Monday, January 30, 2012

China’s Famous Peaks

China is one of the top tourist destinations not only because it possesses quite a number of magnificent structures that are famous all over the world but it also boasts breathtaking landscapes and picturesque locations brought by its geographical setting. Located in East Asia, it is the world’s second-largest country by land area covering an approximately 9.6 kilometers or 3.7 million square miles.

China’s landscape is vast and diverse, with forest steeps and deserts occupying the arid north and northwest. Subtropical forests are more prevalent in the wetter south while the terrain of western China is rugged and elevated. The Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separate China from the boarder of Central Asia. The world’s highest mountain, Mt.Everest and the second-highest point, K2 also lie on China’s borders that is why it is not surprising that many tourists book airfare to China to admire and explore the beauty of its mountains. Here are the famous mountains in China where one could find peace and tranquility amidst its lush surroundings and enchanting sceneries.

NamjagbarwaFirst on the list is the Namiagbarwa Peak which is located in Nyingchi Region of Tibet Autonomous Region. Surrounded by clouds and mists, snuggled by the river and valley and clustered round by forest, Namjagbarwa is appraised as the most beautiful mountain in China by a number of scientists, explorers and climbers.

With a height of 25,531 feet (7,782 meters) above sea level, Namjagbarwa is considered as the fifteenth highest peak in the world. From the top down to the bottom, in a linear distance of 6,562 feet (2 kilometers), scenes on the Namjagbarwa vary from snowy winter to evergreen season. On the top, snow persists throughout the year. Beneath the snow-line, there are dark green alpine plants. Further down, clumps of bushes begin to appear. Mauve azaleas in full bloom and pink primroses adorn the mountainside and large tracts of tall firs form a frigid taiga forest. In the lower edge of the taiga forest, you can see trees with larger leaves. Camphor trees which are abundant are emitting a unique fragrance giving the area its distinct smell. At the lower venue, forests become denser. You can see bananas and other tropical plants swaying their huge leaves. The atmosphere is full of the specific muggy air of tropical rain forest. How magical Namjagbarwa is! Because of great altitude, it has become such a good magician that varied sights can be in one same picture. No wonder Namjagbarwa is called a world natural museum of mountain vegetation forms.

Mountain GonggaThe snow-capped sceneries in the Mountain Gongga also known as Minya Konka in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan province will surely take every tourist’s breath away. “Gong” in Tibetan’s language means permanent snow cover while “Ga” means white, so Gongga translates to ‘white snow cover’. Its peak rises to a 7556 meters, making it the highest peak east of the Himalayas, and the highest mountain in Sichuan Province. Minya Konka peak can be best described as a high snowy peak with narrow ridges because the snow in this mountain does not melt perennially. While wildlife on the grasslands has been deeply affected by the changes in Tibet, remote mountain peaks and valleys often serve as refuges of isolation where wildlife remains abundant. The climate of Minya Konka is moist, snowy and very unpredictable. Climbing this snowy mountain is said to be more difficult than Mt. Everest. In fact it’s been recorded that since 1932, only seven expeditions, with 22 people, have reached the summit of Minya Konka successfully.

Qomolangma PeakThe subject of many expeditions wherein some became the material for films, Mt.Everest also known as Mount Qomolangma is perhaps the most famous mountain in the world. Having the highest peak in the world, it has been called the most revered of all mountains and the world's third pole. Mt.Qomolangma has a height of 8,844.43 meters above sea level. Its northern slope is in Tingri County, Tibet, China and its southern slope lies within Nepal. It is a surrounded by towering mountains for a radius of 20 kilometers, more than 40 of them over 7,000 meters high. They include the famous Lhotse (the world's 4th highest peak) and Makalu (the world's 5th highest peak) to the southeast. Mt.Everest depicts a picture of a huge pyramid, mighty and imposing. Its surrounding landforms are very steep and dangerous, making its ascent very difficult even for the most experienced climbers.

Meili Snow MountainExperience the spiritual tranquility when you visit the Meili Snow Mountain which is the holy place of pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists and the first of the eight great divine mountains in the Tibetan region. Average elevation of 13 peaks amount to over 6000 meters in this particular location. The Kawagebo peak with 6740 meters high above the sea level is the highest one in Yunnan Province. Kawagebo in Tibetan is the God of Snow Mountain which is the sacred place for Buddhists. Nearby Kawagebo, 13 peaks line up, like a guard of honor for the God. Devotees of Buddhism climb the mountain during the period of the end of autumn and the beginning of the winter to worship without thinking of how long the ways they have to go. It is a sight that will move you seeing them crawl their way to the high mountain gradually. Way back in October 1989, the tenth Panchen Lama, Great Master of Tibetan Buddhism, held a grand religious meeting in front of Kagebo Peak, and now a stone tablet and a pagoda stand there welcoming tourists. In addition, at the foot of it, there are continuous glaciers and cirques known as the Modern Glaciers in the low latitude.

Climbing Meili is a very dangerous thing to do that is why it still possesses a “virgin peak”, which means that no one had ever reached its peak. The complex geology of the Hengduan Mountain and the ever-changing climate in the low-latitude snow mountains mean that the Meili are fraught with fatal dangers. Violent glacier movements have aggravated fissures in the mountain body still further, giving rise to suspended glaciers, hidden ice crevices, ice avalanches and snow avalanches.

Yellow Mountain (Mt. Huangshan)Characterized by its odd-shaped, grotesque rock formation, seas of clouds and crystal-clear hot springs, Mt.Huangshan in east China’s Anhui province is one of the country’s ten best-known scenic spots. In fact it was listed as one of the World Natural Wonder and Cultural Heritages back in 1990. This scenic landscape extends 40 kilometers from south to north and 30 kilometers from east to west, covering an area of 154 square kilometers with a crowd of peaks wherein 72 have names according to the shapes they resemble. The three major ones have names such as Lotus, Brightness Top and Celestial Capital, all of them with a height of 1,800 meters above sea level.

