Asia Guide - China

China's tourism industry has become one of the hot spots in the country's already sizzling economy. As the country becomes increasingly ‘tourist-friendly' with improvements to infrastructure and transportation, especially at major tourist sites, the number of overseas visitors to China grows each year. 

China possesses a near inexhaustible supply of unique attractions for the traveler to enjoy. China boasts vast terrain, splendid landscapes, rich cultures, multiple nationalities and ethnic backgrounds with various customs and exquisite arts and crafts. The possibilities for exploration and enjoyment are endless. Moreover, with the diversity of Chinese cooking, a visitor is guaranteed to find something that suits his or her appetite.

What follows is a brief outline of the must-see sights when making a trip to China.

 

Map of China

 

Provinces of China

  1. Beijing
  2. Shanghai
  3. Taiwan
  4. Hong Kong (Administrative Region)
  5. Macau (Administrative Region)
  6. Tianjin
  7. Hebei
  8. Shanxi
  9. Inner Mongolia (Autonomous Region)
  10. Liaoning
  11. Jilin
  12. Heilongjiang
  13. Jiangsu
  14. Zhejiang
  15. Anhui
  16. Fujian
  17. Jiangxi
  18. Shandong
  19. Henan
  20. Hubei
  21. Hunan
  22. Guangdong
  23. Guangxi Zhuang (Autonomous Region)
  24. Hainan
  25. Chongqing
  26. Sichuan
  27. Guizhou
  28. Yunnan
  29. Tibet (Autonomous Region)
  30. Shaanxi
  31. Gansu
  32. Qinghai
  33. Ningxia Hui (Autonomous Region)
  34. Xinjiang Uyghur (Autonomous Region)

 

The Top 20 cities in China are:

  1. Shanghai
  2. Beijing
  3. Chongqing
  4. Guangzhou, Guangdong
  5. Shenzhen, Guangdong
  6. Tianjin
  7. Wuhan, Hubei
  8. Dongguan, Guangdong
  9. Hong Kong
  10. Foshan, Guangdong
  11. Chengdu
  12. Nanjing
  13. Shenyang
  14. Hangzhou
  15. Xi'an
  16. Harbin
  17. Suzhou
  18. Qingdao
  19. Dalian
  20. Zhengzhou

 

Beijing

Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China and the world's third most populous city proper. It is also one of the world's most populous capital cities. The city, located in northern China, is governed as a direct-controlled municipality under the national government with 16 urban, suburban, and rural districts.

Beijing is an ever-changing mega city rich in history but also truly modern, exemplified in its extraordinary global influence in politics, business & economy, education, history, culture, language, sporting, architecture, fashion, art, entertainment, innovation and technology. Beijing is the second largest Chinese city by urban population after Shanghai and is the nation's political, cultural, and educational center.

 

Forbidden City

The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty—the years 1420 to 1912. It is located in the centre of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. It served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government for almost 500 years.

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese statesand empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC; these, later joined together and made bigger and stronger, are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built 220–206 BC by Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China.

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square is a city square in the centre of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen ("Gate of Heavenly Peace") located to its north, separating it from the Forbidden City. The square contains the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China in the square on October 1, 1949; the anniversary of this event is still observed there.

Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is an imperial complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. It has been regarded as a Taoist temple, although Chinese heaven worship, especially by the reigning monarch of the day, predates Taoism.

Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong is an autonomous territory, and former British colony, in southeastern China. Its vibrant, densely populated urban centre is a major port and global financial hub with a skyscraper-studded skyline. Central (the business district) features architectural landmarks like I.M. Pei’s Bank of China Tower. Hong Kong is also a major shopping destination, famed for bespoke tailors and Temple Street Night Market.

Macau is an autonomous region on the south coast of China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. A Portuguese territory until 1999, it reflects a mix of cultural influences. Its giant casinos and malls on the Cotai Strip, which joins the islands of Taipa and Coloane, have earned it the nickname, "Las Vegas of Asia." One of its more striking landmarks is 338m-high Macau Tower, with sweeping city views.

Disneyland, Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Disneyland is a theme park located on reclaimed land in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island. It is the first theme park located inside the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and is owned and managed by the Hong Kong International Theme Parks.

Repulse Bay

Repulse Bay is a bay in the southern part of Hong Kong Island, located in the Southern District, Hong Kong.

Macau Tower

Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre, also known as Macau Tower, is a tower located in Sé, Macau, China. The tower measures 338 m in height from ground level to the highest point.

