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    2008-07-30 17:13:36     CRIENGLISH.com

Today the torch relay continues in Qinhuangdao, a co-host city for the Beijing Olympic Football Games. This wonderful summer resort is known for a beautiful coastline and an excellent ecological environment.


1. Laolongtou

Laolongtou [photo source: baidu.com]

The torch relay kicked off in Qinhuadao this morning and Laolongtou was the starting point.

Laolongtou or Old Dragon's Head is the eastern starting point of the Great Wall. It extends about 20 meters or 66 feet into the Bohai Sea like a dragon drinking water, hence its name. 

It comprises the Chenghai Pavilion, the Nereus Temple, the Estuary Stone City, the Jinglu Beacon Tower, the Nanhaikou or Southern Estuary Pass and Ninghai City.

The Estuary Stone City was built by Qi Jiguang, a famous general of the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644). It is a city measuring about nine meters or 30 feet high and eight meters or 26 feet wide which extends approximately 22 meters or 72 feet into the sea. The city is built on natural reefs and huge rocks which act as foundations. It once served as a defence fortification designed to resist aggression.

2. Qinghuangdao Olympic Sports Center Stadium

Qinghuangdao Olympic Sports Center Stadium [photo source: xinhua.org]

Of all the new stadiums to host the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Centre Stadium was the first to be completed in 2004. The six-story building boasts a distinctive design which highlights its location as part of this famous coastal city.

With its beautiful white curving roof, the stadium looks like a huge sail floating on the backdrop of a blue sky during the day. When floodlit at night, it resembles a giant shell on the seashore. The stadium can hold 33,000 spectators.

3. Shanhaiguan Pass

Shanhaiguan or Shanhaiguan Pass is a small, peaceful town and port of the northern section of the Bohai gulf, providing access between northeast China and north China. 15 kilometers from Qinhuangdao city, the pass got its name Shanhaiguan, which literarily means pass of mountain and sea, for it is beside Mount Yan in the north and faces Bohai Sea in the south.

Built in 583, it was renovated throughout various dynasties until it was transformed into a formidable military stronghold during the Ming Dynasty.

4. Beidaihe Beach Resort

Beidaihe Beach Resort [photo source: 159001.com]

Beidaihe is a famous and scenic summer resort located at the southwest of Qinhuangdao. An alluring coastal village with a small-town ambience, it provides a welcome break from city life. Its charm lies mostly in the lively inhabitants, bustling night stalls and, of course, its seaside views. From long stretches of pebbled sand to small coves, it is easy for travelers to escape the masses here.

It is also one of the finest bird watching resorts in the world. 410 species of birds have been recorded at Beidaihe, and in Spring about more than 200 species could be seen.

Of course,don't forget to bring your swim suit with you when you are traveling to Beidaihe.

Recommended hotels:

Holiday Inn Qinhuangdao: 500 yuan or 80 USD per night for a standard room
Qinhuangdao Great Wall Hotel: 380yuan or 60 USD per night for a standard room


From Shanghai to Qinhuangdao
By plane, 2 hours, 1300 yuan or 200 USD, one way
By train, 20 hours, 353 yuan or 50 USD for a hard sleeper
From Beijing to Qinhuangdao By train, around 4 hours, 45 yuan or 7 USD for a hard seat



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