Archive for the China Scenery Category

World Heritage Sites in China – Photos of 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in China [Xinhua]

Posted in China, China Scenery, Hangzhou on July 12, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

I cannot reproduce this beautiful one-page collection of thumbnail photos of China’s most famous and breathtaking scenery. All I can do is give the link and hope you check it out. This collection was made to signify the recent inclusion of Hangzhou’s West Lake on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. – Zuo Shou

Link to view “World Heritage Sites in China” page: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/special/2011-06/25/c_13950002.htm

West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou inscribed on World Heritage List [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, China Scenery, Hangzhou, Heilongjiang Province on July 12, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

If you ever get to China, try not to miss the sublime scenery of Hangzhou’s West Lake. It’s truly magical, I think I love it more than any other place I’ve seen in China. – Zuo Shou

June 25, 2011

The World Heritage Committee Friday inscribed the West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou in eastern China on UNESCO’s World Heritage List as a cultural property.

The 35th session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee made the decision in recognition of the West Lake surroundings as an extraordinary model of cultural landscape, which clearly reflects Chinese philosophy and aesthetics and inspires park designing art profoundly in China and abroad.

Surrounded by mountains on three sides, the 3,322-hectare landscape is a national cultural icon enriched with beautiful scenarios and dramatic legends. After centuries of human efforts in shaping it, the area is appreciated as a marvelous combination of natural and artificial beauty.

Covered with luxuriant vegetation, the area is composed of a water surface of 5.66 square kilometers, and five territorial zones divided by causeways, dotted with numerous halls, towers, terraces, pavilions, pagodas, grottoes and temples.

According to the Chinese State Bureau of Cultural Relics, the preparatory work for the West Lake Cultural Landscape to apply for World Heritage inscription kicked off in 1990 by the Hangzhou municipality, and has been further promoted by the State Bureau since 2008.

Conforming to the requirements of preserving the authenticity, integrity and outstanding universal value of World Heritages, the Chinese government would enhance the protection and management of the West Lake Landscape with continuous efforts, said Tong Mingkang, vice director of the Chinese State Bureau of Cultural Relics.

This is the ninth consecutive year that Chinese sites were approved to enter the World Heritage List. The West Lake Landscape thus became the 41st World Heritage in China.

However, due to disputes of the panel in the evaluation process, the committee didn’t discuss the inscription of Wudalianchi National Park or Five Interconnected Lakes in northern Heilongjiang Province, the other of the two Chinese sites which applied this year.

The World Heritage Committee, responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, comprises representatives of 21 countries and has the final say on whether to add a new site to the World Heritage List.

A total of 35 nominations, including natural, cultural and mixed properties, are being reviewed by the Committee which is holding its 35th session at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

Source: Xinhua

Article link: http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90782/90873/7420548.html

Rich club company accused by Forbidden City to be investigated [People’s Daily]

Posted in Beijing, China, China Scenery, Corruption, Tourism, UNESCO heritage sites / intangible heritage on June 11, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 18, 2011

The company accused by the Forbidden City of turning its Jianfu Palace into a private club for the rich was allegedly involved in fraudulent registration, and the Beijing Administration of Industry and Commerce (BAIC) has promised to investigate it, the website of People’s Daily said Tuesday.

The imperial palace-turned-museum said on its official Tencent microblog Monday that turning the Jianfu Palace into a club was an unauthorized move taken by the Forbidden City Cultural Development Company (FCCDC), the museum’s subsidiary, and the action had been stopped.

FCCDC was set up in 2005 by the Beijing Forbidden City Culture Service Center, a subsidiary of the Forbidden City, and Hong Kong Yicheng Investment Co, according to the museum microblog.
The Beijing-based Legal Mirror said Tuesday that the registration address of the company did not exist, and the Hong Kong company was dissolved in 2000.

A BAIC telephone operator told the website Tuesday it was likely that the dissolved Hong Kong company entered into the joint venture with the Forbidden City by providing false information.

“When receiving the registration information from a company, the examination performed by the administration is only a formality and it is unable to check the authenticity of each piece of information,” the telephone operator was quoted as saying.

