Everything Travelers Need to Know About the History and Culture of China

Guide to the History and Culture of China

Chinese culture

 

China has become a symbol of growth and development today. Anyone who has been to this captivating country will tell you about how its remarkable history is a precursor to its bright future. It’s almost impossible to find a place in the world which boasts a long history as interesting as China.

Whether you want to see the Great Wall or the Forbidden City, traveling to China will give you an experience of a lifetime. However, before you set foot in the country, it is vital to know some facts about one of the strongest nations in the world.

About China

China is the second biggest country in Asia  in land mass next to Russia. The People’s Republic of China is so huge that it makes up one-fourteenth of the world’s total land mass. It is almost the same size as Europe.

With over 1.4 billion people, the country also has the world’s largest population. One-fifth of the total people in the world is Chinese.  Because of how large the country is, it features various land formations such as picturesque plateaus, coastal land, and massive deserts. In fact, Mount Everest lies on the border between Nepal and China.

The world’s third’s largest river, the Yangtze, is located in China. Additionally, China is also rich in wildlife. Giant pandas, which are endemic to the country, can be found in its southwest mountains. These adorable animals only eat bamboo.

Chinese history

 

History of China

China is known as one of the first civilizations which recorded its history. The history of China involves dynasties in which the country was controlled by an emperor, who functioned like a king. The rise and fall of dynasties in China are credited to the “Mandate of Heaven,” or a divine force which judges the emperor’s capability to rule over the nation by his manners.

Dynasties ended when the last was overthrown by a more powerful family through rebellion and war. For over 3,000 years, many dynasties controlled the nation. The first dynasty in China is known as the Shang dynasty. The Zhou dynasty followed, which transformed the nation from a divided state to a feudal nation. Numerous philosophies developed during this time, which became the basis for Confucianism and Daoism.

China entered the Warring States Period when the Zhou dynasty ended. After 500 years, China once again became unified thanks to the Qin dynasty. This dynasty was then followed by the Han dynasty which ruled for over four centuries.

When the Han dynasty ended, the Sui dynasty came into power and was later overpowered by the Tang dynasty. After the Tang dynasty, the Song dynasty controlled the country and made its economy thrive. However, they were removed from power by the Yuan dynasty.

The Yuan Dynasty was very unpopular with the people of China, as they were predominantly controlled by the Mongols. This gave rise to the Ming dynasty which was responsible for building one of China’s most famous landmarks, the Great Wall. After the Yuan dynasty, the Qing dynasty followed, which was the last dynasty in China.

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Vibrant Culture

Long before most countries were organized, China became civilized and had breakthroughs in crafts such as silk making and art. These early Chinese artists were also the ones to thank for calligraphy.

Most Chinese philosophical beliefs are rooted in the teachings of Confucius, a known philosopher and government official who preached about essential values over 3,000 years ago. Now, the teachings of Confucius have spread all over the world.

Additionally, many people in China follow Taoism, one of the world’s oldest religions. This religion highly values the relationship between humans and nature. Buddhism is also prevalent in the country.

Visit China Today

A visit to China will surely give you an experience of a lifetime. Not only does China feature breathtaking architecture, sumptuous food, and cute pandas, it also has some of the most welcoming people in the world. So do yourself a favor and experience the unique culture and sights of China with a trip today.

china culture

 

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6 Ways to Protect Your Skin from Summer Sun Damage While Hiking the Great Wall

Top 6 Tips to Avoid a Sunburn During Your Great Wall Adventures

Protect Your Skin from Summer Sun Damage

 

Skin care for summer Great Wall of China hiking doesn’t need to be complicated, but a few quick considerations will make sure that you come off the trail looking healthy and outdoorsy. Below are six things you should start doing right away to protect your skin from sun blisters, sun poisoning, and long term sun damage.

Minimize Sun Exposure

The easiest way to protect yourself from too much sun is to limit the time you spend out under its rays. Yet when you are traveling to Mutianyu, Jinshanling or Huanghuacheng, you want to get as much out of your vacation time as possible.

To balance the heat, do the bulk of your hiking in the early morning or afternoon. Avoid hiking at noon whenever possible to avoid the strongest sunlight of the day.

Wear Protective Accessories

Start by purchasing sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays. You can find these at your optometrist or any brand name sunglasses dealer.

Make sure you choose a reputable brand that is tested and marked as 100 percent UV blocking. Also, shop for sun protection gear including hats and neckerchiefs made from a material that is treated to block or repel ultraviolet radiation (UV) rays.

Do your research regarding brands and the science behind their products for the best results.

