Videos about UNESCO, China

Hiking through the beautiful Tiger Leaping Gorge 虎跳峡

Tiger Leaping Gorge in YunNan province lies 60 kilometers north of LiJiang.

It is part of the UNESCO 'Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan' World Heritage Site.

The road in (up) - an excerpt, with Shiraz Dole and friends ...
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Hiking with Tim and Glo ...

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The gorge in gorgeous 4K by Milosh Kitchovitch ...
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The site of the leaping rock close up, by Valpard ...
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The gorge is one of the world's deepest canyons and is populated by a few villages of the NaXi minority. Around 15 km in length, the gorge is located where the river passes between 5,600 meter high Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the 5,400 meter high HaBa Snow Mountain in a series of rapids below steep 2000 meter cliffs. Legend says that in order to escape from a hunter, a tiger jumped across the river at its narrowest point (still 25 meters wide, though with a rock in the middle).

There are a fair number of basic guesthouses for hikers, so your visit does not need to be rushed. These can also provide meals or snacks to passers by.

The Hiking Trails.

Hiking the entire length of the gorge is possible. There are two paths.

The 'the high road' is well-maintained by the locals and marked, although sometimes narrow, and is used by the Naxi as part of everyday life. This trail is longer than the lower road, approximately 22 kilometers (14 miles), but more varied. It features a variety of micro-ecosystems and waterfalls, and is probably the best choice if you only take one of the paths.

The 'low road' is a stretch of pavement (until recently a simple mule track) crossed by several waterfalls. This path more closely follows the Yangtze, so there are more views of the river and a stronger sense of being in a gorge.

Where the high road descends to meet the lower road, one can climb down to the river near the Tiger Leaping Stone, the point at which the tiger is said to have leaped across in two bounds.

Preparation

That the gorge is outstandingly beautiful is coupled with the need for care. The environment is natural and so the almost absence of safety clutter puts the responsibility on the those visiting. Rockfalls are not unknown. Prepare for wet weather, which can arrive suddenly, and use suitable shoes. Take extra care when crossing wet rocks and in general don't take risks; think first. Don't go alone in case of accident. Take a mobile phone. Swimming and kayaking are extremely dangerous and must be avoided. Don't go off track; take a map (essential). Head back to your lodgings well before dusk as, being within a gorge, light fades quickly.

       
   

A trip to the sacred HuangShan Mountain 黃山, AnHui province

HuangShan is well known for its beautiful scenery, sunsets and sunrises, unusually shaped granite peaks, ancient pine trees, hot springs, winter snow, and views of the clouds from above. Some of the peaks rise more than 1,800 meters (6,000 feet). HuangShan is a frequent subject in traditional Chinese paintings and literature.

HuangShan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of China's most popular tourist destinations. The HuangShan area is also noted for Chinese teas of high quality.

In the first film, a group of photographers spend a week on the Yellow Mountain and show that patience and dedication pays off ...

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The beautiful YuanYang 元阳 rice terraces, south YunNan province

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HongCun 宏村 ancient village

HóngCūn is a well preserved 800 year old village in southern AnHui province, near the southwest slope of Mount HuangShan.

Award-winning Virtual Reality film ...

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A trip to HongCun ...

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Beautiful Mount EMei (EMeiShan 峨眉山) from the air

The first Buddhist temple in China was constructed here in SiChuan province in the 1st century A.D. The addition of other temples has turned Éméi Shān into one of Buddhism's holiest sites and is one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains of China.

All in all, there are now seventy six Buddhist temples and monasteries, most of them located near the mountain top.

The first two films focus on the most well-known - the Golden Summit and the 48 meters tall statue of Samantabhadra, known in Mandarin as PǔXián PúSà 普賢菩薩.

