An Omani’s impression of China

Depending on who you ask, people have different perspectives about China. To some, they see the country as a producer of shoddy products sold at dirt prices to swamp the world and dominate trade. For others, it is a country very different from the rest of the world with their own culture that others have a hard time to understand. Even I have a totally different perspective of the country and the people until I visited it.

Not a lot of people know that China today produces some of the high-end products we enjoy today. A lot of the Apple iPhones sold in different markets worldwide are made in China, so quality-wise, they also have their checks and balances. It’s also quite a surprise to discover that the Chinese are extremely friendly, helpful and organised people who are also hard workers.
During our visit to this country, we met with a local Chinese who was already smiling at us before we can even exchange greetings. Although we struggled in communicatingwith them, they spared no efforts to provide whatsoever assistance we required.
Peoplejust cannot go a day without using something made in China. Maybe this isexaggerating a bit, but still, this statement has some truth in it. InAfrica, Chinese products are the only practical and affordable options.

Muslims in China
One of the common questions for anyone who goes to China is that, is it difficult to be a Muslim there? I came to know that many Muslims are not familiar with this aspect of Chinese history. We visited Yinchuan in theNingxia Hui Autonomous Region where the majority of its population are Muslims.There were lots of mosque and people perform their religious rituals freely.
Muslims even get holidays during  religious occasions just like Muslims in otherparts of the world.Approximately1.5 per cent of China’s population— about 20 million people—are Muslims, a designationthat covers a range of ethnicities, languages, and customs. The largest groupis Hui Muslims, who are ethnically Chinese and speak the dialect of themajority Han in their localities.
Despitethe fact that China is not well promoted as a touristic destination forfamilies in the Middle East, I enjoyed the rich history and the magnitude of their influence both in the modern and ancient times. What is also amazing about the country is that they have a moderate summer climate, splendid nature and so many sites and attractions to visit.

The attractions
A placethat you don’t wish to miss in China is the famous Great Wall. Stretching for 2400 km, it requires one tobe fit and healthy to climb the varied lengthsteps. The Great Wall is an assemblage of smaller walls built by various dynasties overmany years. Builders erected these walls for protection from invasions by thosefrom the north. The Great Wall itself, with a history lasting over 2000 years,measures approximately 8,800 km in length, although some of the sections lie inruin or have disappeared altogether.
It is the longest man-made structure inthe world. There are several sections of the Great Wall of China that visitorsfind interesting. Badaling is the most popular section of the wall. It is closeto Beijing and easy to access and climb.
The Forbidden City is the palatial heart of China. it is China’sbest-preserved imperial palace and the largest ancient palatial structure inthe world. it took 14 years to build and was built by over 1,000,000 workers,including more than 100,000 craftsmen.
It hosts 14 million visitors per year, amaximum of 80,000 visitors per day.We also enjoyed thedesert safari experience in the Capital of Sand Shapotou Tourism Area. Standingon the sandhill, one can see the desert extending to the north, and to thesouth, a boundless oasis. Both the grandeur of the north of China and theelegance of the south come together in this lovely place. We enjoyed the sandslide, the cableway slide, the Yellow River Drift and sand drifting.

Oman Observer