10 Best Places to Visit in China Vast and diverse, China is a giant travel destination. With more megacities than any other country in the world, as well as the country with the largest population, any visit to this Asian giant is a beguiling and engaging mix of charming traditional culture and modernity. With 53 diverse ethnic groups and more than 292 spoken languages, each destination in China is different from the last.
Visitors making their first trip to China usually stick to the larger cities. More experienced visitors to the Middle Kingdom will strike out in other directions, where travelling may be a bit more frustrating because of the language barrier, but most definitely doable for independent travellers.
Here are the 10 best places to visit in china
Located on the western side of the Pearl River Delta, Macau is a major gambling destination that is home to luxury resorts, glitzy casinos, and world-class entertainment. The city is set on the South China Sea, not far from Hong Kong and Shenzhen, and is known as the ‘Vegas of China’.
As the Portuguese ruled it for four centuries, Macau exhibits a fascinating mix of Chinese and Portuguese customs and cuisines. Interesting historic sights also abound, with churches, temples, and fortresses found among the colourful colonial-era buildings of Old Macau.
While the Macau Peninsula has lots of important landmarks and several fantastic museums on offer, most people come for its casinos. These are not only home to every type of slot machine and gambling game imaginable but lots of restaurants, bars and hotels. In addition, they sport large shopping complexes and their theatres put on lots of mesmerizing performances and music concerts.
Located in Sichuan Province in southwest China, Leshan lies at the spot where the Dadu, Min and Qingyi rivers meet. The city is home to the largest stone-carved Buddha in the world and is known for its proximity to the Mount Emei Scenic Area’s lovely scenery and historical attractions.
Although often overlooked, Leshan has an abundance of restaurants, cafes, and accommodation options, and boasts a thriving culinary scene. Scattered around town are many interesting sights, such as the famous writer Guo Moruo’s Former Residence and the Oriental Buddha Park, home to thousands of amazing statues and carvings.
The main reason people visit, however, is for the Leshan Giant Buddha, which towers to a staggering 71-metres. Built during the Tang Dynasty, the stunning sandstone sculpture is hewn out of the solid cliff face and looks out over the Min and Dadu rivers. Lying nearby is Leshan’s other highlight, Mount Emei, home to 76 Buddhist monasteries and plenty of lovely natural scenery and wildlife.
Long famed for its elegance, beauty, and culture, Suzhou lies just to the northeast of Shanghai, in Jiangsu Province. Set on the shores of Lake Tai and the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the city is full of pretty canals and stone bridges; leading to its nickname, the ‘Venice of the East.
Although in recent years, China’s rapid development has seen a myriad of modern buildings spring up, Suzhou still boasts age-old pagodas and scenic streetscapes. The city has four classical gardens, with the Lingering Gardens, with its four distinct sections, is considered a masterpiece garden in China. The gardens are delightful to stroll around and feature rocks, trees, pavilions, and lakes, all harmoniously put together. The Grand Canal, which connects Beijing and Hangzhou, runs through Suzhou, spawning a network of canals throughout the old city.
Located just outside the small city of Zhangjiajie in northwest Hunan Province, Wulingyuan boasts some of the most impressive and spectacular landscapes in China. Part of the Wuling Mountain Range, the scenic area is particularly famous for the thousands of pillars and peaks that punctuate the park.
Often shrouded in mist, these karst formations look incredible, and many of them tower over two hundred meters high. Covered in sub-tropical rainforest, they rise above plunging ravines and deep gorges, with sparkling rivers, lakes, and waterfalls found here and there.
Hiking around Wulingyuan’s awe-inspiring landscapes really is a treat, and many of its narrow trails pass along steep clifftops and death-defying drops. From its picturesque and at times perilous paths, you can enjoy exquisite panoramas of the park’s unique landscapes.
