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What to see in China

China Attractions


China's attractions are so many, and its landscapes so vast, that travellers will need a lifetime to fully explore this fascinating and impossibly diverse country. That said, the must-see sights are fairly obvious and highly accessible, and, as previously restricted areas open up, the list of world-class attractions keeps growing. In addition to big draw-cards like the Great Wall, the Xi'an Terracotta Army, and the Forbidden City, travellers can choose from a huge range of cultural treasures, traditional temples, incredible landscapes, national parks, and festivals. Travellers should choose areas that they would like to explore wisely, especially if travelling on a budget, because the country's vastness can make travelling from place to place considerably expensive.

One of the most amazing sights in China can be seen in every Chinese city every day: the incredible pace of modernisation reflected in the energy of the people, frenetic urban development, and the relentless embrace of capitalism, with all its virtues and vices. These impressions are likely to leave the deepest mark on visitors to China. The contrast between the ancient and the new is intriguing and makes exploring China a joy for both history and culture buffs as well as the more modern tourist interested in technology and development.

China is a year-round destination, although visitors might want to plan around Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) in late January and early February, when much of the country shuts down for a week and public transport is completely booked up.


Beihai Park

A place of tranquility and grand imperial beauty, the Beihai Park is one of the great attractions of Beijing. The park…

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Chairman Mao Mausoleum

Although Chairman Mao Zedong requested to be cremated, it was decided hours after his death, in 1976, that he would be…

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Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is possibly the foremost attraction of Beijing. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been declared…

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Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a perennial favorite among tourists, and with good reason.…

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Huaqing Hot Springs

The Huaquing Hot Springs, located about 22 miles (35km) east of Xi'an city, at the base of the Lishan Mountains, is where…

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Mount Everest

The Shigatse prefecture is the gateway for climbers to the North Col climbing route of the world's highest mountain,…

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Potala Palace

The vast Potala Palace stands on a cliff top above Lhasa, considered the greatest achievement of Tibetan architecture.…

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Qin Terracotta Army Museum

In 1974, a group of peasants digging a well north of Mount Lishan in Lintong county, about 18 miles (30km) from Xi'an,…

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Shanghai Museum

The new Shanghai Museum is situated on the People's Square, the political and cultural centre of Shanghai. The square…

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Stone Forest

The Stone Forest of Shilin, about two hours' drive from Kunming, is a breathtaking and eerie landscape which is a must-see…

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Summer Palace

The magnificent Summer Palace at Kunming Lake, in northwest Beijing, was built in 1750 by the Emperor Qianlong, and continued…

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The Beijing National Stadium

The Beijing National Stadium, also known as The Bird's Nest due to its appearance, was the hub of the 2008 Summer Olympic…

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The Underground City

For more than 20 years, Beijing's Underground City, a bomb shelter just beneath the ancient capital's downtown area,…

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Tiananmen Square

The famous square at the heart of Beijing attracts tourists not only for its breathtaking design and views of numerous…

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