China has become a very popular destination for travelers worldwide who come here to witness its ancient culture and history. In recent years, China has emerged as the world’s hottest travel destination. Hence tourism is a major sector of the Chinese economy which accounts for about 50 billion U.S. dollars in foreign reserves. It is difficult to imagine now that during the Mao era tourism was practically banned in China and only a few foreign travelers were allowed into mainland China. Today, China ranks fifth in terms of visitors annually. It was estimated as the most preferred destination for travelers in 2020.
China has a long history and travelers are spellbound when they encounter China’s culture. The Great Wall of China is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is a top attraction for foreign visitors who are mesmerized by its grandeur and size. Currently access is provided to about ten sections of the Great Wall. Another top attraction is the Forbidden City located in Beijing, China’s capital. It served as the seat of imperial power in China until the end of the Qing dynasty. Granted “world heritage site status in 1987”, it houses the largest collection of ancient wooden works according to UNESCO.
The ancient and famous Silk Routes are dotted with various murals and sculpture sites. Mogao Caves are the most known. Shaolin temple located in Henan province is also a major centre of martial arts and the origin place of Zen Buddhism in China. Ancient Buddhist temples are dotted throughout China. Leshan’s giant Buddha statue in Sichuan province of China is the largest carved Buddha statue in the world. Other popular destinations among international travelers include Hong Kong (now part of China), Yellow river, Terracotta army, and the summer palace. In addition to its rich culture, China is also endowed with natural beauty. It has beautiful mountains like Mount Hengshan, Mount Tai, Mount Hua and Mount Song which are collectively known as the Sacred Mountains. Huanggoshu waterfall, which can be heard from 50 km away, is the most spectacular waterfall in China.
There are also many scenic lakes in China. The Tianchi Lake (literally meaning Heavenly Pool) which is 105 meters deep and located among the Tianshan Mountains leaves many travelers spell bound because of its scenic beauty and pure natural environment. Situated at a height of 1980 meters above sea level, this crystal clear lake gives a panoramic view of the mountains in the midst of colorful flowers.
China also has a number of annual festivals which are popular with tourists. March Street of the Bai people and the Water Sprinkling Festival in Yunnan province are the most important. China is also well connected to the world by air and sea transport. It provides ample opportunities to satisfy any traveler with its abundance of beauty and rich past.