Thursday, February 16, 2012

China Calling

executive summary by darmansjah
China Calling
Whether it’s a trip to the vibrant capital for a mix of historic sites and urban offerings, or a sun-soaked visit to the tropical shores of Hainan Island, China beckons like no other destination

Sofitel Wanda Beijing, Elegance in the heart of the Chinese Capital

Sofitel is a french luxury hotel brand with a presence of five continents, with 130 addresses in almost 40 countries. It offers contemporary accommodations designed for modern, versatile guests who expect and appreciate beauty, quality, and excellence. Artfully blending French elegance with the very best of Chinese culture, the Sofitel Wanda Baijing is ideally located in the central business district.

This five-star platinum hotel provides a contemporary luxury experience with 417 rooms and suites, which now feature exclusive, French-designed My Beds. Made from down feathers, and with an extra-thick mattress and box xpring, the beds are guaranteed to result in absolute rest and comfort. The hotel offers a variety of restaurants and bars, including Le Pre Lenotre, an award-winning French dining room. Open for lunch or dinner, the 60-seat restaurant loasts luxurious furnishing throughout, bringing a French country-style chateau to the heart of Beijing. Intimate, individualy lit tables give the venue an authentic Galic flair, while the wine cellar offers renowned wines from Bordeaux, the Loire and Rhone valleys, as well as wines from lesser-known boutique wineries.

A full floor of leisure facilities i also available to guests, with a  28-meter swimming pool, health club, and spa. The hotel enjoys easy access to the China International Exhibition Centre. The city subway, major tourist attractions like the Forbidden City and Tiananment Square, the antique and silk markets., and shopping malls. It is only 30 minutes via expressway to Beijing Capital International Airport.

Beijing Beckons

A capital city for most of the past millenium, and set to be a global leader in the millenium to come, dynamic Beijing boasts a dizzying array of attractions. To explore the dynastic history of the city itself, no sites defines Beijing quite like the Forbidden City (officially known as the Palace Museum), the old imperial heart of the capital, former home to 24 emperors an their many concubines. Prepare to spend a few hours wandering through the 9,000-plus-room complex, soaking in the impressive anthology of 500 years’ worth of dynastic rule.

Across busy Cahng’an Avenue is Tiananmen Square, where, if you arrive at sunset, you’ll witness the lowering of the national flag, a daily event that attracts thousand of onlookers. Also nearby is Shichahai, a man-made lake cistrict just north of the Forbidden City, which is best explored on wheels. Rent bikes from the eastern shore of Qianhai and set off down the narrow hutong alleyways that exercise, hire a rickshaw and take in sights including Prince Gong’s Mansion and the former residence of Soong Qingling. At night, Shichahai transforms into a neon jungle of watering holes and restaurants.

For an escape from the bustle, spend some time in one of the city’s many parks. Among the more popular is Ritan (“Temple of the sun”) Park, once used by Ming and Qing dynasty emperors to pay homage to their sun god. At sunrise and sunset, the park overflows with tai chi enthusiasts, ballroom dancers, fitness fanatics, ma-jong players, fishermen, rock climbers, yoga practitioners, gossiping grandmothers, and elderly gents taking their birds “for a walk” in their cages.

Although Beijing lost most of its temples during the cultural Revolution, those that survived are well worth a visit. Arrive at the Temple of Heaven (Tiantan) early in the morning and join in a thai chi class amid 600-year –old Taoist buildings. Farther north, the Lama Temple (Yonghe) is one of the most beautiful Tibetan-Budhist monasteries in the world. Be sure to check out the magnificent Maitreya Buddha statue, which stands 26 meters tall and is carved from a single piece of white sandalwood.

No visit to the Chines Capital would be complete without a trip to the Great Wall, but avoid touristy Badaling, the nearest section, and drive at least as far Mutianyu, about 90 minutes from the city. Crowds can still be dense, but if you’re traveling with kids, you can share the novelty head farther out to Simatai, a rugged strecth that reward with dramatic views.

1 comment:

  1. China have the treasure of beautiful places I always like to visit china while traveling, natural beauty, culture, sculptures i love everything about china. But I visit to china my family's main concern is about How to call China?