China hides more secrets and beauties than it seems at first glance. This is not only a country of high technologies and developed megacities, but also an amazing embodiment of traditions, culture, and love for nature.
In Shanghai, you should definitely take a walk along the Bund, visit the Forbidden City, climb the observation deck in the Pudong New District. In Hong Kong, you need to see Victoria Bay and enjoy the light show.
The Great Wall of China cannot be ignored. In addition to it, the country has amazing palaces, monasteries and temples. The Hanging Monastery of Xuankong-si rests against the rock, the summer imperial palace and the Potala Palace embody the greatness of Chinese architecture. In China, there are magical gardens where time stops. Also the greatest monuments of Chinese religion are Yungang cave grottoes and Longmen cave temples. The terracotta army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang is impressive.
A fantastic place - Zhangjiajie National Park, takes you to another reality. Rice terraces embody the ability of a person to use the gifts of nature. An equally beautiful place is the Reed Flute Cave. And be sure to look at the pandas in China. They are special here.
What to see in China?
The most interesting and beautiful places, photos and a brief description.
the great Wall of China
This fortress began to be built in the 220s BC. to protect against nomadic tribes by order of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Then China reached incredible power and prospered. The length of the wall from edge to edge is 2450 km, and if you take into account all the bends and branches, the figure will increase to 8852 km. About a million people took part in the creation of the most grandiose fortress. Tens of thousands died and were walled up in the walls.
Shilin National Park
The area of the park is 350 km². It was formed 200 million years ago at the bottom of the ancient sea, which became shallow. The park is called the stone forest because of the cliffs, the height of which reaches 40 meters. Shilin was divided into 7 zones, on the territory of which there is a stone garden, grottoes, meadows, caves, lakes and waterfalls. A torch festival is held here every year.
The Forbidden City is located in the center of Beijing. According to the astronomers who determined the place for the construction, it stands in the center of the globe. This is the largest palace complex in the world. The area of the city is 720 thousand m². After its creation in 1406-1420, 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties ruled there. Nobody could get there, too curious were punished by death. Now the forbidden city is open to tourists.
Li River (Lijiang)
This is one of the cleanest rivers in China. The length of the "silk ribbon" is 426 km. It stretches through hills and rocks shrouded in mist. River landscapes have inspired many poets and artists. On its banks are the largest and most beautiful deposits of karst rocks. While traveling along the river, tourists see the Buffalo Gorge, the Crow Cave, the town of Xingping, the scenic Nine Horseshoe Mountains and the Yellow Canvas.
This is a beautiful royal palace and a famous center of Buddhism. It is located in Lhasa. The first building here was built by the king of Tibet Songtsen Gampo in 637 at the place where he meditated. Then he decided to make the city his capital and get married, so he built a huge palace. It almost didn't survive. The modern complex was erected by the Dalai Lama. It is located on a hill 3700 meters high, surrounded by a valley.
The image of the Bund is one of the most recognizable in Shanghai. This is part of Sun Yat Sen Street. Along the embankment there are 52 architectural buildings built in different styles. Movies were filmed on its territory; this is the most popular tourist site in the city. Here is the building of HSBC, Shanghai Customs, Peace Hotel.
Pudong New Area
This is a large area in Shanghai that began to develop in the 1980s. Its area is 522.8 km², the population is 1.5 million. Pudong has become the business and financial center of China. There are many very recognizable structures on its territory. Among them is the Jinmao skyscraper, its height is 420 meters. It also built one of the tallest hotels in the world. It is called "Grand Hight Shanghai" and has an observation deck.
Tiger Leaping Gorge
Tiger Leaping Gorge is a canyon in the Sino-Tibetan Mountains on the Yangtze River. It stretches for 15 km, in a place where the mountains reach a height of 2000 meters. It attracts rafting enthusiasts. The gorge got its name because of the legend and the tiger that jumped over the river. The area is inhabited by the Naxi people who grow crops and provide services to tourists. The landscapes in these places are magnificent.
Honghe Hani Rice Terraces
This man-made agricultural miracle occupies 16.5 thousand hectares in the southern part of Yunnan province. The mountains, on the slopes of which terraces were created, are called Ailo, and the river is Huanghe. Rice terraces are a self-cleaning system. The soil on which rice grows is not washed out by water. Created terraces that are already 1300 years old, the Hani people. They look especially magical in the spring, when they are flooded with water.
Victoria bay in Hong Kong
It is a natural harbor between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. It became an important strategic object, a center of trade. Victoria Harbor is a popular tourist destination. There are annual fireworks displays as well as a Guinness World Record-listed light show and sound show. It is created by lasers, spotlights, flashes and lights. You can watch it for free.