Jiuzhaigou Valley is a place that will appeal to travelers who enjoy the great outdoors and like their scenery pristine and uncluttered. A national park in Sichuan Province, it is home to several Tibetan villages, offering visitors a chance to see another lifestyle without having to brave the high altitudes of the Himalayan region. The region’s name means “nine Tibetan villages.”
The national park has been described as a fairyland because of its many waterfalls; snow-covered karst mountains, and its 108 blue, turquoise and green colored lakes that are so crystal clear one can see the bottoms. It is also the habitat of giant pandas, though the chances of seeing them are slim due to the park’s size and the number of tourists.
Yangshuo in South China was once a magnet for backpackers because of its cheap prices and laid-back atmosphere, but today it draws all sorts of travelers to enjoy its scenic beauty.
Yangshuo makes a good base to take day trips throughout the area. A favorite activity is to take a boat between Yangshuo and Guilin for a leisurely trip on the Li River, known for its beautiful scenery and karst mountains that have been made famous by photographers and painters all over the world. Many travelers choose to rent bicycles for the trip back, since the route is relatively flat and gives them the opportunity to view farmers toiling in their fields.
Located on the East China Sea and the mouth of the Yangtze River, Shanghai is the largest city and most developed city in China. Nearly a third of China’s exports come from the area and it attracts almost a quarter of all the country’s foreign investment, more than any single developing country.
Its skyline is filling with skyscrapers while shiny shopping malls, luxurious hotels and prestigious arts centers are rising alongside. The city nights in Shanghai are representative of the Western view of China cities with bright neon signs, bustling streets and numerous businesses.
When it comes to getting around in Shanghai, this city has everything, including an extensive Metro system. The most popular place to go for a stroll is the Bund, Shanghai’s colonial riverfront along Huangpu River.
8. Great Wall of China
One of the world’s greatest architectural and engineering triumphs, the Great Wall of China spans over 6,000 kilometers and is the country’s most famous sight. In total, it passes through 15 Chinese provinces. Its watchtowers, gates, and fortifications are strung from the Desert in the west to the Bohai Sea in the east.
Built over the centuries and millennia by various Chinese kingdoms, states, and empires, the wall meanders through treacherous terrain and past some spellbinding scenery. While its earliest segments were built back in the 7th century BC to protect people from raiders, many of its most famous parts date to the Ming Dynasty.
As it snakes across mountains, valleys, and hills, the Great Wall has plenty of stunning scenery for visitors to enjoy. While some parts are very well-restored, others lie in wild and remote regions and are in various states of disrepair.
9. Hong Kong
Located off China’s southeastern coast, Hong Kong is a glittering, world-class commercial center where Chinese culture, British colonial influences and modern day high-technology blend together. While it contains the world’s highest concentration of skyscrapers and one of the highest population densities, Hong Kong also offers plenty of green spaces, mountain views and beaches.
Some of them include the famous Victoria Harbour, which is a spectacular sight at night with all the dazzling skyscrapers and The Peak, Hong Kong Island’s highest hill which offers awe-inspiring views of the harbor. From amusement parks like Ocean Park and Disneyland Hong Kong to prestigious museums, fabulous shopping malls, bustling night markets, horse racing, beautiful beaches and rides on the world’s longest outdoor escalator, Hong Kong has something for everyone.
Beijing is the current capital city and remains one of the most popular places to visit in China. Its history dates back more than 3,000 years and much of that history is still alive within its borders. Beijing literally means Northern Capital, a role it has played many times in China’s long history.
It first became notable in Chinese history after it was made the capital of the State of Yan under the name Yanjing. The Mongols seized the city in 1215 and from 1264 it served as the capital of a united China under Kublai Khan. After the fall of the Mongol-founded Yuan dynasty in 1368, the capital was initially moved to Nanjing but was moved back in 1403 and received its present name.
Known for its flatness and regular construction, the city has only three hills and its concentric ring roads are actually rectangular, like the configuration of the Forbidden City. Beijing boasts an extensive public transportation network, which includes an extensive subway system.