Category Archives : Asian


Traditional Chinese Residence


A Courtyard of Wang’s Compound, Pingyao
Wang’s Compound PicturesTraditional Chinese residences reflect the national culture, the sub-culture of a specific region and that of the ethnic group within it. The traditional domestic architecture of China has five major styles.

Courtyards in Beijing (Siheyuan) or compounds with courtyards in northern China
Farmers’ Caves (Yaodong) in Northern Shaanxi Province
Earthen Buildings of Hakkas (Tulou) in southeast China’s Fujian Province
Seal-like Compound (Yikeyin) in Yunnan province
Stilt Houses (Diaojiaolou) on steep inclines or projecting over water in southern China

As well as their respective features, traditional residences tend to conform to their environment and to become integrated with it. They are expected to blend with the surrounding rivers and mountains, thus complimenting but never spoiling the natural beauty. Our ancestors made use of local materials and took the natural factors into consideration whenever they built a house.
The Si he yuan in northern China features a thick roof and walls and a wide courtyard to draw in maximum sunlight while ventilation is a prime feature of the diao jiao lou in the much warmer tropical climate of southern China.

The Si he yuan in Beijing reflects the formal royal ambiance with its symmetrical style while garden-residences such as the famous Garden of the Master of the Nets in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, gives priority to a harmonious blend with nature. Prince Gong’s Mansion in Beijing is the world’s largest Si he yuan. Si He Yuan vary substantially in different locations. For details, please refer to: Beijing’s Hutong and Courtyard , Qiao’s Compound and Wang’s Compound in Pingyao, and Dang Village in Hancheng around Xian of Shaanxi Province.
In calligraphy, the Chinese characters with a roof-like component relate to various houses. For example, with a pig, it is a home; with a cow, it is a prison; with a combination of two mouths it means ‘many houses’ – it is palace. Such characters combined with that for ‘ woman’ imply peace and safety. The logic behind this is based on two layers of meaning. Firstly, when a woman sits peacefully at home, it means there is no war. Secondly, when they lived in simple caves in open air, our ancestors faced the hazards of bad weather, wild animals and hostile tribes. By building houses, they were better protected, thus there was safety.

Chinese folk residence appears in different forms. Around Suzhou in Jiangsu Province, there are many well preserved old towns such as Luzhi Town, Tongli Town and Zhouzhuang. The peaceful atmosphere in these towns attracts numerous visitors to come for relaxation and refreshment. The unique ethnic residences are really eye openers. In Guizhou Province, Langde Miao Ethnic Minority Village is a fascinating place to discover the unique Miao’s builing – “Diaojiaolou” (stilt-houses). Visit these beautiful places, you will know more about the colorful Chinese architecture.


Traveling to China and Asia

China is an amazing cultural treasure of the world situated in eastern Asia. Its natural wealth, five millennia of history, and an old continuous civilization,  place China as a great travel destination.

Numerous historical monuments scattered across the vast territory are vestiges of the ancient Chinese culture. These include: the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, X’ian’s Terracotta Army and Tiananmen Square. The vast land of this country also hosts various natural landscapes, such as the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, the Silk Road, the Tibet or Hainan Island.

Distinct cities feature distinct panorama and cultural background in China. Beijing is the capital city and a beautiful cultural center. It is host of the Olympics this year.

Shanghai is largest city and the major business center with many commercial opportunities. Nanjing and Suzhou are historical places. Guangzhou is a modern prosperous city and Guilin is a paradise location. There are more than nine cities in China that should be visited.

In the world, China is the most populous country, over 1.3 billion population. China is also the third largest country in terms of area, it has an area of 9.6 million square kilometres. Economists think that China will be the most world economy powerful within 20 years. Because of its large population, rapidly growing economy, extensive research and development investments, China is often considered as an emerging superpower. Finally, China has more than 5,000 years of alive history. For these reasons, traveling to China is like traveling to another world.

The rapid Chinese’s growth has improved the tourist infrastructure. China has become one of the most visited countries in the World. Nearly 50 million tourists travel to China every year.

If you’re visiting Asia, don’t miss out of the wealth and traditions of China. The countries fascinating history jostles with the urban cities of Shanghai and Beijing to create the perfect culture clash to explore on a visit to China with plenty of cheap flights to choose from.