China has thirty-four provincial-level administrative units covering seven geographical regions. In the north, there are Beijing, the capital, Tianjin Municipality and the other three provinces. Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning are the three provinces in the northeastern part that have chilly winters. In the east, including six provinces and Shanghai City, mainly covers the developed eastern coastal area. Southern areas are subtropical and is comprised of three provinces and Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan. The traditional Cantonese culture began in this region has been a highlight of Chinese culture until now. Southwest area has four provinces and one city located on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and Sichuan Basin. A number of ethnic groups inhabit this region. In the Northwest, which is inland and has the most complicated landform, is composed of five provinces, ready to offer an explorative China vacation. Also, it is the birthplace of the long history of the nation along the Yellow River. Henan, Hubei and Hunan are in the Central part which serve as transportation hubs both on land and water.
Trip Planning: The planning stage of your trip can be instrumental in its success and an enjoyable part of the experience itself. You have a world of options...and plenty to consider.
Entry and Exit formalities: Visitors must hold a passport valid for at least six months & beyond at the time of entering the country. Some nationalities can obtain visa on arrival and for nationalities who requires visa please refer to the Chinese consulate website: https://bio.visaforchina.org/DXB2_EN/
Transportation: Figuring out how to get around is one of your biggest pre-trip decisions. Get our holiday expert best advice on deciding between your options.
Based on your trip itinerary, our experts will help you choose wisely. You'll also find a wealth of practical travel tips.
Money: Use your money wisely. Know the best time to use cash or card — and how to avoid unnecessary fees either way — as well as tipping etiquette.
Phones and Technology: Phones and other smart devices can be huge time-savers...or expensive distractions. Get our tips for making the best use of technology during your trip, and for calling home with or without your own phone.
Packing Light: On your trip you'll meet two kinds of travelers: those who pack light and those who wish they had.
Sleeping and Eating: Your hotel and restaurant choices can be a matter-of-face chore…or they can provide rich opportunities to connect with locals and their culture.
Health & Hygiene: Take comfort: Doctors, hospitals, launderettes, and bathrooms aren’t that different. Dealing with them can even be part of the fun of travel.
Sightseeing & Activities: Once you're on the ground, the real fun begins…but it pays to have a thoughtful plan. Our experts will help you get oriented to your surroundings, use your sightseeing hours wisely, and find your way off the beaten path.
Things to see & do:
Beijing - China’s sprawling capital, has history stretching back 3 millennia. Yet it’s known as much for modern architecture as its ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex, the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Nearby, the massive Tiananmen Square pedestrian plaza is the site of Mao Zedong’s mausoleum and the National Museum of China, displaying a vast collection of cultural relics.
Shanghai - on China’s central coast, is the country's biggest city and a global financial hub. Its heart is the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings. Across the Huangpu River rises the Pudong district’s futuristic skyline, including 632m Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, with distinctive pink spheres. Sprawling Yu Garden has traditional pavilions, towers and ponds.
Shenzhe - in southeastern China, is a modern metropolis that links Hong Kong to China’s mainland. It's known for its shopping destinations, including Luohu Commercial City, a massive mall with a vast array of wares, from tailors’ custom clothing to faux designer bags. The city also features contemporary buildings, such as the 600m-tall skyscraper Ping An International Finance Centre, and a number of amusement parks.
Shenzhen - in southeastern China, is a modern metropolis that links Hong Kong to China’s mainland. It's known for its shopping destinations, including Luohu Commercial City, a massive mall with a vast array of wares, from tailors’ custom clothing to faux designer bags. The city also features contemporary buildings, such as the 600m-tall skyscraper Ping An International Finance Centre, and a number of amusement parks.
Sanya - a city on the southern end of China’s Hainan Island, has several bays with large beach resorts. Yalong Bay is known for upscale hotels, while Wuzhizhou Island and its coral reefs are destinations for scuba diving, surfing and other water sports. At the city's expansive Nanshan Temple complex, a 108m-high Guan Yin bronze statue rises on an artificial island. Tibet-Holy Site of Buddhism or Xinjiang. Shenzhen and Guangzhou are well-known coastal cities with fast economic development; Hangzhou and Suzhou boast beautiful water towns, lakes and gardens as well as favorable climate; Guilin, Lijiang and Jiuzhaigou are famed for unique natural scenery, and characteristic ethnic minorities' culture. Tibet has mysterious religious beliefs, vast grasslands and highest mountains; and Xinjiang attracts visitors by its various ethnic minorities and numerous historical relics along the Silk Road.
Guangzhou - is a sprawling port city northwest of Hong Kong on the Pearl River. The city features avant-garde architecture such as Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Opera House (known as the “double pebble”); the carved box-shaped Guangdong Museum; and the iconic Canton TV Tower skyscraper, resembling a thin hourglass. The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, a temple complex from 1894, also houses the Guangdong Folk Arts Museum.
Xi’an - is a large city and capital of Shaanxi Province in central China. Once known as Chang’an (Eternal Peace), it marks the Silk Road’s eastern end and was home to the Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang dynasties' ruling houses. At archaeological sites in Xi’an’s surrounding plains are the famed Bingmayong (Terra Cotta Army), thousands of life-size, hand-molded figures buried with China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.
Wuhan - the sprawling capital of Central China’s Hubei province, is a commercial center divided by the Yangtze and Han rivers. The city contains many lakes and parks, including expansive, picturesque East Lake. Nearby, the Hubei Provincial Museum displays relics from the Warring States period, including the Marquis Yi of Zeng’s coffin and bronze musical bells from his 5th-century B.C. tomb.
Anhui - is an eastern Chinese province known for its Huangshan Mountains. Their low-hanging clouds, distinctive granite rocks and twisted pines have been subjects of many classical paintings and poems. Trails and aerial cable cars provide access to Huangshan peaks (1,864m Lian Hua Feng is the highest). The gateway Tunxi district and surrounding villages preserve examples of the Huizhou regional architectural style.
Baoding - formerly known as Baozhou and Qingyuan, is a prefecture-level city in central Hebei province, approximately 150 kilometres southwest of Beijing.