This is a freshwater lake in Hangzhou. It is considered one of the most beautiful places in China. Dams and small islands divide it into 5 parts. On three sides, the lake was surrounded by emerald mountains. It has many lotus flowers, irises, bridges, arbors. According to legend, Xihu appeared from a fallen pearl. It is famous for its "ten species". All parts of the lake are included in the UNESCO heritage list.
Summer Imperial Palace
It is the summer residence of the emperors of the Qing Dynasty. It was built on the outskirts of Beijing. There are over 3,000 buildings throughout the park. Its total area is 290 hectares. On the territory of the residence are temples, palaces, living quarters and an artificial lake. It can be divided into two parts: palace and park. Mountains are a beautiful backdrop for the residence. Every landscape here is inspiring.
Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang
At the age of 13, Qin Shi Huang began building a tomb. After the persuasion of advisers, the ruler abandoned the tradition of burying a living army with him and decided to replace it with an earthen one. In March 1974, peasants discovered a tomb with thousands of statues of soldiers. All the figures have different faces, detailed clothing. It took 38 years and more than one life to create the tomb. Living concubines and treasures were buried with the ruler.
Lijiang old town
Lijiang is an urban area in Yunnan Province. Within its boundaries is the old town, which attracts tourists. There is the Black Dragon Pool, the beautiful Jade Dragon Mountain, Elephant Hill. Around this lined old streets, houses, shops. The old city is full of flowers. Here every corner is saturated with history, and wherever you look - the most beautiful nature.
HPP Three Gorges
Back in 1992, the construction of a dam began on the Yangtze River. Now it is the largest and one of the most powerful hydroelectric power stations in the world. For its creation, 1.3 million people had to be resettled. To generate energy on the dam, 32 generators of 700 MW each and two of 50 MW each have been installed. The length of the HPP is 2309 m, the height is 185 m. The dam paid off a third of its cost in the first year of operation. It also purifies the waters of the Yangtze from pollution.
Suzhou Gardens is a masterpiece in its genre. They include several picturesque and quiet gardens located in the city of Suzhou in eastern China. They were created by wealthy Chinese. The oldest gardens were created in the XIV century. Each garden is made in Chinese style. There are artificial stone slides, lakes, graceful bridges, pavilions, temples. The gardens have a lotus pond, an exhibition of dwarf trees, and galleries.
Located in eastern China's Anhui Province, the Huangshan Mountains are a UNESCO heritage site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in China. The height of 77 peaks exceeds 1000 m. The rocks are covered with pine trees. In the area of the Yellow Mountains, as they are also called, there are 16 thermal springs, 24 streams, 2 lakes and 3 waterfalls. On the tops of the mountains there are hotels for tourists, and there is a funicular and paths to climb.
Buddha statue in Leshan
The statue is carved into the rock of Lingyunshan Mountain on the banks of the river. The height of the Buddha is 71 m. This is one of the oldest and tallest statues in the world. For 1000 years, she was the leader among giant statues. The Buddha's head is turned towards the sacred Mount Emeishan. The creation of the statue lasted 90 years, and began in 713. Tourists love to climb onto the giant's fingers, which are 1.6 m long.
The Chinese Venice, as the city is called, is located 30 km from Suzhou. The old town stands on the Jinghan Canal. It is built up with white houses and villas of the intelligentsia, who liked to live in Zhouzhuang. 14 stone bridges were built across the water channels. One of the main buildings is the house of the then millionaire. It has 100 rooms and its area is 2 km². Very romantic and colorful Chinese town.
Longmen cave temples
These are Buddhist temples that are located in Henan province. The caves were created in 495-898 in limestone rocks on the banks of the Yihe River. The exact number of temples is not known. There are at least 2345 grottoes with 43 temples. More than 100,000 statues were carved in them. During the Sui Dynasty, many of them were beheaded. The Longmen cave temples are one of the most striking examples of Buddhist art.
Jiuzhaigou National Park
The place of fabulous multi-colored lakes and multi-level waterfalls is Jiuzhaigou National Park. It is located in Sichuan province in northern China. The park is located in a valley with nine villages inhabited by Tibetans and Qiang people. Jiuzhaigou consists of three valleys. In them you can see broad-leaved forests with amazing fauna, rivers, waterfalls and lakes of incredible beauty.
Yungang Cave Grottoes
This is a complex of 252 man-made caves. They are located 16 km from the city of Datong. They created 51 thousand images of the Buddha. The highest ones reach 17 meters in height. All grottoes stretch for one kilometer. In addition to statues, they contain Buddhist scenes, ornaments, and Apsara sculptures. This is one of the largest cave complexes in the world.
