China appeal has much to do with its diverse scenery and rich cultural heritage. The best attractions include everything from well-preserved ancient architectures, second to none Buddhist art to fantastic natural wonders. It is hard to decide which is the best. Here is a list of some of the most famous attractions, not in particular order.
1, Great Wall of China in Beijing (北京长城)
Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications built over centuries to protect the Chinese empire from invading armies. It stretches over 13,000 miles across northern China. The best-preserved sections are scattered in the suburb of Beijing, including Badaling, Mutianyu, Jinshanling, Simatai, Gubeikou, and Jiankou sections.
2, Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Xian (西安兵马俑)
Terracotta Army is an archaeological site near Xi'an where over 8,000 life-sized terracotta figures were discovered. All figures are in life-size depicted from soldiers, warriors and horses to guard the first Emperor, Qinshihuang, in his afterlife.
3, Forbidden City in Beijing (北京故宫)
Forbidden City is a massive imperial palace complex located in the heart of Beijing. Built during the Ming and Qing dynasties, it was home to 24 emperors over a span of almost 500 years. In the new era, the palace has been turned into a museum housing precious collection from ancient times.
4, Yangtze River in central China (长江三峡)
Yangtze is China's longest river, running over 3,900 miles and home to some of the country's most scenic landscapes. A river cruise from Chongqing to Yichang or vice versa is very popular way to enjoy the beauty of the mighty Yangtze and architecture wonder of Three Gorges Dam Site. Many five-star luxury cruise ships serve this route every day. Most recommended ships are Victoria Jenna, Victoria Anna, Century Diamond, etc.
5, Potala Palace in Tibet (西藏布达拉宫)
Potala Palace was a massive fortress-like palace in Lhasa, Tibet, once the home of the Dalai Lamas. It is now a living Buddhist site and a museum of Buddhist art. Visitors to the Potala Palace can explore the many halls, chapels, and chambers filled with ancient artifacts and religious treasures. They can also climb the palace's steep stairs to reach the uppermost level, where they can enjoy stunning panoramic views of Lhasa and the surrounding Himalayan mountains.
6, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan Province (张家界国家森林公园)
Zhangjiajie is a stunning park in Hunan province, famous for its towering sandstone pillars, deep gorges, lush forests, and the floating mountains shot in the movie Avatar.
7, Giant Panda Breeding Research Base in Chengdu (成都大熊猫基地)
located in Chengdu, Sichuan province, this research center and sanctuary is dedicated to the conservation and breeding of China's beloved pandas. Come and watch the cute creatures at their feeding time, playing time. Panda keeping program is available at Dujiangyan Base.
8, Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng (登封少林寺)
Shaolin Temple is a famous Buddhist temple located in Dengfeng. It is known as birthplace of Kung Fu and the best place to appreciate real Kung Fu. For Kung Fu lovers, you can take 2-hour practice courses on site, or join in a long term learning class to enhance your skills.
9, Jiuzhaigou National Park in Sichuan province （四川九寨沟）
Jiuzhaigou National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its crystal-clear lakes, waterfalls, colorful forests, snow mountains. Autumn is the best season to view the colorful foliage.
10, Li River in Guilin (桂林漓江)
Li River is a very scenic river that flows from Guilin to Yangshuo, known for its unique karst landscape and stunning scenery. Taking a cruise trip, bamboo rafting, or hiking along the river are unique experiences in the region.
11, Yellow Mountain (Huangshan) (黄山)
Yellow Mountain is a scenic mountain range boasting unique rock formations, hot springs, and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Hiking to the west canyon, overnight stay on the mountain expecting a sunset or sunrise, visit of the surrounding villages are truly unforgettable.
12, West Lake in Hangzhou (杭州西湖)
West Lake is a man-made lake but like a hidden gem in the city surrounded by temples, gardens, and historic sites. It is a popular spot for boating and cycling.
13, Yuanyang Rice Terraces in Yunnan （元阳梯田）
Located in the Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture in southern Yunnan, Yuanyang is famous for the terraced rice fields. Come in the Spring when the fields are filled with water and shape it in beautiful curves.
14, Dunhuang Mogao Caves in Gansu province (敦煌莫高窟)
Mogao Caves is a complex of caves containing thousands of Buddhist sculptures and murals dating back over a thousand years. Tour to Dunhuang gives you not only the art of Buddhist, but also wonders in the vast desert, like ruins of Great Wall, Cresant Lake.
15, Classic Gardens in Suzhou （苏州园林）
Classic Gardens in Suzhou were originally designed by scholars, poets, and artists who sought to create a harmonious balance between nature and human civilization. In the garden, the pond, small islands, rock formations, pavilions, and all elements are all unique designed and well arranged.
Useful resources to see the best of China.
Classic China in 12 Days: Beijing, Guilin, Shanghai, Suzhou, Xian, Yangshuo
China Culture Highlights and Cosmopolitan Shanghai in 15 Days: Beijing, Chengdu, Lhasa, Shanghai, Xian
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