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China is an amazing country of the East, which is full of its secrets and mysteries. The vast territories of China are spread over the expanses of Asia in its central and eastern parts. The history of this Asian country dates back thousands of years. Today, this country preserves the richest historical heritage of the past and has promising prospects for the future. Loyalty to the traditions of ancient civilization and the frantic pace of life of modern megacities are intertwined here. As for the climate of China, it is very diverse and varies significantly from north to south. If in the north these are endless steppes, which are often covered with snow in winter, then in the south it is the sun, warm sea and an abundance of tropical vegetation. Almost all the sights of China reflect the unique flavor of this country. China today is famous for its excellent opportunities for tourism and recreation. Original culture and centuries-old traditions, climatic diversity and picturesque nature – all this can satisfy the thirst for knowledge and adventure. Even the most sophisticated travelers will find something to see in China.
First things to see in China
Travelers have the opportunity to explore the monuments and natural wonders on their own or with an escort. Russian-speaking guides in China are not uncommon, so there are plenty to choose from. But first, decide which sights you want to visit and in what order.
1. The Great Wall of China (Northern China)
The curves of the Great Wall of China
In the world, perhaps, there is no such structure that would arouse so much interest among scientists, travelers, builders and ordinary people as the Great Wall of China. The process of its construction gave rise to a lot of rumors and beliefs, cost incredible efforts and colossal costs, taking the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who participated in the construction.
The Great Wall of China is an impressive landmark of China, a grandiose monument of antiquity and is considered the longest defense structure in the world. It runs through Northern China for almost 9 thousand kilometers. According to other sources, if we take into account all the turns and bends of the wall, its length will be about 21 thousand kilometers. The height of the building is about 7 meters. And the width is 6 meters. From the inside, the wall is protected by a special barrier 0.9 meters high.
How was the Great Wall of China formed? In the period from the 5th to the 2nd century BC. aggressive wars were waged between the Chinese kingdoms, so the future state was formed. But while the state was fragmented, many kingdoms were subjected to raids by nomadic Xiongnu tribes from the north. Therefore, each of these kingdoms began to build protective fences from ordinary earth, which eventually collapsed and could not withstand the onslaught of enemies. Over time, this bad experience forced the use of other materials for strengthening – not rammed earth, but stone blocks held together with a mixture of rice glue and slaked lime.
About a fifth of the country's population participated in the construction of the great structure. The construction process was carried out in extremely difficult working conditions, so the number of deaths was estimated here in the hundreds of thousands of people.
Today, the Great Wall of China has become a symbol of national pride, and the government spends huge amounts of money to preserve this architectural monument, hoping to preserve the wall for posterity.
2. Potala Palace (Lhasa, Tibet)
The royal palace and Buddhist temple complex Lhasa, located in Tibet at an altitude of 3.8 km above sea level, is an important landmark of China among the shrines. The palace served as the main residence of the Dalai Lama. No palace in the world is located as high in the mountains as the Potala. The very name of the complex comes from the name of the sacred Indian mountain, on which, according to legend, the deity Guan Yin lives – the patroness of the South Sea and its fishermen.
Every year, the Potala Palace is visited by thousands of tourists and pilgrims. The path uphill is long, and in the middle of the path there is a large-scale terrace of 1600 square meters. meters. Plt according to historical records, solemn sacred ceremonies have been held since 1653.
- The palace building consists of two parts – the eastern part of Pozhanggabo, which serves as the residence of the Dalai Lamas, and the central part of Pozhangmabo, containing Buddhist halls and burial pagodas. Pozhangmabo (Red Palace) is considered the main building of the temple and includes 8 tombs, the most luxurious of which is the tomb of the Fifth Dalai Lama, covered with a sheet of gold weighing 3.7 tons and inlaid with precious stones. This palace was the site of prayers in the name of the Buddha and burial ceremonies. Pozhangabo (White Palace) includes the Great East and Sun Pavilions, as well as the living quarters of the Dalai Lama's tutors and government offices. Cult and political events, including enthronement ceremonies, were regularly held in the large eastern pavilion.
3. Terracotta Army (Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province)
Terracotta Army Warriors
Not far from the city of Xi'an, in the Shaanxi province, there is a colossal landmark of China – a military garrison of many thousands, but not of the military, but of clay statues 1.9 – 1.95 meters tall. This wonder of the world is known as the Terracotta Army, and its history spans over 2,000 years. In total, underground burials include at least 8099 statues of Chinese warriors and their horses made of terracotta clay. An unusual clay army was buried with the first emperor Qin-Shin Shi Huang, who united the kingdoms of China into a single state.
How was the underground find discovered? Once a farmer Yan Ji Wang, digging a well on his plot, discovered a figure of an ancient warrior underground, and subsequent excavations showed that the statue is far from alone. Later, several thousand such warriors were discovered by archaeologists – the construction of the Terracotta Army began as early as 247 BC, and about 700 thousand craftsmen took part in it. Yan Ji at one time discovered the main combat detachment of 6000 statues, in 1980 the second column of 2000 statues was dug up, in 1994 – the general staff of the highest military leaders. Excavations continue to this day.