Beidaihe - is a coastal resort town on northeast China's Bohai Sea. Its long beaches are known for their shallow waters. The seaside Tiger Stone Park, named after the supposed shape of its boulders, offers bathing spots, boat cruises and an amusement park with a playground. The Mount Lianfeng (Lianfengshan Park) area, known for its migratory birds, features forested peaks, hiking trails and caves.
Changsha - the capital of central China’s Hunan province, is a large city with a history dating to the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 B.C.). Today it’s known for its rare collection of excavated Western Han dynasty tombs, known as the Mawangdui. It’s also associated with Mao Zedong, who studied and lived here before joining the Chinese Communist Party in the 1920s.
Changzhou - is a prefecture-level city in southern Jiangsu province, China. It was previously known as Yanling, Lanling and Jinling.
Changchun - is the capital of northeast China's Jilin province. Its sprawling Puppet Manchurian Palace Museum is a replica of the former home of China’s last emperor. Outdoor sculptures dot Changchun World Sculpture Park to the south. To the southeast, Jingyuetan National Key Scenic Area’s forest offers outdoor sports and a lake. Changchun Film Century City Theme Park showcases special effects with films and rides.
Changli - is a county of northeastern Hebei province, China, with some Bohai Sea coast. It is under the administration of the Qinhuangdao City, and borders Funing County and Luan County. Both Beijing–Harbin Railway and China National Highway 205 pass through this county.
Chengdu - is the capital of southwestern China's Sichuan province. Chengdu's history dates back to at least the 4th century B.C., when it served as capital for the Shu Kingdom. Artifacts from that dynasty are the focus of the Jinsha Site Museum. The city is also home to the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a conservation center where visitors can view endangered giant pandas in a natural habitat.
Chengde - a city in China’s Hebei province northeast of Beijing, was established by Qing-dynasty emperor Kangxi as the imperial summer residence. The city’s core remains the 18th-century Mountain Resort palace complex. It houses villas turned to a museum, Wenjin Pavilion royal library, the yurt-style Menggubao village, plus gardens, pagodas and hunting grounds. Beyond its walls are 8 outlying Buddhist temples.
Chongqing - is a sprawling municipality at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers in southwestern China. In the city center, the large, domed Great Hall of the People complex stands above pedestrianized People's Square. On the other side of the square, the Three Gorges Museum features artifacts from the construction of the Three Gorges Dam as well as ancient art.
Dalian - is a modern port city on the Liaodong Peninsula, at the southern tip of China’s Liaoning Province. It was founded by the Russians in 1898, and Russian Street (Eluosi Fengqing Jie) is lined with Russian-style architecture. Zhongshan Square is lined with colonial buildings in Renaissance and other styles. Popular beaches include Tiger Beach and Golden Pebble Beach.
Dongguan - an industrial city in China’s Pearl River Delta, encompasses a densely populated urban center and surrounding prefecture. Green spaces include the central Qifeng Park, Keyuan Garden featuring local architecture, and the mountainous Yinxian Resort with a Buddhist temple and statues. In the port town of Humen, with its striking suspension bridge, the Opium War Museum explores the 19th-century Opium Wars.
Dunhuang - is a city in China’s northwestern Gansu Province, on the edge of the Gobi Desert. Once a frontier garrison on the Silk Road, it’s known today for the Mogao Caves, a complex of 492 grottoes adorned with Buddhist statuary and frescoes. Carved into the cliffs above the Dachuan River, the caves were created between the 4th and the 14th centuries.
Fujian - is a southeastern Chinese province known for its mountains and coastal cities. In Xiamen, a port town and former foreign concession, the island of Gulangyu has pedestrianized streets and 19th-century colonial villas. Fuzhou, the provincial capital, is a transportation hub for destinations such as the city of Quanzhou. Once visited by Marco Polo, it offers temples, an old-town district and a Maritime Museum.
Foshan - alternately romanized as Fatshan, is a prefecture-level city in central Guangdong Province, China. The entire prefecture covers 3,848 km² and has an urban population around 7.2 million in 2012. The city is part of the western side of the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone.
Fuzhou - the capital of southeastern China's Fujian province, is a sprawling industrial and transportation hub. Its downtown includes the "3 Lanes and 7 Alleys" quarter of preserved Ming and Qing dynasty buildings. The mountaintop Yushan Scenic Area features the restored 10th-century White Pagoda. West Lake Park, dating to 282 A.D., is an urban green area with bridges and pavilions.
Gansu - is a province in north-central China. Its city of Jiayuguan is known for the striking Overhanging Great Wall and imposing Jiayuguan Pass fortress complex, both part of the Great Wall of China. The nearby city of Jiuquan is a gateway to the July 1st glacier, which crowns the Qilian Mountains to the south, and to the Gobi Desert. Jiuquan's Silk Road Museum houses artifacts from this ancient trade route.
Guangdong (formerly Canton) - a coastal province of southeast China, borders Hong Kong and Macau. Its capital, Guangzhou, sits within its industrial Pearl River Delta region. This sprawling port is home to the octagonal Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, commemorating the founder of modern China. The city’s colonial history is evident in its garden-lined boulevards and the 19th-century European architecture of Shamian Island.
Guilin - is a city in southern China known for its dramatic landscape of limestone karst hills. At its center are 2 lakes, Shanhu (Cedar) and Ronghu (Banyan), remaining from a medieval-era moat that once surrounded the city. Boats travel through these and other lakes via connected rivers. On Shanhu Lake’s shore, twin pagodas, the Sun and Moon, light up the sky at night.
Guizhou - is a mountainous province in southwest China. It's known for its traditional rural villages, inhabited by minority groups like the Miao and Dong. It's also famed for 74m-high Huangguoshu Waterfall. Nearby, Dragon Palace Cave is an extensive underground system with waterways. Zhijin Cave’s vast caverns house karst formations. Outside Guiyang, the capital, is the 14th-century Qingyan fortress and town.
Guangxi - is an autonomous region in southern China, bordering Vietnam. The area is known for its rivers, caves and towering karst formations. Boat cruises on the Li River connect Guilin and Yangshuo, cities punctuated by toothlike karst peaks. Guilin is the site of Ludi Yan (Reed Flute Cave), a limestone cavern noted for its stalactites and stalagmites.
