The Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes are located in Dunhuang County

The Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes are located in Dunhuang County, Gansu Province, some twenty-five kilometers southeast of the city. The common name for the grottoes is the Thousand?Buddha caves. These are located on the precipitous face of the east ridge of the Mingsha Mountains. Their construction began in the year 366 AD and, by the time of the Tang-dynasty empress named Wu Zetian, more than one thousand rooms had been carved and painted. Those that have been preserved to this day include rooms from the dynasties of Northern Wei, Western Wei, Northern Zhou, Sui, Tang, Five Dynasties, Song, Westerm Xia, and Yuan. In all there are some 492 grottoes, with wall paintings covering 45,000 square meters, and containing 2,415 painted stone carvings. This is considered a priceless artistic trove. It is now protected as a National Key Cultural Relics Protected Unit, and in 1987 it was listed among the ranks of World Cultural Heritage Sites. Welcome to China, Chinatourguide.com is pleasure to provide service for your China tours, We also provide Thailand tour packages or Cambodia tour packages.

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Research has shown that the Mogao Grottoes are continually suffering damages caused by the natural environment and aging of the caves; factors such as mountain slitting and sand and wind erosion are exacerbated by the large number of tourists. Based on scientific surveys, 20 percent of the 45,000-square meter total area covered by the murals are damaged to different degrees, with this damage occurring at a much faster rate than in ancient times. President of the Dunhuang Academy Fan Jinshi says we can only slow down, rather than completely stop the aging process.

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The mural art in Mogao Grottoes is unique. The murals, especially the story telling murals, have made Mogao Grottoes famous all over the world. There are no grottoes that can reach or exceed it in the world. The story telling murals depict mainly Buddhist thought including the scriptures, the biography and stories of Buddha, and other Buddhist historical records. In addition, there are Gods, mighty warriors, a thousand small Buddhas, as well as flying Buddhist angels too. The murals in Mogao Grottoes are famous for their grand scale, extensive subject matter and exquisite art. For these reasons, Mogao Grottoes is called the “library on the wall”.

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The Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple in Dali

The Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple 崇圣三塔 used to be situated at the foot of Diancang Mountain on the shores of Lake Erhai. The temple no longer exists, but the three pagodas, different in size and history, remain. Qianxun Pagoda, the biggest of the three, is described variously in historical records, but from its structure and shape, it must have been built after the Kaicheng period (836 to 840) of the Tang Dynasty and undergone repairs in the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. When the pagoda was repaired again in 1979, three copper plates, found in the bottom of the steeple, stated that the pagoda was repaired in 1000, 1142 and 1154. Also discovered were statues of Buddha and bodhisattvas, scriptures, seals, coins, a bronze mirror, porcelain, articles used in Buddhist ritual, musical instruments, daily-use articles, various kinds of small pagodas, and gold and silver ware. Unearthed from the pagoda’s underground palace were ceramic Buddhist statues and pagodas and matrices for printing Buddhist scriptures in Sanskrit.

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Straight and towering, the Quadrangular Qianxun Pagoda, the main one was exquisitely constructed, with multiple tiers of eaves. It has 16 storeys and a height of 69.13 meters. In the central part of each facade, a shrine was built and a Buddha statue of white marble installed. The two other pagodas of 10 stories are 42.19 meters high. They are solid and beautiful, and in octagonal shape. Coated with white mud, and carved with a shrine, Buddha statue, lotus flowers, etc. on each story, the pagodas look elegant and stately.

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The newly built Chongsheng Temple covers an area of 40 hectares. It is arranged along a main axis and two auxiliary axes. Lying in proper order along the main axis are the Gate to the Temple, Heavenly Kings, Maitreya, Eleven-faced Goddess of Mercy, and Great Hero Halls, the Pavilion of Achuoyie Goddess of Mercy, Mountain-Lake Grand View Stone Archway, and the Lake Viewing Tower. Along the two auxiliary axes are Arhat, Eminent Monks (the nine kings who became monks), Founders (six founders of the Zen sect), and Heavenly Kings Halls, and Institute of Buddhism.

Mount Emei is the home of the first Buddhist temple

The tallest of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China, Mount Emei is the home of the first Buddhist temple built in China in the 1st century. Spotted with no fewer than 76 Buddhist monasteries, Mount Emei is not just a place for enlightenment — with spectacular views of the sunrise and endless seas of clouds, it’s a place to completely immerse yourself in China’s natural wonders.

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Emei Shan literally means “Delicate Eyebrow Mountain” — it derives its name from two peaks which face each other and look like the delicate eyebrows of a Chinese classic beauty. The range stretches more than 200km from south to north, with its main peak, Wanfo Top, 3,100m above sea level. Since ancient times, Emei Mountain has been described as “Beauty Under Heaven.”
It is 5km to the top, which takes around 10 hours on foot. If you choose to walk it all, plan for a full day up and a full day down. Monasteries along the way offer reasonably-priced lodging, and there are several comfortable lodges on the summit. Remeber to dress in layers – a 20°C temperature variance between base and summit is normal.

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A full day’s hike to the summit is an unforgettable experience undertaken by many, but minibuses and cable cars are faster alternatives for travelers short on time. Some spend the night to see the sunrise, others quickly turn around and head back.

