Top 10 China experiences

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Plan your China tour? China is huge both in population and landmass. As a first time visitor to China, you will definitely experience some degree of culture shock in terms of landscapes, historical sites, culinary and etc.

The following 10 top travel experiences in China are meticulously selected from the actual travel experiences by the clients coming from www.tour-beijing.com. This top 10 China experiences could be used as a guidance for you to plan your trip to China.

1. The Great Wall
The Great Wall of China is one of the outstanding symbols of China’s ancient civilization. The Great Wall now exist in bits spanning over approx. ten thousand kilometers from its eastern tip at Shanhaiguan and its western tip at Jiayuguan. The Great Wall was built in different or overlapping dynasties.

The Great Wall around Beijing, the wall extended from Beijing to its eastern tip at Shanhaiguan is relatively in better shape than other sections of the great wall. The wall winding from Beijing to Shanhuaguan was built, or mainly reconstructed on the previous wall for over 10 years (1570 – 1580 ) in Ming Dynasty under the leadership of General Qi Jiguang (1528 –1588).

Beijing has an easy access to the Great Wall of China in such sections as Badaling Great Wall, Juyongguan Great Wall, Huanghuacheng Great Wall, Mutianyu Great Wall, Jinshanling Great Wall and Simatai Great Wall. So, your Beijing trip must include an excursion to any of the Great Wall mentioned above.

People who have climbed the Great Wall are true heroes. Give yourself a whole day to rewind on a Great Wall tour around Beijing. A hike on the wall get you a sense of Chinese history helpful in understanding Chinese people’s psyche and their physical environment.

Mutianyu Great Wall

2. The Bund in Shanghai
As one of the largest cities in the world, Shanghai has been the frontrunner for the economic and cultural development in China in the past 20 years. If you want to see a China of 2000 years old, you should visit Xian; if you want to see a China of 1000 years old, you visit Beijing and if you want to see a China of 200 years old, you should visit Shanghai.

The Bund and its east skyline of Pudong new development zone is the avant-garde area in China and the world as well in arts, architecture, finance and etc.  The colonial-era buildings in early 1920s flanked by the Bund and the most advanced and modern structures by its neighbour in Pudong area across Huangpu river posts a sharp contrast to the fast development in Shanghai.

A ramble along the Bund, especially after dark, is a must activity on a Shanghai tour for a first time visitor to experience this fast changing and developing metropolitan city of Shanghai.

Pudong skyline Viewed from the Bund

3. Terra-cotta Warriors in Xian
A glimpse of the terra-cotta Army on your Xian tour will definitely send you a strong cultural shock on your first time China tour.

Discovered in 1974 by the four local farmers who drilled a well about 30km east of the downtown Xian. Later, the unearthed Terra-cotta Army was unquestionably the most important archaeological discovery in the last century, often regarded as the eighth wonders in the world.

Standing inside one of the pits housing the life-sized terra-cotta soldiers, nobody won’t be moved and touched in front of the masterpieces made 2000 years ago! These terra-cotta soldiers were used as bodyguards protecting the first emperor in Chinese history – Qin Shi Huang (259 BC – 210 BC), king of the Chinese State of Qin from 246 BC to 221 BC.

No unearthed terra-cotta soldiers are found to look alike – soldiers and officers well-organized in infantry units and war chariots. The first emperor’s tomb next is still kept in intact. The time to open the tomb of Qin Shi Huang is unknown since the present science and technology is not advanced enough to protect the tomb once it is unearthed.

Pit 1 of Terra-Cotta Army Museum

4.Tiger Leaping Gorge
Tiger Leaping Gorge is the haven for hikers who seek to travel in a natural and scenic area. Each year Tiger Leaping Gorge attracts a great number of travelers from home and abroad. A scenic canyon on the Jinsha River ( the upper reaches of Yangtze River, the gorge lies 95km northwest of Lijiang, the most beautiful ancient city in Yunnan Province.

Lijiang is your springboard city to extend your hike to Tiger Leaping Gorge. So your Lijiang Tour should cover an excursion to the scenic gorge.

The stunning views of the canyon often keep hikers to remain here for 2 or 3 days due to its mesmerizing environment. Now Tiger Leaping Gorge has become a well organized paradise for backpackers with its plenty of inns, cafe, and restaurants.

Tiger Leaping Gorge

5. Yangtze River Cruise
Yangtze River is the longest river in China and the third in the world. Three Gorges & Dam Cruise is the highlight of the lifetime Yangtze River Cruise, which has been long sought after by romantic cruising lovers. Chongqing to Yichang route is by far the most travelled section of the Yangtze, winding through the Three Gorges and passing the namesake Dam.

Cruising on Yangtze River and passing through Three Gorges Dam makes you feel and see the picturesque views on both sides of the huge river and tremendous change which has taken place in China.

