ItchyFeetTraveler

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
Saint Augustine

China

 
 

The Great Wall is actually an ancient network of several walls that were built beginning as early as the 5th century by different emperors to protect the Chinese border. They were later joined together and became known collectively as the Great Wall.

Although it was originally built for military purposes to defend the capital city and the imperial tombs from invaders, today the Great Wall stands as one of the world's most amazing human accomplishments and a testament to the might and ingenuity of the Chinese civilization.

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Giant pandas have survived for 80 million years. But due to loss of habitat, they're now an endangered species. Fewer than 2,000 exist today. Most of them live in the wild. Some are on loan to zoos around the world. However, eighty seven of them are at the Chengdu Panda Research Center and attract thousands of national and international tourists each year.
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More than eighteen hours after we left on a Chinese hard sleeper overnight train from Hong Kong, followed by nearly two hours in a minivan whose rear springs had long ago lost their spring, we arrived in Fenghuang. Weary from the long hours and uncomfortable travel conditions, I had begun wondering if this ancient town would be worth the effort to get there.

However, as soon as I reached the bottom of the steps leading from the parking lot, my doubts quickly dissolved into the mist hanging over the Tuo Jiang River that runs through the heart of the town. It was just beautiful.
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The 122 acre Tiananmen Square is one of the largest public squares in the world. It has great cultural significance to the Chinese people because it has been and continues to be the site of important cultural events in the country's history. The square can accommodate more than half a million people.


It was here in 1949 that Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China at the entrance to the Forbidden City on the north side of the square. Today a huge portrait of the Chairman hangs above the entrance.
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The village of Dehang, in the Hunan province in south central China, is located in a 63 square mile geological park. Dehang, a small, quaint village where the Miaonian residents continue to live just as they have for centuries, is set among towering limestone karst formations. The area is a backpacker's paradise and thought by many to have China's most beautiful scenery.
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