|Being such a huge country, China has a very varied landscape; from its extensive coastlines to its sacred mountains and numerous cities with their own cultural and historical attractions. Here are just a few of the many places a tourist will want to see:
The Great Wall of China is the must-see for many visitors. It is actually a series of several walls built at different periods, though together totals approximately 4,000 miles (6,508 km). The wall is accessible at many points throughout the country. The section in the Beijing municipality is very popular with tourists and easily accessible from the city, plus much of this section has been restored.
Beijing is the capital of China and the host for the 2008 Summer Olympics. The city has many cultural and historically important areas, including the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.
China’s largest city is Shanghai, situated on the Huangpu River and famous for its riverside setting. Although a huge and highly populated city it remains an attractive one for tourists to visit; it’s shopping in particular is popular: Nanjing Road is one of China’s most famous shopping streets.
There are numerous other cities to visit, all with different attractions. Suzhou, for example, is known as the ‘Venice of the East’ because of its many canals, whilst Guilin is popular for its stunning mountain and river scenery. Xi’an is the home of the Army of Terracotta Warriors and Horses where you can see 8,000 life-like warriors made of terracotta. This, like many other important sites across China, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is also on the ancient Silk Road.
Tibet, in South West China, is like a different world. Sitting atop of a plateau at average heights in excess of 4,000 metres it’s known as the ‘Roof of the World’. Lhasa is the city to head for to see many of the famous Tibetan temples and Buddhist monasteries. The home and summer home of the Dalai Lama is here – the Potala Palace and the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lama, as well as several important monasteries and one of the holiest sites in Tibet, Jokhang Temple, built in 647 AD.
Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, sits on the border between Tibet and Nepal. You can visit the area on the Tibetan side where there is a nature reserve at Qomolangma.
To see a different side to China, visit the tropical paradise which is the island of Hainan. Just south of mainland China, this island is undergoing much tourist development to fully make use of the beaches here, amongst other attractions.