But why did the Chinese have to spend so much effort and time to create such a large-scale historical monument? The fact is that the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huangdi, at one time ordered to bury an army of 4 thousand young soldiers with him, but his advisers were able to convince him not to go for this barbaric act. Then it was decided to build clay figures of warriors instead of people.
The Terracotta Army is striking in its scope and is included in the list of the most famous historical monuments in the world. If you are lucky enough to travel in Asia, you will find something to see in China – be sure to check out the Terracotta Army Museum.
4. Giant Buddha in Leshan, Sichuan Province
Giant Buddha Stone Statue
In the Sichuan province of China, near the city of Leshan, a huge Buddha sculpture 71 meters high is carved right into the rock – one of the oldest sculptures in the world. The landmark of China in the form of a giant Buddha is located at the confluence of three rivers, the oncoming flows of which form dangerous whirlpools. Many local residents and fishermen died in these streams, therefore, according to legend, the monk Hai Tun decided to tame the elements by carving the image of a deity in the rock. In 713, he started work, but over the years of his life he managed to carve a giant statue of the Buddha only to the knees, and later the monk's followers continued the work, and about a century later the statue was ready.
Cutting down the sculpture, the workers threw fragments of the rock directly into the river, which made it possible to partially fill up the turbulent water flows. And so it happened that the Buddha tamed the water element.
Until the middle of the 17th century, the stone body of the Buddha was hidden by the 13-story Dasyange Temple, after which the temple burned down, and the Buddha statue was opened to the public. The huge Buddha sits facing the sacred Mount Emeishan, his head 15 meters high ends where the rock itself ends. The Buddha is wearing a stone tunic, through the folds of which the outflow of rainwater occurs, which protects the rock from erosion. Images of 90 bodhisattvas are carved in the surrounding walls, and a 38-meter pagoda and a temple with a park were built at the head.
Despite the fact that a number of protective functions were thought out when carving the statue to prevent erosion, the rock still decompose. In 1960, the Chinese government organized the reconstruction of the statue, inside which drainage structures were now skillfully laid. Since then, the statue of the giant Buddha has been preserved in excellent condition and is open to numerous visitors.
Be sure to watch this beautiful video about China!
5. Hong Kong (South Coast of China)
Aqualuna – a junk with scarlet sails in Victoria Harbor
Hong Kong is a city on the south coast of China, located on more than 260 islands and having its own special social, economic and political status. Today it is also a major financial and business center that plays a leading role on the world stage. Hong Kong is of great value in terms of tourism, because the Western way of life is closely intertwined with the oldest traditions of the people, and ultra-modern skyscrapers propping up clouds with their roofs contrast with simple village houses.
What to visit in China if you find yourself in such a modern and developed city as Hong Kong? There are so many attractions here that even a multi-day trip is not enough to explore them.
- Lantau Island – the largest island in Hong Kong, where there are quiet beaches and lively entertainment centers; Yeng Hau Temple – an ancient temple in traditional Chinese style, especially revered by fishermen; Pat Sin Leng mountain country park – a system of picturesque natural landscapes of the mentioned mountains; ocean park – a world-class entertainment facility aimed at exploring marine underwater life; Hopewell Center – one of the tallest skyscrapers in Asia with an elaborate system of escalators, a circular rooftop pool and a revolving panoramic restaurant; Tsingma Bridge – a suspension bridge included in the top 10 longest bridges in the world; Citywalk – a large shopping center with numerous clothing, accessories, jewelry and food stores; Ngong Ping 360 is Asia's largest cable car with a length of 5.7 kilometers.
6. Shaolin (Henan Province)
Shaolin Monastery Complex
The Shaolin Monastery is the oldest Buddhist shrine and a world-famous landmark of China, located in the Henan province, in an unusually beautiful frame of forests and mountains. This place has long kept the sacred spirit, because back in the 5th century AD. a Taoist temple was founded here, which during the period of religious oppression was occupied by supporters of Buddhism. By this time, Buddhism had already taken a solid position in the north of China, and this contributed to the founding of new monasteries.
The founder of the Shaolin Monastery is the Indian preacher Bato. And the man, thanks to whom martial arts arose and developed in Shaolin, was another Indian missionary – Bodhidharma. Arriving in Shaolin in 527, Bodhidharma instilled a fighting spirit in the monks of the monastery. He developed a system of special exercises designed to strengthen the physical form during a long stay in a state of meditation. This set of exercises subsequently laid the foundation for all areas of martial arts in China.
The site of the foundation of the monastery was not chosen by chance – on Mount Songshan, shaped like a lotus. Over the centuries, Shaolin has repeatedly changed its appearance, but in the 20th century, with the opening of a tourist center here, it underwent a total restoration.
For many centuries, Shaolin has been a place of pilgrimage for adherents of various martial arts.
The temple complex includes several halls.
In the back of the monastery, the Snow Hall, there is a marked place where, according to legend, the monk Huihe, in order to introduce Buddhism, cut off his hand.
In the Pilu hall, namely in the floor of the room, there are many pits for training the feet.
In the Chuipu hall there are sculptures made of terracotta sandstone, demonstrating different techniques of Shaolin boxing.
