Category Archives: Cities

Beijing

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Beijing (Hanyu Pinyin: Beijing, Wade-Giles: Pei-ching; Postal System Pinyin: Peking), is the capital city of the People’s Republic of China. It is one of the 4 municipalities of the People’s Republic of China, which have a provincial-level status. The municipality governs 10 districts and 8 counties.

Names
Beijing literally means “northern capital” (as opposed to Nanjing, meaning “southern capital” and Tonkin and Tokyo, both of which mean “eastern capital”). Beijing is sometimes referred to as Peking. The term originated with French missionaries four hundred years ago, and corresponds to an archaic pronunciation which does not take into account a ‘k’ to ‘j’ sound shift in Mandarin that occurred during the Qing dynasty.

In China, the city has had many names. Between 1928 and 1949, it was known as Beiping (Wade-Giles Peip’ing) or “Northern Peace”. The name was changed because jing means “capital” and the Kuomintang government in Nanjing wanted to emphasize that Beijing was not the capital of China, and Beijing’s warlord government was not legitimate. From 1937 to 1945, Beijing was occupied by the Japanese.

The name was changed back by the Communist Party of China in 1949 in part to emphasize that Beijing was the capital of China. The government of the Republic of China on Taiwan has not formally recognized the name change, and during the 1950s and 1960s it was common for Beijing to be called Peiping on Taiwan. Today, almost everyone in Taiwan, including the ROC government, uses the term Beijing, although there some maps of China from Taiwan still use the old name along with pre-1949 provincial boundaries.

The GDP per capita was

Harbin

Harbin (Simplified: ???, Traditional: ???, pinyin: ha’erbin, Russian Kharbin) is a sub-provincial city in north-east China and the capital of the Heilongjiang Province. It lies on the southern bank of Songhua River.

City seat: Daoli District
Population: 9,410,000 (as of 2001)
Area: 53775 km

Macau

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The Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, shortened to Macau or Macao, is a small city-island on the southern coast of China. It is 70 km southwest of Hong Kong and 145 km from Guangzhou. It was the oldest European colony in China, dating back to the 16th century. The Portuguese government transferred sovereignty over Macau to the People’s Republic of China in 1999 and is now run as a special administrative region of the PRC. Macanese speak Cantonese natively.

Besides historical colonial relics, the biggest attractions in Macau are the casinos. Though many forms of gambling are legal there, the most popular game is Pai Gow, a game played with Chinese dominoes. Gamblers from Hong Kong often take a one-day excursion to the city. Ferry service by hydrofoil between Hong Kong and Macau is available 24 hours a day, every day.

Names
The name “Macau” (?? Cantonese: Magau) is thought to be derived from “Mage Temple” (Cantonese: Magok), a still existing landmark built in 1448 dedicated to the goddess Matsu. The more popular Chinese name of

Suzhou

Suzhou (?? / ??, Hanyu Pinyin: Suzhou, Wade-Giles: Su-chou, sometimes seen transliterated as Su-chow, Suchow, or Soochow) is one of the most famous cities in China. It lies in the lower reaches of the Yangtze and on the shores of lake Taihu in the province of Jiangsu. It is part of the Golden Triangle region. The city enjoys advantageous geography and excellent land, water and air transportation. The GDP per capita was

Zhengzhou

Zhengzhou (?? pinyin: zheng zhou) formerly called Zhengxian, is located 24 km south of Huanghe (Yellow River). It is the capital of Henan province in China.Population: 5.97 million.

History
Shang Dynasty established Aodu (see also: History of China). The pre-historical city had been long lost even before the time of the first emperor.

The name of Zhengzhou came from Sui Dynasty (581 AD) albeit it was located in Chenggao, another town. The government was moved to the contemporary city during Tang Dynsty.

Economy
The GDP per capita was ?16028 (ca. US$1940) in 2003, ranked no. 117 among 659 Chinese cities.

