Wednesday, October 30, 2013

China ranks high on 2014 best places for travel

A Shanghai shopping mall
Lonely Planet has selected two places in China that it says are among THE best places to visit in 20114.

Lonely Planet (LP) ranked Shanghai No. 6 on its top 10 cities to visit in 2014 because it is "coming of age." LP called China the world's industrial motor, then said Shanghai is "China's high-performance V-8."

The travel guide publisher notes China's largest city is expanding its subway system, which had only three lines in 2000. Its 16th line, a high-speed line, will open in 2014 at 59 kilometers (36.6 miles) long. And when the 121-story Shanghai Tower opens next year, it will be the tallest building in China and the world's second highest. The article further notes that citizens of 45 countries can visit China visa-free for up to 72 hours on stop-overs to other international destinations.

Paris was tapped as the No. 1 city to visit. Others on the list include Cape Town, South Africa; Trinidad, Cuba, and Vancouver, Canada.

Hunan Province ranked No. 9 on the travel guide's best regions to visit in 2014; Sikkim, India, was named the best region.

The guidebook publisher called Hunan, where Chairman Mao was born, "China's next best thing." Party officials are pushing for it to become a hot tourist destination. Infrastructure to make this happen includes high-speed trains, improved air service and super highways. Hunan boasts the world's tallest skyscraper, Sky City, that is about 30 feet higher than Dubai's Burj Khalifa. Plus, Changsha, the province's major city, is getting its first subway system in 2014.

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