The Temple for Distant Security (Anyuan Miao) is located to the east of the Imperial Summer Villa (Bishu Shanzhuang) and north of The Temple of Universal Happiness (Pule Si) on the scenic banks of the Wulie River. Designed, as with many of the temples in Chengde, to appease some of the more troublesome elements in the Qing empire via minority architectural flattery, Anyaun Miao was built in the style of the Xinjiang Gurza Temple (which, sadly, no longer exists) and for a time housed Mongolian troops. The..
To the east of the Imperial Summer Villa (Bishu Shanzhuang), and south of the Temple for Distant Security, the Temple of Universal Happiness (Pule Si), also known as the Round Pavilion, was built under orders from Qing Emperor Qianlong in 1766 to receive visiting dignitaries from tributary peoples, including the Mongols and the Tibetans. It's a curious and fascintaing mix of Han Chinese and Tibetan elements and features some rather racy images of the Buddha of Happiness and consorts getting Tantric-sexy. The..
Historically a portion of Guilin's town moat, Banyan Lake and Fir Lake (Róng Hú Shān Hú, 榕湖杉湖) once protected the city and its people from hostile intruders. Today, it's simply a beautiful place to relax and enjoy some of Guilin's most beautiful views. Situated alongside one another, Banyan Lake and Fir Lake are named, unsurprisingly, for the trees that have long surrounded them (one banyan is reputed to be nearly 800 years old). It's not all banyan and fir, however: the landscape..
Rising dramatically above the center of Guilin, Solitary Beauty Peak (Dú Xiùfēng, 独秀峰) offers spectacular views of the city and surrounding countryside. As with so many peaks and rocky upthrusts in and around Guilin, centuries of visits have led to the creation of a carved stairway leading to the summit. The pathway starts at Wang Cheng (Wáng Chéng, 王城), the Ming Dynasty palace located in the center of town, now home to the campus of Guangxi Normal University and also the site of nightly..
The Mausoleum of General Yue Fei (Yuè Miào, 岳庙) is one of Hangzhou's most popular attractions among Chinese tourists, who view Yue as a patriotic hero. The historical Yue Fei lived in Southern Song Dynasty China during the 12th century AD, at a time when China was split between the ethnically Han Song and the rival Jin Dynasty, ruled by ethnic Jurchens from the north. The Jin had conquered the north of China, pushing the Song out of their capital Kaifeng and taking the Emperor Qinzong captive. Yue fought the Jin valiantly,..
Solitary Hill (Gū Shān, 孤山), or Solitary Island , sits in the northwest corner of West Lake (Xi Hu), linked to the mainland by the Bai Causeway (Bái Dī, 白堤). The largest island on the lake and a lovely place to wander and explore, Solitary Hill affords visitors fine lake views and a number of significant attractions. For anyone interested in Chinese history, symbolism or legend, the island is crowded with fascinating monuments and sites. For those simply after a pleasant day outdoors amidst beautiful scenery, Solitary Hill fits..
Camoes Garden and Grotto was long a wild tract of land under Portuguese rule. Eventually it became the homestead of a merchant who was famous for raising hundreds of doves that occupied the grounds. The garden's acreage was eventually given over to the public and named for the 16th-century poet, Luis de Camoes, who supposedly spent time in Macau finishing his epic poem Os Lusiadas while in exile from Portugal. His bust stands in the grotto and is one of the park's most scenic sights. Covering a sizable piece of land,..
The Anglican St. John's Cathedral on Garden Street, built in 1847, was one of the first Christian churches in Hong Kong. Today, it is one of the few colonial structures standing after decades of high-rise construction along Hong Kong's narrow ledge of relatively level land. During World War II, Japanese troops used the church as a social club. The Cathedral has been renovated numerous times and is now the primary house of worship for Anglicans in Hong Kong and Macau, providing services in Cantonese, Mandarin, English and Tagalog.
You're likely to end up in Statue Square at some point during your Hong Kong stay. The old center of town, the square is linked to the Star Ferry Terminal by an underground passage and divided by Chater Road. It earns its name from a set of statues commemorating various figures from British colonial times, though it's never been quite the same since Japan absconded with the originals during World War II, intending to melt them down for. Today, Sir Thomas Jackson Bart, chief manager of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Co. (HSBC) stands in..
A-Ma Temple (媽閣廟) is the oldest Buddhist temple in Macau. Situated in the Barra District, at the base of Pehua Hill , the temple is dedicated to the god A-Ma (Mother and Queen of the Sea) after whom Macau or "Aomen" is also named. There are numerous legends about A-Ma, but the most popular is that she was a beautiful young girl from Fujian Province who saved a ship from sinking en route to Guangzhou. She vanished on return to Macau , and a temple was built at the spot where she later reappeared as a goddess. Parts of the..
The Macau Jockey Club 's claim to fame is that it is one of the most high-tech racecourses in all Asia. Up to 18,000 guests can enjoy a flutter on the horses in the comfortable climes of the air-conditioned stands. Offering two race meets a week, the Macau Jockey Club is popular with Hong Kong punters who flock there when racetracks at home are closed. The club's stables can accommodate up to a thousand horses where guests can get a close up look before a race. Macau guide | Macau attractions Macau..
A remnant of Nanjing's days as the Ming Dynasty capital, the Nanjing Drum Tower (Gǔ Lóu, 鼓楼) sits in the middle of a roundabout surrounded by trees in the Gu Lou District to which it lends its name. Initially completed in 1382, it was used for marking the time, welcoming guests to the city, and noting special occasions with the beating of the tower's two large drums and 24 small drums. After a tour by the Qing Dynasty's Emperor Kangxi, the tower was rebuilt and a memorial stele mounted on the back of a turtle installed...