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Diversity of China by rental car

Diversity of China by rental car

09.10.2015
China is one of the most ancient and mysterious country in the world. It keeps the tradition in the spirit of ancient civilizations because it was closed to foreigners for a long time. These days, tourists from the whole world come here to see The Great Wall of China, The Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve and the famous Suzhou Gardens. There is only one problem – all the signs are in Chinese. So, it's better to have a pocket translator or rent a car with a driver.

China is a large country with different landscapes, a millennial history and hardworking locals who constructed a lot of man-made attractions.

A single auto trip isn’t enough to explore the whole of China. Of course, the first thing everyone wants to see is Beijing and The Great Wall.

Car rental business is well developed in China. You can rent a car at the airport. You just need to book it in advance, show an international driver licence and pay the deposit and insurance. Don’t forget to check the navigator. You can get a temporary Chinese driver licence, but you have to learn the local traffic rules. The rental price starts from $80 per day. Paying $20 more, you can rent a car with a driver. The road signs and pointers are in Chinese so the driver will come in handy.

Многоликость Китая из окна арендованного автомобиля

The world’s largest square The Tian-an-men, The Forbidden City and The Imperial Palace are the main attractions in Beijing. There is also an unusual complex around The Temple of Heaven. Make sure to drive around the city and take a rickshaw in its historical part. Note that the speed limit is 50-70kmph in the city. However, local drivers like to overtake, sometimes aggressively. There are also a lot of motorcycles and scooters on roads.

The most visited part of The Great Wall of China is located north of the capital. There you have to climb by foot because “He who has not climbed the Great Wall isn’t a true man” (Mao Zedong). Then you can go South or North to Manchuria. You can also select routes further inland – Chinese roads are high quality.

Driving a rental car to the South, we passed Nanjing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Mainly, the road stretched along the coast. The speed limit outside the city is 100kmph, on the highways – 120kmph. However, you can hardly drive at the maximum permitted speed because roads are fairly crowded.

Nanjing is the old capital of China. The city is located on one of the two great rivers, The Yangtze. There are the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum and the tomb of the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Minsyaolin. The Yuejiang Tower was built at his behest. There is a beautiful view of the Yangtze river and the Tianjin Grand Bridge from the top. There is also The Palace of the Chao Tien Gun and The Confucius Temple in Nanjing. You can get into the old part of Nanjing from The Temple of Confucius through the channel.

Многоликость Китая из окна арендованного автомобиля

Shanghai is the largest city in China and located downstream of the Yangtze river. The Yu Garden, which is more than 500 years old, is divided in the city centre. Magnolia, which was planted on the time of its creation, still grows. On The Bund, there are 52 buildings of various architectural styles, which form an “architectural museum”. The city is beautifully illuminated at night, especially The TV Tower and The International Finance Centre.

Hong Kong is interesting for its towers and skyscrapers. It’s worth visiting the highest point of the island, The Victoria Peak, and see the night lights. The laser-show “Symphony of Lights” takes place in the Victoria bay every evening. The big village, where people live in jonks to preserve tradition, sharply contrasts this show.

You can return the rental car in Hong Kong and fly home. We went North to Manchuria to visit Harbin. Our route was through Shenyang (Mukden) and Changchun. The roads were also quite crowded.

In Shenyang, which was also once the capital of China, you can visit The Forbidden City with the Palace of the Manchu dynasty and The Eastern Imperial Tomb. The complex of tombs is surrounded by the Beiling Park.

The Imperial Palace of Manchukuo in Changchun is a monument of the Japanese occupation. Seeing it, you might remember the Bertolucci’s "The Last Emperor". Besides, make sure to visit the Film City with modern cinematograph engineering and reproduced building of the ancient time.

Многоликость Китая из окна арендованного автомобиля

Then we arrived in Harbin by rental car. There is a wonderful place The Tiger Park. The visitors stay in the “cell” while the Amur tigers walk free around them. The Window to Europe and Asia Park includes the miniature sights of different countries: The Pyramid of Cheops, The Kremlin Wall, The Arc de Triomphe and others. Ice and snow festivals take place in winter.

We also found many “traces” of our countrymen in Harbin: The Saint Sophie Cathedral, The Intercession Church and The Alekseevskaya Church. Moreover, there is a park named after Stalin with a wonderful restaurant “Riverside” which is made from wood.

At the end of our trip, we visited the demo silk factory, swung on the swing in The TV Tower and walked on the largest main street in Asia. After that, we returned the rental car to the airport and came back home.

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