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Host Country 2010
China

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Zhangjiajie (Hunan province)
Zhangjiajie City is located on the northwestern border of Hunan Province. Covering an area of 9,516 square kilometers (about 3,674 square miles), there are four areas under its governance: Yongding District and Wuling District, Cili County and Sangzhi County. Zhangjiajie is subtropical moist mountain climate, thus for tourists it is an ideal place to spend one's holiday.
 
Zhangjiajie City features a variety of different terrains including: mountainous regions, upland areas, plains, and Karst rock areas. Among these, the mountains cover 76 percent of the total area. The world-famous natural heritage site 'Wulingyuan Scenic Area' is located on the base of these great mountains. Areas worth visiting include Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (known as China's first national forest park), Suoxiyu Natural Resource Reserve, and Tianzi Mountain Natural Resource Reserve. The scenic area hosts many natural features including: mountains, forests, caves, lakes and waterfalls and perhaps there are more than three thousand rock ridges and eight hundred ghylls. They enjoy the reputation of 'Original Picture on Mountain and River of China'. This wonderland is covered with dense forests and is considered Mother Nature's Oxygen Bar.
 
The «Southern Sky Column“in Zhangjiajie in the northwest of Hunan povince is becoming more famous along with the release of film“Avatar»,it had its name changed to «Avatar Hallelujah Mountain» in a ceremony by the local people on 25th January. The peak is 1,074 meters above the sea level and one of more than 3,000 mountains in the Yuanjiajie Scenic spot,the core area of the World Natural Heritage Wulingyuan Scenic Zone in Zhangjiajie City,Huanan province.
The movie Avatar was inspired by the «Southern Sky Column», as a Hollywood photographer spent 4 days trip in Zhangjiajie on December 2008,many pictures he shot became prototypes for various elements in the «Avatar“ movie. The Folk said:“we renamed the peak to Avatar Hallelujah Mountain to show People that Zhangjiajie is walking into the world now.“The government said:“Zhangjiajie is China's pride!» Pandora is far,but Zhangjiajie is near. It is understood with that the release of «Avatar», Zhangjiajie’s tourism will receive a boom during the spring festival. Many scenic spots are get ready to welcome tourists from all around the world.
Transportation in Zhangjiajie is very convenient. The highways extend in all directions, and it is worthwhile to mention that a superhighway connects Changsha and Zhangjiajie. New roads connect the city center to a number of scenic areas, making travel by car very convenient. Train routes extend to Guangzhou, Beijing, Zhanjiang, Changsha and Wuxi. The newly expanded Zhangjiajie Lotus Airport has accommodated 20 different airlines with routes to such destinations as Beijing, Guangzhou, Zhanjiang, Changsha, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau, and Thailand.
The history of Zhangjiajie can be traced back to the Neolithic Age. There are three main ethnic minority groups Tujia, Bai, Miao and other 29 minority groups living harmoniously with the Han Nationality. Many different folk cultures converge here and the visitor can experience the various folk-customs, clothing, decorations, dance and music. In 2006, Folk Songs of Sangzhi County, Hands-waving Dance of Tujia Ethnic Group, Maogusi Dance, and The Crafts of Tujia Brocade were all listed in the Protection Catalog of Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage. The people of Zhangjiajie are all very hospitable and visitors immediately feel at home. And local snacks may become travelers' favorite.
