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Two must-see UNESCO sites in China

By Natasha Cohen12/01/2022 Chinese Culture, Tourism

Founded in 1945, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) aims to strengthen international relationships through promoting cultural diversity.

To date, there are over 1,000 officially recognised Unesco World Heritage Sites, and around 50 of them can be found in China.

With a choice of eight different Chinese cities to learn Mandarin in, there are lots of opportunities to visit many of these amazing spots with Lingoinn. Here are just two of them, starting with one that the whole world has heard of.

万里长城 wànlǐ chángchéng – the Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is without a doubt the most well-known structure in China, and no list of famous sites around the world is complete with it.

Its full Chinese name is 万里长城 ‘wànlǐ chángchéng’, which literally means ‘ten thousand miles-long wall’. Nowadays, of course, it’s affectionately known more simply as 长城 ‘chángchéng’, ‘long wall’ (otherwise known as ‘the Great Wall of China’ overseas).

Over 2,000 years old, smaller sections of the Great Wall were originally built around 656 BC to protect territories when different states were at war. Then when China was unified in 221 BC, different sections were linked up and then expanded over centuries to keep intruders out. 

There are several sections of the wall that are open to visitors. Generally, the more restored sections are the easiest to climb but the busiest, while the less restored ones are less crowded but more challenging to climb. For both kinds though, the best time to visit is in the spring and autumn, when the weather is not too hot and not too cold.

If the Great Wall is on your ‘must-see’ list, choose a course in Shijiazhuang with Lingoinn. From Shijiazhuang North Railway Station, you can take a two-hour train to 娘子关 ‘niángzǐguān’, Niangzi Pass (also called the Ladies’ Pass). This is one of the more famous sections of the wall, and you’ll be treated by some very beautiful scenery on it.

  • Did you know? People often think that the Great Wall is the only manmade structure visible from space – but this is actually a myth, and can’t be seen from space. It’s longer than its name suggests though, clocking in at over 13,000 miles end to end rather than ‘just’ ten thousand miles. But ‘万里长城’ ‘wànlǐ chángchéng’ is definitely a much catchier name than ‘一万三千长城’ ‘yī wàn sān qiān chángchéng’.

九寨沟 jiǔzhàigōu – Nine Villages Valley

Visit this national park and nature reserve in the autumn, and you might think you’ve stepped straight into a painting. It’s home to multilevel waterfalls, mirror-like waters in turquoise and blue, and an abundance of lush greenery that turns fiery orange and red when summer comes to an end.

Meaning ‘Nine Villages Valley’, Jiuzhaigou is part of the Min Mountains and is composed of three valleys, situated at high altitudes from 2,000 to 4,500 metres.

The most comfortable way to get to Jiuzhaigou at the moment is to fly to Jiuhuang Airport from within China. You can currently do so directly from Shanghai and Chengdu, which are both cities you can book with Lingoinn. There are other cities in China that you can fly directly from, too.

The cheapest way to get to Jiuzhaigou is by bus from Chengdu for about 160 Yuan. But bear in mind the journey can take around 10 hours, and the road isn’t the smoothest.

A high-speed railway is currently in construction, which would make the journey from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou just two hours by train. It was originally scheduled to be finished by 2020 and then 2021 – understandably it’s been delayed due to the current world events, but once it’s finished it’ll be one of the most convenient ways to get there.

  • Did you know? A rare, severe earthquake unfortunately caused chaos to the natural heritage site in 2017, and it had to be closed to visitors while the ecosystem recovered. Thankfully, the park was able to re-open in the autumn of 2021.

Ready to start your adventure? Click on the ‘Cities’ button at the top of Lingoinn’s homepage to browse the different places you can stay with us. And remember – you can choose more than one.

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