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The beautiful WuYi Mountains 武夷山

WuYiShan lies in FuJian province and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Beautiful HuangLong 黃龍 Scenic Area, SiChuan province

HuangLong ('Yellow Dragon' - the appearance of the pools along HuangLong Valley) lies 150 kilometers (93 miles) north-northwest of the provincial capital ChengDu. All in all, it covers an area of almost 2,000 square kilometers. This area is known for its colorful pools formed by calcite deposits, as well as diverse forest eco-systems, snow-capped mountain peaks, waterfalls and hot springs. There are also a number of temples. HuangLong is also home to the Giant Panda.

HongCun 宏村 and MuKeng Bamboo Forest 木坑竹海

Step back in time with Tim and Glo as they visit HóngCūn, in the historical HuiZhou region of southern AnHui province, near the south west slope of Mount HuangShan, plus the close-by MuKeng Bamboo Forest. The architecture and features of the approximately 150 residences that date from the Ming and Qing dynasties are among the best of their kind in China. One of the largest residences open to visitors, ChenZhi Hall, also contains a small museum. Together with nearby XiDi, the village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Scenes from the film 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' were filmed on location here.

The temples and natural landscape around Mount EMei 峨嵋山 and LeShan Giant Buddha 乐山大佛

A beautiful film of the scenic area around ÉMéiShān and LèShān Dàfó, SìChuān province. Mount EMei is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China on which there are nearly 70 Buddhist monasteries. At 71 meters (233 feet) in height, LeShan Giant Buddha is the largest stone Buddha in the world.

EMei Shan 峨眉山, SiChuan province, in Ultra HD / 4K

Emei Shan (Emei Mountain, 3,099 m / 10,167 ft) is one of the four Chinese Buddhist sacred mountains. Emei Shan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (together with the nearby LeShan Giant Buddha) as "an area of exceptional cultural significance as it is the place where Buddhism first became established on Chinese territory ... The first Buddhist temple in China was built on the summit of Mount Emei in the 1st century CE ... Mount Emei is also notable for its exceptionally diverse vegetation, ranging from subtropical to sub-alpine pine forests. Some of the trees there are more than 1,000 years old." Included in this beautiful film : the summit of Mount Emei, WanNian Si Temple, QingYin Ge and BaoGuo Si Temple.

The awesomely beautiful ancient town of LiJiang 丽江, YunNan province, in Ultra HD / 4K

Don't miss this great film ! LiJiang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; "LiJiang is an exceptional ancient town set in a dramatic landscape which represents the harmonious fusion of different cultural traditions to produce an urban landscape of outstanding quality."

The magnificent Tiger Leaping Gorge 虎跳峡, YunNan province, in Ultra HD / 4K

Filmed during two days hiking in the Tiger Leaping Gorge. At a maximum depth of approximately 3790 meters, from the YangTze River to mountain peak, Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyons in the world. Tiger Leaping Gorge lies between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and HaBa Snow Mountain. It is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas UNESCO World Heritage Site.

JiuZhaiGou 九寨沟 : Autumn into Winter (Ultra HD / 4K)

'Nine Villages Valley', SiChuan province. Aqua pools, streams and waterfalls, and snow capped peaks, surrounded by red and gold leaves - a very beautiful place ...

LeShan Giant Buddha 乐山大佛, Mount Emei 峨眉山 Scenic Area

The LeShan Giant Buddha 乐山大佛 is located in SiChuan province and is a 233 foot tall stone statue constructed during the Tang Dynasty. Emei Shan (3,100 meters / 10,200 feet) is one of the four Chinese Buddhist sacred mountains. Emei Shan is UNESCO World Heritage Site (together with the Leshan Giant Buddha) : "...an area of exceptional cultural significance as it is the place where Buddhism first became established on Chinese territory... The first Buddhist temple in China was built on the summit of Mount Emei in the 1st century CE." Documentaries ...

