Attraction of the week

The heart of Guangzhou's former European concession—France and England both set up shop on this sandy river island in 1859 toward the end of the Opium Wars—Shamian Island...


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Beidaihe is one of Qinhuangdao's scenic seaside resorts, situated around 300 km (186 mi.) east of Beijing on the Bohai Gulf. The resort was originally popularized by European diplomats, missionaries and businessmen around the turn of the century. Around half a century later, Chairman Mao had a visit and liked the place so much that he acquired a residence there. In subsequent years Beidaihe became very popular as a summer getaway location for Party fat cats who would often choose it as a destination for meetings and conferences.  Hu..

Continuing past Shanhai Guan, the Great Wall ends (or begins) at the "Old Dragon's Head" (Lǎo Lóngtóu, 老龙头), where it plunges into the Bohai Sea. The nickname comes from the image of the Great Wall as a dragon drinking from the sea. Unfortunately, while the Old Dragon's Head long survived the pounding waves, it didn't survive the pounding of British shells in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion and was left in ruins. Looking down over the Old Dragon's Head is Chenghai Tower (Chénghǎi Lóu,..

Covering an area of 23,000 square meters (5.7 acres), Puning Temple (Pǔníng Sì, 普宁寺) or "Temple of Universal Peace,"  is the furthest north of the eight temples situated outside the walls of the Imperial Summer Villa (Bishu Shanzhuang) and certainly one of the most impressive.  Also known as the Big Buddha Temple (Dàfó Sì, 大佛寺), a reference to the huge statue of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin (a.k.a. Avalokiteshvara)—the world's largest wooden statue—the temple..

It's an age-old birthday conundrum: What do you give a Son of Heaven who already has everything? If your answer is an enormous scale model of Lhasa's Potala Palace, then you would have been a great Qing Dynasty courtier. Chengde's Putuo Zongcheng Miao (Pǔtuó Zōngchéngzhī Miào, 普陀宗乘之庙) or "Temple of Potaraka Doctrine," dedicated to Emperor Qianlong on his birthday in 1771, is an astonishing copy of the traditional seat of Tibetan power. Like Puning Temple, Pule Temple and other Chengde..

Located in the north of Zhangjiakou, Dajing Gate (Dajingmen) used to be a famous pass of Great Wall. In ancient China, Zhangjiakou was a ghetto of several ethnic groups near the Mongolia Grassland, a place of military importance. It also plays an important part in the transportation and trade between Han and Mongolia people. The unique geographical location turns to beautiful landscape. Man of letters in ancient times were attracted to the gate.

Shanhaiguan (Shānhǎiguān, 山海关), literally "the pass between the mountains and the sea," is a town at the northern tip of the Bohai Gulf. Originally built as a fortress in the Ming Dynasty, the town was an outpost to defend the eastern end of the Great Wall. This section of the wall still runs through the eastern part of the town, before winding south to the sea. The First Pass Under Heaven (Tiānxiàdìyī Guān, 天下第一关) is the portion closest to the sea, where a double-story, double-roofed tower built in the Ming..

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