7 Places to Explore in China and Taiwan
Behold the unparalleled majesty of East Asia
Watching all seven Mano Po movies is bound to make you crave something Oriental—be it the food, culture, or the sights and sounds from the countries themselves. China and Taiwan offer a wealth of experiences to travelers, from landmarks that are thousands of years old to marvels of more recent eras. These two places aren’t just cultural melting pots; they showcase just what mainland Chinese can do.
Here are some of the most memorable places in China and Taiwan that yo might want to add to your travel bucket list in case you haven’t.
1. Great Wall of China
It’s no wonder crowds flock to this United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. The larger-than-life landmark is over 2,300 years old and spans 21,196.18 kilometers over nine provinces and municipalities—namely, Liaoning , Hebei , Tianjin, Beijing, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Ningxia and Gansu. Its construction will always be an incredible human feat.
The ideal time to visit the Great Wall is during the summer (latter part of March, April, May and June) and autumn (September, October and early November).
2. Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
Located in Lintong District in Xi'an, Shaanxi province of China is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was constructed from 246 to 208 BC.
This spot is best known as the home of the Terracotta Army, which are life-size terracotta statues depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China.
The terracotta soldiers are life-size, measuring between 6 feet to 6 feet and 5 inches. Their height is determined by their rank. As such, the tallest ones are the generals. As if their size is not impressive enough, consider their number: there are 8,000 soldiers onsite and all of them bear different faces. They, along with weapons, chariots and horses, were constructed to be buried along with the deceased Qin Shi Huang to protect him in the afterlife.
3. Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the enclave of the Chinese imperial family from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty, or from 1420 to 1912. Covering over 180 acres of land, the complex has 980 buildings and has been the hallmark of Chinese palatial architecture since its construction, influencing the architecture in East Asia. It is a World Heritage Site and is listed by UNESCO as having the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. (In case you’re wondering, the Forbidden City got its name from the fact that no one could enter or leave the palace without the emperor’s approval.)
Located at the heart of Beijing, the 72-hectare compound now houses the Palace Museum. The Palace Museum boasts a vast collection of art works and artifacts, and has the distinction of being the most visited museum in the world.
4. Dujiangyan Panda Base
This panda sanctuary is located in the Dujiangyan Prefecture in Chengdu of China's Sichuan province. It's not as popular as the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center or the Bifengxia Giant Panda Base, which makes it ideal for tourists who want quality time and an actual interaction with pandas.
5. Mount Putuo
Mount Putuo is located in an island southeast of Shanghai, in the Zhoushan Prefecture of China's Zhejiang province.
Tagged as “one of the four sacred mountains in Chinese Buddhism,” Mount Putuo is a pilgrimage site. It is the center of the worship of Guanyin or Guan Yin, who is venerated by Mahayana Buddhists. In English, she is dubbed as the “Goddess of Mercy.”
As such, one of Mount Putuo’s attractions is a 108-foot tall statue of Guan Yin.
Aside from being a spiritual refuge, Mount Putuo also boasts scenic beaches.
6. Taroko Gorge
“Breathtaking” is the best word to describe the landscape of Taroko Gorge in Hualien City, Taiwan. It is pure bliss for nature lovers and tourists who want to escape the urban jungle.
Taroko Gorge and its surrounding areas are known for its abundant supply of marble. That is why it’s also referred to as “The Marble Gorge.” Then again, marble will be the last thing on your mind when you see the lush greenery.
7. Taipei 101
This 101-storey skyscraper, which is 1,671 feet tall, held the title as the world’s tallest building from 2004 to 2008. In any case, it’s not the building itself that is the main attraction. It’s actually the spectacular view you see from it.
The Taipei 101 Observatory is on the 89th to 91st floors of the tower. You get to enjoy panoramic views of the city and mountains from an indoor and outdoor deck.