When people think of visiting China, their minds are largely filled with images of strolling on top of the Great Wall or walking down the streets of Beijing. However, China is much more than this. If you plan on visiting the country anytime soon, here are six places you should definitely check out.
Have you watched the 2009 movie Avatar and marveled at the floating mountains of Pandora? If so, Zhangjiajie is a must-visit. The mountains in the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park are what inspired the movie’s famous Hallelujah Mountains. Many people who visit these peaks describe feeling as if they have stepped into a fairytale world when looking at the pillar-like rock formations. If you are not fond of hiking, ride the cable car on “Heaven’s Doorway” Mountain to get a wide view of the fantastical geography of the place.
If you are someone who has a soft spot for cute black and white pandas, Chengdu is the perfect place for you. It is known as the hometown of Giant Pandas thanks to the panda breeding research center in the region.
The place is home to around 80 pandas that are mostly engrossed in their daily activities, which basically consist of eating food and playing around in a large, park-like area. You can feed and cuddle these creatures. If lucky, you’ll even get to handle a baby panda.
The city of Xi’an is popular for one specific reason — the massive terracotta army. It “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 that represent the guard troops of the first emperor — Qin Shihuang. They were molded in parts, fired, then assembled and painted,” according to China Highlights. Pit one consists of almost 2,000 soldiers on display. In addition, two bronze carriages are also on show. These carriages are basically the biggest bronzeware ever discovered from the ancient world.
People looking for an authentic experience of the Chinese countryside should head over to Guilin. The idyllic scenery attracts millions of visitors every year. The lack of any industrial activity adds to the charm of the place.
The Li River, which meanders through the mountains, is a popular destination among tourists. A cruise along the river is the best way to experience the place. You will be able to see some amazing caves and natural rock formations during the trip.
The natural scenery at Huangshan is legendary, with many claiming that the region is home to the most beautiful mountains in China. The majestic yellow mountains, the hot springs, the oddly shaped rocks and pines, and the sea of clouds that cover the mountaintop — all blend in to create an enchanting feeling. Don’t forget to visit the nearby village of Hongcun, which has architecture dating back to the Qing and Ming dynasties. The village itself is said to be arranged in the shape of an ox. Hongcun was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
This is a Chinese water town that is famous for its traditional gardens. The Lingering Garden and the Humble Administrator’s Garden are two of the most popular gardens in Suzhou. The town has numerous canals that can be enjoyed through a boat tour. When Marco Polo visited Suzhou, he dubbed it the “Venice of the East.”