
 
Rock - In Chinese gardens, a stone was valued for its bumps, furrows and hollows, and for the color and texture of its surface. The rock was much more appreciated for its grotesque shape than for its resemblance to a particular mountain.
Water - Water is used in the Chinese private garden, not only because of its physical beauty but also for its important symbols. Water is one of Taoist’s favorite symbols. Lao Tzi had decreed that “the highest virtue is like water,” which may yield, but it can overcome any obstacles.
 
Plants - The willow represents grace, for its tender and slender branches. It is usually planted lakeside to “dance” rhythmically as the young girls along the wind from the surface of the lake. The bamboo tree, with its tall and slender stalks and its long and narrow leaves, symbolizes fidelity, humility, wisdom, and gentleness.Chinese Gardens
 
Building Elements - The building elements, such as, moon gates, windows, and passways are essential parts of ChineseGardens. The entire private Chinese garden was  usually divided into several scenic sections using the building elements. Chinese garden scenes were concealed inside these different scenic sections and could only be disclosed, not at one, glance but gradually in sequences.  Every scenic section in a Chinese should have its own landscape character, but the garden as a whole must be unified under a central theme.
 

Shenzhen Xili Golf Club:

The exclusive Xili Golf and Country Club is located in the scenic countryside outside Xili Golf and Country Clubof Shenzhen. Managed by Shangri-La International, you can expect the highest quality of service and renowned management standard, which is unsurpassed in Southern China.

The clubhouse is distinctly Southern Californian providing an ambience for everyone to enjoy its facilities and character. It features two 18-hole championship golf courses and these are par excellence. The courses have been created by using elements of existing natural beauty, which offer all level of players a challenging day's golf in magnificent surroundings. The clubhouse provides an array of leisure and sporting facilities for the family and non-golfing members. It features exclusive guest rooms, fine restaurants, fully equipped facilities and various entertainments.

Shenzhen Tycoon Golf Club:

The Shenzhen Tycoon Golf Club is a subsidiary of China Travel IShenzhen Tycoon Golf Clubnternational Investment Hong Kong Limited. It was formally inaugurated on March 20, 1999. Located in close proximity to the Shenzhen International Airport, the club is easily accessible from the Bao’an District and is well supported by an expedient transport network.

 

The club has evolved from being an acquired mature golf course into a 27-direction fairway design, the bushes of which have doubtlessly formed the biggest attractions for golf enthusiasts. To enhance the abiding interests of golfers, the nine holes of the C course have been remodeled along with the installation of floodlit facilities. Known for its unique clubhouse design, the ambience of nature has been subtly introduced in the décor of the Shenzhen Tycoon Golf Club.

 

The elegant architecture has won the Best Asia-Pacific Interior Design Award 1999 in the Clubhouse Category, the Clubhouse with Unique Style 2000 and My Favorite Clubhouse in the 2001 China Golf Award. In October 2005, the clubhouse was extended with 52 standard rooms and deluxe suites. Each room is equipped with in-room broadband internet access. The multi-functional conference hall can accommodate up to 120 people and it can be compartmentalized into large or small sizes for meeting purposes.

Shenzhen Noble Merchant Golf Club:

Ideal for those who are in a mood for a decent round of golf, be ready to get Shenzhen Noble Merchant Golf Club back to the Shenzhen Noble Merchant Golf Club, which is right next to another golf club – the Sand River, a 20-minute taxi ride from Huang Gang.  

 

Located at Dawei Shahe in the Nanshan District in Guangdong Province, the Shenzhen Noble Merchant Golf Club has 18 holes, 9 of which are for night golf. The facilities provided by the club include: function rooms, snooker, accommodation, caddies, gymnasium, tennis and a swimming pool. The club is constructed on a flat piece of land with little or no up and downhill.

 

Beginners may find this course user-friendly but to the proficient, there might be a lack of good challenges. Both the fairways and greens are in excellent shape as is the landscaping. Positioned in the heart of the city, the views that are offered by the club are constrained predominantly to the surrounding buildings.

Shenzhen Golf Club:

 

The Shenzhen Golf Club is the closet course to the Hong Kong border. The course Shenzhen Golf Clubreopened with a Ryder Cup style tournament featuring top players from China playing against the Rest of the World.

 

It is located in Shen Nan Road in the Fu Tian District in Shenzhen, 55 minutes from Hong Kong to Huang Gang, or 130 minutes by bus or 45 minutes from Hong Kong to Shekou by ferry and 20 minutes to the club. The club was the venue for the 2006 Volvo China Open, which England's Paul Casey won after a playoff with fellow countryman Oliver Wilson. It is well equipped and quite trendy, decorated as well as with plenty of glass and light wood effects. Service is good also. Guest Room, Swimming Pool, Tennis, Karaoke, Mah-Jong Room, Snooker and so on are all available. Overall, it is a tremendous course and a definitely 'must-play' for anyone serious about their golf.

Shanghai West Golf Course:

Shanghai West Golf Club is considered to be the most prestigious golf club Shanghai West Golf Course in eastern China. Shanghai West Golf Course is located at Zhouzhuang in Jiangsuprovince of Shanghai. Away from the hustles and chaos of the busy city life, the club offers you a pleasant and comfortable surrounding amidst the lush beauty of nature. The golfer members are treated with excellent golfing facilities. . 

 

Shanghai West Golf Club is one of the biggest natural grass driving ranges. Besides 18-hole championship courses, the club offers modern practice facilities. The clubhouse of Shanghai West Golf Club has some welcome features like locker rooms, golf shop, traditional Japanese bath, multipurpose rooms, club lounge, dining room and barbecue corners. Members can bring in their guests and stay in rooms provided on daily rental. The Shanghai West Golf Club is also planning golf lodges, a conference center and various leisure activities.

Shanghai Tomson Golf Club:

Tomson Golf Club in the centre of Shanghai City is a US$250 million, world-class golf facility featuring a championship golf course and 500 villas. It is located at the central points of Pudong International airport and HongQiao Airport, just 10-30 minutes’ drive from any central district.Shanghai Tomson Golf Club

Tomson Golf Club first opened for play in 1997 and plays host to the prestigious BMW Asian Open, a tournament won in 2005 by Ernie Els. In addition to the existing 18-hole course, the club has entered a design agreement with Ernie Els to design and build a second championship golf course.

 

Shanghai Tomson Golf Club, a world-class 18-hole, par 72, championship golf club, covers 1,400,000 sq m of land, including 6,500 m of fairways. It is located in the heart of Pudong area, and only takes 20 minutes' drive from Pudong International Airport, Hongqiao Airport, Nanjing Road and Lujiazui. With this best location and modern management, the club not only provides excellent facilities, but also a tranquil and natural environment in this bustling metropolis.

 

Shanghai Tianma Country Club:

The Shanghai Tianma Country Club is located in the Shesan National Tourism Shanghai Tianma Country ClubPark. Getting to Shanghai Tianma Country Club is quite easy. It takes approximately half an hour to reach Shanghai Tianma Country Club from the Hongqiao Airport. Tianma Country Club is an initiative as well as the brainchild of Mr. Gilbert B. Mar, Chairman of the Universal Group.

 

Tianma Country Club of Shanghai is famous among the locals and tourists. This golf course is one of the most elegant and luxurious golf resorts in China. Visit Shanghai Tianma Country Club and you will find 200 wonderful Villas, which have been designed by well-known American designers from Costa Mesa in California. The club offers you expansive landscapes and beautiful lakes. The luxurious villas surround the water bodies, streams and lakes. The club is quite rightly the major tourist attraction of Tianma. The calm and comfortable surroundings make for a perfect setup for enjoying the game of golf.

Shanghai Sun Island Golf Club:

 

The Shanghai Sun Island Golf Course occupies an island of 150 hectares, 4,000 Shanghai Sun Island Golf Clubm in length and 700 m in width. It is located in the middle of the Huangpu River and joined to the right bank by a bridge. It takes 40 minutes to an hour to reach the golf course by car from Shanghai.

 

The original name of Sun Island is Mao Island. Sun Island's human habitation can be traced archaeologically to some 5,000 years. Vestiges of the past were long lost except the Mao Pagoda. This eminent Mao Pagoda, built in the Tang Dynasty, is the landmark of Sun Island, tall and conspicuous, antiquity amidst modernity. It can only bring goodness and good fortune to those who gaze upon it.

Shanghai Sun Island comprises two 18-hole courses, the Old Course and the New Course. Both are the popular type of “target” golf courses, which are generally flat and manicured tastefully. The challenges come from the abundance of water hazards in various shapes and sizes and in the positioning of the numerous sand bunkers guarding approach shots. Because the layout of each hole is relatively straight and unobstructed, it is usually possible to see the pin from the tee.

Chinese Zodiac:

The Sheng Xiao, better known as Chinese Zodiac, are 12 animals which are representative of years in some East Asian countries. Each year of the 12-year cycle is named after one of the original 12 animals. Each animal has a different personality and different characteristics.
Despite being called “Chinese zodiac”, it is not a variation of zodiac. The Chinese zodiac refers to a pure calendrical cycle; there are no equivalent constellations like those of the occidental zodiac.
 
Legend
According to Chinese legend, the twelve animals quarreled one day as to who was to be the head of the cycle of years. The gods were asked to decide and they held a contest: whoever was the first to reach the opposite bank of the river would be the head of the cycle of years, and the rest of the animals would receive their years according to their finish.  
 
All the twelve animals gathered at the riverbank and jumped in. With the ox's unknowing, the rat had jumped upon his back. As the ox was about to jump ashore the rat jumped off the ox's back and won the race. The pig, which was very lazy, ended up last. That is why the rat is the first year of the animal cycle, the ox second and the pig last.
 
1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996,2008 (ect)Rat
For the opposite sex, people born in the Year of the Rat are noted for their charm and attraction. They are likely to be perfectionists, working hard to achieve their goals and acquire possessions. However, they are basically thrifty with money and easily angered and love to gossip. With great ambitions, they are usually very successful. They are most compatible with people born in the years of the Dragon, Monkey, and Ox.
 
1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 (ect)OX
People born in the Year of the Ox are patient, speak little, but they have fierce tempers. They get angry easily and tend to be eccentric and bigoted. They are mentally and physically alert and can be remarkably stubborn. They are most compatible with Snake, Rooster, and Rat people.
 
1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998 ,2010(ect)
TigerPeople born in the Year of the Tiger are sensitive and capable of great sympathy. They can be extremely short-tempered. Other people have great respect for them, but sometimes they come into conflict with older people or those in authority. They may result in a poor, hasty decision or a sound decision due to the fact they cannot make up their minds. They are suspicious of others, but they are courageous and powerful. Tigers are most compatible with Horses, Dragons, and Dogs
 
1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011 (year)Rabbit
People born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, with excellent taste. Besides, they are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. Although they are fond of gossip, they are tactful and generally kind. They seldom lose their temper. They are clever at business and never back out of a contract. They are most compatible with those born in the years of the Sheep, Pig, and Dog.
 
1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012 (ect)Dragon
People born in the Year of the Dragon are healthy, energetic, excitable, short-tempered, and stubborn. They are also honest, sensitive, brave and trusted. They neither borrow money nor make flowery speeches; instead, they tend to be soft-hearted which sometimes gives others an advantage over them. They are compatible with Rats, Snakes, Monkeys, and Roosters.
 
1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013 (ect)
People born in the Year of the Snake say little and possess great wisdom. They never have to worry about money, since they are financially fortunate. SnakeBut they are often quite vain, selfish, and a bit stingy. Yet they have tremendous sympathy for others and try to help those less fortunate. They have doubts about other people's judgment and prefer to rely on themselves, thus they tend to overdo. They are usually good-looking and sometimes have marital problems because they are fickle. Although calm on the surface, they are intense and passionate. They are most compatible with the Ox and Rooster.
 Horse
1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014 (ect)
People born in the Year of the Horse are popular. They are cheerful, skillful with money, and perceptive. Sometimes they have a weakness for members of the opposite sex though they are wise, talented. They are impatient and hot-blooded about everything except their daily work. They are very independent and rarely listen to advice. They are most compatible with Tigers, Dogs, and Sheep.
 
1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015 (ect)Ram
People born in the Year of Ram are elegant and highly accomplished in the arts. They are often shy, pessimistic, and puzzled about life, but they are deeply religious. They are always passionate about what they do and what they believe in. They are wise, gentle, and compassionate and compatible with Rabbits, Pigs, and Horses.

1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004
, 2016 (ect)
MonkeyPeople born in the Year of the Monkey are clever, skillful, and flexible, remarkably inventive and original and can solve the most difficult problems with ease. They have a disconcerting habit of being too agreeable. If they cannot get started immediately when they want to do things, they become discouraged and sometimes leave their projects. Although good at making decisions, they tend to look down on others. They have excellent memories. They are most compatible with the Dragon and Rat.
 
1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017 (ect)Rooster
People born in the Year of the Rooster are deep thinkers, capable, and talented. They like to be busy and are devoted beyond their capabilities. They always think they are right and usually are! People born in the Rooster Year are often a bit eccentric, and often have rather difficult relationship with others. They can be selfish and too outspoken, but are always interesting and can be extremely brave. They are most compatible with Ox, Snake, and Dragon.

1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
(ect)Dog
People born in the Year of the Dog possess the best traits of human nature. They have a deep sense of loyalty and are honest. But they are somewhat selfish, terribly stubborn, and eccentric. They care little for wealth, yet somehow always seem to have money. They make good leaders. They are compatible with those born in the Years of the Horse, Tiger, and Rabbit.
 
1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019 (ect)
People born in the Year of the Pig are chivalrous and gallanPigt. Whatever they do, they do with all their strength. They have tremendous fortitude and great honesty.  They are extremely loyal, with a great thirst for knowledge. Although they are quick tempered, they hate arguments and quarreling. No matter how bad problems seem to be, they will try to work them out honestly. They are most compatible with Rabbits and Sheep.

 

Shanghai Links Golf & Country Club:

Shanghai Links Golf & Country Club is one of the well-known luxury golf clubs in Shanghai. Links Golf & Country Club is located in Pudong District of Shanghai. If you are traveling from Shanghai Links Golfdowntown Shanghai in a car or a taxi, it will take about 40 minutes to reach Shanghai Links Golf & Country Club. 

 

Visit Shanghai Links Golf & Country Club to enjoy an unmatched golfing experience. From Tuesday to Friday, the club opens at 7.30 am and closes at 6 pm. But on Saturdays and Sundays, the Club opens at 7 am and closes at 4 pm. Shanghai Links Golf & Country Club offers tennis courts, a gymnasium, swimming pool, and lake and even has a separate playing area for the children. It will cost around CNY600 to play a round of golf at the Club. The cost rises to CNY800 when there is a weekend rush.

Shanghai Binhai Golf Club:

The Shanghai Binhai Golf Club is located to the southeast of Pudong. Getting to Shanghai Binhai Golf Club is quite easy. It takes around 20 minutes to drive down to Binhai Golf Club of Shanghai from Pudong International Airport. The Shanghai Binhai Golf Club is about 50 minutes to Jin Mao. It is also quite close to the Lingang Industrial Zone and Universal Studio. Shanghai Binhai Golf Club

 

The Shanghai Binhai Golf Club offers you a wonderful atmosphere on the lap of nature. The calm and comfortable surroundings make for a perfect set up for enjoying the game of golf.

 

Shanghai Binhai Golf Club is in a convenient location. The Shanghai maglev train and extensive network of highways have made it possible that the venue is well connected to the main city. Members and guests can always avail the daily shuttle services that are available from Lujiazui Driving Range. The club has a dress code and players should put on soft spikes before they tread on the golf course.

Sand River Golf Club:

Located within a 20-minutes drive from the Huang Gang border, the Sand River Sand River Golf Club Golf Club is also right next to the Noble Merchant Golf Club. The destination is accessible through taxi and there is also a shuttle bus service from Lok Ma Chau and back. The facilities and services provided by the club include a new and massive driving range, which is one of the best in China.

 

The kind of amenities provided and the quality of the staff are better than at many others. The pavements and lawns are excellently preserved as most of the greens are decently maintained. Boasting an 18-hole international championship golf course, and a 9-hole floodlit one, the multi-award winner, Gary Player, founded this club. The landscape is exotic with the course bordered by beautiful flowerbeds and trees. The Sand River Golf Club has won ‘The Best Lawn Green Club’ for six consecutive years.

Most of the fairways are ingenious with their sands and water. Course C has been recently renovated. Always held in high acclaim, the Sand River Golf Club is a tropical paradise, set in a locale that is easily accessible from scenic spots like the Window of the World and Splendid China.
 

Nansha Golf Club:

Located at the mid-point between Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macao, this golf club is only a five-minute drive from Nansha Harbor. Every day, six double-decker boats go back and forth between Hong Kong and Nansha. A one-way trip takes one hour and 10 minutes. The Nansha Golf ClubNansha Golf Club has an area of about 277 hectares, and two 18-hole courses, which are up to the international standards. The course lies at the foot of a green mountain and beside a limpid lake.

 

The club decided to change all the greens to bent in 07, making it one of the 2 clubs in southern China with all bent greens (the other is Cung Shan Golf club). As it is well-known that bent grass likes cooler weather, during winter months they are excellent. A very interesting mix of up and downhill, doglegs with some carries over water, the front 9 are actually built around the rolling hillside while the back are built on a flat piece of land with more water influence. Most greens are very big with lots of undulations.

 

Service facilities 
A large, luxury clubhouse is located in the center of the course, with Chinese and Western restaurants, independent rooms for honored guests, a pro shop and a gym.

Mission Hills Golf Club:

Mission Hills Golf Club, regarded as the No. 1 golf club in the world, stretches across Shenzhen and Dongguan. It is an international golf club and the courses are designed by 12 world-renowned golf legends. The Mission Hills Golfathon, announced that it will add two more courses to the 10 it currently has. It stretches between Shenzhen and Dongguan, thus giving its members an opportunity to choose between 216 holes.

 

Facilities

With 216 holes and all the and services in the golf area - golf shops, golf academy, Mission Hills Golf Clubclubhouse, and driving ranges - the courses are located both in the cities of Dongguan and Shenzhen and the shuttle bus between the Shenzhen clubhouse and Dongguan clubhouse departs every 20 minutes.

 

The Golfathon is an event through which members are given the opportunity to test their tenacity over all the ten courses. The Golfathon package of playing at all the 180 holes in 5 days for HK$ 8065 includes ten rounds of green fees on all the courses, caddie fees, golf carts and lockers, in addition to a five nights’ accommodation at the five star resort’s luxury hotel, with breakfast included.

Lijiang Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club:

Situated in Ganhaizi at the eastern foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Clubthis golf course was open to the public in October 2001. Thanks to its favorable location, unique scenic spots and historical sites, first-class design, construction and administration of the club, it will become one of the golf courses in China with special features.

 

The site of the club has advantaged elevation of 3,100 m with the background of the high and steep snow mountains. It has flourishing plant cover and its yearly temperature is between 10 degrees to 23 degrees. There are more than 5,000 kinds of vegetation growing here. When you walk here, pure air and overflowing greenery is very refreshing. The land on which the golf course sits, with gently rolling hills, is the kind of land that Golf Course Architects dream about. 

 

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf ClubsPine covered knolls, dramatic mountain streams and of course expansive and breathtaking views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, possess all the ingredients necessary to create a word class golf course. Because of the elevation of the land, we are creating one of the world’s longest golf courses, however one that can be tackled by all, as everyone hits the ball almost 20% further here. The experience of hitting 300+ yard drives from elevated lees towards massive snow covered mountains is one of the most exciting in golf, and one that all can enjoy at Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

 

Service facilities

A club center, Chinese and Western restaurants, locker rooms, a pro shop, a practice ground and villas. 

Lihu Golf Club:

On the outskirts of Guangzhou City, the Lihu Golf Club is only a 40-minute drive Lihu Golf Clubfrom the Guangzhou White Cloud Airport, with an area of more than 200 hectares. Situated at the foot of a tree-covered mountain and beside a river, this golf club has a beautiful environment, which will make golf players feel they are in a fictitious land of peace, away from the turmoil of the world.
 
Service facilities
This golf course has a spacious and bright clubhouse, large restaurants, a multi-functional locker room, a massage pool and a large bathing pool.

 

Kunming Spring City Golf and Lake Resort:

Surrounded by mountains and beside a limpid lake, the Spring City Golf & Lake Kunming Spring City Golf and Lake ResortResort is one of the most beautiful golf holiday resorts in the world. Hence its name “golf paradise in Asia”. Located in Kunming city in south China, this golf resort offers world-level golfing. The US Golf Digest evaluated it as No.1 golf resort in China and Hong Kong. 
 
Spring City Golf and Lake Resort possesses luxury villas and two championship golf courses---the Lake Course designed by Mr. Robert Trent Jones Jr. and the Mountain Course designed by Mr. Jack Nicklaus. It is a top golf resort in Kunming. The courses are constructed in a perfect match with the natural environment there. And with the fresh air and beautiful scenery, the club also possesses the clubhouses, driving ranges, pro-shop, golf academy and the villas.
 
Service facilities
The Spring City Golf & Resort offers 5-star services. It has various kinds of facilities, such as swimming pool, hot spring, sauna center and tennis court. 

Chinese Medicine:

What is Chinese Medicine?
Chinese herbal medicine is one of the great herbal systems of the world, with an unbroken tradition going back to the 3rd century BC. Yet throughout its history it has continually developed in response to changing clinical conditions, and has been sustained by research into every aspect of its use. This process continues today with the development of modern medical diagnostic techniques and knowledge.
 
Because of its systematic approach and clinical effectiveness it has for centuries had a very great influence on the theory and practice of medicine in the East, and more recently has grown rapidly in popularity in the West. It still forms a major part of healthcare provision in China, and is provided in state hospitals alongside western medicine.
Chinese medicine includes all oriental traditions emerging from Southeast Asia that have their origins in China. Practitioners may work within a tradition that comes from Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan or Korea. It is a complete medical system that is acupuncturecapable of treating a very wide range of conditions. It includes herbal therapy, acupuncture, dietary therapy, and exercises in breathing and movement (tai chi and qi gong). Some or several of these may be employed in the course of treatment Chinese herbal medicine, along with the other components of Chinese medicine, is based on the concepts of Yin and Yang. It aims to understand and treat the many ways in which the fundamental balance and harmony between the two may be undermined and the ways in which a person's Qi or vitality may be depleted or blocked. Clinical strategies are based upon diagnosis of patterns of signs and symptoms that reflect an imbalance.
 
However, the tradition as a whole places great emphasis on lifestyle management in order to prevent disease before it occurs. Chinese medicine recognizes that health is more than just the absence of disease and it has a unique capacity to maintain and enhance our capacity for well being and happiness.
 
Herbal Medicine and Modern Pharmacology
There is a growing body of research that indicates that traditional uses of plant remedies and the known pharmacological activity of plant constituents often coincide. However, herbal medicine is distinct from medicine based on pharmaceutical drugs. Firstly, because of the complexity of plant materials it is far more balanced than medicine based on isolated active ingredients and is far less likely to cause side effects. Secondly, because herbs are typically prescribed in combination, the different components of a formulae balance each other, and they undergo a mutual synergy, which increases efficacy and enhances safety. Thirdly, herbal medicine seeks primarily to correct internal imbalances rather than to treat symptoms alone, and therapeutic intervention is designed to encourage this self-healing process.
 
What can Chinese Medicine treat?
Chinese medicine is successfully used for a very wide range of conditions. Among the more commonly treated disorders are:
Skin disease, including eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, urticaria
Gastro-intestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, ulcerative colitis
Gynecological conditions, including pre-menstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhoea, endometriosis, infertility
Hepatitis and HIV: some promising results have been obtained for treatment of Hepatitis C, and supportive treatment may be beneficial in the case of HIV
Chronic fatigue syndromes, whether with a background of viral infection or in other situations
Respiratory conditions, including asthma, bronchitis, and chronic coughs, allergic and perennial rhinitis and sinusitis
Rheumatological conditions (e.g. osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
Urinary conditions including chronic cystitis
Diabetes, including treatment and prevention
Psychological problems (e.g. depression, anxiety)
 
Are herbs safe?
Chinese herbal medicines are very safe when prescribed correctly by a properly trained practitioner. Over the centuries doctors have compiled detailed information about the pharmacopoiea and placed great emphasis on the protection of the patient. Allergic type reactions are rare, and will cause no lasting pharmacopoeia damage if treatment is stopped as soon as symptoms appear.
 

Kunming Lake View Golf Club:

Lake View Golf Club, built along the shore of Dianchi Lake and Beneath the Sleeping Beauty Mountain is located in the heart of Kunming Dianchi National Tourism and Vacation Zone. Designed by the Kunming Lake View Golf Clubgreatest European golfer, Mr. Nick Faldo, Lakeview Golf Course is a masterpiece with sculptured bunkers and strategically placed contoured greens and rolling fairways. It only takes you 20 minutes' driving from the Kunming Airport and 15 minutes' driving from the downtown area of Kunming.

 

Lake View Golf Club has undertaken the services of IMG who have successfully designed hundreds of golf courses worldwide to master plan the residential/golf development. Award winning architects from Singapore, SAA, have designed the modern 9,780 m2 clubhouse and multi level driving range facilities.

Kunming Country Golf Club:

As a Chinese-foreign joint venture, the Kunming Country Golf Club has been meticulouslyKunming Country Golf Club designed and constructed. With an area of about 86 hectares, a large number of fresh flowers are in full bloom in the four seasons in the golf course.

This 18-hole, 7,000 yard, par 72 championship course, designed by the famous designer Les Watts from Australia, covers an area of over 1,300 mu (86.6 hectares) in Chenggong county. Surrounded by the beautiful landscape and fresh air, the course is located near the Anshi highway, about 20 minutes' drive, 14 km, from downtown, and is really a good place for golf and related recreation. 
 

Service facilities
A club center, a tennis court and a swimming pool etc. 

Huatang International Golf Club:

Located in the East Beijing Yanjiao Economic Development Zone of Beijing, within 30 minutes' drive from the China World Trade Center , Huatang International Golf Club occupies an area Huatang International Golf Clubof over 1,000,000 sq m, and its convenient location on the major traffic lines provides the ultimate venue for the distinguished executives of the central business district of Beijing.

Huatang International Golf Club was designed by Mr. Graham Marsh, a well-known Australian architect specializing in Golf course designing for over 25 years. Set in a natural and tranquil environment, the club boasts a 18-hole golf course, a driving range, a golf academy, a pro-shop, and a clubhouse. The unique fairways and multiple bunkers ready to grasp slightly errant shots have attracted golfers from all over the world.

Despite providing daily services to our members and guests, Huatang International Golf Club has been dedicating to hosting major golf championships and events. From 2002, Huatang has hosted with success the Li Ning Cup, the North Star-Mercedes Benz Championship, the Jianguo Hotel Invitational, the China World Hotel Invitational, the Bohai Oilman Invitational Golf Tournament and Mercedes-Benz China National Golf Event 2004. In the year 2004, we won the nomination prize as one of the 10 best golf courses in China, which was supported by China Golf Association.

 

Guilin Twin Peak Golf & Resort Club:

If you are looking for spectacular scenery, probably the Twin Peak Golf and Resort Club is your style. You can spend your golf holiday here at the club, which was opened in 1995. The golf course is has three 9-hole courses.
 
The pathways are as old as the South Sung Dynasty with beautiful scenery from the Yao Mountain, old bridges, moonlit pagoda, precious art collections and garden promenades. It is Guilin Twin Peak Golf & Resort Cluba good choice and only 20 minutes from the Guilin city center. The club has three 9-hole courses, which are Rock, Mountain and Water View respectively. Both Mountain and Water View Courses are resort style courses, and fairways are generally wider and more forgiving with an interesting mix of holes.

The Rock View Course, however, is a bit unusual, with extremely tight fairways built around the foot of a big rock formation, with the layout of the holes very confusing for first time players. Although a short course, only the most accurate shots will find the fairways. Consult your caddie for the direction and distance or you will lose many balls.

Guilin Merryland Golf Club:

Located in Linghu Road, Xingan County, Merryland Golf Club is only a 40-minute Guilin Merryland Golf Clubdrive from the city proper of Guilin. It has an area of about 73 hectares. This club has an American-style hilly land golf course up to international standards. Guilin Merryland Golf Club is the largest golf club in Guangxi. The Merryland is the only one in China with an 18-hole foothill course of international standard, The course is 7 m x 073 yards (60 paths) and 72 par. The design is by Golden Louise.
 
Apart of golf, you can enjoy other sports, entertainment and business meetings. In fact, the Merryland Golf Club is a theme Water Park and Cowboy Town including a golf club. Therefore, it is an excellent golf holiday destination for the whole family. Other facilities include a Chinese restaurant, VIP room, cafe and two food shops. As the Chinese restaurant is located on the second floor you will have a view over 9 holes.
 
As you can expect from an international standard golf course, there are training courses and instructors available. According to golf players, it is quite a challenging golf course. The Merryland is on the north side of Guilin. To get to the Merryland, the easiest option is to take an express bus to Xingan and then take a taxi (about 5 minutes)to the golf course. The bus should take about one to one and a half hours.

 

Guilin Lijiang Country Golf Club:

The Lijiang Country Golf Club is a multi-functional holiday resort integrating sports, rGuilin Lijiang Country Golf Clubecreation and leisure. Located at the foot of Mopan Hill in south Guilin, it is 17 km from the city proper, and 42 km from the Liangjiang International Airport, with an area of 400 hectares. 
 
Li River Golf and Country Club covers an area of 1,000,000 sq m. It has a par 72, 7150-yard long course, which was designed by Mr. Lee Chang, one of the famous golf course designers in ASGCA, Mr. Chen Yuanrong and a technical supervisor of Taisei Corporation. Located beside the beautiful and quiet Li River, the course has been fully designed in a great harmony with the natural environment.
 
Service facilities
A practice ground in the open air with full-time coaches, RCI holiday villas, a health-building center and a five-star hotel that will be constructed. 

Guilin Landscape Golf Club:

Located in the Yaoshan Natural Scenic Zone, the Guilin Landscape Golf Club is Guilin Landscape Golf Clubabout 6 km from Guilin City and covers an area of 1.2 million sq m. It takes you around 40 minutes' driving from Guilin Liangjiang International Airport.
 
The golf course borders the Prince Jingjiang's Mausoleum on the left, and is surrounded by mountains and includes lakes. It boasts picturesque scenery. Guilin Landscape Golf Club is an international level 27-hole, par 108, 9300-yard long course, designed by the CEO of Guilin Landscape Company with the American USGA regulation and the Karst Landform and Topography.
 
Service facilities
This club is a holiday resort integrating sports, leisure and recreation. It includes an ancient and unsophisticated city tower, a club center, 150 luxury suites, Chinese, Western and Japanese restaurants, an over-water recreation hall, a swimming pool, a tennis court, a racecourse, a practice ground and villas. The club can provide supplementary facilities, such as clubhouses and driving ranges.

 

 

Guangzhou Xiancun Town International Golf Club:

Located in Xiancun Town, Zengcheng City, Guangzhou, this international golf club is close to the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Expressway, the Guangzhou-Huizhou Expressway, Guangzhou Xiancun Town International Golf Cluband the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Railway. It is only a 45-minute drive from Guangzhou. Surrounded by undulating mountains and green and captivating litchi forests, which are dotted by limpid lakes, this golf course is the best choice for you to spend your holidays and relax yourself.

Playing golf here, you will get full relaxation in both body and spirit. A full range of amenities like Chinese and Western restaurants, clubhouses, gymnasium, tennis court, swimming pool, karaoke, sauna, etc., are provided for your service. In addition, there is free shuttle bus from the golf club to XinTang Terminal, where you can take the 2-hour ferry to Hong Kong.
 

