Must-see attractions in China

  • Po Lin Monastery & Big Buddha


    Po Lin is a huge Buddhist monastery and temple complex that was built in 1924. Today it seems more of a tourist honeypot than a religious retreat,…

  • Peak Tram
Hong Kong's Peak Tram going up an incline

    Peak Tram

    Hong Kong

    This cable-hauled funicular railway has been scaling the 396m ascent to the highest point on Hong Kong Island since 1888. A ride on this clanking tram is…

  • Beijing, China. March 2011

    Forbidden City

    Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

    Enclosed by 3.5km of citadel walls at the very heart of Beijing, the Unesco-listed Forbidden City is China’s largest and best-preserved collection of…

  • Mogao Grottoes


    The Mogao Grottoes are considered one of the most important collections of Buddhist art in the world. At its peak during the Tang dynasty (618–907), the…

  • Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in Temple of Heaven Park, Chongwen.

    Temple of Heaven Park

    Temple of Heaven Park & Dongcheng South

    An oasis of methodical Confucian design, the 267-hectare Temple of Heaven Park is unique. It originally served as a vast stage for solemn rites performed…

  • Terracotta Warriors, Xi'an, China

    Army of Terracotta Warriors


    The Terracotta Army isn't just Xi'an's premier sight: it's one of the most famous archaeological finds in the world. This subterranean life-size army of…

  • Summer Palace

    Summer Palace


    A marvel of Chinese garden design and one of Beijing's must-see attractions, the Summer Palace was the royal retreat for emperors fleeing the suffocating…

  • Palcho Monastery

    Gyantse Kumbum


    Commissioned by a local prince in 1427 and sitting beside Palcho Monastery, Gyantse Kumbum is the town’s foremost attraction. This 32m-high chörten, with…

  • Built in 460-525 AD, the Yungang caves in Datong, China, are composed of 252 caves with more than 51,000 Buddha statues carved in the stone
Yungang Buddhist Caves, Stone - Object, Datong, Porcelain, Carving - Craft Product, Statue, Buddha, Buddhism, Religion, Spirituality, Shanxi Province - North East China, China - East Asia, Asia, United Nations Educational, Scientific And Cultural Organization, UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Yungang Caves


    One of China’s most supreme examples of Buddhist cave art, these 5th-century caves are simply magnificent. With 51,000 ancient statues and celestial…

  • Samye Monastery, Tibet

    Samye Monastery


    About 170km southeast of Lhasa, on the north bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra River) is Samye Monastery, the first monastery in Tibet. Founded in…

  • West Lake of Hangzhou

    West Lake


    The very definition of classical beauty in China, West Lake is utterly mesmerising: pagoda-topped hills rise over willow-lined waters as boats drift…

  • Winter sunrise over Hong Kong from the Peak, at Victoria Peak

    Victoria Peak

    Hong Kong

    Standing at 552m, Victoria Peak is the highest point on Hong Kong Island. It is also one of the most visited spots by tourists, and it’s not hard to see…

  • The Potala Palace in Morning Sunlight

    Potala Palace


    The magnificent Potala Palace, once the seat of the Tibetan government and the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas, is Lhasa's cardinal landmark. Your…

  • Man Po Daoist Temple, Hong Kong

    Man Mo Temple

    Hong Kong

    One of Hong Kong’s oldest temples and a declared monument, atmospheric Man Mo Temple is dedicated to the gods of literature (‘Man’), holding a writing…

  • My only regret is that the moment was almost too perfect...

    Yuyuan Gardens & Bazaar

    Shanghai Old City

    With its shaded alcoves, glittering pools churning with fish, plus pavilions, pines sprouting wistfully from rockeries, and roving packs of Japanese…

  • Sunrise on Bund Shanghai with walking man

    The Bund

    The Bund & People's Square

    Symbolic of concession-era Shanghai, the Bund was the city’s Wall Street, a place of feverish trading and fortunes made and lost. Originally a towpath for…

  • High Island Reservoir East Dam

    Sai Kung Peninsula

    Handsome architecture, the South China Sea, and 140-million-year-old volcanic rocks make this one of Hong Kong's most breathtaking places. High Island…

  • Zhangjiajie National Forest Park


    Among China’s crop of surreal landscapes, Zhangjiajie has got to be a contender for one of the most impressive. A forest of spectacularly weathered spires…

  • Tibet, Lhasa, monks chanting at Jokhang temple

    Jokhang Temple


    The 1300-year-old Jokhang Temple is the spiritual heart of Tibet: the continuous waves of awestruck pilgrims prostrating themselves outside are a…

  • Traditional junks on display at Hong Kong Museum of History, Tsim Sha Tsui.

