Exploring the Most Spectacular Places to Visit in China

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China is an incredible destination for tourists across the world. With thousands of years of history, culture, and art, China is a land of diversity. From the modern cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou to the ancient wonders of the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and the Terracotta Army, the country has something to offer everyone. 

With world-class cuisine, a variety of accommodation options, and plenty of activities and attractions, China is certainly among the top destinations for a memorable and exciting vacation. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the top places to visit in China.  

Places to Visit in China

Here is a quick overview of the best places to visit in China - 

Places to Visit with Family

Places to Visit in Summer

Places to Visit in Winter

Beijing

Shanghai

Hong Kong

Guilin  

Yunnan Province

Chengdu

Zhangjiajie

Xinjiang

Sichuan

Harbin

Sanya

Huangshan City

Places to Visit in China with Family

China is a great destination for family vacations. With its rich culture, beautiful scenery, fascinating history, and diverse cuisine, it is sure to provide a memorable experience for everyone. Here are a few cities that you can explore with your family: 

1. Beijing

The capital of China, Beijing is a city with a rich and vibrant culture and has plenty of attractions and activities to enjoy, especially when you are travelling with your family. From ancient historical sites to modern shopping malls, there are several things to experience. 

  • The Forbidden City is one of the best places in Beijing and a must-visit for all. This ancient imperial palace is filled with fantastic architecture and art and is a great place to learn about Chinese history and culture.
  • The Great Wall of China is another must-see attraction in Beijing. As one of the seven wonders of the world and among the world's most iconic landmarks, it has an impressive structure that stretches over 6,000 kilometres. A hike along the wall is a great way to explore the area and take in the stunning views.
  • The Summer Palace is another tourist spot in Beijing. This imperial garden and palace complex is a great place to relax and explore the beauty of nature. You can take a boat ride around the lake, explore the gardens, and learn about the history of the palace.
  • If you are a history buff, make sure to visit the Temple of Heaven. This ancient temple complex is a great place to learn about Chinese culture and religion, as well as explore beautiful ancient architecture.

2. Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant city filled with incredible attractions and a plethora of activities to explore with your family. From historical sites to modern skyscrapers, there is something for everyone in this diverse city. Here are some of the top attractions of Shanghai to explore when travelling with family:

  • The Bund is a must-see for any visitor to Shanghai. This iconic waterfront is lined with classic European-style buildings, many of which are now home to some of China’s top banks and businesses. Along the riverfront, visitors can take in the breathtaking views of Pudong, Shanghai’s modern skyline.
  • Yu Garden is one of the city’s oldest and most iconic attractions. This traditional Chinese garden is filled with lush landscaping and features pavilions, halls, ponds, and rockeries. It’s also an excellent place to shop for souvenirs and to sample some of the city’s best street food.
  • The Shanghai Tower is reportedly the second tallest building in the world and offers awestruck views of the city from its observation deck. The tower is part of a complex that also includes the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Oriental Pearl Tower. 

3. Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the most popular cities in the world, and it is an ideal family vacation destination. There are many attractions to explore with the family, from theme parks and beaches to historical sites and cultural attractions.

  • One of the most popular attractions in the city is Hong Kong Disneyland, which makes for a great place to take the family. The park has seven themed lands - Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Toy Story Land, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, Future: Arendelle: World of Frozen, Main Street, USA and Future: Marvel Land. You can also find plenty of rides and attractions as well as live shows and parades here. It is a must-visit place, especially when you are travelling with your kids.
  • Ocean Park is a theme park and aquarium located in the Southern District of Hong Kong. The park features a variety of attractions, including roller coasters, shows, and interactive exhibits. It is also home to a giant panda habitat and a shark aquarium.
  • Victoria Peak is a great spot to get a panoramic view of the city. It has an observation tower at the top, which offers a 360-degree view of the city. Besides, you can relish authentic Chinese cuisine at a variety of restaurants and shops there. 

4. Guilin

Guilin is a popular tourist destination in China and a perfect place for family trips. The city is renowned for its breathtakingly beautiful scenery and rich cultural heritage.