Service facilities
A club house, Chinese and Western restaurants, shower rooms and an exclusive shop for selling golf-related goods

Guangzhou South Palms Golf Club:

The Guangzhou South Palms Golf ClubGuangzhou South Palms Golf Club is located in Zhenlong Town in Zengcheng City.  It is just a 30-minute drive from downtown Guangzhou. Neil Celrafter designed the Guangzhou South Palms Golf Club. Other features of the Guangzhou South Palms Golf Club are as follows. 

- It is situated on the hillside and offers panoramic view of the natural beauty
  surrounding it.
- It consists of a 27-hole course designed according to international standards.
- The club boasts a convenient location.
- The club's service is very good.
- The club combines the atmosphere of the countryside with sophisticated and splendid style.

Guangzhou South China Golf Club:

Located in Zhenlong Town, Zengcheng City, Guangzhou, the Guangzhou South Guangzhou South China Golf ClubChina Golf Club is only a 20-minute drive from the city proper of Guangzhou. With an area of more than 200 hectares, the golf course is situated at the foot of a mountain and by a river, with an elegant environment, green trees and fresh atmosphere.

 
Service facilities
This golf course has a luxury club center, with Chinese and Western restaurants, an exclusive shop for selling various kinds of golf-related commodities, a comfortable locker room, and a luminous practice ground making it a first-class stopover. Its health center provides sauna, massage, foot therapy and beauty services.

Guangzhou Luhu Golf & Country Club:

Guangzhou Luhu Golf & Country Club, designed by the famous golf course designer Mr. Dave Thomas, is situated in the city center of Guangzhou, at the foot of green and Guangzhou Luhu Golfpicturesque White Cloud Mountain and beside the scenic Nanhu Lake. It is only a 10-minute drive from Guangzhou city proper to this golf course. This golf course occupies the best location in Guangzhou City proper with an excellent natural and ecological environment.

The club also contains a pro-shop, driving ranges, swimming pool, tennis courts, health club, sauna, gyms and deluxe restaurants. The club has an 18-hole, par 72 golf course with its 9-hole night course. It will take you around 30 minutes' drive from the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and 20 minutes' drive from the Guangzhou Train Station.
 
 
Service facilities
Restaurant, hotels and a practice ground

 

Guangzhou Golf Courses:

Golf courses in Guangzhou are very common. The popular golf clubs include Golf courses in GuangzhouGuangzhou International Golf Club, Guangzhou Lu Hu Golf and Country Club, Master Golf and Country Club Guangzhou, Outdoor Gold Driving Range, South Palms Country Club New and Tian He Golf Centre. Visitors can therefore choose from many options.

Golf is a sport in which individual players or teams hit a ball into a hole using various clubs. It is one of the few ball games that do not use a fixed standard playing area. Golf is said to have originated in the Netherlands, but has been played for at least five centuries in the British Isles. Golf has also gained some popularity in Guangzhou, China.

Golf is an increasingly popular sport across all sections of society. Golf courses in Guangzhou consist of a series of holes. A hole means both the hole in the ground into which the ball is played (also called the cup) as well as the total distance from the tee (a pre-determined area from where a ball is first hit) to the green (the low cut area surrounding the actual hole in the ground). Most Golf courses in Guangzhou consist of eighteen holes.
 

Sanya Beach:

Location

SanyaSanya is situated on the southernmost tip of Hainan Province, lying between 1809° and 1837° latitude giving it the tropical monsoon climate of this region. 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.
 
Features
Sanya is a noted tourist resort with mountains, sea, river and city. The favorable climate is hot in summer but warm in the Sanya Beachesthree other seasons, so it attracts large numbers of followers from both home and abroad every year. The whole Sanya is related to the sea. Here you can enjoy a unique tropical oceanic landscape that is totally different from the other provinces of China. The view of bright sunshine, blue water and wide beaches at Sanya, the southernmost tip of Hainan Province, attracts many regular visitors from both home and abroad year upon year. It is said that Sanya has the most well-preserved and beautiful beaches in China. All of the destinations of Sanya are linked to water, hence it attains its reputation as being the oriental Hawaii.
 
Activities
Sanya Bay, Yalong Bay, Dadonghai, Tianya, Haijiao, 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, and Hui inhabit Sanya, making it a wonderful place to appreciate the various cultures of China.
Tasting the local dishes is a must on your journey. Sanya spares no effort to entertain its guests with a variety of seafood and delicious tropical fruits all the year round. Both 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.Sanya Seafood
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.
 
Travel time
The best time to visit Sanya is from March to May or October to November when the Chinese New Year and Christmas crowds are absent and rain becomes less frequent.

 

Guangzhou Dragon Lake Golf Club:

Guangzhou Dragon Lake Golf Club is a 45-hole golf course and covers an area of Guangzhou Dragon Lake Golf Club1,750,000 sq m. With the beautiful landscape and natural environment, it is located in the Dragon Lake International Village with the lush mountain range as backdrop.

The club opened to the public in 2004 and attracted many golfers to play there. It has a driving range and recreational facilities. It only takes around 20 minutes' driving from the Guangzhou Railway Station and 15 minutes' driving from the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, thus occupying a convenient location. The club's decoration and finishes are comfortable and unique, having been decorated in Scottish style, even with a fireplace! It is not sure if this will be useful in the generally warmer climate of Guangdong but it is nice to know the club is willing to give its patrons something different.

The club is reasonably big (with 54 holes planned), the ground level is the lobby, pro-shop and cafe, and the 1st floor is the restaurant. The quality of the service is reasonably good as well.

Guangzhou Conghua Hot Springs Golf Club:

This golf club is located in Conghua Hot Springs Resort. The most famous attraction in the resort is that it has hot sand bathing. People can dig holes in the sand, and then Guangzhou Conghua Hot Spring Golf Clubhot spring water gushes out. Lying in a sand hole and enjoying the hot spring makes this resort very famous in Guangzhou.

Conghua Hot Spring Golf Club was established in 1992. The 6,562-yard-long 18-hole south course of the standard mountain course has been put into use and the design and modeling for the 6,530-yard-long, par72 north course has been finished, The hotel of the clubhouse has been finished and put into use .The lighting system at night of the course will be put into use in the near future.

Other Beijing Golf Clubs:

Beijing Gayhood Golf Club

This 18-hole, par 72, 7,260-yard course has a small spring with a bridge, pavilion, clubhouse, Chinese and Western style restaurants, a café, VIP rooms, sauna, pro-shop and parking area for club members.
 
Beijing Daxing Capital Golf Club 
This course snakes around a long goldfish-filled lake, Reservations are required. Located at Yonghua Road, west end of Xingzheng Jie in Huangcun Daxing District.
 
Beijing Golf Club 
Opened in 1987, the Beijing Golf Club hosts the annual Helong Cup, China's premier Amateur Golf Invitational Tournament. Facilities include a driving rBeijing Grand Canal Golf Clubange, 4-hole practice course, professional instructors, restaurant and Japanese style bathhouse. Open daily sunrise to sunset. East bank of Chaobai River, Shunyi District.
 
Beijing Grand Canal Golf Club
A new 18–hole, par 72, 6,732-yard course. This international standard course is located on the side of the Grand Canal and Chaobai River and designed to conform to the natural landscape around the canal, Includes a 9-hole night course, a lakeside driving range and putting green, villas 10-lande, 300-yard driving range. Open daily dawn to dusk, located at Hugezhuang, on the Grand Canal in Tongzhou District.
 
Beijing International Golf Club
Beijing's first golf club has a highly rated Japanese-designed course offering great views of forested hills, the Ming Tombs, River and Reservoir. Open daily 7:00am-3:00pm . Located northwest of the Ming Tombs Reservoir, Chagping District .
 
Beijing Jingdu Golf Club
Three 18- hole, par 72 international standard golf courses. Located 55 km from Beijing. Facilities include a large clubhouse, gym, swimming pool, tennis court, VIP club, club members’ hotel, pro-shop, and Chinese and Western food. Also has a 20-lane, 300- yard driving range. Open daily 6:00am-7:00pm. Located at Shifo Forest Reserve, Zhuozhou County, Hebei.
 
Beijing Orient Tianxing Huapu Country Club
Ha 18 holes and 7.024 yards- one of the only standard conrses in an urban area with night lights. Designed by TK.Pen and Bill Young. Daily 6.30 am-9pm. Laiguangying Beliu Chaoyang Distracit.

Beijing Links Golf Club

This 18- hole, 72-par, 7040- yard course has a 6,000-sq meter clubhouse that Beijing Links Golf Clubincludes  VIP hotel rooms, pro shop, café, bar, indoor swimming pool, gym, billiard room, sauna and locker room. Also has a 60-lane, 200-yard driving range. Daily 6:00am-9:00pm 88 Jiangzhuanglu, Huixin Donglu, North Fourth Ring Road. Chaoyang Distrcit.

Beijing PineValley Interantional Golf Club
Beijing's premier golf venue in terms of design and grooming. Pine Valley's gorgeous 7.300-yard course was designed by Jack Nicklaus. The club also has a driving range, swimming pool, tennis court, sauna, business center, stables and villas, Daily 7:00am--4.:00pm Pine VALLEY Resort, Nakou Town, Chagping District . 
 
Beijing Yaoshang Golf Club
Locatd in the southwest of Beijing in Yaoshang. Fangshan District, this club once hosted the Volvo Amateur. Features two 18-hole, pa 72 courses. Also has 10 driving ranges. Reservations required on weekends. Daily 8:00am-6:00pm. Yaoshang Cun, Liulihe Town. Fangshan District.
 
Taiwei Golf Club
This 18hole, par 72, 7 , 177-yard course is located near the newly developed Jingbei "Sleeping Buddha "Mountain. The course is surrounded by pristine forestland. Daily 6:am-sunset. Xiangtang Culture New Village, Cuicun Town, Changping District.
 
Wenyuhe Golf Club
Construction of the courses are still in process. Once completd, the club's courses will boast a total of 118 holes. The first 18 holes, which are already completed, were designed by Beijing CBD International Golf ClubRonald Fream. The whole compound is perched on the banks of the Wenyuhe Rriver, the mother river of Beijing. 
 
Beijing CBD International Golf Club
Beijing CBD International Golf Club is designed by Brit Stenson, the great PGA designer. Stenson has designed over 10 PGA courses in US with extensive experience in golf course design. As the only TPC (Tournament Player Course) style course in Asia, CBD Club is at the PGA standard in both design and construction. Located No.99 Gaobeidian Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing. It's about 30 minites's drive from the downtown. 
 
Beijing Chaoyang Golf Club
Located on the Shang-si Road, Tuanjiehu Xiaoqu., Chaoyang District, Beijing. Nearest golf course.

 

Qingdao Beach:

Location

QingdaoQingdao is a beautiful seaside city on the southern coast of the Shandong Peninsula, bordering the Yellow Sea and Jiaozhou Bay. The city lies on undulating hills with luxuriantly green trees and buildings noted for their attractive architectural styles. The red color of the tiled roofs, green color of the trees and hills, and the blue of the sea contrast beautifully. All this, along with its beautiful climate, make the city well-known as a summer and health resort.
 
Features
Qingdao is well known for its European architecture and attractive coastal landscape. With its abundance of natural beauty and growing human resources, the year-round schedule of tourist attractions and events, coupled with numerous tourist facilities as well as an extensive public transportation network, make Qingdao an ideal European Architecture in Qingdaotourist destination for traverlers from both home and abroad.
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.
 
Attractions and activities
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, and 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. In addition, Qingdao is the home of the famous QingdaoThe Zhan Bridge (Tsingtao) Beer. Have a bottle of pure Qingdao Beer right here in Qingdao.
 
To enhance the tourism industry, Qingdao now sponsors the Qingdao International Beer Festival, the Qingdao International Sea Festival, the Beach Culture Festival, the Sea Affection Festival, and the Summer of Qingdao Festival. In 2008, Qingdao hosted the Sailing Regattas of the 29th Olympic Games as well as the 13th Paralympic Games In 2009 it welcomed sailors from the Volvo Ocean Race . The Qingdao International Beer Festival is held every year in the mid-August for ten days. During the beer festival, there is lots of live entertainment and beer drinking.
 
Travel time
The best time to visit Qingdao is in the spring and autumn when the weather is mild and the scenery is at its best. Summer is the best time for sailing, swimming and sunbathing. The sun's rays are  very strong during the summer. 

 

Beijing Country Golf Club:

Beijing Country Golf Club was constructed in 1988 and opened to the public in 1990. It is located in the West Bank of Chaobai River, Shunyi District and covers an area of 2,400,000 sq m with a 54-hole golf course, a driving range, a golf academy and unique design.  Beijing Country Golf ClubIt is located in a scenic and tranquil area of dense and tall forest, with the man-made lake, fishing islands, bridges and other establishments, such as: swimming pool, tennis court, bowling court. Here, visitors can enjoy their holiday freely.

 

Since 1997, the club has been continuously transforming their golf course by adding a bowling alley, a swimming pool, body- building facilities and a tennis court accompanied with a completely sealed 2- storey, 42-ball exercise court. Now the clubhouse is well decorated and meals, meetings and lodgings are always at your service. The new Korean-style barbecue hall can accommodate 200 people.

Haikou Beach:

Location
Haikou,  also known as the Coconut City, is the capital of Hainan Province, China's second largest island. The city is the provincial administrative center of Hainan as well, being the focus of the local economy, culture and transportation. Haikou stands at the northern end of Hainan Island, on the west bank of the Nandu River estuary. 
 
Features
Xixiu BeachHaikou enjoys a long coastline that features excellent bathing beaches and seaside resorts. Holiday Beach is the most popular of these, while Xixiu Beach is where the national sailing and windsurfing teams train and hold competitions.The downtown area of the city has an excellent environment with streets lined with coconut palms. Here there are modern and convenient public transport facilities and all that is best in a tropical seaside city that is pollution-free and that meets the needs of the tourist in a friendly and welcoming way.
 
Attractions and activities
Besides its natural resources, Haikou has a number of important sites of historical interest. The Wugong Temple (The Five Official's Temple), the Tomb of Hai Rui and the Xiuying Emplacement each serve as reminders of the historical importance of Haikou.
The Wugong TempleSeafood is definitely a must for anyone coming to Haikou. However, the city is also famous for its other prized dishes. They are Wenchang Chicken, Dongshan Mutton, Jiaji Duck and Hele Crab. The climate means there is an abundance of fresh local fruits such as mangos, pineapples, jackfruits, coconuts and carambola, betelnuts, pawpaw, longan and lichee, loquat, naseberry and passion fruit. 
Haikou has evolved from a simple sightseeing city to an attractive seaside resort and business center. The services for visitors to the city are being extended with the aim of establishing Haikou as Southern China's key center for tourism.
 
Travel time

Usually, the best time to travel is between November and the following April.

Dalian Beach:

Location
Situated at the top of China's Liaodong Peninsular, with a 100-year history, Dalian is a trading and financial center in northeastern Asia and has gained the name the "Hong Kong of Northern China".
 
Features
The impression Dalian gives to the world is of a city of lawns, squares, fountains and gardens. This is all thanks to theDalian Xinghai Square Sculptures former mayor of the city, Bo Xilai, who initiated a Green Storm - a widespread environmental campaign which brought numerous green squares, forest parks and seaside scenic spots to the city. As for Dalian, people agree that it is "A City Built in Gardens".
are scattered around this region. In addition to the stunning cliffs and scenic parks, numerous places along the coastline are good for beach resort visitors and water sports lovers. Meanwhile, you can sample the authentic Dalian-style seafood in a fisherman's house at an incredibly low price.
 
Two things that have earned the city a high reputation. One is football and the other is fashion. Given the name of Oriental Brazil, it hosts many Chinese football matches and has the most successful football teams in China. The enthusiastic fans in the football club of the four-star Wanda International Hotel tell everyone how much the Chinese like in this game.
 
Activities
Surrounded by the Yellow Sea and inland BohaiSea, Dalian has rich marine resources. There are numerous restaurants in the city providing a wide variety of top-quality seafood at very reasonable prices.
Dalian Bathing Places and BeachesNumerous bathing places and beaches in the city are popular venues for Dalian's locals to relax from everyday work and stress. Young people, like those in many other metropolitan cities in China, are trend pursuers who spend their evenings in bars and pubs throughout the city. Another carnival event in the city is Dalian International Fashion Festival, during which thousands of dazzling celebrities, designers, pop stars and clothing merchants from both home and abroad get together to present an In-Fashion feast to the world. Consequently, Dalian stirs shopping lovers' blood with all sorts of skyscraper shopping malls and markets.If you are lucky enough to come to the city around September, a sea of world-class fashion brands will delight you.
 
Travel time
The best time to travel is from May onwards when the Dalian Chinese Scholar Tree Blossom Affairs and Commodity Export Fair open in the city. They run through to mid-September. The summer period from July to early September has an average temperature of around 20C (68F) and in the hottest month of August thousands of people come to the southern seashore in the city to enjoy the sunshine, the sea and exciting water sports.

China Mountains Overview:

Mt. Everest
China's spectacular mountain landscapes attract the professional climber and wide-eyed adventurer alike. Serious climbers are drawn to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to scale the challenging summit of Mt.Everest - known as Mt.Qomolongma in China- the tallest peak in the world. Pilgrims naturally gravitate to China's Five Sacred Mountain Peaks, which the Han Emperor Wu Di declared sacred in the 2nd century B.C.
 
MT.TAISHAN: 69 km (43 miles) south of Jinan, Shangdong Province and 569 km (354 miles) south of Beijing. The easternmost East Sacred Mountain – 1,544 m (5,068 feet) above sea level - offers a challenging climb, somewhat aided by thousands of ancient carved steps. Rich in historic relics and stele, ancient pine stands highlight the magnificent scenes. A must for sunrise watchers.
MT.HUASHAN: Mt.Huashan is 138 km (75 miles) east of Xian in Shaanxi Province. The West Sacred Mountain – 2,1997 m (216 feet) above sea level- is famous for its steep and risky ascent - a climb known to traditional China as the “most perilous under heaven”.
MT. HENGSHAN (HUNYUAN): South of Datong in Shanxi Province. This North Sacred Mountain is rich in historic sites. The most spectacular attraction is the breathtaking 1,400-year-old HangingTemple, built clinging to the edge of a precipice that overlooks a valley far below.
MT. HENGSHAN (HENGYANG): Located 416 km (225 miles) south of Changsha in Hunan Province. Famous for its marvelous scenery and magnificent Buddhist temples, many regard Hengshan as the most beautiful mountain in South China.
MT.SONGSHAN: Located in the southwest of Zhengzhou in Henan Province. The Middle Sacred Mountain – 1,511 m (4,959 feet) above sea level - is famous for the 72 temples on the 72 slopes. The ShaolinTemple, apart from being the cradle of the Chan Zen Sect of Buddhism in China, is popular for its historic role in the development of Chinese martial arts. 
 
Mt. Huangshan
MT.HUANGSHAN: Located 1,389 km (750 miles) south of Beijing in Anhui Province. The only mountain that is listed in China's Top Ten Scenic Spots is Mt.Huangshan, which has been worshipped since ancient times for itsunique beauty. Declared by the World Tourism Organization as a Cultural and Natural Heritage of the world, it offers an ideal place for seekers of antiquity as well as for novelty explorers. Some peaks reach up to 1,798 m (5,900 feet) high. The scenery is renowned for its dramatic changes from hour to hour and through the seasons. There is a cable-car service, and the paved paths are well maintained. In addition, there is an airport serving the tourists to this scenic spot.
 
MT.LUSHAN: Mt.Lushan is a unique mountain resort located in the eastern province of Jiangxi. Hanyang Peak, towering majestically above the Yangtze River and Boyang Lake, is perpetually shrouded in mist. Caves, floral paths, waterfalls, cliffs and gardens all present lyrical wonders. Villas and hotels of various architectural styles built over the past century promise a comfortable stay.
THE JINGGANG MOUNTAINS: The Jinggang Mountains, also in Jiangxi, are admired as a historic locale, famous as the starting point for Mao's Long March in 1934. Now a scenic mountain resort, the mountains offer beautiful views with bountiful waterfalls and countless caves.
WUYI MOUNTAIN: Wuyi Mountain lures rafting enthusiasts. Located in northwestern Fujian Province, the scenery here has been compared to that of Guilin. The place has been developed into a National Tourist Resort.
THE CHANGBAI MOUNTAINS: Skiers may opt for the snowy slopes of the Changbai Mountains amidst the Korean-populated eastern region of JilinProvince.
MT. MOGAM: Mt.Mogam, a well-known summer resort in Hangzhou, offers acres of waterfalls, bamboo-laced forests, and dozens of caves for exploring.
 
Wudang Mountain KongfuXIQIAO MOUNTAIN: Xiqiao Mountain in Quangdong Province has become a popular resort for vacationing Hong Kong families.
 
WUDANG MOUNTAIN: Wudang Mountain, in Hubei Province near Wuhan, has been an important Taoist center since the Ming Dynasty. Eight palaces and dozens of temples decorate its winding mountain path, leading to the glittering Golden Hall.
 

Beijing International Golf Club:

Beijing International Golf ClubThe Beijing International Golf Club was first opened to the public in 1986. It is situated near the Ming Tombs Reservoir and was invested and constructed by an experienced Japanese golf company-Nihon Shinko. It covers a total area of 2,000,000 sq m and the guests can get there within 40 minutes' driving from Beijing City Center. Located at the foot of the mountains and with an 18-hole course and 4 driving ranges, guests can enjoy the tranquil and beautiful natural environment, a bird's eye view of the Ming Tombs Reservoir in the course as well as good quality service meeting the international standard.

Tujia Ethnic Minority:

More than 2,000 years ago, the Tujia ethnic group began to live in Guizhou.Tujia Ethnic Minority They live in mixed communities with the Han and other ethnic groups. The Tujia people in Guizhou are mainly found in the Yinjiang Tujia-Miao Autonomous County, the Yanhe Tujia-Miao Autonomous County and the Yanhe Tujia Autonomous County. Tujia people have their own spoken language, but no written language, so they use the Han language. Most Tujia people build their houses in various styles by rivers and streams. They like to plant fruit trees and flowers around their houses. Tujia women wear collarless long, loose-fitting jackets that button up on the left side with decorative laces around the edges. Below this, they wear loose-fitting trousers and pointed embroidered shoes. They wrap their heads with white kerchiefs and wear silver ornaments. For men, the traditional dress is collared jackets with large front pieces buttoning up on the right. Nowadays, the young people like to wear short jackets buttoned in the front and white or patterned turbans. The Tujia people worship ancestors and believe in spirits. Their main festivals include the Spring Festival, Fourth Month Eighth Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Double Sixth and Double Ninth Festival.

 

Life
Tujia people like singing. They have love songs, crying songs sung at weddings, hand waving songs, labor songs, and Pan Songs. Their traditional dances include the hand waving dance, Ba Bao bronze bell dance, and Mao Gu Si, in which people dance and sing. Tujia musical instruments are the so-na, mu ye, dong-dong-kui, and da-jia-huo. The women are master the art of weaving and embroidering. The other traditional handcrafts of the Tujia people are carving, drawing, paper-cutting, and wax printing. The Tujia brocade is called Xi Lan Ka Pu and is one of the three most famous in China.

Language
The Tujia ethnic group possesses its own language, but most can speak Mandarin Chinese. At present, the Tujia language is used only in a few areas; it lacks written characters, so Chinese characters are used instead.
 

 

 

Tujia Marriage Customs

Tujia girls will cry to welcome their marriage day. The shortest number of days brides might cry is about 3 or 5 days. Tujia people judge a girl's intelligence and virtue by how well she can sing crying songs in the wedding.

Tujia WeddingTen Sisters’ Accompanying is a unique form that a Tujia girl takes when she cries over her marriage. The day before the bride's marriage day, her parents will invite 9 unmarried girls in the neighborhood to their home, and they sit with the bride around the mat singing songs for the whole night, which is called Ten Sisters’ Accompanying singing. Ten girls sit around the table, and then the bride cries 10 times, which is called a Put. At each interval, the cook will put a dish on the table. When the bride finishes there are 10 dishes at the table. When all 10 dishes are at the table, the 9 unmarried girls will take turns to cry. After the 9th girl cries, the bride will cry 10 times, called Collects, and the cook collects 10 dishes in turns. That ends Ten Sisters’ Accompanying.

Tibetan Ethnic Minority:

Origin of Tibetan people
In the ancient time, the ancestors of the present Tibetans lived along both sides of the Yarlung Tsangpo River. Princess WenchengIn the 6th century, the chieftain of the Yarlung tribe conquered several nearby tribes to become king. He was known as Zanpu (king), and he established the Po Dynasty. In the early 7th century Songtsen Gampo (his grandson) unified the whole of Tibet and shifted the capital to Lhasa. This is known in Chinese history as the Tupo kingdom. In 641, Songtsen Gampo married Princess Wencheng, of the Tang Dynasty, and was given the title of "the King of China's west". In 710, Xidezuzan (a king of Tibet) married Princess Jincheng of the Tang Dynasty. The contacts between Tibet and central China had a strong influence on Tibetan society in the fields of politics, economics, and culture. During the Yuan Dynasty of the 13th-14th centuries, the central government appointed a department to manage affairs in Tibet and brought Tibet under their direct management. The Ming Dynasty set up a local government in Tibet, and the Qing Dynasty subsequently appointed a ministry to deal with affairs in Tibet and Mongolia. The central government officially approved the title of Dalai Lama in 1653 and the title of Panchen Lama in 1713. In 1728 a resident minister in charge of Tibetan affairs was appointed, followed by the creation of the "Gexia", or Tibetan local government, in 1751. In 1934 the Government of the Republic of China set up a resident agency to administer affairs in Tibet, and in 1959, the Tibet Autonomous Region was established.
 
Costume
Tibetan people have very characteristic clothes. Generally speaking,Tibetan Costume they wear short upper garments made of silk or cloth with long sleeves inside, wide and loose robes outside and long boots of cattle hide. For the convenience of work or labor, they usually expose their right shoulder or both arms by tying the pair of sleeves around their waist. Both men and women have pigtails, but the man always coils up the pigtails over his head while the woman combs her hair either into two or many small pigtails flowing down onto the shoulders, at the end of which some beautiful ornaments are tied. The woman prefers to wear an apron with beautiful patterns. 
 
Language
Tibetan people have their own spoken and written language. Tibetan language belongs to the Cambodian branch of the Sino-Tibetan language system. It can be divided into three dialects, namely, Weizang, Kangfang, and Anduo. Today's Tibetan language is based on pinyin characters according to Sanskrit and Xiyu Characters of the early seventh century. The boom period of Tibetan culture was from the 10th century to the 16th century.
 
Tibetan Medicine
Tibetan Medicines is a very important component of Chinese Medicines. It is especially famous in veterinarian medicine. A famous medical book is Four Materia Medica. In addition, Tibetan divination can predict eclipses and weather conditions in the local area.
 
Customs
Presenting Hada
Presenting hada is to show purity, loyalty, faithfulness and respect to the receivers. Hada is a long piece of silk used as a greeting gift. In Tibet, it is a custom to present Hada hada to the guests at weddings and funerals. Hada expresses different meanings in different circumstances. At festivals or holidays, people exchange hadas to wish a happy holiday and a happy life. At weddings, people present hadas to the bride and bridegroom to wish them love for each other forever. At receptions, people present hadas to guests to wish the Buddha to bless them. While at funerals, people give hadas to express condolences to the dead and comfort to the grieved relatives of the dead. It is also common when people visit senior people, worship Buddha statues, and bid farewell to guests. The ways to present hada are quite different from person to person. The following is what people usually do to present a hada: take the hada with their both hands, lift it up to same level as the shoulder, stretch out the hands, bend over, and pass it to the guest. Make sure that the top of one's head is on the same level with the hada. Only in this way, can you express your respect and best wishes. For the receiver, he should receive it with both hands. To seniors or elders, you should lift the hada up over your head with your body slight bent forward, and put it on the place in front of their seats or feet. For your counterpart or subordinates, you can hang the hada around their necks.

 

Prostrating
On the roads to Lhasa, from time to time you can see Buddhists prostrating. They begin their journey from their home and keep on prostrating all the way to Lhasa.Prostrating They wear hand pads (protective appliances on their hands), kneepads, and a protective leather upper outer garment. With dusts on their faces, with the innumerable hardships, slowly they move forward by prostrating for every three steps, for months, or for years, toward the holy city - Lhasa. The prostrating Buddhists are very scrupulous. The prostrator follows these procedures: first, stand straight upright, chant the six-character truth meaning "merciful Buddha", put the palms together, raise the hands up over the head, and take a step forward; second, lower the hands down in front of the face, take another step forward; third, lower the hands down to the chest, separate both hands, stretch them out with the palms down, kneel down to the ground, then prostrate with the forehead knocking the ground slightly. Stand up again and repeat the whole procedure. Another way is to walk around the monastery in a clockwise direction and prostrate. Starting from the front gate of the monastery, Buddhists also prostrate once for every three steps, chanting the six-character truth and some Buddhism scriptures.

Nu Ethnic Minority:

The Nu Ethnic Minority has a population of only 28,759. More than 95% of Nu people live in Lushui, Fugong, Gongshan, and Lanping counties in northwestern Yunnan Province. A small number of Nu live in Weixi (in Diqing Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan) and Zayul counties.
 Nu Ethnic MinorityReligion
The Nu people believe in primitive religion and they worship nature. They believe that everything in the world has its own spirit. Objects such as the sun, moon, stars, mountains, rivers, trees and rocks are all worshiped. After the Lama Religion, Catholicism and Christian religion were introduced into the region, some Nu people began to believe in those three religions. It is also common for family members to believe in different religions.

Customs
Naming the Babies: Nu names are simple. They name their sons and daughters separately according to the order of their births from the eldest to the eighth. The eldest son is named Penggou, the second eldest son is named Jinduli, the third son Kun, the fourth son Zeng, the fifth son Dian, the sixth son Ran, the seventh Lan, and the eighth Baliyi. The eldest daughter is named Nakele, the second eldest daughter is named Nitai, the third daughter Jianggele, the fourth Na, the fifth Nianguo, the sixth Ranluo, the seventh Da'en, and the eighth Ying. If they have a ninth child, they name him or her after an object they like, for example, crossbows or bows.

Funeral Customs: As far as the burial is concerned, Nu people have adopted several burial forms, such as sarcophagus (stone coffin) burial, bamboo coffin burial, wood coffin burial, cremation burial, rock cave burial and so forth. Some people bury the dead in the ground, with the graves being knoll-shaped or flat. After a Nu person dies, his family will blow bamboo trumpets to announce his death. When people hear the bamboo trumpet, they will stop whatever they are doing; take some meat and wine to visit the bereaved to express their condolences. The dead body will be put in a temporary shelter before burial. People hold memorial ceremonies three times a day, each time with different sacrifice, which are then put in a bamboo tube or bamboo basket and buried with the dead.

Miao Ethnic Minority:

The Miao ethnic minority group is one of the few minority nationalities that Miao Ethnic Minorityhave an extensive population existing in and out of Mainland China. People often refer to Guizhou Province as “the base of the Miao nationality.” Inside Guizhou, the majority of the Miao population resides in the Southeastern Guizhou Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture. Tai County has the highest concentration of Miao ethnicity at 97% and is referred to as “the number one county of the Miao nationality.” The remaining population is distributed among less concentrated counties in the province.

 

Customs

The Miao nationality pays great attention to etiquette, especially with respect to the treatment of guests. For instance, when a guest visits, the host kills a chicken or a duck to entertain and feed the guest. If the guest comes from afar or has a long journey, the host will first invite the guest to drink an alcohol called Horn spirit. When the chicken is eaten, the chicken head is presented to the senior member of the feast, while the senior himself presents the youngest with a chicken leg.
Another common tradition steeped in etiquette is a chicken/duck heart sharing custom unique to the Miao. The eldest person of the family uses chopsticks to pick up the chicken/duck heart and presents it to the guest. However, the guest cannot eat the whole chicken heart. He or she must share the chicken heart with the elder that has just presented him or her with the gift. If the guest has a low alcohol tolerance or does not like eating fatty meat, he or she can explain the reason to the host. While the host surely will not look down upon a guest that requests minimal refreshments, they do regard gluttony or over-indulgence as an insult to the host.

