Tianjin Binhai Library

1 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries Reading Time:  4 minutes

© 归零者/cc-by-sa-4.0

© 归零者/cc-by-sa-4.0

Tianjin Binhai New Area Library, nicknamed The Eye, is a library in Tianjin, China. It is part of the Binhai Cultural Center, being one of its five central attractions.   read more…

Shangri-La City in Tibet

15 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

© flickr.com - Rod Waddington/cc-by-sa.2.0

© flickr.com – Rod Waddington/cc-by-sa.2.0

Shangri-La (Tibetan: Gyalthang) is a county-level city in Northwestern Yunnan Province, People’s Republic of China and is the location of the seat of the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, bordering Sichuan to the northwest, north, and east.   read more…

The Hanging Monastery Xuankong Si in China

13 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  4 minutes

© Charlie fong/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Charlie fong/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Hanging Temple, also Hengshan Hanging Temple, Hanging Monastery or Xuankong Temple (pinyin: Xuánkōng Sì) is a temple built into a cliff (75 m or 246 ft above the ground) near Mount Heng in Hunyuan County, Datong City, Shanxi Province, China. The closest city is Datong, 64 kilometres (40 mi) to the northwest. Along with the Yungang Grottoes, the Hanging Temple is one of the main tourist attractions and historical sites in the Datong area. Built more than 1,500 years ago, this temple is notable not only for its location on a sheer precipice but also because it is the only existing temple with the combination of three Chinese traditional philosophies: Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. The structure is kept in place with oak crossbeams fitted into holes chiseled into the cliffs. The main supportive structure is hidden inside the bedrock. The monastery is located in the small canyon basin, and the body of the building hangs from the middle of the cliff under the prominent summit, protecting the temple from rain erosion and sunlight.   read more…

Rishikesh in India

10 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

The legendary Beatles Ashram © Chris Dyer Peru/cc-by-sa-4.0

The legendary Beatles Ashram © Chris Dyer Peru/cc-by-sa-4.0

Rishikesh, also spelt as Hrishikesh, is a city governed by Rishikesh Municipal Corporation (since October 2017), and a tehsil in Dehradun district of the Indian state Uttarakhand. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, it is known as the “Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas” and “Yoga Capital of the World”. It lies 21 km (13 mi) north of the city Haridwar and 45 km (28 mi) southeast of the state capital Dehradun. As of 2021, Rishikesh tehsil has a total population of 322,825; this figure includes 93 surrounding villages as well as the city. It is the seventh most populated city in the state of Uttarakhand. It is known as the pilgrimage town and regarded as one of the holiest places for Hindus. Hindu sages and saints have visited Rishikesh since ancient times to meditate in search of higher knowledge. In September 2015, the Union tourism minister Mahesh Sharma announced that Rishikesh and Haridwar will be the first in India to be given the title of “twin national heritage cities”. Due to the religious significance of the place, non-vegetarian food and alcohol are strictly prohibited in Rishikesh. The city has hosted the annual International Yoga Festival on the first week of March since 1989.   read more…

Leshan Giant Buddha in China

30 November 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

© Ariel Steiner/cc-by-sa-2.5

© Ariel Steiner/cc-by-sa-2.5

The Leshan Giant Buddha is a 71-metre (233 ft) tall stone statue, built between 713 and 803 (during the Tang dynasty. It is carved out of a cliff face of Cretaceous red bed sandstones that lies at the confluence of the Min River and Dadu River in the southern part of Sichuan province in China, near the city of Leshan. The stone sculpture faces Mount Emei, with the rivers flowing below its feet. It is the largest and tallest stone Buddha statue in the world and it is by far the tallest pre-modern statue in the world. The Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area, has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.   read more…

Pingyao Ancient City in China

27 November 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

Rih Sheng Chang Bank © Peellden/cc-by-3.0

Rih Sheng Chang Bank © Peellden/cc-by-3.0

Pingyao, officially Pingyao Ancient City, is a settlement in central Shanxi, China, famed for its importance in Chinese economic history and for its well-preserved Ming and Qing urban planning and architecture. Administratively, it comprises the town of Gutao in Pingyao County in Jinzhong Prefecture. It has a population of about 50,000.   read more…

Guilin in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China

17 November 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Guilin © Jakub Halun/cc-by-sa-3.0

Guilin © Jakub Halun/cc-by-sa-3.0

Guilin is a prefecture-level city in the northeast of China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It is situated on the west bank of the Li River and borders Hunan to the north. Its name means “forest of sweet osmanthus“, owing to the large number of fragrant sweet osmanthus trees located in the region. The city has long been renowned for its scenery of karst topography. Its population was 4,747,963 as of the 2010 census (4,931,137 as of the 2020 census) whom 1,770,464 lived in the built-up (or metro) area made of 6 urban Districts plus Lingchuan County now being conurbated.   read more…

Osaka in Japan

30 October 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Skyline towards Umeda © Ug/cc-by-sa-4.0

Skyline towards Umeda © Ug/cc-by-sa-4.0

Osaka is a designated city in the Kansai region of Honshu in Japan. It is the capital and the most populous city in Osaka Prefecture, and the third most populous city in Japan, following Tokyo and Yokohama (both located in the Greater Tokyo Area and the Kantō region). With a population of 2.7 million in the 2020 census, it is also the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second-largest metropolitan area in Japan and the 10th largest urban area in the world with more than 19 million inhabitants.   read more…

Sentosa Island in Singapore

26 October 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Sentosa Island, known mononymously as Sentosa, is an island located off the southern coast of Singapore‘s main island. The island is separated from the main island of Singapore by a channel of water, the Keppel Harbour, and is adjacent to Pulau Brani, a smaller island wedged between Sentosa and the main island.   read more…

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