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Travel Blog: China – A Great Combination of the Oriental and the Western

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Leeds chapter.

China is a country with totally varied towns, which appeals to tourists from around the world. Beijing, the capital of China is quite an attractive destination, as it has much to offer to its visitors. Shanghai, on the other hand, is known as the New York of Asia, as it is a city with modern and unique skyscrapers.

One of the prime sights of Beijing is definitely the Great Hall. Beijing is the most strategic city of the north. Indeed, many dynasties in Chinese history built walls in this area. The most famous section of the Great Hall is the Badaling, with its magnificent sights and military facilities.

Tiananmen square, which is located in the centre of Beijing, is the fourth largest city square in the world. You can visit the Tiananmen Tower, monument to the People’s Heroes, Great Hall of the People, Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall and see the national flag raising ceremony. Moreover, the Forbidden City is just to the north of Tiananmen Square. The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty and now houses the Palace museum.

I highly recommend that you visit the Summer Palace; it is the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China. The lake area of the Summer Palace is amazing, and it has numerous attractions, such as the Seventeenth-Arch Bridge, Nanhu Island, Pavillion of Bright Scenery, Marble Boat and Suzhou Market Street.

Another important sight of China’s capital is the Temple of Heaven. It is China’s largest and most representative masterpiece among China’s ancient sacrificial buildings.

As far as I am concerned, the real culture of Beijing is found within the Houtongs. Houtongs are residential neighbourhoods that still form the heart of old Beijing, and by visiting Houtongs, you are able to experience the life of the ancient Beijing people. For ease, you can have a tour around the Houtongs with a bike, in order to explore a traditional neighbourhood of Beijing.

Shanghai is an international metropolis that draws more and more attention from all over the world. It is the most influential economic, international trade, cultural, scientific and technology centre in East China. In Shanghai, you can find the perfect blend of cultures – the modern and the traditional, the western and the oriental.

The Bund is on the west bank of Huangpu River. At the west side of the bank, there are 26 various buildings of different architectural styles including Gothic, Baroque, Classicism and Renaissance. Meanwhile, the Oriental Pearl Tower is a 468 metre high tower and the world’s sixth tallest TV and radio tower. From the top of the tower you have a breathtaking view of the impressive skyscrapers and the traditional part of Shanghai. Furthermore, Jade Buddha Temple attracts visitors for its Jade Buddhist statues that are porcelain artworks.

To sum up, by visiting China, you have the valuable opportunity to come into contact with a totally different culture and civilisation. You can admire the significant sights of Beijing, as well as visit Shanghai, that combines the traditional and the modern. As Henry Miller said: ‘One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things’.

Image sources

1.    http://www.beijingcentre.com/Beijing-Travel-Information/Beijing-Serviced-Apartments-Great-Wall/Beijing-China-Great-Wall.jpg

2.    http://www.gospelherald.com/data/images/full/6152/tiananmens-square.jpg

3.    http://pages.stolaf.edu/global2014/files/2014/06/Beijing-The-Summer-Palace-from-Kunming-Lake.jpg

4.    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/11_Temple_of_Heaven.jpg

5.    http://www.beijing-hotel.cn/images_hotels/010_81979033_2.jpg

6.    https://fisher.osu.edu/blogs/global/files/2014/05/2010-Skyline.jpg

7.    http://www.topvisitplaces.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/the_bund__shanghai01bqt.jpg

8.    http://www.st-ives.co.uk/media/177351/shanghai.jpg

9.    http://renaissance-hotels.marriott.com/images/Things_to_Do-Shanghai-Jade_Buddha_Temple-admfiqsm

My name is Elina Stylianou.I am 18 years old and I am from Cyprus.I am a first year student of English Language and Literature in the University of Leeds.I speak Greek, English,French.I have played the piano for 11 years and I adore music.I also adore travelling and that is why I am going to have a travel blog in Her Campus.