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BEIJING. No other city in China is so filled with grandeur and dignity. Cloaked in mystery and wonder, this huge and flourishing metropolis offers a brilliant cultural and historical perspective of the country. It boasts over cultural relics and many scenic spots of national importance, as well as precious artifacts and world-famous architectural wonders the names of which are on everyone's lips: the Great Wall, the Ming Tombs, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, Tian An Men square and many others. This huge and spread out city is a magnificent gateway to China and Chinese history, so a minimum of three nights should be spent there. The recent years have seen the emergence of many international chain hotels as well as the opening of old residences turned into hotels. The choice of type of accommodation is wider than before and can match any type of guests. Beijing has become an international city where shops, hotels and way of life become more and more similar to the ones  in a lot of the Asian metropolis. This trend will intensify as the city as been chosen last year to host the 2008 Olympic Games. Yet, despite and in parallel to the demolitions of huge parts of the old town to make way to modernization, the old Beijing style is still there, intact or recreated, also a new trend, blending old and new China

Xian. This extremely famous city, the capital of 11 dynasties, is filled with historical significance. Two-thousand years ago, Chinese and foreign merchants transported silk to Persia and Rome via Xian, Persia and Rome via Xian, thereby opening a long route, called the Silk Road, linking the East to the West. Today, it is one of the most important cradles of ancient Chinese civilization. Widely acclaimed as the eighth wonder of the world, the Army of Terracotta Warriors is a guard that comprises 6,000 life-size pottery soldiers and horses buried with the dead emperor Qin Shihuang. Standing row after row in battle formation, some of the terra cotta warriors all vividly sculpted, are standing, while some are on horseback and others are carrying bows and arrows. Continuous archeological discoveries testify almost everyday the historical and cultural importance of Xian area. 

Silk road. Originally a caravan route served to convey goods between China and the East of the Mediterranean Basin as far as 100 BC, the Silk Road soon became one of the most important means of cultural exchanges the world has ever seen. Within China, it is common to make it start from Xian and go through the Gansu province corridor to Xinjiang either towards Central Asia's oasis of Samarkand and Boukhara or beyond the high ranges of Pamir through Kashgar to Pakistan and the Hunza Valley. Cultural influences were brought in trough its paths. The most striking one is the introduction of Buddhism. The Silk Road is dotted with tremendous sites like the ones of Maijishan, Mati, Yulin or Mogao were images of Buddha were sculpted in grottoes or on cliffs, developing the constitution of open air museums of Buddhist art, desert oasis like Turpan or Kashgar filled with Muslim faith. It became also the meeting point several different ethnic groups as Han Chinese, Central Asians, Tibetans, with their own habits and religions. Trips on this itinerary are rich in encounters and visits, highly rewarding, though at times difficult and unpredictable as to travel conditions.

Chengde (hebei province). A famous historical and cultural city of China, was the second political and cultural center of the Qing Dynasty. It is 163 km to Beijing, and 210 km to Tianjin. The Summer Resort is the largest ancient imperial garden in the world. The Eight Outer Temples-the largest imperial temple group in China, the magnificent Great Wall at Jinshanling, Mulanweichang-the famous imperial hunting ground, a vast expanse of the Weichang Forest Garden, and the Jingbei No.l Grassland in Fengning are all ideal tourist attractions for the ecological tour.

Shanxi province. Shanxi Province got its name due to its location to the west of Taihang Mountain. Shanxi neighbored on Hebei, Henan, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia & Autonomous Region. It is located to the east of the Yellow River, and is also known as Hedong. Shanxi belonged to Jin State in Spring and Autumn Period, so it is abbreviated in Jin. Shanxi occupies an area of 156,000 square kilometers (about 60,000 square miles) and has a population of over 32 million, including its minority ethnic population. Its capital is Taiyuan City.

PINGYAO: A trip to Pingyao is a jump into China's past. The city, enlisted as a World Monument by the UNESCO, seems like a "sleeping beauty" amongst a changing world. The narrow streets, the courtyard houses, the cobble stones, the wooden shops front with their curved roofs edges, the city walls, all give one the impression to wander in a 19th century old town where history and time would have stopped. Accommodation in courtyard hotels with their "kang" of brick beds will add authenticity to your stay there. The surroundings, and generally throughout Shanxi province, are filled with historical relics, temples, old mansions. A fairly recent destination on tourism maps in China worth a discovery.

