China tops list on Lonely Planet's '2017 best Asian destinations’

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If you are keen to explore all corners of the globe, there's no reason to skip Asia. As the Earth's largest and most populous continent, Asia has gained hearts of passionate photographers and storytellers with its unique sights, culture, cuisine, friendliness,and overall value.

A ranking of 10 best places to visit in Asia for this year was unveiled recently by the world's largest travel guide book publisher Lonely Planet.

Among the roundup of Asian destinations, China topped the list with Gansu Province, which locates in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, northwest of the country.

Gansu: Silk Road tour with rich history in Buddhist art

Gansu is one of the cradles for Chinese time-honored cultures. With a population of 26.7 million, including ethnic minority groups, this city has developed a unique community with its richness and distinctiveness in culture.

Gansu is synonymous with the Silk Road, an ancient network of trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty of China, and linked the regions of the ancient world in commerce.

The history of world-class Buddhist art has been deeply rooted in Gansu. In ancient times, the city of Dunhuang was the oasis surrounded by high mountains, deserts and served as a rest stop for traders as the gateway to enter China through the Silk Road. The world-famous Mogao Grottos is considered as the largest and most well-preserved Buddhist art palace and collections in the world. Today, there are a total number of 492 Mogao Grottoes, including over 2,800 sculptures and 45,000 square meters of murals. In December 1987, the Mogao Grottoes have been added into the List of the World Cultural Heritages by the UNESCO.

A famous tourism site with amazing frontier cultural and natural landscape, Jiayuguan Pass, which is the western end of the Great Wall, owned one of great strategic importance – a fortified defensive system.

Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.

Must-see attraction in Xi'an: Terracotta Warriors

Neighboring province of Gansu province is Shaanxi to the east. Xi'an, capital city in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, climbed up to No. 7 on the ranking list.

The diverse heritage in Xi'an is supreme, particularly with the highlight of Terracotta Warriors, which is a collection of thousands of terracotta sculptures depicting the army of Qin Shi Huang (China's first emperor). These detailed life-size models were delicately painted, which are considered one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world, and one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century.

Xi'an in Chinese literally means "Peace in the West", historically known as "Chang An, an ancient capital city for some of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including the Zhou, Qin, Han, the Sui, and Tang dynasties.

These top two picks in China has offered you a fresh look at stunningly ancient cities and towns. As you may find this year's Asia's Best list leans heavily toward ancient traditional capitals, rather than the futuristic super-cities that have dominated the rankings in the past.

Whether you are a sightseer, an adventurer, a foodie, or a relaxer, Asia has reserved one of the best vacation spots for every type of traveler.

Now it's the time to plan your next year's getaway in Asia, and China in particular.

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