Shanghai & Surroundings Travel Adventures

Hunter Publishing, Inc
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Eastern China is the country's boom-belt and its heart is the Pearl of the Orient, Shanghai, a city which was recently wonderfully described to me as "Hong Kong on steroids." Shanghai is the country's most modern city, but manages to retain both its Chinese and European history and its economic development is also helping a renaissance in culture and the arts, along with a shopping and nightlife scene matched only by Beijing and Hong Kong. Around Shanghai, the Water Towns have picturesque canals lined with classic Ming architecture and can make for great day trips, and a little further out, the city of Suzhou offers more of the same, albeit on a larger scale, along with some of the country's finest gardens and the opportunity for some serious silk shopping. Nearly 100 miles south along the Grand Canal, the former Southern Song dynasty (1126-1279) capital of Hangzhou is set on pretty West Lake and is a prime tea-growing region. Away from the lake the city is much like any other Chinese city, but the surrounding countryside and its smattering of temples and tea villages make for some excellent bike rides. Some 110 miles west of Hangzhou, Huangshan is arguably the most beautiful of eastern China's mountains and offers the region's finest scenery and best hiking. The mountain's mist-shrouded, jagged peaks, lone pines and perched temples are straight from a watercolor and it's no wonder Huangshan attracts so many visitors. But fortunately there are enough paths to ensure you can always find yourself a quiet spot. Known as the Pearl of the Orient, Shanghai has endured a boom-bust cycle like no other city in China and is a must-see for a glimpse into the China of the future. It currently has some 20 million residents. A walk along the Bund on the banks of the Huangpu River offers a cityscape to rival Hong Kong's, taking in the glory of Shanghai's colonial past, while at the same time giving views across the river to the city of tomorrow, Pudong. Less than 20 years ago, this was just marshy farmland, but today it boasts countless skyscrapers, among them China's highest tower, the Pearl Oriental TV Tower, and loftiest lodgings, the 88-floor Grand Hyatt. Traditional Chinese sights are a little sparse due to Shanghai's comparative youth, but its colonial and revolutionary history over the past 150 years has left it with a series of significant political buildings. What is more, there are modern activities aplenty, reflecting the city's dynamic and modern heart -fine dining, nightlife, shopping and a kaleidoscope of exhibition centers and good museums await. This a highly detailed guide to everything you need to know about Shanghai and its surroundings - the places to stay, the restaurants, and what to see and do - along with an extensive introductory section on China as a whole. The author lives in China and has been a tour guide there full-time for close to 10 years. This guide is an excerpt from his much larger guide to all of China, also published by Hunter, which is 650 pages in the print edition.
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Publisher
Hunter Publishing, Inc
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Published on
Apr 15, 2011
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Pages
221
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ISBN
9781588437105
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Language
English
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Genres
Travel / Asia / China
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Henry J. Amen IV
Peter Frankopan
“This is history on a grand scale, with a sweep and ambition that is rare… A proper historical epic of dazzling range and achievement.” —William Dalrymple, The Guardian 
 
The epic history of the crossroads of the world—the meeting place of East and West and the birthplace of civilization

It was on the Silk Roads that East and West first encountered each other through trade and conquest, leading to the spread of ideas, cultures and religions. From the rise and fall of empires to the spread of Buddhism and the advent of Christianity and Islam, right up to the great wars of the twentieth century—this book shows how the fate of the West has always been inextricably linked to the East.

Peter Frankopan realigns our understanding of the world, pointing us eastward. He vividly re-creates the emergence of the first cities in Mesopotamia and the birth of empires in Persia, Rome and Constantinople, as well as the depredations by the Mongols, the transmission of the Black Death and the violent struggles over Western imperialism. Throughout the millennia, it was the appetite for foreign goods that brought East and West together, driving economies and the growth of nations.

From the Middle East and its political instability to China and its economic rise, the vast region stretching eastward from the Balkans across the steppe and South Asia has been thrust into the global spotlight in recent years. Frankopan teaches us that to understand what is at stake for the cities and nations built on these intricate trade routes, we must first understand their astounding pasts. Far more than a history of the Silk Roads, this book is truly a revelatory new history of the world, promising to destabilize notions of where we come from and where we are headed next.


