China is not only one of the largest countries in the world, but also one of the oldest. There aren’t many nations that can trace their heritage back as far as this wonderful country, and with the long and illustrious past comes a fascinating series of ancient towns, cities and sites. This article takes a look at a few of China’s oldest locations that you can visit on a China holiday today.
We start up with a look at the city of Pingyao, one of the best preserved examples of a traditional Han Chinese town in the world. The city was originally founded back in the 14th century and its layout tells the fascinating story of town planning in Imperial China over five centuries. Most of this layout dates back to the Ming and Qing dynasties, with the tell tale sign being the conformity to a Bagua pattern. You can get a lot from the city by just taking a walk around as the streets and storefronts still largely retain their historical appearance.
Luoyang and its World Heritage listed Longmen Grottoes are next on our list of destinations. The city of Luoyang is located in the western reaches of Henan Province. The city was founded in an important location in the middle reaches of the Yellow River surrounded by protective mountains. The city is one of China’s truly ancient locations, with a history dating back to 2100BC; a history that spans 13 of China’s Dynasties. The Longmen Grottoes are a series of caves packed with over 100,000 Buddhist statues, which makes it a site of incredible religious importance.
The final destination on our list is another famous Buddhist shrine. Located near the city of Datong in Shanxi Province are the beautiful Yungang Caves. The cave complex is carved into the side of the Wuzhou Mountain and contains 50,000 Buddhist statues and frescoes. It contains less statuary than the Longmen Grottoes, but the main reason many choose to visit this location is the impressive frescoes and beautiful silks on display.
This is just a small taste of the ancient towns and sites that are open to visitors to the country, and there is so much more to explore. So next time you’re looking for a history and culture packed holiday, why not take a look at China?