 

FestivalsLusheng Festival

Lusheng Festival
The Lusheng Festival is the most influential festival of the Miao minority. It lasts for five days from the 16th to 20th day in the first lunar month. It is popular throughout Guizhou, Yunnan, and Sichuan provinces. The Lusheng Festival in Kaili, the famous tourist hub in Guizhou province, is considered one of the grandest celebrations of the Miao.

 

Sisters' Meals festival
This lasts for three days from the 16th to 18th day in the third lunar month. The Sisters' Meals festival is for the celebration of love (similar to the western Valentine’s Day). It is celebrated by the Miao people in Guizhou province, especially in Taijiang and Jianhe Counties along the banks of the Qingshui River. It is the oldest Asian Valentine’s Day.

 

New Year of Miao Ethnic Group
According to Miao custom, the 10th lunar month is the beginning of a new year. Therefore the Miao New Year festival, the most important festival for Miao people, is usually celebrated around this time. However, the exact date varies each year and is only disclosed one or two months in advance. The celebration of the Miao New Year in Leishan, Guizhou Province is the grandest among Miao festivities. During the event, tourists can enjoy watching enchanting Miao customs come alive through various kinds of ethnic activities. These include the festival parade that features Miao girls and women in traditional Miao dress, the traditional music of the Lusheng (a kind of musical instrument made of bamboo), bullfights, horseracing, and of course, lots of singing and dancing.

Jinuo Ethnic Minority:

The Jinuo (alternatively, Jino) ethnic minority, are also known as the Youle folk due to their homeland in the Youle Mountains. (The Youle Mountains are a sparsely-populated, densely-forested, mountainous region of Yunnan Province not far from Xishuangbanna Nature Reserve) The Jinuo live in a number of small enclaves in and around the village of Jinuo in Jinghong County (but with some scattered about in Mengla and Menghai Counties), about 40 km - as the crow flies - east-northeast of the city of Jinghong, capital of Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture. 

Livelihood
The Jinuo are farmer-hunter-gatherers. They plant tea (their trademark tea is the Puer "brand"), rice, maize, bananas, papayas, and even cotton. Jinuo men, however, remain at heart hunters, being proficient with poisoned arrows, traps, crossbows, and - today - rifles and shotguns. 
 

Costume

What Jinuo women wear includes: a white, pointed, cape-like hood, or cowl, that reaches the shoulders at the back; a short, collarless, embroidered tunic made of cotton that buttons Jinuo Ethnic Minorityin front, and typically has horizontal stripes in eye-catching bright colors on the front and an embroidered image of the moon on the back; a wrap-around black skirt hemmed with a broad red-lace border; and leggings, or heavy stockings, that go from the ankle up to just below the knee. Jinuo men wear a collarless, long-sleeve tunic similar in form to that worn by Jinuo women, except that the man's tunic is of white cotton with a band of narrow, horizontal stripes - usually in muted shades of brown and black - near the mid-section, and with similar but vertical stripes on either side of the front opening. There are also a couple of broad bands of narrow, horizontal stripes on the sleeves of the tunic, in the same color scheme as the stripes on the body of the tunic. The back of this tunic either is of the same motifs as in front, or embroidered with an image representing the sun. Jinuo men wear knee-length, broad-legged trousers made of flax or cotton, dyed black or blue.

 

Religion

The Jinuo are animists (animists believe that all things on earth have souls, or spirits, whereas non-animists distinguish between the animate, which can have a spirit, and the inanimate, which cannot) .The Jinuo are especially sun worshippers. The sun-drum is a sacred musical instrument in Jinuo culture. Each Jinuo village has two sun-drums, the Father Drum and the Mother Drum, which are the embodiment of the divine spirits and which therefore may not be handled except during sacred ceremonies, or festivals, where villagers pay homage to the divine spirits and entreat them to bless the Jinuo with a bountiful harvest, ward off disease, etc. The Sun-Drum Dance is performed during such ceremonies.

Drung Ethnic Minority:

The Drungs mainly live in the Dulong River Valley in the Gongshan Dulong and Nu Autonomous County in the Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Canton of Yunnan Province. There are also a small number of them, numbering around 7,400, distributed in the areas along the Nujiang River in the north of Gongshan County. 

Language
The ethnic group uses the Drung language, which belongs to Tibetan-Burmese group of the Chinese-Tibetan language family. It is basically communicable with the Nu language of Gongshan. However, they have no characters of their own.
 

Marriage Customs

Marriage Persuasion: Marriage persuasion of the Drungs is civilized and interesting. When a young man takes a fancy to a girl, he will send a married man who good communication skills Drung Ethnic Minorityand prestige in the stocked village as the matchmaker. If the matchmaker accepts the task, he will take a teapot in hand and carry a varicolored bag on back with tea, cigarettes and an urn inside from the young man's home to the girl's home. When he arrives at the girl's home, no matter whether the girl's family are warm to greet him or not, the matchmaker will put down the teapot, fill it with water, make the fire in the fireplace burn fiercely, put up the tripod and then place the teapot on it in a smart way. Then he brings out the tea and the urn from the bag and fetches the bowls, each for one and without reference to age or sex, to make ready for making tea. At this moment, no matter whether the girl’s family consents to the marriage persuasion or not, and no matter whether they are delighted or not, they will draw up around the fireplace. When the water is brought to a boil, the matchmaker will start to make tea. After a while, he will pour the tea into the bowls and put the bowls in front of them in the order of father, mother, elder brother, elder sister, younger brother, younger sister and the last one, the girl before talking about the marriage. If the girl's father or mother finish the tea and the others follow him or her to drink up the tea, it means the marriage persuasion is a success. If the tea turns from hot to cold and from cold to hot until 11 or 12 o'clock and there is still no one drinking the tea, and if the second evening and the third one remain the same, this means the marriage persuasion is unsuccessful. If the young man wishes to, he has to send a matchmaker again one year later.

 

Weddings

At the wedding ceremony, parents of both sides will introduce the circumstances of their own son or daughter, encourage them to show loving care for each other, run their home through hard work and thrift and get along in harmony, Weddingand admonish them not to get divorced even if one of them will get disabled or blind. After that, they will forward a bowl of rice wine to the bride and bridegroom. The couple will take the wine over and indicate in front of the guests to their parents that they will comply with the admonition of their parents to show respect for each other and take good care of each other for a lifetime and never to be separated. Finally, they will scoop up the wine bowl and drink up together the wine, which is called "wine of one heart".

The wedding banquet is quite simple. Most of the foods are fried noodles, buns, rice wine, and the like, which are made by the couple's families or brought by guests. The masters hand out the food, each share for one guest and add one piece of meat to show respect for them. On the wedding day, people of the whole village come to send congratulations. After the ceremony,

Dong Ethnic Minority:

The Dong people, a Chinese ethnic minority who number about 2,514,000 individuals according to the 1990 Chinese state census, are found mainly in the provinces of Guizhou and Hunan, as well as in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
 
LanguageDong Ethnic Minority
The Dong speak a variety of local dialects. Their language is divided into two main, mutually incomprehensible dialects, a southern and a northern dialect. The spoken language of the Dong is in the same phonetic family as that of the Tai/ Dai language (as is Cantonese, according to the experts). The Dong has not traditionally had a written language, which probably explains how Dong dialects can diverge so significantly from locality to locality.
 
Customs
Marking : Marking is often done with grass or other plants which are pulled up and knotted, then placed in a conspicuous place (alternatively, in a particularly relevant location) in order to serve as a sign of love (alternatively, as a sign of warning). As the multi-mark name suggests, marking can convey any of several different meanings, generally depending on where the multi-mark is placed. Besides signaling love, the multi-mark may signify danger such as a hazardous spot on a bridge, a slippery precipice, the presence of hunting traps (e.g., on a forest path) that have been set, etc. The multi-mark may also signify scorn, and as such is a form of punishment.
 
Bridge Picnicking: According to Dong folklore, the dragon (who can either bring luck by showering its attention on  the villagers or leave the villagers to their own fate by ignoring them), raises its head on February 2. On this day. family members, together with relatives, bring delicious foods such as meat, eggs, fish, and rice cakes to be eaten as a sacrificial picnic on the bridge in expectation of an abundant harvest in the coming season. In accordance with Dong folklore, the Gnome (a deity) in charge of agriculture is offered a sacrifice on the bridgehead on February 2, so people come to the bridge on this day to share their best food with the Gnome - and to drink him a toast - in the hope of being rewarded with a bumper crop during the upcoming harvest. While bridge picknicking is a custom specifically designed to pay homage to the Gnome in charge of agriculture, the act of observing the custom on February 2 indirectly pays homage to the dragon.

 

Buyi Ethnic Minority:

The people of the Buyi mainly live in Qiannan, Qianxinan and some parts of Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. Buyi people had been using Mandarin Chinese because of having no characters of their own until the Chinese government created phoneticized words made up of Latin letters for them in 1956.
 
Religion
Historically, Buyi Ethnic Minoritythe Buyi people believed in polytheism, gnome-worship and ancestor-worship,
homage to, among others, the following: oddly-shaped rocks, trees, mountains, rivers, springs, mountain caves and copper drums. "The divination by chickens, eggs, couch grass and copper cash" are widely accepted. In addition, the person engaging in divination and sacrifice is called 'old Mo' while the women are known as "Mila". In times of disease, natural disaster or omens of hoodoo, such people are asked to exorcise and sweep the village clean in order to get rid of disasters and pray for blessings.

 

Customs

Clothing:Men wear a short garment, long trousers and wrapping turban, and women wear a wide front garment with buttons on the right, long trousers or plaited skirts, and jewelry such as silver bracelets, earrings and chaplets, etc. Buyi people like to live in places beside hills and close to water. Generally, one village is made up of one or several decades of families, and even a 100 or several 100 families.

Marriage customs: Many single young men and women get engaged by blowing wood leaves or singing songs, and then the family of the young man asks a matchmaker to the woman’s house to propose. Once they get engaged, the woman’s family should call for relatives and friends to have an engagement dinner. Two or three days ahead of the wedding, half a pig, a rooster, a duck and a pot of water are needed for the bridegroom to send to the bride's house. And the bride's family must entertain the guests with a banquet to celebrate it.
 

Blang Ethnic Minority:

The Blang people mainly live in the Menghai and Jinghong counties in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in southwestern China's Yunnan Province, with a small portion scattered around Shuangjiang, Yongde, Yunxian and Gengma counties in the Lincang prefecture, as well as the Lancang and Mojiang counties in the Simao prefecture. It has a total population of about 91,882.

 

Religion

They believe that men's production, lives, happiness and miseries are all governed by ghosts or gods and that all living things have souls. There are also those people who practice Shamanism and Totemism and have similar customs to those of Dais.

 

Culture

The rich oral literature includes legends, folk tales, stories, poetry, riddles and ballads.Blang Ethnic Minority Most of these are about the origin of human beings. Among them, the most famous ones are "Yanbu Lingga", "the legend of the birth of humans from gourds.  In addition, there are myths about the creation of the world, such as "The Myths of God Gumiya" and "The Story of How the Rhinoceros Created the World". Besides these, there are stories about "The Elephant and the Swan", telling how brave the Blang are, and how they fight against evil. All these are how the Blang tell their history, impart their knowledge and express their feelings.

The Blang also like singing and dancing. Young people like a courting dance called the "circle dance." Young women are in the inner side of the circle while young men are at the outer side. The girls dance gracefully while moving in an anticlockwise direction while the boys will dance like tigers in the circle. Yong men sing love songs to those they love. The Circle Dance is the most popular among young people. The Blang men like Wushu very much. They reveal their energy in the "knife dance." In this, dancing is mixed with Wushu , where they can use long swords, single sticks or short sticks. From these, their spirit of bravery is shown.

 

Handicrafts
Bamboo products: Most of the Blang men are able to make bamboo products by hand, such as bamboo baskets, buckets, dustpans, mats, tables, and workboxes.

 

Textile goods: The Blang women are good at spinning and weaving. Raw materials like cotton, ramee and hemp are used to make into textile products of damask and brocade. This kind of cloth is thick, lasting, and therefore favored by the local residents.
 

Bai Ethnic Minority:

People of the Bai Ethnic Minority mainly live in Dali, Lijiang, Bijiang, Baoshan, Nanhua, Yuanjiang, Kunming, and Anning in Yunnan Province, Bijie in Guizhou Province, Liangshan in Sichuan Province, and Sanzhi in Hunan Province. The population of the Bai nationality is around 185,800.

 

Costume

Bai clothing is usually adorned with camellia flowers because they view these flowers as a symbol of beauty. Bai Ethnic MinorityThe Bai enjoy their lives and love flowers. They like to wear a red scarf on their shoulders and a white outer upper garment, a combination that resembles blooming camellias. White is the favorite color of the Bai. They believe that white represents dignity and high social status, and this can be seen in their clothes. It is typical for men to wear white outer upper garments and white trousers. Girls and women have more choices of colors. They like to wear white, light blue or pink outer upper garments and rosy, purple or black waistcoats. An unmarried girl always combs her hair into one pigtail, tied with a red string at its end, and then coils it over her head. She also likes to wear an apron with embroideries. In general, girls enjoy dressing up like beautiful camellia flowers. The scarf on a girl's head is special and has a special name, "the flower in the wind and the moon on a snowy night." The overall shape of the scarf on a girl’s head is that of a crescent. The upper part of the scarf is as white as snow. The embroideries on the lower part are of flowers. The tail of the scarf falls down naturally on one shoulder, waving back and forth in the wind.

 

Sandao Tea Ceremony

The Sandao tea ceremony is well known at home and abroad. . In China, the tea ceremony is called Sandao tea, meaning “tea services of three times.” It is also called "thunderous tea" because it makes a loud sound when people add water to the baked tea in the pot for the first time. There are two types of tea ceremonies. The first serves baked tea. People put tea with large leaves or tea from a place called Xiaguan into a very small pot and bake it over a charcoal fire. They shake the pot at all times to avoid the leaves from burning. When they can smell the fragrance of the tea, they pour a little boiled water into the pot and immediately sense the aroma. After a while, they add more boiled water into the pot and then the tea is ready. Normally, the hosts pour the tea into guests' cups three times. The first time lets the guests smell the aroma, the second time lets them taste the tea, and the third time lets them satisfy their thirst.

Achang Ethnic Minority:

According to statistics of the fifth nationwide census conducted in the year 2000, the population of the Achang nationality was 33,936, most of whom were living in Longchuan county and Lianghe county of Dehong Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province, and there are a few others living in the counties of Luxi, Yingjiang, Tengchong and Yunlong. 

Language
The Achang people have their own language but with no written words. The Achang language belongs to a kind of Burmese language, which belongs to the branch of Zang and Burmese, Han and Zang language system. In addition, there are three kinds of dialects in the Achang language, such as the Lianghe dialect, Longchuan dialect, and Luxi dialect.

The main musical instruments of the Achang people are Bamboo Lyre, Vertical Flute, Bottle Gourd Flute, March Flute, Bronze Jew's Harps, Three--Stringed Flute, Elephant Foot Drum, and gongs. A Bottle Gourd Flute is made of a gourd connected with three bamboo strings, which has seven tones, and which are usually in low volume and also slow and mellow. This instrument is usually used at night. A March Flute is made of one piece of bamboo, which also has seven tunes as well as a high volume, and an exquisite and bight melody. These kinds of musical instruments are usually used in the daytime. Both of the two types of musical instruments aforementioned are not only the Achang people's favorite, but also the mediums transmitting love between young men and women.
 

Clothing

Men mostly wear blue, while, or black front opening jackets, and black trousers with a wide and short bottom. Achang Ethnic MinorityWhile the young men usually like to wear white headdresses, but they will change into black ones after getting married. The elderly people like to wear fur hats. Whenever the young men wear their headdresses, they like to make a forty centimeters long ear of grain at the back of their head. Whenever the men go out to the market or attend festival activities, they like to take with them a satchel as well as an Achang knife, which will make them look more handsome and natural. The women wear different clothes depending on how old they are and whether they are married. The unmarried young girls usually wear side opening and front opening jackets, black long trousers with a bellyband on their waists as well as black headdress on their heads. The young girls in Lianghe regions also like to wear straight skirts. The married women like to wear blue--black front opening jackets, and have their lower legs bound by leg wrappings, and they also like to make high headdresses with black cloth , which  looks similar to peaked caps , with four to five colorful silk balls hanging from the top.

 

Marriage Custom
The Achang people usually have small monogamous families. The young men and women like free and independent love. Usually there are activities conducted by the young men such as going into the girls' families and talking with them to see if they fit each other. But the marriage is at last fixed by the parents from both families. In the past, there was no marriage between people sharing the same family names. However, they have intermarried with the Han and Dai people very frequently for a very long time. Levirate marriage is very popular among the Achang people. Widows can marry other men but they cannot take away any property from their original husbands. Moreover, the children still belong to their fathers' families.
At the wedding banquet of the Achang people, the bride's maternal uncle will be first invited to sit at the most important position of the table, and a cold dish of food made from the brains of pigs should be served. At the end of the banquet the bride's uncle will give her a piece of back leg of a pig with its tail, which is called Pork from the Bride's Family, indicating that the bride will never forget and always appreciate the fostering and deep affection from her parents.

 

Funeral Customs

Some of the people dying from cachectic diseases, or women dying from dystopias , should first have cremation and then burial. People who die outside their villages should not be taken back into the village. Achang Ethnic Minority's FuneralAfter the death the corpses should not be stepped across by human beings, cats, dogs or other animals. The deceased can be buried with their favorite things, but metals are not allowable, as a result the metal false tooth has to be taken out . During the funerals, the ceremony is usually held by a special wizard, chanting sutras all night long accompanied by funeral music, gong beating, and filial songs. After the funeral no gongs or funeral tools should be touched, otherwise it would be believed that there will be more death in the village. Generally speaking, burial is held after people's death. However, people dying from unnatural causes should be cremated.

Chinese Pottery:

Ceramic manufacturing enjoys a long history,Pottery(Neolithic Age) starting 7,000-8,000 years ago in the Neolithic Age by our ancestors who started the craft of making and using pottery. Pottery is made by baking clay. After humans learned how to start a fire and use it to cook, they tried many different methods to cook hunted animals and vegetation, and then store the remaining food and water. After a long period of attempts, humans finally learned to make pottery by baking clay mixed with water. Pottery includes the process of baking, forming, and drying clay or a mixture of clay, feldspar and quartz. Ceramics represent the artistic features of the baking and forming techniques, as well as the color of the glaze and its decorative features.

 

Yixing Violet Sand Earthenware

Yixing violet sand earthenware is the most famous pottery made using violet sand, a local material with a hard and fine texture, dark colors and exquisite workmanship. Different mixing techniques and baking temperatures create a variety of colors, such as azure, chestnut, dark red, pear yellow, vermillion purple, crabapple red, light grey, greenish black, and more. Yixing violet sand earthenware boasts varied shapes and delicate combinations of lines and planes. Two major designs exist, including imitations with certain variations on natural objects, such as fruits or flowers. Major products include tea sets, flower pots and others, with tea sets being the most famous, as they maintain the scent of the tea while infusing and the color during storage. Traditional techniques include engraving, bass-relief, printing, appliqués, and others.

 

Luoyang Tang Tricolor Pottery

Tang tricolor pottery is pottery painted with three colors of glaze, such as yellow, green and white or yellow,Tang Tricolor Pottery green and blue. Luoyang is located in the northern province of Henan, and is known as the Eastern Capital of the Tang Dynasty. The finest quality Tang tricolor potteries unearthed so far are mainly from Luoyang. They are vivid and exquisite, and have been named Luoyang Tang tricolor pottery. The making of Tang tricolor pottery is complex yet inconsequential. First, the base is placed into the kiln and heated to around 1100 deg.C. It is then removed, colored and heated again to around 900 deg.C. The major ingredient of tricolor glaze is aluminum silicate, and the color generation toner consists of various metallic oxides, such as ferrum or antimony in light yellow, ferrum in ocher yellow, bronze in green, copper, cobalt in blue and manganese in purple.

 

Qingzhou Nixing Pottery

Nixing pottery of Qinzhou in Guangxi Province, one of the four famous types of pottery, has a history of over one thousand years, and the oldest pieces were produced around 618 AD.

Through the unique quality of the clay and its delicate craftsmanship, Qinzhou Nixing pottery appears archaic, with a bronze or liver color. It displays a flambé glaze and turns azure after being fired in high temperatures. Moreover, it becomes smoother with polishing. The assortment of Nixing pottery items is over 600, with the major ones being tea sets, stationery, tableware, vases, coffee utensils, incense tripods and antique imitations. Nixing pottery is also popular because of its peculiar functions. It can withstand strong acids and bases, keeps things fresh against the dampness and is non- toxic. It also maintains the taste and color of tea for days, and even in hot weather, tea stored in the pottery does not spoil. This also applies to food. Moreover, a tea scent remains in the pot after it has been used for a long time, and the scent exists, even without tea, by pouring hot water into the pot.

Chinese Silk:

The culture of silkworms began in China about 5000 years ago. SilkThe ancient Chinese were the first to discover that the cocoons of a lowly caterpillar could be unwound and the filaments woven into some of the most beautiful fabrics. Silk was so highly prized that the lustrous fabrics were reserved exclusively for the royalty of China. The secrets of silk production were closely guarded by the Chinese for thousands of years. It was not until about 300A.D.that sericulture spread to Korea and from there to Japan. In 552 A.D. two Nestorian monks, under orders from the Emperor Justinian, smuggled silkworm eggs from China and brought them to Europe. This was the beginning of the silk industry in the West. Sericulture spread rapidly throughout Europe and Asia during the following centuries. 

Silk moths lay eggs on specially prepared paper. The eggs hatch and the caterpillars (silkworms) are fed fresh mulberry leaves. After about 35 days and 4 moltings, the caterpillars are 10,000 times heavier than when hatched, and are ready to begin spinning a cocoon. A straw frame is placed over the tray of caterpillars, and each caterpillar begins spinning a cocoon by moving its head in a "figure 8" pattern. Two glands produce liquid silk and force it through openings in the head called spinnerets. Liquid silk is coated in sericin, a water-soluble protective gum, and solidifies on contact with the air. Within 2–3 days, the caterpillar spins about 1 mile of filament and is completely encased in a cocoon. The silk farmers then kill most caterpillars by heat, leaving some to metamorphose into moths to breed the next generation of caterpillars. 

Silk fibers have a triangular cross section, which reflects light at many different angles, giving silk a natural shine. It has a smooth, soft texture that is not slippery, unlike many synthetic fibers. Silk is one of the strongest natural fibers but loses up to 20% of its strength when wet. It has a good moisture regain of 11%. Its elasticity is moderate to poor: if elongated even a small amount it remains stretched. Silk is a poor conductor of electricity and thus susceptible to static cling. 

Silk's good absorbency makes it comfortable to wear in warm weather, and its low conductivity keeps warm air close to the skin during cold weather. It is often used for clothing such as shirts, blouses, formal dresses, high fashion clothes, negligees, pajamas, robes, skirt suits, sun dresses and underwear. Silk's elegant, soft luster makes it perfect for many furnishing applications. It is used for upholstery, wall coverings, window treatments (if blended with another fiber), rugs, bedding and wall hangings.

Chinese Embroidery:

Embroidery is the art of decorating fabric or other materials by stitching designs using thread or yarn and a needle. Often, other materials such as metal strips, precious and semi-precious stones, and sequins are used to add to this decorative stitching technique. Hand embroidery involves stitching embroidery designs by hand on the fabric. This process is time-consuming and painstaking, but produces amazing outcomes.
Embroidery as an art form has origins that can be traced far back to the Iron Age. Since man began to wear clothes, the use of embroidery to decorate clothes has been around. A method of decorating, embellishing clothing and embroidered designs came about as a result of hard work and care. It began when primitive man discovered that he could use thread to join pieces of fur to make clothes. As a natural progression, he also discovered that the same thread could be used to make decorative patterns on the clothes. Embroidered clothing was also considered to be a symbol of wealth. Many scenes from history are often found embroidered onto fabric – a wonderful example is the Bayeux Tapestry. This is 231 feet long and portrays the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
Following are 6 famous  types of Chinese embroidery:
Su EmbroiderySu Embroidery
Su embroidery has a history of over 2000 years. It is very elegant, with simple designs highlighting a main theme. The stitching is smooth, dense, thin, neat, even, delicate and harmonious. The thin threads are divided into numerous strands that are barely visible to the naked eye. Double-sided embroidery has the same patterns on both sides and uses an embroidering method that shows no seams in the stitches.
 
Xiang Embroidery
Xiang embroidery was initiated in the Chu Kingdom of the Warring States Period. The stitching is loose and not as neat as those of other embroidery styles. Designs on  Xiang embroidery were derived from traditional Chinese paintings of landscapes, human figures, flowers, birds and animals. The most common designs on Xiang embroidery are lions and tigers. Xiang embroidery won the best award in the Torino World Fair in Italy in 1912 and the First Award in the Panama World Fair in 1933.
 
Shu Embroidery 
Shu embroidery is also known as “Chuan embroidery”, which was developed in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province. The products themselves, made with soft satins, include quilt covers, pillow covers, back cushions, tablecloths, scarves and handkerchiefs. Designs on Shu embroidery feature traditional Chinese paintings of landscapes, human figures, daily articles, flowers, birds and animals.  
 
Yue Embroidery
Yue EmbroideryYue embroidery has a history of over 1000 years and was popular in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Yue embroidery has a wide range of designs, the most common ones being birds worshipping the sun, dragons and phoenixes.  The workmanship is elaborate and meticulous. Ancient Chinese craftsmen used peacock feathers twisted together as the embroidering thread to stitch the ornamental designs; horse hairs were used to stitch the outline to make the work more expressive.
 
Gu Embroidery
Gu embroidery originated from the Gu family in Shanghai during the Ming Dynasty. Many celebrities’ daughters like to receive this embroidery as gifts before their marriage.
Gu embroidery uses figures, mountains and rivers as themes. The threads used are light and plain, giving the finished work a feeling of tranquility and elegance. Meticulous and fine stitching leaves no trace of needle mark. Gu embroidery combines the skills of painting and embroidery. This technique has exerted great influence on Chinese embroidery development.
 
Miao Embroidery
Miao embroidery is a unique art of the Miao minority people. It has its regional characteristics and techniques. The stitches are unique and varied. The designs involve propitious animals such as kirin, dragon, phoenix, insect, fish, flowers and fruits. Profuse colors are used, for instance, scarlet, pink, purple, dark blue, Cambridge blue, bottle green, orange, and yellow.

China Great Rivers Overview:

The Yarlungzangbo RiverChina is abundant in rivers. Most of the large rivers originate on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and drop greatly from their source to their mouths. Not surprisingly therefore, China is rich in waterpower resources, and it leads the world in hydropower potential.
China's rivers can be categorized as exterior and interior systems. The catchment area for the exterior rivers that empty into the oceans accounts for 64 percent of the country's total land area. The Yangtze, Yellow, Heilong, Liaohe, Haihe and Huaihe Pearl Rivers flow east into the Pacific Ocean.
 
The Yarlungzangbo River in Tibet, which flows first east and then south into the Indian Ocean, boasts the Yarlungzangbo Grand Canyon, the largest canyon in the world, 504.6 km long and 6,009 m deep.
 
The Ertix River flows north from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to the Arctic Ocean. The catchment area for the interior rivers that flow into inland lakes or disappear into deserts or salt marshes makes up about 36 percent of China's total land area. Its 2,179 km making the Tarim River in southern Xinjiang China's longest interior river.
 
The YangtzeThe Yangtze, 6,300 km long, is the largest river in China, and the third largest in the world, only next  to the Nile in Africa and the Amazon in South America. Passing through high mountains and deep valleys, the upper section of the Yangtze River is abundant in water resources. The Yangtze is praised as the"golden waterway". It is a transportation artery linking west and east, and its navigation benefiting from excellent natural channels. Thanks to the warm and humid climate, plentiful rainfall and fertile soil there, the areas of the middle and lower Yangtze River are important agricultural regions. 
 
The Yellow River, 5,464 km long, is the second largest river in China. The Yellow River valley was one of the birthplaces of ancient Chinese civilization. It has lush pasturelands and abundant mineral deposits.
 
The Heilong River is a large river in north China with a total length of 4,350 km, with 3,101 km in China.
 
The Grand CanalThe Pearl (Zhujiang) River, 2,214 km long, and is a large river in south China.
 
China also has a famous man-made river—the Grand Canal. With a total length of 1,801 km, the Grand Canal is the longest as well as the oldest man-made waterway in the world. It runs from Beijing in the north to Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province in the south. In the fifth century A.D, Chinese people began to build the Grand Canal. Today it links five major rivers—the Haihe, Yellow, Huaihe, Yangtze and Qiantang.
 
  

Introduction of World Heritage Site:

World Heritage Logo

Introduction to World Heritage Sites

 

Definition: A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that is on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 state parties which are elected by their General Assembly for a four-year term. A world heritage site is a place of either cultural or physical significance.

 
Definition of Cultural Heritage  
Monuments: architectural works, works of monumental sculpture and painting, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings and combinations of features, which are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science.
Groups of buildings: groups of separate or connected buildings, which, because of their architecture, their homogeneity or their place in the landscape, are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science.

Sites: works of man or the combined works of nature and of man, and areas including archaeological sites ,which are of outstanding universal value from the historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological points of view.
 
Definition of Natural Heritage

Jiuzhaigou Scenic SpotNatural features consisting of physical and biological formations or groups of such formations, which are of outstanding universal value from an aesthetic or scientific point of view;
Geological and topographical formations and precisely delineated areas, which constitute the habitat of threatened species of animals and plants of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation;
Natural sites or precisely delineated natural areas of outstanding universal value are from the point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty.
 
Nominating process
A country must first take an inventory of its significant cultural and natural properties. This is called the Tentative List, and is important because a country may not nominate properties that have not already been included on the Tentative List. Next, it can select a property from this list to place into a Nomination File. The World Heritage Centre offers advice and help in preparing this file.
At this point, the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union evaluates the file. These bodies then make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee. The Committee meets once per year to determine whether to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List, and sometimes defers the decision to request more information from the country who nominated the site. There are ten selection criteria - a site must meet at least one of them to be included on the list.
 
Ten selection criteria

Until the end of 2004, there were six criteria for cultural heritage and four criteria for natural heritage. In 2005, this was modified so that there is only one set of ten criteria. Nominated sites must be of "outstanding universal value" and meet at least one of the ten criteria.
Cultural criteria
I. "to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius";
II. "to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design";
III. "To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared";
IV. "To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history";
V. "to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change";
VI. "to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria.)
Natural criteria
VII. "To contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance";
VIII. "To be outstanding examples representing major stages of Earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features";
IX. "To be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals";
X. "to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-site conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation."
 
Introduction to world heritage sites in China
China ratified the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1985, becoming a contracting party. Since joining theBadaling Great Wall International Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. China has 37 world heritage sites to date; of these 26 are cultural heritage sites, 7 are natural heritage sites, and 4 are cultural and natural (mixed) sites, ranking third in the world. Since 2004, China has made the first large-scale renovations on 6 world cultural heritage sites in Beijing - the Ming Tombs, the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, and the "Peking Man" site at Zhoukoudian, all of which were planned for completion before 2008. In addition, China has a rich non-material cultural heritage. Kunqu Opera and the art of playing the guqin, a seven-stringed zither, are among UNESCO's list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The ancient Naxi Dongba literature manuscripts have also been inscribed on the World Heritage List. In 2001, UNESCO listed the Chinese Tibetan epic, King Gesar, the longest epic in the world, in the world millennium memorials. 

