Famous China Tourist Attractions
Beijing - Xi'an-Dunhuang - Hetian - Jinquan - Korla - Urumqi - Panda-Yangtse Cruise-Shanghai-Hongkong
Beijing Tour Highlights
As the capital of the People's Republic of China, Beijing is the nation's political, economic, cultural, and educational centre as well as being the most important centre in China for international trade and communications. It has been the heart and soul of politics and society throughout its long history. Beijing's long and illustrious history starts approximately 500,000 years ago. It is here that the ancestors of modern Homo sapiens, Peking men, lived in caves. Records show that Beijing has been an inhabited city for more than three thousand years and has lived through invasions, devastating fires, dynasties, warlords, Anglo-French troops, and has emerged each time as a strong and vibrant city. For more than 800 years, Beijing was a capital city - from Yuan Dynasty to the Ming and Qing dynasties. Thirty-four emperors have lived and ruled from Beijing and it has been an important trading city from earliest days. Although now Beijing is modern, fashionable and full of 21st century vitality, you can experience authentic Beijing life become acquainted with "old Beijing" by exploring the many tea houses, Hutongs, temple fares, Beijing operas, courtyards and cross-talks.
The Forbidden City is the world's largest and best-preserved imperial palace complex with 9,999 rooms surrounded by a moat that is six metres deep and a ten-metre high wall.
Beihai Park, which did the Great Khan probably build centuries earlier than the Forbidden City was enjoyed by the various rulers of China for hundreds of years and features pavilions, architecturally interesting walkways, the 27-meter-long Nine Dragon Screen (built to scare off evil spirits), a jar that is the last remnant of the Khan's court that had been there, the Five Dragon Pavilion dating from the mid 1600's, and a large lake with an island in the middle.
Summer Palace is a famous classic imperial garden with breathtaking beauty. Bold, and generously designed, the northern gardens skilfully blend into the exquisite delicacy of the southern gardens.
The Temple of Heaven is the largest group of structures in the country dedicated to rituals that pay homage to heaven. This temple was built specifically for the worship of heaven and prayers for good harvests during the time of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
The Yunju Temple houses the most fascinating stone inscriptions of Buddhist scriptures in the world
The White Cloud Taoist Temple is one of the oldest and still the most active of Taoist temples in Beijing.
The Confucius Temple. Visiting this temple can help elucidate the three primary philosophies that formed the basis for early Chinese life and culture.
Tian'anmen Square, the largest city central square in the world is not only the symbol of Beijing but also the symbol of China. The square is surrounded by a variety of significant edifices: Chinese Revolution History Museum, Mao Mausoleum, Great Hall of the People, the elegant and beautiful Tiananmen (Heavenly Peace Gate), and Qianmen (Front Gate).
The Great Wall is one of the eight wonders of the world and is the only manmade structure that is visible from the moon. This immense wall was built to keep out invaders as well as to retain the inhabitants.
Other famous Beijing attractions include the Ming Tombs, the burial site of 13 ancient emperors; Confucius Temple and Imperial College; the Drum Tower built in the 1400's; Tiantan Park with its excellent Ming architecture; Fragrant Hills Park; the Ancient Observatory that dates back to the days of Kublai Khan; The Silk Market; Botanical Gardens; the Indian-designed Azure Clouds Temple and many, many more wondrous places.
Xi'an, as one of the six ancient capitals in China, served as the seat of 12 imperial capitals for 1,120 years and also a world-famous tourist city, a treasure house of cultural relics.
Xi'an is located at 33 north and 107 east, in the southern part of GuanZhong Plain in Shaanxi province with Qinling Mountains to the north and the Weihe River to the south Xi'an. Was called Chang'an in ancient times, more than 1 million years of condensation of history. During Xi'an's 3,100 years of development, 12 dynasties such as Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang, held it as their capitals.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda, situated in the Da Ci'en Temple, is one of the most famous Buddhist pagodas in China. It is located about 4 kilometres from the urban centre.
The Bell Tower is known as the symbol of Xi'an, its history can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty.
Shaanxi Provincial History Museum - a striking Tang-Dynasty style pavilion, houses a large collection of 113,000 historic and cultural artefacts unearthed in Shaanxi.
Qianling was the joint tomb of Emperor Tang Gaozong (Li Zhi, 628 AD-683 AD) and Empress Wu Zetian (624 AD-705 AD), the only Empress in Chinese history.
Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses. In 1974 a group of peasants digging a well, made what was to become the greatest archaeological finding of the 20th century when they unearthed fragments of a life sized Terra Cotta Warrior. Excavation of the vault revealed thousands of warriors and their horses, an entire army designed follows its emperor into the eternity.