Guiyang - is the capital of Guizhou province of the People's Republic of China. It is located in the center of the province, situated on the east of the Yunnan–Guizhou Plateau, and on the north bank of the Nanming River, a branch of the Wu River. The city has an elevation of about 1,100 meters.
Hangzhou - the capital of China’s Zhejiang province, is the southern terminus of the ancient Grand Canal waterway, which originates in Beijing. Its West Lake, celebrated by poets and artists since the 9th century, encompasses islands (reachable by boat), temples, pavilions, gardens and arched bridges. On its south bank is 5-story Leifeng Pagoda, a modern reconstruction of a structure built in 975 A.D.
Haikou - a port city and the capital of China's island province Hainan, sits on the island's north coast facing the mainland across the Qiongzhou Strait. Its old town quarter features a mix of Chinese and colonial European architecture. The Hainan Provincial Museum has exhibits on the region's ethnic culture and history. Qilou Snack Street is an emporium where food stalls sell local specialties.
Hainan - is an island province of China and the nation’s southernmost point. It's known for its tropical climate, beach resorts and forested, mountainous interior. The southern city of Sanya has many beaches that range from 22km-long Sanya Bay to crescent Yalong Bay and its luxury hotels. Outside Sanya, the hilly hiking trails of Yanoda Rainforest Cultural Tourism Zone pass over suspension bridges and by waterfalls.
Handan - is a prefecture-level city located in the southwest of Hebei province, China. The southernmost prefecture-level city of the province, it borders Xingtai on the north, and the provinces of Shanxi on the west, Henan on the south and Shandong on the east.
Harbin - is the capital of Heilongjiang, China’s northernmost province. The city grew in the late 19th century with the influx of Russian engineers constructing the eastern leg of the Trans-Siberian Railroad. The city's Russian architecture includes its green-domed Saint Sophia Cathedral, an Eastern Orthodox church now a local history museum. Across the river, Sun Island Park is famed for year-round ice sculptures.
Hebei - is a northern Chinese province near Beijing that is home to Chengde Mountain Resort, the imperial summer residence of the Qing-dynasty emperors. Chengde contains 18th-century palaces, gardens and pagodas ringed by Buddhist temples. The Qing emperors are buried to the south, in the monumental Eastern Qing Tombs at Zunhua and Western Qing Tombs in Yi County.
Hefei - is the capital and largest city of Anhui Province, People's Republic of China. A prefecture-level city, it is the political, economic, and cultural center of Anhui.
Heilongjiang - is China's northernmost province, with remote mountain ranges and a flat interior plain. It's named for the Heilong (Black Dragon) river, bordering Russia. Harbin, the capital, is known for Russian architecture, including Russian Orthodox Saint Sophia Cathedral, as well as European-style houses on Zhongyang Street. The city is also famous for its annual International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.
Henan - a province in Central China’s Yellow River Valley, is widely recognized as the place where Chinese civilization originated. There are 4 ancient capitals within its borders. Luoyang, capital during multiple dynasties, is home to Baima Si (White Horse Temple). Founded in the 1st century, it's among China’s first Buddhist temples. Nearby, the Longmen Grottoes have Buddhist rock carvings dating to the 5th century.
Hohhot - abbreviated Hushi, formerly known as Kweisui, is the capital of Inner Mongolia in the north of the People's Republic of China, serving as the region's administrative, economic and cultural center.
Hubei - is a landlocked province in Central China. Its varied terrain encompasses mountains, lakes and wilderness areas. Wuhan, its capital, is the site of picturesque East Lake, the 5-tiered Yellow Crane Tower and the vast Hubei Provincial Museum. The province is also known for the Three Gorges, a popular destination for Yangtze River cruises and home to the massive Three Gorges Dam.
Hunan - a mountainous province in southern China, was the early home of Communist leader Mao Zedong. The village of Shaoshan, where Mao was born in 1893, welcomes visitors to his mud-brick childhood house and the Mao Zedong Memorial Museum. In northwestern Hunan, the Wulingyuan Scenic Area is distinguished by thousands of quartzite sandstone columns, as well as caves, waterfalls and endangered wildlife.
Huzhou - is a prefecture-level city in northern Zhejiang province, China. Lying south of the Lake Tai, it borders Jiaxing to the east, Hangzhou to the south, and the provinces of Anhui and Jiangsu to the west and north respectively.
Jinan - the capital of eastern China's Shandong province, is a sprawling city known for its many natural springs, most prominent being the park-enclosed Baotu Spring. Near the city center, expansive Daming Lake has landscaped islands and parkland with temples and pavilions. The modern Shandong Museum displays a huge collection of provincial artifacts, spanning the Neolithic Longshan culture to the Ming dynasty.
Jiangsu - is a coastal Chinese province north of Shanghai. In the south, the city of Suzhou is renowned for its elaborate gardens. These include the Humble Administrator’s Garden, with its network of pools linked by pagodas and pavilions, and the Lion Grove Garden, featuring a tall, rocky maze. On the outskirts of the neighboring city of Wuxi, to the northwest, is the towering Grand Buddha at Ling Shan.
Jiangxi - a southeast Chinese province, is defined by its pastoral landscapes of rice paddies, rivers and mountains. Centered on the Gan River valley, historically it's been on major north-south trade routes. In the northwest, Jingdezhen has been a center of porcelain-making for over 1,000 years. Today the city has many pottery studios and shops, several ceramic museums, and the remains of a Ming-era imperial kiln.
Jiaxing - alternately romanized as Kashing, is a prefecture-level city in northern Zhejiang province, China. Lying on the Grand Canal of China, Jiaxing borders Hangzhou to the southwest, Huzhou to the west, Shanghai to the northeast, and the province of Jiangsu to the north.
Jilin - is a northeastern Chinese province bordering North Korea and Russia. Changchun, the capital, is home to the Puppet Emperor's Palace and Exhibition Hall, a legacy of its period as capital of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo (1932–1945). To the east, Jilin City is a winter destination for its ice-rimmed riverside trees. Ski resorts, including renowned Beidahu, surround nearby Songhua Lake.