The scene is spectacular especially when it is cloudy, the pinnacles loom in mists as if they were illusionary and the mountain becomes vibrant with majesty and splendor as the sun shines through. The most interesting characteristic of this mountain is the changing of appearance with the alteration of the seasons. In Mt. Huangshan, pines and rocks are intimately involved with each other. Almost every rock has a pine tree growing out of the crevice, and every tree has tortuous and gnarled roots and branches. The still sea of snow-white cloud can suddenly begin to roll and toss, rise or fall, gather or disperse while the peaks emerge and disappear in the clouds like isles in the ocean. Since the ancient times, it has been visited by tourists seeking to understand its mystery and admiring its exceptional beauty.

Sacred Mountains of DaochengFrom the meandering ranges of mountains in Daocheng County, emerge the three Sacred Mountains of Daocheng: Xiannari, Yangmaiyong and Xianuoduoji. These three sacred mountains have been a sacred place for Tibetan Buddhism since the ancient times. Xiannairi is the main peak of the three sacred mountains having an altitude of 6032 meters. It is considered as the first among Daocheng's high peaks. According to legend, it is the incarnation of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy Guanyin or Avalokitesvara. It is has a vast slopes, gentle gradient, and a look depicting Great Buddha sitting in peace, graceful and poised. The south peak Yangmaiyong on the other hand has an altitude of 5958 meters, known as the Bodhisattva Manjusri. It is dignified and stately, gentle, quiet, noble and impeccable. It has a pyramid-as peak is the world's most beautiful snow mountain. Lastly Xianuoduoji, the east peak with an altitude of 5958m, means the Buddha with warriors' hands, possesses a feature which resembles a young man of strong character, tall and handsome who represents the god of elimination brutality In Buddhism. He is believed to be brave, gallant and always in high spirits wearing a brightly colored tiger skin around the hips, and a huge, fierce python circles his waist. At the foot of the three sacred mountains lie wide pastureland, crisscrossed by brooks and streams flowing gently into lakes. There are woods and bushes too, and waterfalls formed by melting ice and snow creating captivating scenes which will surely make the trip unforgettable.

Chogori PeakChogori Peak, better known as K2 has an altitude of 8,600 meters towering over the Yecheng County in Kashgar Region. In Tajik language, its name translates to “high, great and magnificent” which aptly describe the mountain. It is the only major mountain in the world that possesses a surveyor’s notation as its common name, K which means Karakoram and 2 signifying the world’s second highest peak. Even experienced climbers find it dangerous to climb Choqori because of its slopes which seems to be shaped by knives and axes are covered with steep cliffs and sliding chutes arising from avalanches. One more thing, the steep slope makes it extremely difficult to find safe places for setting up high-altitude camps. Because of its special land form and geomorphology, ropes have to be fixed along the whole route from the advance camp to the summit. It’s dangerous land form and tricky weather made it gain a reputation of having the highest death rate of all the 8,000 meters plus peaks all over the world.

Kangrinboqe PeakKangrinboqe is more popularly called as Mt. Kailash. Annually pilgrims from inland of China, India and Nepal come to pay their homage in the summit of the Gangdese Mountains. It is also the source of four of Asia's major rivers. From the snow-capped summit rise the Shiquan (which become the River Indus), the Maquan (which becomes the Yarlung Tsangpo River and then the Brahmaputra), the Xiagnquan (which becomes the Sutlej River) and the Kongque (which becomes the Ganges). Kangrinboqe's crystal-clear and white snow-capped summit and Mount Namnani, which Tibetans call the ''Mountain of the Goddess,'' face each other from afar. Between the two lie the beautiful holy and pure Mapangyongco Lake and the changeable Devil Lake----La'angco.

The Tibetans call the peak "Kangri," which means "treasure of the snowy mountains." In Buddhism and Hinduism, this peak occupies a position as important as the Mandala, or the center of the universe. For hundreds of years, pilgrims have come in a continuous stream to the mountain, which has taken deep root in Tibetan religion, history, and culture. Mystical and fascinating, it is a mountain of spirit, culture, and belief, a combination of man and divinity, and man and nature. Many Tibetan religious followers enshrine and worship the picture of Kangrinboqe together with the figure of Buddha in their homes. Kangrinboqe is a symbol, not only of natural beauty, but also of a belief.

Mount TaiMt. Taishan on the other hand is situated in the middle of Shandong Province, the tallest peak in the area with an altitude of 1,545 meters. It is called as the "Chief of the Five Sacred Mountains" and "First Mountain Under Heaven”. Since the ancient times to the Qing dynasty,emperors came to this holy mountain to hold grand ceremonies to worship the Gods of Heaven and Earth. With a history of 28 hundred million years ago, Mt. Taishan is famous for its imposing natural landscape. In fact in 1987, Mt. Taishan was listed as both a world natural and cultural heritage by UNESCO. It was the first place named as double heritage to the world. Experts of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO stated that Mt. Taishan uniquely unites nature and culture together, and this means China has contributed a special heritage to the world. Thus, it is no wonder why people will go through the trouble of searching for low airline tickets just to be able to visit China and see its natural wonders.

