China Tourism & Vacations 2016, China trip 2016, China travel guide 2016, China trip guide 2016
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China is a huge country in Eastern Asia (about the same size as the United States of America) with the world's largest population.
With coasts on the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, in total it borders 14 nations. It borders Afghanistan, Pakistan (through the disputed territory of Kashmir), India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam to the south; Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to the west; Russia and Mongolia to the north and North Korea to the east. This number of neighbouring states is equalled only by China's vast neighbour to the north, Russia.
This article only covers mainland China. For Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, please see separate articles.
See in China
China's attractions are endless and you will never run out of things to see. Especially near the coastal areas, if you run out of things to see in one city, the next one is usually just a short train ride away.
Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover or someone who just wants to relax on a nice beach, China has it all from the majestic Forbidden City in Beijing, to the breathtaking scenery of Jiuzhaigou. Even if you live in China for many years, you'll find that there's always something new to discover in another part of the country. Perhaps unsurprising due to its sheer size and long history, China has the third largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, after Italy and Spain.
The gumdrop mountains and steeply sloping forested hills with bizarre rock formations favored by traditional Chinese artists are not creative fantasy. In fact, much of southern and southwestern China is covered in strangely eroded rock formations known as Karst. Karst is type of limestone formation named after an area in Slovenia. As limestone layers erode, the denser rock or pockets of different stone resist erosion forming peaks. Caves hollow out beneath the mountains which can collapse forming sinkholes and channels leading to underground rivers. At its most unusual Karst erodes to form mazes of pinnacles, arches and passageways. The most famous example can be found in the Stone Forest (石林 Shílín) near Kunming in Yunnan. Some of the most famous tourist areas in China feature spectacular karst landscapes — Guilin and Yangshuo in Guangxi, and much of central and western Guizhou province.
Several sites in China have famous Buddhist art:
Yungang Grottoes in Shanxi Province – more than 51,000 Buddhist carvings, dating back 1,500 years, in the recesses and caves of the Yangang Valley mountainsides
Mogao Caves in Gansu province – art and manuscripts dating back to the 4th century
Dazu Rock Carvings near Chongqing – dating from the 7-13th century
Longmen Grottoes near Luoyang – 5-10th century
The Five Great Mountains (五岳 wǔyuè), associated with Taoism:
Mount Tai (泰山), Shandong Province (1,545 meters)
Mount Hua (华山), Shaanxi Province (2,054 meters)
Mount Heng (Hunan) (衡山), Hunan Province (1,290 meters)
Mount Heng (Shanxi) (恒山), Shanxi Province (2,017 meters)
Mount Song (嵩山）, Henan Province, where the famous Shaolin Temple (少林寺) is located (1,494 meters)
The Four Sacred Mountains (四大佛教名山 sìdà fójiào míngshān), associated with Buddhism:
Mount Emei (峨嵋山), Sichuan Province (3,099 meters)
Mount Jiuhua (九华山), Anhui Province (1,342 meters)
Mount Putuo (普陀山), Zhejiang Province (297 meters, an island)
Mount Wutai (五台山), Shanxi Province (3,058 meters)
The three main sacred mountains of Tibetan Buddhism:
Mount Kailash, Tibet (5,656 meters), also known as Gang Rinpoche in Tibetan, also one of Hinduism's holiest mountains visited by many Hindu pilgrims
Some itineraries cover trips that are entirely within China:
Two weeks to a month in China
A week near Hong Kong
Along the Yangtze river
Along the Yellow river
Along the Grand Canal
Yunnan tourist trail
Overland to Tibet
Others are partly in China:
Europe to South Asia over land
Silk Road – ancient caravan route from China to Europe
Karakoram Highway – Western China to Pakistan through the Himalayas
On the trail of Marco Polo
Overland Kunming to Hong Kong