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Nanjing Road, known as theNo.1 Street in China, is one of the leading business centers in Shanghai. It is referred to be the miniature of the history and culture of Shanghai for a century.

From the Bund at the east end to Jing’an Temple at the west end, the street has a history of more than 100 years. It was originally named Yongquan, the spring in front of Jing’an Temple.

The 1033-metre-long “Pedestrian Walkway of Nanjing Road” houses the China’s key commercial shops like Shanghai No.1 Department Store, Yong’an Commercial Building, Lao Feng Xiang Gold & Jewelry Shop, Maochang Optical Shop and Shanghai No.1 Medicine Shop. All these make Nanjing Road a thriving and fascinating commercial hub that attracts both local residents and visitors from at home and abroad.

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The Luoyang Peony is China’s traditional and well-known flower. It always represents elegance and poise. With various varieties and marvelous colors, the Luoyang Peony enjoys the honor of “King of the Flower Kingdom” and “Luoyang Peony Ranking the First under Heaven”.

Throughout the city, you can see all kinds of peonies with colors ranging from red, pink and white to the rarest dark. When spring arrives, the whole city is soaked in the sweet smell of peony. In 1982, it was defined as the city flower of Luoyang and at the same time, a decision was made to hold an annual peony fair festival in Luoyang from April 15 to 25, concurrently with lantern shows and other forms of entertainment. During the festival, people from all corners meet inLuoyangto see the peonies and so the city livens up with a spectacle of seas of flowers and tides of people.

In April, you can enjoy yourself in the streets, onPeony Square, inPeonyParkandXiyuanPark. But the most famous place to view and admire the Luoyang Peony isWangchengPark.

Located on both banks ofJianRiveron the north side of the western reach ofZhongzhou Road,WangchengParkgains its name only because it is now on the relics of theImperialCityin the Western Zhou Dynasty. Covering an area of 67 hectares, it is the largest comprehensive park inLuoyang.

There is a zoo, peony yards, swimming pools and an under-ground exhibition room of the Han Tomb. In the peony yards on both sides of Jian River, there are thousands of rare and precious peonies named “”Yellow yao “and “Purple wei”. These two peony yards become the main spot of the annual peony fair.

The ancient architectural complex in the western part of the park fully displays the lingering charm of the Zhou’s architectural style. The tablet named Hetu and Luoshu is another attractive spot there. Hetu and Luoshu is a famous legend of ancient Chinese civilization. Some 6,000 to 7,000 years ago, a horse with a picture-scroll named Hetu on its back sprang out of the Yellow River, and an immortal turtle with a book named Luoshu on its back swam in theLuoRiver. Later, Fuxi, known as the ancestor of human beings, deducted the Eight Diagrams of Yin and yang (the positive and negative) and thus the universe was divided into two, the Heaven and the Earth. However, according to the doctrine of Luoshu, Dayu, the first king of the Chinese Nation, drew up a constitution named “Hong Fan Jiu Chou” to rule the country and from then on began the Chinese civilization. So during every Pure Brightness Festival-held in the 5th of the 24 solar terms, personages of various circles gather here to worship their common ancestors.

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JiayuPass, known as the “No. 1 Strategic pass in the world”, is the western end of the Great Wall.

 The existing Jiayu Pass walls were built in the time of Ming Dynasty. The construction of these walls began in 1372. It was not until 1539 that they became a complete defense system, which had three defense lines, the entrenchment, the outer wall, and the inner wall.

 There are many legends concerning the construction of the walls and the most widely spread one is“the Last Piece of Brick”. In the construction ofJiayuPass, the project official proposes a thorny request that the budget of materials must be precise. As a result, when the project was completed, almost all the materials were run out with only one piece of brick, thus this piece of brick was called the last piece of brick which is still laid on the platform of the gate wall now. Many visitors come here to take a look at the last piece of brick with the respect to the ancient artisans.


