Mount Wuyi of Fujian – Travel Guide

Mount Wuyi of Fujian – Travel Guide

Wuyi Mountain, or Wuyishan, is a famous scenic tourist area and summer resort in China. It is located at the junction of Jiangxi and the northwestern provinces of Fujian. The northern section of the Wuyi Mountains has a total area of ​​999.75 square kilometers. It is a typical Danxia landform with its tallest peak being Mt. Huangguang at 2,158 meters (7,080 feet) and is one of the first national key scenic spots.

Wuyi Mountain is a famous mountain of three religions. Since the Qin and Han Dynasties, Wuyi Mountain has been home to Zen Buddhists, Taoists, and Confucian scholars. The area is rich with ancient culture, temples, and shrines.

The mountains area is also very famous for its high-quality tea production producing some of China’s most prized teas.


Tianyou Peak (天游峰)  – Reached by 800+ steps, Tianyou Peak has an elevation of 408m and a relative height of 215m. It is a rock ridge extending from north to south. It is connected to the Xianyou Rock in the east, the Xianzhang Peak in the west. It offers spectacular views and is known as the Heavenly Tour.

A Thread of Sky (一线天) – an enormous rock with a crack that provides and thread-like view of the sky and wide enough to walk through.

Roaring Tiger Rock (虎啸岩) – a 400m zig-zagging uphill path leads to a viewing platform and sacred cave plus there is also a large Guanyin statue carved into the mountainside seen on the downward path.

Water Curtain Cave (水帘洞) – it is the most famous of the 72 caves on the mountain and features a two-pronged waterfall that provides a curtain. Note the waterfall is not strong and usually only flows after rain. Regardless it is a scenic area with many rock carvings.

Wuyishan Palace (武夷宫) – Wuyi Palace was built in the Tang Tianbao period (742-755), is the oldest palace in Wuyi Mountain.

Nine Bend Stream (九曲溪) – the main mountain river which bends its way for some 63 km.

Bamboo Rafting/Drifting (九曲溪漂流) – extra ticket required, see visiting section. One of the most popular attractions and often the busiest. A bamboo raft will take you along the river for an almost 2hr journey ending at Wuyi Palace.

Dahongpao Scenic Area (大红袍景区) – the area is home to the famous and rare Dahonpao tea tree which makes the worlds most expensive tea (more expensive than gold!) there is also the pottery kiln, natural scenery, and Tianxin Yongle Temple.

Impression Dahongpao (印象大红袍) – staged on a 360-degree rotating auditorium with 15 different scenes and a cast of over 100, it is a brightly light highly visual 90-minute performance that reflects the essence of the area. Even with foreigners, it is surprisingly popular as it should be being directed by the famed Zhang Yimou.


  • Chinese name: 武夷山
  • UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site listed in 1999
  • National 5A attraction
  • Location: Nanping, Fujian bordering with Jiangxi
  • Open hours: May to Oct – 6:30 to 18:00; Nov. to Apr. – 7:00 to 17:30
  • Tickets:  One day-140 RMB plus bus ticket-75 RMB; Two days-150 RMB plus bus ticket-85 RMB; Three days-160 RMB plus bus ticket-95 RMB


One day and even two days are barely enough. It is suggested to get the all-inclusive 3-day ticket which includes Adult three-day ticket + sightseeing car + Jiuquxi drifting + Impression Dahongpao (performance show). These can be purchased online from around 540 RMB. If you want to skip on the drifting and performance, ticket prices come down to 225 RMB.

Once on the mountain the sightseeing bus, included in your ticket, can take you around the main attractions noting that there is still a lot of walking involved. For Tianyou Peak, there are some 848 steps (50 mins) to the peak. Most other attractions are easy walking.

Food, snacks, and water are plentiful but you still take your own water bottle and of course tissues. There are toilets throughout.

Here is a link to the Baidu map of the Wuyi Mountain area which, while in Chinese, is useful as it shows trails and icons for POI’s inc. toilets.


The four seasons of Wuyi Mountain are distinctly located in the mid-subtropical zone. The temperature in the Wuyi Mountain is relatively uniform, mild and humid. The annual average temperature is about 12 °C ~ 13 °C, the average temperature in January is about 3 °C, the extreme minimum temperature is -15 °C, and the average temperature in July is 23 °C. ~24 ° C; annual precipitation is more than 2000 mm. The annual relative humidity is as high as 85%, and the foggy day is over 100 days.

Local Specialties – Wuyi Teas

Da Hong Pao – 大红袍 – it is one of China’s ten famous teas and is also listed as intangible cultural heritage. The tree grows only in the cracks of rocks in a specific area of the mountain and has the fragrance of green tea and the sweetness of black tea. It is the best in Chinese oolong tea.

Jin Junmei – 金骏眉 –  a modern high-end black tea developed on the basis of the traditional techniques of Xiaoshan black tea of Wuyi Mountain.

Lapsang souchong – 正山小種 – a unique smoke-dried black tea that is recorded as the first black tea in history

Staying at Wuyi Mountain Scenic Resort

Lucky Garden Holiday Smart Hotel – Located in the resort area at the foot of the mountain, the five-star hotel features a restaurant, large rooms and is a short walk from the mountain entrance. The hotel also offers a free shuttle service and have English speaking staff.

Getting There

From any major city by High Speed Rail there are two train stations

  • Wuyishan North Railway Station (武夷山北站)
  • Wuyishan East Railway Station (武夷山东站)

From either station, there are direct buses that head to the resort area.

Wuyishan Maps

Wuyi Mountain map
Mount Sanqing of Jiangxi Province – Travel Guide

Mount Sanqing of Jiangxi Province – Travel Guide

Mount Sanqing, or Sanqingshan, is a UNESCO Global Geopark located within the region of Shangrao City, Jiangxi Province. The mountain features three main summits being Yujing, Yushui, and Yuhua. Yujing is the tallest at 1817 meters.

It is a sacred Taoist mountain in Chinese culture with the three peaks representing the Three Pure Ones who are the highest ‘gods’ in the Taoist belief. As you’d expect, the mountain features several temples and shrines.

Ten Scenic Areas of Sanqingshan

  • Nanqingyuan Scenic Area (南清园景区) – Nanqing Park is a concentrated display of the granite peaks and geomorphology formed by the geological evolution of 1.4 billion years. It is the essence of the natural landscape of Sanqing Mountain. The three landmarks of Sanqing Mountain are all in this scenic spot.
  • Sanqinggong Scenic Area (三清宫景区) –  it is the epicenter of Sanqing Mountain’s cultural landscape and ancient Taoist buildings.  There are more than 230 ancient buildings and cultural relics located in this area.
  • West Coast Scenic Area (西海岸景区) – this area features the famous plank walking path that is attached to the side of the alpine cliffs. It is one of the longest cliffside paths in the world and provides spectacular scenery. This path joins the above two areas. And also can take you to Yujing Peak.
  • Yujing Peak Scenic Area (玉京峰景区) – featuring the natural landscape and vertical tower-like peak it is one of the most strenuous areas to visit
  • East Coast Scenic Area (Sunshine Coast Scenic Area) (东海岸景区) – it is the second high-altitude plank road. It has a total length of 4,000 meters and an average elevation of 1,600 meters.
  • Wanshou Garden Scenic Area (万寿园景区) – a three-kilometer route that captures Taoist culture
  • Yuling Scenic Area (玉灵观景区) – ecological landscape
  • Xihuatai Scenic Area (西华台景区) – scenic trail with small waterfalls, bridges, and landscape views
  • Shiguling Scenic Area (石鼓岭景区) – the main area for the mountains waterfalls
  • Sandongkou Scenic Area (三洞口景区) – not many people go this path and more care should be taken. It features natural landscapes and waterfall.


There is a southern gate, eastern gate, and the northern gate. The southern and eastern gates have the option of a cable car.

The areas around the cable car stations are well developed with some hotels, shops, restaurants. The northern gate is less developed.

To do a loop that covers the key sights including the Jade Platform, Oriental Goddess, Python Out of Mountain, and Sanqing Temple would take around 8 hours. Another option is to stay on the mountain and do sections of the mountain over consecutive days.

The best time to visit is for two days. Staying on the mountain for one night, you can see the sunrise and sunset, and have ample time to visit the key attractions. Fans of hiking, nature, and photography will likely want to keep on exploring and maybe stay even longer.

Food, snacks, and drinks are readily available on the mountain. There is even Western-style fast food at the cable station base. Regardless, you’d pack some snacks and water. The park also has toilets along the trails and you should pack your own wipes/tissues.

Time to spend here: the whole day through to multiple days of return visits (it’s huge). Tickets allow for two days and take your passport to register.

Sanqing Mountain Tourist Map – click for a larger image. Also, here is a link to the Baidu Map, although it’s in Chinese it does provide trails and icons for POI’s.

Staying on the Mountain

There are hotels at the base of the mountain around the southern and eastern cable car stations and a limited number of hotels near the upper cable stations on the mountain. You can also camp on the mountain and there are people who rent camping gear.

Near the Southern Cable Car base

Hilton Sanqingshan Resort (三清山希尔顿度假酒店) – the modern five-star hotel offers reasonable rates and also offers transfers from Shangrao Railway Station (book in advance). A few minutes from the cable car.

Near the Eastern Cable car base

ELBA S&N Hotel & Resort (雅栢远洲度假酒店) – clean four-star resort with large rooms, and restaurant. A short walk from the cable car.

Staying on the mountain

Mountain accommodation is basic and sometimes pricey, there are only 4-5 places which are near to the southern cable car station.

Tiyunling Hotel – They offer tents and rooms. Rooms feature TV, kettle, AC.


  • Chinese Name: 三清山
  • UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site listed in 2008
  • Location: Yushan County, Jiangxi
  • National 4A tourist area
  • Ticket price: 120 RMB + 5 RMB Insurance fee (optional cable car: 70 RMB ↑ – 55 RMB ↓)
  • Summer open hours: Monday to Friday – 07:30 to 17:00 Saturday/Sunday – 06:30 to 18:00
  • Winter open hours: Monday to Friday – 08:30 to 16:30 Saturday/Sunday – 07:00 to 17:00
  • It is located 98 km away from Shangrao City, 76 km from Wuyuan County, 54 km from Yushan County,  and 97 km away from Dexing.

Getting to Sanqing

From Shangrao

There are regular direct buses that depart from Shangrao Bus Station (上饶汽车站) to the Southern cableway of the south of Sanqingshan: 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:30, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:30. Coming back, shuttle bus departure time from the south of Sanqingshan (Sanqingshan International Resort Hotel) to Shangrao: 8:00, 9:30, 11:00, 12:30, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00. The Hilton Sanqingshan Resort offers free pickups from Shangroa for guests.

From Shanghai

Take the fast train from  Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Yushan South Station which takes around 3 hours. You can take a bus from Yushan to the base of the mountain. Two hours and 20 RMB. Alternatively, you can take a taxi from Yuahsan for around 150 RMB.

Surrounding attractions

In the surrounding areas of the Geopark, Sanqing Lake (三清湖风景区), Lingshan (灵山), Da Maoshan (大茅山), Dexing Mine Park (德兴矿山公园), Wuyuan Village (婺源)

Xidi Ancient Village of Anhui, China – Travel Guide

Xidi Ancient Village of Anhui, China – Travel Guide

Xidi Village is an original and well preserved traditional Chinese village that features Anhui-style architecture dating to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and 3,611 Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was founded in the Northern Song Dynasty Huangyou Period (960-1127) and further developed in the middle of the Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty era.

Xidi is located in Yixian County of Anhui and many regard it as one of the most beautiful villages in the world featuring over 300 Ming and Qing dynasty residences along with its classical streets and laneways.

Xidi Village Highlights

Hu Wenguang Memorial Archway
The decorated archway featuring depictions of the Eight Immortals was built during the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644) in memory of Hu Wenguang, a Ming officer.

Da Fu Grand House
A Hu family residence. It was built in the Kangxi Period of Qing Dynasty (1691

East Garden
Featuring main hall, front hall, and a study room that dates back the Yongzheng Period of Qing Dynasty (1724 A.D.)

West Garden
A classical Suzhou style garden that was built in the fourth year of Daoguang Period of Qing Dynasty (1824 A.D.).


  • Chinese Name: 西递村古建筑群
  • UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site
  • National 5A rated attraction
  • Location: Yi County, Anhui
  • Open Hours: 08:00~18:00
  • Tickets: 104 Yuan per person

Visiting Xidi Village

Time: between 4-6 hours

The main road runs in an east-west direction and is flanked by two parallel streets. Getting into the village, you’ll see Lingyun Attic, Hu Wenguang’s Memorial Archway, Ruiyu Courtyard, Taoli Garden, East Garden, West Garden, Dafu Grand Hall, Jing’ai Hall, Lvfu Hall, Qingyun Pavilion, Yingfu Hall, Dujing Hall, Yanggao Hall, Shangde Hall, etc. Following the main zig-zaggy road from west to east and you’ll explore all the essentials of Xidi Ancient Village.

Local Specialties

  • Huangshan Maofeng Tea – is one of China’s ten famous teas.
  • Laba Toufu (bean curd) – a famous specialty of the region that even has a festival in its honor. Noted for its chewiness and saltiness.
  • Salted Mandarin Fish – local fresh fish that is preserved using the salt technique that dates back over two hundred years.

Getting to Xidi Village

From Yixian: Yixian Bus Station has services to Xidi Ancient Village. A taxi will only take around 14 minutes and 20 RMB.

From Hongcun Village to Xidi Village: Sightseeing buses depart from the South Lake Parking Lot at 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00 and 16:00. It takes about 20 minutes from Hongcun to Xidi.

From Huangshan downtown area to Xidi: Sightseeing buses are available in Huangshan/Tunxi Bus Station (黄山汽车站). Buses run from 8:00-16:00.

From Tangkou (Mt. Huangshan) to Xidi: There is a bus station located in Mount Huangshan Front Gate. Buses depart from 10:00 and 15:30. Travel time is around 1 hour. Alternatively, you should be able to take a taxi which takes around 45 minutes and costs around 100 RMB.

Stay in Xidi Village

There is limited accommodation so be sure to book in advance especially during holiday periods.

In the village

Muran Guesthouse – Foreign visitor friendly. A classical courtyard style with modern fittings. Located in the village.

In Huangshan/Tunxi Downtown

Crowne Plaza – Outside of peak holiday times you can get amazing rates at this five-star branded hotel.

Huazhu Chenguangli River View – settled within an ancient Hui style building with a modern fit-out the guest house offers English speaking staff and restaurant.

Nearby Attractions

  • Hongcun Ancient Village (10 km)
  • Huangshan Tunxi downtown (54 km)
  • Mt. Huangshan Scenic Area (38 km)
  • Huizhou Ancient City (70 km)

Map Location

Ancient city of Yinxu, China’s first capital city – Travel Guide

Ancient city of Yinxu, China’s first capital city – Travel Guide

Lost to time and only rediscovered in the late 1800s, the ancient city remains were once China’s first capital under the Shang Dynasty which ruled from 1600 to 1046 BC.

Yinxu (or Yin Ruins) is located on both banks of the Huanhe River to the northwest of the nationally famous historic and cultural city Anyang, in Henan Province of central China. The archaeological remains of Yin are dated from 1,300 BCE and comprise two sites: the Palace and Royal Ancestral Shrines Area, and the Royal Tombs Area covering a total 414 hectares with an enclosing buffer zone of 720 hectares.

Yin has been confirmed by historic documents, oracle bone inscriptions, and archaeological excavations as the first site of a capital in Chinese history. Yin was the political, economic, cultural, and military center of the late Shang Dynasty in China.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Yin Ruins were famous for the discovery of the oracle bones. In 1928 archaeological excavations began and a large number of architectural sites and rich cultural relics represented by oracle bones and bronzes were unearthed.

The Oracle Bones are the oldest known form of Chinese writing and the first recorded history of China under the Shang Dynasty. Around 150,000 pieces of oracle bones have been unearthed.


Palace ancestral temple 宫殿宗庙
Ancestral palace ruins cover an area stretching 1000 meters long from north to south, east-west width of 650 meters, with a total area of 71.5 hectares. They were once government offices and homes of Shang Dynasty officials and are the most important of the Yin Ruins. There are more than 80 buildings here including the palace and temple. A large number of oracle bones were unearthed here, along with bronze and jade artifacts.

Nearby is the Fuhao Tomb which is the best preserved of the tombs in the area. The tomb is dedicated to the wife of the Shang Dynasty King, Wu Ding. The tomb dates back to 1250 BCE and was only discovered in 1976. Also located on-site is the Exhibition Hall of Chariot Pits.

Yinxu Wangling Site 王陵遗址
Located across the river from Yinxu Palace it has a total area of ​​about 11.3 hectares. Since 1934, 13 large tombs have been discovered here, with more than 2,000 burial tombs, ritual pits and chariot pits, and a large number of beautifully crafted bronzes, jade, stoneware, pottery, etc., have been unearthed here. The heaviest bronze artifact in the world was found here, namely the Simu Wufang Cauldron which weighs close to a tonne.

Yubei Plaza 洹北商城
Yubei Plaza is located in the garden of the north bank of the Weihe River in Anyang. The site is 2.15 kilometers wide from east to west, 2.2 kilometers long from north to south, with a total area of ​​about 4.7 square kilometers.

Hun tombs 匈奴墓葬
Recently in 2017, 18 tombs belonging to ancient nomads were discovered. They were built in some time around the late Eastern Han Dynasty to the Wei and Jin Dynasty era’s, about 1800 years ago.

Visiting Yinxu

For those who love history and traditional culture, the Yin Ruins is a must. The entire Yinxu landscape is divided into two parts, the Yinxu Zongmiao Palace Relics Reserve and the Yinxu Wangling Site Protection Area. The distance between the two places is 5 kilometers. The one entry ticket covers both two places and the cost of the shuttle bus.

As the area of this scenic spot is quite large, there is a free shuttle bus between different sites, with an interval of about half an hour.

Time to spend here: 2-3 hours

Yin Xu Facts

  • Chinese Name: 殷墟
  • Confirmed the first capital in Chinese history
  • UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site listed in 2006
  • 5A Level Scenic Spot
  • Location:  Xiaoyan Village, Yindu District, Anyang City, Henan
  • Ticket price: 70 yuan
  • Open: April – September: 8am – 6pm; October – March: 8am – 5.30pm

How to get there

Take bus 1, 6, 15, 18, 39 or 41 to Yinxu (殷墟) or taxi from the central area of Anyang, about 10 RMB.

Best place to stay in Anyang near to Yinxu

Ibis Anyang Jiefang Ave – four-star modern hotel near to railway and bus station and a short distance by taxi from the Yinxu area.


Nearby Attractions in Anyang

  • Ruins of Youli City
  • Linlu Mountain International Paragliding Site
  • Red Flag Canal Tourism Area
  • Yue Fei Temple
  • Museum of Chinese Writing

According to Wikipedia

According to the 2nd century Shuowen Jiezi dictionary, the Chinese character “殷” (yīn) originally referred to “vibrant music-making”. Although frequently used throughout written history to refer to both the Shang dynasty and its final capital, the name Yīn (殷) appears to have not been used in this way until the succeeding Zhou dynasty. In particular, the name does not appear in the oracle bones, which refer to the state as Shāng (商), and its final capital as Dàyì Shāng (大邑商 “Great Settlement Shang”).

Among surviving ancient Chinese historical documents, Yin is described as the final capital of the Shang dynasty. There is some disagreement, though, as to when the move to Yin took place. Both the Book of Documents, (specifically, the “Pan Geng” chapter, which is believed to date from the late Spring and Autumn period), and the Bamboo Annals state that Shang king Pan Geng moved the Shang capital to Yin. The Bamboo Annals state, more specifically, that during his reign Pan Geng moved the capital from Yān (奄; present-day Qufu, in present-day Shandong Province), to a site called Běimĕng (北蒙), where it was then renamed to Yīn (殷).(Conversely, according to the Records of the Grand Historian of Sima Qian, Pan Geng moved the Shang capital from a location north of the Yellow River to Bo 亳, the capital of Shang dynasty founder Tang, on the south side of the river—a location inconsistent with the location of Yin.)

Regardless, Yin was clearly established as the Shang capital by the time of Shang king Wu Ding. Wu Ding launched numerous military campaigns from this base against surrounding tribes, thus securing Shang rule and raising the dynasty to its historical zenith.

According to the traditional accounts, later rulers became pleasure-seekers who took no interest in state affairs. King Zhòu, the last of the Shang dynasty kings, is particularly remembered for his ruthlessness and debauchery. His increasingly autocratic laws alienated the nobility until King Wu of the Zhou dynasty was able to gain the support to rise up and overthrow the Shang.

The Zhou dynasty established their capital at Fenghao near modern-day Xi’an, and Yīn was abandoned to fall into ruin. These ruins were mentioned by Sima Qian in his Records of the Grand Historian, and described in some detail by Li Daoyuan in his Commentary to the River Classic, published during the Southern and Northern Dynasties period (420-589 CE). Thereafter, the once-great city of Yīn was relegated to legend along with its founding dynasty until its rediscovery in the final years of the Qing dynasty.



Xiong’an – the Bold New Mega City that will shape China’s Future

Xiong’an – the Bold New Mega City that will shape China’s Future

Xiong’an New Area (CN: 雄安新区) is a new mega urban area and smart city project that encompasses three counties and 500 villages located in a strategic area that lies within the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei triangle. What makes this project unique is, not only the scale and the vision, that it is directly under the management of the CCP Central Committee and the State Council.

What also makes it something special is the price tag, with some research firms quoting figures between 1 and 2.4 trillion RMB.

The three existing counties that make up Xiong’an New Area are Roncheng, Xiongxian, and Anxin which are located 100km to the southwest of Beijing. The area will be connected by High Speed Rail via the Beijing-Xiongan intercity railway which connects to the new Beijing Daxin International Airport taking just 20 minutes to travel between the two and 30 minutes to central Beijing.

The area was officially announced on April 1, 2017 with a master plan later released for an initial area covering a 100 sq. km later expanding to 2,000 sq. km area.

The planning and construction phase is expected to run until 2022 following which is followed by the relocation phase and shifting of several state-owned enterprises into the newly developed area from Beijing and beyond which is expected to take until 2035. The next phase from 2035 to 2050 is to develop the area into a modern socialist city to which there are only vague specifics as to what may look like.

It has several goals including

  • relieving pressure on Beijing with non-capital functions moving to the new area
  • create a modern socialist city
  • explore new models of growth
  • raise the prosperity of the Hebei region
  • creating a world-class smart city
  • a hub of hi-tech industry and innovation
  • green development and ecological protection
  • connecting the Beijing/Tianjin/Hebei regions into a megalopolis (known as Jing-jin-ji 京津冀城市群) which is currently home to 112 million people
  • to be a low carbon city utilizing 100% renewables

Industries likely to take hold here will likely be heavily state-backed, including research institutes, high-end technology enterprises, IT companies, bioscience, new-age materials, while attracting innovators into state-backed collaboration spaces employing facets of the sharing economy.

Ecology will also be a key theme of the area with forestation and development of wetlands. A major ecological feature is Baiyang Lake (CN: 白洋淀) which covers a staggering 336 sq km and after some revitalization that started back in 2006 it is now an AAAA national rated scenic area.

Another feature often mentioned is that it may include heavily subsidized living costs (all properties are state-owned), along with first-rate medical, schools, and public services for local talents and innovators that move to the area. This may have an odd twist, as to live in Xiang’an you won’t be required to have a Hukou (residence permit) but instead, a work permit acquired via having a work contract or business license. And once you finish the contract etc ability to stay in public housing is rescinded according to some early reports but I think clarity on those details is a long way off.

Investment into the area is also being helped along by the City of London who have established a finance centre to fund sustainable projects with a focus on the new area. London’s Canary Wharf Group have also joined a consortium of developers who will be working on building the new area.

Returning to transport connections, in total there will be five High Speed Rail lines that connect the Xiong’an New Area via two stations namely Xiong’an Station and Xiong’an East Station. The five rail lines are

  • Beijing–Xiong’an intercity railway (CN: 京雄城际铁路)
  • Tianjin and Xiong’an intercity railway (CN: 津雄铁路)
  • Beijing-Shijiazhuang Intercity Railway (CN: 京石城际铁路)
  • Guan-Baoding Inter-city Railway (CN: 固保城际铁路)
  • Tianjin-Baoding railway (CN: 津保铁路)

“New Area” is not a term that you will hear often and is used to indicate that it will be a testing ground for new ideas.

Many may want to compare this with Guangdong and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong area, but immediately there is a notable difference in that one was founded from market-led concepts and grew exponentially from that liberation, while the other is a state-funded development where organic growth has not been achievable.

Also remembering that residential real estate was a major contributor to Shenzhen’s boom which won’t be a factor in Xiong’an with all housing being state-owned.

Furthermore, Guangdong attracted not only tech talents, innovators, entrepreneurs, and traders in a purely utilitarian directive, it also let them make it their home and be part of a community, something that may not be possible in Xiong’an making the character of the area somewhat, well, odd. But, I think it would be unfair to speculate on that too much until further details come out.

Some reports are even explicitly calling Xiong’an the next Shenzhen. For the same reason stated earlier, the two are very different models of development likely to have very different outcomes and characteristics.

Xiongan New Area will be a testbed for large-scale central planning and implementation of socialist principles under the guidance of President Xi Jinping.

All of this makes Xiongan New Area a pivotal place to watch as it will be the testbed, or laboratory, for pilot schemes, new technologies, new industry, and urban planning that will become China’s future.

Image Credits: Caixin and

Know your Chinese Tea – The Types, Growing Regions, Brewing, Culture & more

Know your Chinese Tea – The Types, Growing Regions, Brewing, Culture & more

Let’s take a deep dive into the world of Chinese tea and explore types of tea with popular varieties, growing regions, selection, brewing, and wrap up with a little bit of culture.

Tea Types and Varieties

There are four classes of tea being Green, Black, White, Yellow, Oolong, and Fermented tea which all originate from the Camellia plant (茶花), sinensis or assamica variety. I will cover a few extra types and styles of tea as well.

Lu cha – Green Tea (绿茶)

Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis as is black tea and oolong with the difference being that green tea is less oxidized during the tea making process.

Varieties: Anji bai cha (安吉白茶), Baimao Hou (白毛猴 literally: ‘white-haired monkey’), Biluochun (碧螺春), Chun Mee (珍眉 literally: ‘precious eyebrows’), Cloud tea (云雾茶), Da Fang (顶谷大方), Huangshan Maofeng (黄山毛峰), Longjing tea (龙井茶), Lu’an Melon Seed tea (六安瓜片, Mengding Ganlu (蒙顶甘露), Taiping houkui (太平猴魁), Zhuyeqing (竹叶青)

Bai Cha (白茶 literally: White Tea)

White tea, like black and green tea, is made from the Camellia sinensis plant and in spite of its name, brewed white tea is pale yellow. Its name derives from the fine silvery-white hairs on the unopened buds of the tea plant, which give the plant a whitish appearance.

Varieties: Baihao Yinzhen (白毫银针), Bai Mudan (白牡丹 literally: ‘white peony’), Shoumei (寿眉)

Huang Cha (黄茶 literally: Yellow Tea)

The process for making yellow tea is similar to that of green but with an added step of encasing and steaming the tea. This allows the tea to oxidize at a slow rate for a brief period before the tea is heated fully to denature the oxidizing enzymes, producing a far more mellow taste than is found in most green teas; this also gives the leaves a slightly yellow coloring during the drying process.

Varieties: Junshan Yinzhen (君山銀針), Huoshan Huangya (霍山黃芽), Meng Ding Huangya (蒙頂黃芽), Mogan Huangya (莫干黃芽), Beigang Maojian (北港毛尖), Weishan Maojian (溈山毛尖), Haimagong Cha (海馬宮茶), Da Ye Qing (大葉青), Pingyang Huangtang (平陽黃湯), Yuan’an Luyuan (遠安鹿苑)

Hei Cha (黑茶 or Huo fajiao cha 后发酵茶 literally: post-fermented tea)

Fermented tea (also known as dark tea) is a class of tea that has undergone microbial fermentation, from several months to many years.  The most famous fermented tea is puer, produced in Yunnan Province, and the Anhua dark tea produced in Anhua County of Hunan Province.

Varieties: Pu-erh cha (雲南普洱茶), Fu Zhuan cha (湖南茯磚茶 (黑茶), Liu Bao cha (廣西六堡茶), Lu Bian cha (四川路边茶), Qing Zhuan cha (湖北青砖茶), Zang cha (藏茶)

Hong cha – Black tea (红茶 literally: ‘red tea’)

Black tea is simply more oxidized than oolong, green, and white teas and in turn, offering stronger flavor. All four types are made from leaves of the shrub, Camellia sinensis.

Varieties: Congou (工夫红茶), Dianhong (滇紅茶 literally: ‘Yunnan red tea’), Jin Hou Cha (金猴茶 literally: ‘Golden Monkey tea’), Jin Jun Mei (金骏眉 literally: ‘Golden Horse Eyebrow’), Keemun (祁门红茶 literally: ‘Qimen red tea’), Lapsang souchong (正山小種), Yingdehong (英德红茶)

Wulong Cha – Oolong (乌龙茶 literally: ‘black dragon tea’)

Is a semi-oxidized tea that sits somewhere between green and black tea. Many varieties of Oolong are formed not only by variation in the process but also from varieties of the Camellia sinensis tea plant specific to certain regions.

Varieties: Bai Jiguan (白鸡冠), Ban Tian Yao Ban Tian Yao (半天腰), Bu Zhi Chun (不知春), Da Hong Pao (大红袍 literally: ‘Big Red Robe’), Fo Shou (佛手 literally: ‘Buddhas Hand’), Huang Guanyin (黄观音茶), Huang Meigui (黃玫瑰), Jin Fo (金佛茶 literally: ‘Gold Buddha tea’), Jin Suo Chi (金锁匙 literally: ‘Golden Key, Qilan (奇兰), Rougui (肉桂茶), Shui Hsien tea (水仙茶), Shui jin gui (水金龟 literally: ‘Golden Water Turtle’) , Tieluohan (铁罗汉), Tieguanyin (铁观音)

Wuyi tea (武夷岩茶)

Wuyi teas are generally classified as black or oolong, but I will give it it’s own category here as Wuyi teas are distinct in origin, cost and flavor. Wuyi teas are grown in the Wuyi Mountains of northern Fujian, and are highly prized due to the mineral-rich soil they are grown in. Whilst being high quality, the yield is low and these Wuyi teas are expensive. Da Hong Pao, as one example, is more expensive than gold due it being made from the oldest original plants from the Wuyi region.

Varieties: Bai Jiguan (白鸡冠), Da Hong Pao (大红袍 literally: ‘Big Red Robe’), Jin Jun Mei (金骏眉 literally: ‘Golden Horse Eyebrow’), Lapsang souchong (正山小種), Qilan (奇兰), Rougui (肉桂茶), Shui jin gui (水金龟 literally: ‘Golden Water Turtle’), Tieluohan (铁罗汉)

Zhu Cha – Gunpowder tea (珠茶 literally: ‘pearl tea’)

Tea leaves that are been rolled into a ball which has a resemblance to gunpowder thus the English naming. It is made usually using green or oolong tea. The rolling is believed to help the tea maintain flavor and aroma.

Lei cha (擂茶 literally: ‘Thunder tea)

Possible more of a soup than a tea, using either oolong or a green tea together with roasted nuts, roasted grains such as rice, spices such as ginger which are all ground in a mortar and pestle/food processor. Hot water is added and it is eaten/drank with a spoon. Modern versions of Lei Cha can include lost of vegetables as well.

Hua Cha – Scented Teas (花茶)

Hua Cha, aka Scented teas (also called flower teas), can be either green or white teas that are been infused with certain flowers, which impart a delicate and interesting taste, and of course a wonderful aroma. Flowers used for blending include Jasmine, Osmanthus, Rose, and Chrysanthemum. The most famous is Moli Hua Cha (茉莉花茶) aka Jasmine tea.

Flowering tea or blooming tea (香片, 工艺茶, or 开花茶)

Tea leaves and flowers are specially bound together into a bulb which, when steeped, grows and unfurls as it were a live flower blooming.

Herbal Tea 草药茶)

Technically not tea, as there are no tea leaves involved, herbal teas are an infusion of plant flora and plant roots etc. that offer health benefit or medicinal properties.

Popular herbal teas include: Leung Cha (涼茶), Twenty-Four Flavours (Ya Sei Mei 廿四味), Chrysanthemum Tea (Ju Hua Cha 菊花茶), Xia Sang Ju (夏桑菊), Eight Treasures Tea (Ba Bao Cha 八宝茶), Gingko (Yinxing 银杏), Osmanthus (Guihua 桂花), Honeysuckle (Jin Yin Hua 金银花), Amaranth Flower (Qian Ri Hong 千日红花), Lavender (Xun Yi Cao 薰衣草)

Growing Regions

All of China’s tea producing regions are located in Southern China due to the favorable warmer humid climate. The most famed provinces are Fujian, Anhui, and Zhejiang while typically tea production in China is classified into four key areas being

  • Jiangbei – North of the Yangtze River inc. northern Anhui, Henan, Gansu, northern Jiangsu, Shaanxi, Shandong and known for green teas.
  • Jiangnan – South of the Yangtze River inc. southern Anhui, Hubei, Hunan, southern Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Zhejiang and is the major tea producing region known for oolong, green, black, and scented teas.
  • Southwest China – inc. Sichuan, Guizhou, Tibet and known for Pu Erh teas, black tea, and some green and yellow tea.
  • Southern China – inc. Guangdong, Fujian, Hainan, Guangxi and known for white tea, black, and oolong.

Tea production by Province

  • Anhui – Varieties: Chun Mee, Huangshan Maofeng, Huoshan Huangya tea, Hyson, Keemun, Lu’an Melon Seed tea, Taiping houkui
  • Fujian – Varieties: Baihao Yinzhen, Bai Jiguan tea, Bai Mudan, Ban Tian Yao tea, Baozhong tea, Bu Zhi Chun tea, Fo Shou tea, Huang Guanyin tea, Huang Meigui tea, Huangjin Gui, Jin Fo tea, Jin Suo Chi tea, Lapsang souchong, Qilan tea, Rougui tea, Ruanzhi tea, Shoumei tea, Shui Hsien tea, Shui Jin Gui tea, Tieguanyin, Tieluohan tea, Wuyi tea
  • Guanxi – Varieties: Liu Bao
  • Guangdong – Varieties: Yingdehong tea
  • Henan – Varieties: Xinyang Maojian tea
  • Hubei – Varieties: Yu Lu
  • Hunan – Varieties: Junshan Yinzhen
  • Jiangsu – Varieties: Biluochun, Dafang tea, Shanjuan Chunyue
  • Jiangxi – Varieties: Yun Wu
  • Shaanxi – Varieties: Mao Jian
  • Sichuan – Varieties: Mengding Ganlu tea, Panda tea
  • Yunnan – Varieties: Baihao Yinzhen, Dianhong, Pu’er tea
  • Zhejiang – Varieties: Gunpowder tea, Longjing tea, Dragon Pearl Jasmine

The Ten Famous Chinese Teas

The most famous teas in China are noted as the Ten Great Chinese Teas (中國十大名茶) which is derived from the teas chosen and taken by China to the 1915 Panama World Expo.

