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Memorable Travel Experiences in China

The spectacle and grandeur of the 2008 Beijing Olympics are now memories, but there is more to this ancient country. China is a land of architectural, historic and natural wonders found nowhere else.   
 
The Great Wall of China
A Unesco World Heritage Site, the Great Wall of China stands as a testament to man’s fortitude. Once stretching over 4163 miles, it winds across landscapes as diverse as mountains and grasslands. Although construction began as independent walls to defend against enemies, it only became the “Great Wall” during the Qin Dynasty (221 – 206BC) as many of these walls were joined. However, most of the work as we know of today occurred the Ming Dynasty (1388 – 1644). Although built to provide a defense against their enemies, today the Great Wall represents so much more. The architectural design; the cultural and historical significance; and most importantly how it represents the determination of the Chinese people make the Great Wall of China an unforgettable experience.
 Qin Terra Cotta Warriors
Qin Terra Cotta Warriors
Located in the city of Xian, this archeological find is not only mind boggling in terms of its breadth but also its significance to Chinese history.   In 1975, a museum was established on the site to perpetuate and share these discoveries with the world. Since its discovery in 1974, excavation and work continues on site as currently over 7000 terra cotta warriors, horses, chariots, and weapons have been located and restored. What most remember is the truly unbelievable site of over 6000 warriors and horses in “Pit #1” lined in battle formation. For many, the eerily life like appearance of these figures provide a story to be told for generations to come.
 
Li River Cruise
Much has been written on what man has built, but the Li River cruise between Guilin and Yangshuo will take your breath away. For many it reminds us of the scenery that we so often see in Chinese paintings. Although much of this 40 mile journey is steeped with changing landscapes and picture opportunities, those that I spoke to mentioned several highlights which are not to be missed. First, as you travel between Guilin and Yangdi, you will see several hills and peaks, one which is named Elephant Hill for its resemblance of an elephant with its trunk in the water. Next, between Yangdi and Xingping, the views are breathtaking but you must remember to look for the Mural Hill of Nine Horses. Legend says that it resembles nine horses in various poses. Nearby, you will find the Inverted Image of the Yellow Cloth Shoal. Many have said that the inverted image of the seven peaks resemble fairy ladies. The imagery of this combined with the crystal clear waters and surround green mountainside only reminds us of the greatness of the world around us.
 
But don’t take my word on what lies in store for you in China. Take the journey yourself; it is not doubt a journey that you will remember.