The extraordinarily beautiful ShiLin 石林 Stone Forest Geological Park

石林, ShiLin County, YunNan, south China. This area, covering around 500 square kilometers in all, lies about 90 km east of the provincial capital KunMing and is comprised of seven scenic areas featuring amazing limestone karst rock formations. The Stone Forest began around 270 million years ago as a shallow sea. Extensive deposits of sandstone overlaid by limestone accumulated during the Permian period. Subsequent uplift of this region followed by exposure to wind and rain shaped the landscape we see today. Filmed in Ultra HD (4K).

The ancient city of PingYao 平遥 in Ultra HD (4K)

PingYao (平遥) is a county in ShanXi province, central China. PingYao is located approximately 700 kilometres (400 miles) southwest of Beijing and 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the provincial capital TaiYuan. PingYao is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional Han Chinese city, founded in the 14th century. This ancient city, which is renowned for its well-preserved city walls and outlying temples, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

West Lake 西湖 boat trip, HangZhou 杭州

ZheJiang province. Xī Hú is a fresh water lake with the city on side. There are numerous temples, pagodas, gardens, bridges and artificial islands within and around the lake. West Lake is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as an outstanding example of Chinese garden arts and the guiding principle of harmony between human and nature.

Hiking trip to the 'Big Peak' (5025m), Mount SiGuNiang 四姑娘山

Mount SiGuNiang, in SiChuan province, is famous for its beautiful scenery. The surrounding area is reputed to be the "Oriental Alps". Mount SiGuNiang National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park comprises Mount SiGuNiang and the surrounding three valleys, namely ChangPing Valley (长坪沟), HaiZi Valley (海子沟) and ShuangQiao Valley (双桥沟), covering an area of 2,000 square kilometers. Mount Siguniang

LeShan Giant Buddha 乐山大佛 scenic area, SiChuan province

The Giant Buddha, which is around 70 meters in height, was carved out from the hill during the Tang dynasty (618–907). It took 90 years to complete. The LeShan Giant Buddha is part of the Mount Emei Scenic Area, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This area has exceptionally diverse vegetation, ranging from subtropical to sub-alpine pine forests. Over time, additional temples established nearby making this an important place in Buddhism. There is a lot to see and explore. Slideshow (with some great photos) :

The YunGang Grottos 云冈石窟

The caves, full of beautiful Buddhist art, are located near DaTong in ShanXi province, north east China (west from Beijing), and date from the 5th century. Buddhism came to this area via the northern Silk Road that linked Xi'An with Kashgar

HongCun 宏村 Village, AnHui province

Step back in time in the ancient village of HongCun, 宏村. HongCun is located near the south west slope of Mount HuangShan. The architecture and carvings of the approximately 150 residences dating back from the Ming and Qing dynasties are said to be among the best in China. One of the largest residences open to visitors, ChenZhi Hall, also contains a small museum. Together with XiDi, the village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some scenes from the movie 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' were filmed on location in HongCun.

Mount HuangShan 黄山 : a documentary

HuangShan (Yellow Mountain) is a group of mountains in AnHui province, east China. Famous for its rugged peaks, unusual rocks and tenacious pine trees, this beautiful landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

HangZhou 杭州 - 'Heaven on Earth'

Eight hundred years ago, Marco Polo described HangZhou as the most enchanting place on Earth. West Lake is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Adjacent to the West Lake is a scenic area that includes historical pagodas and other cultural sites, blended with the natural beauty of the landscape, including Phoenix Mountain. The lake is crossed by two causeways. Check out this beautiful city, two hours from Shanghai, the famous West Lake and the wonderful show 'Impression West Lake' ...

