Nestled in East Asia, China has thousands of years of history. As the world’s second-most populated county, China has more than 9,600,000 square kilometers of land.
Visitors worldwide travel to China to explore the breathtaking vistas of Mount Sanqingshan National Park or enjoy the excitement of cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. Dive deep into China’s history by learning more about local culture, admiring the architecture, and experiencing unique traditions.
With such a long history, large land area, and more than one billion people, China has many interesting and fun facts. Continue reading to learn more about these fun facts and some of the must-do experiences when traveling to China.
25 Fun Facts About China
Everything from unique celebrations to ancient structures, China should be on everyone’s travel bucket list.
If you are still unsure about visiting China, continue reading the following fun facts. When you are done reading, you will probably start planning your trip to China.
1. Buddhism Played a Role in Shaping Chinese Civilization
Buddhism was introduced to China during the Han period from 206 BC to 220 AD. A branch of Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, eventually evolved and played a key role in China’s culture.
A resurgence of Buddhist beliefs when travelers came along the Silk Road to China around 500 AD. Today, 33 percent of China’s population believe in Buddha.
2. Each of the Terracotta Warriors Have Unique Faces
Local farmers discovered the Terracotta Warriors in 1974. Each of the approximately 8,000 figures have unique facial features.
These life-size terracotta figures took more than 30 years to create. They were buried in 210-209 BC with the Emperor Gin Shi Huang to protect him in the afterlife.
3. China is One of the Most Populated Nations in the World
China is the world’s second most populated nation, with 1.425 billion people. China used to be number one for its population. In 2023 India surpassed China’s population.
Following China, the United States is the third most populated country in the world, with more than 339.9 million people.
4. The Great Wall of China is Not a Single Wall
When the Qin Dynasty built the Great Wall of China, they used a series of 19 walls. Originally built to protect China from invading nomadic nations from the north, the wall is an archeological marvel today.
Many of the original collection of walls are no longer in existence, but the wall remains a UNESCO Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
5. Chinese Dragons are Kind and Noble
The idea of dragons being dangerous and evil is a Western belief. Chinese believe their dragons have powers associated with wind and water. Additionally, they view dragons as being noble, gentle, and kind.
Chinese culture believes dragons are sacred and bring good fortune. This is why many parades, including those during the Chinese New Year, include dragon costumes.
6. The Mausoleum of Mao Zedong is Set in Tiananmen Square
The People’s Republic of China was founded in Tiananmen Square on October 1, 1949. The Founder, Mao Zedong (Chairman Mau), is celebrated yearly during a special event celebrating this special day in China’s history.
The Mausoleum of Mao Zedong is set in one of the largest squares in the world. Also located in Tiananmen Square is a Monument to the People’s Heroes, the National Museum of China, and the Great Hall of the People.
7. Different Regions Offer Different Versions of Chinese Food
When exploring China, you will be treated to various tasty dishes. The dishes you try will be based on the region, but all Chinese food is based upon five essential flavors – sweet, south, spicy, bitter, and salty.
Popular cuisine specialties in China include Cantonese beef soup, fried rice, pork noodles, and Peking duck.
8. The Great Wall of China was Assembled Using Rice Flour
Glutinous rice flour is a sticky substance used as mortar for many parts of The Great Wall of China.
9. China is Home to the Largest Mall in the World… and It’s Empty
The South China Mall is located in the city of Dongguan, and now it is the largest shopping mall in the world. The mall occupies almost 700,00 square meters and is 99 percent empty.
This mall is nicknamed the “Ghost Mall” and remains primarily empty because many migrant workers cannot afford to shop for extras. The South China Mall has remained as empty as it has been for more than a decade.
10. The 2008 Summer Olympic Games Were the Most Expensive
The 2008 Summer Olympic Games were by far the most expensive to host. When Beijing hosted the summer games, it cost more than $45 billion (U.S. Dollars).
Though the Olympic budget is expected to increase, the average budget for the games is similar to the 2022 Summer Olympic Games budget of $3.9 billion.
11. China is Home to the Biggest Imperial Palace in the World
The Forbidden City was the Chinese Imperial Palace built during the Ming Dynasty. This palace was home to China’s emperors for almost 500 years.
The Forbidden City was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unique design and its finely preserved collection of ancient Chinese buildings.
12. Paper Money was Invented in China
In the 7th Century, China started using paper money during the Tang Dynasty. As the first country to use paper money, excessive paper money was printed to combat the effects of high inflation during the Yuan Dynasty.
13. More than Half of the World’s Pigs Live in China
As of April 2022, China was home to more than half the global population of more than 778 million pigs. As the leading pork producer, China produces approximately 50 metric tons of pork annually.
14. China’s Railway Lines Could Loop Around the Earth Twice
China has an extensive system of railway lines. If the railways in China were lined up together, they would be long enough to wrap around the Earth twice.