Jinhua - alternately romanized as Kinhwa, is a prefecture-level city in central Zhejiang province in eastern China. It borders the provincial capital of Hangzhou to the northwest, Quzhou to the southwest, Lishui to the south, Taizhou to the east, and Shaoxing to the northeast.
Jining - is a prefecture-level city in southwestern Shandong province. It borders Heze to the southwest, Zaozhuang to the southeast, Tai'an to the northeast, and the provinces of Henan and Jiangsu to the northwest and south respectively
Kunming - the modern capital city and transportation hub of China’s southern Yunnan province, has a large student population and a temperate year-round climate. Bridges and pavilions cross the islands of Cui Hu (Green Lake), a park designed in the 17th century. Nearby is Yuantong Si. A temple founded by Buddhists in the 8th century, it features a statue hall and a pond with an ornate stone bridge.
Laoshan District - is an urban district of Qingdao, Shandong. It has an area of 858 square kilometres and had approximately 379,500 inhabitants as of 2010. It is home to Mount Lao, which gave the district its name.
Lanzhou - is the capital city of northwest China's Gansu province. The Waterwheel Expo Garden and Yellow River Mother Sculpture are on the south bank of the Yellow River. The Gansu Provincial Museum displays artifacts from the area’s Silk Road past. Wuquanshan Park has a relaxed vibe and ancient temples. Across the Zhongshan Bridge, the White Pagoda sits atop a mountain in Baitashan Park.
Liaoning - is a northeastern Chinese province bordering North Korea and the Yellow Sea. Shenyang, the sprawling capital, is home to the Shenyang Palace Museum (aka Mukden Palace), the original home of the Manchu Qing dynasty emperors. On the Liaodong Peninsula, Dalian is a modern port city known for its beaches, as well as pockets of Russian-style architecture, ski slopes and theme parks.
Lijiang - a city in the northwest part of China's Yunnan province, is home to the Naxi and several other ethnic minority groups. A commercial center in the 1300s, its old town encompasses cobblestone streets, canals and Central Market Square with shops and restaurants. Black Dragon Pool has famed views of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain range, fronted by the Moon Embracing Pavilion.
Luoyang - is an industrial city in central China’s Henan province, in what is widely recognized as the region where Chinese civilization originated. Luoyang, ancient China’s capital during multiple dynasties, is home to Baima Si (White Horse Temple), among China’s first Buddhist temples, founded in the 1st century. Nearby, the Longmen Grottoes contain thousands of Buddhist rock carvings dating to the 5th century.
Lulong County - formerly Yongping, is a county of Qinhuangdao City, in northeastern Hebei Province, China.
Nanchang - is the capital and largest city of Jiangxi Province, People's Republic of China. As of November 2017, the total population in Nanchang City was 5,246,600, while the built-up area made of 6 urban districts plus Nanchang county is home to more than 4,300,000 inhabitants.
Nanning - a city in southern China near the Vietnam border, is capital of the Guangxi region. With a warm tropical climate, it's known for green spaces such as People's Park, which includes expansive White Dragon Lake, a hilltop fort and a botanical garden. Displays at the Guangxi Museum include hundreds of bronze and copper drums, important artifacts of the region's indigenous people.
Nantong is a prefecture-level city in southeastern Jiangsu province, China. Located on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, near the river mouth.
Nanjing - capital of China’s eastern Jiangsu province, is roughly 300km up the Yangtze River from the city of Shanghai. It was the national capital during part of the Ming dynasty. Many monuments and landmarks remain, including Zhonghua Gate (Gate of China), a preserved 14th-century section of the massive wall that contained the old city’s southern entrance.
Ningbo- a major port and industrial hub in east China's Zhejiang province, lies south of Shanghai on Hangzhou Bay. It's home to the 1516 landmark Tian Yi Ge, one of the country's oldest libraries. Exhibiting regional artifacts dating to the Neolithic Hemudu culture, Ningbo Museum is renowned for its nature-inspired architectural design. Tianyi Square, featuring a musical fountain, is bounded by shopping arcades.
Ningxia - is a small autonomous region in north-central China. In the north, the Helan Mountains are the site of prehistoric rock carvings and the massive Western Xia tomb complex, with its 1,000-year-old imperial mausoleums. Nearby Suyukou National Forest Park has fir forests, waterfalls and trails. In the provincial capital of Yinchuan, Ningxia Museum and China Hui Culture Park explore the culture of the Hui people.
Qingdao - in China’s eastern Shandong province, is a port city of skyscrapers, parks and beaches bordering the Yellow Sea. It's known for its beer, a legacy of the German occupation (1898-1914). The Tsingtao Beer Museum celebrates the namesake brewery, founded here by Germans in 1903, and the Qingdao International Beer Festival is major event. There's also German-style architecture in the old city center.
Qinghai - is a large, sparsely populated Chinese province spread across the high-altitude Tibetan Plateau. It's a place of strong Tibetan and Mongol cultural traditions. Amne Machin, a 6,282m-high peak that's part of the Kunlun Mountains, is a holy site for Buddhist pilgrims. Qinghai's important Buddhist monasteries include Wutong, whose monks are renowned producers of thangka, religious paintings on cotton or silk.
Qinhuangdao - is a port city on the coast of China in northern Hebei province. It is administratively a prefecture-level city, about 300 km east of Beijing, on the Bohai Sea, the innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea.
Quanzhou - alternatively known as Chinchew, is a prefecture-level port city on the north bank of the Jin River, beside the Taiwan Strait in southern Fujian, China. It is Fujian's largest metropolitan region, with an area of 11,245 square kilometers.
Shandong - an eastern Chinese province on the Yellow Sea, is known for its Taoist and Confucian heritage. It was also home to the ancient state of Qi, the last kingdom conquered by Qin Shi Huang, who proclaimed himself China’s first emperor in 219 B.C. in a ceremony on Taishan Mountain. One of China’s most sacred peaks, Taishan features shrines, stone tablets and pilgrimage trails.
Shanhaiguan District - formerly Shan-hai-kwan or Shan-hai-kuan, is a district of the city of Qinhuangdao, Hebei Province, China, named after the pass of the Great Wall within the district, Shanhai Pass. It is located 15 kilometres east of the city centre.
