China

CHINA- The Ultimate Destination

China is the second largest country in the world extending across much of East Asia. It has the longest combined land border in the world, which is around 22,117 km. It borders 14 nations, namely Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia, North Korea. The vast area of the lands of China has a very intriguing geographical structure, with rivers and lakes, plateaus and deserts. The country is among the 17 mega diverse countries and is the third-most bio-diverse countries in the world with over 34,687 species of animals and vascular plants, 551 species of mammals, 1,221 species of birds, 424 species of reptiles and 333 species of amphibians. The country has over 2,349 nature reserves with the intention of preserving nature and wildlife. China has 56 distinct ethnic groups, the largest being the Han Chinese. The country has 292 languages. Freedom of religion is practiced in the country. The government of the People's Republic of China is officially atheist. Chinese are foodies and so their cuisine is highly diverse. The most famous one is the "Eight Major Cuisines", including Sichuan, Cantonese, Jiangsu, Shandong, Fujian, Hunan, Anhui, and Zhejiang cuisines. China’s stands second to none when it comes to offering you with variety of options to do while you are in the country.

China as an Inventor

China has always excelled when it comes to inventions and discoveries in every field. We can list it into four groups namely; Papermaking, The Compass, Gunpowder and Printing. There are other inventions as well but these are the major ones.

Papermaking

A Chinese man named Jingzhong belonging to the Han Dynasty was the one to invent pulp. He created a sheet of paper using mulberry and other bast fibers along with fishnets, old rags, and hemp waste. First the paper was used only for the purpose of wrapping and padding. It was only later in the 3rd century that the paper was used for writing purpose. Then around the 6th century they learned to use it as a toilet paper too. Gradually they learned to be more creative with paper and learned how to sew it into square bags to preserve the flavor of tea. Later the Song Dynasty was the first government to issue paper currency.

The Compass

The Chinese used to use a lodestone compass during the Han Dynasty between the 2nd century BC and 1st century AD. It was used only for geomancy and fortune-telling and not for navigation. The first suspended magnetic needle compass was written in the book of Shen Kuo in 1088. They used different kinds of compass in the early times and kept working on it to make it better until in the 14th-century, they came up with the European compass-card in box frame and dry pivot needle. This Chinese design of the suspended dry compass persisted in use well into the 18th century.

Gunpowder

In the quest of immortality, gunpowder was invented by the Chinese alchemists. They further worked with the gunpowder making progress after every experiment. In the mid-14th century, they finally perfected.

Printing

World's first print culture was produced by The Chinese invention of Woodblock printing. By the 16th century Western printing presses was introduced. By the 14th century it reached Europe and by around 1400 it was being used on paper for old master prints and playing cards. It gradually advanced from thereon.

Some Main Attractions

Three Pagodas

These are one of the best preserved Buddhist structures in China. The middle one is the oldest and the tallest and the other two were built later and are comparatively shorter. The place also provides a scenic treat.

Shilin Stone Forest

This is a set of karst formations in southwest China. The stones stand all around the forest exactly like a stalagmite does in a cave. These stones are believed to be 270 million years old when it used to be an ocean floor.

Wudang Mountains

These are the mountains casted in the famous movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. The place is well known for its scenic beauty and also happens to be the most sacred Taoist mountain range in China.

Mount Tai

This is one of the five sacred mountains of the country. The specialty of the mountain is that it has got 6000 steps. The first task of the new emperors was to climb up those steps and 72 of them did.

Longji Terraces

It is also known as the Dragon’s Backbone rice terraces. They were built during the Ming Dynasty, over 500 years ago. The rice terraces starts at the riverbank and ends near the mountaintop. It is a picturesque sight.

Hanging Monastery

The monastery is Perched halfway up a cliff 246 feet above the ground. It appears to be glued to the stony mountain walls. It is an incredible sight to watch. There are 40 rooms linked together by mid-air corridors and walkways. This is something you must experience once in a life but it is not for the faint hearts.

Anhui: Hongcun Ancient Village

The village is 900 years old; this is why people travel thousands of miles to witness the sophisticated designs and architecture of the village. The picturesque place has been the inspiration for arts, for students for decades.

Anhui: Mount Huangshan

Mount Huangshan, also known as Mount Yellow is the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the ultimate trekking spot. The scenery is sure to give you a jaw drop, with its spectacular rocky mountains standing majestically with odd shaped pines, and thick clouds flowing above the hot springs.

Fujian: Mount Wuyi
This is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its beauty is a bit too much to behold with peaceful lakes, emerald green forests, high Rocky Mountains and Waterfalls falling from atop the mountains. People also entertain themselves with the bamboo raft drifting in the Nine Bend River.

Gansu: Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake, Dunhuang

This is an incredible beauty amidst the vast Gobi desert in northwest China. You will hear the echoes caused because of the series of dunes surrounding Crescent Lake. You can also enjoy a camel ride here.