If you watched the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, you’re already familiar with the work of director Zhang Yimou. Impression West Lake, a one-hour musical and visual performance staged on West Lake in Hangzhou, gives visitors the opportunity to see a similar — though on a much smaller scale — live display.
China, a country roughly the size of the United States with the biggest population on earth, is a cultural treasure trove. Thousands of years of history and a variety of religious influences have left behind some of the most beautiful temples, monasteries and shrines in the world. You’ll find temples in every Chinese city, big or small, but these stand out above the rest.
The charming city of Hangzhou has captured the hearts and imaginations of visitors, both domestic and international, throughout its existence. Marco Polo called it “the most splendid city in the world” and a popular Chinese saying goes, “Heaven above, Hangzhou below.”
China‘s natural beauty is as abundant as it is diverse, just as you’d expect in a country with an area greater than that of the United States. While China’s rich history and fascinating cultural diversity are reason enough to visit, the country’s natural wonders shouldn’t be overlooked.
While holiday seasons in China can be crowded at times with domestic tourists on vacation, they also represent an exciting time to witness first hand centuries old traditions. With five major festivals and holidays spread throughout the year, you can plan your travels during any season you want.
The Buddhist kingdom of Tibet far up in the Himalayan mountains may technically be part of China, but it feels worlds away. It’s one of Asia’s most fascinating destinations and one of the trickiest to get to. Understanding the requirements for entering Tibet and planning ahead will go a long way toward ensuring a safe and successful trip.
The province of Sichuan has some of the most dramatic scenery anywhere in China, and Jiuzhaigou National Park is one of the area’s most spectacular natural wonders. Technicolor lakes, cascading waterfalls, abundant wildlife and towering mountains located throughout the Y-shaped valleys earned a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1992, and the honor is well-deserved.
On the surface, Macau seems like an adult’s playground filled with casinos, racy stage productions and sophisticated Portuguese wine bars. But just like Vegas, its counterpart in the West, Macau has a lot more to offer than adult entertainment. Next time you’re in Macau with kids, consider these family friendly attractions and activities.
Chengdu, China‘s fifth largest city by population, sits along the edge of the Red Basin in the province of Sichuan. While the city of 13 million people can feel crowded and chaotic, especially given its ranking as third in cars per capita, Chengdu offers a view into a typical Chinese mega-city making the rapid switch from traditional to modern while providing a jumping off point for travelers planning to explore the rest of Sichuan Province or Tibet.