When the traditional foundations of cities give way to modern structures which blend both traditional and modern styles then, the city can be truly judged to be starting to get modern. A live example of this fact is the world famous skyscraper named Taipei 101 which is the pride of Xin-Yi district of Taipei in China. With a height of 509 metres, it was once known to be the tallest building on the Earth before being overtaken by Burj Khalifa of Dubai.
The earlier name of Taipei 101 was Taipei World Financial Centre. The most recently acquired title by the building has been that of the tallest green building of the world which is designed to judiciously use and maintain Energy and Ecosystem. The designer of Taipei 101 is C.Y.Lee and partners whereas it was constructed by two parties namely KTRT Joint Ventures and Samsung C&T Corporation. The construction of the building started in 1999 and ended in 2004.
The structure of Taipei 101 consists of 101 floors which are over ground and 5 underground floors. In its design there is both Asian and western influence which establishes the changing mindset of the people of Taipei. The tower has been made both typhoon and earthquake resistance with a weight of 700,000 tonnes. The observatories of the Taipei 101 are located on the 89th and 91st floors which are at a height of 382 metres and above from the ground. This height is reached with the help of the elevators which are also famous to be the fastest in the world with a speed of 63 km/hr and being double decked. The observatories are popular with the visitors for providing a 360 degree panoramic view of the entire city. While the owner of Taipei 101 is known to be Taipei Financial Centre Corporation, the maintenance of the building is known to be a responsibility of a segment of Urban Retail Property Corporation which is based in Chicago.
Apart from its many technological features which make Taipei 101 a standout, the one which does not exist anywhere else in the world is its 660 metre ton tined mass damper whose job is to keep the building stable during times of strong winds. The other attraction quotients of the Taipei 101 include the two world cuisine restaurants which are located on the 85th and 86th floors. The building is also home to a mall which occupies 6 stories and includes a number of stores, restaurants, and clubs. A number of corporate offices like BNP Paribas, KPMG, Meryl Lynch, and so on are also located within the building. There are many interior decorations within the Taipei 101 which point towards the fact that feng shui customs have been obeyed while decking it up.
Ever since its completion, Taipei 101 has also played host to a number of events and is also a venue of the New Year fireworks in Taipei. It figures amongst the prime attractions of China and as per the records of 2012 already received one million visitors.
When talking about the tourist attractions in China, how can one forget about the Wonder of the World, the Great Wall of China, which runs from the eastern to the western part of the country? The age of the Great Wall of China is 2000 years and it runs for 8,851.8 kilometres to protect the borders of China from nomadic infiltrators and other warring forces. The entire series of fortresses, which involve about 20 Chinese dynasties, is made of stone, stacked up damp earth, brick, wood, and other similar materials.
Though many parts of the Great Wall have turned in to ruins now but still, it is extremely popular with the tourists and also plays a vital part for China in jobs like imposing duties on goods which come via road in to the country. It is also an important part of the Chinese defence as the fortresses have watch towers, garrison stations, places for the troops which signal the impending dangers to the main armies by means of smoke.
The exact location of the Great Wall of China starts from the Shanhaiguan in the eastern part and goes up till the Lop Lake in the west. Its takes the shape of an arc when passing through the edges of the inner parts of Mongolia. The Great Wall of China is an extremely part of the history of China and is more a product of the cultural, political, and economical issues than being a result of wars and bloodshed.
Over the decades, the Great Wall of China has been renovated and repaired a number of times so as it keep it intact. Some parts of it, being maintained by the Beijing Municipality, have achieved great popularity from the tourists. These include the Badaling which is the North Pass of the Juyongguan pass, the west pass of the Jiayuguan pass, the pass of Shanhaiguan, the south eastern part of the Jinshanling, and the part lying 16 miles from the Liao Tian Ling stands. While in the last of these parts the height of the Great Wall is only up to 2 or 3 stories, the Jinshanling part, also called the Mutianyu Great Wall stands on very high mountains for about 1.3 miles. Even the part of the Great Wall which lies on the Shanhaiguan is also extremely popular and is known as the ‘number one pass under the heaven’.
Many parts of the Great Wall have been vandalised and have been filled with grafittis. Natural causes like stand storms have eroded many parts of the wall which had been built with mud and soil. In the year 2002, the Shandan wall part is observed to be in the highest danger. As per the popular myth such is the length and visibility of the Great Wall of China that it is visible even from the Moon and the lower orbits of the Earth.
Although, the Great Wall of China is always open for the tourists, the best times to visit are summer and autumn.
A scene directly from the book of fairytales is the Huanglong National Park which falls on the north-western part of Sichuan, China. Nestled in the southern part of the Minshan Mountains, this place seems unearthly with its blue pools, snowy mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, and an ecosystem which is filled with diversity.
The Huanglong is also home to a number of animals belonging to the endangered species, namely the Giant Panda, the Golden Snub nosed Monkey of Sinchuan, and so on, because of which it has also been named as the UNESCO Heritage site.
