Showing posts with label CHINA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CHINA. Show all posts

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Lupu Bridge Amazing High Technology Bridge in Shanghai

The Lupu Bridge is located in Shanghai, China. It is currently the seventh crossing to be constructed over the Huangpu River in the city. The bridge is located in the south of the city with the aim to ease congestion in the quickly developing areas around the southern side of the river and the city centre and also to help with the increasing traffic expected at the 2010 world Expo. The venue for this is set to be surrounding the river at the location of the bridge, so it will not only be a vital part of the infrastructure for this event, it will also act as a showpiece for Chinese engineering.

The Lupu bridge was officially opened in June 2003 at a total cost of $302 Million US. On completion the Lupu Bridge was the largest spanning arch bridge in the world with a main span of 550m overtaking the New River Gorge Bridge in the United States by 32m. This record is set to be broken in 2008 by the under construction Chaotianmen Bridge in China by only 2m. The total length of the bridge is 3,900m including the approach bridges on either side of the river. The bridge was originally heavily criticised as it was seen as wasteful by many people in respect to the type of bridge that was actually needed for the project.

Many feel that it is just a show piece for the city and the price tag reflected that status. Other designs were proposed that would have been more economical but were rejected in favour of the tied arch design. The Lupu Bridge is a steel box section throughtied arch bridge. The central span of the deck is suspended from two sets of 28 double cables attached to the two inclined arches. The ground conditions on either side of the bridge are not suitable for the large thrusts that would be caused by a normal arch bridge and this is what lead to the decision of using a through tied arch which will be discussed further later in this paper. Below are two elevations of the bridge, the side profile and a view looking longitudinally along the deck.

The structure should be well ordered in that it has a coherence and fluency about the lines and shapes within it. The Lupu Bridge, being an almost entirely welded structure, has mostly smooth clean lines especially those of the arches. The line of the deck through the intersection of the arches keeps a fluid line through the centre of the bridge bringing the centre span together with the approach bridges on either side enhancing the continuity of the structure.

Equal spacing of the main cables enhances the well ordered nature of the bridge and this is mirrored in the supporting columns of the approach bridges although, due to the large number of columns, at oblique angles it can look confused and overcrowded. The function and structure of the Lupu Bridge are portrayed in an obvious and simple way with subtle refinements and complexities to add to the bridge’s aesthetic appeal. Under Leonhardt’s rules, the Lupu Bridge has many of the attributes that could make it beautiful. Bridge aesthetics are however a matter of personal opinion and what may be beautiful to one person may not necessarily be so to another.

Keywords: Lupu Bridge, Steel, Arch Bridge, Popular Bridge In China, Bridge

Norbulingka Park UNESCO World Heritage of Tibet

Norbulingka Park (Treasure Garden) was built in the 1740s during the reign of the seventh Dalai Lama. Later it was renovated and enlarged and became the Dalai Lama’s Summer Palace. Norbulingka (literally: "The Jewelled Park") is a palace and surrounding park in Lhasa, Tibet, built from 1755.[1]  It served as the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai Lamas from the 1780s up until the 14th Dalai Lama's self-exile in 1959. Part of the "Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace", Norbulingka is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was added as an extension of this Historic Ensemble in 2001.  It was built by the 7th Dalai Lama and served both as administrative centre and religious centre. It is a unique representation of Tibetan palace architecture.

The Norbulingka park situated at an elevation of 3,650 metres (11,980 ft) boasted of flower gardens of Roses, petunias, hollyhocks, marigolds, chrysanthemums and rows of herbs in pots and rare plants. Fruit trees of apple, peach and apricot were also reported (but the fruits did not ripen in Lhasa) and also poplar trees and bamboo. In its heyday, the Norbulingka grounds also witnessed wild life in the form of peacocks and Brahminy ducks in the lakes. The park was so large and well laid out that cycling around the area was even permitted to enjoy the beauty of the environment.  The gardens are a favourite picnic spot and provides a beautiful venue for theatre, dancing and festivals, particularly the Shodun or 'Yoghurt Festival', at the beginning of August, with families camping in the grounds for days surrounded by colourful makeshift windbreaks of rugs and scarves and enjoying the height of summer weather.

Norbulingka Palace of the Dalai Lamas was built about 100 years after the Potala Palace was built on the Parkori peak, over a 36 hectares (89 acres) land area. It was built a little away to the west of the Potala for the exclusive use by the Dalai Lama for stay during the summer months. Tenzing Gyatso, the present 14th Dalai Lama in the order stayed here before he fled to India. The building of the palace and the park was undertaken by the 7th Dalai Lama from 1755. The Norbulingka Park and Summer Palace were completed in 1783 under Jampel Gyatso, the 8th Dalai Lama, on the outskirts of Lhasa. became the summer residence during the reign of the Eighth Dalai Lama.

Kelsang Potrang, named after the Seventh Dalai Lama, is a three-storey palace with halls for worshipping Buddha, bedrooms, reading rooms and sanctuaries. Tsokyil Potrang, when the Eighth Dalai Lama was in power, is considered to be the most attractive in Norbulingka. Khamsum Zilnon built during that time is really a striking pavilion of the Han architecture style, where Dalai Lamas enjoyed Tibetan opera. In 1922, a wealthy benefactor had Golden Linka and Chensel Potrang constructed for the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. Meanwhile, a lot of flowers, grass and trees were planted. In 1954, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama built Takten Migyur Potrang, which is also called the New Summer Palace, means 'Eternal Palace' in Tibetan. The architecture has combined the characteristics of temple and villa and is more magnificent than other palaces. The exquisite murals in the palace are well worth a mention and visit.

Mengda Heavenly Pond Exotic Attarctions Tibet

Mengda Heavenly Pond in Xining province China. Drive along the Yellow River to Mengda Heavenly pond Nature Reserve, famed as “Highland Xishuangbanna in Qinghai”. The nature reserve, centered around the mountaintop Heaven ly Lake (Tianchi) has forests of virgin trees, a large variety of exotic flowers and many wild animals. Jishixia Gorge is mysterious with its winding roads and towering mountains on both sides. It is a flourishing area of natural beauty, contrasting sharply with the great swathes of sterile land that cover Qinghai Province.

