It goes without saying that China is large. Mind bogglingly, incredibly large. With a total land mass which amounts to more 900,000 square kilometres, you could quite possibly fit 1000 Barbados sized islands into China, and still have more than half of the Country completely free. Thats just how big it is.
Now, if it is your first time in China, just how do you approach the concept of Travel. With such a great and sometimes imposing land mass, just how do we go about getting exactly what we want out of our trip. Some people go the route of city-hopping, which usually starts in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Shenzhen, then work their way around the to the remaining major cities. So, for example if you city hop from Beijing, your trip will be more likely to lead you southward and may look like e.g1:
- Beijing ( North) – Shanghai-Guangzhou( South) – Shenzhen,
and vice verse if you begin in the South and work your way northward.
However, some people prefer to take it regionally. That is, to split up the landmass into the different geographic regions which have been historically established, and work from there. In our first Issue, we shall introduce these regions, and build from there.
- Northern China: The north of China is typically used to define the provinces which are north of the Yangzte River. However, the true north refers to all provinces north of the Qin Ling- Huai River. The Northern landscape is one with houses some of the iconic symbols of the Chinese civilisation, such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. It also includes Inner Mongolia, and the vast Grasslands wherein.
- North-Eastern China: Geographically one of the largest regions of China, The North-east was once renowned as the furnaces of China. However, what the region is truly famous for are its sub-zero temperatures and long winters, which in the more remote areas fall below-45 degrees centigrade. The North east consists of three giant provinces; Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang which borders Russia.
- Central China: While being located in the north of China, Central China is still recognised as a unique ethnic cultural region. Known for its vast wheat, rice and staple food crop fields, the topography, as we can assume is primarily flat and perfect for agriculture. However, one most inherently Chinese of temples , The Northern (Song Mountain) Shaolin Temple of Henan Province, is found in Central China.
- Jiang nan: Primarily known for its Misty Mountains, mysterious rice paddies, innumerable rivers, vast Bamboo forests and river canal village cultures, the Jiang Nan region of Southern China, is world renown for its breath-taking vistas. When one thinks about China, that is, mountains disappearing into thick mist, shadows creeping, soft colours melding, one is usually envisioning Jiang nan. Also the artistic hub of ancient China, many of the most beloved Artists, Poets, Calligraphers,Writers and Musicians hail from Jiang nan.The Provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Jiangsu and Anhui make up the Jiang nan region.
- South-western China: Southwestern China is the pure incarnation of untamed natural beauty. Soaring Mountains, Raging Rivers and waterfalls, deep gorges, animal filled jungles, limestone spires and frozen glaciers, you name it and you can find it in Southwestern China. Ranging from the roof of the world Tibet, going on to include Sichuan, Hunan, Yunnan, Guangxi and Guizhou Provinces. Southwestern China is a nature lovers paradise. Also, it is the most ethnically diverse region of China with over 50 different ethnicities coexisting peacefully.
- Southern China: Considered by the inhabitants to be the only ‘true’ Southern China, the Guangdong region is famed not only for its beauty but also and especially for its cuisine. Also, home of the largest markets and malls in China; Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong kong are havens for shopaholics. Also, Southern China has some of the most beautiful beaches on the landmass.
- Northwestern China: Also a region of distinct ethnic expression, the North west is hailed as the last undiscovered gem of China. Vistas which seem taken directly from fairytales exist here and all largely still in perfect natural condition. Deserts, forests, mighty rivers and ancient cites are a few of the things which await you. Also, Northwestern China is known for it’s largely Islamic ethnic population.