After 6 months researching and planing we have finally finished planing our journey. We are going to spend 5 weeks traveling across China by both plane and train. Below you will find a list of the places that we plan to visit, the main atractions and how are we going to get there.
北京市 – Beijing (6 days)
Beijing is the second largest Chinese city by urban population after Shanghai and is the nation’s political, cultural, and educational center.
The city’s history dates back three millennia. As the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Beijing has been the political center of the country for much of the past eight centuries. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, parks and gardens, tombs, walls and gates, and its art treasures and universities have made it a center of culture and art in China.
Beijing has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs, Zhoukoudian, Great Wall, and the Grand Canal.
平遥县 – Pingyao (4 days)
Pingyao is a county in central Shanxi province in China. It is located approximately 715 kilometres southwest of Beijing. During the Qing Dynasty, Pingyao was a financial centre of China. The ancient city, whose history dates back some 2,700 years and which is renowned for its well-preserved city walls, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major tourist attraction. It is still inhabited by some 50,000 residents.
Pingyao still retains its city layout from the Ming and Qing dynasties, conforming to a typical Ba gua pattern. More than 300 sites in or near the city have ancient ruins. Preserved Ming- and Qing-style residences number close to 4,000. The streets and storefronts still largely retain their historical appearance.
In 1986, the People’s Republic of China designated Pingyao as one of the Chinese Historic and Cultural Cities. It became a World Heritage Site in 1997, including the outlying Zhenguo Temple and Shuanglin Temple. In 2004, part of the southern walls collapsed but were reconstructed. However, the rest of the city walls are still largely intact and are considered among the best-preserved ancient city walls on this scale. This makes the city walls the centrepiece of the Heritage Site.
西安市- Xi’an (5 days)
Xi’is the capital of Shaanxi province, located in the northwest of the People’s Republic of China, in the center of the Guanzhong Plain. One of the oldest cities in China. Xi’an is the oldest of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history. Xi’an is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.
The city is surrounded by a well-preserved city wall which was re-constructed in the 14th century during the early Ming dynasty and was based on the inner imperial palace of Tang dynasty. The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and his Terracotta Army are located 40 km (25 mi) to the east of the city centre, in the city’s suburbs. The Bell Tower and Drum Tower, both are located at the city’s central axis.
成都市 – Chéngdū (5 days)
Chengdu, formerly romanized as Chengtu, is the provincial capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China, as well as a major city in Western China. Acording to the 2010 census, Chengdu is the fifth most populous city in China. Chengdu is one of the most important economic, finance, commerce, culture, transportation, and communication centers in Western China. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is one of the top 40 busiest airports in the world, and Chengdu Railway Station is one of the six biggest railway stations in China. Chengdu is also popular in international company and consulates. More than 260 Fortune 500 companies and 12 consulates have established branches in Chengdu due to huge demand of Western China. In 2006, it was named China’s 4th-most livable city by China Daily.
The fertile Chengdu Plain, on which Chengdu is located, is also known as the “Country of Heaven”, a phrase also often translated as “The Land of Abundance”.
上海市 – Shanghai (5 days)
Shanghai is the largest Chinese city by population and the largest city proper by population in the world. It is one of the four direct-controlled municipalities of the People’s Republic of China, with a population of more than 24 million as of 2013. It is a global financial center, and a transport hub with the world’s busiest container port. Located in the Yangtze River Delta in East China, Shanghai sits on the south edge of the mouth of the Yangtze in the middle portion of the Chinese coast.
For centuries a major administrative, shipping, and trading town, Shanghai grew in importance in the 19th century due to European recognition of its favorable port location and economic potential. The city was one of five opened to foreign trade following the British victory over China in the First Opium War while the subsequent 1842 Treaty of Nanking and 1844 Treaty of Whampoa allowed the establishment of the Shanghai International Settlement and the French Concession. The city then flourished as a center of commerce between east and west, and became the undisputed financial hub of the Asia Pacific in the 1930s. However, with the Communist Party takeover of the mainland in 1949, trade was reoriented to focus on socialist countries, and the city’s global influence declined. In the 1990s, the economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping resulted in an intense re-development of the city, aiding the return of finance and foreign investment to the city.
Shanghai is a popular tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as The Bund, City God Temple and Yu Garden as well as the extensive Lujiazui skyline and major museums including the Shanghai Museum and the China Art Museum. It has been described as the “showpiece” of the booming economy of mainland China.
杭州市 – Hangzhou (3 days)
Hangzhou, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. It sits at the head of Hangzhou Bay on China’s coast between Shanghai and Ningbo. Hangzhou grew to prominence as the southern terminus of the Grand Canal and has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for much of the last millennium, due in part to its beautiful natural scenery. The city’s West Lake is its best-known attraction.
香港 – Hong Kong (5 days)
Hong Kong, is a city located on the southern coast of China at the Pearl River Estuary and the South China Sea.Hong Kong is well known for its expansive skyline, deep natural harbour and extreme population density. It has been named the freest market economy by the Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom.
The current population of Hong Kong comprises 93.6% ethnic Chinese. A major part of Hong Kong’s Cantonese-speaking majority originated from the neighbouring Guangdong province, from where many fled during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Civil War, and the communist rule in China.
As a result of the negotiations between China and Britain, Hong Kong was transferred to the People’s Republic of China under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. The city became China’s first “special administrative region” with a high degree of autonomy on 1 July 1997 under the principle of “one country, two systems”.
Towards the late 1970s, Hong Kong became established as a major entrepôt between the world and China. The city has developed into a major global trade hub and financial centre, and is regarded as a world city and one of the eight Alpha+ cities. It ranked fifth on the 2014 Global Cities Index after New York City, London, Tokyo and Paris. The city has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, and the most severe income inequality among the advanced economies. It has a high Human Development Index and is ranked highly in the Global Competitiveness Report. Hong Kong is the third most important financial centre after New York and London. The service economy, characterised by low taxation and free trade, has been regarded as one of the world’s most laissez-faire economic policies, and the currency, the Hong Kong dollar, is the 13th most traded currency in the world.
Limited flat land created a necessity for dense infrastructure, and the city became a centre of modern architecture, earning Hong Kong the title as one of the world’s most vertical cities. Hong Kong has a highly developed public transportation network covering 90 percent of the population, the highest rate in the world, and it relies on mass transit by road or rail.
Our journey starts the 27th of June of 2015 we will share what places we have visited, prices of food and tickets and pictures. Hope you join us in this adventure 🙂