The People’s Republic of China is an amazingly fascinating country. Not only for its extent and nature but for its culture, history, and people. Traveling through China is a unique opportunity to break all those prejudices we normally have about this country.
The contrast between the ancient customs of China and the new futuristic state only increases our fascination with this millenary culture. This country offers the traveler huge and interesting cities such as Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong, as well as places of great historical value such as the Great Wall, the Buddha of Leshan or the Warriors of Xi’an, passing through environments in which to enjoy the nature as in the province of Yunnan (to the south) or around the Li River, in Yangshuo.
China has something for everyone, that’s why we want to show you these interesting places to see:
1. The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China built, rebuilt and maintained between the 16th century to protect the northern border of the Chinese Empire from the attacks of the nomadic tribes of the north in the 5th century. Most of the actual wall was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 -1644 AD). The condition of the Great Wall of China ranges from excellent to ruined. It can be visited in many places, the most famous being those near Beijing as Badaling, Simatai, and Jinshanling.
2. The Forbidden City
Located in Beijing, the forbidden city is the largest palace in the world covering 72 hectares. Built from 1406 to 1420, the palace complex consists of 980 surviving buildings with 8,707 rooms surrounded by a deep six meter (20 feet) moat and ten meters (33 foot) high walls. 24 emperors ruled over the country for almost 5 centuries from the Forbidden City until the abdication of Puyi, the last emperor of China. Today the Forbidden City is a museum and one of the most prominent tourist attractions in China.
3. The Warriors of Xián
Xi’an is especially attractive to foreign tourists, who have only the first meeting with China. The terracotta army of Xi’an is recognized as one of the greatest sights in the world. More than 6,000 terracotta warriors and full-size horses were frozen with different facial expressions and in different poses. Many of them are still hidden underground.
4. Cruise on the Li River
A cruise on the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo is the highlight of any trip to the northeast of Guangxi Province. The landscape is decorated with stunning hills, cliffs, incredible caves and agricultural villages, and is replete with bamboo forests. With its landscapes and the taste of a life far from the impressive concrete metropolis, the landscape along the Li River is one of the most important tourist attractions in China
5. Mount Huang
One of the main tourist destinations in China, Mount Huang is a mountain range in eastern China also known as Huangshan (“Yellow Mountain”). The area is known for its landscape, pine trees, peaks and views of the clouds from above granite-shaped peculiar. In ancient times almost 60,000 stone steps were carved into the mountainside. Today there are cable cars that tourists can use to ride directly from the base of one of the summits.
6. The Panda Bears of Chengdu
Chengdu is a city where there is not much to do but it is a good place to stop because of pandas. Here you will have the moment to see pandas in their daily routines and learn about them. Tours are available (if possible, try to watch the feeding sessions in the morning when the pandas are most active).
7. The Great Buddha of Leshan
The Great Buddha of Leshan is of a gigantic statue of Buddha carved in a cliff in Sichuan, to the west of China. Started in the year 713 during the Tang dynasty, the statue was not finished until the year 803 AD and was the effort of thousands of sculptors and workers. The Great Buddha of Leshan is about 71 meters (233 feet) tall and has three meters (11 feet) long fingers in each of his huge hands. The statue is 1300 years old and a declared World Heritage Site.
8. The Caves of Mogao
The Mogao caves form a system of 492 temples 25 km (15.5 miles) southeast of downtown Dunhuang, an oasis strategically located at a crossroads on the Silk Road. In these caves are some of the best examples of Buddhist art that span a period of approximately 1,000 years. The construction of Buddhist rock shrines began in 366 AD as places to store scriptures and art. Along with the caves of Longmen and Yungang, the Mogao Caves are one of the three most famous ancient rock-cut temples in China.
9. Hong Kong
Another very modern city made of skyscrapers. The free show of The symphony of lights in which you will see all the skyscrapers of the city lighting up and changing colors while powerful lasers roam the sky and all accompanied by music. It is also considered to be a paradise for shopaholics. The huge shopping centers of Central and Admiralty, as well as the street high fashion complex in Causeway Bay. Around the city, there are beaches and mountains that deserve a visit.
Today, Pingyao is an ordinary small town, but in past, it was a very important city. If you are interested to see how China was a long time ago, here you will discover the wonderfully preserved buildings and the massive defensive wall built during the Ming dynasties (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911). Pingyao is very popular on the way from Beijing to Xian.
Here you will find the first Chinese bank – Pingyao was the financial center of China in the XIX century, and its history dates back more than 2700 years.
What Zhangjiajie is famous for is its dangerous mountain peaks, crystal clear streams, dense forests, spacious karst caves and the gifts of nature. This is one of the most beautiful places in China.
Travelers learned about this magical place thanks to the movie “Avatar.” On the film adaptation of the “Alleluia” mountains, Cameron was inspired by the Heavenly Post in the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.
Some areas of Shanghai are very futuristic. The skyline of this city of 23 million inhabitants is impressive. The city is known as the financial capital of the country and although there is less Chinese tradition than in Beijing, there are still places that can give you a sense of authenticity like the Old City neighborhood.