Spectacular China

“ China is one of the largest countries in the world. Its 5,929,000 square miles make it bigger than the United States by about 124,000 square miles. The population of China, however, a staggering 1.3 billion people, dwarfs the population of the United States, currently around 300 million.” These are just some of the many interesting facts within the book named “Spectacular China” by Nigel Cameron.  This book explores the many beautiful landscapes of China but also its exuberance which is found in the history and the divergence of the people and their connection with their surroundings.

I’m only just learning about China, there is so much to know. Reading “Spectacular China” to me has illustrated the eminence but also the mystery of China. As someone who has never been to China myself but would like to I can understand why many people want to go, whether its to visit a particular city or to travel the whole country It seems that visiting China is not only about sightseeing and taking photographs, it’s about a learning experience, learning about the culture, the arts and the history of one of the ancient civilizations of the world.

Its my understanding from what I have read that the culture of China surrounds the Arts and Crafts in China as well as the Architecture of China,  the music and dance in China, Chinese Cuisine, Religion in China, the customs and traditions in China, fashion in China and also the Chinese civility. As a student of Interior Design I imagine to be in the presence of architecture with such grandeur like The Great Wall I would find to be an overwhelming experience. As one of the greatest wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China was enlisted in the World Heritage Site in 1987. Winding through deserts, grasslands, mountains, and high land, the Great Wall is approximately 6,700 kilometres long. The Wall stretches from a seaport in the east coast of China to Xinjiang in the North West. Its architectural richness and historical significance has made the Great Wall of China one of the most inviting tourist attractions of the world.

“Consider the passion with which the Chinese built the Great Wall, certainly one of mankind’s almost superhuman constructions both in terms of its enormous size and length.” Nigel Cameron.

China is prevalent with many architectural buildings, palaces, and historical sights significant for its intricate designs. The original palace of Qianqinggong known as the Palace of Heavenly Purity where the Qing emperor resided, within the Forbidden City, served as a exceptional part of the Chinese architecture.

“North of  the Forbidden City in Beijing, the whole palace complex can be seen under a sea of yellow-tiled roofs. The 2,300-square-foot area containing over nine thousand rooms is surrounded by a 33-foot-high wall and by the wide encircling moat.” Nigel Cameron.

Although the architecture in China is a big part of the tourist attraction from what I have found through research it also resides in the culture that surrounds the Arts and Crafts. Chinese craftsmen are the inventors of porcelain. China is also renowned for its Jade figurines and jewellery. The crafting of ornaments of other precious stones is also a Chinese art. Bamboo crafts and basketry are particularly popular in the rural areas of China. Among the other antique arts of China is calligraphy, crafting ceramic wares, glass and crystal wares, screen making, silk paintings, and plant crafts like bonsai, candle making and lacquer crafts.

Such talent can be seen in Xian. The Terracotta Army, the 8,000- strong army of ceramic figures with over one hundred chariots occupies 65,600 square feet.

Xian is one of the six ancient Capital Cities of the people’s republic of China. The beautiful city is located in the central region of the Mainland China. I’ve read that Xian in China is also a very popular tourist destination. Thousands of people from various corners of the world come to visit this beautiful place throughout the year.

There are so many reasons to visit China whether its for the architecture, the music, the festivals, the cuisine, and from what I have read of the cities it seems hard not to experience a little of everything. The way in which “Spectacular China” in my opinion sells China to tourists is in its substantial imagery and backup of historical facts. There’s something about an oversized glossy book with full pages of imagery that seems an essential to contain and educate on such an important subject.

“Spectacular China” was compiled by China Travel and Tourism Press with assistance from Hugh Lautner Levin Associates, Inc and text by Nigel Cameron. In my opinion well worth a look at.

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