These Buddhist cave temples were a center of culture on the Silk Road from the 4th to the 14th centuries and contain well-preserved religious murals and carvings spanning that entire period.
Temple of Heaven
Completed in 1420, this magnificent temple was considered the meeting point of Earth and Heaven. For 500 years it hosted the emperors' sacrifices and prayers for a good harvest at the winter solstice.
Giant Buddha of Leshan
This is the tallest stone Buddha statue in the world, carved out of a cliff by an 8th-century monk to calm the turbulent confluence of three rivers. Each eyebrow is 18 feet long.
Shanghai experienced several waves of Jewish immigration and there was once a large Jewish community here. You can visit the main synagogue, now a museum, and take a tour of Jewish Shanghai.
These Buddhist monasteries on the sacred mountain of Song Shan are famed for their long association with Chan (Zen) Buddhism and martial arts. Today most of the "monks" are aspiring kung-fu actors.
White Cloud Temple
Once the most influential Taoist center in China, this recently renovated temple is now the home of 30 monks and the China Taoism Association. It is a lively place that is popular with pilgrims and devotees.
Founded in 1416, this monastery on the outskirts of Lhasa was once Tibet's largest and most influential, with over 10,000 monks. It remains active today.
Niu Jie Mosque
There are around 200,000 Muslims in Beijing. The Niu Jie mosque in the Muslim Quarter of the city is a colorful building in Chinese style, with text in Chinese and Arabic.