The Great Wall
The most famous man-made construction on the planet, the Great Wall was built two and a half thousand years ago and stretched more than 6,000 kilometres. It is also the only structure that can be seen from the moon. Stretching from the Jiayu Pass in the Gansu Province in the west of the country to the mouth of the Yalu River in the Liaoning Province in the east, the wall is China’s greatest attraction and no visit is complete without taking the chance to see it.
The Gardens of Suzhou
Located in Suzhou just sixty miles from Shanghai, these very carefully hand-crafted gardens were built over a thousand years ago and reveal the various styles of the country’s many dynasties. The idea of any classical Chinese garden is to create a natural landscape within a limited space using traditional methods which date back to the twelfth century. Excellent examples of window games, dwarf trees and winding paths are on display in Suzhou where the historical gardens have been restored to their former glory.
Potala Palace, Lhasa
Situated in the southwest of the country this seventh century complex consists of a unique combination of Chinese political architecture and classical Tibetan architecture. Spread across an area of four hundred and ten thousand square metres, the palace is the winter residence of the Dalai Lama. It also houses the most comprehensive collection of cultural relics in the Tibetan area of China as well as several tombs of former Dalai Lamas. A visit to Polata Palace is guaranteed to be both a rewarding and memorable experience so if you are in the region, don’t miss the opportunity to do so.
Yungang Grottoes, Datong
China has four ancient grottoes which house Buddhist sculptures and carvings and the Yungang is undoubtedly the most famous of the four. Located at the foot of the Wuzhou Mountain they were first created in 453 AD and consist of fifty-three caves which are home to over fifty one thousand stone carvings. This is one of the most fascinating displays of ancient Chinese culture and art that you are ever likely to see and the collection of Buddha statues is one of the best in the world.
Yingxian Wooden Pagoda, Yingxian
The oldest and tallest of its kind in the country, the Yingxian Buddhist Pagoda stands at 67.3 metres tall and has a diameter of over 30 metres. Built in 1056 this remarkable structure is located at the foot of the Hengshan Mountain in Yingxian county. Over three and a half thousand cubic metres were used in its construction without using any nails and yet it has remained intact for over nine hundred years through storms, earthquakes and any other natural elements which have battered at it through the centuries. They don’t make them like this any more.