Guangzhou is a famous historical city located in southern China on the Pearl River, about 120 km north-northwest of Hong Kong. It is known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province.
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Beijing is the China's political, economic, cultural and educational center and the most important center for international trade and communications. It offers an unparalleled delight to travelers as they explore Beijing's ancient past and enjoy its exciting modern development. Beijing has some of the most superb examples of Chinese architecture; no other place in China offers such a large number of old buildings. The biggest central square in the world - Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City - the largest and best-preserved imperial palace complex, a superbly preserved section of the Great Wall, as well as the largest sacrificial complex in the world - the Temple of Heaven, are just few of the tourists' attractions.
Originally a fishing town, Shanghai became China's most important city by the 20th century and was the center of popular culture, intellectual and political intrigue during the Republic of China era. Today, Shanghai is the commercial center of China and has one of the most dynamic skylines in the world. Shanghai is a very beautiful city and has many interesting tourist spots such as parks, beautiful churches, temples, towers, gardens, museums and so on. A walk through some of the oldest streets of China is also very exciting. Some of the popular tourist attractions are: Chinese City, British Public Park, The Japanese Concessions, The French Concessions, Pudong, Jinmao Tower. It is a good starting point for a boat trip on the Huangpu river.
Macau was both the oldest and the last European colony in China. Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 16th century and administered the region until the handover in 1999. Macau preserves many historical properties in the urban area. The Historic Centre of Macau, which includes some twenty-five historic monuments and public squares, was officially listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005. The most famous landmark is the Church of Sao Paulo (circa 1600). All that remains is the facade - the rest of the church was destroyed by fire in 1835 but it's worth climbing the imposing set of stairs to view the ruins up close, especially at night when the lit-up city is spread out below. The view of the city and countryside is fantastic. Don't miss the temples of the Goddess A-Ma and Lin Fong Temple.
A major historical city, Xian is the political, economic and cultural center of Northwest China, but also one of the most important tourist cities in the country. The city is surrounded by a well-preserved City wall of Xian which was re-constructed in the Ming Dynasty and based on the inner imperial palace of Tang Dynasty. One of the most impressive sights is The Big Wild Goose Pagoda built in 652 AD. Other sights well worth visiting are: the Stele Forest, famous for its numerous historic inscriptions and stoneworks, the Shaanxi History Museum housing a large collection of artifacts and the city's Muslim quarter, a tourist shopping district, home to the Great Mosque of Xi'an. The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and his Terracotta Army are located 40 km to the east, in the city's suburbs.
Guilin or "forest of Sweet Osmanthus" has long been renowned for its breathtaking beauty. The town is modern, clean and organized, and a good place to spend a day exploring several smaller hills within its boundaries. Located on the banks of the Li River, it boasts the largest and most beautiful scenic area in China, attracting thousands of visitors each year. The landscape is decorated with rolling hills, steep cliffs, fantastic caves, leisurely boats and is lined with bamboo. While in Guilin, don't miss the Jingjiang Princes City - a royal complex dating from the Ming Dynasty that lies near the center of modern Guilin. Other scenic spots around Guilin include: the Seven Star Park which has caves and a zoo, Camel Mountain and Elephant Trunk Hill, Piled Festoon Hill and Huangbu (Yellow Cloth) Beach.
Dating back from more than 800 years ago, the Lijiang old town is famous for its orderly system of waterways and bridges. Its functioning canals that line the narrow winding alleys and the hundreds of years old Chinese architecture, retain much of their charm. Don't miss the Mu Palace - the palace where the Mu Clan ruled for over 400 years - a large complex that extends part way up the hill behind it. At the top there is a Daoist temple. Lijiang is also home to the Jade Water Village, a Dongba cultural centre and Lugu Lake, an important tourist attraction. Lijiang is also a very useful base for exploring the rest of Yunnan. From here you can travel north towards "Shangri-La" Zhongdian or Deqin, or take the trek on the Tiger Leaping Gorge in one of the most naturally beautiful areas of China.
In Tibetan, Shangri-La means a place of good fortune and luck. Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel `Lost Horizon` by British author James Hilton. Located in the midst of three rivers; the torrential Jinsha, Langcang and Nujiang, Shangri-La is a sacred scenic region blessed with majestic mountains. Famous for the Meili Snow Mountain, Tibetan town of Zhongdian and the ancient Tea-horse road to Tibet. Shangri-La is a paradise for mountaineers. Over one hundred snow-capped peaks present endless challenges for mountain climbers.
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