The beauty of the West Lake

The beauty of the West Lake lies in a lingering charm that survives the change of seasons in a year, of hours in a day, and of different weathers. Ancient people praised the lake as a “home of hundreds of tourist sites where you get intoxicated all the time”. To demonstrate its beauty, the lake offers 10 most famous scenes as Spring Dawn at Su Causeway, Melting Snow at Broken Bridge, Sunset Glow over Leifeng Hill, Lotus in the Breeze at Crooked Courtyard, Autumn Moon on Calm Lake, Listening to Orioles Singing in the Willows, Viewing Fish at Flowers Pond, Evening Bell at Nanping Hill, Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, Twin Peaks Piercing the Clouds. No wonder the Song Dynasty poet Su Shi compared the Lake to Xizi, a Chinese Cleopatra: “Ripping water shimmering on sunny day, Misty mountains wonder in the rain, Plain or gaily decked out like Xizi, the West Lake is always alluring”. So the lake is also known as Xizi Lake.

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The West Lake landscape is an exceptional testimony to the very specific cultural tradition of improving landscapes to create a series of ‘pictures’ that reflect what was seen as a perfect fusion between people and nature, a tradition that evolved in the Tang and Song Dynasties and has continued its relevance to the present day. The ‘improved’ West Lake, with its exceptional array of man-made causeways, islands, bridges, gardens, pagodas and temples, against a backdrop of the wooded hills, can be seen as an entity that manifests this tradition in an outstanding way.

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The West Lake is a like a shining pearl inlaid on the vast land of China, reputed for beautiful scenery, a multitude of historical sites, brilliant cultural relics, and a profusion of native products. Legend has it that the West Lake was a heavenly jewel fallen to earth. Pragmatists insist that it is a mere lagoon on Hangzhou’s western fringe. In any case, West Lake has inspired painters for centuries.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is a mountain massif near Lijiang

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain  is a mountain massif (also identified as a small mountain range) near Lijiang, in Yunnan province, southwestern China. The range is also known as Mount Yulong after the Chinese or Mount Satseto after the Naxi name. Its highest peak is named Shanzidou (扇子陡) (5,596 m or 18,360 ft). The view of the massif from the gardens at the Black Dragon Pool (Heilong Tan) in Lijiang is noted as one of China’s finest views, and part of Yulong Snow Mountain Scenic Area, a AAAAA-classified scenic area. 

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Jade Dragon Snow Mountain extends 35 km from south to north and 12 km from west to east, producing different altitudes in the mountain. Owing to conspicuous three-dimensional climate caused by different altitude, various trees and rare animals living in different climates can live together in this mountain It is estimated that half of Yunnan’s 13,000 plants species, 400 kinds of trees, dozens of flowers types, and one-third of China’s known species of medicinal herbs can be found here. When the spring comes, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain bursts into bloom when the camellias, rhododendrons, and azaleas start flowering. Herders take their cattle, goats, sheep, and yaks to graze on its slopes. In autumn, a portion of the pines turns amber yellow, while the leaves on deciduous trees present patches of orange, bright yellow, and scar.

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With the height of 5596 meters, the mountain is magnificent. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is partly hidden and partly visible; sometimes under the cloudless sky, it is sparkling and crystal-clear; sometimes partly covered by cloud, the part above cloud is bright and clear while the part under cloud is totally green.

Barkhor is the road tramped out around Jokhang Temple through centuries

Barkhor is the road which pilgrims tramped out around Jokhang Temple through centuries. Buddhist pilgrims walk or progress by body-lengths along the street clockwise every day into deep night. They comprise most of Lhasa‘s floating population. Careful visitors may find there are 4 columns, on which colorful scripture streamers are hung flying over the street. All pilgrims walk outside of them to show respect. The custom started in Tubo period (633- 877).

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Over time side streets, lanes and alleys were added and the Barkhor Square. Today the pilgrims are still circumambulating the temple and the surrounding area has become a major tourist destination. This is the best place to see Lhasa’s traditional Tibetan architecture and the streets are lined by small shops selling Tibetan souvenirs such as prayer wheels, the tradition Tibetan long-sleeve ‘chuba’, Tibetan knives, jade jewellery, Buddhist statues and other religious artefacts. It is also the place to find ‘Thangka’ or Tibetan scroll paintings with themes of religion, history, literature, etc.

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Tips:
1. You should walk in a clockwise direction along the street.
2. It is better not stay too late there. Because there are many lanes there, it’s easy to lose your way in the evening.
3. Different vendors may sell the same thing at different price. So you’d better ask several vendors and get more information of the articles. Of course, you should also know how to bargain with them.
4. According to the tradition of Tibet, the vendor will give a favorable price to the first customer and the last one in a day.

The Forbidden City is in the heart of Beijing

In the heart of Beijing lies the largest palace in the world, The Forbidden City. For five hundred years, it served as the home of the almighty Emperors of China along with their wives, concubines, and entourages of tens of thousands of eunuchs and civil servants. But the Forbidden City is more than an imperial residence; it is the center of the universe, a unique complex of structures revealing a hierarchy of power both imperial and divine.

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Many of the largest building blocks of the Forbidden City came from a quarry about 43 miles (70 kilometers) away from the site. People in China had been using the spoked wheel since about 1500 B.C., so it was commonly thought that such colossal stones would’ve been transported on wheels, not by something like a sled.

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Over the hundreds of years since it was first built, most parts of the Forbidden City have been rebuilt many times. In modern times, The Forbidden City has been renamed the Palace Museum and is open to the general public.

The Forbidden City is also a treasure trove of movable cultural relics; it is the seat of the National Palace Museum. It has over 1.8 million movable cultural relics, including more than 1.68 million pieces of precious relics. In 2012, the highest single-day passenger flow volume of Forbidden City exceeded 180,000 people, and annual passenger flow volume exceed 15 million people. It can be regarded as the busiest museum in the world.