David Beckham’s China Tour as Football Ambassador

The former England captain, David Beckham arrived in Beijing, capital of China, on March 20 in his private aeroplane. This football superstar was fully loved by Chinese football fans and received a warm welcome and enthusiastic cheering during his short visit. In Beijing, Beckham began his five-day China tour, acting as a “global ambassador” for the Chinese Super League (CSL) – China’s top-flight soccer league, and for the Youth Football Program in China.

Beckham received a warm welcome in China

Beckham received a warm welcome in China

From March 20 to 24, Beckham had a tight schedule in Beijing, Qingdao and Wuhan by visiting local schools and football clubs including Beijing Guo’an Football Club at Workers Stadium, Qingdao Jonoon Football Club as well as Wuhan Zall Football Club. In each city, Beckham met the Chinese footballers, fans and had a kick-around with youngsters. The 37-year-old even tried to demonstrate the perfect free-kick skill in a suit and shoes, but fell flat on his backside.

David Beckham's China Tour

Beckham in Qingdao Jonoon Football Club

At news conference, Beckham explained his focal point of the visit, that was, to educate children and develop Chinese football. However, media believed that Beckham’s role was actually an attempt to further promote the Chinese Super League (CSL) home and abroad and to restore its image after a series of corruption and match-fixing scandals.

Beckham in Beijing

Beckham in Beijing, playing football in suits

Beckham was back to Paris on March 25, where he plays midfielder for Paris Saint-Germain now. Yet, this is not the end of Beckham’s 2013 China tour but the beginning. It is said that Becks will pay another two visit to China later within the year to “fulfill his responsibilities” for the appointment.

Beckham in China

Beckham swarmed by Chinese football fans

China Southern Airline opens the direct Urumqi – Kaohsiung flight

China Southern Airlines opened a direct air route linking Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Kaohsiung, Taiwan on Mar. 12. It is the first non-stop flight from mainland’s Xinjiang to Taiwan, and claims to be the longest Cross-Strait flight with a 5.5- hour trip.

China Southern Airlines

China Southern Airlines

Mar. 12, local time in China, the charter flight CZ6053 took off from Urumqi Diwobao International Airport (URC) at 5:13 pm. Five and a half hours later, 180 passengers finished their 4,600-km travel and arrived at Kaohsiung International Airport (KHH) safely. The return flight CZ6054, carrying 143 Taiwanese passengers, departed from Kaohsiung at 11:55 pm and arrive at the destination in the early morning of Mar. 14.

From Mar. 12 to Mar. 26, China Southern Airline planned to launch three direct Urumqi-Kaohsiung flights / six round-trip flights, one flight a week on each Tuesday operated with Boeing 757 aircraft. It is definitely good news for Xinjiang and Taiwan passengers and has brought them much convenience, as they don’t need to transfer via Guangzhou or Xiamen any longer.

In addition to the newly-opened Urumqi-Kaohsiung direct flight, China Southern Airlines has launched a total of 14 direct Cross-Strait routes that connect mainland’s major cities with Taiwan. Furthermore, according to China Southern Airline’s representative, on Apr. 1, the carrier will also open the Urumqi–Taipei direct scheduled flight. Tickets booking will be soon in process.

In recent years, people from both Xinjiang and Taiwan have make great efforts to extend the two regions’ economic and tourism exchanges. With the difference in culture, history, life style, food and landscape, people from Xinjiang find Taiwan most attractive! It is predicted that nearly 30,000 Xinjiang people will travel to Taiwan in 2013.

Forbidden City closed on Monday afternoons 2013

The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, has decided to carry on with the half-day closure every Monday afternoon for further protection, it announced on March 18, 2013.

the Forbidden City, Beijing

inside the Forbidden City

The museum will open on Mondays from 8:30 am to noon. Ticket sales will stop at 11:00 a.m, and ticket checking will stop at 11:10 am.

The official implementation of half-day closure will start on April 1, except public holidays and Mondays during the summer months of July and August. The new timetable will be applied on the following Mondays.

April 1, 8, 15, 22;
May 6, 13, 20, 27;
June 3, 17, 24;
September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30;
October 14, 21, 28;
November 4, 11, 18, 25;
December 2, 9, 16, 23, 30.

The museum launched a pilot plan to close every Monday afternoon from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2013. The closing time was used to check and renovate cultural relics and facilities.

Shangri-La Beijing Joins Forbes Travel Guide List

The 55th annual Forbes Travel Guide Five & Four Star Awards released the award winners for 2013 on February 27th. Asia’s 8 luxury hotels and two spas attained Five-Star distinctions. Moreover, 24 hotels and 12 spa centers in mainland China earned Star Awards rating. Shangri-La Hotels China World Summit Wing, Beijing captured first-time Five Star Award.

Shangri-La Hotels China World Summit Wing, Beijing

Grand Premier Room of Shangri-La Hotels China World Summit Wing, Beijing

China World Summit Wing is a Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts property, located on the 80th floor of The China World Trade Centre among Beijing’s skyscrapers. The hotel offers a large sections of dining with four stylish restaurants and two bars. It has a luxury spa on the 77th floor, an indoor infinity pool on the 78th floor, and an fitness centre.

Shangri-La Hotels China World Summit Wing, Beijing

A heated indoor swimming pool with nice view

Of all the award-winners in Asia, seven Five Star rating hotels are situated in Hong Kong, five in Macau, three in Singapore, two in Shanghai and one in Beijing. As China World Summit Wing Beijing joins Forbes Travel Guide list, mainland China now boasts 3 Five Star rating hotels, together with The Peninsula Shanghai and Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund in Shanghai.

High-speed Rail’s Triumph over Airlines in China

According to analysts, Mainland China’s airlines was experiencing a sharp decrease in passenger demand, leading a loss for the past three months, partly because of the competition from high-speed railways. As the growing passenger demand, China’s high-speed railways seem to get the temporary triumph.

Chinese airline

Chinese airline

In response to the impact brought about by high-speed rail and the passenger decline in low season, mainland carriers including Air China, China Southern Airlines are taking effective and affective measures, like offering heavy discount on tickets, adjusting the flight schedules. Moreover, Air China is shifting its emphasis to its Europe market.

Chinese high-speed rail

Chinese high-speed rail

China’s high-speed railways construction is in the full swing, and is expected to become the largest high-speed rail network worldwide when finished. The high-speed rail greatly shortens the traveling time by comparing with the conventional trains, and cover most China’s main cities. For instance, the Beijing-Guangzhou route, by far considered to be the world’s longest high-speed line, from the north to south passes through five provincial capitals, taking only 8 hours, compared with the 21-hour trip on the older trains.

Chinese high-speed rail

Business class of China’s high-speed bullet train

Thanks to the high-speed railways, travelers now can have a more comfortable train trip. Tired of air travel? Not patient with the frequent flight delays any more? Why not try the high-speed train tours? Then you may have chances to make new friends with Chinese in the train, appreciate the sceneries along the way. China Train Tours have appealed to numerous travelers. Click here https://www.easytourchina.com/tour-c267-china-train-tours for more China Train Tours.

China's high-speed rail

Second class of China’s high-speed bullet train