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China is a cultural region and ancient civilization in East Asia. China is one of the world's oldest civilizations, consisting of states and cultures dating back more than six millennia. The stalemate of the last Chinese Civil War following World War II has resulted in two de-facto political entities using the name China: the People's Republic of China (PRC), de-facto administering mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau; and the Republic of China (ROC), de-facto administering Taiwan and its surrounding islands.
China has the world's longest continuously used written language system. China is also the source of many of the world's great inventions, including the Four Great Inventions of ancient China: paper, the compass, gunpowder, and printing.
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BEIJING Hotels and Accommodation
Beijing, a metropolis in northern China, is the capital of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It was formerly known in English as Peking. Beijing is China's second largest city in terms of population, after Shanghai. It is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and expressways entering and leaving it in all directions. It is also the focal point of many international flights to China.
Beijing is recognized as the political, educational, and cultural center of the People's Republic of China, while Shanghai and Hong Kong predominate in economic fields. Beijing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. It will also host the 2008 Summer Olympics.
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CHENGDU Hotels and Accommodation
Chengdu, located in southwest China, is the capital of the Sichuan province and a sub-provincial city. It is the 5th (2005) most populous city in China. Chengdu is also one of the most important economic centers as well as transportation and communication hubs in China.
More than four thousand years ago, the prehistorical Bronze Age culture of Jinsha established itself in this region. The fertile Chengdu Plain, on which Chengdu is located, is called Tianfu zhi guo in Chinese, which means "the Heavenly country".
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GUANGZHOU Hotels and Accommodation
Guangzhou is the capital and the sub-provincial city of Guangdong Province in the southern part of the People's Republic of China. The city is also known by an older English-language name, Canton, which is based on a French language transliteration of the name of the province in Cantonese.
It is a port on the Pearl River, navigable to the South China Sea. As of the 2000 census, the city has a population of 6 million, and a metropolitan population of 12.6 million, making it the most populous city in the province and the third most populous metropolitan area in China.
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GUILIN Hotels and Accommodation
Guilan is one of China's most picturesque cities, with a population of 670,000, situated in the northeast of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China on the west bank of the Lijiang River (also called the Li River).
Its name means "forest of Sweet Osmanthus", owing to the large number of fragrant Sweet Osmanthus trees located in the city. Its scenery is reputed by many Chinese to be the "finest under heaven".
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HANGZHOU Hotels and Accommodation
Hangzhou is a sub-provincial city in China and the capital of Zhejiang province. Located 180 km southwest of Shanghai, the population in the city proper is now around 1.75 million. By the end of 2003, Hangzhou had a registered population of 6.4 million including an urban registered population of 3.9 million.
As one of the most renowned and prosperous cities of China for much of the last 1,000 years, Hangzhou is also well-known for its beautiful natural scenery, with the West Lake as the most noteworthy location.
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QINGDAO Hotels and Accommodation
Qingdao, well-known to the West by its Postal map spelling Tsingtao, is a sub-provincial city in eastern Shandong province, People's Republic of China. It borders Yantai to the northeast, Weifang to the west and Rizhao to the southwest.
Lying across the Shandong Peninsula while looking out to the Yellow Sea, Qingdao today is a major seaport, naval base, and industrial center. It is also the site of the Tsingtao Brewery. The name "Qingdao" in Chinese means "Green Island".
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SHANGHAI Hotels and Accommodation
Shanghai, situated on the banks of the Yangtze River Delta in East China, is the largest city of the People's Republic of China and the eighth largest in the world. Widely regarded as the citadel of China's modern economy, the city also serves as one of the most important cultural, commercial, financial, industrial and communications centers of China.
Administratively, Shanghai is a municipality of the People's Republic of China that has province-level status. Shanghai is also one of the world's busiest ports, and became the largest cargo port in the world in 2005.
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SHENZHEN Hotels and Accommodation
Shenzhen (Sham Chun or Shamchun in old documents) is a sub-provincial city of Guangdong province in southern China, located at the border with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Shenzhen is a center of foreign investment and since the late 1970s has been one of the fastest growing cities in the world. It is also the busiest port in China. In the past two decades, outsiders have invested more than $30 billion in Shenzhen for building factories and forming joint ventures.
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CHINA TOURS, TRAVEL AND ACTIVITIES
China isn't a country - it's a different world. Unless you have a couple of years and unlimited patience, it's best to follow a loose itinerary here, such as following the Silk Road, sailing down the Yangzi River, or exploring the Dr Seuss landscape of Guangxi Province. From shop-till-you-drop metropolises to the desert landscapes of Xinjiang, China is a land of cultural and geographic schisms. ... more
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