Top 10 Travel Experiences in China

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, etc.

The following 10 top travel experiences in China are meticulously selected from the most remarkable experiences travel experiences by the clients from This top 10 China experiences could be used as a guidance for you to plan your trip to China, ranging from the ancient wonders, to the modern achievements to the brilliant culture.

Top 1. Climb the Great Wall of China

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 is relatively in better shape than other sections of the great wall. The wall winding from Beijing to Shanhuaguan was built, or mainly reconstructed 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.

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.

Check out my following articles for more information on the Wall:
How to visit the Great Wall of China
Hike from Jiankou Great Wall to Mutianyu Great Wall
Hike from Gubeikou Great Wall to Jinshanling Great Wall
Datong Great Wall at Zhenchuankou

Gubeikou Great Wall

Top 2. View the amazing Shanghai skyline at night

As one of the largest cities in the world, Shanghai has been the frontrunner for the economic and cultural development in China. 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 Shanghai 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.

Check out my following articles for more information on the Bund:
Tips for Visiting the Bund in Shanghai
Evening View of the Bund and Pudong Skyline Shanghai
The Concession-Era Buildings on the Bund
Top 10 Buildings in Shanghai

Pudong skyline Viewed from the Bund

Top 3. See the stunning Terracotta Warriors in Xian

A glimpse of the terracotta 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 Terracotta 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.

Check out my another article How to visit the Terracotta Army in Xian for more information.

Pit 1 of Terra-Cotta Army Museum

Top 4. Hike the Tiger Leaping Gorge in China

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 Tiger Leaping 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.

Top 5. Cruise on the Yangtze River

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.

Check out my following articles for more information:
Best Time to Cruise on Yangtze River
Yangtze River Cruise Daily Schedule – Victoria Cruises

Passing through Qutang Gorge on Yangtze River

Top 6. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Huangshan

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.

Check out my following articles for more information:
When is the best time to visit Huangshan
Top 10 Attractions in Huangshan
Hongcun Village

Huangshan Mountain

Top 7. Visit the 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.

Check out my following articles for more information:
Top 10 Attractions in Lhasa
Tingri to Mt.Everest – Mt.Everest Base Camp Trip

Potala Palace in Lhasa

Top 8. Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo on Li River

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.

Check out the following links for more infformation:
Guilin Tour
Top 10 Things to Do in Guilin
Cruising on Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo
Bamboo Rafting on Yulong River in Yangshuo

Li River in Guilin

Top 9. Explore 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.

Check out the silk road tour and travel articles below for more information:
Silk Road Tour
Turpan Trip
Trip to Kuqa
Kashgar Trip

Jiaohe Ancient City in Turfan along the Silk Road

Top 10. Feel the vibe of the awesome Zhangjiaijie

Wulingyuan Scenic Area was listed as UNESCO World Heritage in 1992. But this world heritage site is popularly known as “Zhangjiajie Scenic Area” rather than “Wulingyuan” mainly because Wulingyuan Scenic Area is under the administration of Zhangjiajie City plus the same name Zhangjiajie National Forest Park within Wulingyuan Scenic Area.

The American film – Avatar depicted “Hallelujah Mountain” by taking the real view of “South Pillar of the Heaven”, a famous attraction in Wulingyuan Scenic Area.

Check out my following articles for more information:
Zhangjiajie Tour
Best Time to Visit Zhangjiajie
Top 10 Attractions in Zhangjiajie

Tianzi Mountain at Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie Glass Bottom Bridge over Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. 50 km east of Wulingyuan Scenic Area, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon is a newly developed tourist destination in Zhangjiajie. Spanning two cliffs in the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, the glass bottom bridge stretches 430 meters long and 6 meters wide, hovering over a 300-meter vertical drop.

Glass Walkway

The city of Zhangjiajie (Yongding District) is well known for its Tianmen Mountain. A cable car was designed and built by the French company Poma starting from Zhangjiajie railway station to the top of the mountain. Tianmen Mountain Cableway is claimed as one of the “longest passenger cableway of high mountains in the world”, with a total length of 7,455 metres and ascent of 1,279 metres. A 100-meter-long Glass Skywalk clings around a cliff on Tianmen Mountain, attracting a consistent flow of tourists.

Tip:  Hassle-free China Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for China guided tours:

Top China Private Tours
Top China Small Group Tours
Top China Train Tour
Top China Yangtze Cruise Tour
Top China Silk Road Tour

Further Readings

Top 10 Places to Visit in China
10 Fascinating Facts about 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

Top 10 Travel Experiences in China
10 Most Scenic Drives in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Mountains in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Lakes in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Grasslands in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Rivers in China
Top 10 most beautiful waterfalls in China
Top 10 Places to See Autumn Leaves in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Villages in China
Top 10 Old Towns in China
The 10 Most Beautiful Museums in China
Top 10 China Tourist Scams
Top 10 Souvenirs in China

Any questions, just drop a  line.

2 thoughts on “Top 10 Travel Experiences in China

  1. 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. 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


    Any questions or if you want us to arrange your China Great Wall tour, please email us at [email protected] to see what we can do for you. Thanks!

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