Top 12 Places to Visit in China 2021
With the largest and oldest civilizations in the world, China is a vast and enthralling country housing brilliant history and rich culture. Also diverse in landscapes, food and the people, China is arguably one of the most-googled destination in the world, offering an incredibly wide range of remarkable UNESCO World Heritage sites and natural wonders that you must explore. So, where to begin your China holiday 2021? We would like to help you out by compiling a list of the best 12 places to visit in China in 2021, which offers a rich dose of adventure, cuisine, ancient history and culture.
A giant cosmopolitan city, Beijing is the political, cultural and educational capital of China. Flows of tourists flock to Beijing for the fascinating history and culture that can only be found in this vibrant city. Beijing is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace, and more than that, Beijing boasts numerous monuments including temples, palaces, gardens, walls, gates and tombs. Aside from those, one of the big draws here is the protected hutong alleys where everyday life is displayed to offer an intriguing perspective into the city. And the world famous Peking roast duck is great bonus of an authentic Beijing tour.
Xian, one of the four great capitals of ancient China lasting for centuries, has more than its fair share of cultural sights and tourist attractions. It is widely known as home of the world-famous Terracotta Army, and many travelers fly to this former capital just to set eyes on these impressive handmade pottery figures.
As one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world discovered in 1974 by local farmers, the museum houses an awe-inspiring collection of 8,000 life-size terracotta sculptures buried with the Emperor Qin Shi Huang to protect him in the afterlife. However, Xian offers so much more than museums. A bike ride on top of the 600-year-old City Wall and a wander at the buzzing Muslim Quarter would enable you to soak up all the history and food that never be out of trend.
As China's most modern metropolis, Shanghai is a must-go city, and it is usually chosen as the entry or departure city due to its convenient transport connected with the western countries. Fast-paced and glamorous, Shanghai is no doubt a magnet for travelers from all over the globe. Having a lovely blending of modern and traditional, as well as oriental and Western influence, Shanghai gets marvelous travel icons, such as the glitzy Bund, French Concession, Nanjing Road shopping area, Yu Garden and the Old City God Temple.
We can name out all the recommended experience, but do stroll along the Bund and have a night cruise along the Huangpu River. Moreover, Shanghai offers endless choices of restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs and shopping centers. In many ways Shanghai is a profile of the economic boom and the trendy culture of China.
Being the home of the Chinese national treasure Giant Pandas, Chengdu is 100% worth a visit in your China vacation 2021. Absolutely Chengdu is popular on the traveler trail for the rare opportunities to get up close to these adorable pandas. Chengdu Panda Base, a non-profit research and breeding facility for giant pandas, is a can’t-miss spot for any panda fans.
Besides, Chengdu is a standout for the fantastic food and relaxing lifestyle, too. For those who love spicy food, Chengdu will be a big delight as hot pepper is a staple in the cuisine. From hole-in-the-wall vendors to authentic restaurants, be sure not to miss out on Sichuan hot pot. The pace of life in Chengdu is much slower and the locals here are genuinely some of the most chilled out people you'll meet. Relaxing places like People’s Park are the best sites to absorb the local’s lifestyle. You will discover outdoor teahouses, ear-cleaning vendors and mahjong clubs in the park where people seek ease and pleasure.
Guilin is famed as the most scenic place of China to visit for any travelers looking for natural charms and adventures. Guilin is blessed with stunning karst mountains along the Li River and astounding Longsheng Rice Terrace as well as picturesque countryside of Yangshuo. The landscape of Guilin is so iconic that it’s long been depicted in many famous drawings and even printed on the 20 Yuan RMB note. The best way to absorb the beauty is to cruise or hike along the stretch of the Li River between Guilin and Yangshuo, where craggy sacred peaks, caves, villages and mist covered mountains unfold in turns in front of you. Besides, base yourself at Yangshuo to explore the lively West Street and captivating countryside by a hiking or biking journey or a bamboo rafting on Yulong River.
Famed for the mighty river landscape and world's largest irrigation project, the Yangtze River has carved out amazing scenery that inspired poets and painters for millennia. The section between Chongqing and Yichang is considered one of China's top spectacles, which is the most scenic stretch covering the famous Three Gorges. A Yangtze River cruise is a comfortable and luxurious way to navigate through the fascinating Three Gorges region and unique historical sites on the banks of the Yangtze River. Meanwhile, it is also a means to slow down for a few days in between other travel activities and land destinations during a China trip. At the end of the cruising, do not miss to pay a visit to the astounding Three Gorges Dam, where you will marvel at the awe-inspiring engineering work that human beings had accomplished.