Shanxi - is a plateau province of North China. Its ancient sites include Pingyao, a preserved old town dating from the Ming and Qing dynasties, with a circa-1370 wall. On the outskirts are sprawling old merchants’ mansions including the Qiao Family Courtyard. Taiyuan, the modern provincial capital, is known for temples and the Shanxi Museum, with expansive collections of regional artifacts going back to prehistory.
Shaanxi - is a northwestern Chinese province whose ancient capital, Xi’an, was a starting point for the Silk Road. Xi’an is home to the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, an archaeological site containing thousands of clay soldiers called the Terracotta Army. In the city center is the 7-story Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and Shaanxi History Museum, displaying feudal dynasties’ relics.
Shaoxing - is a city in eastern China's Zhejiang province, straddling the Grand Canal and crossed by many waterways. It's known for its locally produced rice wine. The classical gardens and shrine at the Orchid Pavilion honor 4th-century calligrapher Wang Xizhi. The city's rich cultural history is also marked by native writer Lu Xun's former residence, now a museum.
Shenyang - is the capital and largest city of China’s northeast Liaoning Province. It was the site of the 17th-century Manchu capital Mukden, and the imposing Mukden Palace (Shenyang Imperial Palace) is a blend of Manchurian and Tibetan architectural styles. Mausoleums of Qing dynasty emperors can be found at Zhaoling Tomb, amid the pine forests and lakes of Beiling Park, and at Fuling Tomb in the city’s east.
Shijiazhuang - formerly known as Shimen and romanized as Shihkiachwang, is the capital and largest city of North China's Hebei Province. Administratively a prefecture-level city, it is about 266 kilometres southwest of Beijing, and it administers eight districts, two county-level cities, and 12 counties.
Sichuan - is a southwestern Chinese province that contains a stretch of Asia’s longest river, the Yangtze. The region is the home of giant pandas, which visitors can observe at Bifengxia Panda Base and other reserves. Chengdu, the provincial capital, is a center for traditional Sichuanese opera, which include fire-breathing and sleight-of-hand mask changes.
Suzhou - a city west of Shanghai, is known for its canals, bridges and classical gardens. The Humble Administrator’s Garden, dating to 1513, contains zigzag bridges over connected pools and islands. The Lingering Garden features ornate viewing pavilions and the Crown of Clouds Peak, a striking limestone rockery. Tiger Hill is home to the 7-story, leaning Cloud Rock Pagoda at its summit.
Taiyuan - is the capital and largest city of Shanxi province, People's Republic of China. It is one of the main manufacturing bases of China. Throughout its long history, Taiyuan was the capital or provisional capital of many dynasties in China, hence the name Lóngchéng.
Tangshan - is a coastal, industrial prefecture-level city in the northeast of Hebei province. It is located in the eastern part of Hebei Province and the northeastern part of the North China Plain. It is located in the central area of the Bohai Rim and serves as the main traffic corridor to the Northeast.
Tianjin - is a major port city in northeastern China. Following the 1858 Treaties of Tianjin, several Western nations established concessions in Tianjin. The European-style houses, municipal buildings and churches in Wudadao (Five Great Avenues) are legacies of that period. Standing in contrast are the city’s many modern skyscrapers, including the iconic 415m-tall Tianjin Radio and Television Tower.
Ürümqi or Urumchi - abbreviated Wushi, formerly known as Tihwa, is the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the far northwest of the People's Republic of China.
Wenzhou - is a port and industrial city in China's Zhejiang province, straddling the Oujiang River on the East China Sea. The river's Jiangxin Island features pagodas, gardens and the 1789 Jiangxin Temple. Nearby Jiushan Park offers walking trails and city views. The Wenzhou Museum's exhibits focus on regional crafts and history. North of the river, Mount Yandang has designated scenic areas.
Wuxi - a city near Shanghai in eastern China, sits on the banks of Taihu, one of China's largest freshwater lakes. Surrounding Taihu are walking trails, a 115m-tall Ferris wheel and parks such as Yuantouzhu (Turtle Head Isle). Another major park is Lingshan, whose notable Buddhist sites include the bronze Grand Buddha statue, which is more than 80m high.
Xiamen - is a port city on China’s southeast coast, across a strait from Taiwan. It encompasses 2 main islands and a region on the mainland. Formerly known as Amoy, it was a British-run treaty port from 1842 to 1912. Many Europeans and Japanese lived on Gulangyu, today a vehicle-free island with beaches and meandering streets lined with old colonial villas.
Xianyang - is a prefecture-level city in central Shaanxi province, situated on the Wei River a few kilometers upstream from the provincial capital of Xi'an.
Xingtai - formerly known as Xingzhou and Shunde, is a prefecture-level city in southern Hebei province, People's Republic of China. It has a total area of 12,486 km² and administers 2 districts, 2 county-level cities and 15 counties.
Xining - is the capital of Qinghai province in central China, by the Tibetan Plateau. It's known for the Xining Dongguan Grand Mosque, blending Chinese and Islamic styles, and the Tulou Temple, built into mountainside caves. To the north, the Tibetan Medicine and Culture Museum displays traditional artifacts. Nearby are the sprawling Ta’er Monastery (Kumbum Monastery) and the vast Qinghai Lake, rich in birdlife.
Yangzhou - is a city in China's Jiangsu province, straddling the Grand Canal north of the Yangtze River. Once a major stop for the salt trade, it's now known for gardens, Islamic relics and ancient shrines. Daming Temple is a Buddhist complex named for the Daming reign (457–464) when it was built. Slender West Lake is framed by moon gates and classical bridges.
Yantai - encompasses a port city and its surrounding area in eastern China's Shandong province. In the north is Penglai Pavilion, a centuries-old clifftop pagoda overlooking the Bohai Strait. Farther east, connected to the mainland, Zhifu Island is the site of Neolithic artifacts. Nearby, Changyu Wine Culture Museum offers insight into the region’s wine production and Fisherman’s Wharf is home to restaurants and bars.
Yichang - alternatively romanized as Ichang, is a prefecture-level city located in western Hubei province, China. It is the second largest city in the province after the capital, Wuhan. The Three Gorges Dam is located within its administrative area, in Yiling District.