    Hong Kong Museum of History


    Prepare to be whisked through millennia of Hong Kong history at this extraordinary museum, starting with prehistory (don't linger, the best is yet to come…

  • Dzongsar Monastery


    One of the oldest, most important and certainly most visibly impressive monastery complexes in Kham, the remote Dzongsar Monastery sits on a sharp ridge…

  • Shuanglin Temple


    This fascinating Buddhist temple houses many incredibly rare, sublimely carved Tang, Song and Yuan painted statues. Rebuilt in 1571, it’s a mesmerising…

  • Everest Base Camp


    Everest Base Camp (5150m) was first used by the 1924 British Everest expedition. Tourists are no longer allowed to visit the climbing expedition base camp…

  • Harbin Ice & Snow World


    The signature venue for Harbin's winter-long Ice & Snow Festival is the main reason that both domestic and international travellers chase the cold weather…

  • Bada Rice Terrace


    Bada is one of the finest rice terraces at Yuanyang to catch the sunset at. If you only have time for one terrace, this is it.

  • Shigatse, China - December 26 2018: Buddist monk walk in the traditional tashilhunpo monastery in Tibet province.

    Tashilhunpo Monastery


    One of the few monasteries in Tibet to weather the stormy seas of the Cultural Revolution, Tashilhunpo remains relatively unscathed. It is a pleasure to…

  • SHAOLIN TEMPLE, CHINA - JANUARY 10, 2017: The Chinese architect building with local people, Henan; Shutterstock ID 2051641661; your: Bridget Brown; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI Image Update

    Shaolin Scenic Area


    The largely rebuilt Shaolin Temple is a commercialised victim of its own incredible success. A frequent target of war, the ancestral home of wǔshù was…

  • Luoyang, China - June 19, 2008: Tourists take photos in front of the massive stone carvings of Buddha at the Longmen Grottoes.

    Longmen Grottoes


    The ravaged grottoes at Longmen constitute one of China’s handful of surviving masterpieces of Buddhist rock carving. A sutra in stone, the epic…

  • The main assembly hall of Samye Monastery in Dranang county, Shannan (Lhoka) Prefecture, Tibet, China. Samye Monastery (Samye Gompa) is the first buddhist monastery built in Tibet, established in 763 AD under the patronage of Tibetan king Trisong Detsen.



    The central building of Samye, the Ütse comprises a unique synthesis of architectural styles. The ground and 1st floors were originally Tibetan in style,…

  • Weathered old prayer wheels at Sakya Monastery.

    Sakya Monastery


    The immense, grey, thick-walled southern monastery is one of Tibet’s most impressive constructed sights, and one of the largest monasteries – home to…

  • Labrang Lamasery, Gansu, China

    Labrang Monastery


    With its succession of squeaking prayer wheels (3km in total), hawks circling overhead and the throb of Tibetan longhorns resonating from the surrounding…

  • Tibet / China - Oct 2017: The Tibetan pilgrims on a celebrating the birthday of Buddha in red color famous Buddhist temple Tsurphu near Lhasa in Central Tibet. Sacred place for Buddha pupils.; 
Tsurphu Monastery

 Shutterstock ID 1097531960; your: Bridget Brown; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI Image Update

    Tsurphu Monastery


    Tsurphu has four main buildings and you could easily spend half a day here – longer if you plan to do the excellent outer kora (pilgrim circuit). If you…

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    Yading Nature Reserve


    The magnificent Yading Nature Reserve, 140km south of Daocheng, centres around three sacred snowcapped mountains, a holy trinity encircled by forested…

  • Maijishan Grottoes


    Set among wild, green mountains southeast of Tianshui, the grottoes of Maijishan hold some of the most famous Buddhist rock carvings along the Silk Road…

  • Drepung monastery, Lhasa, Tibet, China

    Main Assembly Hall


    The main assembly hall, or Tsogchen, is the principal structure in the Drepung complex and is the one chapel you must not miss. The hall is reached…

  • Le Shan Grand Buddha


    Le Shan’s serene, 1200-year-old Grand Buddha sits in repose, carved from a cliff face overlooking the confluence of three busy rivers: the Dadu, Min and…

  • View of Putuozongsheng Temple, built after Potala Palace, Chengde Mountain Resort, Hebei, China

    Bìshǔ Shānzhuāng


    The imperial summer resort is composed of a main palace complex with vast, parklike gardens, all enclosed by a handsome 10km-long wall. The entrance price…

  • Exterior of building in Tiananmen Square.

    Tian'anmen Square

    Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

    Flanked by triumphalist Soviet-style buildings, Tian'anmen Sq is an immense void of paved stone (440,000 sq metres, to be precise) at the symbolic centre…

  • Beihai Park 北海公园:承光殿 (Beijing 北京)

    Beihai Park


    Beihai Park, inside the old Imperial City, looks much as it would have done in the 18th century when it served as Emperor Qianlong's private gardens. The…

  • HE8AGD Samye: Prayer mills in the frozen water of a brook on the way to the Chim Puk hermitage, Tibet, China

Chim-puk Hermitage

    Chim-puk Hermitage


    Chim-puk Hermitage is a collection of cave shrines northeast of Samye that grew up over the centuries around the meditation retreat of Guru Rinpoche. Chim…

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