Emei MountainGrandness, elegance, wonder and fantasticality, these are the four characters that best describes another famous peak which is called E’mei Mountain. It covers the stretch of 23 kilometers from south to north with an area of 115 square meters. The eastern slopes are converse with some fault cliffs, and they are rugged and steep. E'mei Mountain can be considered as a huge natural arboretum and the kingdom of wild animals. It is also home to many kinds of plants and animals. At present there are more than 3,000 kinds of superior plants and over 2,000 kinds of animals in the area of Mt.E’mei, most of them are rare species. Moreover, giant panda, Tibetan macaque and other 29 species are major animals under state protection. As to plants, Gong Tung and Gingko is the living fossil of tertiary. 107 categories plants are unique of E'mei Mountain, and more than 30 varieties are major plants under state protection.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

10 Most Popular Attractions in China

Are you planning to spend a holiday to China? Well, China is indeed a fascinating country, full of amazing heritage sites and natural wonders thus it guarantees a vacation full of exciting activities and adventure. To help you with your planning, here are some of the major attractions in China that every tourist must visit.

Lijiang Ancient City is among the famous destinations in China which can be easily reached through a direct flight. This ancient town is distinct because of its own special culture called “Dong Ba”. Dong Ba characters thought to be the only living language based on pictographs. The enchanting sceneries and the relaxed atmosphere of the town entice tourists to stay longer that they have intended. Others who came to this ancient town with nothing to do, ended up staying for a week or a few months because they have been captivated of its beauty and charm. The blend of history and modern convenience in this very old town are the things that attract tourists. It has a bar street and you can even find ATMs, or automated-teller machines. Everyone in the city, local or tourist, automatically slows down when they enter Lijiang. You can also find the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Tiger Leaping Gorge and Luqu Lake in the ancient town of Lijiang.

Touring Sanya guarantees a trip to real tropical paradise with endless sun, fun and seafood! This beautiful town is located on the southernmost point of Hainan Island, looking out on the South China Sea. You will surely enjoy its clear blue waters, white sand beaches, lush green mountains and palm trees which are just about everywhere. It's considered to be the only truly tropical city in China, making it the most popular destination for the Spring Festival holiday. In Beijing people have to wear thick coats to fend off the cold weather however they can let go of those clothing whenever they are in the tropical climate of Sanya. They can put on their specially tourist who pur shorts and sandals while exploring the sands and sea. It is also a popular destination for honeymooners. If you’ll spend for an airfare to Beijing, make sure that you pay a visit to this one and only tropical city in China.

There is an old saying in China that goes "No mountains are worth seeing after a trip to the Five Sacred Mountains, and none of the Sacred Mountains are worth seeing after a trip to Huangshan." Indeed the beauty and splendor of these mountains are truly majestic and incomparable. The Huangshan is famous for its uniquely-shaped pines, fantastic rock peaks, sea of clouds and hot springs. The ever-changing scenery is its most outstanding feature. Mystical clouds drift in and out, changing the view by the minute as the mist ebbs and flows. The beauty of Huangshan also varies with the seasons. It's the only mountain on our top ten lists and was designated as a World Cultural and Natural Heritage site. Like the Yangtze River, the Great Wall and the Yellow River, Huangshan has become a symbol of China so you wouldn’t like to miss this attraction!

Another place worth exploring is the Jiuzhaigou Valley which lies on the transitional marginal belt of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Its magical Chinese landscape is truly enchanting, with green lakes, multi-layered waterfalls, forests and snow-capped mountains. The green and golden trees, lofty mountains and clear and colorful waters render its beauty simply unforgettable for every tourist. The waters are considered the soul of the beauty. Jiuzhaigou is most beautiful in autumn, around August and September.

Illustrating the 20 Renminbi (Chinese currency) note, the craggy little limestone karats that cover the landscape of Guilin are extraordinary. The people of Guilin are most proud of their natural wonders and will tell every tourist that the mountains and water of Guilin are the finest under the heaven Guilin is also situated in the southern part of China where most scenic spots are usually found. It is because of the climate. In the south they have more rainfall and higher temperatures, so they have more green trees and water.

Gulangyu Island is located just southwest of Xiamen City. Visitors can reach it by steamship within 5 minutes. It is an island renowned for its delicate natural beauty, its ancient relics, and varied architecture. It ranks at the top of the list of the ten most-scenic areas in the province of Fujian and was included on China's list of National Scenic Spots.

One of the greatest structures in the world can be found in Beijing, China. It’s no other than the Great Wall of China which winds its way across the country covering over 4,000 miles (6,700km). While the latest construction occurred after 1368 during the Ming Dynasty, construction of the Great Wall began over 2,000 years ago. In fact, the Great Wall is actually made up of a number of interconnecting walls spanning China that different dynasties and warlords constructed over the years.

Zhangjiajie is one of the famous tourist attractions in China that you can visit regardless of the season when you have booked your air ticket to Beijing. It is because the town belongs to the mid-asian subtropical monsoon continental climate having an average annual temperature of 16 degrees centigrade, which makes it amenable to tourists all the year round.

A visit to the grandeur landmark of Lhasa city, Potala Palace is definitely worth your time. Plus the fact that it is more convenient to access this attraction because of the construction of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. It is getting easier and cheaper for tourists to explore this mysterious land of Tibet. Because of its mysterious image, people desire to see it up close to marvel in its beauty and splendor.

The so-called “paradise on Earth” of China is located in the historic center of Hangzhou in the Zhejiang province of eastern China. West Lake is famous for its intoxicating beauty which captivates every tourist who made a wise decision of including this fascinating place in their itinerary. Be one of them and see for yourself the majestic sights in this magical lake.

Now, have you decided which part of China you would like to explore. For sure anywhere, there will be lots of enchanting sceneries and picturesque location so proceed on booking air ticket online and have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cities with Superb Chinese Cuisines

Chinese cuisine reflects the vastness of China's geography and history. Its various characteristics can be distinguish into four types, the northern plains including Beijing, the fertile east watered by the Yangtze River, the south with popular Cantonese way of cooking and the west of excellent Szechwan and Hunan cuisine. Chinese foods can perhaps be available anywhere however the best place to try them will still be the place where they originated. Here’s the list of some famous Chinese cuisine and where is the best place to try them.

