China gets around 134 million international tourists a year, which should be telling about how great of a destination it is. The country is massive and has plenty of greenery, so if you’re a nature buff, you need to put China on your travel list.
If you need some convincing before you commit to a trip, then here are 8 breathtaking places to visit in China.
This is the most iconic spot in all of China. It’s one of the New7Wonders of the World, which means while you’re in the country, it’s a must-go destination.
This fortification was built in ancient times over 2,300 years ago and stretches across 13,170 miles, making it the longest wall in the world. While many parts of the Great Wall are in disrepair, most of the popular tourist spots are well preserved and renovated.
For the best areas in Beijing, you should consider Mutianyu, Jinshanling, or Jiankou. These are the most restored and picturesque parts of the Great Wall. Not only will you get to see this historical fortification, but you’ll also get a spectacular view of the surrounding scenery.
This is a beautifully peaceful city on the Ming mountain, which you can access from the Yangtze River. On this mountain, you’ll find many monasteries, shrines, and temples.
It’s believed that this ghost city was constructed around 2,000 years ago. According to Chinese legends, there are 3 areas here where the dead have to go through tests to pass into the afterlife.
There’s one “modern” building here that was built in 1985. This is the Last Glance to Home Tower, or Home Viewing Pavilion, and it’s where the dead could view their loved ones one last time before crossing over into the afterlife.
If you’re interested in visiting nature reserves, then you’ll want to visit the national park in Jiuzhaigou Valley. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you’ll find majestic waterfalls and lakes, as well as lots of lush greenery. The highlight of this area is their huge lake that has mindblowing colors; this happens because of reflections and algae in the water.
Not only will you find wildlife and plants, but you’ll also get to see Tibetan and Qiang people in this valley. Here, they sell their local food and products, plus they put on traditional shows, so you get a taste of their culture.
In 1982, China recognized Zhangjiajie National Park as its first national park, which is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While you’ve probably seen plenty of forests before, this one is quite unique.
Zhangjiajie National Park has huge rock formations that have formed due to years of erosion. These rock formations are now known as the “Avatar Mountains” since they’re the inspiration for some scenery in the movie “Avatar.”
Not only can you hike through the park, but you can also get on gondolas to get a unique view of the entire area. Another feature you’ll get to enjoy is the Bailong Lift, which is the tallest elevator in the world.
Contrary to its name, the Yellow Mountains aren’t actually yellow in color. This is because it was named after the Yellow Emperor instead of its coloring. Chinese myths say he was immortal and lived within these mountains.
There are 4 things the Yellow Mountains are known for: rock formations, thick clouds, hot springs, and dense forests of pine trees. If you want to reach the peak of these mountains, it’s not for the faint of heart; you’ll need to take a few days to hike up. The good news is there are plenty of hotels waiting for you at the top.
Shibaozhai is also a location you can find right off the Yangtze River; its name means “Precious Stone Fortress.” On this hill is a red pavilion that hugs the wall. It’s one of the largest wooden temples that you’ll find in China.
This pavilion was first built in 1819 to help visitors reach the top of the hill where a Buddhist temple lies. Prior to 1819, the visitors had to be hoisted up with a system of chains that was quite unsafe.
The pavilion got 3 more stories in 1956, which made it a massive building. Today, you can find many merchant stalls at the bottom of this hill.
This water town has a lot of history, as it’s been around for more than 2,000 years. Wuzhen is divided into 4 sections by the river; the more touristy parts are on the west and the east.
When you come to this water town, you’ll get a glimpse into how Ancient China was like. The residents of the town have done an exceptional job in preserving all the traditional features.
The Yangtze River is also another record holder; it’s the longest river in Asia. You can take a relaxing cruise down the river to see all the different sights along the Yangtze. Many tours will allow you to get off and explore many points of interest, such as Shibaozhai and Fengdu Ghost City.
For some insider information on where to take the best photos in China, this useful blog has plenty of great advice.
With all these places to visit in China, you won’t ever run out of things to do. From the Great Wall to the Yangtze River, you’ll enjoy everything this amazing country has to offer you on your vacation. Also, you’re close to other Asian countries, so if you want to extend your trip, you can easily do so in neighboring nations.
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