15. You Need Government Permission to Be Reincarnated
The concept of reincarnation is forbidden in China. If you want to be reincarnated, you must first have government permission.
The government has reincarnation applications available for submission to four governmental bodies for approval. Approval is needed from the provincial-level government, the religious affairs department of the provincial-level government, the State Council, and the State Administration for Religious Affairs.
16. The Yangtze River is the Longest River in Asia
The Yangtze River is also known as the ‘Chang Jiang,’ which means long river in Chinese. This river is the longest in China and Asia and the third longest in the world, measuring 3,915 miles long.
The Yangtze River is a popular tourist destination where visitors enjoy river cruises to the Three Gorges.
17. Shanghai has its Own Dialect
Shanghai is a bustling metropolitan city where people worldwide come to explore. Shanghai natives have developed their own dialect – Shanghainese. The dialect is so different even visitors from other parts of China can’t understand it.
Shanghainese, also called the Shanghai language, is a mix of the dialect from the Wu Chinese within the city and visitors from surrounding areas.
18. Pandas Spend Most of their Day Eating
China’s national animal, the panda, spends between 10 and 16 hours a day eating. Their diets mainly consist of bamboo, which is plentiful in China.
When visiting China, the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center is the best place to see pandas.
19. China’s National Sport is Table Tennis
Despite table tennis not being invented in China, the sport of competition, ping pong, has become the country’s national sport. China’s table tennis team has won several Olympic Games and world championships.
Invented in Great Britain, ping pong was introduced to China in 1901. Since 1953, China’s table tennis teams have been dominating the game.
20. There Were Almost 3,000 Entries for the Chinese Flag
When China was looking to design a new flag, the country called for design submissions. The government received 2992 entries, and that flag continues to fly over China today.
Parts of China’s flag represent the following:
- Red: The Chinese Communist Revolution
- Yellow: The power of various historical dynasties
- Stars: Unity of the Chinese people
- Four Small Stars Around One Big Star: Unity should revolve around one center
21. Chopsticks Weren’t Originally Used for Eating
Chopsticks are a common eating utensil in Chinese restaurants. However, chopsticks were not initially used for eating. It was not until about 400 A.D. when chopsticks started being used as eating utensils.
Many Chinese people use chopsticks as kitchen utensils for cooking. The length of the chopsticks made it easier to reach deep into a boiling pot of water or oil.
22. Family is the Most Valued Item in China
Chinese culture emphasizes family. This culture believes family is the most valued aspect of the country. Though many old Chinese practices have been abandoned, the importance of family is one value that remains strong.
Unlike in many Western civilizations, kids do not move out when they grow up. Instead, parents like having their kids stay around, which is why you see multiple generations living together or close to one another.
23. The Number 4 is Unlucky
Many Chinese believe in superstitions, and one of the top superstitions in the country is that the number 4 is unlucky. Because of this, many Chinese avoid the number.
The number 4 is associated with the word death because, in Chinese, the pronunciation of four and death differ only in tone. Because of this, people in China do not buy things in four; they avoid the fourth floor, and red packets will never contain a value with the number 4.
Tetraphobia, the fear of the number 4, is strong in China, and this superstition is strong in East Asian nations.
24. New Skyscrapers are Completed Every Five Days
With the ever-growing population, China has a new skyscraper completed every five days. Many buildings are for the growing economy and to accommodate the increase in tourism.
25. The Bailong Elevator is Outdoors
China is home to an outdoor elevator set on a cliff’s edge. This elevator allows travelers to see the top of the cliff without embarking on the strenuous climb.
The Bailong Elevator is the world’s heaviest elevator and the world’s tallest outdoor elevator.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is China famous for?
China is best known for its unique ancient architecture. Visitors worldwide come to China to marvel at architectural wonders, such as the Great Wall of China.
The country is also known for its long-lasting traditions, including family values and martial arts practices.
What animals are unique to China?
China has many fascinating animals. The giant pandas are unique to south central China.
What is China’s most popular tourist attraction?
The Great Wall of China in Beijing is the most visited location by tourists exploring the country. Everything from the unique architecture of the wall to the steep mountain views makes this place a must-visit when traveling to China.
What is China’s national fruit?
China is known for unique culinary masterpieces, but only some know the country has a national fruit. The fuzzy kiwifruit is China’s national fruit. This fruit has a fuzzy, dull brown skin and tangy, bright green flesh.
China also has a second national fruit – the jujube.
What is the most visited city in China?
Tourism is on the rise, with more people traveling to China from all around the world. Beijing is the most visited city in China. Additionally, first-time visitors tend to visit Xian and Shanghai.
Book Your Trip to China
Experience the Land of the Red Dragon by enjoying a trip to China. Your adventure awaits, where you will discover ancient treasures, unique customs, and big city lights.
So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for? Book your trip today and experience all that China has to offer for yourself. Happy travels!