Posts Tagged ‘China’

Towering over Shanghai

The Oriental Pearl Tower is one of the most striking and futuristic sights in China’s business stronghold Shanghai. Overlooking the Huangpu River opposite the historic Bund the tower rises 468 metres above the street and was the tallest building in China until the nearby Shanghai World Financial Centre surpassed it a few years back. The tower opened in 1994 and as well as an important communication tower it is home to a hotel,exhibition space a revolving restaurant and 15 yes 15 observation levels with the highest being 350 metres from ground. The tower features 11 spheres supported by three columns, and was designed using plenty of Chinese symbolism based around a poem dating back to the Tang Dynasty. Over three million visitors visit the tower each year and this year with World Expo being hosted in Shanghai you can bet the numbers will soar. Some visitors to Shanghai consider the admission price expensive and the queues long but many agree the view over the city is quiet spectacular if you are lucky enough to visit this fascinating city on a clear day.

Read the rest of this entry »

Chek Lap Kok – Hong Kong’s Airport

When opened in 1998 the Hong Kong International Airport was the world’s largest and today 12 years later the airport is the one of the world’s busiest for both passengers and cargo and caters for around 300000 aircraft movements a year.  There are more than 70 boarding gates with over 60 jet bridges and is used by around 50 million people a year. The airport was built in the sea, two islands Chek Lap  Kok and Lam Chau were flattened and to make the 12 1/2 square kilometre airport. The airport took only six years to construct at a cost of about $20 billion US, replacing the old Kai Tak Airport which was wedged between Hong Kong’s skyscrapers and Victoria Harbour which had become dangerous and too small to handle the enormous growth in traffic Hong Kong required to move forward.  Chek Lap Kok has tow huge runways of 3800 metres in length and suitable for the biggest of aircraft including the new Airbus A380.  The runways are able to handle over 60 aircraft movements an hour.  Passengers are moved around the massive airport by the HKIA Automated People Movement which is a tram like system and an Airport Express rail service which reaches the heart of Hong Kong in just over 20 minutes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Surviving the Beijing Airport

We have a treat for you today- our first guest writer on Tripandom- Jennifer Gregory

beijing-1.gif

If you’re heading to the summer Olympics this year, chances are you’ll arrive to the area via the Beijing Capital International Airport. Therefore, in order to make certain your trip is as pleasurable as possible, you will want to learn a bit about the airport before you arrive. After all, finding your way through a foreign and unfamiliar airport can be tricky, to say the least. In fact, it can be quite maddening because you don’t know where to go, how to ask for help or what pitfalls to avoid.

Of course, you’ll probably step into the airport with a bit of jet lag from the long trip. Then, the sounds of conversations passing you by will remind you that English is not the native language. But, don’t panic. By familiarizing yourself with the airport before your arrival, you will be able to embark upon your new journey with a great deal of confidence.

Read the rest of this entry »

Virgin Mary Urinal…..What the?

virgin-mary-urinal.gif

Now this is just wrong, what are they thinking in Chong Qing, China, they have opened what is believed to be the world’s largest toilet complex with over 1000 themed toilets. They have made the whole complex out of recycled materials and some of the themes are well bad taste to say the least. The Virgin Mary urinal must upset every Christian who sees it, it’s not really the place you would like the Pope to drop in on. But other than the Virgin Mary ones there are Egyptian ones a crocodile’s mouth you wee into and even washing basins which resemble, wait for it, women’s buttocks. The City is working on a submission to the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s biggest toilet complex, maybe they should work on preparing apologies for all the religious and women’s group who might be offended by their weird dunnys. Read the rest of this entry »

Pandas for the Olympics

panda-olympics.gif

The horrific earthquake that shook China on May 12 this year not only killed and destroyed the homes of thousands of people it did extensive damage to wildlife, in particular the Chinese’s most prized animal the giant panda. The Wolong Giant Panda Reserve was only 32km from the epicenter and it was badly damaged, five of the staff members were killed in the carnage, but fortunately 58 of the 60 panda’s have been found and are all safe, the other two it is hoped they have just escaped and will be found. The pandas have been moved to Beijing and they are going to go on display at the Beijing Zoo and will be on display until November. There were plans to move the panda’s to Beijing before the earthquake but now the need is more crucial. It is expected over 6 million people will visit the zoo for a look at the fury black and white bears during their stay. It is believed under 1600 pandas now live in the wild.

