The Middle Kingdom is said to have 5,000 years of culture and these are just the places to learn about the rich history of China, whether you're interested in religion, politics, warfare or peoples.
The Leshan Giant Buddha (Lèshān Dàfó, 乐山大佛) is situated at the confluence of the Min (Mín Jiāng, 岷江) and Dadu Rivers (Dàdù Hé, 大渡河) and was originally built to protect and watch over passing ships in the night. Haitong, a Chinese monk, began work on the project in 713 and it was not completed until 90 years later. Despite this monk's dedication (he gauged out his own eyes to secure funding) he did not live to see the statue completed. Haitong's work was continued by the monks Zangchou..
Dating back to the Tang Dynasty, the grottoes and carvings on the foliage-draped Thousand Buddha Cliff (Qiānfó Yá, 千佛崖) outside Ji'nan sit not far from what was once the Shentong Temple (Shéntōng Sì, 神通寺). Shandong guide | Jinan guide | Jinan attractions Jinan flights | Jinan hotels Jinan on the China Travel Blog
Luoyang's most revered Buddhist site and popular tourist attraction, the Longmen Grottoes (Lóngmén Shíkū, 龙门石窟) or "Dragon's Gate Grottoes", lie twelve kilometers (7.5 mi) to the south of the city center. Separated by the Yi River are Xiang Shan (eastern bank) and Longmen Shan (western bank), two mountains riddled with thousands of caves and niches featuring some of China's most spectacular rock carvings and inscriptions. Work on the carvings began in the Northern Wei Dynasty (471-499 AD) and continued over the Sui..
If there is one sight that you should not miss while coming through Datong, it is the Yungang Caves. This masterpiece of early Chinese Buddhist cave art was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. The story behind the grottoes is an interesting one and begins in the Wei Dynasty. The first two Wei emperors, Tuoba Gui and Tuoba Si, were both Buddhists. However, the third emperor, Tuoba Tao, known as "Taiwu," was a Taoist, as was his Prime Minister Cui Hao and Hao’s teacher, Taoist monk Kou..
Cut into the red-orange stone by a stream running at the foot of Hong Shan (Hóng Shān, 红山), the Red Stone Gorge (Hóngshí Xiá, 红石峡) is dotted by Buddhist grottoes. The oldest of these date back to the Song Dynasty. More recently, a number of inscriptions have been carved into the walls of the canyon, including some by famous Chinese artists. About 2 km (1.2 mi) away, Zhenbei Tower is one of the largest towers of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall.
The Mogao Caves (Mògāo Kū, 莫高窟), also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas (Qiān Fó Dòng, 千佛洞), are a group of 492 cave-temples in southeast Dunhuang. These astonishing caves, or grottoes, were dug out of the bedrock and cliffs sometime in the fourth century. The story goes that a Buddhist monk named Lè Zūn had a vision of a thousand Buddhas bathed in golden light, inspiring him to build a cave there. During the Tang Dynasty there were over 1,000 caves carved into the cliffs in Dunhuang. However, those..
Travelers with the patience and money to endure the journey and entrance fees are well rewarded when they finally reach the Bingling Caves (Bǐnglíng Sì Shíkū, 炳靈寺石窟). Featuring a massive 27-meter (89 ft) statue of the Maitreya Buddha, fantastic frescoes, 183 caves and statues painted in strikingly vivid colors, Bingling is considered one of the top four Buddhist grottoes in the country. Travel to the caves is fairly involved but worthwhile. The trip starts with a 2-hour bus ride from Lanzhou to the Liujiaxia Reservoir..