The term“tang suit”is originated from abroad. AChinatownis a section of an urban area associated with a large number of Chinese within a city outside the majority. The local people always named the Chinatown as“town of people from Tang Dynasty”(唐人街)and called these Chinese“people from Tang Dynasty”(in Chinese唐人) since Tang dynasty was the most thriving, prosperous, splendid, and glorious period of ancient Chinese. Thus, the clothing worn by the Chinese is called“tang suit”.

 Actually“tang suit”is not the clothing of Tang Dynasty. They are totally different. The origin of Tang suit or Tang jacket can be traced back to Qing Dynasty. It is evolved from Magua from Qing Dynasty, a traditional Chinese costume worn by males. It is a short tunic with high and round collars and lapels, which are fasten down the front. By the 1940s, what we now know as the Tang suit became prevalent for all classes inChina. Compared with the ancient style, the sleeves had become longer and wider. Patch pockets were added and the number of frog buttons became standard at seven. This jacket was worn with matching pants.  

 The unified and prosperous Chinawas established in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). In China’s history, the Tang Dynasty was a period when the polity and economy were highly developed and the culture and art were thriving.

 Women’s dress and personal adornments of the Tang Dynasty were outstanding inChina’s history. The clothing materials were exquisite, the structure was natural, graceful and elegant, and adornments were splendid. Though the forms of garments were still the continuation of the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) and the Sui Dynasty (581-618), they were influenced by cultures and arts of the Western Regions. Especially, the national power of the High Tang was strong. The trades and cultural exchanges withKorea,Vietnam,Japan,Persiaand other countries gradually became frequent, and they mutually dispatched emissaries and accepted students of other countries. In this way, a special open and romantic style of dress and personal adornments was formed.  

 Because of communication with the Western Regions, the influence of dressing culture of other minorities on the Tang court also reflected the change of thoughts and concepts. The social status of ancient women was very low: they often served as Jileren (music performer), Guanji (official performer), Gongji (palace performer) and Jiaji (family performer), and were regarded as the playthings and goods that can be sold and bought by rich people. Some females had rebel spirit in the Tang Dynasty, so they climbed or jumped over the walls and went to the nature to view the beautiful scenes and/or go sightseeing in the spring by riding horses with men. Just as recorded by many historical materials, some girls therefore dressed as boys in order to go out.

 The garments in the Tang Dynasty also greatly affected the garments of neighboring countries. For instance, Japanese kimono adopted the elites of the dresses of the Tang Dynasty in terms of colors, and the Hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) also adopted the advantages of the dresses of the Tang Dynasty. The dresses of the Tang Dynasty were mainly made of silk, so dresses were famous for softness and lightness. The dresses of the Tang Dynasty boldly adopted the features of foreign garments in terms of forms and adornments; i.e. they mainly referred to the garments of other countries (such as the Central-Asia countries,India,Iran,Persia, northern countries and the Western Regions) and used them to improve the culture of the Tang Dynasty.

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Hangzhou, capital ofZhejiangProvince, is one ofChina’s most famous and most prosperous cities. It is a place that has cleverly combined its natural advantages with modern industry, in order to establish itself at the forefront of the leisure economy; it’s also a place where the people appreciate peace and happiness and have managed to incorporate them into their everyday lives.

Stop1 Wetland wonders: sightseeing around Xixi

TheXixiNationalWetlandPark, the first national wetland park inChina, is located in the western outskirts ofHangzhou. It provides fine examples of urban wetland, as well as agricultural and cultural wetland environments.

The attraction of Xixi lies in its aquatic environment. Water is in the very soul of Xixi. About 70 percent of the park is covered by ponds, lakes, rivers, and swamps. The park is crisscrossed with six central watercourses, among which are scattered several ponds, lakes and  swamps. The branching streams and the series of ponds form a unique landscape amid the wetland.          

The local government in Xixi attaches considerable importance to sustainable ecological development, and has now established three ecological protection and restoration areas. There is also an exhibition hall showcasing scientific knowledge about the wetlands and a dedicated viewing platform. The area’s pleasant climate not only attracts a large number of visitors, but also a variety of birds, seeing it billed as something of a paradise for our feathered friend.