Chinese name – English name – City Province origin – Tea Type

  • 西湖龙井 – Longjing tea – Hangzhou, Zhejiang – Green tea
  • 洞庭碧螺春 – Biluochun tea – Suzhou, Jiangsu – Green tea
  • 安溪铁观音 – Anxi Tieguanyin tea – Anxi, Fujian – Oolong tea
  • 黄山毛峰 – Huangshan Maofeng tea – Huangshan, Anhui – Green tea
  • 武夷岩茶/大红袍 – Da Hong Pao – Wuyi, Fujian – Oolong tea
  • 君山银针 – Junshan Yinzhen – Yueyang, Hunan – Yellow tea
  • 祁门红茶 – Keemun Black tea – Qimen, Anhui – Black tea
  • 六安瓜片 – Lu’an Melon Seed tea – Jinzhai, Anhui – Green tea
  • 云南普洱 – Yunnan Puer – Puer (Simao), Yunnan – Post-fermented tea Puer
  • 白毫银针 – Baihao Yinzhen – Fuding, Fujian – White tea

Grading and Selecting Quality Tea

There are five methods for choosing tea. The five methods are referred to as Xin, Gau, Jun, Xiang, and Jing.

Xin – The Xin method is to choose fresh tea, never using bitter or dull-fragranced teas. Green tea, for example, starts losing flavor and aroma after 2 months depending on type and storage method.

Gan – means that the tea leaves need to have low moisture content (less than 6%). High moisture can lead to poor shelf life and mold growth.

Jun – The thickness of the leaves should be consistent along with the color also being free from burn marks.

Xiang – noting the fragrance it should be a soft scent without any burnt or sour aroma.

Jing – there should not be any foreign substances.

Brewing Methods

Choosing the right equipment for the type of tea

The choice of teaware is mostly a cultural one, with different regions of China each having there own favored style. That said, it is very favorable to use glassware for high-quality green teas as the colors and “dancing” of the leaves as they brew is all part of the tea experience. The white porcelain gai wan (盖碗 literally: lidded bowl) is also suitable in this case and also suitable for white tea and scented teas. For black, oolong, and puer you may like to use a Yixing clay teapot (宜兴) to brew the tea.

For drinking, it is often preferred to use small cups so as to appreciate the range of flavors throughout the brewing process, especially in traditional gong-fu style.

Water to Tea Ratio

As a rule of thumb, for oolong, black and green tea you can use 3g tea per 200 ml of water. 3g of tea is roughly one teaspoon depending on the density of the tea with two tablespoons used for large open style leaf teas. For Puer tea use a little more and about 5-10g per 200 ml of water.

Water Temperature

For low-cost teas, the water temperature does not matter too much although for high-quality teas using the incorrect temperature will destroy the qualities of the particular tea.

  • Pu’er: 93–100°C (200–212°F)
  • Black: 88–93°C (190–200°F)
  • Oolong: 82–93°C (180–200°F)
  • Yellow: 79°C (175°F)
  • White: 71–85°C  (160–185°F)
  • Green: 60–88°C (140–190°F)

Brewing Time

For low-cost teas with small particles such as that in tea bags or Hong Sui Cha (红碎茶) add water and let sit to brew for 3-5 minutes and serve. After, throw away the leaves as they have nothing left to offer.

For high-quality teas, you can put the amount of tea in your cup and pour just enough hot water to cover the tea. Let it brew for 3 minutes, then fill your cup and drink leaving one third. When ready pour in the hot water again and drink leaving one third. After three times the leaves can be thrown away.

For Oolong using a Yixing teapot,  brew briefly and throw away the water. Add water again and brew for one minute. Add 15 seconds to the brewing time with each refill up to four times.

Specific Brewing Time by Tea Type 


  • Water temperature: 93–100°C (200–212°F)
  • Use about six to eight grams of tea per 200ml
  • Add water and throw away, twice.
  • Fill the cup with water allow to steep for ten seconds. Drink and repeat.
  • It can be used this way for ten times at least depending on tea quality and your taste.


  • Water temperature: 82–93°C (180–200°F)
  • Use six to eight grams of tea per 200ml
  • Wash leaves once
  • Fill the cup with water allow to steep for ten seconds. Drink and repeat.
  • It can be used this way for six times depending on tea quality and your taste.

Long Leaf Green Tea 

  • Water temperature: 60–88°C (140–190°F)
  • Use three grams of tea per 200ml
  • Add water and steep for ten seconds. Drink and repeat.
  • Put hot water to the top of the leaves in the glass
  • It can be used this way for five times depending on tea quality and your taste.

Green Tea and Yellow Tea

  • Water temperature: 60–88°C (140–190°F)
  • Use three grams of tea per 200ml
  • Cover leaves with water and stir
  • Fill the glass and steep for 30 seconds. Drink and repeat.
  • It can be used this way for five times depending on tea quality and your taste.

White tea 

  • Water temperature: White: 71–85°C  (160–185°F)
  • Use six grams of tea per 200ml
  • Fill the glass and steep for 15 seconds.
  • Drink and repeat
  • It can be used this way for five times depending on tea quality and your taste

Black tea

  • Water temperature: White: 71–85°C  (160–185°F)
  • Use three grams of tea per 200ml
  • Fill the glass and steep for 3-5 seconds.
  • Drink and repeat
  • It can be used this way for five times depending on tea quality and your taste

Milk Teas

Milk teas are popular in Hong Kong and Taiwan spreading to mainland China especially Bubble Tea.

Xiang Gang Nai Cha – Hong Kong Milk Tea (香港奶茶)

Hong Kong-style milk tea is made from black tea and evaporated milk. In Hong Kong, tea masters are revered for their creations with each having their own secret recipes which may include several types of teas and their own unique brewing styles.

Zhenzu Naicha – Bubble Tea (珍珠奶茶)

Hailing from Taiwan, bubble tea has become a global craze. “Pearls” that are made from tapioca flour are added to a rich sweet milk tea to make the popular street stall beverage. There are endless varieties.

Tea culture

Going way back to the Warring States period (475–221 BC), tea was made from freshly picked tea leaves, perhaps picked fresh from the tree, steeped and drank right there on the spot. It wasn’t until the around the Sui or at least prior to the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD) that processing of tea developed tea to produce a product that could be stored, transported, and drank as needed.

During the Tang Dynasty, tea leaves were steamed and molded into solid cakes of tea, then in the later Song Dynasty (960–1279) they were steamed, pressed, and rolled and the later Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) tea leaves were heated by hot pan, rolled and dried similar to how green tea is produced today. Later developments would see the creation of Oolong teas and much later black teas.

Tea art (茶艺), described as “the beautiful artistic conception including the appreciation of tea techniques and the means of artistic manipulation, and the appreciation of the beautiful environment. The process of embodiment and the spirit are unified, which is the cultural phenomenon formed during the tea drinking process” sprouted in the Tang Dynasty, carried forward in the Song Dynasty, reformed in the Ming Dynasty, and flourished in the Qing Dynasty.

With tea came the tea gardens where people would come to share conversation, play mahjong and other games and while away the hours, tea houses where people would go to drink and play chess, watch opera, or snack on local delicacies. Practices which regardless of modernization and growth of coffee culture continue to this day. Tea is also interwoven into local religion, in the way of tea or Cha Dao (茶道) interconnected with spiritual practices of Taoism.

Tea culture is not just about the tea, it is life itself with the art of tea allowing one to develop a calm and peaceful nature (廉 lian), through the enjoyment of art, beauty, and the senses (美 mei), while conversing with friends (和 he), and being of service to guests and elders (敬 jing).

Tea has been central to the Chinese way of life ever since its inception and remains firmly so with highly prized rare teas costing more than gold of the same weight and collectors who are willing to pay millions for teapots made by famed artisans.

Simple Tea Vocabulary

茶具 cha ju – Teaware
側杯 ce bei – gai wan with handle and spout
茶承 cha cheng – teapot platform, e.g. of clay, for gongfu cha
茶船 cha chuan – hot-water dish for keeping teapot warm
茶壺 cha hu – teapot
公道杯 gong dao bei – pitcher for gong fu cha
養壺 yang hu –  a favorite or cherished teapot
茶 杯 cha bei – tea cup
茶碗 cha wan – tea bowl
茶盅 cha zhong – small pitcher
盖杯 gai bei – tea cup with a lid
盖碗 gai wan – tea bowl with lid
品茗杯 pin ming bei – tasting cup
闻香杯 wen xiang bei – aroma cup
水方 shui fang – water vessel
茶缸 cha gang – tea-leaf jar
茶厂cha chang – tea factory
茶村 cha cun – tea farm, lit ‘tea village’
茶叶店 cha ye dian – tea shop (to buy tea leaves)
茶坊 cha fang – tea house
茶馆 cha guan – tea house
茶具店 cha ju dian – tea-ware shop
茶楼 cha lou – tea house where typically can eat dim sum
茶艺馆 cha yi guan – tea arts house


An intro to Traditional Chinese Breads inc. Bing and Mantou

An intro to Traditional Chinese Breads inc. Bing and Mantou

Many people consider bread as a new product into the Chinese food culture but, actually, it has a history almost as long as the nation itself. Grinding grains into flour dates back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) when mills were introduced from foreign countries via the Silk Road. It is touted that the mantou came into being during this time.

There are several types of Chinese breads and for this article, I am going to focus on the traditional being Mantou (饅頭) and Bing (餅). I will save pastry aka Goudian (糕点) and modern wheat flour bread of Chinese bakeries, aka Mianbao (面包) for a later post.


Bing (餅)

Generally, Bing is an unleavened wheat bread that is fried on a hot plate and comes in many different variants.

Chunbing (春饼)

Also known as Spring pancake, it is a paper thin steamed pancake which is commonly used to wrap slices of the Peking duck in Beijing, and a similar style pancake is used for siwawa in Guizhou province.

Laobing (烙餠)

is a type of unleavened flatbread popular in parts of northern China, including Beijing. It is sometimes referred to as a Chinese pancake.

Fa mian bing (發麵餅)

is bing to which yeast is incorporated. It is used to make thick scallion breads.

Cong You Bing (葱油饼)

is a layered, savoury, crispy flatbread

Shou Zhua Bing (手抓饼)

the Taiwanese version of Cang You Bing, slightly crispy, chewy and delicious pancake that is often sold at street stalls filled with ham or sausage and lettuce/tomato/cheese

Shaobing (燒餅)

also called huoshao, is also an unleavened, layered flatbread, but instead of being fried, it is baked. It comes from Northern Chinese cuisine and is made with or without stuffing in sweet and savory variety and can be round or rectangle, covered in sesame seeds or not.

Jian bing (煎餅)

Jian Bing originates from Shandong and is a flatbread that is filled with egg, ham, sauce, crispy fried cracker, pickles, green onions etc. It is a very popular breakfast food at street stalls in China and Taiwan it is called Ji Dan Bing. Another version is Jianbing guozi which is filled with a youtiao stick and egg etc.

Bao bǐng (薄饼)

originates from the Chaozhou area of Guangdong and is a super thin crepe used in a similar way to Chunbing for Peking Duck in that it is commonly used for wrapping different fillings both savory and sweet. It can also be called “moo shu pancake” (木须饼).

Luo bou si bing (萝卜絲餅)

it is almost a pastry, formed from two dough mixtures and filled with shredded radish, then pan fried.

Baijimo (白吉馍)

is a fermented and leaved dough that is somtimes baked and sometimes fried. It originates from the Shaanxi region and is most popularly used with for the famous Rou Jia Mo (or Xi’an Hamburger) where the bun is filled with meat, typically stewed pork or lamb meat.

Guokui (凉粉锅盔)

is a kind of flatbread that originates from Shaanxi cuisine, there are many types and it is used in many ways, such as Liangfen Goukui where the bread is cut open and filled with spicy jelly noodles or a different version where the dough is rolled out, topped with pork filling and rolled back up, flattened, and fried in oil on a pan.

Nang bing, or Uyghur flatbread (馕)

is a a staple of the Xinjiang region, it is formed from an unleavened dough made from low gluten flour and is baked in a clay oven or Turan.


Mantou (饅頭)

In the north, it was a staple and in the south where they favored rice over wheat, mantou was sweetened and used as a dessert. When Mantou is stuffed it becomes a bao or Baozi (包子). In Shanxi and Tibet, they have Tingmo which is similar to mantou and when stuffed with filling it is similar to Baozi and called a momo.

plain Mantou (饅頭)

plain mantou is a simple steamed bun made from a leavened wheat flour dough. It comes on many shapes, round, oval, and even creative shapes such as small rabbits.

Deep Fried Mantou (饅頭)

Steamed mantou that is then deep fried. Gold and Silver Matou is a dessert dish featuring plain and deep fried mantou served together with sweet condensed milk.

Flower buns(花捲/卷)

Often called Mandarin rolls, they are made similar to mantou with the addition of sugar, soybean oil, vegetable shortening, and milk powder. Sometimes they are sweetened with condensed milk and sometimes they are savoury with salt and spring onions/scallions added. They are formed into layers before steaming.

Spiral Mantou

The mantough dough is seperated into two batches with flavoring added to one, then flattened, layered and rolled, cut and steamed. These are popular in the Chinese diaspora where you will see many flavors such as pandan, chocolate, red bean, green tea, etc.

Lotus leaf bun (荷叶饼)

a foldable mantou which is often served with braised pork belly such as the popular Gua bao.

Wotou (窝头)

A staple from northern regions of China, wotou is made with corn flour and a small amount of soy flour. It is lightly leveaned with baking soda.

China’s Top 50 eCommerce Sites

China’s Top 50 eCommerce Sites

Trade war or not, ecommerce in China is on a continuing boom and it’s hard not to pay attention to the innovation that’s taking place especially in automation of  freight and warehousing, and the massive size of some of the online portals like which has been valued at over $55 billion.

In 2017, e-commerce transactions amounted to 29 trillion yuan, mobile payment transactions amounted to more than 200 trillion yuan, and employed nearly 42.5 million, ranking first in the world. In particular, China’s online retail sales amounted to 7 trillion yuan, accounting for about 50% of the world; among the top 10 global e-commerce companies, Chinese companies occupy four seats according to Wang Bingnan, Vice Minister of Commerce via Xinhua)

Taking e-commerce logistics as an example, in 2017, China’s express delivery volume totaled 40.06 billion pieces, of which nearly 70% were driven by e-commerce.

This is not just domestic products either, cross-border online shopping, known as haitao 海淘 or CBEC (cross-border E-commerce) is also hugely popular.

For Chinese consumers who value quality, health, safety and packaging design, imported goods are gradually being recognized. Through online platforms such as Koala Haimao, Tmall International, and Jingdong International, Chinese consumers can buy products from all over the world.

A Nielsen’s online shopper trend research report shows that in 2017, the proportion of consumers doing multinational e-commerce shopping was as high as 67%, compared with 34% in 2015. According to further research by Nielsen, men aged 26-35 and women aged 26-40 have a preference for cross-border shopping. They also reported that these shoppers are highly educated, have a monthly household income of over RMB11,000, while generally working in private enterprises, joint ventures or foreign companies.

The leaders in cross-border sales and their market shares are Tmall Global (27.6%), Kaola (20.5%), JD Worldwide (13.8%), VIP (9.8%), Amazon (9.1%), Xiaohongshu (4.6%), Suning Global (2.5%) and Jumei (2.4%).


China’s top 50 ecommerce sites

CN English Name Website Description
网易考拉 Kaola Cross border goods from Kaola and independent sellers
淘宝 Taobao International goods & cross border sales with independent merchants
天猫 Tmall Domestic goods primarily with independent merchants
京东商城 Jingdong Domestic and cross border goods from JD and independent merchants
阿里巴巴1688 Alibaba1688 Cross border commerce with independent merchants
苏宁易购 Suning National Electrical goods retailer
亚马逊中国 Amazon China Domestic and international goods from JD and independent merchants
国美在线 Gome National Electrical goods retailer
1号店 Yihaodian Online supermarket
唯品会 Vipshop Discounted authentic domestic and international brand name goods
蘑菇街 Mogujie Social commerce fashion app
返利网 Fanli Rebate shopping – aggregating several major online retailers
聚美优品 Jumei Domestic and international lifestyle goods from Jumei and independent merchants
美丽说 Meilishuo Social commerce fashion app focused on women’s fashion
乐蜂网 Lefeng Beauty and cosmetics retailer
慧聪网 Huicong B2B sales from independent merchants
贝贝网 Beibei Baby and maternity goods from Beibei and independent merchants
中粮我买网 Womai b2c health food shopping
好乐买 OkBuy b2c brand name clothes and fashion
酒仙网 Jiuxian b2c wine & spirits
优购网 YouGou b2c footwear
万表网 Wbiao b2c watches
尚品网 Shangpin Brand name fashion
蜜芽宝贝 Mia Baby and maternity goods
洋码头 Yangmatou C2C and M2C focussed on cross-border commerce
顺风优选 Sfbest M2C imported and domestic foods
卷皮 Juanpi Daily needs from Juanpi and independent merchants
名鞋库 Mingxieku B2C brand name shoes
母婴之家 Muyingzhijia B2C maternity, baby and kids products
壹药网 Yiyao B2C pharmaceuticals
一呼百应 YouBoy B2B equipment, machinery and hardware with independent merchants
华强北商城 OKHQB B2C e-commerce platform focussed on electronics from Huaqiangbei (ran by the Shenzhen Gov)
科通芯城 Cogobuy B2C electronics components
本来生活网 Benlai B2C fresh groceries and produce
麦包包 Mbaobao B2C womens bags
药房网 Yaofang B2C pharmaceuticals
走秀网 Zouxiu Cross-border ecommerce focused on luxury and fashion
梦芭莎 Moonbasa B2C domestic fashion
孔夫子旧书网 Kongfuzi B2C bookstore
中国图书网 Books China B2C bookstore
铭万网 Mingwan B2B hardware with independent merchants
上品折扣 Shopin B2C Fashion
每日一淘 Fresh Buddy B2C Fresh produce
YOHO有货 YOHO B2C youth fashion
中国供应商 China Supplier B2B Independent merchants
乐友孕婴童网上商城 Leyou B2C maternity, baby and kids products
沱沱工社 TooToo B2C Organic produce
新蛋网 Newegg B2C Domestic and cross border electronics
易果生鲜 Yiguo B2C Fresh Produce
新居网 Xinju B2C home furniture
小红书 RED Social ecommerce with cross border retail luxury, beauty and fashion products
魅力惠 MEI B2C Luxury goods
跨境通 B2C & M2C Cross border ecommerce official e-commerce platform of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone)
海淘网 Haitao M2C Cross border trade platform


More about Cross Border eCommerce

There is two methods being

Direct mail
main body: overseas e-commerce or ecommerce platform
delivery logistics: overseas transshipment logistics
delivery place: product production
price: by e-commerce or ecommerce platform pricing, with local sales price
settlement method: with international credit card or other Customized settlement method, exchange rate fluctuation
arrival time: delivery time + overseas transportation time + customs clearance time + domestic transportation time
Well-known brands: Amazon’s global direct mail

(China) Bonded Warehouse Delivery
Body: Trading Company
Delivery Logistics: Domestic Logistics
Delivery Location: Bonded Warehouse Location
Price: Final Seller Pricing + Overseas Shipping + Customs
Settlement Method: RMB Settlement
Arrival Time: Bonded Warehouse to Goods Receipt
Well-known brands: Jingdong

An important point is the “CBEC (Cross Border E Commerce) positive list” issued by the Chinese Government which can be found here: [PDF] [CN]

Items on this list can be sold via the bonded warehouses meaning taxes and duties are paid at the time of sale. This allows merchants a lot more freedom with inventory. Importantly, goods on this list are also offered attractive tax and duty rates.

Note, for the consumer, these benefits are limited to single purchase of no greater than 5000RMB and a total yearly transactions of no more than 26,000RMB with items outside this being taxed as normal.

Lots of well known overseas brands have added Chinese friendly sections to their sites or created dedicated portals from where Mainland consumers can purchase such as

With many accepting unionpay and alipay for payment. Although they ship to direct to the Chinese consumer it is the recipient’s obligation to pay any duties with some packages going through unabated and others held at customs in the receivers area for collection and payment of duties.

Note, there are also bonded sales centers such as Hoko Mall in Qianhai District Shenzhen where you can buy imports from Hong Kong and overseas without tax and duty. There are currently 12 bonded zones across China.





Public Holiday Dates in China for 2019

Public Holiday Dates in China for 2019

Here’s the main holiday dates for China 2019 and the dates to join in on amazing festivals (or hide under the bed and avoid the crowds and transport chaos :))


Date English name Local name Pinyin Remarks
January 1st New Year 元旦 Yuándàn New Years Day
February 5th Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) 春节 Chūnjié Feb. 4 – 10. For many, holidays last up to the Lantern Festival. Biggest event on the Chinese calendar and the most important date for family togetherness.
 April 5 Tomb-Sweeping Day 清明节 Qīngmíng jié April 5 – 7. Combined with weekend to make 3 day holiday. During Qingming, families visit the tombs of their ancestors to clean the grave, pray to their ancestors, and make offerings.
May 1 Labour Day 劳动节 Láodòng jié Adopted from foreign culture to become an official holiday after 1949.
June 7 Dragon Boat Festival 端午节 Duānwǔ jié June 7 – 9. Cultural festival in China with roots back to the ancient Zhou Dynasty. Eating zongzi and racing dragon boats is the go at this time of year.
September 13 Mid-Autumn Day 中秋节 Zhōngqiū jié September 13 – 15. A traditional festival celebrating the harvest during the autumn full moon. During this time of year, everyone goes mad for mooncakes.
October 1 National Day 国庆节 Guóqìng jié October 1 – 7. Founding of PRC on October 1, 1949 it’s often referred to as Golden Week and it’s a superb time of year to to join in on sardine-like crowds at national attractions.


60+ Books on China That You Should be Reading

60+ Books on China That You Should be Reading

Here is a reading list of the must-read China books in selected genre including The Four Chinese Classics, Culture, Geopolitics, Politics, Corporate and Business, Economics, Personal Perspectives, Sociology, Philosophy, History, Modern History, and Military – History & Strategy.

Many of these that I’ve yet to read will be on my reading wish-list for 2018/2019. All of these are available on Amazon.

Descriptions and summary are those of the authors.

The Four Chinese Classics

The Story of the Stone, or Dream of the Red Chamber (紅樓夢) – Book Series (5 Books)
by Cao Xueqin, David Hawkes
Divided into five volumes, The Story of the Stone charts the glory and decline of the illustrious Jia family. This novel re-creates the ritualized hurly-burly of Chinese family life that would otherwise be lost and infuses it with affirming Buddhist belief.


The Water Margin: Outlaws of the Marsh
by Shi Naian and J.H. Jackson
Based upon the historical bandit Song Jiang and his companions, this Chinese equivalent of the English classic Robin Hood and His Merry Men is an epic tale of rebellion against tyranny and has been thrilling and inspiring readers for hundreds of years. This edition of the classic J. H. Jackson translation features a new preface and introduction by Edwin Lowe, which gives the history of the book and puts the story into perspective for modern readers.


Romance of the Three Kingdoms 三国演义
by Luo Guanzhong (Author), C. H. Brewitt-Taylor (Translator)
Romance of the Three Kingdoms, attributed to Luo Guanzhong, is a historical novel set in the turbulent years towards the end of the Han dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period in Chinese history, starting in 169 AD and ending with the reunification of the land in 280. The story – part historical, part legend, and part mythical – romanticises and dramatises the lives of feudal lords and their retainers, who tried to replace the dwindling Han dynasty or restore it. While the novel follows hundreds of characters, the focus is mainly on the three power blocs that emerged from the remnants of the Han dynasty, and would eventually form the three states of Cao Wei, Shu Han, and Eastern Wu. The novel deals with the plots, personal and military battles, intrigues, and struggles of these states to achieve dominance for almost 100 years. 


Journey to the West 西游记 (4 Volumes)
by Anthony C. Yu (Editor, Translator)
Anthony C. Yu’s translation of The Journey to the West,initially published in 1983, introduced English-speaking audiences to the classic Chinese novel in its entirety for the first time. Written in the sixteenth century, The Journey to the West tells the story of the fourteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Xuanzang, one of China’s most famous religious heroes, and his three supernatural disciples, in search of Buddhist scriptures. Throughout his journey, Xuanzang fights demons who wish to eat him, communes with spirits, and traverses a land riddled with a multitude of obstacles, both real and fantastical. An adventure rich with danger and excitement, this seminal work of the Chinese literary canonis by turns allegory, satire, and fantasy.





Insights into Chinese Culture
by Ye Lang (Author), Zhu Liangzhi (Author)
For readers both at home and abroad who have some basic knowledge of the Chinese language and are interested in Chinese culture. Detailed and vivid introduction to certain unique features and highlights of Chinese culture, enclosing 37 chapters (e.g. the four great inventions of ancient China, architecture, cuisine, martial art, etc.). Insights into Chinese Culture English version), have seized lots of features and lightspots in Chinese culture, uses typical cases and materials to introduce Chinese cultural spirit and its internal meaning and core value. The book shows the spirit world, cultural personality, life attitude and aesthetic taste of Chinese people and it also displays that Chinese people who respect nature, expect a plentiful life, pray for peace and love life.


Great Books of China: From Ancient Times to the Present
by Frances Wood (Author)
Great Books of China invites readers to discover―or rediscover―some of the major achievements of Chinese culture and civilization. The literature of China remains largely unknown in the West, yet it offers much insight into Chinese life. The long continuity of Chinese culture means that texts created more than two thousand years ago are still part of the education and background of today’s China. Great Books of China introduces outstanding works of various genres, from fiction, drama, and poetry to history, science, and travel; they were written by philosophers and artists, government officials and scholars, by men and women across many centuries and from every part of China. These great books are presented in their historic, cultural, and social context, with a focused summary of content and author.


The Chinese Mind: Understanding Traditional Chinese Beliefs and Their Influence on Contemporary Culture 
by Boye Lafayette De Mente 
The Chinese Mind pinpoints areas of China’s traditional values and behaviors that play a significant role in the business and social relationships of the Chinese. It also identifies key areas of Chinese culture that have changed as a result of the adoption of a market-based economy and other elements of Western culture. It includes discussion topics and questions, along with an extensive selection of Chinese “code words” that explain the essence and role of key elements of the traditional culture that have survived into modern times. Covering everything from the importance of Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher, to the influence of foreign fast food and video games, this book provides a wide-ranging glimpse into the seemingly opaque Chinese mind.


China: Portrait of a People 
by Tom Carter
From the subtropical jungles of Yunnan to the frozen wastes of Heilongjiang; across the scalding deserts of Xinjiang and beneath Hong Kong’s neon blur.  Tramping through China by train, bus, boat, motorcycle, mule or hitching on the back of anything that moved.  On a budget so scant that he drew sympathetic stares from peasants. Backpacking photographer Tom Carter somehow succeeded in circumnavigating over 35,000 miles (56,000 kilometers) across all 33 provinces in China during a 2-year period, the first foreigner on record ever to do so.





The 100-Year Marathon
by Michael Pillsbury
Based on interviews with Chinese defectors and newly declassified, previously undisclosed national security documents, The Hundred-Year Marathon reveals China’s secret strategy to supplant the United States as the world’s dominant power, and to do so by 2049, the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. Michael Pillsbury, a fluent Mandarin speaker who has served in senior national security positions in the U.S. government since the days of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, draws on his decades of contact with the “hawks” in China’s military and intelligence agencies and translates their documents, speeches, and books to show how the teachings of traditional Chinese statecraft underpin their actions.


The China Fantasy
by James Mann
One of our most perceptive China experts, James Mann wrote The China Fantasy as a vital wake-up call to all who are ignorant of America’s true relationship with the Asian giant. For years, our leaders posited that China could be drawn to increasing liberalization through the power of the free market, but Mann asked us to consider a very real alternative: What if China’s economy continues to expand but its government remains as dismissive of democracy and human rights as it is now? 


On China
by Henry Kissinger
In this sweeping and insightful history, Henry Kissinger turns for the first time at book length to a country he has known intimately for decades and whose modern relations with the West he helped shape. On China illuminates the inner workings of Chinese diplomacy during such pivotal events as the initial encounters between China and tight line modern European powers, the formation and breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, the Korean War, and Richard Nixon’s historic trip to Beijing. With a new final chapter on the emerging superpower’s twenty-first-century role in global politics and economics, On China provides historical perspective on Chinese foreign affairs from one of the premier statesmen of our time.


Dealing With China
by Former US Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr
Hank Paulson has dealt with China unlike any other foreigner. As head of Goldman Sachs, Paulson had a pivotal role in opening up China to private enterprise. Then, as Treasury secretary, he created the Strategic Economic Dialogue with what is now the world’s second-largest economy. He negotiated with China on needed economic reforms, while safeguarding the teetering U.S. financial system. Over his career, Paulson has worked with scores of top Chinese leaders, including Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful man in decades.


Asia’s Cauldron
by Robert D. Kaplan 
In Asia’s Cauldron, Robert D. Kaplan offers up a vivid snapshot of the nations surrounding the South China Sea, the conflicts brewing in the region at the dawn of the twenty-first century, and their implications for global peace and stability. One of the world’s most perceptive foreign policy experts, Kaplan interprets America’s interests in Asia in the context of an increasingly assertive China. He explains how the region’s unique geography fosters the growth of navies but also impedes aggression. And he draws a striking parallel between China’s quest for hegemony in the South China Sea and the United States’ imperial adventure in the Caribbean more than a century ago.


Everything Under the Heavens How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power 
by Howard W. French
For many years after its reform and opening in 1978, China maintained an attitude of false modesty about its ambitions. That façade, reports former New York Times Asia correspondent Howard French, has now been cast off. China is increasingly asserting its place among the global powers, signaling its plans for pan-Asian dominance by building its navy, increasing territorial claims to areas like the South China Sea, and diplomatically bullying smaller players. Underlying this attitude is the millennia-old concept of tian xia, which held that everything “under the heavens” fell within the influence of the Chinese empire. 


When China Rules the World  The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order: Second Edition 
by Martin Jacques
Since the first publication of When China Rules the World, the landscape of world power has shifted dramatically. In the three years since the first edition was published, When China Rules the World has proved to be a remarkably prescient book, transforming the nature of the debate on China. Now, in this greatly expanded and fully updated edition, boasting nearly 300 pages of new material, and backed up by the latest statistical data, Martin Jacques renews his assault on conventional thinking about China’s ascendancy, showing how its impact will be as much political and cultural as economic, changing the world as we know it.


China’s Second Continent
by Howard French
Chinese immigrants of the recent past and unfolding twenty-first century are in search of the African dream. So explains indefatigable traveler Howard W. French, prize-winning investigative journalist and former New York Times bureau chief in Africa and China, in the definitive account of this seismic geopolitical development. China’s burgeoning presence in Africa is already shaping, and reshaping, the future of millions of people. From Liberia to Senegal to Mozambique, in creaky trucks and by back roads, French introduces us to the characters who make up China’s dogged emigrant population: entrepreneurs singlehandedly reshaping African infrastructure, and less-lucky migrants barely scraping by but still convinced of Africa’s opportunities. 


The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present 
by John Pomfret
A Remarkable History of the Two-Centuries-Old Relationship Between the United States and China, from the Revolutionary War to the Present Day. From the clipper ships that ventured to Canton hauling cargos of American ginseng to swap for Chinese tea, and the Yankee missionaries who brought Christianity and education to China, to the Chinese who built the American West, the United States and China have always been dramatically intertwined. While we tend to think of America’s ties with China as starting in 1972 with the visit of President Richard Nixon to China, the patterns—rapturous enchantment followed by angry disillusionment—were set in motion hundreds of years earlier. 


Foreign Relations of the PRC: The Legacies and Constraints of China’s International Politics since 1949 2nd Edition 
by Robert G. Sutter
This cogent but comprehensive book examines the international relations of the People’s Republic of China since its founding in 1949. Noted scholar Robert G. Sutter provides a balanced assessment of the country’s recent successes and advances as well as the important legacies and constraints that hamper it, especially in nearby Asia—long the focus of China’s foreign policy attention. 


Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the South China Sea and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion 1st Edition
by Humphrey Hawksley 
In Asian Waters, award-winning foreign correspondent Humphrey Hawksley breaks down the politics―and tensions―that he has followed through this region for years. Reporting on decades of political developments, he has witnessed China’s rise to become one of the world’s most wealthy and militarized countries, and delivers in Asian Waters the compelling narrative of this most volatile region. 


China and the International Order 
by Michael J. Mazarr, Timothy R. Heath, Astrid Stuth Cevallos
As economic power diffuses across more countries and China becomes more dependent on the world economy, Chinese leaders are being forced to abandon their largely passive approach to global governance. This report analyzes China’s interests and behavior to evaluate both the recent history of its interactions with the postwar international order and possible future trajectories. It also draws implications from that analysis for future U.S. policy.





The Party
by Richard McGregor
China’s Communist Party is the largest, most powerful political machine in the world. Here, for the first time, Richard McGregor delves deeply into its inner sanctum, revealing how this secretive cabal keeps control of every aspect of the country – its military and media, legal system and businesses, even its religious organizations. How has the Party merged Marx, Mao and the market to create a global superpower? And


Chinese Politics in the Xi Jinping Era: Reassessing Collective Leadership
By Cheng Li
Chinese Politics in the Xi Jinping Era examines how the structure and dynamics of party leadership have evolved since the late 1990s and argues that “inner-party democracy”—the concept of collective leadership that emphasizes deal making based on accepted rules and norms—may pave the way for greater transformation within China’s political system. Xi’s legacy will largely depend on whether he encourages or obstructs this trend of political institutionalization in the governance of the world’s most populous and increasingly pluralistic country.


Out of Mao’s Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul of a New China 
by Philip Pan
Out of Mao’s Shadow offers a startling perspective on China and its remarkable transformation, challenging conventional wisdom about the political apathy of the Chinese people and the notion that prosperity leads automatically to freedom. Like David Remnick’s Lenin’s Tomb, this is a moving story of a nation in transition, of a people coming to terms with their past and struggling to take control of their future.


Xi Jinping: The Governance of China Volume 1 & 2
by Xi Jinping
The first published work by a sitting Chinese President, Xi Jinping: The Governance of China offers a unique look inside the Communist Party of China and its vision for the future. The book presents excerpts and summaries of 79 speeches, talks, interviews, instructions and correspondences in 18 chapters. Each item is accompanied by relevant notes about China’s social system, history and culture. The book includes 45 photos taken at various stages of Xi’s life, which provide readers with more information about his career and personal life. 


The SAGE Handbook of Contemporary China 1st Edition
by Weiping Wu (Editor), Mark W. Frazier (Editor)
The study of contemporary China constitutes a fascinating yet challenging area of scholarly inquiry. Recent decades have brought dramatic changes to China′s economy, society and governance. Analyzing such changes in the context of multiple disciplinary perspectives offers opportunities as well as challenges for scholars in the field known as contemporary China Studies. The SAGE Handbook of Contemporary China is a two-volume exploration of the transformations of contemporary China, firmly grounded in the both disciplinary and China-specific contexts. 


Where the Party Rules: The Rank and File of China’s Communist State 
by Daniel Koss 
In most non-democratic countries, today governing forty-four percent of the world population, the power of the regime rests upon a ruling party. Contrasting with conventional notions that authoritarian regime parties serve to contain elite conflict and manipulate electoral-legislative processes, this book presents the case of China and shows that rank and-file members of the Communist Party allow the state to penetrate local communities. Subnational comparative analysis demonstrates that in ‘red areas’ with high party saturation, the state is most effectively enforcing policy and collecting taxes. Newly available evidence from the Great Leap Forward (1958-1961) and the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) shows how a strong local party basis sustained the regime in times of existential crisis.



Corporate and Business


Mr. China
by Tim Clissold
Mr. China tells the rollicking story of a young man who goes to China with the misguided notion that he will help bring the Chinese into the modern world, only to be schooled by the most resourceful and creative operators he would ever meet. Part memoir, part parable, Mr. China is one man’s coming-of-age story where he learns to respect and admire the nation he sought to conquer.


