List of described attractions by regions
China is divided into 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities and 2 special administrative regions. Here below they are listed in alphabetical order:
|Xiaozhai tiankeng||Sinkholes, Biotopes|
|Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region|
|Dashiwei tiankeng||Sinkholes, Biotopes, Caves|
|Hong Kong (Special administrative region)|
|Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region|
|Macau (Special administrative region)|
|Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region|
|Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region|
Republic of China (Taiwan) and Tibet (in the borders of Tibet Autonomous Region) are reviewed as separate countries by Wondermondo. Just because Wondermondo considers this to be right.
China - map
Xiaozhai tiankeng, with tourist route visible.
Brookqi, Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
The largest sinkhole of the world is Xiaozhai Tiankeng - incredible, up to 662 m deep pit with nearly vertical walls. This is one of the most impressive natural attractions on Earth.
China has got it all - more than one billion people, large area, great and very long history, very distinct and at the same time - very diverse cultures, great and varied nature.
Thus Wondermondo even has a problem - to limit the list of the most outstanding landmarks and attractions of China to sensible amount: see the result below.
Numerous kinds of natural landmarks are well represented in China - here are located very impressive and amazing cliff formations, geysers, natural arches, sinkholes and giant caves. China has some of the most impressive spring formations, numerous beautiful (albeit comparatively small) waterfalls, amazing biotopes and unique species of plants and animals.
Some of the most amazing and beautiful sights in the world are giant "forests" of limestone and sandstone pinnacles in several regions of China.
- Shilin stone forest - Yunnan. Spectacular karst formation, which resembles giant forest of stone pinnacles. One of the most impressive karst landscapes in the world.
- Wulingyuan sandstone pinnacles - Hunan. Unusual geological monument - group of some 3,100 sandstone pillars up to 800 m tall. Well known scenic place.
Caves and sinkholes
In China are located largest sinkholes in the world and some of the largest caves in the world.
- Dashiwei tiankeng - Guangxi. One of the largest sinkholes of the world - up to 613 metres deep, 600x420 m across.
- Gebihe Cave - Guizhou. Up to 445 m deep cave with Miaos Room - the second largest cave room in the world after Sarawak Chamber (Malaysia). It is 700 m long, 215 m wide, 70 - 100 m tall.
- Shuanghe Dongqun Cave - Guizhou. Longest known cave in China. Total length of explored passages is 119,792 m, maximum depth - 593 m.
- Teng Long Dong - Hubei. One of the most magnificent, most enormous caves in the world. Total length is estimated to be 33,522 m. Cave starts with extremely impressive entrance, 74 m high and 64 m wide. Into the cave flows a river with nearly 10 m tall waterfall at the entrance. Cave continues as a giant passage.
- Tianxing Dongxuexitong - Chongqing Municipality. Deepest known cave in China, 1026 m deep. Very impressive feature is the 506 m deep, vertical, enormous Miao Keng shaft - one of the highest shafts in the world. Length of passages - 35,479 m.
- Zhijin Cave - Guizhou. Collosal cave, length of explored passages - 12.1 km, ceiling up to 150 m high. Here is located approximately 70 m tall stalagmite, which may be the tallest in world.
- Xiaozhai tiankeng - Chongqing Municipality. Largest sinkhole (tiankeng) in the world, up to 662 metres deep, 625x535 metres across.
- Three Natural Bridges of Wulong - Chongqing Municipality. Giant, very impressive natural bridges - Tianlong Bridge, Qinglong Bridge (with waterfall over it) and Heilong Bridge. Their average height is 200 metres.
- Tushuk Tash (Shipton's Arch) - Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Possibly the highest natural arch of the world and one of the most impressivee ones. Height - circa 360 - 370 m, width - some 65 metres.
- Xian Ren Qiao - Fairy Bridge - Guangxi. Beautiful natural bridge of limestone with a span of 90 m. Possibly the widest natural arch in the world.
Springs and geysers
- Chaluo geysers - Sichuan. Group of fumaroles, boiling springs and 4 geysers.
- Huanglong - Sichuan. Possibly the largest travertine terraces in world, they extend for 3.6 kilometres and are deposited by mildly thermal springs.
Other natural landmarks
- Baishanzu Baishan firs - Zhejiang. Extremely rare species of fir (Abies beshanzuensis Wu 1976) consisting of only 3 trees.
- Chinese Ginkgo King (Tiantan ginkgo) - Guizhou. Enormous Ginkgo biloba L., girth 16.8 m, height 50 m, age considered to be 4,000 years.
Bản Giốc Falls, Vietnam side.
M.Williams, Wikimedia Commons. CC-BY-SA-2.5
- Huangguoshu Falls - Guizhou. Largest falls in China, 74 metres tall and 81 metres wide.
- Jiuzhai Valley - Sichuan. Valley with impressive travertine formations - terraces, waterfalls and deep blue - green lakes. Includes the beautiful, 20 m tall and 320 m wide Nuorilang Falls.
