The People’s Republic of China is the largest state in East Asia, famous for its beautiful mountain ranges, green plains, bamboo forests, clean rivers and lakes. However, man-made miracles are also enough here.
Who travels to China and why
China is an ancient original country, ranking third in the world in terms of the number of tourists. Foreigners are interested in the cultural characteristics of local residents and historical monuments. The Great Wall of China, the Buddhist Shaolin Monastery, the Forbidden City are very popular.
The museums of China store archaeological finds and works of art covering the entire history of the state. Every city has galleries and exhibitions about emperors, Buddhism, Chinese writing, porcelain production.
Traditional Chinese medicine has been widely accepted. People from all over the world travel to the country’s sanatoriums. Wellness tours include a comprehensive examination, acupressure, acupuncture, herbal medicine.
China attracts active travelers with its magnificent nature. In the Kagebo and Yulon mountains, there are hiking trails with different levels of difficulty. The trip includes spending the night in tents, guest houses, visiting the ethnic village of Wenhai.
Rafters set off for rafting along the Huang He, Nanjiang, Yangtze. The flow of these rivers is sometimes rough, sometimes slows down, so athletes fully enjoy extreme skiing.
Ecotourism is popular in China. People come to see the bamboo reserve in Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou Valley, Minshan Mountains, Poyang Lake. Among the famous natural objects, it is also worth noting the Stone Forest in the east of the Dzungarian depression, the geological park of craters and the Khanka deep-sea reservoir.
China is an economic superpower that attracts with favorable prices for goods and services. Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong are considered the largest trading cities in the world where you can buy any thing. As souvenirs, hand-knitted sweaters, silk embroidery, ivory figurines, porcelain, traditional Chinese jewelry are brought here.
Interesting places and cities of China
Tiananmen Square is located in Beijing, which is considered a symbol of the Chinese nation. The territory, paved with square slabs, is surrounded by the Opera House, the House of National Assembly, and museums. In the center stands a three-story white obelisk dedicated to the folk heroes who gave their lives for the revolutionary movement. Nearby stands the two-story mausoleum of Mao Tse Tung. Tiananmen Square is used for demonstrations and cultural events.
Lijiang old town
On the banks of the Yulonghe in Yunnan province lies the ancient city of Lijiang, which has preserved its original foundations and architecture. The settlement is located in the mountains between Lugu Lake and Leaping Tiger Gorge. The indigenous inhabitants of the city are the Naxi, a small ethnic group in China.
Tourists come here to walk along the ancient streets paved with paving stones, see medieval houses with traditional tiled roofs, get acquainted with the beliefs of local residents and buy souvenirs in shops.
Not far from the city of Suzhou is the most famous water village in China — Zhouzhuang. The ancient settlement is surrounded by lakes and rivers. They fill with their waters numerous canals that run through the city. Along the canals there are houses and temples built in the era of the Yuan and Ming dynasties, the banks are connected by stone bridges.
The ancient city is a famous tourist attraction. The tour includes sightseeing of architectural monuments, boating and going to a restaurant of national cuisine.
Hong Kong remained a British colony until 1997. Now it is a special administrative region of China and the financial center of Asia, attracting millions of tourists. Foreigners come to appreciate the splendor of Hong Kong at night, admire the skyscrapers, the symphony of lights, the avenue of stars, parks and nature reserves. Trekking enthusiasts go to Victoria Peak — hiking trails are laid through the hill that require good physical fitness.
Lantau is the largest island in Hong Kong, located at the mouth of the Pearl River. More than half of its area is occupied by nature reserves and national parks. The island has a cable car, a protective fort of the last century, an international airport, Disneyland.
The central attraction is the bronze statue of the Big Buddha, symbolizing the harmony between man and nature. The sculpture, 34 meters high and weighing 250 tons, is installed on a hill near Po Lin Monastery.
In the province of Henan on Mount Songshan is the famous Shaolin Monastery, which is the center of Buddhism in China. His novices perfected Buddhist practices, meditated and studied martial arts.