Xixi also has a rich human legacy. Many classical scholars saw it as a veritableEdenand praised it in their writings. Its Dragon Boat contest dotes back thousands of years and still takes place here annually. During this festival, you can take the chance to enjoy the scenery of hazy willows, as well as the mist and smoke from kitchen chimneys in the nearbyHazyFisherVillage. You can also take the opportunity to learn more about how the local residents make silk and earn a living as fisherfolk.

In Xixi, you can enjoy different landscapes during different seasons. You can have an outing in spring and enjoy the fresh air or harvest water chestnuts on the boats in summer, view the reeds during a radiant autumn sunset or admire the plum blossoms amid the chilly winds of winter.

If you are fond of birds, you should make sure you visit Xixi. The network of swamps and streams is the ideal dwelling place for a number of species, especially ducks. Standing and watching the relaxed and natural rhythms of their lifestyle, is enough to ease the stress of even the most hardworking executive. There is a also a three-storey pavilion that makes the ideal haven for relaxed observation.

West Lake Longjing Tea ranks among the top ten national blends, but Xixi Tea has also enjoyed a high reputation since the ancient times. Feng Mengzhen, a high-ranking official of the late Ming Dynasty, wrote a poem proclaiming his preference for the tea of Xixi over and above that of the rival Longjing tea.

Address: No. 148 Tianmushan Road (tiān mù shān lù 天目山路), Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province
Admission fee: RMB 80
Opening hours: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 pm.
Bus: No. 310, K506, K193, Y13

Syop2 The West Lake - a divinely picturesque spot

When thinking of tourism inHangzhou, what is the first thing that springs to mind?WestLake? Almost certainly, yes. As the old Chinese saying states: “There is heaven in the sky,SuzhouandHangzhouon the earth”.Hangzhou’s reputation as a heaven on earth is largely down to theWestLake. Its picturesque landscape and rich cultural heritage, spanning countless centuries, make it an unmissable spot for visitors.

Legend of theWestLake

There are many myths and legends surrounding theWestLake. According to one story, many years ago a jade dragon and a golden phoenix plucked a piece of white jade from the night sky and worked on polishing it together for many years. The jade became gloriously radiant and trees turned evergreen and flowers bloomed wherever its rays were cast.

Soon, the story of the wonderful jewel reached the West Goddess, who governed the West Heaven and she dispatched her army to steal the precious stone away.

The Jade Dragon and the Golden Phoenix struggled to take it back, only to be denied by the goddess. Ultimate, they fought fiercely for the jewel and the West Goddess was vanquished, leaving the jewel to tumble back to the earth.

The jade was transformed into a pearl-like lake, known today as theWestLake. Its fall was followed by that of the Jade Dragon and the Golden Phoenix, who became theJadeDragonMountainand thePhoenixMountain. The two are now said to guard the shores of theWestLakeforever.

In the eyes of poets

During the time of the Song Dynasty (960-1279AD), Su Dongpo, a renowned poet and one of the governors ofHangzhou, penned a poem in praise of theWestLake, celebrating its abiding charm that survives the change of the seasons in a year and the different hours of the day. He compared it to Xizi, a Chinese legendary beauty named Xishi and subsequently bestowed upon it a new name – theXiziLake.

As one of China’s most renowned beauty spots, the West Lake is much loved by many Chinese and foreign celebrities. Chairman Mao is said to have come to visit theWestLakemore than 40 times. Once he spent seven months inHangzhou, which he considered his second home.

Not only did Chairman Mao praise theWestLake, but also Richard Nixon, the former president of theUS, found much to love about it. He came toHangzhoutwice and highly said that althoughBeijingis the capital ofChina,Hangzhouis its heart.

TheWest Laketoday

The many stunning attractions along the banks of the West Lake, as well as the museums in the nearby city are now free of charge, giving everyone unfettered access to the lake and its environs.

