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30 Top Tourist Attractions in China

By Jamie Gambetta · Last updated on May 15, 2024

When most people go to China, they only want to see the Great Wall and Forbidden City in Beijing, walk along the Bund at Shanghai or take in the Terracotta Warriors at Xi’an. Maybe they’ll throw in a visit to Guangzhou or take a Yangtze River cruise. But there’s much more to China than just these famous sites.

There are plenty of amazing tourist attractions in China, from ancient cities to forests to temples to rice fields that look like they’ve been designed by artists to sacred mountains and stunning waterfalls. This desire to explore off the beaten path where Chinese tourists outnumber foreign tourists isn’t just confined to 20-something backpackers. Any traveler armed with a good phrase book, a pot of patience and a marvelous sense of humor should do just fine.

30. Xian City Wall

Xian City Wall

Hundreds of years ago, the Chinese built massive stone walls around their cities to defend them from invaders. Xi’an was no exception.

Constructed over 8 years in the 1370s, the Xian City Wall was a symbol of the city’s self-sustainability. That, in addition to Zhu Yuanzhang’s propensity for reclusiveness. Something he continued to display when he became the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty.

The Great Wall aside, the Xian City Wall is the best example in China. At almost 14km long, 12m high and 12m thick, the wall was a literal mountain and provided Xian City with envious protection.

Today, you can explore the top of the wall, which envelopes the Old Town, on foot or bike. This will take you to the wall’s renowned gates, some of which out-date the wall itself.

29. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park


There is something otherworldly and utterly spiritual about Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. The quartz-sandstone has been weathered down by wind and rain over thousands of years. Where once a mountain range stood, today you’ll see only towering pillars draped in lush forests.

In the morning, the mist rises from the deep valley hundreds of meters below. The mix of sandstone and greenery creates a scenery that’s hard to reconcile with. It doesn’t seem earthly. No wonder it was a part of the inspiration for Avatar.

The park is best explored on tour, with lifts taking you to incredible viewpoints. But nothing tops the Grand Canyon Glass Bridge, the tallest in the world.

28. Three Pagodas, Dali

Three Pagodas

In southern China , the Three Pagodas are some of the region’s oldest surviving structures. They are a symbol of Dali, with the oldest of the trio constructed in the 800s.

Rising out of the land like old-growth forests, the Three Pagodas hold a noticeable presence wherever you go in Dali. The tallest, Qianxun Pagoda, stands at 70 meters and features 16 tiers. The other two are ten tiers rising to 42 meters.

Although you can’t go inside them, it’s a blessing to be able to explore so close to such ancient monuments. Behind them is the beautiful Chongsheng Temple, open to visitors.

27. Shilin Stone Forest

Shilin Stone Forest

Its name may seem like an oxymoron, but the Shilin Stone Forest is exactly that. Exploring the 270 million year-old stone forest is an unforgettable experience. It’s almost supernatural and such a vast spread of karst formations that you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s manmade.

It was, however, created by a sequence of seismic events and ageless erosion of the limestone. Today, there are hundreds of enormous stalagmite pillars that form an endless maze to explore.

But it’s not just rock. You’ll discover waterfalls, lakes and even underground rivers that provide a gorgeous contrast to the epic, yet odd landscape.

26. Lijiang Old Town

Lijiang Old Town

In northwest China, Lijiang boasts 800 years of history. Once the capital of the Naxi Kingdom, the old town of Lijiang takes you right back to its heyday, with the bonus of an epic mountain backdrop.

Like any good “old town”, Lijiang is flooded with romanticism, charm and rich culture. The layout of the historic streets remains as it did hundreds of years ago, while its unique heritage places it in contrast with other historic towns around China.

Under the rule of the Mu family, the town reflects the indigenous Naxi culture and architecture. You can see the best of these along narrow, cobbled streets, in addition to the beautiful stone bridges that cross Lijiang’s collection of elegant canals.

25. Wudang Mountain

Wudang Mountain

Travelers who’ve seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon already know how scenic the Wudang Mountains, located in northwestern Hubei Province, are. Besides being scenic, the Wudang Mountains iare the birthplace of Tai Chi. Thus, they’re the most important Taoist mountains in China. Religion, timeless culture and eye-catching temples can be found there. That’s in addition to the amazing surrounding peaks.

Known as the “original cradle of Tai Chi”, Wudang Mountain is the natural representation of wisdom and the values behind Chinese “shadowboxing”. Human history here can be traced back to the 5th century BC. Today there are nine palaces, eight temples and a dozen pavilions.

They lie in a mixed state of preservation. For some, they stand eternal. For others, they mark an example of Wudang Mountain’s incredible timeline.

24. Zhouzhuang


Tell Venice there’s a new sheriff in town. Zhouzhuang is a historic river town along the southern section of the Yangtze River. The water flows by and under old-time townhouses and businesses as it has for over 1,000 years.

The gorgeous mix of colored and whitewashed buildings makes Zhouzhuang a photographer’s dream. In the early morning light tradition vessels float up and down the river and when the water settles, the mirror-like river reflects the splendor.

Located less than 32 km (20 miles) from Suzhou in east China , Zhouzhuang is famous for its twin bridges, Shide and Yongan that are symbols of the town. A boat ride is a good way to see the city.

23. Mount Tai

Mount Tai

Mount Tai, in Shandong Province, is one of China’s Five Sacred Mountains. Climbing Taishan (“shan” is mountain in Mandarin) was one of the first things a new emperor did; it’s said that 72 emperors made the climb.

They left behind great temples, inscribed tablets and other cultural relics. Travelers with imperial leanings will want to climb the 6,000-step east route as that’s what the emperors did.

Before the modern era, the tallest peak, Jade Emperor, was the center of Fengshan rituals for almost 2,000 years. Relics and ancient masterpieces can now be found around the 1,500m mountain. Significantly, you’ll discover not just the influence of Chinese Fengshan sacrifices, but that of numerous countries and cultures, from the Khmer to the Turkish.

Aside from the culture, you can explore the mountain and several temples. Get up there early as the East Pavilion is a memorable spot to watch the sunrise.

22. Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Straddling the border of Lijiang and Shangri-La, Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest in the world. At its highest to lowest point, the gorge measures almost 3,800 meters.

On either side of the gorge are two intoxicating mountains: Jade Dragon Snow and Haba Snow. Along with the gorge, carved by the monstrous white waters of the Jinsha River, you’ll be able to experience a wide breadth of landscapes.

The best way to explore is on foot, so be prepared to break a sweat. The Upper, Middle and Lower Gorge provide a range of intermediate to advanced treks, some over multiple days.

The hikes are not to be taken lightly though. Even for those in good physical shape, it’s a workout and can certainly wreck the knees. Accommodation along the way is in guesthouses, so hikers won’t need a tent. All bringing you to insane viewpoints and even down to the very bottom.

21. Suzhou Gardens & Canals


Suzhou is a picturesque city located on the Grand Canal about 65 km (40 miles) from Shanghai. It is famous for its silks, the canals that run through the city, and for its classical gardens with their fish ponds and rockeries.

Suzhou encapsulates the difference this Chinese city evokes compared to giants such as Shanghai and Beijing. Whereas these cities are becoming vast, futuristic metropolises, Suzhou is sticking close to its heritage and culture.

The traditional gardens are at first eye-catching. But upon further inspection, they’re equally historic. Some even date back a thousand years to the Song Dynasty.

Suzhou has about 80 classical gardens; the Humble Administrator’s Garden is among the most famous. A canal boat ride is a good way to experience the exquisiteness of Suzhou.

20. Mogao Caves

Mogao Caves

A former pilgrimage site along the famous Silk Road, the Mogao Caves have been a part of regional culture for well over a thousand years. In the heart of the 4th century, the caves became a place of art and culture.

Something that would remain the case until the 1300s. You can still explore the incredible caves today and despite the time that has passed, the artworks and scripture remain intact.

Just outside of Dunhuang, the Mogao Caves are one of China’s most revered archaeological sites. Within, they showcase the breadth of travelers and cultural backgrounds that found their way here along the Silk Road.

It’s not just nearby art forms. You’ll see styles that can be traced through Central Asia, India and as far as Persia.

19. Longji Terraces

Longji Terraces

Constructed by hand over 500 years ago during the Ming Dynasty, the Longji Terraces are a sight to behold. From any elevated viewpoint, you’ll need a moment to first gasp and take a breath before truly being able to take it all in.

In Longsheng, these rice terraces span like lush green footsteps up the mountainside. Each winding step curves around the ridgeline, forming an array of spectacular contour lines.

From December to March, during the growing season, the terraces are flooded with irrigated water. It’s a remarkable sight and one that is best appreciated on foot as you walk slowly around and up to even better views.

18. Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Located in northwest Beijing, the opulent Summer Palace is one of the most captivating, man-made landmarks in the country. The ancient imperial playground is surrounded by thriving forests, creating a more rural feel than its location would suggest.

Back in the day, the high court would descend upon the aptly named Summer Palace to escape Beijing’s summer heat during the hottest months of the year. The encompassing nature along with the cooling and Kunming Lake made it the perfect place to get business done.

Fast forward to today, and it’s a beautiful public park. Some buildings have been transformed into museums and galleries, while the embellished grounds provide excellent views.

17. Yangtze River Cruise

Yangtze River Cruise

Spanning 6,387 kilometers, the Yangtze River is the third longest on earth. It’s known as one of China’s mother rivers as it nurtures humans and nature alike throughout this enormous country.

Across such a lengthy body of water, there are bound to be some memorable landscapes. The best way to see more than just the odds and ends is to embark on a Yangtze River Cruise.

A cruise can help you discover the beauty of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River. This is the most renowned section and marks an immense canyon that you’ll never want to leave.

To see the best of the river, cruise between Chongqing and Yichang, in either direction.

16. Hanging Monastery of Hengshan

Hanging Monastery of Hengshan

In Shanxi Province, the Hanging Monastery of Hengshan is dedicated to a trio of religions. This makes it one of a kind here in China. You’ll find the monastery celebrates all of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.

The Hanging Temple has a lengthy history, having been constructed towards the end of the 5th century. It remains well-preserved over the last 1500 years, in no small part due to its enshrining of three of China’s most popular religions.

But it’s the architecture of the monastery, which clings on tight to the cliff face that will have you in awe. Thanks to cantilevers, it protrudes from the wall, with its two sections connected by a bridge.

15. Reed Flute Cave

Reed Flute Cave

As you cruise along the Li River, one of China’s best attractions is the impressive Reed Flute Cave. So much so, that even if you forego the cruise, you should add a trip here to your itinerary.

The sprawling limestone cave is marked by the reef that is strewn across the entrance. Such was its majestic beauty that some believed it could be made into flutes.

But that is just the beginning. The interior of the cave is a subterranean wonderland. Stalactites dangle from the ceiling in wondrous numbers, while stalagmites curve their way up from the cave floor.

Lightning now illuminates the cave and showcases scripture that dates to the 8th century.

14. Yungang Grottoes

Yungang Grottoes

There are some incredible Buddhist excavations throughout China, but none are as old as the Yungang Grottoes. Along the enormous wall, you’ll be able to witness 50,000 stone statues that can be traced back to the 5th and 6th centuries.

Near Datong City in Shanxi Province, the creations are spread throughout 252 caves. Each feature is more intricately detailed than the last, while the will of the old Northern Wei Dynasty is reflected in the selected Buddhist scripture.

It would take some time to see all the caves in proper detail. So to help you out, focus on the remarkable Five Caves. This was created by Tan Yao. The unity of design and layout makes it a masterpiece of early Chinese art.

13. West Lake, Hangzhou

West Lake

Gardens, temples, and charming bridges are found around the gleaming waters of West Lake in Hangzhou. It’s not a modern creation either, with West Lake inspiring residents and travelers since the 800s.

It was then, as an ancient capital of China, Hangzhou cemented itself in the nation’s timeline. Thousands of years of trade with neighboring communities and countries are shown in the artistry and romanticism that flows out of every inch of West Lake.

In the early hours, locals practise Tai Chi and the mist rises from the valley up to the Wulin Mountains. Trails take you around the lake where weeping willows create vast reflections on the water below.

Aside from walking, you can take a cruise to Little Paradise Island. Or head to the top of Leifeng Pagoda for all-encompassing views.

12. Jiuzhaigou


In Sichuan, Jiuzhaigou is a veritable gem of a national park . One of the best public parks in China, Jiuzhaigou, is a stunning collection of snow-capped peaks, waterfalls and emerald-hued lakes.

As you approach the mountains of southern China, there’s little warning of the fairyland that exists in Jiuzhaigou. Especially for the park’s 100+ lakes , each as crystal-clear and turquoise as the last. They’re fed by pristine snowmelt with their connecting streams, creating spectacular waterfalls.

The mountains, lakes and rivers combine for an idyllic network of valleys whose scenery is immensely vivid. Come in the summer for the best hiking and blooming flowers. Or wait for the snow and experience a winter wonderland.

11. Longmen Grottoes

Longmen Grottoes

South of Luoyang in Henan Province, the Longmen Grottoes is an ancient engineering masterpiece. Forget the four heads of Mount Rushmore, the Longmen Grottoes are home to an estimated 100,000 statues of Buddha and his followers.

These are all carved into the cliffs and caves of Longmenshan and Xiangshan peaks and set along the rolling Yihe River. Each creation varies significantly. Some are a cute 25 centimeter creation, others reach the lofty heights of 17 meters! They all vary in age. However, the bulk can be traced to periods between the 4th and 10th centuries.

Now a UNESCO site, you can explore the grottoes to learn about their creation and the various battles that have taken place here.

10. Pudong Skyline, Shanghai

Pudong Skyline

You’ll have your work cut out seeing all that there is to do in Shanghai . But there’s one particular experience you’ll want to do twice, or even daily.

Modern Shanghai is almost futuristic. Its collection of skyscrapers is some of the biggest on earth and each is distinct from the last. It’s a wild thought that most of this has been constructed in only the last twenty years.

The best collection of towers is known as the Pudong Skyline. This district of skyscrapers is best seen from the Bund , where the skyline is on display like an architectural buffet. Highlights include the Jinmao Tower, the Shanghai Tower and the striking Oriental Pearl TV Tower.