Ancient Capital Beijing:

History
Tied to the history of its name, Beijing has a long history. Archeological findings show that Peking Man, dated 500,000 years ago, lived for a very long time inBeijing Zhoukoudian, a cave system in Beijing Municipality. From the Warring States period (473 – 221 B.C.), Beijing was the capital of Yan State and was called Ji. In the Liao Dynasty (938 A.D.) it was named Nanjing (Southern Capital). It was called Zhongdu (Central Capital) in 1153, when it became the capital of the Jin Dynasty. In 1283, Beijing became the capital city of the Yuan Dynasty and was called Dadu (Great Capital) by its Mongol rulers. In 1368 the Ming Dynasty overthrew the Mongols and called Beijing Beiping (Northern Peace). From 1421 it was known as Jingshi (Model Capital) and when the Qing Dynasty captured Beijing in 1644, it continued to keep that name. During the Republican Era the capital was called Beijing in 1911, then when Nanjing became the capital of China briefly in 1928, and Beijing reverted to the name Beiping. When Mao began the Era of the People's Republic in 1949, Beijing was set in its current position (with its current name) as national capital (Shoudu).
 
Places of Interest and Stories
Forbidden City
At the heart of Beijing's historical centre lies the Forbidden City, the enormous palace compound that was the home of the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties; the Forbidden CityForbidden City also hosts the Palace Museum, which contains imperial collections of Chinese art. Surrounding the Forbidden City are several former imperial gardens, parks and scenic areas, notably  Beihai, Houhai, Shichahai, Zhongnanhai, Jingshan and Zhongshan. These places, like the Beihai Park are described to be masterpieces of Chinese gardening art, and are popular tourist destinations with tremendous historical importance; Zhongnanhai during the modern era has also been the political heart of various Chinese governments and regimes and is now the headquarters of the Communist Party of China. From Tiananmen Square, which is located right across from the Forbidden City, there are several notable sites, such as the Tiananmen, Qianmen, Great Hall of the People, National Museum of China, Monument to the People's Heroes, and Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. The Summer Palace and the Old Summer Palace both lie at the western part of the urban city of Beijing; the Summer Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site,displays a comprehensive collection of imperial gardens and palaces that functioned as the summer retreat for the Qing Dynasty emperors.
 
Tiananmen Square
The Tiananmen Rostrum, standing to the north of the Tiananmen Square, precisely on the south – north central axis of Beijing, was the main gate to the Forbidden City-Tiananmen SquarePalace museum for emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties,it was initially called Cheng Tian Men or the Gate of Carrying Heaven, which means to shoulder the edict of the Heaven, and obtain the divine power from Heaven. In the eighth year of emperor Shunzhi's administration, the gate was renovated and called Tiananmen. From then on, nearly all important imperial celebrations and events such as the enthronement of a new emperor, the wedding of the emperor, the rite of going to a battle by the emperor himself, the famous "Imperial Edict Issued by Golden Phoenix", worshipping the Heaven and the earth, and worshipping the five sorts of grains were held in this square.
 
The Siheyuan Compound
The Siheyuan Compound dates back to the Western Zhou (1027-771B.C.) Dynasty. Most attempts at describing a Siheyuan Compound fall miserably short ofThe Siheyuan Compound conveying an intelligible image, via words, of how such a compound is actually laid out. The following is an attempt to give a brief verbal description of the Siheyuan Compound, in the hope that the reader will understand next time, the term is met. With its walls on all four sides, it offered protection both from intruders, whether animal or man, and from the wind (and windborne dust, snow, etc.). It offered ample space for a hierarchy of different buildings with different functions, from the utilitarian to the social, the latter reflecting the social status of the individual; it offered space for smaller, more intimate gardens, including kitchen gardens where vegetables could be grown, as well as space for a larger, communal, center courtyard.  In short, the Siheyuan Compound met all the needs of a feudal lord, a bourgeois merchant, or an extended Chinese family in the way of a private residence, where privacy could be enjoyed when desired, and where communality could be pursued when broader social interaction was the order of the day.
 
Great Wall
The Great Wall was initially built in the Spring and Autumn Period. During the following 2,000 years, the construction, connection and restoration of the wall never Great Wallceased.The present Great Wall was largely built in the Ming Dynasty. The Badaling stretch, the best-preserved portion of the Ming Great Wall, was widely realized as the essence of the Ming Great Wall. Standing on the top of Badaling and looking to the distance, one will be amazed at the great wonder of the Wall.
In 1961, it was listed by the Chinese State Council as a key national historical heritage protection site. Later in 1988, it was nominated by the UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site.The Badaling Great Wall, which functioned as an important military barrier for the empire's capital, Beijing, was originally built by Emperor Hongzhi in 1505, and its construction continued until the reigns of the following two emperors Jiangjing and Wanli.
From ancient times, Badaling ,occupied an military important position. In the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring State Period, in an attempt to block the horsemen from the north, the Great Wall was built here by the states. Its layout and position had great influence on the Ming Great Wall over one thousand years later. According to the book ,The Night Talk in Changan, published in the Ming Dynasty, Badaling is a place where numerous roads meet, thus from here one can go in  any direction. Its name - Badaling- or literally "a hill from which one can go to 8 directions" (in China "8 directions" means all directions and places) well depicts the situation.
 
Pagodas , Bridges & Parks
Beijing contains several well-preserved pagodas and stone pagodas, such as the towering Pagoda of Tianning Temple, which was built during the Liao Dynasty from The Fragrant Hills Park1100–1120, and the Pagoda of Cishou Temple built in 1576 during the Ming Dynasty. Several historically important stone bridges are also located in Beijing, including the 12th century Lugou Bridge, the 17th century Baliqiao Bridge and the 18th century Jade Belt Bridge. The Beijing Ancient Observatory displays pretelescopic spheres dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Fragrant Hills (Xiangshan) is a popular scenic public park that consists of natural landscape areas as well as traditional and cultural relics. The Beijing Botanical Garden exhibits over 6,000 species of plants, including a variety of trees, bushes and flowers, and an extensive peony garden. The Taoranting Park, Chaoyang Park, Haidian Park and Zizhu Yuan are all popular recreational parks that consist of a variety of natural landscapes. The Beijing Zoo is a center of zoological research that also contains rare animals from various continents, including the giant panda of China.
 
Story of Peking Opera
It is regarded that Beijing opera was born when the "Four Great Anhui Troupes" came to Beijing in 1790. Beijing opera was originally staged for the court and came into public use later. In 1828, some famous Hubei troupes came to Beijing. They often jointly performed on the stage with Anhui troupes. The combination gradually formed Beijing opera's main melodies. Beijing opera is generally regarded as being fully formed by 1845. Although it is called Beijing opera (Beijing theatre style), its origins are in the southern Anhui and eastern Hubei, which share the same dialect of Xiajiang Mandarin (Lower Yangtze Mandarin). Beijing opera's two main styles; Xipi and Erhuang originated from Shanxi but developed in Anhui and Hubei. Xipi literally means 'Western Skin Puppet Show', referring to the puppet show that originated from Shaanxi province. Puppet Shows in China always involve singing. Much dialogue is also carried out in an archaic form of Standard Mandarin, in which Zhongyuan Guanhua (Zhongyuan Mandarin) dialects in Henan and Shaanxi are closest. This form of standard Mandarin is recorded in the book Zhongyuan Yinyun. It also absorbed music and arias from other operas and local Zhili musical art forms. Some scholars believe that the Xipi musical form was derived from the historic Qinqiang, while many conventions of staging, performance elements, and aesthetic principles were retained from Kunqu, the form that preceded it as court art.
 
Thus, Beijing opera is not actually a monolithic form, but rather a coalescence of many older forms. Beijing opera features four main types of performers. PerformingPeking Opera troupes often have several of each variety, as well as numerous secondary and tertiary performers. With their elaborate and colorful costumes, performers are the only focal points on Beijing opera's characteristically sparse stage. They utilize the skills of speech, song, dance, and combat in movements that are symbolic and suggestive, rather than realistic. Above all else, the skill of performers is evaluated according to the beauty of their movements. Performers also adhere to a variety of stylistic conventions that help audiences navigate the plot of the production. The layers of meaning within each movement must be expressed in time with music. The music of Beijing opera can be divided into the Xipi and Erhuang styles. Melodies include arias, fixed-tune melodies, and percussion patterns. The repertoire of Beijing opera includes over 1,400 works, which are based on Chinese history, folklore and, increasingly, contemporary life. In recent years, Beijing opera has attempted numerous reforms in response to sagging audience numbers. These reforms, which include improving performance quality, adapting new performance elements, and performing new and original plays, have met with mixed success.

Beijing opera was initially an exclusively male pursuit. The Qianlong Emperor banned all female performers in Beijing in 1772. The appearance of women on the stage began unofficially during the 1870s. Female performers began to impersonate male roles and declared equality with men. They were given a venue for their talents when Li Maoer, himself a former Beijing opera performer, founded the first female Beijing opera troupe in Shanghai. By 1894, the first commercial venue showcasing female performance troupes appeared in Shanghai. This encouraged other female troupes to form, which gradually increased in popularity. As a result, theatre artist Yu Zhenting petitioned for the lifting of the ban after the founding of the Republic of China in 1911. This was accepted, and the ban was lifted in 1912, although male Dan continued to be popular after this period.
 
Beijing Teahouse Culture
Beijing teahouses epitomized the advantages of other local teahouses, and were noted for their great variety, complete functions, and rich and profound cultural aims. Historically, there were many kinds of Beijing teahouses, including Dachaguan (great teahouses), Qingchaguan (teahouses serving tea without refreshments), Shuchaguan (teahouses where storytelling was performed), Erhunpu (teahouses selling both tea and wine and dinners, Hongluguan (teahouses installed with red stoves) and Yechaguan (teahouses in the country). There were also innumerable tea stalls and booths. The teahouses became the meeting place for people of all sorts. It was more convenient for people to carry out activities in teahouses than in formal halls or restaurants, for it cost less money, and one felt more at ease meeting friends in a teahouse than at home.

Beijing Teahouse CultureStrangers without families could also relax in teahouses. Teahouses became popular because of the special composition of the population. Therefore, teahouses of various forms and with varied functions spread all over Beijing.

Teahouse culture has a profound impact on literature. Novels of the Ming and Qing dynasties occupy an important place in the history of Chinese literature. However, unlike Western classical fiction, ancient Chinese novels, especially some full-length masterpieces, were not written solely by the writers, but were revised according to storytellers' scripts. They became the oral literature of the performers in teahouses or restaurants. Such masterpieces included The Romance of Three Kingdoms and Outlaws of the Marsh. Since ancient Chinese novels took root among the masses, they surely displayed a greater vitality than other literary works. Teahouse culture since the Song and Yuan Dynasties made a special contribution to the development of the novel, and Beijing Shuchaguan was the best evidence of the method of development.

Various Quyi (Chinese folk art forms) were performed in the Shuchaguan in the Tianqiao area; they included Meihua Dagu, Lihua Dagu, and storytelling in Beijing and Tangshan dialects with drum accompaniment. The stories were either taken from voluminous storytelling books or newly compiled in order to be fashionable and to adapt to the contemporary environment.

People drank tea in Shuchaguan to increase their historical knowledge, kill time and amuse themselves. Therefore, Shuchaguan were best suited to old people.  At present, there are increasing problems of the aged. A revival of the Shuchaguan would be a useful place for today's senior citizens.

Entertainment in Beijing's Qingchaguan and Qichaguan (teahouses in which people played chess):
Though shuchaguan had a strong atmosphere of folk culture, they were monotonous. There were many Qingchaguan in Beijing, providing places for people from all occupations to entertain themselves elegantly. Tea was served without refreshments in these teahouses. Most of them were simply furnished with elegant square tables Teahouseand wooden chairs, and teacups with covers were used. In spring, summer and autumn, a shelter would be set outside or in the courtyard of the teahouse. The seats in the front shelter were for ordinary customers, while those in the room were for regular customers. Comfortable seats were set in the courtyard. Wooden signboards with characters such as maojian, yuqian, queshe, and dafang were hung in front of the gate or under the roof of the shelter to show that the teahouse was selling first-class tea. The teahouses opened at five every morning. Most of the customers were idlers, including the old and young survivors of the late Qing Dynasty, children of families in decline, and common people. Residents of old Peking were accustomed to getting up early to do exercises, which were called Uuzao. They would go for a walk in quiet places with their birds in cages, then do exercises by reed marshes or on the banks of the moat. When they and the birds breathed enough fresh air, they would return to the town and enter teahouses. They would hang the birdcages on a pole and drink tea while appreciating the birds' calls. The trained larks, babblers, hongdian, landian and other species could call in more than 10 ways, and imitate the cries of magpies, titmice, hawks, cuckoos, wild geese and babies. The old customers then talked about their experiences of cultivating tea and keeping pets, engaged in small talk, or commented on current events. They developed a unique method of integrating tea and nature. The shopkeepers of Qingchaguan helped well-known pet keepers to organize Chaniaohui (parties to appreciate both tea and birds) to solicit customers. They would send invitation cards on fancy stationery and red envelopes to old customers, and put up posters on the street. The pet keepers would go to the parties and old customers took pleasure in them, while teahouses could reap great profit. In winter, besides warming themselves and chatting in teahouses, customers liked to appreciate butterflies spreading their wings, and watch cricketfights, activities that added vitality to the bleak winter, and made their life more colorful. It was a unique scene in Beijing. In the afternoon, these old customers were replaced by businessmen or pedllers, who negotiated business at teahouses.  

There were also Qichaguan in Beijing where customers played chess. Qichaguan were simply furnished with timber or lumps of wood painted with chessboards, which were partly buried in the ground, or chessboards with benches on both sides. More than 10 customers would drink tea in a qichaguan while playing chess each afternoon. People of Beijing in old times, even the poor, had refined hobbies. Qichaguan was an example. When they played chess while drinking scented tea or other ordinary tea, the chessboard was like a battlefield of life, and they would temporarily forget about their sufferings. Because of this quality, tea was also called wangyoujun (Mr. Worry-free). 

People went to Yechaguan (teahouses in the country) and seasonal tea sheds for outings to appreciate beautiful gardens. People of Beijing in old times loved going forMaple Leaves outings. They went out to enjoy the beautiful scenery in spring, in summer to appreciate the lotus flowers, in autumn the maple leaves and in winter the Western Hills shimmering with snow. Some old people loved the melon sheds, bean poles, vineyards and fishponds on the outskirts of the city, so Yechaguan appeared in these beautiful areas. For example, the Maizi Teashop at Chaoyangmenwai was established in a peaceful and secluded place surrounded by reeds and many ponds. Skillful fish farmers often went there to net water fleas. When the sun was sinking in the west, old men walked on crisscross footpaths between the fields, and gathered at the teahouse. The teahouse at Liupukang was surrounded by melon sheds and bean poles. Customers,while drinking tea, could appreciate sights such as the flowers of cucumbers and eggplants, and butterflies, just as Lu Fangweng (Lu You) had taken great pleasure in chatting about the cultivation of mulberries and hemps with old farmers. People recovered their original simplicity in such an environment. The Vineyard Teahouse at Chaoyangmenwai was close to a clear stream in the west, ling and tea ponds to the east and south and many grape trellises and towering old trees surrounded by low fences to the north. Scholars often went there to play chess, solve riddles or write poems.

People had social contacts in Dachaguan (great teahouses) with catering services. The old Beijing Dachaguan had various functions. They served tea and food, and provided excellent service to people in various trades, such as businessmen and scholars. Teahouse, the famous opera written by Lao She, described the model of the old Beijing dachaguan. The Lao She Teahouse at Qianmen has carried on the tradition and  it will be a good chance to experience the old and real Peking life in these teahouses.Dachaguan became popular because of their multiple functions and good service.

 

Chinese Ancient Architecture:

City Walls

Among the more than 200 cities which have been capitals of China throughout its long history, the ones that have experienced many dynasties and have had more influences are the Seven Ancient Capitals in China, namely, Anyang, Xi'an, Kaifeng, Luoyang, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Beijing. In addition, Pingyao old town in Shanxi and Lijiang old town in Yunnan were registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997 for their unique folk cultural characters.

 

Xi’an Old City WallXi-an Old City Wall
Xian City Wall was erected in the 14th century Ming Dynasty, under the regime of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. When Zhu Yuanzhang captured Huizhou, long before the establishment of the Ming Dynasty, he was admonished by a hermit named Zhu Sheng, who told him to "build high walls, store abundant provisions and take your time in proclaiming yourself emperor." This advice Zhu Yuanzhang heeded. The current city wall is an enhancement of the old Tang Dynasty structure, as a result of the emperor's wall building campaign.

 

The first city wall of Xi'an was built of earth, rammed layer upon layer. The base layer was made of earth, quick lime, and glutinous rice extract, tamped together. It made the wall extremely strong and firm. Later, the wall was totally enclosed with bricks. A moat, wide and deep, ran around the city. Over the moat, there used to be a huge drawbridge, which once lifted would cut off the way in and out of the city. Xian's city wall, after its enlargement in the Ming Dynasty, stands 12 meters high. It is 12-14 meters across the top, 15-18 meters thick at bottom, and 13.7 kilometers in length. There is a rampart every 120 meters. The ramparts are towers that extend out from the main wall. The ramparts were built to allow soldiers to see enemies trying to climb the wall. The distance between the ramparts is within the range of arrows fired from either side. This allowed soldiers to protect the entire wall without exposing themselves to the enemy. There are altogether 98 ramparts; each has a sentry building on top of it.

 

Nanjing Old City Wall

The ancient city wall in Nanjing was constructed during the Ming Dynasty, taking 21 years to be completed. The design and construction of the wall were strictly controlled with every brick applied being inscribed with a name to guarantee its quality. A stupendous total of 35 million bricks were used in the construction.

 

The Great Wall

The Great Wall is the world's greatest man-made structure. The Great WallIt is a Chinese fortification built from the Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period. When the First Emperor of Qin unified China, the walls were connected. This majestic project of heavy expenditure is still a wonder of world. Time has witnessed vicissitudes but the great project still remains. When you climb up the Wall, you can not only admire the majestic appearance of the Great Wall among the lofty mountains and high ranges, but also feel the great intelligence of the Chinese people.

 

Ancient Capitals of China

The Ancient Capital Beijing

Beijing was first named Ji in literature. In the 11th century BC, Ji was a nation from the Dynasty of West Zhou governing the north of China. In the middle of the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC),Yan, another nation to the southwest of Ji, merged with it and the capital was moved there. After that, Ji was the capital of Yan until Yan was extinguished by the great Qin in 226 BC. Archaeologists have proved that Ji of that time is in the southwest of the city zone of current Beijing.

 

In the year 938, Ji became the second capital of Liao. Liao was set up by the Pidan minority from the northeast of China. Since Ji was in the south of its domain, Ji was renamed Nanjing, and then Yanjing. More than one century later, another minority, Nvzhen, extinguished Liao, set up Jin, and moved the capital to Yanjing in 1153. It was renamed Zhongdu. In 1214, Jin was forced by the Mongolian army to leave for Bianjing.

 

The new city, which was finished in 1258, is the unparalleled Yuan Capital in the itinerary by Italian traveler Marco Polo. Since then, Beijing replaced Chang'an, Luoyang, Bianliang and other old capitals and become the political center of China tothe Temple of Heaven the Ming and Qing Dynasty. Beijing, a famous city with a long history, is a masterpiece of the development of science, technology, culture and art of ancient China. Emperors of all dynasties conducted their rein in this precious royal place which epitomizes all Chinese civilization, and in succession they built those famous constructions such as the grand Ba Da Ling Great Wall; the Winter Palace, which epitomizes the merits all the gardens all over the country and is credited with the honor of "the garden of all gardens"; the Summer Palace, which was constructed by all the skillful craftsmen all over the country; and the world famous art showcase the Temple of Heaven. In a word, Beijing, the famous ancient capital of thousands of years of history and culture, is the zenith and apotheosis of the Chinese royal gardens and palace constructions It is also the world's cultural heritage of China which epitomizes the soul of Chinese civilization.


On Oct 10th, 1911, the demographic Bourgeois Revolution broke out in China. The emperor of the Qing Dynasty was forced to claim abdication in the February of the following year. After that, the last feudal dynasty was extinguished. The history of Beijing as the emperor’s capital finished. On Oct. lst, 1949, the People's Republic of China was established, and Beijing became the capital of the new Republic. A new page in the history of the ancient city unfolded.

 

The Ancient Capital Xian

Xian is an important center for the origin of ancient civilization in the drainage basin of the Yellow River.Bell Tower Xian, together with Athens, Rome and Cairo, are called the world’s four great ancient capitals. It was called Chang’an in ancient times. It has 3000 years of recorded history. From the Western Zhou Dynasty to the Tang Dynasty, Xi’an was the capital of 12 dynasties spanning 2000 years. The Han and the Tang dynasties are considered the zenith of Xian. Four great attractions are located in Xian, including the Great Islamic Mosque which was built during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the Bell Tower which was built in the Ming Dynasty (1384), the Drum Tower which was established in 1380, and the Provincial Museum which has a rich collection of cultural relics.   These relics include the famous Forest of Tablet Stones, which has over 2,300 stone tablets from the Han, Wei, Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. These are truly treasures of calligraphic art of the world.

 

The Ancient Capital Nanjing

Nanjing witnessed the triangular balance of power of the Three Kingdoms (220-280), the ups and downs of six dynasties, and the insults inflicted on contemporary China, such as the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 and the War of Resistance against Japan (1937-1945). Nanjing has a long history. The six dynasties of the Wu, the Eastern Jin, the Song, the Qi, the Liang and the Chen, chose Nanjing as their capital. Later on, the Southern Tang Dynasty, the Ming Dynasty, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (1852-1864) and the Republic of China also made Nanjing their capital. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Nanjing became the capital of Jiangsu Province and the largest comprehensive industrial city of this province.

 

The Ancient Capital Luoyang

The ancient capital Luoyang also boasts rich humanistic cultures. The fables about Fuxi, Nuwa, the Yellow Emperor, Tangyao, Yushun, and Xiayu in ancient China mostly originated from here; the generation and development of traditional ChineseLongmen Grottoes cultures, Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, are closely linked with Luoyang; the Book of Changes and The Eight Diagrams were generated here; Laotze wrote the Taoism here; Confucius once asked the ceremony here; the Historical Book of the Han Dynasty and the Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government were complied here; Zhang Heng invented Armillary Sphere and Seismograph here; and the great poets Du Fu and Li Bai left their ever-lasting poems here. The rich and abundant historic culture of Luoyang has done its contribution to the Chinese nation and also leaves endless wealth and relic sites for following generations to visit and ponder on the past. Luoyang Longmen Grottoes is one of the three art treasures of the Chinese stone inscription; the first temple Baima Temple was the first temple built after the introduction of Buddhism into China and reputed as "Shiyuan" and "Zuting" of China's Buddhism; the Mangshan in the north has the largest ancient tomb cluster in China shaped since East Zhou Dynasty and more than 400,000 precious cultural relics have been excavated here and the first ancient tomb museum in the world has been built here. In addition, Luoyang is also famous for its three colored glazed pottery of the Tang Dynasty, Luoyang peony, Heluo Peculiar Stone (Yellow River Peculiar Stone), Luo embroidery and the Guanlin, one of the three famous Guandi Temples in China. 


Ruins

Sanxingdui Ruins

Sanxingdui Ruins (Three Stars Pile) is located in Nanxing Town of Guanghan City, Sichuan Province, China. A local peasant found some exquisite jade wares while digging the ditch in the spring of 1929.  The ruins of this ancient Sichuan cultural remains site depict a culture 3000 to 5000 years old relics of the Bronze Age. The area covers about 12 square kilometers and is one of China’s most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. 

 

Banpo Ruins

The Banpo RuinsThe Banpo Ruins, not far from the city of Xi'an, are divided into three areas: a residential area, a pottery manufacturing area and a cemetery, with the residential area being the body of the ruins. The Banpo Ruins relates to visitors the history of the ancient Chinese people with genuine artifacts from that period. In the Yellow River valley, the Banpo Village Ruins are a typical representation of the Neolithic Yangshao Agricultural Village. The ruins date back 5600—6700 years. It is the earliest known agricultural village in China. The term "Yangshao culture" is used because the first example was found near Yangshao Village. The oldest Yangshao-type village is Banpo. The Banpo Village Ruins were discovered in 1953 with a 50000 sq. meter built-up area. From 1954 to 1957, the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Science Academy organized five excavations, which obtained a great number of precious relics. The Banpo people, who lived during the Neolithic period, used wooden or stone tools in their time. The women were the dominant force in that society; they took responsibility in pottery manufacturing, weaving, raising poultry and the many household chores. The men were responsible for the job of hunting and fishing and bringing home the food to feed the family. 
 

Famous Ancient Buildings

Imperial Palaces

In order to consolidate the emperors' control, highlight the dignity of the imperial power, and satisfy their extravagant material lives, grand palaces were always built in large scale. For thousands of years, successive emperors spared no labor, material or money to build majestic palaces for them. Those solemn and magnificent palaces fully exhibit the wisdom and creative power of the Chinese people.

 

The Forbidden CityThe Forbidden City

As the biggest and most integrated existing building complex in China, it was the imperial palace for the Ming and Qing Dynasties. In 1988, the Imperial Palace was listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

 

Altars and Temples

Altars and temples occupy an important place in ancient Chinese Architecture. They are ceremonial sites between religious and non-religious buildings and served to offer sacrifices to the heaven, the earth, the sun, the moon, the country, mountains, emperors and scholars of the past, as well as to ancestors.

 

The Temple of Heaven

Located several kilometers to the southeast of the Imperial Palace, the Temple of Heaven is a huge altar for the heaven covering an area of 2.7 million square meters, four times as large as the Forbidden City.

 

The Confucian TempleThe Confucian Temple

The Confucian Temple, located in the center of Qufu City (Shandong Province) is famous for its oriental architectural features and large scale. The Confucian Temple is one of three great building complexes in ancient China, together with the Imperial Palace in Beijing and the Mountain Resort in Chengde, Heibei Province.

 

The Temple of Guanyu

The Temple of the God of Warriors is also called the Temple of Guanyu. It is a place to worship Guanyu, a famous warrior in the Three Kingdoms Period. Guanyu was greatly praised and was granted titles by many emperors after the Song Dynasty .He was regarded as a good example of man with faith, filial piety, justice and moral integrity. So he is called the God of Warriors.

 

Mausoleums

Mausoleums are the most majestic and also the biggest building complexes in ancient China. These mausoleums are always built back on the mountains; some of them are also on the plains. There is usually a paved path leading to the tomb with stone persons and stone beasts on both sides. Many trees, usually pines and cypresses, are planted around the mausoleums, which add to the atmosphere of solemnity, respect and quiet. In ancient times, people in China believed that the sprit did not die with the body. They attached importance to the funeral so much so that every class of society designed elaborate mausoleums.

 

The Mausoleum of Qinshihuang

Tomb of the First Emperor (Qin Shihuang) stands at the foot of Mount Lishan, Qinshihuang30km east of Xian. This authoritative emperor left behind great achievements and a mysterious royal mausoleum as well. The huge tomb integrates with the Lishan Mountain, offering a unique landscape for sightseeing. The Tomb of Qin Shihuang boasts a Chinese history museum; therefore, it's well-known to the outside world. In 246 BC, after Qin Shihuang (which means "the first emperor of the state of Qin" in Chinese) ascended the throne of Qin (a state in that period), he ordered his final resting palace built. The construction lasted 38 years, using the labor of over 720000 wagons and prisoners. Modern surveys of the site show that the mausoleum is indeed divided into an inner sanctuary and outer city.

 

The Ming Dynasty Tombs

The Ming Dynasty Tombs are located in a small basin of 40 square kilometers at the foot of Mount Tianshou in Changping County, Beijing Municipality. The most famous tombs are the Chang Tombs for their majestic buildings, and the Ding Tomb, whose underground palace has been excavated. The Ming Tombs were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in August 2003.

 

The Thirteen Ming Tombs

The Thirteen Ming Tombs are located in a mountainous area which forms part of the Taihang Mountain Range. Each tomb could be an independent unit. They are all located in front of the mountains, adjacent to one another. Under the guideline of Chinese traditional theory of geomantic omen, the choice of location and layout of these Ming Tombs both emphasize the harmony and integration between mountains, rivers, and plants as well as that between nature and humans. The Ming Tombs reveal the deep and sophisticated conception of Chinese traditional culture, as represented in ancient Chinese royal tombs.  In 2003, the Thirteen Ming Tombs were placed on the World Heritage List. 

 

The Siheyuan Compound

The Siheyuan compound dates back to the Western Zhou (1027-771BC) Dynasty. Most attempts at describing a Siheyuan compound fall miserably short of conveying an intelligible image, via words, of how such a compound is actually laid out. It The Siheyuan Compoundreally is true that a picture (or diagram) is worth a thousand words in this case! The following is an attempt to give a brief verbal description of the Siheyuan compound, in the hope that the reader will finally "get it" the next time s/he runs across the term.  It is built for good reason: with its walls on all four sides, it offered protection both from intruders, whether animal or man, and from the wind (and windborne dust, snow, etc.); it offered ample space for a hierarchy of different buildings with different functions, from the utilitarian to the social, the latter reflecting the social status of the individual; it offered space for smaller, more intimate gardens, including kitchen gardens where vegetables could be grown, as well as space for the larger, communal, center courtyard.  In short, the Siheyuan compound met all the needs of a feudal lord, a bourgeois merchant, or an extended Chinese family in the way of a private residence, where privacy could be enjoyed when desired, and where communality could be pursued when broader social interaction was the order of the day.

 

Tulous

Tulou means 'earth building'. It is named from its outer walls, which are made from rammed earth. They appear on the perimeters of Hakka and other ethnic groups or around locations where Hakka fast developed after the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Tulous in Fujian Province are divided into three types, Wufeng, Rectangular, and Round. Wufeng are located mainly in Yongding, and Rectangular and Round Tulous are distributed in Nanjing, Pinghe, Zhaoan West and Yongding East. In most of the villages, Round and Rectangular Tulous are mixed together. Among the three kinds of tulous, the Rectangular Tulous were the original ones.

 

Wufeng Tulous

'Three halls and two side rooms' are a feature of the Wufeng Tulous. The side rooms are the heightened wing-room of the Chinese courtyard. The center hall in the back yard becomes a multi-storey building. The earth walls in the four sides are enclosure. This was not only for defense reasons, but also as an expression of traditional Chinese architectural forms.

 

Rectangular Tulous

In reality, the Rectangular Tulous were built earlier than round ones. In the northern part of the Guzhu, Yongding, the Rectangular Tulous, named Wuyun Tulous were built five or six hundred years ago, while the round shape, Chengqi, had only been built for three or four hundred years.

 

Round Tulous

The Round Tulou has distinct characteristics. It is high, gigantic, and complex. Generally speaking, Round TulousRound Tulous can be divided into small, medium, and large types. Small Round Tulous are normally two or three storeys and consist of a single ring; medium Round Tulous are three or four storeys high and have wide diameters or two rings; large ones are four or five storeys with two rings or even three rings. A large number of Round Tulous are of medium size. The Tulou is occupied normally by a kinship group. As a result it is more like an apartment or a small village rather than a single building.

 

Dujiangyan Irrigation System

The Dujiangyan Irrigation System is a historical Chinese irrigation and flood control system constructed around 250 BC by the governor of Shu, Li Bing, and his son, and is located 56 km west of present day Chengdu, which it still supplies with water. This irrigation system diverts part of the Minjiang River into an aqueduct leading to Chengdu.

