Whether you’re a fan of ancient history, modern marvels, or giant pandas, China has something for everyone. Many cities in the country offer a solid lineup of things to do, attractions to view, and spectacular cuisine. To help you plan your trip, we handpicked the four best places to visit in China.
If the Great Wall of China is on your travel agenda, then you’ll surely want to head to Beijing. China’s capital city features a mélange of ancient and modern wonders, including historical palaces, contemporary architecture, and a luscious lineup of amazing attractions.
In addition to hiking the Great Wall, you can trek to the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City, and the intricate, earthquake-proof stadium known as the Bird’s Nest. Get an in-depth feel for what the city is all about with a rickshaw ride, a Beijing opera or kung fu show, or a delightful dinner of Peking roast duck.
The ultra-modern feel is the big draw of Shanghai, which is China’s largest city. More than 24 million people call Shanghai home, taking advantage of its high-powered train that doubles as the fastest railway in the world.
Revel in the modern vibe with a striking view of the skyline, which includes pink spheres adorning the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the 2,000-foot-plus Shanghai Tower. Slow the pace down with a trip to the city’s Yu Garden, Zhujiajiao Water Town, or the waterfront promenade known as the Bund.
Those who refuse to leave China without a glorious glimpse of its giant pandas will want to book a trip to Chengdu. The capital of the Sichuan province has an enormous population of endangered pandas, which you can get up close and personal with at Dujiangyan Panda Valley or the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center.
Another massive attraction is the Leshan Giant Buddha, a carving embedded in rock that stands more than 230 feet tall. A single person can sit on the giant Buddha’s toenail, while 100 people can sit on his instep.
Head to Jinli Old Street for sensational shopping, dining, and traditional performances. You can catch puppet shadow shows, plays, and folk music that showcase local customs all year-long.
Marco Polo called Hangzhou the most elegant and beautiful city in the world, and that status hasn’t changed in the 800 years since his visit. This capital of the Zhejiang province gets its beauty from numerous attractions, one of which is the celebrated West Lake.
This alluring body of water has been the inspiration of artist and poets since the 9th century, complete with its smattering of pavilions, temples, and islands. The lake’s south bank boasts the Leifeng Pagoda, a five-story replica of a structure originally built in 975 A.D.
Additional attractions in Hangzhou that put it on the list of best places to visit in China include Wuzhen Water Town and the National Tea Museum.
A sense of adventure is something you need to pack for your trip to China, along with your valid passport and tourist or business visa. Don’t forget the camera, either, as you’ll want to snap pics of these incredible locations! Have questions or comments? Contact Swift today!
Laurie Lee is co-founder and CEO of Swift Passport and Visa Services. A Chicago native, Laurie loves adventure travel, especially to the Caribbean. She enjoys writing for the Swift Post, as well as for her personal blog, Spare Parts- www.sparebodyparts.com.