XiangYang / 襄阳

XiangYang was previously known as XiangFan.  It is the second largest city in Hubei province and it has an urban population of about 2 million.  It is composed of three districts: XiangCheng is the cultural district; FanCheng is the business district and XiangZhou is the industrial district.  XiangCheng has most of the cultural sites and FanCheng has the major shopping mall: Wanda.  The main railway station is in FanCheng.  From there, take bus 512 across the river to XiangCheng. Continue reading

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Xi’an / 西安

I spent my first day in Xi’an taking in all the sights within walking distance of my hostel.  On the next day I took a Terracotta Warriors tour and discovered the parks to the south of the walled city.  I really enjoyed visiting Xi’an.   A lot of people speak basic English and the traditional, Chinese architecture has largely been preserved.  I’d recommend three full days to see all of the sights. Continue reading

Beijing / 北京

Beijing is the capital of the PRC with the second largest urban population in China (after Shanghai).   The city forms its own municipality and it is known for its long history, its politics and its air pollution.  It comprises four inner-city districts: (i) Dongcheng has most of the sites; (ii) Chaoyang is home to a large expat population; Xicheng has a number of lakes and (iv) Haidian is the university district.  Continue reading