>

About us | Information about China | Terms and Conditions

Your best travel guide in China

Christmas 2012
Visit China by train

Offers for all the Year 
China World Cultural Heritage Tour
Silk Road with Beijing Jeep(4x4)
Trekking in  China
Backpacking Tours in China
Booking Hotels in 27 Chinese Cities
Traditional program for Honeymoon
Traditional Chinese Medicine Exchange
Chinese Cooking exchange
Presentation of the hotels in your disposition in China
Visit China by Bike
Summer Vacation in Shaolin and Dengfeng(Shaolin Wushu and Taiji chuan)
Translation Services
The restaurants in our programma
The second Inter'le Shaolin wushu Festival 20- 24, Oct, 2006,
Shaolin Wushu training course in Shaolin Area, China 
Wudang Wushu training and Wudang Wushu Festival
Presentation of the hotels in your disposition in China
Wing chun Kungfu and Lion Dance Training in Canton, China
Change Money 
 
 
   
 

Information for principals visits in China

 Forbidden City / The Great Wall  / Tian'anmen / The Summer Palace /
 Tombe Ming / Lhasa /  Potala Palace / Jokhang Temple /   
 Potala Palace
/ Gyangtse / The Palcho Monastery /Shigatse / Sakya
 Monastery
/ The Sakya Monastery /
Tashilhunpo Monastery / Shalu
 Monastery
/ Xian / Huaqing Hot Springs /City Wall / The Big Wild Goose 
 Pagoda
/  Chengdu /  Wuhou Memorial Temple

Forbidden City

Also known as the Imperial Palace Museum or Gugong, the Forbidden City was the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties carried out their administration and lived. Now it is open to the public as a palace museum where people can see the great traditional palace architecture, enjoy the treasures kept in the palace, and learn of the legends and anecdotes about the imperial family and the court. Altogether 24 emperors lived here over a span of 491 years in two dynasties, ending with the last emperor in 1925. A film about Puyi, The Last Emperor, is well-known in the West. It is quite an experience to see halls and courtyards where those scenes were played out, both on film and in real life. 

The Great Wall

"You are not a man if you have not been to the Great Wall." So the saying goes in China. The Great Wall, it is said, is one of the few objects on earth visible from space. It belongs not only to China, but is part of the cultural heritage of the whole world. No tourists can afford to miss the chance to visit it if he/she comes to Beijing and it is usually the top item on any travel program. Apart from its magnificent construction, the view on the Great Wall is wonderful especially in spring, autumn and winter.

Tian'anmen

(Gate of Heavenly Peace) was and is considered as the centre of Beijing, not only because of its location but also because it is a symbol of power. Tian'anmen  is the front gate of the Forbidden City, the gate leading to the supreme power in imperial times. The tower over the gate was used for grand ceremonies in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, for instance, issuing imperial edicts. In modern China, it is also a symbol of power. From the tower of Tian'anmen, on October 1, 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the new China. On National Day each year, the tower is used as a rostrum for reviewing the mass assembly 

The Summer Palace

Equally famous as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace is called "Yiheyuan" (Garden of Nurtured Harmony) in Chinese. It is up to now the best preserved and the largest imperial gardens in China. You may regret it if you come to Beijing and miss visiting these gardens. 

Tombe Ming

Located in Beijing's suburban Changping County, the place is where 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and their empresses and concubines were buried. Some 50 kilometres northwest of the capital, the Ming Tombs are generally combined with a visit to the Great Wall.

Lhasa

Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, covers an area of 544 square kilometers and is "The Land of Gods" in Tibetan, sits on the north bank of River Lhasa, a tributary of the Yarlung Tsangbo River, at an altitude of 3,700 meters. It has a history of over 13 centuries. With more than 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, Lhasa is famed as " the City of Sunshine". It is the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region and the center of Tibet's political, economic, cultural and religious activities. There are many historic sites and famous relics in the city proper and its suburbs, among which the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Gandan Monastery are world famous.