Chinese Rules
by Tim Clissold
From the author of the acclaimed Mr. China comes another rollicking adventure story—part memoir, part history, part business imbroglio—that offers valuable lessons to help Westerners win in China. In the twenty-first century, the world has tilted eastwards in its orbit; China grows confident while the West seems mired in doubt. Having lived and worked in China for more than two decades, Tim Clissold explains the secrets that Westerners can use to navigate through its cultural and political maze. Picking up where he left off in the international bestseller Mr. China, Chinese Rules chronicles his most recent exploits, with assorted Chinese bureaucrats, factory owners, and local characters building a climate change business in China. 


Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built
by Duncan Clark
In just a decade and half Jack Ma, a man who rose from humble beginnings and started his career as an English teacher, founded and built Alibaba into the second largest Internet company in the world. The company’s $25 billion IPO in 2014 was the world’s largest, valuing the company more than Facebook or Coca Cola. Alibaba today runs the e-commerce services that hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers depend on every day, providing employment and income for tens of millions more. A Rockefeller of his age, Jack has become an icon for the country’s booming private sector, and as the face of the new, consumerist China is courted by heads of state and CEOs from around the world


One Billion Customers
by James McGregor
Companies from around the globe are flocking to China to buy, sell, manufacture, and create new products, but as former Wall Street Journal China bureau chief turned successful corporate executive James McGregor explains, business in China is never quite what it seems. One Billion Customers offers compelling narratives of personalities, business deals, and lessons learned, creating a coherent pictures of China’s emergence as a global economic power with a dog-eat-dog business climate that has turned bureaucrats into billionaires and left many foreign business executives with their pockets turned inside out.


One Hour China Book 
by Jeffrey Towson, Jonathan Woetzel 
This is the China book for everyone – whether an expert or novice. It can be read in an hour and gives you most of what you need to know about China business today – and its increasing impact on the rest of the world. This small “speed-read” book is the distilled knowledge of two Peking University business professors with over 30 years of experience on the ground in China and the emerging markets. According to authors Jeffrey Towson and Jonathan Woetzel, “if we had the undivided attention of someone from Ohio, Brighton or Lima for just one hour, this little book is what we would say.”





China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know
by Arthur Kroeber
China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know® is a concise introduction to the most astonishing economic growth story of the last three decades. In the 1980s China was an impoverished backwater, struggling to escape the political turmoil and economic mismanagement of the Mao era. Today it is the world’s second biggest economy, the largest manufacturing and trading nation, the consumer of half the world’s steel and coal, the biggest source of international tourists, and one of the most influential investors in developing countries from southeast Asia to Africa to Latin America.


From Commune to Capitalism: How China’s Peasants Lost Collective Farming and Gained Urban Poverty 
by Zhun Xu
In the early 1980s, China undertook a massive reform that dismantled its socialist rural collectives and divided the land among millions of small peasant families. Known as the decollectivization campaign, it is one of the most significant reforms in China’s transition to a market economy. From the beginning, the official Chinese accounts, and many academic writings, uncritically portray this campaign as a huge success, both for the peasants and the economy as a whole. This mainstream history argues that the rural communes, suffering from inefficiency, greatly improved agricultural productivity under the decollectivization reform. It also describes how the peasants, due to their dissatisfaction with the rural regime, spontaneously organized and collectively dismantled the collective system.



Personal Perspectives


Chinese Lessons
by John Pomfret
A first-hand account of the remarkable transformation of China over the past forty years as seen through the life of an award-winning journalist and his four Chinese classmates. As a twenty-year-old exchange student from Stanford University, John Pomfret spent a year at Nanjing University in China. His fellow classmates were among those who survived the twin tragedies of Mao’s rule―the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution―and whose success in government and private industry today are shaping China’s future. Pomfret went on to a career in journalism, spending the bulk of his time in China. After attending the twentieth reunion of his class, he decided to reacquaint himself with some of his classmates. Chinese Lessons is their story and his own.


Oracle Bones 
by Peter Hessler
A century ago, outsiders saw China as a place where nothing ever changes. Today the country has become one of the most dynamic regions on earth. In Oracle Bones, Peter Hessler explores the human side of China’s transformation, viewing modern-day China and its growing links to the Western world through the lives of a handful of ordinary people. In a narrative that gracefully moves between the ancient and the present, the East and the West, Hessler captures the soul of a country that is undergoing a momentous change before our eyes.


Decoding China 
by Matthew B. Christensen
Embrace the culture and get the most out of your time in China. Going to China for the first time can be an intimidating experience, even for those who have studied the language. In fact, traveling to China for the second, third, or fourth time can also be a challenging experience, especially if you intend to be fully immersed in daily life, get off the beaten path, and experience the “real” China.


Decoding the Rise of China: Taiwanese and Japanese Perspectives
by Tse-Kang Leng (Editor), Rumi Aoyama (Editor)
This edited collection provides a synthetic analysis of the rise of contemporary China and its impact on the current global system from a range of Asian and Western perspectives. Highlighting Taiwanese and Japanese viewpoints, the book considers a macro, integrated vision of the rise of China and examines the vital cultural factors which link domestic politics and foreign policy in the Sino-Japanese relationship. The book addresses key policy matters, such as the internationalization of the Chinese currency and Arctic diplomacy, and provides a key reference on contemporary Chinese foreign policy and the Sino-Japanese relationship for students, academics experts and policy makers in the field of Area Studies, History and International Relations.


Tiger Head, Snake Tails
by Jonathan Fenby
The imminent collapse of the People’s Republic of China has been foretold for years. Just as often, though, it has been predicted to be the future ruler of the world. But despite the endless stream of soothsayers, there has been no single book that pulls together the whole of the China story, linking its very disparate elements to present a coherent portrait that explains what China is and why it matters so much. In this compelling and lucid account based on years of research and first-hand experience, rooted in on-the-ground reporting, interviews, observations, and a viewpoint that sees the country from the inside out, leading journalist and China expert Jonathan Fenby links the myriad features of today’s rapidly evolving China. 


“Socialism Is Great!” A Worker’s Memoir of the New China
by Lijia Zhang
With a great charm and spirit, “Socialism Is Great!” recounts Lijia Zhang’s rebellious journey from disillusioned factory worker to organizer in support of the Tiananmen Square demonstrators, to eventually become the writer and journalist she always determined to be. Her memoir is like a brilliant miniature illuminating the sweeping historical forces at work in China after the Cultural Revolution as the country moved from one of stark repression to a vibrant, capitalist economy.


China Dream 
by Ma Jian
A poetic and unflinching fable about tyranny, guilt, and the erasure of history, by the banned Chinese writer hailed as ‘China’s Solzhenitsyn’. In seven dream-like episodes, Ma Jian charts the psychological disintegration of a Chinese provincial leader who is haunted by nightmares of his violent past. From exile, Ma Jian shoots an arrow at President Xi Jinping’s ‘China Dream’ propaganda, creating a biting satire of totalitarianism that reveals what happens to a nation when it is blinded by materialism and governed by violence and lies. Blending tragic and absurd reality with myth and fantasy, this dystopian novel is a portrait not of an imagined future, but of China today.





Wish Lanterns
by Alec Ash
Wish Lanterns offers a deep dive into the life stories of six young Chinese. Dahai is a military child, netizen, and self-styled loser. Xiaoxiao is a hipster from the freezing north. “Fred,” born on the tropical southern island of Hainan, is the daughter of a Party official, while Lucifer is a would-be international rock star. Snail is a country boy and Internet gaming addict, and Mia is a fashionista rebel from far west Xinjiang. Following them as they grow up, go to college, find work and love, all the while navigating the pressure of their parents and society, Wish Lanterns paints a vivid portrait of Chinese youth culture and of a millennial generation whose struggles and dreams reflect the larger issues confronting China today.


The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao 
by Ian Johnson
The Souls of China tells the story of one of the world’s great spiritual revivals.  Following a century of violent anti-religious campaigns, China is now filled with new temples, churches, and mosques—as well as cults, sects, and politicians trying to harness religion for their own ends. Driving this explosion of faith is uncertainty—over what it means to be Chinese and how to live an ethical life in a country that discarded traditional morality a century ago and is searching for new guideposts.


Leftover in China: The Women Shaping the World’s Next Superpower
by Roseann Lake
Factory Girls meets The Vagina Monologues in this fascinating narrative on China’s single women―and why they could be the source of its economic future. Forty years ago, China enacted the one-child policy, only recently relaxed. Among many other unintended consequences, it resulted in both an enormous gender imbalance―with a predicted twenty million more men than women of marriage age by 2020―and China’s first generations of only-daughters. Given the resources normally reserved for boys, these girls were pushed to study, excel in college, and succeed in careers, as if they were sons.


China Witness Voices from a Silent Generation
by Xinran
Xinran, acclaimed author of The Good Women of China, traveled across China seeking out the nation’s grandparents and great-grandparents, the men and women who experienced firsthand the tremendous changes of the modern era. Although many of them feared repercussions, they spoke with stunning candor about their hopes, fears, and struggles, and about what they witnessed: from the Long March to land reform, from Mao to marriage, from revolution to Westernization. In the same way that Studs Terkel’s Working and Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation gave us the essence of very particular times, China Witness gives us the essence of modern China—a portrait more intimate, nuanced, and revelatory than any we have had before.


Street of Eternal Happiness
by Rob Schmitz
An unforgettable portrait of individuals who hope, struggle, and grow along a single street cutting through the heart of China’s most exhilarating metropolis, from one of the most acclaimed broadcast journalists reporting on China today.


The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories: China From the Bottom Up
by Liao Yiwu
The Corpse Walker introduces us to regular men and women at the bottom of Chinese society, most of whom have been battered by life but have managed to retain their dignity: a professional mourner, a human trafficker, a public toilet manager, a leper, a grave robber, and a Falung Gong practitioner, among others. By asking challenging questions with respect and empathy, Liao Yiwu managed to get his subjects to talk openly and sometimes hilariously about their lives, desires, and vulnerabilities, creating a book that is an instance par excellence of what was once upon a time called “The New Journalism.” The Corpse Walker reveals a fascinating aspect of modern China, describing the lives of normal Chinese citizens in ways that constantly provoke and surprise.


Wild Grass: Three Portraits of Change in Modern China
by Ian Johnson
In Wild Grass, Pulitzer Prize—winning journalist Ian Johnson tells the stories of three ordinary Chinese citizens moved to extraordinary acts of courage: a peasant legal clerk who filed a class-action suit on behalf of overtaxed farmers, a young architect who defended the rights of dispossessed homeowners, and a bereaved woman who tried to find out why her elderly mother had been beaten to death in police custody. Representing the first cracks in the otherwise seamless façade of Communist Party control, these small acts of resistance demonstrate the unconquerable power of the human conscience and prophesy an increasingly open political future for China.


Under Red Skies: Three Generations of Life, Loss, and Hope in China 
by Karoline Kan 
Under Red Skies is an examination of the generational bonds and divisions of the Kan family and the panoramic effects of China’s changing societal norms and fast-growing economy, where some succeed and others are destined to fail. Kan tells the inspiring stories of her grandfather, who secretly hid government portions of rice in his hat to prevent his children from starving in the years of the Great Famine; her mother’s resistance to the Second Child Policy; her cousin’s work at a shoe factory; and the moral compromise of her Red Guard uncles after Mao Zedong’s death. Through these defiant characters, Kan questions the complexities of life as a Chinese millennial–for better or worse–as the country’s fate unfolds.


A Century of Change in a Chinese Village: The Crisis of the Countryside 
by Lin Juren (Author), Xie Yuxi (Author), Linda Grove (Editor)
Over the last half century, China has evolved from a poor rural country to a geopolitical powerhouse. Rapid urbanization has been at the heart of that transformation, and as migrant laborers have left their villages, what has become of the rural communities that were once the center of economic, social, and cultural life? And how do contemporary Chinese scholars understand those changes? These are the questions that this compelling book answers. This book traces changes from the early twentieth century to the present day in family and lineage, social stratification, personal networks, annual and life cycle rituals, village politics, and elite formation. This important book presents, for the first time in English, analysis by Chinese sociologists on the radical transformation of Chinese rural society.


Return Of The Dragon: China’s Wounded Nationalism 1st Edition
by Maria H Chang (Author), Amy Joseph (Author)
As Maoism recedes, and especially after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, Beijing has increasingly turned to patriotic nationalism for its ideological inspiration and legitimation. Return of the Dragon begins with a discussion of the definitions, typologies, and theories of nationalism. The formation and development of the Chinese people are explored, including their myths of origins, early beginnings, the classical feudal period, and the enduring state and empire of the Middle Kingdom. The last chapters of Return of the Dragon describe contemporary China’s patriotic nationalism as it is represented in the writings of Chinese intellectuals, the youth, and the military. The portrait that emerges is a disquieting mix of narcissism and insecurity, wounded pride and resentment, a Darwinian worldview and an irredentist resolve to restore China to its former glory.


Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World
by Zak Dychtwald
A close up look at the Chinese generation born after 1990 exploring through personal encounters how young Chinese feel about everything from money and sex, to their government, the West, and China’s shifting role in the world–not to mention their love affair with food, karaoke, and travel. Set primarily in the Eastern 2nd tier city of Suzhou and the budding Western metropolis of Chengdu, the book charts the touchstone issues this young generation faces. From single-child pressure, to test taking madness and the frenzy to buy an apartment as a prerequisite to marriage, from one-night-stands to an evolving understanding of family, Young China offers a fascinating portrait of the generation who will define what it means to be Chinese in the modern era. 





The Analects
Translated by James Legge with an Introduction by Lionel Giles
One of the most influential philosophers of all time, and still deeply regarded amongst the Chinese people, his ideology is one which emphasizes the importance of the family, as well as justice, sincerity, and morality in both personal and political matters. The “Analects” or “Sayings of Confucius,” is the classic collection of his teachings compiled by his disciples over several centuries following his death. Confucius believed that the welfare of a nation depended upon the moral character of its people, and that the cultivation of this character began by a devotion to the well-being of others, starting with one’s immediate family. The impact of this work on Eastern philosophy cannot be overstated, as it stands to this day as one of the most important philosophical works from ancient times.


Tao Te Ching: A New English Version 
by Lao Tzu  (Author), Stephen Mitchell (Translator)
In eighty-one brief chapters, Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, provides advice that imparts balance and perspective, a serene and generous spirit, and teaches us how to work for the good with the effortless skill that comes from being in accord with the Tao—the basic principle of the universe. Stephen Mitchell’s bestselling version has been widely acclaimed as a gift to contemporary culture.


Xunzi: The Complete Text
by Xunzi and Eric Hutton
This is the first complete, one-volume English translation of the ancient Chinese text Xunzi, one of the most extensive, sophisticated, and elegant works in the tradition of Confucian thought. Through essays, poetry, dialogues, and anecdotes, the Xunzi presents a more systematic vision of the Confucian ideal than the fragmented sayings of Confucius and Mencius, articulating a Confucian perspective on ethics, politics, warfare, language, psychology, human nature, ritual, and music, among other topics. Aimed at general readers and students of Chinese thought, Eric Hutton’s translation makes the full text of this important work more accessible in English than ever before.


by Mencius and D. C. Lau
Mencius was one of the great philosophers of ancient China, second only in influence to Confucius, whose teachings he defended and expanded. The Mencius, in which he recounts his dialogues with kings, dukes and military men, as well as other philosophers, is one of the Four Books that make up the essential Confucian corpus. It takes up Confucius’s theories of jen, or goodness and yi, righteousness, explaining that the individual can achieve harmony with mankind and the universe by perfecting his innate moral nature and acting with benevolence and justice. Mencius’ strikingly modern views on the duties of subjects and their rulers or the evils of war, created a Confucian orthodoxy that has remained intact since the third century BCE. 





A History of China 
by John Keay
An authoritative account of five thousand years of Chinese history. Many nations define themselves in terms of territory or people; China defines itself in terms of history. Taking into account the country’s unrivaled, voluminous tradition of history writing, John Keay has composed a vital and illuminating overview of the nation’s complex and vivid past. Keay’s authoritative history examines 5,000 years in China, from the time of the Three Dynasties through Chairman Mao and the current economic transformation of the country. Crisp, judicious, and engaging, China is the classic single-volume history for anyone seeking to understand the present and future of this immensely powerful nation.


Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China’s Last Golden Age
by Stephen R. Platt  
As China reclaims its position as a world power, Imperial Twilight looks back to tell the story of the country’s last age of ascendance and how it came to an end in the nineteenth-century Opium War.



Modern History


Red Star Over China
by Edgar Snow
The first Westerner to meet Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese Communist leaders in 1936, Edgar Snow came away with the first authorized account of Mao’s life, as well as a history of the famous Long March and the men and women who were responsible for the Chinese revolution. Out of that experience came Red Star Over China, a classic work that remains one of the most important books ever written about the birth of the Communist movement in China. This edition includes extensive notes on military and political developments in China, further interviews with Mao Tse-tung, a chronology covering 125 years of Chinese revolution, and nearly a hundred detailed biographies of the men and women who were instrumental in making China what it is today.


China 1945 – Mao’s Revolution and America’s Fateful Choice
by Richard Bernstein
A riveting account of the watershed moment in America’s dealings with China that forever altered the course of East-West relations. As 1945 opened, America was on surprisingly congenial terms with China’s Communist rebels—their soldiers treated their American counterparts as heroes, rescuing airmen shot down over enemy territory. Chinese leaders talked of a future in which American money and technology would help lift China out of poverty. Mao Zedong himself held friendly meetings with U.S. emissaries, vowing to them his intention of establishing an American-style democracy in China. By year’s end, however, cordiality had been replaced by chilly hostility and distrust. 


China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know
by Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom
The need to understand this global giant has never been more pressing: China is constantly in the news, yet conflicting impressions abound. Within one generation, China has transformed from an impoverished, repressive state into an economic and political powerhouse. In the fully revised and updated second edition of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know, China expert Jeffrey Wasserstrom provides cogent answers to the most urgent questions regarding the newest superpower, and offers a framework for understanding its meteoric rise.



Military – History & Strategy


The Seven Military Classics Of Ancient China (History and Warfare)
by Ralph D. Sawyer (Translator)
The Seven Military Classics is one of the most profound studies of warfare ever written, a stanchion in sinological and military history. It presents an Eastern tradition of strategic thought that emphasizes outwitting one’s opponent through speed, stealth, flexibility, and a minimum of force–an approach very different from that stressed in the West. Safeguarded for centuries by the ruling elite of imperial China, even in modern times these writings have been known only to a handful of Western specialists. This volume contains seven separate essays, written between 500 BCE and 700 CE, that preserve the essential tenets of strategy distilled from the experience of the most brilliant warriors of ancient China.


The Art Of War
by Sun Tzu
The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise attributed to Sun Tzu a high-ranking military general, strategist and tactician, and it was believed to have been compiled during the late Spring and Autumn period or early Warring States period. The text is composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare. It is commonly known to be the definitive work on military strategy and tactics of its time. It has been the most famous and influential of China’s Seven Military Classics, and for the last two thousand years it remained the most important military treatise in Asia, where even the common people knew it by name. It has had an influence on Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy and beyond. 


The Dragon’s Teeth: The Chinese People’s Liberation Army―Its History, Traditions, and Air Sea and Land Capability in the 21st Century
by Benjamin Lai 
What is today’s PLA really like? What are its traditions and histories, and how is it armed and equipped? How does it recruit and train? This book describes some of the lesser known battles and wars the Chinese have undertaken, and the development of their key weapons systems. The United States, having opened the door to “drone warfare,” have had an attentive audience for such technologies in Beijing. The last chapter provides thoughts on how the Chinese view matters of security. It is not yet known whether foreign powers can still enforce their territorial wills on China, but future attempts will meet an increased challenge. 



More? There is a lengthy list of books on contemporary China listed see here for the PDF.




China’s Secret World Wonders and World Heritage Sites

China’s Secret World Wonders and World Heritage Sites

Did you know that China has some 52 sites listed under UNESCO World Heritage? Ranging from ancient wonders to natural wonders, you’ll be amazed once more by some that you will know, and some that many never knew existed.

Well, with that epic build-up, here they are, China’s 52 amazing UNESCO listed World Heritage Sites.


Mount Huangshan

Mount Huangshan

Chinese: 黄山
World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site
Location: Huangshan City, Anhui
Huangshan, known as ‘the loveliest mountain of China’, was acclaimed through art and literature during a good part of Chinese history (e.g. the Shanshui ‘mountain and water’ style of the mid-16th century). Today it holds the same fascination for visitors, poets, painters and photographers who come on pilgrimage to the site, which is renowned for its magnificent scenery made up of many granite peaks and rocks emerging out of a sea of clouds.


Mount Wuyi

Mount Wuyi

Chinese: 武夷山
World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site
Location: Fujian, Jiangxi
Mount Wuyi is the most outstanding area for biodiversity conservation in south-east China and a refuge for a large number of ancient, relict species, many of them endemic to China. The serene beauty of the dramatic gorges of the Nine Bend River, with its numerous temples and monasteries, many now in ruins, provided the setting for the development and spread of neo-Confucianism, which has been influential in the cultures of East Asia since the 11th century. In the 1st century B.C. a large administrative capital was built at nearby Chengcun by the Han dynasty rulers. Its massive walls enclose an archaeological site of great significance.



Fujian Tulou

Chinese: 福建土楼
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Fujian
The Fujian Tulou are the most representative and best-preserved examples of the tulou of the mountainous regions of south-eastern China. The large, technically sophisticated and dramatic earthen defensive buildings, built between the 13th and 20th centuries, in their highly sensitive setting in fertile mountain valleys, are an extraordinary reflection of a communal response to settlement which has persisted over time. The tulou and their extensive associated documentary archives reflect the emergence, innovation, and development of outstanding art of earthen building over seven centuries.




Chinese: 三清山国家公园
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Yushan County, Jiangxi
Mount Sanqingshan National Park, a 22,950 ha property located in the west of the Huyaiyu mountain range in the northeast of Jiangxi Province (in the east of central China) has been inscribed for its exceptional scenic quality, marked by the concentration of fantastically shaped pillars and peaks: 48 granite peaks and 89 granite pillars, many of which resemble human or animal silhouettes. The natural beauty of the 1,817 metre high Mount Huaiyu is further enhanced by the juxtaposition of granite features with the vegetation and particular meteorological conditions which make for an ever-changing and arresting landscape with bright halos on clouds and white rainbows.


Jiuzhaigou Valley

Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area

Chinese: 九寨沟风景名胜区
World Natural Heritage Site
Location: Jiuzhaigou County, Sichuan
The Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area is a reserve of exceptional natural beauty with spectacular jagged alpine mountains soaring above coniferous forest around a fairyland landscape of crystal clear, strange-coloured blue, green and purplish pools, lakes, waterfalls, limestone terraces, caves and other beautiful features. These include a number of karst formations; indeed the area is a “natural museum” for alpine karst hydrology and research. Covering 72,000 ha in the northern part of Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou preserves a series of important forest ecosystems including old-growth forests that provide important habitat for numerous threatened species of plants and animals, including the giant panda and takin. Attaining heights of 4,752 m in the southern Minshan Mountains, Jiuzhaigou also contains an important number of well-preserved quaternary glacial remnants with great scenic value.


Xiaoling Mausoleum

Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, including the Ming Dynasty Tombs and the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum

World Cultural Heritage Site
Chinese: 明清皇家陵寝
Location: Beijing and Nanjing, Jiangsu
The Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties were built between 1368 and 1915 AD in Beijing Municipality, Hebei Province, Hubei Province, Jiangsu Province and Liaoning Province of China. They comprise of the Xianling Tombs of the Ming Dynasty and the Eastern and Western Qing Tombs inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000; the Xiaoling Tomb of the Ming Dynasty and the Ming Tombs in Beijing added to the inscription in 2003, and the Three Imperial Tombs of Shenyang, Liaoning Province (Yongling Tomb, Fuling Tomb, and Zhaoling Tomb, all of the Qing Dynasty) added in 2004.


Forbidden City

Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, including the Forbidden City

Chinese: 故宫博物院
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Beijing (the Forbidden City)
Seat of supreme power for over five centuries (1416-1911), the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its landscaped gardens and many buildings (whose nearly 10,000 rooms contain furniture and works of art), constitutes a priceless testimony to Chinese civilization during the Ming and Qing dynasties.


Mukden Palace

Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, including Mukden Palace

Chinese: 盛京宫殿
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Shenyang, Liaoning (Mukden Palace)
The Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty in Shenyang consists of 114 buildings constructed between 1625–26 and 1783. It contains an important library and testifies to the foundation of the last dynasty that ruled China, before it expanded its power to the centre of the country and moved the capital to Beijing. This palace then became auxiliary to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. This remarkable architectural edifice offers important historical testimony to the history of the Qing Dynasty and to the cultural traditions of the Manchu and other tribes in the north of China.


Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Chinese: 北京皇家园林-颐和园
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Beijing
The Summer Palace in Beijing integrates numerous traditional halls and pavilions into the Imperial Garden conceived by the Qing emperor Qianlong between 1750 and 1764 as the Garden of Clear Ripples. Using Kunming Lake, the former reservoir of the Yuan dynasty’s capital and Longevity Hill as the basic framework, the Summer Palace combined political and administrative, residential, spiritual, and recreational functions within a landscape of lakes and mountains, in accordance with the Chinese philosophy of balancing the works of man with nature.


Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

Chinese: 北京皇家祭坛—天坛
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Beijing
The Temple of Heaven is an axial arrangement of Circular Mound Altar to the south open to the sky with the conically roofed Imperial Vault of Heaven immediately to its north. This is linked by a raised sacred way to the circular, three-tiered, conically roofed Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests further to the north. Here at these places the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties as interlocutors between humankind and the celestial realm offered sacrifice to heaven and prayed for bumper harvests. To the west is the Hall of Abstinence where the emperor fasted after making sacrifice. The whole is surrounded by a double-walled, pine-treed enclosure. Between the inner and outer walls to the west are the Divine Music Administration hall and the building that was the Stables for Sacrificial Animals. Within the complex there are a total of 92 ancient buildings with 600 rooms.


Great Wall

The Great Wall

Chinese: 长城
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Northern China
The Great Wall was continuously built from the 3rd century BC to the 17th century AD on the northern border of the country as the great military defence project of successive Chinese Empires, with a total length of more than 20,000 kilometers. The Great Wall begins in the east at Shanhaiguan in Hebei province and ends at Jiayuguan in Gansu province to the west. Its main body consists of walls, horse tracks, watch towers, and shelters on the wall, and includes fortresses and passes along the Wall.


Grand Canal

Grand Canal

Chinese: 大运河
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, and Henan.
The Grand Canal forms a vast inland waterway system in the north-eastern and central-eastern plains of China, passing through eight of the country’s present-day provinces. It runs from the capital Beijing in the north to Zhejiang Province in the south. Constructed in sections from the 5th century BC onwards, it was conceived as a unified means of communication for the Empire for the first time in the 7th century AD (Sui Dynasty). This led to a series of gigantic worksites, creating the world’s largest and most extensive civil engineering project ensemble prior to the Industrial Revolution.


Mountain Resort

Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples in Chengde

Chinese: 承德避暑山庄及其周围寺庙
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Chengde, Hebei
The Mountain Resort of palaces and gardens at Chengde with its Outlying Temples is the largest existing imperial palace-garden and temple complex in China, covering a total area of 611.2ha. Built between 1703 and 1792 as the Qing emperors’ detached summer palace near the imperial Mulan hunting ground 350 kilometres from Beijing, it was a base from which to strengthen administration in the border regions. The 12 outlying imperial temples, some built in the architectural styles of the ethnic minorities, are distributed across the eastern and northern hills outside the palace and garden area.


Mount Tai

Mount Tai

Chinese: 泰山
World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site
Location: Tai’an, Shandong
The sacred Mount Tai (‘shan’ means ‘mountain’) was the object of an imperial cult for nearly 2,000 years, and the artistic masterpieces found there are in perfect harmony with the natural landscape. It has always been a source of inspiration for Chinese artists and scholars and symbolizes ancient Chinese civilizations and beliefs.



Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area

Chinese: 黄龙风景名胜区
World Natural Heritage Site
Location: Songpan County, Sichuan
Situated in the north-west of Sichuan Province, the Huanglong valley with its series of travertine lakes, waterfalls, forests and mountain scenery is a superlative natural property. Topped by permanently snow-capped peaks rising from a base of 1,700 m up to 5,588 m, these include the easternmost glacier in China. Covering 60,000 ha, this area located within the Minshan Mountains also includes spectacular limestone formations and hot springs. Its diverse forest ecosystems provide the home for a number of endangered plants and animals, including the giant panda and Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey.


Mount Emei

Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area

Chinese: 峨眉山—乐山大佛
World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site
Location: Emeishan City (Mt. Emei) and Leshan (Giant Buddha), Sichuan
The first Buddhist temple in China was built here in Sichuan Province in the 1st century A.D. in the beautiful surroundings of the summit Mount Emei. The addition of other temples turned the site into one of Buddhism’s holiest sites. Over the centuries, the cultural treasures grew in number. The most remarkable is the Giant Buddha of Leshan, carved out of a hillside in the 8th century and looking down on the confluence of three rivers. At 71 m high, it is the largest Buddha in the world. Mount Emei is also notable for its exceptionally diverse vegetation, ranging from subtropical to subalpine pine forests. Some of the trees there are more than 1,000 years old.


Mount Qingcheng

Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System

Chinese: 青城山—都江堰
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Dujiangyan City, Sichuan
The Dujiangyan irrigation system, located in the western portion of the Chengdu flatlands at the junction between the Sichuan basin and the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, is an ecological engineering feat originally constructed around 256 BC. Modified and enlarged during the Tang, Song, Yuan and Ming dynasties, it uses natural topographic and hydrological features to solve problems of diverting water for irrigation, draining sediment, flood control, and flow control without the use of dams. Today the system comprises two parts: the Weir Works, located at an altitude of 726m, the highest point of the Chengdu plain 1km from Dujiangyan City, and the irrigated area.


Sichuan Giant Panda

Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries

Chinese: 四川大熊猫栖息地
World Natural Heritage Site
Location: Sichuan
Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, home to more than 30% of the world’s pandas which are classed as highly endangered, covers 924,500 ha with seven nature reserves and nine scenic parks in the Qionglai and Jiajin Mountains. The sanctuaries constitute the largest remaining contiguous habitat of the giant panda, a relict from the paleo-tropic forests of the Tertiary Era. It is also the species’ most important site for captive breeding. The sanctuaries are home to other globally endangered animals such as the red panda, the snow leopard and clouded leopard.



Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area

Chinese: 武陵源风景名胜区
World Natural Heritage Site
Location: Zhangjiajie, Hunan
A spectacular area stretching over more than 26,000 ha in China’s Hunan Province, the site is dominated by more than 3,000 narrow sandstone pillars and peaks, many over 200 m high. Between the peaks lie ravines and gorges with streams, pools and waterfalls, some 40 caves, and two large natural bridges. In addition to the striking beauty of the landscape, the region is also noted for the fact that it is home to a number of endangered plant and animal species.


Wudang Mountains

Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains

Chinese: 武当山古建筑群
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Hubei
The palaces and temples of the Ancient Building Complex are located amongst the peaks, ravines and gullies of the picturesque Wudang Mountains, Hubei Province. Today, 53 ancient buildings and 9 architectural sites survive, including the Golden Shrine and the Ancient Bronze Shrine, which are prefabricated buildings in bronze made in 1307; the stone-walled Forbidden City of 1419; Purple Heaven Palace built originally in the 12th century, rebuilt in the 15th century and extended in the 19th century; the Nanyang Palace of the 12th and 13thcenturies; the Fuzhen Temple of the 15th and 17th centuries and the stone Zhishi-Xuanyue Gateway built to mark the entrance to the Wudang Mountains in 1522.


Hubei Shennongjia

Hubei Shennongjia

Chinese: 湖北神农架
World Natural Heritage Site
Location: Hubei
Hubei Shennongjia is located in the Shennongjia Forestry District and Badong County in China’s Hubei Province. Shennongjia is on the ecotone from the plains and foothill regions of eastern China to the mountainous region of central China. It is also situated along a zone of climate transition, where the climate shifts from the subtropical zone to warm temperate zone, and where warm and cold air masses from north and south meet and are controlled by the Subtropical Gyre.



Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu

Chinese: 曲阜孔庙、孔林和孔府
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Qufu, Shandong
Confucius, a renowned philosopher, politician and educator in ancient China whose system of belief involving philosophy, politics and ethics (subsequently known as Confucianism) has exerted profound influence on Chinese culture, was revered as the Sacred Model Teacher for Ten Thousand Generations by Chinese emperors. Located in his birthplace, Qufu City of Shandong Province, China, the Temple of Confucius was built to commemorate and offer sacrifices to Confucius in 478 BC. Having been destroyed and reconstructed over the centuries, it now covers 14 hectares, with 104 buildings dating from the Jin to Qing dynasties including the Dacheng Hall, Kuiwen Pavilion and Xing Altar, and over 1,250 ancient trees.


Lushan National Park

Lushan National Park

Chinese: 庐山国家公园
World Natural Heritage Site
Location: Lushan District, Jiangxi
Mount Lushan is located in Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province. The property area of Lushan National Park occupies a total area of 30,200 hectares and its highest Peak, Hanyang Peak, is 1,474 meters above sea level. Bordered on the north by the Yangtze River and on the south by Poyang Lake, Mount Lushan presents an integral scene of river, hills and lake, the beauty of which has attracted spiritual leaders, scholars, artists and writers for over 2,000 years. More than 200 historic buildings are located in the Lushan National Park; complexes of prayer halls that have been rebuilt and extended many times to create an ongoing centre for study and religion.


Ancient City of Ping Yao

Ancient City of Ping Yao

Chinese: 平遥古城
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Pingyao County, Shanxi
The Ancient City of Ping Yao is a well-preserved ancient county-level city in China. Located in Ping Yao County, central Shanxi Province, the property includes three parts: the entire area within the walls of Ping Yao, Shuanglin Temple 6 kilometers southwest of the county seat, and Zhenguo Temple 12 kilometers northeast of the county seat. The Ancient City of Ping Yao well retains the historic form of the county-level cities of the Han people in Central China from the 14th to 20th century.


Mount Wutai

Mount Wutai

Chinese: 五台山
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Wutai County, Shanxi
Mount Wutai with its five flat peaks is one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China. It is seen as the global centre for Buddhist Manjusri worship. Its fifty-three monasteries include the East Main Hall of Foguang Temple, with life-size clay sculptures, the highest ranking timber building to survive from the Tang Dynasty, and the Ming Dynasty Shuxiang Temple with a huge complex of 500 ‘suspension’ statues, representing Buddhist stories woven into three-dimensional pictures of mountains and water. The temples are inseparable from their mountain landscape.


Yungang Grottoes

Yungang Grottoes

Chinese: 云岗石窟
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Datong, Shanxi
The massive Yungang Buddhist grottoes were cut from the mid-5th Century to early-6th Century AD. Comprising 252 caves and niches and 51,000 statues within a carved area of 18,000 square meters, the Yungang Grottoes represent the outstanding achievement of Buddhist cave art in China. The Five Caves created by Tan Yao are a classical masterpiece of the first peak of Chinese art, with a strict unity of layout and design.


Classical Gardens of Suzhou

Classical Gardens of Suzhou

Chinese: 苏州古典园林
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Suzhou, Jiangsu
The classical gardens of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China date back to the 6th century BCE when the city was founded as the capital of the Wu Kingdom. Inspired by these royal hunting gardens built by the King of the State of Wu, private gardens began emerging around the 4th century and finally reached the climax in the 18th century. Today, more than 50 of these gardens are still in existence, nine of which, namely the Humble Administrator’s Garden, Lingering Garden, Net Master’s Garden, the Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty, the Canglang Pavilion, the Lion Grove Garden, the Garden of Cultivation, the Couple’s Garden Retreat, and the Retreat & Reflection Garden, are regarded as the finest embodiments of Chinese “Mountain and Water” gardens.