Given below are some of the top attractions of Guilin that you can explore:

  • When visiting Guilin, make sure to experience the beauty of the Li River. It is a stunning 83-mile stretch of river that winds its way through the rolling hills and karst formations of the area. You can take a boat ride and enjoy the amazing landscapes or take a hike along the river banks to explore the limestone caves and hills.
  • Elephant Trunk Hill is among the most iconic landmarks in Guilin. The hill resembles an elephant drinking from the Li River, and, as you can expect, is a great spot for photos.
  • Reed Flute Cave is a stunning natural limestone cave filled with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Also known as the ‘Palace of Natural Art’, it is a unique and memorable site for people of all ages. 

Places to Visit in China in Summer Season

Let’s explore the top places to visit in China in summer - 

1. Yunnan Province

Yunnan Province is an incredibly diverse and stunningly beautiful part of China. It is home to stunning landscapes, fascinating culture, and unique wildlife, making it the perfect destination for a summer vacation.

  • One of the popular attractions in Yunnan Province is the Stone Forest. This stunning landscape of limestone formations is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is perfect for a day trip. The area is also home to many different ethnic minorities, making it a great place to learn about the culture.
  • The historic city of Lijiang in this region is also worth a visit. It is home to the ancient Naxi culture and is filled with colourful buildings, narrow cobbled streets, and ancient temples. The nearby Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is also a great place to explore, courtesy of its glaciers, rivers, and stunning views of the snow-covered mountain range. 

2. Chengdu

Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China, is an ideal destination to explore during the summer months. The city is known for its vibrant culture, spicy cuisine, and stunning natural landscape.

  • Built (circa) 256 BC, the Dujiangyan irrigation system is considered one of the oldest and most successful irrigation systems in the world. You can explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site in Chengdu for its ancient canals and dams, and learn about the history of the system.
  • Located in the downtown area of Chengdu, People’s Park is a great place to soak up the local culture, with numerous tea houses, street markets, and beautiful gardens to explore. You can also wander around Jinli Street, which is an ancient pedestrian street lined with shops, restaurants, and local food stalls. 
  • The Chengdu Panda Base is a must-visit for anyone visiting Chengdu in the summer. Located in the beautiful Dujiangyan City, the Panda Base is home to over 50 pandas and other endangered species such as red pandas, golden monkeys, and black-necked cranes. The Panda Base also offers educational programs, lectures, and activities to educate visitors about the importance of wildlife conservation.
  • Kuanzhai Alley is one of Chengdu’s most well-known attractions. Located in the city's centre, this alley is a mix of old and new, traditional and modern. You can explore the winding lanes, admire the traditional Chinese architecture, and sample delicious local snacks. Remarkably, in the months of summer, the alley is illuminated with lanterns that make it a beautiful sight.

3. Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie is one of the most beautiful and popular tourist attractions in China. Located in the mountainous region of Hunan Province, this scenic destination is loved by visitors from all over the world for its breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage. 

The top attractions of Zhangjiajie that should be explored in summer are as follows -

  • First, the world-famous Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a must-visit attraction of the city. This UNESCO-listed site features towering sandstone pillars, lush forests, and a magnificent natural bridge. Summer is the best time to explore the park when the weather is mild and the foliage is lush.
  • Tianmen Mountain is another must-see attraction in Zhangjiajie. The mountain is famous for its cable car ride, which offers stunning views of the valley below. There are also plenty of hiking trails to explore and enjoy.
  • Baofeng Lake is an exquisite lake with crystal clear waters and is surrounded by breathtaking mountains. It is a popular spot for visitors to enjoy boating and take in stunning views. 

4. Xinjiang

Xinjiang is an autonomous region in the western part of China and is often referred to as the ‘Heart of Silk Road’. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country and has a variety of attractions to explore during the summer months. 