DATONG: Located only 4 hours away by drive or 6 hours away by express train from Beijing. It has a history of over 2000 years and listed among the first 24 historical cities in China. The Northern Beiwei Dynasty made Datong its capital from 398-494 AD, Datong has served as the political, economic and cultural center of the Northern China and was then the one of the largest cities in the world. It was also the alternate capital of Liao & Jin Dynasties known as the West Capital. In Ming & Qing Dynasties, it became a prefecture, one of the nine important strongholds along the Great Wall, that has given Datong a rich historical and cultural heritage: including the Yungang Grottoes, a world cultural heritage, the Upper & Lower Huayan Temple, the Shanhua Temple and the Nine Dragon Screen.

TAIYUAN: Located in the central area of Shanxi and northern tip of Jinzhong Basin, the city of Taiyuan faces mountains to the east, north and west. Served as the capital of the province, Taiyuan occupies 141 square kilometers and is home to 2.48 million people. From May to October is the peak season for tourism. Established during the periods of 770-221 B.C and served as an important military position of northern China in history, Taiyuan has a long history of splendid culture

Luoyang (henan province). The ancient city of Luoyang is known as the "Capital of Nine Dynasties". Beginning in 770 B.C., the Eastern Zhou, the Eastern Han, the Wei of the Three Kingdoms Period, the Western Jin, the Northern Wei, the Sui, the Tang, the Later Liang and the Later Tang founded their capitals here for almost one thousand years. After the Five Dynasties, however, Luoyang was on the decline. There are such tourist attractions as Longmen Grottoes, the White Horse Temple, the Forest of Guan Yu, the Museum of Ancient Tombs, and the Hometown of Xuan Zhuang.

GANSU PROVINCE. Located in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, northwest China, Gansu is one of the cradles of Chinese cultures. It occupies a total area of 450,000 square kilometers. With a population of 23.7 million, Gansu has a multinational population which includes ethnic minority groups of Kazak, Mongolian, Tibetan, Hui, Dongxiang, Tu and Manchu. They mutually influence each other in the fields of economics, politics and culture and hold close ties with the Han people. They have thus developed a unique cultural community.

LANZHOU: The capital of Gansu, is a large modern city as the political, economical and cultural centre of the province. The city covers about 13086 sq. km. with a population of around 2.8 million, half of which live in the urban area. Lanzhou was an important strategic town on the ancient Silk Road, and is now a key link on the present Eurasia Bridge. It is the standard Yellow River crossing point and owns its historical significance due to its geographical position. The spectacular scenery and relics around Lanzhou include the statue of Yellow River Mother, Water Wheel Park, Zhongshan Iron Bridge and White Pagoda Park dotted along the Yellow River. Gansu Provincial Museum, Five Spring Park, Mt. Xinglong and Mt. Tulugou, etc.

DUNHUANG: It was an important town on the Silk Road in ancient times. The Mogao Grottoes or Caves of One - Thousand Buddha is a world - famous art treasury, with invaluable murals and sculptures made between the 4th and the 14th centuries. The limpid Crescent Moon Spring lies to the south of the city. Other spots of interest are the remains of the ancient city of Dunhuang, the White Horse Pagoda, the old Yangguan City, Yumen Pass, and beacon lights from the Han Dynasty. A 300 - li (150 kilometers) section of the Great Wall interspersed with 70 beacon towers runs across Dunhuang County.

XINJIANG UYGUR AUTONOMOUS REGION. The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, in northwestern part China, covers an area of 1.66 million square kilometers, making up one sixth of China's total area. It has a population 1 6 million, including the Han people, and 1 3 ethnic groups, such as the Uygurs, Kazaks, Huis, Kirgizs, Xibes, Tajiks, Uzbeks, manchus, Daurs, Tatars, and Russians. Urumqi is the capital. Xinjiang has served as a link of international trade between e central Asia, South Asia and the West Asia and Europe. The ancient Silk Road in Xinjiang has left behind many historic relics, such as the ancient cities of Gaochang, Jiaohe and Beiting, the ruins of Loulan, Niya and Subashifo, several Thousand-Buddha caves, and ancient tombs, which are under ate protection.

