China is dramatically potential in the tourism industry. You may have heard about Beijing, Shanghai and many other famous tourist destinations. However, China has more to explore and acknowledge. There is no way that such a prosperous and populous country could be fell behind in this industry.
For a vacation, summer vacation, for example, traveling a whole China sounds ridiculous. Travelers should plan their itinerary carefully before pack the luggage or else they will literally get lost. And since there are so many outstanding attractions to visit, which one should you visit? To solve this problem, I will give you the top 10 most visited and alluring destinations to visit in China.
1. The Forbidden City
Located in Beijing, the Forbidden City used to be the imperial palace of the ancient Ming and Qing Dynasties from 560 to 1911. It was estimated that 24 emperors had lived here along with their harems. Besides the US White House, UK Buckingham Palace, French Palace of Versailles, and Russian Kremlin, Chinese Forbidden City is considered the most important palaces in the world, playing a key role in the development of China. It is also a Chinese treasure house, a cultural museum, consisting of numerous historical and cultural relics.
In the past, ordinary inhabitants were not allowed to enter; only the royals, emperor’s servants and wives could enter and live in this over-8000-room palace. The architecture of this attraction demonstrates the extravagant ancient Chinese vibes with golden roofs, painted in yellow and red. The Forbidden City was where many huge traditional ceremonies were held.
2. The Great Wall
Whenever mentioning China, people tend to think about the Great Wall. It is the most famous tourist destination in the world so far. The Great Wall is the UNESCO Heritage Site, one of the seven wonders of the world, a special iconic symbol of China.
The length of the Great Wall is 5000 kilometers, spanning from the west to the east. It extends to different cities and provinces, so you can just visit a part of the wall. In the past, this wonder used as ancient defensive architecture. However, it is said that to build the Great Wall, numerous ordinary people had died right under the wall.
3. Danxia Landform National Park
The Danxia Landform National Park is located in Zhangye. Danxia means “red” or “red clouds”. The name was given because there is plenty of red cliffs with reddish rocks, clearly seen whenever the sun rises. Besides red color, the landform has different colors, presenting depends on the light. Sometimes, if tourists are lucky enough, they could watch colorful hills just like someone has painted a rainbow on the land. It is the most favorite destination for photographers thanks to its colorful landform.
4. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Every province in China will have at least one unique tourist spot, and Hunan is not an exception. Hunan has one of the most famous national parks in the world called Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. You can admire tranquil streams, seas of clouds, rich well-preserved biodiversity and towering sandstone pillars here. This could be the most favorable place for adventurous travelers who are willing to trek, climb through the mountains.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park covers an area of 480,000 square kilometers. It can be divided into 6 parts, including Yang Family Territory – Yangjijie (the newly discovered area and quite steep), Heaven Son Mountain – Tianzi Mountain (well-known for its splendid mists and clouds), Yuang Family Territory – Yuanjiajie (the most populous and bustling area), Gold Whip Stream – Jinbian Xi (perfect place for walking and jogging), Yellow Stone Village – Huangshi Zhai (less impressive in comparison to Yuanjiajie), and Old House Area – Laowuchang (sedate, peaceful and pristine).
5. The Yellow Mountains
The Yellow Mountains were recognized as a UNESCO Heritage Site since 1990. Twisted pine trees, seas of clouds, hot springs, incredibly oddly-shaped rocks are what you can admire in these mountains. The Yellow Mountains are located in the eastern of China, between Hangzhou and Shanghai. It is also one of the top three national parks in China, owning the most famous peaks of this populous country.
6. Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve
Just like other Chinese highlighted destinations, Jiuzhaigou means “Nine Settlement Valley”, was inscribed as a World Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll find snow-capped peaks, majestic waterfalls, and colorful lakes in this wonder. It has an area of 72000 hectares so it would take you days to visit all this natural reserve.
This natural reserve consists of 3 valleys: Rize Valley, Zechawa Valley, and Shuzheng Valley arranged in a Y formation. Some most popular attractions are the Reed Lake, Mirror Lake, and Jiuzhaigou Waterfall. You will be amazed by not only how gorgeous and picturesque the landscape here but also how rich the biodiversity is preserved here. You will truly be friends to nature when visiting Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve.
7. Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
This is another popular historical Chinese UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was first discovered in 1974, then immediately becoming one of the most historical iconic destinations in China. Thousands of statues remain unearthed until the day being found. You would learn so much about Chinese history as well as how intelligent the ancient Chinese were that they could create such an incredibly unique mausoleum with distinctive yet impressive architecture underneath about 76 meters.
8. The ancient Mogao Caves (Thousand Buddha Grottoes, Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, Dunhuang Caves)
UNESCO must be tired of awarding numerous attractions, including the ancient Mogao Caves. It was in the list of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritages. Mogao is the biggest, most ancient, and most well-preserved Buddhist grottoes in the world. Along with Yungang Grottoes and Longmen Grottoes, it is one of the three most well-known Chinese Buddhist sculptural attractions. There are nearly 30900 sculptures, approximately 500 caves, and 5 wooden grottoes in this area. The construction is outstanding, showing how smart and incredible the Chinese were.
9. Xidi Ancient Village
When traveling to China, don’t forget to visit at least one ancient town or village. It will be a great experience integrating into Chinese residential daily life, understanding local customs, watching the washed-out walls, red tile roofs, and colorful lanterns. Xidi Village, along with Hongcun Village, was awarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Xidi is considered as an ancient museum of Ming and Qing dynasties’ architecture.
10. West Lake
Placed in Hangzhou, West Lake is famous for the tranquility and unique Chinese-vibe surrounding architecture. It was created with the love of garden-style parks. Watching this lake is like watching a realistic picturesque painting expanding right in front of your eyes. You can boat, trek, or just simply watch the sunset in this pleasing lake, being embraced by the cool ancient-like atmosphere.
It’s hard to discover every outstanding attraction in China so you need a list like this top 10 destinations to visit. Here is just an overview of some destinations and you can find more information in different articles. However, reading is not enough to understand and feel the beauty of each place. Therefore, you should book a flight ticket now and watch these places with your own eyes. And believe me, everything is worth a lifetime.