Travel To China: A Unique Experience

China is a country that has exerted a deep fascination for the Westerners. In spite of the spectacular increase of the communications, of the multiplication of the artistic and cultural exchanges, and of the relationships among people that are transforming our planet into a true “global village”, the name of China is still today immediately associated to epithets like “wonderful”, “mysterious”, “deep”.

Our image of China dances among the fragments of a culture called millennial which still have enough sediment in the present day: the tai chi, the feng sui, the Taoism or the traditional medicine, and the image that the Western media propagate that transforms this country in paragon of injustices and lack of freedoms.

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Kunming Facts & Tourist Information

Kungming is the capital city of the Province of Yunnan where natural, historical and ethnic contrasts are clearly felt. Kunming, also known as the “City of Spring”, though situated in the tropic has got a very pleasant temperature all year round. This is due to the fact it is 2,000 metres above sea level surrounded by mountains.

Founded 2,000 years ago during the Han Dynasty, it became a secondary capital city of the Nanzhao Kingdom in the 7th century. In 1274 it was renamed Yunnanfu and remained so until mid-20th century. It was actually at the beginning of the 20th century when due to the pressures coming from the European powers Kunming paved the way to international trade.

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Chengde Facts & Tourist Information

Chengde is a city located barely over 200 kilometers away from Beijing that concentrates around it an incomparable number of constructions from the Qing dynasty. It is possibly the most monumental city of northern China after Beijing. This is due to the fact that as of 1703, when emperor Kangxi had the famous Summer Villa built in its surroundings, it became the chosen place by a large number of emperors to get away from Beijing’s stifling summer heat.

Chengde, known as Jehol before 1949, is located on the north of the Great Wall. It used to be a small village located in the middle of the Manchu territory. Surrounded by dense forests and smooth hills, it had all the required elements to make the well educated emperor Kangxi, who rightly feared that his Manchu people’s culture could well end up blending into the rest of endless Chinese cultures, choose it to establish his summer palace.

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Ming Tombs Near Beijing

On the outskirts of Beijing, in the Changping district, before reaching the Great Wall, there is a beautiful valley protected by not very high mountains. There is a river within the valley which flows into a lake recently built. This location consistent with Chinese Feng Shui, with a mountain on the northern side and a river on the southern one, is what made the Ming emperors choose it as the ideal place to build their tombs.

Most of the tombs of the different Chinese dynasties are found within similar valleys and contrary with what happened to their palaces, which were destroyed immediately by the following dynasties, in most cases their tombs were respected by dynasties that also took as a rule ancestor worshiping.

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Beijing Facts & Tourist Information

Beijing is the capital city of China. It is a huge city with 21 million inhabitants. One of the biggest cities in the world. It is flat and perfectly squared out.

Beijing’s region has been inhabited by mankind for 500,000 years. Since ancient times, it has been considered a linchpin in defence of the Northern borders. It became the capital city of China for the first time in the 10th century. Since then, it has been the country’s political centre.

Beijing is the only city in the world which has 5 monuments that have been declared world heritage sites by UNESCO: the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, The Temple of the Sun and the Beijing Man Site.

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How to use chopsticks – Chopstick challenge!

Taking time to learn Chinese table manners could pay dividends-and avoid red faces!

The wary Westerners could be forgiven for being bamboozled by some of the customs which are second nature to Chinese people gathered round the dinner table.

But refusing to pick up the chopsticks and learn by experience is a big mistake which will leave you culturally impoverished – and missing out on some of the world’s best food!

However, it pays to take heed of Chinese people’s distinctive table manners to avoid any culinary clangers.

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