Theme Week Tibet – Lhasa

26 October 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Potala Palace © flickr.com - Christopher Michel/cc-by-2.0

Potala Palace © flickr.com – Christopher Michel/cc-by-2.0

Lhasa is a prefecture-level city, formerly a prefecture until 7 January 1960, one of the main administrative divisions of the Tibet Autonomous Region. It covers an area of 29,274 square kilometres (11,303 sq mi) of rugged and sparsely populated terrain. The consolidated prefecture-level city is divided into five mostly rural counties and three partially urban districts Chengguan District, Doilungdêqên District, and Dagzê District, which contain the main urban area of Lhasa.   read more…

Theme Week Tibet – Gyantse

25 October 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Old Gyantse and Palcho Monastery © Antoine Taveneaux/cc-by-sa-3.0

Old Gyantse and Palcho Monastery © Antoine Taveneaux/cc-by-sa-3.0

Gyantse, officially Gyangzê Town, is a town located in Gyantse County, Shigatse Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region. It was historically considered the third largest and most prominent town in the Tibet region (after Lhasa, and Shigatse), but there are now at least ten larger Tibetan cities.   read more…

Theme Week Tibet – Yamdrok Lake

24 October 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© flickr.com - Laika ac/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Laika ac/cc-by-sa-2.0

Yamdrok Lake (also known as Yamdrok Yumtso or Yamzho Yumco) is a freshwater lake in Tibet, it is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. It is over 72 km (45 mi) long. The lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and is fed by numerous small streams. The lake has an outlet stream at its far western end and means turquoise in English due to its color. Around 90 km to the west of the lake lies the Tibetan town of Gyantse and Lhasa is a hundred km to the northeast. According to local mythology, Yamdok Yumtso lake is the transformation of a goddess.   read more…

Theme Week Tibet – Shigatse

22 October 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Shigatse Fortress © Antoine Taveneaux/cc-by-sa-4.0

Shigatse Fortress © Antoine Taveneaux/cc-by-sa-4.0

Shigatse, officially known as Xigazê, is a prefecture-level city of the Tibet Autonomous Region, with an area of 182,000 km² (70,271 sq mi). It is located within the historical Tsang province of Tibet.   read more…

Theme Week Tibet

21 October 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Putuo Zongcheng Temple © Gisling/cc-by-sa-4.0

Putuo Zongcheng Temple © Gisling/cc-by-sa-4.0

Tibet is a region covering much of the Tibetan Plateau in Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa, Tamang, Qiang, Sherpa, and Lhoba peoples and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han Chinese and Hui people. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 5,000 m (16,000 ft). The highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, Earth’s highest mountain, rising 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level.   read more…

One Belt and One Road Initiative, the new Silk Road

31 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

President of China Xi Jinping © The Russian Presidential Press and Information Office

President of China Xi Jinping © The Russian Presidential Press and Information Office

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries and international organizations in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa. “Belt” refers to the overland routes for road and rail transportation, called “the Silk Road Economic Belt“; whereas “road” refers to the sea routes, or the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. It was known as the One Belt One Road (OBOR) and the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road until 2016 when the Chinese government considered the emphasis on the word “one” was prone to misinterpretation. The Chinese government calls the initiative “a bid to enhance regional connectivity and embrace a brighter future”. Some observers see it as a push for Chinese dominance in global affairs with a China-centered trading network. The project has a targeted completion date of 2049, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.   read more…

Theme Week China – Tianjin

27 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Ancient Culture Street entrance © William M Benson

Ancient Culture Street entrance © William M Benson

Tianjin, alternately romanized as Tientsin, is a coastal metropolis in northern China and one of the nine national central cities of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), with a total population of 15,621,200 as of 2016 estimation. Its built-up (or metro) area, made up of 12 central districts (all but Baodi, Jizhou, Jinghai and Ninghe), was home to 12,491,300 inhabitants in 2016 and is also the world’s 29th-largest agglomeration (between Chengdu and Rio de Janeiro) and 11th-most populous city proper.   read more…

Theme Week China – Nanjing

26 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Qinhuai River and Fuzimiao with Kuiguang Pavilion and Great Spirit Screen © flickr.com - SQFP/cc-by-2.0

Qinhuai River and Fuzimiao with Kuiguang Pavilion and Great Spirit Screen © flickr.com – SQFP/cc-by-2.0

Nanjing, formerly romanized as Nanking and Nankin, is the capital of Jiangsu province and the second largest city in the East China region, with an administrative area of 6,600 km² (2,500 sq mi) and a total population of 8,270,500 as of 2016. The inner area of Nanjing enclosed by the city wall is Nanjing City, with an area of 55 km² (21 sq mi), while the Nanjing Metropolitan Region includes surrounding cities and areas, covering over 60,000 km² (23,000 sq mi), with a population of over 30 million.   read more…

Theme Week China – Harbin

25 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

© 北纬30度

© 北纬30度

Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang province, and largest city in the northeastern region of the People’s Republic of China. Harbin is the eighth most populous Chinese city. Holding sub-provincial administrative status, Harbin has direct jurisdiction over nine metropolitan districts, two county-level cities and seven counties. Harbin has 5.3 million inhabitants, while the total population of the sub-provincial city was up to 10.98 million. Harbin serves as a key political, economic, scientific, cultural, and communications hub in Northeast China, as well as an important industrial base of the nation.   read more…

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