Shanghai UNESCO – UNESCO sites in and around Shanghai
Last Update: 12th November 2019
What are the UNESCO sites around Shanghai?
As at 5th August 2019, Shanghai has no UNESCO World Heritage Sites. However, the areas around Shanghai offers several UNESCO World Heritage Sites to explore. Most of them are within or around 60 minutes ride in the high-speed train from Shanghai. Let’s see what they are.
Shanghai UNESCO Sites
- Classical Gardens of Suzhou
Usually, it takes around 30 minutes ride in the high-speed train from Shanghai to Suzhou. The least duration of time is 23 minutes. Declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997 and 2003, the Classical Garden of Suzhou can date back to the 6th Century BC. In the Ming (1368 – 1644) and Qing (1644 – 1912) Dynasties, the Old Town of Suzhou was dotted with the classical gardens.
For now, more than 100 gardens are well-preserved in Suzhou. Among them, Humble Administrator’s Garden and Garden of Cultivation in the Ming Dynasty, Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty in the Five Dynasties (907 – 960), Master of the Nets Garden and Surging Waves Pavilion (Cangling Pavilion) in the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279), Lion Grove Garden in the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368), Lingering Garden, Garden of Couple’s Retreat and Retreat and Reflection Garden in the Qing Dynasty are listed into the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Site for their exquisite and distinguished gardening art and distinctive artistic features.
- West Lake Hangzhou
Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011, West Lake, Hangzhou covers an area of around 49 square kilometers. It takes around 60 minutes ride in the high-speed train from Shanghai to Hangzhou. It offers more than 100 sightseeing spots to explore.
Among them, the best-known are the Broken Bridge (Duan Qiao), Leifeng Pagoda, and Su Causeway. It is dotted with more than 20 museums to explore. More than 600 old trees in the area witness the changes in Hangzhou for more than 100 years.
- Suzhou Section of Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal
Dating back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC – 476 BC), Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal was originally built in 486 BC to serve the military operations of conquering other kingdoms during the period of time. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014, Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal is divided into seven sections by geographic location.
The canal has played a vital role in the development of local economy and national economy for hundreds of years. In the ancient times, silk, tea, sugar, bamboo, timber, ceramics and other products in South China were transported to North China while coal, leather goods, and pine were transported to South China via ships. In addition, old bridges spanning over the canal are well-preserved as well.