The wonderful, beautiful HuangShan 黄山

Yellow Mountain, 黄山, in AnHui province, between ShangHai and WuHan, is one of China's most popular travel destinations. An area of outstanding natural beauty, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

SanQing Shan 三清山 National Park

SanQing Shan, 三清山, is a renowned Taoist sacred site located 25 miles (40 km) north of YuShan County in JiangXi Province. With outstanding natural scenery, plants and wildlife, the park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that in all covers 230 square kilometers. SanQing means the "Three Pure Ones" in Chinese as Mount SanQing is composed of three main summits: YuJing, YuShui, and YuHua, representing the Taoist trinity. YuJing (rising 1820 meters above sea level) is the highest. 三峰峻拔、如三清列坐其巅

Scenes from JiuZhaiGou 九寨沟

JiuZhaiGou Valley (九寨沟), literally 'Nine Villages Valley', is a nature reserve and national park located in the north of SiChuan province, near the GanSu border. JiuZhaiGou is part of the MinShan mountains on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, and is known for its many multi-level waterfalls, colorful mineral lakes and snow-capped peaks. The elevation ranges from 2,000 to 4,500 meters (6,600 to 14,800 feet). It lies 330 km (205 miles) north of the provincial capital of Chengdu and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This remote region has been inhabited by various Tibetan and Qiang peoples for many centuries. The valleys here are lined with 55 km of roads for shuttle buses, as well as wooden boardwalks and small pavilions. The boardwalks are typically located on the opposite side of the lakes from the roads. Many visitors will first take the shuttle bus to the end of RiZe or ShuZheng valley, then make their way back downhill by foot on the boardwalks, taking the bus when the next site is deemed too distant. JiuZhaiGou is a ten hour bus ride from ChengDu, or one can fly from ChengDu or ChongQing to JiuZhai HuangLong Airport, then take an hour long bus ride to HuangLong, or a 90 minute ride to JiuZhaiGou. There is also a daily flight to Xi'An, in the peak season, and from BeiJing, ShangHai and HangZhou.

The Spirit Way, Ming Tombs 明十三陵, BeiJing

The Ming Tombs are a collection of mausoleums built by emperors of the Ming dynasty. They lie within the ChangPing District of BeiJing Municipality, 40 kilometers (25 miles) north-northwest of Beijing city center. The site was chosen based on the principles of Feng Shui by the third Ming emperor, YongLe. Construction began after completion of the Imperial Palace (Forbidden City) in 1420. Subsequent emperors placed their tombs in the same valley; 13 in total. The siting of the Ming dynasty imperial tombs was carefully chosen according to Feng Shui principles. A key guide is that bad spirits and cold winds from the north must be deflected; therefore, an arc-shaped valley area at the foot of the JunDu Mountains was selected. This 40 square kilometer area, enclosed by mountains in a pristine, quiet valley with dark earth and tranquil water became the necropolis of the Ming dynasty. A 7 kilometer (4 mile) path named the Spirit Way, or Sacred Way, leads into the complex, lined with statues of guardian animals and officials, with a front memorial gate consisting of three arches called the Great Red Gate; constructed in 1540, it is one of the biggest stone archways in China. Further in, lies the ShenGong ShengDe Stele Pavilion with a 50 tonne stone statue of BiXi carrying a memorial tablet. Four white marble HuaBiao (pillars of glory) are positioned at each corner of the pavilion; at the top of each is a mythical beast. Then come two pillars on each side of the path, whose surfaces are carved with a cloud design, and tops are shaped like a cylinder; these are of a traditional design and were originally beacons to guide the soul of the deceased, The path leads to 18 pairs of stone statues of mythical animals, which are all sculpted from single blocks; these are all larger than life size. After, the path leads to a three-arched gate known as the Dragon and Phoenix Gate. Two of the mausoleums are open to visitors, but it is the beauty of the valley, with orchards, and the sheer scale of the area used for the tombs, that make this a nice day out in the countryside.

Exploring beautiful LiJiang 丽江

The exquisitely beautiful LiJiang (丽江) is located in YunNan province in south west China and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is populated mainly by the NaXi ethnic minority. LiJiang lies close to Tiger Leaping Gorge and the Snow Dragon Mountain.