Old Town of Lijiang

Old Town of Lijiang

Chinese: 丽江古城
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Lijiang, Yunnan
The Old Town of Lijiang is located on the Lijiang plain at an elevation of 2,400 meters in southwest Yunnan, China, where a series of strategic passes give access through the surrounding mountains. The Yulong Snow Mount to the north-west is the source of the rivers and springs which water the plain and supply the Heilong Pool (Black Dragon Pond), from where waterways feed into a network of canals and channels to supply the town. The Old Town of Lijiang comprises three component parts: Dayan Old Town (including the Black Dragon Pond), Baisha and Shuhe housing clusters. Dayan Old Town was established in the Ming dynasty as a commercial centre and includes the Lijiang Junmin Prefectural Government Office; the Yizi pavilion and Guabi Tower remaining from the former Mujia compound and the Yuquan architectural structures in the Heilongtan Park.


Three Parallel Rivers

Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas

Chinese: 云南三江并流保护区
World Natural Heritage Site
Location: Yunnan
Consisting of eight geographical clusters of protected areas within the boundaries of the Three Parallel Rivers National Park, in the mountainous north-west of Yunnan Province, the 1.7 million hectare site features sections of the upper reaches of three of the great rivers of Asia: the Yangtze (Jinsha), Mekong and Salween run roughly parallel, north to south, through steep gorges which, in places, are 3,000 m deep and are bordered by glaciated peaks more than 6,000 m high. The site is an epicentre of Chinese biodiversity. It is also one of the richest temperate regions of the world in terms of biodiversity.


South China Karst

South China Karst

Chinese: 中国南方喀斯特
World Natural Heritage Site
Location: Yunnan, Guizhou, Chongqing, and Guangxi
South China Karst is one of the world’s most spectacular examples of humid tropical to subtropical karst landscapes. It is a serial site spread over the provinces of Guizhou, Guangxi, Yunnan and Chongqing and covers 176,228 hectares. It contains the most significant types of karst landforms, including tower karst, pinnacle karst and cone karst formations, along with other spectacular characteristics such as natural bridges, gorges and large cave systems. The stone forests of Shilin are considered superlative natural phenomena and a world reference. The cone and tower karsts of Libo also considered the world reference site for these types of karst, form a distinctive and beautiful landscape. Wulong Karst has been inscribed for its giant dolines (sinkholes), natural bridges and caves.


Chengjiang Fossil Site

Chengjiang Fossil Site

Chinese: 澄江化石遗址
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Chengjiang County, Yunnan
The Chengjiang Fossil Site, located in the Province of Yunnan, China, conserves fossil remains which are of exceptional significance. The rocks and fossils of the Chengjiang Fossil Site present an outstanding and extraordinarily preserved record that testifies to the rapid diversification of life on Earth during the early Cambrian period, 530 million years before present. In this geologically short interval, almost all major groups of animals had their origins.


Honghe Hani Rice Terraces

Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces

Chinese: 红河哈尼梯田
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Yuanyang County, Yunnan
On the south banks of the Hong River in the mountainous terrain of southern Yunnan, the Honghe Hani Rice terraces cascade down the towering slopes of the Ailao mountains. Carved out of dense forest over the past 1,300 years by Hani people who migrated here from further to the north-west, the irrigated terraces support paddy fields overlooking narrow valleys. In some places there are as many as 3,000 terraces between the lower edges of the forest and the valley floor.


Dazu Rock Carvings

Dazu Rock Carvings

Chinese: 大足石刻
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Dazu District, Chongqing
The steep hillsides in the Dazu area near Chongqing, contain an exceptional series of five clusters of rock carvings dating from the 9th to 13th centuries. The largest cluster at Beishan contains two groups along a cliff face 7-10m high stretching for around 300m. There are more than 10,000 carvings dating from the late 9th to the mid-12th century which depict themes of Tantric Buddhism and Taoism. Inscriptions give insight to the history, religious beliefs, dating and the identification of historical figures. The late 11thcentury Song dynasty carvings at Shizhuanshan extend over 130m and depict Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian images in a rare tripartite arrangement.


Xidi and Hongcun

Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui – Xidi and Hongcun

Chinese: 皖南古村落-西递、宏村
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Yi County, Anhui
Xidi and Hongcun are two outstanding traditional villages, located in Yi County, Huangshan City in south Anhui Province, with commercial activities as their primary source of income, family and clan-based social organization, and well known for their regional culture. The overall layout, landscape, architectural form, decoration, and construction techniques all retain the original features of Anhui villages between the 14th and 20th centuries.


Yin Xu

Yin Xu

Chinese: 殷墟
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Anyang, Henan
Situated on both banks of the Huanhe River to the northwest of the nationally famous historic and cultural city Anyang, in Henan Province of central China, the archaeological remains of Yin Xu dated from 1,300 BCE and comprise two sites: the Palace and Royal Ancestral Shrines Area and the Royal Tombs Area covering a total 414 hectares with an enclosing buffer zone of 720 hectares. Yin Xu has been confirmed by historic documents, oracle bone inscriptions and archaeological excavations as the first site of a capital in Chinese history.



Historic Monuments of Dengfeng in “The Centre of Heaven and Earth”

Chinese: 登封 “天地之中”历史古迹
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Dengfeng, Henan
For many centuries Dengfeng, one of the early capitals of China whose precise location is unknown, but whose name is now associated with an area to the south of Mount Shaoshi and Mount Taishi, two peaks of Mount Songshan, came to be associated with the concept of the centre of heaven and earth – the only point where astronomical observations were considered to be accurate. The natural attribute of the centre of heaven and earth was seen to be Mount Songshan and worship of Mount Songshan was used by the Emperors as a way of reinforcing their power.


Tusi Sites

Tusi Sites

Chinese: 土司遗址
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Hunan, Hubei and Guizhou
Distributed around the mountainous areas of south-west China are the remains of tribal domains whose leaders were appointed by the central government as ‘Tusi’, hereditary rulers of their regions from the 13th to the early 20th century. This system of administrative government was aimed at unifying national administration while simultaneously allowing ethnic minorities to retain their customs and way of life. The three sites of Laosicheng, Tangya and the Hailongtun Fortress combine as a serial property to represent this system of governance.


Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape

Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape

Chinese: 左江华山岩画文化景观
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Guangxi
Dating from around the 5th century BCE to the 2nd century CE, 38 sites of rock art and their associated karst, riverine and tableland landscape depict ceremonies that have been interpreted as portraying the bronze drum culture once prevalent across southern China. Located on steep cliffs cut through the karst landscape by the meandering Zuojiang River and its tributary Mingjiang River, the pictographs were created by the Luoyue people illustrating their life and rituals.


Longmen Grottoes

Longmen Grottoes

Chinese: 龙门石窟
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Luoyang, Henan
The Longmen Grottoes, located on both sides of the Yi River to the south of the ancient capital of Luoyang, Henan province, comprise more than 2,300 caves and niches carved into the steep limestone cliffs over a 1km long stretch. These contain almost 110,000 Buddhist stone statues, more than 60 stupas and 2,800 inscriptions carved on steles. Luoyang was the capital during the late Northern Wei Dynasty and early Tang Dynasty, and the most intensive period of carving dates from the end of the 5th century to the mid-8th century. The earliest caves to be carved in the late 5th and early 6th centuries in the West Hill cliffs include Guyangdong and the Three Binyang Caves, all containing large Buddha figures. Yaofangdong Cave contains 140 inscription recording treatments for various diseases and illnesses.


Ancient Koguryo Kingdom

Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom

Chinese: 高句丽王城、王陵及贵族墓葬
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Ji’an, Jilin
Located in northeast China, the Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom dating from the 1st century BCE to the 7th century CE comprise archaeological remains of three cities and 40 tombs: Wunu Mountain City in Huanren Manchu Autonomous County, Liaoning Province; Guonei City, Wandu Mountain City, and the 40 tombs in Ji’an municipality, Jilin Province.



Historic Centre of Macau

Chinese: 澳门历史城区
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Macau
Macao, a lucrative port of strategic importance in the development of international trade in Chinese territory, became a Portuguese settlement in the mid-16th century and returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1999. The inscribed property presents a group of 22 principal buildings and public spaces that enable a clear understanding of the structure of the old trading port city. With its historic streets, residential, religious and public Portuguese and Chinese buildings, the Historic Centre of Macao provides a unique testimony to the meeting of aesthetic, cultural, religious, architectural and technological influences from East and West.


Kaiping Diaolou

Kaiping Diaolou and Villages

Chinese: 开平碉楼与村落
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Kaiping, Guangdong
Kaiping Diaolou and Villages feature the Diaolou, multi-storeyed defensive village houses in Kaiping, which display a complex and flamboyant fusion of Chinese and Western structural and decorative forms. They reflect the significant role of émigré Kaiping people in the development of several countries in South Asia, Australasia and North America, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There are four groups of Diaolou and twenty of the most symbolic ones are inscribed on the List. These buildings take three forms: communal towers built by several families and used as temporary refuge, residential towers built by individual rich families and used as fortified residences, and watchtowers.



Kulangsu: a Historic International Settlement

Chinese: 鼓浪屿
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Fujian
Kulangsu (Gulangyu) is a tiny island located on the estuary of the Chiu-lung River, facing the city of Xiamen. With the opening of a commercial port at Xiamen in 1843, and the establishment of the island as an international settlement in 1903, this island off the southern coast of the Chinese empire suddenly became an important window for Sino-foreign exchanges. Kulangsu is an exceptional example of the cultural fusion that emerged from these exchanges, which remain legible in its urban fabric. There is a mixture of different architectural styles including Traditional Southern Fujian Style, Western Classical Revival Style and Veranda Colonial Style.


China Danxia

China Danxia

Chinese: 中国丹霞
World Natural Heritage Site
Location: Hunan, Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, and Guizhou
China Danxia is a serial property comprising six component parts (Chishui, Taining, Langshan, Danxiashan, Longhushan, and Jianglangshan) found in the sub-tropical zone of south-eastern China within approximately 1700 km crescent shaped arc from Guizhou Province in the west to Zhejiang Province in the east. China Danxia is the name given in China to landscapes developed on continental red terrigenous sedimentary beds influenced by endogenous forces (including uplift) and exogenous forces (including weathering and erosion). It is characterised by spectacular red cliffs and a range of erosional landforms, including dramatic natural pillars, towers, ravines, valleys and waterfalls.


West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou

West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou

Chinese: 杭州西湖文化景观
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Hangzhou, Zhejiang
West Lake is surrounded on three sides by ‘cloud-capped hills’ and on the fourth by the city of Hangzhou. Its beauty has been celebrated by writers and artists since the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). In order to make it more beautiful, its islands, causeways and the lower slopes of its hills have been ‘improved’ by the addition of numerous temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens and ornamental trees which merge with farmed landscape. The main artificial elements of the lake, two causeways and three islands, were created from repeated dredgings between the 9th and 12th centuries. Since the Southern Song Dynasty (thirteenth century) ten poetically named scenic places have been identified as embodying idealised, classic landscapes – that manifest the perfect fusion between man and nature.


Peking Man

Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian

Chinese: 周口店北京人遗址
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Beijing
Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian is a Pleistocene hominid site on the North China Plain. This site lies about 42 km south-west of Beijing and is at the juncture of the North China Plain and the Yanshan Mountains. Adequate water supplies and natural limestone caves in this area provided an optimal survival environment for early humans. Scientific work at the site is still underway. So far, ancient human fossils, cultural remains, and animal fossils from 23 localities within the property dating from 5 million years ago to 10,000 years ago have been discovered by scientists.


Site of Xanadu

Site of Xanadu

Chinese: 元上都遗址
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Xilingol, Inner Mongolia
The Site of Xanadu is the site of a grassland capital characteristic of cultural fusion, witnessing clashes and mutual assimilation between the nomadic and agrarian civilisations in northern Asia. Located on the southeast edge of the Mongolian plateau, it was the first capital (1263-1273) of Kublai Khan and later the summer capital (1274-1364) of the Yuan Dynasty. The city site and associated tombs are located on the grassland steppe with a north-south axis determined by traditional Chinese feng shui principles, backed by mountains to the north and a river to the south.


Xinjiang Tianshan

Xinjiang Tianshan

Chinese: 新疆天山
World Natural Heritage Site
Location: Xinjiang
Xinjiang Tianshan comprises four components—Tomur, Kalajun-Kuerdening, Bayinbukuke and Bogda— that total 606,833 hectares. They are part of the Tianshan mountain system of Central Asia, one of the largest mountain ranges in the world. Xinjiang Tianshan presents unique physical geographic features and scenically beautiful areas including spectacular snow and snowy mountains glacier-capped peaks, undisturbed forests and meadows, clear rivers and lakes and red bed canyons. These landscapes contrast with the vast adjacent desert landscapes, creating a striking visual contrast between hot and cold environments, dry and wet, desolate and luxuriant.


Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor

Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor

Chinese: 丝绸之路:长安天山走廊的路网
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Luoyang, Lingbao of Henan; Xi’an, Bin County and Chenggu of Shaanxi; Tianshui, Yongjing, Dunhuang, and Anxi of Gansu; Turpan, Jimsarand Kuqa of Xinjiang
This property is a 5,000 km section of the extensive Silk Roads network, stretching from Chang’an/Luoyang, the central capital of China in the Han and Tang dynasties, to the Zhetysu region of Central Asia. It took shape between the 2nd century BC and 1st century AD and remained in use until the 16th century, linking multiple civilizations and facilitating far-reaching exchanges of activities in trade, religious beliefs, scientific knowledge, technological innovation, cultural practices and the arts.


Mausoleum of the First Qin

Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

Chinese: 秦始皇陵及兵马俑坑
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Xi’an, Shaanxi
Located at the northern foot of Lishan Mountain, 35 kilometers northeast of Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, Qinshihuang Mausoleum is the tomb of Emperor Qinshihuang, founder of the first unified empire in Chinese history during the 3rd century BCE. Begun in 246 BCE the grave mound survives to a height of 51.3 meters within a rectangular, double-walled enclosure oriented north-south. Nearly 200 accompanying pits containing thousands of life-size terra cotta soldiers, terracotta horses and bronze chariots and weapons – a world-renowned discovery – together with burial tombs and architectural remains total over 600 sites within the property area of 56.25 square kilometers.


Mogao Caves

Mogao Caves

Chinese: 莫高窟
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Dunhuang, Gansu
Carved into the cliffs above the Dachuan River, the Mogao Caves south-east of the Dunhuang oasis, Gansu Province, comprise the largest, most richly endowed, and longest used treasure house of Buddhist art in the world. It was first constructed in 366AD and represents the great achievement of Buddhist art from the 4th to the 14th century. 492 caves are presently preserved, housing about 45,000 square meters of murals and more than 2,000 painted sculptures.


Qinghai Hoh Xil

Qinghai Hoh Xil

Chinese: 青海可可西里国家级自然保护区_百度百科
World Natural Heritage Site
Location: Qinghai
Qinghai Hoh Xil, located in the northeastern extremity of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, is the largest and highest plateau in the world. This extensive area of alpine mountains and steppe systems is situated more than 4,500 m above sea level, where sub-zero average temperatures prevail all year-round. The site’s geographical and climatic conditions have nurtured a unique biodiversity. More than one-third of the plant species and all the herbivorous mammals are endemic to the plateau. The property secures the complete migratory route of the Tibetan antelope, one of the endangered large mammals that are endemic to the plateau.


Potala Palace

Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, including the Jokhang Temple and Norbulingka

Chinese: 拉萨布达拉宫历史建筑群
World Cultural Heritage Site
Location: Lhasa, Tibet
Enclosed within massive walls, gates and turrets built of rammed earth and stone the White and Red Palaces and ancillary buildings of the Potala Palace rise from Red Mountain in the centre of Lhasa Valley at an altitude of 3,700 metres. As the winter palace of the Dalai Lama from the 7th century CE the complex symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and its central role in the traditional administration of Tibet. The White Palace contains the main ceremonial hall with the throne of the Dalai Lama, and his private rooms and audience hall are on the uppermost level. The palace contains 698 murals, almost 10,000 painted scrolls, numerous sculptures, carpets, canopies, curtains, porcelain, jade, and fine objects of gold and silver, as well as a large collection of sutras and important historical documents. To the west and higher up the mountain the Red Palace contains the gilded burial stupas of past Dalai Lamas. Further west is the private monastery of the Dalai Lama, the Namgyel Dratshang.


Sites submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list

Dongzhai Port Nature Reserve (1996)
The Alligator Sinensis Nature Reserve (1996)
Poyang Nature Reserve (1996)
The Lijiang River Scenic Zone at Guilin (1996)
Yalong, Tibet (2001)
Yangtze Gorges Scenic Spot (2001)
Jinfushan Scenic Spot (2001)
Heaven Pit and Ground Seam Scenic Spot (2001)
Hua Shan Scenic Area (2001)
Yandang Mountain (2001)
Nanxi River (2001)
Maijishan Scenic Spots (2001)
Wudalianchi Scenic Spots (2001)
Haitan Scenic Spots (2001)
Dali Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake Scenic Spot (2001)
Sites for Liquor Making in China (2008)
Ancient Residences in Shanxi and Shaanxi Provinces (2008)
City Walls of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (2008)
Slender West Lake and Historic Urban Area in Yangzhou (2008)
Ancient Water Towns South of the Yangtze River (Zhouzhuang, Luzhi, Wuzhen, and Xitang) (2008)
Fenghuang Ancient City (2008)
Sites of the Southern Yue State (2008)
Baiheliang Ancient Hydrological Inscription (2008)
Miao Nationality Villages in Southeast Guizhou Province: The villages of Miao Nationality at the Foot of Leigong Mountain in Miao Ling Mountains (2008)
Karez Wells (2008)
Expansion Project of Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties: King Lujian’s Tombs (2008)
The Four Sacred Mountains as an Extension of Mt. Taishan (2008)
Taklimakan Desert—Populus euphratica Forests (2010)
China Altay (2010)
Karakorum-Pamir (2010)
The Central Axis of Beijing (including Beihai) (2013)
Wooden Structures of Liao Dynasty—Wooden Pagoda of Yingxian County,Main Hall of Fengguo Monastery of Yixian County (2013)
Sites of the Hongshan Culture: Niuheliang, Hongshanhou, and Weijiawopu (2013)
Liangzhu Archaeological Site (2013)
Ancient Porcelain Kiln Site in China (2013)
Sanfang Qixiang (2013)
Ancient Tea Plantations of Jingmai Mountain in Pu’er (2013)
Western Xia Imperial Tombs (2013)
Dong Villages (2013)
Lingqu Canal (2013)
Diaolou Buildings and Villages for Tibetan and Qiang Ethnic Groups (2013)
Archaeological Sites of the Ancient Shu State: Jinsha site and Joint Tombs of Boat- shaped Coffins in Chengdu, Sichuan; Sanxingdui site in Guanghan, 29th – 5th century BC (2013)
Fanjingshan (2015)
Xinjiang Yardang (2015)
Dunhuang Yardangs (2015)
Tianzhushan (2015)
Jinggangshan—North Wuyishan (Extension of Mount Wuyi) (2015)
Shudao (2015)
Tulin-Guge Scenic and Historic Interest Areas (2015)
Historic Monuments and Sites of Ancient Quanzhou (Zayton) (2016)
The Chinese Section of the Silk Roads (2016)
Guancen Mountain—Luya Mountain (2017)
Hulun Buir Landscape & Birthplace of Ancient Minority (2017)
Qinghai Lake (2017)
Scenic and historic area of Sacred Mountains and Lakes (Gang Rinpoche, Naimona’nyi, Lake Manasarovar and Lhanag-tso) (2017)
Taihang Mountain (2017)
The Coast of the Bohai Gulf and the Yellow Sea of China (2017)
Vertical Vegetation Landscape and Volcanic Landscape in Changbai Mountain (2017)


Source and credit for descriptions:



40+ China Podcasts – History, Politics, Business, Geopolitics, Culture, and Language

40+ China Podcasts – History, Politics, Business, Geopolitics, Culture, and Language

Want to learn more about China? Learn to speak Chinese? How about listening to the latest views of China watchers, political figures, and current affairs in China? Well, here is my pick of the top 40+ podcasts that are freely available on the internet.

At the bottom of this list, you’ll find a downloadable OPML which you can simply import into iTunes or your favorite podcast/media player APP.


The China History Podcast

Laszlo Montgomery presents topics covering 5000 years of Chinese history and culture.

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The History of China

An audio journey through the 5000-year history of one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations.

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Chinese Characters

Series of essays exploring Chinese history through the life stories of key personalities.

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Sinica Podcast

A weekly discussion of current affairs in China, hosted by Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn

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The Caixin-Sinica Business Brief

A weekly podcast that brings you the most important business stories of the week from China’s top source for business and financial news. Produced by Kaiser Kuo of our Sinica Podcast, it features a business news roundup, plus conversations with Caixin reporters and editors.

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China in the World

The Carnegie-Tsinghua China in the World podcast is a series of conversations between Director Paul Haenle and Chinese and international experts on China’s foreign policy, China’s international role, and China’s relations with the world, brought to you from the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center located in Beijing, China.

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Two White Chicks in China

Hollie and Nora are here to answer all of your questions about living, working and playing in China. Hollie has been in China for over 3 years and is currently working as the Social Media Director of a tech company in Shenzhen. Nora has been based in China for over 5 years and is the co-founder of Discover how to negotiate with Chinese business people, what it really takes to learn Mandarin, how Chinese people let their hair down and any other questions you might wonder about what’s it really like to live in China today.

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China Tech Talk

China Tech Talk is a weekly podcast about what is happening on the ground in China’s technology and startup ecosystems.

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China 21

China 21 is produced by the 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy. This podcast features expert voices, insights and stories about China’s economy, politics, society, and the implications for international affairs.

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China Path Podcast

The Australia China Business Council (ACBC) is proud to present the China Path Podcast – expert insight into doing business with China, featuring interviews leaders in business and government to help you maximise your commercial potential in China.

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Austrade China Podcast

Introducing market entry tips and inspirational stories in China for Australian businesses.

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TechBuzz China by Pandaily

TechBuzz China by Pandaily is a weekly technology podcast that is all about China’s innovations. It is co-hosted by Ying-Ying Lu and Rui Ma, who are both seasoned China-watchers with years of experience working in the technology space in China. 

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Secrets to Doing Business in China Podcast

Doing business in China.

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China Digital Marketing Podcast

The China Digital Marketing Podcast is a show where local China-based experts give practical advice on how to promote your business online in China.

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TIC China Network

Originally set up as an A-Z guide for anyone moving to China, but we have evolved into a network for anyone who wants to do a podcast about their lives in China.

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China Jedi: Expat Life | Chinese Culture | Business | Travel | China

For those Living, Working or Travelling in China or Interested in Learning about Chinese Culture, Expat Life and Foreigners Perceptions. 

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ChinaPower provides an in-depth understanding of the evolving nature of Chinese power relative to other countries. The project examines five interrelated categories of Chinese power: military, economics, technology, social, and international image. Through objective analysis and data visualization, ChinaPower unpacks the complexity of China’s rise.

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Opportunity in China Podcast

Opportunity in China produces a number of informational resources.  These resources offer the audience clear and relevant content on a variety of topics related to finding work, moving to, living in, and deriving the most value from experience in China, in conducting commerce with the Chinese market, and with the Chinese people generally.

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China Influencer Marketing Podcast

Weekly interviews with the top influencers, marketers, and brands who share their experiences, strategies and tactics for influencer marketing in China.

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Just China

Just China is a production of the University of Chicago Public Policy Podcasts

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American Mandarin Society’s Podcast

The American Mandarin Society supports the development of the future stewards of U.S.-China relations.

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The Chinese Herb Health & Longevity Show

Join Dr. George Lamoureux and John Bonds from to explore the history, healing, and empowerment of Classic Chinese Medicine, herbs, and thought. Dr. George Lamoureux, the founder of Jing Herbs, holds a Doctorate in classical Chinese medicine, is a licensed acupuncturist and a certified Medical Qigong practitioner. Dr. George also completed programs of study at both the Shanghai and Chengdu hospitals of Traditional Chinese Medicine, People’s Republic of China.

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Learn Mandarin by Podcast


Learn Chinese – Situational Mandarin Chinese Lessons

Improve Mandarin Chinese with Situational, Practical and Easy to Learn Mandarin Chinese Lessons. Suitable for Beginners and Intermediate Level Learners.

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One Minute Mandarin

One Minute Mandarin provides an introduction to basic Mandarin.

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Learn Mandarin Now Podcast

Learning to speak Mandarin with situational context.

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World Learner Chinese – Learn Chinese. Mandarin Chinese

Learn from experts in the field of teaching Chinese as a second language via our progressive multi-leveled training platform.

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Mandarin Chinese Lessons with Wei Lai

Mandarin Chinese lessons with Wei Lai is a video podcast to help you learn Chinese.

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Mandarin Made Easy

Welcome to Mandarin Made Easy with your host Fi. This is a brand new learning platform for learning Mandarin Chinese at your pace. Grab a cup of tea and sit down with Fi. 

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Learn Mandarin Daily

Learn a little Mandarin every day! Visit for more Mandarin lessons or join our group discussion InspirLang on Facebook.

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Mandarin for Travel and Beginners – Real Life Language

Byte-sized language files of Mandarin Chinese for everyday life. Create your own playlists of real, relevant language for a completely personalized language learning experience. These files only have the words and phrases- nothing else. Listen to these words and phrases and start speaking Mandarin Chinese right away.

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RTHK:Naked Mandarin

Learn Mandarin from a Hong Kong perspective.

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Mandarin / English Bilingual

A podcast for learners of English or Mandarin – one of us will speak Mandarin, the other will speak English.

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Public Domain Mandarin Course – Real Life Language

A complete Mandarin course.

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Chinese Mandarin Cafe

Learn Madarin with Amy Lin.

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Talk Chineasy – Learn Chinese every day with ShaoLan

Learn Chinese with ease! Talk Chineasy brings you 7-minute daily Chinese lessons. Each day, ShaoLan and a special guest share interesting cultural insights and stories as they teach you a useful Chinese phrase. Our amazing guests include rock stars, artists, CEOs, professors, adventurists, scientists, and more. You’ll discover the rich culture behind the most widely spoken language, while you learn how to converse in basic Mandarin Chinese. 

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Learn Chinese |

Learn Chinese with ChineseClass101! No more dry, out of date textbook story lines! Here at ChineseClass101, you’ll learn Chinese with fun, interesting and culturally relevant lessons that are easy to listen to. But not only are they fun – they’re effective too! 

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Basic Chinese 1

No longer being updated but there are 19 episodes still available.

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Chinese Podcast – Improve your Chinese language skills by listening to conversations about Australian culture

World Languages Podcasting provides a podcast series in various languages for the language student or native speaker to help improve language skills and knowledge of Australian culture. Each conversation is complemented with a full transcript and a page of language exercises that may be downloaded from the website

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HelloChina – Learn Real Chinese @HelloChinese

HelloChina, produced by HelloChinese, helps guide you through the Chinese that’s not taught to you in textbooks. Modern Chinese for Modern China. New shows every Monday and Thursday. Keywords, videos and language takeaways from each episode available on

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Takeaway Chinese

 a 25-minute bilingual talk show covers the most frequently used basic dialogues, words & expressions, language tips & social culture, and stories behind the idioms. Take some Chinese away and experience a progress day by day. 

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast

Last updated in 2016, yet there are 37 episodes still available to be enjoyed.

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Chinese – SurvivalPhrases

No longer updated but there are 16 free episodes still available online. is an innovative and fun way of learning the Chinese language and culture at your own convenience and pace.

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Dimsum Hanyu Pinyin – Learn Mandarin Chinese

There are 11 episodes. No longer updated.



Podcast – Everyday Chinese Expressions (Mandarin)

Another podcast that hasn’t been updated in a long time but there are still 5 free episodes available.




Here is the OPML file of all the above-listed podcastschina-podcasts.opml 



How it Works: Today’s Government in China

How it Works: Today’s Government in China

Let’s take a dive into Chinese politics and get an understanding of what type of government is leading China and the government structure. Isn’t that the Communist Party, the CPC? Not exactly. Let’s explore.

The CPC (Chinese Communist Party) is the main political party and the ruling party and you can read my previous intro into the CPC here. Today let’s take an objective look at the governmental system in China today.


So what does China’s current government structure look like?

The government is effectively divided into 4 branches which are

  1. the legislative (via the NPC)
  2. the executive (via the State Council, the President, and the Premier)
  3. the judicial (via the Supreme Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate)
  4. the military (via the Central Military Commission)


The highest organ of power is the NPC or National Peoples Congress – it’s a body that possesses executive, legislative, and judicial power. It has the power to amend the constitution, amend basic laws on civil affairs and organization of the state. 

The NPC has a role in electing the President of the People’s Republic of China (currently Xi Jinping) and Vice President of the People’s Republic of China (currently Wang Qishan), Premier of the State Council (currently Li Keqiang) and elects the procurator general and president of the supreme court.

The NPC also has the right to veto provincial and state budgets, and major infrastructure works.

The NPC also has the right to decide on major state issues and the right to supervise administrative officials, the Procurator General, and the president of the Supreme Court.

OK, that’s a brief intro but I think you get the picture how powerful this body is, or at least suggested to be.

The NPC has five levels where their power and role is executed

  1. National Peoples Congress
  2. Provincial Peoples Congress
  3. Municipal Peoples Congress
  4. County Peoples Congress
  5. Township Peoples Congress


Who makes up the NPC?


It begins at the township & county level where deputies are elected directly by the people of that county and township. Those members then vote on who becomes deputies in the upper levels of congress. 


How does the NPC make decisions?


Most of the NPC’s work exists in consultation and amendment of laws, review of government work reports and plans, which are then presented at the annual NPC meeting where delegates of the NPC will vote on accepting and putting the proposals into law.

There is also another organ of governance we need to understand, it’s called the CPPCC.


What is the CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference)?


The CPPCC is another body which has the role of consulting with all the political parties, yes there are other parties and more about that later, civic organizations, ethnic groups, and the self-governed areas of Hong Kong and Macau.

They will consult on legislation, major issues, and social issues and in turn submit their suggestions to the NPC.

The CPPCC has four levels mirroring the NPC bar the township level.


Who makes up the CPPCC?


Members are nominated by the various contributing parties at the CPPCC and those nominated members will go through an examination process and lastly require the approval of the current members of the CPPCC who approve both the number of new delegates required and who will become a member. Members may sit more than one term.

CPPCC members may submit proposals for reforms, to the committee of the CPPCC who will then decide on whether to further investigate, make consultations, and prepare a formal proposal to the NPC. In 2017 5769 submissions were made, 4279 of those were recorded, and 42 became key proposals.


The Two Sessions or Lianghua


The CPPCC holds annual meetings at the same time as the NPC which are often referred to as the “National Lianghui” (The National Two Meetings or Two Sessions). At these meetings, delegates will discuss past policies and present future directions. In recent years it has become very open to the media also featuring celebrities invited to participate in the CPPCC. It’s the most publicly visible insight into the governance of China for both foreigners and Chinese with the NPC holding regular closely watched media conferences and interviews.


The relationship between the CPC and the NPC


The Chinese Communist Party as the ruling party submits policy proposals for approval by the NPC, it also submits budgets for approval, and submits work reports for review.

The NPC will also vote on who will become leaders of the country including the President of the People’s Republic of China, the Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, the Premier of the State Council and the NPC also has the power to remove those officials from the office. In practice, however, the post of President is reserved for the current General Secretary of the CPC and it is generally accepted that all nominees are presented by the CPC, and that elections are one name ballots.

The NPC consists of 2/3rds CPC members with the other third coming from the alternative parties under the umbrella of the United Front (more on that in a post to follow).

You could almost view the CPC as an institution rather than a party. An institution for the oversight and organization of officials. And that governance, democratic process, and power, lay in the mechanism and processes of the NPC and CPPCC.


So far we have looked at lawmaking, oversight, selection of leaders, and consultative process. How about the daily operation of governing?


The State Council – is effectively the Central Government. It overseas provincial governments and also directly manages 25 ministries and 38 government organizations. That includes foreign affairs, defense (but not the military), security, education, technology, and science, along with many more in a similar vein to western government ministries. It is the main administrative organ of government and is led by the Premier.

The President of China nominates who will lead the State Council, with other members then nominated by that leader of the State Council and appointed by the President. The NPC plays a review role here. Terms last for five years with a maximum of two consecutive terms.

As the center of state power, the State Councils functions include issuing directives to ministeries and monitoring their implementation, drafting legislative bills and the state budget for deliberation and approval by the NPC. 

The CMC – The Central Military Commision oversees the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) and PAP (People’s Armed Police Force). An extremely powerful body which is connected to the party, as it always has been historically, rather than being under the control of a ministry under the government.  Currently, it is led by the General Secretary of the Communist Party and President of China, Xi Jinping. 

The CCDI – Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is the top anti-corruption body in China and in recent years has increasing independence from the party.

Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate – Judges are appointed to the Supreme Court by the National People’s Congress (NPC).

United Front – is subservient to the CPC and oversee contributors to the government (via NPC or CPPCC) who exist outside the party. Such as the 

  1. Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang 
  2. China Democratic League
  3. China Democratic National Construction Association 
  4. China Association for Promoting Democracy
  5. Chinese Peasants’ and Workers’ Democratic Party
  6. China Party for Public Interest
  7. September 3 Society 
  8. Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League 

The United Front also consists of the United Front Work Department which works to reach out to key individuals, overseas Chinese, and Chinese students studying overseas to guide them and ensure acceptance of CPC rule and endorsement of such.


SO, what type of Government is used in China today?


Democratic centralism that is popularly known as Leninism employing a Socialist Market Economy model. Yet, many argue that is now very much unique and highly tailored to the Chinese nation under the current party rule.

From the CPC Constitution

The Communist Party of China uses Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a New Era as its guides to action. Marxism-Leninism reveals the laws governing the development of the history of human society. Its basic tenets are correct and have tremendous vitality. The highest ideal of communism pursued by Chinese Communists can be realized only when socialist society is fully developed and highly advanced. The development and improvement of the socialist system is a long historical process. By upholding the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism and following the path suited to China’s specific conditions as chosen by the Chinese people, China’s socialist cause will ultimately be victorious. 


A new political system?

Some argue that it has merit in its design as a partially democratic meritocratic system. From the outside, and within China, there are no arguments that there is a long road of reforms required in the creation of checks and balances, ending corruption, ending bribery, enabling transparency, and improving consultative processes at the public level. Many also question the power and supervising abilities of the NPC and as to whether the CPC has complete control of what should be a separate organ of power.


Useful Links

State Council –




CPC Constitution [PDF] –

Constitution of the People’s Republic of China –


How it Works: the Communist Party of China (CPC) [and how you join]

How it Works: the Communist Party of China (CPC) [and how you join]

Politics in China is a mystery to anyone outside of the nation and not many will move beyond the label of “authoritarian”, and perhaps a few other names, so today, let’s take a bit of deeper dive into the core element of China’s political system which is the Communist Party of China (CPC) – 中国共产党  which can also be referred to as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Note, I will try to make this as brief and as easily digestible as I can from an objective viewpoint.