If you are looking for the best place to try the roast duck, you better go to Beijing. Although Beijing has accepted the Western cuisine due to the developments in China, most tourists who purchase airfare to Beijing prefer to consume Chinese foods during their stay. Roast duck is on top of the must-try list because it best represents the Chinese cuisine, with a centuries-old history. Its bronzed crispy and tender meat satisfies the hunger and expectations of each tourist who desires to taste an authentic Chinese food. Beijing Imperial Court Food, Beijing Snacks, Imperial Official Food, Medicinal Food and Hot Pot are also worth trying.

If roast duck is Beijing then roast suckling pig is Guangzhou. Cantonese cuisine is the popular cooking method in Guangzhou, having different flavors and styles and using diverse materials, exotic spices and various cooking skills. The popular saying “Except the plane and stool” probably originated in Guangzhou as people in this province eat everything in the sky and on earth. Some of other popular dishes includes Dragon Fighting against the Tiger, Taiye Chicken, Stewed Wild Dog Meat, Shuang Pi Nai, Jidi Zhou, Yuntun Mian, Chang Fenand Guiling Gao.

Goubuli Steamed Stuffed Bun is a traditional snack in Tianjin and an example of Tianjin Dinging cuisine. The charming municipality of Tianjin is well-known for cross-cultural Chinese dishes and traditional famed snacks. Aside from Goubuli Steamed Stuffed Bun, remember to try Ear-Hole Fried Cake, Fried Dough Twist, Chatang Goubacai and Tangdui to make the trip worthwhile.

Shanghai way of cooking is derived from mix cuisines of different neighbouring provinces such as Jiangsu and Zhejiang. It doesn’t have a cuisine of its own but a refined way of cooking reflects the Shanghai cuisine. Actually, Shanghai is not only considered as China’s economic and cultural center but it is also a “Grand View Garden” for dinner of all taste. Its dishes have the characteristics of lightness in flavor and beautiful in decoration, comprising of well-cut raw ingredients and harmoniously arranged colors evident in the famous Da Zha Xie. Other examples of the Dim Sum of Shanghai are the Sheng Jian Mantou, Xiao Long Bao, Four Heavenly Kings and Congshao Crucian Carp.

Chongqing cuisine is known for its richness in flavor with 40 different ways of cooking. It is largely a hybrid of Sichuan cuisine and local specialty dishes, noted for its distinctive spicy and pungent flavors. Chongqing is the birthplace of the Hot Pot in China, originally conceived to protect the food from low temperatures and frigid winds of the winter. Nowadays, this famed dish is widely enjoyed by locals and tourists regardless of seasons and regions.

Touring Foshan is a gastronomical treat, mainly because Chefs in Foshan can turn everything into a delicious dish, whether its meat, vegetable, fish or fruits. Foshan cuisine is influenced by diverse local flavors and specialties and has formed its own unique food culture through hundreds of years and innovation. This distinct taste makes Foshan a favorite destination for rich variety of dishes and snacks. Locals drinking tea in the morning and evening with dim sun is a common sight. This town is also well-known for its Shuangpi Milk, Foshan Manggong Cake, Nine Layers of Milk, Wonton Noodle, Jidi Porridge, Goose Palm with Orange Peel and Sliced Frogs.

A representative of Zhejiang cuisine, Hangzhou cuisine is one of China’s eight original methods of preparing food. It acquired the reputation of freshness, tenderness, softness, smoothness with a subtle fragrance. During the ancient times, a poet of Song Dynasty described the Hangzhou cuisine as something incomparable to other dishes for its excellent taste. Dongpo Pork is one amongst the popular dishes such as with West Lake Sour Fish, Longjing Shrimp Meat, Jiaohua Young Chickens, Steam Rice Flower and Port Wrapped by Lotus Leaves, Braised Bamboo Shoots and Lotus Root Powder.

Nanjing cuisine on the other hand became popular because of its fine cutting techniques and skilful timing resulting into thick flavor of dishes with tastiness of the four directions. It gained the praise of tourist who bought airfare to China specifically for its freshness, fragrance, crispness and tenderness. Nanjing Salty Duck is one of tourists favorite dishes with Baked Duck, Duck Blood and Sweet Potato Starch Noodle Soup, Fried Beer Dumplings, Steamed Dumplings, Soup Dumplings, Sour Vegetable Fish Soup, Crawfish, Return to Sauce Tofu and Stinky Tofu.

Representing one of the eight famous cuisines of China is the Hunan cuisine which is characterized for its delicate use of pepper, resulting to a pungent flavor. Its example is a Changsa cuisine which is well-known for having hot and sour taste, fresh aroma, greasiness, deep color and prominence of the main flavor in each dish. Dishes like Chou Dofu, Spicy Young Chicken, Zuyan’s Sharks Fin, Braised Eel, Chicken, Dove and Sparrow and Changsa Maren Crispy Duck are some of the dishes where one can taste the most authentic Hunan cuisine.

Have you heard the saying that goes “All good foods can be found in Chengdu”? Well, this phrase can be credited from the superb dishes that Sichuan cuisine had made popular not only in China but to various parts of the globe as well. As the priority of the Eight Great Cuisines in China, Sichuan cuisine is characterized by its spicy and pungent flavor accompanied by myriad of taste, highlighting the use of chilli, red hot peppers and garlic. In Chengdu, you can have a taste of different cuisines such as Sichuan, Cantonese, Chaozhou dishes, Northeastern cuisine and even Korean food as various types of restaurants assemble to operate on the same street.

