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China’s Top Five “Must-See” Tourist Attractions

Updated on March 6, 2012

China From The Water

by Steve Webel
by Steve Webel

China’s Top Five “Must-See” Tourist Attractions

China is one of the world’s oldest civilizations and is currently its most populous nation. The country, which has well over one billion citizens, covers a vast land area. With its impressive history, its immense population and its size, it’s reasonable to expect that there are many interesting things to see and do for tourists who visit.

And that is absolutely true. Interestingly, there are fewer sites worthy of being included in a tourist’s itinerary than one might expect for a civilization that has been active – and that has flourished – for more than 5,000 years.

China Tour

Many younger nations have more attractions for visitors and that may be due, in part, to the fact that China remained a backward society for a good part of the twentieth century and did not begin to modernize until the last few years. The result of its stagnation was that its most memorable tourist sites were created hundreds, or even thousands, of years ago, but nothing else of interest found its way on to the Chinese landscape since then … certainly for the better part of the last half century, perhaps longer.

As a result, China has many fascinating “ancient” attractions … few modern attractions. Fortunately, that is changing. And, as China reinvents itself as a modern 21st century nation, it is sure to create and build “new wonders” that will become must-see attractions for visitors. Meanwhile, if you’re planning on traveling to China in the near future, for business or for pleasure, here are the places you need to see …

Pagoda of the Flowers In Guangzhou China

by jrgcastro
by jrgcastro

Forbidden City In Beijing China

by PierrickBlons
by PierrickBlons

Spend a Day at the Forbidden City (also known as the Palace Museum).

This world-famous site, one of the great treasures of China, was the “Imperial Seat of Power” for the Ming and Qing dynasties for nearly 500 years. In fact, it was where emperors ruled over the vast peasant population from 1420 until 1912 (the time of the Boxer Rebellion). The last emperor to reside here, Pu Yi, abdicated his throne at that time. This former palace, which is located in the center of Beijing, just north of Tiananmen Square, is now one of the finest museums in all of China. It belongs on your itinerary and should not be missed if you’re going to be in or near Beijing.

Touring the Great Wall

“Stand Guard” along the Great Wall

This is truly one of the great wonders of the world. Built over a period spanning hundreds of years, by Chinese warlords, it covers a distance of more than 5,500 miles and is, in fact, a series of connecting walls. You won’t have to “stand guard,” of course, but this remarkable and seemingly endless wall is a construction marvel and engineering feat you must see to believe. Certain sections of the wall are better-suited for hikers because they are relatively flat and easy to traverse. The best location, which is not far from central Beijing, is called Badaling. It is considered to be user-friendly, easy for hikers, and should be your destination of choice. Nearby lodging is available for those who wish to stay more than one day. Bus tours and private transportation are also available if you want to see the Great Wall and return to Beijing on the same day.

Terracotta Warriors Near Xi'an China

by gefafwisp
by gefafwisp

Visit the Army of Terracotta Warriors

Chinese farmers accidentally uncovered this incredible “army” in 1974. And it quickly became a must-see-to-believe attraction … a symbol of Chinese pride. Ancient artisans and craftsmen created – and constructed – these legions of lifelike figures for the emperor of the Qin Dynasty. It is believed that they were buried (perhaps as the result of a natural disaster) in 210 B.C. That makes them well over 2,000 years old. When you view these warriors for the first time, you’ll be shocked to discover that each has a different face … different hair … even different armor (denoting rank). These “differences” make their construction an even greater achievement. The Terracotta Warriors are easy to reach from Beijing by plane (1 hour flight) or by overnight train.

Karst Mountains In Guangxi Province


Enjoy the natural Beauty of the Karst Mountains in Yangshuo

The scenic splendor of this rugged area is memorable. Located in Guangxi Province, it offers visitors absolutely stunning views of nature and lots of outdoor activities. In fact, it is perfect for backpackers and hikers, but also great for those who are less physically fit. There are boat tours along the Li River and a Night Food Market for those staying more than one day.

Yangtze River Bridge

by oliverlaumann
by oliverlaumann

Cruise the Yangtze River and Marvel at the Three Gorges Dam

The Yangtze River is the world’s largest river and can be enjoyed from the comfort of a boat. Boat tours are conducted daily and are inexpensive. On the tour, you’ll pass the Three Gorges Dam, one of the world’s great engineering feats. This amazing dam is the largest in the world and it harnesses power that serves the needs of millions of people living in close proximity to it.

There are many other wonderful tourist attractions in China worthy of mention and of a visit from you during your stay in that country. However, the five mentioned here are the sites and stopovers you must include in your itinerary. Your trip to China will not be complete unless you take time to visit and enjoy every attraction.


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      mikeydcarroll67 2 years ago

      I love some of these places when I visited!