China is quickly becoming an economic giant in the modern world, beating the usual heavyweights in all matters economy. The hard-working population and professionalism in job production has contributed immensely towards this aspect, and despite this ‘busy’ face of China commonly portrayed to the rest of the world, the country is among the leading tourist destinations in the modern world.
Fascinating natural sceneries, lovely and eye-catching historical artifacts, spectacular culture, historical sites (to name but a few) span all over the country, and if you’re thinking about taking a trip there, it pays to plan your China itinerary in advance.
Some people only manage to make it to the big cities like Beijing or Shanghai when they come to China. And they certainly are impressive. But it’s well worth heading further afield to see what China really has to offer.
Let’s take a look at the top cultural attractions!
1. The Great Wall of China
Built for defensive purposes by the ancient Chinese, the Great Wall of China is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. One amazing fact about this wall is that it is the only man made structure visible from the space! Spanning a distance of 5,500 miles (about 8,852 km) across China, it is the most visit historical attraction in the country, and despite being in place for many years, it is still regarded as one of the most spectacular monuments to the past in the modern world.
And although it is often pictured deep in some kind of wilderness, it is actually surprisingly close to Beijing.
2. Forbidden City
The Forbidden City, located in Beijing, is commonly referred to as the Palace Museum. Its name is coined from the fact that it was forbidden to enter the palace without the emperor’s approval, and this is home to the renowned portrait of Mao Zedong. Comprising of over 8,500 rooms, no other palace complex in the world is as big as the Forbidden City, and from attractive paintings to historical treasures, this is certainly one of the top cultural attractions to visit in China.
3. The Terracotta Warriors
In the early 1970s, a few peasant farmers accidentally discovered remains of the now famous Terracotta Warriors. Following the discovery, which was validated by archaeologists, a museum (The Museum of Qin Terracotta warriors and Horses) was established. It is also believed that Qin Shi Huang, who was the emperor (246 BC), was buried together with many sacrificial objects and treasury. Life-sized figures of the terracotta warriors are arranged mimicking a battle format, also considering the rank and armor worn by the warriors.
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4. The Polata Palace
The Polata Palace is known for being the tallest palace in the world, a mark it still retains to this day. The name ‘Potala’ was obtained from a hill in the south of India, believed to be holy, and the palace has since be transformed to a museum. Traditionally, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhists, commonly referred to as the Dalai Lama, sat in this palace.
Spectacular white imposing walls surround the palace, which is red in color. The color red was also a symbol of power among the ancient Chinese, while white on the other hand signifies peace. Other spectacular sites include the great Yangtze River, Hangzhou (famously referred to as paradise on earth), Mount Huangshan and the Bund found in Shanghai.
5. Heaven’s Gate
This is an astounding, huge natural arch called Heaven’s Gate that you just have to see to believe. It is located in the the Tianmen Mountain National Park, in the Chinese province of Hunan. In fact, it is just 8 km south of Zhangjiajie, if you are planning on coming here.
To get here, you first have to catch a skytram over 7 km. It is actually the longest in the world, something the Chinese seem to be great at. After you reach the end of that, you take a bus to get a little closer to the peak. The last step is perhaps the most grueling though as you have to climb 999 stairs. At least it’s not one thousand I guess?!!