Mengda Nature Pond or Mengda Nature Pond Reserve is very popular with hikers who are looking for something slightly different to the norm. The climate is wet and mild, which ensure that the countryside stays lush and green year round, making for lovely scenery. Located around 110km southeast of Xining in the Xunhua Sala Autonomous Prefecture, the (Mengda ziran baohuqu) is a flourishing area Mengda Nature Pond Reserve,xining of natural beauty, contrasting sharply with the great swathes of sterile land that cover Qinghai Province. The reserve, centered around the mountaintop Heavenly Lake (Tianchi) has forests of virgin trees, a large variety of exotic flowers and many wild animals, that make it good for hiking and boating.

N recent years the reserve has become a bit more popular on the tourist trail and so has not such a peaceful atmosphere as it once harboured. It is still possible to enjoy the place, however, protected as it is from mass tourism by its remote location. You can ride a horse from the foot of the mountain which will take you on a three hour round trip via the top (not counting getting off to boat, hike or do other activities).

Drive westwards along Yellow River, today’s highlight is the visit to Kanbula National Forest Park in Jianzha County, Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, situated about 131km away from Xining, the Kanbula National Forest Park faces the Yellow River and is close to Lijiaxia Hydropower Station. The park is featured with its stone peaks of Danxia landform (Danxia landform is named after Danxia Mountain situated in the border area of Renhua and Qujiang counties, the northeast environs of Shaoguan City, Guangdong Province.), forests and man-made sight. It is a "historical documentary" of the evolvement of the rise of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and its climate, carrying a precious value of research on west China's environment evolvement since Cenozoic. Proceed to Xining, the capital of Qinghai province, located on the eastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Taste some Xining flavored snacks in night market.

Xining is the capital of Qinghai Province, People's Republic of China. Xining is located on the eastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the upper reaches of Huangshui river. It is the political, economic, scientific and technological, cultural and traffic center of Qinghai Province with an average altitude of over 2,200 meters (about 7,217 feet). The activities of human beings in this region can be traced to 2,100 years ago. During the Western and Eastern Han Dynasties, owing to its developing agriculture, Xining was paid more attention due to its economic and martial significance. As well as being the important hinge between the central plains and the western part of China in ancient time, Xining was the most common passing channel of the famous silk road.

Xining has a history of over 2100 years and was a chief commercial hub on the hexi corridor caravan route to Tibet, handling especially timber, wool and salt in ancient times. The trade along the Hexi Corridor was part of a larger trade corridor along the Northern Silk Road, whose use was intensified in the first century BC after efforts by the Han Dynasty to control this route.

Under the Han dynasty (206 BC–AD 220) a county there called Linqiang controlled the local Qiang tribesmen. It was again a frontier county under the Sui (581–618) and Tang (618–907) dynasties; during the 7th and early 8th centuries it was a center of constant warfare with the Tuyuhun and (later) the Tibetan peoples. In 763 it was overrun by the Tibetans and while under Tibetan control was known to the Chinese as Qingtangcheng. Recovered by the song dynasty in 1104, it received the name Xining (meaning "peace in the west") and has been the seat of a prefecture or superior prefecture under that name since that time. With the rise of Tibetan Buddhism (Lamaism), which began in the 7th century AD, Xining became an important religious center; Qinghai's largest lamasery, a holy place to the Yellow Hat sect of Buddhists, was located at Kunbum, some 19 km to the southeast.

Potala Palace Liberation Army Of Tibet

Is it necessary to describe Potala Palace? This great piece of architecture, like a thousand beams of light illuminating the ancient city of Lhasa, is seen as the symbol of Tibet by people throughout the world. Straddling the peak of Marpo Ri at the center of the Lhasa Valley, whether by its appearance or in the eye of the beholder, it holds an irresistible attraction.At the beginning of the 20th century, an English correspondent who entered the rooftop of the world with armed troops invading Tibet, on seeing Potala Palace from a distance “like flames shining brilliantly under the sun,” sighed with emotion, “This is not a palace sitting on top of a mountain; it is a mountain of a palace.”

 The history of Potala Palace extends over a millennia. One thousand three hundred years ago, Potala Palace had already taken on its citadel shape during the period of Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. In 1642, the Fifth Dalai Lama established the Ganden Phodang authority and unified the country, becoming the highest religious and secular leader in all of Tibet. Another of his great achievements was to build the Potala Palace on the site where (according to Buddhist sutras) Avalokites ´vara preached his sermons. Since then, the magnificent Potala has been the political and religious center of Tibetan theocracy, and its sacred status lasted until 1959.

Once upon a time this song was written and became popular among Tibetans:
On the golden roof of the Potala, rises the golden sun It is not the golden sun, but the precious face of the Lama On the slopes of the Potala, starts the sound of the golden oboe It is not the sound of the golden oboe, but the voice of the Lama chanting At the foot of the Potala, multi-hued khatak are fluttering They are notmulti-hued khatak, but the robes of the Lama.

It is obvious to everyone that the Lama glorified in the song is none other than the Dalai Lama, for Tibetans the embodiment of Avalokites´vara,worshipped by Tibetans living in the snow land. But then, 1959 arrived. Late in the night of March 17, the Dalai Lama was forced to escape fromanother of his palaces, the Norbulingka. Two days later, in themidst of unprecedented shelling of Lhasa, the Norbulingka and Potala Palace were turned into killing fields, silent witnesses to this earthshaking event in Tibetan history.A soldier fromthe People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who took part in“pacifying armed rebels in Tibet” recalls that the PLA’s 308th Artillery Regiment,which had been stationed for years at the foot of Bumpa Ri on the far bank of the Lhasa River, had long been targeting several howitzers at Potala Palace.