If you go up the slope above the monastery, you can visit the cave where, according to legend, Bodhidharma spent 9 years in meditation in a row.
Official website: http://www.shaolin.org
7. Monkey Island Nature Reserve (Sanya)
Monkey Paradise at the Monkey Island Reserve
China is famous for its unusual sights, and the first thing to visit in China among such places is the Monkey Island Nature Reserve near the city of Sanya. After all, this is the only reserve in which monkeys live in their natural environment, but at the same time freely and fearlessly cooperate with visitors.
The reserve “Monkey Island” is located on an area of about a thousand hectares and is a haven for 2,000 monkeys. You can get here by boat or by cable car, which in itself is a landmark of China. Its length is more than 2 kilometers, which can be overcome in just 6 minutes. Along the way, you will have wonderful views of the sea and mountains.
Nimble and intelligent inhabitants of the reserve are accustomed to people – they freely approach visitors and willingly contact them, so when visiting the reserve, you should follow a few simple rules. For example, you should not wear shiny and sparkling jewelry that attracts attention, because curious animals can easily steal these valuable items. The attention of monkeys can be attracted by a camera, and even a bottle of water. Feeding the monkeys by yourself is not allowed here – you can only buy food and give it to the servant of the reserve so that he feeds them from his own hands in front of your eyes. Another favorite entertainment in the reserve is the show of trained monkeys. Wards show miracles of dexterity and ingenuity, delighting the audience with funny tricks.
Returning from the island by boat, you can dine in a cozy restaurant located right on the water, taste a variety of seafood dishes.
8. Forbidden City (Beijing)
Imperial Palace in Beijing
The Imperial Palace in Beijing, built in 1420, has been the residence of emperors for many centuries – in total, 24 emperors lived here at different times along with their families. The entire royal retinue was located behind these walls, and for a long time outsiders were forbidden to enter here, hence the second name of the palace – the Forbidden City.
The construction of the Forbidden City, begun in 1406, lasted 14 years, about a million builders and more than a hundred thousand other specialists participated in its construction – talented artists, stone and wood carvers, and many others. This magnificent landmark of China, which has been skillfully crafted by so many craftsmen, is included in the World Heritage List of Humanity.
Originally, the full name of the Imperial Palace sounded like Zijingcheng, which translated as Forbidden Purple City, but later the new name almost supplanted the first one. It began to be called Gugun, which means the Palace of the former rulers. Often the building is referred to as the Winter Imperial Palace, since the emperors visited it more often in winter, and other country residences were provided for the summer.
The Forbidden City, located in the center of Beijing, has the shape of a rectangle, at the corners of which there are watchtowers. The entire complex of the Imperial Palace includes 9999 buildings, covering an area of 72 hectares – this creation is colossal in scope. In the northern part of this territory is the Imperial Garden of indescribable beauty, with stone pools, gazebos, pavilions and, of course, an abundance of plants. In short, you will have no doubts about what to see in China – be sure to include the Imperial Palace Complex in your travel program.
Official website: http://en.dpm.org.cn /
9. Temple of Refuge of the Soul (Feilai Mountain)
Stone statues of Buddha in the Temple of Refuge of the Soul
On the western slope of Mount Feilai in China is the oldest temple of Zen Buddhism in all of southeastern China – the Temple of the Refuge of the Soul, founded by the Indian monk Hui Li back in 326. Over the course of 16 centuries of its existence, this landmark of China has undergone a lot of destruction and reconstruction – history has preserved data on twelve of its thorough reconstructions. Modern buildings in the form in which they are now presented were erected in the 17th century during the reign of the Qing Dynasty. According to one of the legends that exists about the temple, the monk Hui Li was so impressed by the extraordinary beauty of these places that he considered them as “the place of refuge of the saints.” From here came the name of the shrine founded here – the Temple of the Refuge of the Soul.
Today the monastery includes several rooms – from north to south there are three main pavilions.
- The Hall of Heavenly Lords houses a statue of Maitreya Buddha and a statue of Skanda Buddha, carved from a camphor tree trunk, which is over 700 years old. The ceiling of the hall is lavishly decorated with elaborate ornaments. The Mahavira Hall is decorated in a traditional Chinese style with three levels of cornices, in the center of which is a golden statue of Shakyamuni Buddha seated on a lotus throne. The Hall of the Healing Buddha, recently reconstructed, places a golden Buddha statue on its altar, on both sides of which there are statues of the Sun and the Moon.
Other important rooms are located around the central pavilions:
- Huayan Hall with Buddha statues made of precious Burmese wood; Hall of the Five Hundred Arhats with bronze statues of various Buddhist saints; Sutra Library – Includes ancient collections of sayings, including an ancient palm leaf sutra and a handwritten Diamond Sutra by calligrapher Dong Qichang.
Official website: http://en.lingyinsi.org/
10. World's End Nature Park (Hainan Island)
Walkway in Hainan's End Park
One of China's most outstanding attractions located on Hainan Island is the World's End Nature Park. This is the easternmost tip of the Shandong Peninsula, only 174 kilometers by sea from South Korea.
