‘Lhasa is more than the Unesco World Heritage Sites it boasts of. It is more than a gateway to the mighty Himalayas.’ ‘It is about the warmth of its people: Unsaid, unspoken, but felt everywhere,’ discovers Shruti Bajpai. | Train to Lhasa
With a vast territory and a long history, China offers so much to see and explore. China Highlights has listed for you the top 10 attractions or must-visit attractions in China.
1. The Great Wall of China in Beijing — Ten-Thousand-Li-Long Wall
In the eyes of most travelers, you haven’t been to China if you haven’t climbed the Great Wall.
One of the iconic symbols of China, the Great Wall is the longest wall in the world, an awe-inspiring feat of ancient defensive architecture. Its winding path over rugged country and steep mountains takes in some great scenery. It deserves its place among “the New Seven Wonders of the World” and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in China.
The wall spans from China’s western frontier to the east coast, totaling around 5,000 km (3,100 miles), but the most integrated and best preserved sections are close to Beijing. So this is what people usually mean when mentioning the Great Wall of China.
2. The Terracotta Army in Xi’an — Emperor Qin’s Buried Battalions
The Terracotta Army has laid underground for more than 2,000 years.
There is still no clarity over the extent of the damage caused by a major fire at the sacred Jokhang Temple in Lhasa on the second day of Tibetan New Year, February 17, largely due to China’s imposition of restrictions on the flow of information. There are now new fears that the authorities are engaged in inappropriate repair work to the historic structure – a UNESCO World Heritage site – in order to cover up the damage, which is likely to be extensive, based on assessment by experts of post-fire video footage and stills.
An apparent delay of half an hour in fighting the fire has not been explained, given that China told the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in December that the Jokhang Temple has its own fire brigade, based 24 hours at the building, “for the safety and protection of cultural relics.”
Concerns are compounded by the lack of access for architecture or heritage experts, given China’s tight grip over the region.
The Potala Palace in Tibet, is the former home of the present and 14th Dalai Lama. Built nearly 400 years ago, it has been considered the spiritual capital of the country for centuries. Used as a winter residence for the leaders of Tibet since the 17th century, this architectural wonder, is the 12th stop in our series Journeys to Discovery.
This practically surreal complex of buildings, was listed by USA Today, an American national newspaper and the American television show Good Morning America, as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World back in 2006.
The Potala Palace covers over 13 hectares or 32 acres in its entirety. The interior space comprises an amazing 130,000 square meters which is more than 426,509 square feet.
It also has the distinction of being the highest palace in the world. The name originates from the mythological Mt. Potala, which is said to be located in southern India.
No building in Lhasa today, is allowed to be higher than the Potala Palace.