China - Culture, History & the Modern World

 Interim 2010

Things To Do Before The Trip
Shanghai (Click for pictures.)

The largest and most prosperous city in China, Shanghai is the commercial and financial center of the nation. It has witnessed the great change of the nation in the past 150 years from a small fishing village to "Paris of the Orient" and the "Pearl of China."  Being one of  the liveliest  stages and the opening gateway to foreign countries in the eventful 20th century, Shanghai has gradually prospered into an international metropolitan.

Suzhou (Click for pictures.)

Souzhou, the "Oriental Venice" is located to the east of Shanghai (about an hour by train). 42% are of the city is covered by water.  The Grand Canal connecting the South to the North goes through the city. Built in 514 BC, Suzhou is an ancient city with a 2500 years' history.  There are more than 60 gardens are kept intact in Suzhou and several of them are on the list of World Heritage, among them is Zuzheng Yuan, the famous "the Humble Administrator's Garden.

Chengdu (Click for pictures.)

One of the ancient cities in China with a history of over 2000 years, Chengdu has been famous for its rich cultural heritage.  The local teahouses, snack bars and free markets are still the popular places for tourists to frequent. One can taste the typical Sichuan cuisine, local wine and tea or sort out his shopping of local special products like Shu embroidery pieces, bamboo-woven porcelain ware and lacquer ware of familiarize himself with local folklores and customs.  The Panda Breeding Research Center is located only about 6 miles away from the city.
Xian (Click for pictures.)
Xi'an, one of the four major ancient civilization capitals of the world, is a city of 3,100 years of history.  Started as early as 1100 BCE), Xi'an was chosen as the capital by 13 dynasties.  The famous "Museum of Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses" there exhibits the most significant archeological excavations of 20th century.
Beijing (Click for pictures.)
The capital of the People's Republic of China, Beijing is the center of politics, economy and culture  This ancient city has served as the capital of the country for over 800 years with many places of historic interest and scenic beauty.  Among them, the Forbidden City - the largest and best preserved ancient architecture complex in the world, the Temple of Heaven - a masterpiece of  architecture and landscape design, the Summer Palace - a summer residence for the rulers of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) are a few on the list.  The famous Great Wall, the symbol of Chinese history and heritage, is located to the north site of city.  Beijing held the 2008 Summer Olympic, for which the Bird Nest and Water Cube were built.