One of the most interesting things to do in Zhangjiajie is the experience of drifting on the Maoyan River. The Maoyan River is the upper reach of the Li River in Yongding District of Zhangjiajie City. The length for drifting is 25 kilometers (about 16 miles) and the zigzags in the river offer an exhilarating ride. There are four wonders on the Maoyan River: Bangtou Spring, Jianxie (intermittent) Spring, Yan (salt) Spring and Pen Wu (spout mist) Cave. These scenic spots cover the river with a mysterious color. The most renowned scenic spot is the Shui Dongzi (water hollow) Waterfall. On the bank opposite the waterfall there are several huge rocks which provide a perfect natural observation platform. This is an ideal place for visitors to take photos.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, set up in 1982, is the first authorized national forest park in China. The area covers 480 thousand square meters (185 square miles). This park, together with Suoxiyu Natural Resource Reserve, Tianzishan Natural Resource Reserve and Yaozizhai makes up the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, also known as Zhangjiajie Scenic Spot. It is located 32 kilometers (19 miles) from urban Zhangjiajie and 28 kilometers (17 miles) from Wulingyuan Scenic Area.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park has been described differently, such as, majestic, eccentric, tranquil, delicate and wild. The park features grotesque peaks, lucid brooks, abundant fauna and floras and hospitable climate. There are six main scenic spots and over 90 smaller ones in the park to date. It belongs to the sub-tropical climate of Central Asia. Splendid mountains and luxuriant trees help form a favorable climate: warm in winter and cool in summer. The average temperature is 13C (55F), the highest 17C (62F) while the lowest is 10C (50F) on average in winter. The charm of the park varies with the alternation of seasons; therefore, it attracts visitors all year round. Besides its pleasant climate, the environment and air quality also provide visitors a chance to breathe healthy air which is believed to be rich in negative oxygen. It is also believed that hypertension patient may have their blood pressure lowered if they stay in the park for a period of time. This is due to the fact that dust particles in the park are 88% lower and the air 10% mistier than outside.
About 98% of the area is covered with vegetation. There are 720 species of the 102 families, including all the five most important floras, namely, the rose family, pulse family, grass family, composite family and orchid family. Some of these trees are rare and regarded as national treasure. For example, the Dove tree, known as living fossil, can be traced back as early as the Fourth Ice Age. The great variety of plants in the park takes up 82% of all the flora families in Hunan Province. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park also boasts a variety of animals. Exuberant forests offer them ideal habitats to live in and procreate their own species. There are more than 149 kinds of chordate animals inhabitants in this park. Among them, 28 kinds are under national protection, amongst which, are the Golden Pheasant, Rhesus Monkey, Giant Salamander and Musk Deer. Visitors will be able to hear birds singing and see monkeys playing in the tree.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is endowed with many scenic spots, such as the Yellow Stone Yellow Stone Stronghold (Huangshizhai), Yaozizhai is located west of the park. It is named after a story whereby Huang Shi saved Zhang Liang from misfortune when the latter isolated himself from society in this forest. Occupying an area of 41 acres and 1,200 meters (0.8 miles) above sea level, this stronghold is the largest observing spot of the forest park. One cannot claim to have visited Zhangjiajie without visiting Yellow Stone Stronghold. The main scenic spots include Tranquil Trail in Fir Woods, Imperial Edict and the Precious Box, Needle Peak, the Southern Gate to Heaven, Five-Finger Peak and so on. Sceneries along the Golden Whip Stream are most enchanting in the park. Named after the Golden Whip Rock that it flows by, this stream, 5.7 kilometers long (3.5 miles), joins the Lute stream in the west and Suoxi Stream in the east. A 300-meter (984 feet) walk from the gate of the park will lead you to the entrance of the Golden Whip Stream. Flanked by ridges and peaks, the crystal clear water makes it possible to observe every action of the fish in the water. Wild flowers are in abundance here.
