What to see in China? Beijing, Shanghai, the Great Wall…But when you’re done with those, what else should you see in China? Here are five ideas.
We spent seven weeks in China in 2011. We traveled up the South-Eastern seaboard and right across the country from Beijing to Far West China. It was an incredible experience but even as we planned our route we had to make choices about where to go and what to see. We had a fantastic time and, I think, got a tremendous perspective on the country and history of China. Of all the many things we didn’t see and places we didn’t visit, here’s some of that are on my bucket list for a return visit to China. Enjoy!
What to See in China: Harbin Ice Sculptures
Held in chilly North-Eastern China in January, the Ice Festival is an international display of art constructed of ice and snow (and yes, some construction materials). It’s supposed to be otherworldly.
What to See in China: Hike Tiger Leaping Gorge
We only had time for one overnight hike while we were in China and the hike we did (Emei Shan) was challenging and given that we were hiking from temple to temple up a sacred Buddhist mountain, a truly unique experience. That said, I’d love to do the more rural, more rustic, Tiger Leaping Gorge hike.
What to See in China: Li River Guilin
We spent two months traveling through South-East Asia before going to China so it was an easy decision to cut the southern Chinese province of Yunnan from our itinerary since the karst scenery in Yunnan is very similar to Northern Thailand and Laos. That said, I’ve heard enough other travelers claim that Yunnan is the most beautiful region in China so I’d go back to see for myself.
What to See in China: Cultural Revolution Museum in Shantou
We spent a lot of time in China learning about Chinese history through the Dynasties and sadly no time at all learning about the period since 1945. So, when I read about the Cultural Museum in Shantou I had to put that on my China Bucket List.
What to See in China: Hangzhou and Suzhou
We almost made it to Hangzhou and Suzhou. Almost but not quite. As two beautiful cities in Eastern China I’d love to go there and see these up-and-coming Chinese vacation destinations.
If you have a favorite place in China not mentioned above, do leave a comment below!
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Information on traveling to China with Children
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I’d add Huangshan and Yellow Mountain-breathtaking walk (not a trek) up a mountain that has been the subject of many Chinese paintings. Shrouded in clouds, it is magical! Skip the lunch at the hotel on the mountain–mediocre. Pack your own meal and dine al fresco.
Also, in Chengdu, after you visit the adorable pandas, be sure to visit the Daoist temple (arrange to have a Daoist monk guide you). Also, while in Chengdu, visit Jinsha Archeological Site (discovered in 2001).
Last, when the government of China lifts the tourism restrictions on Tibet, add a few days in Lhasa for a truly spiritual experience. Food isn’t very good (unless you’re at the St. Regis Lhasa) but the sights and colors are wonderful. Kids will enjoy the market and all are entranced with the various temples.