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According to The Lonely Plant, Qingdao, also known as Tsingtao (青島), is “a breath of fresh (ocean) air.”

Situated on the east coast of China’s Shangdong Province, it is a rare modern city that has managed to preserve its past.  Its deepwater harbor and proximity to Korea and Japan made it the target of unwelcome foreign interests during the Boxer Rebellion and forced to be conceded to Germany in 1989, during which the Germans improved the city’s infrastructure and also left behind the famous Tsingtao Brewery.  After the brief German occupation, the Japanese moved in in 1914.  

After World War II the Kuomintang allowed Qingdao to serve as the headquarters of the Western Pacific Fleet of the U.S. Navy in 1945.  When China opened up in the 1980s, western Qingdao quickly bloomed as a port city.

By Greg Hugh        

Some might consider Chinese tourism to be the biggest phenomenon to hit the global travel industry since the invention of commercial flight.  The UN World Tourism Organization estimated that by 2015, 100 million Chinese will pack their bags to travel abroad.  In 2012, Chinese overtook Americans and Germans as the world’s top international tourism spenders, with 83 million spending a record US$102 billion on international tourism.

This remarkable growth — largely due to relaxed government restrictions on foreign travel and the rise of a Chinese middle class with disposable income — has forced the international travel industry, from hotels to restaurants to shopping centers, to adapt to the influx of Chinese tourists.  This phenomenal growth unfortunately has resulted in controversy as to how Chinese tourist behave as they travel the world, and prompted Beijing in 2013 to issue a handy 64-page rulebook aimed at curbing the unruly behavior of Chinese tourists abroad that has resulted in an “uncivilized” stereotype.

Hiking through a Chinese landscape paintingWeb Travel YelMtn MtnsClouds r72

By Linda Mealey-Lohmann, vice president, US-China Peoples Friendship Association of Minnesota

It was a beautiful day (in September 2013) to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Yellow Mountain (Huangshan 黄山), a UNESCO world heritage site in Anhui Province, China, west of Shanghai.  We took the tram from the bottom of the mountain to nearly its top, where we were told we would have to hike the rest of the way to our hotel.  So, with our overnight bags slung across our shoulders, we hiked along a well-defined path while taking in the breath-taking beauty of the jutting granite peaks and the ancient Huangshan Pines.  The sky was blue and we could see for miles.  It was a perfect day for this US-China Peoples Friendship Association tour group of eight travelers who had traveled from all over the U.S. to come together at this spot.

By James Yang, The Executive Navigator Summer Program participant

As humans first appeared on the Earth, they appeared to be the same, farming strenuously to
support their families. However, with the development of the world, the destinies of different
people came to be totally different. Some people were forced to leave their homes for an
unknown place. They had to give up their present lives, such as the lost boys from Sudan. Some
people were good at writing so they wrote famous books with popular characters. For example,
the boy Christopher was created by British writer Mark Haddon in his 2003 novel The Curious
Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Unlike them, l am only an ordinary person in this modern
world, and not known by so many people. However, we all have experienced many obstacles,
which we had never expected. The most important thing is that our adverse destinies are behind
us and we now have the power and strength to lead in our future calling.

By Zhang Xueying, China Today staff reporter

Traditional Resorts

Of the 10 cities, Sanya, Haikou and Qinhuangdao are traditional destinations for millions of urbanites seeking to escape the summer heat of inland cities.

Sanya and Haikou on China's southernmost island province of Hainan are often compared to Hawaii, given a tropical climate and landscape that make them unlike any other Chinese seaside locale. Apart from marine sightseeing and recreational activities, golfing has boomed in recent years at both summer resorts. Sanya's Yalong Bay Golf Club, in particular, has distinguished itself by hosting a number of international professional tournaments, leading to its selection by the American golf magazine, Golf Digest, as one of the top 10 greens in China.

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