The Netherlands is a monarchy, located in Western Europe. Its neighbouring countries are Germany to the east and Belgium to the south.
The Netherlands is often called Holland, which is formally incorrect as the region of Holland (nowadays divided into the provinces of North Holland and South Holland) in the western part of the Netherlands makes up only two of the country's twelve provinces.
The capital of The Netherlands is Amsterdam which is world famous for its canals, Van Gogh and Anna Frank museums, the red-light district, the coffee shops and the football club "Ajax" amongst others. Rotterdam is the next largest after Amsterdam and is also the largest port in Europe. From the balcony of your apartments Rotterdam and its impressive skyline is quite imposing and is one of the highlights of a visit here.
The Netherlands might not be the first country one would think of as a trekking or hiking destination, but its flatness, the large number of historical cities and the countryside make the country very suitable for hiking holidays.
Xishuangbanna, means twelve thousand rice fields, is an autonomous prefecture in southern Yunnan Province, China. It’s a tropical and minority area.
Xishuangbanna is China’s mini-Thailand and it is much preferred tourist destination. The main attraction of Xishuangbanna is the Water Festival which falls inbetween April 13 to 15.
Qiaotou is a town in Yongjia Country is the name of the several population centers in China.
Daju is a place where you can find Naxi villages near the north entrance to Tiger Leaping Gorge which is also known for stark beauty amidst nature’s hugeness. To reach Tiger Leaping Gorge you have to cross Daju.
Baishuitai is a limestone deposit plateau just 108km southeast of Shangri-la which has few breathtaking scenery and Tibetan villages.
Yunnan, a province of the China can be found in the far south of the country. Yunnan means south of Yunling Mountains. It is the most diverse province biologically and culturally. Yunnan has very high level of ethnic diversity, out of 56 well known ethnic groups of China, twenty five are found in Yunnan.
Yunnan is China’s major tourist destinations and tourist centers in Yunnan are –
1. Dali – the historic center of the Nanzhao and the most popular tourist destination for its historic sites and with the great western style food, music and English speaking owners.
2. Chuxiong – a beautiful city 127km west of Yunnan. Yi Ren Gu Zhen is an ancient town and tourist attraction in the northwestern “new town”. You can enjoy dancing and music of the Yi ethnic minority. You can even buy some handmade garb as your souvenirs.
3. Jinghong – is a historical capital of the former Tai kingdom. The main attraction of Jinghong is the Dai Water Splashing Festival, which is a form of New Years celebration.
4. Lijiang City is the world famous Old Town of Lijiang and it is listed as the World Heritage Sites.
Emei Shan is in Szechuan province. It is a mountain which stands tall at 3,099m and one of the four sacred Buddhist Mountains of China. The large area is geologically known as Permian Emeishan Large Igneous Province.
It is said that the first Buddhist temple which was built in China in the 1st century CE was built here in Mount Emei. Emie Shan is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Sichuan is located in western China and Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan. Sichuan lies in the Sichuan basin and it is also surrounded by the Himalayas to the west side. Sichuan is historically known as the “Province of Abundance” and it is one of the major agricultural production bases of China.
Sichuan has few sites which is listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites and they are-
1. Dazu Rock Carvings - Dating back from 7th century, The Dazu Rock Carvings are a series of Chinese religious sculpture and carvings which is located on the steep hillsides. It consist of 75 protected sites with 50,000 statues of 100,000 Chinese characters forming inscriptions and epigraphs.
2. Huanglong – It is the most scenic and historic area in Songpan County which is very well known for its colorful pools formed by calcite deposits, snow capped peaks, waterfalls and hotsprings.
3. Jiuzhaigou Valley – is also known as Valley of Nine Villages which is a nature reserve in northen Sichuan. Jiuzhaigou Valley is worldwide famous for its multilevel waterfalls and colorful lakes.
4. Leshan Giant Buddha – was built during the Tang Dynasty which was carved out of a cliff face which lies at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers in the southern part of Sichuan.
5. Mount Emei – is a mountain which is one of the four sacred Buddhist Mountains of China. The large area is geologically known as Permian Emeishan Large Igneous Province. It is said that the first Buddhist temple which was built in China in the 1st century CE was built here in Mount Emei.
6. Mount Qingcheng – has 36 peaks and according to Daoism mythology, this was the site of the Yellow Emperor’s studies with Ning Fengzhi.
7. Dujiangyan Irrigation System – is located in the Min River and it is an irrigation infra-structure built in 256 BC during the Warring States Period of China. It is still in use.
8. Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries – is a home of more than 30% of the world’s highly endangered Giant Pandas and important sites for the breeding of these pandas. It consists of 7 nature reserves and 9 scenic parks.