Dunhuang, a city of Gansu province, was a town of military importance on the Silk Road. It used to be called Shazhou being a throat for the East and West communication. In 1986, it is entitled to be "China historical and cultural city". It is located in the west of Hexi Corridor of Gansu province of China. The city was made a prefecture in 117 BC by Emperor Han Wudi, and was a major point of interchange between China and the outside world during the Han and Tang dynasties are Qinqiang Drama, handicraft carpets. The oasis town lies in an irrigated cotton-producing oasis.
The Mogao Caves, also known as the Mogao Grottoes or the Caves of Thousand Buddhas, were constructed over a millennium, from the 4th to the 14th centuries, and represent the height of Buddhist art and the world's richest treasure house of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures.
Lunar Lake and the Singing Sand Mountain are purely tourist attractions in Dunhuang.
Hetian is a pearl on the Silk Road famous for its unique ruins of ancient city and specialities as Hetian jade, silk, carpet. It is located at the northern foot of the Karakorgan Range and on the southern fringe of the Taxkorgan Desert with an elevation of 1,372 metres.
Used to be the place where the states of Pishan, Yutian, Yumi, Qule, Jingjue and Shulu were established; in 1883, was established as a prefecture to be supervised directly by the court; in 1920, was changed to a prefecture. Local highlights are Hetian jade, sheep, silk, carpet.
Hetian Museum displays a large quantity of artifacts, including terracotta animals and figures, clay figurines, coins, clothing, silk and carpet fragments, fresco samples, jade lamps, Tibetan bronzes, jewellery, chased silver and gold utensils, documents and carved wooden beams from Niya ruins. The museum also exhibits well-preserved mummified corpses of two Buddhist monks. The feet of the 5th or 6th century AD mummies are bound to keep them rest in peace instead of wandering.
The ancient city of Niya, another Pompeii-like city on the Silk Road, lies 150 km from Minfeng, an oasis county in the Taklamakan Desert. The ruins are believed to be the ancient Kingdom of Jingjue, one of the oasis states recorded in the Chinese Han Dynasty chronicles.
The capital city of the ancient Kingdom of Yutian, lying about 10 km from Hetian and covering about 10 square km, is one of the oasis states in the Chinese Western Region along the Silk Road.
Jinquan, which is a growing industrial town, was founded in 111 BC as a garrison town, Between 127 and 102 BC, the Han emperors relocated about 980,000 peasant families as paramilitary peasants including at least 700,000 victims of the flood in Shandong. The charming Springs Parks at the edge of the town was built as a memorial to General Huo Qubing who is once said to have been given a barrel of wine by the Han emperor Wudi as a reward for having gained a decisive victory over the Xiongnu. About 15 km south-west of the town is the Buddhist temple site of Wenshushan.
Kashgar lies 1,300 metres high on the bank of Tuman river in the middle of irrigation oasis with cotton and agricultural cultivation. The population of 240,000 is predominantly Uighur. Kashgar only became Chinese around 200 BC, then again during the Tang period and finally during the period of the Qing emperors. Kashgar is the furthest away form the sea of all the big towns and it is closer to Moscow, Islamabad, Delhi, Kabul and Teheran than to Beijing.
The Id Kah Mosque is located in the centre of the city. This grand Islamic structure is a stark contrast to many Chinese-style mosques in Xi'an. Being the largest in China, it attracts more than 10,000 worshipers for prayers on a Friday afternoon.
Taxkorgan about 250 km from Kashgar is the "last outpost" in China before Pakistan is the capital of the Autonomous District of the same name with majority of Tadjik peoples. According to accounts by Ptolemey, trader from the East and West used to trade their goods here without crossing the borders.
Karakuri Lake, known as the father of glaciers, sits at an elevation of 3,600 metres (1,1808 feet) and is located at the foot of Mount Maztagata. It is an unspoiled place like Shangri-La with its dramatic and spectacular natural scenery.
" Three Immortal Buddhist Caves". Hewn from the cliffs some 10 metres (32.8 feet) above the riverbed, these caves can be dated back to the 2nd or 3rd century, ranking it as the earliest Buddhist caves in Western China.
Bazaars are the focus of activity nearly every day, with stalls dotted here and there, and crowded streets. Throughout the bazaars, you will find some stalls that sell everything while others specialise and sell local produce, arts and crafts, garments, knives, timber, coal, and animals.
Tomb of Abakh Khoja, the powerful ruler of Kashgar in the 17th century who was revered as a prophet and second only to Mohammed is located 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) north-east of the city of Kashgar. First built in 1640, all five generations of the family are buried within.