Here are the top attractions of Xinjiang to explore in the summer -

  • The Tianshan Mountains span across Xinjiang and offer beautiful views and a chance to explore the local wildlife. The mountains are a great place for hiking, camping, and sightseeing. These mountains consist of four major components - Kalajun-Kuerdening, Bayinbuluke, Bogda, and Tomur.
  • The Turpan Basin is a large basin where you can explore the ancient ruins of the city, the wineries, and the various mosques that are located there.
  • Kashgar is an ancient city located in the western part of Xinjiang and is known for its traditional architecture, markets, and bazaars.
  • Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, can be explored for its markets, parks, gardens, Islamic architecture, and more. 

Places to Visit in China in Winter Season

Moving on to colder seasons, we will go through the best places to visit in China in winter - 

1. Sichuan

Sichuan is a beautiful place to explore in the winter, with a variety of attractions. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, there is something to enjoy in Sichuan.

  • One of the top attractions of Sichuan is the Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve. Here, you can explore stunning landscapes of waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and crystal-clear rivers. The area is especially attractive in the winter months, with temperatures that rarely exceed 10 degrees Celsius. Additionally, visitors may spot some of the native wildlife, including black-necked cranes, pandas, and golden monkeys.
  • Another popular attraction in Sichuan is the Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area. It is known for its colourful pools, snow-capped mountains, and forests. Winter is the perfect time to explore the area, as the weather remains mild while the scenery becomes even more beautiful.
  • You can also visit the Leshan Giant Buddha, with this 233-foot-tall statue being the largest stone statue of Buddha in the world. It’s worth noting that the statue is visible from the banks of the Minjiang river. With snow-covered mountains in the background in the winter, this place becomes even more remarkable in this season.

2. Harbin

Harbin is a city full of winter fun and beauty. It is known as the “Ice City” due to its long and cold winters.

Here are some of the top attractions to explore in Harbin during winter:

  • The first on the list is the world-famous Harbin Ice and Snow World, with this park reportedly being the world’s largest ice and snow theme park. If you enjoy being in the snow, you can find a wide variety of ice and snow sculptures, ice slides, and other exciting activities.
  • Songhua River is among the longest rivers in China and it runs through the city of Harbin. In winter, however, the river tends to freeze over and become a winter wonderland. You can take part in a variety of activities such as ice fishing, ice skating, and snow tubing.
  • Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture festival is held every year in the months of January and February. This fest features a variety of spectacular ice and snow sculptures made by some of the world’s most renowned ice and snow sculptors. 

3. Sanya

Sanya is a tropical paradise located on the southern end of China's Hainan Island. It enjoys a warm climate year-round and is a great destination if you are looking for a winter escape.

Mentioned below are the major attractions in Sanya -

  • One of the top attractions in Sanya is Yalong Bay. This beautiful beach is lined with luxe resorts and offers plenty of activities including swimming, sunbathing, and parasailing. Yalong Bay is also home to many water sports and boat tours, giving visitors a chance to explore the area's stunning coastline.
  • Another top attraction in Sanya is the Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone. This park features a giant statue of the Bodhisattva, a temple complex, and a sprawling garden. You can also explore any of the park's many trails, which offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and sea.
  • Sanya's Wuzhizhou Island is another must-visit destination on this list. Located off the coast of Sanya, this lovely island features crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches where you can enjoy swimming, snorkelling, and other water activities. 

4. Huangshan City

Huangshan City is an ideal destination in China for those looking for a unique winter experience. This city is full of awe-inspiring natural beauty and has a rich cultural heritage. It is home to a variety of attractions, many of which are particularly stunning in the winter months.

  • One of the most impressive attractions of Huangshan City is the yellow mountain. This picturesque mountain is known for its stunning views and spectacular sunsets. The snow-capped peak is a sight to behold - you can take cable cars to the top of the mountain to enjoy the view.
  • Another popular attraction here is the ‘Chinese Classics Garden’. It was built over 500 years ago and is one of the oldest gardens in the country. This garden makes for a beautiful place to roam around in the winter and take in the sights and sounds.
  • The Tunxi Ancient Street is also a must-see for winter visitors. This street is lined with centuries-old buildings and is a great place to shop for souvenirs and take photos. 

Importance of Travel Insurance for China

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