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Is a trip to China worth it?

You may ask your self over and over again, "Is a trip to China worth it?" Well, I have the answers for you. China is a big country with a long history and unique culture; it is one of the most beautiful countries endowed with wonderful and natural sceneries which attract tourists every time of the year. A tour to China can be an educational tour, recreational tour, adventure tour, cultural tour or a religious tour. This depends on your preference and your length of stay, however whichever tour you decide to take, the trip is always worth it.

In order to enjoy your tour around China, it is advisable to engage in the services of a reliable tour operator based in China. Their agents have local guides who are willing to show tourists and visitors the sightseeing and attractions of the beautiful cities.
Since 24 popular scenic spots were listed in the World Heritage List by UNESCO, China has become a world renowned tourism destination. These places are well preserved relics which date back to some hundreds years with a historical and cultural theme. The attractions make for an interesting place to visit on your China tour. The sites as listed by UNESCO include:

1. The Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains: located in Hubei Province, these buildings represent the highest standards of Chinese art and architecture for over one thousand years.

2. The Ancient City of Ping Yao: this is a well preserved city which presents the way a typical Chinese Han city looks like.

3. Old Town of Xidi and Hongcun: these two traditional cities is a representation of the appearance of the rural settlements transformed during the last century. The styles and architectural designs of the houses in this region symbolize their survival mechanism of the locals.

4. Capital Cities and Tombs of Old Koguryo Kingdom: this site has archaeological remains of the 40 tombs and the three cities – Guonei City, Wandu Mountain City and Wunu Mountain City.

5. The Classical Gardens of Suzhou: the nine gardens in Suzhou showcase the natural landscape of a small historical city. Dating from the 11th to 19th century, the metaphysical significance of the beauty of Chinese culture is seen in the design of this garden.

6. Dazu Rock Carvings: these are magnificent and exceptional rock carvings which date back from the 9th to 13th century. These carvings contribute to the beauty of the landscape of Dazu. They signify the friendly combination of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

7. Potala Palace, Lhasa: The Potala Palace was the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. This Palace symbolized Tibetan Buddhism and how it influenced the administration of Tibet. The architectural design and beauty of the Potala Palace is what adds to its historical and religious interest.

8. The Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties: These palaces are located in Beijing and Shenyang. The palace in Shenyang consists of 114 buildings which were constructed in the late 17th century. It has a library which contains important articles which testify to the foundation of the last dynasty of China.

9. Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties: These tombs feature rich decorations of stone carvings, statutes and tiles with dragon motifs all of which illustrate the development of the architecture during the Qing Dynasty.

10. The Longmen Grottoes: These grottoes contain the largest and most impressive collection of Chinese art from the late Wei and Tang Dynasties. The Longmen grottoes showcase an outstanding manifestation of manmade artistic creativity.

11. Mount Lushan in Jiangxi province is one of the spiritual centers of China'scivilization. The strikingly beautiful landscape has inspired many artists to visit this place where severaBuddhist and Taoist temples are found.

12. Mausoleum of the first Qin Emperor: This is located in Xian surrounded by the famous terracotta warriors. These statues remain to be unearthed with the small different figures. The horses, weapons and chariots are masterpieces of great historical interest.

13. The Mogao Caves: These caves are situated along strategic points on the Silk route. This point was an important trade zone during the ancient times. The 492 caves and cells have also contributed to cultural, religious and intellectual influences which are known for their statues and paintings of rich Buddhist arts.

14. Mount Qingcheng and Dujiangyan Irrigation System: The construction of this irrigation system began in the 3rd century. It controls the waters of the Minjiang River and distributes it to the farmlands located in Chengdu plains. Mount Qingcheng was the birthplace of Taoism which boasts of many sacred temples.

15. The Mountain Resorts and its Outlying Temples: This is a vast complex of ceremonial palaces and administrative buildings built into a landscape of pastureland, lakes and lush green forests. The Mountain Resort was the Qing Dynasty's summer palace built in 1703 and 1792.

16. Lijiang Old Town: This old town has retained its reputation for its historic landscape and commercial center. The old town is set in a dramatic landscape representing the blend of different ethnic cultures to produce a sophisticated landscape of ancient architectures.

17. Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian: This site lies 42km away from Beijing; still under scientific research, this site led to the discovery of the remains of Sinanthropus pekinensis. This site is an exceptional reminder of the prehistoric human societies who lived in the Asian continent. It makes for an interesting destination for adventure and archaeological scientists.

18. The Summer Palace in Beijing: This site is an imperial garden which was first built in 1750, destroyed by the war in 1860 and then later rebuilt in 1886. The Summer Palace has a natural landscape of hills and open waters and built among man made pavilions and halls which all together make the site a place of value. It is a representation of Chinese landscape garden design.

19. The Temple of Heaven: This is an imperial sacrificial altar in Beijing founded in the mid 15th century. It represents a complex of fine buildings surrounded by pine woods and gardens. According to Chinese cosmology, the overall layout of this temple and its individual buildings symbolizes the relationship between heaven and earth.

