After watching the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony, I’m sure a lot of people were really surprised that China had it in them to produce something that amazing. For people unfamiliar to China (or Asia), it may be a surprising shock at how amazing China is, no matter what your political views on China is. China’s marvels are in its super developed cities, like Shanghai, and it’s gorgeous landscape, like Guilin. I wouldn’t do China justice if I skimmed through a few sites of China. I prefer to write more specifically on each city. After all, China has been around a long time… there’s a lot to see! But until then, here’s a few pictures and a brief intro to China to get your Monday going.

Shanghai: The Bund

1. The Big City Life: The Bund in Shanghai, separating Puxi and Pudong, is an unbelievable testament to how fast-paced Shanghai is. Constantly growing, Shanghai is definitely a city that never sleeps. The Bund has a face paced nightlife and trendy restaurants. The Observatory’s a great place to catch the sky-high nightscape. After, grab a drink at the bar at the Hyatt, where a lot of Shanghai’s richest and most important business men close their multimilition dollar deals. Of all cities in China, this is the easiest city for non-Mandarin speaking people to get around, especially with Shanghai Metro (map and EnjoySubway.com). It’s not the strongest website, but check out Shanghai’s tourism website for things to do.

Elephant Trunk Hill, Guilin

2. Exploring Nature: Guilin, an area I’ve heard described as “magical”, is in Southern China. With the Lijiang River running through the area, is a place where movies are made. Here, you can also go to the Reed Flute Cave where stalactite and stalagmite formations will blow you away. Afterwards, relax at a spa or visit Fubo Hill to see Buddhist inscriptions. The Official Guilin Tourism site provides a lot of information hotels, things to do, and even recommends local food delicacies.

3. The Tropics: Hainan, an island located in Southern China, is considered to be the “Hawai’i” of China. Although it’s towns are not nearly as interesting, or developed as Hawai’i, it’s is a way to get a little bit of the tropics in on your China adventure. Travel China Guide has a few details about the temperature and regions. To visit, fly over on Hainan Airlines from the main land. Visit the South Mountain to see a Giant Buddha and then lounge around on San Ya Beach. Be a little wary of your water activities here. Businesses and the government regulations can be… well… shady.

The Forbidden City, Beijing

4. The Classics: Obviously you can’t go to China without seeinig the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. Enjoy the pictures and I’ll go into more details in another post. Check out Beijing’s Official Tourism site.

The Great Wall

(starting from top right) The Great Wall (Beijing), View from Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Xi’an), Hua Ching Hot Springs (Xi’an), The Temple of Heaven (Beijing).

Top right: The Bund (Shanghai), Guilin, Yu Garden (Shanghai), Yue Shu Park (Guangzhou)

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