Take note of the name of the Chinese dishes with its corresponding places and don’t forget to try these excellent dishes if you’ll be traveling in China.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Amazing Chinese Architecture

There is no doubt that Chinese architecture is something that fascinates people all over the world because of its characteristics and rich history. It is said that the structural principles of Chinese architecture remains largely unchanged until today with minor changes to its decorative style. There was relative proof that since the Tang Dynasty, Korea, Vietnam and Japan have been greatly influenced by the Chinese architecture.

Chinese architecture is as old as Chinese civilization so it’s quite an experience to see the structures which have been the products of such creative and brilliant minds of Chinese ancestors. Here are some samples of buildings which features the magnificent designs of Chinese architecture.

Located in the middle of Beijing, China, Forbidden City had served as the house of emperors and their household as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government for 500 years. The palace complex which was consisted of 980 buildings exemplifies the Chinese palatial architecture that had influenced the cultural and architectural developments in East Asia. It is also known as the best preserved imperial palace presenting the essence and culmination of traditional Chinese architectural accomplishments.

It is said that airfare to Shanghai won’t be worth paying for without visiting “The Bund” because as they said, you won’t see the “real” China unless you have been to this part of Shanghai. It is the famous waterfront in Shanghai located at the west shore of the Huangpu River. The Bund has been regarded as the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years. Its most interesting feature are the 52 various buildings representing different architectural styles such as Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance. It will be such an awesome sight, to see varying classic designs next to each other.

The City Wall of Xian is one of the interesting places to visit in China which is situated in the capital of the Shaanxi province. It was erected in the 14th century during the period of Ming Dynasty. It is said that the City Wall was built because of the admonition by a hermit named Zhu Sheng to Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. The wall has a height of 12 meters tall with of 12-14 meters width at the top and 15-18 meters thick at the bottom. It is also the most complete city wall that has survived in China as well as the largest ancient military defensive system in the world.

Experience the tranquil atmosphere at the Potala Palace in Tibet which has been the residence of the Dalai Lamas at the same time the political centre of Tibet since 1645. Tourists will surely marvel at the splendour of the grand buildings, complicated constructions and unique artworks – mainly comprised by the administerial (White Building) and the religious (White Building) structures.

Beauty and serenity are the two things that describe the Suzhou Gardens. The design of this garden is considered as the epitome of landscaping art for private gardens which represents wider range of freedom of art expression. The main characteristic of the ancient garden of Suzhou which set it apart from others is it was designed to be lived in as well as the surrounding houses around it. Visitors can’t help but be captivated with its beauty at every bend, pavilions, gazebos and comfortable seats to savor the picturesque location.

Be sure to include the Confucius Temple in Nanjing in your list of places to visit when you go to China. The followers of the great philosopher and educator of ancient China hold their worship service in this temple which is known for its superb architecture and intricate design. You won’t just learn some insights how ancient China chooses their government officials but you will be rewarded of a beautiful sight of a Chinese architecture.

Another building worth visiting is the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong. It is a 70-storey building towering in the center of the city with a height of 315 meters. The most interesting feature of this building is the structural expressionism design which resembles the growing bamboo shoots, signifying prosperity and livelihood. This remarkable structure is also the first building outside North America to break the 1000 feet mark.

Remember to pay a visit to the Ruins of St.Paul if you are planning to travel to Macau. It is the remains of the one of the greatest church ever built in the city. You will surely be amazed of the intricately carved stone facade. The carvings include Jesuit images with Oriental themes, founders of the Jesuit Order, the conquest of Death by Jesus and a dove with wings outstretched at the very top of the facade. These carvings were believed to be done by Japanese Christians who were in exile from their homeland and local craftsmen under the direction of Italian Jesuit Carlo Espinola between 1620 and 1627.

Diwang Tower of Shenzhen is a building located in the financial and commercial hub of the area. This building has an installed wind and structural monitoring system used to timely record wind and structural response data. This is significant in determining the wind characteristic f typhoon. The structural characteristics and responses, including the natural frequency, modal damping ratio, translational and torsional displacement and acceleration responses are also provided by the monitoring system.

With the numerous online travel companies offering affordable airfare to Taiwan, traveling to Taiwan to see its different tourist spots such as Taipei 101 need not be expensive. Taipei 101 is a famous landmark skyscraper in Xinyi district. It became the world’s tallest skyscraper in 2004 and was hailed as one of the Seven New Wonders of the World as published in Newsweek Magazine,2006 edition. Taipei 101 was also featured in the Discovery Channel in 2005 as one of the Seven Wonders of Engineering. The fireworks display at this building during international New Year’s Eve is an event that locals and tourists who spent for airfare to Taipei look forward to because of its marvelous and breathtaking sights.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Asia's Wonderful Waterfalls

Asia is indeed blessed with natural wonders, from the pristine white beaches to the exceptionally beautiful nature reserves and parks, thus it is of no wonder why tourists from various part of the globe love to spend vacations and holidays in Asian countries. These natural wonders also include the spectacular and breathtaking waterfalls which are scattered in the continent of Asia. If you are more into nature trips, the following list of famous waterfalls might help you in deciding your next holiday trip.

Jog Falls in India is the largest and the tallest waterfall in the country. It is comprised of four waterfalls named Raja, Roar, Rocket and Rani. The sight of these waterfalls during the monsoon season is just exhilarating, however the hydroelectric developments in the upstream robbed the beauty of these waterfalls during the rest of the season.

Aptly named as the most picturesque waterfall in China, perhaps in the whole Asia, Detian Waterfall is located in the Karst hills of Guangxi Province of China and in the district of Trung Khanh in Vietnam side. It is currently the 4th largest waterfall along a national boarder. It is a multi-tiered waterfall with a 30 meters water drop separated into 3 falls by rocks and trees. Definitely a must-see attraction when you book an airfare to China.