So finally, during the “pacification of the rebellion,” every single shell was shot precisely through the red-framed windows edged in black and exploded inside the palace. Yet a one-time “rebellious villain” of that era recalls that they gave up on their resistance because they could just no longer bear those demon-like shells damaging the Potala. Therefore, in some surviving photos and documentaries we can see “rebellious villains”walking down fromthe smoke-blackened Potala, holding white khatak above them, to surrender their weapons to the Liberation Army who was “liberating”Tibet. (Actually, this scene was filmed after the “pacifying rebellion”; those captives who weremarched back to the Potala to reenact the scene were then all thrown in jail.)

Potala Palace has been an empty building since then. In the years that followed, the Potala was no longer the center of Lhasa; it has been turned into a backdrop by the occupiers of each period and for each situation. It is a backdrop of unlimited interest, a must-have backdrop, but also a backdrop that is a mystery to people. The Potala has never been, with the changing of time and space, so colorful, so odd, and even so helpless and sad, as it has been during this last half century.

Prince Gong's Mansion Complex Temple of Heaven China

Prince Gong's Mansion is known as one of the most ornate and extravagant residence compounds in all of Beijing. Prince Gong's Mansion was constructed in 1777 for minister He Shen. In 1851, Emperor Xianfeng assigned it to his brother Prince Gong. It is his name that is currently given to the compound. The Temple of Heaven, literally the Altar of Heaven is a complex of Taoist buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.

Before long Heshen was promoted to positions normally occupied by the most experienced officials, including those controlling finance and the appointment of civil servants; thus enabling him to acquire great wealth. The aging Qinglong did nothing to punish Heshen's corruption but his successor, Emperor Jiaqing (1796-1820), had Heshen executed and his property, which was assessed at over 800 million ounces of silver, was confiscated. The mansion was passed to Prince Qing in 1799. Eventually Emperor Xianfeng (1851-1862) transferred the ownership to Prince Gong and it is his name that was to become that of the mansion.

The garden, surrounded by artificial mountains, is known as Jincui Yuan, and is of high standing on account of its layout and distinct design. It covers an area of 28,000 square meters (6.9 acres) and includes twenty scenic spots, each widely different from the others. The entrance via a cavern brings you into a spacious yard. A high but graceful rockery at the center point greets you. There are mountain peaks, ponds, caves, studies and pavilions distributed throughout the garden. The 'Western-Style Gate', the 'Grand Theater House' and the 'fu' Stele to be found in the garden are referred to as the 'Three Uniqueness in the Prince Gong's Mansion'.

Qinghai-Tibet Railway Detinations China to Tibet

The Qinghai-Tibet railway opened in July 2006 and boosted Tibetan tourism markedly by increasing the accessibility and affordability of travel from China to Tibet. This study evaluates the railway’s impacts on tourists’ travel decisions and experiences in Tibet. The relative importance of the train journey in comparison with the destination experience in Tibet is also examined. A survey was used to collect the perceptions of 187 travelers on the Qinghai-Tibet train in May 2007. Important destination choice factors for Tibet are identified. The importance of the railway to tourists’ destination choice of Tibet and in their overall travel experience of Tibet is confirmed.

Qinghai-Tibet railway

A direct passenger train connecting Beijing, China, and Lhasa, Tibet, first operated on July 1, 2006. The train journey takes 48 hours from Beijing to Lhasa, via Qinghai. The Qinghai-Tibet section of the railway is 708 miles long, stretching across the Tibetan Plateau from Golmud, Qinghai, to Lhasa. This is the world’s highest railway. About 600 miles or more than 80 percent of the Qinghai-Tibet section of the railway is more than 13,000 feet above sea level and more than half the length of the railway is laid on permafrost. In addition to Beijing, passenger train services are available to Lhasa from several major cities in China, such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Lanzhou, and Xining.
After the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, tourism in Tibet experienced a marked increase and it is likely to continue to increase. In order to understand tourism issues and to achieve sustainable development in the region, it is necessary to study the impacts of tourism on Tibet from economic, social, cultural, and environmental perspectives. Thus, the positive impacts of tourism could be identified and encouraged, and negative impacts could be controlled and managed. It is important to strive to preserve Tibet’s natural environment, local culture, tradition, and religion.

Qinghai-Tibet railway

It also will be necessary to understand, balance, and manage the impacts to different stakeholders at the destination. This study examined Tibetan tourism only from train travelers’ perspectives, from which only generalizations can be made. Nevertheless, it deepens the understanding of tourism to Tibet. Several future research opportunities can be identified. First, this study focused on train travelers to Tibet and excluded the perspectives of people traveling via other transportation modes. Future research could collect information on travelers using other means of transportation, especially air, in order to get a more complete view of travelers’ perceptions and opinions about Tibetan tourism.
Second, this study was developed based on a one-time questionnaire survey of 187 respondents, and the sample size was restricted by the travel time and the train route selected for the study. Therefore, more questionnaire surveys could be conducted at different times of the year during the peak and non-peak seasons and on different train routes to Lhasa. This approach would minimize the possible bias inherent in a single survey and facilitate comparisons between peak and non-peak seasons and among people from different geographical origins taking different train routes.

Thus, more complete results could be achieved and practical suggestions on Tibetan tourism development could be derived with more confidence. Third, this study focused on the train journey and just scratched the surface of issues relevant to tourism planning and management at the destination. Therefore, more detailed on-site study of Tibet as a tourism destination could be conducted to better understand issues concerning destination management and operation in Tibet and to provide more information to guide future tourism development.

Qinhuangdao Historical City and Beches Area of Chinese

Qinhuangdao Historical City Most Popular Holiday and Tourism China-Chinese

Qinhuangdao meaning the island of Emperor Qin was named after the first emperor of Qin Dynasty when he stationed here on his eastern inspection tour in 215BC, and sent Lu Sheng of Yan State to seek immortals off the sea. This beautiful city is located between 3854’ north latitude and 11936’ east longitude on the northwestern coast of Bohai Gulf and the northeast part of Hebei province. Its physical features of vast sea area and long coastline made the city even more beautiful. In 1898, the Qing government made Qinhuangdao a commercial port and began building an ocean shipping wharf. Since then the population had been increasing significantly.