A day at Tiger Leaping Gorge 虎跳峡

Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡 / HǔTiào Xiá) is a beautiful canyon on the JinSha River, a primary tributary of the upper YangTse River. It lies about 60 kilometers (38 miles) north of LiJiang in YunNan province, south west China and is part of the 'Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan' UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tiger Leaping Gorge is around 15 kilometers (9 miles) in length and passes between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain in a series of rapids below towering 2,000 meter (6,600 feet) cliffs. This film shows part of the lower trail and the spot where legend says a tiger jumped the rapids at their narrowest point (some 20 plus meters).

Awesome ZhangJiaJie 张家界

ZhangJiaJie is one part of WuLingYuan National Forest Park in HuNan province, south China, and is a wonderland of strange peaks, stunning valleys, ancient trees, caves and waterfalls. There are over 500 scenic spots in this area of outstanding natural beauty; it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In all, it covers around 700 square kilometers (270 square miles).

This is LiJiang 丽江 old town ...

The ancient town of LiJiang, in YunNan province, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with over 800 years of history. It was an important hub of the South Silk Road, along which many items were traded, including tea. It is home to the NaXi ethnic minority. LiJiang has lots of boutique hotels and cosy hostels in traditional architecture. The town, with its cobbled streets, streams and bridges, features many crafts (embroidery, silverware, drums and more) plus a wide variety of street snacks and restaurants.

The beautiful ZhangJiaJie 张家界 National Forest Park

In HuNan province. A UNESCO World Heritage Site. A great film by Sticker Travel ...

Beautiful JiuZhaiGou 九寨沟 in SiChuan province

JiuZhaiGou ('Nine Villages Valley') in south west China is a UNESCO World Heritage site, nature reserve and scenic area. A great film by Sticker Travel ...

A guide to beautiful SuZhou 苏州 old town

SuZhou lies in JiangSu province, just west from ShangHai Municipality, between the ebb of the YangTse river and TaiHu lake. SuZhou has a history of over 2,500 years. The city's canals, bridges, pagodas, and gardens have contributed to its standing as one of the top tourist attractions in China. The 'classical gardens of SuZhou' were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997 and 2000. SuZhou is sometimes referred to as the 'Venice of the East'.

Scenes from ChengDe 承德 - video

Surrounded by mountains on three sides, ChengDe in HeBei province, about 3 hours north east of Beijing, was a summer retreat for Ming emperor KangXi and also assocaited with emperors YongZheng and QianLong. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, it features numerous scenic spots and is a great long weekend break. It is centered on the largest imperial park in China, with a surrounding wall of over 10km, which is a great hike. Within lie lakes and pagodas; beyond are eight temples in various architectural styles.

A trip to the beautiful HuangShan 黄山 mountain - video

HuangShan (Yellow Mountain) is one of the most famous scenic areas in China and a UNESCO World Heritage Site ...

Scenes from the Summer Palace 頤和園 in Beijing

Summer residence of the emperors from the mid-Ming to Qing dynasties. Now a delightful public park / museum and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

LuShan 庐山 National Park, JiangXi province

The park lies to the west of China's largest freshwater lake, PoYang Lake. The national park covers an area of around 500 square kilometers (about 320 square miles) with more than 90 mountain peaks. The tallest, HanYang Peak, soars to a height of 1475 meters (4,850 feet). LuShan National Park owes its reputation to its varied and spectacular features that embraces ravines, waterfalls, grottoes, rocks and streams. There are 12 main scenic areas, including 37 attractions.

A trip to West Lake 西湖, HangZhou

West Lake (Xi Hu) is a famous fresh water lake located in the center of HangZhou, provincial capital of ZheJiang in east China. The lake is divided by a number of causeways and there are numerous temples, pagodas and other scenic spots dotted around. West Lake has influenced poets and painters in China, Korea and Japan throughout centuries for its beauty, historical relics and garden/landscape design, with its harmony of human construction and nature. West Lake was desclared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.

The old town of LiJiang 丽江, YunNan province

LiJiang has a history of more than 800 years. The old town, with its picturesque streams and bridges, traditional architecture and cobbled streets, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The second film shows the 'Black Dragon Pool'.