Regarded as Thailand’s largest waterfall, Thi Lo Su Waterfall is a sight to behold with its multi-segmented and multi-tiered water course. It’s famous to its visitors not only because of its scenic beauty but for the certain grace and character it possesses which allows people to swim in some of its tiers.

Unchalli Falls at Karnataka, India is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the country. It’s impressive for its reliable flow, its rather unusual flow which seems like vidfoss-like and the dramatic scenery around its lush surroundings. If you’ll visit this waterfall around midday, you can see a rainbow appearing in the waterfall’s rising mist.

With a 74 meters height and 81 meters width, Huangguoshu Waterfall is regarded as one of China’s biggest waterfall. It has a classical squarish shape with a character of thunderous wall of water to graceful parallel watery columns. Most of the tourists who have visited this waterfall cannot help but capture the magnificent sight over and over again with their camera. So check your camera when you check your air ticket to China on your departure date.

Mae Ya Waterfall at the Doi Ithanon National Park is popular to its visitors because of the triangular cascade of its waters. Truly , a postcard-perfect sight that’s why most of the tourists who come to see Mae Ya always bring along a camera to capture the picturesque scenery.

If you love the wonderful view at the Mae Ya Waterfall, you’ll surely appreciate the beauty of Nohkalikai Falls which is located at the forgotten northeast corner of India. Its reliable flow plus the color of the cliff and the bright blue pool at its base entice tourists to come to this place for several times.

The peaceful setting and the laid back atmosphere of the Nachi Falls in Japan provides reason for tourists to purchase an airfare to Japan to see its exceptional beauty and indulge in the tranquility the place offers to its visitors. It is considered as the country’s tallest permanent vertical waterfall having 133 meters height. It is said that this waterfall is among the few where you can see a pagoda or from within a genuine old temple.

The towering 97 meter waterfall of Kegon Falls at Chuzenji –ko, Japan is known for its grandeur and setting. It has a forceful and tall cascade with spectacular sights from the different angle of the waterfall. Sightings of brilliant rainbows during the mornings are usual sights here.

Regarded as the “husband and wife waterfall” of Japan, Ginga and Ryusei Waterfalls is one of the most visited and photographed attraction in the Land of the Rising Sun. It is quite unusual to see two waterfalls tumble side by side being split by a giant rock. The scenery is just extraordinary with the lush surroundings backed by the snowy mountains at the wilderness of the Daisetsuzan’s backcountry.

No doubt, each waterfall possesses unique charm and varied picturesque scenes, just prepare your self to be amazed by the wonders of nature!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Famous Bridges

Taking pictures is one of the things that tourists of every generation enjoy especially when traveling to a place with attractions famous all over the globe for its beauty and historical significance. Bridges with magnificent designs and spectacular views are among the most photographed structures. Here’s the list of the famous bridges all over the world that might help you in planning your holiday.

The Great Belt Bridge in Denmark is one of the famous bridges in the world. It is divided into two sections by the island of Sprogo - the eastern and western part. The eastern bridge is 254 meters (833ft) above sea level making its two pylons the highest points in Denmark. It is also considered as the bridge which has the third longest main span in the world, crossing the deepest part of Storebaelt between the islands of Zealand and Sprogo. On the other hand, West bridge is 6611 meters (21689ft) long rail and road bridge connecting the islands of Sprogo and Funen.

One of Switzerland’s main tourist attractions is the Chapel Bridge in the city of Lucerne. It is a 204 meter long oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe. This bridge is believed to be built around 1333 to help protect the city from attacks of its enemies. Paintings from the 17th century depicting the some events from the history of Lucerne can be seen inside the bridge. The bridge and paintings were destroyed by a fire in 1993 but they were quickly rebuilt.

In China Chengyang Bridge, the most famous rain and wind bridge in the region of Dong Minority was built in 1916. It is the largest of all wind and rain bridges measuring 64.4 meters long, 3.4 meters wide and 10.6 meters wide. This bridge which was made up of wood and stone, without nails or rivets stretches across the Linxi River. Until now, the bridge is still in heavy use.

Brooklyn Bridge is one of the tourist attractions in the city of New York. It has become an iconic landmark and every tourist who spends for an airfare to New York includes visiting this bridge as apart of itinerary. This bridge which spans across the East River connects Brooklyn to Manhattan. From the time of its completion in 1883 and for several years, it was named as the longest suspension bridge in the world. One can stroll along the wide pedestrian walkway and enjoy the panoramic view of the city.

A bridge that reflects the masterpiece of the ancient Roman bridge building can be found at Alcantara, Spain. Alcantara Bridge was built by an order of a Roman Emperor Trajan around 98 AD. Crossing the Tagus River, the bridge was built with two arches, one in the middle and one at the end to honor the emperor who initiated its construction. Both of the arches were destroyed during the war between the Moors and the Portuguese.

Sydney, Australia takes pride of having the largest bridge in the world. Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel arch bridge that took eight years to build. It is considered as one among the most photographed iconic landmark in the city. Most of the tourists who purchased airfare to Sydney make it a point to see this magnificent bridge up close and document the moment by taking several pictures.

Crossing the Neretva River in the city of Mostar in Bosnia Herzegovina, Stari Most (“The Old Bridge”) was built by the Ottoman Turks in 1556. It served its purpose for 427 years until the Bosnian War in 1993 when it was destroyed. The bridge was rebuilt and opened to in 2004. It has been a tradition for the young men of the town to jump from the bridge to the river however since the water is very cold it is considered as a risky feat and only skilled divers should attempt to do it.

