Dali City in China

16 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  11 minutes

The Tree Pagodas © panoramio.com - 江上清风1961/cc-by-3.0

The Tree Pagodas © panoramio.com – 江上清风1961/cc-by-3.0

Dali City is the county-level seat of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture in northwestern Yunnan. Dali City is administered through 12 township-level districts, two of which are also commonly referred to as Dali. Xiaguan formerly known as Hsia-kuan, is the modern city centre and usually conflated with Dali City by virtue of being its seat. This town is the destination of most long-distance transportation heading to Dali and is sometimes referred to as Dali New Town to avoid confusion. Dali Town formerly known as Tali, is another division of Dali City, located 10 km (6.2 mi) north of Xiaguan. This town, commonly referred to as Dali Old Town to distinguish it from the city seat in Xiaguan, is usually the Dali referred to in tourist publications. The old town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Yunnan, known for its natural scenery, historical and cultural heritage, and vibrant nightlife.   read more…

East Turkestan or Xinjiang and the Uyghurs in China

11 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  25 minutes

Xinjiang Internment Camps map © US  National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Xinjiang Internment Camps map © US National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Xinjiang, officially the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (East Turkestan) and formerly romanized as Sinkiang, is a landlocked autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), located in the northwest of the country close to Central Asia. Being the largest province-level division of China and the 8th-largest country subdivision in the world, Xinjiang spans over 1.6 million square kilometres (620,000 sq mi) and has about 25 million inhabitants. Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The rugged Karakoram, Kunlun and Tian Shan mountain ranges occupy much of Xinjiang’s borders, as well as its western and southern regions. The Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram Tract regions, both administered by China, are claimed by India. Xinjiang also borders the Tibet Autonomous Region and the provinces of Gansu and Qinghai. The most well-known route of the historic Silk Road ran through the territory from the east to its northwestern border. It is home to a number of ethnic groups, including the Turkic Uyghur, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, the Han, Tibetans, Hui, Chinese Tajiks (Pamiris), Mongols, Russians and Sibe. There are more than a dozen autonomous prefectures and counties for minorities in Xinjiang. Older English-language reference works often refer to the area as Chinese Turkestan, East Turkestan and East Turkistan. Xinjiang is divided into the Dzungarian Basin in the north and the Tarim Basin in the south by a mountain range, and only about 9.7% of Xinjiang’s land area is fit for human habitation. Capital und largest city by far is Ürümqi.   read more…

Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area in China

25 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  9 minutes

Pearl Shoal Waterfall © Kosigrim

Pearl Shoal Waterfall © Kosigrim

Jiuzhaigou is a nature reserve and national park located in the north of Sichuan Province in southwestern China. A long valley running north to south, Jiuzhaigou was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1992 and a World Biosphere Reserve in 1997. It belongs to the category V (Protected Landscape) in the IUCN system of protected area categorization. The Jiuzhaigou valley is part of the Min Mountains on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau and stretches over 72,000 hectares (180,000 acres). It is known for its many multi-level waterfalls, colorful lakes, and snow-capped peaks. Its elevation ranges from 2,000 to 4,500 metres (6,600 to 14,800 ft).   read more…

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…

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