- Mount Huang - Anhui. Group of very scenic granite peaks, very often depicted in famous Chinese paintings and contemporary photographs. Location where the famous Buddha's light is often observed - rainbow around the shadow.
- Tarim Poplar forests - Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Largest stands of Populus euphratica in the world. According to fossils, this forest here might be existing for millions of years.
- Tiger Leaping Gorge - Yunnan. Canyon of Yangtze River, according to certain criteria - deepest canyon of the world. River here is 1600 - 1800 m above the sea level, flanked by 5,596 and 5,396 m tall mountains.
China is cradle of one of the most ancient and and one of the most advanced civilisations of the world. Here have developed and coexisted numerous diverse cultures and empires, each leaving unique landmarks.
- Fenghuang Ancient City - Hunan. Established in 7th century AD, this extremely scenic city contains numerous historical buildings and other monuments of history.
- HongCun village and Xidi Village - Anhui. Beautiful ancient villages from 11th - 19th centuries with numerous historical buildings. Villages have maintained their original spirit and form beautiful architectural ensemble reflected in water.
Tianluokeng Tulou cluster.
Gisling, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
- Tianluokeng Tulou cluster and other tulous - Fujian. Group of round, stadium like structures - villages of unique planning, up to 5 floors high, built since 1796 AD. In one such village can live up to 80 families. Outer walls serve for fortification with single gate. Inside there is plaza, subsidiary buildings. Built since 12th century AD and in use and developing even today. In Fujian have been preserved hundreds of such villages - single structures, there are even more buildings in this region with square planning.
- Khara-Khoto - Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Ghostly medieval Tangut city. Founded in 1032 and abandoned after 1272 AD. There have been preserved ruins of the city, including city wall. Here was found ancient library of Tangut writings.
- Yinxu - Henan. Ruins of the ancient capital of Shang Dynasty. Although much older, served as capital in early 14th - 16th century BC. Famous due to numerous finds of oracle bones with the most ancient Chinese writings (and one of the oldest writings in the world) on them.
Great Wall of China.
Jakub Hałun, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
- Great Wall of China - Beijing Municipality, Gansu, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Lianoning, Shandong and other. Parts of wall also in Mongolia. Largest series of fortification in world with a total length 8,852 km, including 6,259.6 km of actual wall. Built in 5th c. BC - 16th c. AD by Chinese to protect northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by northern nomads. The oldest fraction is Great Wall of Qi (in Shandong) - approximately 600 km long section of wall built 685 BC.
- Pingyao city walls and ancient city - Shanxi. Well preserved and impressive ancient walled city with more than 4,000 valuable buildings. City walls built circa 1370 AD, 12 m high and 6 km long.
- City walls of Xi'an - Shaanxi. Massive city walls, some of the best preserved in China. Construction of the current walls started in 1370 AD, length is 13.7 km, height - 12 m.
Castles and palaces
- Forbidden City - Beijing Municipality. World's largest palace complex - Chinese imperial palace, which takes whole part of city. This complex of buildings for some 500 years was the centre of the Empire of China. Built in 1406 - 1420, includes 980 buildings. Contains art collections of very high importance.
- Mukden Palace - Shenyang. Grandiose palace complex of early Qing dynasty, built in 1625 - 1631. Contains some 90 buildings.
- Summer Palace - Beijing Municipality. Masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design - hilly forest park at the lake. Developed since 1750 AD, includes numerous buildings - temples, palaces and garden architecture.
China is home to several religions and similar systems of beliefs - Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and others who have inspired creation of several tens of thousands of temples and monasteries.
- Dazu Rock Carvings - Chongqing Municipality. Multiple - 75 sites - with rock-cut religious sculptures made since 7th century AD. Contains some 50,000 statues, many of very high artistic and historical value.
- Huaisheng Mosque - Guangdong. One of oldest mosques in world, built in 650, rebuilt in 1350 and 1695.
- Iron Pagoda - Henan. A beautiful brick pagoda, built in 1049 AD and one of most beautiful pagodas in China.
- Kizil Caves - Xinjiang. Group of 236 Buddhist rock-cut caves, built in 3rd - 8th century AD. Contain more than 1,000 m² murals.
- Labrang Monastery - Gansu. This important and enormous Tibetan monastery was founded in 1709. It contains numerous valuable Tibetan books (60000 sutras) as well as works of art.
- Leshan Buddha Statue - Sichuan. Giant, 71 m tall rock-cut statue of seated Buddha, made in 713 - 803 AD. It was made to pacify the roaring river which took lives of many people. After construction of statue river really became more quiet - possibly due to debris loaded in the river.
- Longmen Grottoes - Henan. One of the most impressive monuments of rock-cut architecture in the world - complex of Buddhist cells and shrines. 2,345 rock cut chambers, more than 100,000 statues made in 316 - 907 AD.