The sanctuary, founded in 495, was persecuted many times, destroyed, but always reborn from the ashes. Today, Shaolin students are again comprehending Buddhism, training the body and soul. All the premises of the monastery are available for tourists. Commercial martial arts schools have been opened near the sanctuary.
Historical landmarks and architecture
In the center of Beijing, you can see the main palace of the Chinese emperors who ruled the country from 1420 to 1912. The architectural ensemble, built in the traditional Chinese style, is decorated strictly according to Feng Shui and is huge. After the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty, it lost its political significance and was opened to tourists.
Today, the Forbidden City is visited by 7 million people every year. People come to see the magnificent decoration of the Outer and Inner Palaces, take a walk in the Imperial Gardens, go to the Flower Rain Pavilion, and study the unique statues, paintings and murals.
the great Wall of China
In the north of the country, the largest monument of ancient architecture has been preserved — the Great Wall of China with a length of 9 thousand km. A massive sandstone structure rises along the Yinshan Mountains, masterfully skirting the gorges and rises. Construction that began in the 3rd century BC. e., was conceived to fix the borders of the state and protect residents from enemies.
The work went on for many centuries, so the old fortifications gradually fell into disrepair. During the reign of the Qin Empire, the wall almost collapsed — only one fragment remained near Beijing. At the end of the last century, the authorities began restoring the attraction. The restoration is still going on.
During the excavation of the burial mound with the burial place of the first Emperor Qin, scientists came across a crypt with life-size terracotta statues of warriors and horses. The clay army includes 8 thousand statues. Each sculpture has individual facial features, made with filigree precision.
The terracotta army has soldiers, officers, generals. Warriors are equipped with crossbows, spears, swords. The attraction is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and is considered the greatest asset of mankind.
The princely palace, erected in 1776 for Nyuhuru Heshen, is second only to the imperial Forbidden City in its scale. Behind the high walls are wonderful gardens, lakes, beautiful houses. The area has been turned into a museum illustrating the life of Chinese aristocrats.
During the tour, you can see the magnificent interior of the ceremonial halls, calligraphic works by Chinese artists, bronze and marble sculptures. In the eastern part of the complex there is a wooden theater with 200 seats. Its walls are decorated with paintings, and the floor is lined with colorful mosaics. The stage regularly hosts performances of the Peking Opera and circus performances.
In Leshan, a statue of Buddha 71 meters high is carved into the thickness of the rock. The creation of the masterpiece began in 713 and lasted almost 100 years. The face of the statue is turned to the sacred Mount Emeishan, and massive feet rest directly on the river. On sheer cliffs next to the Buddha, images of 90 bodhisattvas are carved. Previously, the sculpture was hidden by the Dasyange Temple, but in the 17th century the building burned down and collapsed. The ancient Buddha itself has been reconstructed and is in excellent condition.
Temples and monasteries
In Lhasa, a huge Buddhist temple complex flaunts on top of a hill. The magnificent palace used to be the official residence of the Dalai Lama, but in 1956 the Chinese army invaded Tibet and the Dalai Lama was forced to seek political asylum in India.
The palace houses a museum for tourists and pilgrims. Guests are shown statues of deities, ritual objects, and rare books. On the tour you can learn how the leaders of Tibetan Buddhism lived, take part in religious ceremonies, take a walk in the Norbulingka park.
Temple of Soul Refuge
The Buddhist temple, founded in the distant 328 by the monk Huili on Mount Feilai, is one of the most revered shrines in China. On the territory of the complex there is a hall of the Four Heavenly Kings, Mahavira, Bhaisajagura, a library of Buddhist texts.
Of the numerous treasures, one can single out the Buddha created 800 years ago, the sculptures of the Four Kings, dragons, phoenixes, the Diamond Sutra of the artist Dong Qichang. In the grottoes of Mount Feilai, statues of Buddhist deities are hidden, and sheer walls are decorated with intricate ornaments and silhouettes of bodhisattvas.
