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China Information


China, formally known as the People's Republic of China, is a vast country in Eastern Asia (about the same size as the United States of America) with the world's largest population.

With coasts on the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, in total it borders 14 nations, it borders Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam to the South; Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to the West; Russia and Mongolia to the North and North Korea to the East. Only Russia has more land borders in Asia.

Regions of China

    North-east (Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang)
Dongbei, the "rust belt"
    North (Shandong, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Henan, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin)
The Yellow River Basin area, historical heartland of Chin
    North-west (Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, Xinjiang)
Grasslands and deserts, nomadic people, Islam
    South-west (Tibet, Yunnan, Guangxi, Guizhou)
The exotic part, home to most of the Chinese minorities, with spectacular scenery
    Southern-central (Anhui, Sichuan, Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi)
Farming areas
    South-east (Guangdong, Hainan, Fujian)
The traditional trading center
    East (Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang)
The new economic center


China has many large and famous cities. Below is a list of the nine most important to travellers. Other cities are listed under their specific regional section. See the Dynasties and capitals section further down the page for a list of China's many previous capitals.

    * Beijing  - capital city, cultural center, and host of the 2008 Olympics. Beijing is the capital city of China and is a major tourist city with a fantastic railroad and highway system.  Among its many attractions are The Great Wall and the Beijing Zoo with the best preserved section of The Great Wall located approximately 50 miles north at Badaling and the Beijing Zoo covering an area of 124 acres and housing such species as Giant Pandas, Monkeys and Brown Bears.
    * Guangzhou - one of China's most prosperous and liberal cities
    * Guilin - popular destination for both Chinese and foreign tourists, sensational mountain/river scenery
    * Hangzhou - famously beautiful city, major center for the silk industry
    * Kunming - capital of Yunnan, gateway to the villages of the ethnic minorities
    * Nanjing - a renowned historical and cultural city with many historic relics
    * Shanghai - famous for its riverside scenery, China's largest city is a major commercial center with many shopping opportunities. Shanghai is located on the southern banks of the mouth of the Yangtze River and is known as a shopping and gourmet paradise with many shopping areas and over 1,000 restaurants.  There is also the Shanghai Museum and various Temples.
    * Suzhou - "Venice of the East", old city, famous for canals and gardens
    * Xi'an - terminus of the ancient Silk Road, captital of China during the Western Han and Tang Dynasties, and home of the terracotta warriors

You can travel to many of these cities using the lovely new fast trains. In particular, the Hangzhou - Shanghai - Suzhou - Nanjing line is a convenient way to see some historic areas.

Other destinations

Some of the most famous tourist attractions in China are:

    * Great Wall of China
    * Tibet
    * Silk Road
    * Hainan island, tropical paradise (??)
    * Yangtze River - This river is the third longest waterway in the world and China's longest river which incudes the amazing Three Gorges with their magnificent scenery and majestic peaks.

UNESCO World Heritage sites:

    * The Great Wall
    * Mount Taishan
    * Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (Forbidden City), Beijing, Shenyang
    * Mogao Caves, Dunhuang
    * Mausoleum of the First Qin Emporer (Xian)
    * Peking Man site at Zhoukoudian
    * Mount Huangshan
    * Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve Scenic and Historic Interest Area
    * Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area
    * Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area
    * Mountain Resort and its outlying Temples, Chengde
    * Temple and cemetery of Confucius, and the Kong family mansion in Qufu