Must-see attractions in China

  • Wenchang Pavilion

    Guiyang

    There's not a lot left of this restored pavilion, but its central location makes it popular with locals. Kite flyers gather at the highest landing.

  • Jǐnxiùzhuāng Puppet Museum

    Fujian

    A very simple museum behind Tumen Jie displaying puppet heads, intricate 30-string marionettes and comical hand puppets. Shows run intermittently.

  • Lieshi Park

    Changsha

    Tree-shaded and dotted with lakes, leafy – and incredibly huge – Lieshi Park is very popular in the mornings for singing, dancing and taichi.

  • Yinfeng Pavilion

    Shaanxi

    Located on a trail north of East Peak, this is one of several pavilions on the mountain; the name literally means 'Attracting Phoenix Pavilion'.

  • Thangka Display Terrace

    Gansu

    The best morning views of the monastery come from the Thangka Display Terrace, a popular picnic spot.

  • Trakkar Gompa

    Gansu

    A monastery of 90 monks set against a stunning backdrop of vertical rock formations. The name literally means 'White Stone Cliff Monastery'.

  • White Dragon Cave

    Henan

    There's not much to see inside this narrow, muddy cave. Unless you're really into clambering over slimy rocks, you can safely skip this one.

  • Confucius Temple

    Henan

    Although replete with colourfully painted eaves, there is little to see at this restored temple. Take bus 60 or 85 from the train station.

  • Former Japanese Consulate

    Fujian

    A handsome red-brick building located to the southwest of Gulang Yu. It now houses local university teachers so there is no public entry.

  • Tai Wong Shrine

    Aberdeen & South Hong Kong Island

    This small shrine near the western end of Stanley Main St serves as a reminder that Stanley was once a fishing village, if nothing else.

  • Shang City Walls

    Henan

    Zhengzhou's eastern outskirts are marked by long, high mounds of earth, the remains of the old city walls. You can climb up to explore.

  • Former Broadway Theatre

    Hongkou & North Shanghai

    Look above the convenience store to admire the magnificent art deco former Broadway Theatre building, located in the Jewish Quarter.

  • Shanghai Stock Exchange Building

    Shanghai

    Shanghai's stock exchange used to run in the Peacock Hall of the Astor House Hotel before moving to new custom-made digs in Pudong.

  • Wooden Footbridge

    Fenghuang

    One way to get across the river. It's a bit narrow but just about wide enough for two people to pass going in opposite directions.

  • Tianhou Temple

    Fujian

    Originally built in 1196, this small temple that has undergone numerous renovations is dedicated to the goddess of seafarers.

  • Chairman Mao's House

    Zhejiang

    The house is empty and there's nothing to see. Mao reputedly spent the night here, but in fact he only had an afternoon nap.

  • Yin Hing Monastery

    Lantau

    There are good views of the mountains from this small Buddhist monastery, hidden away inside the South Lantau Country Park.

  • Nanyang Bridge

    Zhejiang

    Built in 1870, this wooden cantilever bridge runs straight over the stream, in the grassy hills 3km northeast above Sixi.

  • Gomde Khang

    Lhasa

    One of the monastery's recently renovated minor residences, this building can be missed if you are running short of time.

  • Samlo Kangtsang

    Lhasa

    One of the monastery's recently renovated minor residences, this building can be missed if you are running short of time.

  • OFoto

    Shanghai

    Peruse China-related photography exhibitions at this gallery in the M50 complex.

  • Longhu Shan Geopark Museum

    Jiangxi

    Has detailed explanations, in English as well as Chinese, of Longhu Shan’s formation. Beside the park's ticket office.

  • Cheung Chau Market

    Outlying Islands

    You'll find plenty of dried seafood, plus staples such as vegetables, rice and meat, at this traditional food market.

  • Middle Hall

    Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

    Known locally as the Resting Hall, this imperial building has a yellow-glazed eave-hipped roof. Closed for visitors.

  • Russian Orthodox Mission Church

    French Concession

    Built in 1934, this lovely blue-domed church was designed for the huge influx of Russians to Shanghai in the 1930s.

  • Yan Emperor Palace

    Guizhou

    Small, obscured temple dedicated to the fearsome 'fire god' Yan Di (炎帝), a deity in early Chinese mythology.

  • West Gate

    Fenghuang

    The old city gate leading into Wenhua Sq from Sanwangge Lu is a robust and impressive chunk of architecture.

  • Guangji Gate Tower

    Guangdong

    Part of the Guangji Bridge complex. It's also a popular rendezvous point for locals meeting up with friends.

  • Yangtian Pool

    Shaanxi

    Small (3-sq-metre) natural pool of water at one of the highest points of the mountain, near the South Peak.

  • Tianhou Temple

    Fenghuang

    Off Dongzheng Jie, this temple was once dedicated to the patron of seafarers. It's not open to the public.

  • East Palace Gate

    Beijing

    The East Palace Gate is the main entrance to the Summer Palace.

  • Anshun City Walls

    Guizhou

    Anshun was once ringed by a defensive city wall, a modest chunk of which still stands on Tashan Donglu.

  • Longhu Shan Taoist Museum

    Jiangxi

    This small museum by the park ticket office is dedicated to Taoism but has information in Chinese only.

  • Catholic Church

    Guizhou

    The modern church has an impressive bell tower, but the 19th-century ruins next door are the real draw.

  • Peach Garden Mosque

    Shanghai Old City

    Originally dating to 1917, this famous mosque is the main place of worship for Shanghai’s Muslims.

  • Phoenix Mound

    Beijing

    A small islet at the southeastern end of Kunming Lake, the Phoenix Mound is a popular vantage point.

  • Drum Tower

    Henan

    This weathered old tower marks the more authentic (although still heavily touristed) Old Town area.

  • Tiger Leaping Gorge

    Tiger Leaping Gorge

    Scenic spot where a tiger is said to have leaped across the river, thus giving the gorge its name.

  • Pearl Spring

    Henan

    This small fissure in the Wanxian Mountains is the source of a flow of cool, clear spring water.

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