Hanging Monastery of Xuankong-si
Shanxi Province is rich in architecture, history and culture. This is one of the first regions of the country where Buddhism began to flourish. The monastery was built in 419. It unites three religions and is very popular among tourists. 40 halls and pavilions of the monastery stand on wooden piles. The rock serves as an inner wall, and Buddha statues have been carved into it. There are 80 of them in the monastery.
Cruises on the Yangtze River
The longest river in China flows through many beautiful places in the country. During cruises, there is a chance to sail through canyons and gorges, get on boats and swim up to the rocks, visit excursions in different places. It can be monuments of nature and architecture, ancient temples and cities. Throughout the cruise, the views are very picturesque.
Longji Rice Terraces
This is one of the most beautiful rice terraces in China. They are located near the pretty village of Pingyang. They are also called the Dragon's Backbone. They built them on the side of a mountain. Its height is 1100 meters. In winter, the terraces look white due to snow, in spring they are flooded with water, in summer they are bright green, and in autumn they look golden. There are hotels for tourists.
Mogao is a grand monument of Chinese culture. It is located in Gansu Province. The cave complex unites 492 sanctuaries. They are decorated with frescoes and sculptures. Mogao is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in China. It was built in the mountains of the Gobi desert in the 4th century. It took a millennium to create decorations and decoration of the caves. The area of fresco painting is 42 thousand km².
It is one of the five sacred mountains of Taoism. It is located in Shandong province. The height of the mountain is 1545 m. On the lift you can climb to the top of the mountain. There is a temple on it, to which pilgrims constantly arrive. 80% of the mountain is covered with coniferous and deciduous forests. There are 1000 species of plants growing there, many of them medicinal.
Monasteries of Wudangshan
Wudangshan is a mountain range in Hubei province. It consists of 72 peaks, 36 rocks and 24 valleys. This is the second most popular monastic complex in China. It is said that it was in this ancient cradle of Taoism that the martial arts were born. There was an ancient Taoist university. The most popular among tourists is the Golden Pavilion, the Forbidden City, the Purple Cloud Palace.
Chengdu Giant Panda Research Nursery
Sichuan province is densely populated by pandas. In the nursery created to care for pandas, the conditions resemble the natural habitat. They keep little pandas, and when they become ready for independent life, I release them. In the nursery, animals are fed and provided with medical care. After a hearty breakfast, pandas become quite lazy and slow. This is the best time for observation.
The only round temple in Beijing is part of the Temple of Heaven monastic complex. It was built in 1420. This is a place of worship for emperors and prayers for a good harvest. One of the most sacred places in Beijing. The temple consists of the Altar of Heaven, the Hall of Prayer, the Imperial Firmament and the Hall of Abstinence. The territory of the whole complex is 267 hectares. The park near the temple was endowed with great beauty.
Zhangjiajie national park
The park is located in Zhangjiajie Mountains. This is the place where the fantastic landscapes of the film Avatar were born. The park was opened in 1982, its area is 13 thousand km². The height of quartzite rocks reaches 800 meters. They are covered with trees and some of the mountain peaks rise up to 3000 meters. A cable car was built among the mystical rocks. It offers a breathtaking view. You can climb the mountains along the paths.
City wall in Xi'an
It is the only surviving city wall in China. Its height is 12 meters, its width is 15. Its length is almost 12 km. In the past, the wall protected the city from attacks, and after the reconstruction it became a tourist attraction. A park was created near it, a marathon is held on its territory. The wall offers a great view of Xi'an. At night, it is illuminated, and it looks bewitching.
Reed Flute Cave
In the city of Guilin there is a mountain Guangmingshan, overgrown with reeds. There is a fabulous rock in it, which is called the Reed Flute Cave. It was created by the ocean, leaving behind an amazingly shaped crevice. This is the largest karst cave in China. Its length is 500 meters. Stalactites, stalagmites, an underground lake are illuminated by a multi-colored garland. Inside the cave there is a park with benches where you can relax.
Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple
The Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple is one of the oldest and best preserved structures in southern China. They are located 1 kilometer from the city of Dali on the shores of Lake Erhai. The architecture of the pagodas is unique to Buddhist structures. They were built of brick, coated with white clay and decorated with patterns. The roofs of the pagodas are made of copper. The three pagodas of Chongsheng Temple are called the most beautiful symbol of Dali.
Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties
These are several mausoleum complexes throughout China. The emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties, who ruled the country for more than 500 years, are buried in them. All the tombs are made according to the principles of "feng shui" and testify to the beliefs and religion of the Chinese at that time. The tombs of the emperors are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.