Qinyu City was established in Dec. 1948, and then named changed to Qinhuangdao in March 1949. In May 1983, Qinhuangdao became a city under the direct jurisdiction of Hebei province. Three districts, Haigang, Beidaihe and Shanhaiguan and four counties, Funing, Changli, Lulong and Qinlong Manchurian Autonomous County are all under the jurisdiction of Qinhuangdao.

It covers 7,523 km2, and is home to an estimated 2.7046 million residents. The urban population consists of 0.676 million people. Qinhuangdao also located at the conjunction area between North China Economic Zone and North- east China Economic Zone. It is also at the central part of economic zones around Bohai, which is the important seaport for Northern, North- Eastern and North- Western China. The world famous port of Qinhuangdao is wide in harbour space and deep in water, neither frozen nor silted. The port for energy, sundry goods and containers is the second largest port in China and is the world’s largest port for energy export.

Qinhuangdao enjoys a mild continental monsoon climate, consisting of distinctive seasons and mild winters and summers. The average temperature year round is 10.1oC, the hottest weather occurs in July with the average temperature of 25oC. The coldest month is January with an average temperature of -6.5oC. The annual average rainfall is 698mm and relative humidity of 62%.

Natural Resources
Qinhuangdao is endowed with rich natural resources. The metal and nonmetallic reserves cover more than 40 different minerals, such as magnesium, gold, lead, copper, iron, coal, marble etc. The magnesium deposit, which has a reserve of approximately 400 million tons, has prosperous prospects for further exploration.

Qinhuangdao is also rich in products.

The grapes and dry red wine from Changli County, the chestnuts from Qinglong County and sweet potato products from Lulong County enjoy good reputation. Altogether there is a 126.4km long coastline within its boundary, teeming with prawn, sea cucumber, crabs and scallops, etc.

Qinhuangdao Beches Area :

Qinhuangdao Beach

Huiquan Beach
Huiquan Beach there are 6 main beaches lying in the coastal region of Qingdao. They are -- Huiquan, Taipingwan, Zhanshan, Zhanqiao, Sifang and Cangkou respectively.

Beihai Silver Beach

Beihai Silver Beach The beach gets its name from its soft and silvery sand glittering in the sun and moon rays, displaying its full splendor. The Beihai Silver Beach lies to the south of Beihai, extending 24 km west and varies in width from 30 to 300m. It is considered as one of the best beaches in China, maintaining its average seawater temperature of 23C through out the year.

In the Beihai Silver Beach Park, you can find houses related to musical instruments, chess, books and pictures in the east part. In the middle part is on-sea ports and beach zone while in the west is a marine biology museum,a children's swimming pool and an open air dance floor. There are flourishing flowers and trees growing on the square and over 30 pavilions of various styles around the square. In addition, tourists can appreciate the excellent performances of rare foreign birds, folk customs, Russian customs, etc, and take part in the activities of parachute jumps over the sea or to just lie on the beach and enjoy the clear sky and pure white clouds.

Tianya Haijiao Beach

Tianya Haijiao Beach is a popular resort in the southern part of Hainan Province, People's Republic of China. It is located 24 km to the west of Sanya's Municipal Area. Tianya Haijiao Beach are the two well-known beaches of the province. Lying on the soft sand under beautiful sunshine or walking through the coconut plantation under the blue sky is just spell binding.

The climatic conditions also facilitates it as the most desired beach resort, the weather is not very hot in summer nor very cold in winters, adorned with lot of greenery and fresh air. The venue is considered the south-most point of China's land area, therefore many tourists also come for sight-seeing. To the south of the Cape is the South China Seas and some islets are in the sight, providing a marvellous view to visitors when the weather is fine.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bell Tower and Drum Tower Excellent Architecture

The city’s central landmark, the Bell Tower originally held a large bell that was rung at dawn while the drums at the nearby Drum Tower were sounded at dusk. Xi’an’s major and most prosperous streets stretch out in four directions from the Bell Tower. Musical performances are held inside the Bell Tower in the mornings and early afternoons.

Located 100 meters (109 yards) south to the bell tower, the drum tower was placed on a 4-meter-high (13 feet) stone and brick base. It is 46.7 meters (153 feet) high, a little bit lower than the bell tower that is 47.9 meters high (157 feet). This tower is also a two-storey building; the first floor contains the China Committee for the Promotion of the Minority Art. The second floor contains the exhibition area. Originally, there was one big drum and 24 smaller drums, but only the big drum remains. The method of beating the drum is to beat it quickly for 18 times and then slowly for 18 times. Altogether there are three rounds and 108 tollings.

The Bell Tower (Zhong Lóu) is a huge building situated in the very heart of Xian. The original tower was built in the late 14th century and the present construction was built in 1582 and restored in 1739 during the Qing Dynasty. A huge iron bell hanging on the roof of the tower was traditionally used to tell the time each day. The Tower can only be accessed from the underground subway on Bei Dajie (North Street) where visitors must buy tickets for entry.

Drum Tower

Drum towers has been flourishing since the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), when they were just standing behind the imperial palace. It was the busy downtown district there then, full of storefronts and businesses. Thanks to the further developing of the businesses, the street in front of the drum tower became the busiest shopping street in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties. During the Republican Period of China (1911-1949), many have-nots (impoverished people), along with merchants selling handcrafted items (handicraftsmen) and vendors selling snacks and local food items (snack stands) swarmed the place between the bell and drum towers, which attracted people from all walks of life at that time.

Not far from the Bell Tower is the Drum Tower. This is a smaller building situated at the entrance to the city’s Muslim Quarter - a lively street filled with street traders and hawkers. The Drum Tower was built in 1380 during the Ming Dynasty, and served to indicate the time at dusk. The Drum Tower provides a unique view of the Muslim Quarter rooftops and on the second floor, cultures meet in an exhibit of Buddhist artwork and antiques from the Qing and Tang Dynasty.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda In Xi an China

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is located in the southern suburb of Xi’an, about 2 km from the downtown and is one of the symbolic structures of Xi’an. It was built in 653 B.C. and has been well-preserved as a holy place for Buddhists. Standing in the Da Ci'en Temple complex, it attracts every year numerous visitors for its religious fame, the simple but appealing construction style, and the new square in front of the temple.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda is 64 meters high, a brick and wood structure. In the Ming Dynasty (1386~1644 AD), a huge 8.0 earthquake struck in Huaxian County, Shaanxi Province. The earthquake killed over 830,000 people and reached 90 counties in 5 provinces, with more than ninety percent of buildings in these areas destroyed. Big Wild Goose Pagoda survived with only moderate damage to the top and still stands today as a potent symbol of Xian.

