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.
Of the many famous China's classical poets, Du Fu (712-70 AD) is up there with Tang Dynasty master Li Bai as the best known and one of the most well loved. After travels around eastern China and his home province of Henan, Du Fu arrived in the conflict-torn Tang capital of Chang'an (today's Xi'an) where he worked to establish himself as a civil servant at the behest of the Tang emperor. But the emperor was much too busy clashing with the forces of rebellious general An Lushan. And so Du Fu's official career never was. The An Lushan..
The Jinsha archaeological site is one of the most important finds of the last 30 years and yielded extraordinary jade, gold and ivory figurines closely linked with the Sanxingdui site. The Jinsha Museum (Jīnshā Bówùgun, 金沙博物馆) houses artifacts pulled from pits on the west side of Chengdu. As seen in the many ceremonial artifacts found on site, most notably the Golden Phoenix which is now on display in the museum, the society traded with other cultures as far away as Southeast Asia and had a very sophisticated religion. The..
The main shrine to Sichuan's ancient Shu Kingdom and the heroes that made it legendary during the Three Kingdoms period, Wuhou Temple (Wǔhóu Cí, 武侯祠) was first built to house Shu Emperor Liu Bei's remains in 221. During the Ming Dynasty, Liu Bei's subjects' remains were also housed here, most notably those of Zhuge Liang (Zhūgě Liàng, 诸葛亮). Zhuge Liang (181–234 AD) lived during the Three Kingdoms period, when China's Han Dynasty was torn between competing kingdoms, and a fictionalized version of the strategist..
Ningbo-born Ni Tianzeng (1937-1992) joined the Communist Party and came to Shanghai after graduating from Beijing’s Tsinghua University. Ni built a reputation for himself as a tireless, upstanding politician during his time working first in positions related to his studies in architecture and later as the vice mayor. The Ni Family Residence (Ní Zhái, 倪宅) in Xitang, named Chéngqìng Táng (承庆堂) by the family, is both an example of a traditional Jiangnan (“south of the Yangtze River”)..
The Yangzhou Museum is located inside the 1,500-year-old Tianning Temple. The predecessor of the Museum is Relics Museum founded in 1951. It was renamed "Yangzhou Museum" in 1953. The former site of the Museum was inside the Memorial Temple of Shigong and it was moved to the new site. There are 15,000 cultural relics, including The David's deer (Elaphurus davidianus) fossil, which is the best-preserved of its kind in China, with a history of more than 10,000 years. The main exhibits are displayed in the second main hall, and..
Located on Dongfeng Road, near Nianjia Lake (Nianjia Hu), the Hunan Provincial Museum (Hunan Bowuguan), is one of China's better museums. The complex has three main buildings, one of which covers revolutionary history and two that are devoted to the Western Han (206 BC-24 AD) tombs that were discovered at Mawangdui, 4km northeast of Changsha. The tombs, discovered in 1972 and containing over 3,000 antiques, were the burial ground for the Marquis of Dai, Li Cang, and his family. Li Cang was Prime Minister to the King of Changsha..
The Japanese Germ Warfare Experimental Base (Qīnhuá Rìjūn Dì Qī Sān Yāo Bùduì Yízhǐ, 侵华日军第731部队遗址) now shows little evidence of the atrocities of its recent past. Established in 1939 by Japanese troops to "research the capabilities of the soul and the endurance of the human body," the site is said to have witnessed the execution of over 3,000 POWs and the experimentation on 10,000 POWs and civilians from China, Korea, Mongolia, Britain and the former Soviet Union. Before the Soviets reclaimed the..
On September 18, 1931, Japanese forces, who already occupied parts of Manchuria (present day Liaoning, Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces), blamed Chinese dissidents for the bombing of the Japanese-owned railway. Historians are generally in agreement that Japanese militarists staged the bombing and then blamed the Chinese as a pretext for launching the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was an incident that would became forever known as the Manchurian Incident or Mukden Incident. Within the September 18th History Museum (Jiǔ Yī Bā..
Located in central Hohhot, the Inner Mongolia Museum (Nèiměnggǔ Bówùguǎn, 内蒙古博物馆) is well worth an hour or so of your time, especially if you befriend the curator, who's known to give visitors impromptu tours. The downstairs exhibition holds a wealth of ethnic Mongolian items, with highlights including costumes, saddles, long leather coats and cummerbunds, as well as hunting and sporting implements, including some very European-looking hockey sticks and balls. Surprisingly, there's also a rather impressive..
Another Nanchang attraction conveniently situated in the downtown core, the August 1st Uprising Museum (Bayi Jinianguan) makes a nice addition to a day-long circuit that could include the Tengwang Pavilion, Bayi Park, Youmin Temple, People's Square and perhaps even the Bu Xing Road pedestrian street if there's time. The museum is composed of two buildings, one the museum proper and the other the Former Headquarters of the People's Liberation Army. Allow for two to three hours to see everything in its entirety. ..
The Anhui Provincial Museum is a massive, 11,580 square-meter shrine, strictly dedicated to the region's cultural contributions to Chinese history. At last count, the museum was home to 104,684 relics, consisting of bronze, pottery, porcelain, jade, gold, ancient coins, silk ware, paintings, and choice examples of the "Four Treasures of Study," namely the writing brush, ink stick, ink slab and paper. The permanent collection focuses on the Ancient History of Anhui, the Revolutionary History of Anhui and Fossils of Ancient Extinct Life..
Situated on a hill overlooking the Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral, the Fortaleza do Monte (大砲臺), also known simply as Monte Forte, was built by the Jesuits at the same time as the Cathedral in order to protect the churchmen of St. Paul's from pirates. Called Mount Fortress in English, it later became a military base, equipped with facilities and ammunition for a two-year siege. It was only used in this way once—to repel the Dutch from the island in 1622. Today, the area consists of a public park, observatory and museum and affords great..