Another bridge well-known for its magnificent architecture is the Si-o-se Pol Bridge in the city of Isfahan, Iran. Made up of bricks and stones, this bridge is considered as an example of Safavid bridge design having 33 arches. It measures 295 meters long and 13.75 meters wide.

Japan has the longest suspension bridge in the world, the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge also known as the Pearl Bridge. It measures 1,991 meters (6532ft) long spanning the Akashi Strait in Japan connecting Kobe on the mainland and Iwaya on Awayi Island. The construction of the bridge took 12 years and was opened for traffic in 1998.

Tourists who will take a boat ride along the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy will get a chance to see the Rialto Bridge which is the oldest bridge among the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal. This stone bridge was predicted to collapse because of its audacious design however it defied its critics and has been considered as an architectural icon of Venice.

Charles Bridge is a famous stone bridge with a Gothic design spanning across the Vitava River in the city of Prague, Czech Republic. The bridge serves as the significant connection between the Old Town and the area around the Prague Castle because it is the only way to cross the Vitava River. It is one of the most visited sights in the city of Prague.

Tower Bridge is a must-see structure if you will be purchasing airfare to London to spend a holiday. A truly magnificent sight, the bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge across the Thames River. It consists of two towers tied at the upper level by a two horizontal walkways where one can see the panoramic view of the city. It got its name being situated nearby to the Tower of London and has become an iconic symbol of London.

Anyone crossing the Millau Viaduct in Millau, France will surely be captivated by the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscape and the bridge itself. Millau Viaduct is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world having a pylon’s summit of 343 meters (1125ft) which is slightly higher than the Eifel’s Tower.

Internationally recognized as the symbol of Los Angeles and California, Golden Gate Bridge is a masterwork of Architect Joseph B. Strauss. It is a suspension bridge spanning the strait of Golden Gate between San Francisco and the Marin County to the north. The bridge was designed to have a red-orange color to make it easily visible through the fog that frequently covers the bridge.

Ponte Vecchio which means Old Bridge is a Medieval bridge across the Arno River in Florence, Italy. It is the only bridge in Florence that survived the World War II. The bridge is popular because of the shops built along the structure consisting of jewelers, art dealers and vendors of souvenir items.

With all the affordable airfare deals available online, seeing all these architectural wonders is not impossible. Just keep on searching and you’ll find one which will surely fit your budget.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Exploring Mighty Moscow

Moscow, being the largest city in Russia is one among the famous tourist destination in Europe. Its architecture and sights are truly unique, offering a wonderful time for discoveries to its tourists.

Shopping is one of things a tourist can enjoy while visiting Moscow. Where could be the best place to do it other than the largest and most over-the-top shopping malls in Moscow – the Gum and Tsum. Housing expensive brands such as Burberry, Joop!, Hermes and Moschino, visitors and locals like to have a stroll in its capacious and architecturally stunning hallways. Cafe Tsum is an ideal place to rest and unwind after hours of checking out the various products displayed in each mall.

A trip to Moscow won’t be complete without visiting the “Patriarshy Prudiy” which means Patriarch’s Pond. It is a square-shaped pond surrounded by Stalin era apartments located near Mayakovsky Square. This pond depicts the period of Stalinist Russia and the surrealism that somehow still pervades Russia. It has been said that the best time to appreciate the beauty of Patriarshy Prudiy is during the morning, in the fall or spring. It’s a part of Moscow that everyone cherishes tourists and locals alike.

Hordes of people feeding the pigeons or reading the papers are usual sights at Pushkin Square. Historically known as “Strastnaya”, it was renamed to Pushkin Square in honor to Alexander Pushkin, universally known as the father of Russian literature. A statue of Alexander Pushkin was also erected in the square. Located at the very heart of Moscow, Pushkin Square is considered as one of the busiest square not only in Moscow but all over the world.

Watching a movie in a cinema that has been around for decades partaking in the history of the city of Moscow will surely leave a deep impression to any visitor. 35MM is one of Moscow’s most storied cinemas located at the corner of the Garden Ring. Although there is no surround system or stadium seat in this seasoned movie outlet, movie goers who have been used to watching films at 35MM especially those people who just love to watch the Soviet and Russian films continue to patronize the cinema for its historical value.

O2 Lounge which is located at the 12th floor of Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow is a hang-out place for those who would like to feel important, rich and sexy. Locals insist on calling the place as Oh-Two Lounge instead of its real name Oxygen Lounge. It is a place for the people who belong in the higher status of society simply because only those people can afford the exorbitant price of sushi and champagne being served at the lounge by beautiful ladies. While enjoying the expensive food and drinks, visitors who care to step into the balcony are treated with the spectacular view of the city including the panoramic view of the Kremlin and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

Just love watching the city lights while having a drink? Swiss Otel’s City Space Bar & Lounge located at the 34th floor of the building is a perfect place to be. It offers breathtaking scenery of the city’s skyline and skyscraper. The House of Music which is just next door features some of the highest-caliber classical music concerts so you might as well try it too to complete a wonderful evening.

If you will be traveling with your kids, you will be rewarded with hugs and kisses after spending a day at the Gorky Park. It is an amusement park named after the literary author Maxim Gorky. The park has children’s play areas, fun fairs and various amusement rides. It is also a perfect spots for picnics and camping.

Any one who is planning to book a flight, an air ticket to Moscow must not forget to pay a visit to Winzavod. Housed in this one-time factory turned into a series of galleries, is the concept store “Cara & Co” well-known to the opulent people for its Belgian and Australian designer clothing with an array of expensive household items. Sightings of the city’s rich and famous people are common things at Winzavod as this is the place to go for fashion shows and art exhibitions.