Before the mid-seventh century when Lhasa, later a central town of Tibetan region, was yet to come into being, the area called Wotang was a marshy land of wildness, frequented by antelopes. On one bright summer day, Songtsan Gampo, leader of the Tubo tribe that had risen to power in the Yarlung River Valley, was struck by the perilous position of an area flanked by two steep mountains, while bathing in the Lhasa River, and decided that this was to be the home of his kingdom. This ambitious Tibetan king moved the center of his rule to Wotang and ordered the construction of his residence on the hilltop of Potala. In 641 A.D., Songtsan Gampo who by this time had conquered the whole Tibetan region wedded Princess Wencheng of the Imperial Tang Court. When the princess arrived, she became convinced that Lake Wotang was a devil's heart to be overpowered by the construction of a grand temple after filling up the lake with earth. The princess further suggested that the earth be carried by white goats. This imposing grand temple became a symbol of the kingdom. The temple, later known as Jokhang, was initially named Lhasa, "the Sacred Land" in Tibetan. Over the centuries, Lhasa became a political and religious center of Tibet. Administrative orders were issued from the myriad of imposing palaces; the great temples and monasteries were home to omnipotent liturgical establishment and witnessed the rise of many religious leaders and endless religious ceremonies. The faithful composed the population of the town and Lhasa became a true "Mecca" of Tibet. 

 Potala Palace

Potala Palace, symbol of Lhasa, is on the top of the Potala Hill. The palace, 117 meters tall and 40 meters wide, has towering buildings with golden roofs and a group of huge castle palaces, which is divided into white and red palaces for the color of their walls. The white palace used to be a place where the living Buddha, Dalai, Tibetís religious leader, handled government affairs and lived. The red palace is further divided into the Hall of the Buddha, Scripture Hall and Memorial Hall, each with a dozen or scores of rooms. The Hall of the Buddha houses gold-traced portraits of Sakyamuni and deceased Dalai Lamas. The Scripture Hall keeps in it a large number of early copies of Buddhist sutras; and the Memorial Hall contains stupas of the 13 late Dalai Lamas. Potala Palace is also a world of murals, which are painted in hundreds of halls and corridors. It is a huge treasure house for Tibetan history, religion, culture and arts. 

Jokhang Temple

The 1,300-year-old Jokhang Temple in the west of the city of Lhasa is an architectural masterpiece that combines techniques of ancient Tibet with that of the Han. It is four-story high with a golden roof. The main  hall consecrates a gold statue of Sakyamuni brought to Tibet in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and statues of King Songtsan Gampo (517-650), Princess Wencheng and Princess Chizun. Murals in the temple include one entitled "Princess Wencheng Entering Tibet" and lines of woodcuts of beasts and sphinx featuring local arts of the Western Region. The temple is fronted with a stele to mark the meetings between the officials of the imperial court of Tang and the Tibetan regional government and otherhistorical relics

 Gyangtse

Crossing the Yarlung Tsangbo River Bridge south of Lhasa and moving on southward, one comes to the Kampala Pass over 5,000 meters above sea level. Looking further south from this imposing pass, you will see a placid lake extending to the horizon. That is Yamdro Yumtso Lake, one of the three greatest holy lakes in Tibet, with a surface area of 638 square kilometers and an elevation of 4,441 meters. The lake has over 20 islets on it and rich and picturesque pasture ground rings the lake. Driving further west from the lake, one will enter the fertile Gyangtse (Gyangze) Valley along the Nyangchu River after passing a chain of snow-capped mountain peaks with the highest being Mt. Nojin Gangsang. The region is known as a granary of Tibet. The ancient town of Gyangtse has a history of over six centuries. It sits by the road from Lhasa to Sakya, Shigatse and Yatong and has from ancient times been a center where pilgrims, merchants and travelers converge. 