In 2007,Hangzhoucity launched the third session of its Ten Sites of theWestLakeinitiative. The prospective sites included 145 scenic areas that had been restored as part of a comprehensive protection project in 2002. Ultimately, the ten chosen sites included a Lingyin and a Buddhist monastery and their surrounding hills and gardens, the Yue Wang temple, a tomb and a memorial hall for Yue Fei, as well as another eight scenic spots.

The final choice proved that theWest Lakeis not only famous for its picturesque landscape but also for its long association with classical poets over thousands of years.

Stop3 Qiantangjiang River: Zhejiang’s tidal triumph

As one of the most important tourism destinations inZhejiangprovince, theQiantangjiangRiverattracts a huge number of visitors from both at home and abroad every year.

The source of theQiantangjiangRiverlies in theLotusPeakin Kaihua, a county in westernZhejiangprovince. Along its course, the river passes through 14 counties and cities before finally flowing into theHangzhouBay.

The river and the bay are known as the home of one of the world’s largest tidal bores, which is said to be up to9 m(30 ft) high and be capable of traveling at up to40 kmper hour. The tide rushing into the river from the bay causes a typical bore of between 5 to15 ft(1.5-4.6 m) high.

The tributaries of theQiantangjiangRiverhave a long development history, as well as many famous mountains, beautiful lakes, beguiling rivers, wonderful caves and ancient relics, all of which contribute to making it a golden tourist

Stop4 The Grand Canal, ancient aquatic highway

Over recent years theHangzhoumunicipal government has sought to promote its comprehensive protection plan for theBeijing-HangzhouCanal, while applying for world cultural heritage status for theGrand Canal.

Currently, the classical waterway retains its crucial inland shipping role, whilst also playing host to a number of significant cultural sites along its banks.

Whenever you come to theGrand Canal, it is said, it is always the perfect time for sightseeing. On summer nights, you can enjoy the breeze on the river and whilst autumn evenings provide the perfect opportunity to fully appreciate the moonlight and the shadowy temples by night.

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The Longjiang shadow play was quite popular in the 1960. It faded away during the past years. Fewer people know of it, and still fewer are avid fans.

In May 2011, the Longjiang Shadow Play was written into the national list of intangible cultural heritages. And this ancient play, which originated during the Han Dynasty and became popular in the late Qing Dynasty, has an opportunity to be revived.

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A lake dotted with islands and fringed by a laid-back city is a perfect setting, Matt Hodges reports.

Crocodiles, jellyfish and other perils of the deep are not part of the Qiandaohu experience, meaning you can add swimming in the Great Outdoors, in azure waters veiling buried archeological treasures, to your stress-free trip into China’s less-industrial past.

Qiandaohu, or Thousand Island Lake, revolves around a township of 45,000 people. It lies about a five-hour drive from Shanghai on the other side of Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, but presents itself as a world apart from both.

The air is fresh and the water is clean, despite a recent mine explosion that threatened to flood the lake with lead. The only congestion to be found is on Xiu Shui Jie, or “Silk Street”, where locals douse strangers with buckets of fresh water as part of an ongoing festival.

Called po shui jie in Chinese, the water festival occupies the evenings like a less-riotous version of Thailand’s Songkran celebrations. Borrowed from the Dai minority, the festival has become this season’s main selling point and will end along with China’s san fu (hot) season on September 6.

The water-sprinkling festival vies with rafting, island-hopping, scenic walks through China’s biggest state park and “dancing fish”, which leap out of the water when hauled up by fishermen’s nets, for visitors’ attention.

At night, Mu opera shows, “jumping bamboo horse” performances and other forms of local entertainment haul in the crowds. Many of these performaces originate from Muzhou culture.

Big city nightlife, or any reference to it, is noticeably absent. You need to dig hard to turn up a karaoke bar and most visitors seem content to retire to their hotels when the sun goes down. Others feast on freshwater fish and ostrich egg omelets at lakeside restaurants. The lake holds over 85 species of fish, making it one of the province’s top suppliers.

For our party, the highlight of the weekend’s feasting was not what we ate, but where: inside thatched huts perched on poles above swirling black waters. The “restaurant”, which we accessed by pulling a rope-drawn raft, had no name.