URUMQI (URUMCHI): The City of Urumqi (Urumchi) is the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It has a population of over one million. It is a border city where multiple ethnic groups live. Yanerwo in southern suburb is a noted scenic area where there are the tombs of Chen Tanqiu and Mao Zemin, two revolutionary martyrs. Chrysanphemum Platform is a noted place for folk entertainment in Xinjiang. In the city there are also the Red Hill, Jianhu Lake (Remin Park), the old Wulapo City, Shuimogou, Yuergou Wooden - Outer - Coffin Tomb, the Great Hall of Shaanxi Mosque, Nanshan "Earth Forest", ect.

KASHI (KASHGAR): One of the China's Cultural and Historic Cities and the first great city in southern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is the center for the distribution of farm and animal products. An important town leading to the Silk Road, it was under the jurisdiction of the central government from the Han to the Qing Dynasty. Places of historical interest include the Aitinier Mosque and the tomb of Abakehezhuo. Kashi is mainly inhabited by the Uygurs. Its streets, houses, music, dance, and handicrafts are distinctively West Asian.

TURPAN: Located in the basis of the mountains in eastern Xinjiang. It is known as an Oven because in summer, it is as hot as 40°c, and the surface ground 80°c. There are many tourist attractions, such as the ruins of the ancient cities of Gaochang and Yarkhoto, Sugong Pagoda, the Grape Gully, and the underground irrigation system.

CHONGQING. The largest city in Southwest China. It is a hub of water and land communications and an important industrial center. It is also the starting point for a cruise on the Yangtze River to visit the scenic spots and historical sites along its banks. West of the city lies the well - known Stone Carvings of Dazu. In the city proper it has Beiwenquan (North Hot Spring), Nanwenquan (South Hot Spring), the Longevity Lake and other places of beauty. The view of Chongqing, a mountainous city, is most attractive at night.

THREE GORGES ON THE YANGTZE RIVER. Coursing over a distance of 3,965 miles, the mighty Yangtze is the longest river in China, and the third longest in the world after the Amazon in South America and the Nile in Africa. It is also a cradle of ancient Chinese civilization. The completion of the Gezhouba Dam in the next few years threatens this natural balance and the famous Three Gorges as we know them now will no longer offer the same aspect once the level of the water grows up by tens of meters. This year is still one of the last chances to enjoy this endangered scenery. The most impressive section of the river is the three Yangtze River gorges: Qutang, Wuxia and Xiling which extend 189 kilometers long. The cruise on Yangtze River is the purpose to discover some very impressive landscapes. Cruise companies operate a wide variety of ships most of them offering excursions to entertain their guests.

SHANGHAI. This city of 12 million people combines the legacy of the past with the creative energy of the 21st century. Emerging from the sea thousands of years ago, Shanghai literally means "up from the sea". The city, China's largest urban center, is not only the country's main port but also the nation's major industrial center, producing a wide variety of consumer goods for both the international and domestic markets.  A new part of town has been emerging since a few years on the opposite bank of the Huang Pu River and is therefore named Pudong (east of the Huang Pu). This new area concentrates trading and financial activities. Its growing skyline of futuristic buildings makes one think of the most modern capitals of Asia. This heritage along with the imaginative force of creation of its people makes Shanghai a unique place in China.

JIANGSU PROVINCE. Also called Su for short, Jiangsu Province is situated in China's southeast coast, on the lower reaches of the Changjiang (Yangtze) River where the Changjiang River, the Grand Canal, Taihu Lake, and Hongze Lake join forces to form the Changjiang River Delta, a well known network of waterways in China. The province has an area of more than 100,000 square kilometers, most of which being plains, and a population of about 70 million. One of the densely populated provinces in China, it is inhabited by the Han, Hui, Man, and other ethnic groups. Nanjing is the provincial capital.

NANJING: The city of Nanjing is the capital and the political, economic, and cultural center of Jiangsu Province. It is one of the ancient capitals and an outstanding tourist city. Nanjing was made the capital of ten feudal dynasties in China. Its tourist areas include the Purple Hill Scenic Area, the Qinhuai Scenic Belt, the Shicheng (Rock City) Scenic Area, scenic spots in the city proper, the scenic belt along the Yangtze River, the Yuhua (Raining Flower) Terrace Scenic Area, and the Qixia Hill Scenic Area.