 

The Palcho Monastery 

It was founded in Gyangtse at a time when rivalry among Buddhist denominations reached an impasse. Hence it has been home to a number of Buddhist sects practicing under one roof with each occupying six to seven halls. The construction of the monastery began in the beginning of the 15th century. The three-story main hall houses an enormous bronze statue of the Buddha, about eight meters in height with a great number of tangkas on display. In both east and west wings at the second floor of the main hall are clay arhats from the Ming Dynasty. These true to life images are really a marvel and venerated throughout Tibet. The 32-meter-high white Palcho Pagoda has a total of 77 rooms with 108 doors at its nine levels. It houses a great number of miniature Buddha paintings, estimated at about 100,000 altogether, and is otherwise known as "the Pagoda of 100,000 Buddha Images". This imposing octagonal structure is the most awe inspiring of all pagodas in Tibet. The Palcho Pagoda's liturgical collection also includes a total of over 1,000 clay, bronze and gilded sculptures of the Buddha in addition to a great number of tangkas. The religious art and the Palcho architecture are renowned for their unique style. The town of Gyangtse is also known for its patriotic tradition. It withstood a brutal British invasion in 1904. The fortresses on Zhongshanbao built in defence against British troops remain as witness to the past heroic battles.

Shigatse

The town of Shigatse (Xigaze) is called "Center of Rear Tibet", sits at the confluence of Nyangchu and Yarlung Tsangbo Rivers about 250 kilometers to the west of Lhasa. This second largest city in Tibet at an elevation of 3,800 meters has a history of more than five centuries. The region around is historically known as the Rear Tibet and Shigatse has been its political,  business, cultural and religious center. The residence for all the Panchen Lamas has been traditionally in the town.  The city located between altitude 29įlocal Tibetan theater are popular attractions to visitors. 

Sakya Monastery

In 1073 A.D., Gongjue Jiebu of the Kun family in Tibet built a monastery on a meadow shaped like a lying elephant on the north bank of Zongqu River to teach his new esoteric theory of Buddhism. Gongjue Jiebu was convinced that the monastery built on such a site would light the mundane world. Because the monastery was built by a chalky hill, it was named Sakya, meaning chalky earth in Tibetan. However, few expected that it would later become the name of a powerful  Buddhist denomination and ruling house owing to a number of political and religious factors. The Sakya Monastery built by Gongjue Jiebu (popular known as the North Temple) became inadequate for rising and evermore powerful Sakya establishment. A larger monastery which is still standing today was built on the south bank of Zongqu River by the Kun house and Pagpa, a well-known Tibetan in the Mongolian imperial court of the 13th century. This monastery, now popularly known as the South Sakya, sits against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains 165 kilometers west of Shigatse. In 1260 A.D., Pagpa was appointed the imperial tutor and later an official in charge of Buddhist affairs in the land and ruler of whole of Tibet by Kublai Khan, the first emperor of the Yuan Dynasty. In 1267, Pagpa returned to Tibet to establish the Sakya Kingdom and a Tibetan government subordinate to Yuan Dynasty rule. A mural in the monastery depicts the occasion when Pagpa as the supreme ruler of the region gave the  commission to Segasan Bu in 1288 for the construction of the monastery, which involved labor and material contributions from 130,000 Tibetan households. The Sakya Monastery as the power center of the Sakya Kingdom once ruled the whole Tibet for more than a century. When the visitor approaches this massive structure, he will see a great monastery in an imposing square citadel. The outer wall is painted red, white and black, each representing the different manifestations of Buddha, a unique  feature of Sakya. The Lakang Qinmu Hall, the main structure in the complex, occupies an area of 5,500 square meters with a  height of over 10 meters. According to monastery records, the hall had 108 giant columns. Now there are only 40 left, with many anecdotes about them. The monastery wall is 10 meters high and over three meters thick. The northern and southern walls are 500 meters in length while the eastern and western walls 300 meters. There are a total of 40 fortresses and four pillboxes along the entire length of the wall and four gates open in different directions. The remains of a moat is still visible. The entire complex gives a feeling of solemnity laden with the weight of history. 

