10 Must Visit Places in China May 31, 2018 / By Wenting Li It’s extremely challenging for me to choose 10 places to write, because China is such a huge country, which has so many worth visiting travel destinations. No matter you are interested in traditional culture or contemporary life, nature or city, China would not let you down. If you are in a rush, pick what interests you the most to read: ● City & Contemporary China: 1. Beijing 2. Shanghai 3. Shenzhen ● Panda: 4. Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding Center ● Cultural Heritage: 5. The Great Wall 6. Terracotta Warrior 7. Mogao Caves ● Nature: 8. Wulingyuan 9. Stone Forest (Karst) 10. Jiuzhaigou Valley
Beijing is the capital city of China, where central government locates. It’s also the center for businesses and entertainment. Travelling to Beijing, you have to visit the history side and the modern side. For example the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and the Summer Palace represent the old Beijing, while the CBD in Chaoyang District has the best shopping malls, nightclubs and contemporary art museums. If you are interested in architecture, you should definitely check out the National Art Center(Gian Egg) and Beijing Olympic Stadium(Bird Nest). To try the peking roasted duck and watch peking opera might be the most iconic events for visitors to Beijing.
Shanghai has always been the most international city in China for decades, and it attracts more and more attention from the world in the recent years. It ‘s located on China’s centre coast and is a global financial center. Places you have to visit includes Oriental Pearl Tower, Renmin Square, the Bund and Yu Garden. The 468m Oriental Pearl Tower is the symbol of Shanghai, it’s the 3rd highest tower in the world. Make sure the visibility is good before going to the tower’s observation deck. The Bund, also known for Waitan, is famous for its 26 waterfront buildings of different western architectural styles. Shanghai Cuisine is very different from the Cantonese or Szechuan, it emphasis more on the original flavor of the ingredients such as the Dumplings and noodles.
Shenzhen is located within the Guangdong Pearl River Delta,bordering Hong Kong to the south. Itâ€™s being considered the most important place in the world for high-tech products manufacturing. Itâ€™s also the home to numerous well-known multinational companies such as DJI, BYD, Tencent and etc. Despite the industrial side, this city offers many theme parks, such as the Safari Park, Happy Valley, Chinese folk Culture Village,the Window of the World and etc. Taking a day trip to Hong Kong is definitely a great idea. But remember to keep your passport with you when travelling between these 2 cities, border crossing is required at the Shenzhen Train Terminal.
4. CHENGDU RESEARCH BASE OF GIANT PANDA BREEDING CENTER
Panda, more accurately Giant Panda, is the best ambassador of China. Everyone loves them. And they are so unique and precious. The best place to see Panda and get to know their lives is the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding Center, which is home to over 80 pandas. At here, you will have a chance to see pandas at different ages in one day, including the cutest ones ---- the playful toddlers. If your love for panda are strong enough to keep you in China a little bit longer, you could even join â€œPanda Keeper Volunteer Programâ€? and take care of pandas everyday!
5. THE GREAT WALL
Many people think that the Great Wall is in Beijing. But as matter of a fact, Beijing’s Great Wall is only one part of it. It’s much longer, and is scattered in many provinces of China. Due to historical and geographical reasons, the style and preservation of the Great Walls vary. The Great Wall was built to protect China from intruders, when one soldier notices any abnormal, he would light fire the let the next sentinel know. All soldiers would do this until the message has been sent to the Emperor. For visitors, the Great Wall in Beijing “Ba Da Ling” is the most popular one. You can take bus or train from the city, and get back to the city within one day.
6. TERRACOTTA WARRIOR
Even if you have seen Terracotta Warriors in pictures many many times, you will still be astonished by the scale of this human miracle. Terracotta Warriors are located in Xiâ€™an, which was the capital cities since Qin Emperor --- the first emperor of China. And Terracotta Warriors are his warriors, who were made to follow him to his afterlife. You need to take bus from city center to get to the site. Then the ticket would allow you to visit three big excavation pits, where you might see archaeologists working on the site.
7. MOGAO CAVE
Mogao Caves is also known as Thousand Buddha Grottoes. Priceless religious mural and status are insides myriad small caves on Mingsha Mountain. The artists are nameless, but their works have become a part of World Cultural Heritage. Located on Silk Route, the artworks shared a strong Indian and Central Asian influence, which reflected the part of history where blooming international trading and cultural communication took place. But unfortunately, part of the artworks, and buddhism manuscripts (discovered in “The Library Cave”) were lost during WWI, WWII, and China’s cultural revolution.
8. STONE FOREST (KARST)
Karst is a type of topography formed from dissolution of soluble rocks. Besides China, Australia, Mexico, and the U.S also have karst topography. The weirdly shaped rocks ignites people’s imagination, and leaves many legends and folktales to us. The most famous story “A Shi Ma” came from one of the karst areas in China ---- Stone Forest. In the story, a young girl fighted local bullies bravely with her husband, but was drowned in river by accident. In the end, she turned into stone status among Stone Forest, and became the goddess of echo forever. You can still see her today.
Wulingyuan scenic area has spectacular view of sandstone pillars and natural bridges reaching through the clouds. Numerous streams, pools, waterfalls, and caves are among the pillars. Endangered plants and animals also lives here harmoniously. No wonder Avatar chose to shot in Wulingyuan. It usually takes 2 days to visit the entire area. Living in the park also allows you to catch the magical sunrise in Wulingyuan.
Jiuzhaigou Valley is as beautiful as the heaven on earth. The nature’s masterpiece is consist of colorful lakes, and waterfalls. The science behind it is glacial, hydrological and tectonic activities. Even though the earthquake in 2017 made some lakes disappeared, new sceneries were formed, and the national park was reopened earlier this year. It’s a little bit troublesome to get to the national park, because it’s located deep into the mountains. The only way is to take 10 hours bus from Chengdu, where cute pandas lives. So many people choose to visit Jiuzhaigou Valley before or after their trip to Chengdu.
written by Wenting Li www.wentingli.ca