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China Sightseeing Tours to Top 6 Attractions on CNY Banknotes

Currently, China adopts the fifth edition of CNY banknotes with the main denominations of 100 Yuan, 50 Yuan, 20 Yuan, 10 Yuan, 5 Yuan and 1 Yuan. As soon as they were released, they attracted people’s eyes with the China sightseeing places on the reverse side, including the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the Yellow Cloth Shoal along the Li River, the Kui Gate in the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, Taishan Mountain in Shandong, and the West Lake in Hangzhou. It will be a very interesting experience to take a China sightseeing tour to visit these places and find the exact spots to take photos similar to those on the CNY banknotes.
 

Great Hall of the People in Beijing - CNY 100 Banknote
The primary image on the 100 Yuan banknote is a front view of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The hall is located on the west side of the Tian’anmen Square, covering an area of 15 hectares (37 acres). As a landmark building in Beijing, it is the place where important national conferences and grand cultural, political and diplomatic events are held. Strictly speaking, it is not a tourist attraction, but more of a government facility. However, owing to its popularity among international tourists and political significance, it is chosen to be printed on the 100 Yuan note. Many tourists will see it during a China sightseeing tour and take photos in front of it. Over the main gate hangs a big national emblem of the People’s Republic of China. Below it, there are twelve high marble pillars, giving a strong sense of solemnity. 

 How to take a photo like that on 100 Yuan banknote?
As the photo is taken outside of the hall, you don’t need to buy an entrance ticket. It is advised to keep a distance of a few meters from the architecture and shoot in very front of it. If you want the architecture to look more imposing, please half squat and find a better photographing angle.

 Recommended Tour:   Beijing Mini Group Day Tour including the Great Hall of the People from $89
2 

The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet - CNY 50 Banknote

The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet - CNY 50 Banknote
For many tourists, the first stop of a Lhasa tour is the Potala Palace. Located in the city center of Lhasa, it is not only a holy land for Tibetan Buddhism, but also the landmark of Tibet. The Potala Palace was built on the Red Hill of Lhasa River Valley following the mountain range. Looking from the exterior, it is a Tibetan style architecture with 13 floors, dominated by the bright colors of red and white, whereas it in fact only has 9 floors inside. Apart from appreciating the palace complex and taking photos from the outside, you can buy a ticket to enter the palace and feast your eyes on the precious cultural relics.

 How to take a photo like that on 50 Yuan banknote?
As the Potala Palace is quite a large complex, the best spot to take a panoramic picture is the sightseeing platform on the hillside of Chakpori Hill, which stands opposite to the Potala Palace. On sunny days, many shutterbugs will gather at the platform in the early morning, waiting for the first string of the sun to shine on the palace. At that time, you will get a similar photo to that on the 50 Yuan banknote.

 Recommended Tour:   4 Days Lhasa Tour including the Potala Palace from $559
3 

Yellow Cloth Shoal along the Li River in Guilin - CNY 20 Banknote

Yellow Cloth Shoal along the Li River in Guilin - CNY 20 Banknote
Guilin is endowed with unparalleled mountain and river sceneries compared with other China sightseeing places. Along the Li River, you can always enjoy picturesque green mountains and rivers but the section from Yangdi Village to Xingping Town which passes the Yellow Cloth Shoal has the best sceneries. And the original picture on the 20 Yuan note was shot on the Yellow Cloth Shoal. Here you will be marveled at a unique Chinese ink painting composed by green rolling hills on both sides, crystal water, and clear water reflections. 

 How to take a photo like that on 20 Yuan banknote?
When enjoying Li River Cruise, you will have an opportunity to take a similar photo while the ship passing the Yellow Cloth Shoal. Upon approaching, the tour guide will inform you. You can also take a bamboo raft from Xingping to Mural Hill, which goes by the Yellow Cloth Shoal. 

If you want to photograph it on land, first take a bus from Guilin to Xingping. After getting off the bus, hike for about half an hour to Xingping Wharf, and you can see the several best spots nearby to take a picture of the background on CNY 20 banknote.

 Recommended Tour:   Two Days Guilin Tour including the Yellow Cloth Shoal from $243
4 

Kui Gate in the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River - CNY 10 Banknote

Kui Gate in the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River - CNY 10 Banknote
An in-depth China sightseeing tour usually involves a visit to the Yangtze River, the longest river in China. Taking a cruise floating through the Three Gorges is a classic way to admire the beauty of the Yangtze River. Kui Gate, also named as Qutang Pass, is a natural door to the Three Gorges. Here the riverbed is quite narrow, flanked by high cliffs on both sides. The narrowest part is less than 50 meters (55 yards) wide, with constant roaring rapids. What a breathtaking scene it is! This perfectly explains why the sceneries at the Kui Gate are printed on the 10 Yuan banknote.

 How to take a photo like that on 10 Yuan banknote?
The best spot to take a photo is on the sightseeing platform in the White Emperor City in Fengjie County. Upon entry, you need to climb a small hill and follow the direction signs to the platform. As the platform is not big, you may find it a little crowded. Actually, the pavilion below the platform also offers an ideal photographing angle. You can go there for less crowds.

You will also meet with the Kui Gate when taking a Yangtze River Cruise. As the ships usually make stopovers in the nearby wharf, you can take a photo at the sightseeing platform besides the wharf.

 Recommended Tour:   Three Gorges Exploration from $579
5 

Taishan Mountain in Shandong - CNY 5 Banknote

Taishan Mountain in Shandong - CNY 5 Banknote
On the back of CNY 5 note, you can see the splendid sunrise over a sea of clouds on high mountains and that is the Taishan Mountain. As one the top five mountains in China, Taishan Mountain is famous for its grand natural scenery throughout the year as well as the rich cultural relics like stone inscriptions and ancient temples. In ancient times, Taishan Mountain is regarded as a sacred place to bless the emperor and his country. According to historical records, altogether 13 emperors went there to offer sacrifices to the heaven in person. In 1987, it was inscribed as a world cultural and natural heritage by the UNESCO.

 How to take a photo like that on 5 Yuan banknote?
In fact, it is impossible to take a photo exactly the same as the one on 5 Yuan note because it is a composite picture. It integrates three symbols of the mountain, including the main peak Jade Emperor Summit, the Nantian Gate, and the stone inscription bearing four Chinese characters, which means the top one among the five mountains. But you can take separate photos first and then process a composite picture using software.

 Recommended Tour:   One Day Tour to Mount Taishan from Jinan from $240
6 

Three Pools Mirroring the Moon in West Lake, Hangzhou - CNY 1 Banknote

Three Pools Mirroring the Moon in West Lake, Hangzhou - CNY 1 Banknote
The Three Pools Mirroring the Moon is one of the top 10 scenes at West Lake Scenic Area. The three pools refer to the three stone stupas in the lake taking the shape of a gourd. From a distance, they seem to float on the water in the breeze. An interesting thing is that the stupas are hollow inside and each has five round holes on the main body. At moonlit night, if you put candles in the stupas, the candlelight will flow out from the small holes, creating round reflections on the water, so that you cannot tell which is the real reflection of the moon. This is how the scene of “Three Pools Mirroring the Moon” comes.

 How to take a photo like that on 1 Yuan banknote?
You can take a sightseeing boat in the West Lake Scenic Area, which heads for the Xiaoyingzhou Islet. After disembarking from the boat, walk south to the Woxin Xiangyin Pavilion, where you can take in all the three stupas and take a photo similar to the background on CNY 1 banknote.

 Recommended Tour:  2 Days Hangzhou Tour from Shanghai including the West Lake from $309
- Last modified on Apr. 20, 2021 -
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