 The Sakya Monastery

It's also known for its collection of Tangkas and scriptures. The monastery also has a great collection of appointment letters, official seals, head decorations and costumes granted to Sakya officials by the imperial court of Yuan Dynasty, in addition to Buddhist figurines, ceremonial artifacts and porcelain ware from the Song and Yuan dynasties onward.  The stupendous collection of books over religion, history, medicine, philosophy, calendar, theatre, poetry, stories and grammar and rare valuable source materials for the study of ancient Tibetan culture. The Sakya collection of Buddhist scriptures is also the largest in Tibet with a total of 40,000 volumes, of which over 10,000 are kept in the main hall. They were meticulously hand written in red and black ink with many gold and silver lettering by calligraphers called in from all Tibet by Pagpa. The scripture written on "Pattra" leaves recently discovered is regarded as a rare treasure. The murals and tangkas in the monastery are unique, of which a large mural of the five Sakya founders and an exquisite mural of mandal as are of particular interest. A total of 40 tangkas depicting the founders of Sakya painted six centuries ago is a treasure to the monastery. When the visitor stands in front of the pictures of these noted figures in Tibetan history, he is bound to feel the power of the glory of a bygone era and of an art that shines through the darkness of time. Sakya can be compared to Dunhuang in western China. In fact, it is regarded as the second Dunhuang of China. 

Tashilhunpo Monastery

The Tashilhunpo Monastery in the west can be seen in the distance by travelers approaching the town, with its gilded pinnacle glinting in the sunshine, an exhilarating sight to the arriving wayfarers and pilgrims. The construction of Tashilhunpo (meaning "imminent bless") began in 1447. The Monastery is the largest of its kind in Rear Tibet with a total floor space of 300,000 square meters. The Great Prayer Hall, the oldest building in the monastery, can house over 2,000 praying monks. The lavish throne of Panchen, a myriad of Buddhist sculptures and ancient murals are rare treasures of the monastery. Jamkhang, the chapel of Meitriya with a height of 30 meters and a total of seven stories, is the central structure of the monastery. Enshrined inside the chapel is against 26.5-meter-high sculpture of Meitriya with its middle fingers measured 1.2 meters and the shoulder 11.5 meters. A total of 115.875 kilograms of copper and 6,700 ounces of gold in addition to a great number of  diamonds, pearls and amber pieces were used for the construction of the image, which is a fine example of the Tibetan artistry and craftsmanship. The funerary stupas in the monastery are also worth noting with the most lavishly furnished being that for Panchen IV (1576-1662). The construction of the hall housing the stupa took four years to complete. The stupa is 11 meters high. It was built with over 2,700 ounces of gold, 33,000 ounces of silver and 39,000 kilograms of copper and is  adorned with about 9,000 feet of silk and over 7,000 pearls, gems and agate, coral pieces. The religious ornaments on the gilded pinnacle of the stupa building are of interesting designs and exquisite artistry. East of Tashilhunpo is a huge structure constructed with stone blocks against a hill slope of nearly 100 meters in height. Every year, a ceremony is held to air an enormous tapestry of image of the Buddha hung on the stone surface. There is also an unusual room in this monastery unseen in others for the display of portraits of Qing Dynasty emperors and gifts to Panchen from the imperial court. It was also once used by Panchen to meet envoys from the court and receive imperial decrees. A collection of rare treasures and artifacts are stored in this room. 

Shalu Monastery   

Built in 1087, the Shalu Monastery in Shigatse is known for its unique architecture integrating both Han and Tibetan styles unparalleled anywhere else in Tibet. In the monastery, there are murals painted during the Yuan Dynasty and notices written in the Phagsba language. There is also a copper water jar sealed with a red cloth, which is refilled every 12 years. Legend says water from the jar is "sacred", and a cup of this water can clean"108 kinds of dirt". It houses a rich collection of ancient frescos strongly influenced by Song and Yuan Dynasty art. The collection is in very good condition.

 