The original Big Wild Goose Pagoda was built during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of Tang (r. 649-683), then standing at a height of 54 m (177 ft). However, this construction of rammed earth with a stone exterior facade eventually collapsed five decades later. The ruling Empress Wu Zetian had the pagoda rebuilt and added five new stories by the year 704 AD. However, a massive earthquake in 1556 heavily damaged the pagoda and reduced it by three stories, to its current height of seven stories. The entire structure leans very perceptibly (several degrees) to the west. Its related structure, the 8th century Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi'an, only suffered minor damage in the 1556 earthquake (still unrepaired to this day). The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda was extensively repaired during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) and renovated again in 1964. The pagoda currently stands at a height of 64 m (210 ft) tall and from the top it offers views over the current city of Xi'an.

Da Ci’en Temple was originally built in 589 AD. It was not until the Zhenguan period of the Tang Dynasty, in 648 AD, that Li Zhi (the third emperor of Tang Dynasty) ordered the reparation of the temple in memory of his mother Empress Wende. The temple was later renamed Da Ci’en Si. The Tang Regime appointed the widely renowned Master Xuan Zang as the head of the temple.

The temple was destroyed by war during the downfall of the Tang Dynasty and the halls and rooms we see today were actually built in Ming Dynasty. Da Ci'en Temple is the home of Big Wild Goose Pagoda. In 648, to commemorate the dead virtuous queen, royalty ordered the building of a temple named 'Ci'en' (Mercy and Kindness), for which the status and scale far exceeded all others. Today, with an area of 32,314 square meters (38,648.5 square yards), one seventh of the original area, it still retains its grandeur.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda It  was molded in 1548 in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Along the central axis are arranged the Hall of Mahavira, Sermon Hall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and the Hall of Xuanzang Sanzang. In the Hall of Mahavira are three carved statues of Sakyamuni, and 18 arhats as well as Xuanzang. The Sermon Hall is where Buddhist disciples would listen to a sermon. A bronze statue of Amitabha is dedicated and a Buddha statue is collected by Xuanzang as oblation. The Hall of Xuanzang Sanzang is north of Big Wild Goose Pagoda. In this hall are Xuanzang's relic and a bronze statue of a seated Xuanzang.

Black Dragon Pool Stunning Secenery Lijiang

Black Dragon Pool is divided into two parts by a stone bridge. The color of the water in the south pool is green and the north yellow. Although the water of these two parts meets each other, fish in one pool never visits the other one. There are two Taoist temples in Black Dragon Pool; the lower one is Black Dragon Palace and the upper Longquan Temple. Near the Black Dragon Pool is the Black Dragon Palace, which was built in 1394 (in the reign of Emperor Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty) and rebuilt in 1454 (in the reign of Emperor Jingtai of the Ming Dynasty).

The whole palace consists of three halls and two courtyards, and the main hall features a stone plaque written by the governor of Yunnan in the Qing Dynasty to praise the views here. The Black Dragon Palace is also called the Lower Temple, because when you walk along the stone steps, you come directly to the Upper Temple - the Dragon Fountain Temple - which is hidden among ancient trees. This 570-year-old temple includes Thunder Deity Hall, North Pole Hall, Sanqing Hall, Jade Emperor Hall and some other halls in which the deities of Taoism are worshiped.
The Dragon Fountain Temple is the largest Taoist temple in southern China. Two important building complexes in the Black Dragon Pool are the Longquan Temple (Dragon Spring Temple) and Black Dragon Palace. Longquan Temple, the largest structure in the park, was built along the pool during the early Han Dynasty. The temple was enlarged and reconstructed several times throughout subsequent dynasties. Most of the buildings visitors see today were completed during the Qing Dynasty. The Black Dragon Palace is at the bank of the pool, which is where memorial ceremonies were once held. This palace was built during the Ming Dynasty, around 700 years ago. It consists of three halls and two courtyards.

The Ming Dynasty was overthrown by the Qing Dynasty in Chinese history, and the potentates of the Qing were all from a minority ethnic group called 'Manchu'. When the Manchu marched into the Chinese mainland and became the rulers, many people killed themselves to show their loyalty to the Ming Dynasty, including a scholar named Xue Erwang and his whole family. They drowned themselves, and the tomb of these loyalists is located beside the Black Dragon Pool.

FORBIDDEN CITY Purple Palace Heaven

The Forbidden City covers an area of about 72 hectares(178 acres) with a total floor space of approximately 150, 000 square meters(1,614,000 square feet); and it's rectangular in shape, 960 meters long from north to south and 750 meters from east to west, with a 10-meter high city wall surrounded, and encircled by a 52-meter wide moat. There are unique and delicately structured towers on each of the four corners of the curtain wall. These afford views over both the palace and the city outside. The popular saying is that there are 9,999 rooms just one less than the Purple Palace in the heaven. However, the fact is that according to the statistics Forbidden Cityin 1973, it consists of 90 palaces and courtyards, 980 buildings and 8,704 rooms. To represent the supreme power of the emperor from the God and the place where he lived being the center of the world, all the gates, palaces and other structures of the Forbidden City were arranged on both sides of the south-north central axis.

Beijing served as the capital of 5 dynasties over a period of 800 years. Start your city tour with a visit to the Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world. Next stop is the Forbidden City. This complex, the largest and most intact conglomeration of ancient structures of the imperial palace ever built in the world, features more than 800 buildings with 9999 rooms, resplendent golden-glazed roofs, red lacquered pillars and vermilion walls. In the afternoon, continue your tour to the Temple of Heaven, which was used by Emperors to offer sacrifices to heaven and pray for good harvest in ancient times. In the evening, enjoy a fabulous Peking Roast Duck Banquet. Back to hotel for rest or attend an optional energetic show “Legend of Kung-fu” at your own expense.