Firstly it’s worth noting that the CPC is not the only political party in China. Other parties include

  • Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang (RCCK) – 中国国民党革命委员会 (民革)
  • China Democratic League (CDL) 中国民主同盟 (民盟) 
    China Democratic National Construction Association (CDNCA) 中国民主建国会 (民建)
  • China Association for Promoting Democracy (CAPD) 中国民主促进会 (民进)
  • Chinese Peasants’ and Workers’ Democratic Party (CPWDP) 中国农工民主党 (农工党)
    China Zhi Gong Party (CZGP) 中国致公党 (致公党)
  • Jiusan Society (JS) 九三学社
  • Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League (TDSGL) 台湾民主自治同盟 (台盟)
Although, as per the constitution, the CPC is the only party that can rule China. More about the governance of China in a post to follow.


The Communist Party of China was established in 1921 post the May Fourth Movement that saw the spread of Marxist ideology in China. Its founders were Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao with support from the Soviet Russian government.
The May Fourth Movement (May 4, 1919) was a protest by over 3000 students was a rejection of tradition, a rejection of imperialism that had ruled China for so long, a rejection of traditional values, and mostly a rejection of the Treaty of Versailles which saw Shandong being handed to Japan.
That rejection led to the search for new beliefs, and a vacuum that was filled by news of the October Revolution in Russia. Marxism and Leninism became hot topics.
China had just entered an incredibly turbulent time, a time of warlords struggling for power under the early republic days post the fall of the Qing Empire. That struggle for the government to gain military control, reunite the nation and transit into a democracy, post the death of Sun Yat Sen, morphed into a civil war against the Soviet-backed Chinese Communists.
Long story short, Mao Zedong rose and led the Communist Party to victory in a civil war and the People’s Republic of China was founded by the Chinese Communist Party in 1949.
Today’s Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has over has over 4 million branches and 87 million members which accounts for some 6% of the population of the country.

Party Beliefs

China can be quite a confusing and seemingly contradictory place to the external observer, whilst claiming to be communist and uphold the merits of socialism, it is clearly apparent that capitalism has led to its greatest success.
The failure and high toll of the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward of the Mao era are well documented, and under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, China began its economic transformation. The concept of a centrally planned economy was dumped in favor of a newly coined definition of capitalism being Socialist Market Economy while retaining a Leninist style of governance.
From that time on it could be seen that party beliefs moved away from fixed rigid ideological pursuit and cult personalities. 
Today, the party states its central belief system as
The realization of communism is the highest ideal and ultimate goal of the Party.
The Communist Party of China uses Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as its guides to action.
Along with
The Four Cardinal Principles—to keep to the path of socialism, to uphold the people’s democratic dictatorship, to uphold the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and to uphold Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought—form the foundation for building the country. Throughout the whole course of socialist modernization, the Party must adhere to the Four Cardinal Principles and oppose bourgeois liberalization.
You can view the full Constitution of the Communist Party of China here [PDF]


Becoming a member of the CCP

Becoming a member of the CCP begins early with the Young Pioneers of China educating children from the ages of 6 to 14 in the virtues of communism and instilling allegiance to communism under its motto of “To fight for the cause of communism: Be ready!-Always Ready!” “为共产主义事业而奋斗——时刻准备着”. It’s compulsory for all students in that age group to be a member of YP although, to be honest, my impression seems to be that some schools may be more enthusiastic about it than others.
During those formative years the CCP narrative, its version of modern history, and nationalism, is forefront under the three tiers of Party, Nation, and People which is closely followed by the four “isms”: patriotism, collectivism, socialism, and communism, and further backed by the five loves: love of the nation, its people, of science, labor, and public property.
Post YP at age 14 the Communist Youth League of China (中国共产主义青年团) is open to new cadres. Entry is not mandatory, much the opposite, as candidates are selected to become cadres. Currently, there are over 85 million members in CYL. Primarily, its objective is to identify talent and to cultivate new leaders. It has been described as a finishing school for China’s elite and has produced many of the nations past leaders such as former President Hu Jintao, current Premier Li Keqiang, former Vice President Li Yuanchao and former aide Ling Jihua. It has been a strong faction within Chinese politics and under the era of President Xi is currently moving through a process of reform.
Post the CYL, it’s time to join the CPC (Chinese Communist Party). But that ain’t so easy. There are many who desire to join the party for personal gain such as a government job for life, for smoothing the way through business life and climbing the corporate ladder, and other benefits that being a party member brings, and there are those who join out of a deep belief in what the party represents.
As per the party’s constitution “Members of the Communist Party of China are vanguard fighters of the Chinese working class imbued with communist consciousness.”
Joining the party can take years, a process of applying while at the student level where 3 out of 100 from each school may be selected. That process consists of writing a thesis on society, submitted over time, attending ideological training, and sitting exams, all the while your actions in daily life are observed.
Other pathways include military service (helps increase the chance of being selected), being the family member of a powerful party member, and financial gifts.

What are the strategic objectives of the Party?

The centenary of the People’s Republic of China is a big milestone. And it is core to the party’s current strategic goals. Knowing that its survival is only mandated the people currently due to economic success future goals by this time are stated as raising the per capita GDP to the level of moderately developed countries and to realize the nation’s modernisation.

Other notable goals are deeper integration of the party into society as per President Xi Jinping’s statement “Government, the military, society and schools, north, south, east and west – the party leads them all”. Establishing a National Supervision Commission in tandem with the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection that will oversee all public institution workers.

More about national goals in a coming post on governance.


The National Party Congress


How is the Chinese Communist Party Structured?


The National Party Congress

It’s the pivotal meeting of members which is held every five years. It is the CPC’s organ of supreme power as it here that the next leaders are chosen to be the members of the Central Committee.

The National Party Congress also examines the reports of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, deliberates on major major issues of the Party, reviews the Party constitution and to elect the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.


The General Secretary

The General Secretary is also the President of the country and the leader of the Central Military Commission.

The general secretary of the Central Committee is responsible for calling sessions of both the Political Bureau and its Standing Committee and is in charge of the work of the Secretariat of the Central Committee.


The Politburo Standing Committee

The top leadership of the Communist Party of China and is headed by the General Secretary. Currently, it has seven members. Its officially mandated purpose is to conduct policy discussions and make decisions on major issues when the Politburo is not in session. 


The Politburo

A group of 25 people who oversee the Communist Party of China and are all elected by the plenary session of the Central Committee. When the plenum of the Central Committee is not in session, the Politburo Bureau and its Standing Committee exercise the functions and powers of the Central Committee.


The Secretariat of the Central Committee

A body currently comprising of seven members who serve the Politburo and its Standing Committee. The Secretariat carries out routine operations of the Politburo and tasks as set out by the Politburo. Considered to be some of the most important political positions in the Communist Party


The Central Committee

It is elected by the National Party Congress. When the National Party Congress is not in session, the Central Committee leads all the work of the Party and represents the CPC outside the Party. It is elected for a term of five years.

Offices and departments directly under the Central Committee of the CPC are

  • General Affairs Office
  • Organization Department
  • Publicity Department
  • International Liaison Department
  • United Front Work Department
  • Policy Research Office 


The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection

Tasked with maintaining the CPC’s constitution and examine the effectiveness of the party in its activities. It reports to the Central Committee.



Local Organisations

Grassroots organizations of the Party are set up in enterprises, rural villages, organizations, schools, research institutes, neighborhoods, the People’s Liberation Army companies and other basic units.

Local organizations of the CPC include congresses of various provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government, cities with districts, autonomous prefectures, counties, autonomous counties and cities without districts.


What are the official media outlets of the Communist Party of China (CPC)?

The People’s Daily 人民日报 is the official paper of the CPC.



Quishi is the party’s monthly magazine

The United Work Front has its own news portal

The International Department of the CPC also has its own news portal

The Organization Department has its own news portal

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has its own news portal

China at War – From Ancient times to the Modern Day

China at War – From Ancient times to the Modern Day

In this chronology, I’ll list major conflicts, battles, and war in, and involving, China from Ancient times right through to the modern day.

This timeline of China’s wars, both civil and with other countries, is broken into three main sections being Ancient China, Imperial China with sub sections for the dynasties, and lastly Modern China post becoming a republic.

Jump to: Ancient China (to 221 BC) | Imperial China (221 BC to 1912) | Modern China (1912-current)


Qin’s Wars of Unification saw some of the bloodiest battles in history


Ancient China


Year(s) Event Brief description
26th century BC Battle of Banquan The Yellow Emperor defeats the Yan Emperor.
26th century BC Battle of Zhuolu The Yellow Emperor defeats Chi You and establishes the Han Chinese civilisation.
1675 BC Battle of Mingtiao The Xia dynasty is overthrown and replaced by the Shang dynasty.
1046 BC Battle of Muye The Shang dynasty is overthrown and replaced by the Zhou dynasty.
707 BC Battle of Xuge The Western Zhou dynasty is defeated by the vassal Zheng state.
684 BC Battle of Changshao The Lu state defeats the Qi state
632 BC Battle of Chengpu The Jin state defeats the Chu state.
627BC Battle of Xiao The Jin defeates Qin.
595 BC Battle of Bi The Chu state defeats the Jin state.
588 BC Battle of An The Jin state defeats the Qi state.
575 BC Battle of Yanling The Jin state defeats the Chu state.
506 BC Battle of Boju The Wu state defeats the Chu state.
4th century BC Gojoseon–Yan War The Yan state defeats the Gojoseon kingdom.
494 BC Battle of Fujiao The Wu state defeats the Yue state.
478 BC Battle of Lize The Yue state defeats the Wu state.
453 BC Battle of Jinyang The Zhao state defeats the Zhi state. Leads to the Partition of Jin.
353 BC Battle of Guiling The Qi state defeats the Wei state.
342 BC Battle of Maling The Qi state defeats the Wei state.
341 BC Battle of Guailing  
293 BC Battle of Yique The Qin state defeats the Wei and Han states.
269 BC Battle of Yanyu  
260 BC Battle of Changping The Qin state defeats the Zhao state.
259 – 257 BC Battle of Handan The allied forces of Zhao, Wei and Chu defeats the Qin.
230–221 BC Qin’s wars of unification The Qin state conquers the six other major states in China and unifies the country under the Qin dynasty.


Imperial China

Qin dynasty (221–206 BC)

Year(s) Event Brief description
215 BC Qin’s campaign against the Xiongnu Qin forces defeat the Xiongnu in the Ordos Desert.
214 BC Qin’s campaign against the Yue tribes Qin forces defeat and conquer the Yue tribes in southern China and northern Vietnam.
209 BC Dazexiang Uprising Chen Sheng and Wu Guang lead a rebellion against the Qin dynasty.
207 BC Battle of Julu A rebel coalition army led by Xiang Yu defeats Qin forces.


Chu-Han Contention (206–202 BC)

Year(s) Event Brief description
206 – 202 BC Chu-Han Contention Han defeats Chu and its allies and unifies China.
205 BC Battle of Pengcheng Western Chu defeats Han.
205 BC Battle of Xingyang  
205 BC Battle of Jingxing Han defeats the Zhao state.
203 BC Battle of Wei River Han defeats Western Chu and the Qi state.
202 BC Battle of Gaixia Han defeats Western Chu and unifies China under the Han dynasty.


Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD)

Year(s) Event Brief description
2nd century BC Southward expansion of the Han dynasty The Han dynasty expands its boundaries into southern China and northern Vietnam.
200 BC Battle of Baideng The Xiongnu defeat Han forces.
154 BC Rebellion of the Seven States The Han central government suppresses a revolt led by seven princes.
138 BC and 111 BC Han campaigns against Minyue The Han dynasty conquers the Minyue region (around present-day southeastern China).
133 BC – 89 AD Han–Xiongnu War Overall victory for Han forces over the Xiongnu.
133 BC Battle of Mayi Inconclusive battle between the Xiongnu and Han forces.
119 BC Battle of Mobei Han forces defeat the Xiongnu.
111 BC Han–Nanyue War The Han dynasty defeats the Nanyue kingdom,led to the First Chinese domination of Vietnam.
109 BC Han campaigns against Dian The Han dynasty conquers the Dian region (around present-day Yunnan).
109 BC Gojoseon–Han War Han defeats Gojoseon. Gojoseon kingdom collapses.
99 BC Battle of Tian Shan The Xiongnu defeat Han forces.
89 AD Battle of Ikh Bayan Han forces defeat the Xiongnu.
73 AD Battle of Yiwulu Han forces defeat the Xiongnu.
67 BC Battle of Jushi Han forces defeat the Xiongnu.
36 BC Battle of Zhizhi Han forces defeat the Xiongnu.
23 AD Battle of Kunyang Liu Xiu overthrows the Xin dynasty and restores the Han dynasty (as the Eastern Han dynasty).
43 AD Han suppression of the Trung sisters’ rebellion Han forces strikes down the Trung sisters’ rebellion,led to the Second Chinese domination of Vietnam.
184–205 AD Yellow Turban Rebellion Han forces defeat the Yellow Turban rebels.
190–191 Campaign against Dong Zhuo The Guandong Coalition attacks Dong Zhuo. No conclusive results.
190 Battle of Xingyang  
191 Battle of Jieqiao Yuan Shao defeats Gongsun Zan.
191 Battle of Xiangyang Sun Jian is killed in action against Liu Biao‘s forces.
194–195 Battle of Yan Province Cao Cao defeats Lü Bu and takes back his territories in Yan Province.
194–199 Sun Ce’s conquests in Jiangdong Sun Ce conquers many territories in Jiangdong (southeastern China) and lays the foundation of Eastern Wu.
197–199 War between Cao Cao and Zhang Xiu Zhang Xiu surrenders to Cao Cao after they fought three battles between 197 and 199.
198 Battle of Xiapi Cao Cao and Liu Bei defeat Lü Bu. Lü Bu is executed after his capture.
199 Battle of Yijing Yuan Shao defeats Gongsun Zan. Gongsun Zan commits suicide.
197–199 Campaign against Yuan Shu Han forces defeat Yuan Shu.
200 Battle of Guandu Cao Cao defeats Yuan Shao.
200–207 Cao Cao’s campaigns in northern China Cao Cao attacks Yuan Shao’s heirs and allies in northern China and unifies the region under his control.
202 Battle of Bowang Liu Bei defeats Cao Cao’s general Xiahou Dun and then retreats.
204 Battle of Ye  
208 Battle of Xiakou Sun Quan defeats Huang Zu.
208 Battle of Changban Cao Cao’s forces defeat Liu Bei.
208 Battle of Red Cliffs Sun Quan and Liu Bei defeat Cao Cao.
209 Battle of Jiangling The allied forces of Sun Quan and Liu Bei defeat Cao Cao’s general Cao Ren.
211 Battle of Tong Pass Cao Cao defeats a coalition of northwestern warlords led by Ma Chao and Han Sui.
212–215 Liu Bei’s takeover of Yi Province Liu Bei seizes control of Yi Province from Liu Zhang.
214–215 Battle of Xiaoyao Ford Cao Cao’s general Zhang Liao defeats Sun Quan’s forces.
215 Battle of Yangping Cao Cao takes control of Hanzhong commandery from Zhang Lu.
217 Battle of Ruxu The forces of Cao Cao and Sun Quan clash at Ruxu with no conclusive results.
217–219 Hanzhong Campaign Liu Bei seizes control of Hanzhong commandery from Cao Cao.
219 Battle of Fancheng Cao Cao’s forces successfully hold off a siege on Fancheng by Liu Bei’s general Guan Yu.
219 Lü Meng’s invasion of Jing Province Sun Quan’s forces capture Liu Bei’s territories in Jing Province. Liu Bei’s general Guan Yu is captured and executed.



Three Kingdoms period (220–280 AD)

Year(s) Event Brief description
221–222 Battle of Xiaoting / Battle of Yiling Wu defeats Shu.
222–225 Cao Pi’s invasions of Eastern Wu Wei attacks Wu three times.
224 Incident at Guangling  
225 Zhuge Liang’s Southern Campaign Shu pacifies its southern borders and compels the Nanman tribes into submission.
227–228 Xincheng Rebellion Wei general Sima Yi suppresses a revolt by Meng Da.
228–234 Zhuge Liang’s Northern Expeditions Shu chancellor Zhuge Liang leads six campaigns to attack Wei but makes no significant territorial gains.
228 Battle of Shiting Wu defeats Wei.
228 Battle of Jieting Wei defeats Shu.
234 Battle of Wuzhang Plains Shu chancellor Zhuge Liang dies during a stalemate. Shu forces retreat.
238 Sima Yi’s Liaodong campaign Wei general Sima Yi suppresses a revolt by Gongsun Yuan in Liaodong (northeastern China).
244 Battle of Xingshi Shu repels a Wei invasion.
244–245 Goguryeo–Wei War Wei defeats Goguryeo.
247–262 Jiang Wei’s Northern Expeditions Shu general Jiang Wei leads nine campaigns to attack Wei but makes no significant territorial gains.
251–258 Three Rebellions in Shouchun Wei suppresses three consecutive revolts in Shouchun.
252 Battle of Dongxing Wu defeats Wei.
263 Conquest of Shu by Wei Wei conquers Shu.



Jin dynasty (265–420), the Southern Dynasties (420–587), the Sixteen Kingdoms (304–439) and the Northern Dynasties (386–581)

Year(s) Event Brief description
280 Conquest of Wu by Jin The Jin dynasty conquers Eastern Wu and unifies China under its control.
291–306 War of the Eight Princes Eight Jin princes start a civil war.
304–316 Wu Hu uprising The Wu Hu tribes overthrow the (Western) Jin dynasty. The Jin dynasty is reestablished as the Eastern Jin dynasty.
305 – 307 Chen Min’s rebellion  
311 Disaster of Yongjia  
311 – 315 Du Tao’s Uprising  
313 Zu Ti’s expedition Jin forces led by Zu Ti defeats Later Zhao.
314 Battle of Youzhou  
316 Battle of Chang’an  
319 Battle of Junyi Jin forces led by Zu Ti defeats Later Zhao.
319 Battle of Jicheng  
328 Jin’s expedition against Su Jun  
328 Battle of Luoyang  
346 Jin-Cheng Han war Jin Dynasty defeats Cheng Han.
350 – 352 Battle of Xiangguo Ran Wei defeats Jie and other barbarians.
351 Former Yan-Ran Wei war Former Yan defeats Ran Wei.
354–369 Huan Wen’s expeditions Jin general Huan Wen attempts to reclaim territories in northern China.
354 Battle of Lukou  
355 Battle of Guanggu  
361 Battle of Yewang  
369 Battle of Fangtou Former Qin and Former Yan defeat Jin Dynasty.
369 Conquest of Former Yan by Former Qin  
376 Conquest of Dai by Former Qin  
383 Battle of Fei River The Eastern Jin dynasty defeats Former Qin.
383 Lyu Guang‘s expedition to Qiuci  
387 Battle of Liangzhou  
389 Battle of Dajie  
390 Battle of Xincheng Town  
390 Northern Wei‘s campaign against Liu Weichen  
392 Lyu Guang‘s expedition against Western Qin  
393 Conquest of Western Yan by Later Yan  
395 Battle of Canhe Slope Northern Wei defeats Later Yan.
397 Battle of Bosi Northern Wei defeated Later Yan, but then retreated due to internal struggles.
399 – 411 Rebellion of Sun En and Lu Xun  
404 Battle of Fuzhoushan  
404 Liu Yu-Huan Xuan war  
409–416 Liu Yu’s expeditions Jin general Liu Yu reclaims territories in northern China and establishes the Liu Song dynasty.
416 Conquest of Later Qin  
422 Battle of Henan A battle between Liu Song and Northern Wei
426 Liu Song’s war against Xie Hui Xie Hui was captured.
426 Western Qin-Northern Liang war  
426 – 427 Battle of Tongwan Northern Wei attacked Helian Xia‘s capital city, Tongwan
430; 450-452 Yuanjia Expeditions  
429 Northern Wei‘s war against Rouran  
432 Wei-Yan war  
433 Battle of Hanzhong Northern Wei defeats Southern Qi.
439 Conquest of Northern Liang by Northern Wei  
449 Battle of Yongzhou  
450 Battle of Shaancheng  
454 Conquest of Liu Yixuan by Liu Song Liu Yixuan was defeated.
459 Battle of Guangling  
466 Liu Zixun’s rebellion  
466 Battle of Pengcheng  
467 Battle of QIngzhou  
474 Battle of Jiankang  
479 – 500 Qi-Wei war  
479 Battle of Shouyang  
488 Wei-Baekje war  
494 Battle of Huaihan  
495 Battle of Hanzhong  
497 Battle of Nanyang  
503 Battle of Zhongli and Yiyang  
506 Battle of Hefei  
507 Battle of Zhongli Liang dynasty defeats Northern Wei
515 Battle of Shaanshi  
528 Battle of Ye  
529 Chen Qingzhi‘s expeditions  
531 Gao Huan‘s expedition against Erzhu  
534 – 535 Civil war of Northern Wei Northern Wei split into Eastern Wei and Western Wei.
537 Battle of Shayuan  
543 Battle of Mt. Mang  
546 Battle of Yubi  
547 Hou Jing’s rebellion against Eastern Wei Hou Jing led a rebellion against Eastern Wei and then fled to Liang dynasty.
552 Hou Jing’s rebellion against Liang Hou Jing led a massive rebellion against Liang dynasty.
554 Battle of Jiangling Western Wei defeats Liang dynasty
556 Northern Qi-Liang war  
564 Battle of Luoyang Northern Qi defeats Northern Zhou.
569 Battle of Yiyang and Fenbei  
575 – 577 Conquest of Northern Qi by Northern Zhou  
575 Battle of Heyin  
576 Battle pf Pingyang  
580 Conquest of Yuchi Jiong by Yang Jian  
580 Conquest of Wang Qian by Yang Jian  
580 Battle of Lizhou  
580 Battle of Wushe  
580 Battle of Liangjun  
580 Battle of Jinxiang  
580 Battle of Shizhou  


Sui dynasty (581–618)

Year(s) Event Brief description
589 Conquest of Chen by Sui  
598–614 Goguryeo–Sui War Goguryeo defeats Sui.
602 Sui–Lý War The Sui dynasty defeats the Early Lý dynasty,led to the Third Chinese domination of Vietnam.
611–619 Wagang ArmyUprising Led by Zhai Rang and later Li Mi
613 Yang Xuangan‘s Rebellion  
616 Battle of Xingyang Wagang Army defeats Sui army led by Zhang Xutuo
617 Battle of Huoyi Li Yuan overthrows the Sui dynasty and establishes the Tang dynasty.
618 Battle of Luoyang Li Mi defeats Yuwen Huaji and then Wang Shichong defeats Li Mi.


Tang dynasty (618–907)

Year(s) Event Brief description
621 Battle of Hulao Tang forces defeated Dou Jiande.
626 Xuanwu Gate Incident Li Shimin killed his brothers Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji in a coup and seized the succession to the Tang throne.
630 Battle of Yinshan Tang army, led by Li Jing, defeated and conquered Eastern Turks
635 Tang campaign against Tuyuhun Tang forces defeated and conquered Tuyuhun Khanate.
638 Battle of Songzhou The Tang Dynasty defeated the Tibetan Empire.
639–646 Tang campaign against Xueyantuo Tang forces defeated and conquered Xueyantuo Khanate.
640–657 Tang campaigns against the Western Turks Wars between the Tang Dynasty and the Western Turks.
640–648 Tang campaign against the oasis states The Tang Dynasty conquered the oasis states of the Tarim Basin.
640 Tang campaign against Karakhoja Tang forces defeated and conquered Karakhoja (Gaochang).
644, 648 Tang campaigns against Karasahr Tang forces defeat and conquered Karasahr.
648–649 Tang campaign against Kucha Tang forces defeated and conquered Kucha.
657 Battle of Irtysh River Tang forces defeated the Western Turks.
657 Conquest of the Western Turks Tang forces defeated the Western Turks.
645–668 Goguryeo–Tang War The Tang Dynasty defeated and conquered Goguryeo.
663 Battle of Baekgang Tang and Silla forces defeated Yamato Japanese and Baekje forces.
663 Tibetan campaign against Tuyuhun Tuyuhun Khanate was destroyed.
660 Baekje–Tang War The Tang dynasty defeated and conquered Baekje.
670 Battle of Dafei River The Tibetan Empire defeated the Tang Dynasty.
685 Battle of Kaoyu  
697 Battle of Dongxiashi Valley Khitan defeated the Wu Zhou.
698 Battle of Tianmenling Mohe forces defeated the Wu Zhou.
717 Battle of Aksu (717) Tang forces defeated an allied forces of Umayyad Muslims, Tibetans and Turgesh Turks.
745–749 Siege of Shibao Fortress Tibetans forces defeated Tang
751 Battle of Talas The Abbasid Caliphate and Tibetans defeated the Tang Dynasty.
755 – 763 An-Shi Rebellion An Lushan, An Qingxu, Shi Siming and Shi Chaoyi led a massive rebellion against Tang Dynasty.
756 Battle of Tong pass The rebel Yan state defeats Tang Dynasty and soon captured Chang’an,the capital of Tang Dynasty.
756 Battle of Yongqiu The Tang Dynasty defeated the rebel Yan state.
757 Battle of Suiyang Pyrrhic victory for the rebel Yan state against Tang forces.
757 Battle of Xiangjisi Tang forces defeated rebel Yan forces and recaptured Chang’an.
758–759 Battle of Xiangzhou Rebel Yan forces defeated Tang forces.
762 Battle of Luoyang The Tang Dynasty decisively defeated the rebel Yan state,fall of Yan.
763 Battle of Chang´an No casualties, Tibetan Empire strategic victory against Tang Dynasty.
765 Battle of Xiyuan Tibetan Empire defeated the Tang Dynasty and Uyghur forces.
781 Battle of Henshui  
801–802 Battle of Weizhou Tibetan forces decisively defeated Tang forces in the South-West front.
817 Conquest of the Western Huai River  
819 Battle of Yanzhou Tibetan forces decisively defeated Tang forces in the North-West front.
874–884 Huang Chao Rebellion Huang Chao led a rebellion that weakened the Tang dynasty.


Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (907–960)

Year(s) Event Brief description
923 Conquest of Later Liang by Later Tang  
925 Conquest of Former Shu by Later Tang  
936 Conquest of Later Tang by Later Jin  
945 Battle of Ting-Hsien  


Song dynasty (960–1279)

Year(s) Event Brief description
964 Conquest of Later Shu by Song Song conquest of the Later Shu.
970 Conquest of Southern Han by Song Song conquest of the Southern Han.
974 Conquest of Southern Tang by Song Song conquest of the Southern Tang.
979 Conquest of Northern Han by Song Song conquest of the Northern Han.
979 Battle of Gaoliang River The Khitan Liao Dynasty defeats the Song Dynasty.
986 Battle of Qigou Pass Liao forces defeat Song forces.
1004 Battle of Chanzhou Inconclusive.
1041 Battle of Haoshui River The Western Xia defeats the Song Dynasty.
1048 Battle of Pei-Chou  
1075-1077 Lý–Song War Indecisive.
1126–1127 Siege of Dongjing The Jurchen Jin Dynasty decisively defeats the Song Dynasty,fall of Northern Song.
1129–1141 Song-Jin Wars Wars between the Song and Jin dynasties.
1130 Battle of Fuping Jin forces defeats Song forces.
1140 Battle of Yancheng Song forces under Yue Fei,defeat Jin forces.
1161 Battle of Tangdao Song forces defeat Jin forces.
1161 Battle of Caishi Song forces defeat Jin forces.
1234 Siege of Caizhou The Mongol Empire and the Song Dynasty decisively defeat the Jin Dynasty,fall of the Jin Dynasty.
1259 Siege of Diaoyu fortress Song forces defeat the Mongols.
1273 Battle of Xiangyang The Mongols defeat Song forces.
1279 Battle of Yamen The Mongols decisively defeat the Song Dynasty,fall of Southern Song.


Liao dynasty (907–1125)

Year(s) Event Brief description
  Liao-Song War  
979 Battle of Gaoliang River The Liao Dynasty defeats the Song Dynasty.
986 Battle of Qigou Pass Liao forces defeat Song forces.
1004 Battle of Chanzhou Inconclusive.
1044 Battle of Hequ The Western Xia defeats the Liao Dynasty.
1114–1125 Liao-Jin War  


Jurchen Jin dynasty (1115–1234)

Year(s) Event Brief description
1126–1127 Siege of Dongjing The Jurchen Jin Dynasty decisively defeats the Song Dynasty,fall of Northern Song.
1130 Battle of Fuping Jin forces defeats Song forces.
1211–1234 Mongol–Jin War The Mongols defeat and conquer Jin.
1211 Battle of Yehuling The Mongols defeat Jin.
1215 Battle of Zhongdu The Mongols defeat Jin.
1232 Mongol siege of Kaifeng The Mongols capture the Jin city Kaifeng.
1234 Siege of Caizhou The Mongol Empire and the Song Dynasty decisively defeat the Jin Dynasty,fall of the Jin Dynasty.



Yuan dynasty (1271–1368)

Year(s) Event Brief description
1274, 1281 Mongol invasions of Japan The Japanese repel the Mongol invasions.
1277–1287 First Mongol invasion of Burma Mongol Yuan victory, fall of the Pagan Empire.
1288 Battle of Bạch Đằng The Vietnamese defeat Yuan forces.
1293 Mongol invasion of Java Failed Yuan expedition to Java.
1301 Second Mongol invasion of Burma The Burmese defeat Yuan forces.
1351–1368 Red Turban Rebellion The Red Turban rebels overthrow the Yuan dynasty.
1359 Red Turban invasions of Goryeo The Red Turban rebels attack Goryeo.
1360 Battle of Yingtian  
1363 Battle of Lake Poyang Zhu Yuanzhang defeats Chen Youliang.

Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

Year(s) Event Brief description
1381–1382 Ming conquest of Yunnan The Ming expelled the last of the loyalist Mongol forces of the Yuan in South China.
1387 Ming campaign against the Uriyangkhad horde The Ming received the surrender of the Naghachu based in Manchuria.
1388 Battle of Buir Lake The Ming decisively defeated Toghus Temur, Khan of the Northern Yuan dynasty based in Mongolia.
14th century–15th century Miao Rebellions Ming forces suppressed rebellions by the Miao and other aboriginal peoples in southwestern China.
1399–1402 Jingnan Campaign Zhu Di seized the throne from the Jianwen Emperor in a civil war.
15th century–16th century Ming–Turpan conflict The Ming clashed with the Turpan kingdom.
1406–1407 Ming–Hồ War The Ming defeated the Hồ dynasty,led to the Fourth Chinese domination of Vietnam.
1410 Ming–Kotte War The Ming defeated the Kingdom of Kotte.
1410–1424 Yongle Emperor’s campaigns against the Mongols The Ming launched punitive expeditions against the Eastern Mongols, Oyirad Mongols, and other Mongol tribes.
1449 Tumu Crisis The Mongols defeated the Ming.
1510 Prince of Anhua rebellion The Ming suppressed a revolt by Zhu Zhifan (the Prince of Anhua).
1519 Prince of Ning rebellion The Ming suppressed a revolt by Zhu Chenhao (the Prince of Ning).
  Malayan–Portuguese war  
1521 First Battle of Tamao The Ming defeated the Portuguese in a naval battle.
1522 Second Battle of Tamao The Ming defeated the Portuguese in a naval battle.
1575–1581 Li Chengliang campaign against Tuman Khan The Ming defeated the Mongols
1592–1598 Japanese invasions of Korea The Ming and Joseon defeated Japanese invaders.
1593 Siege of Pyongyang The Ming and Joseon defeated Japanese invaders.
1597 Siege of Ulsan Ming and Joseon forces failed to capture Ulsan Castle from the Japanese.
1598 Battle of Sacheon Ming and Joseon forces failed to capture Sacheon from the Japanese.
1598 Battle of Noryang Ming and Joseon forces defeated the Japanese in a naval battle.
1618–1683 Qing conquest of the Ming The Qing dynasty defeated and conquered the Ming.
1618–1619 Battle of Sarhu The Manchus defeated the Ming.
1626 Battle of Ningyuan The Ming defeated the Manchus.
1622–1633 Sino-Dutch conflicts A series of conflicts between the Ming and the Dutch East India Companythat began on Penghu and concluded with Ming victory at the Battle of Liaoluo Bay.
1641–1642 Battle of Songjin The Qing defeated the Ming.
1642 Battle of Nanyang  
1643 Battle of Tongguan Ming was defeated by Li Zicheng in Shaanxi.
1644 Battle of Beijing Rebel forces led by Li Zicheng occupied the capital Beijing and overthrew the Ming dynasty.
1644 Battle of Shanhai Pass Qing forces allied with former Ming general Wu Sangui and defeated Li Zicheng’s forces.