 

Buddhist Pagodas

Pagodas in China were constructed after Buddhism was introduced to China. The pagodas, generally known as the vehicle of Buddhist culture, found its integration in the traditional Chinese architecture and the design was greatly changed. The nationalization of the Indian pagoda demonstrates the good virtues of the Chinese of both high intelligence and willingness to incorporate things of diverse culture. The most well-known Buddhist Pagoda is the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian.

Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, also known as the Grand Canal of China, is the largest ancient canal or artificial river in the world.

 

Storeyed Buildings (Lou)

When the Chinese speak of a Lou, they refer to any building of two or more storeys with a horizontal main ridge. The erection of such buildings began a long time ago in the Period of the Warring States (475-221BC), when Yueyang TowerChonglou ("layered houses") were mentioned in historical records. The art of constructing tall buildings was already highly developed in China during ancient times. Many multiple-storied towers of complex structure had wholly wood frameworks fixed together with dougong brackets without the use of a single piece of metal. Yueyang Tower in Hunan and Huanghelou (Tower of the Yellow Crane) in Wuchang are masterpieces among ancient towers. Ancient buildings with more than one storey were meant for a variety of uses. The smaller two-storeyed buildings of private homes generally had the owner's study or bedroom upstairs. The more magnificent ones built in parks or at scenic spots were galleries from which to enjoy the distant scenery. In this case, it is sometimes translated as a "tower". A Tang Dynasty poet upon his visit to a famous riverside tower composed a poem, two lines of which are still frequently quoted "To look far into the distance, go up yet one more storey".

 

Storeyed Pavilions (Ge)

The name Ge is also used to describe the towers which shelter the colossal statues one finds in some great monasteries. The Chinese Ge is similar to the Lou in that both are buildings of Wenyuangetwo or more storeys. The difference between them is that the Ge has a door and windows only on the front side with the other three sides being solid walls. Moreover, a Ge is usually enclosed by wooden balustrades or decorated with boards all around. Such storeyed pavilions were used in ancient times for the storage of important articles and documents. Take Wenyuange as an example, in the Forbidden City of Beijing, which was in effect the imperial library. Kuiwenge in the Confucius Temple of Qufu, was devoted to the safekeeping of the books and works of painting and calligraphy bestowed by the courts of various dynasties. Some of the Ge, notably those erected in parks, like other pavilions or towers (ting, tai and lou), were used for enjoying the sights.

 

Old Bridges

Zhaozhou Bridge, Hebei Province

This bridge has withstood 10 floods, 8 battles, and many earthquakes including a 7.2 degree earthquake in 1966 since it was built. Yet, the support structure remains intact and the bridge is still in use.

 

Lugou Bridge (Marco Polo Bridge), near Beijing

Lugou Bridge has a history of more than 800 years. It was constructed in the 29th year of the Dading Era in the Jin Dynasty (1189) and completed in the 3rd year of the Mingchang Era (1192). The bridge is 266.5 meters long. It has 11 arches and 501 stone lions (another report saying is that it has 502) on the balustrades.

The History and Development of Ancient Chinese Architecture:

In the Paleolithic Age, people lived by fishing and hunting, and were sheltered in trees and caves. A Fang PalaceIn the Neolithic Age, men engaged in raising animals and farming, and settled down by digging caves and by building simple houses with twigs and lumber, thus commencing their architectural activities. During the 3,000 years of feudalist society, ancient Chinese architecture formulated gradually its unique system, coupled with a considerable progress in urban planning, garden design, and house construction technique. In 221 B.C., the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty mobilized the resources of the country to do construction works on a massive scale, including A Fang Palace, the Emperor’s Mausoleum, the Great Wall and the Dujiangyan Water Conservation Project. From then on, many more massive construction works of lasting fame were carried out in the history of China.

Features of Ancient Chinese Architecture:

Structural Flexibility

Wood is the chief building material of ancient Chinese buildings. dougongThe components are mainly columns, beams, and purling that is connected by tenons and mortises. Thus, the wooden structure is quite flexible. The ancient Chinese wooden building possesses a unique design that can only be found in China, termed a dougong (i.e., a system of brackets inserted between the top of a column and a crossbeam), and it constitutes one of the most important features in ancient Chinese architecture.

 

Beautiful and Elegant Appearance

Ancient Chinese architecture is highly praised for its elegant profile and intricate structure. For example, the quintessential Chinese roof with its overhanging eaves characterized by upturned corners and colorful tiles whose shape varies from building to building contributes to an effect of architectural balance and proportion. These qualities, combined with the roof's unique and colorful tiled exterior, not only satisfy a functional need, they also contribute to the overall effect of the quintessential Chinese roof as a thing of charm and beauty.

 

Rich Color and Ornamentation

The architects of ancient China used different colors in accordance with particular needs or local customs. Some buildings employ multiple, bold colors to make a strong contrast, while others employ softer colors to make a statement of elegant simplicity. Besides the stress on colors, ancient Chinese buildings are characterized by an emphasis on the careful choice and form of interior furnishings as well as internal and external ornamentation, the latter to include gardens.

Chinese Kung Fu:

The origins of Chinese martial arts can be traced over 3,000 years ago to self-defense needs, hunting activities and military training in ancient China.

 The founder of the Shang Dynasty

During the Shang and Zhou Dynasties, martial arts evolved into a kind of dancing. Usually the dancing movements in martial arts were utilized to train soldiers and increase morale. During the Zhou Dynasty, martial arts dancing was designated as a component of education. The application of wrestling techniques on the battlefield received much attention from various states during the Spring and Autumn Period. The emperor held twice yearly wrestling contests, in spring and autumn, to select the best exponents of martial arts. At the same time, skill and technology in sword forging was increasing and the sword ceremony developed rapidly.

 

During the Qin and Han Dynasties, wrestling, swordplay, and martial arts dancing were very popular. A well-known instance was Xiang Zhuang‘s Sword Dancing in the Hongmen Banquet of the same period. The style of his performance was very close to today‘s martial arts. Spear play reached its summit in the Han Dynasty when many techniques for spear usage were practiced. The Five-animal-style exercise was another innovation of Hua Tuo in the development of Chinese martial arts.

 

Kung Fu examinations were proposed and implemented during the Tang Dynasty. The best combatants would receive titles and awards through the examination thereby propelling the development of martial arts. By this time martial arts had evolved to be an artistic form and an independent genre and they were gradually introduced to many countries in Southeast Asia. Today Kung Fu is honored as the ancestor of kickboxing, karate, aikido, and judo.

 The Costume of Song Dynasty

The Song and Yuan Dynasties was one highpoint Kung Fu‘s development and the practice of Kung Fu by civil organizations became more and more popular. Some organizations or clubs centered on the use of spear play and cudgel, and they were called Yinglue Organizations; while others majored in the practice of arching and therefore called Arching Organizations. Performers were called Luqi .People made a living by performing martial arts all over the country. Usually the performances were carried out by one or two people only.

 

Chinese Kung Fu thrived during the Ming Dynasty. The Ming Dynasty saw many genres came into being and numerous books on martial arts were published. The Emperors of the Qing Dynasty banned the practice of martial arts, and the adherants had to set up clubs or societies to pass down the secrets of the art. Many schools sprang up, examples being taiji, xingyi shadowboxing and eight–diagram shadowboxing. The Qing Dynasty also saw the integration among genres. Wrestling techniques were introduced into martial arts, facilitating its improvement and maturing it. This period was a watershed shed between genres for appreciation and those for actual combat.

 

The present view of Chinese martial arts is strongly influenced by the events of the Republican Period (1912–1949). In the transition period between the fall of the Qing Dynasty as well as the turmoil of the Japanese invasion and the Chinese Civil War, Chinese martial arts became more accessible to the general public as many martial artists were encouraged to openly teach their art. At that time, some considered martial arts as a means to promote national pride and build a strong nation. As a result, many martial arts training manuals were published, a training academy was created and two National examinations were organized. As well as this, demonstration teams traveled overseas and numerous martial arts associations were formed throughout China and in various overseas Chinese communities. The Central Guoshu Academy established by the National Government in 1928 and the Jing Wu Athletic Association founded by Huo Yuanjia in 1910 are examples of organizations that promoted a systematic approach for training in Chinese martial arts. A series of provincial and national competitions was organized by the Republican government, starting in 1932, to promote Chinese martial arts. In 1936, at the 11th Olympic Games in Berlin, a group of Chinese martial artists demonstrated their art to an international audience for the first time. Eventually, those events lead to the popular view of martial arts as a sport.

 

Shaolin Kung Fu

haolin Kung FuBeing an important part of Chinese traditional martial arts, Shaolin martial arts are considered to be the authentic Chinese kungfu. Originally, Shaolin Kungfu was developed from the Shaolin Temple, in the region of Songshan Mountain in Henan province. While cultivating in the thick forest of the high mountains, monks created a set of body-building exercises by learning the postures of flying, jumping and running from birds, beasts and fish. Gradually, these body-building exercises developed into a sort of boxing through long practice and improvement, which is generally called ‘Shaolin boxing‘.

Shaolin Kung Fu is comprised of shadowboxing, armed combat, free combat, hitting vital points, and grappling. Shaolin Kung Fu became popular in the Sui and Tang Dynasties, and soon grew stronger by absorbing techniques from many schools. It became the largest school of martial arts in China with branches all over the country.

 

Shaolin Temple                                                                                                                                         

Shaolin Temple,is located at the foot of Songshan Mountain and got its name from its location, It is China‘s most famous temple and of the Chan sect.

 

Shaolin Temple has a reputation for its Zen Buddhism and Shaolin Gong Fu, which is the main attraction of the scenery spot. Shaolin Temple was built for the Indian monk Patuo in A.D.495, on the 19th year of the Yaihe year under the reign of Xiaowen Emperor in the Northern Wei Dynasty .

 

Shaolin Temple was built against a backdrop of hills. In the period of its great prosperity, seven buildings lined the central line of the temple, but in the war among warlords in the period of Kuomingtang, some main buildings were burnt by Shisanyou, including the Hall of the Heavenly King, the Abbot‘s Room, the Hall for Preaching the Buddhist Doctrines, and the Bell Tower when many precious Buddhist sutras and pugilism charts were destroyed as well. In the late 20th century, Shaolin Temple was rebuilt to the old design. The stone tablets in Shaolin Temple are also well known, which are mainly in the Ciyun Hall, or the Tablet Passage. About 120 pieces of handwriting works are stored here, dating from the Northern Qi Dynasty. Many famous masters, such as Caijing, Mipei, Zhao Meng Fu and Dong Qichang, once left their handwriting here.

 Tower Forest

Tower Forest is where the monks were buried. The one in Shaolin Temple is the biggest in China, 232 all together. It is of great value in the study of Buddhist scriptures, buildings and Zen Buddhism. Besides, some other famous places include the Buddhist Convent, built in memory of Damo Buddhist meditating facing the wall; Damo Cave and the Sweet Dew Tower, where Batuo, the founder for the Shaolin Temple, translated the sutras.

 

In addition to the visit to the historic buildings, Shaolin can give performances of Shaolin Kung Fu, which will broaden your outlook and let you have a taste of the charm of Shaolin martial arts.

 

Influence

Shaolin, in popular culture, has taken on a second life. Since the 1970s, it has been featured in many films, TV shows, video games, cartoons, and other media. While much of this is a commercialized aspect of Shaolin, it is also widely credited as keeping the 1500 year old temple in the consciousness of the world, and from vanishing into obscurity like many other ancient traditions. The Abbot of Shaolin, Shi Yong Xin, has decided to embrace modern day pop culture and has used it to the advantage of the temple to keep the temple prominent on the world stage.

 

Some lineages of Karate have oral traditions that claim Shaolin origins. Martial arts traditions in Japan and Korea, and Southeast Asia cite Chinese influence as transmitted by Buddhist monks. Recent developments in the 20th century such as Shorinji Kempo practiced in Japan‘s Sohonzan  Shorinji  still maintains close ties with China‘s Song Shan Shaolin Temple due to historic links. Japanese Shorinji Kempo Group‘s financial contributions to the maintenance of the historic edifice of the Songshan Shaolin Temple in 2003 received China‘s recognition.

 

Wudang Martial ArtsHuang Zongxi

The name Wudang refers to the Wudang Mountains of Hubei Province. Chinese legends say that Zhang Sanfeng created Tai Chi Chuan there. The word "quan" translates to English as "boxing" or "fist." In 1669, Huang Zongxi was the first to describe Chinese martial arts in terms of a Wudang or "internal" school versus a Shaolin or "external" school. However, this classification did not become prevalent until 1928 when Generals Li Jing Lin, Zhang Zi Jiang, and Fung Zu Ziang organized a national martial arts tournament in China; they did so to screen the best martial artists in order to begin building the Central Martial Arts Academy.

 

At that time, Sung Wei was the apparent grandmaster of the Wudang Sword. He taught Wudang Sword to General Li (who was nicknamed "God Sword Li") and to Fu Chen Sung. General Li also taught Wudang Sword to Fu Chen Sung, and would later employ Fu to train the Chinese army.

 

The two major lineages of Wudang Chuan were passed down from General Li Jing Lin. These lineages went to Fu Chen Sung and Li Tian-Ji.Fu Chen Sung worked the rest of his life to develop Fu Style Wudang Fist. The basis of the system was to train the mind and body for optimal performance, gradually working the martial aspects into the training. The system included exercises, empty hand and weapons sets in Tai Chi, BaGua, Hsing-Yi-- and Fu Chen Sung‘s signature form, Liang-Yi Chuan. In his lifetime, Fu had many notable students, including General Sun Pao Gung and Lin Chao Zhen. In 2008, there still remain two living students: Liang Qian-Ya in San Francisco and an unknown man in Hong Kong. Fu‘s oldest son, Fu Wing Fay (Fu Yong Hui), became Fu‘s prodigal son. Wing Fay grew up among many of the greatest martial artists in the Golden Era of Martial Arts in China. Wing Fay learned well from his father and the other great masters. Wing Fay practiced hard, and began developing Fu Style Wudang Fist even more. Wing Fay had two top students: his son, Fu Sheng Long and Bow Sim Mark.

 

Wudang Mountains

The Wudang Mountains are a small mountain range in the Hubei Province of China, just to the south of the manufacturing city of Shiyan.

 

In years past, the mountains of Wudang were known for the many Taoist monasteries to be found there, monasteries which became known as an academic centre for the research, teaching and practice of meditation, Chinese martial arts, traditional Chinese medicine, Taoist agriculture practices and related arts. As early as the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220A.D.), the mountains attracted the Emperor‘s attention. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907A.D.), the first site of worship - the Five Dragon Temple - was constructed. The monasteries were emptied, damaged and then neglected during and after the Cultural Revolution of 1966–1976, but the Wudang Mountains have lately become increasingly popular with tourists from elsewhere in China and abroad due to their scenic location and historical interest. The monasteries and buildings were made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The palaces and temples in Wudang, which was built as an organized complex during the Ming Dynasty (14th–17th centuries), contain Taoist buildings from as early as the 7th century. It represents the highest standards of Chinese art and architecture over a period of nearly 1,000 years. Noted temples include the Golden Hall, the Nanyan Temple and the Purple Cloud Temple.

 

Tai Chi

Tai Chi (Taiji Quan in Chinese Pinyin) is a unique and powerful art, for both internal power and longevity. The logo of Tai ChiTai Chi is a martial art which embodies Taoist philosophy. When Tai Chi was developed, the martial arts were very aggressive. One‘s proficiency was measured by the strength and aggression of attack, in terms of the Taoist principle of Yin and Yang this was a purely "Yang" conception of martial arts. What was revolutionary about Tai Chi was the incorporation of the Yin element to fighting. In Tai Chi one uses a balance of Yin techniques with Yang techniques, a balance between yielding and attacking. It is for this reason that Tai Chi is described as "a needle hidden in cotton" or "hardness concealed in softness".

 

Presently Tai Chi is rapidly growing in popularity for the tremendous health benefits which come through practice. Clinical studies have shown that Tai Chi practice can lower blood pressure, reduce nervous tension, and benefit the immune, digestive, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. At this time, over one hundred million people practice Tai Chi on a regular basis.

 

The heart of the Tai Chi system is the practice of the single Tai Chi form. The form practice of Tai Chi is the foundation of the training. Though Tai Chi is done slowly, the movements are very difficult and strenuous. Regular practice of Tai Chi greatly improves the functioning of the bodily systems.

 

Influence

The Wudang monasteries figure prominently in Chinese martial arts films, especially the genre known as Wuxia film and popular literature. For example, an ending scene of the famous movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, by Taiwanese director Ang Lee, was set at the Wudang monastery, although not actually filmed there. In some Wuxia films about the Shaolin Temple, characters employing Wudang martial arts are featured as Shaolin‘s competitors. It is in reference to this type of film that the American hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan named themselves. In many martial arts movies, however, actors portraying Wudang practitioners are also found in heroic or neutral supporting roles.

 

Li Xiaolong (Bruce Lee)

Li Xiaolong (Bruce Jun Fan Lee) was an American-born, Hong Kong Chinese martial artist, philosopher, instructor, martial arts actor and the founder of the Jeet Kune Do combat form. He is widely regarded as the most influential martial artist of the twentieth century and a cultural icon. He was also the father of actor Brandon Lee and of actress Shannon Lee.

 

In 1969, Lee made a brief appearance in his first American film Marlowe where he played a henchman hired to intimidate private detective Philip Marlowe (played by James Garner) by smashing up his office with leaping kicks Bruce Leeand flashing punches, only to later accidentally jump off a tall building while trying to kick Marlowe off. In 1971, Lee appeared in four episodes of the television series Longstreet as the martial arts instructor of the title character Mike Longstreet (played by James Franciscus). According to statements made primarily after Bruce‘s death by his widow, Linda Lee Caldwell, Bruce would later pitch a television series of his own tentatively titled The Warrior. According to Caldwell, in which Lee‘s concept was retooled and renamed Kung Fu, but Warner Bros. gave Lee no credit. Instead the role of the Shaolin monk in the Wild West, known to have been conceived by Bruce, was awarded to then non-martial artist David Carradine because of the studio‘s fears that a Chinese leading man would not be embraced by the public. Books and documentaries about the show "Kung Fu" dispute Caldwell‘s version. According to these sources, the show was created by two writers and producers, Ed Spielman and Howard Friedlander, and the reason Lee was not cast was in part because of his ethnicity, but more so because he spoke English with a thick Chinese accent.

 

Not happy with his supporting roles in the U.S., Lee returned to Hong Kong and was offered a film contract by legendary director Raymond Chow to star in films produced by his production company Golden Harvest. Lee played his first leading role in The Big Boss (1971) which proved an enormous box office success across Asia and catapulted him to stardom. He soon followed up his success with two huger box office successes: Fist of Fury (1972) and Way of the Dragon (1972). For Way of the Dragon, he took complete control of the film‘s production as the writer, director, star, and choreographer of the fight scenes. In 1964, at a demonstration in Long Beach, California, Lee had met karate champion Chuck Norris. In Way of the Dragon Lee introduced Norris to moviegoers as his opponent in the final death fight at the Coliseum in Rome, today considered one of Lee‘s most legendary fight scenes.

 

In 1973, Lee played the lead role in Enter the Dragon, The Poster of Enter the Dragonthe first film to be produced jointly by Golden Harvest and Warner Bros. This film would skyrocket Lee to fame in the U.S. and Europe. However, only a few months after the film‘s completion and three weeks before its release, the supremely fit Lee mysteriously died. Enter the Dragon would go on to become one of the year‘s highest grossing films and cement Lee as a martial arts legend. It was made for US/$850,000 in 1973 (equivalent to /$4 million adjusted for inflation as of 2007). To date, Enter the Dragon has grossed over /$200 million worldwide. The movie sparked a brief fad in the martial arts, epitomized in such songs as "Kung Fu Fighting" and such TV shows as Kung Fu.

 

Robert Clouse, the director of Enter the Dragon, and Raymond Chow attempted to finish Lee‘s incomplete film Game of Death which Lee was also set to write and direct. Lee had shot over 100 minutes of footage, including outtakes, for Game of Death before shooting was stopped to allow him to work on Enter the Dragon. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a student of Lee, also appeared in the film, which culminates in Lee‘s character, Hai Tien (clad in the now-famous yellow track suit) taking on the 7‘2" basketball player in a climactic fight scene. In a controversial move, Robert Clouse finished the film using a look-alike and archive footage of Lee from his other films with a new storyline and cast, which was released in 1979. However, the cobbled-together film contained only fifteen minutes of actual footage of Lee (he had printed many unsuccessful takes) while the rest had a Lee look-alike, Tai Chung Kim, and Yuen Biao as stunt double. The unused footage Lee had filmed was recovered 22 years later and was included in the documentary Bruce Lee: A Warrior‘s Journey.

 

Shanghai Cuisine:

Shanghai cuisine is the youngest among the ten major cuisines in China though with a history of more than 400 years.Traditionally called Benbang cuisine, it originated in the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1840). Shanghai dishes usually look red and shiny, for they are often pickled in wine and their cooking methods include baking, stewing, steaming, deep-frying, etc. In the later part of 19th century after Shanghai became a major domestic and international trading port, Benbang dishes underwent some substantial changes by adopting certain merits of other cuisines. They formed complex flavor structures, cooking styles and techniques. They stress using condiments and keeping the original flavors of the materials and have features of being fresh, smooth and crispy. Shanghai dishes aim at lightness in flavor, and beauty in decoration.
tangcu xiaopai
The use of sugar is common in Shanghainese cuisine and, especially when used in combination with soy sauce, effuses foods and sauces with a taste that is not so much sweet but rather savory. Non-natives tend to have difficulty identifying this usage of sugar and are often surprised when told of the "secret ingredient." The most notable dish of this type of cooking is "sweet and sour spare ribs" ("tangcu xiaopai" in Shanghainese)."Red cooking" is a popular style of stewing meats and vegetables associated with Shanghai.

Facing the East China Sea, seafood in Shanghai is very popular. However, due to its location among the rivers, lakes, and canals of the Yangtze Delta, locals favor freshwater produce just as much as saltwater products like crabs, oysters, and seaweed. The most famous local delicacy is Shanghai hairy crab.
 Da Zha Xie
Da Zha Xie
Chinese mitten crab (Da Zha Xie) is a kind of crab found in Yangcheng Lake. It is normally consumed in the winter (September and October every year). The crabs are tied with ropes/strings, placed in bamboo containers, steamed and served.
Crispy Chicken
One of the local favorites in Shanghai is Shanghai crispy chicken. Crispy chicken is made by first boiling the body of a chicken until its flesh is tender and then roasting it for long periods of time or until the skin goes dry and crispy.
Steamed Crab 
Late autumn is the best time for eating crabs in Shanghai. During that time, the best-quality Yangcheng Lake hairy crabs with green shells and white bottoms, rich in fat and ovary, are shipped to restaurants. When the crabs are properly cooked, the fragrance appeals to diners' palates. There are such famous dishes like the Crab Meat Bean Curd, Lily Fruit in and Crab Fat, Rice Cake in Crab Meat, all of which are delicacies much appreciated by diners. The most popular one is the steamed crab, which maintains the original flavor of the crab. It focuses on bringing out the natural crab flavor. The meat is tender, juicy and delicious.
Squirrel-shaped Mandarin FishSquirrel-shaped Mandarin Fish
This dish uses very fresh mandarin fish. The fish is deep-fried and has a crispy exterior and soft interior. Yellow and red in color, it is displayed in the shape of a squirrel on the plate. Hot broth is poured over it. It sounds like a squirrel crying when the broth is poured. Sweet and sour flavors are harmonized quite well in this dish.
Shrimp with Colorful Vegetables  
This is a stir-fried shrimp dish. The shrimps are peeled and then stir-fried with Chinese bean sauce. The dish looks beautiful and tastes tender. There will be no grease remaining on the plate when finished.
 

Yunnan Cuisine:

Yunnan cuisine, also named Dian cuisine, consists of local dishes from Kunming, Northeast Yunnan, Western Yunnan and Southern Yunnan. The characteristics of Yunnan cuisine lie in a moderate balance of sour and hot tastes mellow in deep oil, fresh and tender with sweetness, striving for their original tastes. Most of the ingredients are green, fresh and natural, including vegetables, fruit, bamboo and flowers. The dishes are not too spicy but have excellent flavor.

 

Guoqiao Rice Noodles are a dish that has long been famous in Yunnan. It came from a story in southern Yunnan. A scholar, preparing for the imperial examinations, isolated himself on an island in a lake to concentrate on his study. Guoqiao Rice NoodlesHis devoted wife was dismayed that the meals she took to him always arrived cold after crossing a long, wooden bridge. But by chance, she discovered the way to keep soup boiling hot -- to top it with a thin layer of vegetable oil. Of course, her husband passed the exams. Soon it got quite popular and was named Guoqiao Rice Noodles. The dish is made of soup, sliced meat, rice noodles and seasonings. A big china bowl will be served with boiling soup and a cover of oil. The soup is made of boiled chicken and pork bone and the clearer, the better. Chicken, pork, liver, kidney, fish and pickled pork are cut into slices. Seasonings are made of boiled vegetables. The raw sliced meat should be the first to be put into the soup. After a few minutes, noodles and seasonings follow. The smell and the taste never fail the gourmands. No visit to Yunnan is complete without trying this unique and delicious dish.

 

Other typical dishes include: Steamed-pot Chicken, Earthen Pot Fish, Xuanwei Ham, Spiced Squab, and Chicken Wing with Goat Stomach and Local Fungus.

Xinjiang Cuisine:

The cuisine of Xinjiang is the food of the Uyghurs (Uyghur Yemekliri), known for its fiery lamb kebabs and homemade noodles. As Uyghurs are Sunni Muslim Turks, the food is predominantly halal.
 
Uyghur food is characterized by mutton, beef, camel, chicken, goose, carrots, tomatoes, kebabonions, peppers, eggplant, celery, various dairy foods and fruits. The primary dishes include lagman, boiled handmade noodles with beef, lamb or vegetables, soups made of lamb or chicken, shish kebabs of lamb or beef, and polos, rice platters also known as plov, with lamb or chicken. Beverages include Chinese black tea. Spices include cumin seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and the fat of the meat is used for flavoring. Bread is the crispy, tasty, and nutty Central Asian-style baked flatbread known as naan, using sesame seeds, butter, milk, vegetable oil, salt, and sugar. Kebabs, seasoned with chili powder, salt, black pepper, and ziran (cumin), are eaten with the skewer parallel to the mouth, gripping the kebab closest to the end with one's teeth and sliding it off the pointed edge into one's mouth. Lagman are especially handmade noodles, made from flour, water and salt. The dough is divided into small balls and then stretched by hand. The noodles are boiled until very soft and then served topped with stir-fried meat vegetables (bell peppers, hot peppers, cabbage, onion, tomatoes) in meat stock.Another popular Xinjiang dish is Dapanji, which is literally translated as 'Big plate chicken.
 
Uyghur-style breakfast is tea with home-baked bread, cheese, olives, honey, raisins and almonds. Uyghurs like to treat guests with tea, naan and fruit before the main dishes are ready. Sangza are crispy and tasty fried wheat flour dough twists, a holiday specialty. Sumsa are lamb pies baked using a special brick oven. Youtazi is steamed multilayer bread. Guxnan are pan-grilled lamb pies. Pamirdin are baked pies with lamb, carrots, and onion inside. Xurpa is lamb soup. Other dishes include Tohax, a different type of baked bread, and Tunurkawab.
 
Roast Meat
Xinjiang roast mutton is as famous as roast duck is in Beijing and crispy suckling pig is in Guangzhou. A two-year-old sheep is slaughtered and skinned, daubed with salt inside and outside, and then coated with a mixture of eggs, chopped ginger and scallions, and pepper. The sheep is put into a stove to roast for about an hour until it turns golden brown. 
 

Nang (Pancake)Nang (Pancake)

Nang is a staple food for the Uygurs, just like steamed buns in northern China, rice in southern China and bread in Western counties. Making a nang is similar to making a pancake. The materials include wheat flour, corn flour or sorghum flour, with such seasoning as sesame seeds, onions, eggs, vegetable oil, butter, milk, salt and sugar. With a golden yellow surface, nang are crispy and delicious.
 
Stewed Mutton Cubes
This is a Xinjiang dish prepared especially for festivals. Cut mutton into cubes of 500 grams apiece and boil them in a big pot. When they are half done, remove the foam; and when they are 80 percent done, add onions, pepper, ginger slices, carrots, turnips and tomatoes. Then remove and place on a big plate. Put some salt in the stock and transfer it to a bowl. Before eating the mutton, dip it in the stock.

 

 

Taiwan Cuisine:

Taiwanese food, at its heart, is a simple, rustic cuisine which makes the best use of the most naturally abundant ingredients. It has enjoyed somewhat of a revival in the past few years. Two basic influences have driven the development of Taiwanese cuisine: the unique geography of Taiwan, and international influences.
 Taiwan Moon Scallop
Natural resources have always been limited in Taiwan. The island's population density of 582 people per square kilometer is even more staggering considering that only 20% of the land is arable, with the rest being mountainous terrain. With such limited farmland, people rely on the sea to provide the essential proteins. The dominant role of fish and other seafood continues in contemporary Taiwanese bill of fare. To give you an idea of the importance of seafood, Taiwan's fisheries harvested 1.46 million metric tons of it in 1990.
 
Taiwan's cuisine has also been influenced by its geographic location. Living on a crowded island, the Taiwanese had to look aside from the farmlands for sources of protein. As a result, seafood figures prominently in their cuisine. This seafood encompasses many different things, from large fish such as tuna and grouper, to sardines and even smaller fish such as anchovies. Crustaceans, squid, and cuttlefish are also eaten.

Shanxi Cuisine:

Shanxi cuisine is derived from the native cooking styles of the Shanxi region in China, Dao xiao mianand it is famed for noodles, its fried flatbread ("da bing"), and its sour taste. The cuisine is also famed for utilizing its locally produced vinegar, just like the Huaiyang cuisine, but the flavor is totally different. The main diet reflects its crop (agriculture): millet, sorghum, and wheat, while pork, mushrooms, potatoes and turnips are frequently used in dishes.
The cuisine comprises three styles:
The Northern Shanxi style, represented by dishes from Datong and Mount Wutai, emphasizies on color and oil.
The Southern Shanxi style, represented by dishes from Linfen and the Grand Canal regions, specializes in seafood, despite the fact that Shanxi is a landlocked province.
The Central Shanxi style, represented by dishes from Taiyuan, is the mixture of both the Northern Shanxi style and the Southern Shanxi style. The region is especially famous for its hand shaven noodles (Dao xiao mian).
 
Traditional Snacks

Steamed Doughball Made from Naked Oats

The Shanxi people make the flour of the naked oats grown on northern cold highlands in the province into small dough balls with boiling water, and then steam them. They are extremely delicious when eaten together with mutton and chili oil.

Chopped Noodle

The willow-leaf shaped Chopped Noodles are garnished or fried. It has a delicious taste.

Cat Ear

It is called this because its shape resembles a cat ear. Cat Ear is made of dough stewed in boiling water and then garnished or fried.

Eight-Delicacy Soup

Also called Tounao, the syrup contains three fatty pieces of mutton, and tonic vegetables. Its aroma combines the smell of liquor, herb and mutton.

Shaanxi Cuisine:

Shaanxi cuisine is derived from the native cooking styles of northwestern China. Shaanxi cuisine makes elaborate use of ordinary materials, and is best known for its pork and lamb/mutton dishes. The flavor is strong and the taste is heavy. There is an emphasis on savory flavors such as salt, garlic, onion, and vinegar; sugar is seldom used. Cooking methods are mainly steaming, frying, and stir-frying.
 Bottle Gourd Chicken
Due to its geographical location between the provinces of Shanxi and Sichuan, the taste of Shaanxi cuisine resulted in both sour and spicy, in addition to a salty taste. In comparison to other Chinese cuisines, noodles are used more widely than rice, but in contrast to noodles of Beijing cuisine, and to a certain degree, Shanxi cuisine, the noodles of Shaanxi cuisine are nearly always wider, thicker, and longer.
 