One of the plus points of venturing to Qiandaohu is that it lets you choose your own adventure. You can elect to stay in the comfort of the five-star Kaiyuan Hotel, perched atop a hillock overlooking pristine islands. Alternatively, you can decamp to the hinterlands, as we did, for a fraction of the 1,000-yuan-a-night cost.

Our guesthouse provided more than comfortable lodgings, twin beds, a TV and a lakeside view for 80 yuan. It was nestled 10 kilometers out of town next to China’s premier training center for its national water-sports athletes.

This means we got to swim against a rolling backdrop of verdant hills beside the canoes of men and women who may well be on TV come November, standing on the podium at the Guangzhou Asian Games. As we swan between islands, an old woman in a rustic yellow and red tugboat urged the athletes on with jingoistic slogans about patriotic pride.

During our trip, the hordes of tourists we had been expecting, such as the crowds who skirt Hangzhou’s West Lake at the weekend, failed to materialize. The sun-baked streets were bereft of traffic, and time slowed to a snail’s pace. In short, it was the perfect serum for city slickers who feel the urban jungle closing in all sides.

The lake is actually a vast reservoir in Chun’an County formed by the construction of the Xin’an River Hydroelectric Power Station in 1959. The flooding of the Chun’an basin submerged mountains, farming settlements and villages, including one 1,800-year-old historical city, forcing hundreds of thousands of locals to relocate. In its wake, it left 1,087 mountaintops poking above the water.

Most of them are uninhabited, overhung with wild foliage. The water is said to run down into ravines up to 100 meters below sea level, but the average depth is closer to 35 meters.

Shanghai diving operators such as Big Blue (tel: 021- 6291-2110) arrange trips to prowl the lake’s bottom. The next trip is scheduled for August 20-22 at a cost of 4,300 yuan, including equipment hire. Exploring the buried city requires an advanced diving certificate as it sits at a depth of between 27 and 30 meters in near-freezing climes of 10 C. The certificate can be obtained during the trip for an extra 1,000 yuan.

Qiandaohu also includes China’s biggest state park, or “Oxygen Bar”. While the reservoir is billed as one of China’s cleanest water supplies – Nongfu mineral water is sourced here – the 982-square-kilometer park helps provide six times the state average of green cover.

Meanwhile, the basin nurtures more than 1,700 types of plant life and 2,100 species of wildlife.

Tourism development began in the 1980s and took off in 1998. Now the figures are healthy enough that officials have stopped aggressively promoting the area and its myriad islands. These include Monkey Isle, Ostrich Island and Fairy Dragon Isle, some of which are inhabited by their namesakes or crawling with snakes.

While these make for interesting half-day trips, no visit to the area is complete without hiking, or chair lifting, your way up Plum Blossom Peak, some 10 kilometers from the town center. Here, you get sweeping vistas of more than 300 islands.

If you look carefully, you may even spot an Olympic rower or two, a huge cruise liner, or the odd foreigner reveling in the lake’s bounteous waters.

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Given Shanghai’s role as an important financial and cultural center in China, it is no surprise that snacks from all over the nation are represented here.

So many amazing restaurants here usually serves authentic and traditional Shanghai snacks. However, the city also has its own famous local snacks that are not to be missed, such as those below.

If you are feeling puckish or looking for a light meal you won’t have to walk too far in the downtown area to feast on local or foreign favorites. Although most locals are rice-eaters, Shanghai has a large number of noodle shops and outlets selling local dumplings, the most popular being sheng jian, (pan fried meat dumplings) and xiao1ong bao (steamed meat dumplings). The most famous dumpling shop in town selling Nanxiang steamed dumplings near the entrance to the Yu Garden.

You can’t miss it-just look for a small shop with long queues. The nearby Lubolang Restaurant(Green Wave Pavilion) also conjures up a fine range of dumplings-especially the crab-filled variety. Another favorite often sold at the front of food stores and restaurants is zongzi-sweet or savory glutinous rice parcels wrapped in bamboo leaves.