Yinchuan - is the capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China. and historically it was the former capital of the Western Xia Empire of the Tanguts. It has an area of 8,874.61 km² and a total population of 2.29 million
Yiwu - is a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Jinhua in Central Zhejiang Province, East China. The city has about 1.2 million people and its urban area, joined with that of the neighboring Dongyang, was home to 2,038,413 inhabitants according to the 2010 census.
Yunnan - is a province in southwestern China with a varied landscape encompassing snow-capped mountains, rice terraces, lakes and deep gorges. The region is known for its large number of ethnic minorities. Modern Kunming, known as the “Spring City,” has many museums and temples, including colorful Yuantong Temple. To the southeast, Shilin Stone Forest contains limestone karst peaks formed 270 million years ago.
Zhejiang - a province in eastern China, encompasses a rural interior and urban centers along the East China Sea. The capital, Hangzhou, is the site of picturesque West Lake, with islands, gardens and landmarks such as 5-story Leifeng Pagoda. Wuzhen is notable among the province’s ancient water towns, with stone bridges, restored historic districts and waterways fed by the Grand Canal.
Zhongshan - is a prefecture-level city in the south of the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong province, China, with a population of over 3 million. The city-core subdistricts used to be called Shiqi or Shekki. Zhongshan is one of a very few cities in China named after a person.
Zhuhai - is a modern city in China’s southern Guangdong province, on the border with Macau. Transformed into one of China’s first Special Economic Zones in 1980, today the city is known for golf resorts, theme parks and islands off the Pearl River Delta. Pedestrianized Lianhua Road and the malls of Jingshan Road are popular shopping areas selling duty-free goods.
Zhengzhou - a metropolis on the Yellow River, is the capital of east-central China's Henan province. With history dating to Neolithic times, it's notable as the ancient Shang dynasty capital, whose earthen walls still stand in the city center. It's also home to the pyramid-shaped Henan Museum, where cultural exhibits from prehistory and early China include jade and musical instruments.
The Imperial Palace and the Forbidden City - is China's most significant attraction and can trace its origins back to the Yuan Dynasty of the 13th century. Its immense size is the result of enlargements made during the Ming Dynasty between 1406 and 1420, after the capital was transferred here from Nanking. All told, this beautiful palace has been home to 24 Ming and Qing Emperors, earning its nickname of the Forbidden City due to the fact ordinary citizens weren't allowed access. The complex covers 720,000 square meters, all of it surrounded by a 10-meter-high wall with towers in the four corners and a 50-meter-wide moat, and is divided into an area used for ceremonial and administrative purposes, as well as the private quarters used by the Emperor and his concubines.
The Great Wall of China - Badaling Pass, the first part of the Wall to be opened to tourists in the 1950s, you can enjoy a walk along an impressive section of the Great Wall dating from the 16th century and standing up to eight meters high. Along the way, you'll be able to enjoy numerous towers and parapets offering superb views over the surrounding dramatic scenery. While a hilly walk, you can in fact take a pleasant cable-car ride up to the wall.
Tiananmen Square - is the world's largest inner-city square, designed to hold a million people and built to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Chinese Republic in 1958. Considered the center of communist China, the square's symbolic importance dates back to May 4th, 1919, when students demonstrated against the Chinese provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. Highlights include the Monument to the People's Heroes (Rénmín Yingxióng Jìniànbei), a 38-meter tall obelisk consisting of 17,000 pieces of granite and marble, and the splendid Tiananmen Gate - the Gate of Heavenly Peace - completed in 1417 and once the main entrance to the Imperial City.
Beihai Park - is one of the oldest surviving imperial gardens in Beijing. Laid out at the beginning of the 10th century, this beautiful open space takes its name from nearby Lake Beihai (North Lake) and offers many good reasons to visit. Among the most important structures are the Round Fort dating from the Yuan period of 1271-1368; the spectacular Hall of Enlightenment, built in 1690 and home to a one-and-a-half-meter-tall Buddha, carved from a single block of white jade; and a large black jade vase from the early 12th century.
Song Qingling - in which the widow of the founder of the Republic, Sun Yat-sen, lived for 18 years until her death (it's now a museum); the Living Quarters of Mei Lanfang (Mei Lanfang Guju), a famous male star of the Peking Opera who specialized in playing the role of a woman; the residence of Guo Moruo, where the famous writer and historian lived from 1963 until his death in 1978, built in traditional Chinese courtyard style; and the beautiful 17th-century White Pagoda on the Island of Exquisite Jade.
The Temple of Heaven - Tiantán) dates back to 1420 and incorporates a group of some of Beijing's most sacred buildings. The old temples and shrines are set out in two sections - one rectangular, the other semi-circular - which together symbolize heaven and earth. It was here that, on the day of the winter solstice, the emperor would ascend the Heavenly Altar in solemn ceremony to pray for a good harvest and offer sacrifices in the brightly decorated Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests (Qinian Dian). Built in 1420, in customary Chinese fashion of wood and entirely without nails, the hall sits on a three-tier marble terrace with balustrades and a roof covered with 50,000 blue glazed tiles (a marble plaque on the floor represents the dragon and the phoenix stone, symbols of the emperor).
Hall of the Vault of Heaven (Huangqiong Yu) - erected in 1530 and boasting a blue-tiled conical roof (it was used to store the ceremonial plaques of Heaven and the Officials). Be sure to also visit the temple's Echo Wall, which echoes to even the quietest of voices, an effect exaggerated by three unusual echoing stones.
The Summer Palace - Dating back to the 12th century and more than 700-acres in size, it's a picture-perfect setting, which certainly befits its royal status, boasting a large 700-year-old man-made lake and beautiful gardens. Often included on organized tours, top things to see are the western-styled "Marble Ship" (Shifang); the Hall of Well-being and Longevity (Renshou Dian), with its elaborate throne; the beautiful courtyard adjoining the Hall of Happiness and Longevity (Leshou Tang Hall); and the impressive 19th-century Great Theatre, where you can catch performances of traditional Chinese plays and music.
Beijing National Stadium - Summer Olympics held in Beijing in 2008, the National Stadium (Guójia tiyùchang) - also affectionately nicknamed the Bird's Nest - is well worth a visit. Built at great cost, this remarkable structure owes its unique design to the influences of traditional Chinese ceramics.