At night, the district combines to showcase an elaborate, electric rainbow of lights.

9. Hani Terraces

Hani Terraces

On the southern slopes of Ailao Mountain, the Hani Terraces are both head-turning and head-scratching. From above, the mix of colors and the lines that mark the banks look straight out of an abstract painting. Yet, the rice terraces are remarkably real.

These terraces have been used to grow rice crops for a millennium. Once just a rising mountain, over 2,500 meters above sea level, it’s been carved painstakingly by hand. This has created hundreds of distinct terraces, all in varying stages of production.

It’s a fascinating mix of nature and humanity, one that leads to a kaleidoscopic landscape that is mesmerizing to witness. The best time to visit is from December to March, when irrigation floods the terraces.

8. Leshan Giant Buddha

Leshan Giant Buddha

Rising 71 meters, Leshan Giant Buddha is the largest in the world. The jaw-dropping creation is carved into the side of a mountain. This was a feat that took 90 years to complete!

The carving of the rock was led by Hai Tong in the 8th century. He wanted to ensure the safety and happiness of his community. While the results are open to interpretation, what isn’t is the way you feel when you first take in the size and opulence of it.

Today, you can stand right at its feet, or cruise by on the Min River. This was a body of water that slowed down significantly with all the excess rock deposited into the banks.

7. Mount Huang

Mount Huang

A part of the Huangshan mountain range, Mount Huang is found in the Anhui province in eastern China. The range translates to the yellow mountains and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its pristine beauty.

Your time here begins in Tangkouzhen, where you’ll take a shuttle to either the Western or Eastern steps. From there, you can embark on a range of hikes with changing difficulties. From the Eastern Steps, there is a cable car to the summit.

Whether you hike or ride the cable car, find a way to see the stunning Xihai Grand Canyon. This is a vast canyon mixed in with ethereal forests, hanging from the cliff’s edge. For amazing views, add a trip to either Lotus Peak or Shixin Peak. Stick around for sunset to discover why Huangshan is known as the Yellow Mountains.

6. Li River Cruise

Li River Cruise

Connecting Guilin to Yangshuo , the Li River snakes its way softly through majestic landscapes. Ancient limestone karsts soar up to the sky’s ceiling. Each of them is unique and as craggy and beautiful as the last.

With its breathtaking scenery and taste of a life far removed from the concrete metropolis, a cruise along the Li River is one of the best things to do in China. You can make your way to Guilin, jump on a 4 to 5 hour cruise and disembark at Yangshuo, where road transport is ready to take you back.

Along the way, you’ll see 80 kilometers worth of geography that has inspired authors and romantics alike. You’ll feel the same once you gaze upon Elephant Trunk Hill and Mount of Unique Beauty.

Cruises are available year-round. However, autumn marks the best time to explore.

5. Terracotta Army

Terracotta Army

There are no records of the creation of the Terracotta Army. It’s as if the 8,000 terracotta soldiers guarding the tomb of Qin Shi Huang were meant to go undiscovered.

But alas, they were found some 2,000 years later in 1974. It was then, locals sinking a well around 30 kilometers from Xi’an made an incredible discovery.

Fifty years later, the army has become one of the most famous tourist attractions in China. An overhand shades the army, ensuring the preservation of a remarkable feat of art and engineering. Among the soldiers are over 500 horses and 100 chariots, each featuring the same painstaking detail as the last.

The Terracotta Army lies within the emperor’s Masoleu Site Park, where you can embark on an insightful guided tour.

4. Victoria Harbour

Victoria Harbour

The world’s third largest seaport, Victoria Harbour, is beyond a hub of activity. It encapsulates the organized chaos of Hong Kong , where much is occurring, but nothing misses a beat.

The natural harbor sprawls out into the distance. Tanker ships come and go with the speed of little fishing boats jetting out from tiny villages. As much as you want to sit still, you never can. That’s because there’s always a better view to be had.

Come nightfall, you’ll become captivated and inspired by the smorgasbord of lights taking up the skyline. Hong Kong never sleeps and its array of skyscrapers become as vibrant as the galaxies above.

For the best views, stay on the Kowloon side and look across the harbor. You’ll then be able to experience the Avenue of Stars.

3. Forbidden City

Forbidden City

Surrounded by 3.5 kilometers of old fortress walls, China’s Forbidden City marks the country’s best collection of historic architecture. You can find the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing . It’s a place so rich in dynastic history, rituals and, importantly, size that it’s visited by over 16 million people every year.

For over six centuries, the Forbidden City was at the forefront of the national conscience. It grew to be 900 buildings large, filled with some of China’s most historic figures, plus an eccentric cast of advisors.

This all changed in 1911, upon the fall of the Qing dynasty. It has transformed into an enormous piece of living history. Come and discover impressive feats of architecture, while learning about the dynasties that ruled China with an iron fist.

2. Potala Palace

Potala Palace

For centuries, the winter coming to Lhasa meant one important thing; it would once again be the abode of the Dalai Lama. This was a tradition that took place at the eye-catching Potala Palace until 1959.

That year, during a Chinese invasion, the Dalai Lama at the time fled to safe ground in India. It brought the end of an enduring tradition. However, it’s one you can get to know today with a visit to the palace.

Featuring 14 stories, the Potala Palace is renowned for its deep red central that shines like the sun surrounded by a whitewashed facade. Within lies hand-written Buddhist scripture and ancient gifts from emperors. Golden tombs, home to Dalai Lamas who passed away, are also located here.

1. Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

Encompassing over 6,000 kilometers and almost four million bricks, the Great Wall of China is a true wonder. In fact, an ancient Chinese proverb goes that one cannot be a hero, unless he’s stepped onto the Great Wall.

The Great Wall of China runs from east to west, passing through a genuinely inspiring and complex array of landscapes. For if one walked the length of it, they would know the country like few others.

However, there aren’t many of us with the time to do such a thing. Some of the best places to see the wall are in Ningxia and Gansu. Both places showcase some of its best preserved sections. Travelers wanting to stay close to Beijing can visit the popular Badaling Pass section.

Map of Tourist Attractions in China

Map of China Attractions

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Reader interactions.

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May 13, 2019 at 7:20 pm

China has some of the most awe inspiring sights on the planet. Apart from Great Wall, Forbidden City and Terracotta Army there are hundreds of other sites to visit and sights to see.Almost inexhaustible!

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February 26, 2018 at 8:12 am

The Jiuzhaigou and the Reed Flute Cave looks so beautiful.

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June 1, 2017 at 9:56 pm

I can’t wait to visit China soon. all these place looks beautiful .

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February 25, 2017 at 4:53 am

wow every thing about china is fabulous

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September 19, 2016 at 7:41 am

I suggest to add to this list: the rainbow mountains Absolutely marveillous

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May 8, 2015 at 12:30 am

*added these to my list- Thank you for these great suggestions!

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December 27, 2013 at 4:26 am

I’ve visited China, one time. But I also wanted to know of some more places. But, now I came to know. Superb pictures and information I loved it.

' src=

May 23, 2013 at 3:50 am


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October 30, 2012 at 8:26 am

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40 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in China

China , a land of unrivaled beauty, unfolds like a masterpiece across its expansive canvas of 9.6 million square kilometers. From the misty Jiangnan region in the east to the snow-capped mountains of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau  in the west, China offers a wide variety of natural wonders , including rivers , lakes, grasslands, deserts, and forests.

CNN , renowned for its discerning eye, has meticulously curated a selection of China's top 40 most beautiful places. Building upon this illustrious list, our esteemed team of travel experts at Asia Odyssey Travel now presents to the world these 40 most beautiful places in China , inviting travelers to embark on an unforgettable journey through the captivating tapestry of China. Prepare to be captivated as you witness the harmonious convergence of nature's wonders, unveiling a panorama so breathtaking, it will leave an indelible mark upon your soul. Get inspired now by AOT's list of China's 40 most beautiful places!

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1. Great Wall, Beijing - A Must-Do for Any Traveler in China

The Great Wall (长城) , one of the world's most iconic landmarks, is a must-visit attraction when in Beijing . Spanning over 21,000 kilometers, this ancient wonder offers a glimpse into China's rich history and architectural marvels. Located about 60-130 kilometers (1-2 hours’ drive) from Beijing , the Great Wall provides an unforgettable experience for travelers. There are several sections in Beijing, including Mutianyu , Badaling, Jinshanling , Jiankou , Simatai , and Huanghuacheng Great Wall. The best section for you depends on your interests, fitness level, and travel style.

  • For families and first-time visitors: Mutianyu and Badaling offer easy access and stunning views.
  • For adventurous hikers: Jiankou and Gubeikou provide a challenging and authentic experience.
  • For history buffs: Jinshanling and Gubeikou offer well-preserved sections with rich historical significance.

Hike along its winding paths, marvel at the breathtaking panoramic views, and immerse yourself in the grandeur of this UNESCO World Heritage site . You can learn about the wall's construction and appreciate its magnificence up close.

Practical Tips: Choose a section of the Great Wall that suits your fitness level and interests.The most popular sections are Mutianyu and Badaling, but there are many less crowded options available.Dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Jinshanling Great Wall, Beijing

4 Days Classic Beijing Tour with Forbidden City & Great Wall

4 Days Beijing Tour: City Highlights, Great Wall Night Views & Gubei Water Tour

2. Forbidden City, Beijing - Step into China's Imperial Past

The Forbidden City (故宫) , located in the heart of Beijing , is a captivating destination that offers a glimpse into the grandeur and history of imperial China. With its impressive architecture and cultural significance, it is a must-visit attraction for travelers. The Forbidden City served as the imperial palace for over 500 years that served as the residence of 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties  and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site .

Situated in downtown  Beijing , the Forbidden City is easily accessible for visitors. Once inside, you can explore the vast complex and marvel at its stunning palaces, ceremonial halls, and beautiful gardens . Take your time to admire the intricate details of the buildings and learn about the lives of emperors and their courtiers.

There are several top things to do in the Forbidden City. Walk along the central axis and explore the imperial chambers, visit the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Palace of Heavenly Purity, and the Hall of Preserving Harmony. Don't miss the opportunity to see the treasures housed in the Palace Museum, which displays a remarkable collection of imperial artifacts.

Practical Tips: Purchase your tickets online in advance to avoid long queues.Allow at least 3-4 hours to explore the Forbidden City thoroughly.Audio guides are available for rent to enhance your understanding of the historical significance of each site.

Forbidden City, Beijing

2 Days Beijing World Heritage Tour with Forbidden City & Mutianyu Great Wall

3. Terracotta Warriors, Xian - Awe-inspiring Archaeological Marvel with the Past

The Terracotta Warriors  (兵马俑) in Xian , Shaanxi, are a remarkable archaeological site that attracts visitors from around the world. Discovered in 1974, this ancient army of life-sized clay soldiers, horses, and chariots was created to accompany Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife. The site showcases the incredible craftsmanship and historical significance of the Qin Dynasty.

Situated approximately 40 kilometers from Xian , the Terracotta Warriors are easily accessible for tourists. Once there, you can explore the three excavation pits, each revealing different aspects of the army's formation and weaponry. Witness the sheer magnitude of the army and marvel at the intricate details of each individual statue.

Practical Tips: Book your tickets in advance, especially during peak seasons.Allow ample time to explore the vast excavation site and admire the Terracotta Warriors from various angles.Audio guides are available to provide context and insights into the historical significance of the Terracotta Army.

Terracotta Warriors, Xian

3 Days Xi'an Essence Tour: Terracotta Warriors, City Wall & Tang Dynasty Everbright City

3 Days Xian Family Tour with Chinese Calligraphy & Hanfu Experience

4. The Bund, Shanghai - A Stroll Through Shanghai's Architectural Grandeur

The Bund (外滩) , located in the metropolis Shanghai , is an iconic waterfront area that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modernity. With its stunning skyline views and architectural marvels, it is a must-visit destination in Shanghai. The Bund stretches along the Huangpu River and showcases a collection of colonial-era buildings that once housed banks and trading houses.

Situated in the heart of Shanghai, the Bund is easily accessible for visitors. Stroll along the waterfront promenade and admire the architectural beauty of the buildings , such as the neoclassical Bund Customs House and the Art Deco Peace Hotel. Marvel at the contrast between the historical structures and the futuristic skyscrapers of Pudong across the river.

There are several top things to do in the Bund area. Take a Huangpu River Cruise  to fully appreciate the panoramic views of the skyline. Explore the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, an underground tunnel that connects the Bund to Pudong, offering a unique visual experience. Visit the Shanghai Museum of Art or indulge in some retail therapy at Nanjing Road, a bustling shopping street nearby.

Practical Tips: Visit during the day to appreciate the architectural details and the bustling river activity.Take a leisurely boat ride on the Huangpu River for a unique perspective of the cityscape.Capture panoramic views of the Bund from the rooftop bar of the Peninsula Hotel.

The Bund, Shanghai

Classic Shanghai Day Tour - A Glimpse of China's Magic City

3 Days Best Shanghai Tour: Encounter Old and New Shanghai

5. Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan - Unveiling the Enchantment of "Fairyland on Earth"

Jiuzhaigou Valley (九寨沟) , located in Sichuan province , is a mesmerizing destination that captivates travelers with its stunning natural beauty. With its turquoise lakes, cascading waterfalls, and snow-capped peaks, Jiuzhaigou Valley is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

Situated around 330 kilometers from Chengdu , Jiuzhaigou Valley is easily accessible by flight (1 hour), bus or private transfer. The journey for private car takes approximately 8-10 hours, but the scenic landscapes along the way make it worthwhile. When the high-speed train opens, you'll be able to travel directly from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou.

The best time to visit Jiuzhaigou Valley is during the autumn months of September to November  when the foliage turns vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. Spring , from April to June, is also a great time to visit when the valley comes alive with blooming flowers.

Once in Jiuzhaigou Valley, there are several top things to do. Explore the three main valleys  of Rize, Zechawa, and Shuzheng, each offering their own unique attractions. Marvel at the magnificent Nuorilang and Pearl Shoals waterfalls, take leisurely walks around the picturesque lakes, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the ancient forests. And also, combine with Huanglong Valley for your Jiuzhaigou trip .

