Random traveling is great fun, however, a theme or goal can add structure to guide you onward to the next journey of discovery. Therefore, I decided to visit all of the banknote scenes depicted on the back of Chinese yuan bills. My rationale is these places must be interesting and certainly important enough to be featured on the national currency.
China’s Bank Note Scenes
The Great Hall of the People, Beijing
(100 Yuan Note)
The Great Hall of the People sits on the west side of Tiananmen Square. The hall is a large government building where officials assemble and do government stuff. Although not a major of a tourist attraction like the Forbidden City, it is an important symbol for the PRC.
The Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet
(50 Yuan Note)
The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet was used by the Dalai Lama as a residence and the seat of government. The 5th Dalai Lama started the construction around 1645 and it was last used by the 14th Dalai Lama who had to flee during the 1959 Tibetan uprising.
The Li River, Guilin
(20 Yuan Note)
The mountain scene in Yangshuo near Guilin is along the Li River between the towns Xingping and Yucun. Take a river cruise or raft to get the best view and experience of Guilin’s karst mountain landscape.
Qutang Gorge Along the Yangtze River
(10 Yuan Note)
The Yangtze is the longest river in Asia and the third-longest in the world. It bisects China north and south and exits into the Pacific ocean just north of Shanghai. The Three Gorges Scenic Area includes the Qutang Gorge, the Wuxia Gorge, and Xiling Gorge. Qutang Gorge (瞿塘峡) is the one depicted on the 10-yuan note.
White Emperor City is the best place to view the scene that’s on the 10 RMB bill as it has the near same vantage point.
Mount Tai, Shandong Province
(5 Yuan Note)
Mount Tai (泰山) in Shandong province is one of China’s “Five Sacred Taoist Mountains”. It is very famous among Chinese and has been visited by many including Confucius. Hiking up goes along well-maintained stairs and paths and should take around four hours. Near the top are hotels if you want to stay overnight.
“Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon”, West Lake, Hangzhou
(1 Yuan Note)
“Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon” (三潭印月) is one of the “Ten Scenes of West Lake” (西湖十景) in Hangzhou area. This famous scene is of three stone pagodas that stand about 2-3 meters tall and are situated in the water just off Xiaoying Island.