The Lama Temple (Yonghe) - is one of Beijing's most attractive and best-preserved temples. Completed in 1745, the building served a political purpose by giving Lamaism, the religion of the then just annexed Tibet, an official seat in the capital. It was built to generous proportions and equipped with many valuable works of art, and its most important feature is the Hall of the Kings of Heaven (Tian Wang Dian) with its statue of Buddha surrounded by the four kings who are provided with symbolic objects (a toad, sword, snake, and shield).
The Beijing Temple of Confucius - Beijing Temple of Confucius, built in 1302 and dedicated to the great philosopher and teacher, Confucius, whose teachings dominated public and private life for centuries. One of China's best-known Confucius temples, the Beijing Temple once hosted many elaborate ceremonies honoring its namesake under the leadership of the emperor. The forecourt harbors 198 steles with inscriptions naming all 51,624 Confucian scholars who, after 1416, successfully passed the highest examinations of the state until abolished in 1904.
Beijing Zoo - covers an area of more than 220 acres and was established in 1906, making it one of the oldest zoos in China. Boasting an impressive collection of close to 15,000 animals from 1,000 species - the largest in the country - the zoo includes many rare native species such as South China tigers, snow leopards, golden snub-nosed monkeys, and pandas, along with some not so rare, such as the red-crowned crane and Pere David's deer.
The Old Summer Palace - in northwestern Beijing was once the imperial residence of the Qianlong Emperor and was considered one of the most spectacular achievements of Chinese architecture and garden design when constructed in the 1700s (it was for a time known as the "Garden of Gardens"). Looted and destroyed by the British and French during the Second Opium War in 1860 - the palace was home to a vast and important collection of art and antiquities - it took hundreds of troops three days to burn and demolish the site.
National Museum of China - the second most visited art museum in the world after the Louvre in Paris (and also one of the largest). Opened in 2003 and completely renovated in 2011, the museum of 48 exhibition halls.serves as a place of education regarding the country's rich history, with a particular focus on exhibits related to culture and art.
Shanghai Disney Resort - opened in 2016, the two themed hotels and the Disneytown entertainment and shopping district, this nearly 1,000-acre site in the city's Pudong district is home to the Shanghai Disneyland Park. Disney experience fans and families alike can't seem to get enough of. The fun starts on Mickey Avenue, with its character meet and greets and merchandise-cum-souvenir shops, before guests head off to their favorite part of the park, whether it be Gardens of Imagination, with its pleasant Chinese gardens and Dumbo carousel; Fantasyland, in many ways the parks "heart and soul" as it's here you'll find the Enchanted Storybook Castle... and hordes of mini wannabe princesses waiting to catch a glimpse of their favorite Disney royalty; or Treasure Cove, home to a thrilling Pirates of the Caribbean-inspired ride.
Shanghai's Promenade: The Bund - the Zhongshan Lu is a lovely broad promenade running along the west bank of the Huangpujiang River. It was once the location of the city's International Settlement that is particularly noticeable in the many old English and French buildings now serving as restaurants, boutique stores, galleries, and offices. The Bund's 52 unique buildings constructed in a variety of styles including Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque, Neoclassical, and Renaissance influences, one of the world's most impressive collections of Art Deco architecture.
Yu Garden (Yù Yuán) - old town and laid out in 1559 & splendid also known as the Garden of Happiness, covers an area of more than 20,000 square meters and consists of an outer and an inner garden. The oldest section is the Outer Garden, with further changes being made in the 18th century when Sansui Tang, the park's main hall, was added (the building is notable for its lovely roof ornaments, figurative representations in bas-reliefs, and window openings, as well as its dragon-adorned walls).
The Jade Buddha Temple - houses two Shakyamuni statues, which the monk Huigen brought with him from Burma. The present building, erected in 1928 to replace the original temple built in 1882, is divided into three halls and two courtyards and includes the splendid Hall of the Kings of Heaven (Tian Wang Dian), notable for its statues of the four heavenly kings and two Shakyamuni sculptures. Carved from white jade, one of these impressive statues stands nearly two meters high in the Wentang Main hall, where a collection of Buddhist manuscripts is also kept.
The Shanghai Museum - Founded in 1952, remains China's most important museum of classical Chinese art. its unique round top and square base encompasses traditional Chinese concepts of the earth - the museum's four floors include impressive displays of bronzes and ceramics from prehistoric cultures to the 19th century, ink drawings, calligraphy and seals, as well as large collections of art from ethnic minorities. It's also home to large collections of jade, coins, furnishings from the Ming and Qing periods (1368-1912).
Longhua Temple and Pagoda - remains one of the oldest religious sites in China. Built along with the nearby 40-meter-tall wood and brick pagoda around AD 242, this important place of worship was destroyed and rebuilt many times through the years, with the present structure dating back to the 10th century.
The Oriental Pearl Tower - is the 468-meter-tall Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower (Dongfang Míngzhuta) in Pudong-Park on the east bank of the Huangpu River. Built in 1991, the tower takes its name from its 11 linked spheres of various sizes, the highest of which - the Space Module - contains an observation level at the 350 meter mark with a glass-floored outside deck.
People's Square (Rénmín Guangchang) - Home to the new Shanghai City Hall, the Shanghai Museum, and the state-of-the-art Grand Theatre, it's a perfect spot from which to begin touring the city. Be sure to spend time visiting the excellent Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, where you'll find superb displays and models - even a 360-degree movie theater.
Xujiahui Cathedral & Sheshan Basilica - Built in 1911 in Neo-Romanesque style, also known as St. Ignatius Cathedral - is another splendid reminder of Shanghai's rich multi-national heritage. In the southern city district of Xujiahui, it's the largest place of Roman Catholic worship in Shanghai, and in addition to its splendid park-like setting is worth visiting for its twin 50-meter-high bell-towers and restored interior with fine stained glass windows. Another religious site is the National Shrine and Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Sheshan.
Jin Mao Tower and Skywalk - certainly manages to stand out. Reaching 93-stories skyward, this impressive tower stands as testament to the new found prosperity that is so evident in Shanghai (the building's Chinese name translates to "Golden Prosperity Building").