From the Hardcover edition.
Rob Schmitz
An unforgettable portrait of individuals who hope, struggle, and grow along a single street cutting through the heart of China’s most exhilarating metropolis, from one of the most acclaimed broadcast journalists reporting on China today.
 
Modern Shanghai: a global city in the midst of a renaissance, where dreamers arrive each day to partake in a mad torrent of capital, ideas, and opportunity. Marketplace’s Rob Schmitz is one of them. He immerses himself in his neighborhood, forging deep relationships with ordinary people who see in the city’s sleek skyline a brighter future, and a chance to rewrite their destinies. There’s Zhao, whose path from factory floor to shopkeeper is sidetracked by her desperate measures to ensure a better future for her sons. Down the street lives Auntie Fu, a fervent capitalist forever trying to improve herself with religion and get-rich-quick schemes while keeping her skeptical husband at bay. Up a flight of stairs, musician and café owner CK sets up shop to attract young dreamers like himself, but learns he’s searching for something more. As Schmitz becomes more involved in their lives, he makes surprising discoveries which untangle the complexities of modern China: A mysterious box of letters that serve as a portal to a family’s – and country’s – dark past, and an abandoned neighborhood where fates have been violently altered by unchecked power and greed.
 
A tale of 21st century China, Street of Eternal Happiness profiles China’s distinct generations through multifaceted characters who illuminate an enlightening, humorous, and at times heartrending journey along the winding road to the Chinese Dream. Each story adds another layer of humanity and texture to modern China, a tapestry also woven with Schmitz’s insight as a foreign correspondent. The result is an intimate and surprising portrait that dispenses with the tired stereotypes of a country we think we know, immersing us instead in the vivid stories of the people who make up one of the world’s most captivating cities.


From the Hardcover edition.
Yi Ren
Chinese is a fascinating language that can seem impossibly difficult to learn at first but is relatively easy if you focus on the spoken language. This user-friendly guide to the basics helps you learn how to speak Chinese quickly and easily by drawing parallels with something you already know—English.

The revised edition contains new dialogues, cultural notes, IT, smartphone and social media vocabulary and new manga illustrations.

This book is designed for everyone who wants to learn to speak and understand colloquial spoken Chinese whether it is for business, for pleasure, or for travel in China—and it allows you to enjoy the process of learning the language! A lighthearted guide that brings Chinese to life in a down-to-earth fashion Real-life dialogues and situations help you to converse with confidence Sentence pattern exercises and drills help to reinforce what you are learning Native-speaker audio recordings teach you to pronounce Chinese accurately Interesting notes, idioms, sayings, and poems introduce you to Chinese culture Mandarin Chinese for Beginners contains lots of extra hints and tips drawn from the authors' many years of experience in teaching the language in adult evening classes. Answer Keys to the exercise questions are provided, and an "Extend Your Vocabulary" section in each chapter helps you to remember and understand more words that you'd think possible. Photos and insider tips about China's culture and its many unique places, add spice to the adventure!

