What is China Famous For? 20 Fun + Cool Facts About China

If you’re asking what is China famous for, then you need to read this article! The answers to what is China known for are perhaps more wide-ranging than you think, and there are so many Chinese things that bring to mind only this Eastern nation.

From famous people from China or China famous landmarks to famous China cities and which China famous dish might already be your restaurant or takeout favorite, there are lots of reasons why China is known on a global scale.

China is famous for the following reasons – among other things. Whether you’re more into sport, wildlife, history, festivals, food and drink or even fashion, here’s 20 reasons why China definitely belongs on your radar.

Check out our tips to plan a perfect trip to China!

What is China famous for? 20 Chinese things to know about

China’s national sport is ping pong

According to olympics.com, ping pong – aka table tennis – is actually the national sport in China. Whether at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics or elsewhere in the world, there is no sport that the Chinese take more seriously than that involving two bats, a white ball and a table with a small net strung across the center.

Not surprisingly, China has 36 gold Olympic medals for table tennis to date. So if you’re asking what is China famous for producing, ping pong players could be a good starting point.

Image: What is China famous for? Huge population is one of the things.

China has a huge population

In 2023, the UN stated that India finally overtook China as the most populous country in the world. Despite this, it’s a close-run thing between the two nations. Historically, the huge number of people is certainly one of the answers to the question of why is China famous.

China has a Great Wall

The Great Wall of China is one of the most famous sites in the country, and the vast barrier has a long history. At around 13,000 miles, its length is also considerable. In travel terms, it could well be the answer to what is China most known for.

The Wall was built to ward off invaders, and much of it was constructed during the era of the Ming Dynasty. Though common folklore says the wall can be seen from the Moon, there is no real evidence to support this so-called fact.

Image: Chinese New Year celebrations in Shanghai, China.

China celebrates Chinese New Year

Unlike the rest of the world, China doesn’t mark the dawning of a new year on 1st January. The date of Chinese New Year is decided according to the Gregorian calendar, and the new year begins according to when there’s a new moon between the 21st of January and the 20th of February.

Festivals featuring colorful dragons take place across China and in other locations to mark this big annual occasion. The New Year celebrations are one of the most famous things in China – and way beyond.

China is (probably) named for the Qin dynasty

China’s name does not come from the type of porcelain associated with the country’s ceramic production. Rather, the answer to why is China called China may well lie within one of the nation’s former ruling dynasties: the name Qin is actually thought to be responsible for the origin of the moniker.

Image: Food is one of the things China is famous for.

China gave the world Chinese food

Whether it’s your local Chinese takeout, a fine dining restaurant, a street food stall or the Chinatown in your local city, Chinese food from the east is popular all over the west. From sweet and sour pork or lemon chicken to dim sum, chow mein or dumplings, what is China famous for in food terms is wide-ranging.

A Chinese meal eaten at home or a restaurant is almost always a real treat, wherever in the world you happen to be.

Image: What is China famous for is fine china porcelaine.

China lent its name to fine China

Fine china is seen as the creme de la creme when it comes to crockery. And is there anything better to use when eating a delicious Chinese feast? If you’re seeking things that represent China, this one is a household name.

From afternoon tea at a top London hotel to Michelin-starred restaurants across the globe, fine china is seen as the discerning diner’s crockery of choice. According to Wikipedia, it is so-called as this type of porcelain was first seen in Chinese imports to western nations during the 1600s.

Image: Discovering China's tea art in Shanghai

China is renowned for its tea production

‘All the tea in China’, as the saying goes, is something you can drink from those fine china cups and saucers. You could ask what food is China famous for, but the hot drink has arguably spread even further than the love of Chinese cuisine. Historically, countries like the UK could be completely lost without tea imports from China.

China has cute giant pandas

One of the really cool things in China for kids and adults alike are the country’s giant pandas. The species is endemic to China and has a distinctive black and white coat and round body. Giant pandas are one of the most threatened animals on the planet and the most rare member of the bear family.

