39 fascinating facts about China

Sep 2, 2022 | Asia, China, Global travel

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(Last updated on: 07/08/2022)

There are so many fascinating facts about China, believe me, after living in China for three years, I know! With the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and a long history of exciting inventions, there is much more to be known about the world’s ultra-modern yet very ancient country. However, there are hundreds of untold facts about China too.

In this article, I will share the top 39 fascinating facts about China. Make sure to update your bucket list for your next trip to China. So, without further ado, let’s get a hold of these interesting facts about China!

Red tourism. Facts about China

1. The Forbidden City has Thousands of Rooms

Until now, I thought it was actually a city that had been abandoned for years. But guess I was wrong here. So comes out that this Forbidden city is a Palace complex in the Dongcheng District, Beijing.

And not only this, but this palace has nearly 9,000 rooms. It was used as a residence by ancient Chinese emperors.

2. Most Populated Country in the World

This is one of the most well-known facts about Chins! China holds its position as the most populated country in the world with a population of around 1.402 billion and still counting. However… India is catching up fast and is set to overtake China in terms of population numbers by 2050.

3. ‎3rd Largest Country in the World

If you’ve been wondering where China is accommodating this massive population, let me tell you, China isn’t a small country itself. China covers around 9,600,000 square kilometres — securing itself as the 3rd largest country in the world. This is perhaps one of the most important facts about China.

Facts about China

4. Joint Family System     

One thing I adore about Chinese households is how they respect their elders. All of the family members live in the same house and are keen caretakers of aging elders of their family. Moreover, they also seem to spend their events and festivals together! This is one of my favourite facts about China.

5. High Number of UNESCO Sites in the World

Another one of the most interesting facts about China is that it has the highest number of UNESCO sites worldwide, along with Italy. And the Forbidden City that I just introduced you to in the beginning is one of those UNESCO sites. Make sure not to miss any of them whenever you visit China.

6. Welcoming Culture

I have been to many countries, and I would say that all of them are very welcoming, but none of them are as hospitable as the Chinese people.

7. Home to World’s Highest Outdoor Elevator

I am afraid of heights, but this Bailong elevator in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangjiajie, China, is definitely worth a try. It is, in fact, the home to the outdoor elevator that can travel up to 300 or more meters high.

things to do in Guilin. Facts about China

8. History is Deeply Rooted in Everyone

One of the most shocking facts about China is that everyone—teenagers, adults, elders, and even little kids—knows where they come from. Their history is deeply embedded in their education system. Because of this, they remember every single war China has fought. Although, not all history is shared with the younger generations- The Tianamen Square incident, for example, is never to be spoken about.

9. Lots and Lots of Railway Lines

Rail transport remains one of the most common modes of transportation in China. With around 37,900 Km long railway lines, it’s known that these lines can actually loop around the earth twice- wow! And what’s more is that the trains in China is super efficient as well as being some of the fastest trains in the world.

10. China Follows a Single Time Zone

Among other exciting facts about China, I can’t miss adding that the Chinese use a single time zone. Despite being a huge country, it still follows the official Beijing time. Therefore, if you’re traveling to China, you’ll follow a consistent time zone throughout the China tour (but you might be waking up and going to bed in the dark!). 

11. Fortune Cookies Doesn’t Belong to China

Wait, what?! I’m sure we all have thought of fortune cookies belonging to China. Let me pop your bubble and tell you that it never belonged to them and was invented in San Francisco for the first time. This is certainly one of the more shocking facts about China!

12. The Delicious Discovery of Ice Cream

The Chinese were the first to discover ice cream in China about 4,000 years ago. They used to combine milk, snow, and rice mixture to create a delicious dessert. I am thinking of giving this recipe a shot and checking how it turns out. Should I?

13. Number 4 is the Ugliest

This is one of the unknown facts about China; people living there consider number 4 one of the ugliest. And they literally think of this as a symbol of death, so mentioning it is simply forbidden. Many hotels do not have a forth floor for this reason.

14. Number 8 is a Lucky Number

Where there is an unlucky number, there exists a lucky number as well. Chinese consider the number 8 as one of the most fortunate numbers. And for this reason, hotel rooms on the 8th floor are often very expensive. Probably, you won’t be aware of this fact about China, right?

silk road china itinerary. Facts about China

15. Brides Do Not Like to Wear White on Their Big Day

Brides in China do not like to wear white on their big day. They prefer wearing red at their wedding because it is considered a lucky colour. After all, it’s in their national flag, too! But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a beautiful white dress! Many wedding couples will travel to various locations to take wedding photographs in their numerous wedding dresses, which are usually red, white and black.

16. Red is the Lucky Colour in China

Not only brides but people across China firmly believe that red is the color of happiness, and it would eventually bring them a lot of luck.

17. Chopsticks Were for Cooking, Not for Eating

Even though many people don’t know how to hold chopsticks, they still try to eat with them when they go to a Chinese restaurant. However, let me tell you a fantastic fact about them; they were initially invented for cooking, not eating.

