If you’re planning a trip to China, there are some sites that shouldn’t be missed. There are so many, in fact, that you could fill a book with them. Here, we’ll take a look at a few of the must-see stops every visitor to China should consider.
The Great Wall of China
This one is a no-brainer, right? Everybody has heard of the Great Wall, but few can appreciate how magnificent it really is. While it’s unlikely that you’ll get to travel the whole 3,000 miles the wall covers, visiting the portion of the wall, which was built as a defense structure, nearest Beijing should definitely be a top priority.
While you’re in Beijing to see the Great Wall, don’t forget to visit the palace that was home to 24 emperors over the course of five centuries. This 8,000-room palace is now a museum showcasing many relics from China’s long history and rich culture. It’s easy to understand why it’s considered one of the top five palaces in the world.
If you want to get a glimpse of Tibetan history, visit the Potala Palace in Lhasa. This palace is an now amazing museum dedicated to Tibet’s storied history and contains artwork you won’t see anywhere else.
Most of us know pandas as China’s most famous and most adorable ambassadors. There are a number of different places to see Pandas in China, but Chengdu is regarded as Panda Central. Here, you can visit three different panda locations, including one that features them in a habitat most resembling their natural environment.
The Terracotta Army
In Xi’an, a life-sized, intricately detailed army of hundreds of stone soldiers, horses, and chariots representing the army that won the war that led to a united China was uncovered by farmers after being buried and forgotten for over 2,000 years. Built to accompany China’s first emperor in the afterlife, this army is definitely a sight worth beholding. What may be most amazing is that the excavated figures represent only a portion of the whole army, with many destroyed over the years or still entombed.
Waterways and mountains
China covers so much land that it could take a lifetime to explore all of its natural topography, but if you want to include some of China’s greatest outdoor sites on your tour, there are few to put at the top of your list.
The Li river has long been a source of inspiration for artists, photographers, and poets. Its natural beauty features landscape marked by China’s well-known bamboo groves, as well as farms, villages, and cliffs. A trip down the Li river offers varying views of unsurpassed beauty.
The city of Hangzhou is home to China’s West Lake. This lake was created as a place to get away from busy city life and relax in a place reminiscent of China’s love for garden parks. You can tour the area by foot, by bicycle, or by boat.
If your trip includes a visit to Hong Kong, Victoria Harbor and Victoria Peak offer absolutely stunning views of Hong Kong both day and night and should not be missed.
The Yellow Mountains are part of one of China’s best national parks. The park offers spectacular views and a natural landscape that you won’t find anywhere else. This is one of China’s most popular parks, which does make it a busy location, but the beauty of the mountains and surrounding natural features and the ease of access make it worth visiting despite the crowds.
The above list represents only a small fraction of the wonders that await visitors to China. One trip might not be long enough to cover them all, but hitting as many of these sites as your trip allows will ensure that you make the most of the time you spend in this ancient country.