Traveler's Dream Destination Friday, August 19, 2005


A many-splendid landscape, a venerated history, and a rich cultural legacy have added to the fascination of China as every traveler's dream destination. The endless list of the country's tourist attractions includes 99 famous national historical and cultural cities, 750 national cultural sites under key protection, and 119 major scenic resorts and sites of historical and cultural interest. UNESCO has included 27 renowned Chinese scenic places on its lists of world cultural and natural heritage sites.

The land of China is pockmarked by historical sites and cultural relics. Beijing, Xi'an, Nanjing, Luoyang, Kaifeng, Hangzhou and Anyang are seven ancient capitals. China awaits to take its visitors on journeys of discovery through a galaxy of cultural legacy by following in the footsteps of celebrated historical figures like Confucius, Qinshihuang and Gengghis Khan, and give them the opportunity to contemplate the immensity and profundity of human glory.

Few countries boast such majestic and intriguing landscape as China, thanks to the infinite generosity and exhaustless bounty on the part of Mother Nature. Along, the Lijiang River of Guilin, the mountains are statuesque and there is something dreamlike about them. The five holy mountains are marked for awesome heights and fabled and poetical associations, breathtaking is hardly an adequate word for the sights of the Yangtze River Three Gorges. The water bound country scene south of the Yangtze Rive is, in a nutshell, ethereal, Mount Huangshan is a paragon of alpine grandeur, while Mount Omei lures visitors from all over the world with an unmistakable religious aura. The Huangguoshu Waterfall tumbles down the brow of cliffs in a heroic fashion. At the Lunan Stone Forest, nature hews craggy rocks into a hundred and one exotic images. The vast prairies of Inner Mongolia ripple with lush meadows. In the northeast, rimed trees and snow-covered land transform the city of Jilin into a silvery wonderland that guarantees a unique sightseeing experience in subfreezing temperatures. No visitor leaves these places without feeling completely rested and satisfied.

China's folklore is as richly varied as its landscape. More than 40 major festivals are celebrated nationwide, and not a single month passes without one festival or another being observed by some ethnic people. Visitors to China also derive immense joy from the famed Peking Opera, Chinese acrobatics, traditional music and folk dances, as well as traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy.

China's long and winding coastline is indented by so many fine harbours and beaches cut out for the joy and relaxation of holidaymakers. A number of national holiday resorts have been established for those who care to go the extra mile and get lost in the natural beauty of China.

Apart from abundant tourist resources, Chinese tourism has come a long way in the development of transportation, lodging, and catering, shopping and recreational facilities-all for the comfort and delight of visitors. Ancillary tourist facilities are also being constantly improved. The quality of tourist service is rather impressive-the fatigue of a long journey to China is always dissolved by a winsome smile of the hospitable Chinese host.

Editor: Letian Pan