Top 10 Must-See Tourist Attractions in China

Top 10 Must-See Tourist Attractions in China
By Michael Hu

Endowed with a long history, rich culture and a variety of climatic ecological environments, there are so many things China has to offer to your life-time travel experience. We have carefully selected the top 10 tourist attractions to meet different interests.

1. Great Wall of China

When you are planning a trip to China, the Great Wall is always on the top visiting list. Having been the earliest military defensive project, the Great Wall plays a very import role in China’s history. Based on the statistics from the Mapping Department, the total length of the Great Wall could be 12,000 miles.

Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China

Travel Tips: There are many sections of the Great Wall in Beijing. The Mutianyu section of the Wall is a well renovated part. However the Jinshanling section is an ideal place for a hiking tour.

2.Yellow Mountains

Only about 2.5 hours bullet train ride from Shanghai, the Yellow Mountains are one of the four most beautiful mountain areas in China. Endowed with the pine trees, seas of clouds and beautiful rocks, you will be amazed by visiting it in any season of the year. The other highlight of Huangshan city is the Hui architecture. The beautiful countryside with traditional Hui houses and people’s daily life are the best subjects for photographers.

Yellow Mountains
Hongcun Village

Travel Tips: The best time to visit the Yellow Mountains is from March to May and September to October when the weather is quite comfortable. But please do avoid the public holiday when it’s extremely crowded.

3.Li River

The landscape in Guilin is the top of the world. Having been the mother river, Li River is the essential part of the picturesque landscape in Guilin. The best way to see the river is by taking a boat from Guilin to Yangshuo. With the 4 hour boat ride, you are going to see the solitary Karst peaks, crystal waters and vivid countryside life.

li river
li river

Travel Tips: The other option is taking a bamboo raft from Yangdi to Xingping Village. This part presents the highlights of the Li River. But the bamboo raft is quite a unique experience to explore the river.

4.The Forbidden City

Besides the Great Wall, the other symbol of Beijing is the Forbidden City. Having a history of more than 600 years, there were 24 emperors who used to live here. It was listed by UNESCO in 1987. It’s the best well-designed wooden architecture combined with gates, halls, corridors, arches, pavilions and beautiful roofs.

beijing forbidden city
beijing forbidden city

Travel Tips: Due to the real name registration system, please take your passport with you when you are visiting the Forbidden City. You will need at least 2 hours for sightseeing in the palace, and a pair of comfortable shoes is highly recommended.

5.West Lake

As the symbol of Hangzhou, and with free entrance, West Lake is the must see in this city. Surrounded by classic temples, pagodas and gardens, the four causeways have divided it into different parts. There are more than 100 attractions around the West Lake, including 20 museums. Walking or cycling around the lake is quite relaxing. The other option is taking a boat ride to explore the islands in the lake.

west lake
hangzhou west lake

Travel Tips: There are two types of boat you can choose to get to the islands. You can charter a rowing boat which is more expensive than the big boat.

6.Yangtze River

Yangtze River is the longest river in both China and Asia and the third longest one in the world at 3,915 miles. It goes through 8 provinces from west to east and pours into the East China Sea. The Yangtze River Cruise line is between Chongqing and Yichang. The downstream cruise takes 4 days and 3 nights while the upstream cruise takes 5 days and 4 nights.

yangtze river
Yangtze River

Travel Tips: The peak season is from April to October when cruise ships are available almost every single day. If you are travelling from November to March, please consult your travel advisor and see if a cruise ship is available on your travel date.

7.Terracotta Army

The Terracotta Army is another must-see in China. Endowed with 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses, it is regarded as the 8th Wonder of the World. Within a 2 hour visit, you will totally immerse yourself in the history of Emperor Qin’s Empire and be amazed by his ambitions, spending 39 years to build this marvelous mausoleum. Pit 1 and Pit 2 will be the highlights where you can find most of the soldiers in this mausoleum.

The Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army

Travel Tips: It’s always crowded in the museum. We always suggest that you visit in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds.

8.Mogao Grottoes

Mogao Grottoes is also known as the Thousand Buddha Grottoes. It’s the biggest and greatest variety of Buddhist arts in the world. Mogao Grottoes, Yungang Grottoes, Longmen Grottoes and Maijishan Grottoes are the top four Buddhist grottoes in China. Located in Dunhuang City, and combined with the Gobi desert scenery, it has always been quite an attractive destination on the Silk Road trip.

Mogao Grottoes
Mogao Grottoes

Travel Tips: The Mogao Grottoes include 735 specific caves. The ticket office will assign several caves randomly for you to visit. It’s not possible to see a specific cave based on your request. There are only 6,000 tickets available every single day, please book it in advance.

9.Jiuzhai Valley National Park

Located in the north of Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou is only about 1 hour by airplane from Chengdu city. It is famous for its beautiful forests, crystal waters, colorful reflections and amazing waterfalls. The elevation varies from 6,600 to 14,800 feet (2,000 to 4,500 m), causing the rushing water to flow between the placid lakes. The diversity of organisms is another highlight. You even can meet the snub-nosed monkeys by accident. The three main valleys are Rize Valley, Zechawa Valley and Shuzheng Valley.

beautiful jiuzhaigou
colorful jiuzhaigou

Travel Tips: The best travel time is from April 1st to November 15th. If you are a photographer, the best time would be from October 20th to November 10th when the leaves are turning to yellow.

10. Pingyao Ancient Town

As one of the cultural heritage sites on the UNESCO list, Pingyao ancient town has a history of 2,700 years. It’s one of the most well-preserved ancient towns in China. The old city wall, security guard company and government office will help you to experience the ancient life in China.

Pingyao Ancient Town
Pingyao Ancient Town

Travel Tips: We recommend booking a hotel inside the ancient town. It’s a good way to discover the town on your own, especially in the evening when it is lit up with red lanterns. A good design courtyard hotel will help you immerse yourself in the Chinese architecture.

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