Xian

An episode in the history of Sino-Western exchanges runs as follows: One day when Julius Caesar went to attend a theatre performance, he found himself the object of the surprised stares of the whole audience. His glamorous gown made of Chinese silk had triggered their interest. From that time onwards, Chinese silk was high fashion in Rome and people competed with each other, dressing up in it to display their wealth. As a result, the price of silk went up so sharply that it equaled the gold price. The home of this Chinese silk so popular with the ancient Romans was Xi'an, called Chang'an over 2,000 years ago and then the capital of the Han Dynasty.  Xi'an was called Chang'an in Han Dynasty. The connotation of "Chang'an" is "a place of permanent peace". It was not until the prosperous Tang Dynasty that Chang'an became famous both at home and abroad as the largest and busiest international metropolis of that age in the world. Xi'an obtained its present name in 1369. It stands first on the six largest ancient capitals. From the 11 century B.C. onwards, Xi'an or its vicinity was established as the capital city by 11 dynasties successively, including the Western Zhou, the Qin, the Han, the Sui and the Tang, and it also served as the capital of two peasant regimes respectively under the rule of Huang Chao and Li Zicheng. The city's capital status lasted for 1,608 years. As regards the number of dynasties and span of time, Xi'an served as an ancient capital beyond compare.  During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Xi'an was the largest city in the world. Chang'an, was linked to many central Asian regions and Europe via the Silk Road, with thousands of foreign traders living the city.  Xi'an is the capital of Shaanxi Province and also the political, economic and cultural center of theNorthwest China. With the development of travel industry and the implementation of the open policy, it has become one of the nation's key tourist cities and tourism has become the mainstay in Shaanxi's economy.

Xi'an lies at longitude 103east by latitude 34north, and 412 meters above sea level. It has an averageannual temperature of 13, and an average annual precipitation of 604 mm. The rainy season comes in July, August and September. The city now has under its jurisdiction eight districts -- Xincheng, Beilin, Lianhu, Yanta, Weiyang, Baqiao, Lintong and Yangling, and five counties -- Chang'an, Lantian, Huxian, Zhouzhi and Gaoling.   As a whole, Xi'an covers an area of 9,983 square kilometers and has population of 5,860,000. The city proper occupies an area 861 square kilometers, and reaches a population of 2,650,000. With an elevation of 500 metres, the Weihe Plain extends between Baoji in the west and Tongguan in the east and borders the Qinling Mountains in the south and the Huangtu Plateau in the north. Lying in the warm zone, the plain has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Chequered with the Weihe, Jinghe, Luohe, and Bahe rivers as well as the Jinghui, Weihui and Luohui canals, the fertile land on the plain has easy access to irrigation facilities and an abundant yield of farm produce. Xi'an lies in the centre to the south of this plain, a favourable geographical location surrounded by water and hills. The area around Xi'an was inhabited by the progenitors of the Chinese nation as far back as 500,000-600,000 years ago. In the 1960s, archaeologists discovered in Lantian County to the southeast Of Xi'an human fossils and cultural relics belonging to the Paleolithic Period. In the 1950s, the remains from the Neolithic Period were discovered at Banpo Village to the east of Xi'an City. In the 70s, the Jiangzhai Ruins from a later part of the Neolithic period were discovered at Lintong County to the northeast of Xi'an City. These archaeological discoveries indicate that the area around Xi'an is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization.  As one of the six ancient capitals in China, Xi'an served as the seat of 12 imperial capitals for 1,120 years after Chinese society had entered the civilized stage.  Xi'an is also a world-famous tourist city, a treasure house of cultural relics. The remains of past civilizations furnish evidence of every major epoch in China's half a million history, making for a particularly illustrative textbook of Chinese culture. The history apparent in Xi'an is so ancient and continuous that the city has no parallel anywhere as a cultural site.Here one can visit the sites once inhabited by its primitive people; admire the bronze wares manufactured in the Bronze Age; wander through the city ruins of the Qin, Han, Sui and Tang Dynasties; imagine for oneself the clamour of the old Oriental metropolis; explore the imperial tombs of the Qin, Han and Tang Dynasties, testimony to the pervasive power of the feudal ruling class; ramble in temples and pagoda courtyards, tracing vestiges of the Silk Road; and study stone inscriptions to appreciate Chinese calligraphy. Not least, Xi'an is the site of excavation of the vast army of terracotta warriors and horses from the tomb of China's First Emperor, Qin Shihuang, from whom the country derives its name. Xi'an was the starting point of the world-famous Silk Road. It can be well likened to a history museum. Moving around this old city is like going through  thousands of years back in time. In this vast museum you ill see the Banpo Village Remains of a matriarchal community; the Huaqing Hot Springs which was noted as early as the Zhou Dynasty more than 3,000 years back; Qin Shihuang's terra-cotta warriors and horses, known as the eighth wonder of the world; the imperial cemetery grounds of the Han and Tang dynasties; the Great Mosque with unique features; the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Small Wild Goose Pagoda built in the Tang  Dynasty; the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower of the Ming Dynasty; and the Forest of Steles with a rich collection of age-old  stone steles.

