China – the Land that Inspired both the Modern and Ancient World

Grand Canal China-Tourism

China is the second largest and the most populated country in the world. In our list of countries, connected by the Himalayan Range, it is the largest one. It is also among the highly developed countries in the globe, with the fastest growing GDP. The Great Himalayan Range touches only the southern part of China, mainly Tibet Autonomous Region, so that’s where our main focus will be. However, the country has much more to offer apart from the mountains. Having such a huge land mass, and so many people, certainly has its perks. The religions, cultures and traditions that date back to thousands of years, the natural and cultural heritages that are world renowned, numerous legends that exist in paper and hearsay make China one of the most interesting places to visit in the world, and an inspiration for arts, films and music in various media around the globe.

Throughout history, China has been ruled by monarchs from various dynasties, and with every new reign, the country was transformed in to something better. The country was known in the ancient world as the biggest economy, all due to the contribution of the Han Dynasty that ruled over China 2000 years back. They also laid the foundation for the Silk Road that would later become the path connecting the east and the west. The stature was maintained by the country for several hundreds of years

During the reign of Sui Dynasty, 1500 years ago, the Grand Canal was built. It connected the cities of Beijing and Hangzhou. It is considered to be the longest and the oldest canal in the world, and is enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. China is also the first country in the world to introduce Paper Money, which it did during the reign of Song Dynasty, around 1000 years ago. And how can we miss The Great Wall of China, built during the reign of Qin Dynasty some 2100 years ago.

Grand Canal China-Tourism
Grand Canal China – One of the longest and oldest canal or artificial river in the world

Throughout the ancient and modern times, Chinese rulers were known to have had appreciated and promoted art forms like literature, music, painting, sculpturing and so on. They are also known for reforming the administration, introducing postal services, setting up navy and so on. During Genghis Khan’s reign in China, he contributed to women empowerment by employing them in government offices, and giving them the right to divorce their husbands. Most of these activities were done for the first time in history, and influenced rulers across the world.

Genghis Khan of Mongol Empire
Genghis Khan – First Great Khan of the Mongol Empire

Taking about nature, the country is the 3rd most diverse country in the world when it comes to biodiversity. Altogether 34,687 species of animals and plants can be found in the country. The reason for this is its landscape that includes the deserts, snowy mountains, sup tropical forests, coastal regions and so on. The country is home to Yellow and Yangtze Rivers. They are among the top five longest rivers in the world. One-third portion of Mt. Everest, the highest point in the world, happens to be in Tibet region in China, also the third lowest point in the world, the dry Ayding Lake bed is located here.

Altogether, China has 52 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 36 of which are cultural and 16 are natural. Few of the natural heritages include Jiuzhaigou National Park in Sichuan Province, Three Parallel Rivers in Yunnan Province, Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuary in Sichuan Province, Tian Shan Mountain Range in Xinjiang, South China Karst spanning across Chongqing, Guangxi, Guizhou and Yunnan Provinces, and so on. A Karst is an area formed by disintegrated minerals. It has varied landscapes, and South China Karst, in particular, looks like a complex of lakes, sewers and caves, and is rich in biodiversity.

Three Parallel Rivers – A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Yunnan Province, China Source

The cultural ones include Summer Palace in Beijing, Temple of Heaven in Beijing, Imperial Palaces of Ming and Qing Dynasties also in Beijing, Kulangsu Pedestrian Island in Fujian, Longmen Grottoes in Hennan Province and so on. Grottoes are mainly cave like structures with various art forms like painting, scriptures, statues and so on. Longmen in particular houses thousands of statues of Buddha and his disciples. The place is also known as Dragon Gate Grottoes.

China is undoubtedly one of the most preferred and visited tourist destinations in the world. The perfect combination of natural wonders and man-made intricacies make China a part of the bucket list of most people around the globe. Truly a must visit place!