Cover Your Skin

Along with accessories, choose the right clothing to protect your skin against the sun. Long sleeves and pants may seem outlandish if you are traveling to Beijing in the summer.

However, you can find thin layers that offer lightweight protection against the sun’s rays. Look for clothing treated with the same UV blocking material as the hats and neckerchiefs.

Tourist man from behind looking at view of Great Wall of China at famous Mutianyu tourism attraction during travel vacation in Beijing. Asia autumn holidays.

 

Use Safe Sunscreens

Buy a fresh bottle of sunscreen before you leave for Beijing. Older sunscreens from last season may not be as effective or safe for sun protection.

Consider a sunscreen that has a waterproof formulation to avoid sweating away your sunscreen after each application. You can also find tinted sunscreen if you want to use this in place of makeup to make your Great Wall of China snapshots pop.

Wash Your Face Shortly After Your Hike

Along with UV damage, there are environmental stressors that can affect your skin. Dirt, pollen, and air pollution are just the start. After you finish your hike each day at the Great Wall, wash your face. You will remove the sunscreen and any contaminants that could damage your skin in the long term.

Get a Skin Cancer Screening

The best way to detect skin cancer is with regular skin cancer screening by your medical doctor. Consider getting a cancer screening before you travel to Gubeikou or Simatai in Beijing to give yourself peace of mind. Then when you return from your trip, it might be beneficial to schedule another test if you see any spots or indicators of skin cancer.

By keeping yourself protected against harmful sun rays you’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors longer and avoid causing problems that will make Great Wall of China hiking difficult.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Next Museum Trip

Best Tips to Make a Museum Visit More Interesting

How to Get the Most Out of Your Next Museum Trip China

 

Museums often have a quiet, reverential feeling to them on your first visit. Many are also large and expansive with a variety of specialty exhibits and artifacts. Getting the most out of the experience requires a bit of planning, and the most enjoyable museum experiences are enlightening without the need to spend hours walking through every floor or exhibit.

Regardless of their size or subject matter, museums are valuable resources of science, history, art and knowledge. They also provide excellent ways of immersing yourself in subject matter that’s meaningful to you. The following tips will help you move past any feelings of being overwhelmed and take full advantage of all the educational fun on your next museum trip.

Plan and Book Ahead if Possible

The majority of museums now allow you to buy your admission tickets ahead on their websites, and even have virtual previews of their latest exhibits.

Buying your tickets online will save you time that would’ve been spent waiting in long lines if you go during peak hours.

Museums with specialty, limited-time exhibits often charge separate admission, and the same applies to subject matter films shown in museums’ large-screen movie theaters. Souvenirs from museum gift shops also cost extra, another factor for your museum visit budget.

Another benefit of interactive museum websites is the information about any available discounted days or specialty pricing for children, students or seniors.

Many large urban museums also have free or “pay what you wish” days during the week in most cases. These prices can be great for large families or groups of people, although they may mean crowds during less-than-prime visiting hours at the museum.

The busiest times are most often the weekends, so plan accordingly if it will be a solo or two-person museum trip.

Look for Special Museum Events

Many museums have events each month for different age groups, such as free admission for kids under a certain age or even adults-only evenings once or twice per month.

These events are additional fun ways to learn new things and meet new people who share similar interests in the same subject matter.

Get the Most Out of Your Next Museum Trip

 

While You’re at the Museum

During your planned museum visit, you’ll want to be engaged with the curiosities and exhibits that interest you.

Keep your cell phone use to a minimum and be sure to follow any rules regarding photography inside the museum.

While it might be tempting to look up more information online using your phone, you can most often learn more by reading through exhibit literature and asking questions of museum volunteers.

Many of them have completed training in detailed knowledge of the artifacts and will be able to provide even more insight.

If you enjoy writing or drawing, it can be fun to take a notebook and write or sketch out your impressions of the exhibits that appeal to you the most. This is an excellent way to share what you think with your friends and family members who are also interested.

Take a Guided Tour

Another great way to enhance your museum experience is to take advantage of guided tours, many of which are available at low or even no additional cost.

The information and detail you’ll get from a tour guide will teach you more than you’d learn from exploring on your own.

Having a guide narrate the history or science behind each exhibit will give you more context, and tours most often end with additional time to ask the guide questions.

Take advantage of this opportunity to learn even more and to give museum staff members to talk further about their subject matter.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, planning your visit ahead and taking advantage of extras will help you have the most enjoyable experience on your next museum visit.

Take advantage of guided and self-guided tours, pick and study with exhibits intrigue you the most, and continue the discussion after your visit.