A post on the Sina microblog revealed that the museum last month handed out registration forms for a club inside the Jianfu Palace to provide banquets and conference services to a limited membership of 500, and the entrance fee was 1 million yuan ($153,901).

The Forbidden City on its official microblog accused its subsidiary company of the move and claimed its leaders never knew about it.

Many historical buildings in China have been rented out or transformed into luxury hotels, restaurants, offices or clubs to make money.

The Diaoyutai State Guesthouse and MGM Group in the US signed a contract and drew up a plan in 2009 to transform buildings dating back to the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) near the Yonghegong Lama Temple in Beijing into luxury spa hotels, 21st Century Business Herald reported in March last year.

Liu Qingzhu, an archeology expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said it was acceptable for historical tourist spots to operate some of their sites for commercial purposes, but they should be for promoting culture.

“The main premise for the operation is that it won’t damage the buildings or any cultural relics,” Liu said to the Global Times, adding that the profits from the operation should be used for public cultural undertakings such as special funds for repairing ancient buildings.

Source: Global Times

Article link here: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/7384202.html

Aiming for No 1 in welcoming the world – China shifts tourism strategy [People’s Daily]

Posted in Beijing, China, China Scenery, France, Guilin, Hangzhou, Japan, Martial Arts, Shanghai, Tourism, USA, Xi'an on February 24, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

February 20, 2011

China’s travel industry will shift focus from the country’s places to its people this year, according to a recent announcement by the China National Tourism Office (CNTO). "China Culture Tour 2011" is its theme this year and, "Travel to appreciate and experience Chinese culture" is its new slogan.

Responding to the call from the government body charged with promoting inbound tourism, travel companies have been scrambling to cultivate itineraries that go beyond visiting scenic areas to engaging the cultures that inhabit them.

China, which has long been Asia’s top destination, recently overtook Spain to become the world’s third most visited country, after the United States and France, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).  The UNWTO said last March that it expects the country to seize the top spot by 2015.

China received 134 million inbound tourists last year, a 5.8 percent year-on-year increase.  Tourism foreign exchange earnings reached $45.8 billion, a 15.5 percent increase over 2009, according to figures from the China National Tourism Administration, under which the CNTO operates.

Japan contributes the most tourists at 3.318 million last year.  While about 40 percent come on business, the number of culture-seekers is growing, Japan Tourism Marketing Co senior consultant Yoko Hayano says.

David Deng, marketing manager of Chinatravel.com, the website of China International Travel Service, Guilin Co, Ltd, says his company has developed more cultural options.

"Cultural travel experiences, such as learning kungfu, cooking and language … will be one of the most popular travel themes this year," he says.

China Odyssey Tours has piloted a cultural immersion project for foreign guests in Zhejiang’s provincial capital Hangzhou. The China Educational Tour fuses taiji martial arts and cooking classes with factory and school visits.

"Sightseeing is just one branch of travel.  Cultural experience is the root," the company’s promotions specialist Zhang Yuan says.

Zhang says that "traveling deeper" will be another hallmark of inbound travel this year. She explains this as going beyond the longstanding icons – Beijing, Shanghai, Shaanxi’s provincial capital Xi’an and the Guanxi Zhuang autonomous region’s Guilin city. Continue reading

Obscure scenic spots rival landscape of Guilin in Guangxi – PHOTO [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, China Scenery on February 21, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

February 18, 2011

Photo shows the beautiful scenery of Qipantan, a spot meaning "Chessboard Beach" in English in Tiandong County, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Photo by Xie Peixia, chinanews.com)

In addition to the famous landscapes of Guilin, there are many scenic spots with marvelous scenery still unknown to tourists in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

By Ye Xin, People’s Daily Online

Full photo article link here

Picturesque dawn in wonderland: Guilin landscape photos [Xinhua]

Posted in China Scenery, Guilin on May 25, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

I can’t do justice to this sequence of ‘widescreen’ photos on my blog, so check them out yourself here and prepare to be dazzled.

The stitched photo taken on May 24, 2010 shows the Arcadian scenery in Liangjiang Township in Lingui County in Guilin City, southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Wang Zhongkang)