Mount EMei 峨眉山 scenic area, including the LeShan giant Buddha 乐山大佛

A UNESCO World Heritage site. The first Buddhist temple in China was built here in SiChuan province during the 1st century A.D. in the beautiful surroundings of the Mount Emei and in view of its peak. Over the centuries, the addition of other temples turned the area into one of Buddhism's holiest. The most remarkable - the Giant Buddha at LeShan - was carved out of a hillside in the 8th century and looks down on the confluence of three rivers. At 71 meters in height, it is the largest Buddha in the world.

The YuanYang 元阳 rice terraces, YunNan province

This beautiful area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to the HaNi and Yi minorities. The ancient practice of terraced farming maintains irrigation and preserves the top soil from being washed down the hillsides.

The charming LiJiang Old Town 丽江古城, YunNan province

The beautiful water-town of LiJiang, part of LiJiang city, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Welcome to HangZhou 杭州 ...

The beautiful capital of ZheJiang province. HangZhou was the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty and remained so until the Mongol invasion of 1276 (the start of the Yuan dynasty). The West Lake is a famous fresh water lake located in the historic center of HangZhou. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.

The Putuo ZongCheng Temple 普陀宗乘之庙 in ChengDe 成德

The Putuo ZongCheng Temple in ChengDe, HeBei province, is a Qing dynasty Buddhist temple. The complex was constructed between 1767 and 1771 during the reign of emperor QianLong (1735–1796). It is located just north of the ChengDe Mountain Resort. Along with the equally famed Puning Temple, it is one of the Eight Outer Temples of ChengDe (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The temple was modeled after the Potala Palace in Tibet. The temple complex covers a surface area of some 220,000 square meters, making it one of the largest in China. The Mountain Resort in ChengDe 避暑山庄 (BìShǔ ShānZhuāng literally means "Mountain Villa for Avoiding the Heat") was an imperial get-away. Built between 1703 and 1792 during the Qing dynasty, the vast Mountain Resort covers a total area of 5.6 square kilometers (2.2 square miles) and is surrounded by a mini 'Great Wall', which one can walk. It contains a variety of gardens, pagodas, temples and palaces representing the styles from various regions of China.

Mount Tai 泰山 in ShanDong province

Mount Tai is one of China's Five Sacred Mountains and has been a place of worship for at least 3,000 years. Mount Tai (or TaiShan, though there is a city called TaiShan in GuangDong - a different place) is a mountain of both historical and cultural significance which is located north of the city of Tai'An in ShanDong province. The tallest peak is the Jade Emperor Peak which reaches a height of 1,533 meters (just over 5,000 ft). In total, there are 22 temples, 100 ruins, 820 stone tablets, and over 1,000 cliff-face and rock inscriptions, including the Wordless Stela that stands in front of the Jade Emperor Temple. Legend tells that the emperor who commissioned the stela was dissatisfied with the planned inscription and decided to leave it blank. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Stone Forest (ShiLin 石林) in YunNan province

An area of extraordinary karst peaks. 120 kilometers from KunMing. A UNESCO World Heritage site. This Scenic Area comprises 350 square kilometers and is divided into a number of zones.

The Forbidden City 紫禁城 in BeiJing

A documentary by CCTV. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A trip to TongLi 同理, SuZhou

A water town in north-east JiangSu province, not far from Shanghai. SuZhou Old Town is famous for its gardens as well as canals. The classical gardens are on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

The beautiful HuangLong 黄龍 Scenic Area

A UNESCO World Heritage Site. HuangLong Scenic Area lies in SiChuan province, about 150km north west from the provincial capital ChengDu. It is famed for its colorful pools formed by mineral deposits, and there are also rich forests full of wildlife, including the Giant Panda, snow-capped peaks, waterfalls and hot springs.

