China is, obviously, a huge place and a powerful lure for the globe-trotting tourist. If you intend to plan a trip to China, there are countless different attractions to draw your interest. With thousands of years of history to explore and a prominent place in the modern world, there’s something for everyone to see in China. The four great sights described here, though, should be on every visitor’s must-see list.
1. The Great Wall
A truly massive set of fortifications that runs for more than 5,000 miles across China’s northern reaches, the Great Wall has easily earned its place as one of the world’s most impressive structures. Composed of many different walls and towers built over the course of centuries, the Wall is a subject of interest nearly as vast as China itself. With its earliest history stretching all the way back to the 7th century BC and significant buildings remaining from both the reign of Qin Shi Huang and the Ming Dynasty, it’s no wonder that the Great Wall attracts more than four million visitors annually.
People call Hangzhou “paradise on Earth,” and it’s not hard for most visitors to see why. A thriving commercial center for more than a millennium, Hangzhou has always been renowned for the natural wonders that surround it. Countless artists — both foreign and domestic — have drawn inspiration from the wonders of Hangzhou over the centuries. The gorgeous West Lake is a particularly awe-inspiring sight.
3. The Forbidden City
Serving as both a literal and metaphorical center of the country for centuries, the Forbidden City in Beijing was the home of the emperors of both the Qing and Ming dynasties. This exquisite and vast palace complex has weathered all the political upheavals of the twentieth century; today it stands as one of the world’s most impressive cultural museums. It houses almost a million different artifacts of significance, and every year more than eight million visitors enter to explore the City.
4. The Terracotta Warriors
Another of China’s beautiful historical treasures, this collection of funeral statuary was unearthed by accident in 1974. The digging of a new well near the tomb of the Qin Emperor brought to light the first of the beautiful clay figures entombed with the ruler. Today archeologists estimate that the complete set encompasses more than 8,000 men, 600 horses, and 130 chariots, many of which remain buried. The figures that have been unearthed and restored are breathtaking to behold and well worth a visit.
A trip to China is sure to be filled with countless memorable sights, and you’ll have no difficulty planning an epic itinerary if you choose to visit the country. Keep these star attractions in mind when you’re planning your trip; every one of them is well worth a visit!