Qing dynasty (1644–1912)

Year(s) Event Brief description
1652–1689 Sino-Russian border conflicts Border conflicts between the Qing and the Russian Empire concluded with Qing victory and the signing of the Treaty of Nerchinsk.
1661–1662 Siege of Fort Zeelandia Koxinga defeated the Dutch and conquered Taiwan.
1678–1680 Dzungar conquest of Altishahr Dzungars conquer the Yarkent Chagatai Khanate
1674–1681 Revolt of the Three Feudatories The Qing suppressed rebellions in Fujian, Guangdong and Yunnan.
1683 Battle of Penghu The Qing conquered the Kingdom of Tungning in Taiwan.
1690–1757 Dzungar–Qing War  
1690 Battle of Ulan Butung Withdraw of Dzungar Khanate forces.
1696 Battle of Jao Modo The Qing defeated Galdan of the Dzungar Khanate.
1718 Battle of the Salween River The Dzungars defeated the Qing expedition force to Tibet.
1720 Chinese expedition to Tibet (1720) Qing victory against the Dzungars
1755–1759 Qianlong’s Campaign Against the Dzungars and Revolt of the Altishahr Khojas Qing victory, destruction of the Dzungar Khanate and Qing conquest of Xinjiang.
1765–1769 Sino-Burmese War Burmese victory.
1788–1789 Campaign in Vietnam Tây Sơn dynasty victory, Qing troops retreat from Vietnam.
1790–1791 Sino-Nepalese War Qing victory.
1794–1804 White Lotus Rebellion The Qing suppressed a revolt by the White Lotus Society.
19th century Ningpo Massacre Cantonese pirates (with support from the Qing) defeated Portuguese pirates.
1820’s-1850’s Afaqi Khoja revolts Aq Taghlik Khojas (Afaqi Khojas) attack Xinjiang. Qing victory
1839–1842 First Opium War The Qing lost to the British and ceded Hong Kong to the latter.
1839 Battle of Kowloon Stalemate between the British and the Qing.
1839 Battle of Chuenpi The British defeated the Qing.
1840 Capture of Chusan The British defeated the Qing.
1840 Battle of the Barrier The British defeated the Qing.
1841 Second Battle of Chuenpi The British defeated the Qing.
1841 Battle of the Bogue The British defeated the Qing.
1841 Battle of First Bar The British defeated the Qing.
1841 Battle of Whampoa The British defeated the Qing.
1841 Battle of Canton (March 1841) The British defeated the Qing.
1841 Sino-Sikh War Military stalemate between the Sikhs and the Qing. Treaty of Chushul signed.
1841 Battle of Canton (May 1841) The British defeated the Qing.
1841 Battle of Amoy The British defeated the Qing.
1841 Capture of Chusan (1841) The British defeated the Qing.
1841 Battle of Chinhai The British defeated the Qing.
1841 Battle of Keelung (1841–1842) The Qing defeated the British.
1842 Battle of Ningpo The British defeated the Qing.
1842 Battle of Tzeki The British defeated the Qing.
1842 Battle of Chapu The British defeated the Qing.
1842 Battle of Woosung The British defeated the Qing.
1842 Battle of Chinkiang The British defeated the Qing.
1850–1864 Taiping Rebellion The Qing defeated the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (founded by the Taiping rebels).
1850 Jintian Uprising Start of the Taiping Rebellion.
1852 Battle of Changsha  
1853 Battle of Nanjing The Taiping rebels captured Nanjing from the Qing.
1854 Battle of Lake Dongting  
1856 Battle of Nanjing The Taiping rebels defeated the Qing.
1856 Third Battle of Wuhan  
1857 Battles of Lake Tai  
1858 Battle of Sanhe The Taiping rebels defeated the Qing.
1859 Battle of Jiujiang  
1860 Second rout of the Jiangnan Daying The Taiping rebels defeated the Qing.
1861 Battle of Anqing  
1861–1864 Battle of Guanzhong The Taiping rebels defeated the Qing.
1861 Battle of Shanghai The Qing defeated the Taiping rebels with assistance from British and French forces.
1862 Battle of Cixi The Qing defeated the Taiping rebels.
1863 Battle of Northern Jiangsu  
1863–1864 Battle of Changzhou The Qing defeated the Taiping rebels.
1864 Third Battle of Nanking The Qing seized Nanjing from the Taiping rebels.
1864 Battle of Hubei The Qing seized Hubei and southern Anhui from the Taiping rebels.
1865 Battle of Fujian The Qing recover previously lost territories in Fujian from the Taiping rebels.
1866 Battle of Meizhou  
1866 Formosa Expedition Paiwan Aboriginals defeat the Americans
1856–1873 Panthay Rebellion The Qing and Hui loyalists suppressed a revolt by the Hui people and other ethnic minorities in Yunnan.
1862–1877 Dungan revolt The Qing and Hui loyalists suppressed a revolt by the Hui people in northwestern China.
1870 Battle of Ürümqi (1870) The Uzbek controlled kingdom of Kashgaria defeated Hui rebels.
1854–56 Red Turban Rebellion The Qing defeated Red Turban rebels in Guangdong
1855–1867 Punti-Hakka Clan Wars Hakka were allocated their own independent sub-prefecture, Chixi (赤溪镇), which was carved out of south-eastern Taishan, while others were relocated to Guangxi Province, mass emigration to other countries.
1864–1869 Nian Rebellion The Qing suppressed a revolt led by Zhang Lexing and others.
1865 Battle of Gaolozai  
1867 Battle of Inlon River The Qing defeated the Nian rebels.
1867 Battle of Ganyu  
1867 Battle of Shouguang  
1856–1860 Second Opium War The British, French and Americans defeated the Qing.
1856 Battle of the Pearl River Forts The Americans defeated the Qing.
1857 Battle of Fatshan Creek The British defeated the Qing.
1858 First Battle of Taku Forts The British and French defeated the Qing.
1859 Second Battle of Taku Forts The Qing defeated the British, French, and Americans.
1860 Third Battle of Taku Forts The British and French defeated the Qing.
1860 Battle of Palikao The British and French defeated the Qing.
1874 Japanese invasion of Taiwan (1874) Paiwan Aboriginals fight against the Japanese
1876–1878 Qing reconquest of Xinjiang The Qing defeat Yaqub Beg’s forces in Kashgaria.
1884–1885 Sino-French War Militarily indecisive, diplomatic victory of the French.
1883–1886 Tonkin Campaign The French defeated the Qing, Vietnamese and Black Flag Army.
1883 Sơn Tây Campaign The French defeated the Qing, Vietnamese and Black Flag Army.
1883 Battle of Paper Bridge The Black Flag Army defeated the French.
1884 Bắc Ninh Campaign The French defeated the Qing and Black Flag Army.
1884 Bắc Lệ ambush The Qing defeated the French.
1884 Battle of Fuzhou The French defeated the Qing.
1884 Battle of Tamsui The Qing defeated the French.
1884 Kep Campaign The French defeated the Qing.
1884–1885 Keelung Campaign Stalemate between the French and the Qing.
1885 Lạng Sơn Campaign The French defeated the Qing.
1885 Battle of Shipu The French defeated the Qing.
1885 Battle of Zhenhai The French clashed with the Qing.
1885 Siege of Tuyên Quang The French defeated the Qing and Black Flag Army.
1885 Battle of Hoa Moc The French defeated the Qing and Black Flag Army.
1885 Battle of Bang Bo The Qing and Black Flag Army defeated the French.
1885 Battle of Phu Lam Tao The Qing and Black Flag Army defeated the French.
1885 Pescadores Campaign The French defeated the Qing.
1884 Gapsin Coup The Qing defeated the Japanese.
1894–1895 First Sino-Japanese War The Japanese defeated the Qing.
1894 Battle of Pungdo The Japanese defeated the Qing.
1894 Battle of Seonghwan The Japanese defeated the Qing.
1894 Battle of Pyongyang The Japanese defeated the Qing.
1894 Battle of the Yalu River The Japanese defeated the Qing.
1894 Battle of Jiuliancheng The Japanese defeated the Qing.
1894 Battle of Lushunkou The Japanese defeated the Qing.
1895 Battle of Weihaiwei The Japanese defeated the Qing.
1895 Battle of Yingkou The Japanese defeated the Qing.
1895–1896 Dungan revolt The Qing and Muslim loyalists suppressed a revolt by Muslim forces in western China.
1895 Japanese invasion of Taiwan (1895) The Japanese occupy Taiwan.
1899–1901 Boxer Rebellion The Eight-Nation Alliance defeated the Boxer rebels and Qing forces.
1900 Battle of Dagu Forts The Eight-Nation Alliance defeated Qing forces.
1900 Battle of Tientsin The Eight-Nation Alliance defeated Qing forces.
1900 Battle of Shanhai Pass Inconclusive.
1900 Battle of Beicang The Eight-Nation Alliance defeated Qing forces.
1900 Battle of Yangcun The Eight-Nation Alliance defeated Qing forces.
1900 Russian invasion of Manchuria The Russians defeated the Boxer rebels and Qing.
1900 Battle of Pai-t’ou-tzu The Boxer rebels and Qing forces defeated the Russians.
1900 Battles on Amur River The Russians defeated the Boxer rebels and Qing forces.
1900 Battle of Peking The Eight-Nation Alliance defeated the Boxer rebels and Qing forces.
1900 Seymour Expedition(Battle of Langfang) The Boxer rebels and Qing forces defeated the Eight-Nation Alliance.
1900 Siege of the International Legations The Boxers assault the Legations in Beijing.
1911 Battle of Yangxia Qing and Revolutionary Armies vie for control of Wuhan.


Modern China

Year(s) Event Brief description
1913 Second Chinese Revolution Yuan Shikai and his military crush a rebellion against his mis gained power.
1915-16 National Protection War A civil war against Yuan Shikai, who had declared himself emperor.
1917-1949 Golok rebellions A series of military campaigns against unconquered Ngolok (Golok) tribal Tibetan areas of Qinghai (Amdo), undertaken by two Hui commanders, Gen. Ma Qi and Gen. Ma Bufang
1920 Zhili–Anhui War Zhili and Anhui cliques for control of the Beiyang government
1922 First Zhili-Fengtian War Zhili and Fengtian cliques for control of Beijing
1924 Second Zhili-Fengtian War a conflict between the Japanese-backed Fengtian clique and the Anglo-American backed Zhili clique controlling Beijing
1925-26 Anti–Fengtian War Guominjun against the Fengtian clique and their Zhili clique allies.
1926–1928 Northern Expedition a military campaign launched by the National Revolutionary Army of the Kuomintang(KMT), against the Beiyang government and other regional warlords with purpose of reunifying China
1927–1936 Chinese Civil War (First phase) A war fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China and the Communist Party of China (CPC)
1929 Sino-Soviet conflict an armed conflict between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Chinese warlord Zhang Xueliang of the Republic of China over the Chinese Eastern Railway
1929 Battle of Xahe The Chinese Muslim Ma clique under Generals Ma Qi and Ma Bufang launched several attacks against Labrang as part of a general anti-Golok Tibetan campaign.
1930 Central Plains War a civil war between the Nationalist Kuomintang government in Nanjing led by Chiang Kai-shek and former allies of Chiang.
1930–1932 Sino-Tibetan War A war between Tibetan forces and the Chinese Republic.
1930–34 Kumul Rebellion A rebellion of Kumulik Uyghurs who conspired with Hui Chinese Muslim Gen. Ma Zhongying to overthrow Jin Shuren, governor of Xinjiang.
1931–1945 Second Sino-Japanese War (part of World War II) A military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan with its minor conflicts beginning in 1931 with war declared at the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937
1932 Kirghiz rebellion Kyrgyz irregulars in Xinjiang revolted against the government.
1933–34 Fujian Rebellion A breakaway province that aimed to defeat the Kuomintang with Soviet help that didn’t materialise ending in its demise.
1934 Soviet Invasion of Xinjiang a military campaign of the Soviet Union in the Chinese northwestern region of Xinjiang in 1934.
1937 Xinjiang War 1,500 Turkic (Uighur) Muslims led by Kichik Akhund, tacitly aided by the 36th Division against the pro-Soviet provincial forces of Sheng Shicai.
1945–49 Chinese Civil War (Second phase) a war fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China and the Communist Party of China (CPC)
1946–49 Ili Rebellion A Soviet-backed revolt against the Kuomintang government of the Republic of China in 1944
1949-1955 Post Civil War battles Innumerous battles between Nationalist (KMT) forces and Communist forces, clearing remnants of the KMT from what is now mainland People’s Republic of China and battles for islands off the coast of the southern China.
1950-1958 Kuomintang Islamic Insurgency a continuation of the Chinese Civil War by Muslim Kuomintang Republic of China Army forces in Northwest China, in the provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, Xinjiang, and another insurgency in Yunnan.
1950 Invasion of Tibet (Battle of Chamdo) a military campaign by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) against a de facto independent Tibet in Chamdo after months of failed negotiations.
1950-1953 Korean War a war between North Korea (with the support of China and the Soviet Union) and South Korea (with the principal support of the United States). The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.
1954–1955 First Taiwan Strait Crisis a brief armed conflict that took place between the governments of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC), which by then had fled and was based in Taiwan.
1958 Second Taiwan Strait Crisis a conflict that took place between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) in which the PRC aimed to “liberate” Taiwan from the Chinese Nationalist Party, also called Kuomintang (KMT)
1959 Tibetan Uprising Armed conflict between Tibetan guerrillas and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had started in 1956 in the Kham and Amdo regions, which had been subjected to socialist reform. The guerrilla warfare later spread to other areas of Tibet and lasted through 1962.
1959-1975 Vietnam War a conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia officially fought between North Vietnam and the government of South Vietnam with Soviet, China, and Communist allies backing the north, and United States, South Korea, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies backing the south.
1960-1961 Campaign at the China–Burma border a series of battles fought between the Chinese nationalists and the communists at or around the China–Myanmar border, after the Chinese Civil War
1960-current Xinjiang conflict an ongoing separatist conflict in China’s far-west province of Xinjiang. Uyghur separatists claim that the region is not a part of China, but that the Second East Turkestan Republic was illegally incorporated into the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and has since been under Chinese occupation.
1962 Sino-Indian War a war between China and India over border disputes.
1967 Nathu La and Cho La incidents a series of military clashes between India and China alongside the border of the Himalayan Kingdom of Sikkim, then an Indian protectorate.
1969 Sino-Soviet border conflict a seven-month undeclared military conflict between the Soviet Union
1974 Battle of the Paracel Islands a military engagement between the naval forces of China and South Vietnam in the Paracel Islands on January 19, 1974. The battle was an attempt by the South Vietnamese navy to expel the Chinese navy from the vicinity.
1979 Sino-Vietnamese War a brief border war fought between the People’s Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in early 1979.
1996 Third Taiwan Strait Crisis the effect of a series of missile tests conducted by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the waters surrounding Taiwan including the Taiwan Strait from 21 July 1995, to 23 March 1996
2001-current War on Terror China is a major ally in the war on terror with the US, UK, France, and Russia.
2009–2016 Operation Ocean Shield China was a contributing nation in the successful operation against pirates.
2012-present Northern Mali conflict China has peacekeeping forces in Mali and a major player in attempts to stabilise the region
China’s Replica Cities

China’s Replica Cities

With the news that a development company is seeking to create a clone of Old Quebec near Shanghai, I thought it would be a great time to revisit some of the replica cities, copycat towns, or if you like duplicature, in China.

Some years back it became fashionable to replicate European towns, mostly on small scale, providing homes for anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000, but they kinda flopped mostly bar a few examples such as Jackson Hole, and Florentia Village which is purely a shopping and entertainment district.

I am sure there is many more, but here are the ones I know of.


Florentia Village, Wuqing District, Tianjin 佛罗伦萨小镇
A replica of a 16th-century Italian renaissance town featuring canals, colonnades, and bridges. It’s somewhat authentic, being designed by Italian designers and featuring many outlet stores for famous Italian luxury brands such as Gucci, Prada etc. It functions as a massive outlet mall as is set to be expanded. There is also a Florentia Village in Shanghai, and a new development planned for Chongqing.


Tianducheng, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province 天都城
A half-billion dollar project with housing for 10,000 people was built some 10 years ago and was based on French Neoclassical style. The centerpiece is, of course, the replica Eiffel Tower.


Hallstatt, a historic Austrian Alpine village – Guangdong 廣東惠州博羅哈施塔特
The project is invested by the large central government-owned China Minmetals Group. The development and construction period is approximately six years, with a total investment of 6 billion yuan. It covers an area of nearly one million sqm featuring a beautiful mountainside backdrop, lakes, bars, churches, and Austrian European architecture replicating the Austrian Village of Hallstatt.


Interlaken – OCT Shenzhen 深圳茵特拉根小镇
A replica of Swiss Alps town (albeit Shenzhen that is tropical) and located in the very scenic area of Yantian district between two mountains. It’s part of a massive theme park and eco-resort called OCT East. The replica town features cottages, lake, luxury hotel, spa, village square, old train, a replica of the Hotel Victoria Jungfrau and the Kappelbrücke in Lucerne.


Portofino, Shenzhen 波托菲诺天鹅堡
A luxury residential area replicating a fishing village on the Italian Riviera coastline.


Tonghui Town, Beijing 通惠小镇
Tonghui Town Bar Street resembles the Interlaken architectural style of the Alps. Restaurants, cafes, bars, towers, and hotels line up in a typical European mountain dwelling pattern. That was the intention anyway, sadly no one came, it lies empty.


Thames Town, Songjiang District near Shanghai 泰晤士小镇
Occupying 1 sqm, the town features clubhouse, supermarket, churches, lake, and villas all modeled off a UK riverside village of old. Jointly built by Shanghai Songjiang New City Construction Development Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Henghe Real Estate Co., Ltd., and several large real estate development companies. 


Anting New Town, Jiading District, Shanghai. 安亭新镇
A German-themed residential development intended to house 50,000. The developer was Shanghai International Automobile City Real Estate Co., Ltd. the Anting New Town covers an area of about 5 square kilometers. It is nearby to Anting Auto City which is an automotive industrial base


Gaoqiao New Town, Pudong District 高桥镇
Also known as Holland Village or Holland Town, as the name implies it has a Dutch architectural theme. The Dutch style town covers an area of 1.7 square kilometers featuring apartment blocks, villas, lakes, windmills, clock towers and even a castle.


North Europe Town – Luodian Town, Baoshan District, Shanghai 罗店北欧新镇
Designed by a Swedish architectural firm it is meant to resemble the Swedish town of Sigtuna and house some 50,000. Spread over 6 sqm it features a replica of Lake Mälaren and Iceland’s House of Parliament plus a golf course and conference center. 


Jackson Hole – Beijing Hebei Province
Based on the American town of the same name.


Bavaria Town Heyuan 巴伐利亚庄园
A replica of a Bavarian town with residences, hot spring resort, water park, hotels, and brewery.


Binhai New District, Tianjin – the new Manhattan Project
Binhai New District includes 7 towns and 19 subdistricts. It’s an area built from nothing and has a goal to become one of the worlds largest ports and centers for financial innovation. While it has been labeled a “Ghost Town” it has two major national scale projects that will surely push some wind into its sail being the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei integration project. Yujiapu and Xiangluowan districts which are loosely aimed at replicating Manhattan began construction on a government debt led “build it and they will come” approach. That approach saw construction boom and then stall, and now, it’s slowly starting to begin again as government departments move into the area.


If you’d like a more scholarly insight into these developments there is a great article here 

China’s Mysterious Ancient Towns and Where to Find Them

China’s Mysterious Ancient Towns and Where to Find Them

While China is renowned for its famous historic sites that date back thousands of years its ancient towns have been off the radar for most foreign visitors.

The ancient towns offer not just an attraction but deep insight into the culture, architecture, and life in those times. While many of these towns have become busy shop-filled domestic tourist spots there are still many that offer authentic old-world experiences. Many of these villages and towns, even the touristified ones, are home to people whose families extend back hundreds of years and carry on with traditions passed down from generation to generation.

It’s quite surprising, even in Lijiang, one of the most heavily touristed, you’ll find once you get behind that tourism facade that many people are living examples of the ancient cultures and traditions handed down from generation to generation. Mostly, that’s probably due to geography and those ways of life that are time-proven in that area.

What am I saying? Don’t turn away when you see tourist facades, just dig deeper to find the reality.

This list is huge, some 65 “old towns” are listed here and I am sure there are still a few I am yet to discover.


Pingyao Ancient City 平遥

Address: Pingyao County, Central Shanxi Province, China; about 100km of Southwest Taiyuan.
Open Hours: all day, attractions Mar 1 ~ Nov 30 08:00-18:30/Dec 1~ end Feb 08:00-17:30 | Ticket: No Entrance Fee (130RMB for through ticket to scenic spots) | Time: two ~ three days

Pingyao Ancient City was built during Western Zhou Dynasty some 2,700 years ago and was built upon by the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Highlights: Pingyao Ancient City Wall (平遥城墙), Government Office(平遥县衙), Rishengchang Draft Bank (日升昌票号), Mingqing Dynasty Street(明清街), Qingxu Guan, Pingyao Confucius Temple

Nearby Attractions: Qiao’s Family Compound, Wang’s Family Courtyard, Shuanglin Temple, Zhenguo Temple


Huizhou Ancient Town 徽州古城

Address: Huicheng Town, She County, Huangshan City, Southeastern Anhui Province
Open Hours: all day, attractions 08:00 am-17:00 pm | Ticket: 100RMB | Time: three hours

Huizhou Ancient City originated in the Qin Dynasty and was a capital for the Tang Dynasty.

Highlights: Xuguo Stone Archway (许国石坊/大学士坊), Huizhou State Office (徽州府衙), Hui Garden (徽园), Doushan Street (斗山街), Yuliang Ancient Dam (渔梁古坝 ), Taoxingzhi Memorial Hall (陶行知纪念馆), Taibai Tower

Nearby Attractions: Mt. Huangshan (25km), Hongcun Ancient Village (80km), Xidi Ancient Village (65km), Tunxi Ancient Street (30km)


Langzhong Ancient City 阆中古城

Address: No.33, Middle Langshui Rd, Langzhong City, Nanchong City, Northeastern Sichuan
Open Hours: May 1 – October 7 (High Season): 08:00~18:30; October 8 – April 30 (Off Season): 08:00~18:00 | Ticket: 120RMB for through ticket | Time: one day

Langzhou Ancient City is a 2300-year-old city was once an ancient military stronghold and is famed for its geomantic and astro culture.

Highlights: Temple of Marquis Huan (汉桓侯祠 Zhangfei Temple), Former Examine House (川北道贡院), Confucius Temple, Huaguang Tower (华光楼), Museum of Geomancy (风水博物馆), and Jinping Mountain (锦屏山).


Ancient Town of Ciqikou 瓷器口古镇

Address: Ciqikou, Shapingba District, Chongqing, China
Open: All day for free

Ciqikou is an old town built in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Near to Chongqing, it consists of 12 streets where today traders sell various traditional items and snacks. Cultures represented include Ba-yu culture, Sha-ci culture, Hongyan culture, and Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism coexisting at Jiugong temple.

How to Get to Ciqikou Ancient Town
Ancient Town of Ciqikou is 3 km away from Shapingba, taxi fare takes 5 Yuan. Take No.220 public bus for 10 minutes from Shapingba, the fare is 1 Yuan.


Lijiang Old Town 丽江古城

Address: No.57, Xuetang Rd, Dayan Township, Gucheng District, Lijiang, Northwestern Yunnan Province
Open Hours: Full Day | Ticket: 80RMB | Time: 1-2 days

Lijiang Old Town was initially built during late Song Dynasty and early Yuan Dynasty (late 13th century) and covers about 7.279 It is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site.

Highlights: Mufu Mansion, Wangu Tower, Great Stone Bridge, Lijiang Dongba Cultural Museum, Fangguyu’s Former Residence, Square Market, Shuhe Old Town, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Folk Culture of Naxi Nationality


Dali Ancient City 大理古城

Address: Cangpin Street, Fuxing Road, Dali City, Yunnan Province
Open: All day | Time: one day

Dali Ancient Town is representative of the traditional Bai ethnic folk culture and features five main streets built during Ming Dynasty emperor Hongwu’s reign (1368–1398).

Highlights: Wenxian Building, Nanzhao kingdom—Wuhua Building, Huguo Road, Dali Christian Church. The city is also famed for its festivals being The March Festival (March 15th to 21st), Dali Bai Raosanling (April 22 to April 24), The Torch Festival (June 25), Caicun Village Erhai Music Festival.

How to Get to Dali Ancient City
Taking bus No.4, No.8 in Xiaguan about 40 minutes to the Dali Ancient City, the fare is 2 yuan. 


Daxu Ancient Town 大圩古镇

Address: Duxu Town, Lingchuan County, Guilin, Guangxi, China
Open: All day | Time: 2 hours

Daxu Ancient Town originated in the Northern Song Dynasty and became a prosperous commercial area during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Highlights: Wanshou Bridge, Flagstone Road, The Mosque, the 13 ancient wharves (Shoulong Temple wharf, Gulou wharf, Mosque wharf, Shegong wharf, Shiji wharf, Big wharf, Duchuan wharf, Lion wharf, Tangfang wharf, Wufu wharf, Qinjuli wharf, Drum Tower wharf and Maimi wharf)

How to Get to Daxu Ancient Town
It is 15 km from Guilin city to Daxu Ancient Town. From Guilin Bus Station take the bus to Crown Cave.


Xidi Village 西递

Address: Xidi Village, Xidi Town, Qianxi Prefecture, Huangshan, Anhui Province.
Open: 7:30 am~6:00 pm

Xidi Village features 300 houses that were constructed in the Ming and Qing dynasties and mostly well preserved displaying the original Anhui style architecture. The city originated in the Song Dynasty. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Hongcun Village 宏村

Address: Hongcun Village, northwest corner of Yi County 245500, Huangshan
Open: All day. | Time: half-one day | Ticket: 104 RMB

Hongcun Village dates back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties and featured in the famous movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. It’s also a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Highlights: Yuezhao Lake 月沼湖, Nanhu Lake 南湖, Nanhu Academy 南湖书院, Deyitang Hall 德义堂, Ancestral Hall of the Wang’s 汪氏宗祠, Chengzhi Hall 承志堂, Mu Keng Zhuhai 木坑竹海

How to get to Hongcun
Take a direct bus from Tunxi Huangshan  (Chinese bus name: 屯溪-黟县-宏村).


Shexian County 歙县

Address: South of Anhui Province.
Open: All day.

Shexian County originated in the Song Dynasty and features lots of well-preserved courtyards, gardens, pagodas and bridges that were built during Song, Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Highlights: Yanghe Gate, Xuguo Archway, Doushan Street, Tangyue Archways, Tangmo Village, Chengkan Village, and Yuliang Dam.


Kashgar Old Town 喀什老城

Address: Wage Road, Kashgar, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Open: All day

Kashgar Old Town is a Silk Road city dating back some 2000 years that beautifully captures the Islamic culture of this region.

A few hours away is The Stone City Kashgar, another city on the ancient Silk Road.


Wuzhen Water Town 乌镇水乡

Address: 80 km from Hangzhou and Suzhou, 140 km from Shanghai, east of China

Wuzhen Water Town dates back to 872 A.D. and is one of the country’s most famed water towns.
Highlights: Ancient Bed Museum, Indigo Fabric Workshop, Water Market, boat cruises.


Xitang Water Town 西塘

Address: Xitang Town, Jiashan County, Zhejiang Province
Open: 8:00-16:30 (Nov. to Feb.) 8:00-17:00 (Mar. to Oct.) | Time: One day

Xitang Water Town features nine waterways dividing the small village which is reconnected by numerous ancient bridges which date back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

How to get to Xitang Water Town
Take a direct bus from Shanghai South Long-distance Bus Station or Shanghai Long-Distance Central Bus Station to Xitang Town. Take a bus from Hangzhou Jiabao Bus Center Station to Xitang Town.


Qingyan Ancient Town 青岩古镇

Address: Qingyan Town, Huaxi District, Guiyang, Guizhou Province.
Open: All day | Time: 2 days

Qingyan Ancient Town originated in 1378 and covers some 30 sqm featuring Ming and Qing dynasty style architecture.

How to get there
Take the Guiyang-Huaxi-Qingyan-Qiantao-Gaopo bus and there is also a direct bus that leaves from Huaxi.


Tianlong Village 天龙屯堡

Address: Lvyou Avenue, Tianlong, Pingba, Anzhun, Guizhou Province.

Open: 8:00 am~6:30 pm.

Tianlong Village is an ancient settlement of expeditionary troops of the Ming Dynasty dating back some 600 years.


Luzhi Water Town 甪直镇

Address: Luzhi Water Town, Wuzhong District, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province
Open: 8:00-17:30

Luzhi Water Town dates back some 1400 years with bridges dating back to the Song Dynasty. It is one of the best-preserved cities in China and is also UNESCO listed.

Highlights: Baoshen Temple, The Former Resident of the Shen’s, Ye Shengtao Memorial Hall

How to get to Luzhi Water Town
From Shanghai take Public Bus 18, 52, 518, 521, 525, 526, 563. 


Tongli Water Town 同里古镇

Address: Wujiang County, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province
Open: All day

Tongli originated in the Song Dynasty and features a large number of ancient bridges.

Highlights: Jiayin Hall, the Retreat & Reflection Garden, Taiping (peace) Bridge, Jili (luck) Bridge and Changqing (celebration) Bridge, The Pearl Tower.

How to Get to Tongli Water Town
From Shanghai take a bus from Shanghai Hongqiao Airport or Shanghai Bus Station to Tongli.


Zhouzhuang Water Town 周庄水乡

Address: Qing Ping Shanghai Highway, Kunshan City, Jiangsu Province
Open: All day (attractions 8:00 to 16:30)

Zhouzhuang Water Town dates back more than 900 hundred years built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Highlights: The Double Bridge (Shuang Qiao), The Hall of Shen’s Residence, Fu’an Bridge, Quanfu Temple, Chengxu Taoist Temple


Zhenyuan Ancient Town 镇远

Address: Wulingshan District, Guizhou Province.
Open: All day.

Zhenyuan Ancient Town is one of the most famous in China for being rich in cultural and historic attractions.

Highlights: Qinglong Cave, Wuyang River


Gaochang Ancient City  高昌

Address: South of the Flame Mountain, Turpan, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

Open: 8:00 am~9:00 pm.

Gaochang Ancient City was a trading post on the ancient Silk Road.


Fengdu Ghost City 丰都鬼城

Address: North bank of Yangtze River, Fengdu County, Chongqing
Open: 7:00am – 5:20pm

Fengdu Ghost City dates back to the early Han Dynasty and is steeped in folk-culture and religions of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism with some 48 temples built here.


White Emperor City 白帝城

Address: Fengjie County, Chongqing
Open: 6:30-18:00

Fengjie White Emperor City dates back to the Western Han Dynasty located by the Yangtze River.

Highlights: Mingliang Palace, Wuhou Temple, Guanxing Pavilion, Stele Forest

How to Get to White Emperor City
Take a bus in Chongqing Longtousi Bus Station to Fengjie County, and then taxi or public bus from Fengjie County to White Emperor City.


Zhujiajiao Water Town 朱家角

Address: Meizhou Rd., Zhujiajiao Town, Qingpu District, Shanghai
Open: All day | Time: 4 hours

Zhujiajiao Water Town has architecture dating back some 5,000 years and is the closest water town to Shanghai and one of the best preserved.

Highlights: Bei Dajie (North Street), Shanghai Handicraft Exhibition Hall, Kezhi Yuan (Kezhi Gardens), Yuan Jin Buddhist Temple, Chenghuangmiao, Qing Dynasty Post Office, Tong Tian He Chinese Pharmacy, Bridges inc Fangsheng Bridge, Y-ART gallery, Humanistic Museum, Ah Po’s Tea House & Han Lin Stele Museum, CITY God Temple, boat rides

How to Get to Zhujiajiao Water Town
Take the Hùzhū Gāosù Kuàixiàn (沪朱高速快线) bus from Pu’an Road bus station near People’s Square in Shanghai. 


Chuandixia Village 爨底下

Address: about 100 km W. of Beijing
Open: All day

Chuandixia village was first built in the Ming Dynasty and features well preserved 500 Ming and Qing dynasty-style courtyard houses.


Yangmei Ancient Town 扬美古镇

Address: 30 km away from downtown of Jiangnan District, Nanning.
Open: 8:30 am~6:00 pm

Yangmei Ancient Town has a history of more than one thousand years featuring well preserved ancient buildings retained from the Ming and Qing dynasty.

How to go to Yangmei Ancient Town from Nanning
Take a boat from the Minsheng wharf.


Songpan Ancient Town 松潘古城

Address: Jin’an Town, Songpan County, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Prefecture, Sichuan Province.
Open: 9:00 am~6:00 pm

Songpan Ancient Town was built during Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 A.D.) and it was later rebuilt during Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644).

Highlights: Min Shan Mountain, Guanyin Pavilion, The West Gate, Ancient City Wall, the Ancient Battlefield Relics, Ancient Bridge, Temple Bell, Chuanzhu Temple, The Red Army Long March Memorial Monument Park, The Prairie.

How to Get to Songpan Ancient City
In Chengdu Chadianzi Passenger Bus Station there are direct buses to Songpan County Passenger Bus Station.


Shangli Ancient Town 上里

Address: Yucheng District, Ya’an City, Sichuan Province
Open: All day

Shangli Ancient Town is an ancient Silk Road town.

Highlights: Ancient town, Ancient bridge, Wenfen Pagoda, Jianqiao Pagoda, Yaowang Pagoda, Sheli Pagoda, Baima stream, Peizhu stream, local customs.

How to get to Shangli Ancient Town
From Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus Station to take the coach to Ya’an for about 45 RMB, and then from Ya’an Tourism Bus Station take a bus to Shangli for about 11 RMB.


Huishan Ancient Town 惠山古镇

Address: Tonghui West Road, Wuxi, Jiangsu Province
Open: 8:00 am~4:30 pm

Huishan Ancient Town is sited at the foot of Huishan Mountain and features numerous ancestral halls.

How to get there
Take bus 4, 15, 39, 43, 75, 76, 81, 83, 126, 139, 158, 611 to Huishan Station(惠山站).


Jinze Ancient Town 金泽镇

Address: Jinze Town, Qingpu District, Shanghai
Open: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Jinze Ancient Town has a history of over 1,300 years dating back to the Song Dynasty and is famed for its bridges and crisscrossing waterways.

Highlights: Puji Bridge, Wangan Bridge, Yingxiang Bridge, Animal Freeing Bridge, Ruyi Bridge, Linlao Bridge, Tianwuge Bridge, Yi Hao Temple

How to get Jinze Ancient Town
Take a bus from Qingpu Bus Station to Jinze Town.


Sanhe Ancient Town 三河古镇

Address: Hefei, Anhui Province
Open: all day, attractions from 8:00 am-6:00 pm

Sanhe Ancient Town dates back to the Tang Dynasty.

Highlights: Dajiemen Arch, Sanxian Bridge (Three-county Bridge), Guocui Building, Da Fu Di (former resident of a senior official in feudal China), Xiangu Building, Quezhu Covered Bridge, Gu Nan Street(Old South Street), Wan Nian Street (Ten-thousand Street), Wan Nian Temple and Chenghuangmiao(town god’s temple).

How to get to Sanhe Ancient Town
Take a bus from Hefei Lvyou Bus Station (合肥旅游汽车站) or Hefei Nanmen Bus Transfer Center (合肥南门换乘中心) to Sanhe Bus Station.


Fenghuang Ancient Town 凤凰古城 

Address: Fenghuang Ancient City, Fenghuang County, Xiangxi Tujia-Miao Autonomous, Hunan Province.

Open: all day; attractions from 7:30 am~6:00 pm

Hunan Fenghuang (Phoenix) Ancient Town located along the Tuojiang River, originated in 1704 during the Qing Dynasty and is home to the Miao and Tujia ethnic minority. It’s one of the top ancient towns in China.

Highlights: Diaojiaolou wooden houses that line the river, Southern Great Wall, Huangsiqiao Castle, Xiangxi Border Walls, Chaoyang Palace, Longevity Palace, Heavenly King Temple, Former Resident of Shen Chongwen, Former Resident of Xiong Xiling, Yang Ancestral Memorial, Ancient East Gate, Former Residence of Shen Congwen.

How to Get to Fenghuang Ancient Town
Take a direct coach from Changshan West Bus Station (长沙汽车西站) or Changsha Zhuran Bus Station (长沙株潭汽车站) heading to Fenghuang New Town (凤凰新城北汽车站).


Jingdezhen Fuliang Ancient Town 浮梁古城

Address: Xianya Road, Fuliang Town, Jingdezhen City, Jiangxi Province,
Open: 8:00 am-6:00 pm.

Fuliang Ancient Town originated during the Tang Dynasty

Highlights: Ancient Fuliang County Administrative Office, Red Buddhism Tower, Cultural Gallery With Tile Paving

How to get to Jingdezhen Fuliang Ancient Town
Take bus No.16 in Xiuxian Square(休闲广场) and then get off at Dashikou Station (大石口站).



Fotang Ancient Town 佛堂古镇

Address: Yiwu, Zhejiang Province
Open: All day

Fotang Ancient Town locates dates back to 1760 AD and features hundreds of ancient homes of unique architecture.

Highlights: Mao’s Courtyard, Former Wu’s Residence, Liu Xuan Primary School and You Long Memorial Hall

How to get to Fotang Ancient Town
Take bus 311 or 316 to get to Jiting Housing Estate Station (稽亭小区).


Wuyuan 婺源

Address: North of Shangrao City, Jiangxi Province
Open: March~November: 8:00 am~6:00 pm December~February: 08:00 am~5:30 pm

Wuyuan is known as the birthplace of Huizhou culture and the area holds some 50 villages that date back to the Tang Dynasty.

Highlights: Likeng Village, Shangxia Xiaoqi, Rainbow Bridge, Dazhang mountain, Yuanyang Lake, Watch Rape Flowers and Taste Spring Tea, Shicheng Village, Huangling Village, Sixiyan Village.

Nearby: Lushan Mountain, Yellow Mountain, Wuyi Mountain, Poyang Lake


Xikou 溪口镇 and Tengtou Town 滕头村

Address: Xikou Town, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province
Open: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Xikou, the ancestral home of Chiang Kai-Shek, and ancient town with architecture dating back to the Qing Dynasty.

Highlights: Xikou Museum, Wuling Gate Tower, Wenchang Pavilion, Fenggao House, Yutai Salt Shop, Xuedou Mountain, Xuedou Temple, Thousand Fishes Park, Miniascape Garden, Fountain Square, Pigeon Square, the Breeding Base, the General Woods, the Ornamental Orange Orchard


Moxi Old Town 磨西古镇

Address: South of Luding Town, Garze, Sichuan Province.
Open: All day

Moxi Old Town a settlement of the Han, Yi, and Tibetan ethnic groups with buildings here dating back to the Qing Dynasty.

