China is a fascinating country, offering both a rich ancient history and beautiful modern cities, it is a part of the world that ought to be on your travel bucket list.
If you don’t have weeks to visit and learn about the ancient history of this mysterious land, then you should book yourself a couple of weeks of and head to Beijing, this is the massive capital city, and it is packed full of both history and modern life.
One of the first places you should see is the Forbidden City. This used to be the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties and was home to over 24 emperors. It is now known as Palace Museum, and you will find it north of Tiananmen Square. This is the world’s largest palace complex and covers over 74 hectares, with a 52-meter wide moat around the perimeter and a 10-meter high wall. There are nearly 9000 rooms! There aren’t many places like that. The wall has a gate on each side, and there are delicately structured towers on each of the four corners. These give a fantastic view of both the palace and the city inside. You can visit the Forbidden City and learn about this incredible dynasty for yourself. It is an excellent introduction to the early years of China, and the beautiful architecture will amaze you.
Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven are all other must-see attractions, and perhaps, the one most of you will be familiar with is The Great Wall of China. This is only a day trip away from Beijing and is worth the travelling. Of course, it isn’t all about the past. Olympic Village is here, and there is a contemporary art district. To get to grips with it all, you should consider a Beijing tour which will help you overcome any language barriers. While the Chinese are very well versed in communicating with hand gestures and intuition; you may find it a complicated city if you don’t speak Mandarin Chinese.
Of course, if you want to see a little more culture it is worth heading out of Beijing too. Heading out of the city on a train called “Roof of the World” you can travel to Tibet. They call this the Roof of the World as the train travels over the world’s highest plateau which stretches all the way through Nepal and Afghanistan. Its final destination is in Lhasa. Lhasa was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama right up until 1959 when he had to flee to India. There are Tibetan villages dotted around the town of Shangri-La at 3,300m above sea level too and are a must see for anyone exploring this gorgeous country.
China is a vast and magical land which will give you a real sense of awareness and spirituality. Even for those of us who don’t believe in the ancient world or the ways of Buddhism, you certainly won’t be able to avoid it’s quiet and vibrant charm.
Featured Image: Credit
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