If you are a history and travel enthusiast like me, then you probably love the idea of visiting destinations that feature ancient, historic sites. With an extensive history dating back thousands of years, North China packs so many beautiful and intriguing places that it could be called one giant, living museum. If you have ever thought about traveling to North China and want some information about where to go and what to see, check out the following five suggestions.
With a history dating back to more than 3,000 years ago, Xian is one of Northwest China’s oldest cities and regarded as one of China’s Four Great Ancient Capitals. As such, this capital city of the Shaanxi Province packs amazing historical sites well worth exploring such as the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the Ancient City Wall , the Bell & Drum Tower and the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses. Though not an ancient site, the Shaanxi History Museum is also located here in Xian where you can learn and view many fascinating artifacts and specimens from ancient China.
2. Silk Road
If you want to see some of China’s most beautiful scenery and impressive attractions, the Silk Road is an excellent choice. Stretching more than 4,000 miles from present day Xian to Italy, this historic route dates back to 2,000 years ago when it was well traveled during China’s prosperous silk trade. Today, when you travel this scenic road, not only can you can admire stunning landscapes of rolling hills and mountains, but you can stop and visit many ancient and famous sites such as the enormous Giant Buddha Temple in the town of Zhangye, the Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves in Lanzhou, the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty and many more.
Another of China’s ancient cities is its capital, Beijing. A city bustling with activity, Beijing is home to some of the world’s most visited and intriguing attractions such as the Forbidden City, the Tianamen Square, the Guangren Lama Temple and the Marco Polo Bidge. Also well worth a look is the 500 year old Ancient Observatory.
Located in the Shanxi Province, you can reach Datong easily by a train from Beijing. With a vast history dating back to more than 2,000 years ago, Datong offers thousands of treasures for your to explore such as stunning architecture, temples and ancient wonders. It is here in Datong that you can visit the Yungang Caves, which contain ancient carvings and 1,000 year old Buddha statues. Other sites that you wouldn’t want to miss include the Hanging Monastery, the Nine Dragon Screen and the Yinxian Wooden Pagoda.
About 400 miles from Beijing, the 3,000 year old town of Pingyao is definitely well worth a visit. Now a designated World Heritage Site, Pingyao is considered one of the world’s most well-preserved ancient cities. Here, you can see one of China’s oldest temples, the Temple of the City God, as well as Pingyao’s City Wall. You don’t want to miss the impressive architecture of the complexes of the historic Qiao’s Family Compound and Wang’s Compound.