Located in Fujian Province on the southeast coast
opposite Taiwan, this attractive city sits on the banks of the Min
River. Dating back almost 1400 years (to the Tang Dynasty),
the city has many temples and parks including the Black
Pagoda and White Pagoda, and maritime
reminders of its past as a colonial Treaty Port. Fuzhou also has
several hot springs throughout the city. Further south, Mount
Wuyi is an excellent area of natural beauty and the cradle
Known as the ‘City of Flowers’, Guangzhou
is a subtropical metropolis situated on the south coast. As a Special
Economic Zone just 182km (113 miles) from Hong Kong, Guangzhou is
progressing at breakneck speed, however it dates back to 221 BC
and has more established attractions, having first welcomed European
traders in 1516. Museums, parks, hot springs, temples, and colonial
architecture – particularly on Shamian Island
– are the main attractions.
The Chenhai Tower, an observation tower built in
1516 overlooking the Pearl River, the Huaisheng
Mosque constructed by Arab merchants in AD 650, and the
Tomb of the King of Southern Yue, a 2000-year-old relic
of one of the area's short-lived splinter kingdoms, are also well
worth a visit. Additional attractions for those intrigued by the
gold rush mentality of Shenzhen include theme parks; notably the
World of Splendid China (containing miniatures
of Chinese heritage sites), and the China Folk Culture Villages.
The capital of Hunan Province is near the birthplace
of Mao Zedong at Shaoshan. The attractions mainly
revolve around Mao’s early life. There are schools and museums
dedicated to him. One noteworthy exception is the Han Tomb
whose contents – include the 2000-year-old remains of a woman
– are presently in the Hunan Provincial Museum.
Located about 150km southeast of Wuhan, this is a popular scenic
area and summer resort with peaceful scenery
and a mild climate. The mountain has been a refuge for poets and
hermits over centuries, and more recently for Chiang Kaishek, Mao
Zedong, Harry Truman, and other VIPs. Guling Town is
at it's centre, at an altitude of 1167m.
Situated northwest of Guangzhou (Canton), Guilin
is well known for its amazing landscape of intriguing
limestone formations, echoed so evocatively in the wall-hangings
and paintings famous in the area. Steep monolithic mountains ascend
dramatically from a flat landscape of winding rivers and paddy fields.
One can climb the hills, take river trips and visit the lakes, parks,
Wulingyuan basin lies further
north and is centred on the town of Zhangjiajie,
which has dense primeval forest and thousands of steep mountain
peaks. Also located here is Yellow Dragon Cave,
Asia’s largest, with gnarled stalactites.
The capital of Yunnan Province, borders Myanmar,
Vietnam and Laos, and has a unique identity as a newer, showcase
city with some temples and beautiful lakeside parks. Because of
its pleasant alpine climate it is known as the
‘City of Eternal Spring’ or the ‘Geneva
of the Orient.’ .
Located outside of Kunming are the major attractions of Xi
Shan, the holy mountain, and Shilin, the
petrified limestone forest situated 120km (75 miles) southeast of
Kunming. The ancient city of Lijiang, further west
in Yunnan Province, is populated by the Naxi ethnic people, and
was the subject of the renowned documentary ‘Beyond The Clouds’.
off the south coast of Guangdong Province this tropical
Island has some beautiful beaches, palm groves, coconuts
and fresh seafood Hainan Island became a separate
province in 1989, and is presently one of many Special Economic
Zones, however it is not yet the ‘Hawaii of China’
it aspires to be.