This wonderfully beautiful place is located right on the seashore, at an altitude of 200 meters, and in terms of area it occupies only 2.5 square kilometers. The local landscapes are characterized by a special beauty – high cliffs of intricate shapes frame the blue sea, stormy waves break on steep banks, trees are green everywhere.
It is ideal to take unhurried walks here: a wide central alley leads directly to a snow-white beach with a clear sea. A wide strip of sandy beach, framing the park, is complemented by huge stones, whimsical outlines of which were given by nature itself, through wind, water and sun. Many boulders are even carved with hieroglyphs with various philosophical sayings. The park's western beach is lined with palm trees, while the eastern beach is veritably tropical with rich vegetation and ponds.
In addition, the territory of the park keeps a long history – there were military disputes during the Tang, Sui, Qing, Ming dynasties, defense was carried out during the Sino-Japanese War. Therefore, it has its own sights – the Qinshihuang Temple, the Mountain of Light, the old bridge, the stone of the Qin dynasty, the shark shooting range, the stone city. Vacationers also have the opportunity to rent electric cars and motor boats.
Official website: http://english.aitianya.cn/
Sightseeing in China: what else visit while in China
In fact, all excursions in China can bring a lot of positive emotions and new experiences. If the most popular tourist sites are not for you, we offer several places that are not so famous, but no less beautiful and unusual. Attractions are located in different parts of the country, so consider the time and cost of transport.
11. Xihu Lake (Hengzhou)
Arched stone bridge on Xihu Lake in hangzhou
There is one place in China that is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful places in the country. This is Xihu Lake, which means West Lake. The fact is that the lake, located in the city of Hengzhou, was once located outside it, namely in the west. Since then, the city has grown significantly, and Xihu has entered its borders, but the name has remained the same.
An unusually picturesque landmark of China is surrounded by contrasting landscapes: on the one hand, these are city blocks, on the other, majestic mountains, behind the carved border of which the sun sets every evening. Lake Xihu brings extraordinary joy to its visitors from contemplating the surrounding landscapes: the wide and quiet expanse of the lake, delicate willows descending with branches to the water itself, numerous gazebos, pagodas, bridges, lotuses and irises, ships and islets – all this merges into a harmonious harmony of rare beauty. panorama. It is not surprising that not only the Chinese, but also many guests of the country aspire to visit this lake in China.
The average depth of Xihu is 2.3 meters, and the area is about 6.5 square kilometers. The lake owes its arrangement to two poet-governors, who, impressed by the beauty of this place, sang it in their poems. In addition, they did a lot to improve the coastal zone of Xihu. Two dams, Sudi and Baidi, are named after them.
- Sudi Dam, named after the poet Su Dongpo, is 2.6 kilometers long and has 6 arched bridges. The governor also organized large-scale work to clean up the lake, and the clay mined from the bottom of the lake just went to the construction of the dam. Built by Governor Bai Juyi, the Baidi Dam provides breathtaking scenery. In addition, the dam, designed to protect the waters of the lake for irrigation of fields, connects the shore of the lake with the largest island of the lake – Gushan.
12. Lianhuashan Lotus Mountains (20 km from Guangzhou)
View of Lianhuashan Lotus Mountains
An unusual and very popular place is located 20 kilometers from Guangzhou – Lianhuashan. This is a mountain system that unites about 50 hills on the banks of the Shizi River. The average height of these hills is about 100 meters, so this is not a mountain system in the usual sense, but rather a system of hills.
Once upon a time in antiquity these hills were called the Lion's Head Stone, and the main hill among them is the Lotus, or Lian Hua. It was named so because the huge stone at the top resembled a lotus flower with its outlines. Most likely, this form of stone was achieved in ancient times, when the Chinese were mining the rock here, extracting building material. Therefore, the same “lotus” could have been formed as a result of the confluence of natural processes and anthropogenic activities.
Additionally, the unusual landscape is decorated with the ancient Lian Hua tower, which once served as a lighthouse for passing ships.
Today, Lianhuashan Lotus Mountains are under state protection as a historical heritage site and a popular attraction in China. On the hills is the ancient Lotus Pagoda, built in 1612 during the reign of Emperor Wanli. As well as the ruins of the Lotus City, built in 1664 under the Kangxi Emperor. Here, in 1994, a huge 41-meter Buddha statue was also erected – the tallest in the world at the present time. The statue is cast in bronze, covered with gold, and its mass is 120 tons.
13. Jiuzhaigou Valley (Sichuan Province)
The beauty of the virgin nature of Jiuzhaigou Valley
The nature of China is unusually rich and numerous guests will always find something to see in China. Now let's talk about one of those places. In the southwest of the country, near the city of Chengdu, there is an unusually beautiful Jiuzhaigou Valley. It is simply impossible not to admire the richness and diversity of local nature: crystal clear, transparent lakes with different shades of water alternate with stormy and swift waterfalls, and rare species of animals and birds live in untouched wild forests.
The valley is located in a remote area on an area of about 250 square kilometers. The tourist route to the valley was opened not so long ago, in 1972. A little later, the reserve acquired the status of a national park, and already in 1992 it was included in the UNESCO list.