Highlights: Luding Bridge, Catholic church, Golden Flower Temple, Hailuogou Glacier Forest Park, Avalokitesvara Ancient Temple


Jianshui County 建水县

Address: At the north bank of the Red River, 214 km away from Kunming, south Yunnan Province
Open: all day

Jianshui County is home to several ethnic groups including Han, Yi, Hui, Hani, Dai, Miao and others. Dating back to the Tang Dynasty featuring ancient gardens, temples, and bridges.

Highlights: Ximen Daban Well, Zhujia Garden, Jianshui Confucius Temple, Seventeen-Arch Bridge, Fairy Bridge, XianYuan Bridge, Natural Bridge, annual Confucius Festival.


Fuli Ancient Town 富里

Address: Fuli Town, Yangshuo County, Guilin, Guangxi
Open: All day

Fuli Ancient Town dates back to the Tang Dynasty and is famed for its folk culture and architecture.

Highlights: Architectural Culture, Art Culture, Folk Culture and Festivals, Daguan Pavilion, Sangu Stone, Tianhou Palace


Shigu Ancient Town 石鼓古镇

Address: Along the Yangtze River, 50 km from northwest Lijiang city, Yunnan province
Open: All day

Shigu Ancient Town is famed for its drum-shaped stone tablet carved with white marble that dates back to the Jiaqing era (1548-1561) of the Ming Dynasty.

Highlights: Yangtze River First Bay, Drum-shaped Stone Tablet, Tiehong Bridge, Red Army Monument of Crossing the River, Jujin Ancient Ferry, Lijiang Horse

How to Get to Shigu Ancient Town
There is a tour bus that leaves from Lijiang Old Town.


Kaiping Watchtowers (Diaolou) and Villages 碉楼

Address: Tangkou County, Jiangmen City, Guangdong Province
Open: 8:30-17:30

Kaiping watchtowers are not really classified as an ancient city only dating back to the 1920’s yet they are a fascinating insight into the story of Overseas Chinese, the local struggles, and the architecture and art.

Kaiping watchtowers witness the political, economic and cultural development of Kaiping city. They not only reflect the history of overseas Chinese people’s hard work and defending the homeland, but also a living museum of modern architecture, a unique art gallery. It can be said, as a town of overseas Chinese, architecture and art, the feature Kaiping has been sharply expressed by these watchtowers. They are also UNESCO World Heritage Listed.


Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom 集安高句丽考古遗址公园

Address: Junction of Jiangjun Road and Jiqiang Highway, Ji’an, Tonghua City, Jilin Province.

Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom (37 BC – AD 668) consists of three cities, and numerous ancient tombs. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Highlights: Wunu Mountain City, Guonei City and Wandu Mountain City, Gwanggaeto Tombstone, No.1 burial Site of General tomb, Koguryeo Fresco Tomb, Eight Diagrams, General Cemetery


Mengzi City 蒙自

Address: Mengzi, southeast of Yunnan province

Mengzi City features rich history dating back the early Han Dynasty and tells a fascinating story of early Sino-French relations.

Highlights: Mengman Ancient Road (Mengman Gu Dao), Bisezhai Area


Shanghai Fengjing Ancient Town 枫泾镇

Address: 39 Xinfeng Rd., Fengjing Town, Jinshan District, Shanghai, China

Open: All day. Attractions 8:00-17:00 (May-Sep.) and 8:00-16:30 (October-next Apr.)

Fengjing Ancient Town dates back some 700 years and features numerous waterways and bridges.

Highlights: Zhihe Bridge, Rainbow Bridge, East District Fire Station, Zhao Jinzhi Golden Keys Collection, The China Peasantry Painting Village

How to Get There
Take Metro Line 1 to Jinjiang Park Station, take Fengmei Line at West Meilong Bus Station, get off at Fengjing.


Wuyuan Likeng Ancient Village 李坑古村

Address: Wuyuan, Shangrao, Jiangxi Province.
Open: 7:00 am~6:00 pm

Likeng Ancient Village dates back to the Song Dynasty featuring traditional Huizhou Style architecture.

Highlights: Arch Bridges, Hui-style Architectures, Ancient Camphor Tree, Ancient Osmanthus Tree


Wuyuan Sixi Ancient Village 思溪延村

Address: Sikou Town, Wuyuan, Jiangxi Province.
Open: 7:00 am~6:00 pm

Sixi Ancient Village was built during the Southern Song Dynasty by Yu family in 1199 and features more than 30 Ming and Qing dynasties residence buildings.

Highlights: Jingxu Hall, Congting Hall, Mingxun Hall, Yuqing Hall


Nanxiang Water Town 南翔镇

Address: 218 Huyi Road, Jiading District, Shanghai
Open: All day

Nanxiang Water Town originated some 1500 years ago and is one of Shanghai’s famous ancient towns.

Highlights: Nanxiang Twin Pagodas, Hezuo Hill, and Guyi Garden

How to Get to Nanxiang Ancient Town
Take Metro Line 11 from Jiangsu Lu to Nanxiang directly (takes around 40 minutes). 


The Ancient City of Dunhuang 敦煌影视古城

Address: near Qiliqiao town of Dunhuang city, Jiuquan City, Gansu Province.
Open: All day.

The Ancient City of Dunhuang originated in the time of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty while there are some preserved city walls the city is actually an imitation of a Song Dynasty Town used for movies and TV, yet open to tourists.


Pingle Ancient Town 平乐古镇

Address: near Qionglai, Sichuan Province
Open: All day

Pingle Ancient Town dates back to 150 BC and was a stop on the ancient Silk Road.

Highlights: Golden rooster channel, Jinhua Mountain, Lugou Bamboo, Li Compound, Pingle Lanterns Festival, Pingle Ancient Town Temple Fair


Huangyuan Dan Gar City 丹噶尔古城

Address: Huangyuan County, Xining City, Qinghai Province
Open: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Huangyuan Dan Gar City dates back some 600 years to the Hongwu Period of Ming dynasty and is an old Silk Road trading city.


Hongjiang Ancient Commercial Town 洪江古商城

Address: southwest of Hunan province
Open: 08:00-17:00 | Time: one day

Hongjiang Ancient Commercial Town dates back to 700 BC and boomed in the Ming Dynasty which is what we see the remnants of today.

Highlights: more than 300 Ming and Qing ancient architectural structures


Burqin-Baihaba Village 白哈巴

Address: Northern Xinjiang

Baihaba Village was home to the ethnic Tuwa Mongolian people and is located on the border with Kazakhstan. It is famed for its scenic beauty and rich traditional culture.


Bama Longevity Village 巴马

Address: Northwest Guanxi Province

Bama longevity village is part of the Bama Yao nationality autonomous county and home to a mere 500 or so people.

Highlights: local food and customs


Luodai Ancient Town 洛带

Address: Luodai Town, Longquanyi district of Chengdu, Sichuan Province
Open: All day

Luodai ancient town was built in The Three Kingdoms Shu-Han period and is a township formed by the Hakka minority people. Featuring Hakka, Ming and Qing style architecture.

Highlights: Hakka Tulou Museum, Linnan block, Hakka Food Court area of Boke Small Town, Luodai folk art protection development center, Jiulonghu Scenic Spot, Baosheng Original Ecological Hakka Village, Guangdong Guildhall, Jiangxi Guildhall, Huguang Guildhall and Chuanbei Guildhall, Yudai Lake (Jade Belt Lake), Gold Dragon Temple, Hakka Museum, Fire Dragon Festival, Water Dragon Festival

How to get there
From Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus Station there are direct buses to Luodai Ancient Town.


Gubei Water Town 古北水镇

Address: Miyun County, Beijing
Open: 9:00 am-6:00 pm | Time: One day

Gubei Water Town is near to the Simatai section of the Great Wall and reflects the historic styles of the late Qing and early Republic eras. It’s also a resort holiday destination.

Highlights: Blocks of the Republic of China, the Old Camp Site, the Water Streets Region, the Wolongbao Folk Culture Region, the Old Village at Tang River Region, Simatai Great Wall, Yongshun Dye House, Zhenyuan Escort Agency, Sima Chinese Distillate Spirits Mall, Ba Qi (Eight Banners) Hall and other places.

How to Get to Gubei Water Town
Take bus No.980 at Dongzhimen Bus Station and get off at Miyun Xidaqiao Station, then transfer to Bus No.38 (密云-司马台) or Bus Route No.51 to Simatai and get off at Simatai Village Station


Shantang Street 山塘街

Address: Shantang Street, Jinchang District, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province
Open: all day; attractions 8:00am-5:00pm | Time: 2 hours

Shantang Street originated during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Highlights: Shantang Old Street, Yu Han House, Tonggui Bridge, Suzhou Museum of Chamber of Commerce, Tiger Hill and Humble Administrator Garden.

How to Get to Shantang Street
Take Subway Line 2 to Shantang Street Station(山塘街站)


Zhuge Bagua Village of Lanxi 兰溪诸葛村

Address: Zhuge Bagua Village, Zhuge Town, Lanxi, Zhejiang Province
Open: 8:00-17:00

Zhuge Bagua Village dates back some 660 years and follows the Bagua (Eight Diagrams) principles of Feng Shui.

Highlights: living heritage, Ming and Qing Dynasty ancestral halls, temples, arches and gardens.

How to Get to there from Hangzhou
There are express coaches leaving for Zhuge Bagua Village of Lanxi from Hangzhou South Bus Station. The coaches depart every 2 hours at the station.


Tuyuk Valley 吐峪沟

Address: Shanshan County, Turpan, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

Open: Apr 21st-Oct 20th, 8:00-21:00  Oct 21st-Apr 20th, 10:00-18:30

Tuyuk Valley is a sacred place for Buddhism and Islam with a history dating back some 1700 years.

Highlights: Tuyuk Canyon Scenery, Tuyuk Thousand-Buddha Grottoes, Tuyugu Mazar, Tuyu Ancient Village, local customs and food culture.


Tachuan Village 塔川村

Address: Tachuan Village, Hongcun Town, Yi County 245500, Huangshan, Anhui Province
Open: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Tachuan Village, popular for its colorful Autumn displays and hundred-year-old folk houses laid out according to Feng Shui.

Highlights: famous for its Autumn views


Nanping Village 南屏村

Address: Nanping Village, Yixian County, Anhui Province
Open: 7:00 am ~ 5:30 pm

Nanping Village features ancient Hui-style construction built in Ming and Qing Dynasties and ancestral halls.

How to get there
Take a bus at Tunxi Bus Station to reach Yixian County first, then transfer to a bus to Xiwu County from Yixian Station and get off outside Nanping Village, which is then a walk of only one kilometer.


Chengkan Village 呈坎村

Address: Chengkan Village, Huizhou District, Huangshan 245900, Anhui Province
Open: all day; Attractions 7:30 am ~ 6:00 pm

Chengkan Village is famous for the well-preserved ancient residential architecture of the Ming Dynasty (1368 A.D. – 1644 A.D.) which includes pavilions, bridges, houses, ancestral temples, and wells.

Highlights: In Spring rape flowers bloom, Baolun Pavilion, The Baolun Hall

How to get to Chengkan Village
From Huangshan downtown (Tunxi), take a bus at Tunxi Bus Station to reach Chengkan.


Tangmo Ancient Village 唐模村

Address: Tangmo Village, Qiankou Town, Huizhou District, Huangshan 245900, Anhui Province
Open: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm

Tangmo Ancient Village originated in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and like most places boomed in the Ming and early Qing Dynasties with architecture reflecting those eras.

Highlights: Tanganyuan Garden, Taizi Hall and Taizi Temple, Zhuangyuan Mansion, the former residence of Xu Cunyu, the Memorial Hall of Xu Family, Xihu Lake, Hanlin Twins Archway, Bajiao Pavilion, Wusong Bridge, Memorial Archways, Bao’s Private Garden Huizhou Ancient City, Chengdu Village nearby.

How to get to Tangmo Village
There are direct buses from Huangshan Tourist Transport Center (Tunxi) in Huangshan downtown


Dehang Miao Village 德夯苗寨

Address: Dehang Village, Aizhai Town, Fenghuang County 416011, Hunan Province
Open: 8:00 am – 5:30 pm

Dehang Miao Village is built around mountains and waterfalls and home of the Miao people.

Highlights: Liusha Waterfall, Tianwen Platform, Yuquan Gate, Yuquan Waterfall, Aizhai Suspension Bridge, folk customs.

How to get there
Take a bus near Jishou Railway Station to reach Dehang Village directly.


Hangwu Miao Village 夯吾苗寨

Address: Maoping Village, Guzhang County, Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Hunan province.
Open: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Hangwu Miao Village is home to 1200 people and home to the largest Miao Drum.


Zhangbi Ancient Castle 张壁古堡

Address: Zhangbi Village in Longfeng Town, Shanxi Province

Zhangbi Ancient Castle is one of China’s top ancient towns with its origins dating back to 2070 BC and the Xia Dynasty.

Highlights: Archeological Area of Xia and Shang, Ancient Tunnel of Sui, the Ancient Tombs of Jin Dynasty, Guan Yu Temple, the Ancient Stage of Yuan Dynasty, ancient dwellings of Ming and Qing Dynasties, the Ancestral Temple of Liu Zhouwu, Dongbin Temple, Erlang Temple, Emperor Zhenwu Temple, Xinglong Temple.


New China and its 400m+ Supertall Skyscrapers

New China and its 400m+ Supertall Skyscrapers

China has been the built the most skyscrapers every year for over a decade now, and last year was no exception with 77 having been built in 36 different cities. 12 were built in Shenzhen alone last year.

The business model is the same for all most all of them being mixed-use residential, luxury hotel, retail, and office. It’s going to be an interesting space to watch as to how successful that will be.

A skyscraper is defined as anything above 200m, and a supertall skyscraper anything above 300m. For this list, I am going to focus on the super-super tall being the 400 meter and above. All of these are either completed, in construction, or have/near to breaking ground. There are so many more that are in proposal stage with 800m and 1000m on the cards!

Also see: Architecture Tourism: China’s Weird n Wonderful Modern Architecture


Global Financial Center Tower 1 – Shenyang, China (568 meters, estimated completion 2020)


Tianjin CTF Finance Centre – Tianjin, China  (530 meters, estimated completion 2020)


China Zun Tower – Beijing (528 meters, estimated completion 2018)


Skyfame Center Landmark Tower – Nanning (528 meters, estimated completion 2021)


Suzhou Zhongnan Center – Suzhou (729 meters, under construction)


Wuhan Greenland Center –  Wuhan (636 meters, estimated completion 2019)


H700 Shenzhen Tower – Shenzhen (610 meters, in development)


Rose Rock IFC – Tianjin (588 meters, set to be completed this year)


Greenland Centre – Nanjing (459 meters, completed)


Guizhou Culture Plaza Tower – Guiyang (521 meters, completion 2018)


Jinan IFC Landmark Tower – Jinan (518 meters, still in site development)


Evergrande IFC 1 – Hefei (518 meters, completion 2021)


Dalian Greenland Center – Dalian (518 meter, completion 2019)


Dongguan International Trade Center 1 – Dongguan (427 meters, completion 2019)


Suzhou IFS – Suzhou (452 meters, completion 2018)


Shanghai World Financial Center – Shanghai (492 meters, completed)


Canton Tower – Guangzhou (454 meters and 604 meters inc. antenna, completed)


Ping An International Finance Centre – Shenzhen (559 meters, completed)


Kingkey 100 – Shenzhen (441.8 meters, completed)


Guangzhou International Finance Center – Guangzhou (438.6 meters, completed)


Guangzhou Chow Tai Fook Finance Centre (530 meters, completed) 


Jin Mao Tower – Shanghai (420.5 meters, completed)


Goldin Finance 117 – Tianjin (597 meters, completed)


 Shanghai Tower – Shanghai (632 meters, completed)


Oriental Pearl Tower (467.9 m inc antenna spire, completed 1994) 

Technically not a skyscraper but she is such cool ol’ thing that deserves a spot on any list…





Modern Architecture Tourism in China

Modern Architecture Tourism in China

With China’s new found wealth it has been going through a long and much-discussed housing boom along with a boom in oversized, xenocentric, weird architecture and skyscrapers.

While much of the grand symbolic, and expensive, development led by local governments will slow down after an explicit statement by the president himself to request a change, skyscrapers don’t seem to be slowing down at all. Even if it’s slowing, this boom period has left an indelible mark on the landscape of China.

Here I will highlight some of the main new architectural attractions, the weird, and the wonderful. Some are bound to become tourist attractions and perhaps all for those who have a bent for architecture and design.


Changsha Meixihu International Culture and Art Center – Changsha

Currently under development, and another design by Zaha Hadid 


Galaxy SOHO – Beijing

Located in Beijing, this futuristic, and massive complex has opened with a mix of office space and retail shopping and leisure.


Ring of Life – Fushun, China

A 157 m landmark built in the  Shenfu New Town near Fushun of Liaoning province features over 12,000 LED’s and was designed by Gary Goddard.


Rainbow Gate  – Tongzhou New City

Another new development taking place in a satellite city of Beijing


Atlantis Sanya – Sanya, Hainan

Hainan is being shaped to become the new “Hawaii” and the newly opened Atlantis Hotel and theme park resort shows there is no lack of investment to see that goal become a reality.


Phoenix Island Resort – Sanya, Hainan

Located on an artificial island that serves as a resort and cruise center port.


Beauty Crown Tree Mansion – Sanya, Hainan

A hotel and residential complex in Sanya Hainan.


Teapot building, Wuxi

An information building based on the clay teapots that this area is famous for.


Lotus building, Wujin

A civic building located in parkland that represents the stages of a lotus flower.


Sheraton Hotel, Huzhou

Sheraton Moon Hotel is located lakeside in Huzhou, near Shanghai. 


Guangzhou Circle, Guangzhou

Guangzhou Circle is a landmark building located in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China. It is the headquarters of the Hongda Xingye Group and the new home of Guangdong Plastic Exchange (GDPE).


NetDragon Headquarters – Changle, Fujian

A replica of the famous Star Trek Enterprise as office, now that’s kinda cool.


The Gate of the Orient in Suzhou, Jiangsu

A landmark of the city and commercial building.


Wangjing SOHO – Beijing

Office and retail center in Beijing, another design by Zaha Hadid.


 Fangyuan Mansion – Shenyang, Liaoning

A government building that looks to be modeled off an ancient Chinese coin, the designer claims it represents the merger of a square and a circle representing the depth of the culture in the city.


Sunrise Kempinski Hotel –  Huairou District, Beijing

A lakeside luxury 5 Star hotel set amongst mountains featuring seven restaurants, bars, and private spa.


Morpheus Hotel – Macau

Locate in the City of Dreams complex in Macau.


Phoenix International Media Center – Beijing

Headquarters for China’s largest private broadcaster. 


CCTV Tower – Beijing

Headquarters for the state-owned broadcaster, CCTV.


 People’s Daily Headquarters – Beijing

Headquarters for the countries main state-owned newspaper.


Chaoyang Park Plaza – Beijing

Residential, office and retail. Designed by Ma Yansong aiming to incorporate his vision of “Shanshui” a blending of nature and Chinese tradition into modern architecture (my own words) yet looks more like Gotham City to me. Regardless, it’s still cool.


Ordos Art & City Museum

Ordos in Mongolia is a story in itself, urban planners created a new city from nothing and it’s at the cutting edge of attention-grabbing architecture, yet, slow to gain new residents with many labeling it a ghost town. Surprisingly, it’s slowing growing population is changing that.


The Piano House, Anhui

Built to a 50:1 scale and functioning as a showroom of its own development its a popular place for romantics.


Raffles City – Chongqing

Set to open this year, Raffles City has a prime location by the river in a city that has been described as becoming the new Shanghai.


“Fake Hills” – Behai

A residential complex, with a difference. 


Harbin Cultural Center – Harbin

Recently opened cultural center and opera house.


 Xinhee Design Center – Xiamen

Headquarters for the international fashion group, Xinhee. Currently under construction.



Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center – Nanjing

A residential mega-complex featuring a big focus on public space including brooks, ponds, and waterfalls. This is also from MAD architects once again employing their “shanshui concept”, and it’s impressive. Due to be completed this year.


New Century Arts Center – Chengdu

Located in the Tianfu New Area of Chengdu next to the New Century Global Center, a massive retail shopping and leisure center that stakes the claim as the largest building in terms of floor area in the world, the New Century Arts Center is nearing completion.




More to come, and I will have some follow up posts on skyscrapers, replica cities, and ghost cities.


China’s SCARIEST Glass Sky Bridges – The Top 6

China’s SCARIEST Glass Sky Bridges – The Top 6

If there is something Chinese people like, surprisingly to some, it’s pushing the boundaries of their senses and the current glass walk bridge craze tickles that fancy just perfectly.

Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting and new glass walk bridges that will get anyone’s heart racing and legs shaking.


Flower of Sky 云阳龙缸国家地质公园

Located in Chongqing, at the Longgan Geopark its a U-shaped glass skywalk, which protrudes from a cliff looking down into the valley below.


Hongyagu Scenic Area 平山红崖谷玻璃吊桥

The new glass sky-bridge at Hongyagu Scenic Area in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, is the world’s longest glass-floor bridge at 488 meters.


Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge 张家界大峡谷玻璃桥

The main span of 430 meters and 6 meters wide and 300 meters down to the valley floor make the bridge at Zhangjiajie a leg shaking journey. This fully transparent glass bridge has the highest height in the world.


Yimengshan Glass Bridge 沂蒙山玻璃桥

The Mengshan 3D glass skywalk bridge in Shandong at the Guimeng Scenic Area.


Tianmeng Mountain Pedestrian Bridge 沂蒙山人行索桥

Located in Linyi, Shandong, it’s a suspension bridge with a midspan length of 420 meters and side lengths of 38 meters and 48 meters respectively, making it the longest spanning pedestrian bridge in the world.


Chongqing Sky Gallery 重庆天空悬廊

The gallery was shaped into an “A” shape, and it extended at a straight 90° angle from the cliff. The bridge deck was covered with full transparent glass. The site also features numerous other adventurous thrills such as a “swinging chair” and a planked walking bridge where you can really test your courage. Located in Wansheng, Chongqing.



Shiniuzhai National Geological Park, Yueyang 石牛寨旅游区

The glass bridge is about 300 meters long and its vertical height is 180 meters and it was one of the first glass bridges in China, opening in 2015. It’s also known as Brave Men’s Bridge.

Update – more and more glass bridges keep appearing in China and here are the latest finds

Huangtengxia tourist attraction(清远黄腾峡生态旅游区)

Located in Qingyuan of Guangdong Province, the Huangtengxia Tianmen Sky Walk stands at 500m tall and extends out from the cliff face some 360m. Just to one-up all the other glass bridges, it also has 2000 lights to put on a spectacle at night and 450 water jets around its circular glass centerpiece to add another level of enchantment.


Huaxi World Adventure Park

Located in Jiangyin City of Jiangsu Province, the 100m high and 518m long glass bridge also has the “glass cracking”, yes as you walk on certain sections the glass appears to crack, just to make sure you get the jelly leg effect. Not thrilled by that, you can also take a 388-meter-long glass slide here.


Jianmen Scenic Area

Jianmenguan Scenic Spot is located 10 kilometers south of Jiange County. It was originally called Jiange, which is the northern barrier and the throat of the two rivers. It is an important gate on the ancient Jianmen Shu Road and the core scenic spot of Jianmen Shu Road National Key Scenic Area. It is also part of Jianmenguan National Forest Park where on the main peak of Dajian Mountain you’ll find a spectacular new glass bridge.



The Classic China Itineraries for Self-Guided or Agency Tour

The Classic China Itineraries for Self-Guided or Agency Tour

So, you want to go to China, but where? China still fascinates us with its mystical oriental charm and ancient history, especially for first-time visitors. So, for a first-time China trip, let’s explore some of the classic itineraries that take in the key historical and cultural sites that should not be missed.

The Classic China Itineraries

The superb thing about these routes and destinations is that with some advance planning it is unlikely that you will need a guide or to go on a tour package unless you expressly desire such.

These routes are well-traveled, have solid tourism resources in place, are foreigner-friendly and it’s never to difficult to find someone who speaks English. If your good with a smartphone, you’re patient and flexible, you’re friendly and approachable, then you will have a great adventure.

These are all the classic key attractions that really should be first on your list. One, because they are the most significant attractions historically and culturally, and also because they are easy to navigate for first-time visitors to China.

The most popular destinations can be covered in two weeks with an itinerary like the one below that covers the major must-see historical sites, the mighty Yangzte, and the history and modern front of Shanghai. It’s a great introduction to China.

14-Day Classic History and the Yangtze River itinerary

Route: Beijing (4 days) – Xi’an (2 days) – Chengdu (2 days) – Chongqing (2 day) – Yangtze River Cruise (2 days) – Yichang (1 day) – Shanghai (2 days)

Attractions by City





Yangtze River Cruise sights (from Chongqing to Yichang)

  • Shibaozhai Pagoda (石宝寨)
  • Fengdu Ghost City (丰都鬼城)
  • Sail through the Three Gorges (三峡)


  • Three Gorges Dam (三峡大坝)



Other Tour Route Itinerary Options

8 Day Ancient history and modern China itinerary

Route: Beijing (3 days) – Xi’an (2 days) – Shanghai (2 days)

12-Day China Classical Wonder itinerary

Route: Beijing (4 days) – Xi’an (3 days) – Guilin/Yangshuo (2 days) – Shanghai (3 days)

18-day China Ancient Wonder, Nature and Shopping itinerary

Route: Beijing (4 days) – Xi’an (3 days) – Chengdu (3 days) – Three Gorges (3 days) – Yangshuo (2 days) – Hong Kong (3 days)

23 Day Classic China explorer itinerary

Route: Chengdu inc Mt. Emei and Leshan (3 days) – Lijiang (2 days) – Xi’an (3 days) – Beijing (4 days) – Shanghai (3 Days) – Xiamen and Yongding (3 Days) – Shenzhen (2 days) – Hong Kong (3 days)

23-Day Classic Villages, Ancient Wonder, and Modern Metropolis itinerary

Route: Shanghai (3 days) – Beijing (4 days) – Xi’an (3 days) – Chengdu (2 days) – Lijiang (2 days) – Dali (2 days) – Kunming (2 days) – Guilin/Yangshuo (2 days) – Hong Kong (3 days)

Go Further

When you have your feet, so to speak, then it’s time to get more focused. And it never ends, it depends on your interest, but here are some examples

Central China: The Yellow River itinerary

Route: Xi’an (3 days) – Hua Shan (2 days) – Luoyang (2 days) – Song Shan (2 days) – Kaifeng (2 days) – Qufu (2 days) – Tai Shan (3 days)

The Great Wall: east to west itinerary

Route: Beijing (3 days) – Datong (2 days) – Hohhot (2 days) – Shapotou (2 days) – Lanzhou (2 days) – Jiayuguan (2 days)

Great Wall and the Wild West itinerary

Route: Beijing (2 days) – Datong (2 days) – Hohhot (2 days) – Shapotou (2 days) – Lanzhou (2 days) – Jiayuguan (2 days) – Dunhuang (2 days) – Turpan (2 days) – Kashgar (2 days)

Yunnan: Mountains and Minorities itinerary

Route: Kunming  (2 days) –  Dali  (3 days) –  Shaxi  (2 days) –  Lijiang (3 days) –  Zhongdian (3 days)

Historic, Scenic and Cultural areas less traveled

Once you really have your China feet, here is a list of ‘off-the-beaten-path’ cities and regions that are screaming to be explored 😀

  • Dengfeng, Henan Province – Packed with temples and martial arts academies, it is one of China’s main centers for Zen Culture and Shaolin Martial Arts along with the development of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism.
  • Handan, Hebei Province –  Once a capital of the ancient Zhou Kingdom, the city has a history of more than 2,500 years and the region has archaeological finds dating back 7000 years.
  • Jingzhou, Hubei Province – an ancient cultural city that was once the capital of the Chu State dating back 2000 years.
  • Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province – surrounded by scenic and famous mountains it is famed for being a porcelain production base during the ancient Song Dynasty
  • Meizhou, Guangdong Province – An ancient home of the Hakka minority featuring many old villages and a Hakka culture museum.
  • Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province – a classical water town that has a history of almost 2,500 years.
  • Yongding, Fujian Province – famous for it’s Hakka Tulou buildings.
  • Zigong, Sichuan Province – near to the Leshan Giant Buddha is not often visited by foreigners but is very scenic, and also featuring one of the world’s largest dinosaur museums.
  • Kumul (Hami), Xinjiang Province – A city on the ancient silk-road and renowned for its epic natural landscapes.
  • Yantai, Shandong Province – Claiming a history of 10,000 years the small city is famed as the most “Charming City of China”.
  • Zhangye, Gansu – an ancient silk-road port and home to several ancient temples and the Danxia National Geological Park.
  • Alshan, Inner Mongolia – home to one of  China’s top ski resorts.
  • Baotou, Inner Mongolia – rich with ancient history and what could be the oldest section of the Great Wall.
  • Datong, Shanxi Province – a coal mining city that is famed for its Yungang Grottoes, a section of the Great Wall, the Hanging Monastery, and other historical sites.
  • Tonghua, Jilin province – bordering North Korea it features ancient remains of the Koguryo Kingdom (37 BC – 668 AD), two ski resorts, and several natural scenic areas.
  • Weihai, Shandong Province – a popular coastal city featuring beaches, marine park, islands, and hot springs.
  • Zibo, Shandong Province – near to Mount Tai, Great Wall ruins, and several museums.
  • Luding, Sichuan province – a small charming city that is known for the nearby Hailuogou Glacier Forest Park.
  • Ya’an, Sichuan Province – home of the Bifengxia Giant Panda Base, Mount Mengding, Mount Erlang, and tea culture.
  • Shiyan, Hubei Province – famous for automotive production and the UNESCO listed Wudang Mountains.
  • Suzhou, Anhui Province – an economic and cultural hub it features many scenic and historic attractions such as Huangcangyu National Forest Park, Tomb of Concubine Yu, and artifacts of the peasant uprising in 209 B.C against the Qin emperor.
  • Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province – known for its ancient water towns of Wuzhen and Xitang.
  • Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province – a historic city that is famed for its ancient scholars, bridges, and tranquility.
  • Shaoshan, Hunan Province – a base for ‘Red Tourism’ and birthplace of Mao Zedong.
  • Wuyuan, Jiangxi province – known for its natural landscapes, in particular, golden rape flowers in spring plus history dating back to the Tang Dynasty.
  • Huanglong, Sichuan Province – home to the spectacular Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area.
  • Anshun, Guizhou province –  a natural scenic area that is home to the Huangguoshu Waterfall National Park, Dragon Palace Cave Scenic Spot, Miao villages, and Getu River Scenic Area.
  • Yuanyang, Yunnan Province – home to the Honghe Hani Rice Terraces and many villages.
  • Tongren, Guizhou – Home to many ethnic-minority villages of the Miao, Tujia, Dong, Gelo, Man and other minority.
  • Kaili, Guizhou province – Famed for its natural landscapes and Miao ethnic minority villages such as Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village, Langde Miao Ethnic Minority Village, and Zhenyuan Ancient Town.
  • Kuqa, Xinjiang – a historical Buddhist Kingdom on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert.
  • Korla, Xinjiang  – home to many attractions including  Ancient City of Loulan, Bosten Lake, Bayanbulak Grassland, Lop Nur, Takla Makan Desert, Iron Gate Pass and Yadan Spectacle.
  • Yarkent, Xinjiang – another city on the ancient silk road.
  • Dunhuang,  Gansu Province  – an ancient silk-road city that is known for its attractions including Mogao Caves, Yangguan Pass, Yumenguan Pass,  Dunhuang Museum,  Echoing-Sand Mountain,  Crescent Lake, White Horse Pagoda,  Western Thousand-Buddha Cave,  and Yardang National Geopark.
Celebrating Chinese Australian History – a Timeline 1829 to 2017

Celebrating Chinese Australian History – a Timeline 1829 to 2017

Excluding Great Britain, Chinese are the oldest continuous immigrants to Australia beginning some in the early 1800’s. Their contribution to Australian society is immense and spans many fields over most all of Australia’s modern history.

Sun Loong – The longest Imperial dragon in the world lives at the Golden Dragon Museum in Bendigo Victoria


1829 – Fifty-five Chinese migrated to Australia.

1848 – On 2nd October the ship Nimrod arrived from Xiamen with 120 Chinese followed by another ship, the Phillip Laing with 123 Chinese aboard.

1851 – 393 Chinese arrived at Hobart. 225 Chinese arrived at Moreton Bay. A person of note at this time is Louis Ah Mouy who sent a letter to his hometown explaining of the gold that was being found in Victoria. 50000 Chinese arrived in China between 1851–56 to work in the goldfields predominantly in Bendigo and Ballarat. Louis Ah Mouy became a prosperous gold merchant.

1855 – with the end of the gold rush came policies that restricted immigration into Victoria, fuelled by locals unhappy that dwindling reserves of gold were going to foreigners, fuelled political by fears of rebellion stemming from the belief that many of the Chinese were of that nature coming from an area of China that had seen riots against the Qing empire and the so on. Post the Eureka Stockade Chinese arriving into Victorian ports were required to pay ten pound entry tax.

1855 – Chinese arrived through the port of Adelaide to avoid the restrictions in Victoria, and followed overland routes, in the hope of riches, to the Goldfields of Victoria.

1856 to 1889 – Over 61,000 Chinese came to NSW. They also helped build key infrastructure inc the Great Northern Railway (Sydney to Brisbane) and the international telegraph line at Darwin, NT.

1877 – there were 20,000 Chinese living at Palmer River who had followed the news of a gold rush in Queensland, outnumbering European settlers. Challenged by native tribes they stayed on mining the region. Post the mining rush many Chinese helped to develop the Banana trade. The Chinese became dominant in the banana trade, wholesale and retail on the eastern seaboard. Interestingly, profits from this trade were sent home to develop department stores (Wing On) in Hong Kong, Guangzhou (Canton), and Shanghai.

1880s – end of the gold rush and many Chinese stayed in Australia and took jobs as chefs, working on farms, paddle boats, as cabinet makers and so on. Many becoming highly successful merchants and business owners.

1898 – the Tung Wah Newspaper rolls of the printers. Distributed nationally it was apparently a hot platform for the discussion of the future of China, with Chinese Australians being pro-Qing and others being pro Sun Yat Sen.

1901 – Introduction of policies barring non-Europeans immigrating to Australia was a hideous time for Chinese Australians. Policy born out of fear, ignorance, and rising nationalism, yet it was perhaps one of the catalysts for Federation. The awkward and ignorant stumbling of the coming together of a new nation that had not yet formed values or beliefs, nor understood that it was to be a nation of nations. These policies were instituted by the states and later federally where subsequently removed from 1949 to 1973. In 1975 the Racial Discrimination Act was passed, as the name implies, making racial discrimination unlawful.

1901 – Federation – Australia becomes a nation. The Chinese community paraded two dragons through the streets of Melbourne in joint celebrations.

1902 – the Chinese Times rolls off the presses in opposition to the pro-Qing stance of the Tung Wah Newspaper.

1911 – the Young China League was formed by Lew Goot-Chee and Wong Yue-Kung and created the National Patriotic Fund which sent money back to China to support Dr Sun Yat-Sen.

1912 – There were pro-Qing flag parades held by Chinese conservatives who were dismayed at the demise of the imperial regime and celebrations were held by pro-KMT along with the removal of the dragon flag was replaced with the 12-pointed star flag at the Chinese Australian Consulate.