In the center of Beijing rises the temple and monastery complex, built in 1420 near the imperial palace. The shrine is surrounded by high red walls. A blank fence forms a square, symbolizing the Earth, and round temple buildings with gabled blue roofs represent Heaven. The combination of two symbols is intended to remind people of the cycle of the elements.
The Temple of Heaven is a prime example of Chinese traditional architecture and one of China’s top attractions.
In Shanxi, on a rock near the sacred mountain of Hengshan, you can see the Xuankong-si monastery. The shrine, built in 491, combines Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist altars. Buildings and pavilions are installed on piles along a sheer wall and hang over a huge abyss.
Inside the monastery are kept statues of deities: many of them rest in artificial recesses in the rock. Xuankong-si Monastery is a national monument of the People’s Republic of China and is protected by law.
Cave temples in Henan province are carved almost a thousand years ago into the rocks along the banks of the Yihe River. The caves stretch along the slopes of the mountains, and their exact number is still unknown. In the explored recesses there are religious rock paintings, reliefs with dancers, monks, and natural phenomena. The central place in the cave temples is occupied by statues of Buddhist deities — some of them reach 15 meters in height.
In the vicinity of the city of Dali, three stone pagodas dating back to 840 rise. Architectural ensemble has the shape of a regular triangle. The main seventy-meter tower was the highest in China for many years. The pagoda walls are 3.5 meters thick. The division into tiers is made with the help of decorative cornices, and the facade is decorated with marble Buddha statues. In front of the temple complex is a round artificial lake framed by trees.
National Museum of China
In 1959, the National Museum of China opened on Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The four-story building exhibits archaeological finds and collections dedicated to historical events. Among the exhibits are the remains of the Yuanmou man, who lived 780 thousand years ago, the Ding sacrificial tripod, dated 1045 BC, a jade burial suit, and multi-colored ceramics.
Permanent exhibitions chronicle the Opium War, the development of the Chinese Communist Party, and the revolution that overthrew the Manchu dynasty.
The Silk Museum in Beijing offers tourists a fascinating tour that reveals the secrets of making fabric. Visitors are shown flasks with silkworms, the life cycle of caterpillars and the stages of silk production. The exhibition hall contains national clothes and imperial silk dresses. After visiting the factory, guests enter the store to buy silk items, bed linen, scarves.
Chen Clan Academy
In Guangzhou, there is a complex of 19 buildings erected in the 19th century by the Chen family clan to hold imperial examinations. Today it houses the Guangdong Folk Art Museum. Clay figurines, ceramics, wooden figurines, plaster decorations are stored in the interior. Tourists can see paintings carved on bricks, as well as iron engravings.
Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine
A university of traditional Chinese medicine has been opened in Shanghai, which has a museum that introduces popular medical methods and procedures. People are told about the famous Chinese doctors who devoted themselves to traditional medicine and created herbal medicines.
In a separate room, ingredients for preparing potions and tools used for treatment are exhibited. Among the exhibits are ginseng root, pearl powder, snake venom, coal, dried herbs, acupuncture needles.
The Shanghai Automobile Museum shows the entire history of mechanical engineering. Details, drawings and exclusive models of Porsche, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Maybach, as well as retro cars produced at the beginning of the last century are presented to the attention of visitors. The museum is equipped with interactive panels and video materials that complement the guide’s story with interesting and useful information.
Hong Kong History Museum
In 1975, the Island History Museum opened its doors in Hong Kong’s Kowloon Park. Numerous expositions illustrate the life of Hong Kong from antiquity to the present day:
- The archaeological collection demonstrates stone tools, weapons, ceramics.
- In the historical department, household items of wealthy Chinese and commoners, national clothes, jewelry, and porcelain are exhibited.
- The Hall of Recent History introduces steam engines, documents and photographs of the last century.
Separate exhibitions tell about the British occupation, earthquakes, immigrants.
There is a small green island in Sanyavan Bay. This protected area is the habitat of monkeys. Animals are not at all afraid of people, willingly make contact with them and accept treats from their hands. Tourists get to the island by boat or cable car. There they are waiting for clean beaches, the performance of trained monkeys, communication with animals, cozy cafes and restaurants.
