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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 6 Cultural Sites to Visit in China – Land of Ancient Heritage
Joanna James Joanna James
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6 Cultural Sites to Visit in China – Land of Ancient Heritage

China boasts over 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites; as such you are never stuck for choice when exploring the rich culture and history of the nation. Listed below are sites well worth a visit.


Visit the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

The tomb of Emperor Qin Shin Huang is located in the Shaanxi Province. Qin Shin is regarded as the founder of China's first united army, which took place in the 3rd century BC. You will be surprised to hear that the huge tomb lay undiscovered until 1970. Today the Mausoleum together with the world famous army of terra cotta soldiers is one of the greatest archaeological finds.


Discover the Ancient Complex of Buildings in the Wudang Mountains

Head over to the Wudang Mountains and you will witness an architectural marvel, consisting of ancient temples, palaces and shrines set amidst the ravines, gullies and peaks of the stunning Wudang Mountain range. The buildings are relics from three Chinese dynasties which include very old buildings such as, Taoist complexes from as far back as the illustrious Tang Dynasty.


Explore the Western Hill of Kunming

The Western Hill of Kunming is located on the western bank of the beautiful Dianchi Lake. The setting, within 30 minutes from Grand Park Kunming, is a stunning environ made up of verdant mountains and evergreen forests home to colourful birds and exotic wildlife. Not too far from your Kunming hotel, these hills are home to a number of heritage sites such as, Huating Temple built in 1603, Taihua Temple which sits on the highest peak of the range and Sanqing Pavilion which together with the Dragon Gate is a complex of architectural beauties built into the sheer mountain face.


The Temple and Cemetery of Confucius

The temple to honour China's greatest philosopher, educator and politician, Confucius, was built in 478 BC. Over the years this temple has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. In the cemetery, you will find the philosophers tomb, together with resting spots for over a 100,000 of his descendants. Visit the Hong Kong Family Mansion, and you will see the illustrious lineage of this very wealthy family.


The Temple of Heaven

Emperor Yongle, who was responsible for building the Forbidden City, also had the Temple of Heaven made. It was constructed between 1406 and 1420; it is China's largest sacrificial buildings and is three times the size of the huge Forbidden City complex. The temples main function was to host ancient ceremonies which were held in order to honour Emperor Yongle, who was considered the 'Son of Heaven'. It is interesting to note that Yongle often offered up sacrifices to heaven as a means of thanksgiving to the cradle of his authority.


The Classical Gardens of Suzhou

Built over a period of 1000 years, the Classical Gardens of Suzhou are located in the Jiangsu Province. Construction of the gardens spanned across the Northern Song and Qing Dynasties. The gardens were constructed by scholars whose main aim was to create a balance between man and nature. A place to put your mind at ease, and rejuvenate the soul; these gardens never fail to impress.

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