China opens more doors to international tourists
Monday 27 September 2010
The ancient doors of Beijing's Old Summer Palace may have been opened to the world for centuries but with the finishing touches being applied to a virtual tour of the complex, China is hoping people across the globe will become aware of its attractions - and plan an actual real visit to the site.
Since April 2009, the Tsingshua University and the offices of Yuanmingyuan - as the palace is known in China - have been putting together 146 photos and 22 video clips on their own website (http://www.re-relic.com) as they seek to rebuild the entire complex online.
The research team is now planning to have the entire project completed by October 18 - to mark the 150th anniversary of attacks on the palace by British and French forces which destroyed much of its beauty.
Once the summer residence of China's leaders, the palace fell into disrepair after those attacks - and Chinese authorities are still fighting to have relics looted by foreign forces returned to their rightful home.
But by rebuilding the entire Palace online, they say, more people will become aware of its history - and will want to come pay a visit when they tour the Chinese capital.
From October 18, the earliest layout of the Palace will be available - online - to the public for the very first time, researchers claim.
The move is one of two initiatives announced this week to make travelling to China easier - and more exciting.
Also this week, the eastern province of Zhejiang - which attracts more than 5.7 million foreign tourists a year - has announced that from Monday it will issue visas to groups of international travelers arriving at Xiaoshan airport in the provincial capital of Hangzhou.
Previously, international tourists had to be cleared for entry into China via much larger cities such as Shanghai or Beijing and then transit to Zhejiang, which boasts such famous sites as the West Lake, considered one of the country's most romantic spots.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
The 50 Best spas
Top 10 cheapest cities to visit, according to TripAdvisor
Hashima: Among the ruins on Japan's Battleship Island, the place that time forgot
A commuter is getting revenge on First Capital Connect by Photoshopping its CEO's face every time his train is delayed
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassingly brilliant leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations
£45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...
Voluntary, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Are you keen on...
£33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...
£30K- £40K pa + Commision £10K + Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly expandin...