You may have China on your bucket list of vacation places.
As of just a few years ago, China was the fourth most visited place in the world, and that trend looks like it will continue for the foreseeable future. Well known for breathtaking landscapes, wonderful people, a cool language, incredible food, a rich history mingled with modern development, it is no wonder that an estimated 57 million tourists visit each year.
If you’ve been to China or are looking to make a trip in the future, likely, you will not be disappointed. With so many amazing places to see and cool things to do, China has something for everyone.
5 must-see sites in China
Now that you have decided a trip to China is in order, where should you go? As the country covers 3,700,000 square miles and is the third-largest country in the world, it will be hard to do everything. Leverage this list to help you narrow down your choices. We’ll be sure you can hit some highlights but also take the road a bit less traveled.
- Dali, China – Located in northwestern Yunnan, Dali has gone through many recent renovations making it a tourist destination complete with modern conveniences and transportation. When visiting Dali, tourists are delighted with the number of attractions including ancient buildings, city walls, and the old city moat. Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake are praised as the city’s leading scenic areas. Most of the places to see and things to do are situated between these mentioned landmarks. Dali is a lovely town known for its natural beauty and its locally mined marble. Visitors will be welcomed by grand city gates and will delight in the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple which dates back to the ninth and tenth century. Further, those looking for that perfect souvenir will love the authentic handicrafts made of local beautiful marble, embroidered Bai cloths, and more.
- Great Wall of China – You’d be doing yourself a disservice by taking a trip to China without a visit to see the Great Wall. The building of the wall began in the early seventh century BC and was designed to protect the Chinese from invasions from nomadic groups along the Eurasian frontier. Now, the 13,170-mile wall is one of the most frequently visited tourist destinations in the world. The best places to see the wall are in Juyongguan, Simatai, Gubeikou, Jinshanling, or Mutianyu.
- Precipitous Pillars of Zhangjiajie – If you have seen the movie Avatar, then you will immediately understand that these pillars located in the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park were the inspiration behind the Hallelujah Mountains in the film. The towering peaks, rock pillars, and deep valleys are a muse for photographers and equally breathtaking for travelers of all ages.
- Jiuzhaigou – Located in Sichuan, China, Jiuzhaigou is an enormous lake that changes color throughout the year and even throughout the day. The color change occurs from a natural process related to the combination of algae and calcified rocks that sit at the bottom of the lake. The lake also takes on the appearance of a color change from the reflection of the nearby landscape. Though beautiful throughout the year, the fall season tends to be the best when the lake begins to take on a rainbow of hues.
- Guanyin of Nanshan – This massive and beautiful statue stands 354 feet in height and is dedicated to Guanyin, the Chinese Buddhist goddess of mercy. The statue may be one of the tallest in the world. It has three faces. Two faces look towards the South China Sea and the other face looks towards the land. Adjacent to the statue is the Nanshan Temple which was completed in April 1998 to mark the 2000th anniversary of the coming of Buddhism to the country.
Planning for a visit to China
To see all of these sites, you will likely need to spend quite a bit of time in China. Be prepared for some planes, trains, and automobiles so that you can see all of these sites. Further, with a population of over 1.3 billion, it is important to time your vacation so that you do not hit the peak of the tourism season. However, if you stay away from some more of the popular tourist areas such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Macau, and Guangzhou, you may find the crowding to be less of an issue. Check out Lyhpa for more information.
Spring and fall tend to be the best times to visit China as the weather is warmer and usually dry. For western China, the best time tends to fall between April and October, as the flowers are blossoming and there are hundreds of local bazaars coming to life. If you are looking to get into the mountains, you may wish to make your visit between June and August as the conditions for hiking and trekking are the most favorable.
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