Huaqing Hot Springs 

The Huaqing Hot Springs is located about 35 kilometers east of the city of Xi'an. Historically, during the Western Zhou Dynasty the construction of the Li Palace was undertaken on this spot. In the Qin Dynasty, a stone pool was built and was given the name Lishan Hot Springs. The site was enlarged into a bigger palace during the Han Dynasty, and was renamed, the Li Palace. During the Tang Dynasty, Emperor Taizong ordered the construction of the Hot Springs Palace. Emperor Xuanzong had a walled palace built around the Lishan Mountain in the year 747. It was known as the Huaqing Palace. It also had the name Huaqing Hot Springs because of its location over the hot springs. Huaqing Hot Springs is located at he foot of the Lishan Mountain, a branch of the Qinling Range. Standing 1,256 meters high, it is covered with pines and cypress and looks very much like a dark green galloping horse from a long distance away. In ancient times, a black horse was called "Li", and this is bow it got its name, Lishan. In the Tang Dynasty, the Huaqing Hot Springs was destroyed, during the An Lushan Rebellion. The present-day site is only a small part of the Tang Huaqing Palace. The Huaqing Hot Springs which we see today was rebuilt on the site of the Qing Dynasty structure. The palace covers an area of 85,560 square meters. Entering the West Gate of Huaqing Hot Springs, you will see the Nine-Dragon Pool, the Lotus Flower Pool and the Frost Drifting Hall, etc. All these structures were rebuilt in 1959 according to Tang architectural style 

City Wall

At the time when Zhu Yuanzhang captured Huizhou, long before the establishment of the Ming Dynasty, he was admonished by a hermit named Zhu Sheng, who told him to "built high walls, store abundant provisions and take your time in proclaiming  yourself emperor", advice which Zhu Yuanzhang heeded. Once the whole country was unified, he sent orders to the local governments to built city walls on a large scale. Zhu assumed that "out of all the mountains and rivers in the world, the central Qin is the most strongly fortified and strategically impregnable." The city wall of Xi'an is an extension of the old Tang Dynasty structure, as a result of this wall building campaign. Xi'an's city wall after its enlargement in the Ming Dynasty stands 12  meters high. It is 12-14 meters across the top, 15-18 meters thick at bottom and 13.7 kilometers in length.  There is a rampart every 120 meters. The ramparts are towers that extend out from the main wall, the top of the rampart being at the same level as the top of the wall. The ramparts were built to allow soldiers to see those enemies who would try to climb the wall. The distance between two ramparts is just within the range of arrow shot from either side. This allowed soldiers to protect the entire wall without exposing themselves to the enemy. They are altogether 98 of them on the wall; each has a sentry building on top of it. The weapons in ancient times were primitive. The gates of the city wall were the only way to go into and out of town. Therefore, these gates were important, strategic points, that the feudal rulers racked their brains to try to defend. In Xi'an's case, the east, west, south and north gates, each consists of three gate towers. The main tower is called Zhenglou. Zhalou is the gate tower with the suspense bridge, and Jianlou is the narrow tower. The Zhalou tower stands away from the wall. It is used to lift and lower the suspense bridge. The Jianlou tower is in the center of the others. Its front and the two outer sides have square indows to shoot arrows from. The Zhenglou tower is the inner one. It is the main entrance to the city. Jianlou and Zhenglou are connected by tunnels, called Wengcheng in which soldiers could be stationed. From the Wengcheng there are also horse passages leading to the top of he wall. These are gradually ascending steps made so that it is easy for  war horses to ascend and descend. There are all together 11 horse passages around the city.  A watch tower is located on  each of the four corners of the wall. The one at the southwestern corner is round, probably after the model of the imperial city wall of the Tang Dynasty, but the other three are square-shaped. On top of the watch towers there is a corner rampart, higherand larger than the ordinary ramparts. This shows the strategic importance of the corners of the city wall in war times. Along the outer crest of the city wall there was constructed crenellations or battlements, 5,984 of them. Under each crenel there is a square hole, from which arrows wee shot and watch was kept. The lower, inner walls are called parapets. They have not crenels. They were not crenels. They were used on the inside of the wall to prevent soldiers from falling off the wall when traveling back and forth on top of the wall.  The first city wall of Xi'an was built of earth, rammed layer upon layer. The base layer was made of earth, quick lime, and glutinous rice extract, tempered together. It made the wall extremely strong and firm. Later, the wall was totally enclosed with bricks. On top of the wall, there is a brick water trough every 40-60 meters. They are used for drainage. They have played a very important role in the long-term protection of the city wall of Xi'an. A moat, wide and deep, runs around the city. Over the moat, there used to be a huge suspense bridge which would cut off the way in and out of the city, once lifted. Mausoleum of the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221 B.C. - 206 B.C.) and Museum of Qin Terra-Cotta Warriors and Horses Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass onto future generations.

Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.A World Heritage site differs from a site of national heritage and the key is in the words"outstanding universal value".One of the sites included in the World Heritage list is The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.  In the early spring of 1974, a number of peasants accidentally discovered some ancient bronze weapons and pieces of broken terracotta armored warriors while sinking a well at the northern foot of Mt. Lishan, 35 km from Xi'an, the famous cultural city in China's history.No one ever expected that this accidental discovery would prove to be one of the most significant modern archaeological finds, adding greater understanding to China's history and at the same time unfolding a unique and majestic spectacle before the world: the Terra-Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum, the underground army of terracotta warriors. The Great Mosque  When you take a city tour in Xi'an, the ancient capital, if you pass through the Drum Tower and come to the Moslem residential area, you would find a large complex of the old   and huge architecture. That is the famous Islamic mosque in China-Xi'an Great Mosque.   According to the historical records carved in the stone tablets which are still preserved in it, the mosque was set up in 742 AD during the Tang Dynasty. So it has already had a history of over 1,250 years. The mosque was restored and widened in the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Especially after the founding of New China, and owing to the correct religious policies for the minority nationalities by the Communist Party and the People's Government, the authorities concerned allocates special funds for the renovations of the mosque every year. So that, the mosque has gradually become such a large and brilliant complex of the historical architecture. With many beautiful storied buildings, platforms, pavilions and halls, it is looks very solemn and respectful 

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda

 Situated in the Da Ci'en Temple, about four kilometers from the urban center, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is one of the famous Buddhist pagodas in China. Originally built in 589 A.D. in the Sui Dynasty, the temple was named Wu Lou Si Temple. It was not until 648 A.D. when Emperor Li Zhi, then still a crown prince, sponsored a repair project on the temple. This was a symbol of thanksgiving to his mother for her kindness, after she had suffered an early death. The temple then assumed the present  name Temple of Thanksgiving. The Emperor Gaozong was said to pay homage to the temple twice a day by looking in its direction from the Hanyuan Palace. The temple, with 13 separate courtyards, contained 1,879 magnificent-looking rooms  altogether and was a place of grand extent in the Tang Dynasty. However, it went into gradual decay after the downfall of the Tang Dynasty. The halls and rooms that have survived the age are structures that were built in the Ming Dynasty. The Tang Regime gave orders to build a chamber for the translation of Buddhist scriptures in an effort to have the then widely renowned Master Xuanzang (Monk Tripitaka) agree to be the head of the temple. he Wild Goose Pagoda was finished in 652 A.D. Its five storeys are 60 meters in height. The decay of the earth-cored pagoda caused the new construction of a 10-storey pagoda from 701 to 704. However, the winds of war, in the years to come, reduced the pagoda almost to ruins, which in turn resulted in the construction of a 7-storeyed, 64-meter-high structure today.  The storyed pagoda was an architectural marvel. It was built with layers of bricks but without any cement in between. The bracket style in traditional Chinese architecture was also used in the construction of the pagoda. The seams between each layer of bricks and the " prisms' on each side of the pagoda are clearly visible. The grand body of the pagoda with its solemn appearance, simple style and high structure, is indeed a good example of ancient people's wisdom and talent.