Argriculture
Zhengzhou has a rural population of 3.97 million. Its main products include apple, paulownia, tobacco, corn, cotton, and wheat. Besides, Zhengzhou has something that can rarely be seen outside of this area. It also produces Yellow River Carp, Zhengzhou Watermelon, Xinzheng Date, dired persimmon, Guangwu Megranate and Zhongmu Garlic.
Industry

Zhengzhou has been one of the major industrial cities in China since 1949. The city’s stample industry is textile. Others manufactures include: tractors, locomotives, cigarettes, fertilizer, processed meats, agricultural machinery, and electrical equipment
Transportation
Zhengzhou is a major railroad center as it is located in te crossroad of the Long-hai railroad (east-west) and the Jing-guang railroad (north-south).

Culture
Martial arts: Shaolin Monastery (Shao4 Lin2 Shi4) (Buddhist Monastery)
Chinese opera: Henan opera

Kaifeng

Kaifeng (??/??, pinyin: kai feng) is a city in the Henan province of the People’s Republic of China, located along the Huang He, 70 km from Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. Population: 4.3 million. The GDP per capita was

China — Gulangyu Island

China – Gulangyu Island

Hong Kong is not the only notable island city in China. One – Gulangyu Island – is just a few minutes off the coast of Xiamen, north of its world famous cousin. But it might as well be in another country. Where Hong Kong is all hustle and bustle, Gulangyu Island is as laid back as a tiny village in the Caribbean.

Gulangyu Island provides an array of things for tourists to do, including the option of doing nothing at all. Though the port at Xiamen is busy shipping goods to and from Hong Kong, the island is a beach lover’s paradise. Sunny, friendly and easy going.

No automobiles or motorcycles are allowed, so the transportation is by bicycle or electric scooter. But most people walk, if they go anywhere at all. Enjoying the breeze and the blue sky are a popular option. But for those who have rested and had their fill (temporarily at least) of soaking up the sun, there are a dozen interesting sights to see.

Sunlight Rock is a popular spot. It’s the island’s highest peak at just over 300 feet (92m). Either looking at it or from it, visitors will get a great view. Its granite face provides an impressive facade and the view from the top is breathtaking. At the base is a small museum called Memorial Hall, dedicated to a local hero, Zheng Chenggong, who chased off Dutch colonists and re-captured Taiwan.

Hiking up the path, one can read some of the many inscriptions left by poets over the generations, some of which date back 400 years. Nearby are the long abandoned training grounds for Chenggong’s soldiers. Not far away is a fascinating cave called Gu Bishu Dong (Old Summer Cave).

The island houses a number of fine gardens, as well. The Shuzhuang Garden is one of the best. Built in 1931 by a private owner, it was opened to the public in 1955. Since then, thousands have come to enjoy its Garden of the Hiding Sea and Garden of Making-Up Hills.

Walking along the tall bamboo, the ocean is invisible, making its presence known by the hint of cool breeze. Climbing up the Tower of Tide-Viewing allows for a spectacular view of the ocean generating that wafting sea air. There are numerous paths to saunter along and you can take a rest at one point to get a great view of Sunlight Rock.

But one of the most notable features of Gulangyu Island is something that gives the place its nickname of Piano Island: the Piano Museum. Not long after the turn of the 20th century piano fever struck the Westerners occupying the island. Everyone who was anyone just had to learn. The objects of their passion are now enshrined in the Piano Museum. Miniatures, roll pianos, accordion pianos and many more are on display.

Whether it’s for the delightful museum, the Gothic cathedral or just to sit atop Sunlight Rock and enjoy a great view of Xiamen City across the water, you’ll find many delightful activities on Gulangyu Island.

Guiyang

Typically known as the “Forest City”, Guiyang is the capital of Guizhou province in The People’s Republic of China.

Location
Guiyang is located in central Guizhou province, situated at the east of Yungui Plateau of China, and on the north bank of the Nanming River – a branch of Wujiang River.

