Top Choice Courtyard in Shānxī

Qiao Family Courtyard

This 18th-century complex of courtyards is one of the finest remaining examples of a traditional private residence in all of China. Once home to a celebrated merchant, it’s an austere (yet compelling) maze of doorwa…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Southern Kham

Lamaling Temple

The centerpiece of a large walled complex, the colourful Lalaming Temple (Lǎmaníng Sì) is a rare example of the Zangtok Pelri style of building. This style, which imitates the 'Glorious Copper Mountain Paradise' of …
Top Choice Buddhist Monastery in Northern Ü

Sili Götsang

A 4km drive north of the turn-off to Talung brings you to Sili Götsang, an amazing eagle’s-nest hermitage perched high above the main road. The monks at Talung have recently renovated the hermitage.
Buddhist Temple in Běijīng

Azure Clouds Temple

One of Běijīng's oldest, prettiest but least-visited temples.
Park in Běijīng

Fragrant Hills Park

Easily within striking distance of the Summer Palace are Běijīng’s Western Hills (西山; Xī Shān), another former villa-resort of the emperors. The part of Xī Shān closest to Běijīng is known as Fragrant Hills Park. Be…
Wall in The Great Wall


This restored section of the Great Wall is Běijīng’s most-visited chunk of the brick-clad bastion. Nixon, Thatcher, Reagan, Gorbachev and Queen Elizabeth have all stamped their feet on Bādálǐng.
Wall in The Great Wall


Famed for its Ming-era guard towers and excellent views, the 3km-long section of wall at Mùtiányù, northeast of Běijīng in Huairou County, is largely a recently restored Ming dynasty structure that was built upon an…
Wall in The Great Wall


The stirring remains at Sīmǎtái, built during the reign of Ming dynasty emperor Hongwu, make for an exhilarating Great Wall experience. Located in Mìyún County (密云县; Mìyún Xiàn), close to the far-flung town of Gǔběi…
Wall in The Great Wall


Jīnshānlǐng Great Wall, near the town of Gǔběikǒu, is the most remote part of the wall to reach from Běijīng. That means fewer people to interrupt your hike along a steep section of the wall that winds through some …
Buddhist Site in Inner Mongolia

Kuei Temple

The remote, little-visited Cave Temple is one of the oldest monasteries in Inner Mongolia. Construction began in the mid-17th century and was expanded in 1831 by the famed Outer Mongolian monks, Danzan Ravjaa. The t…