Marco Polo claimed in his journal that Hangzhou is the finest and most beautiful city in the world when he visited this place in the late 13th century. Today, the green spaces, peaceful lifestyle, and serene lakeside vistas and even the food are all as appealing as they were centuries ago, attracting travelers to come to relax and breathe.
West Lake, the biggest draw of Hangzhou, is an endlessly photogenic oasis of mist-shrouded water crisscrossed with paved causeways lined with lush willows. There are many winding paths around the lake for bikers and strollers to pick, and one can even hop on a small sculling boat for a lovely cruise. Moreover, Hangzhou is a well-known plantation base of Longjing, an exceptionally fine and fragrant type of green tea. Spring is the best time to see the rolling tea plantations and also to experience the profound tea culture by picking tea leaves and watching tea roasting.
Famous around the world for its meticulously landscaped classical gardens, Suzhou is a shiny pearl only half an hour away from Shanghai by bullet train. The city has cultivated a great number of artists, writers, and politicians over the centuries, developing a local culture of refinement, elegance and sophistication.Suzhou is home to some of China's most exquisite gardens, such as the Humble Administrator's Garden, Master of the Nets Garden and Lingering Garden, etc.
Besides, Suzhou is crowned as the Venice of the East since it is blooming with a lot of dreamy water towns like Tongli, Zhouzhuang and Luzhi. These small towns are neatly crisscrossed by canals, along with archaic stone bridges and old merchants’ mansions by tree-lined cobbled streets. Tourists could capture a rare and fascinating insight into a bygone China and enjoy a quiet time there.
As a small city situated in the northern part of Hunan Province, Zhangjiajie might be a little name you've likely never heard of, but Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is an incredible natural wonder one cannot find else in the world. As a by-word for scenery, Zhangjiajie features pillar-like rocks that jut up to the sky, sometimes more than 1000 meters. It is most spectacular when clouds cling to the peak waists, whilst the pinnacle tops roaring up like islands. Such spectacle in this park had inspired the floating mountains Hallelujah in the famous Hollywood movie “Avatar”. A visit to Zhangjiajie is recommended for hikers, adventurers and those seeking a break from urban sightseeing. You will be mind-blogged by all that this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Park has to offer.
Yellow Mountain has been a living landscape ink painting that drawn countless pilgrims and inspired thousands of artists. Displaying the iconic image of jagged peaks entwined in cloud, Yellow Mountain is a natural stunner that tourists could take days to explore.
There are cable cars lifting you up through the valleys of ethereal beauty, while you also can do some hiking along the pine-shaded trails, stay overnight in the summit hotel to witness the glorious sunrise and explore the many peaks as the mists unfurl in the valleys below. At the mountain foot is nestled some poetic traditional villages that are fast-disappearing from modern China. Hongcun and Xidi in particular are two of the most captivating villages in the country, where masterpieces of Hui-style architecture and functional canals and ponds are still kept.
Being a dynamic melting pot of east and west, new and old, Hong Kong is an intriguing Asian destination to wander about. The British-Chinese hybrid distinguishes itself from mainland China with its vibrant, multifaceted culture and glamorous cityscape. Alongside the roaring skyscrapers, high-end restaurants and glittering malls you'll also find age-old markets and rugby pitches, old temples with smoky incense, sandy beaches and fishing villages. Some of the highlights in Hong Kong include the panoramic views over the city’s sprawling high-rises from Victoria Peak, dazzling night show of the Symphony Lights, cheapest shopping at Mongkok, food experience at Temple Street night Market, etc. A world-class transport system MTR will swiftly deliver you beyond the city’s crowded streets and forest of high-rises to quaint villages and fun theme parks. Hong Kong, an international hub, makes a very convenient stopover, and you shall do this amazing city justice for at least a few days' stay.
Nicknamed as the Third Pole of Earth, Tibet is a barely inhabited land with unblemished snow mountains, blue skies and thin air. The incredible altitude makes Tibet a treasure house full of natural and cultural gems. The appeal of Tibet lies in the fervent spiritual devotion of its people and all-consuming influence of Buddhism in their lives. Once you step into Tibet, you will meet pilgrims of all ages who practice their circulations around the sacred temples, holy mountains and lakes. For tourists, there is no reason not to explore the splendid Polata Palace, visit the Jokhang Temple or walk about the Barkhor Street. You can also visit lost-in-time towns such as Gyantse, and have a long drive to approach to the base camp of Mt. Everest.