Category Archives: Point of interest

The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal forms a vast inland waterway system in the north-eastern and central eastern plains of China, passing through eight of the country’s present-day provinces. It runs from the capital Beijing in the north to Zhejiang Province in the south. Constructed in sections from the 5th century BC onwards, it was conceived as a unified means of communication for the Empire for the first time in the 7th century AD (Sui Dynasty). This led to a series of gigantic worksites, creating the world’s largest and most extensive civil engineering project ensemble prior to the Industrial Revolution. Completed and maintained by successive dynasties, it formed the backbone of the Empire’s inland communications system. Its management was made possible over a long period by means of the Caoyun system, the imperial monopoly for the transport of grain and strategic raw materials, and for the taxation and control of traffic. The system enabled the supply of rice to feed the population, the unified administration of the territory, and the transport of troops. The Grand Canal reached a new peak in the 13th century (Yuan Dynasty), providing a unified inland navigation network consisting of more than 2,000 km of artificial waterways, linking five of the most important river basins in China, including the Yellow River and the Yangtze. Still a major means of internal communication today, it has played an important role in ensuring the economic prosperity and stability of China over the ages. Continue reading

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Fujian Tulou

Fujian Tulou is a property of 46 buildings constructed between the 15th and 20th centuries over 120 km in south-west of Fujian province, inland from the Taiwan Strait. Set amongst rice, tea and tobacco fields the Tulou are earthen houses. Several storeys high, they are built along an inward-looking, circular or square floor plan as housing for up to 800 people each. They were built for defence purposes around a central open courtyard with only one entrance and windows to the outside only above the first floor. Housing a whole clan, the houses functioned as village units and were known as “a little kingdom for the family” or “bustling small city.” They feature tall fortified mud walls capped by tiled roofs with wide over-hanging eaves. The most elaborate structures date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The buildings were divided vertically between families with each disposing of two or three rooms on each floor. In contrast with their plain exterior, the inside of the tulou were built for comfort and were often highly decorated. They are inscribed as exceptional examples of a building tradition and function exemplifying a particular type of communal living and defensive organization, and, in terms of their harmonious relationship with their environment, an outstanding example of human settlement. Continue reading

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Ocean Park Hong Kong

Ocean Park Hong Kong, commonly known as Ocean Park, is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, animal theme park and amusement park, situated in Wong Chuk Hang and Nam Long Shan in the Southern District of Hong Kong. It is, together with Hong Kong Disneyland, one of the two large theme parks in Hong Kong. Opened in 1977 by the then Governor of Hong Kong Sir Murray MacLehose, Ocean Park has grown to over 80 attractions and rides after the completion of a HK$5.5 billion Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP) begun in 2005. The park has won several awards, including The World’s Seventh Most Popular Amusement Park and one of the “50 Most Visited Tourist Attractions in the world” by Forbes. In November 2012, Ocean Park became the first theme park in Asia to win the Applause Award from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. Continue reading

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Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu

The Qufu complex of monuments has retained its outstanding artistic and historic character owing to the devotion of successive Chinese emperors over more than 2,000 years. The system of belief that Confucius (551-479 BC) created was adopted as the pre-eminent ideology in feudal Chinese society for more than 2,000 years. Two years after the death of Confucius, Duke Gun of Lu consecrated his former house in Qufu as a temple, within which were preserved his clothing, musical instruments, carriage and books. The temple was rebuilt in AD 153, and it was repaired and renovated several times in subsequent centuries. In AD 611 the temple was again rebuilt, and this time the original three-room house effectively disappeared as a component of the complex. In 1012 during the Song dynasty it was expanded into three sections with four courtyards, containing over 300 rooms. It was devastated by fire and vandalism in 1214, but rebuilding was commenced, so that by 1302 it had attained its former scale. An enclosure wall was built in 1331, on the model of an imperial palace. Following another disastrous fire in 1499 it was rebuilt once again, to its present scale. Continue reading

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10th anniversary of the inscription of “The Historic Centre of Macao” on World Heritage List

In order to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the inscription of “The Historic Centre of Macao” on World Heritage List, the Cultural Affairs Bureau promotes, together with several entities, a series of activities, which include new historic and cultural facilities in operation, exhibitions, a seminar and new publications, cultural performances, and highlighted activities, in a total of 35 events. These activities are aimed at building an effective platform of cooperation, allowing the local population and visitors to celebrate the inscription of “The Historic Centre of Macao” on the World Heritage List through different cultural activities, hoping to raise every social sector’s awareness to the protection and transmission of cultural heritage and promoting its universal values. Continue reading

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Taiwan’s round-island cycling network

Building an islandwide bike path network not only fosters an environment for recreational exercise but also promotes Taiwan’s scenic spots, spurs industrial development and brings prosperity to local economies. Continue reading

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The Summer Palace in Beijing

The imperial Chinese garden, illustrated by the Summer Palace, is a potent symbol of one of the major world civilizations. The Summer Palace epitomizes the philosophy and practice of Chinese garden design, which played a key role in the development of this cultural form throughout the east. Continue reading

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2015 CAEXPO Tourism Exhibition

The 2015 China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) Tourism Exhibition, jointly organized by China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, is scheduled to be staged in Guilin, Guangxi, from May 29 to 31, 2015. It’s expected to attract around 800 companies and over 300 overseas buyers in addition to visitors from nearly 50 countries and regions. Continue reading

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Cycling on Hainan Island

Hainan is well suited to bicycle trips, especially if you enjoy rural landscapes and natural beauty. Away from the heavy industry of mainland China, Hainan has a pleasant environment for cycling. Hainan offers beaches, mountains, jungle, coconut plantations, waterfalls, minority villages, and a couple of cities for exploring. Continue reading

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Cairns welcome Chinese visitors for the Chinese new year festival

For the past 11 years the Cairns and District Chinese Association have been working with the Cairns Community to host a Cairns Chinese New Year Festival. Cairns is a regional city, encompassing smaller townships, in the far north of Queensland, Australia, founded 1876. The city was named after William Wellington Cairns, then-current Governor of Queensland. Continue reading

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