Beijing’s Water Cube


YouTube direct

The 2008 Olympic Games kick on in the Chinese capital Beijing on the 8th of August and the world is going to be amazed at not only some incredible sporting moments but some of the most cutting edge and daring architecture the world has ever seen. The main stadium which looks like a huge steel bird’s nest and the National Aquatic Centre which is dubbed the Water Cube are two of the spectacular highlights. The Watercube has been designed by Australian and Chinese engineers and architects and will seat over 17000 spectators who will watch nearly 50 gold medals be awarded during the Olympic Games. Read the rest of this entry »

Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum

chariman-mao.gif

Chairman Mao was the founder of the People’s Republic of China and he is one of the essential characters in the modern history of this huge country. The Chairman died in 1976 and a huge mausoleum was built at the south end of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square as a place where over 10 million people have paid their respect to Mao’s body in his crystal coffin, dressed in his usual grey suit draped in the red Communist Party flag. The memorial hall is a striking building measuring 260 metres by 220 metres with marble and yellow granite. Mao wouldn’t have been too happy being put on display like this, he actually wanted to be cremated, but the Communist Party of China had other ideas and embalmed him. As you would expect at such an important place, security is very high and there is restrictions on bags, cameras and other items. You must wear respectful clothing and keep walking through the complex, which takes only about 5 -10 minutes, you can wait for several hours to get into the building. One strange thing you will notice with your visit, like all attractions, its ends at the gift shop- where else! Read the rest of this entry »

Happy animals in a Chinese Zoo

panda.gif

A lot of China’s zoos and animal parks have the visitor’s entertainment higher up their list of priorities than the animal’s welfare, well the Xiangjiang Safari Park is situated in Dashi Town of Panyu District, Guangzhou is an exception. It has world standards and is one of the very few zoo’s outside of Australia to have bred koalas and they have bread over half the white tigers left on Earth. The zoo is massive it covers 130 hectares is home to 10.000 animals from 300 species and gets over 10 million visitors a year. Sure the park is half theme park and there are animal shows but the zoo is a valuable research and centre wildlife conservation. The park is broken into two areas, one where you can visit the animals on foot and the other where you can board a trolley and to into the open savanna which has three themes Asian Plains, Predator Island and Africa Savanna. The zoo has an impressive list of animals including white tigers, white lions, polar bears, hippos and of course the beautiful and endangered Giant Panda, but the stars of the zoo seem to be the Koalas. The Zoo is located about 30mins from the heart of Guangzhou city don’t get this zoo confused with the city’s zoo- it just doesn’t compare. Read the rest of this entry »

A rollercoaster while you shop? whats going on here?


YouTube direct

We have featured a lot of weird and whacky attractions and things to see around the world on Tripandom but this one even shocked us! It’s a supermarket in China which has a rollercoaster like ride built around the isles of the supermarket where people can just reach out from the little car and pick up their groceries. No longer do you have to fight your way through dozen’s of chatting people with kids and trolleys, you just hop on this system and cruise around the supermarket. The only problem if you forget toothpaste you cant go backwards you have to go around the supermarket again- but who cares, it’s more fun. One report we read said the trip around the supermarket took about 2 hours on the ride, so it might not be the most practical place to go for a loaf of bread. The supermarket is located in Shenyang, which is is the capital city of Liaoning province in Northeast China with a population of about 7.2 million residents about 500km north east of Beijing. Lets hope the big supermarket chains take note and start installing them everywhere.

Read the rest of this entry »

Harbin Ice Festival in China


YouTube direct

Harbin is located in north east China, it lies east of Mongolia an just below Siberia and at this time of the year it is freezing, during the day expect -2f on a good day and -19f during the night. But what better way to celebrate the icy conditions than to have an ice festival. The festival is great fun with ice rides, ice bars and some amazing sculptures. At night the ice becomes magical with a kaleidoscope of coloured lights. This YouTube video gives you a great insight into the fun and the clever artists who create these works of icey art.

Read the rest of this entry »