Practical Tips: Visit during the autumn foliage season to witness the vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow.Allow sufficient time to explore the valley's many scenic spots, including Wuhua Lake, Ruoergai Grassland, and Shuzheng Falls.Consider staying overnight in the valley to fully experience its tranquility and beauty.

Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan

5 Days Jiuzhaigou Valley & Panda Tour from Chengdu by Flight

7 Days Sichuan Highlights Tour of Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou, Leshan and Emei

6. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan - Soaring through Nature's Wonderland

Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Hunan Province , Zhangjiajie National Forest Park  (张家界国家森林公园) is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. This captivating site, renowned for its towering sandstone pillars, mystical rock formations, and diverse ecosystems, promises an unforgettable journey into China's natural wonders. Zhangjiajie National Park is located in the northwestern part of Hunan Province, approximately 40 kilometers from Zhangjiajie City .

Once in the park, there are several top things to do. Take a ride on the famous Bailong Elevator, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery. Explore the enchanting Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, home to the famous Hallelujah Mountain seen in the movie "Avatar." Hike through Tianzi Mountain: Witness the stunning rock formations, panoramic views, and unique flora and fauna of this iconic mountain. Hike along the Golden Whip Stream, a picturesque trail that winds through lush forests and alongside crystal-clear streams.

Other Recommended Top Things to Do in Zhangjiajie:

  • Walk the Glass Bridgeover Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon: Challenge your fear of heights on the world's highest glass bridge and enjoy unparalleled panoramas.
  • Explore the Yellow Dragon Cave: Discover a wonderland of colorful geological formations, shimmering pools, and intricate rock formations.
  • Relax by Baofeng Lake: Take a boat ride on the serene lake, enjoy the picturesque scenery, and escape the crowds.

Practical Tips: Visit during the off-season to avoid crowds and enjoy a more tranquil experience.Allow at least 2-5 days to explore the park's diverse landscapes and attractions.Consider staying in a hotel within the park to fully immerse yourself in its natural beauty.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

3 Days In-depth Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Tour in Wulingyuan

4 Days Zhangjiajie Best Natural Tour with Glass Bridge & Tianmen Mountain

7. Kanas Lake, Xinjiang - Jewel of Xinjiang

Kanas Lake (喀纳斯) , located in the north Xinjiang, is a hidden gem that beckons travelers with its serene beauty. Known for its crystal-clear waters, surrounding snow-capped mountains, and lush forests, Kanas Lake is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers. Kanas Lake is located in Burqin County, Altay Prefecture, Xinjiang, approximately 500 kilometers from Urumqi .

The best time to visit Kanas Lake is during the  autumn months of September and October  when the foliage transforms into a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors. Spring and early summer are also ideal for pleasant weather and blooming wildflowers.

Once at Kanas Lake, there are several top things to do. Take a boat ride on the lake to fully appreciate its beauty, hike along the surrounding trails for panoramic views, and visit the Tuwa ethnic village to experience the local culture.

Kanas Lake, Xinjiang

8. Yangshuo, Guangxi - Ultimate Beauty of Karst Countryside Views

Yangshuo (阳朔) , located in the Guangxi region of China , is a captivating destination that draws travelers with its stunning landscapes and vibrant local culture. Surrounded by towering limestone karsts and the picturesque Li River , Yangshuo offers a unique blend of natural beauty and outdoor adventures.

Situated approximately 65 kilometers from Guilin , Yangshuo is easily accessible by Li River cruise (4 hours) or bus, making it a popular side trip for visitors exploring Guilin.

There are several top attractions and activities to experience in Yangshuo. Taking a leisurely boat ride along the Li River  is a must-do, offering breathtaking views of the karst peaks and lush countryside. Exploring the famous West Street  is another highlight, with its lively atmosphere, local handicrafts, and delicious street food. Cycling or bamboo rafting along the Yulong River provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the tranquil rural scenery.

Yangshuo Countryside

3 Days Guilin Yangshuo Highlights Tour with Li River Cruise & Yulong River

4 Days Guilin Yangshuo & Longji Rice Terraces Classic Tour

9. Yellow Mountain, Huangshan - Ascending into Beauty

Yellow Mountain (黄山) , or Huangshan Mountain, is a majestic destination that attracts travelers with its breathtaking beauty and iconic granite peaks. Known for its ethereal sea of clouds, ancient pine trees, and stunning sunrises, Yellow Mountain is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and hikers. Situated in the Anhui province , Yellow Mountain is approximately 60 kilometers away from the city of Huangshan .

The best time to visit Yellow Mountain is during spring and autumn when the weather is mild and the landscapes are at their most vibrant. In Summer, enjoy warm weather and clear skies, offering ideal conditions for experiencing the "Sea of Clouds". Winter also are the time to view the snow. Learn more about Best Time to Visit Yellow Mountain >>

Top Things to Do for Visiting Yellow Mountain:

  • Hike the "Beginning-to-Wonder" Trail: Embark on this classic trail offering stunning views of the "Sea of Clouds" and iconic peaks like the "Lion Peak" and "Flying Over Rock."
  • Climb the "Heavenly Capital Peak": Challenge yourself to reach the highest peak in Yellow Mountain and witness the breathtaking panoramic vistas.
  • Visit the "Xihai Grand Canyon": Explore this scenic gorge adorned with waterfalls, natural pools, and unique rock formations.
  • Relax at the "Jade Screen Hot Springs": Immerse yourself in the therapeutic hot springs and rejuvenate after a day of exploration.
  • Discover the "Fairyland": Explore this hidden gem known for its mystical atmosphere, serene ponds, and ancient temples.

Practical advice for visiting Yellow Mountain includes wearing comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for hiking, bringing layers as temperatures can vary, carrying enough water and snacks for the trek, and being prepared for the crowds during peak seasons. It is also important to follow the designated paths, respect the environment, and take necessary precautions for mountain safety.

Yellow Mountain, Huangshan

4 Day Huangshan Heritage Tour: Yellow Mountain, Hongcun & Xidi Ancient Villages

3 Days Huangshan Essence Tour: Yellow Mountain & Hongcun Village, Tunxi Old Street

10. Potala Palace, Tibet - Majestic Symbol of Tibetan Culture

Dominating the Lhasa skyline, the Potala Palace (布达拉宫)  stands as a majestic symbol of Tibetan culture and history. This UNESCO World Heritage Site , once the residence of the Dalai Lamas, offers a glimpse into the spiritual heart of Tibet , inviting visitors on a journey through time and tradition. Situated in the capital city of Lhasa , the Potala Palace is conveniently located within the city center, allowing for easy access by foot or taxi.

Admire the imposing red and white facade, explore the intricate carvings and murals, and marvel at the vast collection of statues, frescoes, and religious artifacts housed within. Wander through peaceful courtyards and prayer halls, witness monks chanting and offering prayers, and find solace in the tranquil atmosphere. Ascend to the rooftop and witness panoramic vistas of Lhasa and the surrounding valley, capturing the grandeur of the palace against the backdrop of the Himalayas.

Practical Tips:

  • Altitude: Lhasa's high altitude (3,650 meters) can cause . Acclimatize gradually and carry necessary medication.
  • Respectful dress code: Dress modestly when visiting the palace, covering shoulders and knees.
  • Photography: Photography is permitted in certain areas, but consult the guidelines before taking pictures.

Potala Palace, Tibet

8 Days Tibet Discovery Tour from Lhasa to Mount Everest Base Camp

9 Days Panorama Tibet Tour from Lhasa to EBC with Namtso Lake

11. Mount Everest, Tibet - The Highest Point on Earth

Nestled amidst the majestic Himalayas, Mount Everest  (珠峰), known as Chomolungma (珠穆朗玛) in Tibetan, beckons adventure seekers with its breathtaking beauty and imposing presence. Standing as the Earth's highest point , this snow-capped peak inspires awe and challenges climbers from around the world.

For those seeking the ultimate adventure, the trek to Everest Base Camp  is an unforgettable experience. Starting from Lhasa, the journey takes you through stunning landscapes, culminating at the foot of the world's highest mountain. Witness the raw power and grandeur of the Himalayas as you trek through valleys adorned with prayer flags and gaze upon turquoise lakes reflecting the snow-capped peaks.

The north face of Mount Everest is accessible from Lhasa , offering a challenging yet rewarding trek of approximately 620 kilometers (385 miles). This popular route provides a unique perspective of the mountain and allows you to experience the rich Tibetan culture along the way.

Along the trek, you'll have the opportunity to visit Rongbuk Monastery , an ancient Tibetan haven nestled amidst the Himalayas. Explore the vibrant murals and soak in the serene atmosphere of this sacred place. This cultural immersion adds another dimension to your adventure, offering a deeper understanding of the people who call this region home.

Mount Everest, Tibet

12. Longji Rice Terraces, Guilin - A Stairway to Heaven

Nestled in the breathtaking region of Guilin, the Longji Rice Terraces  (龙脊梯田) are a natural wonder that enthralls visitors with their stunning beauty and cultural significance. Also known as the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces , these iconic terraces are a testament to human ingenuity and harmonious coexistence with nature.

Located approximately 80 kilometers from Guilin , the Longji Rice Terraces can be reached by a scenic drive through the picturesque countryside. The journey itself is an enchanting experience, with verdant mountains, cascading waterfalls, and traditional villages dotting the landscape. It is a good idea to spend 1 or 2 days there.

Best Time to Visit:  Spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) offer pleasant weather and stunning scenery, with the spring season showcasing vibrant green rice paddies and the autumn season revealing golden hues.

Once at the Longji Rice Terraces, there are several top things to do. Embark on a memorable hike through the terraced fields, marveling at the intricate irrigation system that has been in place for centuries. Visit the ethnic minority villages of Zhuang and Yao, where you can immerse yourself in their vibrant cultures, sample traditional cuisine, and witness age-old customs.

Longji Rice Terraces

5 Days Guilin Yangshuo Longji Tour with Hiking in Longji Rice Terraces

13. Hongcun Ancient Village, Huangshan - UNESCO World Heritage in Huangshan

Journey into the picturesque Hongcun Ancient Village  (宏村), nestled amidst the majestic scenery of the Huangshan Mountains. Hongcun Ancient Village offers a captivating glimpse into the past, capturing the essence of traditional Chinese architecture and rural life . This UNESCO World Heritage Site , boasting well-preserved Ming and Qing dynasty buildings, enchanting canals, and a tranquil atmosphere, guarantees an unforgettable journey through time. Located approximately 70 kilometers from Huangshan City , it serves as an idyllic escape.

Stroll along the ancient alleyways and marvel at the unique architecture characterized by white-washed walls, black-tiled roofs, and intricately carved wooden structures. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Moon Pond , a serene reflection pool surrounded by traditional buildings. Immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance and observe the village's daily life unfold before your eyes.

Hongcun Ancient Village, Huangshan

14. Victoria Peak, Hong Kong - Capture Stunning Panoramic View of HK

Ascend to the top of Victoria Peak  (维多利亚山), the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island, for panoramic views of the city skyline and the surrounding Victoria Harbour . Enjoy the breathtaking vistas, capture stunning photos, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of this iconic landmark.

Spectacular Views: The primary allure of Victoria Peak lies in its unparalleled views of Hong Kong's sprawling cityscape. Witnessing the mesmerizing skyline, sparkling harbor, and surrounding mountains from the peak's vantage point is an absolute feast for the eyes.

Iconic Peak Tram: Embark on a memorable journey to the summit of Victoria Peak by riding the historic Peak Tram. This charming funicular railway, which has been in operation since 1888, offers a scenic and nostalgic experience as it ascends steep slopes, providing stunning views along the way.

Sky Terrace 428: Take in the breathtaking vistas from the Sky Terrace 428, the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong . Located atop the Peak Tower, this observation deck offers a 360-degree panoramic view and is a prime spot for capturing stunning photographs.

Victoria Peak Night View

One Day Hong Kong Tour: Classic Exploration to Meet Different Hong Kong Island

2 Days in Hong Kong: Classic Tour of Hong Kong Island & Lantau Island

15. Mount Kailash, Tibet - Discover Majestic Beauty of Sacred Mountain

Mount Kailash  (冈仁波齐), also known as Kang Rinpoche in Tibetan, holds great significance for various religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Bon. Mount Kailash is located in the far west of Tibet , approximately 1,600 kilometers from Lhasa , the capital city. The journey from Lhasa to Mount Kailash takes around 2-3 days by road, passing through spectacular landscapes and remote Tibetan villages.

Top Things to Do at Mount Kailash:

(1) Kora Trek: Undertake the sacred Kora trek , which involves walking around Mount Kailash. This spiritual journey typically takes three days and offers breathtaking views of the mountain, pristine lakes, and high-altitude landscapes. It is a deeply transformative experience for many pilgrims and travelers alike.

(2) Visit Lake Mansarovar: Located near Mount Kailash, Lake Mansarovar is one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world. Considered sacred in Hinduism and Buddhism, it is believed to cleanse one's sins and offer spiritual rejuvenation. Take the opportunity to visit and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of this holy lake.

(3) Explore the Surrounding Monasteries: Discover the ancient monasteries and hermitages that surround Mount Kailash. Chiu Monastery, Dirapuk Monastery, and Zuthulphuk Monastery are among the notable sites where you can witness the rich spiritual traditions of Tibet.

Mount Kailash, Tibet

16 Days Mount Kailash Pilgrimage Tour with Lhasa Shigatse & EBC

13 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Gyirong with EBC & Mount Kailash Trek

16. Xiapu Mudflat, Fujian A Photographer's Paradise in Fujian

Nestled in the northeastern corner of Fujian Province , China, lies the captivating Xiapu Mudflat  (霞浦滩涂). This breathtaking natural landscape, encompassing 40 square kilometers and boasting over 400 kilometers of coastline, has earned its reputation as one of the most stunning mudflats in the country, and a true photographer's paradise.

The most magical moments at Xiapu Mudflat occur during sunrise and sunset . As the sun peeks over the horizon, bathing the landscape in a warm glow, the mudflats come alive with a vibrant palette of colors. The reflections of the sky on the water create a mesmerizing mirrored effect, while the silhouettes of the fishing boats add a touch of human presence to the scene.

