China is a country rich in history and cultural heritage. While the world only learned of China’s existence about 700 years ago when Marco Polo wrote about it, China’s written history goes back 2500 years.
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With the huge space it occupies on the globe, the historical and cultural richness, and what is considered the most intelligent nation on the planet, it is no surprise that China is home to many attractions. If you are a student in China, here are 5 spots you should visit.
The Forbidden City
If you find yourself visiting the Wall in Beijing, it is essential to visit The Forbidden City. Also commonly referred to as the Imperial Palace, the Forbidden City was started by the Yuan Dynasty between 1271 and 1368.
Most of what visitors see today was completed between 1406 and 1420 and was the home of 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The Forbidden City covers 861112.833 square yards and is protected by a high wall and a moat. It is also within the vicinity of Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven.
Located in Shaanxi province, Xi’an is home to the Terracotta Army. Farmers found the buried statues while digging wells in the 1970s. The Terracotta Army is made up of more than 8000 life-sized warriors, about 520 horses, more than 100 chariots, and an array of other characters.
While many of the statues have been damaged in the course of digging them up, and as a result of the wear-and-tear of time, many have been preserved or re-assembled and stand in the original pits. Xi’an is also famous for its jade, so while you are there, purchase yourself a replica jade warrior statue as a souvenir.
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The Great Wall
Some tips for international students in China tell you to explore the culture. The Great Wall is a place of cultural pride amongst the locals. While the most popular entry point for tourists is in Beijing, the Great Wall spans 4163.187 miles from Central Asia to the Yellow Sea. This means that there are plenty of places to visit along the Wall.
If you are interested in seeing the end of the Great Wall, a trip to Qinhuangdao allows you to ascend the wall and stand at the end where the Great Wall meets the sea. Other sections open to visitors are Gubeikou and Mutianyu and are easily accessible by public transport.
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The Summer Palace
Staying near Beijing, the Summer Palace is only 15km from the heart of Beijing. The Palace sits among 700 acres of open parks and is one of the most visited sites in China. The Palace was built in 1153 but the lake was added much later, only in the 14th century, to add to the Imperial
Gardens. Inside the Palace, you can see the Great Theater, which was built in 1891 and used by the imperial family to view opera. You can also view the remains of the Old Palace, which was destroyed in the mid-1800s.
If you are looking for a nature getaway, Chengdu is the best destination for you. Chengdu is considered the home of the panda, and it is where the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is located.
At the research base, you have the opportunity to see more than 80 pandas as they go about their day-to-day business. Not only do you get to see these beautiful animals within close proximity, but the research center also aims to educate visitors.
China has a lot to offer tourists. From beautiful parks to palaces and museums, China is covered in historical, cultural, and natural beauty. While many tourists prefer to stay in Beijing and Shanghai, it is important for students in China to explore further than the mainstream attractions.
Many of China’s attractions offer opportunities to learn while also presenting you with cultural insight. Be sure to plan your trips carefully, as tourist attractions tend to get very busy around national holidays such as the Spring Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival. To avoid the “people mountain, people sea”; plan your trips for off-peak times and weekends during school semesters.
Featured image: Travel photo created by evening_tao