Zhoukoudian site main venue of National Heritage Day; Mo Hong; ECNS

The Zhoukoudian archaeological site was one of China’s first batch to be inscribed in the List of World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO back in 1987. Human fossils dating as far back as 700,000 years were found there.

Source: Zhoukoudian site main venue of National Heritage Day


Travel: Checking out China – global powerhouse is a country of contrasts, cultural change; Robert Burke; TDT News

Like the Taoist concept of Yin/Yang, China and the world chase after each other creating change.

Source: Travel: Checking out China – global powerhouse is a country of contrasts, cultural change

How to see one of China’s biggest tourist draws – Avatar Mountain and the Zhangjiajie national park; Sarah O’Meara; SCMP

Source: How to see one of China’s biggest tourist draws – Avatar Mountain and the Zhangjiajie national park

Inspired by Dunhuang cave paintings, new musical group is on a mission to revive ancient Chinese tunes; Yuing Liu; SCMP

China – Mogao Caves

To judge by the art on the walls of China’s Mogao Caves, music was central to the lives of the Buddhists who painted them. Seeing their murals prompted Hong Kong musicians to form a group to bring alive the music of Dunhuang

The first time Felissa Chan Wan-in saw one of the most iconic paintings in the ancient Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, northwest China, the young musician was struck by an inexplicable feeling of transcendence. Tears started welling up in her eyes.

“I don’t know what exactly it was, but I just felt touched and wanted to cry,” says the 24-year-old pipa player. Also known as the Chinese lute, the ancient instrument features prominently in the cave paintings, created by Buddhist pilgrims between the fourth century and the 14th century.

Inspired by her experience, Chan and 10 fellow musicians who were on the same trip – all students or graduates of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts – recently formed an ensemble dedicated to playing music of China’s Tang dynasty (618-907).

Read more from source: Inspired by Dunhuang cave paintings, new musical group is on a mission to revive ancient Chinese tunes

Earth Porn: The Rainbow Mountains of Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park; Will Brendza; iExplore

China – China Danxia

Some places on earth are so full of vibrant color, natural wonder, and jaw-dropping vistas they look like they leapt from the pages of a science fiction novel or off the palate of an oil painting. China’s Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park is one such place. The geology of this region is stunning and strange – cliff faces streaked with bright stratigraphic layers that paint the land like a rainbow. The alien landscapes can be overwhelming, magical, and humbling all at once so expect an emotionally charged, moving visit. The Rainbow Mountains are as rare as they are magnificent, and a site you definitely need to see for yourself.

Wait, What is this Place?

The geo-park is located in the northwestern province of Gansu. Not only are the rainbow mountains and the park recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites, but they have also been selected as one of the most beautiful places in China (which is saying something considering the country is gigantic). This area has become such a popular tourist destination that the Chinese government has recently installed a series of boardwalks wending through the park for easier access.

A Kaleidoscope of Color

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The most aesthetic off the beaten walkways in the world; Josephine Wawira; Africa Business

China – The Great Wall

There are places that you dream of walking down to your fairy world, so surreal they feel unreal, yet they exist in some hidden off the beaten destinations in the world. Whether being adventurous or needing a lazy walk to summon your inner being, these 10 walkways are the most aesthetic there is.

Milford Track – New Zealand

“Before, behind, to the left and right, the forest comes unbroken – vista after vista, lofty hall past hall, of glorious, living green, pillared by the great brown limbs and boles of beech-like ‘birches’. Half-a-hand deep with velvety moss, embroidered with lichens, dripping with ferns and orchids, the immense branches zigzag mazily in and out of the leafy layers they support.” No one could ever describe the beauty of the Milford Track better than poet Blanche Baughan, who in 1908, declared it as ‘the finest walk in the world’.

Beginning at the head of Lake Te Anau in New Zealand, the 53-kilometer expedition passes through mountains, boardwalks, suspension bridges, meadowed forest isles, valleys, waterfalls, and murmuring winds; these being just under descriptions of the real beauty you get to experience along the Milford Track.

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Bungee jumps, Portuguese desserts and celebrity bars: 7 reasons to visit Macau; Xpose

China – Historic Centre of Macao

Often considered the ‘Las Vegas of the Far East’, Macau is a hub of bright lights and entertainment. Simon Lovell recommends the unmissable highlights.