The cuisine includes three regional styles.
Northern Shaanxi style is characterized by the wide use of steaming as the method of cooking. The most common meat is pork, although lamb/mutton is also popular.
Guanzhong style, the most popular Shaanxi cuisines, uses pork and lamb/mutton equally with heavy flavors and tastes. Hanzhong style, similar to that of nearby Sichuan province, is characterized by its spicy taste.
 
Famous dishes include: Bottle Gourd Chicken, Mustard and Upper Part of Pork Leg, Mushrooms, Walnut Kernels and Two Kinds of Crisps, Three Kinds of Shreds, Guozi Fish in Milky Soup, Chicken Rice and Sea Cucumber, Tomato Juice and Ox Tongue, and Steamed Mutton.

Macanese Cuisine:

Macanese cuisine is unique to Macau, China, and consists of a blend of southern Chinese and Portuguese cuisines, with significant influences from Southeast Asia and the Portuguese-speaking world. Many unique dishes resulted from the spice blends that the wives of Portuguese sailors used in an attempt to replicate European dishes. Its ingredients and seasonings include those from Europe, Latin America, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, as well as local Chinese ingredients.

Common cooking techniques include baking, grilling and roasting. The former, seldom seen in other styles of Chinese cooking, speaks to the eclectic nature of Macanese cooking. It is renowned for its flavor-blending culture, and modern Macanese cuisine may be considered a type of fusion cuisine.Bacalhau
 
Typically, Macanese food is seasoned with various spices including turmeric, coconut milk, cinnamon and bacalhau (dried and salted codfish), giving special aromas and tastes.
 
Famous dishes include Galinha à Portuguesa, Galinha à Africana (African chicken), Bacalhau, Macanese Chili Shrimps and Stir-fry Curry Crab. Other dishes might include Pig’s Ear and Papaya Salad, Rabbit Stewed in Wine, Cinnamon and Star Anise. Tapas are also an integral part of Macanese cuisine.
 
The most popular snack is Pork Chop Bun. The most popular dessert is Ginger Milk and Pastéis de Nata.
 
The famous restaurants of Macau include the Restaurante Porto Interior, Restaurante Litoral, and Restaurante Espao.

Henan Cuisine:

Henan cuisine, also known as Yu cuisine, has the accolade of being one of China's most traditional and oldest cooking styles. As the representative of culinary civilization of Central China, Henan cuisine has preserved traditions and made great innovations. With ingredients from all over the country, Henan cuisine is characterized by meticulous preparation and is especially known for delicious soup. No matter whether a dish is prepared by frying, stewing, braising or boiling, it is well received by customers because of its taste, shape, aromas and container. It is moderately sweet and salty, tender and palatable, crispy but not fragmentary.
 
Henan cuisine is mainly represented in Luoyang and Kaifeng. The Gulou Night Market in Kaifeng which started in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) is crowded with people every evening. Luoyang has a good selection of the varieties of Henan cuisine and the best way to sample them is by settling in for the night with some friends and the many courses of the water banquet. The Luoyang Water Banquet (Luoyang Shuixi) is a local custom that has been around for over a thousand years.
 Shaolin Vegetarian Food
The Shaolin Vegetarian Food is one specialty standing out among the varieties of Henan cuisine. Chinese Buddhist belief has for centuries prohibited the eating of animal flesh and the monks here have spent an age perfecting the cooking of all types of vegetarian food. Although not rich in fat or protein, this cuisine is packed full of nutrition and is healthy.
 
Famous dishes and snacks include Peony and Swallow Vegetable, Fried Purple Crisp Pork, Lightly Fried Bean Curd, Jadeite Shredded Fish, Scallion Stewed Sea Cucumber, Fruit Juice and Shrimps, Stuffed Bun Steamed in Small Bamboo Utensils, Sweet and Pleasant Buns, Egg Cakes (which are crisp outside and tender inside), Steamed Ravioli, Hand-stretched Noodles and Braised Cakes.

Hebei Cuisine:

Being the leading agricultural province in China (mainly wheat, cotton and sunflower oil), eating in Hebei is never a problem. There are many local specialties waiting for you as well as various other provincial and imperial cuisines.
 
Hebei Cuisine
The Hebei Cuisine (also known as Ji Cuisine) Family has three branches, Middle and South Hebei Cuisine, Chengde SChengde Summer Resort Royal Cuisine(braised pork)ummer Resort Royal Cuisine and East Beijing Seafood Cuisine.
Middle and South Hebei Cuisine is the most typical cuisine of Hebei and is primarily based upon Baoding dishes. It features a wide selection of raw materials and utilizes mountainous wild game, fish from Baiyangdian, shrimps and crabs. The dishes taste strong and savory and are always served with soup.
Chengde Summer Resort Royal Cuisine is based on Chengde dishes.
East Beijing Seafood Cuisine is based on Tangshan dishes and is renowned for using fresh seafood as its basic ingredients. It features refined cutting skills with a light and fresh taste which stresses the spraying of starch on to dishes cooked with light oil (such oil is pure and clean and not mixed with starch or any other flavorings) and its dishes are uniquely displayed in fine Tangshan porcelain trays.
 
Ji Cuisine excels with the use of various seafood, poultries and livestock, emphasizing the balance between color, smell, fragrance, shape, quality and presentation. The selection of raw ingredients is very strict and the cutting skills are very refined requiring the chefs to cut various patterns and slice the meat into very thin pieces. Ji Cuisine pays special attention to the cooking time, focusing on fresh, salty and delicate flavors. Its dishes taste salty but slightly sweet, tender and crispy. Various cooking techniques are employed, such as stir-frying, quick-frying, sautéing, braising, stewing, baking, steaming and caramelizing. The braised and fried dishes use pure and light oil to spray onto the finished dishes, whereas the baked and quick-fried dishes use cooked oil (such oil mixed with starch and fat could make the finished dish more colorful and delicious). The cooking techniques are refined and the appearance of the dishes looks nice and fresh, rich in color and Braised Plaicesavory.
Typical Ji dishes are Sautéed Tender Chicken Breast, Sautéed Chicken Breast with Green Peppers and Carrots, Braised Chinese Cabbage with Chestnuts, Sautéed Pork Kidneys, Deep Fried Prawns, Braised Plaice, Braised Chub with Fermented Bean Curd, Chang Style Prawns, Chicken Stewed with Chestnuts, Sautéed Shredded Pork, Tofu Stewed with Bean Sprout, Deep Fried Pancake Made with Green Bean, Deep Fried Chicken Legs and Quick-fried Crabs.

 

Guizhou Cuisine:

Guizhou cuisine is derived from the native cooking styles of the Guizhou region in China. Guizhou cuisine is similar to Sichuan cuisine and Hunan cuisine, but it's unique in that its dishes emphasize the mixed taste of sour and spicy, similar to that of Shaanxi cuisine of Shaanxi province, another neighbor of Sichuan. Despite both sharing sour and spicy flavors, Guizhou cuisine can be distinguished from Shaanxi cuisine in lacking the salty taste that is present in Shaanxi cuisine (and which is a common characteristic in most northern Chinese cuisines).
Sour Dishes
Guizhou Cuisine is also known for sour dishes. There is a folk saying: "Without eating sour dishes for three days, folks will stagger forward with weak legs." Each family in Guizhou makes sour pickles which can help promote the secretion of saliva, whet the appetite and digest food. Sour pickles are good ingredients for preparing hot pot, with a special sour smell. Famous sour dishes include Sour Pickles and the Uppermost Part of a Pork Leg, and Hot Pot with Sour Soup.

Guizhou offers a wide variety of hot pots, such as Huajiang Dog Meat Hot Pot, Kaili Fish Hot Pot with Sour Soup, and Guiyang Green Pepper Young Chicken Hot Pot with each having its own strong local flavor. Guizhou hot pots enjoy a high reputation in the country because of meticulously selected ingredients, and a unique smell due to an excellent combination of various main and supplementary ingredients and seasoning. After the pot is boiled, a sweet smell greets people.
 
Fish in Sour SoupFish in Sour Soup
Fish in Sour Soup is a staple of the local Guizhou people's diet. It can be found at almost every meal. It is a dish very popular with visitors. The more you eat, the more you will want it. The Fish in Sour Soup comes from Kaili, a minority area in Guizhou's southeast. The soup broth is the most important part of the broth and it is made with sticky rice, wild tomatoes, peppers, shallots, ginger, and other vegetables.
 
Crackling Fish with Zao Pepper
Another famous dish and one that should not be missed is Crackling Fish with Zao Pepper. Zao Pepper is a condiment only found in Guizhou. The dish is made with fresh carp breaded in a mix made from flour, eggs and salt. The fish is then fried. Ginger, Zao Pepper, and water is added to the pan to make a sauce. The fish is crispy on the outside, and tender and moist on the inside, and the aroma is irresistible.
 
Gongbao Chicken (KongPao Chicken)Gongbao Chicken (KongPao Chicken)
Gongbao Chicken, commonly found in Chinese restaurants under the name KongPao Chicken, has a history of more than 100 years. First created by an official in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) named Ding Shaobao, the dish was originally created to entertain his guests and once the recipe got out, its popularity took off. The main ingredient in the dish is obviously diced chicken. The chicken is fried with peppers, sauces, salt, vinegar, ginger, and garlic. It is a spicy stir-fried dish.
 
Huaxi Beef Rice Noodles

The Huaxi Beef Rice Noodles is named after the area of Huaxi where it originated. The dish is unique and quite complicated to create. The dish is basically rice noodles in a broth, but it is much more than just that. It is spicy, and sour in taste. It is made from diced beef, handmade rice noodles, coriander, Chinese prickly ash, hot peppers, pickled cabbage and ginger. The pickled cabbage adds the sour taste to the dish and many locals like to add sesame oil or spicy oil to the broth before eating it.

Guangxi Cuisine:

Guangxi Cuisine
Guangxi cuisine is light, but not as light as Cantonese food; it is spicy, but not as spicy dog hot-potas Sichuan cuisine. Guangxi cuisine combines the virtues of other Chinese cuisines. Special dog hot-pot is also available in some cities such as Guilin, Liuzhou and Nanning. In China where canine consumption is practiced, the dogs which are eaten are not the same ones which live side by side with their human masters. Most are a "breed" of dog commonly referred to in China as “tu gou”, which means "earth" or "wild" dog. These dogs have been mixed between so many breeds that even referring to them as a "breed" would be a misnomer. They are not cute. They do not give affection. And they will not sit, heel, or roll over. Rather, they are raised on farms, and though domesticated, they are domesticated as farm animals, not pets. While it is not completely unheard of for pet dogs to mysteriously disappear in the Middle Kingdom, the vast majority of dog meat comes from these special dog farms, not the neighbor's back yard.
 
Five Different Flavors of the Guangxi Cuisine
Cuisine of the Southeastern Guangxi Flavor
This includes the local cuisines of Nanning, Wuzhou and Yulin,which pay much attention to the freshness and tenderness of the food, and diversification of the ingredients.

Cuisine of the Western Guangxi Flavor
This is made up of the local cuisines of Baise and Hechi, and features a strong national flavor. It is a good combination of various flavors, elaborately made with ordinary ingredients and full of variety. The dishes are light, hot, tender, crisp and delicately fragrant.

Cuisine of the Coastal Guangxi Flavor
This comprises the local cuisine of Beihai, Qinzhou and Fangchenggang. It puts emphasis on the flavor and color of the dish, and is good at cooking seafood. Dishes made of freshwater fishes and poultry are quite special.

Cuisine of the Ethnic Minority Flavor
This comprises cuisines of different ethnic minorities. It shows a special love of mountain vegetables, fungus in the mountains, edible wild herbs, and chicken and duck in the villages. It is characterized by freshness and purity in taste.
 
Guangxi Snacks
Fried Tea

Fried tea is a unique diet of the ethnic minorities in Guangxi.

To make fried tea, first pop the cooked sun-dried sticky ricewith oil, then put a handful of polished round-grained rice andtea into a wok and stir-fry them, and then add some water. Afterthe water is boiled, filter the tea, and add some salt in thewater. After that, put the popped rice or fried soybeans into thewater. Thus tea is ready. The fried tea can also be made sweet,which depends on individual taste.


Guilin Rice-flour NoodlesGuilin Rice-flour Noodles
This is the most famous snack food in Guilin and all over Guangxi. The rice-flour noodles are pure white, delicate, softand pliant. The mixed ingredients are odorous, the meat and the vegetables are soft, and the thick gravy delicious.
 
Wuzhou Fried Paper-wrapped Chicken
The chicken has a freshness and delicacy of its own. It tastesdelicious, smooth but not greasy. It is a famous traditional dish in Wuzhou.
 
Rolled Rice Pancake
Put the ground thick liquid rice into a tray, spread it out into a thin pancake, cast some minced meat and chopped green onionsover it. After it is cooked, roll it up and put it onto a plate,mix it with paste-like thick sauce and sesame oil. It tastes soft, smooth and delicious.

Gansu Cuisine:

Lanzhou dishes are representative of Gansu cuisine, which features the roasting, steaming, and braising of beef and mutton. Lanzhou people enjoy many tastes including salty, fresh, tart, and spicy. Typical dishes include Jincheng Baita, Jincheng Babao Melon Carving, Baihe Tao, and albino leeks with chicken and roasted pork.

 

Baihe Tao (Lily Peach) is so named because the dish is shaped like peaches. The washed fresh lily - a specialty of Lanzhou - is steamed for about 15 minutes. The lily is then stuffed with sweetened bean paste so that it looks like a peach. The peach is braised in a bamboo steamer for about twenty minutes and then served with a white sugar sauce.Jincheng Babao (Eight Treasures) Melon Carving

 

Jincheng Babao (Eight Treasures) Melon Carving is a traditional food of Lanzhou. The carved melon peel is used as a bowl to hold white fungus, pineapple, cherry, longan, waxberry, and other delicacies. The carving is exquisite and the food is fresh and sweet. This dish will satisfy not only your palate but also your eye.

 

Quick Fried Camel Hump, a dainty dish, has a history of 1,500 years.

 

Jinyu (Golden Fish) Facai (a kind of fungus that grows in the desert near the Yellow River) is a classic dish in the Gansu Province. Its name comes from the shape. The Fa Cai is soaked in water until it is soft and then kneaded until it is round. Minced chicken flavored with salt, egg white, sesame oil, and cooking wine is used to stuff the Fa Cai so that it looks like a golden fish. The fish is steamed until it is cooked and then served in a dish surrounded with beer, giving the look of a golden fish swimming in water. This popular Lanzhou dish goes well with wine.

 

Local Delicacies

Lanzhou Beef Noodles (Stretched Noodles) is the most famous local dish in Lanzhou. It was first created during the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1875 - 1908) of the Qing Dynasty (1616 - 1911) and it is now popular all over Lanzhou Beef NoodlesChina. This dish has five main features: clear soup, white radish, red pepper, green caraway and yellow noodles. The noodles can be wide or slim to meet different preferences. Boys like Er Xi (a little wider) while girls like slim ones, the middle-aged and the old like Jiuyezi (leek leaf) and Maoxi (slimmer) and scholars prefer slim and Jiuyezi. Farmers, soldiers and workers prefer wide or even wider. If a girl or an old man asks for wider noodles or a boy asks for Maoxi noodles, it would be rather strange. The noodles have gone beyond food to become a culture.

 

Niang Pi Zi cannot be missed among the local delicacies. Flour paste is steamed for 3 - 4 minutes, then cut into strips and served with mustard, garlic, sesame butter, chili oil, vinegar, and soy sauce.

 

As many Hui people live in Lanzhou, barbequed mutton, boiled mutton, and lamb with wide vermicelli are local delicacies among the various ethnic groups.

Beijing Cuisine:

Beijing cuisine is the cooking style in Beijing, China, which is also formally known as Mandarin cuisine. There are numerous dishes that have been developed and have evolved with the history that some may prefer to call Traditional Beijing cuisine. There are also a number of new dishes developed since the recent economic take-off that many people call New Beijing cuisine or New Chinese cuisine.

 

Traditional Beijing CuisineSesame Qaste
Since Beijing has been the Chinese capital city for centuries, its cuisine has been influenced by culinary traditions from all over China, but the cuisine that has exerted the greatest influence on Beijing cuisine is the cuisine of the eastern coastal province of Shandong. Beijing cuisine has itself, in turn, also greatly influenced other Chinese cuisines, particularly the cuisine of Liaoning, the Chinese imperial cuisine, and the Chinese aristocrat cuisine.


Beijing cuisine can be characterized as follows: Foods that originated in Beijing are often snacks rather than full courses, and they are typically sold by little shops or street vendors. There is emphasis on dark soy paste, sesame paste, sesame oil, and scallions, and fermented tofu is often served as a condiment. In addition to the ingredients, many different cooking methods are also applied to make different tastes. These processes include pan-frying, sautéing, steaming and deep frying. There is a lesser emphasis on rice as an accompaniment than in many other areas of China, as local rice production is limited by the relatively dry climate.

 

Well Known Mandarin DishesPeking Duck

Peking Duck (usually served with pancakes)
Hot and Sour Soup
Peking Barbecue
Upper Parts of the Pork Hand/Leg
Three Non-Stickiness
Wood Shavings Meat
Peking Dumpling
Fish Cooked with Five Spices
Shrimp Chips with Egg
Fish Soaked with Soup
Fried Wheaten Pancake with Meat and Sea Cucumber Fillings
Fried Cake with Fillings
Fried Sesame Egg Cake
Pork Fat with Flour Wrapping Glazed in Honey
Noodles with Thick Gravy
Zhajiang Mian
Naked Oats Noodles
 
 
Vegetarian

Mustardy Chinese CabbageMustardy Chinese Cabbage

Beijing Preserved Fruit

Beijing Candied Fruit

Hawthorn Cake

Fuling Pancake Sandwich

Pancake

Baked Sesame Seed Cake

Purplevine Cake

Crisp Fritter

Crisp Fritter with Sesame

Crisp Noodle

Fried Ring

Pease Pudding

Jellied Bean Curd

Almond Tofu

Glutinous Rice Ball

Kidney Bean Roll

Sugarcoated Haws on a Stick

Tangyuan

 

New Beijing Cuisine

GuzhengSince China's economic boom, local consumption in Beijing has evolved quickly to accommodate increasingly diversified new tastes among Beijingers as well as travelers. The creative ideas that feed into the recent development in Beijing come from other cuisines. As a result, non-traditional ingredients and processing methods have been introduced or developed into Beijing Cuisine, which is now commonly referred as New Beijing Cuisine. These new ingredients include pepper, onion, cheese, pepper oil, and salad dressing. Baking, which is not popular among the Old Beijing Cuisine, has become increasingly popular. In addition to innovative dishes, New Beijing Cuisine restaurant tends to carry some Beijing or Chinese culture components such as Chinese antiques, Chinese tea, Chinese music performance such as Guqin and Guzheng, and folk culture displays to entertain the diners.

 

Popular Dishes of the New Beijing Cuisine

Sea Food

Fresh Abalone Pumpkin Soup

Spicy & Fermented Crab

Crispy & Spicy Shrimp

Pork, Chicken and Beef

Cumin Roast Pork

Deep Fried Pork with Tea Leaves

Roasted Pork

Fried Pork Ribs

Vegetarian

Vegetarian Spicy & Sour Fish Fillet Soup

Fried Mushroom with XO Sauce

Fried Vegetable Barbequed Pork

Fried Dried Bean Curd Chilies 

Snacks

Spicy Codfish Puff

Durian Puff

Fresh Cream Tart

Steamed Green Tea Cake

 

History of Chinese Cuisines:

The history of cuisines in China can be traced back some 400,000 years to when the Peking Man used fire and invented "cuisine". As for the history of Chinese cuisine, there exist some other accounts which take the beginning of the history of Chinese cuisine to the Chinese Stone Age, when the cultivation of rice and the production of noodles began. Both of these typically represented the Chinese cuisine as we know it today.
 
Chinese cuisine, originating from the various regions of China, has spread widely to many other parts of the world—from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa.

Features of Chinese Cuisine:

Chinese culinary art enjoys a high reputation in the world. In recent years, connoisseurs of Chinese cuisine have also sprouted in Eastern Europe and South Asia. American Chinese cuisine and Canadian Chinese cuisine are popular examples of local varieties.aniseed

Chinese dishes appeal to the senses through color, shape, aroma and taste. In the process of preparing dishes, in order to achieve a stronger fragrant aroma to stimulate one's appetite, ingredients such as scallion, fresh ginger, root garlic, chili pepper, wine, aniseed, cinnamon, peppercorn or sesame oil are used . Complementary nuances are added. Soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and other seasonings may be used discreetly.

All Chinese chefs, professional or in the home, strive for the harmony of sight, smell, taste and texture, so that each individual dish has its unique features highlighted. The flavors must not overpower, yet they must be subtle enough to meet the tastes of those dining.

Tips about Eating Chinese Cuisines:

Once the meal is ready, it is served all at once to the family, who eats it with chopsticks and drinks the soup with a wide spoon.
 
Chopsticks, which were called "Zhu" in ancient times and are called "Kuaizi" now, Chopstickshave been used as one of the main table utensils for more than 3,000 years. It was recorded in Liji (The Book of Rites) that chopsticks were used in the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC - 1100 BC). It was mentioned in Shiji (the Chinese history book) by Sima Qian (about 145 BC) that Zhou, the last king of the Shang Dynasty (around 1100 BC), used ivory chopsticks. Experts believe the history of wood or bamboo chopsticks can be traced back to 1,000 years earlier than ivory chopsticks. In the Western Zhou Dynasty (1100 BC - 771 BC), bronze chopsticks were invented. Later in Mawangdui in China, lacquer chopsticks from the Western Han (206 BC - 24 AD) were discovered. Gold and silver chopsticks became popular in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). It was believed that silver chopsticks could detect poisons in food.

There are a few taboos when using chopsticks. It is not allowed to beat bowls while eating since the behavior used to be practiced by beggars. Also, don't insert chopsticks in a bowl upright because it is a custom exclusively used in sacrifice.

If you are really interested in chopsticks, you may want to visit the Kuaizi Museum in Shanghai, since over 1,000 pairs of chopsticks are on display in the museum.

The common dinner includes a starch like rice, noodles, bread, or pancakes, and a meat dish, vegetable, and soup, which serves as a beverage. For formal meals and banquets, many successive courses are served in a strict traditional order.

Chinese Eight Grand Cuisines:

Regional culture varies greatly within China, which gives rise to different styles of food.

There are Eight Grand Traditions—Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan and Zhejiang.
 
Shandong Cuisine (more commonly known as Lu Cuisine)
Shandong cuisine, which consists of Jinan cuisine and Jiaodong cuisine, is clean, pure and not greasy. It Bird's Nestis characterized by its emphasis on aroma, freshness, crispness and tenderness. Shallots and garlic are frequently used as seasonings so as to make Shandong dishes taste pungent. Soups are greatly emphasized in Shandong cuisine. Thin soups are clear and fresh, while creamy soups are thick and taste strong. Jinan chefs are adept at deep-frying, grilling, pan-frying and stir-frying, while Jiaodong chefs are famous for cooking seafood with a fresh and light taste.
Representative menu items: Bird's Nest Soup, Yellow River Carp in Sweet and Sour sauce
 
Sichuan Cuisine
Sichuan Cuisine, which is known as Sichuan Cuisine in the West, is one of the most famous Chinese cuisines in the world. Sichuan cuisine is generally spicy and contains food preserved Doubanjiangthrough pickling, salting, drying and smoking. The Sichuan peppercorn is commonly used, which has an intensively fragrant, citrus-like flavor and produces a "tingly-numbing" sensation in the mouth. Also common are garlic, chili, ginger, star anise and other spicy herbs, plants and spices. Broad bean (in Chinese Doubanjiang) is frequently used as seasoning in Sichuan cuisine.
Preparation techniques, which are commonly used in Sichuan cuisine, include stir frying, steaming and braising. Beef is somewhat more common in Sichuan cuisine than it is in other Chinese cuisines, perhaps due to the widespread use of oxen in the region. Stir-fried beef is often cooked until chewy, while steamed beef is sometimes coated with rice flour to produce very rich gravy.
Representative menu items: Tea Smoked Duck (in Chinese, Zhangchaya), Twice Cooked Pork (in Chinese, Huiguorou),Mapo Tofu, Sichuan Hotpot, Spicy Deep-fried Chicken (in Chinese, Laziji) and Bon Bon Chicken (in Chinese, Bangbangji).
 
Guangdong Cuisine (Cantonese Cuisine)
Of all the regional varieties of Chinese cuisine, Cantonese is the most well-known outside China, and most "Chinese restaurants" in Western countries serve Cantonese cuisines and dishes. Guangdong cuisine tastesChar Siu clean, light, crisp and fresh. The flavors of a finished Cantonese dish should be well-balanced and never cloying or greasy. Also, modest amounts of spices should be used to avoid overwhelming the flavors of the primary ingredients, in turn; these primary ingredients should be at the peak of their freshness and quality. The typical cooking techniques in Cantonese cuisine include roasting, stir-frying, sautéing, deep-frying, braising, stewing and steaming, of which steaming and stir-frying are most frequently used to preserve the natural flavors of the ingredients.
Representative menu items: Cantonese Fried Rice, Sweet and Sour Pork (in Chinese, Gulurou) Dace Fish Balls, Cantonese Sea Food Soup, Snow Fungus Soup, Steamed Fish, Steamed Scallops with Ginger and Garlic, Char Siu (in Chinese, Chashao) and Roasted Pork.
 
Fujian Cuisine (Min Cuisine)
CombiningFuzhou Cuisine, Quanzhou Cuisine and Xiamen Cuisine, Fujian Cuisine is renowned for its choice seafood, beautiful color Buddha Jumping Over the Walland magical tastes of sweet, sour, salt and savory. The most distinct feature is their "pickled taste".
Fujian cuisine consists of four styles:
Fuzhou style: The taste is light and often with a mixed sweet and sour taste. Soup is famous here.
Western Fuzhou style: The dishes taste slight spicy, and the cooking methods include steaming, frying and stir-frying.
Southern Fujian style: spicy with a sweet taste
Quanzhou style: It is the least oily but with the strongest flavor of Fujian cuisine, and places great emphasis on the shape of the material for each dish.
Representative menu items: Stuffed Fish Balls, Wucai Zenzhuko, Buddha Jumping Over the Wall; Snow Chicken; Prawn with Dragon's Body and Phoenix's Tail
 
Jiangsu Cuisine (Su or Yang Cuisine)
Jiangsu Cuisine is popular in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. In general, Yang cuisine is Crystal Meatcharacterized as soft, but not too much so. For example, the meat tastes quite soft, but it cannot be separated from the bone when picked up. Other characteristics include the careful selection of ingredients according to the seasons, emphasis on matching the color and shape of each dish and using soup to improve the taste. Its cooking techniques include stewing, braising, roasting, and simmering.
Jiangsu cuisine consists of several styles:
Nanjing cuisine: Its dishes emphasize an even taste and matching color, and the excellent dishes incorporate river fish, shrimps and duck.
Suzhou cuisine: Its taste is stronger than Nanjing cuisine. It suggests a tendency to be sweeter than the other varieties of the cuisine, and is made with a strict selection of ingredients.
Wuxi cuisine: It is famous for various types of congee.
Representative menu items: Stewed Crab with Clear Soup, Long-boiled and Dry-shredded Meat, Duck Triplet, Crystal Meat, Squirrel with Mandarin Fish, and Liangxi Crisp Eel
 
Zhejiang Cuisine
Longjing Shelled ShrimpZhejiang cuisine enjoys a reputation of freshness, tenderness and smoothness of its dishes. Food made in the Zhejiang style is not greasy but has a mellow fragrance. The Zhejiang cuisine consists of at least three styles. The Hangzhou style is characterized by rich variations and the use of bamboo shoots. The Shaoxing style specializes in poultry and freshwater fish. The Ningbo style emphasizes freshness and salty dishes and specializes in seafood. Wenzhou style, as a separate subdivision, specializes in the greatest source of seafood and poultry and livestock.
Representative menu items: Sour West Lake Fish, Longjing Shelled Shrimp, Beggar's Chicken 
 
Hunan Cuisine (Xiang Cuisine)
Hunan cuisine enjoys a high reputation for its hot spicy flavor, fresh aroma and deep color. The cuisine Dongan Chickenincludes three styles. Hunan cuisine is well-known for being dry hot or purely hot, the opposite of Sichuan cuisine. Xiang River style is represented by the dishes of Changsha. Dongting Lake style is represented by the dishes of Hengyang. Western Hunan style is represented by the dishes of Xiangtan. The typical cooking techniques include stewing, frying, pot-roasting, braising and smoking.
Representative menu items: Dongan Chicken, Peppery Hot Chicken, Beer Duck
 
Anhui Cuisine
Anhui cuisine is famous for its use of wild game and herbs and simple methods of preparation. Anhui cuisine chefs are quite good at braising and stewing. Huangshan Braised PigeonFrying and stir-frying are used much less frequently in Anhui cuisine than in other Chinese culinary traditions. Anhui cuisine consists of three styles: Yangtze River style, Huai River style and southern Anhui style. Anhui has large areas of uncultivated fields and forests, so wild birds are readily available to be used in the region's cuisine.
Representative menu items: Stewed Snapper, Huangshan Braised Pigeon.

Minority Cuisines:

Hui Cuisine
Well-known throughout China, Hui Cuisine, also named Muslim food, is both nutritious and distinctive. Uygur food is also a form of Muslim food, and the most famous foods of the Uygur people include finger rice, nang, roasted whole lambmutton shashlik and roasted whole lamb. Hui Cusine, called Qingzhen (pure and true) in Chinese is refined in the quality and selection of the materials. The Hui minority prefer to eat ruminant animal meat, vegetarian animals and poultry which must be butchered by a Muslim priest, called Ahong in Chinese. The Hui people also live on cooked wheaten food which is used to indulge their guests and celebrate the various Chinese festivals. Beef and mutton also comprise a great part in their life. In addition, tea served in a set of cups is also a customary staple of the Hui people's diet. The common characteristics of the Hui cuisine and of their restaurants, food stands and tea houses are the Muslim boards or blue cloth strips hung in front of the doors, and also all packages of the Hui foods are printed with Muslim characters, patterns or scriptures.
However, the Hui people have their own strict food taboos. They don't eat the meat of pig, dog, mule, horse, donkey, cat, mouse nor drink the blood of animals. In addition, they are forbidden to drink alcohol. The Hui Minority's most famous cuisine includes steamed lamb, lamb eaten with the hands, fried beef, deep-fried food, Hand-Pulled Noodles with Beef, Xian Mutton and Bread Pieces in Soup and so on.
 
Tibetan Cuisine
tsampaTibetan cuisine is quite distinct from that of its neighbors, since only a few crops (not including rice) grow at such high altitude. The most important crop is barley. Dough made from barley flour, called tsampa, is the staple food of Tibet. This is either rolled into noodles or made into steamed dumplings called momos. Meat dishes are likely to be yak, goat, or mutton, often dried, or cooked into a spicy stew with potatoes. Mustard seed is cultivated in Tibet, and therefore features heavily in its cuisine. Yak yoghurt, butter and cheese are frequently eaten, and well-prepared yoghurt is considered something of a prestige item.
Other Tibetan foods include Balep korkun - a central Tibetan flatbread that is made on a skillet rather than in an oven. Momos - a type of steamed ravioli, a heavier version of the Chinese jiaozi Thenthuk - a type of cold-weather soup made with noodles and various vegetables.
In larger Tibetan towns and cities many restaurants now serve Sichuan-style Chinese food. Western imports and fusion dishes, such as fried yak and chips, are also popular. Nevertheless, many small restaurants serving traditional Tibetan dishes persist in both cities and the countryside.
 