SUZHOU: Located on the shore of Taihu Lake in southeast Jiangsu Province, Suzhou, a" paradise on earth," is a renowned historical and cultural city with a history of more than 2,500 years. The gardens of Suzhou are famous in and outside of China. Canglang (Surging Wave) Pavilion, Shizi (Lion) Grove, Wangshi Garden, Zhuozheng (Humble Administrator's) Garden, Liuyuan Garden, and the Huanxiu Mountain Villa are treasures of garden architecture from the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties in southern China. In recent years, new scenic spots, such as Zhouzhuang, Luzhi, and Tongli, have appeared in the vicinities. In short, the city of Suzhou features enchanting landscapes, and it has since ancient times been known as a place with a gathering of the talents and plenty of products. It is a well-known tourist city.

HANGZHOU (ZHEJIANG PROVINCE) Located on the northern bank of the Qiantang River on its lower reaches and the southern end of the Grand Canal, it is the capital and the political, economic, and cultural, and communications center of Zhejiang Province. It is also a well-known tourist, historical and cultural city and one of the six ancient capitals in China as well. The enchanting West Lake, a time-honored culture, the Grand Canal, and the colorful folk customs and habits south of the Yangtze River make Hangzhou a unique tourist center.

GUILIN (GUANGXI PROVINCE). Guilin is one of China's best known cities, famed for its beautiful landscape of limestone mountains, clear waters, caves and rocks. Standing lofty and firm, the hills in Guilin have risen up from ground, straight and high. It is enchanting to take a boat cruise on the river passing picturesque scenery punctuated with bizarrely - shaped pinnacles, sprays of bamboo lining up the riverbanks, fishers with their cormorants and buffaloes bathing in the sun. At the end of the cruise on Li River, the small city of Yangshuo is bustling of commercial activity, just to fall back to its sleepy pace after the ships have gone. One can then stay behind en appreciate the beauty of the landscape all around.

GUANGZHOU. Guangzhou (Canton - the old spelling) is the capital of Guangdong Province. With a history of over 2800 years, Guangzhou has always been a port for foreign exchanges and trade, and is still one of the largest ports in China. Here the China Export Commodities Fair is held every spring and autumn, which attracts business people from the world over. The tourist attractions include the Zhenhai Tower, the Wuxian Taoist Temple, Tomb of the Nanyue King, the Chen Family Temple, the Six-Banyan Monastery, Sun Yat-sen's Memorial Hall, Mt. Baiyun, and Yuexiu Park.

YUNNAN. Located in the southwest part of China, covering an are of 394,00 square kms, Yunnan Province is averagely 2000 meters above sea level and has a population of 40million. Three countries are its close neighbors: Myanmar to its west, Laos and Vietnam to its southwest. There are 17 prefectures and cities. Kunming is its capital city. For Westerners, Yunnan and Kunming are possibly better associated with the Flying Tigers daring pilots who flew "over the hump" from Bengal to help China during the Second World War. Yunnan actually has plenty of other claims to fame. As well as an important province sharing a large part in exporting to the ASEAN countries, Yunnan has been known for its well-developed tourism industry and infrastructure apart from its rich tourist resources.

KUNMING (THE CITY OF ETERNAL SPRING): is the capital city and the largest city of Yunnan province. The city, owing to its altitude of 1,890 meters and its tropical situation, is also blessed with perennially pleasant climate and intriguing highland scenes and sights. With an average annual temperature ranging from 15 to 18 degree Centigrade, Kunming has earned the nickname "City of Eternal Spring". Major tourist attractions include the Stone Forest, Western Hills and Dragon Gate, Yuantong Temple, and the Bamboo and Golden Temples. Although greatly modernized for the hosting of World Horticultural Exhibition in 1999, the city has kept its slow pace and local flavor which makes it unique in China.

DALI: Capital of The Nanzhao Kingdom and the Bai minority. Dali lies just three kilometers from the shore of Erhai Lake, under the highest peak of the Cangshan Mountains, at an altitude of 2,300 meters above sea level, at the intersection of  the Yunnan-Myanmar Highway  (Myanmar Road)  and the Yunnan-Tibetan  Highway. It was the capital city of the fierce Nanzhao Kingdom which stood up to the Tang Dynasty's armies and enlarged its territory from the high plains of today's Myanmar to Southern Tibet, to the east to the actual Guizhou province and Guangxi region and to the north of was is now Vietnam as its southern boundaries.  The kingdom was only defeated by the Mongols on their way to destroy Pagan in old Myanmar. Dali is the main center of Bai minority culture, one of Yunnan's most numerous and prosperous ethnic groups with the cities of Zhoucheng and Xizhou.