Dengfeng is located south of the Yellow River which is famous as the home of the Shaolin Temple. Dengfeng is smaller than Luouang or Kaifeng but yet it is worth visiting place. Dengfeng has a long history and Shaolin Temple is the most famous site of Dengfeng.
1. Songyue Temple – Sitting at the foot of Taishi Mountain, the Songyue Temple was built in 520AD.
2. Zhongyue Temple also known as the Little Palace dates back from the Qin Dynasty. It is the oldest temple which is still standing in China.
3. Another oldest Buddhist temple Fawang was built in 71AD during the Han Dynasty.
4. Chongfu Temple is the oldest Taoist temple which is set at the base of Taishi Mountain.
Henan is a province of China with the population of 100 million people and located in the Yellow River valley where ancient people lived. Henan is also called as Zhongyuan and Henan is also traditionally regarded as the cradle of Chinese civilization.
Few of the attractions of Henan are Geocheng Astronomical Observatory which is situated in Duke Zhou Gong’s shrine, Mount Jigong, Mount Song, Shaolin Temple etc.
Guilin is a city in China, set in the northeast of the Guangxi. Guilin means “Forest of Sweet Osmanthus”. It is worldwide recognized for its unique scenery. Guilin has a different climate like Damp monsoon, warm, rainy, plenty of sunshine, clear vision of the four seasons, warm winters and average temperature of 19°C annually.
The main attractions of Guilin –
1. Jingjiang Princess City – is a famous historical site in Guilin which functions as Guangxi Normal University and as a tourist attraction.
2. Seven Star Cave – Full with the history of exploration dating back to the Tang Dynasty. Sever Star Cave has a year round temperature of about 20 Celsius. The maximum height inside the cave is 27 meters and a width of 49 meters.
3. Moon Hill – is a hill with a natural arch.
Guangxi is a Zhuang autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China. The full name of Guangxi is Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It is bordered by Yunnan to the west, Guizhou to the north, Hunan to the northeast and Guangdong to the southeast.
Guangxi is a mountains region and the major tourist attraction of Guangxi is Guilin –a town famed across China and the world for its spectacular setting by the Lijiang River amongst severe Karst peaks.
Beijing is a metropolis in northern China and also a capital of the People’s Republic of China which is also known as Peking in English. Beijing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. Beijing is also China’s second largest city.
Few of the main attractions of Beijing are listed below–
1. Forbidden City – It was the Chinese imperial palace from the mid-Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty which is located in the middle of Beijing. Forbidden City served for five centuries as the home of the Emperor and his household, the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government.
2. Tiananmen Square – Traditional Chinese large plaza near the center of Beijing. It has great cultural significance as a symbol because of the several key events in Chinese history. Tiananmen Square covers 40.5 hectares and it is the largest open-urban square in the world.
3. Summer Palace – Yi he yuan is the Chinese name of the Summer Palace which is dominated by Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake. It covers the area of 2.9 square kilometers and 3 quarters of water. In December 1988 Summer Palace was added in the UNSECO World Heritage Site.
4. Geological Museum of China - Built in 1916 this geological museum has 200 thousands specimens. It is famous for time-honored history, large number of ancient records, high percent of curiosities, delicate display and rich achievements in scientific research.
5. Temple of Heaven - is a complex of Taoist buildings. This complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for the annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. Build from 1406 to 1420, Temple of Heaven is listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
6. Great Wall of China – is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in China which was built and rebuilt and maintained between the 6th BC and the 16th century to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire during the rule of the successive dynasties. Great Wall of China is also listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site.
7. Beijing Botanical Garden – It covers 564,000 square meters. It cultivates 6,000 species of plants, 1620 varieties of tropical and subtropical plants, 500 species of flowers and 1900 kinds of fruit trees, water plants and traditional Chinese plants and a UNESCO’s World Heritage site
8. Ming Dynasty Tombs – UNESCO’s World Heritage Site Ming Dynasty Tombs is located 50 km North of Beijing. The site was chosen by the 3rd Ming Dynasty Emperor Yongle.
Oybin is a municipality in the district Lobau-Zittau, in Saxony, Germany which is very close to the border of the Czech Republic. It is a “Kurort” a resort which is certified by the state, where people go for the rest and recuperation.
Schmalkalden is a town in the district of Schmalkalden-Meiningen, southwestern portion of Thuringia state in Germany.
The main attractions of Schmalkalden are: the Church of St. George, the Town hall, Todenwarth’s stone hosue, The island and the Salt Bridge, The Rose Pharmacy, Luther’s House, The Court of Hessen, Weidebrunn Lane 30, Town fortifications, The hospital and its chapel, Wilhelmsburg Castle and The Cemetery church amongst others.