In 1964, The People’s Republic of China initiated a massive effort to construct a new frontier of industrialism in the rugged mountainous terrain of the Southwestern provinces of Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan. Literally tucked away in the theretofore uncharted territory of China’s far reaches, these huge complexes were easy to defend in times of international political uncertainty, and just as importantly, were perfectly situated to make use of the untapped natural resources to be found there. During the course of the factories’ construction and operation, millions of workers were relocated to these cities comprising China’s “Third Front,” creating economic boom towns overnight that performed around the clock fabricating military equipment and marketable goods in droves.

Yet, in light of governmental reforms made in the mid-1980s that marked China’s slow shift to a market economy, the Third Front disappeared almost overnight and just as quickly as it had been erected in the first place. In a matter of years, these factories and cities no longer had a function in the new economy, and as they closed, the workers who once labored there returned in hordes to their hometowns, quite literally leaving a series of ghost towns behind in their wake. To this day, many of these industrial behemoths and the cities that were built around them to shelter and nourish the local labor force stand either sparsely populated or fully abandoned. The sustenance that once fed the machine of industry has been erased, leaving only the empty facade of its making to history and those who stumble into its midst.

Chen Jiagang, a former architect, businessman and curator, has taken the Third Front as the subject matter of his first extensive body of works, using photography as his means of capturing the specters of industry that still reside there. His monumental pictures tell a story of the industrial and human activities that took place in these remote areas, of the grit and human toil that once powered China’s military end economic engines. Sweeping in size and powerful in scale, Chen’ s large photographs capture not only the vacant factories dotting thelandscape of the Third Front, but also the terrain within which they were constructed as well as scars in the form of the mines and quarries that they left behind.

Often times, Chen situates a lone beauty in traditional garb in the image, a gorgeous foil to the intense labor that took place there, as well as an urban representative of the Beijingbased governmental bodies that both initiated the Front, and profited from it. Chen further complicates the binarism of man versus nature and indeed the whole of Chinese art history that so often turns to man’s relationship with nature as a prime subject by literally fabricating the images frame by frame from large-format photographs shot on location.

Although the final picture appears to be one seamless image, it is in fact made up of many photographs connected digitally, or manipulated in such a way that the impossible appears to be real. Chen’s mastery of the technologic processes of the 21st-century emerges victorious over those of the mid- to late-20th-century; art prevails over industry, and not the other way around.

City God Temple and Town God Temple

The City God temple Most Popular Attractions and Destination Tourism In Shanghai located next to the Yu Garden and also known today as the Yu Garden Market, the City God Temple was built in the fifteenth century during the Ming Dynasty. The first temple to the God of Shanghai was founded in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) when a shrine was erected to the City God of Huating County. However, the Huating shrine was located in Danjing Temple, far from its current location. The present site was first used during the reign of Emperor Yongle (1403-1425) in the Ming Dynasty. A statue of General Huo Guang of the Han Dynasty was enshrined in the front hall, while a statue of Qin Yubo, the god of the City.

The City God Temple in Shanghai originated as the Jinshan God Temple, dedicated to the spirit of Jinshan, or "Gold Mountain", an island off the coast of Shanghai. It was converted into a City God Temple in 1403, during the Yongle era of the Ming dynasty. During the Qing Dynasty, the temple grew popular. Residents of the old city as well as nearby areas visited the temple to pray for good fortune and peace. The temple reached its largest extent in the Daoguang era. The popularity of the temple also led to many businesses being set up in the area, turning the surrounding streets into a busy marketplace.
The temple In 1951, the Board of Trustees of the City God Temple was dissolved, and the temple was handed over to the Shanghai Taoist Association and made into a Taoist center. The institution made changes to the temple, removing statues representing folk Underworld personalities such as Yama, the judge of the dead, and placing an emphasis on Taoist spirituality instead. When at its prime time, the coverage of the temple reaches up to 49.9 Mu (8.2 acres). Chenghuang Temple became very prosperous during Qing Dynasty.

The popularity of the City God Temple also led to more business to be set up in the area, turning the surrounding streets into a busy marketplace. Local residents and nearby visitors all thronged here in quest of their necessities, boutiques, jewellery. The present temple covers an area of more than 10,000 square meters including the Huoguang Hall, the Yuanchen Hall, the Caishen Hall, the Cihang Hall, the Chenghuang Hall and the Niangniang Hall.

Tourist imagined that the city was protected by a god known as Chenghuang (town god). Under his protection, people could live peacefully. Chenghuang's duty was just like that of the county head in feudal China. Taoists accepted him not only as an executive but as a law officer as well. It was believed that Chenghuang was empowered by the celestial ruler to exterminate evils in towns and cities and make citizens live a prosperous and happy life. He was even capable of granting what people prayed for. He gave rain when it was too dry and gave sunshine when there was too much rain.

Cuihu Lake Park-Green Lake Park Beutiful Scenery In Kunming

Cuihu Lake Park used to be a scenically beautiful island at the centre of the lake. In the year 1382, Mu Ying, the Garrison Commander, started building the capital of Yunnan Province in Kunming, and the Green Lake was enclosed within the brick walls of the city. A military structure, called "the Liu Barracks", was built, which was later changed into a villa for the Mu family. In 1692, Wang Jiwen, the provincial governor, built the Biyiting, commonly called Haixinting. Two long banks divide the Lake into four parts. Embraced by willow trees along the banks dotted with a variety of lotuses, with the delightful contrast between the weeping willows and the lotuses, the lake offers a scene of freshness, serenity, and beauty, hence the graceful called The Green Lake. The main attractions include lotuses, fish, willow trees and pavilions.

Cuihu Lake Park

The Cuihu Lake Park, situated at the western foot of Wuhua Hill, is a scenically beautiful park inside the city. By the end of the Yuan Dynasty, it was still a swampy field for growing vegetables, lotuses and rice, hence the name "Vegetable Lake". The water-level of Dianchi Lake was then so high that it was connected with the Cuihu Lake. That is why we have the couplet: "Dianchi Lake spreads five hundred li; the Vegetable Lake merges with it." As there were nine mouths of springs beyond the Bamboo Island in the northeast, the lake was also called "The Nine-Dragon Pond".

