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Chinese Culture

China is one of the Four Ancient Civilizations (alongside Babylon, India and Egypt), according to Chinese scholar Liang Qichao (1900). It boasts a vast and varied geographic expanse, 3,600 years of written history, as well as a rich and profound culture. Chinese culture is diverse and unique, yet harmoniously blended — an invaluable asset to the world.

Our China culture guide contains information divided into Traditions, Heritage, the arts, Festivals, Language, and Symbols. Topics include Chinese food, World Heritage sites, China's Spring Festival, Kungfu, and Beijing opera.

China's Heritage

China’s national heritage is both tangible and intangible, with natural wonders and historic sites, as well as ethnic songs and festivals included.

As of 2015, 48 noteworthy Chinese sites were inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List: 37 Cultural Heritage, 8 Natural Heritage, and 3 Cultural and Natural Heritage.  China is second only to Italy for World Heritage sites.

China's Festivals

China has several traditional festivals that are celebrated all over the country (in different ways). The most important is Chinese New Year, then Mid-Autumn Festival. China, with its "55 Ethnic Minorities", also has many ethnic festivals. From Tibet to Manchuria to China’s tropical south, different tribes celebrate their new year, harvest, and other things, in various ways.

Learning Chinese

Chinese is reckoned to be the most difficult language in the world to learn, but that also must make it the most interesting. It’s the world’s only remaining pictographic language in common use, with thousands of characters making up the written language. It’s pronunciation is generally one syllable per character, in one of five tones. China’s rich literary culture includes many pithy sayings and beautiful poems.

Symbols of China

Every nation has its symbols, but what should you think of when it comes to China? You might conjure up images of long coiling dragons, the red flag, pandas, the Great Wall… table tennis, the list goes on…

Top Recommended Chinese Culture Tours

Classic Wonders
Classic Wonders 11-Day Beijing – Xi'an – Guilin/Yangshuo – Shanghai Private Tour
  • Take exclusive, in-depth Forbidden City journey with our expert in history and architecture
  • Try moderate hiking on the World Heritage—the Great Wall
  • Visit the World 8th miracle—the Terracotta Warriors
  • Discover the minority life at Longji terrace field
  • Explore an ancient town and chat with a 92-year old herbalist doctor
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The Golden Triangle
The Golden Triangle 8-Day Beijing – Xi'an – Shanghai Private Tour
  • Admire the World Heritage-- the Great Wall, the Forbidden City.
  • Taste famous Chinese food—Peking Roast Duck.
  • Get closer to the China’s first Emperor by visiting the Terracotta Warriors.
  • Enjoy stroll in a ancient Chinese traditional garden.
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The Flavor of China
The Flavor of China 12-Day Beijing – Xi'an – Chengdu - Guilin - Hong Kong Cuisine Tour
  • Be amazed at the must-see sites: the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Warriors.
  • Taste local cuisine at finest restaurants to learn stories behind dishes.
  • Try unique food at food streets to experience local lifestyle.
  • Join in Chinese cooking class and get secret recipe.
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