The first China Silk Road International Tourism Expo took place on September 19 at the Qujiang International Conference Center in Xi’an. It was presided over by Mr. Chen Qingliang, Deputy Director of the Shaanxi Provincial Tourism Administration, and Ms. Alla Peressolova, Program Manager, Fairs and Special Field Projects for the World Tourism Organization. Known as the birthplace of Chinese civilization and the starting point of the ancient Silk Road in Shaanxi Province, the conference focused on the economic presented by the construction of the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “Silk Road Experience Corridor” to create the brand of “Tour in Starting Point of Silk Road” through setting up platforms and strengthening partnerships.
The tour to China was jointly arranged by Simone Bassous, Executive Director of the New York Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Bing Sun, Director of the China & Asia Travel Service (DBA: Sunshine Travel USA). With more than 30 years’ experience in the China travel industry and serving North America for the past 15 years, Sunshine Travel delivers nothing but top-quality service with competitive prices in the travel industry. Their customers have the freedom to design their own itinerary. All tour packages include licensed English- or Spanish-speaking tour guides, daily sightseeing arrangements, all domestic transportation, and hotel reservations. All departures can be arranged based on clients’ own travel dates.
Under the expert guidance of Mr. Sun, this tour included not only a view of some of China’s more famed historical sites but, in addition to four- and five-star hotel accommodations, also comprised a dazzling array of carefully chosen restaurants ranging from noodle houses to those focusing on duck, dumplings, and “hot pot” soup houses. The food was not only super-fresh and delicious but also a feast for the eyes, with course after course of the best Chinese food this reporter has ever tasted. New York’s Chinatown pales in comparison. Mr. Sun’s carefully arranged tour was a model of perfect organization.
Following the conference, a group of travel professionals including agents, photojournalists and a travel writer, were taken on a five-day tour that highlighted some of China’s most famous, fascinating and photo-worthy sights, both historical and contemporary, including 72 imperial mausoleums, referred to as the oriental pyramid complex, one of which—the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor—is the largest emperor’s tomb in China. The construction of this gigantic location—21 square miles—took 720,000 people 38 years to finish.
The Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses museum, famed throughout the world, is thought to be one of the Eight Wonders of the World and is more than 2,200 years old. It is an astonishing sight, unearthed in only 1979 and comprising some 8,000 warriors that were found underground, most of them broken into thousands of pieces and since reconstructed by hand, one by one.
Xi’an, a bustling city of more than 6 million people, contains a 600-year-old city wall that is known as the most complete and best-preserved military defense in China. The gorgeous Bell Tower, built in the 14th century and located in central Xi’an and is the largest and best-preserved of its kind in China. The tour continued on to the magnificent imperial palace of the Great Tang Dynasty.
After years of development, Shaanxi has now had more than 3,000 tourism enterprises, including more than 400 scenic areas, more than 730 travel agencies, 378 star-rated hotels and more than 20 tourist coach companies, and more than 2 million people engaged in tourism. In recent years, Shaanxi has focused on the presentation of grand spectacles, including a traditional welcome ceremony and The Song of Eternal Sorrow, the first large-scale real-view historical dance drama in China. Both are stunningly beautiful.
The tour transferred to Chengde, northwest of Beijing, where a visit to the Great Wall of China, some of which dates back to the seventh century, proved to be a truly astonishing sight, jaw-dropping in its grandeur and measuring some 13,171 miles in length. It served as a fitting conclusion to an all-too-brief introduction to one of the world’s greatest civilizations.
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