Lake Park
The Cuihu Lake Park it now covers fifteen hectares of land. Since 1985, the red-pecked seagulls from Siberia have been spending the winter months on Cuihu Lake. The entire Cuihu Park is a green world, with willow trees swaying gently on the dikes, and the surface of the lake covered all over with lotus plants. All the year round the park is the venue of one sort of exhibition or another, and with its snug seclusion it is frequented by local residents who come here for a few hours of leisure. In winter and spring, Kunming residents flock to the Cuihu Park to feed red-beaked gulls - there are tens of thousands of them, which descend upon the lake.

The Cuihu Lake Park image and inside the Haixinting there are two courtyards, where all kinds of shows are held throughout the four seasons: flower shows, lantern shows, fish shows and picture shows. Flowers and trees are growing luxuriantly in the yards. On the west of the pavilion are buildings for fish-watching. There is a two-storey pavilion on which hangs a horizontal board inscribed with four characters meaning "Drunk in spring in the abode of immortals" and facing north is a fish-watching pavilion. The lake, its banks and the pavilions are wonderfully arranged, and the painted corridor alongside the lake and the zigzag bridge are well connected. All the buildings have yellow and green glazed tile roofs, with corners seeming to fly and beams and rafters colourfully painted, typifying Chinese classical park Cuihu Parkdesigns.

Drepung Monastery History Lhasa Tibet

Sightsee of the Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Norbulingka in Lhasa. Drepung Monastery, the largest and richest monastery in Tibet, was founded in 1416 by a disciple of Tsong Khapa under the patronage of a noble family and later enlarged by the Fifth Dalai Lama. Nowadays it stands as Tibet’s most important and largest monastic university in Tibet.

Drepung Monastery It was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choge Tashi Palden (1397–1449), one of Tsongkhapa's main disciples, and it was named after the sacred abode in South India of Shridhanyakataka.  Drepung was the principal seat of the Gelugpa school and it retained the premier place amongst the four great Gelugpa monasteries. The Ganden Podang (dga´ ldan pho brang) in Drepung was the residence of the Dalai Lamas until the Great Fifth Dalai Lama constructed the Potala.Drepung was known for the high standards of its academic study, and was called the Nalanda of Tibet, a reference to the great Buddhist monastic university of India.

Old records show that there were two centres of power in Drepung: the so-called lower chamber (Zimkhang 'og ma)  associated with the Dalai Lamas-to-be, and the upper chamber (Zimkhang gong ma) associated with the descendants of Sonam Drakpa, an illustrious teacher who died in 1554. The estate of the Dalai Lamas at Drepung monastery, called Ganden Phodrang, had been constructed in 1518 by Gendun Gyatso Palzangpo (1476–1541), retrospectively named and counted as 2nd Dalai Lama.

Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center attributes the following Name variants to Penchen Sönam Drakpa: "bsod nams grags pa [ primaryName ], paN chen bsod nams grags pa [ title ], khri 15 bsod nams grags pa [ primaryTitle ], rtses thang paN chen bsod nams grags pa [ title ], gzims khang gong ma 01 bsod nams grags pa [ title ], this last one referring to the Seat of the Upper Chamber established in 1554. According to tbrc his successors referring to the estate of the Zimkhang Gongma were Sonam Yeshe Wangpo (1556–92),  Sonam Gelek Palzang (1594–1615) and Tulku Dragpa Gyaltsen (1619–1656) - closely connected to the famous story of Dorje Shugden. (Some say that Drakpa Gyeltsen was Sönam Drakpa’s second reincarnation,  but usually he is considered to be the 4th incarnation of Panchen Sonam Dragpa .
Drepung MonasteryOn September 27, 1987, about 20 Drepung monks unfurled banners and the Tibetan flag and marched around the Barkhor in Lhasa, before being arrested in front of the Tibetan Autonomous Region Government Headquarters.

Fubo Hill and Pearl-Returning Cave Guilin

Elegantly standing on the riverside, Fubo Hill (Wave-Subduing Hill) has its half standing in the river and the other half perching on land. The river waters are blocked by the hill and eddied, creating wavelets, hence the name - Subduing Wave Hill (literally means the waters has been subdued by the hill). Another legend says the hill got its name from a general, called Fubo who came to the place in a past dynasty.

Fubo Hill (Wave-Subduing Hill), is 120 meters long, 60 meters wide and 213 meters high. It stands solitarily in the northeast of the city and on west bank of Li River with half of the hill stretching into the river. Waves run back wherever they meet the blocks, hence the name "wave-subduing Hill". A tale has it that Ma Yuan who was called General Fubo from the Han Dynasty had once passed by Guilin on a southern expedition. He poured all the pearls he carried into the river, so the hill was named after him in his memory.

Natural scenery of rocks and stalactites as well as artificial cloister and pavilions compose the fantastic and unique sight of the hill. At the foot of the hill lie the Pearl-Returning Cave, the Thousand-Buddha Cave and the Sword-Testing Rock, all of which have great appeal. A gracious cloister and tearoom were built on the southern slope. Halfway to the hill is the Tingtao Pavilion (Pavilion of Listen-to-Waves). Stone stairs wind up towards the hilltop on the western slope of the hill. The Viewing Platform on the stairway is an ideal spot for taking in the panorama of Guilin.

At the eastern foot of the hill is a zigzagged water-eroded cave called Huan-Zhu Cave (Pearl-Retreating Cave), in which a variety of inscriptions of the well-known Chinese calligraphers and painters in the past dynasties can be found. Among them, the self-portrait and inscriptions of Mi Fu, one of the four greatest calligraphers in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) is the most precious one. There are also over 400 Buddhist carvings and statues of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) on the interior wall of the cave.