There’s plenty to see and do in Macau – just a 55-minute ferry transfer from Hong Kong across the Zhujiang River estuary

It’s best known as the Las Vegas of Asia, but there’s more to this place than just gambling.

Here are seven things to do when you’re there…

1. Make the biggest jump of your life

If you’re going to do a bungee jump, you may as well do the tallest commercial one in the world and jump 233-metres off the Macau Tower – you’ll be following in the slipstream of Lewis Hamilton, Kanye West, Warwick Davis and Karl Pilkington. Gasps from spectators watching from the observation tower just below accompany each thrill-seeking plummet. It’s an unforgettable experience which is over all too quickly, although video and photos provide an excellent reminder. Jumps costs £335 from ajhackett.com/macau

2. Dine on Portuguese-inspired food

There are some fantastic restaurants in Macau.

Read more from source: Bungee jumps, Portuguese desserts and celebrity bars: 7 reasons to visit Macau

The man who ‘discovered’ China’s terracotta army; Kevin Ponniah; BBC

China – Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

When archaeologist Zhao Kangmin picked up the phone in April 1974, all he was told was that a group of farmers digging a well nearby had found some relics.

Desperate for water amid a drought, the farmers had been digging about a metre down when they struck hard red earth. Underneath, they had found life-size pottery heads and several bronze arrowheads.

It could be an important find, Zhao’s boss said, so he should go and have a look as soon as possible.

A local farmer-turned-museum curator in China’s central Shaanxi province, Zhao – who died on 16 May at the age of 81 – had an inkling of what he might find. He knew figures had in the past been dug out of the earth in the area near the city of Xian, home to orchards of persimmon and pomegranate trees, and not far from the tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.

A decade earlier, he had personally uncovered three kneeling crossbowmen.

Read more from source: The man who ‘discovered’ China’s terracotta army

One of History’s Greatest Armies is Built Entirely of Clay; National Geographic

China – Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

Each of China’s famed terra-cotta warriors is unique and features a realistic human face, likely based on some living person of the time.

The Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor is home to one of history’s greatest armies—though it’s one built entirely of clay. The massive host of terra-cotta warriors charged with guarding the emperor’s tomb for eternity was discovered in 1974, when farmers near the city of Xi’an, China, dug a well and found a clay head—the first of perhaps 7,000 unique figures. (No one knows for certain because excavations of the pits are still ongoing.)

Qin Shihuangdi, who died in 210 B.C., was the first ruler to unite China. After his conquests he also tied the empire with an extensive road network, standard currency and weights and measures, a single written script, and even a more consistent legal code.

Qin’s great accomplishments included his resting place, a 49-square-kilometer complex designed to mirror the plan of his capital, Xianyang, and guarded by one of the most incredible armies ever assembled.

Read more from source: One of History’s Greatest Armies is Built Entirely of Clay

Chongqing day trip: Wulong karst (3 natural bridges); Beyond Banality

China – South China Karst

If you only have time for one day trip in Chongqing, China, definitely go to Wulong (武隆) to see the spectacular karst formations.

The UNESCO world heritage site of 3 natural bridges (天生三桥) in the Wulong karst region form the largest natural bridge cluster in Asia, and walking the paved 2.5km route under these massive arches is simply breathtaking. [Fun geek fact: As at May 2018 there are 1,073 UNESCO world heritage sites globally, including 52 in China. 12 of the 52 are natural sites and 3 natural bridges is one of the 12, part of the South China Karst system.]

Wulong karst region (nearest town: Xiannv town 仙女镇, translated as Fairy town) is about 185km (3h) east of Chongqing city. There are four main scenic spots in the Wulong karst region: 1) 3 natural bridges 天生三桥 2) longshuixia gorge 龙水峡地缝 3) Fairy mountain 仙女山 and 4) Furong cave 芙蓉洞. You can cover the the first quite easily in a day trip from Chongqing city, or both 1) and 2) if you are visiting in low season (=no queues). If you want to cover all four scenic spots, an overnight stay will be required.

Read more from source: Chongqing day trip: Wulong karst (3 natural bridges)