Four ‘must visit’ World Heritage Sites in China

Five things you may not know about the Great Wall of China

Five things you may not know about the Great Wall of China

By Taylor Williams

Any traveller will know that scaling China is not the easiest of tasks but when was this ever a bad thing?

After all, it opens tourists’ eyes to multi-centre breaks in this fascinating East Asian nation and if you’re spending two or more weeks in the People’s Republic, there are a whole host of things to do to entertain one’s self.

One idea is to cram in visits to as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites as possible and boy, there are plenty to choose from.

There are a total of 47 within China making it only second to Italy (50) in the Heritage Site rankings.

Here are four ‘must visit’ World Heritage Sites in China.

The Great Wall

Let’s start with one that everybody knows! The Great Wall of China (pictured) is a worldwide phenomenon, let alone in China.

The series of iconic fortifications stretches for an incredible 13,171 miles – yes, that far! For travellers wanting to cram as much into their tailor-made China holidays as possible, the nearest tourist accessible section of the wall is located 50 kilometres northwest of Beijing at Juyongguan.

Mount Emei Scenic Area

Conceived as a World Heritage Site back in 1996, this Heritage Site is popularly visited in order to observe the quite humongous Leshan Giant Buddha that is located close by to the Chinese city of Leshan.

There is an overall sense of grandeur upon arrival at this Sichuan Province attraction; after all it is officially the largest Buddha on the entire planet, according to the UNESCO official website.

Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

More commonly referred to as the home of China’s ‘Terracotta Army’, this attraction is one of the most unique experiences a traveller could ask for.

The popular access point to the site is through the Shaanxi Province capital Xi’An and upon arrival; it is only when travellers are there that they can truly appreciate the significance of this incredible location.

In short, the vast collection of terracotta sculptures was commissioned as a symbolic representation of protecting Qin Shi Huang – the first Chinese Emperor – after his death. Estimates in 2012 claimed that there were more than 8,000 soldier sculptures on site.

Forbidden City

An incredibly accessible Heritage Site given its location in central Beijing, the Forbidden City features the well-known temple that features on postcards, travel channel programmes and so on.

Functioning as the home of Chinese emperors between the times of the Ming and Qing dynasties, the entire complex stretches to a mighty 180 acres.