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letter from the publisherGina Hansen, CTC, ECCtalk travelTV - Radio - MagazineGina Hansen, CTC, ECCPublisherpublisher@talktravelnews.tvWayne Hansen, Editoreditor@talktravelnews.tvDaryl Cooper, Asst. Editoreditor@talktravelnews.tvJana SchweitzerGraphic Designjanaschweitzer00@gmail.comKarina PlazolaVideo Editing/Productioneditor@talktravelnews.tvDennis LyonsMarketing & Salesdennis@talktravelnews.tvSuite 318 - 237 Keefer StreetVancouver, B.C., V6A 1X6Tel: 604-629-0877Fax: 604-629-0878Fluff up your tail and break out the carrot cake. The Year of the Rabbit is here. Full of en­ergy and optimism, 2011 is a great year for bunnies to try something new, from nosing around new neighbour­hoods to meeting new friends and dumping the daily grind of that grass eating job to follow­ing your dreams; be it selling Energizer batteries or ferrying drinks in for Mr. Hefner. Think big; others may be envious of your success and attempt to put you down, but if you're bold and confident the year should bring great rewards.The Rabbit is one of the most fortunate of all the Chinese star signs. With their live and let live attitude toward life they don't often get into trouble and sel­dom make enemies.The Year of the Rabbit is in sharp contrast to last years explosive Year of the Tiger. It will be a year of placidity and respite where little will be set in stone, a carefree happy year that will be both temper­ate and relaxed.The most important Chinese holiday is Chinese New Year, which is known in China as Spring Festival. The festival ushers in the lunar New Year and is the West's Christmas and New Year's Eve rolled into one. From sun up to sun down, this is a time when the whole coun­try throws itself into celebrating and eating. No one is quite sure exactly when or where the festival orig­inated. Legend has it that once upon a time, there was a mon­ster called Nian that attacked Chinese villages every spring, eating anything that came its way -- people, animals, plants and the odd building. One spring, villagers hung red paper on their doors and threw bam­boo on a fire when the mon­ster arrived. It was so startled by the bright colours and loud crackling noise of the burning bamboo that it turned and fled. Today the world "nian" is the Chinese word for year. For a tourist who decides to spend the Lunar New Year in China, be ready to experience a week full of festivities enriched in Chinese culture. It is also the busiest travel period in China so make sure you have made your travel arrangements early.But it is not just Spring Festival, there are festivals happening all year long and experiencing these events first hand in China is incredible. I have visited Chi­na many times and each time it is a new and wonderful experi­ence. The country is so vast and diversified that there is some­thing for everyone.China was a country hidden for many years but has now emerged onto the world trav­el scene. From frozen north to tropical south, modern east to wild west, this is a huge di­verse land and just waiting to be explored. Make 2011 the year to visit China!Gong Hei Fat Choy - Happy Chinese New Year 2011 - Year of the Rabbit

chinaat a glanceSymbols:Animal The giant panda is con-sidered a Chinese national trea-sure. Around 1,000 survive in the wild mostly in Sichuan Province. Flower China does not have an "official" national flower, but the tree peony can be regarded as a national favoriteBird More bird species live in China than any other place in the world. Tree The oldest tree in the world is China's gingko, which first appeared during the Ju-rasic Age some 160 million years ago.National Day: Chinese celebrate October 1st as Nation-al Day in honor of the found-ing of the People's Republic of China on October 1st, 1949.Land Size: China has a landmass of 9,600,000 sq. km., making it the 3rd largest in the worldBorder Countries: Ko-rea, Mongolia, Russia, Kazakh-stan, Kyrgystan, Tadzhikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos and VietnamReligions: The number of religious worshippers in China is estimated at well over 100 mil-lion, most of whom follow Bud-dhism. Other major religions are Daoism, Islam and ChristianityClimate: Extremely diverse; tropical in the south to sub-arctic in the north.National Flag: Red flag with five starsFamous CanadiansDr. Norman Bethune was born in Ontario and was a great doctor who made important contributions to military medi-cine based on this experienc-es as a battlefield doctor with the People's Liberation Army in the 1930's. His dedication to his field and his patients is still today greatly admired in China.Formal Name: People's Republic of China (PRC)Capital: BeijingPopulation: 1,338 Billion (2009 est.)Currency: Renminbi (RMB)/yuan 1RMB = 0.151US$ (est.)Visa: Tourist visas are required by everyone entering China which will allow holders to travel freely in most parts of China. Available from Chinese Consulates, select travel agencies or visa agencies.