Fei (Fragrant Concubine) Tomb is in memory of Abakh Khoja's granddaughter, Iparhan. She was the Fragrant Concubine of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing period and was called Xiangfei because of the delicate fragrance sent forth by her body.
Korla is the political, economical, cultural and scientific research centre of the Bayin'guoleng Mongolia Autonomous prefecture as well as the excellent tourist city in China.
It is situated in the south-west frontier of China, south foot of the Mt. Tianshan, the hinterland of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the edge of Taklamakan Desert, the north-east edge of the largest basin in China, Tarim Basin. With thousands years history, Korla is a throat in the middle of the Silk Road. It was set up as a county early in 1940, a prefecture in 1954, merged into the Bayin'guoleng Mongolia Autonomous prefecture in 1960, being approved to be as a city on October 1979. Korla is famous for sweet pear, tomato, muskmelon, little apricot in white, fig and mulberry.
Tiemen Pass (also called Iron Pass or Iron Gate Pass), lies at the mouth of a 14 kilometre (9 mile) long valley. Tiemen was at the throat of the Silk Road and the traffic junction between northern Xinjiang and southern Xinjiang.
Bayanbulak is a vast highland prairie about 270 kilometres (167 miles) north-west of Korla. It is the second largest grassland in China encompassing an area of 23 thousand sq. km. Bayanbulak has the distinction of having the only nature reserve for swans in China and one of the largest swan reserves in the world.
The Ancient City of Loulan was founded in the 2nd century BC in an oasis with rich water network. It suddenly waned into the history after about 800 years flourish. At the beginning of last century, a Swedish explorer Sven Hedin accidentally discovered the city buried in desert in his exploration.
Bosten Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Xinjiang, which serves as a natural reservoir. The lake, covering over 1,000 square kilometres reflects the beauty of the southern countryside with luxuriant vegetation.
Turpan is a small oasis city set in a vast tract of grain fields, a pleasant, relaxing place.
It was called Gushi in ancient times. Renamed into Xichang prefecture during the Tang dynasty until 1913 when Turpan County was established. It is also famous with its grape, melon, and long staple cotton.
Only a few old buildings have been preserved in Turpan.
The Imin Minaret, built with clay bricks in 1776 and the sparsely furnished mosque next to it are the symbols of the town.
The Karez underground irrigation system is worth visiting. In Karez, the melting water from the mountains is channelled underground to the oasis over long distances.
The Turpan Museum shows relics from the Silk Road, mummies from the Astana Graves, silks from the early period of transcontinental trade and funerary objects.
The ancient city of Gaochang is 46 kilometres (29 miles) south-east of Turpan near the "Flaming Mountains". Built in the first century B.C. and originally called Gaochangbi, it used to be a garrison town and later became a key point along the ancient Silk Road.
The Ancient City of Jiaohe is located in the Yarnaz Valley, 13 kilometres (8 miles) west of Turpan, and was once the capital of the State of South Cheshi, which was one of the 31 states in the Western Region of China.
Astana Tang-Dynasty burial ground known as the "Underground Museum" attracts streams of archaeologists from both at home and abroad.
Grape Valley, lying at the base of the western end of the Flaming Mountains is a unique world of vineyards and fruit trees. There are several types of grapes that are grown in this area, including the seedless white, rose-pink, 'mare's-nipple', black, Kashihar, bijiagan and suosuo. The nearby fruit wineries produce divine wines and canned grapes.
Bezeklik are the Thousand Buddha Caves. Comprising 67 caves dating from the Northern and Southern dynasties (317 - 589) to the Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368) it used to be an important centre for Buddhist worship.
Urumqi, the capital of the Autonomous Region lies 900 metres above sea level is a huge town. About 75 percent of its population are Han Chinese and only 10 percent each are Uighur and Hui people. The Museum of the Autonomous Region is worth a visit. Apart from significant archaeological finds it also exhibits life-size models of the houses and tools of the most important nationalities in the region.
Red Hill is a landmark of the city with its emerald greenery and its religious pagoda and shrines. At an elevation of 910 meters (3,000 feet) above sea level, it is located at the very centre of the city.
West White Poplar Gulley is a unique experience for sightseers who love natural scenery like snow-capped peaks, dragon-spruce trees and wild flowers. The Kazakhs usually spend summer here between May and October and graze their herds.
Heavenly Lake (Tianchi Lake) is one of the main tourist attractions in China. It is hemmed in by the majestic snow-crowned peaks west of Bogda Mountain and it is geologically a moraine lake 3,400 meters (1,1125 feet) long, 1,500 meters (4920 feet) wide, 1,980 meters (6494 feet) above sea level. Covered with firs, pines, cypresses and white snow, it boasts of a spectacular sight.