Krysha Mira is the place to go if you would like to experience the night life in the city of Moscow. It would be wise to have a company who knows a good deal about the high-end night clubs just to be sure you’ll have lots of fun not loads of trouble after having a drink.

Spending for an airfare to Moscow will also give a visitor a chance to see the tomb of the father of the Russian Revolution. Lenin’s Tomb is a mausoleum in Red Square that serves as the current resting place of Vladimir Lenin.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Top 10 Destinations for New Year Celebration

It is holiday celebrated by everyone regardless of race and religion, thus every part of the world gets into the festive mood and set exciting activities to celebrate the end of another wonderful year and welcome the New Year. While most people would like to celebrate with families and loved ones, some take advantage of the holiday vacation to travel abroad and see how other countries celebrate New Year. Here are some of the top destinations for a memorable New Year celebration.

Tokyo starts the celebration on the 29th of December until 4th of January, so if you would like to have a longer period of New Year celebration, then Tokyo is the place to be. Although most of the tourist attractions are closed for the holidays, the bustling metropolis is full of fun-filled activities for everyone. Clubs and restaurants are packed with people while the entire city is jumping with loads of fireworks, singing and dancing. Tourists will surely be thrilled to join the locals with their traditional way of welcoming New Year. It is by eating Toshikoshi Soba (New Year Noodle) and listening to Juya No Kane (The Watch-Night Bell). The noodle which is long signifies long and healthy life while the Watch-Night Bell used for countdown rings 108 times at the temples across the country to symbolize getting rid of unhappiness, poorness and the likes. Tourists also get the chance to visit the Imperial Palace which opens to the public only for New Years Greeting celebration and on the birthday of the Emperor.

Celebrate New Year ahead of other countries by going to Sydney Australia because of the time difference. Visitors and locals alike will surely be amazed of the stunning fireworks display with the accompaniment of lively music exploding over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. Every year, more than a million people gather around Sydney Harbour to join the countdown party and watch the spectacular Midnight Fireworks. The sight of exploding fireworks can be seen at its best from one of the boats in the harbour, adding magical moments to a more romantic setting.

Traveling to London is another way to have a wonderful New Year celebration. You will surely be captivated by the sight of astonishing fireworks launched into the sky off the 135 meter London Eye, projecting a light show throughout the city. This spectacular scene can be witness from rooftops and balconies however the Westminster Bridge and the north embankment of the River Thames provide the best views. The fireworks starts exploding in the sky after Big Ben struck 12 midnight and lasts for 15 minutes. River cruise is a romantic option to watch the fireworks while ushering the New Year.

Welcome the New Year in Spanish Style by taking part in Noche Vieja in Barcelona. The lively music of salsa and flamenco soar high in the entire city setting the festive mood for as long as a week. Experience the traditional Spanish way of celebrating New Year and join the locals do the countdown by eating 12 pieces of grapes, one grape following each bell sound. This custom is believed to have originated from the period of Roman Empire which symbolizes the sweet beginnings of a New Year from the sweet flavor of the fruit. Complete the holiday by participating in Cabalgata Delos Reyes Magos (Three Kings Parade) held on the 5th of January.

If you would like to have a romantic New Year celebration, book an airfare to Paris and join the Parisians as they say Bonn Annee. Head to Champ-Elysees and secure a spot along its famous streets early as people start to gather at 9pm to have a nice view in anticipation of the stunning fireworks display exploding at the top of the Eifel Tower. Toast with the locals to a flute of Champagne while watching the spectacular fireworks for an unforgettable holiday. For a magnificent view of the Paris skyline, go to Sacre Coeur in Montmartre to have the best view as you watch the fireworks launched from different parts of the city.

Italy offers exciting activities to its visitors for a splendid New Year celebration. Tourists will sure enjoy the La Festa di San Silvestro (the holiday that is celebrated in Italy on 31st December) and the Il Capodanno (Venetian style on 1st January). Treat your palate with the several course of authentic Italian cuisine in local restaurants complimented by glass of prosecco join the masked crowds in St.Mark’s Square for a countdown, where the bell of the church’s campanile announces the beginning of the new year. Fireworks display is also a part of the celebration with parties lasting until sunrise. It is a common tradition to wear red underwear as Italians believe that it will bring good luck for the coming year.

Have a memorable celebration at the New York’s Time Square as you join hundreds of thousands people gathered around the iconic landmark of New York for a New Year celebration. Millions of people all over the world look forward to see the Waterford Crystal New Year’s Ball descends from the flagpole on the top of One Times Square building. Enjoy the experience of seeing it up close up, dress warmly and be there early to have a good spot as people starts to gather as early as 3pm. The festivities continue after midnight with spectacular fireworks launched all around the city.

Experience a liveliest grand celebration as you witness the tremendous fireworks when you purchased an airfare to Las Vegas to welcome the New Year. Have a party of your life at the Las Vegas strip and be entertained with the best entertainers. If you are into a luxurious celebration, then Las Vegas is the perfect place to be.

Orlando is an ideal place also for a New Year getaway especially for families. Kids and adults alike are guaranteed to have a wonderful time at several tourist attractions such as SeaWorld, Universal Studios and Disney World. All of these theme parks prepared something spectacular for a magical night to usher the New Year. Visitors can enjoy the live entertainment throughout the day and the fireworks display at night.

Toronto also attracts a huge crowd of tourists and locals for its traditional New Year’s Eve Bash at Nathan Phillips Square which features some of the hottest pop artist performing live. People are treated with hundreds of songs from different performers as they await the countdown in midnight. There are also activities for children such as ice-skating, games at the Scarborough Civic Centre and festivities at the theme park in downtown Toronto.

Just take your pick and have a memorable New Year celebration!