China Now Has the Most UNESCO World Heritage Sites

By Tristin Zhang, July 9, 2019

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How old is the Chinese civilization? A Chinese history student would tell you five millennia – but likely without providing any concrete proof. That is no longer the case, though, as the proof was recently recognized internationally at a World Heritage Committee meeting on July 6. 

The Archeological Ruins of Liangzhu City, located in today’s Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List during the aforementioned session, which took place in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. 

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know China's UNESCO Sites?

The announcement was made a day after another Chinese site – Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China – was listed as a World Heritage Site during the multi-day conference. 

Dating back as far as 3,300 BCE, the archeological site has been deemed strong evidence in support of Chinese civilization’s 5,000-year-long history. According to UNESCO: 

“Located in the Yangtze River Basin on the south-eastern coast of the country, the archeological ruins of Liangzhu (about 3,300-2,300 BCE) reveal an early regional state with a unified belief system based on rice cultivation in Late Neolithic China … These ruins are an outstanding example of early urban civilization expressed in earthen monuments, urban planning, a water conservation system and a social hierarchy expressed in differentiated burials in cemeteries within the property.” 

The 14.3-square-kilometer site, which was first discovered in 1936, includes the remains of 11 dams, cemetery sites, a water conservancy system and walls that are evidence of an early Chinese urban civilization. 

liangzhu-archeological-site-1.jpgImage via the Paper

Six other sites from Bahrain, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan and Laos also made it onto the prestigious list. With the addition of the Liangzhu archeological site, China now tops UNESCO’s World Heritage List with a total of 55 sites, followed by Italy with 54 recognized sites. 

The site is open to the public, but only allows 3,000 tourists to visit a day, and bookings must be made online. 

So how many Chinese UNESCO World Heritage sites have you visited? Take this quiz to find out just how much of a seasoned China traveler you are!


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[Cover image via the Paper]

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