Climate
Guiyang is typically characterized as having a subtropical monsoon climate; four seasons not so clearly seen; without cold winter and hot summer; temperate and humid.

History
The city was constructed in 1283 AD during Yuan Dynasty. It was originally called Shunyuan, meaning obeying the Yuan (the Mongol rulers).

Economy
Guiyang is the central economic and commercial hub of Guizhou Province. The GDP per capita was

Taking A Look At The Varieties Of China Stamps

Over 100 years of triumphs, disappointments and culture can be found in stamps from China. From the original “Dragon” collection, to Mao Zedong stamps, to the $2,550 Anna Nizam Charminar stamp, you’ll be dazzled by the stories told in such poignant images. Here you’ll find a description of a few of the valuable and culturally significant China stamps.

Overprints of China stamps were common during the early 1900s. An overprint is the addition of text after a stamp has already been printed (usually to raise the price in relation to inflation). Because of the ever-changing economy, some stamps from that time period — such as the Sun Yat-sen — rose in value up into the thousands of dollars.

In November 1952, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication released a set of four stamps to commemorate “the 35th Anniversary of the October Revolution.” The October Revolution (also known as The Bolshevik Revolution) was led by Vladimir Lenin’s Bolshevik party and the workers’ Soviets and eventually overthrew the government, making way for the USSR. They were issued in celebration of the friendship between China and the Soviets.

The first stamp had a picture of China’s Mao Zedong with Stalin on the Kremlin tower; the second one portrayed Lenin making a speech at the Second Representatives Conference of the Soviet Unions; the third one pictured a statue of Stalin standing at the Lenin Canal; the fourth showed Lenin making a speech. In 1997, a set of these stamps was sold at the Spring Auction of Jiade for $55,000 RMB.

One of them issued from the collection “To Mark the 40th Anniversary of the Establishment of Jinggangshan Revolutionary Base by Chairman Mao” was recently sold at an auction in Shaghai for $1.5 Million RMB (or roughly $199,880 USD). There were originally four stamps issued, including: Chairman Mao and Lin Biao at Tian An Men, Chairman Mao and his party in Jing gang Shan, the quotation “The political power comes from guns,” and another verse by Chairman Mao.

The Jianggangshan base become the birthplace of the Chinese Red Army and is often called “the cradle of the Chinese Revolution.” In addition to the historical significance of these commemorative China stamps, the controversy surrounding the issuance caused an uproar. Production was canceled and specimens were called to be destroyed.

Therefore, the Jinggangshan ones never made it to circulation and only a very small number exist in the hands of private collectors. In September 1968, after the establishment of Cultural Revolution Revolutionary Committees, the Ministry of Posts issued the “All China Is Red” stamp.

It pictured a red ocean, with workers, farmers and soldiers holding “the Quotations of Chairman Mao” and cheering; at the top, a red map of China with golden letters read “All China Is Red.” They were issued in Beijing for half a day before the China Atlas Press discovered that the Xisha and Nansha archipelagos were mistakenly missing from the map!

Due to its extremely limited number, the “All China Is Red” is one of the most famous rare ones in the world. Ten years ago, a post office sheet of 50 was displayed at the China Philatelic Expo in Guangzhou City and was considered a “national treasure,” valued at over 10,000,000 RMB.

While there is said to be about 18 million stamp collectors in China, there are millions of members in the Chinese Philatelic Society. The government is eager to begin trade with other stamp collectors, so the stamps are readily available worldwide.

Ebay has a list of stamps from Asia and China stamps can also be found at the Chinese Philatelic Information site or ChineseStamps.org. Whether you’re looking for dragons or emperors, you’ll find it in China!

Mike Selvon has some great stamp collecting articles for the hobbyist, where you can find out more about those popular china stamps. We appreciate your feedback at our stamp collecting values blog.