Miraculous China: Treasures of the Golden Triangle

Miraculous China: Treasures of the Golden Triangle

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Last updated:
28.11.2019
 

China offers something for everyone: dynamic cities full of head-spinning structures, small historical towns where time has stopped forever centuries ago, temple-topped mountains perfect for hiking, and mouthwatering food for a blissful gastronomic experience. Only imagine how many hidden wonders you can discover while delving into the many-sided Chinese culture during your unforgettable Asia getaway! On this page, you may get a glimpse of three grand hubs of the flowery land that form the Golden Triangle of China: majestic Beijing, vivid Shanghai, and enchanting Xian.

 

Interesting China Facts

People are magneted to China’s incomparable antiquity but upon arrival get enchanted by its unstoppable creativity and passion for everything new. Representing a micro-world of contrasts, China combines bustling skyscraper-dotted metropolises like Beijing and Shanghai with pristine nature and rural villages where vast rice fields gradually disappear into the horizon.

So where is China exactly? Located in the eastern part of Asia, China, or the People’s Republic of China, covers an area of 9 596 961 sq km(3 705 407 sq ft) and according to its size can be compared to the United States. Moreover, it holds the title of the most jammed country in the world as China’s population is around 1 436 billion!

Apart from being famous for its rich natural and cultural legacy, China is also known as a land of inventions, that for centuries has been ahead of other countries in technology, science, and math. Sunglasses, paper money, silk, gunpowder, compasses, kites, ice cream, and, shockingly, forks have first appeared in China!

Continuing the topic of immeasurable technical progress, in China, you can take a ride on the fastest train in the world. Floating on the magnetic field, the Shanghai Maglev travels with a maximum speed of 431 kph (268 mph)!

Chinese Water Town
 

Furthermore, the Chinese railway is the second-largest network on the planet. As hard as it is to believe, but all of the country’s rail lines could loop around the Earth twice!

 

Breathtaking Beijing

Your journey starts with the heart of the country and the capital of the four China dynasties, sublime Beijing. With its 3000 years of history, this Chinese jewel is one of the world’s oldest towns. From imperial palaces and ancient temples to ultramodern buildings and innovative technologies, Beijing collected in itself the best of China. Apart from being a real treasury itself, Beijing is also the main gateway to the ultimate wonder of the world, the Great Wall of China.

Forbidden CIty, Beijing

The Forbidden City

One of the worldwide famous attractions that just can’t be left out from your Beijing sightseeing itinerary is the enigmatic Forbidden City.

Covering the area of 180 acres, the Beijing Forbidden City (or the Imperial Palace) is the biggest and best-preserved imperial palace complex on Earth.

Erected in the 15th century, this precious remnant of the Ming and Qing dynasties houses more than 9 900 richly adorned rooms and 1 807 558 artifacts featuring ceramics, paintings, sculptures, and enamel objects.

Moreover, this spectacular Beijing attraction is also rated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for housing the world’s largest collection of ancient wooden structures!

 

Wondering why this Beijing palace got such an intimidating name? We bet the answer will surprise you: in the past, nobody could enter the Imperial Palace without the permission of the emperor. Literally, nobody. Even the emperor’s own mother wouldn’t get inside if her visit wasn’t arranged in advance! To top it all, the central gate of this famous China palace that today is the main entrance for tourists was used only by the emperor himself. Therefore, when you enter the complex through this gate, feel like a mighty ruler of China!

 

The Great Wall of China

When it comes to the legendary China landmarks, the Great Wall must be at the top of anyone’s travel plans. Since its erection during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), this outstanding example of the earliest defensive architecture still represents the powerful spirit of the Chinese nation. With blood, sweat, and tears of thousands of workers, the Great Wall was built in different areas by several dynasties to prevent the invasion of China and protect the significant trade channel, the Silk Road.

As expected from the ingenious Chinese, the Great Wall was not just a wall. It was a real multifunctional military complex with loopholes, watchtowers, fortresses, and beacon posts. So how long is the Great Wall of China exactly? Smoothly twisting across majestic mountain peaks, the Great Wall stretches for a distance of 3000 miles and is the longest human-made structure on the planet today.

The Great Wall of China
 

Cloaked with numerous myths and legends, it’s the most important icon of China and a very meaningful place for all citizens. They say “until you reach the Great Wall you are not a hero”. And you have a unique opportunity to become one. Don’t miss the chance to pay a visit to the Great Wall during your China travel and explore the eventful history of this awe-inspiring architectural miracle.

 

Dazzling Shanghai

Situated in the eastern part of China, Shanghai is the largest and most populous China city. Covering an area of 6 341 square kilometers, this magnificent metropolis easily fits into the “big city” league. Being the most significant seaport, Shanghai is the main center of economy and trade in the country. Despite its colonial past, this place is one of China’s most significant cultural hubs, boasting its own opera, dialect, and excellent food scene. With its water towns, lush gardens, and eventful history, it offers endless options for sightseeing and entertainment.

Shanghai Skyscrapers

Mind-blowing Skyscrapers

Dotted with plenty of splendid skyscrapers, the Shanghai skyline strikes all guests with the greatest achievements of modern engineering.