Inside Pearl-Returning Cave , a rock named Sword-Testing Rock hangs from the ceiling, nearly touching the ground. General Fubo is said to have tested his sword by cutting what was originally a stone pillar and has left a crevice at the bottom ever since. At the end of the cave is Thousand-Buddha Cave . There are 250 Buddhist statues and more than 100 carved inscriptions of various periods. Most of the statues are works of Tang and Song dynasties. On the western side, a flight of steps leads to Kuishui Pavilion and then to the top. From there, one can have a bird's-eye view of the Li River. There is another rock by the river on which legend says the emperor tested his swords for sharpness. The rock is therefore called cleft rock.

Great Wall of China Spectacular

The Great Wall of China was originally constructed to keep out nomadic tribes who raided China’s northern frontier. Your trekking challenge starts in Jinshanling with a vigorous trek that loops along the mountains either side of the Gubeikou Gateway. Each day you will trek approximately 12kms along the stony path, twisting and winding its way along the mountains, interspersed with crumbling watchtowers. It is demanding but also very rewarding, particularly on a clear day when you can look at the vast and beautiful mountain ranges. Your imagination will take you back several centuries to when the wall was the frontline defense of Imperial China. On completion of your challenge you will return to Beijing to explore some of the many attractions of China’s capital city: the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Lama Temple.

The Great Wall was begun around 2000 years ago during the Zhao State period but the main early construction linking existing structures was undertaken during the Qin Dynasty by the Emperor Qin (the same man as was responsible for the Terracotta Warriors) from 221 – 206 BC. There were further periods of construction which culminated in the 6,700km Wall of the Ming Dynasty built from 1368 – 1644 during a wide variety of environments from desert to forests. The Walls were primarily built for defence and were not always brick structures, they could be made from rammed earth and straw.

The Great Wall was abandoned as a line of defence in 1644 with the collapse of the Dynasty, with some parts still under construction. It then began to crumble partly due to natural processes such as weathering and earth movements and also because it was a ready source of building materials or was removed to make way for communication links such as roads and railways. Sometimes it was also the victim of warfare. Since it was opened to visitors in 1952 the Chinese government and the Beijing Municipality government have placed greater emphasis on the preservation of the Great Wall and its conservation. In 1987 the Great Wall was added to the World Heritage List, one of the first heritage sites in China.

Throughout its history it has always been seen as an important structure. William Lindesay who founded the group International Friends of the Great Wall has said ‘The Great Wall shows itself as something more than a building, it is a succession of varied landscapes, more than history alone, but part of the country’s geography that has attracted the attention of cartographers for centuries.’

This photograph was taken in 2006 early in the morning before the arrival of the visitors. This part of the Great Wall is one of the most visited as it is accessible from Beijing, being about 75 kilometres north west of Beijing. The opening of a motorway recently has increased the access and reduced the journey time. This part of the Wall attracts the most visitors and it is typical of the Wall during the Ming Dynasty. Tourist facilities are encroaching on the site. On the left of the photograph is a car park and the area is crowded with administrative buildings and commercial areas which are shown in some of the hotspots.

Golden Horse and Jade Cock Memorial Archways Kunming

Golden Horse and Jade Cock Memorial Archways Located in the center of the city with a history of more than 400 years, it is the symbol and pride of Kunming. That's a fairy tale goes:a golden horse flying out of the sun and a jade cock from the moon descended on Kunming. Whenever they went, lush grass and tall trees would blossom in gold.They represent lucky and best wishes in people's mind.

The Golden Horse Archway is in the east against the mountain with the same name as the archway; the Green Rooster Archway is in the west against the Green Chicken Mountain. Within a short distance of each other, the two archways are in the traditional archway styles. Together with another Loyalty Archway on the other side, these three archways shape a triangle of archway clusters. With their distinctive characteristics they present a spectacular view in the midst of surrounding downtown modern buildings.

Golden Horse and Jade Cock Memorial Archways

This area used to be center of old Kunming City, and it continues as the center even now. Actually, many of these buildings are newly renovated with new materials to represent Kunming’s old architectural styles.  Houses and stalls hundreds of years old are  duplicated so that you can be reminded of how this area was in the past. The place where the archways are located is a mixture of modern and old. The archways are accompanied by several other old buildings nearby within easy walking distance. There is the renovated Jingri Lou (or Close to the Sun Pavilion) and the ancient East and West Temple Pagodas.

The archways of Golden Horse and Jade Cock were built on an east-west axis, not far from each other. At 5 or 6 p.m. on the day when Autumn Equinox (September 22, 23 or 24 of the Gregorian calendar) and the Mid-autumn Festival (August 15 of the lunar calendar) of the year of cock (you year. There are 12 symbolic animals associated with a 12-year cycle, often used to donate the year of a person’s birth. One of the animals is cock) happened to be the same day (it happened once every 60 years), when the sun has set and the moon is rising, the shadow of sunshine on Golden Cock becomes longer gradually and the shadow of moonlight on the Jade Cock becomes clearer [Traditional Chinese calendar calculated the passage of years, months, days and hours by combining one Heavenly Stem (tian gan in Chinese.

Guozijian or Ancient Education Department and Confucius Temple

Guozijian is located at Guozijian St. (also called Chengxian St.), AN DING MEN NEI Ave., Beijing. It was the highest administration in Chinese education and state schools established in the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. It was first built in the 10th year (1306) of Yuan Emperor Dade. The Hall of Piyong is the center building of Guozijian, and was established in the 49th year (1784) of Qing Emperor Qianlong. It was like a library for emperors and its chief administer was called “Jijiu (meaning official of the wine ceremony)”.

Beijing Guozijian was the highest administrative organ supervising education and also the nation's highest academy during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties(1279-1911) of ancient China. In ancient times, Guozijian was called “Taixue” which means "the Highest Scholarship of the Imperial College". In 1905, the Imperial Examination system was abolished by the Qing Government and at the same time Guozijian finished its historical mission.

Confucius Temple

Confucius Temple also lies on Guozijian St. and is the place where people worshipped Confucius in the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. It was first built in 1302, and is now more than 700 years old. The Temple covers an area of 20,000 square meters, with 198 inscribed stones carved with the names of 198 scholars in the 3 Dynasties standing in the court. There were also 14 stone inscriptions built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.