The Venetian Macao

Set on Macau's Cotai Strip, this Vegas-style, Venice-themed palatial resort and casino lies 3 km from Taipa island and 8 km from Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre.

Chengdu


Chengdu is the capital of southwestern China's Sichuan province. Chengdu's history dates back to at least the 4th century B.C., when it served as capital for the Shu Kingdom. Artifacts from that dynasty are the focus of the Jinsha Site Museum. The city is also home to the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a conservation center where visitors can view endangered giant pandas in a natural habitat.

LeShan Giant Buddha

The Leshan Giant Buddha is a 71-metre tall stone statue, built between 713 and 803, depicting Maitreya.

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, or simply Chengdu Panda Base, is a non-profit research and breeding facility for giant pandas and other rare animals. It is located in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. Chengdu Panda Base was founded in 1987.

Mount Qingcheng

Mount Qingcheng is a mountain in Dujiangyan, Sichuan, China. It is amongst the most important centres of Taoism in China. In Taoist mythology, it was the site of the Yellow Emperor's studies with Ning Fengzi.

Wenshu Yuan Monastery

The large Buddhist Wen Shu Monastery in the north of town has become a major tourist attraction in Chengdu and is currently undergoing extgensive renovations — both inside and outside the temple walls. The monastery was built during the Sui Dynasty (605BC – 617BC) and fell in the flames of war during the Ming Dynasty.

Guangzhou


Guangzhou is a sprawling port city northwest of Hong Kong on the Pearl River. The city features avant-garde architecture such as Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Opera House (known as the “double pebble”); the carved box-shaped Guangdong Museum; and the iconic Canton TV Tower skyscraper, resembling a thin hourglass. The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, a temple complex from 1894, also houses the Guangdong Folk Arts Museum.

 

Canton Tower

Canton Tower, or Guangzhou Tower, formally Guangzhou TV Astronomical and Sightseeing Tower, is a 595.7 metres tall multi-purpose observation tower in the Haizhu District of Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

Guangxiao Temple

Guangxiao Temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Guangzhou, the capital of China's Guangdong Province. As the special geographical position, Guangxiao Temple often acted as a stopover point for Asian missionary monks in the past.

Chimelong Paradise

Chimelong Paradise is a major amusement park in Panyu District, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. Opened on April 12, 2006, Chimelong Paradise is the largest amusement park in China and boasts the 10 Inversion Roller Coaster, which prior to the opening of The Smiler at Alton Towers, England shared the record for most inversions with Colossus at Thorpe Park in Surrey, England. It is classified as a AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration.

Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street

Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street, or simply as Shangxiajiu, is a commercial pedestrian street in Liwan District, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. It is the first business street in Guangzhou opened in September 1995.

Guilin


Guilin is a city in southern China known for its dramatic landscape of limestone karst hills. At its center are 2 lakes, Shanhu (Cedar) and Ronghu (Banyan), remaining from a medieval-era moat that once surrounded the city. Boats travel through these and other lakes via connected rivers. On Cedar Lake’s shore, twin pagodas, the Sun and Moon, light up the sky at night.

Guilin Two Rivers & Four Lakes Scenic Area

Scenic water system around the city, showcasing ornamental bridges, fountains & illuminated pagodas.

Moon Hill

Moon Hill is a hill with a natural arch through it a few kilometers outside Yangshuo in southern China's Guangxi autonomous region.

Reed Flute Cave

The Reed Flute Cave is a landmark and tourist attraction in Guilin, Guangxi, China. It is a natural limestone cave with multicolored lighting and has been one of Guilin’s most interesting attractions for over 1200 years.

Elephant Trunk Hill

The Elephant Trunk Hill is a hill, landmark and tourist attraction in Guilin, Guangxi, China. Elephant Trunk Hill is the symbol of the city of Guilin. It got its name because it looks like an elephant drinking water.

Hangzhou

Hangzhou, the capital of China’s Zhejiang province, is the southern terminus of the ancient Grand Canal waterway, which originates in Beijing. Its West Lake, celebrated by poets and artists since the 9th century, encompasses islands which are only reachable by boat, temples, pavilions, gardens and arched bridges. On its south bank is 5-story Leifeng Pagoda, a modern reconstruction of a structure built in 975 A.D.

 

Lingyin

Lingyin Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Chan sect located north-west of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. The temple's name is commonly literally translated as Temple of the Soul's Retreat.

