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Virtual tour: The ultimate guide to visiting Chinese museums from home


Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese government is now advising everyone to stay at home in a bid to curb the spread of the epidemic. While stuck at home, why not take a detailed online tour at museums that you would not otherwise have time for?

Some of the best museums across China are putting their exhibitions online in VR format for free. Here is the ultimate guide to taking a VR tour of museums at home, that's definitely worth your time.

The Palace Museum

The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, in downtown Beijing has attracted a large number of visitors every year. Although the museum is now closed due to the current epidemic prevention, it's possible for visitors to take a virtual tour of parts of the museum without actually setting foot on the majestic grounds.

Visitors can browse all the buildings of the Palace Museums including the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihe Dian) and the Hall of the Mental Cultivation (Yangxin Dian).

More than 400,000 imperial artifacts have been digitized online, which can definitely help you gain knowledge and immerse yourself in a cultural atmosphere.

The websites:

Shanghai Museum

Shanghai Museum is a large and renowned museum, which collects over 120,000 precious artistic relics from more than 5,000 years ago to the Qing Dynasty. The marvelous bronze, ceramics, paintings and calligraphies offer a visual feast for the eyes, and also provide a good chance for people to learn the profound Chinese history and culture.

When you are browsing the exhibitions and relics, you can use the mouse wheel to zoom in and see the detail as every collection has a very detailed graphic introduction.

If you are into ancient Chinese arts and crafts, then the online Shanghai Museum is definitely worth your time.

The website:

Mogao Caves

The Mogao Caves, also known as Thousand Buddha Grottoes, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located near Dunhuang in northwest China's Gansu Province.

Now visitors can directly browse dozens of classic caves and appreciate the murals by cave rooms through the "Digital Dunhuang", website of the Mogao Caves. The development of "Digital Dunhuang" not only stuns visitors in a visual sense, but also "moves" the Mogan Grottoes outside.

You can also zoom in and zoom out the murals as well as the collections in the "Digital Dunhuang", and wander around for a while.

The website:

Guangdong Museum

Guangdong Museum is a first-rate provincial museum in China, featuring local golden wood carvings and precious cultural items like calligraphy and ceramics.

When you enter the official website of Guangdong Museum and select the "virtual exhibition" in the menu, you can see many exhibitions which can be appreciated online and enjoy the great charm of cultural relics at home.

The website:


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