Map of Asia

Discovering Facts about China

People from China are known for their good business sense but there are more things that can be discovered in China and with its people.  China is where one can find people who live extraordinary long lives thanks to their never ending interest in alternative healing and the use of herbs to prolong lives and maintain good health.  UNESCO World Cultural Heritage has included some of the famous places in China in their list for its outstanding contribution to upholding the value of human life.  These places are included in the list to preserve for future generations to enjoy.

One of the longest man made structures in the world is the Great Wall of China.  It is said to be one of the few man-made structures in the world that can be seen from space.  This wall symbolizes the will of the Chinese people to defend their country from invaders in the past.  Watchtowers are located every 200 yards of the wall.  It is sad to say though that there are portions of the wall that have been heavily damage by time and war.  The most popular sections are those that are near Beijing particularly the portion of the wall built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644).

The Badaling section of the Great Wall of China exhibits the complete military facility as well as magnificent sights.  This portion of the wall is so famous that visitors during the holiday season flocked to it in great numbers.  For mountaineers and those who love hiking it would be a great challenge to walk on these walls.  The best time to visit this wall is in May, September or early October when the weather is sunny.  Wear good shoes for walking.  Wear shorts and light weight cotton shirt or blouse during the day and jacket in the evenings when the air gets colder.

The Forbidden City is China’s most famous museum by UNESCO World Cultural Heritage standards.  The elaborate manicured gardens, pavilions and at least one million treasures await millions of tourist.  Renting a good guide to narrate the history of the place is great money’s worth rather than standing puzzled where to go and what to do next.  Purchase souvenir maps at the beginning of the tour in the Forbidden City.  In Pingyao, a tourist can find the prosperous old city of the past.  The buildings surrounding this ancient town show its opulent past during the Ming and Qing era.

There are two temples that are worth visiting in Pingyao: Shuanglin Monastery which is famous for the 2000 vivid painted sculptures and the Zhenguo Temple for its oldest wooden structured main hall.  Moving on to another location are the steep hillsides of Dazu where there are rock carvings dating back centuries.  Persons who are interested in Buddhism will appreciate these rock formations.  What is surprising about these rocks is that they have not been damage or destructed by time or natural disasters.  They are carefully preserved by nature for visitors to enjoy.

Another great ancient architectural find is the Mogao Grottoes (Thousand Buddha Caves).  Dating back to the Han Dynasty, these caves contain Buddhist sculptures and frescoes that cover ten dynasties.  Mogao Grottoes has remained well preserved despite the ravages of time and weather elements.  What lure visitors towards Mount Huangshan are the famous terracotta warriors.  They have been featured in Hollywood films like those which star Jackie Chan.  These life size warriors were placed in Emperor Qin’s tomb to “protect” him.  These soldiers surprisingly are made differently as if they constitute different persons of all ages and personalities.  Their armor and clothing are likewise made differently from each other.

Potala Palace stands high in the Red Mountain of the Lhasa Valley in Tibet.  Based on aerial photos taken of its full grandeur it is worth the climb just to visit this winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century.  This palace is teeming with various sculptures, porcelain, jade and fine objects made out of gold and silver.  The Dalai Lama lived in the White Palace while the Red Palace consists of temples.  This palace was recently named as the New 7 Wonders of the World.  The views from the Palace roof and balconies are spectacular to behold.

Chengde has a lot of good attractions.  First and foremost is the Summer Resort where a large and elaborate garden stands since this is where the Qing Dynasty emperors spent their time in the ancient days.  The garden has lakes, corridors, streams and surroundings that are a feast for the senses.  To the north of the palace stands Eight Outer Temples which are actually composed of twelve temples.  In the olden days these were exclusively used by the upper classes and dignitaries of ancient China.  Equally given importance like the Eiffel Tower of France and Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy is Yingxian Wooden Pagoda of Fogong Temple.  This one is made out of wood which makes it quite different from the other two.

Giant Pandas are lovable creatures which is why China has made a point of preserving this furry creature.  The Chengdu Panda Base is dedicated to this animal’s preservation.  The facilities also include man made landscape and beautiful sceneries.  To promote public awareness educational trips and camps are offered at Chengdu Panda Base.  Seeing this endangered species in its natural habitat will help visitors to understand why China is finding ways to preserve similar animals that are in danger of becoming extinct.

China has its own version of Paradise on Earth which is Hangzhou.  This place is famous for its gardens, tranquil temples and bustling streets filled with people who are enjoying the grand view.  One must never leave China without taking a Yangtze River cruise.  As a visitor, one should know that prices charged for going upstream cost higher and longer than going in the opposite direction.  The prices for the tour include the cruise ticket and entrances to places of interest.  Some cruises are expensive because they offer better facilities which include a selection of food.  This is what a Chinese food lover will be looking forward to, authentic Chinese cuisine cooked aboard a luxury ship.  There are still a thousand and one things to do in China until the next visit.  There is simply too little time to cover everything.