Monday, 8 September 2014

4 of the Best Places to Visit in North East Asia

From the idyllic countryside of rural China to the sensory overload of Japanese cities, North East Asia offers a fantastic blend of contrasting and conflicting places for you to visit. This vast region is largely dominated by China and its much smaller neighbour Japan, and there is so much to be explored here. 

Despite belonging to the same continent, the cultures, laws, customs and costs of the countries comprising Northeast Asia can differ hugely. It’s best to fully research where you’re going before you set off on your discovery of the orient.

Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai

Shanghai, China 

While not as attraction dense as other major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai offers an exhilarating experience without the need for tourist traps. But the few sights it is home to are truly magnificent. Not to be missed is Yu Yuan Garden, a 400 year old classical garden located in Shanghai’s Old Town. Look past the throngs of tourists and allow yourself to be transported to 16th century China, taking in the beautiful architecture and wealth of history that surrounds you. Yuyuan Garden is the most lush, lavish and magnificent Chinese garden that is situated in the middle of the Old City area, very near to The Bund in Shanghai whose history dates back to the time period of 1559. 

This classical area is considered to be a source of great temptation for the visitors and people gather here in large numbers. Its fascinating halls, pavilions, rockeries, cloisters and ponds are some of the major attractions. The most alluring treasure and astonishing feature of the garden is the Jade Rock which is 10.8 feet high and contains 72 holes. 

The magic related to this rock is that if a stick is burned under it, all the holes will produce the smoke and the same happens if you put water. That’s why the site is truly bewitching and is admired a lot by the people.Apart from all such charming places of the garden, there is much more in this dazzling area. So plan a visit for the stunning Yuyuan garden of Shanghai. 

Hollywood films which have been set in Shanghai include: Transformers: Revenge of the fallen (2009), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) and Empire of the Sun (1987).

Tokyo, Japan 
A fascinating mix of old and new, Tokyo is a fast paced, thriving metropolis that still stands true to its rich heritage. Expect century-old tradition to be interspersed with startling modernity, and don’t be surprised if you get left behind on the rapidly moving trends. 

If you’re visiting in January, May or September, squeeze some sumo into your schedule with a visit to Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo’s National Sumo Hall. Hollywood films about Japan include House of Bamboo (1955), a film noir feature directed by Samuel Fuller about American gangsters setting up shop in Japan; Sayonara (1957), starring Marlon Brando and based on James Michener novel about American servicemen that falls for Japanese girls; You Only Live Twice (1967), a James Bond thriller with ninjas, sumo wrestlers and the ultimate Bond; Sean Connery.

Jeju-do, South Korea 

Beautiful Jeju Island is a world away from the hectic, concrete jungle that is mainland Korea. This lush, mountainous landscape is the destination of choice for Korean newlyweds and holidaymakers, and it’s not difficult to see why. Take a tour of the many waterfalls found here, making sure not to miss Jongbang Waterfall, believed to be the only one in Asia that falls directly into the sea. 

Guilin, China 

A rich abundance of historic treasures and natural beauty can be found in picturesque Guilin, an ancient city located on the west bank of the Li River. While many have complained that economic growth and overpricing have detracted from Guilin’s charms, it still retains much of what made it the most well-known tourist destination in China, including meandering blue rivers, dramatic mountain formations and rolling green rice fields.

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