Yangtze River Cruise

6. Huangshan Mountain
Huangshan is the most beautiful mountain in China. It is located 240km to the west of Hangzhou and 40 minute flight from Shanghai. Huangshan Mountain is well known for its sunrise and sunset, granite peaks, the gnarled forms of ubiquitous Huangshan pine trees, and the other-worldly sea of the clouds.

Also much of Mount Huang’s reputation comes from its significance in Chinese art, literature and profound cultural resources.

The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO listed Mt. Huangshan as Natural and Cultural Heritage in 1990. The nearby villages of Hongcun and Xidi were also named part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. In 2002, Mount Huang was named the “sister mountain” of Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps.

Pine trees in Huangshan Mountain

7. Potala Palace in Lhasa
Potala Palace is the symbol of Tibet. A visit to Potala Palace is one of your highlights on your Lhasa tour. You may walk around Potala Palace in a clockwise direction, a religion kora and take some pictures of Potala Palace from different angles and spots. Wandering on the path around Potala Palace takes you about 40 minutes.

The monastery-like palace, reclining against and Red Hill, was the religious and political center of old Tibet and the winter palace of Dalai Lamas.

The building measures 400 meters east-west and 350 meters north-south, with slopping stone walls averaging 3 m thick, and 5 m thick at the base and with copper poured into the foundations to help proof it against earthquakes.

Potala Palace in Lhasa

8. Li River in Guilin
Li River is located in Guilin  and the cruise on Li River is the highlight of sightseeing tour in Guilin. The Li River winds and meanders its way for about 80 km from Guilin to Yangshou. The 80-km-long waterway from Guilin to Yangshuo resembles an artists’ masterpiece, painted with rolling mountains, featuring cliffs, unique caves, comfortable boats.

The 80-km water-way is flanked by the hills for about 40km. All the hills are lined with bamboo and green belt. Very often the cruise boats starts from Zhujiang Wharf. First you take about 40 minutes drive from Guilin city to the wharf. Then take 4 to 5 hours cruise to a beautiful and tranquil ancient city – Yangshuo.

Li River in Guilin

9. The Silk Road
The history of Silk Road dates back to more than 2,000 years. It started in Chang’an (present Xian, Shaanxi Province) in the east and extended to Rome, Italy in the west.The route passes through Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai Provinces, Ningxia Hui and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions and then stretches over the Pamirs, further extend to Central and West Asia and finally gets to the east bank of the Mediterranean Sea and Eastern Europe.

The total length of the Silk Road is over 7000km, over half of which is within China. An adventure trip along the Silk Road will offer you an inside look at China’s history and culture.

Jiaohe Ancient City in Turfan along the Silk Road

10. China’s Cuisine
Oversea foodies will have good food experience while traveling China simple because China is a foodies paradise for its rich variety of food. The big difference between Chinese and Western eating manner is that in the West, everyone has their own plate of food, while in China people share the dishes placed on the table.

A typical Chinese meal starts with cold dishes. These are followed by the main courses, hot meat and vegetable dishes. Finally a soup is brought out, which is followed by principal food, usually including rice or noodles or sometimes dumplings.

Chinese cooking is a world difference from Western cooking. Beijing cooking tour offers you an insight knowledge about Chinese cooking.

Making fried buns with meat fillings

Further Readings


Top 10 Places to Visit in China
How to Pack for your China Trip
Plugs and Sockets in China
China Tour Packages
Learning Useful Chinese Phrases for Travellers 
How to Recognise Chinese Currency

Any questions, just drop a line.

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2 Responses to “Top 10 China experiences”

  1. khushi says:

    hi I want to create an unique trip for my group .
    we are a group of 12 age 18+ kindly give some good suggestion for china wall tour which is exclusive.

    Khushi Ghai

  2. Daniel says:

    Hi khushi,

    Thanks for your inquiry! Well, nowadays everybody wants something unique. But it is not easy to have a unique tour since all the landscapes including the Great Wall of China are open to all, an national asset, impossible exclusive for anybody.

    Maybe you can designe a unqiue tour itinerary, but safety is very important for a group of of 12 age 18. So you cannot be too unique. As you know,a beaten path is much safer than a unique and less trodden one. Tour designing is easily copied, not be protected by any law.

    Right now, what in my mind is the walk ( or you call it hike ) from Zhengbeilou to Mutuanyu Great Wall, or hike from Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall. Check out the links below for more information:

    1. Hike from Zhengbeilou to Mutianyu Great Wall
    http://www.tour-beijing.com/blog/beijing-travel/walk-from-jiankou-to-mutianyu-great-wall

    2. http://www.tour-beijing.com/blog/beijing-travel/travel-review/gubeikou-jinshanling-great-wall-hiking

    Any questions or if you want us to arrange your China Great Wall tour, please email us at info@tour-beijing.com to see what we can do for you. Thanks!

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