1913 – A thank you letter is sent from the Finance Minister of the Republic to Chinese Australians for their support. That letter is on display at the Golden Dragon Museum in Bendigo Victoria.

1914 – 198 Chinese men enlist with the Australian Imperial Force and fight in the Great War. Notable was Billy Sing who became Australian hero for his ability with a rifle.

1921 – China World’s News rolls off the presses

1937 – Jiang Jieshi sent a letter to the Chinese in Australia, appealing for their support against the Japanese invasion. Fundraisers were held across the country. Immigration numbers of Chinese to Australia increased as refugees escaping invasion from Japanese forces.

1939 -1945 – WWII saw many Chinese Australians involved and making vital contributions in the war effort. 

1943 – Bank of China is issued a banking license and opens its first branch in Sydney.

1951 – the Australia China Friendship Society was established in Melbourne and Sydney founded by Arthur Locke Chang. He advocated for peaceful international co-existence in the troubled times of capitalism vs communism.

1951 – the Columbo Plan. 300M was donated to aid in the education of Asian students in Australia. It’s important to note this as up until this point immigrants from China had been mostly from southern areas.

1956 – Melbourne Olympics. An Australian born Chinese proposed the idea of marching without national flags at the closing ceremony to symbolise international togetherness in what were troubled times internationally, he was later presented a medal even though he did not compete. A Chinese team from Taiwan took part in the Melbourne Olympics.

1970 – James Lew, a 101-year-old Chinese elder brought Sun Loong, the longest imperial dragon in the world, to life by dotting his eyes with chicken blood. Sun Loong lives at the Golden Dragon Museum in Bendigo Victoria.

1972 – Diplomatic relations were established between Australia and the People’s Republic of China.

1973 – the Australian Chinese Community Association (ACCA) was formed

1976 – the Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry was formed

1978 – The Australian-China Council was formed

1982 – William Liu was awarded an OBE his efforts in Sino-Australian relations, and also receiving high praise from then premier of China, Zhao Ziyang.

1982 – Sing Tao Daily rolls of the presses

1983 – Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang visits Australia

1984 – Alec Fong Lim is elected Lord Mayor of Darwin

1984 – the Australian Chinese Forum was founded

1986 – Australia begins accepting Chinese students for tertiary

1988 – Helen Sham won a seat in the Legislative Council of New South Wales.

1988 – The Chinese Garden of Friendship is opened at Darling Harbour, Sydney. It was designed by Sydney’s sister city, Guangzhou.

1989 – After the events of Tiananmen Square, Australia allowed 42,000 Chinese students to settle in Australia permanently. (note that some claim that figure to be 20,000)

1990 – During this decade trade with China begins its first boom

1993 – The Pacific Times rolls off the presses

1993 – The Queensland Asian Business Weekly rolls off the presses

1995 – Chinese Sydney Weekly rolls off the presses

1997 – 100,000 Chinese immigrate to Australia post the British handover of Hong Kong.

2003 – Chinese President Hu Jintao visits Australia

2006 – Wen Jiabao visits Australia

2006 – Vision Times rolls off the presses

2007 – Chinese President Hu Jintao visits Australia

2008 – The University of Sydney Confucius Institute opens. The Chinese Government opens another 9 Confucius Institutes in Australian Universities and also within the NSW Education Department.

2009 – Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang visits Australia

2009 – China and Australia sign a deal on the Gorgon field which ensures China a steady supply of LPG fuel for the next 20 years

2011 – Chinese becomes the second most widely spoken language in Australia overtaking Italian and Greek.

2014 – Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Australia and addresses the federal parliament

2015 – China-Australia Free Trade Agreement was signed

2016 – At the 2016 census, 5.6% of the Australian population have Chinese ancestry. 596,711 persons declared that they spoke Mandarin at home followed by Cantonese at 280,943. Other popular dialects were Hokkien and Hakka. The most popular city for mainland Chinese was Sydney followed by Melbourne.

2017 – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits Australia

2017 – December 21 the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Australia


More Chinese History in Australia

Museum of Chinese Australian History Inc.

History of Chinese Australians

The Chinese Experience in Australia

Harvest of Endurance

Chinese Australian Historical Society

William Liu Biography

The Tigers Mouth

Shanghai’s lost history of Chinese-Australians…/shanghai-s-lost-history-of-chinese-australians.html


Notable and Famous Chinese Australians




Guangzhou Travel Guide [inc. The Top Things to Do, Eat, and Where to Stay]

Guangzhou Travel Guide [inc. The Top Things to Do, Eat, and Where to Stay]

The capital of Guangdong province, Guangzhou, is a vibrant city that is the beating heart of trade, not only in the province, or southern China, but perhaps even the whole of China itself. It’s home to the country’s number one trade fair, the Canton Fair, and has throughout history been a major domestic and global exporting hub.

More than just trade, the city is a booming metropolis featuring a modern transport system, modern shopping malls, pedestrian shopping streets along with wholesale markets, nightlife, and some of the finest food experiences that are there to be had.

At the heart of the city is Cantonese culture which along with its own unique language it also lays claim to being holding of one the eight famous Chinese cuisines. Cantonese cuisine is a must-try and here is a guide to its popular Dim Sum.

The city is also home to Chimelong Tourist Resort which contains Chimelong Safari Park, China’s largest amusement park Chimelong Paradise, and the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom.

It’s also home to the second tallest building in China, and fourth tallest in the world being the visually impressive Canton Tower which also features the world’s second-highest observation deck. It’s an observation deck with a difference as you get to travel in one of 16 glass cabins that follow a track around the very top of the building.

Top 15 Attractions in Guangzhou

1. Guangxiao Temple – Bright Filial Piety Temple (光孝寺)

Address: No. 109 Guangxiao Road
How to get there: Take bus No. 4, 88, 186, 250 or 823 and get off at Ximenkou Station.
Admission: 5 yuan.
Hours: 6:30-17:00

2. Chimelong Paradise (长隆欢乐世界)

Address: Changlong Tourism Resort, Yingbin Road, Panyu District
How to get there: Take metro line 3 to Hanxi Changlong Station
Hours: onday-Friday 9:30-18:00, Saturday and Sunday 9:30-19:00

3. Canton Tower (广州塔)

Address: No. 222, Yuejiang West Road, Haizhu District
How to get there: Take metro line 3 or the APM line to Guangzhou (Canton) Tower Station
Hours: onday-Friday 9:30-22:30

4. Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family (Chen Clan Academy) (陈家祠)

Address: No. 34 Enlong Lane, Zhongshan 7th Road
How to get there: Take bus No. 85, 88, 104, 107, 109, 114, 128, 193, 204, 233, 250, 260, 268 or 286 and get off at Chen Clan Academy Station.
Admission: 20 yuan.
Hours: 8:30-17:30

5. Shamian Island (沙面)

Address: Liwan District, Guangzhou
How to get there: Take bus No. 9, 38, 105, 208, 219, 236, 270 or 556 and get off at Huangsha Wharf Station.

6. Yuexiu Park (越秀公园)

Address: Jiefang North Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou
How to get there: Take bus No. 109, 110, 111, 201, 234, 269, 271, 278, 301, 543 or 550 and get off at Yuexiu Park Station.
Admission: Free
Hours: 6:00-21:00

7. Western Han Nanyue King’s Tomb Museum (南越王墓博物馆)

Address: No. 867 Jiefang North Road
How to get there: Take bus No. 203, 273, 552, 7, 543, 211, 29 or 7 and get off at Jiefang North Road Station.
Admission: 12 yuan.
Hours: 9:00-17:30

8. Baiyun Mountain (White Cloud Mountain) (白云山)

Address: White Cloud Mountain South Road
How to get there: Take bus No. 24, 199, 223, 36, 285 or 540 and get off at Yuntai Garden Station.
Admission: 5 yuan.

9. Temple of the Six Banyan Trees & Flower Pagoda (Liurong Temple) 六榕寺和花塔

Address: No.87 Liurong Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou
Admission: 5 yuan.
Hours 09:00 – 17:20

Dishifu Rd
10. Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street (上下九步行街)

Address: Liwan District, Guangzhou
How to get there: Take bus No. 38, 31, 103, 823 or 102 and get off at Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street Station

11. Guangdong Provincial Museum (广东省博物馆)

Address: 2, Zhujiang East Road, Zhujiang New Town
How to get there: Take metro line 3 or line 5 to Zhujiang New Town Station
Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 Closed on Monday

12. Former Site of Whampoa Military Academy (黄埔军校旧址)

Address: Changzhou Island, Huangpu District, Guangzhou
How to get there: Take bus No. 43 or 292 and get off at Xieshan Station.
Admission: 15 yuan.
Hours: 9:00-17:00 (closed on Monday)

13. Huacheng Square (花城广场)

Address: South of Huangpu Avenue
How to get there: Zhujiang New Town metro exit
Hours: 9:00-17:00 (closed on Monday)

14. Sacred Heart Cathedral (石室圣心大教堂)

Address: No. 56 Yide Road
How to get there: Take bus No.4, 8, 61, 82, 238 or 823 and get off at Yide Road Station.
Mass Times:
Weekday Daily: 6:45 AM (Cantonese)
Saturday: 6:45 AM (Cantonese), 4:30 PM (Korean), 7:30 PM (Mandarin)
Sunday: 6:30 AM (Cantonese), 8:30 AM (Cantonese), 10:30 AM (Mandarin), 3:30 PM (English)

15. Beijing Road Ancient Avenue (北京路千年古道)

Address: Beijing Road, Yuexiu District
How to get there: Take Metro 1 or 2 to Gong Yuan Qian Station and take Exits C or D)

Top Ten things to Eat in Guangzhou

I would not blame you if you went to Guangzhou just for the food. Plenty of people do!

1. Dim Sum 点心
2. Double Skin Milk 双皮奶
3. Rice Rolls/Chang Fen 肠粉
4. Shrimp Wonton Noodles 鲜虾云吞面
5. Litchi Bay-Style Congee 荔湾艇仔粥
6. Pigs Feet and Ginger Stew 豬腳薑
7. Roasted Goose 烧鹅
8. Sliced Boiled Chicken 白切鸡
9. Lotus Root Soup 莲藕汤
10. Barbecued Pork 叉烧

The top foodie areas include Beijing Road which is popular for street food and Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street the same while also featuring some of the cities top Dim Sum restaurants.

Top restaurants for Dian Xin (Dim Sum) in Guangzhou include (with links to google maps and Chinese address)

  • Jade Garden – Address: 太古汇 Tianhe Rd, Tianhe Center, Tianhe District. CN: 广东省广州市天河区天河中心天河路太古汇号
  • Guangzhou Restaurant CN: 广州酒家 – address: 2 Wenchang S Rd, Shang Xia Jiu, Liwan District CN: 广东省广州市荔湾区上下九文昌南路2号
  • Bingsheng Mansion CN: 炳胜公馆 – Address: 2 Xiancun Rd, Tianhe, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China CN: 广东省广州市天河区冼村路2号


Top Ten Hotels in Guangzhou

These are the top-rated and most luxurious hotels in Guangzhou, and you may be surprised at how affordable they are.

1. The Garden Hotel Guangzhou 5-star hotel
2. Langham Place Guangzhou 5-star hotel
3. Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou 5-star hotel
4. Fraser Suites Guangzhou 5-star hotel
5. Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre 5-star 
6. Sofitel Guangzhou Sunrich 5-star hotel
7. Marriott Guangzhou Tianhe 5-star hotel
8. Shangri-La Hotel, Guangzhou 5-star hotel
9. W Guangzhou 5-star hotel
10. Park Hyatt Guangzhou 5-star hotel

Guangzhou has no shortage of high-quality hotels and, barring trade fair dates when you need to book early, they offer great value for money. For your comfort and convenience, I recommend staying at four-star and up hotels. Also, See the Hotel reviews at GZ Shopper

Shopping in Guangzhou

Guangzhou is a shoppers paradise, featuring modern malls, street markets, and wholesale markets. For the top destinations and reviews see GZ Shopper

The key shopping destinations

  • Beijing Road (北京西路) read more – Beijing Road (Beijing Lu) is located in the center of Guangzhou and is part historic attraction, part shopping district.
  • Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street (上下九步行街) read more – The most famous, and most popular pedestrian shopping street in Guangzhou, it also has a rich history and is also a great place for trying local snacks.
  • Grandview Mall 正佳广场 – read more – the Tianhe area and central CBD is packed with malls and Grandview is one of the larger featuring IMAX, and Aquarium and lots of flagship stores.


GZ Metro

The metro system is modern, cheap and easy to use. If you are staying for several days and plan to use the metro a lot, go to a service counter at the station and buy a card, preload it with 50 RMB and you’ll be able to easy swipe in and swipe out of the station, works on buses too. For single journeys, there are dual language ticket machines that take small notes and coins.

Click for larger map


Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (广州白云国际机场, IATA: CAN) services domestic and numerous international routes and is a major airline hub in southern China. The airport is located 28 km (17 mi) north of central Guangzhou and is serviced by Metro Line 3.

The journey on Metro Line 3 to the central area (Tiyu Xilu Metro station) costs 12 CNY and takes around 50 minutes.

A taxi from the airport to the same area would cost around 120 CNY and also take around 50 minutes.

There is also an Airport Express shuttle service, Line 1 is the most popular taking you from the airport to Guangzhou Railway Station at a cost of 16 CNY and about 50 minutes.



Guangzhou has four train stations inc. (with links to google maps). It is very easy to take high speed rail to any major city in the country.

The Guangzhou Railway Station (广州火车站) offers fast intercity C type trains to Shenzhen and slower K and Z type trains to places such as Beijing, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Shaoguan, and Maoming.

The East Station (广州东站) offers fast intercity C type trains to Shenzhen and slower K and Z type trains to places such as Meizhou, Shantou, Beijing, Harbin, Changchun, Xiamen, Chengdu.

The South Station (广州南) offers high-speed rail travel via G and D type trains to places such as Shenzhen, Wuhan, Zhuhai, Changsha, Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, and Taiyuan.

The North Station (广州北) offers high-speed trains G type trains to Wuhan, Changsha, Beijing, and slower K type trains to  Chongqing, Ganzhou, Hanzhong, Wenzhou, and Zhangjiajie.



For cities not covered by high speed train you can take an intercity bus. The bus network covers the entire province and nearby major cities. The major long-distance bus stations are

  • Provincial Bus Station – 145-149, Huanshi Xi Lu –  广州市环市西路145-149号
  • Guangzhou Passenger Station – 158, Huanshi Xi Lu, Yuexiu District –  广州市环市西路158号
  • Fangcun Bus Station – 251 Huadi Dadao – 广州市花地大道中51号
  • Tianhe Bus Station – 633, Yanling Lu, Tianye  – 广州市燕岭路633号
  • Yuexiu South Bus – Yuexiu Nan Lu and Dongyuan Heng Lu, Yuexiu District – 越秀南汽车站
  • Guangyuan Bus Station – 283, Guangyuan Zhong Lu –  广园汽车客运站

For travel and sightseeing in Guangzhou, there are three tourist lines and three sightseeing lines, as per

Tourist Lines

• Tourist Line 1
Zhongshan Balu  – the end of Liwan Lu  – Chen Clan Academy – Zhongshan Qi Lu – Ximenkou – Liurong Lu  – Sanyuangong – Yingyuan Lu  – Xiaobei Huaquan – Xiaobei – Luhu Park – White Cloud Immortals Temple  – Yuntai Garden
Hours: 08:00 – 19:00 every 30 minutes
Fare: CNY2

• Tourist Line 2
Zhongshan Balu – the end of Liwan Lu  – Chen Clan Academy – Kangwang Zhong Lu  – Hualin Temple – Kangwang Nan Lu  – Nanfang Mansion – Aiqun Mansion – the end of Jinghai Lu – Wende South – Dongdi – Dashatou Dock – Yanjiang Dong Lu – Provincial Chinese Medicine Hospital – Xinghai Musical Hall – Ersha East – Wuyang New Village – Nanfang Newspaper Office – Xinghuiyuan – Xiancun Lu North  – Tianhe Post Office – Tianhe
Hours: 06:00-22:00
Fare: CNY2

• Tourist Line 3
Zhongshan Balu– the foot of Pearl River Bridge – Nan’an Lu – Xichang Overpass – Xicun – Keshan – Provincial Maternity and Child Care Center – Guangyuan Zhong Lu  – Dajinzhong Lu – Keziling Arch – Cuiying Huating  – Guangzhou Gymnasium – Baiyun International Conference Center – the West Gate of the White Cloud Mountain Scenic Area – Guangzhou Foreign Language College – the end of Huangshi Dong Lu – Chentian Village – Yuanxiatian – Hongtao Stone Products Factory – Baiyun Animal Husbandry Company – Yongtai New Village – Yongtai Square – Yongtai Passenger Transport Terminal
Hours: 06:00-21:00
Fare: CNY2

Sightseeing Bus
The three lines are in service between 09:00 and 17:00 all the year round. Tickets are 50 CNY and offer unlimited use in 24 hours (hop on hop off).

• City New Axis Line (Yellow Line)
Dashatou Dock – Ersha Island – Asian Games Park – TeeMall – Canton Tower – Canton Tower East – Sun Yat-sen University – Dashatou Dock

• Ancient City Line (Red Line)
Dashatou Dock – Tianzi Dock – Beijing Road Pedestrian Street – Mt. Yuewang – Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall – Museum of Art – Yuntai Garden – Guangzhou Zoo – Huanghuagang Park – Martyrs’ Park – Dashatou Dock

• Xiguan Style Line (Blue Line)
Beijing Road Pedestrian Street South – Beijing Road Pedestrian Street North – Guangxiao Temple – Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street – Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family – Litchi Bay – Shamian Island – Sacred Heart Cathedral – Haizhu Plaza – Beijing Road Pedestrian Street

Guangzhou Top Attraction and Hotel Map

More Posts on Guangzhou

A new Global Mega-City like No Other: Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

A new Global Mega-City like No Other: Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

What do you get when you merge nine mega-cities and two regions? A combined population of over 67 million and a GDP that’s predicted to reach US$4.6 trillion by 2030.

That’s a GDP figure that would put the area in fourth place on a list of countries ranked by GDP and topping Germany and almost on par with that of Japan.

That’s quite a staggering feat, and one can easily see with such a size it’s economic gravity is going to have effects on South East Asia, Australia and beyond. Economically and politically, as policy by necessity is tied to the trail of money.

The cities and regions that are planned to be involved in creating the Pearl River Delta Greater Bay Area are Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing plus Hong Kong and Macau.

Geographically that’s an area equating to some 56,0000 sqm.

Living in Shenzhen for some time it was something that was regularly being talked about, whether that be by mainland locals who were constantly moving between HK and the mainland and by mainland officials especially in Shenzhen who saw great synergies to be unlocked.

Other compelling facts include:

  • The area features three of the worlds busiest container ports: Shenzhen #3, Hong Kong rank #5, and Guangzhou on rank #7.
  • 275 Fortune Global 500 firms had invested in Shenzhen, and more than 280 in Guangzhou. 15 Chinese Fortune Global 500 firms are headquartered in the region
  • Since 1979, 63% of all foreign investment in Guangdong came from Hong Kong
  • When the transport infrastructure is complete, the 11 cities will be at most within one hours reach of each other
  • The area already generates 10 percent of China’s gross domestic product with less than 5 percent of the population



The primer was perhaps the HSR (High Speed Rail) networks that have opened to connect these areas with the much awaited Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) set to open in 2018. For example, the journey from Guangzhou to Hong Kong currently takes around two hours which would reduce to around 45 minutes with the opening of the HSR. Likewise, journeys between Shenzhen and Hong Kong would be reduced to 15 minutes.

With Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong connected that’s the major economic and industrial hubs connected, setting the stage for a massive social and economic transformation. And there are expectations for it to be quite popular with reports indicating that 114 pairs of trains will run on this line daily.

Also opening in 2018 is the massive engineering marvel that is the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge which will shorten a four-hour road journey to just 30 minutes.

The domestic economic stimulation from tourism alone due to convenience is sure to be staggering by itself.

Then consider the synergies in terms of agriculture, industry, and services. Each region and city has its own specialty in one or more of these sectors. Some examples may include Hong Kongs advanced financial services sector, Shenzhen’s hi-tech manufacturing and development, Guangzhou for automobiles and consumer goods to name a few.

The synergies extend further throughout the region to include agriculture and manufacturing beyond the big industry bases at Shenzhen, Dongguan, and Guangzhou.

It won’t be without challenges, the people of Hong Kong have a very different identity to their mainland counterparts, differing social values, and different style of governance. Merging these regions into one will be no small task on the administrative front to also consider immigration policies, visa policies, three different currencies in use and differing tax policies. Underlying all those differences though is a common, and unique identity, with all sharing roots in Cantonese culture.

Under current plans, the goal is for the creation of the Greater Bay Area to be mostly complete by 2020 and realising it’s potential by 2030.

While we are all fixated on the rise of China, pay attention to the rise of the Canton Super State.

A Visual Guide to Common Chinese Vegetables

A Visual Guide to Common Chinese Vegetables

Here’s a one-page visual guide to some of the most common vegetables you’ll come across in a market in China.  With big pics, English – Pinyin & Chinese, you can easily track down your favorites in the market and try some new things.


Bok Choy (bái cài or qīng jiāng cài -青江菜)



Chinese broccoli (jiè lán – 芥兰)


Choy sum (cài xīn – 菜心)


Chinese Water spinach(Kōngxīncài – 空心菜)


Chinese spinach (Xiàncài – 苋菜)


Chinese cabbage (Dà báicài – 大白菜)



Chinese celery (qín cài – 芹菜)


Watercress (xī yáng cài – 西洋菜)


Edible Chrysanthemum (tóng hāo – 茼蒿)


Chinese Eggplant (qié zi  – 茄子)


Spring Onion (cōng – 葱)


Large Green Onion (Dàcōng – 大葱)


Brown Onion (Yángcōng – 洋葱)


Garlic (Dàsuàn – 大蒜)

Ginger (Shēngjiāng – 生姜)



Garlic Scapes (suan xin – 蒜芯)


Chinese Garlic Chives (jiǔ cài – 韭菜)


Winter melon (dōng guā – 冬瓜)


Chinese Radish ( luó bo  – 萝卜)


Bitter Melon ( kǔ guā – 苦瓜)



Lotus Root (lián’ǒu – 莲藕)



Bamboo Shoots (竹笋)



Kelp seaweed (hǎi dài – 海带)



Chinese long beans (jiāng dòu- 豇豆)


Mung bean sprouts ( lǜ dòu yá – 绿豆芽)


Water Chestnuts (mǎ tí – 馬蹄)


Chinese yam (shān yào  – 山药)


Snow Peas (hé lán dòu – 荷兰豆)


Green Beans (máo dòu – 毛豆)


Stem lettuce (wō sǔn – 莴笋)


Chinese black mushroom (dōng gū – 冬菇)



Shiitake mushroom (xiāng gū – 香菇)


Enoki Mushrooms ( jīn zhēn gū  – 金针菇)


Tea tree mushrooms  ( chá shù gū – 茶树菇)


King Mushrooms (xìngbàogū – 杏鲍菇)


This post was first published Aug 3, 2017  and updated Sep 2018

The Top 15 Spa Hotels in Beijing & a Hot Tip for Beijing Travelers

The Top 15 Spa Hotels in Beijing & a Hot Tip for Beijing Travelers

I remember Beijing well, so many places to explore, so much walking, so many activities, and the flu. That’s Beijing, it can really wear you out simply because out because it’s one destination where there is so much to take in, and, so much to do.

So, make sure to plan for a pitstop and some time for rejuvenation.

How? Here’s my tip, book yourself in for one night, at least, at a superb hotel that offers loads of amenities then sit back and chill. Don’t let fatigue destroy your plans or distract you from getting the most out of your time in the city.

Set up a day with no plan, no buses, no crowds, no metro, no maps, just relax, Beijing style. And for that very purpose here is a list of the top spa hotels in Beijing. Get a massage, sit back in the jacuzzi, sweat it out in the sauna, fuel up in the buffet, are you with me? I’m sure you are. In most cases, it’s better value to stay at the hotel with the buffet breakfast and amenities included.

My Picks for the Top Beijing Spa Hotels


The Ritz-Carlton Beijing

The luxurious Ritz-Carlton Beijing is located in Chaoyang Business District, adjacent to Shin Kong Place Shopping Centre. The Spa is divided into Ladies and Gentlemen resting areas. It features 10 treatment rooms that include 8 single lavish treatment rooms with an Aqua Bed and 2 Couple’s Suites. The Spa offers a comprehensive range of packages for relaxation, facial, body care, massage and their two signature offers The Jade Treatment and The Ritz Fusion.


Rosewood Beijing

An artistic masterpiece of modern and old, Rosewood Beijing is a glorious gem positioned in the central hub of Beijing. The in-house spa, A SENSE of SPA, offers a full range of treatments including body exfoliation, skin care, massage and even a gentemans spa experience package. They also offer Deluxe and Premier Spa Suites where guests can stay and enjoy the king size bed, an outdoor balcony, and an in-room massage table or oversized bath tub, plus other benefits.


The St. Regis Beijing

Located in the bustling central area of Beijing, The St. Regis Beijing is 500 metres from the popular Silk Street and Jianguomen Subway Station (Line 1 and 2). The Iridium Spa at the St Regis covers 1,500 square meters offering natural hot springs rising from 1,500 meters underground flow into luxurious Jacuzzis. The spa also offers six spa and body therapy rooms include one VIP suite, one Vichy shower and king bathroom, two single rooms, and two double suites. With hot spring plunges, saunas, aroma steam rooms, and the Iridium Room, it is one of the most well feature spa’s in Beijing.


Fairmont Beijing

Chaoyang, Beijing – Metro access

Contemporary Chinese-style architecture and decor feature in the elegant Fairmont Beijing, the 5-star property was voted No.1 hotel in China on TripAdvisor in 2012. Willow Stream Spa is located on the 21st floor, spaning three levels. Services include mineral body scrubs, detox body wraps, Chinese meridian massages, manicures, pedicures and more.


Waldorf Astoria Beijing

Waldorf Astoria Beijing artfully blends rich Chinese tradition and modern sophistication along the prestigious Jinyu Hutong in Wangfujing. The in-house spa offers a series of signature treatments along with massage, facials, body scrubs, body nourishment. They also offer eye treatments and a range of packages for men.


NUO Hotel Beijing

Close to the chic hub of 798 Art District, NUO Hotel Beijing is a treasure trove of countless artworks and is positioned only 800 metres away from Jiangtai Subway Station (Line 14). The in-house Nuo Spa offers a range of signature treatments, massage, beauty and wellness treatments, that combine Chinese traditional practices with the very latest spa technologies and amenities. Luxurious ‘his-and-hers’ saunas and steam rooms are available.


Four Seasons Hotel Beijing

Located just beside Yansha Youyi Shopping City, Four Seasons Hotel Beijing boasts a sauna and an indoor pool. ‘The Spa’ at For Seasons offers a wide range of treatments and packages for women, men, couples and kids. They also offer bridal packages. Treatments include Traditional Chinese Medicine, massage, French and Italian beauty treatments, spa ritual and tea ceremony, body care, facial and much more.


Regent Beijing

Dongcheng, Beijing – Metro access

A tranquil and luxurious retreat just a 3-minute walk from Wanfujing shopping street, The Regent Beijing offers 5-star facilities like a spectacular indoor pool and spa. The onsite Serenity Spa, offers 12 spa suites, a foot massage suite, steam rooms, baths, and a hair and beauty salon. On offer are holistic treatments inspired by traditional Asian and European therapies.


Hilton Beijing Wangfujing

Situated in the middle of the shopping hub of Wangfujing, the spectacular Hilton Beijing Wangfujing offers a prime location. I SPA at Hilton Beijing Wangfujing is inspired by the ancient traditions of Thailand. The spa offers a very large range of packages and services including body scrubs and wraps, facials, hot stone therapy, Chinese Meridian Therapy, Siam Healing Massage and much more.


The Peninsula Beijing

Dongcheng, Beijing – Metro access

Centrally located in Wangfujing Shopping District, The Peninsula Beijing offers 5-star accommodation with city views, free Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV. The Peninsula Spa offers spa and beauty therapy drawing on Chinese, Ayurvedic or European healing philosophies. Featuring 12 beautifully styled treatment rooms, including two private spa suites for couples. Treatments include signature cermonies, ESPA facial, Biologique Recherche facial and massage and men’s treatments.


New World Beijing Hotel

Only a 10-minute walk from the Temple of Heaven and the buzzing Wangfujing Pedestrian Street, the 5-star New World Beijing Hotel features elegant guestrooms with well-equipped facilities. The Spa at New World Beijing Hotel offers aromatherapy, body massages, facial treatments, scrubs, wraps and more.


Shangri-la China World Summit Wing, Beijing

Situated within Beijing’s China World Trade Centre Complex, Shangri-la’s China World Summit Wing occupies the upper floors overlooking the bustling city. CHI, The Spa, located on the 77th floor, features a selection of treatments based in Chinese traditional wellness culture, using natural botanical and herbal products.


Park Hyatt Beijing

Chaoyang, Beijing – Metro access

As part of the prestigious Beijing Yintai Centre, Park Hyatt Beijing is centrally located in the heart of the CBD, directly opposite the China World Trade Centre and the new CCTV Tower. Tian Spa offers cutting edge beauty technologies and ancient healing therapies, with personalised experiences. On offer is massage, facials, body scrub, body wrap along with their signature services.


JW Marriott Hotel Beijing Central

Offering an indoor pool, JW Marriott Hotel Beijing Central is located in Beijing. Free WiFi access is available. Each room here will provide you with a TV, air conditioning and a seating area. The in-house JingChen Spa offers a range of therapeutic treatments including body scrub and wrap, massage, facials, lic treatments, steam room and mens services.


Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing Hotel

Offering a spa and wellness centre, Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing Hotel, a Marriott Luxury & Lifestyle Hotel, is set against the backdrop of Beijing’s lively Wangfujing Street. The onsite spa offers a range of relaxing massage and beauty therapies.


Grand Millennium Beijing

The luxurious 5-star Grand Millennium is elegantly located in Beijing Fortune Plaza, close to the new CCTV Headquarters. It boasts an indoor swimming pool, pampering spa services and 4 dining options.

See here for more about my travels around Beijing and here for a huge list of attractions and shopping in Beijing and also a guide to the new airport.

Power Adapters and Sockets in China

Power Adapters and Sockets in China

If you are an international traveller this is one big pain in the butt, all the different types of sockets used around the world, and then the different voltages. Aggghhh!

Fortunately, with China it’s not too difficult, so let’s take a deeper look.

There are five types of sockets in use, one in Hong Kong/Macau, two in Taiwan, and the other two on mainland China.

Hong Kong Power and Macau Socket and Plug

In HK and Macau they use a UK style plug, completely different to the mainland China. If you land in HK without and adapter they can be a tad expensive from stalls in tourist areas, I found simple ones at Mong Kok computer market for 15HKD that worked a charm.


Mainland China Power Sockets and Plugs

In China most wall sockets look like this, having a three pin plug which is common to Australia and New Zealand. The two vertical pin socket is widely used, and if you buy cheap appliances in China they will mostly come with this plug.


Taiwan Power sockets

Taiwan uses the same standards as US and Canada.

All in One Adapter


Power Plug Adapter – International Travel – w/USB Ports Work for 150+ Countries


China is 220V, Hong Kong is 220V and Taiwan is 110V. As an Australian, I never had any issues using my own gadgets in China or Hong Kong (with an adapter), but for people from the US it’s a bit different, you’ll possibly need a transformer that steps the voltage down from 220V to 110V.

But, do check your laptop/device charger as it may be capable of handling the higher voltage.


Going to Shenzhen? Essential Shenzhen is the must have eBook

Going to Shenzhen? Essential Shenzhen is the must have eBook

If you are visiting, day touring or moving to Shenzhen for work or business then this is the must-have guidebook, Essential Shenzhen.

At least I hope it is! Coz, I wrote it. I had a simple aim with this guidebook, which was to give you the fast-track for getting the most out of your time in the city. I spent over four years in Shenzhen and have put all those discoveries into this book.

The eBook is available for download on Amazon Essential Shenzhen.

For example, here’s the index from the book

About Shenzhen China
Visiting and Living in Shenzhen
Getting Connected – Cellphones, WiFi, Internet and VPN
Shenzhen Climate and Seasons Guide
Shenzhen’s Top 20 Must-See Attractions and Shopping Destinations
The Essential Guide to a Day in Luohu
The 9 Key Wholesale and Consumer Market Areas
24 Key Shopping Malls & Plazas
Restaurants, Cafes and the Top 4 Buffets
Bars & Nightlife Hotspots
The Top Health Spa, Massage and Leisure Centers
Shenzhen’s Amazing Theme Parks
Beaches & the Beautiful Dapeng Peninsula
The Top Parks and Gardens in Shenzhen
Where to Buy Imported Foods and Groceries
The Top Movie Cinemas by District
Key Trade Fairs and Exhibitions
Accommodation Tips and Top 5 Hotels
Transport & Intercity Travel
Getting To/From Shenzhen
Getting to/from Hong Kong to Shenzhen
Getting to/from Guangzhou to Shenzhen
Beyond Shenzhen via High-Speed Rail
Hospitals and Health Care
Essential Resources & Websites
Taxi Phrases

As you can see it covers quite a lot. Including the key shopping malls, the must-see sights and attractions, transport in and out of the city, guides to the markets including Huaqiangbei the electronics market area and Luohu Commercial City and much more. Also featured is a piece on beaches and the beautiful Dapeng Peninsula.

It’s something I wish I had when I first moved to SZ, it would have been an incredible time-saver. A key feature is the Taxi Phrases, there are hundreds, for sights, attractions, shopping destinations and more. You won’t get lost with this in your pocket and you’ll most definitely get the most out of your time in Shenzhen.

List: Newspapers and News Media in China

List: Newspapers and News Media in China

This extends on a question I recently answered on Quora, about alternative news in China. Included here is a huge list of news outlets, mostly in Chinese. For English versions, from within China and out, see the China news wall

All journalists in China must have a license, and in getting a license you must vow to uphold party values. Also, journalists are required to do a training session in party ideology. There are some recent new rules which are reviewed here at Xinhua 国家新闻出版广电总局:禁止记者和记者站未经本单位同意私自开展批评报道-新华网 . As for press freedoms, according to Reporters Sans Frontieres, they are ranked 176 out of 180 for press freedoms in the globe Reporters sans frontières.

There are many reasons for tight media control, not only politically motivated. Chinese have this bizarre love of gossip and easily get caught up in rumors and speculation which can have chaotic effects. Recently there was a clean up of online news sites (News programs shut down for running own reporting) that clamped down on re-posting of news from official sources and spreading gossip etc. Also, many people try to profit from spreading fake news, and even spreading fake news stories about competitors. It’s a complex society.

There is one news site that stands out to me which is 澎湃新闻-专注时政与思想 but in an interview, the editor is quite clear on the fact that even they must work within and be aligned with party values to survive. But at least, they do break a lot of stories that bring improvements to daily lives by exposing wrongdoings.

The most well-known newspapers in China with English editions are 

Xinhua –
People’s Daily –
Global Times –
China Daily –
South China Morning Post – (HK Based and privately owned)


Here is a list of traditional news outlets in China

National newspapers

Regional newspapers











  • Hebei Daily – CPC official paper
  • Hebei Youth Daily – tabloid covering Shijiazhuang, operated by Beijing Youth Daily
  • Shijiazhuang Daily – CPC official paper
  • Yanzhao Evening Post – tabloid covering Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei
  • Yanzhao Metropolis Daily – tabloid covering Hebei and sold in 11 cities around Hebei Province





Inner Mongolia















list collated from Wikipedia, China Daily and memory.