China is famous for traditional Chinese medicine

Though some methods used within traditional Chinese medicine are fraught with controversy, it remains popular within the country – and in some instances, way beyond. Whatever you make of it, and despite some practices having mixed results when tested scientifically, Chinese medicine has given people the likes of acupuncture and tai chi. The latter in particular being one of the most popular things in China – and a big hitter in other locations too.

Image: Silk is what China is famous for.

China produces the best mulberry silk

Another of the things associated with China is mulberry silk. In recent years, the popularity of natural silk has rocketed, in particular for pillowcases, and the very best silk in the world comes from China. It’s hardly surprising when you learn that China has a silk production heritage that stretches back for many thousands of years.

China is in charge of Hong Kong

Despite formerly being under British rule, Hong Kong is now part of the People’s Republic of China. It’s officially known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and is renowned for its glittering skyscrapers clustered around Kowloon Bay. Hong Kong is also famous for being a cultural melting pot, where east meets west. Hong Kong is one of the top cities to visit in China.

China has a Terracotta Army

In travel terms, the Terracotta Army is something else travelers flock to see when visiting China. Or even when part of the army is exhibited elsewhere in the world. No two Terracotta Warriors are alike, and they were made to protect a former emperor in the afterlife.

The intriguing collection of figures can be found in Xi’an City, within Shaanxi Province. This was the Qin Dynasty’s capital city back when the Terracotta Army was made, between 221 and 207 BC. The answer to what is ancient China famous for surely must be this.

Image: Forbidden City in China

China is home to a Forbidden City

The Forbidden City in Beijing is also one of the most famous things of China. This imperial palace complex was constructed using feng shui principles and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The huge site has 9,999 rooms within 980 buildings, and covers over 720,000 square meters.

Chinese is the most spoken language

In terms of sheer numbers, one of the Chinese things that really stands out is the language. More people speak Mandarin Chinese than any other language, if you count native speakers only. This is because the country’s population tops 1.4 billion.

China gave the world Jackie Chan

Well, strictly speaking, it was Hong Kong, where Chan was born. The highly successful movie actor is probably the world’s biggest Chinese household name. As well as being an actor, Chan is a stuntman, martial artist and filmmaker, and has starred in over 150 films since the 1960s. Any list of famous Chinese people would surely be topped by Mr Chan.

China is the home of Kung Fu

If you’ve seen Kung Fu Panda, you’ll know a little about how this Chinese martial art is practiced. In addition to being a form of exercise, it’s practiced in China for purposes associated with spirituality and self-discipline. In fact, the term Kung Fu can be used in China to refer to any kind of study or practice requiring time, patience and energy.

China has iconic Chinese temples

Chinese temple architecture is a distinctive style that’s instantly recognizable. China is known for these colorful structures dotted throughout the land, and you can find them in small and large cities alike.

Some of these are the Jade Buddha Temple and the Confucian Temple, both fantastic sights to visit in Shanghai. The houses of worship were used for the practice of Chinese Taoism, Buddhism or Chinese folk religion.

China has the longest river in Asia

The Yangtze is a famous Chinese river that’s also Asia’s longest. It’s also the world’s third most protracted – and the lengthiest in one country. Some rare endemic species can be found living within the waters of the mighty Yangtze, which stretches between the East China Sea in Shanghai and the Tibetan Plateau.

China makes many mass-produced goods

A ‘Made in China’ label is a very common sight when it comes to buying goods – wherever on the planet you live or are visiting. If you’re asking what products is China famous for, then the answer could be anything made in a factory. Plus silk and tea, of course.

about me: Angela Corrias
About the author

I'm Angela Corrias, an Italian journalist, photographer, and travel writer located in the heart of Italy's capital. Welcome to my website, your comprehensive source for your travels and expert guidance for crafting your dream travel experience.

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