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MUST-SEE PLACES WHEN YOU LIVE IN CHINA

One of the best things about living in China is visiting and seeing many incredible places at an affordable cost. Being the fourth largest country globally, along with thousands of years of history, China boasts endless breathtaking scenery and the most ancient sights. China is an explorer's dreamscape. Traveling around China can feel like inhabiting another world, a surreal and ethereal land beyond the lands. If you ever find yourself debating "where to next," please allow us to help your pondering during your next holiday in China. We surely won't be able to list all of the magnificent places, but we'll touch on a few of our favorites.


We present to you ten must-see places in China:


THE GREAT WALL

photo by: Maya


Okay, if you're going to be living in Beijing, you have to go to the Great Wall of China. It's a beautiful entry point into the city, along with the entire country of China. We all know about the great wall in China;


it was in all our history books! Experiencing the Great Wall in real life will feel like a major life accomplishment. It's one of the Seven Wonders of the world and a UNESCO heritage site for a reason. The Great Wall was first constructed in 221 B.C. in the Qin Dynasty. You can visit numerous parts of the Great Wall for extra fun, as it stretches 21,196 km (13,170 mi) across China.


THE TERRACOTTA ARMY IN XI'AN


photo by: Chris


The Terracotta Army is an incredible collection of Terracotta sculptures, representing Emperor Qin She Huang's army, dating back to 210-209 BCE. Their purpose was to protect the afterlife of the first Emperor of China. They are life-size and an excellent site to experience. You can also enjoy incredible bike rides around the old city wall and great Chinese snacks after visiting this puzzle of army statues.

THE FORBIDDEN CITY


photo by: Chris


This is the largest imperial palace globally. Its construction began in 1406 during the Ming Dynasty and was completed in 1420. The former home for emperors, their families, servants, and a political and ritual center of China contains preserved ancient wooden architecture and white marble demonstrating intricate artistic detail. The site is a photographer's galore. A must add-on to The Forbidden City experience is heading over to Jingshan Park across the street. A short hike up the hill at Jingshan park will expose you to breathtaking hilltop views of the entire Forbidden City's Complex design.

THE BUND IN SHANGHAI


photo by: Maya


The Bund in Shanghai is a historic mile-long waterfront along the Huangpu River. It's is famous for its western-style colonial buildings built in the late 19th and early 20th century. The facilities are grand, and the juxtaposition of the modern skyscrapers across the river makes for a mesmerizing experience. At night, the contemporary skyline and waterfront stretch light up like Christmas eve. You can spend hours walking around the waterfront and taking in the fantastic architecture and Shanghai scene. Exploring the Bund in Shanghai feels like you're walking through an old Chinese history book or a museum on the street.

GIANT PANDAS IN CHENGDU


photo by: Chris


Did you know if you look up "aww, how cute" in the dictionary, you will see "Giant pandas in Chengdu"? This isn't actually true, but the sentiment is. Giant Pandas are native to Sichuan province, so Chengdu is the place to experience the cutest cuddly pandas in the world. With a larger donation to Dujiangyan Base of the China Conservation & Research Center for Giant Pandas, you can even hold or hug a Giant Panda. After taking in all the cuteness, exploring Chengdu overall is a treat. The local scene is awesome.


POTALA PALACE IN LHASA, TIBET


photo by: Joshua


The breathtaking Potala Palace in Lhasa is a must-see if you've got the chance to go to Tibet. The Potala Palace is one of the holiest buildings of Tibetan Buddhism and the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. The palace was built on the Red Mountain in Lhasa Valley at an altitude of 3,700 meters. If you'd like to visit the palace and not a Chinese native, you will need to prearrange a permitted tour in Tibet. The holy palace is majestic and will leave you in a spiritual daze.


ERHAI LAKE IN DALI


photo by: Sunny


Located in the Yunnan province in west China, you will find the sublime Dali Era lake (ear-shaped sea) in the city of Dali. The blissful stellar landscape and crystal freshwater make more of a zen-like experience. Glorious mountains and forests surround the lake. There are numerous exciting ways to explore the lake, such as cycling, sailing, or hiking. Erhai lake and its surroundings are an excellent place for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts, or just the best Instagram photo ops.


Best season to visit, you may ask? All year round! Temperatures are usually moderate throughout the year. So, choose any day and head over to Dali!


THE LESHAN GIANT BUDDHA


photo by: Chris


The Leshan Giant Buddha is just as the name suggests — a giant 71- meter tall stone Buddha, depicting Maitreya, a famous Buddha in the Tang Dynasty. It is carved out of a cliff of red bed sandstones in Sichuan Province, near Leshan's city. The giant carved Buddha was built between 713 and 803. This incredible statue is a fantastic site for both nature and architecture lovers. Its details are unique, and the atmosphere serene.

HARBIN ICE FESTIVAL


photo by: Chris


The Harbin international ice and snow festival is an incredible annual winter festival in Harbin, China. Harbin, also known as the 'Ice City,' and is located in north-eastern China. Annually between January and March, the city hosts the Ice and Snow Festival, which brings out artists from all over the world to create insane sculptures out of ice. It's one of a kind experience bringing together incredible ice creations and international cultural exchange among all the artists and attendees worldwide.


LONGMEN GROTTOES IN LUOYANG



In Henan Province, you will come across some of the most ancient sites in China. One of them is the Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang. The Longmen Grottoes and caves are unique because they represent early examples of Chinese Buddhist art. The site is home to 15,000 Buddha carvings. Luoyang itself has a history of nearly 3050 years! Need I say more?


There are undoubtedly hundreds of other places that are just as incredible to visit and aren't listed. Do you want to see for yourself?

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