West Lake

West Lake is a freshwater lake in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province in eastern China. It is divided into five sections by three causeways. There are numerous temples, pagodas, gardens, and artificial islands within the lake.

Leifang Pagoda

Leifeng Pagoda is a five-storey tower with eight sides, located on Sunset Hill south of the West Lake in Hangzhou, China. Originally constructed in the year AD 975, it collapsed in 1924 but was rebuilt in 2002.

China National Tea Museum

The China National Tea Museum is located in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China. The exhibitions display tea production, and different kinds of tea. Exhibitions are in Chinese and English languages.

Kunming

Kunming, the modern capital city and transportation hub of China’s southern Yunnan province, has a large student population and a temperate year-round climate. Bridges and pavilions cross the islands of Cui Hu (Green Lake), a park designed in the 17th century. Nearby is Yuantong Si. A temple founded by Buddhists in the 8th century, it features a statue hall and a pond with an ornate stone bridge.

 

Green Lake

Green Lake Park, or Cui Hu Park, is an urban park in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China. It was established in the 17th century on the west side of the Wuhua Mountain and is sometimes described as a "Jade in Kunming".

Yuantong Temple

Yuantong Temple is the most famous Buddhist temple in Kunming, Yunnan province, China. It is located in a protected natural depression and in recent years it has been expanded with funding from Thailand.

 

Stone Forest, Kunming.

The Stone Forest or Shilin is a notable set of limestone formations about 500 km2 located in Shilin Yi Autonomous County, Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China, near Shilin approximately 90 km from the provincial capital Kunming.

Western Hill Dragon Gate

Cut out of the side of a precipitous cliff, the Dragon Gate is the highest temple of the Western Hills and sits at 2,500 meters (8000 ft.) above sea level. The temple is made up of a group of grottoes, sculptures, corridors and pavilions that were hacked from the cliff between 1781 and 1835.

Nanjing


Nanjing, capital of China’s eastern Jiangsu province, is roughly 300km up the Yangtze River from the city of Shanghai. It was the national capital during part of the Ming dynasty. Many monuments and landmarks remain, including Zhonghua Gate (Gate of China), a preserved 14th-century section of the massive wall that contained the old city’s southern entrance.

Gate of China (Zhonghua Gate)

The Gate of China, is a gate and defensive complex on the city wall of Nanjing, China. It is the southern gate of Nanjing city. It is a renowned ancient city gate in China and the city gate with the most complex structure in the world.

Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall

The Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall or Memorial for Compatriots killed in the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Forces of Aggression is a hall to memorialize those that were killed in the Nanjing Massacre.

Purple Mountain

Purple Mountain or Zijin Shan is located on the eastern side of Nanjing in Jiangsu province, China. It is 447.1 m high, with the lowest point 30 m. Its peaks are often found enveloped in mysterious purple and golden clouds at dawn and dusk, hence its name.

Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum

Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum is situated at the foot of the second peak of Mount Zijin in Nanjing, China. Construction of the tomb started in January 1926, and was finished in spring of 1929.

Shanghai

Shanghai, on China’s central coast, is the country's biggest city and a global financial hub. Its heart is the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings. Across the Huangpu River rises the Pudong district’s futuristic skyline, including 632m Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, with distinctive pink spheres. Sprawling Yu Garden has traditional pavilions, towers and ponds.

Shanghai Tower (The tallest building in the picture)

The Shanghai Tower is a 632-metre, 127-story megatall skyscraper in Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai. As of 2015, it is the world's tallest building, by height to highest usable floor.

Oriental Pearl Tower

The Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower is a TV tower in Shanghai. Its location at the tip of Lujiazui in the Pudong district by the side of Huangpu River, opposite The Bund, makes it a distinct landmark in the area.

Yuyuan Garden

Yu Garden or Yuyuan Garden is an extensive Chinese garden located beside the City God Temple in the northeast of the Old City of Shanghai, China.

Nanjing Road

Nanjing Road is the main shopping street of Shanghai, China, and is one of the world's busiest shopping streets. The street is named after the city of Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province neighbouring Shanghai.

Suzhou

Suzhou, a city west of Shanghai, is known for its canals, bridges and classical gardens. The Humble Administrator’s Garden, dating to 1513, contains zigzag bridges over connected pools and islands. The Lingering Garden features ornate viewing pavilions and the Crown of Clouds Peak, a striking limestone rockery. Tiger Hill is home to the 7-story, leaning Cloud Rock Pagoda at its summit.