LIJIANG (UNESCO WORLD CULTURAL HERITAGE SITE): Lijiang, located on a plateau at an elevation of 2,400 meters in the northwest part of Yunnan, has been enlisted as a World Monument by the UNESCO in 1997. It is the center of the Naxi minority, a relatively small minority group with a richly textured culture. The Naxi people migrated to Lijiang long ago from northeastern part of Tibet. The surroundings offer many fascinating scenic places, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Grand canyon Tiger Leaping Gorge, Baoshan Stone Village where people live in houses made of stones, Yufeng temple with its ten-thousand-flower-Camellia, the frescoes of Baisha or just the little Naxi villages of the surroundings make of Lijiang a highlight destination not to be missed in Yunnan.

XISHUANGBANNA: Lies in the southernmost region of Yunnan, bordering Myanmar and Laos, just below the Tropic of Cancer. The majestic Mekong River runs across it. Xishuangbanna is a marvelously rich and fecund area, holding one quarter of China's faunal and one-sixth of its plant species. Its capital, Jinghong, is located 740 kilometers south of Kunming. The medley of different ethnic groups some of them living only in this area and the lush nature make Xishuangbanna an area to discover in Yunnan. It is the right place to depart from Yunnan towards other areas of the Greater Mekong sub region. Very soon, passenger ships will be cruising down the Mekong River from Jinghong or Guanlei to Chiang Saen in North Thailand, in the Golden Triangle, and further downstream to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. 

JIANSHUI: The ancient flourishing city, located 220 km South of Kunming, Jianshui is a national historical town displaying a collection of historical sites and enjoying a history of 1200 years. It has played an important role of political and cultural center of South Yunnan since the Yuan Dynasty. The area is rich of 100 architectural buildings, 50-odd ancient bridges and many residential houses of the Qing style.  In the Old Town of Jianshui, one can still discover the splendor of China's classical architecture with the Northern gate Wall, Zhilin Temple, Confucius Temple, one of the largest in China, its private gardens and sacrifice houses such as the Zhu and Zhang residences. In addition, Jianshui purple pottery is one of the 4 famous Chinese potteries. 

YUANYANG: Many minorities are living in the surroundings: the mushroom grass-roof houses of the Hani, the adobe buildings of the Yi will give an idea of the rich culture of the different minorities on the way south to Yuanyang, a major stop on the road to Vietnam. The Yi and Hani water terrace fields are one of the most inspiring sceneries in Southern Yunnan. They resemble silver ladders, stretching from the foot of mountains right to the top (up to 2,000 meters). Between the terraces which reflect silver light, are stretches of green tea plantations, the Yunwu tea, a refreshing tea produced since many generations in the area.

SOUTHWEST OF CHINA - SICHUAN PROVINCE. Sichuan, home of the red hot chili peppers and the pandas, is one of China's most populous, most diverse and beautiful provinces. It is also renowned as one of China's great cuisine, spicy Sichuan food.

CHENGDU: The capital of Sichuan province has been known by two names: the "Hibiscus City" and the "Brocade City". Currently travelers use Chengdu as a gateway to Tibet, and to a lesser extent for those heading towards Chongqing and a cruise on the Yangtze River. Yet this vast city is also famous for four P's - pandas, peppers, poetry and people.

LESHAN: One of the most splendid sights Sichuan has to offer is the great statue of the Buddha carved on a river cliff. The eighth century seated statue is 71 meters high, overlooking the confluence of the Dadu and Min rivers. It qualifies as the largest Buddha in the world and is best seen from a boat.

JIUZHAIGOU (JIUZHAI GULLY): Jiuzhai Gully, situated some 450 kms from Chengdu, is named for the 9 Tibetan villages in the gully. The lake, waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and virgin forests provide colorful views all year-round. Six scenic resorts have been opened in the gully. These are Baojingyan, Shuzheng, Rize, Jianyan, Changhai, and Zharu. In 1992, Jiuzhai Gully was listed by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage. 