The best time to visit Xiapu Mudflat is between April and October , when the weather is warm and sunny. During this time, you can experience the full range of the tides and witness the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. To capture the most dramatic images, be sure to plan your trip around the lunar calendar, as the tides are highest during the full and new moon phases.

Xiapu Fujian Province

4 Days Xiapu Mudflat Photo Tour for China’s Most Beautiful Mudflat

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17. Three Gorges, Yangtze River - Take 5-star Cruise along the Longest River in China

The Yangtze River  (长江), the longest river in Asia, carves a dramatic path through the heart of China, showcasing some of the most breathtaking landscapes on Earth. One of its most awe-inspiring sections is undoubtedly the Three Gorges : Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Xiling Gorge.

The most immersive way to experience the wonders of the Three Gorges is undoubtedly on a 5-star Yangtze River cruise . Various cruise options are available, ranging from luxurious ships with all the amenities to smaller, more intimate boats. You can choose from the 4-day downstream cruise  from Chongqing to Yichang or 5-day upstream cruise  from Yichang to Chongqing. As you sail along the river, you can enjoy breathtaking views from the deck, participate in onboard activities, and stop at various points of interest along the way. Your cruise will likely include excursions to historical sites, visits to local villages, and opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing.

Three Gorges, Yangtze River

18. Daocheng Yading, Sichuan  "Last Shangri-La"

Daocheng Yading  (稻城亚丁), often referred to as the 'Last Shangri-La' or the 'Fairyland on Earth,' is located in the southwest of Sichuan Province . This pristine natural paradise offers a unique blend of stunning landscapes, vibrant Tibetan culture, and unparalleled tranquility. Daocheng Yading is a treasure trove of natural wonders, encompassing snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, lush valleys, and vibrant meadows. As you explore this captivating landscape, you'll be in awe of the towering peaks, including the iconic Chenrezig Mountain, resembling a reclining Buddha, and the majestic Xiannairi Mountain, with its awe-inspiring pyramid-like shape.

The best time to visit Daocheng Yading is from May to October  when the weather is pleasant, and the landscapes are at their most vibrant. However, be aware that the region experiences high altitude, so it's important to acclimatize properly before embarking on strenuous activities.

To get to Daocheng Yading, you can fly to Chengdu , the capital of Sichuan Province, and then take a bus or private car to the region. Alternatively, you can take a direct flight to Daocheng Yading Airport , located near the town. You are recommended to go with Asia Odyssey Travel with private service to explore Daocheng Yading.

19. Mount Siguniang, Sichuan - "Oriental Alps" of Sichuan

Nestled amidst the majestic peaks of the Qionglai Mountains in Sichuan Province , lies Mount Siguniang  (四姑娘山), also known as the 'Four Girls Mountain.' This breathtaking natural wonder, with its towering summits, pristine valleys, and diverse flora and fauna, offers a unique blend of adventure, natural beauty, and cultural immersion. The four peaks - Yaomei, Erfeng, Sanfeng, and Dafeng - resemble four graceful women, standing tall against the backdrop of the azure sky, creating a truly captivating spectacle. While it is difficult to climb the Four Girls Mountains, it is recommended to hike through its three valleys  - Shuangqiao Valley, Changping Valley, and Haizi Valley - to enjoy the mountain views. Chengdu  serves as the gateway to Mount Siguniang, with just a 4-5 hour drive to reach the mountain area.

Mount Siguniang

3 Days Amazing Mount Siguniang Hiking Tour from Chengdu

5 Days Best Chengdu & Mount Siguniang Leisure Hiking Tour

20. West Lake, Hangzhou - A Journey Through Hangzhou's Heart and Soul

West Lake  (西湖), nestled in the heart of Hangzhou , Zhejiang , is an iconic natural landmark that has captivated hearts and inspired artists for centuries. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is not just a picturesque lake, but a symbol of cultural heritage and breathtaking beauty.

West Lake is not just a visual feast; it's a playground for relaxation and recreation. Cruise across the lake on a traditional boat, enjoying the gentle breeze and the tranquil scenery. Hike the scenic trails surrounding the lake, breathing in the fresh air and soaking in the breathtaking views.

Hangzhou West Lake

1 Day Paradise Hangzhou Cultural Tour from Shanghai by High Speed Train

5 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Tour: Experience Heavenly Charm by Bullet Train

21. Classical Gardens of Suzhou, Jiangsu

With a history spanning over 2,500 years, the Classical Gardens of Suzhou  (苏州园林) are a testament to the deep reverence for nature and the seamless integration of it into living spaces by the Chinese people. These gardens were not merely decorative spaces; they were intended to be microcosms of the natural world, offering havens for contemplation, relaxation, and artistic expression.

Step into a world of serenity and refinement at the Classical Gardens of Suzhou , a UNESCO World Heritage site . Explore  the Humble Administrator's Garden, Lingering Garden, Net Master's Garden, Canglang Pavilion, Lion Grove Garden, Garden of Cultivation , and others in Suzhou . Stroll through these meticulously designed gardens, adorned with pavilions, bridges, ponds, and rock formations, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of traditional Chinese landscaping.

Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou

Suzhou Day Trip from Shanghai by High Speed Train

22. Fujian Tulou - Earthen Wonders in Fujian Province

Tucked away in the rolling hills of Fujian Province , lies a unique and captivating collection of earthen structures known as the Fujian Tulou  (福建土楼). These remarkable buildings, constructed between the 12th and 20th centuries, stand as a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the Hakka people who built them. Recognized for their exceptional cultural and historical significance, the Fujian Tulou were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site  in 2008. These breathtaking structures are not simply houses; they are living museums, offering a glimpse into the lives and customs of the Hakka people, who migrated to the region centuries ago in search of refuge from conflict and persecution.

The Fujian Tulou are mainly located in Yongding and Nanjing counties . To reach the Fujian Tulou, you can fly into Xiamen, the nearest major city, and then take a bus or train to the Tulou-rich areas such as Yongding or Nanjing counties. Learn about How to Get to Fujian Tulou from Xiamen >>

Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster, Fujian Province

1 Day Nanjing Tulou Tour: From Xiamen to the Hometown of Mulan - Fujian Tulou

23. Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake, Dunhuang - A Desert Dream

Nestled in the heart of the Gobi Desert, just outside the ancient Silk Road oasis town of Dunhuang , lies a breathtaking natural wonder known as Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake  (鸣沙山和月牙泉). This captivating landscape, a mesmerizing blend of towering sand dunes and a serene crescent-shaped lake, is a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking a unique and unforgettable adventure.

Top Things to Do at Echoing Sand Mountain and In Dunhuang:

  • Camel Rides:Embark on a thrilling camel ride across the sand dunes, experiencing the traditional mode of transportation used by Silk Road traders for centuries.
  • Sandboarding:Feel the adrenaline rush as you sandboard down the steep slopes of the dunes.
  • Mogao Caves:Visit the nearby Mogao Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site , and marvel at the ancient Buddhist art and sculptures.
  • Dunhuang Night Market:Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Dunhuang Night Market, indulging in local delicacies and browsing through an array of souvenirs.

24. Kaiping Diaolou, Guangdong - A Fusion of Styles

Nestled amidst the verdant countryside of Guangdong Province in China lies a unique architectural marvel: the Kaiping Diaolou  (开平碉楼). These multi-storied fortified towers, standing as proud sentinels against the backdrop of rolling hills and lush rice paddies, offer a glimpse into the fascinating history and cultural heritage of the region. You can transfer to Kaiping Diaolou from Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong.

Top Things to Do at Kaiping Diaolou:

  • Explore the various diaolou clusters, each with its own unique architectural features.
  • Visit the Zili Village, home to the largest and most concentrated collection of diaolou.
  • Learn about the history and cultural significance of the diaolou at the Kaiping Museum.

Kaiping Diaolou, Guangdong

3 Days Guangzhou Kaiping Diaolou & Foshan Tour with Lingnan Culture

6 Days Guangdong Tour to Guangzhou, Foshan, Kaiping Diaolou & Shenzhen

25. Huangguoshu Waterfall, Guizhou - Unveiling the Majestic Power of Nature

Huangguoshu Waterfall  (黄果树瀑布), nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Guizhou province, stands as a testament to nature's awe-inspiring grandeur. With its cascading waters plunging over 77 meters and spanning a width of 101 meters, Huangguoshu is not only one of the largest waterfalls in Asia but also a captivating destination for travelers seeking adventure and natural beauty.

Distance from Guiyang:  Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province, is the nearest major city to Huangguoshu Waterfall, located approximately 128 kilometers away.

Top Things to Do at Huangguoshu Waterfall

  • Witness the awe-inspiring power of the main waterfall from the Rain Shower Pavilion.
  • Capture panoramic views of the waterfall and surrounding landscape from the Flower Shower Platform.
  • Embark on a hike through the lush forests of the park, exploring hidden waterfalls and scenic viewpoints.
  • Take a boat ride on the Baishui River, enjoying the tranquil waters and serene surroundings.
  • Visit the Huangguoshu Waterfalls Museum to delve into the history and cultural significance of the waterfall.

26. Yalong Bay, Sanya - Paradise Found in Hainan

Nestled on the southernmost tip of China's Hainan Island lies a haven of pristine beauty and luxurious comfort: Yalong Bay  (亚龙湾). This horseshoe-shaped bay, often referred to as the "Hawaii of the East", boasts breathtaking beaches, crystal-clear waters, lush tropical landscapes, and world-class resorts, making it a dream destination for travelers seeking relaxation, adventure, and a touch of paradise.

Yalong Bay boasts a stunning 7.5-kilometer stretch of pristine beach , known for its soft, white sand and crystal-clear waters. Whether you're seeking sunbathing bliss, indulging in water sports like snorkeling and diving, or simply strolling along the shore, Yalong Bay offers the perfect setting for beachside relaxation.

27. China Snow Town, Heilongjiang - A Winter Wonderland for Snow Fun

Deep in the heart of Heilongjiang Province, lies a winter wonderland known as China Snow Town  (中国雪乡, also known as Shuangfeng Forest Farm or Xuexiang). This charming village, nestled amidst snow-capped mountains and pristine forests, transforms into a magical landscape during the winter months, attracting visitors from all over the world with its breathtaking scenery and unique cultural experiences.

From December to March , China Snow Town is blanketed in a thick layer of snow, turning houses, trees, and even the landscape into whimsical sculptures. The air is crisp and invigorating, the silence broken only by the crackling of snow underfoot and the occasional burst of laughter from children playing in the streets.

To get to China Snow Town, you can fly into Harbin Taiping International Airport  and then take a train or bus to Mudanjiang City. From Mudanjiang, you can take a taxi or shuttle to the village. You are recommended to take private service with Asia Odyssey Travel.

28. Shennongjia, Hubei - Explore Wild Heart of China

Nestled in the northwestern corner of Hubei Province, lies Shennongjia  (神农架). This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a land of breathtaking beauty and captivating mystery. Renowned for its pristine forests, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, Shennongjia offers an unforgettable adventure for travelers seeking to escape the ordinary and immerse themselves in nature's splendor.

Shennongjia is home to some of the largest and most well-preserved primary forests in central China . These ancient woodlands, shrouded in mist and teeming with life, offer a glimpse into a world untouched by time. Hike through towering redwoods, marvel at cascading waterfalls, and breathe in the fresh, clean air that fills your lungs and invigorates your soul. To get to Shennongjia, you can fly into Wudangshan Airport or Yichang Sanxia Airport , which are located nearby. From there, you can take a bus or taxi to your destination within Shennongjia.

29. Fenghuang Ancient Town - Enchanting Town in Hunan

Nestled amidst the rolling hills and picturesque landscapes of Hunan Province, lies the captivating town of Fenghuang  (凤凰古城), also known as Phoenix Ancient Town. This enchanting destination, with its rich history, unique architecture, and vibrant culture, offers an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking a glimpse into the heart of traditional China. Fenghuang boasts a history spanning over 1,300 years, reflected in its well-preserved ancient buildings and narrow, winding streets. Stroll along the Tuojiang River, admiring the colorful wooden houses adorned with intricate carvings and red lanterns, and feel transported back in time.

To get to Fenghuang, you can fly into Changsha Huanghua International Airport  or Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport  and then take a train or bus to the town.

Fenghuang Ancient Town, Zhangjiajie

5 Days Panorama Zhangjiajie Tour with Fenghuang Ancient Town

30. Singing Sand Bay, Inner Mongolia - A Symphony of Sand and Sound

Deep in the heart of Inner Mongolia, nestled within the vast Gobi Desert, lies a natural phenomenon unlike any other: Singing Sand Bay  (响沙湾). This mesmerizing landscape, where sand dunes rise like towering waves and the very earth sings underfoot, offers an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking adventure and a touch of sonic wonder.

To get to Singing Sand Bay, you can fly into Baotou Airport, which has connections to major cities in China. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus from nearby cities like Ordos or Hohhot.

31. Wuyuan, Jiangxi A Canvas of Scenic Splendor

Situated within the heart of Jiangxi Province, lies the captivating landscape of Wuyuan  (婺源), a region renowned for its breathtaking scenery, rich cultural heritage, and historical charm. This hidden gem, often referred to as the "Most Beautiful Countryside in China,"  promises an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking a glimpse into traditional Chinese culture amidst breathtaking natural landscapes.

Wuyuan's beauty is a result of its diverse landscapes, encompassing rolling hills, lush valleys, and captivating rivers. Wander through the picturesque villages, adorned with traditional Hui-style architecture, featuring whitewashed walls, black-tiled roofs, and intricate carvings. Immerse yourself in the vibrant green rice paddies that stretch as far as the eye can see, creating a mesmerizing tapestry of colors.

32. Changbai Mountain & Heaven Lake - The Roof of Northeast China

Towering over the Jilin Province in Northeast China lies the majestic Changbai Mountain  (长白山), a mesmerizing volcanic landscape cloaked in mystery and awe. This sacred peak, shared by both China and North Korea, offers a unique blend of natural wonders, historical significance, and cultural richness, making it a must-visit destination for any adventurous traveler.

