So to China again – the world’s most populated country!! Now, when you think of World Heritage Sites in China you must mean The Great Wall, The Forbidden Palace, The Terracotta Warriors, etc…?? No, sorry, not today and not for this travelling Northern Irishman. China was the first Asian country I ever visited and my flirting love affair with it’s land of endless possibilities continues…so here I bring you 3 very unknown and unusual UNESCO World Heritage Sites in China which I have visited recently.
1. Fujian Tulou, FUJIAN Province, CHINA:
Nestled deep in the forgotten green countryside of the Fujian Province, lies a magical world of special ancient Chinese buildings known as the Fujian Tulou. Known as “Earthen Buildings” these structures housed entire clans, kept out the enemies and made their Chinese dwellers self efficient. I visited loads of them and wrote about 10 posts about them, such was their impact on the travelling Northern Irishman. I detailed a lot about them here: Fujian Tour.
Quick Guide – Get to the city of Yongding in Fujian Province. Once you’re there you will realise that there are many bus tours out to these buildings and numerous drivers offering them. If you’re a foreign tourist, they will probably come to you. Howeverbe aware of rip offs and drivers cutting special buildings off your trip.
2. Danxiashan Mountains, Guangdong Province, CHINA:
Hidden shyly in the north of Guangdong Province, this range of mountains, hills and odd rock formations lets your mind wander into a real unknown part of China, at least for the non-Chinese amongst us. It’s not a guided tour or anything like the buildings in Fujian, this is very much a Do It Yourself style hiking and climbing opportunity. The views at sunset are amazing, as is the tough ascent for sunrise the following morning.
Quick Guide – Get to the city of Shaoguan and find the main bus station (which is also next to Shaoguan train station (the older one). From there get a bus out to a mountain resort by the name of Jin Jiang village, also known as Yao Tang village. From there get an entrance pass and walk through the various hikes and climbs at your own pace. BUT don’t miss sunset and sunrise. It’s amazing. Oh and Penis rock: The Climb to Penis Rock!
3. Kaiping Dialou, Guangdong Province, CHINA:
It’s amazing that in a country so vast as China, that a scattered array of almost 2,000 impressive tower style buildings almost goes un-noticed! Well it’s easy to get lost in China, luckily these buildings have outlasted their builders and as recently as 2007 they were declared a World Heritage Site, and deservedly so! This was actually my MOST recent venture into China, just a couple of weeks ago, so you’ll hear a lot more about it.
Quick Guide – Get to the city of Kaiping and stay in the Milan Hotel. It’s a great central hotel within a 2 minute walk from the bus station (YES a real 2 minute walk – I really travel remember!). From there ask at reception about doing the tour out to the amazing Diaolou. There are leaflets in reception. So in the absence of any detailed posts on it yet, here’s a video snippet I took!:
I seriously urge you all to get out there and see China. I’m going back to China again in less than four weeks and can’t wait.
Don’t Stop Living!