Top 10 Things to do in China

Top 10 Things to do in China

Traveling around #China was never high on my #BucketList. It wasn’t until I was living in Shanghai that I started to become curious about the country; its diverse landscapes, its #culture, and its hidden gems. It only took a few stories from other expats and some stunning photos and I was convinced; there is so much more to #explore in China than big city living.


During my time living in China, I took advantage of summer and made it my mission to explore as much of the country as I could. I didn’t cover it all, in fact far from that, but with the help of some locals and my own experience I had enough knowledge to compile a list of Top 10 Things To Do in China. I hope this list will one day help you plan your own adventure. 

1. See the Great Wall of China

Topping the lists of many travelers is the Great Wall of China, considered to be the #1 attraction in China. The Wall can be visited in many places along its length, however the majority choose to do it as a day trip from Beijing.

from  $168

Trail of Great Wall Hiking

Culture
 Beijing, China
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Great Wall Hiking

The massive Great Wall of China

2. Visit the Forbidden City

Visit China’s most famous museum and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, the Forbidden City. Located in Beijing, this Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and remains the 2nd most visited attraction in China.

from  $125

Forbidden City Guided Tour (Palace Museum)

AspirationalCulture
 Beijing, China
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Historical Relics

Great Wall Hiking

3. Explore Shanghai

Spend a weekend exploring China’s most metropolitan and modern city, Shanghai. Shanghai isn’t known for an abundance of sights and attractions, but it is known for being a city that carefully balances the old and the new, along with traditional and modern sides of today’s China.

from  $70

Shanghai Classic Day Tour

AspirationalCulture
 Shanghai, China
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Zhujiajiao & Seven Treasures Town Day Visit

4. Visit one of China’s Traditional Water Towns 

Visit one of China’s many traditional water towns, like Suzhou, Zhujiajiao, or Xitang. For a more authentic journey into traditional China, choose a town that’s less commercialized and less popular with the tourists, like Zhujiajiao. It's located only an hour away from Shanghai, making it easy to see on a day trip.

from  $133

Zhujiajiao & Seven Treasures Town Day Visit

Culture
 Zhujiajiaozhen, Shanghai, China
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5. Trekking Through Yellow Mountains (Huangshan)

Spend a few days admiring the breathtaking views and breathing fresh mountain air while trekking through Yellow Mountains (Huangshan). Located only a few hours away from Shanghai, the stunning scenic views of the Huangshan will make you forget that you are in China… but the thousands of Chinese that will inevitably surround you at the top of the mountain will make sure to remind you.

from  $529

3 Day Yellow Mountains Tour

Culture
 Huangshan Mountain, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China
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To get away from the crowds use a simple tactic – when a Chinese tour group turns right, you turn left. Repeat, until there are no Chinese tourists in sight. Now relax and enjoy!

Views of Yellow Mountains (Huang Shan)

6. Explore the Stone Forest (Shilin)

Explore 350 km of limestone formations, known as the Stone Forest (Shilin), located just outside of Kunming, in Yunnan Province. Shilin is like nothing I have seen before, an incredible natural phenomena that is bound to take your breath away.

from  $199

Stone Forest and Jiuxiang Cave Tour

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 Lijiang, Yunnan, China
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The Stone Forest or Shilin in Yunnan

7. Hiking in Tiger Leaping Gorge

Go on a hike in Tiger Leaping Gorge, a World Heritage Site since 2003. 

The Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the greatest treks through diverse landscapes of China. Opt for a more challenging high trekking trail that starts in Qiaotou, instead of the flat tourist path that runs along the water.

from  $268

Tiger Leaping Gorge 2 Day Hiking Tour

Culture
 Lijiang, Yunnan, China
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A breathtaking view of Tiger Leaping Gorge

8. Explore Mountains of Yangshuo

Rent a scooter and explore the karst mountain scenery of Yangshuo, just outside of Guilin in Guangxi Region. You’ll come face to face with traditional villages and real life, untouched by tourism.

The bright green Karst Mountains 

9. Pet a Panda at the Chengdu 

Pet a panda at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre. Plan to visit in early spring (April) and late autumn (October/November) if you want the chance to cuddle baby pandas. But be prepared to pay more for it.

Play with China's most famous resident

10. Visit Tibet

Visit Tibet, a completely autonomous region of China. It makes you feel like you have entered a completely different world. Despite the fact that you must travel to Tibet in an organized group and cannot explore this part of China on your own, this stop on your tour of China is a true cultural immersion and one that you will be glad you made.

a true cultural immersion
from  $631

5 Day Lhasa and Yomdrok Lake Tour

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 Tibet, China
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The Potala Palace in Tibet


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