The undisputed highlight of Changbai Mountain is the breathtaking Heaven Lake  (天池), a crater lake nestled at the peak's summit. This stunning glacial lake, considered the deepest in China and the highest volcanic lake in the world, is a sight to behold. Its crystal-clear waters reflect the surrounding snow-capped peaks, creating a picture-perfect panorama.

To reach Changbai Mountain, you can fly into Changbaishan Airport, located nearby. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus from major cities in Jilin Province like Changchun and Jilin City.

China tour

33. Qinghai Lake - Embrace the Azure Jewel in Qinghai

In the heart of the Tibetan Plateau, nestled amidst towering mountains and vast grasslands, lies Qinghai Lake  (青海湖), China's largest and highest inland lake. This majestic body of water, often referred to as "the blue sea" , is a mesmerizing spectacle of natural beauty and a haven for wildlife and cultural heritage.

To reach Qinghai Lake, you can fly into Xining Caojiabao International Airport, which provides connections to major cities in China. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus from major cities like Lanzhou and Chengdu.

Qinghai Lake

13 Days Shanghai & Xining Tibet Train Tour with Qinghai Lake

8 Days Tibet Train Tour from Beijing | Beijing Xining Lhasa

34. Xian Ancient City Wall - A Walk through Time in Xian

Standing tall amidst the modern cityscape of Xian , the Xian Ancient City Wall  (西安古城墙) whispers tales of a bygone era. This UNESCO World Heritage Site , one of the most complete and best-preserved ancient city walls in China , offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the grandeur of the Ming Dynasty.

Xian Ancient City Wall

35. Hukou Waterfall, Shanxi - Witness the Power of Nature

Hukou Waterfall  (壶口瀑布), nestled amidst the majestic Yellow River Valley in Shanxi Province, China, is a spectacle that leaves every visitor awestruck. This powerful cascade, known as the "Flask Mouth Waterfall"  due to its unique shape, is a testament to the raw beauty and untamed energy of nature. To reach Hukou Waterfall, you can fly into Taiyuan Wusu International Airport or Xi'an Xianyang International Airport, which are located nearby. From there, you can take a train or bus to Hukou Town.

36. Yungang Grottoes, Shanxi A Gallery of Divine Sculptures

Nestled amidst the sun-baked cliffs of the Wuzhou Mountain, just outside Datong City in China's Shanxi Province, lies a treasure trove of ancient art and history - the Yungang Grottoes  (云冈石窟). This UNESCO World Heritage Site , carved into the sandstone cliffs over 1,500 years ago, houses over 250 caves filled with a dazzling array of Buddhist sculptures, murals, and inscriptions.

Stepping into the Yungang Grottoes is like stepping back in time. The cool air of the caves, the soft glow of the lanterns, and the sheer scale of the sculptures create an atmosphere of awe and reverence. Each cave tells a story, depicting scenes from the life of Buddha, Buddhist deities and bodhisattvas, and intricate geometric patterns and floral motifs.

37. Nalati Grassland, Xinjiang Vastness of the Heavenly Mountains

Nestled amidst the snow-capped peaks of the Tian Shan Mountains in Xinjiang, China, lies a breathtaking haven - the Nalati Grassland  (那拉提草原). This subalpine meadow, known as the "Pearl of the Northern Xinjiang" and one of the four largest grasslands in the world, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, nomadic culture, and vibrant festivals, making it an unforgettable destination for any traveler seeking an escape to a truly idyllic setting.

To reach Nalati Grassland, you can fly into Urumqi Diwopu International Airport and then take a taxi or bus to the site. Alternatively, you can take a train from nearby cities like Yining or Kuitun.

38. Dali Three Pagodas, Yunnan The Symbol of Dali

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Dali , Yunnan Province , China, stands a trio of architectural wonders known as the Three Pagodas. Rising majestically from the heart of the Chongsheng Temple grounds, these ancient structures have been captivating visitors for centuries, serving as silent witnesses to the region's rich history and cultural heritage.

39. Pudacuo National Park, Yunnan - Unveil Shangri-La’s Hidden Gem

Nestled amidst the majestic mountains and valleys of Shangri-La , Yunnan Province , lies Pudacuo National Park, a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. This expansive park, encompassing 1,300 square kilometers of breathtaking natural beauty, offers a unique blend of pristine lakes, lush forests, diverse wildlife, and awe-inspiring landscapes, making it a must-visit destination for any nature enthusiast.

40. Lugu Lake, Sichuan & Yunnan - Mystical Landscape & Mosuo Culture

Nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Yunnan-Sichuan border, lies Lugu Lake, a jewel-toned oasis reflecting the azure sky. This serene alpine lake, shared by the provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan , enchants visitors with its spectacular scenery, unique Mosuo culture, and captivating legends, making it a truly unforgettable destination.

To reach Lugu Lake, you can fly into Lijiang Airport or Kunming Changshui International Airport, and then take a bus or taxi to the lake. Alternatively, you can take a train from major cities like Chengdu and Kunming.

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china top tourist destinations

15 Best Places to Visit in China

Written by Bryan Dearsley Updated Mar 9, 2021

While many of the country's most important attractions are in and around the largest cities, some of the smaller towns and cities offer their own tourist treasures and are among the most beautiful places to visit in China. Thanks to China's rapidly expanding economy, its infrastructure has grown at an astounding rate, and it is now relatively easy to embark on some serious city hopping.

From the transportation hubs of Shanghai and Beijing, the arrival point for most tourists, it's possible to visit other important cities, such as historic Xi'an, famous for its Terracotta Army, or even venture out into the magnificent countryside surrounding its many large metropolitan areas.

However you choose to travel, these top tourist towns and cities are well worth taking the time to explore. Plan your trip with our list of the best places to visit in China.

1. Beijing: Home of the Imperial Palace and Forbidden City

2. historic xi'an: the terracotta army and more, 3. hong kong, 4. guilin and yangshuo, 5. shanghai, 7. ningbo and the tianyi ge library, 8. hangzhou and the historic grand canal, 9. qufu and confucius, 10. the city of ceramics: zibo, 11. quanzhou, 12. yangzhou, 13. foshan's famous buddhas, 14. dunhuang and jiayuguan, 15. the gardens of wuhan.

The Forbidden City in Beijing

China's second biggest city, Beijing has been the country's political center for more than 800 years. And for almost as long it has been an important center for cultural, economic, scientific, and academic life.

Beijing is home to many of China's best-known attractions , including the spectacular Imperial Palace , also known as the Forbidden City . Many of the city's top tourist attractions are in its well-preserved historic city center, making it possible to visit most of them on foot as part of an organized tour. Of these, highlights include the magnificent Temple of Heaven (Tiāntán) , Tian'anmen Square (the world's largest public square), and the beautiful Beihai Park . You should also include the fascinating Beijing Ancient Observatory . Built in 1442, it was still in use in the early 20th century.

A newer attraction that's worth a visit is the wonderfully designed Beijing National Stadium (Guójiā Tǐyùchǎng). Also known as the "Bird's Nest," this unique structure was built for the 2008 Olympics, and in addition to guided tours, you can visit the stadium during concerts and sporting events. Beijing is also a great place from which to explore the surrounding area and attractions, such as the Great Wall of China .

Terracotta warriors in Xian

The bustling city of Xi'an, situated between the Weihe River in the north and the Qinling Mountains in the south, is one of Northwest China's chief textile centers. It also possesses more items of archaeological interest than perhaps any other city of its size in China. The most important and best known of these tourist attractions is the world-famous Terracotta Army, which can be enjoyed with a tour to the impressive Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum.

Xi'an's history stretches back some 6,000 years, and by the 3rd century BC it boasted one of the highest urban populations in the country. The remains of the Han imperial residence can still be seen, along with fortifications and other evidence of the city's importance as the starting point of the famous Silk Road . From here, this fabled route wound its way through Central Asia and the Middle East as far as the Mediterranean, linking Xi'an with such far away cities as Istanbul and even Venice.

Among Xi'an's other important historic sites are the 64-meter-tall Pagoda of the Great Wild Goose , a survivor of the Tang Dynasty from AD 618 to 907, and the 43-meter-high Pagoda of the Small Wild Goose , built in AD 684 in honor of the Tang Emperor Gaozong. Another must-see is the Historical Museum of Shaanxi Province , China's most important archaeological museum, illustrating the origins and achievements of Chinese culture from prehistory to the Qing period of 1368 to 1911

Other points of interest include the Town Walls , completed in 1398 with four gates and numerous watchtowers, and the city's 15th-century mosque. This impressive structure features five courtyards and traditional Chinese buildings decorated with Islamic patterns.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is, quite rightly, regarded as one of the world's most dynamic and exciting cities. While much of this can be attributed to its colonial past, it really owes its uniqueness to its rich mix of old and new China.

Famous as a high-tech center of banking and commerce, its modern luxury hotels and shops rub shoulders with many examples of an older, traditional way of life. This is seen everywhere, from its many authentic family-run restaurants to its ancient temples and fascinating street markets.

However long you're planning to visit, there are some Hong Kong attractions and fun points of interest that you simply must experience here. A highlight for many is hopping aboard the famed Star Ferry service and heading out from Victoria Harbour to the mainland and back - it's a great and affordable way to get your bearings and take in the city's impressive skyline.

Other must-dos include taking the funicular railway to the top of Victoria Peak , which provides another great vista, this time over the island and its many hills; and spending an evening exploring the busting Temple Street Night Market, one of the best street markets in Hong Kong .

Also, consider heading out on one of the hiking trails for great views and unique experiences, or spending a day on one of Hong Kong's glorious beaches .

Li River, Guilin

No trip to China is complete without spending at least a little time enjoying a river cruise. One of the most popular options - and one that's perhaps best left to a professional tour company to organize on your behalf - is a cruise along the majestic Li River , which connects the two important cities of Guilin and Yangshuo.

This 83-kilometer journey whisks you past spectacular scenery, as well as small Chinese villages, which offer a glimpse into the country's rich culture and traditions. It's a one-way, five-hour journey that begins upriver at Guilin, which boasts an airport and railway connections to destinations including Hong Kong, and ends in Yangshuo. Be sure to plan on spending time afterwards exploring the many historic sites in the latter.

Many tourists in fact spend at least a few days exploring Yangshuo and the surrounding area. It's certainly time well spent, and offers a variety of unique adventures and experiences not available elsewhere. Of these, perhaps the most popular is taking one of the fun, two-person, people-powered bamboo rafts along the quiet Yulong River.

Other must-dos in Yangshuo include making the trek up Moon Hill for its superb view, or renting a bike to explore the paths and trails along the Yulong. Be sure to take in the spectacular Liu San Jie Impression Light Show. Designed by the same team that provided the choreography for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it's a fitting finale to your Yangshuo adventure.


The largest city in China, Shanghai is famous for being the country's most modern metropolis and offers a diversity of tourist attractions old and new . Boasting in excess of 24 million citizens, the city's highlights include numerous world-class museums and art galleries, ranging from the excellent Shanghai Museum to the China Art Museum . There are also a surprising number of quiet green spaces, old temples, and pagodas to explore - not to mention some great shopping experiences, too.

Must-see points of interest include Shanghai's broad promenade, the Bund . This lovely pedestrian walkway runs along the west bank of the Huangpujiang River and is popular for its very distinctive European architecture. It's an especially beautiful sight at night. Also notable here is the beautiful Yu Garden (the Garden of Happiness), with its many fine old buildings.

Other things to do in Shanghai include spending time exploring its more modern attractions, such as the 468-meter-tall Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower with its excellent views over the river and city. Be sure to include the fun Shanghai Science and Technology Museum , one of the country's most visited science museums, on your itinerary, along with Shanghai Disney .

Anshun Bridge in Chengdu

If, when you think of China, you think of pandas, you'll want to make sure the city of Chengdu is high on your list of must-sees. It's here you'll find the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding , a massive facility that is home to more than 80 of these wonderful animals.

Tours of the facility include a chance to see pandas up close. If you can, try to time your visit to coincide with feeding time. Also worth seeing, the on-site museum features exhibits detailing everything you'll ever want to know about the challenges of conserving these notoriously placid creatures.

For a chance to see pandas in the wild, take a day trip to the Wolong Nature Reserve , two hours west of Chengdu. This vast scenic area serves to protect the natural habitat of pandas and other important species.

Other Chengdu attractions worth seeing include numerous old pagodas and bridges, along with the many historic alleys in the old part of the city. There are also many religious sites here, too, such as the Monastery of Precious Light and Chengdu Huangcheng Mosque , one of China's oldest and most important Muslim sites.

  • Read More: Top Tourist Attractions in Chengdu & Easy Day Trips

Ningbo and the Tianyi Ge Library

Ningbo, located in the northeast corner of the province of Zhejiang just 25 kilometers from the East China Sea, has been one of the country's most important ports since the 7th century. Crisscrossed by countless navigable canals, this busy city is dubbed "Little Shanghai" and can trace its history back some 2,300 years to the period of the Qin Dynasty.

It's best known attractions include such historic sites as the magnificent Tianyi Ge Library . Built by high-ranking official Fan Qing between 1561 and 1566 to house his private book collection, it's one of the oldest of its kind in China. Consisting of some 80,000 rare Chinese volumes and manuscripts, this remarkably preserved collection also includes a large number of stone inscriptions dating from the 14th century. Also of interest is the artificial pond outside this splendid old two-story structure, intended to provide water in the event of a fire.

You'll also want to visit the 55-meter-tall, seven-story Tianfeng Ta Pagoda . Also known as the Tang Pagoda, this stunning structure was built in AD 695 and is well worth the climb for its panoramic views of the old city.

Ningbo is also somewhat of a popular seaside destination for Chinese tourism and has a number of wonderful, white sandy beaches. It's also popular for its shopping and dining options, too.

The Gongchen Bridge over the Grand Canal in Hangzhou

Located at the southern end of China's famous 1,776-kilometer-long Grand Canal , a remarkable engineering feat and UNESCO World Heritage site, Hangzhou is one of China's most visited cities. As big a draw as this centuries-old canal, which connects Hangzhou to Beijing, is the city's picturesque location at the foot of a tall mountain range overlooking beautiful West Lake with its many old shrines and temples, romantic bridges, and pleasant pagodas.

