Must-see attractions in China

  • People at ShanghART art gallery, Moganshan Road, Shanghai, China, Asia



    Shanghai may be known for its glitz and glamour, but it's got an edgy subculture too. The industrial M50 art complex is one prime example, where galleries…

  • Jing'an Temple


    With the original temple dating back to AD 1216, the much-restored Jing'an Temple was here well before all the audacious skyscrapers and glitzy shopping…

  • Dzogchen Gompa


    Backed by mountains, the massive Dzogchen monastery complex sits halfway up a steep ridge overlooking a valley dotted with stupas, shedras (Buddhist…

  • Drigung Til Monastery


    Drigung Til sprouts from a high, steep ridge overlooking the Zhorong-chu Valley. The 180-degree views from the main courtyard are stunning and it’s a joy…

  • Ser Gyergo Nunnery


    Known locally as ani gompa (Tibetan for ‘nunnery’), Hépíng Fǎhùi is home to around 500 nuns and more than 100 monks. Lama Tsemper was a revered hermit who…

  • Sera Je College


    This is the largest of Sera’s colleges, generally accessed from a western side entrance. It has a breathtaking main hall, hung with thangkas and lit by…

  • Wuta Temple


    If any Beijing sight can vanquish the dreaded 'temple fatigue', it's Wuta Si. This little-known gem is eminently worthy of a pilgrimage, not just for its…

  • Aberdeen Promenade

    Aberdeen Promenade

    Aberdeen & South Hong Kong Island

    Tree-lined Aberdeen Promenade runs from west to east on Aberdeen Praya Rd across the water from Ap Lei Chau. On its western end is sprawling Aberdeen…

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    By far the best place for strolling or simply hanging out in the city is the breezy OCT-LOFT complex, a warren of repurposed communist-era factories criss…

  • St Sophia exterior

    Church of St Sophia


    The red-brick Russian Orthodox Church of St Sophia, with its distinctive green onion dome and roosting pigeons, is Harbin’s most famous landmark. Built in…

  • Guide National Geological Park


    In the stunning multicoloured clay scenery of Danxia Canyon (丹霞峡谷, Dānxiá Xiágǔ), this geopark offers walking trails in among red and orange hills that…

  • Shamian Island

    Shamian Island


    Don't depart Guangzhou without an amble through the concession-era gem that is Shamian Island. The central east–west drag is a time-warp boulevard of…

  • Kanbula National Forest Park


    The desert scenery outside of Tongren comes to a pinnacle in this national park where flaming-red mountains meet the turquoise waters of a reservoir…

  • Gongkar Chöde Monastery


    Surprisingly large, the Sakyapa-school Gongkar Chöde Monastery, founded in 1464, is famous for its 16th-century Kyenri-style murals. It lies 400m south of…

  • Dai Temple


    This magnificent Taoist temple complex is where all Tai'an roads lead, being the traditional first stop on the pilgrimage route up Tai Shan. The grounds,…

  • Buyers and sellers at sheep pens during the Sunday Livestock Market and Bazaar in Kashgar.

    Sunday Livestock Market


    No visit to Kashgar is complete without a trip to the Livestock Market, which takes place once a week on Sunday. The day begins with Uyghur farmers and…

  • Lhakhang Karpo


    The large Lhakhang Karpo holds the oldest paintings at Tsaparang and is probably the most important chapel in all of Ngari. The murals date back to the…

  • SHANGHAI, CHINA - MAY 28: Oriental Pearl Tower over river on May 28, 2012 in Shanghai, China. The tower was the tallest structure in China excluding Taiwan from 1994~2007 and the landmark of Shanghai.; Shutterstock ID 126669962; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: 65050/7529/Josh Vogel/ Destination Galleries

    Oriental Pearl TV Tower


    This 468m-tall globe-on-a-tripod tower is the most iconic contemporary building in the city, and its image is omnipresent around town – from postcards to…

  • Former Residence of the 7th Dalai Lama


    Kelzang Gyatso (1708–57), the seventh Dalai Lama, was born in a cold, dark, cave-like room in the basement of this house during a period of intense…

  • Hong Kong Wetland Park

    Hong Kong Wetland Park

    Yuen Long

    This 60-hectare ecological park is a window on the wetland ecosystems of the northwest New Territories. The natural trails, bird hides and viewing…

  • Western Xia Tombs


    Like giant beehives scattered on the arid eastern slope of the Helan mountains, the Xixia imperial tombs are Ningxia’s most celebrated sight. The earliest…

  • Dà Zhào

    Inner Mongolia

    This spectacular Tibetan Buddhist temple is the oldest and largest temple in the city. Also called 'Immeasurable Temple' (无量寺, Wúliàng Sì) in Chinese, the…

  • Diaolou, fortified multi-storey tower built mainly for protection against bandits - Kaiping County.



