Attraction of the week

For many, the Bund (Wàitān, 外滩) is the face of Shanghai. Even as the city transforms itself, growing upwards and outwards at a tremendous rate, the Bund's Art Deco and Neoclassical facades appear...

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A great place for a relaxing stroll, ancient Seven Star Park (Qīxīng Gōngyuán, 七星公园) takes its name from seven karst peaks that correspond to the seven stars in the Big Dipper constellation. Covering 1.2 km sq (0.5 sq mi), the park's rocky landscape is riddled with a number of natural grottos and caves. Seven Star Cave (Qīxīng Jí Dòng 七星级洞) and Dark Dragon Cave (àn lóngdòng 暗龙洞)are two of the most popular, known for their impressive stalactites and stalagmites.  The peaks are..

This fascinating karst upthrust reminds some people of a towering wave, poised to crash down into the river below; others believe the name comes from the rock formation's interruption of the flow of the Li River. Either way, it's an impressive piece of geology, surrounded by rolling green hills and more karst peaks, water, caves, picturesque rocks, and gardens. You can clamber up stairs leading to Fubo Shan's summit for an excellent view of the city. Of particular note is the stalactite known as the Sword-Testing..

China's storied landscape is well populated by fantastically shaped natural features named for various mythological figures, especially animals. In fact, there are no doubt more famous rocks named after tigers, monkeys and elephants than there are actual tigers, monkeys and elephants remaining in what's left of the country's wilderness. One of the most famous is Guilin's Elephant Trunk Hill (Xiàng Bí Shān, 象鼻山), a striking natural arch that juts out into the Li River, bearing a clear resemblance to an..

From Longsheng, it's a one hour ride though buses will likely stop to pick up passengers waiting along the roadside and some also make a longer stop in a small village called Heping (Hépíng, 和平). Heping lies at the foot of the mountain where the terraces are situated and, if you're feeling spritely, you can jump off here and hike the well-worn trail to the Ping'an entrance gate (approximately 3 hours). Alternatively, sit tight on the bus (although a change of bus may be required, there's no additional charge)..

Guilin's celebrated Reed Flute Cave (Lúdí Yán, 芦笛岩) is just a 15 to 20 minute drive northwest of the downtown area. The cave's serpentine depths wind about within Guangming Mountain (Guāngmíng Shān, 光明山) and feature some remarkable rock formations. Each of these rock formations is named, rather extravagantly in some cases, for the thing it resembles—mushrooms, roses, lions, old men, etc. The cave itself is named for the green reeds growing inside, the same ones you might notice being used to..

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