With great history and plenty of attractions, China has become an extraordinary country for tourism. I believe most of you have heard about some famous attractions, like The Great Wall in Beijing or The Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an. Those are the symbols of China. However with massive size and geography, we see countless number of beautiful places and attractions in China. Is it possible to limit a list of China’s must-visit places to a mere 8? I really do not think so because different people have their own tastes. This article only covers some most the famous destinations you need to visit if it is your first time in China. I hope it will be useful to you for planning your next trip. GETCHINESETIC presents the top 8 best cities to visit in China.
When talking about Hong Kong, some people ask certain questions, one of them is this “Is Hong Kong actually a Chinese city? This question is usually asked because Hong Kong experienced British governance for about a century due to some historical and political reasons but it is beyond doubt that Hong Kong is an essential part of China.
For years, Hong Kong is reputed as“the pearl of oriental country” and this pearl is still shinning. You may have heard about some famous personalities or places when Hong Kong is being talked about, like Dim Sim, Jackie Chan, the skyscrapers and so on. Compared with cities of mainland, Hong Kong is a very different city which is definitely worth visiting. If Hong Kong is in your travel plan, do not forget to prepare a big wallet because the city is also a shopping paradise due to countless brand shops from all over the world.
Language will not be a barrier when you visiting Hong Kong because, apart from mandarin, both English and Cantonese are considered as official languages in this part of China.
As the capital city of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing is one of the most famous places in China. For most foreign travelers and tourists, Beijing is usually the first destination. I bet every one of you must have heard about “The Great Wall”, “The Forbidden City”, “Peking Duck”, “The Summer Palace”, “Tian’an men Square” or even the summer Olympics of 2008, they can all be found in Beijing.
Historically speaking, Beijing has been the capital of China for over 700 years and here, you can find lots of historical remnants of Chinese imperial past but Beijing is not stuck in the past. Being the political, economic and even cultural center of China, Beijing has become a remarkable international metropolis in the world.
In short, if you want to know a lot about China in one place, then Beijing should be your first destination when visiting China. Additionally, Beijing is also the key transportation hub of China, it is very easy to find your way around, even to places you are not familiar with and be rest assured that your will return safe. So, if you travel to China for the first time, I really suggest considering Beijing as your first stop.
Whenever I think about xi’an, the first word that comes to my mind is History. If you want to have a deeper insight of Chinese history, then xi’an is definitely an ideal destination. As a window into Chinese ancient civilization, this city also served as a famous capital in the past including the Han Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty which are the golden era of Chinese history. Therefore, countless number of priceless historical treasures were kept and preserved in xi’an, among which is the well-known “Terracotta Army”. You may have seen them on the Television or Internet, but you will be more amazed when you visit these sites at xi’an.
For most travelers, the attraction of xi’an is not merely based on its historical significance but the city also contains plenty of featured snacks most of which are unique traditional dishes. The most famous is called “roujiamo肉夹馍”, simple and delicious, a Chinese-style hamburger. It is so popular that it can be found everywhere in China. Therefore a trip to xi’an will definitely leave you in awe because there are lots of interesting discoveries to be made.
If you ask which city is the most relaxed in China, I believe most Chinese will tell you it is “Chengdu”. Everything seem to slow down in Chengdu, and it will be a memorable trip to experience a leisurely local life. You can enjoy a cup of tea while watching the magical face-changing show of Sichuan Opera, or taste the featured spicy local food at the nearby street corners, or even try the most popular Chinese chess game “mahjong”. There is an old saying that Chengdu is a city of abundance which indicates living in Cheng du is rich and colorful.
Besides, another important attraction of Chengdu is that it is the hometown of giant pandas. Those lovely black-white animals are the symbols of China. I know nowadays you can see lots of giant pandas in many zoos in various places all over the world, but Cheng Du is the best place to see giant pandas, direct interaction with these beautiful pandas are mostly allowed. So if you are expecting a relaxing and memorable trip, do not hesitate to visit Chengdu.
This is a beautiful city that is often compared with heaven. Almost all Chinese people have heard this popular saying “Above there is heaven, below there is HangZhou and SuZhou”. Famous for its sensational beauty, Hang Zhou has attracted countless visitors for thousands of years, especially poets and artists. Through innumerable classical poetry and articles, Hang Zhou is shaped as an immortal image of beauty. The most famous scenery in Hang Zhou is the West Lake which is considered as the one of the most beautiful symbol of Chinese culture. Around the lake, there are also plenty of historical and cultural sites, like Lingyin Temple, Six Harmonies Pagoda and so on. If you are looking for a trip of art and literature, then Hang Zhou is the best choice of destination.
Hangzhou is also famous for one of the most famous Chinese tea known as the Longjing Tea. It is a kind of green tea known for its elegant taste. Therefore, the trip to Hang Zhou may bring you an unforgettable memory, you can enjoy the picturesque beauty while having a cup of Longjing tea.
Located between the East China Sea and the mouth of Yangtze River, ShangHai is the most prosperous and largest city in China. Just like New York City in America, ShangHai represents the modernity and prosperity of China. You may have heard about the Pudong Zone or the Huangpu River, the spectacular lights from countless of high-rise buildings in that area make ShangHai a city without darkness, its skyline which is filled with shopping malls, luxury hotels, office buildings, art centers like“urban forest”. Being the most developed city in China, ShangHai is truly a city that never sleeps.
And for the visitors, the most famous attraction maybe the Bund which is located along the Huangpu River, It is the place with the fusion of the East and West where building style varies from Europe to Asia. You can enjoy its large collection of magnificent architecture as a window learn the glorious past of Shang Hai.
In my opinion, if you are looking to find the best place to find the tastiest food in mainland China, then GuangZhou is the answer. Once known as Canton, GuangZhou is the birth place for Cantonese Food which is so popular overseas, especially in North America and Southeast Asia. There is a deep atmosphere for cooking culture in Guang Zhou and there is an old saying that “the Cantonese can eat anything that has four legs as long as they are not benches.” So before the travel to GuangZhou, you may need to be well-prepared mentally because you will have opportunity to try varieties of food like paguma larvatas, cats or snakes but do not be afraid, the majority of Guang Zhou’s local food is tasty and well-accepted. If you are a foodie, Guang Zhou is a safe haven for you.
Besides the food, there are also amazing attractions in Guang Zhou such as BaiYun Hill, Canton Tower or Six Banyan Temple. As the southern gateway of China as well as an essential trading center, Guang Zhou is also known for its openness and modernity.
As a typical coastal tourist city, XiaMen is located in the southeast of China. It is a small island famous for its sensational beauty and unique Minnan culture. XiaMen is also historically known as Amoy. In relation to tourism, Xiamen is also home to the “romantic Gulang Island” which is also called “The Island of piano”. It is a really small island where there are various featured buildings with European or Southeast Asia styled structures. When strolling around the island, you may suddenly hear a sound of piano from an unknown building. All you need to do is stand and listen for a while.
Another famous site in Xia Men is the Ring Road which is the golden coastline for tourist attraction. This beautiful scenic spot is also the racetrack for Xiamen’s annual International Marathon. To enjoy this elegant and attractive landscape, you can rent a bicycle for a coastal riding.