1. The Great wall
The Great Wall, located in northern China, is 6,700 kilometers long and thus known as the “10,000-li Great Wall”. Construction of the wall went on for more than 2,000 years, from 7 th century to 14 th century AD. The wall has become a symbol of both China’s proud historyand its present strength.
2. The Palace Museum
The Palace Museum, also called the Forbidden City, is located in the center of Beijing. The imperial palace used by emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties is the largest and most complete ancient wooden-structure building complex in the world. Construction of the Forbidden City started in 1406 and lasted 14 years. 24 emperors were enthroned there.
3. Zhoukoudian: Home of the Peking Man
Remains of the Peking Man (homo erectus) are located on the Dragon Bone Hill at Zhoukoudian Village, Fangshan District, Beijing. In the 1920s, archaeologists discovered the complete skull of Peking Man. Later, more skull bones as well as stone and bone instruments were unearthed. Peking Man lived 690,000 years ago, during Paleolithic times. Findings indicate that Peking Man knew how to make fires.
4. Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum and Terra-cotta Army
Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum is located in Lintong District, 35 kilometers east of Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi Province. Construction ofthe mausoleum lasted 38 years and involved over 700,000 workers. Over the years, a total of 50,000 important cultural relics have been unearthed. In 1980, two bronze painted horse-drawn chariots were unearthed. They are the largest and most complete bronze chariots and horses discovered so far. In 1974, farmers who were digging a well about 1.5 kilometers east of Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum discovered three vaults containing Qinshihuang’s Buried Legion. The largest of the three vaults contains 6,000 life-size terra-cotta warriors and horses. The collection of warriors is often dubbed the“eighthwonder of the world”.
5. The Mogao Grottoes at Dunhuang
Dunhuang Grottoes comprise of the Mogao grottoes, West 1,000-Buddha Cave, and Yulin Cave. The Mogao Grottoes, representative of the three sites, are located 25 kilometers southwest of Dunhuang City, Gansu Province. Construction of the grottoes began in 366 AD. The well-designed grottoes are a treasure house containing painting, sculptures, documents, and cultural relics.
6. The Huangshan Mountain
Located in Huangshan City in southern Anhui Province, the scenic area of the Huangshan Mountain covers 154 square kilometers and is famous for its four wonders: strangely-shaped pines, grotesque rock formations, seas of clouds and hot springs. It also features a natural zoo and botanical garden.
The Huanglong Scenic Area is located in Songpan County, Sichuan Province. Calcified ponds, beaches, waterfalls and embankments characterize Huanglong scenery.
8. Chengde Summer Resorts and Surrounding Temples
Chengde Summer Resort, known as “The Mountain Hamlet for Escaping the Heat”, is located in northern Chengde, Hebei Province. Qing Emperors used to spend their summer days handling state affairs at the resort. Construction of the resort lasted from 1703 to 1792. It is the largest and best-preserved imperial palace outside the capital. Many of the scenic spots around the resort’s lake area mimic famous landscaped gardens in southern China, and the buildings of the Outer Eight Temples feature architectural style of minority ethnic groups such as Mongolian, Tibetan and Uygur.
9. Qufu, Confusius’Mansion, Temple and Cemetery
Qufu, in southwestern Shandong Province, was the capital of the state of Lu during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and the hometown of Confusius, a great thinker and educator. Confucius’Mansion was the residence of Confucius’ eldest male descendants for generation. The mansion holds more than 9,000 volumes of archives dating from 1534 to 1948 and many cultural relics, ancient costumes, and utensils. Confucius’ Temple is famous for its 2,000 stone steles and more than 100 portrait stones from the Han Dynasty. Confucius’Cemetery houses tombs for Confucius and his descendants.
10. Ancient Buildings on the Wudang Mountain
The Wudang Mountain, located in northwestern Hubei Province, is a sacred Taoist mountain that is best known as the birthplace of Wudang martial arts. The Gold Hall built on the mountain in 1416 represents advanced architectural styleand building techniques of that period.
11. Potala Palace
Potala Palace in Lhasa is situated on Red Hill 3,700 meters above the sea level. The palace was built by Tibetan King Songtsan Gambo in the 7 th century for Tang Princess Wencheng. Potala features the essence of ancient Tibetan architectural art and houses many artifacts of the Tubo Kingdom.
12. The Lushan Mountain
The Lushan Mountain, located south of Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province, is one of the most famous mountains in China. The mountain features beautiful peaks, seas of clouds, waterfalls and historical sites. Bailu Academy is one of Chinese first schools of higher learning. 13. The Emei Mountain and Leshan Giant Buddha The Emei Mountain is one of China’s four famous Buddhist Mountains. It is located 7 kilometers southwest of Emeishan City, Sichuan Province. There are 150 temples on the mountain. The mountain features more than 3,000 plant species and 2,000 varieties of animals. Leshan Giant Buddha is located on the east bank of the Minjiang River in Leshan city, Sichuan Province. The Buddha is carved out of a cliff and, being 70.7 meters tall, is the largest sitting Buddha in China. Carving of the Buddha started in 713 and was completed in 803. The body of Buddha has a water drainage system to prevent erosion.
14. Lijiang Ancient City
Lijiang ancient city, located in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, is an ancient town inhabited mainly by the Naxi minority people. The town was founded in 1127. The roads in the town are paved with colored pebbles produced in Lijiang, and there are many stone bridges and memorial archways built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Most of the residences are made of earth and wood. Palace murals depicting religious themes were painted during the Ming Dynasty. The traditional Dongba Culture of the Naxi ethnic group has been preserved in Lijiang.
15. Pingyao Ancient City
Pingyao of Shanxi Province was built 2,000 years ago during the Zhou Dynasty. The city wall was renovated in 1370. It is one of China’s earliest and largest county-level city walls. Ancient streets, government offices, markets, stores and residences have been preserved, providing invaluable resources for research on China’s ancient Ming Dynasty county seat.
16. Suzhou Gardens
Suzhou in Jiangsu Province is a famous historic and cultural city that is more than 2,500 years old. Suzhou features more than 200 ancient gardens. The small private gardens are especially famous nationwide and reflect architectural styles of the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.
17. The Summer Palace of Beijing
The Summer Palace, featuring the best of China’s ancient gardens, is located in the western suburbs of Beijing. The palace was built in 1153 as a temporary imperial palace. It was rebuilt in 1888. The Summer Palace consists of the Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake. The Long Corridor, painted with exquisite paintings, was included in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1992 as the longest corridor in the world. The corridor links the area where Empress Dowager Cixi handled state affairs with the residential and sightseeing areas.
18. The Temple of Heaven of Beijing
The Temple of Heaven, built in 1420, is located in southern Beijing. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, emperors came to the temple to worship the God of Heavenand pray for a good harvest.