5 Places to Get Your Dose of Culture and History in China

China is a massive country with an incredible amount of history. There’s plenty of places to see evidence of this, and while there’s only five places featured here, this list could go on for days. We all know about the Great Wall of China, so be sure check these places off the list as well if you are looking for a cultural revelation.

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Jinxi, town of the five lakes

Jinxi

This attractive place was a tourist destination many thousands of years ago and this continues to be the case today. The area is surrounded by five lakes and offers stunning waterscapes. A concubine of the emperor who was loved by the people frequented Jinxi during the 960-1279 Song Dynasty. She was even buried here and she left her legacy and story for generations to come. In spring, Jinxi’s streets are perfumed by peach blossoms and the town itself is studded with historical sites and museums for cultural buffs. Try to visit all 36 of the unique bridges passing over the waterways while you’re here.

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Shaolin Temple

Shaolin Temple

Most holidays to stunning China will include a visit to the famous Shaolin Temple. The scenery from the temple grounds are magnificent. The breathtaking vistas are only one reason to visit – Shaolin is the birthplace of Chinese Kung Fu, and many journey here looking for inner strength and solace. Skills such as meditation and martial arts are still being taught here today. The temple remains one of China’s most important Buddhist shrines.

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The terracotta army, Xi’an

Terracotta Army in Xi’an

The burial site of Emperor Qin Shi Huang is infamous for its lavishness and bizarre nature. He was the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty and his massive terracotta army still stands, guarding his resting site till this day. The unearthing this mausoleum is a continual archaeological project, one not set for completion for decades yet.  The site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and should make the top 5 cultural list of any visit to China.

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The Forbidden City, Beijing

The Forbidden City in Beijing

Beijing is sure to be a city on your itinerary already, and this place should be one of your first stops. It would be an unpardonable transgression to miss out on one of China’s greatest sites. The common people were forbidden entry during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, giving rise to its name – The Forbidden City. This place holds some of China’s most prized cultural and historical artefacts and treasures. There are over 8,000 rooms in this massive compound and the structure is decorated in reds and golds; traditionally auspicious Chinese colours.

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The Potala Palace, Lhasa

The Potala Palace in Lhasa

Another Unesco World Heritage site that should be on your must-see list is the Potala Palace. Technically part of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world. A magical place filled with Tibetan history and relics that would take you a long time to really see and take in. Everything from religious jewelry, to antiques, murals, and scriptures are all housed here and are on display. It’s an important example of Tibetan history, religious and the art and culture of the people.

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2 Comments

  1. so big, so much to see! thanks for sharing!

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