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Known as the Celestial Empire, which refers to a country where it’s believed that the divine and the mortal once co-existed, China shelters one of the richest and most diverse cultures in the history of mankind. If you want to travel in Asia, China might just be the perfect choice. Whether you’re looking for urban adventures, exploring wild nature and taking in picture-perfect landscapes, or want to delve into an ancient culture, a tour around China will satisfy all of your traveler cravings. Being one of the biggest countries in the world and a home to over one billion people, China is full of surprises and various rather bizarre, but intriguing peculiarities, which only makes it one of the most diverse and unique places to visit. So before you decide whether or not you should experience China first hand, let’s explore some of more interesting facts you probably didn’t know about this country.
We are all quite aware of the fact, that the Chinese are rather great at replicating things. From copying famous designer clothes and making convincing replicas of Apple stores, to apparently even creating perfect replicas of towns. The town in China, which reportedly cost over six million Euros to build, is officially called Thames Town and is located in Songjiang New City, Shanghai. Built to create a completely copied traditional English architecture, the Thames Town is filled with many of the things traditionally associated with an English village, such as red telephone booths, classic English pubs, Tudor buildings and cobber streets. So even if you travel in Asia, you can still experience something very English.
China is truly incredibly diverse. A new skyscraper is build every five days, but over 30 million people, close to 40 million actually, still live in eco-friendly cave houses.
Some of the houses been around for generations and look exactly like caves, some are more modern looking and most of them have all the amenities like electricity, plumbing and even internet connection. The homes are dug into hills, which provides excellent isolation thus making these cave homes very energy-efficient – it’s cool in the summer, but warm in the winter. So if you decide to travel to China, you can truly experience a wide diversity of living conditions, ranging from a five star hotel, to an old traditional eco-friendly cave house. But of course it is up to you, which choice will allow you to experience China and it’s culture to the fullest.
When you travel to China, probably one of the first stops of your journey would be the Great Wall of China. It was built in order to protect China from various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe invading the country. Over the couple of thousand years since the wall was build, it was strengthened and expanded, making it one of the greatest and biggest monuments in the world. Before the use of bricks, the wall was mostly build from stones, wood and rammed earth. Of course, over the course of time the wall was strengthened and recently scientist in China made a discovery, that sticky rise was used to make the wall stronger. The odd mortar was made by mixing together a paste of sticky rice flour and slaked lime, which surprisingly worked like a charm – The Great Wall of China is still standing and greater than ever.
During your visit in China there will without a doubt be quite a few things to adapt to. For example, despite the huge size of China’s territory, the country only has one time zone. Which means that in some parts of the country, the sun rises only at ten o’clock in the morning. The decision to have only one, instead of five time zones, was made by the Communist Party in 1949 in order to strengthen national unity. While this is only a mild inconvenience at most for the locals, during your tour around China, there will most definitely be quite a few unusual time related experiences. But on the bright side – you won’t have to worry about setting the right time on your clock, when traveling across country.
There are a lot of cultural differences, between Western and Asian cultures, including laws. When you visit China, there are a lot of unwritten and more official rules to keep in mind so when you travel to China, one silly mistake won’t get you arrested. Which, in Xinjiang, could sometimes be a surprisingly interesting experience, since an elite gaggle of geese were recruited to work for the police in early 2013. Officers of the law described the geese as a new “highlight of stability maintenance work” and claimed these birds to be more efficient than dogs, when fighting crime. One brave gaggle of geese even took down a man trying to steal a motorbike from police headquarters.
There are obviously more than one or two interesting secrets that China is keeping and even more reasons to travel to China – after all it is the country who discovered The Four Great Inventions and even invented ice-cream (which in my opinion might just be the greatest invention of all time). But more importantly, China and it’s oddness is a must visit place, which will allow you to not only experience a completely different culture, but a completely different rhythm of life. Don’t miss your chance and grab an opportunity for a trip of a life time.