In the Eastern Tien Shan, on the slopes of the Bogdo-Ula ridge, there is a beautiful lake filled with clear water. A natural attraction surrounded by pine trees is popular among tourists. People come here to relax from the city noise, breathe in the healing mountain air, go fishing. In the vicinity of Lake Tianchi, the Jiuxiandong cave temple, the Haifeng gazebo, as well as the ruins of the ancient monasteries of Panszhenzhen, Damo and Tawasa have been preserved.
Giant Panda Sanctuary
In the province of Sichuan, there is a reserve in which animals listed in the Red Book live. In the mountain forest, in picturesque glades and along streams, you can meet giant and lesser pandas, clouded leopards, and snow leopards. There is a panda museum on the territory, which tells about the habitat and habits of these animals, as well as a scientific center engaged in research activities aimed at preserving endangered species of animals.
The reserve in the Jiuzhaigou Valley on the slope of the Minshan Range is famous for its beautiful natural attractions. Among the hills and forests there are colored lakes, multi-level waterfalls, gorges and glades. Hiking trails are laid through the valley, designed for beginners and experienced travelers.
Tourists come here to see Pearl Falls, Bamboo Forest, Mirror Lake, Spotted Pond, Zazhu Buddhist Monastery. During the tour here you can stumble upon golden snub-nosed monkeys and giant pandas.
Shilin Natural Park is located in the southwest of China. Its landscape consists of limestone formations of the most bizarre form. Stones growing out of the ground look like stalagmites and resemble petrified trees. The fairytale forest, formed millions of years ago, is a World Heritage Site. Within the boundaries of the reserve are also Dadeshui Waterfall, Qifeng Cave, Moon Lake. Deciduous trees, pines, evergreen shrubs and flowers grow between the stones.
The only waterfall in the Yellow River basin is the second largest in China. Its height is 15-20 meters, the width depends on the season and varies from 20 to 50 meters. Water falls from the rocks and shimmers in the sun with the colors of the rainbow. In winter, the waterfall freezes, turning into beautiful shiny pillars.
Walking paths and viewing platforms are equipped near Hukou. Nearby there is a car park and a cafe. And downstream, a bridge was built connecting the banks of the Yellow River.
Guizhou Province is famous for its thermal springs, near which medical institutions are built. Mini-sanatoriums offer a high level of service and treatments based on traditional Chinese medicine. Hot radon-sulfur waters, massages, acupuncture sessions are at the service of clients.
In one of the hospitals there is a water park with several pools, slides, and water cannons. In their free time, tourists visit excursions and get acquainted with the unique nature and culture of the Celestial Empire.
Beijing has one of the largest and most modern zoos in the world. The territory covers an area of 50 thousand m² and looks like classical Chinese gardens. Among trees, artificial ponds and green meadows there are spacious enclosures for animals. Animals of the Asian region, Africa, Australia, the North Pole live in them. The zoo’s aquarium invites you to daily performances with dolphins and sea lions.
Valley of happiness
The Valley of Happiness in Beijing guarantees a lot of positive emotions for the whole family. The park is divided into thematic areas that represent the world of giant insects, natural attractions and ancient civilizations. Amusements, pavilions for games, playgrounds are installed in each department. Guests ride the high-speed railway, slide down the hills, participate in quests. In the evenings, fireworks are arranged in the Valley of Happiness and Chinese lanterns are launched into the sky.
Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland is designed for young travelers, so there are few extreme entertainments in it. The park, equipped according to Feng Shui, consists of a huge area with attractions, three hotels, a park and a lake. Fairy tale princesses, dragons, Disney cartoon characters, Winnie the Pooh, Tarzan, Robin Hood are waiting for children in thematic play areas.
Children enter the museum of 3D illusions, walk through the garden of antiquities, go through mirror labyrinths and ride on carousels. The park is surrounded by a railroad that delivers passengers from one part of Disneyland to another in the shortest possible time.