The main attraction of the park is the 3.6 kilometres Huanglong valley and its landscape which is the result of years of geological changes and developments. As the area is surrounded by snow capped mountains, it has been prone to glacial changes which have created the terrane structure and a landscape called the travertine landscape.
The entire valley has layers of calcium carbonate deposits and also has blue pools made of limestone deposits which give the valley a feel of a golden dragon sliding through the green forests and snow peaks. It appears brighter when the sunshine falls on it glistening the dragon up. It is therefore that the valley is called the Huanglong Valley which means Yellow Dragon Valley.
This travertine scenery of China is by far its best. Inside the valley there are coloured ponds which are called Yingbins which are surrounded by a variety of trees, a plethora of colourful flowers, and birds and wildlife. Such is the clarity of the ponds that they give a clear reflection of the sky, mountains, and the neighbouring flora and fauna. The depositions of limestone and calcium carbonate add to them the colours which increase their beauty.
The mains attractions of the Huanglong valley include the waterfalls called Feipuliuhui, the cave Xishen, the Huanglong temple, and the ponds named Shitazhenhai and Zhuanhua to name some. Inside the cave there are three Buddha like statues with bodies covered in calc-sinter crystals.
The Muni valley of the Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area also have the biggest calcified waterfalls of China, namely Erdao and Zhaga. The colour of the Erdao Lake which is formed from the water of the fall keeps changing its colours with the seasons.
The Zhaga waterfall covers an area of 5 kilometres which appears like flowing jade when sunlight falls on it. There is also a place where the fossils of ancient animals, plants, and fishes have been preserved and the place has been named as Guhuashi. There is also the magical spring named Feicui in the Huanglong Scenic Area whose water is known to have medicinal values which can cure illnesses like stomach sickness and arthritis.
The best time of visiting the Huanglong valley and historic interest area is known to be the months of May to August when the mornings are misty and the evenings are mostly rainy. There are a number of transportation facilities to reach the valley, namely Chengdu-Mianyang-Jiangyou-Pingwu-Jiuzhaigou-Huanglong or Chengdu-Dujiangyan-Wenchuan-Maoxian-Songpan-Huanglong to name some.
When the traditional foundations of cities give way to modern structures which blend both traditional and modern styles then, the city can be truly judged to be starting to get modern. A live example of this fact is the world famous skyscraper named Taipei…
When talking about the tourist attractions in China, how can one forget about the Wonder of the World, the Great Wall of China, which runs from the eastern to the western part of the country? The age of the Great Wall of China is 2000 years and it runs…
A scene directly from the book of fairytales is the Huanglong National Park which falls on the north-western part of Sichuan, China. Nestled in the southern part of the Minshan Mountains, this place seems unearthly with its blue pools, snowy mountains, waterfalls, hot…
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Out of all the countries generating technological and engineering advancements, China is undoubtedly a frontrunner with its break through architectural revolutions like the Canton Towers of Guanzhou. This 600 metres observatory tower, which serves multiple purposes, is the Crown of China standing next to the Pearl River.
The Canton Tower, also known as the Guangzhou Tower first became operational during the Asian Games of 2010. Being taller than the CN Tower, it initially bagged the title of the tallest standing building; however, soon the title went to the Tokyo Skytree in 2011.
As per the architects, Mark Hemel and Barbara Kuit, the Canton Tower was designed with a motive of creating a structure which unlike the other towers looked less stern, square and thereby masculine. They rather wanted to make the design “curvaceous, transparent, and complex” which could give the feel of being a female structure. With this kind of thought they wanted to uphold the spirit of Guangzhou as a place which was full of varieties and exciting. The ultimate structure of the Canton Towers which came out of their plan indeed looks like a trendy female and attracts tourists from all over the world with its hourglass structure.
The structure of the Canton Towers, which was brought to reality by the London, based designing company ARUP, mainly consists of two elliptical shapes which are woven to each other at an angle of 45 degrees. Apart from that the other essential elements consists of the columns and the support of rings and braces. Though it comes as a mix of simplicity and complexity but, it is equipped to tackle the weather of Guangzhou which is prone to typhoons and speedy winds. The design of the Canton Towers ensure that it makes a good use of the natural light with plenty of scope to include other natural elements like gardens and above all an observatory at the top. The sleek waist of the Canton Towers is 180 metres with the open air skywalk which gives an option to the visitors to climb up the tower.
The internal part of the tower is designed in an extremely modern way with divisions of various function zones such as TV transmission, restaurants, gaming zones, conference venues, shops, cinema halls, places of exhibition, and so on. Underneath the tower are all the transport connections like bus stations, metro links, car and coach parking. The Canton Tower also has the provision of customising the visits so; there are two types of elevators. One that takes at a slow pace and gives a visitor the chance to enjoy the sight of Guangzhou, and the other, a fast paced double decked elevator.