Shanghai Natural History Museum - is a museum dedicated to natural history in the city of Shanghai. It is one of the largest museums of natural sciences in China. Formerly housed in the Shanghai Cotton Exchange Building, the museum was moved to a purpose-built site in the Jing'an Sculpture Park in 2015.
Gulangyu Island - “Drum Wave Islet”, is a car free island off the coast of Xiamen City, which is quite small and is across from the ferry terminal on Xiamen Island near Xiamen University and Zhongshan Road.
Sunlight Rock - is also known as Dragon Head Hill. As the highest point of Gulangyu Island, Sunlight Rock Scenic Area includes Sunlight Rock and Piano Garden.
Zhongshan Road in Xiamen - Walking along Zhongshan Pedestrian Street in Xiamen is worth your valuable time for your short trip to Xiamen. Most visitors would come to Zhongshan Walking Street either before or after going to Gulangyu Island since the west starting point of Zhongshan Road is just across the ferry terminal.
Island Ring Road in Xiamen - is a 4-6 lane seaside road totally 43km in length, a green belt that offers tourists a perfect place to bike along beautiful seashores. The best part of the island ring road starts from the Baicheng Beach from Xiamen University to the Xiamen Intern
Xiamen University - was founded in 1921 by Tan Kah Kee, the well-known patriotic overseas Chinese leader.Xiamen University, a picturesque campus nestled between the sea and the “Five Old Men” mountains, is largely considered to be the most beautiful campus in China.
Nanputuo Temple - The buildings include Devajara Hall (the Hall of Heavenly Kings), Mahavira Hall (Daxiongbaodian), Dabei Hall (the Hall of Great Compassion) and a Pavilion built in 1936. The Temple is a very famous Buddhist temple founded in the Tang era.
The Terracotta Army - was constructed to accompany the tomb of China's First Emperor as an afterlife guard. There are thousands of detailed life-size terracotta soldier models represent the guard troops of the first emperor - Qin Shihuang.
Xi’an Drum Tower - was built in the 13th year (1380) of the Hongwu Period during Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang's reign of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It was renovated in the 38th year (1699) of Emperor Kangxi's reign and the 5th year (1740) of Emperor Qianlong's reign during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) respectively, and it still stands in Xi'an ancient city now.
Qianling- the tomb of Emperor Gaozong and his empress Wuzetian, is located on the peak of Liangshan, some 80 kilometers away from Xian. The great mausoleum was first built in 684 and is one of the best preserved tombs among the Tang Dynasty's 18 mausoleums.
The Tang Dynasty Show - is an excellent performance that fully displays the essence of music and dance art of the Tang Dynasty (618–907), and it is praised to be the premier pseudo-classic show in China. The artistic conception of customs from the Tang Dynasty is fully expressed in the show, and it's really enjoyable to appreciate the splendid performance that has endured for over 1,000 years.
Maoling Mausoleum - in the Chinese history, only the tomb of the Emperor Qin (259 BC – 210 BC) in Lishan Mountain can rival it. The cemetery is a quite square with each side is 420 meters, surrounded by walls which are 431 meters (1,414 ft) long from east to west, and 415 meters (1,362 ft) wide from south to north). The relic of the tomb looks like a pyramid without the pinnacle. It is 46.5 meters (153 ft) high and the length side of the foundation is 240 meters (787 ft) long.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda - was finished in 652 A.D. Its five stories were 60 meters in height. The decay of the earth-cored pagoda made necessary the new construction of a new 10-storey pagoda from 701 to 704 A.D.
Small Wild Goose Pagoda - was erected in the period 707 to 709 AD. It was named after its larger predecessor, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, five kilometers away. The building was originally a multi-eave, square-brick 45 meter-tall structure, with 15 storeys. A big earthquake in 1556 reduced it to the present 13 storeys.
Shaanxi Hongshi Gorge - One of China’s most breathtaking natural wonders, the Hongshi Gorge is an incredible natural landmark that stands as one of China’s greatest natural wonders. The Hongshi Gorge is located in the beautiful Yuntai Mountains of Northwest China. The gorge consists of steep, towering cliff walls and red sandstone rocks all around.
The White Dragon Waterfall - flows more than 160 feet into the gorge and is among the region’s most impressive and memorable sights.
Mountain Climbing-There are many mountains on the land of China. The most notable ones are the world's highest Mt. Everest and the five sacred mountains, namely the Mt. Taishan in Shandong, Mt. Huashan in Shaanxi, Mt. Songshan in Henan, Mt. Hengshan in Hunan and Mt. Hengshan in Shanxi. Additionally, the Mt. Huangshan in Anhui and the Mt. Lushan in Jiangxi are well worth a visit.
River Cruises-The Yangtze River is the first longest river in China. A Yangtze River cruise is a memorable experience. You can get on the ship at Chaotianmen Port of Chongqing to start the downstream cruise from Chongqing to Yichang, Wuhan or Shanghai, or you can choose to go upstream. What's more, in Guangzhou, you can join the Pearl River night cruise; in Guilin, you are suggested to have a Li River cruise.
Great Wall Trekking-Great Wall of China is amazing. Its remains can be found in Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, and Liaoning. If you want to have a Great Wall hiking tour, Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei are highly recommended. Especially, the Badaling Great Wall in Beijing, the Huangyaguan Great Wall in Tianjin and the Shanhaiguan Pass in Qinhuangdao (in Hebei) are must-sees.
Silk Road Adventure- Xian will be your first stop as it once was the beginning of the Silk Road in the history. Set off towards Gansu and then Xinjiang. During this visit, you can find many historical sites, such as the ruins of ancient kingdoms, museums, architectures and tombs. Also you can hear lots of interesting stories like the decline of Loulan Ancient Kingdom and the construction of Bajiao Ancient City.
Ancient Towns Visiting- The notable ancient towns include Fenghuang (in Hunan), Songpan (in Sichuan), Pingyao (in Shanxi) and Lijiang (in Yunnan).
Other Tourist attractions- You may visit to Guizhou and Yunnan, which are inhabited by many ethnic minorities. In Guizhou, you can visit Guiyang, Kaili, Tongren and Bijie. In Yunnan, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-La and Xishuangbanna are must-see destinations.