Jiuzhaigou Valley is translated from Chinese as the Valley of the Nine Settlements. This is true – historical documents confirm the existence of 9 villages in the valley, which were once inhabited by Tibetans. Nowadays, people live in these seven settlements.
The territory of the valley is richly covered with dense forests and bamboo groves; rare species of plants grow here. Many animals inhabiting the reserve are listed in the Red Book as rare endangered species. These include panda, golden monkey and many species of songbirds.
The territory of the park includes three large valleys located in the lowlands, and in each of them there are numerous lakes of extraordinary beauty. In total, there are 108 such lakes in the valley. Connected by rivers and rapid waterfalls.
Due to the fact that this beautiful landmark of China is located in a remote area, a trip here will take at least 10 hours by car. But these time costs are undoubtedly worth the vivid impressions that a trip to the Jiuzhaigou Valley will leave.
Official website: https://en.jiuzhai.com/
14. Tombs of the Emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasty (Beijing)
A square pavilion with a bisi turtle at the entrance to the burial complex of 13 Ming emperors ofol
The splendor of the imperial palaces, the living memory of the creators of the revolution, the richest cultural heritage, collected bit by bit over the millennia – all this is the modern capital of China. The sights of Beijing are so numerous that they are typed in this city for the whole country. One of the national treasures is located about 50 kilometers north of the capital and is a complex of tombs in which 13 of the 16 emperors of the glorious Ming Dynasty are buried, as well as empresses, princes and concubines. The valley where the tombs are located is the largest burial complex in the country in terms of area – its territory occupies about 40 square meters. kilometers. The burial place itself was not chosen by chance, but according to the rules of feng shui – mountains surround it from the east, north and west, and flat lands were located to the south, where Beijing is now built.
15. Summer Imperial Palace (Beijing)< /h3>
Summer Imperial Palace with historical architecture, a lake and a boat on the outskirts of Beijing
On the outskirts of Beijing, there is a beautiful park complex, a true work of art of ancient landscape masters. According to the original plan of the Chinese rulers, this park was a place of contemplation, the meaning of which was to prolong life. The palace complex itself was built back in the 12th century on Yuquan Hill. There are about 3,000 architectural objects on the territory of the complex, including numerous pavilions, bridges, temples and pavilions. The summer residence was intended exclusively for the rest of the imperial families, state councils were not gathered here and foreign ambassadors were not received – the world's largest palace complex called the Forbidden City, or Gugong, which means “Palace of the Former Rulers”, was intended for these purposes.
Official site: http://www.summerpalace
16. Temple of Heaven (Beijing)
The Hall of Prayer for a good harvest on a three-tiered round white stone platform in the Temple of Heaven in Beijing
The status of the most important religious landmark of Beijing and a valuable cultural site is an ancient temple complex called the Temple of Heaven. It was here that the emperor of China made his prayers, asking heaven for the harvest and well-being of the whole country. Due to the fact that it was originally a temple of Heaven and Earth, the complex has retained a symbolic layout – for example, its northern part is made in the form of a semicircle, symbolizing the sky, and the southern part is in the form of a square, symbolizing the Earth. The Temple of the Harvest is the central and most important structure of the complex, it is made in the form of a three-level round building on a marble base. It was the inner Hall of Prayer that was visited by emperors for 2 centuries, who brought gifts to Heaven and prayed for the harvest. And in another building of the complex, the Heavenly Refuge, the ruler was preparing for the ceremony and made a three-day fast.
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Vacationers on the Bund or the Bund along Huangpu Coast in Shanghai Daniel Case
One of the most atmospheric places in Shanghai is the Bund, a one and a half kilometer stretch of Sun Yat Sen Street near the Old City, which takes visitors to the heart of Europe right in the middle of the Chinese metropolis. This original corner attracts with an extraordinary city panorama, which is especially magnificent at night, when it is illuminated and reflected in the waters of the Huangpu River. An amazing contrast against the background of familiar panoramas is made up of historical European buildings that were built at the beginning of the last century at a time when the city was the gateway to Europe. The most recognizable of these buildings are the Customs building, which is remembered for its large clock, and the building of the European Bank. You can take a boat ride along the waterfront, and enjoy the best views of the city from the Jin Mao platform.
18. Pudong New Area (Shanghai)
Skyscrapers in the Lujiazui International Financial Center of Pudong New District in Shanghai
Shanghai is a bustling multimillion-dollar metropolis, and there are a lot of diverse neighborhoods here, but only a few of them attract special attention. Thus, the Pudong area, located on the east coast of Huangpu, is a popular tourist destination due to the location in this zone of the bulk of city attractions. More recently, these lands were agricultural lands where vegetables and fruits were grown. Today it is the most modern and dynamically growing area with a host of international companies operating in advanced economic sectors. In some two or three decades, a forest of skyscrapers grew here, foreign firms, companies, offices appeared. The area's most noteworthy buildings are the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Science Museum and the Jinmao Tower.
