Teaching in China for History Buffs

This is the beginning of a multi-part series highlighting the types of teachers that you will find in China:  the bookworms, the history buffs, the philosophers, the vagabonds, the language lovers, the adventurers, the warriors, the spiritual seekers- you’ll find all types teaching in China, and all are living their own, different adventure.

Not everyone has to fit into these boxes.  Some are combinations of many.  Some may come to China for different reasons and shift to find themselves seeking a passion that they never thought they would have.  Some may come as a vagabond and leave (or stay) as a history buff and lover of language. 

As teachers ourselves here at TDE, we all had our own reasons for going abroad and we have encountered all of these types in the vast country, pursuing their own goals, passions, and hobbies.

For the history buff, there is much to love about China.  We are going to highlight a couple of the great historical sites of China that help you explore and learn the history of China.


The Great Wall (长城) 


One of the most recognizable symbols of China, the Great Wall (长城) is an obvious inclusion on any list of historical sites in China.  There are four main sites that you can visit at the Great Wall today, but you can explore for miles and miles in some of these sections.  Built over a period of 2,300 years, the wall was started in about 220 BC in the Qin Dynasty.  The wall continued to be built upon throughout the dynasties, up through the Ming Dynasty.  The entire length spans over 5,500 miles and is an amazing piece of history that you can walk across, touch, and feel.   


Forbidden City (紫禁城)


The Forbidden City (紫禁城) is a massive complex of structures, with history spanning from its construction in the Ming Dynasty and ending its reign in the Qing Dynasty.  The structures within the city were built from 1406 - 1420 and contain over 980 buildings. This site held 24 emperors for almost 500 years in China and now houses the Palace Museum, full of architectural treasures, art, and artifacts.  


Terra Cotta Warriors(兵马俑)


The Terra Cotta Warriors (兵马俑) were built by Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. Over 8,000 life size army figures were built to accompany Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife. Although these warriors were hand carved more than 2,000 years ago, they were only discovered in 1974!  Many archaeologists believe there are still pits of soldiers that have not yet been uncovered. 


Shaolin Temple (少林寺) 


Founded by Buddhist monks over 1500 years ago, the Shaolin Temple (少林寺), or Shaolin Monastery, is located in Henan Province and is the main temple of Shaolin school Buddhism today. The temple is also known for its history of martial arts and its warrior monks.  Many martial artists have come to learn and study the Shaolin Kung Fu that originated within the temple walls. 

These four historic sites are just the tip of the iceberg. As a nation with thousands of years of history, there are simply too many great places to mention on this list. China is a truly massive country, with history and ancient sites in any city you visit. A quick search of any city in China will give you ideas of numerous places to see and things to do. 

Happy traveling!