HUANGLONG: Not far from Jiuzhai Gully, in Songpan County, the Huanglong (Yellow Dragon) Scenic Resort is 340 kilometers from Chengdu. Along a milky-yellow slope at 3,000 to 3,558 meters above sea level, thousands of small lakes have formed on the mountainside. The myriad colors, shapes, and sizes create a mysterious and fantastic impression. Included in the resort are the scenic districts of Huanglong, Mouni (Buddhism) Gully, Danyun (Red Cloud) Gorge and Xuebao Pond. The UNESCO listed it as a World Natural Heritage in 1992. 

MOUNTAIN EMEI: Mount Emei is within the boundaries of Emeishan City, some 140 kilometers to the southwest of Chengdu and 33 kilometers to the east of Leshan. One of four famous Buddhist mountains in China, Emei includes several attractions, such as Baoguo Temple, Fuhu Temple, Leiyin Temple, Chunyang Palace, Da'e Temple, the Qingyin Pavilion, Hongchun Plain, Xian's Temple, Xixiang Pool, Golden Roof, Ten-Thousand-Year Temple, and White Dragon Cavern. In 1997, Mount Emei and the Leshan Grand Buddha were added to UNESCO's list of World Natural and Cultural Heritage. 

THE GANZI TIBETAN AUTONOMOUS PERFECTURE:  Situated in the west of Sichuan province, near the border with the Tibet Autonomous Region. The unusual geography and weather conditions along the transition zone between the Sichuan Basin and the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau have given rise to a variety of landforms and conditions, such as mountains, glaciers, alpine lakes, and unique botany. Long an area dominated by Tibetan culture, the local customs are clearly reflected in the more than 500 Lamaism temples in the prefecture. Tourism resources are centered on Mount Gongga and include Mount Erlang, the Luding Bridge, Hailuo Gully, Mount Paoma, Muge Lake and the Tagong Grasslands. Combined, these attractions create a new hot spot for tourists interested in the customs and practices of the Tibetan people. With its highest peak touching the heavens at 7,556 meters above sea level, Mount Gongga straddles the three counties of Kangding, Luding and Jiulong. The surrounding land includes a wide range of topography, including virgin forests, snow-capped mountains, pastures, alpine lakes, hot springs, and waterfalls. The last frontier for humanity can be found at Yading, Daocheng. The primitive and mysterious surroundings, snow-capped peaks, wide valleys, and Tibetan villages and brilliance and beauty to every image.

GUIZHOU PROVINCE. Situated in southwest China and attributed to subtropical plateau zone, Guizhou is known as "Qian" for short. Mountains and hills take up 97% of the total area of the province. With unique surroundings, varied topography, pleasant weather and a temperature of 15 °C on an average without sever cold in winter and sweltering hot in summer, it is the most immensely developed area of karst in the world. 

GUIYANG: As the capital city, Guiyang is the political, economical, cultural and traffic center of Guizhou province. It has a total area of 8032 sqm with a population of 3.1143 million and 5 prefectures, 3 counties and a municipality under its administration. Guiyang, rich in scenic attractions and historic relics, enjoys graceful beauty and enchanting landscape. The famous beauty spots in its urban district are Jiaxiu Tower, Fongfu Temple, Qianling Mountain, Qianling Lake, Wenchang Pavilion, etc., while in the suburb are the South Suburban Park, Flower Brook, Milky Way Pond, Red Maple Lake, Kaiyang Nanjiang Canyon Park. All Flowers Lake, old site of Xifeng Concentration camp, etc. in city embraced by many mountains. 

KAILI: Along Xiang-Qian Railway to the southeast of Guizhou province. Kaili city is the capital of Miao and Doug minority autonomous region and the central tourist city in westeast part. There are seven different ethnic stockades in the southeast part of Ian which center on ethnic custom, the neighbor being Wuyang River scenic resort district, Fanjiang(Pure)Mountain natural reserve district, the Dragon Cavern in famous Zhenyuan city, the Nine-Dragon Cavern in Tongren, etc.

XINING (QINGHAI PROVINCE). Located in the eastern part, is the capital of Qinghai Province as well as the center of politics, economy, culture, and communications. In 121 B.C., the Han stationed troops in the Huangshui River valley, and General Huo Qubing (140117 B.C.) established the military base named Xipingting. In 1104, the third year of Emperor Chongning of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), Xipingting was renamed Xining, which was first recorded. The year 1929 witnessed the founding of Qinghai Province, and Xining was made the capital seat. With the continental highland semi-dry climate, Xining has neither cold winter nor hot summer, and the annual mean temperature is 6.5 °C, making the city an ideal summer resort.