The wonderful waterfalls of JiuZhaiGou 九寨沟

A scenic area / nature reserve in SiChuan province. Also, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Three Natural Bridges 天生三桥 of WuLong County, ChongQing

A great day out in splendid scenery ... Part of the movie Curse of the Golden Flower was filmed here. The scenic area is about two and a half hours from the city of ChongQing by bus and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

PingYao 平遥, ShanXi province

In part, PingYao is famous for its well-preserved city wall, which dates from 1370, PingYao is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

PingYao 平遥, ShanXi Province - video

With CCTV's Travelogue The ancient city wall and Ming and Qing architecture in the old part of the city of PingYao are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. PingYao lies about 700 kilometers south west of Beijing and 80 kilometers from TaiYuan, the provincial capital.

The Great Wall at BaDaLing 八达岭, BeiJing

The Great Wall of China is an immensely long man-made wall that was built to keep out invaders. The Great Wall spans nine provinces and its total length is 6,700 km (3,948 miles). The Great Wall extends from ShanHaiGuan (the 'Old Dragon Head'), a seaport along the coast of BoHai, in the east (near BeiDaiHe resort) to JiaYuGuan Pass in GanSu Province in the west. Like a giant dragon, the Great Wall of China winds its way across grasslands, deserts and mountains. Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987, the Great Wall ('Chang Cheng' in Chinese) is a true marvel and a testament to the long history of the Chinese civilization. Today, people from all over the world visit to walk on the Great Wall of China, to stand on a watchtower and view the wall snaking into the distance. This treasure is now protected so that future generations can see the Great Wall with the same wonder and amazement as we do now. Some parts of the Great Wall have been overwhelmed by the elements. Some parts have been covered by the desert. Others eroded by local people recycling the wall's materials for constructions in their villages. Nevertheless, the Great Wall in large part still stands in silent splendor, enduring the passage of time and greeting the changes of the seasons as it has done for many hundreds of years.

The Forbidden City 紫禁城 (Palace Museum), BeiJing - video

The Forbidden City,at the center of the ancient city of Beijing, was home to 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Today, the Forbidden City is a public museum and World Heritage site, attracting millions of tourists from around the world. In the early 1400s, the third Ming Emperor, YongLe, moved the capital of China to Beijing. In 1406, he began construction of a new 'Forbidden City' that would include the imperial palace complex. It took 14 years to complete - and an estimated one million workers, and 100,000 artisans, were involved in some way. Now officially renamed as the 'Palace Museum' ('GuGong' in Chinese, meaning simply 'Old Palace'), the extensive grounds of the Forbidden City cover 720,000 square meters (74 Hectares). There are 800 buildings that have in total about 9,000 rooms. Indeed, the Forbidden City is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world, and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987. The Forbidden City is located directly to the north of Tian'AnMen Square and is accessible from the square via Tian'AnMen Gate. The Palace Museum is now a fantastic place to wander and dream of times gone by. White marble, walls of terra-cotta, roofs of glazed golden tiles, and woodwork finished with vermillion paint, lacquer and gilding unite to create an effect of outstanding beauty. Nearest subway stations: Tian'AnMen Xi or Tian'AnMen Dong (line 1).

