Early mornings many Chinese start their day with tai chi chuan at the Temple of Heaven, a calm and controlled exercise of the body and mind. The Imperial Palace was off limits to the public for over 500 years and was hence known as the Forbidden City. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is now the Imperial Palace Museum and the largest and best-preserved example of ancient Chinese buildings and culture in China.
One of the main entrances is just off Tiananmen Square, the worlds largest public square. Nearby, hutongs (old neighborhoods) still exist surrounded by 20th century progress. The Summer Palace is the largest imperial garden in the world and is a great example of classical Chinese garden architecture. The Great Wall of China was first built in the 7th century as a defense against the Mongolians when China was still divided into many small states and today it still twists and winds along hill crests, gorges, and rivers for thousands of miles.
In 1974, a group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well and accidentally uncovered the remains of one of the greatest archeological discoveries of the century. These artifacts were associated with the Qin Dynasty (211-206 BC) and are now known as the Xi'an Terracotta Warriors.
Life-size terracotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are the star features. One of the most spectacular landscapes in China is Guilin and the Li River with it's limestone towers and the view from a river cruise through it's crystal-clear water is outstanding. Nearby Yangshuo City Market is a site to behold with everything very fresh! Hong Kong is a kaleidoscope of life, a blending of East and West in a city of diversity where new and old meet at every turn.
Symphony of Lights, The Star Ferry, world's longest open-air escalator, markets and fantastic historical photos taken from Victoria Peak all leave an indelible impression. Hangshou is considered one of the 10 most scenic cities in China and Shanghai, one of the largest urban areas in the world, is recognized as China's most important centre of commerce.
A cosmopolitan city buzzing with a 'lifestyle revolution', shown in the architectural temples of art, fine dining and contemporary urban living on the Bund.(Discoveries Asia 4 DVD/Blu-ray collection includes 5% discount: Japan Tokyo and Central Honshu Island; Japan Kyoto and Western Honshu Island; Korea Seoul, Gyeongju, Busan and Jeju Island; China Beijing, Great Wall, Xian, Guilin, Hong Kong and Shanghai)