China

→ Ethically diverse and full of cultural heritage
→ Has the great man-made attractions
→ Land of varied landscapes

China is home to numerous UNESCO listed world heritage site. The main reasons to visit China are its rich and unique culture, beautiful natural wonders and stunning landscapes, varieties of delectable cuisines.

Outdoor Activities Lover

Snorkeling and Scuba diving, Surfing, White water rafting, Trekking/Hiking, Exploring National Parks, Bungee jumping, Sky diving, Sailing, Sea Kayaking, Four-wheel driving, Bike riding

Wildlife and Nature Lover

Beaches, National Parks, Forests, Mountains, Scenic Landscapes

Art and Culture Lover

Architecture, Museums and Galleries:
Culture and Traditions:
Festivals and Events:

Recreation and Fun Lover

Amusement Parks:
Theme Parks:
Fun Parks:

You can visit China at any time of year.
Best months to visit China are either, April-May (Spring)
or, September-October (Autumn).

If you are visiting Tibet, then the best time to go there is June-October.

top destinations in China

This is the list of top destinations in China where you can have a lot of experience in one trip. This saves your time not only while surfing the internet for the top destinations to travel but also while traveling or exploring that particular location. And of course, this can save your money too.

Beijing

Beijing

Beijing is the historic capital full of cultural heritage. It is the first stop for most of the first time traveler to China. Beijing enjoys stunning architecture, awesome shopping, and enthralling entertainment.

  • The Great Wall
  • The Forbidden City
  • The Temple of Heaven
  • The Summer Palace
  • Tiananmen Square
  • Roam around the hutongs on a rickshaw
  • Watch Beijing opera or a kung fu show
  • Eat Peking roast duck

Xian

Xian

Xian is China’s ancient capital with a great number of historical sites.

  • The Terracotta Army
  • The Ancient City Wall
  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • The Muslim Quarter
  • Shaanxi History Museum
  • Visiting the Terracotta Army
  • Visit Big Wise Goose Pagoda
  • Day trip to Mount Huashan
  • Cycling around Xian City Wall
  • Try various dishes at Muslim Quarter

Chengdu

Chengdu

Chengdu is a hometown of giant pandas and is also famous for delicious Sichuan food.

  • Dujiangyan Panda Base
  • The Leshan Giant Buddha
  • Mount Quingcheng
  • Jinli Old Street
  • Watch giant pandas
  • Visit the Leshan Giant Buddha
  • Visit historic sites
  • Visit Mount Emei
  • River cruising in the Yangtze 
  • Eat local dishes

Shanghai

Shanghai

Shanghai is one of the world’s leading economic and business cities.

Shanghai is in close proximity to Huangshan (a beautiful place for nature lovers).

  • The Shanghai Tower
  • The Shanghai Museum
  • Shanghai Science and Technology Museum
  • The China Art Museum
  • Zhujiajiao Water Town
  • Yu Garden
  • The Bund
  • The Oriental Pearl Tower
  • The Jade Buddha Temple
  • Longhua Temple
  • The People’s Square
  • Xujiahui Cathedral and the Sheshan Basilica
  • Shanghai Disney Resort
  • Skywalk at the Jin Mao Tower
  • Take a ride on the world’s fastest train
  • Huangpu river cruising and visiting the Bund
  • Stroll around Yuyuan Garden
  • View the city from the Sky Walk, the world’s highest observatory
  • Stroll around Zhujiajiao, a water town
  • Visit the Shanghai Museum
  • Shop at Nanjing Road
  • Dine at the Oriental Pearl TV Tower’s revolving restaurant

Hong kong and Guilin

Hong kong and Guilin

The tour of Hong Kong can be combined with a Guilin tour (an hour flight from Hong Kong). Hong Kong is the shopping paradise with the fusion of cultures.

Guilin is famous for its magnetizing limestone scenery and also offers breathtaking natural scenery with the experience of rural China.

Top sights in Hong Kong

  • Victoria Harbour
  • Victoria Peak
  • Lantau Island
  • Hong Kong Disneyland
  • Ocean Park
  • Markets of Kowloon

Top sights in Guilin

  • The Li River
  • Yangshuo
  • The Longji Terraced Fields
  • Karst Mountains

Top activities to do in Hong Kong

  • Visiting Victoria Harbour
  • Ride a tram to Victoria Peak
  • Exploring Lantau Island and visit the theme park

Top activities to do in Guilin

  • Cruising in the Li River
  • Trekking in Yangshuo
  • Climbing Yulong River Valley
  • Visiting the Longji Terraced Fields.

Huangshan

Huangshan

  • Huangshan is home to picturesque landscapes with stunning views of the Yellow Mountains.
  • Huangshan is close to Shanghai.
  • The Yellow Mountains
  • Hongcun Village
  • Xidi Village
  • Mountain viewing
  • Enjoying a hot spring
  • Visiting ancient villages
  • Taking a photography tour

Lhasa

Lhasa

Lhasa is the gateway to Tibet and center for Tibetan culture and  religious life.

  • The Potala Palace
  • Sera Monastery
  • Barkhor Street
  • Tokhang Temple
  • Mt. Everest and Mt. Kailash
  • Yamdrok Lake

top activities to do in China

Either a valid passport (of at least six months) only or a valid passport with a visa (depending on your country) may be required to enter China. 
For Australian, Canadian, USA and EU nationals visas along with return ticket are required. However, visas are not required to visit Hong Kong.

For nationals from other countries, check visa requirements (required for the nationals of your country) with the embassy well before you travel.

For nationals from selected countries, a visa is not required if you are visiting Hainan Province only and you can stay up to 15 days.