18. The Terracotta Army was Built in 37 Years

It took about 37 years to completely build the Terracotta Army in Xi’an, China. When unearthed, it came out that it had around 8,000 clay soldiers guarding the emperor’s tomb. This is a fantastic sight to visit on your travels around China.

19. Chinese Flag Represents Unity

The Chinese flag is red and has one large star and four smaller stars. It might be simple, but one of the ultimate facts about this flag’s design is that it represents the country’s unity. For the Chinese people, this is one of the most important facts about China.

20. Years are Named After Chinese Zodiac Animals

Each of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals—the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig—has its own year in China. I was born in the Year of the Tiger.

21. World’s Largest Producer of Gold

With 4,000 or more tons of gold in production and 2,000 tons of gold reserves, China is currently the world’s most significant producer of gold.

22. Silk Road is Not as Smooth as Silk

The silk road routes between China, Central Asia, and India. Established in 1453 CE, the road was named the silk road because of the thriving trade of Chinese silk. Nowadays it is a popular travel route for tourism and you can take a Silk Road tour.

Facts about China

23. The Great Wall of China is Built with Rice

A portion of the Great Wall was built during the Ming Dynasty. However, most people are unaware that a mixture of sticky rice flour and slaked lime was used to hold the bricks together. Were you aware of this fact about China? Well, I wasn’t. And it really surprised me when I came to know about this!

24. China Invented First Paper Currency

The Chinese invented paper money during the Tang dynasty, which lasted from 618 to 907.

25. No Surviving Record of the First Chinese Dynasty

Many emperors have ruled over China; however, among uncertain facts about China remains who was the first Chinese dynasty.

26. World’s 70% of Cell Phones are Manufactured Here

China dominates all the phone manufacturers in the world. According to Statista 165.29 million cell phones were produced in China in December 2019.

27. You Can Dig a Hole to China from Argentina

I have watched those comics where a cartoon digs a hole from Argentina and visits China underground. And this could be possible only if the pressure of oxygen and heat are somehow well balanced.

28. Discussing Time Travel is Forbidden in China

The government prohibits all time-travel-related films in China, at least in Chinese media. The government there views historical modification as a risky aspect of fiction.

29. The Great Wall of China isn’t Visible from Space

I have heard that the Great Wall of China is visible from space; regardless, this is not the case. Turns out that it is one of the false facts about China.

Facts about China

30. Rich Chinese Used to Grow Their Nails

As a prestige symbol, wealthy Chinese used to grow the nails on their tiny fingers quite long.

31. Lotus Flower is a Symbol of Purity in China

In ancient China, the lotus was viewed as a representation of purity. The peony, known as the “king of flowers,” stood for majesty and morality.

32. Plenty of Delicious Dishes

One thing I am sure about is that if you ever visit China, you aren’t going to eat the same food twice. Now, why is it so? Because they literally have a lot of cuisines with distinct flavours. However, depending on which part of China you are travelling in, it may not always be to your taste- chicken feet and cabbage in soy sauce anyone?

33. 60% of the World’s Mushroom Varieties are in China

With 60% mushroom varieties, China is one of the world’s top producers of them, making mushrooms and import export.

34. Not One or Two but Four Historical Capitals

You’d be surprised to know that China has not one or two but four historical capitals, including Beijing, Nanjing, Luoyang, and Xi’an.

35. Alibaba.Com is Owned by a Chinese Business Man

The Alibaba Group was created by Chinese business tycoon Jack Ma, who is thought to be worth $37 billion. Harvard turned down Jack Ma ten times and twice failed the admission exam for the Hangzhou Teachers’ Institute. But still, he’s one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world to date.

36. China Spent Around $40 Billion on Beijing Olympics 2008

Beijing’s 2008 Olympic Games were the most extravagant ever, with a budget close to $40 billion. Sounds crazy?

37. China is Building a Brand-New City

The Chinese government is developing a new metropolis to alleviate population density in Beijing. Xiong-an, a city described as “green, modern, and vibrant,” will be 100 kilometers southwest of the capital.

38. One of the World’s Fastest Trains is in China

The world’s fastest train, the Shanghai Maglev, belongs to China and can travel at a speed of 431 km/hr. Make sure to hop into it for a ride when you next visit China.

39. China has Accomplished the Third Manned Space Journey

The first Chinese man to walk in space was astronaut Zhai Zhigang; this event was also the climax of China’s third manned space flight.

Facts about China- further reading

Cheers, this was all on my list of 39 fascinating facts about China. Hopefully, you enjoyed this article up till the end!

Planning to travel somewhere any time soon? Then here are some handy traveling facts you might consider giving a read.     

4 reasons why you NEED a VPN in China!

Beginning to believe peak yellow mountains Huangshan

1- Keep your data secure from watching eyes (and there are many eyes in China...)

2- Share your travel updates with friends and family back home on social media (only accessible with aVPN)

3- Watch your favourite Netflix shows and sports fixtures

4- Get unrestricted access to the World Wide Web

 

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Dr Hayley Stainton

Hi, am Dr Hayley Stainton

I’ve been travelling, studying and teaching travel and tourism since I was 16. Through Tourism Teacher I share my knowledge on the principles and practice of travel and tourism management from both an academic and practical perspective.

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