    Zili, 11km west of Kaiping, has the largest collection of diāolóu historic watchtowers in the area, though only a few of the 15 are open to the public…

  • Jade Emperor Temple


    This picturesque temple littered with Taoist deities is an enjoyable place to visit by any measure. But what makes it exceptional are the painted…

  • NANJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 19: (CHINA OUT) Visitors view the "Gold Guan Yin Bodhisattva Statue", made during the Warring States period (475 to 221 BC) at the Valuable Treasures Special Exhibition In Nanjing Museum on November 19, 2007 in Nanjing of Jiangsu Province, China. Eighteen priceless treasures were selected from the museum's 420,000 collections, dating back 5,000 years ago. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)

    Nanjing Museum


    This fabulous museum has three dramatically modern exhibition blocks alongside a traditional, temple-style hall. Exhibits range from 20th-century brush…

  • Jinci Temple


    This sprawling complex sits on the source of the Jin River in arid Shanxi. The earliest structures and the irrigation canal (which still gushes on rainy…

  • Workers' Cultural Palace

    Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

    One of Beijing's best-kept secrets – despite being next to the Gate of Heavenly Peace – the Workers' Cultural Palace was gifted to the masses by Mao in…

  • Shanghai Natural History Museum


    It's not quite on the same scale as Washington, DC's Smithsonian, but this sleek space is nevertheless as comprehensive as it is entertaining and…

  • Shanghai History Museum

    The Bund & People's Square

    Originally opened as the Shanghai Race Club in 1934, and having undergone several incarnations since, this iconic building now houses the Shanghai History…

  • Interior of Pak Tai Temple

    Pak Tai Temple

    Wan Chai & Northeast Hong Kong Island

    A short stroll up Stone Nullah Lane takes you to a majestic Taoist temple built in 1863 to honour a god of the sea, Pak Tai. The temple, the largest on…

  • Statues at Chen Clan Academy, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, Asia

    Chen Clan Ancestral Hall


    An all-in-one ancestral shrine, Confucian school and ‘chamber of commerce’ for the Chen clan, this compound was built in 1894 by the residents of 72…

  • Temple of the Chief Minister


    First founded in AD 555, this frequently rebuilt temple vanished along with Kaifeng in the early 1640s, when rebels breached the Yellow River’s dykes…

  • Qianyang Old Town


    If you've made it all the way to Hongjiang, don't overlook nearby Qianyang, another historic river town with a completely different architectural style…

  • Tomb of Tsongkhapa


    The red, fortress-like structure of Tsongkhapa’s mausoleum is probably the most impressive of the reconstructed buildings at Ganden. It’s above a…

  • Laohei Shan


    Laohei Shan is the humble zenith of a prehistoric landscape washed clean by hardened lava where ghost-like trees snake up from dormant craters, and…

  • Dafen Oil Painting Village


    This folksy urban village of narrow lanes and alleys is a pleasure to visit in itself, but what makes Dafen simply unmissable is the hundreds of art…

  • Xūmí Shān


    Cut honeycomb-like into five sandstone hills, 55km northwest of Guyuan, are 132 magnificent grottoes housing 300 Buddhist statues. They date back 1400…

  • Ya'an Bifengxia Panda Base


    Ya'an Bifengxia Panda Base was established in prime forest in Ya'an in 2003 for research purposes rather than tourism, and its mission expanded in 2008…

  • Putuozongcheng Temple


    Also known as Potala (布达拉, Bùdálā), Chengde’s largest temple is a not-so-small replica of Lhasa’s Potala Palace and houses the nebulous presence of…

  • Tai Kwun

    Hong Kong

    The long-awaited reinvention of Hong Kong's Central Police Station as a heritage and arts complex was completed in May 2018. It's impressive and vast,…

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