Try them and many other spec
ialities at Shendacheng, 636 Nanjing Road(W). Up the road at No. 805 is another local favorite, Wangjiasha, which serves deep-fried noodles and great dumplings. It’s a very busy place and you have to purchase vouchers first and, like at most specialty eateries, be prepared to queue.

Featured Snack and Dim Sum

Gaoqiao Muffin has a sweet taste with crispiness, and is one of the four famous

Dazzling Snacks Street

1.   The City God Temple Snack Street

Located in the oldest quarters of Shanghai this snack street is near to Yuyuan Gardens and the Temple of the City God. It’s also close to the Bund and an ideal place to eat within a busy sightseeing schedule.

The street deserves to be called ‘Shanghai Snack Kingdom’. It is the largest and most long-standing snack street in the city featuring the most famous restaurants and eateries in Shanghai. In accordance with the architectural style of the nearby ancient Yuyuan Garden, restaurants in the Old Town Snack Street are all constructed following a style of Ming and Qing Dynasties.

In addition, a snack plaza of thousands of square meters is included. You can find almost all the Shanghai snacks here, including authentic Xiaolong buns, Crab-Yellow Pastries, Fried Stuffed Buns, Chop Rice Cakes, Vegetable Stuffed Buns, and Cream Spiced Beans. Various snacks from other areas in China are also available.

2.Wujiang Road

Wujiang Road is the most popular snack street in Shanghai. Located in the southeast of Jing’an District it’s very near Nanjing Road West metro station so it’s a good place to go for a snack whilst shopping nearby.

Many old restaurants along this road are famous for authentic and delicious Shanghai snacks. Usually inexpensive they’re popular with the locals and tourists. Recently some Western style restaurants and fashion stores have also opened here.

3.Xianxia Road

Xianxia Road food street is in Changning District, the west periphery area of the city zone of Shanghai. It extends to Zunyi Road to the east and boasts plenty of restaurants of different styles from Chinese hot pot restaurants to western cafes. You can easily find cuisines of Shanghai, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia in this road.

Delicately furnished teahouses, cafes, and bars are another feature of Xianxia Road. The pleasant environment of these dining places attracts many youths and the prices are acceptable.

4.Huanghe Road

Huanghe Road Food Street is located near the People’s Square in Huangpu District.

It is packed with a large number of restaurants with distinctive cuisines and reasonable prices. Shanghai cuisines and seafood are leading delicacies here.

5.Zhapu Road

The Zhapu Road is north of Shanghai’s bund and full of restaurants and billboards with neon lights. You get a truly asian feeling there. It must be visited when in Shanghai, both at day and night.

This food street is located in Hongkou District, to the north of the Suzhou River and near the bustling North Sichuan Road Commercial Street.

There are a number of restaurants along the 1000-meter Zhapu road, mainly featuring Shanghai dishes and cuisines of southern provinces in China such as Sichuan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong.

In addition, Huqingping Road in Minhang District is a good place to have seafood. Xin Tian Di in Luwan District, Heshan Road and Grand Gateway in Xuhui District are also popular among gourmands.

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An introduction to Peking Opera would not be complete without mentioning female impersonator Mei Lanfang (1894-1961). Traditionally only men performed Peking Opera, including the female roles — and Mei Lanfang was the master. During his stage life, Mei embellished traditions of the past with his own creations, shaping a style of his own, and gave birth to “The Mei Lanfang School.” He was also the first artist to introduce Peking Opera to an overseas audience, winning international recognition across the globe.

Part 1

This photograph shows the most visual stunning aspect of peking Opera. The dance rutines of Peking Opera were invented at the beginning of the last century. This edition changed the Chinese people´s habit of listening to operatic performences, but not watching them.This unique Chinese artistry left a strong impression on the whole world. A school of opera, and its aethestic standard that had been routine to the stage, came into being. Peking opera is a national treasure. Through its magnificence and beauty, we can witness the Chinese people´s pursuit of beauty over thousands of years and come to understand its great appeal nearly a century ago. The person who created this miracle was Mei Lanfang.


