China is the 4th most visited country in the world after France, Spain, and the United States, with an average of 60 million visitors every year. According to the World Trade Organization, by 2020, China will rank number one in the global tourism sector. You can travel to China for business or leisure.
China Has 55 UNESCO Heritage Sites
That makes it one of the most coveted tourist destinations in the world. These sites are a valuable part of China’s tourism resources. They include but they are not limited to:
- The Great Wall of China
- The Forbidden City
- Summer Palace
- Ming Tombs
- Western Qing Tombs’
- Eastern Qing Tombs
- Temple of Heaven
- Lushan National Park
China’s Geography Will Entice You to Travel
China’s geography is the most breathtaking and diverse in the world. China has the highest temperature and altitude differences of any country. There are vast grasslands, huge deserts, mighty rivers, and gargantuan cities.
• The Yangtze is the world’s third longest river. It hosts the Three Gorges Dam, which is the world’s largest hydroelectric dam.
• The Yangtze has the Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest gorges on earth. It has mountains towering 13,000ft above it. Over 80 million Chinese depend on the Yangtze River Delta.
• The second-longest river in China is the Yellow River. It is the world’s deadliest river. The Yellow River is the Cradle of China’s civilizations.
• The World’s third-largest desert, the Gobi Desert, is found in China. It covers a fifth of China. Its huge dunes stretch for hundreds of miles.
• The Li River is ranked among National Geographic’s “Top Ten Watery Wonders.” It has pointy limestone hills, quaint villages, bamboo groves, and picturesque scenery.
• China’s grassland area is the second-largest in the world. It covers 40% of China’s landmass. Chinese classic poets and historians have written great verses about these grasslands. The Hulunbuir Grassland in Inner Mongolia is the size of the UK.
• 5% of all the world’s goods pass through the Pearl River Delta. China’s biggest trade fair, the Canton Fair, takes place in the Pearl River Delta. 9.1% of China’s GDP and 30% of all foreign investment is attributed to the PRD.
The Ultimate China Travel Bucket List
These are the must-see places when visiting China.
China is the 4th biggest country in the world. Therefore, you will not be able to explore China in a week or even a month. Exploring China should be a lifetime commitment. China is a country that you will visit and revisit many times yet you will still not manage to explore it fully.
For those pressed with time:
- Visit Beijing for the historic sites.
- Take a detour to Xian to see the Terracotta warriors.
- Finally, visit Shanghai to do some shopping. Shanghai, Beijing, and Xian feature in many Chinese tourist itineraries. That is because the most popular landmarks are in these three cities.
If you have some time to spare, below is the ultimate guide to travel in China.
During your Beijing trip, make sure to visit the Forbidden City, the Imperial Sites, the Temple of Heaven, and Summer Palace. These sites can easily be accessed by public transport or taxi when you are in Beijing.
• No Chinese itinerary can be complete without visiting Beijing. This is the nation’s capital. It also has the bulk of Chinese historic sites.
• No trip to Beijing is complete without devouring Peking duck. This is one of the most popular Chinese delicacies.
Visit the Great Wall of China
The only major Chinese historic site that is not in Beijing is the Great Wall of China. It is the most recognizable symbol in China’s history. Standing atop the Great Wall of China should be on your to-do-list.
Shanghai is the global capital of shopping. Explore the Shanghai Pearl- this is a tribute to modern China.
• Shanghai’s skyline is defined by modern architecture. Walking along the Bund in Shanghai is a journey through architectural history.
• Shop for souvenirs along Nanjing East road. It is a popular place to bargain for designer brands.
Cruise the Yangtze
The mighty Yangtze has no shortage of attractions. They include Tiger Leaping Gorge (the deepest gorge in the world), West Lake, Leshan Giant Buddha, and Yellow Mountain. The Yangtze stretches from the Tibetan plateau up to Shanghai.
Visit Chengdu to See the Giant Pandas
China has one of the most endemic animal species- the pandas. Visiting the world-famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding will give you an up-close experience with the pandas. From Chengdu, you can easily access this panda center using taxi or public transport.
In Xian, you will see the Terracotta Warriors. The Terracotta Warriors are one of China’s most beloved cultural icons.
Visit Tiananmen Square
This is one of the world’s biggest public squares. It is popular with tourists. Tiananmen Square is located across the road from the Forbidden City.
Visit Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, you will eat at the world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurant. For the best view of Hong Kong’s skyline, visit Victoria Peak. It is a popular tourist destination.
Tips for China Travel
You will need a visa and a passport to travel to China. You will get to China by road, air, or sea. You should make early travel and accommodation arrangements.
- Stay safe.
- Beware of scams such as fake money scam, massage parlor scam, and the tea ceremony scam, among others.
- Buy a VPN before entering China to be able to continue accessing Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter among other sites. China blocks many Western sites.
- Get an outlet adaptor for China.
- Bring some cash on you. Exchange your home currency for Chinese Yuan before you leave your home country. Many places only accept cash.
- Chinese businesses only accept Chinese currency. They do not even accept US dollar or Hong Kong dollar.
- Locals barely speak English.
- Chinese food is very spicy. Rice is a staple. You can try street food but be very careful with raw food. Experiment with chopsticks and the various Chinese beers.
- Do not drink tap water.
- You will need a mask because of air pollution.
The best times to visit China weather-wise are autumn (September- October) and spring (April- May).
Traveling in China is affordable compared to traveling in other parts of the world. Before you travel to China, you need to be fully informed about things to do and not to do in China. You should prepare for your trip months ahead.