The Wanda Reign on the Bund has created itself as the first “seven-star” hotel in Shanghai. The exterior is made of glass and steel designed by Foster and Partners and Heather Wick Studio. The lobby is Art Deco inspired with jade inlaid floors and a wall sized original painting by renowned Shangai artist Shi Qi. Other commissioned artworks are nestled among the hotel’s 10 meter high marble pillars.
The hotel took three years to build and cost over $500 million dollars. The hotel sits along with other super high end hotels and hospitality options along the famous Bund waterfront of the Huangpu River. Its peers included the Peninsula, Waldorf Astoria, the Shangri-La and Grand Hyatt.
In less than six months the Wanda Reign has become the new home of China’s traveling elite. And appropriately so as it is owned by Wang Jianlin, China’s richest man. It is the 51st hotel in his Wanda Hotels and Resorts group.
A must see for high-end hotel lovers!
Historical restorations typically require a delicate touch to maintain authenticity. Unfortunately a large section of China’s Great Wall got a repair job recently that looks like amateur chuckhole fill-in. A 700-year-old “wild” stretch of China’s Great Wall has been covered in a smooth, white trail of cement under orders from Suizhong county’s Cultural Relics Bureau.
The repairs were carried out in 2014, but they only came to public attention recently. It was an effort to restore parts of the wall which have fallen into disrepair and are not open to the public, but the restoration has been met with condemnation by social media users and advocates.
The repair work took place near the border of Liaoning and Hebei province and photos of the results were widely shared by Beijing News on Weibo this week.
Following just over five years of construction and multiple delays, the long-awaited Shanghai Disney Resort opened its gates to the public on June 16. It is supposedly Disney’s biggest international park and takes full advantage of all the technological advances that have arrived since Disney’s last park opening — Hong Kong Disneyland — in 2005.
This means that rides you might have experienced at other parks — though many fan favorites are missing — have been given a complete revamp.
The best example of this is Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure.
A far cry from the original Pirates ride created by Walt himself back in the 1960s, this hi-tech version is the largest attraction in Shanghai Disneyland, taking up 16,340 square meters.
Boats are controlled magnetically so they can spin or go backwards to maximize views of all the scenes, which feature the latest animatronics technology.
The official dedication of Shanghai Disney Resort went forward as planned on Thursday morning local time, but an outdoor gala on Wednesday night was scrapped, with a smaller-scale event held inside instead. Disney said the change was due to rainy weather conditions.
Made up of Disneyland, Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and two hotels, the entire project covers 3.9 square kilometers.
The elaborate burial site is located at the northern foot of the Lishan Mountains in the Shaanxi Province. The tomb, Qinshihuang Mausoleum was built for Emperor Qinshihuang, founder of the first unified empire in Chinese history. The large burial site contains life sized terracotta soldiers and horses, bronze chariots and weapons among other interesting artifacts. It is testament to the unprecedented political, military and economic power wielded by the Qin Dynasty and to the way it advanced the social, cultural and artistic aspects of the empire.
This now famous archaeological site, most well known for the thousands of terracotta soldiers standing guard over the First Unifier of China, has a much more interesting back story making it more than simply an impressive burial site for a very important emperor.
Documented by historian Sima Qian, the 38 year process seemed almost an exaggeration. Qian made outlandish claims, one such claim was that it took 700,000 workers to complete the project. When the 20 square-mile site was finally discovered in the 1974, the claims seemed vastly more reasonable. That is about 18, 421 workers a year over 38 years. This means multiple generations of craftsmen and other workers might have all lived their entire lives working on this monument. To this day, only a tenth of the site has been excavated.
Qian also tells us in his documentation that mercury was used to recreate the hundred rivers of China. When the site was excavated high levels or mercury were found in the soil above the site. But perhaps the most shocking claim Qian makes is that the craftsmen were walled up inside to protect the secret knowledge of the the burial site’s location.
These days the awe inspiring and somewhat gruesome site is a favored tourist attraction.
Although traveling to this destination certainly falls under the category of high adventure rather than vacation, the Honghe Hai rice terraces of China’s Yunnan Province would be a wonder to behold—the terraces cascade down the slopes of the great Ailao Mountains like stripes down the flanks of a mighty tiger.
The traditions of the Honghe Hai are over a thousand years old—the people still worship sun and moon; forest and mountain; rivers and fire. Their relationship with the land is deep and has changed very little over the past millennium. The people still live in traditional “mushroom” huts. A complex irrigation and Eco-management system allows them to live harmoniously with the land and maintain a 1,000 kilometer property mostly dedicated to the cultivation of red rice.
The Honghe Hai have developed this system around the landscape, rather than try to change the landscape to serve their purposes—they work around and with the varied landscape of mountains, forests, rivers, narrow valleys, ravines and a sub-tropical, high rain environment. They partition their most precious resource in a renewable manner; they use on part of the forest as a “rain capture” to feed their irrigation system, while the other parts are used for worship, gathering resources like timber and a “fallow” area.
The Honghe Hai and their rice terraces are a shining and long tested example of how we can live in harmony with the world around us.