Everyone knows China, officially the People’s Republic of China is a country in East Asia. It is the world’s most populous country, with a population of more than 1.4 billion. It borders 14 countries, the third biggest country in the world, after Russia and Canada, covering an area of approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million mi2) The country is officially divided into 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, and four direct-controlled municipalities of Beijing (the capital city), TianjinShanghai (the largest city), and Chongqing, as well as two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

Map of 23 provinces, 5 Autonomous regions, 4 Direct-administered municipalities and 2 Special administrative regions

I can say 50% of Malaysian been to China, and been many times too as China is a big diversify country with endless beautiful scenery and attraction. If I were to write all about China, 10,000 pages aren’t enough. You can travel 1 whole year in China and still cannot cover all the places so I just cover briefly some of the places I went. One of the 7 wonders of the world here is The Great Wall of China. I went there with wife and my brother family back in 2011, it was cool season in March

The Great Wall of China (萬里長城 or simplified 万里长城) is a series of fortifications that were built across the historical northern borders of ancient Chinese states and Imperial China as protection against various nomadic groups from the Eurasian Steppe. Several walls were built from as early as the 7th century BC, with selective stretches later joined together by Qin Shi Huang (220–206 BC), the first emperor of China. Little of the Qin wall remains. Later on, many successive dynasties built and maintained multiple stretches of border walls. The most well-known sections of the wall were built by the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). The main wall is around 2,145 miles (3,460 km) long with an extra 1,770 miles (2,860 km) of branches and spurs. If the brick would be dismantle piece by piece, it can circle the globe 7 times. Today, the most visited section of the wall is near Badaling Pass northwest of Beijing(which I went), easily reached by public transport or organized tours. Other restored sections worth a visit include the section near Gubeikou,  130 kilometers from Beijing

Second to Great Wall is Tianamen Square (天安门) is a city square in the city center of Beijing, named after the eponymous Tiananmen (“Gate of Heavenly Peace”). The square contains the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao ZedongMao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China in the square on October 1, 1949, the anniversary of this event is still observed there. 

Here is also the entrance to Forbidden City, China’s largest and most important building, also known as the Imperial Palace – is situated here, is a must-see when visiting the country. Started during the Yuan Dynasty between 1271-1368, much of the complex seen today was built between 1406 and 1420. Covering some 720,000 square meters and protected by a 10-meter-high wall,  it can take many hours to see everything, highlights include the five white marble Golden River Bridges; the Hall of Supreme Harmony, a 35-meter-tall building housing the imperial throne; and the exquisite emperor’s banquet hall (the Hall of Preserving Harmony); and the Palace Museum with its large collection of art and artifacts from the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Datong (大同) is just about 4 hours from Beijing

If you going Beijing, have time, make a trip to Datong, The Hanging Temple, also known as Hanging Monastery or is a temple built into a cliff (75 m or 246 ft above the ground) near Mount Heng in Hunyuan CountyDatong City, Shanxi Province, China. The closest city is Datong, 64 kilometres (40 mi) to the northwest. Along with the Yungang Grottoes, the Hanging Temple is one of the main tourist attractions and historical sites in the Datong area. Built more than 1,500 years ago without a single nail !

Another place I recommend is Guilin, a prefecture-level city in the northeast of China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, boasts some of China’s most beautiful countryside and is famous for the Li River, which meanders through the town and surrounding karst mountains, long been renowned for its scenery of topography.  The river meanders peacefully through some 80 kilometers of remarkable rock formations and caves with romantic names such as the Mount of Unique BeautyElephant Trunk Hill, and Reed Flute Cave. Guilin is one of China’s most popular tourist destinations, and the epithet “By water, by mountains, most lovely, Guilin” (山水甲天下) is often associated with the city. You can choose from a tourist cruise ship to small bamboo punts – trips can take anywhere from a few hours to multiple days.

Panda is China utmost treasure, more pricey than their citizen. As of December 2014, 49 giant pandas lived in captivity outside China, living in 18 zoos in 13 different countries. Zoos around the world pay China millions of dollars a year to ‘ rent’ them. They are rent in pairs at an annual fees of about one million dollars. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the giant panda is a folivore, with bamboo shoots and leaves making up more than 99% of its diet. The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan, but also in neighbouring Shaanxi and Gansu.

Don’t forget to try their famous Peking duck if you are here
Known throughout the world Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin
More than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses,

The next destination I recommend is Xian which I travelled with my brother in 2015, here is where Terracotta Army, a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE with the purpose of protecting the emperor in his afterlife. The figures, dating from approximately the late third century BCE, were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Lintong County, outside Xi’an, Shaanxi, China. The figures vary in height according to their roles, the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Estimates from 2007 were that the three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits near Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum. Their entrance fees Rmb 150 and they received up to 65,000 visitors a day, you can calculate how much they collecting a month

If you visit Terracotta Army, don’t forget to step into one of old movie famous Shaolin Temple, at Zhengzhou, Henan about 400 km away, we hired a driver with a car to reach in 5 hours. Entrance fees is Rmb 100. for foreigners. You can come and learn real Kung Fu here or send your son to learn, their fees about Rmb 20 – 30k, per annum. After graduate, you can open a Kung Fu school at your country. I saw many kids, age below 10 and also teenagers from all parts of China. They also perform some dangerous stunts on stage every alternate hour to entertain us.