Quality most often takes precedence over quantity when it comes to the time you spend in museums, and engagement with what interests you is also a key to enjoying them the most.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Next Museum Trip

 

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How to Keep Kids From Getting Mosquito Bites While Hiking the Great Wall

Surviving Mosquitoes on Trail

Keep Kids From Getting Mosquito Bites While Hiking the Great Wall

 

Mosquitoes are familiar foes for Great Wall of China enthusiasts of all types. Whether your adventures involve hiking, camping the Great Wall,  you’ve surely spent a night or two swatting at these buzzing pests and coating yourself with itch-relieving creams. To protect your younger travelers to Beijing to the Great Wall for hiking and camping, follow these six steps.

1: Wear Long Sleeves and Long Pants

  • You want to start your child off with the right wardrobe to protect against mosquito bites. Wear a base layer of long sleeves and long thin pants or leggings.
  • Look for naturally repellent materials. Lightweight merino wool is a perfect material for a long sleeve based layer for your children.
  • As a bonus, this wool also repels against odor and wicks away moisture to help keep your child’s body temperature more steady even in wet or hot conditions.

2. Lightweight Outer Layers Only

Over the base layer, add a loose lightweight outer layer. This might be a button-down flannel shirt, fleece coat, hoodie sweatshirt, or windbreaker jacket. This provides an extra layer against pesky mosquitos that are determined to have dinner.

3. Use Bandanas Protect the Neck

A bandana is a multifunctional item that every parent needs for their child. In this case, you can use a bandana as a neckerchief around the back of the neck.

Kids From Getting Mosquito Bites While Hiking the Great Wall

 

4. Opt for Light-colored Clothing

Choose lighter colored clothing. By the way, this does not mean the same thing as brightly colored clothing, such as bright orange or bright blue. Light colors, such as white or yellow, are less attractive to mosquitos.

A mosquito is able to detect a darker colored item more easily because these colors trap more carbon dioxide from the body compared to lighter colored clothing. This gas is released, which attracts the mosquitos more easily.

5. Treat your Clothing with Permethrin

After choosing the right clothes to wear, Consumer Reports recommends treating these clothes with a chemical called permethrin. According to several sources including the CDC, permethrin-treated clothing is safe for outerwear and gear. This excludes anything that touches your child’s skin directly, such as their socks or base layers.

6. Avoid Mosquito-Friendly Locations

Before visiting the Great Wall of China in Beijing, understand where the mosquito-friendly places will be. For example, if you see standing water, then there are likely mosquito larvae living here. This might be from deep puddles after a heavy rainstorm or containers of water sitting around.

Mosquitos are also more common in tall grasses, brush, and weeds. This includes near the edges of forests, especially where streams and rivers are present.

Young boy spraying insect repellent against mosquitos bites on his arm in the garden

 

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How to Stay Warm When Traveling During the Winter Months

Essentials for Cold Weather Travel

Stay Warm When Traveling During the Winter Months beijing

 

The weather can have a huge impact on your enjoyment of your travels. However, with the right outfit, you can indulge in wanderlust no matter what the elements have in store for you. During the summer, a cotton and linen ensemble will keep you cool. If it rains, breathable rain-proof jackets should keep you dry. But what should you pack when you are expecting it to be cold outside?

The Four Expert Tips

Stay warm when you travel even in freezing temperatures with these expert tips:

Layer wisely

Instead of simply throwing on multiple layers of clothes, pick and choose your layers wisely. The experts recommend just two layers: breathable thermal wear that sticks to your body, and a soft shell jacket with fleece lining and softshell pants. If you are really feeling the chill, you could opt for a third layer – an insulated fiberfill jacket with a hood. The lighter the layers, the easier it will be for you to get around while remaining warm.

Gloves and socks

Your fingers and toes need to be protected as much as your torso and legs. Woolen mittens are ideal, but they limit hand activity. As such, insulated gloves are a smarter choice. They easily allow the hands to grip objects and operate smartphones. Woolen socks underneath your boots will protect your toes and keep them comfortable – especially when you walk in the snow.

Stay Warm When Traveling During the Winter Months china

 

Cover your ears

Did you know that you lose huge amounts of your body heat through your ears? Should you wish to keep that heat in, a hoodie is a good all-around option. The experts, however, choose earmuffs. Not only do you limit the loss of body heat, but you can also make a style statement with an interesting pair of earmuffs.

Wool and only wool

When you travel, take wool-based garments instead of cotton. Wool clothing will provide you with the heat you need without adding unnecessary weight to your luggage.

In Closing

Traveling during the colder months can certainly be a tricky challenge. However, as long as you pack the right clothing, you will still be able to enjoy your time away without any fear of chills.

Stay Warm When Traveling During the Winter Months

 

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