On the way, girls from Tujia will present visitors traditional folk songs when requested. The main scenic spots here include: the Welcoming Guests Rock, Golden Whip Rock, Reunion Rock and the Purple Grass Pond. The northern part of the park is the essential tourist route. Yuanjiajie is a natural platform that faces giant rocks rising from deep valleys and surrounded by higher mountains. Unique in their shapes and covered with pine trees, these rocks resemble a vivid Chinese painting. Main scenic spots include: Back Garden, breath taking Mihun Stage and the First Bridge under the Sun. Wulingyuan Scenic Area, lying to the north of Zhangjiajie City, is a charming tourist attraction. It is one of the 40 famous scenic spots in China. It is said to be 'The ampliative miniascape and the contractible fairyland' and was admitted to the 'World Heritage List' in 1992. The spot boasts of natural beauty where mountains, valleys, forests, caves, lakes and waterfalls exist in total harmony. Over 560 scenic sights can be found here. The strangely-shaped peaks, the absurd stones, the hidden valleys, the wonderful waters and the limestone caves form the 'Five Wonders' of Wulingyuan and they are really worth seeing. Covering an area of 690 square kilometers (266 square miles), Wulingyuan consists of four parts- Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Suoxiyu Natural Resource Reserve, Tianzi (son of heaven) Mountain Natural Resource Reserve and the newly added Yangjiajie Scenic Area. The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is the first state-level forest park in China. Over ninety-seven percent of the park is covered with varieties of trees and other valuable plants. The park is a real treasure house. The Lobster Flower (Long Xia Flower), a sort of flower that can change color five times in a day, is unique in the park. The views in this area include the Golden Whip Stream, Huangshi Fort and Yuanjiajie. The Golden Whip Stream is a poetic stream, with crystal clear water running quietly between strangely-shaped peaks. The Huangshi Fort and Yuanjiajie are both classic spots that can not be missed in the park. The Suoxiyu Natural Resource Reserve is the center of the scenic zone and is the largest among the four areas of the park. About 200 scenic spots can be found here. Suoxiyu is transliterated from the language of the Tu Minority Group, and it means 'a mountainous village with dense fog'. This area includes the Ten-mile Gallery (Gan Xi Gou), where vivid pictures formed by its peaks are rather impressive. The West Sea, also called the sea of stone forests, is amazing. Bao Feng Lake is also an excellent place to visit to gain an understanding of the local customs of West Hunan Province. The Tianzi Mountain Natural Resource Reserve is rich in strange peaks and rocks, and in constant clouds and fog. The reserve lies at a high elevation which makes sightseeing physically challenging. The Yellow Dragon Spring, Teaboard Tower and Lao Wu Chang are areas which have been developed for visitors. This reserve is renowned for four marvelous spectacles-the cloud and mist, the night with shining moon, the winter snow and the morning and evening rosy clouds.
Qingdao
Qingdao, a beautiful seaside city, is located in the southeast part of Shandong Province. To the east, a short distance across the Yellow Sea, lie Korea and Japan, making Qingdao an important city for international trade. For thirty three years, up to 1949, Qingdao was a colony of Germany and Japan. Thus, Qingdao has a great deal of European architecture. This foreign architecture -a remnant of the colonial past- now beautifies this seaside city.
The red roofs, green trees, blue sea, and azure sky form a bright and colorful picture of Qingdao. The city is sometimes known as the Switzerland of the Orient.
Surrounded by the sea on three sides, Qingdao attracts many tourists with its charming seascape. Sights like the Eight Passes Villas, the Zhan Bridge, Wusi Square, Mt. Laoshan, will help you remember Qingdao. Just walking on the sand and listening to the surf breaking on the beach becomes enjoyable.
Qingdao offers food with distinctive flavors--especially seafood. So take this chance to enjoy the delicious seafood of Qingdao. Also, Qingdao is the home of the famous Qingdao (Tsingtao) Beer. Have a bottle of pure Qingdao Beer right here in Qingdao!
The Qingdao Municipal Government recognizes the importance of the tourism industry and has further plans to develop tourism in Qingdao. To enhance the tourism industry, Qingdao now sponsors the Qingdao International Beer Festival, the Qingdao International Sea Festival, Beach Culture Festival, the Sea Affection Festival, and the Summer of Qingdao Festival.
In cooperation with the Beijing Olympic Games 2008, Qingdao held the Sailing Competition in the Olympic Games in 2008.
While Qingdao has a long history, the eastern half of the city has been built since 1993, and there is no sign of it slowing down. In 2008, it hosted the sailing events of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Qingdao's early summer is quite an enjoyable season, although it can be humid near the sea shore. Late summer can become hot, while other places of Northern China start to feel cooler. The climate in late fall and winter can be harsh but snow patches can generally last no longer than a few days. Qingdao is an ideal destination if you want to combine sea-side fun with your trip to China.
 
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