- Mogao Caves - Gansu. Group of rock-cut chambers, consists of 492 Buddhist cells and temples. Built for approximately 1000 years since 366 AD. Contain many art values but especially valued due to enormous amount of murals, covering 42 thousand m².
- Nanchan Temple - Shanxi. An ancient temple, rebuilt in 782 AD, the wooden structures from this rebuilding are among the oldest wooden structures in China. It is one of numerous monasteries of sacred Mount Wutai.
- Nanyan Temple - Hubei. Taoist temple complex hewn in vertical cliff face. Everything - pillars, windows, gates - is hewn at place in cliff. Most spectacular of the Mount Wudang temples, also related to birth of such martial arts as kung-fu.
- Pagoda of Fogong Temple - Shanxi. This wooden pagoda, built in 1056 AD is a remarkable achievement of engineering with its very sophisticated design. The total height of the tower is 67 metres and has survived powerful earthquakes without much damage.
- Shaolin Monastery - Henan. Located on sacred Mount Song, this monastery was founded in 477 and destroyed and rebuilt many times. It is renowned in Western world as it is associated with Chinese martial arts; however, the temple is also the birthplace of Zen Buddhism. It has largest collection of stupas in China.
- Songyue Pagoda - Henan. A very old pagoda, 12-angled building. Constructed from brick in 523 AD, 40 m high.
- Tài Shān (Mount Tai) - Shandong. This up to 1545 m high mountain is one of five sacred mountains in Tao religion, often regarded as the foremost of them. Pilgrimage site for 3000 years, covered with numerous temples and other monuments. Largest temple - Dai Miao - from 3rd century BC.
Temple of Heaven, The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. Beijing.
Maros Mraz, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.5
- Temple of Confucius in Qufu - Shangdong. Largest and oldest temple of Confucius, established in 478 BC and expanded since then.
- Temple of Heaven - Beijing Municipality. Beautiful Taoist temple - temple of emperors of China, built in 1406 - 1420. Architecture and planning of the temple and even minor details are full with symbolism.
- White Horse Temple - Henan. Considered to be the oldest Buddhist temple in China, established in 68 AD. Comparatively small temple but famous, many legends.
- Yungang Grottoes - Shanxi. Ancient rock-cut Buddhist cells and temples - in total 252 structures. Built mainly in 460 - 525 AD. Contain valuable artwork, including more than 51,000 statues and beautiful murals.
Ancient burials and mausoleums
- Eastern Qing Tombs Valley - Hebei. Group of very impressive mausoleums of 5 emperors and numerous other noble people of China. Developed in 1661 - 1908.
- Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum - Nanjing, Jiangsu. Beautiful mausoleum complex in sophisticated, vast park. Built in 1381 - 1405. Initially the area was surrounded by 22.5 kilometres long wall.
- Pyramids near Xi'an - Shaanxi. Ancient mausoleums and burial mounds where several Chinese emperors and their imperial relatives have been buried. Near Xi'an are located some 38 pyramids. The largest originally has been 76 metres high, now - 47 metres. Built 2000 years ago and in newer times.
- Sijiazi Hongshan Pyramid - Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Approximately 5,000 years three-stepped pyramid, 30 m long and 15 m wide, with burials on top. Developed by Hongshan culture.
- Tangut Pyramids - Xixia Wangling - Ningxia. 9 imperial tombs and more than 200 smaller ones, built since 1038 AD. Eroded and resemble pyramids, although earlier were rather similar to pagodas.
- Tombs of Koguryo Kingdom - Jilin. Several groups of unique, pyramid-shaped tombs with ornate interiors, wall paintings. Belong to ancient Koguryo state, developed in 1st - 5th century AD.
Other monumeents of culture
- Chengde Mountain Resort - Hebei. Largest existing imperial garden in the world, with enormous complex of administrative and ceremonial buildings. Developed in 1703 - 1792. Includes Putuo Zongcheng Temple modelled after the famous Tibetan Potala Palace and Puning Temple - enormous temple complex built in 1755. It also contains the world's tallest wooden sculpture, 22.28 metres tall.
- Classical gardens of Suzhou - Jiangsu. Group of beautiful, classical Chinese gardens, developed in 16th - 18th centuries. 9 of total 200 private gardens have been included in UNESCO World Heritage list.
- Dujiangyan Irrigation System - Sichuan. Unique achievement of engineering - irrigation system which prevented spring floods and kept the Min River open for shipping and fish passage. Built in 256 BC, still operating after 2,266 years.
- Hani rice terraces - Yunnan. Some of the most spectacular teraced fields of rice.
- Rock paintings of Huashan Mountain - Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Ancient rock paintings from 500 BC - 200 AD, linked to witchcraft of ancient Luoyue people. Painting covers some 8000 m², often painted gigantic figures.
- Ruishi Diaolou and other diaolou - Guangdong. Ornate, nine floors high fortified concrete tower, built in 1921. In this region there are thousands of such fortified towers of very diverse architecture. Served as forays during the raids of bandits.