Mandarin Chinese for Beginners focuses on real-life situations that you'll encounter in China. New words are explained regarding how you'll use them to communicate with friends in real-life. The audio recordings allow you listen, repeat and remember the sentences with ease. These will help you to declare with pride, "I can say that in Chinese!"
Simon Foster
The economic heart of South China, the Pearl River Delta is both agriculturally and financially fertile and is one of the most developed parts of China. Intensely cultivated land is interspersed with some of China's newest and fastest-growing cities, which are linked by some of the country's best and most integrated transport services. The Delta's location makes it a popular trip from Hong Kong and a major gateway to enter China itself. Foremost among the Delta's gang of youthful upstart cities is Shenzhen, which was the first of China's Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and has grown from nothing to challenge the traditional heart of the region, Guangzhou, in less than 30 years. While Shenzhen has little in the way of historic sights, it offers shopping, skyscrapers and theme parks along with some insight as to what China's future looks like. Seventy miles to the north, Guangzhou has a longer history, but is also reaping the economic whirlwind. It's definitely worth a quick stop for its blend of Cantonese cuisine, markets, colonial relics and the gritty taste of a real Chinese city. This guide is drawn from our 600-page China Guide. Following are some reviews of that book: "We travel to grow – Adventure Guides show you how. Experience the places you visit more directly, freshly, intensely than you would otherwise – sometimes best done on foot, in a canoe, or through cultural adventures like art courses, cooking classes, learning the language, meeting the people. This can make your trip life-changing, unforgettable. All of the detailed information you need is here about the hotels, restaurants, shopping, sightseeing. But we also lead you to new discoveries, turning corners never before turned, helping you learn about the world in a new way – Adventure Guides make that possible." "Having traveled extensively through China over many years, I can see the book's intimacy, not only with the locations, but also with the locals in each place. The author reveals the secrets that he's learned from his long association with China." (Jason Williams, Managing Director, Grasshopper Adventures). "A thorough guide not only to traveling in China but also to the country's history and culture, this should satisfy the novice and seasoned traveler alike. Each city and region is covered from all angles, including activities for those traveling with children. An informative read for those unfamiliar with the country and an excellent way to brush up for the more experienced traveler, this is an excellent guide for planning a China vacation." (Publishers Weekly)
Simon Foster
This guide is based on our much larger (530-page) guide to Bolivia. Here we zero in on La Paz, the capital, and all of the nearby attractions. La Paz is not a big city on the world scale, but it is certainly one of the more interesting ones. Built in a bowl created by the Choqueyapu River, the upper parts of the city stand 1,645 ft/500 m above the lower sections. Unlike any other city in the world, the richer neighborhoods are located at the lower levels. This is partly due to the fact that it is warmer and easier to breathe at the lower altitudes. Also, the pinnacles and spires of conglomerate rock and clay that have been sculptured by wind and water make a dramatic backdrop for those living below them. The higher up the bowl one goes, the more unstable the land becomes and the more likely a landslide will occur. The plazas, squares and Prado are well kept in La Paz and even in the depth of winter plants are tended to help make the city attractive. Street cleaners are out every day and local merchants regularly wash the area in front of their shops. On a clear day, Mount Illimani, a snow-covered monolith, can be seen as a sentry towering over the city. Valley of the Moon is six miles/10 km from the center of La Paz and can be reached by joining a tour or by taking micro bus #11 or minibus #231 or 273 to Mallasilla. The hillside features a maze of clay canyons and pinnacles that have been sculpted by wind and rain. Narrow trails through the landscape take about an hour to walk. There is also a cactus park just before the entrance. The park overlooks a gorge and has paths leading around numerous types of cacti. As you continue up the road you will come to Parque National Mallasa with its bird observatory and, across the road, the zoo area. The road passes under natural stone bridges and past Chulpani's Red Hill. There is no mistaking which hill this is. From Mallasa one can see across the river to the highest golf course in the world. Devil's Tooth or Muela del Diablo is a huge volcanic plug sticking out of the landscape to a height of 13,000 ft/3,950 m. Several trails go to the right; follow the one that obviously leads to the village. From there, go to the left for .3 miles (about half a kilometer), to the foot of the rock. Climbers are occasionally found on the east face. Canyon de Palca, or Valle de Animas, is a deep canyon that was carved by the Rio Palca centuries ago. To get there, take a bus going to Huni from Plaza Belzu on Avenida Mexico in San Pedro. There are huge pinnacles and wind-carved conglomerates. The trail continues along the bottom of the canyon to a natural obelisk. Just past the obelisk is a rock that has the appearance of a human hiding in a cave. The rock is called the hermit of the canyon. Continue along the canyon to its end and climb to your left up to the village of Palca. This is a long day-hike. All of the detailed information you need is here about the hotels, restaurants, shopping, sightseeing. But we also lead you to new discoveries, turning corners you haven't turned before, helping you to interact with the world in new ways. That's what makes our Adventure Guides unique. "An excellent addition to the Adventure Guide series, packed with detail, from where to stay and eat, to where to shop for local crafts and how to enjoy historic sites. This guide surveys the wildlife and outdoor opportunities of the country, which range from tropical jungle to high plains deserts. Hiking and viewing opportunities blend with cultural insights. Highly recommended." -