Miao Cuisine
Miao people live on rice, and they also like deep-fried foods like deep-fried stuffed buns.sour dishes The meat they eat is mostly from the poultry they raise, and the most common vegetables they eat are soybeans, melons, green vegetables and carrots. Most Miao people are especially good at cooking dishes made of soybeans. Besides animal oil, they also eat tea oil and vegetable oil. Hot pepper is the main seasoning they use, and there is a saying in some places that it can't be a real dish without hot pepper.
Most Miao people like to eat sour dishes, and every family has sour soup which is made through fermenting rice or tofu water in a crock for three to five days. Sour soup can be used for cooking meat, fish or all kinds of vegetables. In order to keep the food in good condition, Miao people usually salt the vegetables, chicken, fish and meat in a crock. The Miao people in western Hunan Province are very hospitable. Butter tea is a must which they use for entertaining their guests who have to drink four bowls without stopping, representing being alive and well in all four seasons.
However, Miao people have their taboos. Whenever it is dry and doesn't rain for a long time or people are suffering from illness, Miao people will kill cattle or pig to offer sacrifices to the Thor, and they can only eat the boiled food without salt. In addition, Miao people are forbidden to eat the meat of fish, shrimp, chicken, duck, turtle and crab, but they can eat pork, beef and mutton during days of fasting.
 
Mongolian Cuisine
Mongolian Cuisine mainly includes dairy, also named "white food", and beef, mutton and other meat called "red food". Meanwhile, parched ricecheese also plays an equal role along with the "white food" and the "red food" in the Mongolian people's daily diet. Besides cow's milk, Mongolian people also drink the milk of goat, horse, deer and camel. Only a small part of the milk is made into fresh milk beverages, and the majority part is manufactured into milk products such as cheese, dried milk cake, cream, milk powder and so on. Milk products are the most common foods used to treat guests, and if the guest is a child, the host will put the cream on the child’s forehead to show the host's best wishes.
Mongolian people often eat beef and the meat of sheep, goats, camels and horses. They have over 70 common mutton dishes such as roasted whole lamb, fried lamb tripe, mutton eaten with fingers, deep-fried mutton and so on. They usually eat beef in winter, and there is also beef soup, baked beef and braised beef. Some experienced chefs can even cook the tendons of the sheep, cattle, deer and horse into some medicinal foods. In addition, Mongolian people also dry or salt the beef and mutton for storage purposes.
 
Zhuang Cuisine

As an agricultural ethnic group, Zhuang people do not only plant rice, corn, soybeans, potatoes, melons and fruits, but also raise pigs, cattle, goats, chickens, ducks and other poultry. As a result, Zhuang people have many distinctive foods, including tender boiled chicken with soy sauce, stewed snails, five-color glutinous rice, rice rolled in lettuce, steamed rice in bamboo mug, and so on.
 
Bai Cuisine
The Bai people are good at making salted ham, sausage, fish, fried pork liver, oily chicken and snail sauce. Bai women excel in preparing preserved fruits, such as candied plums. The Bai people are especially hospitable. Whenever a guest comes, he or she will be invited to take the seat of honor and be entertained with tea, eight bowls of dishes and three plates of fruits.

Famous Restaurants around China:

Fangshan Restaurant, Beijing
Beijing Fangshan Restaurant probably serves the most typical Man Han Quan Xi. This restaurant's history dates back to 1925 when Zhao Renzai, one of the imperial chefs of the Qing Court, with many of his friends, Fangshan Restaurant, Beijinglaunched this restaurant inside the Beihai Park. Originally called Fangshan Teahouse, the restaurant was noted for its real imperial cuisines and ding sung. Now the restaurant maintains its old positive reputation of choosing the best ingredients and strictly following the original preparation expertise. Currently on the menu 134 hot courses and 48 cold courses are listed. If you come in a small group and do not want to be "an extravagant emperor" you do not have to order all. Order the mini Man Han Quan Xi instead; you will obtain a general idea about this fabulous feast.

 

Liqun Roast Duck Restaurant, Beijing
Liqun Roast Duck Restaurant, established by previous chef of Quan Ju De, Mr.Zhang Liqun in his quadrangle in 1902, has attracted people all over the world even national VIPs to taste the fantastic delicacy. With its genuine traditional decoration, creative cuisine and superior service, Liqun Restaurant makes customers fully enjoy themselves there.

 

Oriental Pearl Revolving Restaurant, Shanghai
Located on top of Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Oriental Pearl Revolving Restaurant is consideredOriental Pearl Revolving Restaurant, Shanghai to be the highest one in Asia, with its unique views, outstanding cuisine and leisurely environment it is a giant in Shanghai. Hundreds of Chinese and western foods are placed on marvelously decorated buffet tables, while the view from the restaurant changes on a two-hour revolution, definitely leaving you with a deep impression while dining there.

 

Dai Jia Cun Restaurant, Shanghai
Delicious foods blend with cheerful songs and conversation interspersed with hearty laughter, beautiful scenery and wonderful music. The unique dining atmosphere will make you appreciate heartily the peculiar culture of the Yunnan Dai people. Sights nearby: Jade Buddha Temple.

 

Lianxiang Restaurant, GuangzhouLianxiang Restaurant, Guangzhou
Lianxiang Restaurant, located in western Guangzhou, was opened in 1889. It is known as "the best Lotus-seed-Paste" because the lotus-seed-paste there is smooth and luscious. The famous specialties are sweetheart cake (wife cake), almond biscuit with lotus-seed-paste, chicken cake with lotus-seed-paste and all kinds of moon cakes. The products are well known in the market and loved by both domestic and overseas customers for their attractive design and delicious taste.

 

Guangzhou Restaurant, Guangzhou
Guangzhou Restaurant, which was founded in the 1930s, is known as "the best paradise of gourmets". It is representative of traditional Cantonese cuisine. The specialties include Wenchang Chicken, Three-Color Lobster, and Braised Duck’s Web with Flowers.

 

Guilinese Goodluck Restaurant (A La Carte), GuilinGuilinese Goodluck Restaurant (A La Carte), Guilin
Its good location at the Zhengyang Pedestrian Street, a famous commercial street in the center of the city, delicious food as well as the cozy atmosphere make this restaurant one of the most popular eating places for the locals. It mainly serves local food and snacks. Traditional Chinese music is played in the dining room.

 

Haodama Food Plaza, Guilin
This is one of the biggest restaurants in Guilin with the most kinds of food. The branches are mainly located in the food plaza of Bagui Mansion and the food plaza of Niko Niko Do. They can accept 2000 guests at the same time. The main foods there are the Guilin local snacks, snacks from all over the country, special local dishes in Guilin, western food and Japanese food. All the cooking materials are visible to the customers.

 

Dongxinjie Night Food Street, Xian
It is one of the biggest night food streets in downtown Xian with nearly more than 50 food stands selling local delicacies and flavors from all over China.
Recommended food: Jinan Rinse Ox Belly, Xiaoliu Roasted Meat and Grilled Fish, Xiaoli Family's Steamed Bun, Xie Family's Casserole of Rice Noodle, and An Family's Dumpling.

 

Xian Dumpling Banquet Restaurant, Xian
The dumpling banquet has 180 varieties which formed into Flowers Banquet, Dragon and Phoenix Banquet, Xian Dumpling BanquePalace Banquet, Eighth Precious Banquet, and has 15 different series of banquets. The dumpling varieties include chicken, duck, fish shrimp, pork, beef, mutton and rabbit meat and also sea food, vegetables and fruits. Various preparation methods are used including steaming, frying, braising and roasting and the use of various tastes such as fresh, salty, sweet, spicy as well as using unique shapes such as flowers, butterflies, golden fish or pearls. It is thus said "one dumpling one shape, a hundred dumplings a hundred tastes". This banquet is a good combination of ancient and modern, of court and local dumpling skills.

 

Nanning Nanhu Fish Cafe, Nanning
The fish café is on the Nanhu Lake on Binhu Road, which specializes in cooking fish dishes. It can cook more than 100 kinds of dishes and the most famous one is the "Fresh Fish". Other famous dishes are steamed Siniperca Chuatsi, Carp with Brown Sauce, and Sliced Fish with Garlic and so on. Furthermore, the café can also cook delicious seafood and wild animals.

 

Yaxianglou Restaurant, Luoyang
Yaxianglou Restaurant-the Restaurant of Elegance and Fragrance - is the first joint-venture food and Yaxianglou Restaurant, Luoyangbeverage enterprise in Luoyang. The position of the restaurant is excellent. It deals mainly in Cantonese foods and dishes, Cantonese breakfast, top-grade edible birds' nest, sea-ears, shark fin and other seafoods, etc. The area of the newly-decorated restaurant is more than 2,000 square meters .The layout of the restaurant is elegant and its decoration exquisite. The luxurious private rooms, dining halls, and reception room are all in various styles which have fully reflected that the restaurant is refined and top-grade.

 

Lianhu Sweet Foods Restaurant, Nanjing
Lianhu Sweet foods restaurant has a long history in selling traditional cakes. Among them the most famous ones are Osmanthus Stuffing Dumpling and Five-color Cake. Both of these are soft and delicious with beautiful colors, for which they are popular with nearly all the people.

 

Yongheyuan Restaurant, NanjingYongheyuan Restaurant, Nanjing
Yongheyuan Restaurant was built in the Emperor Guangxu period of the Qing Dynasty. It sells hundreds of kinds of pastries, among which the most famous ones are Huangqiao Baked Roll and Kaiyang Shredded Dried Bean Curd. Huangqiao Baked Roll got its name because it originated from Huangqiao Town in Taixing. It looks like the shape of a crab shell, and tastes crispy with two tastes, sweet and salted. Another specialty, Kaiyang Shredded Dried Bean Curd is slender but tough. Especially with the fresh chicken soup, it tastes more delicious.

 

The first Chain of Biewang Emperor Mansion, Taiyuan
The restaurant is not very large, but it is favored by many customs. The rice with juice is especially delicious.

 

Haoqingxiang Restaurant, Xiamen
With a long history of over 60 years, Haoqingxiang Restaurant enjoys a high reputation both at home and abroad for its original Southern Fukien dishes and Xiamen-flavored snacks. Located near a picturesque lake, it has excellent surroundings. With an area of 2000 square meters, it can accommodate nearly 1000 people, which makes it an ideal place for banquets, parties, celebrations and for the tourists to dine.

 

Jiali Seafood Restaurant, Xiamen
Located on Gulangyu Island which is known as the island of music, it is a high-class restaurant famed for original Fujian cuisine and delicate Cantonese cuisine. As soon as you walk into the restaurant, you can feel that you are in a paradise of delicious food. It has a noble and elegant dining atmosphere with over 40 separate luxurious rooms with 500 seats in all. It is an ideal place for the business luncheons, parties and banquets.

 

Caixiangyuan Restaurant (Set Menu), Chongqing
Caixiangyuan Restaurant, founded in early 1999, is the initiator of a new style of Sichuan Cuisine. Based on Caixiangyuan Restaurant (Set Menu), Chongqicolor, smell, flavor and form of traditional Sichuan Cuisine, the restaurant adds three more fashionable elements: music, health and utensils. By using and branding new principles, the cultural, technical and ordinary Sichuan Cuisine is combined into a new style of Sichuan Cuisine. The restaurant has created a "New Concept of Sichuan Cuisine". There are many specialties in this restaurant, including Glutinous Rice Duck with Matsutak, Duck Tongue with Chilli, and Salty Crispy Chicken with Chilli, and so on.

 

Kanglong Prince Restaurant, Wuhan
Serving up a mixture of flavors from around China is Kanglong's specialty. Cooking traditions stem mainly from the Hubei region but are influenced by Sichuan cuisine and Hunan cuisine. Steak, chicken breast, salmon and other western style dishes on the menu also are strongly recommended. Local specialties like Wuchang Fish (once immortalized in a Mao Zedong poem), Sliced Duck, Salt and Pepper Spareribs and Griddle Cooked Shredded Chicken shouldn't be missed. The food is usually delicate and consistently good, with acceptable prices and friendly and courteous staff.

 

Huamei Western Restaurant, Harbin
Huamei Western Restaurant is located at No.142, Central Avenue, Lidao District in Harbin. It has a long Huamei Western Restaurant, Harbinhistory. The restaurant assembles all the elite of the authentic Russian dishes. It mainly offers Russian cuisine. British Cuisine, French Cuisine, Italian Cuisine and some other cuisines can be found here. There are more than 40 famous dishes, such as, Pork Fillet with Milk, Chicken Stewed in Pot, Shrimp, Beef, Mutton, or Fish Roasted with Milk, Mixed Shrimp, Baked Mutton in Bunch, and Chicken Cooked on Iron Plate.

 

Apricot Flower Village, Dali
The atmosphere of the Apricot Flower Village is full of the ethnic style of the Bai People. There is classical furniture with carved flowers in every room. Furthermore, the environment of the restaurant is so quiet and beautiful that it makes you feel comfortable. The restaurant has more than 100 kinds of food. Most are the traditional foods of the Bai People. For example, Sand Pot Fish, Stewed Chicken, Pawpaw Fish, and so on. Some of foods are potherb. In the Apricot Flower Village, you can find every single type of Chinese cuisine here—Shandong Cuisine, Sichuan Cuisine, Cantonese Cuisine, Fujian Cuisine, Zhejiang Cuisine, Hunan Cuisine and Anhui Cuisine. When you eat here, you not only feast on delicious food, but also enjoy the wonderful landscape of Dali.

 

Blue Marlin West Restaurant, Suzhou
The Blue Marlin provides orthodox school European continent western-style food, whose main clients are foreigners. It is a good place to have a meal, relax or chat. The Blue Marlin was a pioneer back in the day when it was hard to get something other than local food. The restaurant has a good customer base around town, which allows it to organize exciting events and trips.

 

Chaotai Beef Restaurant , Shenzhen
The beef broth of the Chaotai Beef Restaurant, which is stewed for many hours every day, is a nutritious soup full of the flavor of beef. The sirloin tastes tender, the beef tastes delicate, the tripe tastes refreshing and the Chaotai Beefbeef meatballs taste soft. Then, try the vegetables in hot broth and drink the thick broth. You will find that the taste of beef has penetrated into the radish, the dried rolls of bean-milk cream, the lettuce and the dried bean curd. Meanwhile, the fragrance of vegetables dissolves in the beef broth. The mixture of beef and vegetables makes them taste better. The thick broth, which combines the flavors of beef, sirloin, tripe and the vegetables, has been stewed thoroughly. It is a supreme feast to drink the broth. The famous dish of this restaurant is the Beef Chafing Dish. You can taste the delicious beef meatballs in it and drink the thick broth. The restaurant pays a lot of attention to stocking the ingredients. All the dishes here are made from high-quality ox in China, which tastes great.

 

Jixin Yunnan Food Palace, Kunming
Jixin Yunnan Food Palace, founded in 1994, redecorated then reopened for business in 2003. The architectural styles of three nationalities, Han, Bai and Dai, were used throughout the entire building when decorated. The ancient and traditional Chinese gate, the overhanging palace lights, and the royal style of the interior decoration, give customers elegant and graceful feelings. In the Jixin Yunnan Food Palace, you not only can enjoy the old Dian dishes, but also enjoy the new Dian dishes cooked with the latest ingredients and cooking skills. Here, you can taste different delicacies and snacks, as well as Bridge Mixian, the most famous food in Yunnan.

 

Yunxiao Lu Seafood Street, QingdaoYunxiao Lu Seafood
Yunxiao Lu Seafood Street, with all seafood restaurants on both sides, is the most famous seafood street in Qingdao. The seafood there is noted for its freshness, good taste and low price. Alorcha (Macao Peninsular), Macau Paella, and the Portuguese Seafood Rice and Clams Stir-fried with Garlic have all earned this street a great reputation. For dessert, try Serradura.


 
Hangzhou Lily Hotel Restaurant, Hangzhou
Situated at the side of West Lake, Lily Hotel Restaurant brings you a terrific opportunity for seeing a panoramic view of the lake. The restaurant is decorated in the style of this southern city  of the Yangtze River, mainly offering Hangzhou cuisines that are prepared to please your palate as well as your eye. Visit this restaurant and you will enjoy a wonderful dining experience while traveling in Hangzhou.

Chinese Imperial Cuisine:

Chinese Imperial cuisine is derived from a variety of cooking styles of the regions in China, mainly Shandong cuisine and Jiangsu cuisine. The style originated from the Emperor's Kitchen and the Empress Dowager's Ting Li GuanKitchen, and it is similar to Beijing cuisine which it heavily influenced. The characteristics of the Chinese Imperial cuisine are the elaborate cooking methods and the strict selection of ingredients, which are often extremely expensive and rare. Visual presentation is also very important, so the color and the shape of the dish must be carefully arranged. The two most famous Chinese Imperial cuisine restaurants are both located in Beijing: Fang Shan in Beihai Park and Ting Li Guan in the Summer Palace.
 
Chinese imperial food dates back to slave society. Ever since there were emperors and palaces, there has been imperial food, which was served mainly to the emperors, their wives and concubines, and the royal families. Emperors used their power to collect the best delicacies and called upon the best cooks to make delicious food for them. Imperial food represented the dynasty's best cuisine. Although imperial food was made exclusively for the royal family, generals, ministers, and nobility, it was the peasants, herders, and fishermen who provided the raw materials, craftsmen who made the kitchen utensils, the cooking staff who provided the service, civil officials who named the dishes and protocol officials who drafted the dietary and culinary rules. Imperial food comprised the dietetic culture of the Chinese palaces and it is part of China's valuable cultural heritage.
 
Imperial foods often were improved dishes invented by the common people. The inventors were not princes, dukes, or ministers, but cooks and commoners. The original model for a dish might have been similar to a dish you once prepared for Sima Qianyourself. Food preparation is impossible without cooks, so emperors in ancient times cherished excellent cooks. The Historical Records by Sima Qian, a famous historian of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220), reports that Yi Yin, the first famous prime minister in known Chinese history, helped Tang (the first ruler of the Shang Dynasty, enthroned 1766 BC – 1760 BC) destroy Jie (the last ruler of the Xia Dynasty, enthroned 1818 BC – 1766 BC). Yi Yin had been a famous cook before he became prime minister. Yi Yin, whose original name was Ah Heng, was a slave of the Youxinshi family. He wanted to convince Tang of his good ideas, but lacked a way, so he brought his kitchen utensils with him and won Tang's trust by demonstrating his cooking skills. Tang described him as cooking delicious dishes and having the ability to govern the country, so he appointed Yi Yin as his prime minister. Later cooks also participated in politics. Peng Zu, who is called the founder of Chinese cooking, was chef to Emperor Yao around the beginning of the 21st century BC Yi Ya of the Qi State in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC – 476 BC) won the trust of Prince Huan of Qi by being good at cooking and identifying flavors. Shao Kang, the seventh emperor of the Xia Dynasty, had been an official in charge of the kitchen service for Youyushi before the Xia Dynasty was founded.

The imperial drinks were known as the six clears, five qis, and three jius.Sweet Wine
The six clears were water; thick liquids, such as vinegar and sour wine; sweet wine, a wine made from cooked rice; mellow wine, a wine thinned by adding cold water; yi wine, a wine made from yeast and rice porridge; and ye wine, a wine made from thin porridge.
The five qis were five wines residue made from rice, sorghum, and millet. They were fan qi, a sweet wine with thick, floating matter; li qi, a very mild, sweet wine made soaking half liquid and half grain overnight; ang qi, a turbid; slightly clear; sweet wine; ti qi, a red wine with more clarity than ang qi; and shen qi, a wine with bottom sediment and clear liquid above.
The three jius were wines that had been filtered to remove the residue, and which differed from the five qis. The qis were used for sacrificial rites, while the jius were used for drink. The three jius referred to the categories of wine. Shi jiu, also known as occasion wine, was made immediately whenever there was a special occasion. Xi jiu was an aged wine that took longer to make. It usually was made in winter and matured in the spring; its liquid was clear and mellow. Qing jiu was aged even longer and its liquid was even clearer than Xi jiu. It was made in winter and became mature in the summer.
The four drinks were clear, which referred to the clear wine that remained after the li qi of the five qis was filtered; mellow, which was a wine made from rice porridge after yeast was added; thick; which was a sour, vinegary wine; and yi, which was a wine made from thin porridge. (Some history books say yi was made from millet porridge.)
 
To some extent peoples' food and drink are influenced by regional divisions, but the primary influences are peoples' income, education, culture, and religious beliefs. For these reasons, China developed several dietetic cultures. These include the imperial, aristocratic, literati, market, and temple cuisines. Especially during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, imperial food and drink were closely tied to preserving health, which led to the development of unique imperial food.

Famous Chinese Cuisine Quotes:

An Original Version
A famous saying about Chinese cuisine, which is apt to summarize the entire Chinese cuisine in one sentence, has been in Chinese culture for some time, though its exact origin is unknown: East is sweet, South is salty, West is sour, and North is spicy.
 
A Popular Online Version
It is well accepted that Chinese cuisine has gone through numerous transformations through the different dynasties all the way up to modern times. Various versions of quotes of the Chinese cuisine exist on the internet today. "East is spicy, South is sweet, West is sour, North is salty".Hunan cuisine
Some differences exist between the original version and the online one. The original phrase suggests that South is salty, which fits Cantonese cuisine and Hakka cuisine because southern styles are largely dominated by salty tastes. However, the online version suggests south is sweet instead. This may be true due to the fact that sweet Tong Sui is the main export from southern regions. Nowadays, the Sichuan and Hunan cuisines are widely known for their spicy dishes. The two versions of quotes can be debated literally down to the individual dish. 
 
A Lifestyle Quote
Eat in Guangzhou; Die in Liuzhou; Play in Suzhou; Live in Hangzhou.
The above popular quote suggests Cantonese cuisine from Guangzhou is the standout in Chinese cuisine. As for Liuzhou, this is where the best wood grows which is suitable for death and coffins. In Suzhou, the most beautiful women live there and the most comfortable environment for living is in Hangzhou.

Chinese Life and Death:

China's Economy
Since the founding of the new China in 1949, the economy of China has seen fairly rapid development. Especially since China initiated reforms and opening up to the outside world, China's economy has been China GDP Growth Rate(1978-2008)advancing healthily and has achieved a sustained annual growth of around 9 percent. In 2005, the GDP of China was more than US/$ 2,200 billion and the average per-capita GDP was US/$ 1,703. At present, China's GDP comes fourth in the world. Its share of the world economy is 5 percent and it is only next to America, Japan, and Germany. The average per-capita GDP only comes 110th in the world.
 
Population Control and an Aging Society
China is also one of the countries which has a high density of population in the world. The average population density of the nation is 135 people for every square kilometer. Moreover, the population of China is spread unbalanced all over the country.
The last population census shows that fairly great changes have taken place in the age structure of China's population. People from 0 to 14 number 289.79 million and make up 22.89% of the total population, and has reduced by 4.8 percent, compared with the population census in 1990. People aged from 15 to 64 number 887.93 million, and makes up 70.15% of the total population.  The number of people over 65 is 88.11 million and makes up 6.96% of the total population, and has increased by 1.39 percent, compared with the population census in 1990. This data shows that, since the reform and opening up of the country, with the rapid development of the economy and society, the great improvement of people's standard of living and medical conditions, and especially the rapid decrease in population growth, these have
caused the quickened progress of the aging of the population.
 
Public Health
A number of the larger cities have western style medical facilities with international and local staff. Some other hospitals in major Chinese cities have “gaogan bingfang” -wards which are equipped with reasonably up-to-date medical technology and physicians who are both knowledgeable and skilled. Many of these wards will provide medical services to foreigners and have English-speaking doctors and nurses.  There are also some foreign-operated medical providers who cater to expatriates and visitors.
Almost all hospitals have emergency rooms to provide emergency assistance to needy patients. When foreigners need emergency ambulance, the hospitals can pay medical costs for the foreigners in advance and provide emergency treatment and medical rescue, escort abroad and other foreign medical services. There are "120" in many cities to give emergency first-aid. You may call "120" to request this type of first-aid.
The technical level of public health has improved greatly, and the management and supervision of medical work have been strengthened. An urban and rural medical insurance system combining state planning and fee paying has been established. Traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine have been promoted simultaneously. The incidence of many epidemic diseases has dropped considerably, and some endemic diseases are now under control. Rural health work has been improved, greatly contributing to the overall health of the population. The average life expectancy of Chinese people, the death rate of infants and childbirth death rates have almost reached the levels of developed countries.
 
Marriage Customs
In China, marriage is considered to be one of the three most important things in one's whole life. Traditionally, a whole wedding consists of 6 different steps in advance and then the wedding ceremony. The Chinese perform the formal Chinese wedding ceremonywedding ceremony first began at the end of the Prehistoric Times (1.7 million years ago – 21st century BC) perhaps with an engagement proposal with a complete deerskin in ancient times. In the Xia and Shang Dynasties (21st – 11th centuries BC), the 'Meeting the Bride' ritual was formalized. During the Zhou Dynasty (11th – 221 BC) the more complex and ceremonial tradition of 'six rites' was recognized: presenting gifts to the girl's family, knowing the girl's general background, engagement, presenting betrothal gifts to the bride's family, asking the fortuneteller to choose an auspicious day, and meeting the bride. This established the traditional Chinese marriage customs. Thereafter, the wedding ceremony becomes even more colorful and lively.
Along with society's progress and the transformation of people's thinking, pre-marital sex has become increasingly popular in China, thus current Chinese marriage customs are not as complicated as the traditional ones. They primarily involve the engagement and wedding ceremony. Betrothal gifts are usually gold or diamond jewelry, with the wedding ring different from the engagement ring. The dowry has been changed into some modern electrical appliance such as a fridge or washing machine or TV set, or perhaps a sofa set or even an apartment. On the wedding day the bride wears both a white wedding dress and festive red clothes, while the bridegroom still wears a special suit; a bridesmaid and a groomsman attend the new couple at the wedding; the bridegroom takes a decorated car to meet his bride instead of a carriage or sedan chair; hotels have become the favorite place to hold the wedding feast, the whole wedding ceremony is often organized by a master of ceremonies in the hotel; and the new couple will also attend the feast together and propose toasts for the guests; after the wedding, some new couples will even have a honeymoon .
 
Funeral Customs
Funerals have many superstitious customs. But most of them emphasize expensive coffins and grand burial ceremonies. The dead person should be bathed before encoffined. The rites of burial can be divided into simple ones and grand ones. In a simple burial ceremony, the dead will be covered with new clothes; while in a grand one, the dead should be laid into a coffin. The Coffin should be well made, and for rich families the coffin is made of rare woods and painted with colored paintings. Burial ceremonies should be solemn. After that there is the memorial ceremony which usually lasts ten days or more. Sometimes monks or Taoists are invited to chant scriptures because local people believe it can help the dead to reach paradise earlier.

Chinese Language:

The Origin and Development of Language
Human language may have emerged by the transition to behavioral modernity, which occurred some 50,000 years ago at the latest, in the Upper Paleolithic Era. A common assumption is that behavioral modernity and theTortoise Shells emergence of language coincide and are dependent on each other. Others would push back the origin of language to some 200,000 years ago, the time of the appearance of archaic Homo sapiens (Middle Paleolithic), or even into the Lower Paleolithic, to some 500,000 years ago. This question significantly depends on the view taken of the communicative skills of Homo neanderthalensis. A lengthy stage of pre-language, intermediate between the vocalizations of non-human primates and fully developed human language, is assumed by some scholars, while others (e.g. Richard Klein) view the acquisition of language and behavioral modernity as sudden, possibly linked to a genetic mutation (for an overview see Kenneally 2007). Chinese characters are used to record the Chinese language. Since the discovery of inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells of the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th-11th century BC), the Chinese language has a history of about 6, 000 years. Most of the 55 ethnic groups in China have their own languages, and 30 of them have their own written languages.
As the most widely spoken language on earth, Chinese is, strictly speaking, a series of dialects spoken by the dominant ethnic group within China, the Han. Indeed, the term most commonly used by the Chinese themselves to refer to the language is Hanyu, meaning "Han-language". 
 
Mandarin
Standard Mandarin, or Standard Chinese, is the official modern Chinese spoken language used in mainland China and Taiwan, and is one of the four official languages of Singapore. The phonology of Standard Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect of Mandarin, a large and diverse group of Chinese dialects spoken across northern and southwestern China. The vocabulary is largely drawn from this group of dialects. The grammar is standardized to the body of modern literary works written in Vernacular Chinese, which in practice follows the same tradition of the Mandarin dialects with some notable exceptions. As a result, Standard Mandarin itself is usually just called "Mandarin" in non- academic, everyday usage. However, linguists use "Mandarin" to refer to the entire language. This convention will be adopted by the rest of this article.
The Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) began to use the term Guanhua, or "official speech", to refer to the speech used at the courts. The term "Mandarin" comes directly from the Portuguese. The word "mandarin" was first used to name the Chinese bureaucratic officials (i.e., the mandarins), because the Portuguese, under the misapprehension that the Sanskrit word that was used throughout Asia to denote "an official" had some connection with the Portuguese word mandar (to order somebody to do something), and having observed that these officials all "issued orders", chose to call them mandarins. From this, the Portuguese immediately started calling the special language that these officials spoke amongst themselves (i.e., "Guanhua") "the language of the mandarins", "the mandarin language" or, simply, "Mandarin". The fact that Guanhua was, to a certain extent, an artificial language, based upon a set of conventions (that is, the various Mandarin dialects for grammar and meaning, and the specific dialect of the Imperial Court's locale for its pronunciation), is precisely what makes it such an appropriate term for Modern Standard Chinese (also the various Mandarin dialects for grammar and meaning, and their dialect of Beijing for its pronunciation). The People's Republic of China, established in 1949, continued the effort. In 1955, the name Guoyu was replaced by Putonghua, or "common speech". Since then, the standards used in mainland China and Taiwan have diverged somewhat, especially in newer vocabulary terms, and a little in pronunciation.
 
Dialects
Within China, it is common perception that these varieties are distinct in their spoken forms only, and that the language, when written, is common across the country. Therefore even though China is home to hundreds of relatively unique spoken languages, literate people are usually able to communicate through written language effectively.
 
Main dialects
Large differences exist between dialects. Dialects include Wu, Kan, Hsiang, Guangzhou (Cantonese), Min, and Hakka.
Wu Dialects: in the south of Jiangsu Province and the majority of Zhejiang Province;
Kan Dialects: mainly in Jiangxi Province;
Hsiang Dialects: in the majority of Hunan Province and north of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region;
Guangzhou Dialects (Cantonese): in the major part of Guangdong Province and southeast of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region;
Min Dialects: in Fujian, Taiwan and Hainan Provinces as well as Chaozhou and Shantou Cities of Guangdong Province;
Hakka Dialects: in Taiwan, east and north of Guangdong Province, west of Fujian Province as well as south of Jiangxi Province.
 
Cantonese
In the Qin Dynasty Chinese troops moved south and conquered the Baiyue territories, and thousands of Han people began settling in the Lingnan area. This migration led to the Chinese language being spoken in the Lingnan area. After Zhao Tuo Armour of Qin Dynastywas made the Duke of Nanyue by the Qin Dynasty and given authority over the Nanyue region, many Han people entered the area and lived together with the Nanyue population, consequently affecting the livelihood of the Nanyue people as well as stimulating the spread of the Chinese language. Although Han Chinese settlements and their influences soon dominated, some of the indigenous Nanyue population did not escape from the region. Today, the degree of interaction between Han Chinese and the indigenous population remains vague.
Cantonese is spoken in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hong Kong, Macau, parts of Southeast Asia and by Overseas Chinese with an ancestry tracing back to the Guangdong region. Used by linguistics, "Cantonese" covers all the Yue dialects, such as Taishanese, though the term is also used to refer specifically to the Standard Cantonese of Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Similar to Wu and Min, not all subgroups of Cantonese are mutually intelligible. Some dialects of Yue have intricate sets of tone compared to other Chinese dialects, with up to seven or eight tones. Yue keeps a full complement of Middle Chinese word-final consonants.
Historically, the majority of the overseas Chinese have originated from just two provinces; Fujian and Guangdong. This has resulted in the overseas Chinese having a far higher proportion of Fujian and Guangdong dialect speakers than Chinese speakers in China as a whole. More recent emigration from Fujian and Hong Kong has continued this trend. The largest number of Cantonese speakers outside mainland China and Hong Kong are in South East Asia, however speakers of Min dialects are predominant among the overseas Chinese in South East Asia. The Cantonese spoken in Singapore and Malaysia is also known to have borrowed substantially from Malay and other languages.
 