The observatory, which is located at a height of 488 metres, was the part of the Canton Towers which opened last in the year 2011. This observation deck is known to be the largest in the world.
Thus Canton Tower is certainly a worth watching man made spectacle of China.
Crystalline Turquoise Lake – Jiuzhaigou National Park – China
Have any one of you ever been to a fairyland? If not then, I am sure you have not yet paid a visit to the Crystalline Turquoise Lake in the Jiuzhaigou National Park of China. The best part of this destination is that it is hard to believe that one of the most populated countries of the world hides such a virgin and pure place like this. It is in order to preserve this natural beauty of Jiuzhaigou National Park that the Chinese government has turned it in to a nature reserve which draws loads of tourists to the northern part of Sichuan in China.
The national park is located within a valley which is situated amongst the Min Mountains standing by the side of the Tibetan Plateau at a height of 2,000 to 4, 5000 metres. Covering an area of 72, 000 hectares, the things that make the valley so picturesque are its waterfalls which flow in multiple layer, the Crystalline Turquoise Lake, the peaks around which during winters get covered with snow. It is because of the beauty of all of these that the UNESCO turned the place in to a World Heritage site in 1992 and then in to a World Biosphere Reserve in 1997.
As the word Jiuzhaigou in Chinese means the “Nine Village Valley”, the Jiuzhaigou National Park is named after the nine Tibetan villages which fall on the way of reaching the park. The Crystalline Turquoise Lake which is one of the main attractions of the Jiuzhaigou National Park gets its uniqueness from its crystal clear water which seems to be untouched by any living presence for decades. Every year nearly 200, 000 people visit the Crystalline Turquoise Lake; however this has not diminished the clarity of the water to even the least.
It is also known as the Five Flower Lake of China. A myriad of colours, such as turquoise, blue, green, yellow, and so on makes the Crystalline Lake exceedingly beautiful. Added to these are the trunks of the trees which have fallen in the lake to make a criss-cross pattern on the bed.
As the lake is surrounded by mountains and a variety of foliage, the crystal clear waters of the Crystalline Turquoise Lake reflects the nature around and creates a spectacle out of it. It is perhaps because of its surreal beauty that the people of the nearby villages have also attached a number of myths to it.
The Crystalline Turquoise Lake and Jiuzhaigou National Park together end up drawing a huge number of tourists every year. It was last estimated in 2004 that nearly 7,000 people visit the place on a daily basis. This number rises to 12,000 during the best seasons of the year. Though accessing the Jiuzhaigou National Park by road is a difficult task but, most tourists take bus rides while going one way and come back on foot the other way. However, it is good to remember that this path is always prone to earthquakes and landslides.
Unique in its appearance, the Beijing National Stadium is also nick named as the Bird’s Nest by the people of China. It is located in the Olympic Village of Chaoyang District and was built primarily to host the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
After the finishing of the games though, the Beijing National Stadium got open for tourists but it simultaneously conducts both internal and external sports competitions as well. The people behind the standout design of the Beijing National Stadium are Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Mueron. Both are architects from Switzerland. They were also joined by the Chinese architects like Li Xinggang and others who simply used steel for creating the structure of the stadium and then kept the steel work exposed to give it a unique look.
The construction of the Beijing National Stadium is known to have costed about US$423 million and is known to be influenced from the Chinese ceramic works. The building time of the Beijing National Stadium was from 2003 to 2008. The total area covered by the stadium is 258 thousand square metres with a seating capacity of 80,000 people who can be seated on the permanent seats and a provision of attaching 11,000 makeshift seats. As the steel of the stadium is exposed so, a semi transparent film is used to cover the exterior so that while there is some kind of protection to the structure, the penetration of natural light also does not get hampered. This ensures a good growth of the grass on the lawns.
The scientific studies and devices which have been used in the making of the Beijing National Stadium ensure that spectators can watch the games clearly from which direction they sit in and also listen and see the broadcasts clearly. There are also provisions of wheelchairs for the disabled people so as to indicate that every person has the ability to perform and enjoy sports. The other standout qualities of the Beijing National Stadium include the rainwater collector which collects and purifies the rainwater so as to make it reusable in the stadium. The pipes of the stadium are placed beneath the plating parts so that they remain warm during the winters and cool during the summers. The ventilation of the stadium is so organised that even the person sitting at the farthest point does not feel any discomfort.
To increase the popularity of such well quipped sports arena efforts are being taken to create hotels and shopping malls around the place and also overlooking the grounds. Apart from the 2008 Olympics and Paralympics, the Beijing National Stadium has also hosted events like the opera of Turandot, the final match of the Supercoppa Italiana in 2009, the Race of Champions held in 2009, and so on. The other events lined up for the Beijing National Stadium include the 2015 World Championship in Athletics and so on. A couple of pop stars have also has shows in the Beijing National Stadium.