Summer is always a good time to travel. Last month, while attending a conference, I had the opportunity to visit the city of Hangzhou in Southern China. In 2016, the city hosted the G20 Summit and the beautiful scenery of Hangzhou was introduced to the entire world. Most people know about Hangzhou because of the West Lake, the locally produced silk material, or as the southern terminal of the Grand Canal that connects Southern and Northern China. There is one more interesting site that definitely worth a visit, the Liangzhu ancient city and archaeological site.
Liangzhu, named after the village that occupies the place nowadays, was actually a site of an ancient civilization, dating back to more than three millenniums BC. This means that Liangzhu site was one of the origins of China’s long civilization. Since its large scale excavation in the early 21st
century, archaeologists have discovered a large ancient city complex and several dam systems built in the nearby mountains and water body. What makes me more excited is that Liangzhu has been recommended to be included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, making it the third one in Hangzhou. There is a huge museum on the periphery of the site, and it is full of information and animation. I had a great visit and recommend everyone to go see Liangzhu if you ever have the chance to go to Hangzhou.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, despite some ongoing controversies about the standards of values, are still one of the best starting point to a country’s nature, history, and culture. While Aggie travel around the world for study, work, and leisure, I believe it is very important for us to get to know the local culture and traditions, and understand what the place values. Next time when you book your flight and get out of your comfort zone, check out the World Heritage List: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/
and see if there’s anything on your way. I’m sure you’ll find them all quite amazing!
Mingqian Liu is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Architecture