Chinese Characters
According to legend, Chinese characters were invented by Cangjie (c. 2650 BC), a bureaucrat under the legendary emperor, Huangdi. The legend tells that Cangjie was hunting on Mountain Yangxu (today Shanxi) when he sawCangjie a tortoise whose veins caught his curiosity. Inspired by the possibility of a logical relation of those veins, he studied the animals of the world, the landscape of the earth, and the stars in the sky, and invented a symbolic system called Zi — Chinese characters. It was said that on the day the characters were born, the Chinese heard the devil mourning, and saw crops falling like rain, as it marked the beginning of the world.
Seal script, which had evolved slowly in the state of Qín during the Eastern Zhou dynasty, became standardized and adopted as the formal script for all of China in the Qín dynasty (leading to a popular misconception that it was invented at that time), and was still widely used for decorative engraving and seals (name chops, or signets) in the Hàn dynasty onward. But despite the Qín script standardization, more than one script remained in use at the time. For example, a little-known, rectilinear and roughly executed kind of common (vulgar) writing had for centuries coexisted with the more formal seal script in the Qín state, and the popularity of this vulgar writing grew as the use of writing itself became more widespread. By the Warring States period, an immature form of clerical script called “early clerical” or“proto-clerical” had already developed in the state of Qín based upon thus vulgar writing, and with influence from seal script as well. The coexistence of the three scripts, small seal, vulgar and proto-clerical, with the latter evolving gradually in the Qín to early Hàn dynasties into clerical script, runs counter to the traditional beliefs that the Qín dynasty had one script only, and
that clerical script was suddenly invented in the early Hàn dynasty from the small seal script. The Chinese script spread to Korea together with Buddhism from the 7th century (Hanja). The Japanese Kanji were adopted for recording the Japanese language from the 8th century AD. The Vietnamese Han Tu were first used in Vietnam during the millennium of Chinese rule starting in 111 BC, while adaptation for the vernacular Chữ Nôm script (based on Chinese characters) emerged around the 13th century AD.
 
The Strokes of Chinese Characters
Chinese characters are written with twelve basic strokes.  If you want to learn about them, you can check with Google or other search engines on the Internet.

 

Modern Times:

Republic of China (1912–1949)
On 1 January 1912, the Republic of China was established, meaning the end of the Qing Dynasty. Sun Yat-sen of the Kuomintang (the KMT or Nationalist Party) wasSun Yat-sen proclaimed provisional president of the republic. However, the presidency was later given to Yuan Shikai, a former Qing general, who had ensured the defection of the entire Beiyang Army from the Qing Empire to the revolution.
After Yuan Shikai's defeat as calling himself Emperor of China in 1916, China's regime became fragmented. Warlords in various regions exercised actual control over their respective territories. In the late 1920s, the Kuomintang, under Chiang Kai-shek, was able to reunify the country under its own control, moving the nation's capital to Nanking (modern day Nanjing) and implementing "political tutelage", an intermediate stage of political development outlined in Sun Yat-sen's program for transforming China into a modern, democratic state. Effectively, political tutelage meant one-party rule by the Kuomintang.
The Communist Party of China (CCP) led by Mao Zedong ,gained victory in the Chinese Civil War with the Kuomingtang. On 1 October 1949, the CCP established the People's Republic of China as a Socialist State.
 
People's Republic of China (1949–present)
After the Chinese Civil War, mainland China underwent a series of disruptive socioeconomic The Founding Ceremony of PRC in 1949movements starting in the late 1950s with the Great Leap Forward and continuing in the 1960s with the Cultural Revolution that left much of its education system and economy in shambles. With the death of its first generation Communist Party leaders such as Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, the PRC began implementing a series of political and economic reforms advocated by Deng Xiaoping that eventually formed the foundation for mainland China's rapid economic development starting in the 1990s.
In 1997, Hong Kong was ceded to the PRC by the United Kingdom, and in 1999, Macau was handed over by Portugal.
China became more influential economically in the 1990s and 2000s and was beginning to be widely recognized. By 2006, China had become the world's fourth largest economy. At the same time, numerous social problems emerged and intensified. As President Jiang Zemin gradually retired from his position of power, "fourth-generation" leaders, led by President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, faced with increasing social unrest, attempted to steer the country towards a new direction. From the path of focusing solely on economic development, Hu and Wen placed focus on creating an overall balance under the idea of the Scientific Development Concept to create a harmonious society. In this process, there was an unprecedented shift in stance towards favoring rural development and farmers, as well as other generally populist policies. And China hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics successfully in 2008. Now confronting the economic crisis, China is making its effort and is cooperating with other nations.

Confucianism:

Brief Introduction
The traditional Chinese culture has a long history and Confucianism basically occupies a backbone position. Confucianism has gone through various dynasties since Confucius initiated it, and has been the mainstream of Chinese ideology, politics and culture.
ConfucianismGenerally speaking, the development of Confucianism can be divided into three phases. The first phase of Confucianism is pre-Qin Confucianism. The second phase refers to that the natural science of the Song and Ming Dynasties, which is the Confucianism formed under the impact of foreign Indian Buddhism and native born Taoism. The Confucianism under the impact of western culture since modern times is the third phase.
In the first phase of Confucianism, the representatives are Confucius, Mencius and Xunzi, whose thoughts are dominant at the initial stage of Confucianism. During this period, Confucianism took shape. In the second phase Confucianism was carried forward. It plays a positive role in transforming social traditions. In the third phase, the country gained scientific development and was founded democratically on the premise of adhering to the traditional morals and spirit of Confucianism.
 

Confucius (551BC – 479BC) was a great thinker and educator in the period of the Spring and Autumn and Warring States and the founder of the Confucian School. The main literature representative of his thoughts is the Analects. The basic wisdom of Confucius can be embodied in the following six beliefs:
 The first one is "humanity" which is the core of the political thoughts of Confucius. It put forward the ways of how to conduct oneself and deal with relationships between people. Confucius regarded "humanity" as the highest principle, the standard and mode of conducting oneself, the object of which was to optimize human relationships.Confucius
The second one is "rite".  It has an interactive relationship with "humanity".
The third one is "neutrality", that is, "moderation", which requires people to follow “the doctrine of moderation”. Whatever happens, people should "take hold of their two extremes, determine the Mean, and employ it in his government of the people" This is a throughway of Confucianism and also then social philosophy.
The fourth one is "virtue" which mainly refers to "humanitarian rule" and "virtuous governing" in the strategies of managing state affairs and criticizes that "tyranny is fiercer than a tiger". This is the “kingly way" of Confucius and Confucianism.
The fifth one is "education”. Confucius put forward the educational thoughts of establishing private institution, educating without discrimination and teaching students in accordance of their aptitude.
The sixth one is "cultivation". Confucius contended that people should strengthen the cultivation of the individual mind, "self-command", and "the cultivation of one's morality" to enhance the consciousness of implementing humanity and virtue, and to cultivate and perfect and the ideal interpersonal relationship.
 
Famous Works
According to tradition, the teachings of Confucius are based on nine major texts:
Five Classics (Wujing)
 
Buddhism, an Indian religion, was developed from Hinduism. Siddhartha didn't like the beliefs of Hinduism, so he meditated under a tree for forty-nine days, hoping to reach enlightenment, and that was the start of Buddhism. His first preaching included the Four Noble Truths:
BuddhismLife is filled with suffering and sorrow;
The cause of all suffering is people's selfish desire for pleasure;
The way to end suffering is to end desires;
The way to overcome such desire and reach enlightenment is to follow the Eightfold path.
Although monks and nuns had to live a life of poverty, the majority of the population was laborers and craftsmen, due to the fact that Buddhism rejects the idea of the caste system.
 

Book of Songs (Shijing); Book of History (Shujing);  Book of Rites (Lijing); Book of Changes (Yijing); Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunjiu); Four Books (Sishu); Analects (Lunyu); Great Learning (Daxue); Doctrine of the Mean (Zhongyong); Book of Mencius (Mengzi)
 

Influence on China

Confucianism, existing in China for several thousand years, still has tremendous potential influence on all the aspects such as politics and economy in China. Confucian thoughts have been the most basic mainstream value of the Chinese people through the ages. The basic values of Confucian thoughts of "rite, justice, honesty, shame, humanity, love, loyalty and filial piety" are the basic rules of consciousness for the daily conduct of most Chinese people all the time. The courteous, friendly, gentle, honest, tolerant, earnest and industrious temperament of the Chinese nation has also gradually developed under the education of Confucianism.
 

A Comparison between Confucianism and Buddhism

Confucianism, founded by the Chinese philosopher Confucius, belongs to a kind of philosophy, while Buddhism, founded by Siddhartha Guatama, belongs to a kind of religion. There is a difference between religion and philosophy. A religion talks about death, the afterlife and god(s) while a philosophy only talks about what one should do in life.

 

ConfucianismConfucian ideas involved social order, harmony and a good government. Five relationships were included in Confucianism. They were:
Ruler and subject; Father and son; Husband and wife; Older and younger brothers; Friends.
Confucianism also includes filial piety, which is when children pay respect to their elders, parents, and ancestors. A bureaucracy, which is a trained civil service, was his idea of a government. To be in the government, you had to have a good education.
 
 

Ancient Systems:

Feudalism
Feudalism, in its most classic sense, refers to a Medieval European political system composed of a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals, and fiefs. Although derived from the Latin word feodum (fief), then in use, the term feudalism and the system it describes were not conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the Medieval Period.
 
The subsequent dynasties, the Shang (16th-11th century BC) and the Western Zhou (11th century-770BC) saw further development of slave society. This era was followed by the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods (770BC-221BC), marking the transition from slave society to feudal society. Chinese history from the Zhou Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty is thus described as the feudal period.
 
The Zhou Dynasty can be seen as a true feudal system as it was in many respects very similar to the system used in Medieval Europe. Each lord was given a state/land, Zhou Kingand politics was strongly centerd around the noble households. In fact, the notion of "prime minister" in ancient Chinese came from the feudal time meaning the "chief housekeeper" or "butler" of the noble household. Each feudal state was governed independently with tax systems, currency and legal systems set by each individual household, but the nobles were required to pay regular homage to the Zhou Kings as an act of oath of fealty. In time of war the nobles were required to provide armed service to the King. Approaching the end of Zhou dynasty, the power of the King dwindled while the power of the nobles had risen. This resulted in what is known as the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods when the nobles fought each other constantly for supremacy. This had resulted in the claps of the noble ranking system, and during the late Warring States Period all major nobles had proclaimed them-selves the title of "Wang" (King).
 
The Wang Zheng of Qin (note that at the time the Bo of Qin was self-proclaimed as "Wang of Qin") eventually removed the Zhou household and defeated all other feudal lords and funded the first empire. To the horror of the people at the time, he completely abolished the feudal system in favor of the centrally governed imperial bureaucratic system had been used in China ever since the foundation of the republic in the 20th century. Noble titles including that of "Wang" were frequently used in the imperial periods, but their function were mostly honor titles that differed very much from that of the Zhou times.
Feudalism in 12th century England was among the better structured and established in Europe at the time. However, it could be structurally complex. Feudalism is the exchange of land for military service, thus everything was based on what was called the knight's fee, which was the amount of money and/or military service a fief was required to pay to support one knight. Thus, either a fief could provide the service of a knight, or an equivalent amount of money to allow a lord to hire a knight.

Among the complexities of feudal arrangements there existed no guarantee that contracts between lord and vassal would be honored, and feudal contracts saw littleLord and Vassal enforcement from those with greater authority. This often resulted in the wealthier and more powerful party taking advantage of the weaker. Such was (allegedly) the case of Hugh de Lusignan and his relations with his lord William V of Aquitaine. Between 1020 and 1025 Hugh wrote or possibly dictated a complaint against William and his vassals describing the unjust treatment he had received at the hands of both. Hugh describes a convoluted intermingling of loyalties that was characteristic of the period and instrumental in developing strain between nobles that resulted in competition for each other's land. According to Hugh's account William wronged him on numerous occasions, often to the benefit of William's vassals. Many of his properties suffered similar fates: seized by opponents and divided between them and William. William apparently neglected to send military aid to Hugh when necessary and dealt most unfairly in the exchange of hostages. Each time Hugh reclaimed one of his properties, William ordered him to return it to whoever had recently taken it from him. William broke multiple oaths in succession yet Hugh continued to put faith in his lord's word, to his own ruin.  
 
Influence
The use of the term "feudal" to describe a period in Chinese history was also common among Western historians of China of the 1950s and 1960s, but became increasingly rare after the 1970s. The current prevailing consensus among Western historians is that using the term "feudal" to describe Chinese history confuses more than it clarifies, as it assumes strong commonalities between Chinese and European history that may not have existed after the Qin Dynasty.
The Wang Zheng of Qin (note that at the time the Bo of Qin was self-proclaimed as "Wang of Qin") eventually removed the Zhou household and defeated all other feudal lords and funded the first empire. To the horror of the people at the time, he completely abolished the feudal system in favor of the centrally governed imperial bureaucratic system which had been used in China ever since the foundation of the republic in the 20th century. Noble titles including that of "Wang" were frequently used in the imperial periods, but their function was mostly honor titles that differed very much from that of the Zhou times.
The First Emperor of QinArguably the first emperor of Qin had accomplished in China what Napoleon Bonaparte had partially failed to do in Europe. And indeed, the King of Qin at the time was seen among the nobles as public enemy number one, and his abolishment of the feudal system was listed by scholars at the time among the ten "crimes against humanity" he had committed after the fall of the short-lived Qin empire. However the central bureaucratic system he had established had obvious attractions to future rulers of the Han Empire and it was there to stay for the next two millennia. 
 
Social Class
Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. Usually most societies have some notion of social class, but concretely defined social classes are not found in every known type of human society. Some traditional hunter-gatherer societies do not have social classes, often lack permanent leaders, and actively avoid dividing their members into hierarchical power structures. In these societies, individuals are able to do the same activities. Since there is little labor specialization and no food surpluses are produced, there is little necessity or even opportunity for classes to form and develop. The most basic class distinction is between the powerful and the powerless. People in social classes with greater power attempt to cement their own positions in society and maintain their ranking above the lower social classes in the social hierarchy. Social classes with a great deal of power are usually viewed as elites, at least within their own societies.  
 
Chinese
In pre-Confucian China, the feudal system divided the population into six classes. Four noble classes with the king at the top, followed by the dukes, then the great menFeudal System Classes and finally the scholars. Below the noble classes were commoners and slaves. Confucian doctrine later minimized the importance of the nobles (except the emperor), abolished great men and scholars as noble classes, and further divided commoner workers based on the perceived usefulness of their work. Scholars ranked the highest because the opportunity to conceive clear ideas in a state of leisure would lead them to wise laws. The scholars were mainly from the gentry, who owned land, and may have been educated and wealthy but had no aristocratic titles. Under them were the farmers, who produced necessary food, and the artisans who produced useful objects. Merchants ranked at the bottom because they did not actually produce anything, while soldiers were sometimes ranked even lower because of their perceived expendability. The Confucian model is notably different from the modern European view of social class, since merchants could attain great wealth without reaching the social status accorded to a poor farmer. In practice, a rich merchant might purchase land to reach farmer status, or even buy a good education for his heirs in the hopes that they would attain scholar status and go into the imperial civil service. The Chinese model was widely disseminated throughout East Asia.

Chinese Dynasties:

Chinese Dynasties
Chinese Dynasties really began from the Qin Dynasty (221BC) .The Qin Dynasty was considered to be the first Chinese dynasty for the reason that the Qin, for the first Qin Dynastytime, united the whole of China from the previously divided small kingdoms which we call the Spring and Autumn Periods. The Qin not only united the whole of China, which today is accepted as its biggest contribution to China, but also left some great constructions. Among these, the Great Wall and the Terra Cotta warriors are world-famous. But the dynasty only lasted for less than 30 years and when the founder, who was also the first emperor of the whole of Chinese history, died unexpectedly the empire collapsed after a few years. But this short dynasty greatly influenced China during the following 2000 years of history. For example, after the Qin dynasty, although China experienced all kinds of regimes, nearly all of them were copies of the Qin. This means, they governed the country just the way the Qin did.
After the Qin, the Han Dynasty (206BC—220AD) was established .The Han (not to be confused with Hun), is still today’s name for the majority of Chinese. The Han Dynasty endured being overthrown and then followed by its rebirth as the Dong Han, which is a name given by scholars for the convenience of distinguishing the early and the late period of the dynasty .One thing that may be of interest is that it was during the Han Dynasty that Buddhism was spread into China. Another great event is that during the Han Dynasty, Confucianism became the dominating philosophy and the cruel theory of Fa was relinquished by the rulers. This dynasty lasted for quite a long time and ended when the 3 Kingdoms Period (220--280) came into being.
The 3 kingdoms period was the first time that the whole country was again divided into small kingdoms. During this period, the whole nation was divided into 3 kingdoms: North, West and Southeast. These 3 small kingdoms were always at war. So after much warring, one of these small kingdoms finished this chaos and established the Jin Dynasty.
The Jin Dynasty (280—439), which was also divided into two periods, was not a stable one.
After the Jin, China was again in division and experienced dozens of short dynasties and small kingdoms .During this period (420—581), the economy of the north was badly damaged because of the invasions of the minorities and the quick change of rulers. So people escaped to the south which at last made the south exceed the north in terms of both population and wealth.
This continued for around 160 years when at last the Sui Dynasty was built.
The Sui (581—618) had only 2 emperors and lasted for 40 years. Nevertheless, the events in this dynasty again greatly influenced China. Of these the Bureaucratic Examinations opened the era when the ordinary people could also be absorbed into the government system through a series of examinations. Also, the famous Great Canal was also constructed in this dynasty.
Following the Sui Dynasty, came the Tang Dynasty. The Tang Dynasty (618—907) was the peak of feudalism in China .The Tang was established by a general of the previous Sui Dynasty. But the rulers of the Tang were quite the opposite of the Sui. On the one hand the emperors carefully analyzed the lessons from the Sui, but on the other hand they put their analysis into practice and administrated the nation with a more tolerant attitude.
 
Chronology of Dynasties
Dynasty Years
Three Sovereign Ones and the Five Emperors: before 2070 BC
Xià Dynasty:  1600 BC - 100 BC
Shang Dynasty: 1600 BC — 1046 BC
Western Zhou Dynasty: 1046 BC — 771 BC
Eastern Zhou Dynasty: 770 BC — 256 BC
Eastern Zhou Dynasty: Traditionally divided into Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period
Spring and Autumn Periods: 722 BC — 476 BC
Warring States Period: 475 BC — 221 BC
Qin Dynasty: 221 BC — 206 BC
Western Han Dynasty; 206 BC —9 AD
Xin Dynasty: 9AD — 23AD
Eastern Han Dynasty: 25AD — 220AD
Three Kingdoms: 220AD — 265AD
Western Jin Dynasty: 265AD — 317AD
Eastern Jin Dynasty: 317AD — 420AD
Southern and Northern Dynasties: 420AD — 589AD
Sui Dynasty: 581AD – 618AD
Tang Dynasty: 618AD — 907AD
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms: 907AD — 960AD
Northern Song Dynasty: 960AD — 1127AD
Southern Song Dynasty: 1127AD — 1279AD
Liao Dynasty: 916AD — 1125AD
Jin Dynasty: 1115AD — 1234AD
Yuan Dynasty: 1271AD — 1368AD
Ming Dynasty: 1368AD — 1644AD
Shun Dynasty: 1644AD
Qing Dynasty: 1644AD — 1912AD    

Chinese History Timeline
Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors
The Three Sovereigns, sometimes known as the Three August Ones, were said to be god-kings.
 
Xia Dynasty
The Xia Dynasty of China.
 
Shang Dynasty
Because Ji was overthrown for his selfish rule, the first ruler of the Shang Dynasty, Tang, started off with a strong, fairShang Dynasty Bronze Musical Instrument system of governing. The Shang Dynasty, also called the Yin Dynasty, began around 1600 BC and lasted until approximately 1100 BC.  After Emperor Tang, the Shang Dynasty experienced a period of consolidation and further development until the grandson of Tang, Tai Jia, took over and treated his people poorly, breaking his own laws. The Shang Dynasty was known for divination using oracle-bone inscriptions. Being superstitious, many daily events were discovered by supernatural means, including weather, health and crop growth. The bones were also used to record activities.
 
West Zhou Dynasty
The Zhou Dynasty was the longest lasting dynasty in ancient Chinese history. In the early times of the previous dynasty known as the Shang Dynasty, Zhou grew stronger and stronger in what is today’s Binxian County of Shanxi Province. When Ji and later Ji Yijiu took the governance, the area enjoyed prosperity. Soon the Shang Empire was overthrown in the Muye War and the Zhou Dynasty, later called West Zhou, was founded.
 
Spring and Autumn Periods
From 770 BC when the family members of the West Zhou Empire moved to Luoyi in the first ruling year of Pingwang Emperor to the 44th ruling year of Jingwang Emperor in 476 BC, the history in this period generally coincides with what was recorded (from 772 BC to 481 BC) in Spring and Autumn Annals emended by Confucius. Therefore history in this period is known as Spring and Autumn.
 
Warring States
Warring States refers to the historical period when the seven states were fighting with each other. It was an era of turmoil. During the Warring States period, the seven fighting states were in fact only the larger ones among all the states. There were still smaller states including Zhou, Lu, Wei, and Zheng, and many ethnic groups such as Hun and Donghu in the north, Baiyue in the south, and Bashu in the southwest. But later they were gradually conquered and annexed by those larger states.


Qin Dynasty
After the unification of China Proper by Ying Zheng, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, the system of fiefdom was abolished. A new system of Prefecture and County was proposed by Li Si, a Chief of Councilor in the Qin Dynasty. Under the new system, the power of positioning officials was concentrated in the central empire. This helped to overcome the division of power, and to avoid the similar turmoil as that in Spring and Autumn. It adopted an assessment system, the operation of which was similar to today's annual report by officials. Furthermore, the Qin Dynasty standardized the form of writing and measurement, largely facilitating the development of social economy and culture. However, the practice of unifying all ideas, putting to death many dissenting Confucian scholars, as well as confiscating and burning their books posed serious destruction to human civilization, inhibited the development of various ideas, and gave an and end to the booming condition of "Hundred Schools of thought contended". Many emperors of later dynasties followed the similar practices as those of Ying Zheng. That largely blocked the development of ancient ideas. In order to defeat the possible invasion of Hun, the then emperor of the Qin Dynasty ordered the completion of the Great Wall on the basis of what had been built up by the Yan and Zhao Empires.
 
Western Han Dynasty
The Western Han Dynasty is the first stage of the Han Dynasty, lasting form 207 BC to 25 BC. In the whole Han Dynasty, the Western Han was more prosperous than other periods. Thanks to the Enlightened Governance during the reign of Emperor Wen Di and Jing Di and Rehabilitation Policy by Emperor Wu Di, the development of politics, economy, and culture entered a boom in this stage.
 
Eastern Han Dynasty
Compared with that of Western Dynasty, the Eastern Han Dynasty was more tyrranical. Guangwu Di, the then emperor, conducted reforms on governance and distributed Eastern Han Dynastymore power to the Department of State Affairs. Diplomacy in the EasternHan Dynasty reached long term development. Ban Chao, a famous general, managed to persuade more than 50 countries in the west to submit to the empire of the Eastern Han Dynasty and send their hostages to worship the then emperor. At the same time, an ambassador called Gan Ying was assigned by Ban Chao to visit the Ancient Roman Empire, but unfortunately was cheated by an Arab on the road so he only reached the Mediterranean instead of his destination.

 

Three Kingdoms Period
At the end of Eastern Han Dynasty, the empire was seriously shaken by the Yellow Turban’s Uprising led by Zhang Jiao. Divisions of power in different places gradually broke away from the central empire and became local dominions. The three kingdoms came into being in such a situation and they were respectively Wei, Shu, and Wu.

Eastern Jin Dynasty
After the Western Jin Dynasty, Sima Shi founded a new regime known as the Eastern Jin Dynasty to the south of Yangtze River. In more than 130 years from Emperor Liu Yuan to the unification of North China, various ethnic groups in the ranks of nobles and bureaucratic landlords founded their own regimes. It was the period of Sixteen States in history.
 
The Southern and Northern Dynasties
During the Southern and Northern Dynasties, the economy in the south was more developed than that in other parts. That was because a large population migrated to the south to avoid the turmoil of war in the north. Therefore the labor force in the south was largely strengthened together with advanced technologies in production. It greatly promoted the growth of local economy and gave birth to many developed economic areas such as Yangzhou.

 

Tang Dynasty
The whole Tang Dynasty comprised of two stages: the early stage and the late stage. With the An-shi Rebellion as theTang Dynasty watershed, the early stage enjoyed prosperity while the late stage was in decline. It was Emperor Gao Zu who founded the empire, and Li Shi Min, the Tai Zong Emperor, who unified the whole of China through a ten year expedition. After the Palace Coup at Xuanwu Gate, Li Shimin ascended the throne and led feudal China into an unprecedented period of prosperity and peace. There was the famous Enlightened Administration in the Zhenguan Reign under Emperor Tai Zong of the Tang Dynasty during which politics, economy, and culture had achieved rapid progress and ranked first in the world. Later times witnessed another ruling period of stability and prosperity, and that was the Enlightened Administration in the Kaiyuan Reign under Emperor Xuan Zong by Emperor Xuan Zong. The country again boasted a strong capacity of national defense and the rich spiritual and material life of its people. Unfortunately, there happened the An-shi Rebellion, leading the Tang Dynasty to degradation. In the late stage of the Tang Dynasty, the political life of the country fell into turmoil. There were fights among eunuchs and divisions of power. Revolts of peasants broke out continuously, including the Uprising led by Huang Chao against the rule of Tang Empire. Zhu Wen, one of leaders of that uprising, later surrendered to the emperor of then Tang regime and finally overthrew it by crowning himself the new emperor. He founded the first dynasty in the period of Five Dynasties and Ten States- the Late Liang Dynasty.
 
Five Dynasties and Ten States
The period of the Five Dynasties and Ten States was a time of chaos. There were cruel emperors, irresponsible officials, heavy taxes, as well as fights and wars all through the years. 
The Song Dynasty covered a longer time than the Tang Dynasty but exerted less influence than the Tang Dynasty. In fact, the Song Dynasty was composed of two periods: the Northern Song Dynasty and the Southern Song Dynasty. The former referred to the ruling and confronting years of Liao, Xia, and Jin, while the latter was the declining period of the empire.
The Northern Song Dynasty achieved long-term development in terms of domestic economy, foreign trade, and culture after the unification of North China. There were also Wang Anshi Reforms and New Policies proposed by Fan Zhongyan in the ruling year of Emperor Qing Li, hoping to improve the governance of the then empire. Although they failed to guarantee the long time prosperity of the Northern Song Dynasty, they successfully solved some social contradictions. However, insurgences of Fang La and Song Jiang respectively in the south and north reflected that domestic conflicts and contradictions were deepening.
When the Northern Song Dynasty was overthrown by Jin, the Southern Song Dynasty decided to settle to the south of the Yangtze River rather than unifying the north. The northern expedition by Yue Fei, a great general and master of war, was considered as a measure of consolidating the rule of the empire. The corrupted ideas and misleading policies of Jia Sidao hastened the ruin of the Southern Dynasty. Although there were upright and patriotic officials such as Wen Tianxiang who made vigorous efforts to improve the situation, the decline of the dynasty failed to be held up. The great poem of Wen Tianxiang, which can be interpreted as "Everyone must die, but let me leave a loyal heart shining in the pages of history", expressed the complicated emotions and sorrows of valiants in that period.
 
Yuan Dynasty
China was unified for the second time, laying the foundation for long term stability and unification in the Qing Dynasty. Economy and culture achieved rapid development in the Yuan Dynasty. Today’s Hui Nationality came into being at the same period. The empire of Yuan boasted a huge land area, which was the primary form of the territory of China today
The Yuan Dynasty can be divided into three stages: the early, the mid, and the late stage. The early stage began from the ruling years of Kublai Khan to that of Tiemu'er. The Yuan Empire in this stage followed the system of laws and regulations of the Han Dynasty and invented various policies on politics, economy, and culture. The early stage was the demonstration of progress. However, starting from the mid stage, the Yuan Dynasty went into decline. There were intense social conflicts, disputes for imperial power, and frequent insurgences of peasants all over the country. The Ying Zong Reform in this stage had little effect. It was just like a flash in the pan, unable to save the empire from decline. Finally the reform failed to achieve its target and its initiator, Ying Zong, died an unnatural death. From Emperor Ming Zong to Emperor Shun Di was the late stage of the Yuan Dynasty. The continuous break out of peasant insurgences hastened the ruin of the Yuan Regime. Later Zhu Yuanzhang became the peasant leader, cleared away other separatist military commissioner regimes, and founded the new dynasty— the Ming Dynasty. This was the end of the Yuan Dynasty.
 
Ming Dynasty
Zhu Yuanzhang, Emperor Tai Zu of the Ming Dynasty, carried out reforms on various social aspects such as politics and military affairs. He won back the right of making Ming Dynastydecisions on political, military, and judicatory affairs into his hands. Therefore, the concentration of state power reached an unprecedented level which was inherited of course by the Qing Dynasty. Economic development in the early period of the Ming Dynasty recovered rapidly and soon reached its most advanced level in history. Zhu Yuanzhang therefore was remembered as an intelligent and enlightened emperor as was Emperor Wu Di in the Han Dynasty and Emperor Tai Zong in the Tang Dynasty, in feudal times.
The booming period of the Ming Dynasty happened in the ruling years of Yong Le, Emperor Cheng Zu. During these times, Admiral Zheng established diplomatic relations with the neighboring nations, and thus facilitated economic and cultural exchanges them.
However, due to eunuch tyranny, the Ming Dynasty began to decline after Emperor Ying Zong ascended the throne. The society suffered a lot from the corrupt administration of irresponsible officials and heavy taxes. Peasant insurgences broke out here and there, and national defense was very weak. In the Tumu Fortress War, Ying Zong was captured. Although he was released later, it clearly reflected the empire was in crisis. When Emperor Jia Jing ascended the throne, he appointed Zhang Ju to conduct a national reform involving politics, economy, and military force. The situation turned better for a period of time, but the cruel tyranny of Wei Zhongxian accelerated the dying out of the Ming Dynasty. At the same time, the Nuzhen of the Kingdom of Jin in Northeast China grew strong. It swept south, and overthrew the Northern Song Dynasty when the late Ming Dynasty was deeply weakened by peasant uprisings. Emperor Chong Zhen of the Ming Regime finally hung himself on Meishan Mountain near Beijing.
 
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was reduced to a semi-colonized and semi-feudal society after the first Opium War. Normally the history of the Qing Dynasty is divided into two stages.
The political system of the Qing Dynasty was basically inherited from the Ming Dynasty. But the central department for government affairs was the Grand Secretariat with the Chief Secretary functioning as the Grand Councilor. Six Boards were the executive organ. Later the Grand Minister of St