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  • Beyond the Great Wall: 5 Captivating Cities to Visit in China

    There are so many destinations around the world for you to explore, that it can be hard to choose just one. But if you are conflicted on where to plan your next trip, there is one spot that we highly recommend everyone see at least once – China. This breathtaking country is full of incredible sights, attractions, and history, and should definitely be at the top of your bucket list.

    But China is a huge country, and it can be difficult to know exactly where to go to make the most of your trip. There are plenty of popular landmarks such as the Great Wall of China that you could visit, but many of the best places in China are some of the lesser-known cities. Not only are these cities wonderful places to see, but you’ll find that they are just as awe-inspiring as the more well-known cities in China. 

    Ready to learn more? Let’s get started! From Guilin to Chongqing and more, here are 5 captivating cities to visit in China that you’re sure to love.


    Guilin Fun Fact: Guilin means, “Forest of Sweet Osmanthus”.

    Guilin is a stunning city, full of natural beauty and lots of things to see and do. It is a popular destination amongst tourists, and is one place that you definitely want to add to your bucket list. People really enjoy visiting Guilin, especially since it’s very easy to navigate. There are plenty of public transportation options available, and it is also fairly walkable. 

    While in Guilin, there are some unique attractions that you’ll want to visit, including the Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill, and the Longji Rice Terraces. Once you’re done exploring, you may be hungry and are looking for some delicious foods to try. Lucky for you, there are plenty of tasty treats around Guilin. Some of our favorites include Guilin rice noodles, Guilin spice cake, and the endless options of refreshing tea.


    Hangzhou Hidden Gem: Qinghefang Street is one of the oldest streets in Hangzhou.

    The next city you must visit is Hangzhou, China. Hangzhou is full of rich history and stunning landscapes, and we just know that you’re going to love seeing everything that this incredible city has to offer. Getting around Hangzhou is very easy, as there are lots of transportation options (including a rail system). One thing to note is that it will take you a few days to see everything, so be sure to spend enough time here.

    Some of the top things to see while in Hangzhou include West Lake, Qiandao Lake, and Xixi National Wetland Park. If you are interested in seeing what type of food there is to try in Hangzhou, we have some great options for you! We suggest sampling West Lake fish, stewed bamboo shoots, and an Osmanthus jelly pastry.


    Did You Know: Chengdu is known for being the home of giant pandas.

    Chengdu is the next city on our list, and one of our absolute favorite places to visit while in China. Not only is this city breathtaking, but it is also known for having plenty of culinary delights, and a unique history. There truly is no shortage of adventure to be had while in Chengdu, and we know that you’re going to love exploring everything that it has to offer. 

    We suggest staying in Chengdu for at least a couple of days, so that you can see as much as possible. But if you are only able to stay for a day or two, we recommend checking out Jinli Street, visiting Wenshu Yuan Monastery, and then eating as much food as possible. Some of the dishes you should try include kung pao chicken, hot pot, and bingfen.


    Must-See Attraction: Nanshan Botanical Garden

    Chongqing dates back thousands of years, and is located in southwest China. In fact, this awe inspiring city has a history that is nearly 3,000 years old. You can feel the historic charm of Chongqing in the air as you walk through the streets, and there are many attractions that represent this city’s vast history, too.

    While here, we strongly recommend seeing the mysterious Dazu Rock Carvings, spending time at Ciqikou Ancient Town, gazing at the Three Gorges, and doing some souvenir shopping to find your loved ones some gifts. Once you are ready to try out the food in Chongqing, go get yourself some vermicelli soup, Dan Dan noodles, hot and sour soup, and Chongqing noodles.


    Historic Attraction: Great Mosque

    The final captivating city in China that you must visit is Xi’an. Xi’an is a cultural wonder, and is actually one of the oldest cities in China. Many tourists enjoy visiting Xi’an, as there is a lot to do, and it’s also easy to get from one place to another. You’ll need at least 3 or 4 days to explore Xi’an, but even that may not be enough time. So, be sure to plan accordingly!

    There are so many things to do while in Xi’an that it can be hard to decide what to see first. To help get you started, some of the attractions we suggest visiting include the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Terracotta Army, and the Xi’an City Wall. When it’s time to eat, you have to try Biang Biang Noodles, dumplings, Yangrou Paomo, and Persimmon Pancakes.

    How to Apply For a China Visa

    If you have an upcoming trip to China, and need to obtain a visa, choose to work with a company like Swift Passport and Visa Services. We are experts in the industry, and have years of experience helping clients get Chinese visas. When you are ready to start applying for your China visa, visit our website. The process is quick and easy, and before you know it, you’ll have your visa in hand, ready for your trip. Further, if you have any questions along the way, please contact a member of our team – we’d be happy to help!

    Use Swift’s China Visa Pickup Service

    Need to get your China visa but don’t have time to go to the Chinese Consulate and get it? Use our China Visa Pickup Service! Simply fill out this form on our website, and a trusted member of our team of travel experts will safely and securely pick up your China visa for you. Once we have your China visa in hand, we will then ship it to you via FedEx, and include tracking information, so that you can see where it is at all times.

    Which of these captivating cities do you plan on visiting in China? Let us know in the comments!

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