Still often called the "Silk City" for its many silk mills and markets, Hangzhou is famous for having attracted many of China's most important artists through the centuries, as well as famous travelers such as Marco Polo, who declared it the most beautiful city in the world. A tradition that has been around even longer than the legend of Marco Polo is taking the famous Dragon Well tea (lóngjing chá), handpicked in the surrounding countryside twice a year and still much celebrated in art and ceremonies throughout the city.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Hangzhou

Entrance Gate, Confucius Graveyard

Thanks to its connections with Confucius, China's most revered philosopher, the small town of Qufu in southwest Shandong has long been one of the country's most important places of pilgrimage. Not only was Confucius born here in 551 BC, he was also buried here in 479 BC. As a result, numerous temples and shrines have been erected by devotees in celebration of his life and teachings.

Perhaps the most important of the three main historic sites related to the great teacher - together forming part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site - is the Cemetery of Confucius (Kong Lin). This large burial ground contains the graves of Confucius, family members, and numerous followers.

The grave itself is a mound marked by a 15th-century gravestone carrying the inscription "Grave of the Sacred King of Culture, who achieved Absolute Perfection." The graves of his son and grandson are situated close by. The cemetery, laid out around Confucius' grave in the 14th century, makes for a delightful excursion thanks to its more than 10,000 trees. Other important sites worth exploring are the Temple of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion .

The City of Ceramics: Zibo

Situated in the center of Shandong province, the city of Zibo was the capital of the Qi Empire for 630 years. During this time it became famous for its ceramics and lacquered works of art. It was in fact here that China's famous green glass was first developed some 1,500 years ago, as well as the region's distinctive black glazed porcelain.

Between 960 and 1279, local makers also perfected the technique of coating earthenware with a brownish layer of glaze displaying tear-shaped runs. This still popular style has cemented Zibo's reputation for hand-made porcelain and ensured its status as China's major producer of ceramics.

Zibo's connection to the history of ceramics is celebrated at the Zibo Chinese Ceramics Center . This fascinating attraction features large collections of locally produced artifacts and displays showing both modern and traditional manufacturing methods.

Another attraction worth seeing is the Great Wall of the Qi . More than 2,500 years old, many sections of its 600-kilometer length still stand and can be visited. Zibo boasts a variety of other interesting cultural experiences, including its unique cuisine and theatrical performances, which can be included as part of a tour package.

Quanzhou's International Influences

Located in the southeast corner of Fujian province on the broad Jinjiang estuary, Quanzhou was already an important port in the 6th century. Highlights of this historic port include the Temple of the Beginning of the New Age , built in AD 686 and one of the largest temples in China.

Covering some 70,000 square meters, this vast temple site includes a number of impressive pagodas, including the 48-meter-tall eastern pagoda (Zhenguo) dating from the end of the Tang Dynasty around AD 700 and decorated with 39 bas-reliefs crafted from alabaster; and the 44-meter Pagoda of Longevity (Renshou Ta) from the early 10th century and decorated with birds and flowers.

Also of interest is the Mosque of Peace and Clarity , erected in 1009 in the style of a Damascus prayer house and financed by Muslim merchants. One of the oldest mosques in China, the building is notable for its impressive main gate and walls with Arabic engravings of the Koran.

Be sure to also visit the Quanzhou Maritime Museum with its historic displays, including a 24-meter-long 10th-century sailing ship; hundreds of sculptures; and stone tablets with inscriptions in old Chinese, Latin, Syrian, and Arabic. You'll also see numerous ceramic pieces crafted in Quanzhou from the 10th century onwards. Afterwards, spend time exploring the downtown area, popular for its shopping, authentic restaurants, and many fine hotels.


Yangzhou lies in the central region of Jiangsu province between the Yangtze River and the Grand Canal and can trace its roots back some 2,400 years. It was the building of the canal in the 6th century, however, that saw the city rise in importance as a place of foreign trade, attracting the likes of Arab missionary Behao Aldin in the 7th century and later Marco Polo, who stayed here for a spell.

In addition to being famous for its traditional local cuisine, unique art forms, and handicrafts, the town boasts a number of first-rate attractions, which together form a great walking tour of the old town. These include the picturesque Narrow West Lake ; the old Bridge of the Great Rainbow (Dahong Qiao); the 18th-century Bridge of the Five Pavilions ; and Fuzhuang Island , reached by a zig-zag bridge and home to a number of pleasant pavilions and covered walks.

Another must-see attraction is the 4th-century Temple of Heavenly Peace . Located at the foot of the Mountain of the Plum Blossom (Meihua Ling), it's famous as being the place where, in AD 418, a Nepalese monk translated the Buddhist scriptures. Also worth seeing, the 1,500-year-old Daming Temple was once home to the monk Jianzhen, famous for spreading the Buddhist gospel to Japan.

Old and new buildings in Foshan City

Foshan lies in the center of Guangdong province, about 20 kilometers southwest of the larger city of Canton, and is notable for being one of the oldest towns in China. This popular tourist destination takes its name from three ancient bronze Buddha statues discovered here in AD 628 and soon after became one of the country's most important places of pilgrimage. Under the Song Dynasty from AD 960 to 1279, Foshan became known as a center of the porcelain industry along with metalworking and silk weaving.

Among Foshan's other attractions are the centuries-old Ancestral Temple , now used to stage traditional Cantonese opera performances, and Shi Wan , an old porcelain furnace that's been in operation since the 10th century and is said to have remained permanently lit.

Another highlight of a visit is simply wandering the old town's well-preserved European-influenced streets and courtyards. It's a real treat due to the shopping opportunities at the many small traditional potteries offering their unique goods for sale to curious passersby.

Mogao Grottos, Dunhuang

Although remote, the cities of Dunhuang and Jiayuguan are big draws for adventure seekers and certainly one of the best places to visit in China. Located to the northwest of China, these two cities have long been famous for their association with the Silk Road trading route, which connects Asia with Europe.

Dunhuang's proximity to the Gobi desert - the city was established on an oasis, the first (or last, depending on the direction you were headed) in China - makes it the perfect place to experience a fun sunset camel trek along the dunes. From here, you'll also be able to explore the spectacular ancient Mogao Grotto Caves , man-made dwellings literally chiseled out of the mountainside.

Jiayuguan, some 386 kilometers east of Dunhuang, is where you'll find the spectacular Jiayuguan Pass . This breathtaking natural scenery is enhanced by a number of once important forts, as well as the most westerly section of the Great Wall of China , a real treat to explore due to the fact fewer tourists venture to the area.

After all that adventure, you can enjoy the chance to explore historic Jiayuguan, a popular shopping destination for its many finely crafted goods, as well as a great place to experience authentic regional cuisine.

  • Visiting Dunhuang & Jiayuguan: Mogao Caves, Western End of the Great Wall of China & Camel Trekking

Cherry blossoms blooming at East Lake in Wuhan

Large by Western standards due to its population of nearly three-and-a-half million souls, Wuhan, the capital of Hebei Province, lies at the confluence of the Yangtze and Hanshui rivers on the Beijing-Canton rail route in Central China. Well over 3,000 years old, the city offers a number of first-rate tourist attractions worth exploring on foot.

One of the best is East Lake , the largest urban lake in China and famous for its many gardens, which burst forth each spring in a cacophony of color as cherry trees and lotus flowers bloom. Those with an interest in Chinese culture and history are well served, too, thanks to the excellent Hubei Provincial Museum . Highlights of the museum, regarded as one of the best in China, include rare finds from the 5th-century tomb of Marquis Yi (Zenghouyi), 2,500-year-old musical instruments, and a superb collection of bonsai trees.

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Best China Attractions

China Attractions List from A to Z Full List 2024

What inspires you to take a trip to China? Is it the ever man-made wonder – Great Wall of China, incredible underground site of Terra-cotta Warriors, or the picturesque landscape in Guilin? But everybody who has been to China knows this great country has far more than these.

China is so vast and diverse. The western China is the wildest region where you can see the highest mountain – Mount Everest, pure Namtso Lake, wild forests, most beautiful waterscape – Jiuzhaigou Valley, etc. Well the middle and eastern area of China is featured in fabulous mountains (Huangshan, Mount Tai, Mount Hua, etc.), hills and river landscape, stunning gorges of Yangtze River, peaceful countryside and fancy terraces in Guilin, etc. While, the essence of China is the profound Chinese culture. There are 38 World Cultural Heritage Sites in China, including the world-famous Forbidden City, Great Wall, Terra-cotta Warriors, Mogao Caves, Potala Palaces, etc. Water towns, ancient towns, ancient city, traditional gardens, royal palaces, museums, ethnic villages…there are much more to explore.

Top 8 Attractions You Can't Miss Out 2024/2025

Follow is the collection of best attractions of China, covering the most outstanding places for both nature and culture lovers. Each site is the best of its kind, such as the masterpiece of Chinese architecture – Forbidden City, holy Tibetan Buddhist site - Potala Palace, best sightseeing mountain – Huangshan, etc.

China attractions - Great Wall

Once forbidden and now permitted. It was an amazing experience visiting a huge palace once build by the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The cultural richness of china is truly reflected at this historical palace.

China attractions - Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall is very popular among both domestic and foreign travelers because it is not only can be reached from Beijing easily, but also it is the best representative section of all Great Wall of China.

China Attractions - Li River

Li River features in typical karst landform, thousands of limestone mountains stick out of the ground along the river bank. Cruising on Li River is just like being part of the magical world.

Zhangjiajie National Park

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park was the first national forest park in China, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. It is also famous for the inspiration for the movie AVATAR, the Hallelujah Mountain.

China attractions - Terracotta Warriors

They call it the eighth wonder of the world, and they're right. Discovered in 1974, Terracotta Warriors and Horses is one of the greatest archeological finds in the 20th century, and it definitely should be on your bucket list.

China attractions - Yellow Mountain

Yellow Mountain, also Mt. Huangshan was listed as World Heritage Site in 1992. It is famous for the five wonders – odd-shaped pines, spectacular rocky peaks, sea of clouds, hot spring and winter snow.

China Attractions - Potala Palace

Potala Palace - Masterpiece of Tibetan Architecture. Even a short glimpse is enough to leaven a forever imprint on one’s bottom of heart, and drive him from faraway on the globe to witness this magnificent wonder.

Jiuzhaigou Valley

Jiuzhaigou Valley, an amazing fairy land features the awesome sceneries of multi-level waterfalls, crystal waters and colorful lakes. The water presents various color patterns of white, blue, green, turquoise and emerald.

Find China Attractions Full List 2024

No matter for the first time trip in China, or the tenth, you can always get an exciting adventure because China boasts too many things to do. But you may find it difficult to browse among such numerous attractions. Don’t worry, we have already made it easy for you. Here we have list outed more than 100 destinations which offer unique attractions to visit. You only need to locate in the center destination, or just find the attraction you are interested in the attraction A~Z index.

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  • Jiuzhaigou Valley
  • Jokhang Temple
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  • Mount Everest
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  • Suzhou Silk Museum
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  • Xi'an Ancient City Wall
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  • Xilamuren Grassland
  • Xiling Snow Mountain
  • Xilingol Grassland
  • Xinan River Landscape Gallery
  • Xingping Ancient Town
  • Xitang Water Town
  • Xixi National Wetland Park
  • Xumishan Grottoes
  • Yabuli Ski Resort
  • Yadan Geopark
  • Yandaixie Street
  • Yangshuo Town
  • Yalong Bay Tropical Forest Park
  • Yellow Dragon Cave
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  • Yu Garden & Bazaar
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  • Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge
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  • Zhangye Danxia Landform Geopark
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  • Zoige Grassland
  • Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art
  • Aba (Ngawa)
  • Dengfeng (Shaolin Temple)
  • Zoige (Ruo'ergai)

Popular China Tour Packages

Things to do in China

This itinerary covers two ancient capital cities of China – Beijing & Xian, as well as the most developed city – Shanghai. It’s not overstated to call it the most classic China tour, for China’s past, present and future are epitomized in the golden triangle cities.

Things to do in China

With the Golden Triangle Destinations (Beijing, Xian, Shanghai) plus the fabulous river and countryside views of Guilin, this tour leads you to top 4 destinations you can’t miss for your first time trip in China.

Things to do in China

Want to explore the most recommended highlights of China in a leisure way? This is the ideal trip which takes you to some of the most impressive destinations in China, including Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Shanghai, plus Yangtze River region.

Things to do in China

Get amazed by ancient wonders - the Great Wall and Terracotta Warriors. Make a close contact with the precious cute Giant Panda. Be awed by the holy Buddhism culture and magnificent Potala Palace in Lhasa. Enjoy the most beautiful hills and waters in Guilin.

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Top 10 China Destinations for First Time Travelers

To save your time and energy and allow the best value for your money, we carefully selected the top 10 China destinations and the most popular tour packages, in the hope of guiding international travelers especially the first-time visitors to better plan their vacation.

Top 10 China Destinations

Beijing - Imperial Capital and First Choice

Beijing - Imperial Capital and First Choice

Shanghai - Sleepless International Metropolis

Shanghai - Sleepless International Metropolis

Xi'an - Splendor of Ancient Oriental Civilization

Guilin - top karst wonderland.

Guilin - Top Karst Wonderland

Chengdu - Hometown of Giant Pandas

Chengdu - Hometown of Giant Pandas

Hong Kong - Shining Pearl of the Orient

Hong Kong - Shining Pearl of the Orient

Tibet - Holy Site of Buddhism

Tibet - Holy Site of Buddhism

Guangzhou - Vigorous World Trading Center

Guangzhou - Vigorous World Trading Center

Hangzhou - Heaven on Earth

Hangzhou - Heaven on Earth

Sanya - Best China Destination for Seaside Holiday

Sanya - Best Seaside Holiday Resort

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    Foreign tourists enjoy the scenery on a bamboo raft on Yulong River in Yangshuo county, Southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on July 15, 2023. Photo: VCG

    Foreign tourists enjoy the scenery on a bamboo raft on Yulong River in Yangshuo county, Southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on July 15, 2023. Photo: VCG

    china top tourist destinations

    China wants more people to come and see the country for themselves and see that people-to-people exchanges are ...