The Summer Palace 頤和園, BeiJing - video

The Summer Palace is the largest and best-preserved imperial garden in China. As its name suggests, the Summer Palace was used as a summer residence by China's imperial rulers - as a retreat from the main imperial palace now known as the Palace Museum (or 'Forbidden City') - a pleasure-ground in the countryside, yet near to the city. In 1860, as part of the 'Opium Wars', the Anglo-French Allied Forces invaded Beijing and set fire to many of the buildings within the original Summer Palace (YuanMingYuan). In 1888, Dowager Empress CiXi, with funds embezzled from the Imperial Navy, restored the grand gardens. The reconstruction and enlargement of the Summer Palace continued for ten years. After completion, she renamed the gardens 'YiHeYuan' ('Garden of Peace and Harmony'). The Empress Dowager CiXi moved her administration to the renovated YiHeYuan in 1889 and the gardens here that had long been an imperial pleasure-ground became the primary Summer Palace. Then, shortly after, the eight allied powers invaded in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion to plunder and destroy the newly reconstructed New Summer Palace. Only when the fugitive CiXi returned to Beijing in 1903, did full-scale restoration begin. In this way, the Summer Palaces - both old and new - are associated in popular culture with the destructive interference of foreign powers. Today's Summer Palace is more or less the same as the palace rebuilt from 1903. It was designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1990. After the success of the 1911 Revolution, the Summer Palace was opened to the public. Then, after the last Qing Emperor PuYi was thrown out of the Palaces in 1924, the Summer Palace was turned into a park. The Summer Palace has become a popular and relaxing destination for both domestic and international tourists. The Summer Palace is virtually a museum of traditional Chinese gardening that uses rocks, plants, pavilions, ponds, cobble paths and other garden styles to create a poetic effect between different scenes. The halls, pavilions, bridges and temples, Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, all blend together harmoniously despite their individual styles. Ingeniously conceived and elaborately designed, the Summer Palace, featuring the garden styles of both northern and southern China, is justifiably known as the 'Garden of Gardens'. Indeed, the Summer Palace represents a quintessentially Chinese ideal of harmony between man and nature. Don't miss : the beautiful Garden of Harmonious Interests (a 'garden within a garden'), SuZhou Street and the Four Great Regions Tibetan-style temple, and the Tower of Buddhist Incense and Cloud Dispelling Hall on the hill. The nearest subway station is BeiGongMen ('North Palace Gate') on line 4.

The Temple of Heaven 天坛, Beijing (2)

The magnificent Temple of Heaven (TianTan) was constructed between 1406 and 1420 (Ming dynasty) during the reign of the emperor YongLe who also oversaw the construction of the Forbidden City.The Temple of Heaven was where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would offer sacrifices to heaven and pray for good harvests. The temple complex was extended during the reign of emperor JiaJing during the 16th century (Ming dynasty). JiaJing also constructed three other key temples in Beijing : the Temple of the Sun in the east, the Temple of the Moon in the west, and the Temple of Earth in the north. Emperor QianLong directed a renovation of the Temple of Heaven during the 18th century (Qing dynasty). The architecture and layout of the Temple of Heaven is based on elaborate symbolism and numerology. One example is that the buildings and their settings reflect ancient Chinese religious beliefs that imagine heaven as round and earth as square. Because the Temple of Heaven was to be the place representing Heaven on Earth, it needed to be larger than the Forbidden City; it covers approximately twice the area and is about 2 kilometers from north to south, the primary axis with three main structures; indeed, it is the largest group of constructions for worship in the world. In 1998, the Temple of Heaven was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. In early 2005, the Temple of Heaven underwent a 47 million yuan (6 million USD) renovation that was completed on May 1st, 2006. The Temple of Heaven is a delightful place to spend some time. Arrive in the early morning to watch the Tai Chi experts, although the park is lively all day and into the evening with kite flyers, musicians, singers, dancers and games players (from badminton to Chinese chess).

The LeShan Giant Buddha 乐山大佛

In SiChuan province. The Giant Buddha, which is around 70 meters in height, was carved from the cliff face during the Tang dynasty (618 - 907). It took 90 years to complete. At 3,100 meters (10,170 feet), the nearby Mount EMei is the highest of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain 玉龙雪山 and LiJiang 丽江, YunNan province

Filmed in February 2010. The peak of the mountain range is 5,600 meters. The view of the mountains from the gardens at the Black Dragon Pool (HeiLong Tan) in LiJiang is regarded as one of China's finest. On the far side of the mountains lies Tiger Leaping Gorge (HuTiao Xia). LiJiang is a city with nearly 1.5 million inhabitants, yet LiJiang Old Town has the architecture and atmosphere of times past; indeed, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Old Town, with its waterways and ornamental bridges, dates back over 800 years.

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