19. Victoria Bay (Hong Kong)
Tourist wooden sailboat in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor
View of Victoria Harbor at night from Victoria Peak in Hong Kong
The real pride and symbol of Hong Kong has become Victoria Bay, the beauty of which is not the natural landscape, but ultra-modern city panoramas. This Asian pearl is located between two islands – Hong Kong and Kowloon. And its embankment is one of the most beautiful places where the view of magnificent modern architecture that opens from the opposite part of the rounded coast attracts the eye. This coastal street has become a favorite place for walks of citizens and guests, so there are a lot of cafes, restaurants, shops, souvenir shops, as well as boutiques, art galleries and a large entertainment center. One of the brightest events in the bay is a laser show, when thousands of colored lights light up over the harbor, and fireworks soar into the sky.
Official website: https://hong-kong
20. Lijiang Old Town, Yunnan Province
Wooden facades of traditional Chinese houses in Lijiang Old Town
Night landscape in the old city of Lijiang in the south of the Tibetan plateau in Yunnan province
In the foothills of the Himalayas in the province of Yunnan, there is an ancient city that many centuries ago lay on the Tea and Silk Roads and was an important cultural and commercial center. We are talking about the Old City in Lijiang, now included in the World Heritage List. The city preserves authentic buildings with entourage roofs made of tiles, although it is worth remembering that most of these buildings are skillfully erected copies of demolished old structures. The whole town makes up a single composition with the waters of the Yuquanhe River, which, breaking up into 3 branches, seems to permeate all the streets, and graceful bridges thrown over numerous streams flaunt everywhere. Dozens of narrow cobbled streets are intricately intertwined with each other, and the houses in the national style are originally inscribed in the surrounding mountain landscape.
21. Zhouzhuang (Jiangsu Province)
Zhouzhuang Chinese Town on the Jinghan Canal in Jiangsu Province
Boats on the “street” among the old houses of the town of Zhouzhuang in Jiangsu province
Venice of the East is one of the most beautiful Chinese cities on the water. This is Zhouzhuang, an ancient settlement on the Jinghan Canal, which connects the cities of Suzhou and Shanghai. This place is a protected area, which is valued due to the authentic antiquity preserved here, and not its imitation. The city is surrounded by a large number of rivers and lakes, which fill numerous channels with their waters from all sides. The main attraction is the 14 ancient bridges that were built back in the era of the Qing and Ming. White houses with curved tile roofs are lined up along the canals, and the old mansions of the wealthy are especially striking – some of them are built so that their front doors can only be approached by boat through their own mini-canal.
< h3>22. City Wall (Xi'an)
Ming City Wall Watchtowers in Xi'an
Nice walk on the city wall in Xi'an Maros M raz (Maros)
Among the most recognizable objects of world architecture, it is worth mentioning the Great Wall of China, which stretches from the west to the east of the country. This ancient system of defensive fortifications is best preserved in the city of Xi'an – here it encircles the old city, and its northern part stretches right along the railway. Climbing the wall today, one can see the obvious contrast between the appearance of the city inside the wall and outside it. On one side is the old city, which has retained the outlines of the ancient geometric layout, on the other side – modern skyscrapers, bright modern facades and busy freeways. It is worth noting that not only the Wall of China is well preserved in Xi'an, but also another historical treasure – a terracotta army of 8,000 life-size clay statues of soldiers and horses.
23. Shilin National Park (south -western China)
The unique landscape of the Stone Forest National Park in China
A geological phenomenon in the form of a stone forest is a recognizable natural find, which Shilin National Park is famous for. The reserve itself is 350 sq. kilometers of picturesque territories, with a predominance of rocky formations. In addition to stone forests, there are many other beautiful places here – mirror lakes, mysterious caves and grottoes, magnificent meadows and primeval forests. From the point of view of geologists, the Stone Forest is a classic example of karst formations. It is believed that bizarre rocky formations began to form here hundreds of millions of years ago, when, in the process of frequent earthquakes, the earth layer rose and exposed the rocks, and water erosion completed the creative natural process, giving the rocks amazing outlines.
24. Hanging Monastery Xuankongsi (Shanxi Province)
Temple complex Xuankong-si (Hanging Monastery) on a rock near the sacred mountain Hengshan in China
Statues inside Xuankong-si Monastery in Shanxi Province in China
The talent of ancient Chinese masters has always impressed with inimitable creations, and even today, after many centuries, some architectural creations continue to amaze – a striking example is the hanging monastery of Xuankong-si, which is located literally on the very edge of a rocky cliff. The fact that this creation was built back in the distant 5th century reinforces the impression. The monastery complex consists of three sections arranged in series, each one level higher than the previous one. And only the lower of them has a solid brick foundation, while the rest rest on wooden piles – it is surprising how such unsteady supports managed to hold the structures for many centuries. The role of the back wall in all the buildings of the monastery is played by the rock itself, and special recesses are carved into the stone firmament to accommodate some statues.
