Opinion / Blog

5 reasons why you should come to China

By eddieturkson (blog.chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2015-07-30 14:57

3 A heaven for tourists, not a haven for activists

If you haven’t been to China, a landmass harboring almost a quarter of the world’s population then you haven’t traveled around the world. Visiting China should be among the places on your to-do list. China is an adventurer’s wonderland. Forget the Great Wall, enter deep into the hinterlands. Visitors would marvel at the sheer number of national parks in China. Within the 28 provinces that make up China, there are approximately 225 national parks officially recognized by the government. They’re huge landmasses managed by professional conservationists all for your viewing pleasure. Even locals have a hard time choosing where to visit on holidays.

The point is all these parks have stunning attractions with unimaginable biodiversity you can’t find anywhere except in China. Top on the list are parks in Yunnan, Sichuan, Anhui and those in Hunan province. Most of these parks are relatively unknown to expats living in China because of the remoteness of the regions. Quite a number of these parks are UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites. They include the Three Parallel Rivers, the Stone Forest of Lunan, and the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain National Parks.

Other famous parks include the Wulingyuan Zhangjiajie National Park- described as China’s Avatar, the Zhangjiajie national park is a popular tourist destination in Hunan. It is home to striking sandstone and quarts cliffs which inspired the fictional world of Pandora in James Cameron’s movie, Avatar. The Jiuhaigou National Park- located in the Jiuhai Valley; it is home to nine Tibetan villages where over 220 bird species as well as a number of endangered plant and animal species including giant pandas, Sichuan golden monkeys are protected.

The Longmen Grottoes National Park- located in Luoyang city in Henan Province, the park houses treasures of ancient China’s Buddhist cave art. The caves are believed to have been hewed and carved during the Northern Wei Dynasty around 386-534, when the rulers relocated their capital to Luoyang near the end of the 5th century. The Huangshan National Park- this is home to the legendary Yellow Mountains. Surrounded in the myths of ancient immortals, the Yellow Mountains have some strange charming geomorphology. I’m yet to visit some of these places but trust me I’ve seen enough and they’re magical.

4. Learning the language is fun 

Most potential visitors to China are turned off simply because of the language. They refuse to come because of assumed difficulty in grasping the language. If others have been able to decipher the language why can’t you. Of course learning a new language like Chinese is difficult, it is the same with other languages, but learning a language in an environment where you’re always encouraged by the native speakers couldn’t be much more fun. Just remember that learning Chinese is easier when you’re on the mainland. It is an amazing language and to count yourself among the rest of the world’s population that speaks Chinese is a plus. Imagine the opportunities that come with it. Personally, it was one of my greatest challenges but I was able to crack it wide open with a few tips- check my 5 Easy tricks to learning Chinese.

Don’t let the fear of one language keep you away from all the possibilities and dreams you can achieve in China. If it is the language keeping you away from China then you have nothing to fear or worry about. It is a whole big world out here and language should be the least of your worries.

5 Rest assured, the people are warm

I’ve written a lot about this and others have done so. China is the only country where almost every foreigner is a star. No need to masquerade around as one, especially in second tier cities or rural areas where you get to experience most of your China moments but mind you the streets are not lined with golden bricks, and certainly not honey and milk everywhere but rest assured you can butter your bread if you are employed or even as a student. You can even strike gold if you are in the top echelons of the talent pool. It’s China, everything is possible.

The original blog is at: http://blog.chinadaily.com.cn/blog-1825133-30826.html

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