Part 2

In May,1924, a distinguished guest arrived in Beijing, he was Rabindranath Tagore, a famous Indian poet and writer. May 8th was his 63rd birthday. As a birthday gift to him, members of the society led by Chinese scholar Xu Zhimo performed his play Chitra at Beijing´s Xiehe Theater. Many cultural celebrities came to watch the play. They are surprised to see that Mei Lanfang sitting at their sight. Tagore thanked Mei for his coming, and said he was delighted to see his own play in China and further hoped to catch one of Mei´s shows before leaving. So on August 15th, Mei performed his new show- Goddess of the Luo River for Tagore.

Part 3

Shanghai, the most famous port in China had flourished for over 100 years. Perhaps it´s because Shanghai people have seen so much, that these days its people have forgotten how busstling the wharf leading to the bund was one August around 74 years ago. That was the day that Mei Lanfang returned home after a successful tour of the United States. Neither his domestic fans nor his colleagues have seen him for 6 months. Photographs showed that Mei´s artistic career would be smoother and more successful than ever. However, just one year later, a disaster was going to change his fate. It was only just the beginning.

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Beijing has both excellent and classical architecture but few distinguished modern buildings. Now such world famous architects as Ram Koolhass, de Meuron, Paul Andrew and PTW Architects are to display their skills here. With the speeding up of China´s urbanization and the challenging concept of the 2008 Olympic Games, almost all famous design consortiums from around the world have found that China is one of the few countries which provides not only imaginary space but also abundant funds for modern architecture today. Therefore, Ram Koolhass´s “door”, Herzog and de Meuron´s “bird-nest”, Paul Andrew´s “eggshell” and PTW Architects´ “water cube” are just a small part of the skills displayed by famous architects in China.


Part1 Paul Andrew and His Design of the National Center for the Performing Arts

On September 25, 2007, the curtain of the NCPA was raised for the first time. It was fortunate for people to sit watching shows on this day because it took 49 years to build it. Why was the NCPA constructed and why did it take so long to be built? What challenges did the designers and builders have to face? French architect Paul Andrew, after an arduous selection process, won the bid for the design of the NCPA in July 1999.


Part2 Herzog,De Meuron and the National Stadium

Feb. 6, 2008 was the Chinese New Year´s Eve. In the Olympic Par k located in northeast Beijing, a huge building was decorated with red lights, attracting many people to take photos. In fact, since 2006 this building has attracted people around the world to take photos. It is unusual for a building to attract such attention and welcome during the construction period. People gave it a vivid nickname- “Bird´s Nest”.


Part3 PTW and the Water Cube

In 2006, the US magazine Popular Science listed the world´s best architecture for the year. After looking at 100 examples worldwide, the judges steeled on Beijing´s National Aquatic Center, or Water Cube, which was ranked No. 1. Sitting across from the Bird´s Nest, the main venue, the Water Cube looks like a crystal iceberg. This blue cube and the Bird´s Nest are the centerpieces of the Olympic Park. They reflect the traditional Chinese concept of a round heaven and square earth.


Part4 Norman Foster and terminal 3

In 2007, the British newspaper The Times, listed the ten most ambitious architecture projects in the world, including T3 of the Beijing Capital International Airport(BCIA). The terminal is 3km long and 1km wide and covers an area of nearly 1 million m2. As one of the largest terminals in the world, it can handle all types of civilian aircrafts, including the Airbus A380, the biggest plane in the world. T3 was designed by eminent British architect Norman Foster, who named his work the “People Palace.”

Part5 Rem Koolhaas and the new CCTV headquarters

In Beijing, among many skyscrapers in the CBD one building stands out. It is unconventional structure with two inward tilted towers connected by a huge v-shaped girder, forming a unique circular structure that sharply contrasts to other buildings. That is the main building of the new CCTV Headquarters under construction. What kind of building is it? Where does its peculiar shape come from? Are the tilted-towers safe? All these questions are related to a Dutchman named Rem Koolhaas, a world famous architect known for his cutting-edge thinking and critical views toward European traditional architecture.

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