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…

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…

Grand Canal of China

18 October 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

Grand Canal tour boats in Suzhou © Peter K Burian/cc-by-sa-4.0

Grand Canal tour boats in Suzhou © Peter K Burian/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Grand Canal, known to the Chinese as the Jing–Hang Grand Canal (Capital–Hangzhou Grand Canal, or more commonly, as the Grand Canal), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the longest canal or artificial river in the world. Starting in Beijing, it passes through Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang to the city of Hangzhou, linking the Yellow River and Yangtze River. The oldest parts of the canal date back to the 5th century BC, but the various sections were first connected during the Sui dynasty (581–618 AD). Dynasties in 1271–1633 significantly restored and rebuilt the canal and altered its route to supply their capital.   read more…

Sacred Mountains of China

8 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

Sacred Mountains of China © Pufacz/cc-by-sa-3.0

Sacred Mountains of China © Pufacz/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Sacred Mountains of China are divided into several groups. The Five Great Mountains refers to five of the most renowned mountains in Chinese history, and they were the subjects of imperial pilgrimage by emperors throughout ages. They are associated with the supreme God of Heaven and the five main cosmic deities of Chinese traditional religion. The group associated with Buddhism is referred to as the Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism, and the group associated with Taoism is referred to as the Four Sacred Mountains of Taoism. The sacred mountains have all been important destinations for pilgrimage, the Chinese expression for pilgrimage being a shortened version of an expression which means “paying respect to a holy mountain“.   read more…

Yungang Grottoes in China

26 August 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  9 minutes

Cave 12 © G41rn8/cc-by-sa-4.0

Cave 12 © G41rn8/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Yungang Grottoes, formerly the Wuzhoushan Grottoes, are ancient Chinese Buddhist temple grottoes near the city of Datong in the province of Shanxi. They are excellent examples of rock-cut architecture and one of the three most famous ancient Buddhist sculptural sites of China. The others are Longmen and Mogao.   read more…

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