For nationals from selected countries, 144-hour visa-free transit is also available.

Single-entry visas are valid for 3 months
Double-entry visas are valid for 6 months
Multiple-entry visas are valid for either 12 or 24 months.

Credit Cards and Debit Cards are widely accepted in major cities but can hardly be accepted outside the main cities. ATMs are available throughout the country’s major cities. It’s better to take traveler’s check in US Dollars.

Since there are lots of international flights to China, you should choose one based on where you want to go and what you want to see.

Domestic Flights:
Since the major attractions are well scattered across China, domestic flights are convenient and fast for traveling too long distances. However, Chinese Railways systems also provide the fastest and affordable services for intercity travel.

Buses/Coaches:
China has got a good public transport system. Major towns and cities are well connected by roads. In the case of time availability, buses are a fair option for traveling not-too-long distances. City buses are an affordable option as long as you are a familiar rider. Long-distance buses (Coaches) are the cheaper alternatives (cheaper than air or train) to travel between cities.

Taxis/Cars:
Inside the city, you can get around on foot or by taxi. Hiring a car with a driver or picking up a taxi (registered) can be the best alternatives. You can rent a bike/bicycle too. Chinese driving license is required to drive in China.

Metro and Railways:
Metro systems provide services in all of the major cities.

For the city to city journey, there is the best network of railways providing affordable services. However, train travel can be slow because of the great distances between destinations.

Trams/Trolleybuses:
Trams/Trolleybuses also provide services in most of the major cities.

Ferries:
Ferries provide services between mainland China and Hong Kong.

Travel Tips:
Most of China’s attractions are free to visit while others require fees.

Weather Tips:
Since the weather in China can turn extreme (typhoons, heavy rainfall, high temperature, and snowfall), it is a good practice to always check the latest weather updates before going out for exploration. Do not ignore the suggestions given by local people and always follow the instructions given by local authorities. 

Health Tips:
It’s better to take precaution against tetanus, and malaria while traveling to China. Although immunizations are not required while traveling to China, it is advisable to update your standard vaccinations of mumps, measles, rubella, polio, diphtheria, hepatitis, tuberculosis, rabies, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis, and tetanus.

It’s better to make full travel insurance.

Others:
You should be aware of the petty crimes (from pickpockets, thieves, scammers, etc.) taking place inside and outside the cities. You should take care of your travel documents, luggage, and other belongings. Don’t walk alone at night and don’t walk through less traveled areas alone.

Note: Some part of China falls in a major earthquake zone so that you have to be prepared for natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis.

our recommendations

Based on the places and experiences that you will never get in other countries i.e they are uniquely different from other countries, we tried to narrow down the lists in terms of ‘must-see’ places.

Must-visit destinations in China:

If you are an outdoor activities lover:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Chengdu

If you are city and recreation lover:

  1. Beijing
  2. Shanghai
  3. Hong Kong

If you are a food lover:

  1.  

If you are medieval architecture and history lover:

  1. Beijing
  2. Xian

If you are a nature lover:

  1. Guilin
  2. Huangshan

If you are museums, galleries and culture lover:

               For Art, Museums and Galleries:

  1. Shanghai

              For Cultures and Traditions:     

  1. Lhasa

   

From the above list, you can see that Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong overlap in two categories and others in one category. You can make your trip worthy by planning an itinerary according to your priorities and make much out of it by having a lot of experiences in your single trip without having your time and money wasted in traveling and just covering distances in-between.

Our Pick:  Since China is mostly about ancient architecture, historic sites, culture, our first pick would be Beijing and Xian. For unique experiences, visit Chengdu and Lhasa. For a beautiful natural scenery tour, visit Guilin and Huangshan.

Follow these itineraries ideas (below): If you want to make most out of your trip; if you want to have a lot of experiences  in one trip missing almost nothing in your whole trip; if you also don’t want to miss the must-see places and if you also don’t want to miss ‘nowhere-else’ destinations on the planet, then follow these tips.

If this is your first-time visit to China and 


If you have 7-8 days, then we recommend you to choose the following itinerary:

Beijing (Day 1-3)→Xian (Day 4-5)→Shanghai (Day 6-8)


If you have 14 days, then you can extend above itinerary:

Beijing (Day 1-3)→Xian (Day 4-5)→Shanghai (Day 6-8)→Guilin (Day 9-11)→Hong Kong (Day 12-13)→Return Home (Day 14)

Or,

Beijing (Day 1-3)→Xian (Day 4-6)→Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong (Day 7-8)→Songpan (Day 9)→Chengdu (Day 10-12)→Shanghai (Day 13-14)

(Tips: If you are on your first time visit to China and if you are a modern city lover, then visit Hong Kong and combine this tour with Guilin. But if you want some unique experiences, then visit Chengdu (if you have not visited Chengdu on your first visit) and then travel to Lhasa from Chengdu by air.)


(Note: Please note that the itineraries mentioned here are focused on the routes or directions to follow for saving time and money and still not missing the ‘must-see’ destinations. The days mentioned here in-between the places is a rough estimation just to give you general itinerary ideas. You can shorten or lengthen this time according to your interests, season, budget and time available. For example, sometimes you might want to experience the nature, activities, and culture in a relaxed manner without any haste and without feeling cramped.)


We’ve covered our recommendations for ‘must-visit destinations’. The list of other wonderful places throughout China can get long. The priorities for a destination to visit can be different from person to person as it depends upon personal preferences and interests. But these are the itineraries covering ‘must-do’ or ‘must-see’ places once in your lifetime.