25. Suzhou Gardens (Jiangsu Province)
The beautiful circular gate at the “Garden of the Humble Official” in Suzhou
Bridge in the 16th century Suzhou Chinese Garden in Jiangsu province
Suzhou Gardens is an example of traditional Chinese landscape art
Holidays in Suzhou evoke a double impression on tourists – on the one hand, the city gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of antiquity, as if you were going back several centuries. But there is another Suzhou – a modern, noisy, economically developed center with an active urban rhythm of life. Gardens and parks are the main pride of the city, so when buying last-minute tours in Suzhou, you should plan a visit to the magnificent gardens – several dozen classical courtyards of imperial officials, with a complex of carved arches, ancient bridges, ponds and an abundance of fragrant greenery. For many centuries, these amazing landscape creations have been an adornment of the city and a source of inspiration for many people of art. And today the gardens are a great place for walks and photo shoots, their beauty is unique at any time of the year.
26. Giant Panda Research Nursery (Chengdu)
Giant pandas at the Research Nursery, 10 km northeast of downtown Chengdu
Giant pandas are not just a national treasure of the Middle Kingdom, they are favorites of the general public from all over the world. Cute and slightly clumsy bamboo bears can be seen ten kilometers from the city of Chengdu, in a special nursery. Here pandas are provided with conditions close to natural, and after the pets grow up and become independent, they are invariably released into the wild. You can watch funny bears all day, but they are especially active in the morning. The nursery takes care not only of giant pandas, but also of some species of animals and birds that need protection. Among them are the red panda, white stork, black-necked crane and dozens of other endangered species.
27. Longmen Cave Temples (Henan Province)
General view of the caves from the Yihe River in the Chinese province of Henan
Statues of Buddhist deities at the Longmen Cave Temples in Henan Province
In the slopes of the Longmenshan and Xianshan mountains, right in the cave cavities, the third largest complex of the Lunmen cave temples is located. The first grottoes were built here in the 5th century during the reign of the Northern Wei Dynasty, but the complex flourished in the Tang era, to which the bulk of the statues carved here belong. The figures of the Buddha and various Bodhisattvas are carved right into the rocky firmament – it is hard to imagine what a titanic work it took to create thousands of statues and images in stone. In total, the complex has about 2 thousand grottoes with 43 Buddhist temples, a hundred thousand religious images and thousands of various inscriptions.
28. Tiger Leaping Gorge (Yunnan Province)
View from the upper trail to Tiger Leaping Gorge and mountains in southwest China
In the southwest of the country, the waters of the Yangtze River flow through a beautiful canyon known as the Tiger Leaping Gorge. On this 15-kilometer section, where the river seems to separate impressive mountain ranges with its waters about 5.5 km high, the gorge reaches its dizzying depth – about 3900 meters, this is the world's largest canyon depth. There is a legend that it was here that a tiger, running away from hunters, jumped over a stormy mountain river at its narrowest point – this plot served as the basis for the name of the gorge. You can see the most beautiful places and admire the breathtaking mountain panorama by choosing one of the proposed trails – for example, there is a trail for multi-day hiking trips and an option for an easy car trip along the low coast.
Official website: http://www.tigerleap
29. Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yunnan Province
Honghe Hani rice terraces on the slopes of the Ailao Mountains in Yuanyang County
As you move to the south of China, the sights acquire a touch of natural exoticism. For example, in the south of Yunnan Province, there is a man-made miracle that harmoniously blends into the natural landscape – these are rice terraces on a vast area of 16.6 thousand hectares. The unique creation appeared as a result of the titanic work that the local population has been doing for 1300 years, span by span, developing a unique masterpiece. In general, the cultivation of rice in China has been practiced for 7 millennia. In those days, farmers discovered that rice grains yield ten times more on water-filled soils than on dry soils, and the inhabitants of the highlands had to adapt to the surrounding conditions – they began to transform the mountain landscape, creating stepped fields and a complex system of channels that ensured the flow spring waters in these areas.
30. Yungang Grottoes (Shanxi Province)
Buddhist statues in the niche of Yungang Cave Grotto, 16 km from Datong, Shanxi Province Marcin Białek < p>
Painted carvings and figures in one of the Yungang caves G41rn8
Top attractions in China include three monuments that are famous for their stone sculptures – these are the cave complexes of Lunmen, Dunhuang and Yungang. Yungang Grottoes stand out from the rest with their size, ancient history and, of course, well-preserved stone sculptures. This complex has 2.5 hundreds of man-made grottoes with 50 thousand statues, but about fifty caves have survived in good condition to this day. Most of these grottoes have an identical layout – rectangular rooms were cut in the sandstone, with the exception of the central part. The rest of the stone, which had the shape of a column, was subsequently modified by carving a statue of the Buddha out of it. Stone carvings were painted, and to this day many elements have retained fragments of paint.
31. Wudangshan Monasteries (Hubei Province)
The territory of the Taoist monastery on Mount Wudang in Hubei province
In the mountains of Wudang, in a place belonging to the province of Hubei, there is a complex of Taoist monasteries Wudangshan. It was here that during the reign of the Ming Dynasty, the tai chi quan school, based on the rules of Taoism, was born. The grandiose architectural complex, the construction of which began in the 15th century, is located right on the slopes of the mountains in several levels. In fact, back in the 2nd century AD. these places served as a refuge for all who fled from the bustle of the world and sought solitude, and it is believed that it was here that the monks first saw the swirling vapor of the life-giving energy “chi”. Structures erected on several mountain peaks numbered dozens of buildings stretching in a chain for 80 kilometers. Once upon a time there was an ancient Taoist university, and the monastery complex was the center of teaching martial arts.
