When thinking about technology and science, it’s hard to ignore China. With their four great inventions – paper, gunpowder, compasses, and printing – China has a lot to celebrate. They continue to seek excellence across the various fields of science and have many different attractions for science lovers of all ages. Here are our top destinations in China for science lovers.
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High-Speed Train in Shanghai
Want to move at breakneck speeds on the longest high-speed rail systems in the world? Then you’ve come to the right place. Even if we don’t count the freight lines, China’s passenger dedicated lines are longer than all other high-speed rail systems – combined!
The longest stretch of high-speed train line can take you all the way from Guangzhou to Beijing and Shanghai offers a special treat for those wanting to experience China’s only stretch of magnetic levitation, maglev for short. It can reach speeds of 431kph (268mph) and does the 19-mile journey from the city to Pudong Airport in just 7 minutes! You might not be able to walk on air, but you certainly can ride on it.
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Tibetan Medicine in Tibet
Tibetan medicine is an ancient form of medicine based on Buddha’s teachings. In Lhasa, WildChina travelers can stop by an old Tibetan pharmacy to learn about the practice from a trained medicine man. There are traditional thangka paintings to explain how the whole system is integrated with the mind, body, and soul.
After you’ve looked around and he’s answered your many questions, the medicine man can give you a diagnosis for any ailments and prescribe your own tailored treatment plan.
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Dynastic science at the Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven in Beijing showcases some innovative scientific developments from the era of emperors. Wrapped around the Imperial Vault of Heaven 皇穹宇 is a smooth circular wall called the Echo Wall 回音壁, so named because a whisper on one end can be transmitted clearly to the other. In recent years, possibly to protect the wall from increasing crowds, a railing has been installed, so unfortunately, you may not be able to test out it for yourself.
Try out the Triple Echo Stones though, three rectangular stones that line the pavement leading to the vault. Using sound wave theory similar to the Echo Wall, you will hear an echo if you stand on the first stone and clap. Two echoes if you stand on the second stone and clap; three echoes if you stand on the third stone. Qing Dynasty architects built the Echo Wall and Echo Stones to harness the supernatural feeling embodied by acoustics.
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Stargazing in Yunnan
Ever wondered if we’re alone in the universe? Well, we may have an answer soon. Although China has been fast on the move to urbanization, there are still pockets of darkness that make for excellent star-gazing.
Our WildChina Explorer 2016 Rum‘s exploration project was to chart the stars in his home province of Yunnan in hopes of starting a dark sky reserve. In regions such as Yunnan, Guizhou, and on the Tibetan Plateau, you can stargaze to your heart’s content.
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Anthropology in Guizhou
Guizhou is one of the most culturally diverse provinces in China and is home to more than 13 ethnic minority groups. Two of the most prominent groups you’ll find are the Dong and Miao, each with their own unique style and customs. If you’re into the social sciences, you’ll find the variety fascinating – many of the cultures are matriarchal. On a WildChina journey to Guizhou, you’ll witness the song and dance of each, see their traditional clothes, and try their delectable dishes.
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Gastronomy in Chengdu
Gastronomy is the science of good eating, and Chengdu has earned its stripes as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. It’s the perfect place to plunge right in with mouth-numbing specialties including Sichuan hotpot, kung pao chicken and mapo tofu, then kick back in one of the city’s low-key teahouses.
If you’re into the science behind the taste, we’ll arrange a private cooking class. You’ll learn about the Sichuan peppers which are used to give the dishes an extra dose of heat and produce a numbing effect in the mouth. WildChina also offers once-in-a-lifetime journeys with award-winning food writer Fuchsia Dunlop who’ll give you an expert envoy into Sichuan gastronomy on our Gastronomic Tour of China.
China has a long and prosperous history in the sciences. If you want to learn more about their great achievements both in the past and those that are currently unfolding, don’t hesitate to get in touch and start planning your customized trip.