Simon Foster
Fly into Hong Kong and spend a few days discovering its diverse attractions -from shopping in bustling Kowloon to hiking along one of the islands' well-marked lush trails. Eat dim sum downtown and head up Victoria Peak for an after-dinner drink to remember. Take a boat or a train to Guangzhou and sample yet more Cantonese delights, along with some fine colonial architecture, maybe stopping off in modern Shenzhen for a peek at the new China. From Guangzhou, take a bus, train or flight to Guilin and spend a day visiting its mountainous and man-made attractions. The following morning take a boat along the Li River to Yangshuo, where you can spend the next few days hiking and cycling through the famed idyllic limestone scenery. Head back to Guilin for the return flight to Hong Kong. Take the ferry over to Macau and enjoy a day or two soaking up the splendid architecture, fine cuisine, small fishing villages, temples and beaches. Whether flying into the vast, ultra-modern Chek Lap Kok Airport and being whisked into the city center on the hi-tech, ultra-fast Airport Express, or arriving by boat at the China Ferry Terminal, Hong Kong, with its population of seven million, never fails to impress. You instantly know you're somewhere special, particularly the first time you lay eyes on the spectacle of the skyscraper-filled island from the Kowloon side. After weeks or months on the road in China, Hong Kong is the perfect spot for some dining, shopping and splurging. But if it's the great outdoors you're after, there are plenty of hikes and beaches in the territory as well. Hong Kong is a place where even the mildest exploration can offer stark contrast and both traditional Chinese and colonial history lurk beneath the city's slick modern exterior. Whether swimming in the sea or hiking an island trail to a small shrine through lush tropical undergrowth on one of the outlying islands, it's difficult to imagine that the gleaming skyscrapers are only a short boat ride away. Forty miles across the water, Macau also served its time as a colony and its Portuguese history has engendered a laid-back ambiance unique in China, which remains to this day despite a recent building boom. Walking through the architectural monuments of Macau's stunning historic center you'd easily believe you were in Lisbon, were it not for the occasional Taoist temple. Conversely, a trip out to the islands will take you on a journey into Macau's casino-laden future at Cotai and then back to its past amidst the small fishing villages and beaches of yesteryear on Coloane. This a highly detailed guide to everything you need to know about Hong Kong, Macau and their surroundings - the places to stay, the restaurants, and what to see and do - along with an extensive introductory section on China as a whole. The author lives in China and has been a tour guide there full-time for close to 10 years. This guide is an excerpt from his much larger guide to all of China, also published by Hunter, which is 650 pages in the print edition.
Simon Foster
Arrive in Beijing and spend a few days soaking up the Imperial sights a€" the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palaces and the Great Wall. Spend your evenings enjoying Beijing duck, opera and maybe a trip to the acrobats. If you have time, take a train up to Chengde and spend a couple of days enjoying the imperial retreat before returning to the capital and flying on to Xi'an. Allow a full day at the Terracotta Warriors and another day to explore the fascinating walled city. Make sure you enjoy a Dumpling Banquet, as well as dinner in the Muslim markets. Reflect on your trip in the overnight train back to Beijing. Beijing, literally translated, means Northern Capital, a title it has held since the Ming Dynasty (see History) and a name that still holds true today. Whether imagining the past or marveling at the future, this city is most definitely still the cultural, political and, to the Pekinese, geographical, heart of the Middle Kingdom. While Beijing's modern appearance owes much to the Communist era and the recent influx of capitalist cash, its most impressive and inspiring monuments are recognition of its long imperial tradition. The scale of the city, with its population of 15 million, can initially be overwhelming, but even a short meander into one of Beijing's remaining hutong districts brings you close to the realities of daily life and all of a sudden the city seems human again. While the vast number of construction sites, flyovers and mirrored skyscrapers can come as a shock to those hoping for a view of the years when Beijing was the emperor's seat, a visit to any one of the principal imperial sights (the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven or the Summer Palaces) easily remedies this. However, the greatest of Beijing's, if not the world's, sights lies north of the city. The Great Wall never ceases to amaze and it's worth spending a couple of days out of the city to fully appreciate its majesty. If you have enough time and want more imperial splendor, the rugged countryside around the capital holds Ming and Qing tombs, while, farther afield, the Mountain Resort at Chengde was long a popular emperor's haunt and has some wild scenery along with its subdued palaces and grand temples. This a highly detailed guide to everything you need to know about Beijing and its surroundings - the places to stay, the restaurants, and what to see and do - along with an extensive introductory section on China as a whole. The author lives in China and has been a tour guide there full-time for close to 10 years. This guide is an excerpt from his much larger guide to all of China, also published by Hunter, which is 650 pages in the print edition.
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