20. The Great Wall of China: The construction of this wall was built as a defense system to prevent the invasions from the north. This construction continued till the Ming Dynasty and has remained the largest military structure in the world with rich historical background.

21. Temple and Cememtery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu.

22. Yin Xu in Hennan Province

23. The Yugang Grottoes in Datung city has about 252 caves and 51,000 statues.

24. Historic Center of Macao

Other natural and mixed sites listed in the World heritage List worth visiting include the Huanglong Scenic and historic area, Jiuzhaigou Valley and Scenic spot, Sichuan Giant Panda sanctuaries, the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan protected areas, Wulingyuan Scenic spot, Mt Emei and Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Spot, Mt. Huangshan, Mt. Taishan and Mt. Wuyi.
With this list showing the beautiful and majestic attractions of China, you are rest assured that your trip to China would be worth it after all.

For comments and inquiries about this article, visit Passport to China- loves to write about adventure travels and tours in China. She writes forChina Tour and Travelsa foreign inbound tour operator in China.

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Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (Canon 550D)

Frequently Asked Questions...

I am planning a trip to san francisco in late feb. I need suggestions for hotels, what to see, and restaurants?

I am planning a trip to san francisco in late feb. I was thinking about staying in union square. Does anyone have any suggestions for hotels in union square. What should I except for weather in the last week of feb. What are some must see things to see and do? Any good restaurant suggestions? Is there any area of SF that I should avoid due to bad area? Thanks for all your help.

Best Answer...


Union Square is a great area to stay lots of great hotels/restaurants and public transportation.

US Hotels I like - boutique and smaller properties.
The Rex
Galleria Park
The Maxwell
Hotel Adagio

Restaurants in or near US but don't miss North Beach and Chinatown. For some other recommendations check out the resolved questions on YA SF dining out boards
Millennium – in the Savoy Hotel 580 Geary - vegan food that will amaze even confirmed carnivores
Farallon – 450 Post- Seafood served in an amazing underwater garden setting
E&O Trading Post – 314 Sutter – Asian Fusion – Indian Thai and Chinese dishes
Scala’s Bistro – In the Sir Francis Drake Hotel on Powell at Sutter – Creative upscale Italian food served in a bustling, warm environment.
Le Central on Bush between Grant and Kearny bistro style restaurant that welcomes SF political elite. Great food, good service.
Just off of Bush between Grant and Kearny is Claude Ally home to Cafe Claude. Traditional french style food at reasonable prices. Quite possibly the best Creme Brulee I've ever had.
A block down Bush at Beldin alley between Kearny and Montgomery is Beldin Ally home to Plouf another of The City's most recommended French restaurants.
Max's in Hotel Frank on Geary and Mason great food, huge portions, casual.
Mel's Drive In at 5th and Mission a 1950's diner. Juke boxes at your table
Lori's Dinner at Powell and Sutter, another 1950's diner, this one has a vintage car in the restaurant.

And here is My Must Do San Francisco

1. Ride a Cable Car, the only moving historical landmark in the world. Stop off at the Cable Car Barn at Washington and Mason to get a full understanding of this unique form of transportation. Riding the Powell Hyde line will allow you to see Lombard Street the famous crooked street.

2. Visit Alcatraz, this former prison is the most popular destination in San Francisco. The bay cruise to and from the island will give you the opportunity to see the skyline from the water a unique perspective. It is wise to purchase tickets before you arrive as tours are often sold out

3. Visit Coit Tower, Beautiful murals inside, impressive bay view from the tower or Pioneer Park at the base. Then descend Telegraph hill via the Filbert Steps on the east side of the park for a unique view of how folks on Telegraph Hill live, more beautiful bay views and the chance to hear and see the famous Parrots of Telegraph Hill.

4. Golden Gate Bridge, not just a feat of engineering, this 1.7 mile span offers incredible views of The City, the bay and the Pacific ocean. Be sure to visit Ft. Point under the bridge for a different view of this San Francisco Icon.

5. Explore Golden Gate Park, this large urban park can consume a whole day. The Japanese Tea Garden, California Academy of Science, the DeYoung Art Muesum, the Arboretum, Bison Paddock, and Paddle boats are all worth a look and watch the sun go down over the Pacific over a drink or dinner at the Beach Chalet.

6. Chinatown, the most densely populated portion of San Francisco offers an abundance of shopping, food and unique architecture found outside of Asia. The best place to buy souvenirs to take home to friends and family.

7. North Beach, traditionally the Italian section of the city which has no beach but abounds in quaint shops, great restaurants and The City’s best coffee options.

8. Civic Center, the largest collection of Beaux Arts buildings in the US. Home to San Francisco City Hall, with a dome larger than the US Capital, the Asian Art Museum and the Modern San Francisco Library with its San Francisco History Room housing an eclectic collection of city artifacts and photographs.

9. Yerba Buena Gardens, this urban park is located near the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of The African Diaspora, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the contemporary Jewish Museum, and the Metreon, it will keep you entertained for hours.

10. Twin Peaks, see The City and the bay spread out at your feet. Especially captivating at night when the lights seem to go on for ever.

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