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    China implemented a visa-free policy for ordinary passport holders from New Zealand, Australia, and Poland on Monday. Citizens ...

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    12 chinese cities unveiled as cultural and tourism hot spots.

    In early July, a total of 12 cities in China were identified as having significant potential for cultural and tourism development. These cities encompass a diverse range of regions, including Zigong in Sichuan province, Weihai in Shandong province, Xinzhou in Shanxi province, Yichang in Hubei province, Honghe Hani and Yi autonomous prefecture in Yunnan province, and Qinhuangdao in Hebei province.

    The selection of these cities was conducted by the Liaowang Institute, affiliated with the Xinhua News Agency, in collaboration with the Institute for Contemporary China Studies at Tsinghua University.

    Focusing on 199 cities in China with populations ranging from 1 million to 5 million, the report assesses their cultural and tourism potential through comprehensive data collection, surveys, and on-site research.

    According to the report, cities in China with medium-sized populations and unique regional cultural attributes demonstrate promising trajectories for cultural and tourism development, showcasing robust growth opportunities.

    As per the report, these cities have formulated strategic blueprints to evolve into cultural and tourism hubs, emphasizing the significance of cultural diversity and actively fostering the fusion of culture and tourism. They have implemented a variety of frameworks and protective measures, consistently innovating cultural and tourism offerings while introducing a diverse array of products and services, as outlined in the report.

    china top tourist destinations

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    The 15 Most Beautiful Places in China (#7 Will Impress You)

    China's vast and diverse territory endows the country with some of the most beautiful natural scenery on earth. From the picturesque karst landscape in Guilin and Yangshuo to the precipitous pillars in Zhangjiajie, from the Rainbow Mountains in Zhangye to the holy high land of Tibet, China's diverse natural beauty is as impressive as it is splendid culture.

    Content Preview

    • 1. Karst Landscape
    • 2. The Yellow Mountains
    • 3. Zhangjiajie
    • 5. Shangri-La
    • 7. Zhangye's Danxi
    • 8. Western Sichuan
    • Which One(s) to Visit? Visit them at the Right Time!
    • 10. Inner Mongolia
    • 11. Hangzhou
    • 12. The Yuanyang Terraced Fields
    • 13. Jiuzhaigou
    • 15. Xishuangbanna

    1. Guilin & Yangshuo — China's Most Beautiful Karst Landscape

    The Li River in Guilin is like an artist's masterpiece, bounded by classic sheer karst hills, which have inspired many poets and ink painters. It is listed as one of the world's " Top 10 Watery Wonders " by America's National Geographic Magazine and the World's "15 Best Rivers for Travelers" by CNN Travel .

    Taking a leisurely cruise or a 3–4-hour family-friendly moderate hike (more on Li River hiking ) are good ways to enjoy the Li River's beauty. We can take you to less-crowded stretches for you to immerse yourself in this paradise of nature.

    When looking for natural beauty, Yangshuo comes first in Chinese minds for its karst hills and rivers. Get away from the touristy parts of Yangshuo and enjoy the idyllic, painting-like scenes in peace.

    Challenge yourself to a SUP (stand-up paddleboard, i.e. a mini raft) on the Yulong River, take a bamboo raft, have a cycling tour into the countryside, or take an exciting drive with an all-terrain vehicle.

    • 4-Day Guilin Scenic and Ethnic Discovery (The Basic Itinerary)
    • 5-Day Dynamic Guilin and Yangshuo Tour (Best for Outdoor Experience)
    • 6-Day Guilin, Yangshuo, and Longsheng Tour (The Classic Itinerary)

    2. The Yellow Mountains and Villages Nearby

    An image of a twisting pine tree growing from a curiously curved rock pops into Chinese minds when they hear of the Yellow Mountains .

    These mystical and mystical mountains are the most beautiful and most famous in China. Their classic attractions are grand dawns and their "four natural wonders": peculiar pines, oddly-shaped rocks, seas of clouds, and hot springs.

    This fairyland scene with the sunset and the sea of clouds is also perfect for a marriage proposal or to mark an important occasion. See our 5 Days Dynamic Huangshan Tour .

    The nearby villages, for example, Bishan Village is where you could quiet down and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the countryside.

    You could walk or bike among ancient villages, stay in a typical Hui-style inn, and see how artists turn this small area into a rural paradise on canvas. Canola flowers in spring can be the icing on the cake.

    Discover real reviews of Highlights Travel Family 's best-rated service across trusted platforms.

    3. Zhangjiajie — Precipitous Pillars

    The precipitous pillars in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park are the inspiration for the Hallelujah Mountains in Avatar.

    Zhangjiajie is famous for its towering peaks, breathtaking rock pillars, and deep valleys. The forest of massive pillars is one of the best muses for photographers in China.

    Take a 4-day tour of the main highlights in Zhangjiajie : Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon with its Glass Bridge, and Tianmen Mountain.

    Want a non-touristy route? 5-Day Zhangjiajie Hiking and Biking Tour for Any Level is a good choice.

    Bungee jumping at Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge is available. Contact us to arrange an adventure tailored for you.

    See more on How to Plan a Tour of Zhangjiajie and 2 Weeks in China: 3 Top Itinerary Ideas for Couples, Families, and More .

    4. Lijiang — An Ancient Town with Awesome Natural Beauty

    Lijiang , with its ancient town, snowy mountains, highland glacial lakes, and majestic canyons is truly a breathtakingly beautiful destination.

    A stroll in Lijiang Ancient Town brings you a charming look at local Naxi minority life. Take a cable car up Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to enjoy fantastic views of the glaciated peak.

    Or you may choose to skip the cable car, hike through the bushes, wade across a little stream, and enjoy exclusive views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain that only hikers can .

    Take a 2-day hike along the deepest-but-easily-accessible gorge. Tiger Leaping Gorge is considered the best hiking trail in China and a once-in-a-lifetime bucket-list experience. You will not only hike between two holy snow-capped mountains but also be a party to the most remarkable views when passing the steep 28 bends and the most tumultuous part of the Jinsha River.

    • 8-Day Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and Shangri-La Tour
    • 9-Day Yunnan Family Toure

    5. Shangri-La — the Holy Meili Snow Mountains

    In the southwest of Deqin County, Shangri-La, and the surrounding Meili Snow Mountains is a holy place of pilgrimage for Tibetan people. The mountain range has 13 peaks and the main peak is Kawagebo, which is 6,740 meters (22,100 feet) above sea level.

    The most important highlight is the golden sunrise on these spectacular snow-capped peaks.

    The best season to visit the Snow Mountains is autumn when the sky is clear and blue.

    Besides the snow-capped mountains, you can also see plateau lakes, thick forests, exotic flowers and trees, and various wild animals in the mountains. There are many Tibetan monasteries and villages at the foot of the mountains, bringing you a real Tibetan cultural experience.

    Pudacuo National Park, about 22 km (14 mi) from Shangri-La, is also stunning in the fall. The blue sky, red meadows, clear lakes, and colorful forests make a beautiful picture.

    • 7-Day Shangri-La and Meili Snow Mountain Adventure Tour

    6. Tibet — Lofty Mountain Splendor

    Tibet , locked in the Himalayas, holds travelers' imaginations of the lost Shangri-la. From the unspoiled sacred lakes to the world's highest peak — Mount Everest ; from the vast untouched Changtang Grasslands to the depths of the Yarlung-Tsangpo Canyon, the Roof of the World is filled with awe and pristine beauty.

    If you are interested in the Tibetan lifestyle, we can arrange for you to visit a local Tibetan family. You could talk to the host (with our guide's interpreting) about the family's life and help them with farming work.

    Tibet doesn't accept independent travelers. Traveling with a travel agency is required. Contact us to explore the main highlights from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp. Consider a top Tibet trekking trip, the Everest Base Camp trek , if you'd love a more outdoorsy experience.

    • 5-Day Lhasa Highlights and Lake Yamdrok Tour
    • 8-Days Lhasa to Everest Base Camp Tour
    • 17-Day Beijing-Xian-Tibet-Chengdu-Guilin-Hong Kong

    7. Zhangye's Danxia Landscape — Rainbow Mountains

    The Danxia landscape in Zhangye is vividly named "Rainbow Mountains" by many due to its dazzling colors. Danxia (丹霞 /dan-sshya/) means "red, red clouds". In China's remote northwest, Zhangye is deeply loved by photographers and en route for those on a Chinese Silk Road scenery and culture journey.

    The landscape is composed of curvy, layered, multi-hued formations, most of which are several hundred meters high. When the sun shines on them, their colors appear in full vibrancy. It looks like an oil painting when the vast red rock formations are simply set against a pure blue sky.

    • 6-Day Zhangye and Dunhuang Photography Tour
    • 8-Day Qinghai Lake, Zhangye, and Dunhuang Tour
    • 10-Day Lanzhou–Xiahe–Zhangye–Dunhuang–Turpan–Urumqi Tour

    8. Western Sichuan Province — Pure Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve

    Yading Nature Reserve is called "the last pure land on earth" and "the last Shangri-La".

    It features snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear lakes, vast grasslands, and colorful forests. You can tour it by starting from Chengdu and passing through Xinduqiao, a picturesque Tibetan town famous for its plateau pasture views, before arriving at Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve. You will see stunning fall scenery throughout the whole trip.

    The Tibetan cultural experience is another highlight of this route. You can see many ancient monasteries and Tibetan-style houses during the trip.

    • 4-Day Western Sichuan Tibetan Spring Tour from Chengdu
    • 8-Day Chengdu to Shangri-La Adventure Tour
    • 9-Day In-Depth Exploration of Western Sichuan — Baby Pandas, Eastern Alps, and Hidden Monasteries

    9. Kanas in North Xinjiang — Beautiful Mountain Lake

    Nestled in the deep forests and mountains of Altay, Kanas is a truly beautiful mountain lake. Since its access roads have been improved for travelers, it has attained a reputation as "the tourism pearl of Mountainous Altai".

    The lake takes on different colors following the four seasons: sometimes it's crystal blue, sometimes it's dark green or even gray, and you may find it containing many colors setting off each other, thus it got a name as "the color-changing lake".

    Nearby Kanas Lake, you can visit a village of the Tuwan tribe, which is a branch of the Mongolian ethnic group . Believers of Lamaism, live in their traditional houses and practice their centuries-old traditions. If you are interested in local culture, you can visit the village or even stay with hospitable families.

    • 8-Day North Xinjiang Tour (with Kanas)
    • 7-Day Xinjiang Highlights Tour (Best for First Timers)
    • 8-Day Xinjiang Tour with Ili (Best for Summer)

    10. Ejina Desert Polar Forest in Inner Mongolia

    A Euphrates poplar golden leaves shoot in autumn is a dream trip for many photography lovers. If you're one of them, the Populus euphratica forest in Ejina , Inner Mongolia is the right place for you.

    Ejina Euphrates Poplar Forest is one of the best remaining ancient desert poplar forest areas and features dazzling golden leaves, dreamy water reflections, running sheep, and boundless deserts with longed-for camel riding opportunities. It is a good place for both sunrise and sunset shoots.

    With its advantageous position adjacent to Gansu Province, Ejina Euphrates Poplar Forest is usually combined with a trip along the legendary Silk Road . Traveling from Dunhuang to Zhangye via Jiayuguan and Ejina, with the mysterious Mogao Caves, desert landscapes, colorful landforms, and stunning golden leaves, you will have a rich touring experience.

    11. Hangzhou — Next Best Place to Heaven

    Renowned for its scenic beauty, Hangzhou is one of the most photogenic cities in China. In the 13th century, Marco Polo described Hangzhou as "the city of heaven" and "the finest and most splendid city in the world".

    Hangzhou's most famous sight, West Lake , is considered one of the most beautiful sights in China. Each season offers picturesque scenes that will leave an ever-lasting impression.

    The best time to go is spring (March to May). The lake, ancient buildings, and causeways decorated with flower blossoms are the theme of many elegant Chinese paintings.

    Hangzhou is also a good place to learn about Chinese tea culture. You could visit a tea plantation to see how farmers pick tea leaves, learn the process of making tea, and taste a cup of China's most-adored tea. See our 5-Day Shanghai & Hangzhou with Watertown Tour

    Also, read How to Plan a Hangzhou Tour .

    12. The Yuanyang Terraced Fields — Steps to Heaven

    "If you are a traveler, but have never been to Yuanyang , Yuanyang will feel sad for you; If you are a photographer but have never been to Yuanyang, God will feel sorry for you!"

    There are many things that you know will never be surpassed once you see their beauty. And you will find Yuanyang's terraced fields are the most beautiful terraces in the world, once you have been there.

    • Also, read China's Five Most Beautiful Rice Terraces .
    • Recommended itinerary: 6-Day Jianshui and Yuanyang Tour

    13. Jiuzhaigou — Colorful Alpine Lakes

    Jiuzhaigou , in remote western China, has inspired dreams of a colorful fairyland among many travelers. Jiuzhaigou features multicolored lakes surrounded by vast mountain forests. These lakes change color throughout the day and year. The colors come from the reflections of surrounding mountainsides and algae and minerals in the lakes.

    Fall is the most beautiful season in Jiuzhaigou, when the landscape changes color, providing a vivid backdrop of autumnal hues — an unspoiled, dazzling beauty rarely rivaled in China.

    • 3-Day Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong Highlights Tour
    • 6-Day Essential Chengdu and In-Depth Jiuzhaigou Tour
    • 7-Day Chengdu, Mount Emei, and Jiuzhaigou Scenic Tour

    14. Sanya — Warm Winter Escape

    Located at the southern tip of China's Hainan Island, this tropical paradise is known as the "the Hawaii of China".

    Sanya has the best beaches in China, and you will find plenty of resort choices at Yalong Bay, Dadonghai, and Sanya Bay. Wuzhizhou Island and West Island are paradises for diving enthusiasts.

    What about walking on a suspension bridge or flying over the rainforest on a zipline? The tropical rainforests bring you choices of exciting and adventurous activities. Nanwan Monkey Island is especially popular among families with children.

    Looking for a warm winter vacation? Our 5-Day Sanya Tour with the Best Beach ensures you uncompromised fun with the ocean, the beach, and the sun.