Statue outside Shaolin : Entrance of Shaolin Temple : Tree holes poke by iron fingers of Kung Fu students
Shaolin Shadowless kick

Hainan is the smallest and southernmost province of China, consisting of various islands in the South China Sea. Hainan Island, the largest and most populous island of China, makes up the vast majority (97%) of the province. “Hainan“, the name of the island and the province, literally means “south of the sea”, reflecting its position south of the Qiongzhou Strait, which separates it from Guangdong‘s Leizhou Peninsula and the rest of the Chinese mainland. In the Chinese language, Hainan is officially known as Hainan Dao. I visited in 2014 and my first experience of traveling by train at Hai Kou, Hainan island where the long train disintegrate to few shorter train carriage section and goes in the big ferry/ship to cross the sea and when arrived mainland China, rejoin back to resume the journey, marvelous idea that started since 2007. Watch the video below to see how the train goes in the ferry and rejoin later.

I went back my ancestral hometown at Hainan island in 2014, this is train station at Haikou

Here I may have just introduce, maybe just 1% of China, this vast country really need 10,000 pages to write. I have been to China more than 10 times but that’s just less than 5% of interesting places or just scratching the surface. Here are another 8 exotic destination you can go when time and money isn’t a problem:

  1. The Yangtze River and the Three Gorges – this mighty rivers spans more than 6,000 kilometers, making it the longest and most important river in China and 3rd longest in the world. Its flows from Tibet in the west to Shanghai in the east for more than 2,000 years.  The world’s largest dam and hydroelectric power station, is in Xiling Gorge.
  2. The Classical Gardens of Suzhou, Jiangsu – located in Suzhou in Jiangsu province, it is a world most important historic gardens and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Established in 11th century, at a time when city was experiencing unprecedented growth, and were among some 270 gardens planted here
  3. The Potala Palace, Tibet – one of China magnificent historic structures in the town of Lhasa, Tibet. Built as a fortress and a residence for Dalai Lama, it contains many of the religion’s most important treasures and it is was built centuries ago as a center of political and religious power. There are 2 Potala Places, namely Red Palace (built in 17th century) and White Palace (in 1648). Red Palace contains most important shrines found in the Enthronement Hall covered with murals depicting scenes from the Dalai Lama and Tibetan kings. White Palace are for sleeping quarters, studies and reception rooms.
  4. Shanghai’s Promenade: The Bund – China’s largest city with more than 24 million resident, famous for it’s European feel, is popular for it’s 52 preserved English and French influenced buildings representing a variety of influences from Gothic to Renaissance styles such as the old harbor customs office, with its bell tower and the majestic Peace Hotel. Don’t forget to visit 468 meter Oriental Pearl Tower on the opposite Huangpu Jiang River.
  5. Hangzhou’s Historic West Lake – being capital of Zhejiang province, Hangzhou boasts quite a number of splendid historic sites and ancient temples. Located at the southernmost end of China famous Grand Canal, a 6 kilometer square stretch of water in the heart of the old city, which is surrounded by numerous temples, pagoda and hills.
  6. The Mausoleum of Light: The Northern Imperial Tomb, Shenyang – located at the old city of Shenyang, it’s include on the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s list of Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Emperor Huang Taiji who reigned from 1626 – 35 was buried here, a vast site covering more than 180,000 square meters.
  7.  Leshan Giant Buddha, Sichuan – a spectacular 71 meter tall that took 90 years to complete, started in AD 713 by a Buddhist monk, this important religious icon is carved entirely from a stone cliff-face and is the largest Buddha sculpture in the world.
  8.  Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan – this is where the movie ‘ Avatar’ sci-fi movie was shot in 2009, with its stunning natural beauty, its many pillar-like rock formations looking like incredible alien landscape, the tallest standing at 1,080 meters. Man made attraction were built here, the first was the Bailong Elevator (Hundred Dragons Sky Lift) that propels up to 50 people up 326 meters in just 2 minutes which rewards you dramatic views all the way. Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Bridge built in 2016 was the world’s highest and tallest bridge at 300 meters above ground, extending 430 meters along a spectacular cliff face, its a no-go for the acrophobia but a yes for the brave hearted looking for adventure

Just google where ever you wish to go, but now China is not a cheap destination anymore, every where/place need entrance fee and not cheap and they actually don’t even need foreign tourist as their own country alone have billion of local tourist. For more information on flight, train tickets there, try here. See ya…