Today this miraculous city is home for 957 high rise buildings and 126 skyscrapers, including the Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower that exceed 420 meters in height! The majority of Shanghai’s megatall buildings are used as office space.

Among these all sparkling giants, you can find one more gem of Chinese contemporary architecture, the Shanghai Tower. The height of this 128-storied structure reaches 632 meters (2073 feet), making it the world’s second-tallest tower! The hypnotizing spiraling form of Shanghai’s signature skyscraper symbolizes the dynamic evolution of China.

 

But the creative design of the tower goes far beyond creating an appealing appearance: multiple tests confirmed that the twirling form of the building decreases the wind loading by 24 percent! The Chinese like setting records, so apart from its impressive scale, the Shanghai Tower boasts the world’s fastest elevators, one of the highest restaurants, and the second-tallest observation deck, where you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views over the city. Believe us, seeing so many superb skyscrapers in one place will definitely become a memorable experience for you!

 

Alluring Water Towns

To escape from the overwhelming hustle and bustle of the vibrant metropolis, head to one of the nearby water villages. There are dozens of lovely water towns scattered around Shanghai where you can relax and delve into the atmosphere of rural China to the fullest.

Among the most popular water villages is the cozy town of Zhujiajiao which is often called Chinese Venice due to the great number of canals. This little city is peaceful and charming just like its locals who are very open and friendly. Zhujiajiao was an important trading area centuries ago and today attracts travelers with its colorful houses, tiny bridges, and laid-back lifestyle.

While exploring the narrow streets of the Zhujiajiao water town take a walk on the Fangsheng Bridge and crown your trip with a panoramic boat ride to learn more about the peculiarities of living in this unusual environment and to appreciate the beauty of local landscapes from another perspective.

Water Town, China
 

Magnificent Xian

Considered as the birthplace of the Chinese civilization, the ancient town of Xian is situated right in the center of the country. Thanks to its beneficial location, the city was the eastern terminus of the Silk Road, making Xian one of the major trade hubs of the region. Serving as the China capital for 1100 years, the city witnessed the rule of the most significant Chinese dynasties featuring the Qin, Han, and the Zhou. Today Xian has a wide range of historical and cultural sites, including 72 imperial tombs and over 700 unique attractions from lavishly decorated pagodas to the massive city wall. Furthermore, travelers from all corners of the planet come to Xian to see one of the most incredible archeological finds of all times, the Terracotta Warriors.

Big Goose Pagoda, Xian

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Hidden in the southern part of Xian City, the iconic treasure of the Chinese Buddhist culture, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, is ranked as a National Key Cultural Relic. The temple was erected in 652 by the eminent monk Xuan Zang who was inspired by similar pagodas in India. Used as storage for holy artifacts, different kinds of sutras, and statues of Buddha, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda became an essential stop on all pilgrim routes in China.

There is a legend explaining the origins of the pagoda’s unusual name. Back then, eating meat wasn’t taboo for some Buddhist monks, and one day they ran out of their reserves. Desperate monks hoped that the Bodhisattva would show his mercy and help them. As soon as the pray flew from their lips, a wild goose from a flock flying in the sky broke its wing and fell right at their feet. Startled monks believed that it was Bodhisattva’s sign ordering them to be more pious.

 

Still preserving the cultural spirit of the Tang dynasty, the Big Goose Pagoda attracts foreign visitors not only with its religious significance but also with the appealing architectural style. Constructed in the form of a square pyramid and noted for its accurate symmetry, this 7-storied building is a masterpiece of Buddhist construction. Apart from discovering the valuable relics and appreciating the unique design of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, save some time to climb the curving steps of this remarkable Buddhist temple and catch the panoramic views over the city!

 

Terracotta Warriors

The Terracotta Warriors aren’t just the major Xian landmark, it’s one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century. The Terracotta Army was created by order of the First Emperor Qin, who wanted to preserve his incomparable military power and imperial status even after death. For centuries, thousands of life-size terracotta soldiers, horses, chariots, musicians, and acrobats have been silently protecting the soul of the powerful China king.

This outstanding monument impresses visitors not only with its enormous size but also with the jaw-dropping level of detail. About 700 000 artists contributed to the building process and manually constructed each figure without the usage of special instruments. It took them about 40 years to complete the whole army! Can you imagine that it’s impossible to find two soldiers with faces alike? The hairstyles, expressions, clothing, and even the soles of the Xian warriors’ shoes are all different!

Terracotta Warriors
 

What is more, the 8000 statues of the Xian Terracotta Warriors are arranged in a rectangular array strictly following the rules of the Art of War: divided into two flanks with command post at the rear and facing the east, from where the enemies of the Qin dynasty used to attack during the hostilities. Even standing in front of such a mighty army will make you hear the clatter of hooves and feel the tense atmosphere before a battle!

 

The list of things and places which are responsible for the worldwide fame of China is just endless. Its modern appearance is dazzling, but despite all this luxury, China is an enormous time capsule that preserves an eventful past of the Great Empire. Eager to find out more about the history of this stunning country? Check out our tours to China and let your unforgettable Asia exploration begin!