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China Popular Places to Visit

Zhujiajiao Water Town

Zhujiajiao Water Town is about 50 km away from the Bund, Shanghai. If your time is limited, Zhujiajiao would be the best and 2nd nearest option to get a feel of such ancient towns around Shanghai. Similar to Venice in Italy, there are many well preserved bridges and boat ride is available.

Among Zhujiajiao's nine old streets, North Street is the best preserved ancient street with some of the buildings dating back to the Qing Dynasty era (1644-1912). Nowadays, plenty of restaurants, bars and coffee shops line both sides of the narrow street. You can take a stroll along the street to see the ancient buildings, sample some local snacks or relax in a artsy bar.

Shanghai, China

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Situated in Da Ci'en (Great Kindness and Grace) Temple, about four kilometers from the urban center, Big Wild Goose Pagoda is one of the most famous Buddhist pagodas in China.

The Pagoda was built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) for the study of Buddhist scriptures. Although it has been attacked by centuries of weather, war and seismic activity, which destroyed most of the original material of the structure, a pagoda by this name and style still exists on the site.

Xi'an, China

The Temple Of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven was the most important of Beijing's imperial temples. It was where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties (from 1420 to 1900) worshiped the god of heaven and prayed for good harvests. 

It has been described as "a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design". In 1998, the Temple of Heaven was listed as UNESCO World Heritage.

Popular activities: appreciating the architecture and watching local people doing morning exercises

Beijing, China

Leshan Giant Buddha

"The mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain." So goes the famous Chinese saying, one that's attributed to the spectacular 71-meter-tall Leshan Giant Buddha. And it certainly makes sense as you stand at its feet as the colossal statue towers high above you. Started in AD 713 by a Buddhist monk and completed 90 years later, this important religious icon is carved entirely from a stone cliff-face and is the largest Buddha sculpture in the world. 

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giant Buddha continues to draw huge numbers of pilgrims from across the globe and is widely regarded as one of China's must-visit attractions. Easily accessible from the city of Chengdu, the Leshan Giant Buddha can be reached by a fun ferry trip from the public docks in Leshan. The scenic park in which the Buddha is set is also worth exploring, so be sure to allocate sufficient time in your itinerary.

Leshan, China

Hangzhou\'s Historic West Lake

Few cities in China can boast quite the same concentration of splendid historic sites and ancient temples as the city of Hangzhou (Hangchow), capital of Zhejiang province at the southernmost end of China's famous Grand Canal. Much of this rich collection is gathered around lovely West Lake, a six-kilometer-square stretch of water in the heart of the old city, which is surrounded by numerous hills, pagodas, and temples.

Hangzhou, China

Zhouzhuang

Zhouzhuang is one of the most famous water towns in China. Often referred to as the “Venice of the East,” the town is criss-crossed with rivers and streams lined with ancient houses. Located less than 32 km (20 miles) from Suzhou in east China, Zhouzhuang is famous for its twin bridges, Shide and Yongan that are symbols of the town. A boat ride is a good way to see the city.

Zhouzhuang, China

Lijiang Old Town

Lijiang Old Town is one of Yunnan Province’s top tourist magnets, drawing visitors who want to sample life in a minority area. Kublai Khan was the first emperor to live in this 800-year-old town that is affiliated with the Naxi minority culture. Almost 350 bridges cross canals that meander through the city, which is a good place to see colorful Naxi architecture and residents wearing native costumes.

Lijiang, China

Shilin Stone Forest

The Stone Forest, or Shilin in Chinese, is a set of karst formations in southwest China. The stones jut from the earth similar to the way a stalagmite does in a cave. These stones are thought to be 270 million years old. The area was an ocean floor and the flow of water created the majestic pinnacles. The stone forest receives over 2 million visitors a year.

Shilin, China

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Established in 1982, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is the first national forest park in China and is part of the Wulingyuan Scenic Areas. With its clear streams, weird-looking peaks, wildlife and abundant sub-tropical vegetation, the park is a year-round magnet for visitors. Key attractions include the Golden Whip Stream where visitors can see fish swimming in the crystal-clear water.

Wulingyuan, China

Three Pagodas

Located about a mile northwest of the ancient city of Dali in southern China, The Three Pagodas are one of the best preserved Buddhist structures in China having endured several man-made and natural catastrophes. The middle pagoda, built during 824-840 AD by king Quan Fengyou, is 69.6 meters (227 feet) high and is one of the tallest pagodas in China. The other two pagodas were built about a century later.

Dalian Zhoushuizi, China