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João Paulo Biscaro

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Shanghai is the true heart of China, being the biggest and most developed city of the Asian giant with more than 23 million people. Small and irrelevant until the Opium War, Shanghai has been through ups and downs under Chinese history until 1990, when it started to reborn from the ashes. This is one of the post card pictures of the city and most famous views showing the neighborhood of Pudong which 20 years ago was nothing but rural undeveloped area. Today there’s the tallest China’s skyscraper, and the 3rd in the whole world. Shanghai reflects the speed and the intensity of the undergoing changes in Chinese society.

After more than three hours in a bus from Beijing, we finally made it to the part of the Great Wall known as Jinshanling – accounted as one of the most beautiful parts. To be there, face to face with one of humankind’s greatest creations is priceless. Since you’re kid you must have heard about the Great Wall, movies have shown her, even cartoons, and, even though it can’t be seen from space, its engineering and ambition climb steep mountains and slopes, presenting herself in a good shape even after thousands of years under nature’s actions and other sort of weather influences.

In the heart of Bali in Indonesia close to area of Ubud there’s a village called Tegalalang. Around there the hilly shapes of the mountains combine with the developed farming techniques of the Balinese people to create an incredible scenery of rice terraces. In April, from the top of the mountains to the valleys, greenery takes place and the plantations are at its peak. A true experience would be not to just keep admiring it at distance but to walk through the terraces, getting lost and finding the way back, in the maze of little stairs and footbridges. If possible, drinking coconut water that can be bought down there.

Almost 2 hours in the northeast direction from Hanoi is located one of Vietnam’s greatest treasures. Halong Bay, recently chosen as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. It’s not for less. More than 1,950 small islands are spread for more than 1,500 km² revealing limestone and karsts formations which contrast with the green of the vegetation and the sea. The ancient legend says that the gods, in an attempt to help the Vietnamese people against their enemies, sent a family of dragons which spat jewels in the sea which in the end became islands as a natural barrier against invaders from the sea.It’s simply incredible. Most of the time this region is under mist and rain but we were lucky and got open skies with no clouds allowed an amazing sunrise and sunset with colors only dictated by the skies.

After riding 4 km in Siem Reap’s flooded and dark streets during the night and some inconvenience when buying the tickets, finally, we reached Cambodia’s most precious attraction. Every year more than 2 million people come to this country and the majority of them don’t miss visiting the temples of Angkor Wat.

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