    15. Xishuangbanna — Tropical and Exotic Charms

    Remember the "Long March" of 15 Asian elephants in 2021?

    Right, they came from Xishuangbanna — a pleasant place with an annual average temperature of about 20°C (68°F). It is a paradise of tropical plants, a kingdom of wild animals, and home to the Theravada Buddhist temples of China.

    Nature lovers would be spoiled with a visit to the Tropical Botanical Garden in Xishuangbanna, which has the richest collection of species and the most plant-specific attractions anywhere in China.

    Stilt-style Dai houses are dotted throughout every corner of the region. Take ethnic-culture-rich pictures and find yourself in a truly Southeast Asian atmosphere.

    Last, but not least, local tourists rush to Xishuangbanna in winter to escape the cold further north. More flights are available, but you will find airfares are comparatively high during winter times.

    What about a short hike in the tropical forest or a stay in a treehouse, relaxing in the oxygen-rich air? Or a chance to interact with the native Asian elephants and peacocks? Our 6-Day Xishuangbanna and Pu'er Tour gets you in touch with the rainforest.

    Which One(s) to Visit?

    These top 15 most beautiful places in China are excellent destinations that everyone would visit if they could. But, for the best experience, it is important that you choose the places to visit that best meets your travel needs at the right time for you.

    Visit at the Right Time

    These 15 places are suitable to travel all year round, but the best times are definitely April to May and September to early November when the weather is the most pleasant on average. There are some exceptions:

    Winter Vacation:

    • Sanya: Want somewhere sunny and warm for winter? This is a great place for a winter escape.
    • The Yuanyang Terraced Fields: For great photos, try to visit between January and March when the terraces are irrigated with water.
    • The Yellow Mountains: The snow-capped Yellow Mountains in winter are quite different from their legendary popularity in other seasons — more like a peaceful haven.

    Summer Vacations:

    • Tibet: It's the rainy season in Tibet during summertime, but there isn't much rain and temperatures are the most comfortable of the year. The annual Shoton Festival is around that time.
    • If you want to avoid heat and enjoy a cool summer holiday, Jiuzhaigou, Lijiang, and western Sichuan are good options.

    Busy Golden Weeks:

    • Ejina Desert Polar Forest: To enjoy the very best of the golden poplar leaves, visit in early October during the National Day holiday in China (if you do not mind crowds).

    No matter what season you are visiting China, our consultants will arrange a suitable itinerary for you to enjoy the beauty of China. All our tours can be customized based on your interests and requirements. Just contact us .

    Visit These Beautiful Places with Us

    It is hard to plan a trip to cover all these naturally beautiful places on your own. Our travel advisors can help you with an itinerary and personal advice. They can help you choose awesome places according to your interests, and plan the trip you want.

    If you are planning to travel to these places, click on the links in the article for more information. Or contact us to tailor-make a tour according to your requirements. Or continue to read How to Plan a First Trip to China .

    Here are two sample itineraries for inspiration:

    • 11 Days China Classic Wonder Tour : the most popular destinations in China
    • 14-Day China History and Scenery Discovery Tour : the most important historical destinations and extraordinary scenery destinations in China
    • Find more ideas from our China tours .
    • 14-Day China Natural Wonders Discovery
    • 9-Day Beyond the Golden Triangle
    • 2-Week Riches of China
    • 13-Day A Broad Taste of China
    • 15 Best Places to Visit in China (2024)
    • Best (& Worst) Times to Visit China, Travel Tips (2024/2025)
    • How to Plan a 10-Day Itinerary in China (Best 5 Options)
    • 8 Days in China: Top 15 Tours and Itineraries (2024/2025)
    • China Weather in January 2024: Enjoy Less-Crowded Traveling
    • China Weather in February 2024: Places to Go, Costs, and Crowds
    • China Weather in March 2024: Destinations, Crowds, and Costs
    • China Weather in April 2024: Where to Go (Smart Pre-Season Pick)
    • China Weather in May 2024: Where to Go, Crowds, and Costs
    • China Weather in June 2024: How to Benefit from the Rainy Season
    • China Weather in July 2024: How to Avoid Heat and Crowds
    • China Weather in August 2024: Weather Tips & Where to Go
    • China Weather in September 2024: Weather Tips & Where to Go
    • China Weather in October 2024: Where to Go, Crowds, and Costs
    • China Weather in November 2024: Places to Go & Crowds
    • China Weather in December 2024: Places to Go and Crowds

    Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries

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    Most athletic countries in the world

    Countries like the U.S., Jamaica (Usain Bolt), Kenya (Eliud Kipchoge, David Rudisha), China, Russia, Brazil and Germany excel in sports, winning numerous medals. They're renowned for sprinting, long-d...

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    china top tourist destinations

  2. Best Tourist Attractions Along the Great Wall of China

    china top tourist destinations

  3. 17 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Beijing

    china top tourist destinations

  4. Tourist attractions in China

    china top tourist destinations

  5. 12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in China

    china top tourist destinations

  6. Top 10 Must See Places In China Travel Itinerary And Explore

    china top tourist destinations


  1. Hong Kong: A Cinematic Journey

  2. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China

  3. The Top 10 Tourist Attractions in China

  4. Visit Tiananmen Square (China Travel) What To See In Beijing

  5. Travel in China: Visit Scenic Spot

  6. Exploring the Treasures of China Top Tourist Destinations Worth Discovering #china #trending #shorts


  1. 15 Best Places to Visit in China (2024)

    14. The Yangtze River. 15. Inner Mongolia. 1. The Great Wall — Top Landmark of China. The Great Wall is an absolute must-see when visiting China, particularly for first-time travelers. This ancient and magnificent military defense project, spanning tens of thousands of kilometers, continues to emanate a distinct allure.

  2. 14 of the best places to visit in China

    3. Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yunnan. One of China's most famous treks, this 22km (14-mile) hiking trail winds through a World Heritage-listed gorge in Yunnan that is one of Asia's most striking landscapes. Framed by spectacular snow-capped mountains and the scenic Jinshajiang River, the natural monument plunges to depths of 3900m (12,795ft), making ...

  3. China's Top 15 Must-Visit Attractions: Historical ...

    The top 15 famous tourist attractions in China include the famous Great Wall, Terracotta Army, the Forbidden City, and more. See more information and photos. China Tours. China Tours 2024/2025; China Expats Tours; China Winter Tours ... Biking is the best way to travel around the lake. Capturing the beauty of the landscape bathed in sunshine ...

  4. 15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in China

    Discover fascinating, unusual, and adventurous things to do with our list of the top tourist attractions in China. On This Page: 1. The Great Wall of China. 2. The Forbidden City & the Imperial Palace, Beijing. 3. The Terracotta Army, Xi'an. 4.

  5. Best Cities to Visit in China, China Most Popular Travel Destinations

    Huangshan — Majestic Beauty. Suzhou — Elegant Water Towns and Gardens. Hong Kong — Like Nowhere Else on Earth. 1. Guilin — China's Top Karst Landscape. Guilin, with its marvelous limestone scenery, is renowned as one of the most beautiful places on earth.

  6. Top 30 China Destinations, Top 30 Places to Go in China 2024/2025

    Here is the list of top 30 China destinations or places to go for travel in China, including Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Guilin, Lhasa, Chengdu, etc. Tailor-made Tour Package Refundable Quick Response 3,820+ comments (1,930+ reviews)

  7. China Where to Visit

    Here are up-to-date lists of Best Places to Visit in China for China Expats. All are voted completely by over 20,000 foreigners in China. China Icons. Beijing Great Wall. Shanghai The Bund. Xian Terra-Cotta Warrior ... 13 Days Best China Vacation. Travel from north to south China, meet stunning nature and culture, urban and countryside scenery ...

  8. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in China (2024)

    Hong Kong Disneyland. 17,461. Amusement & Theme Parks. Whimsical theme park in a charming neighborhood, with a mix of classic rides and movie-franchise attractions, including a captivating light show and the immersive Mystic Manor. 2024. 10. South Bund Soft Spinning Material Market. 1,771. Shopping Malls.

  9. 17 Best Places to Visit in China (+Map)

    1. Beijing. Beijing is the current capital city and remains one of the most popular places to visit in China. Its history dates back more than 3,000 years and much of that history is still alive within its borders. Beijing literally means Northern Capital, a role it has played many times in China's long history.

  10. Best things to do in China

    Typically, rice and stir-fried dishes are more common in southern China, where rice is cultivated, while buns, dumplings and noodles are the staples in the wheat-growing north. Don't miss xiaolongbao, or soup dumplings - a favorite breakfast food in Shanghai - and crispy Beijing roast duck. For delicate dim sum, go to Guangdong province.

  11. 40 beautiful places to visit in China

    China overflows with beautiful places to visit: Desert vistas. Lush gorges. Charming riverside towns. Epic statues and buildings. Let these pictures inspire your next vacation.

  12. Top 10 China Tourist Attractions List

    Being among the top ten China tourist attractions list, this river is renowned for the green hills, clear water, wonderful grottos and charming rocks. The 83-kilometer (52-mile) section from Guilin to Yangshuo represents the essence of Li River. The water is like a jade band twining around the verdant hills, with idyllic villages occasionally ...

  13. 30 Top Tourist Attractions in China (+Map)

    26. Lijiang Old Town. In northwest China, Lijiang boasts 800 years of history. Once the capital of the Naxi Kingdom, the old town of Lijiang takes you right back to its heyday, with the bonus of an epic mountain backdrop. Like any good "old town", Lijiang is flooded with romanticism, charm and rich culture.

  14. Must-see attractions China, Asia

    Discover the best attractions in China including Po Lin Monastery & Big Buddha, Peak Tram, and Mogao Grottoes.

  15. 40 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in China (Updated 2024)

    1. Great Wall, Beijing - A Must-Do for Any Traveler in China. The Great Wall (长城), one of the world's most iconic landmarks, is a must-visit attraction when in Beijing. Spanning over 21,000 kilometers, this ancient wonder offers a glimpse into China's rich history and architectural marvels.

  16. 15 Best Places to Visit in China

    5. Shanghai Shanghai. The largest city in China, Shanghai is famous for being the country's most modern metropolis and offers a diversity of tourist attractions old and new.Boasting in excess of 24 million citizens, the city's highlights include numerous world-class museums and art galleries, ranging from the excellent Shanghai Museum to the China Art Museum.

  17. China Attractions List from A to Z Full List 2024

    Here we offer the most comprehensive and practical travel essentials, China travel FAQs & tips and the booking guide for you. >> Most popular China tourist destinations >> China visa, passport and permit >> Weather & Best time to visit China >> Transportation in China >> China High Speed Train travel

  18. Top 20 Tourist Attractions in China You Must Visit

    5. Huangshan or Yellow Mountains. Image Credits: Suvcon. Tucked in east China, close to Shanghai and Hangzhou, Yellow Mountains are one of China's best three national parks - the other two being Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and Jiuzhaigou National Forest Park.

  19. Top 10 China Destinations for First Time Travelers

    You are suggested to prepare sun scream. It is good for shopping and the Beiyuanmen Street near the Drum Tower is recommended to buy some special souvenirs. Top tourist destinations in China include the most visited cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Guilin, Chengdu, Hong Kong, Tibet, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Sanya.

  20. Top 10 Most Popular Tourist Destinations in China

    Beijing, the capital of China, has served as the capital of China for more than 800 years.It is home to plenty of world-famous historical sites including the Forbidden City - the largest and best-preserved ancient architectural complex in the world; the Temple of Heaven - where Ming and Qing emperors performed solemn rituals for bountiful harvests; the Summer Palace - the emperors' magnificent ...

  21. The Best Places to Visit and Things to Do in China

    This page covers the most famous attractions and things to do in China to help you plan your China tour. China Tours. China Tours 2024/2025; China Expats Tours; China Winter Tours; Top 10 Tours ... China's Top Tourist Cities. BeijingThe Great Wall . China's Imperial Relics. 4-Day Beijing Private Tour,Best for the Fist-Time Visitors; 11-Day ...

  22. 12 of the best places to visit in China

    From the Forbidden City in Beijing to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Yunnan, these are some of the best places to visit in China. We haven't been able to take payment You must update your payment details via My Account or by clicking update payment details to keep your subscription.

  23. 25 Best Things to do in China: Top Activities & Attractions

    Top Travel Destinations in China Beijing. Source: national geographic. As China's capital, Beijing is a bustling hub of culture and history. Key attractions include the Forbidden City, a majestic palace complex from the Ming dynasty, and the nearby Great Wall of China. Both sites offer travellers a profound insight into China's rich heritage ...

  24. 14m trips made by foreign tourists in China in first half; growing

    Inbound travel to China has surged in the first half of 2024, driven by the benefits of an expanding visa-free policy for travelers from foreign countries. Observers said the growing appeal of ...

  25. 12 Chinese cities unveiled as cultural and tourism hot spots

    Focusing on 199 cities in China with populations ranging from 1 million to 5 million, the report assesses their cultural and tourism potential through comprehensive data collection, surveys, and ...

  26. The world's most liveable cities for 2024

    9. Osaka, Japan: The Japanese city, which came in 10th place last year, rose to ninth place on the 2024 ranking of the world's most liveable cities.

  27. The 15 Most Beautiful Places in China (#7 Will Impress You)

    1. Guilin & Yangshuo — China's Most Beautiful Karst Landscape. The Li River in Guilin is like an artist's masterpiece, bounded by classic sheer karst hills, which have inspired many poets and ink painters. It is listed as one of the world's "Top 10 Watery Wonders" by America's National Geographic Magazine and the World's "15 Best Rivers for Travelers" by CNN Travel.

  28. Why you should ditch touristy holiday destinations for Sibu

    Why you should ditch touristy holiday destinations for Sibu — Malaysia's quaint city on Borneo Island Nearly 60 kilometres from the South China Sea, this city in Borneo offers a variety of ...

  29. Most athletic countries in the world

    Countries like the U.S., Jamaica (Usain Bolt), Kenya (Eliud Kipchoge, David Rudisha), China, Russia, Brazil and Germany excel in sports, winning numerous medals. They're renowned for sprinting ...