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CHINA: Culture

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Acrobatic Arts Chinese acrobatics have come a long way. They remain as one of the most popular art forms in China and have gone through extensive evolution and development to reach their current level and fame. Challenging acts have been developed - 'Flying Trident', 'Balancing Chairs', 'Trick with Jars', 'Hoop-Diving' and 'Traditional Conjuring' are all equally intriguing performances not to be missed. In addition, there are Wushu, Diabolo Skills and the famous Lion Dance, all conceived from folk sports and games. If you are in China this is a definite MUST SEE activity to add to any visitors list.You can use your cell phone rental in China to reserve seats for these performances.

Biking The bicycle is the unofficial symbol of China and with more than 300 million trundling about you'll have no trouble hiring anything from a rusty old local brand to a half-decent multi-speed mountain bike. Even in towns that don't see many tourists, there are hire shops catering to Chinese who are passing through. Cycling tours are popular and many Chinese and Western travel agents offer short and long-term biking jaunts.

Bathing Beaches Qingdao like many other areas within China boasts many fine sand beaches along its long winding coast. Altogether there are seven beaches in the urban area. Huiquan Bathing Beach, is 800 m. long and is equipped with sharkproof nets and all the necessary facilities. Badaguan Scenic Area used to be popular with political figures, such as Chairman Mao and other central government officials and is a good beach. Number Three Bathing Beach of 400 m. long is located on the east end of Taiping Cape near the convalescent area. Zhanqiao Bathing Beach, is close to the city center. The bathing beach at the Shilaoren National Holiday Resort is 2,600 meters long. Most coastal areas throughout China have lovely beaches for visitors to enjoy as well as those mentioned abopve in the Qingdao area.

Greyhound Racing This thrilling track sport is an exciting way to spend an afternoon either gambling or just enjoying the speed and agility of the animals as they gallop around their track as fleet footed as racehorses.

Go-Karting can be done in Shenzen at the Matelong Racing Club on Jianshe Road as well as other areas in China. This is another sport that all but the youngest family members can enjoy as the karts are easily operated by anyone who can reach the foot pedals.

Horse Riding in the hills of Xinjiang and west of Beijing can be a beautiful way to spend the day and can be a real family affair as it's one sport that even the littlies can enjoy. Most main centres offer this sporting pastime and generally it's reasonably priced.

Martial Arts such as T'ai Chi are popular throughout China and even if you don't want to join in on the action the various forms of this sport always makes for entertaining viewing.

Opera Beijing has the most famous opera houses in China out of the 300 or more throughout China. There are performances of traditional opera in virtually every town. A visit to the Chinese opera is a relaxed affair and occasionally quite noisy. There is no need for your evening dress and tie when visitring an opera house, unlike the West normal neat day clothes will do. Use your international mobile phone rentals to reserve seats at the Chinese Opera.

Skiing (downhill and cross-country) can be done in the North-east provinces and around Beijing. Again as with ice-skating Westerners with big feet may have to bring their own boots. Utilize your cell phone rental to conventiently find out which ski hills are open.

T'ai Chi a popular form of slow-motion aerobics practised in nearly every town park in the early morning throughout the land. Novices are always welcome.

White-water Rafting is an increasingly popular sport in China but it, like mountaineering requires permits unless you have made your rafting arrangements through a reputable rafting company.

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