Yingxian Wooden Pagoda. Shanxi. China.

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Waist-deep in handsome history, Shanxi (山西) is home to an impressive roll call of must-see, ancient sights. Most travellers start with the walled city of Pingyao. Basing yourself here and jumping to the town's surrounding sights is practically all you need: you'll encounter time-worn temples, sprawling Ming- or Qing-dynasty courtyard residences, and the opportunity for a day trip to the dizzying mountain cliffs and gorges of Mian Shan.


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Colourful Buddhas and animal motifs adorn the grottoes at Yungang © Mark Brandon / Shutterstock


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