Chinese culture and history are extensive and almost infinite, it is a place of endless wonders, scenery and historical sites and ranks as one of the worlds most beautiful countries. With its rich history, the country attracts a lot of tourists every year and if one of those tourists is you, you will be most likely looking for the best tourist attractions in China. Well, I got your back, because in this article, am going to tell you the best tourist attractions in China.
The Great Wall of China
The magnificent Great Wall of China (known in Chinese as “Changcheng,” or the “Long Wall”) stretches more than 6,000 kilometres from the fortresses of Shanhaiguan in the east all the way to Jiayuguan in the west, passing through Hebei, Tientsin, Beijing — where the best-preserved sections of the wall can be visited —Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, and Gansu.
The wall, Averaging six to eight meters in height but rising as high as 16 meters — and wide enough in places for five horses or 10 men to pass — the wall boasts numerous battlements and watchtowers, some dating back as far as the 7th century BC, with the best-known areas added around 210 BC when its various sections were joined. Today, the most visited section of the wall is near Badaling Pass northwest of Beijing, easily reached by public transport, or organized tours. Other restored sections worth a visit include the section near Gubeikou, 130 kilometres from Beijing, and in Mutianyu, just 70 kilometres northeast of Beijing. The wall was built by the first Emperor of China whose name China bears till this day, and did I mention that the wall was visible from space; it is truly one of the best tourist attractions in China.
The Forbidden Palace
China’s largest and most important historical building, the Forbidden City — also known as the Imperial Palace is situated in the heart of Beijing and is a must-see when visiting the country, it is truly one of the best tourist attractions in China. Started during the Yuan Dynasty between 1271 and 1368, much of the complex Palace seen today was built between 1406 and 1420 as the residence of 24 Ming and Qing Emperors, whose presence forbade the entry of anyone other than the imperial family and their courtesans.
Covering some 720,000 square meters and protected by a 10-meter-high wall with watchtowers and a wide moat, this massive complex consists of areas set aside for ceremonial and administrative purposes, as well as a private residence used by the emperor. While it can take many hours to see everything in the palace, notable highlights include the five white marble Golden River Bridges; the Hall of Supreme Harmony, a 35-meter-tall building housing the imperial throne.
And the exquisite emperor’s banquet hall (the Hall of Preserving Harmony); and the Palace Museum with its large collection of art and artefacts from the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Some Other important attractions in the vicinity of the Imperial Palace include famous Tiananmen Square, and the Temple of Heaven, one of the country’s most important religious sites, which dates back to the 15th century. The Forbidden Palace’s glory and beauty truly merits it a place on the list of best tourist attractions in China.
Situated in the northern part of Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou Valley is a well-known natural fairyland that features perennially snow-capped mountain peaks, verdant and lush forest, stretches of serene lakes, and various birds and animals.
It is also a world of water, actually the clearest in the world. Water brings Jiuzhai Valley its most enchanting views, which is the soul of the place. Bright green waters, icy waterfalls, colourful forest (especially in autumn) and pure snow mountains surrounded, all contributing to the unique view of Jiuzhai Valley and earning it a place on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List and a position on the list of best tourist attractions in China.
West Lake is a wonderful natural wonder that truly merits a place on the list of best tourist attractions in China. It is located in the west part of Hangzhou, embraced by green hills by three sides, this lake is reputed for beautiful scenery, a multitude of historical sites, brilliant cultural relics, and a profusion of native products.
Ancient Chinese people praised the West Lake as a place of intoxicating beauty for its serenity water surface and the long narrow river levee that full of sense of “willow down and flowers reign”. The legend goes that the West Lake was a heavenly jewel fallen to earth. Pragmatists insist that it is a mere lagoon on Hangzhou’s western fringe. In any case, West Lake has inspired painters for centuries and will forever be immortalised as one of the best tourist attractions in China.
The Terracotta Army
Distributed over three large underground pits and built to guard the First Emperor’s tomb are more than 8,000 life-size warriors, some 520 horses, and more than 100 chariots, along with numerous other non-military characters dating from around 280 BC. Although some are severely damaged due to the passing of time, many of the statues unearthed have been painstakingly re-assembled and stand as a testament to the importance bestowed upon the emperor and the afterlife.
The site, part of the Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum Site Park is definitely one of the best tourist attractions in China, offers the unforgettable experience of standing in front of this assembly of soldiers, and horses as if inspecting a centuries-old parade. Ancient Chinese texts say that the Emperor instructed these to be built to guard him in the afterlife.
The Summer Palace
An easy 15-kilometre commute from Beijing, the sumptuous Imperial Summer Palace (Yíhé Yuán) is set amid more than 700 acres of beautiful parkland and is one of China’s most visited attractions. While the palace itself was built in 1153, its large lake was added in the 14th century to enhance the Imperial Gardens.
Highlights include the magnificent Hall of Well-being and Longevity (Renshou Dian) with its throne, and the beautiful Great Theatre, a private three-story structure built-in 1891 to satisfy the imperial family’s love of opera and still used for performances of traditional Chinese plays and musical events. Other highlights include the Hall of Happiness and Longevity (Le Shou Tang Hall), with its lovely gardens and courtyards, as well as many miles of picturesque pathways and walking trails. If time allows, try to also take in the ruins of the Old Summer Palace, said to have once been one of the country’s most elaborate and architecturally attractive palaces, but which colonial forces in the mid-1800s sadly destroyed, the Summer Palace is indeed one of China’s best tourist attractions.
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
Do you like Pandas, well, who doesn’t, well China is the best place to see these cute furballs, No visit to China would be complete without at least one panda experience.
While the country’s top zoos boast many fine specimens of these fascinating creatures, the best place to see them in a close approximation to their natural habitat is at the excellent Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, located in the province of Sichuan, which is most definitely one of the best tourist attractions in China.
Here, you’ll have the chance to watch as many as 80 pandas go about their daily routines, from foraging to playing in the facility’s large park-like setting.
In addition to viewing these splendid animals up close, you will learn a great deal about them from the many permanent exhibits and displays detailing ongoing conservation efforts to safeguard their future.
If possible, you might get to hold one of the Pandas during the tour; a baby panda
Written By: William Nwokoji