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An ensemble of three pagodas of the Chongsheng Temple against the backdrop of the Cang Mountains near the city of Dali
Located next to the Chongsheng Temple, the three pagodas are known not only for their size and beauty – they are the oldest structures in southern China, perfectly preserved to this day. They are located just a kilometer from the city of Dali, in an amazingly beautiful place, on the shores of Lake Erhai. This architectural complex, which was built over several centuries – from the 7th to the 10th century, consists of three large-scale structures located at the vertices of an equilateral triangle. Each of the pagodas is built of bricks and covered with white clay, on top of which murals are applied. One of them, about 70 meters high, was built earlier than the other two and has 16 levels. The other two were built about a century later than the first, have 10 tiers and a height of about 42 meters.
33. Mogao Caves (Gansu Province)
Entrance to the Caves of a Thousand Buddhas carved into the rocks above the Dachuan River in Gansu Province BetacommandBot
Mural painting in Mogao caves scchoong123
One of the oldest Buddhist temples can be found on the slope of Mount Mingshashan – a complex of 92 caves with Mogao temples, representing a thousand-year history of Buddhist art. The temples were built on one of the borders of the Takla-Makan desert, along which the Great Silk Road passed. And along with caravans carrying various goods, the spreaders of Buddhist teachings passed through the desert. The first temples of Mogao began to be built in the middle of the 4th century, when the monk Lezun wandered in these places. Under the slope of one of the mountains, he had an extraordinary vision in the form of thousands of sparkling Buddhas, and considering this vision a sign from above, he decided to carve a cave in the mountainside and turn it into a temple. Over time, more and more cave temples appeared here, and as the Buddhist teachings spread, they turned into a famous place of pilgrimage.
34. Zhangjiajie National Park (Hunan Province)
Panoramic view of rocks and mountains in the colorful valley of Zhangjiajie National Park, Hunan Province
The best sights in China are not only ancient imperial palaces, ancient Buddhist temples or impressive skyscrapers of metropolitan areas. Beautiful landscapes and natural creations deserve no less attention – what is worth seeing the beauty of the scenic corners of China, such as Zhangjiajie National Park. This place strikes the imagination with its fantastic landscapes, soaring upward with numerous rock formations overgrown with forest. In addition to magnificent landscapes, the park is revealed in another role – it is officially listed as a geological and botanical reserve, a zoo operates here. Zhangjiajie is also famous for the fact that local weathered sand and quartz rock formations, up to 3 kilometers high, became the prototype of the beautiful floating rocks of Pandora from the acclaimed film Avatar.
35. Mount Taishan (Shandong Province)
Stone stairs to the top of Taishan Mountain Charlie fong
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of the sacred mountain Taishan for the people of China: climbing it is not just a journey, it is a pilgrimage to the most valuable shrines of the country. According to the myths, the five mountains of China were created from the body of the Creator, and Taishan was the main one, since it was formed from the head of a higher deity. Today there are two ways to climb the mountain: the first is on foot, the second is by bus or funicular. The second way is usually used by visiting tourists, and the first way is by local, mostly elderly people. Making a 7-kilometer ascent through 6,000 stone steps, they firmly believe that their pilgrimage will achieve the favor of the gods.
36. Reed Flute Cave (Guilin)
Neon-lit stalactites, stalagmites and stalagnates in the Reed Flute Cave Bernt Rostad
All kinds of wonders of China can be found not only on its lands, but also underground: in the province of Guilin, in the depths of a rock called the Reed Flute, one of the most beautiful and impressive caves is located. The amazing underground world is transformed by soft neon lighting, which turns the journey into the bowels of the rock into a real fairy tale. It is believed that once there was an ocean in the place of the cave, but due to natural disasters, the water left, exposing bizarre mountains with fantastic gorges, clefts, grottoes and caves. Inside the cave, you seem to find yourself in some kind of fantastic movie with unusual scenery. In addition to bizarre formations – stalactites and stalagmites, here you can see ancient rock inscriptions that supposedly belonged to the first Chinese.
37. Cruises on the Yangtze River (China)
Yangtze Gorge Boat Cruise in China Tuner tom
The Great Yangtze River is one of China's largest waterways, and the locals arrange extremely eventful trips along the river on comfortable boats. A tour along the waters of the Yangtze, which takes 4-5 days, is a great opportunity to feel the true spirit of the Middle Kingdom: enjoy the beauty of the landscapes of the coast, see the most valuable ancient monuments, visit protected areas and explore Chinese lands from a fundamentally new perspective. Perhaps all the most beautiful and unusual natural places are concentrated along this route – these are grandiose gorges, stormy waterfalls, places with ancient temples, where you can feel the local flavor like nowhere else. Next to China is the country of morning freshness – South Korea. While in China, consider visiting this country as well. Read about the sights of South Korea and get inspired for your next trip to Asia!