Chengdu

Chengdu is depicted in a poem as "Chengdu Landscape, as if endowed by the Ninth Heaven, is shared in the creations of many a master artist." A magnificent and modern provincial capital, Southeast of the Sichuan basin, Chengdu enjoys temperate climate and plentiful products.  The city located between latitude 10255 and 10453 east and longitude 3006 and 3126 north. With an annual rainfall of 997.6 mm, it occupies an area of 12,389.6 square kilometres, and now has over 3 million inhabitants in the city proper, and over 10 million in greater Chengdu. The average annual temperature of 16.2 , an annual sunshine time is 1,239 hours and the frost-free period is 300 days. Chengdu is more than 2,000 years old. In contrast to some other Chinese urban centres, and despite raging redevelopment, Chengdu has managed to preserve the atmosphere how one might imagine China to have once been sometime in the past.     Chengdu was already the political, economic, and cultural centre of western Sichuan by 400 B.C. During the Five Dynasties Period (907-960), Meng Chang, a ruler of later Shu, had numerous hibiscus trees planted on the city wall, so the town eventually became known as the City of Hibiscus. Chengdu, also known as the hibiscus city or the brocade city, has been a famous cultural centre with age-old colourful traditions of both religious and civil significance for the past 2,500 years in Chinese history. With the coming of the spring, peach blossoms abound on the plain and rape-seed flowers tinge the landscape golden while the wafting cooking smoke curls up from the farm huts amidst bamboo groves. All this makes the city and its suburbs truly poetic. The annual happy occasions of the traditional lantern festival, flower show, the yearly opening of the sluices at the Dujiangyan, the dragon boat races at Xinjing, and the folk-lore sing song contests at Wang-cong Memorial Temple are also charming and captivating scenes. The old street scene at Huanglongxi township, the gorgeous mansions of the Liu family at Dayi county and a number of picturesque civilian villages are well preserved for people and future generations to appreciate. In Tiexiangsi, there is the College for Buddhist nuns in China, and the Guanyin Temple in Xinjing has preserved the most lively colour sculpture and wall-painting of Ming Dynasty, Zhaojue Temple, Wenshu Monastery, Baoguang Temple and Daci Temple in the city are known as "the four famous Buddhist  monasteries in western Sichuan". Hemingshan at Diyi county is the sacred seat of origin for Taoism, and Qingyang Palace is the best preserved memorial temple for Laotzu, the founder and master of the Taoist faith. Sichuan opera with the Chengdu brand as representative, is one of the principal genres of regional drama. It is particularly famous for its sense of humour and its unique skills in"Changing one's countenance". Built on flat ground, Chengdu can easily be explored on foot or by bicycle. It has almost a southern aspect, with colorful old streets lined by scores of small restaurants and walkways that remain crowded until late with traders, buyers, and people out for a stroll.

Wuhou Memorial Temple

Wuhou Temple (Temple of Marquis Wu) in the southern suburbs of Chengdu is dedicated to the memory of both Liu Bei (161-223), Emperor of the Kingdom of Shu in the Three Kingdoms period (220-280), and Zhuge Liang (181-234), Prime Minister of the Kingdom. The board hung above the gate reads "Han Zhaolie Temple" (Zhaolie was a title given to Liu Bei posthumously). But the temple is commonly called Wuhou Memorial Temple (Zhuge Liang was conferred on the title of Wu Xianghou after his death). The memorial temple, dignified and simple in style, houses 47 statues of Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang and other civil officials and senior generals of the Kingdom. The temple is furnished with many inscribed stone tablets, the most famous being the Tablet of Triple Success of the Tang Dynasty (618 -907) with its text by Prime Minister Pei Du, calligraphy by Liu Gongchuo and carvings by Lu Jian. The couplets written on scrolls and hung on the pillars in the temple are well-known for numerous aphorism. 

 
 
Copyright ©  Shaolin Viaggi.  All rights reserved  Tel:  0086 13700889060 Fax: 0086 371 65653362 

E-mail: antoniohan66#gmail.com &shaolinviaggi#gmail.com