Tiger Hill Pagoda

The Tiger Hill Pagoda, more officially the Yunyan Pagoda, also sometimes translated as Huqiu Tower, is a Chinese pagoda situated on Tiger Hill in Suzhou city, Jiangsu Province of Eastern China. It is nicknamed the 'Leaning Tower of China'.

Suzhou Museum

The Suzhou Museum is a museum of ancient Chinese art, ancient Chinese paintings, calligraphy, and handmade crafts, situated in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China. Admission is free.

Lingering Garden

Lingering Garden is a renowned classical Chinese garden. It is located at 338 Liuyuan Rd. Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China. It is recognized with other classical Suzhou gardens as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty

The Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty is a Chinese garden located on 272 Jingde Rd., inside the Embroidery Museum in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China. In 1997, it was recognized with other classical Suzhou gardens as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Xi'An

Xi’an is a large city and capital of Shaanxi Province in central China. Once known as Chang’an (Eternal Peace), it marks the Silk Road’s eastern end and was home to the Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang dynasties' ruling houses. At archaeological sites in Xi’an’s surrounding plains are the famed Bingmayong (Terra Cotta Army), thousands of life-size, hand-molded figures buried with China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.

Terracotta Army

The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China.

Bell Tower

The Bell Tower of Xi'an, built in 1384 during the early Ming Dynasty, is a symbol of the city of Xi'an and one of the grandest of its kind in China. The Bell Tower also contains several large bronze-cast bells from the Tang Dynasty.

Stele Forest

The Stele Forest, or Xi'an Beilin Museum, is a museum for steles and stone sculptures which is located in Xi'an, China. The museum is housed in a former Confucian Temple and it has housed a growing collection of Steles since 1087.

Xi'ana City Wall

The fortifications of Xi'an, also known as Xi'an City Wall, in Xi'an, an ancient capital of China, represent one of the oldest, largest and best preserved Chinese city walls.

Other Tour Hotspots

Mount Everest

Mount Everest, also known in Nepal as Sagarmāthā and in China as Chomolungma/珠穆朗玛峰, is Earth's highest mountain. Its peak is 8,848 metres above sea level. Mount Everest is in the Mahalangur Range.

The Great Wall of China

One of the grandest construction feats in the history of the world, the Great Wall winds for 6700 kilometers (4163 miles) across deserts, grasslands, mountains, and plateaus maintaining a height of 15-20 feet, and a width of up to 25 feet.

Hengduan Mountains:
Extreme fluctuations in the topography of the area have led to such descriptions as, "the climate differs every ten miles" and "four seasons coexist on one mountain" – apt descriptions as valleys covered in monsoon rainforest occur alongside alpine peaks covered in snow and ice. 

Peking Man:
Though China is famous for being one of the birthplaces of human civilization, it is also known for its rich Paleolithic history. The discovery of Peking Man at Zhoukoudian on the outskirts of Beijing confirmed the existence of hominids older than Neanderthals, and brought international research into the beginnings of man to China. 


Mogao Grottoes:
Located near Dunhuang, the Mogao Grottoes are a collection of Buddhist cave temples whose walls are covered in beautiful, well-preserved murals and statues. Some caves have thousands of exquisitely painted Buddhas lining the walls inside. 


Minority Cultures:
China is home to 56 ethnic groups, each with its own history and culture.

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Testimonials

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Romeela Afisiolas 31. Mar, 2013

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Anita McTavish Oct. 9th, 2011

 

Mulu National Park is a very Nice place

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Cpt. Price Nov. 4th, 2013

I heard that if you wanted to see monkeys or the hornbills, best time would be the 7am tour. Because my son was too naughty playing on the trip until there at 8.30am and there was no animals or birds - however the main attraction for this are actually the lovely trees. The walk to the skywalk is all on boardwalk. No torches are needed, but i recommend that you wear sneakers/shoes and not hiking boots or sandals. You need a good footing on these bridges.

Suzuki Yuri 16. FEB, 2014

Finally, our adventure trip 3D2N  Mulu Caves at Mulu National park finish on day 2. In our trip, we was observe million of bats out of cave, using the boat made by the Mulu people and swim at clear water spring. We feel tied during the trip, but tied was disappear when we start getting closer to the finish trip. This is a photo with great smile before we leave the cave. 

Lavenda Yong 23. Aug, 2014

Taook a photo before swimming at clear water Mulu. Water is very cool and clear, make my whole body feel fresh. Mulu is a nice place with many flora and fauna and it looks green and natural.

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Micheal Shaun May. 30th, 2014

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