China’s eclectic wonders aren’t just limited to its fantastic man-made attractions, in fact it’s the combination of man-made and natural attractions that makes this country outstanding. China has found a way to preserve its pristine rivers, impressive waterfalls, and thick forests while incorporating contemporary elements that reflects the country’s dynamic growth and socio-economic status.
The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is not only noted for its diverse wildlife, but also for its naturally formed pillars that are famed for their imposing height. Situated in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is popular for its natural highlights. Much of the geology in the Zhangjiajie National Park can be compared to that of the fictitious, larger-than-life scenery from the fantasy/science fiction film, Avatar; the towering peaks engulfed in fog exude a feeling that is deeply enigmatic and surreal.
The Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge is one of the highlights in the area, the glass-bottomed bridge is the world’s longest and highest of its kind. Not for the weak of heart, this structure offers magnificent sights of the surrounding peaks, and the natural highlights encompassing the area.
If there was a place that’s frozen in time amidst the sprawling cities of China, it’s the quaint Phoenix Ancient City. Built in the Qing Dynasty, the ancient town is filled with charming wooden houses and stone roads that encapsulate a time lost, but not forgotten. Divided into two parts — old and new, the old part of Fenghuang Ancient Town is popular with tourists for its scenic vistas of lush green hills and crystal-clear Tuojiang River. The typical buildings housed in the town, called Diaojiaolou, were built along the river bank to prevent flooding in the past.
Dating back to the South Song Dynasty, this is one of China’s oldest street. Imbued with culture and history, the Hefang Ancient Street attracts visitors from all walks of life to its bustling streets. Its antique buildings and stores selling everything from flavourful snacks to beautiful artifacts provide something for everyone. The site is also renowned for its plethora of shops selling traditional Chinese medicine. Apart from its diverse goods and services, the street is also home to intriguing museums that embody the culture and the history of traditional Chinese medicine.
Another must-see attraction is the Nanjing Road, much like the Hefang Ancient Street, the site is the country’s premier shopping street with over 600 businesses, both international and local, lining the lively streets filled with tourists and locals. Its humble beginnings dates back to the 1800s, when the location was the first British Concession.
Standing at a height of 468 meters, the Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower stands prominently against the city’s skyline. The main highlights of the tower include the three main transparent observation decks. The sightseeing spherical structures provide different views of Shanghai at different heights.
Tiananmen Square is one attraction that needs no introduction. The site is steeped in history and houses several points of interests including the Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People’s Heroes, Great Hall of the People, Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao, and National Museum of China. Renowned for its size and historical significance, the Tiananmen Square measures up to 440,000 square meters, and is the largest of its kind in the world.
Another notable point of interest is the Forbidden City. Also known as the Palace Museum, this famed attraction is situated in the heart of Beijing. Dating back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the former imperial palace was the primary residence of the 24 emperors who reigned over the country during specific time periods in history.
If you would like to experience the city like a local, consider exploring the famous Shichahai. The scenic area is perfect for getting a peek into the daily lives of the local residents. Besides housing several historical buildings, the site also offers exquisite views of swaying willow trees located along the placid lake. If you’re looking for something to do in the night, head to the famous Houhai Bar Street and immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife.