The vast country of China is home to many spectacular sites that are popular among photographers.
The Great Wall
In the capital city of Bejing lies the best-preserved part of the Great Wall, the Badaling section, where visitors can climb to the top and walk for a mile in either direction. The Great Wall, built to keep out invaders, was begun in the 7th century BC, with additions and remodeling taking place until the 16th century AD. Standing on top, a photographer can view the Wall winding through the picturesque mountains for miles.
Also in Bejing are the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, both of which are breathtakingly striking:
- Built in 1406 during the Ming dynasty, the Forbidden City, a spectacular community in itself, boasts 9,999 rooms covering 250 acres. Twenty-four emperors lived there in the Ming and Quing dynasties. The Emperor’s Palace is now a museum that displays treasures owned by the Imperial Family.
- The Temple of Heaven, built in 1420, is one of the most popular buildings to photograph in the world. It is known for its beauty, elegance and symmetry. Ming and Qing emperors, known as the Sons of Heaven, used this building to pray to Heaven for a bountiful harvest. Today, the temple is surrounded by a 600-acre park through which music plays softly throughout the day.
Mount Wuyi, known by photographers for its beautiful peaks and clear water, is located about 350 kilometers northwest of Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian, in southeast China. The best view is through bamboo raft drifting on the Nine Bend River.
China’s most famous waterfront, the Bund, stretches for 1.6 kilometers along the Huangpu River in Shanghai, one of China’s most cosmopolitan cities. The Bund is lined with buildings from the 1930s era, including the Peace Hotel, which towers over the harbor and facilitates spectacular views. Also present are a popular waterfront park, shops and restaurants.
The Yangtze River, at 4,000 miles long, is China’s longest river, and the third-longest in the world. A Yangtze cruise will show a large view of China in a relatively short time, with majestic scenery to photograph. A popular cruise goes between Chongquing and Wuhan, covering 850 miles in several days.
The rustic charm of China’s water towns draw many visitors. Zhouzhuang, located in Jiangsu Province, is known as the oldest water town in China, built in 1086. Lantern-lit canals cross through the picturesque village, which holds its Dragon Boat Festival in June.
Also popular water towns are Hongcun Village, in Anhui Province; Fenghuang, in Hunan Province, and Huangyao Ancient Town in Guangxi.