China Map of Tourist Places

China map of main tourist places. Double click on map to zoom.

China Map: why travel there?

Pingyao's Ancient Ming-Qing Street during morning exercises, Shanxi, China map

Pingyao’s ancient Ming-Qing Street during morning exercises, Shanxi, China

Big, big, big. 1. 3 billion hard working, inventive people divided into 50 ethnic groups, though most are Han Chinese; 5, 000 years of arts and crafts; landscapes stretching from jungles to Mt. Everest with deserts on the side and the Silk Road in between; politics stretching from imperialism to capitalism with communism on the side; amazing structures ranging from the Great Wall to the Terracotta Army with dazzling skyscrapers and avante-garde structures on the side.

The food is fantastic, scenery varies from dreary, industrial plains to magical mountains and glaciers, the shopping is excellent and the country is working hard to be tourist-friendly, people no longer stare in horror when they hear English spoken.

This huge land is the centre of the earth according to Chinese tradition and it’s heading that way again in this millenium –  the China buzz is thrilling tho’ tainted with concern over human rights.

China downsides

• Pollution in some Chinese cities is frequently and literally breathtaking, particularly in Hong Kong and Beijing due to rampant construction, lax industrial controls, vehicle emissions and natural forces such as dust blowing in from desert areas.
In 2007 the World Bank calculated that 16 of the world’s top twenty most polluted cities are in China. The World Health Organisations says ‘exposure to high pollution levels may trigger serious problems. People who have heart problems may wish to reconsider their willingness to go there’. More on pollution.

• People, people, people, simply too many local tourists everywhere at popular sites.

• Massive distances mean considerable expenditure of time and money for domestic transport.

• Much/most of the glorious old Chinese architecture is long gone. To be fair in some places it has been replaced by astonishing new structures. Shanghai and Beijing. . . Woah!

• Petty crime is on a rise in cities.

• Human rights issues are not to be discussed.

• Traffic jams are bad and getting worse.