This is my top 5 of interesting cities to visit in China. I have visited them all myself and I can vouch they are all great. I ranked them in the way I perceive most people will like them, but I have to say probably the ones I have enjoyed the most are Beijing and Lijiang, just a matter of personal taste. 😉
1) Beijing — history and modernity, a must-see
Beijing is one of the world’s great ancient capitals, the modern era capital of China, Beijing is a must-see tourist spot no matter how you look at it because it is home to many of the finest icons of China’s imperial and recent past.
If you only have one day make sure you set foot on the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and eat roast Peking duck at one of the famous restaurants.
With a bit more time, the Temple of Heaven and its park will transport you deeper into the culture of China, along with a tour of the Hutongs and the Summer Palace.
2) Xi’an — discover China’s ancient history, all about Terracotta really
Next, you should discover where the whole nation of China really began. Visit Xi’an, where First Emperor Qin ruled from the first capital of a united China. See his grand Terracotta Army.
Xi’an is an excellent place to experience something of the pre-Beijing dynasties. Enjoy a Tang Dynasty banquet and show, and see temples, a mosque, pagodas, and towers that are more than 1,000 years old.
A stroll along Pudong at night. 🙂 Not quite the same.
4) Guilin — Awesome scenery and mountains
Guilin has some of China’s most famous scenery: karst peaks combine sublimely with the Li River.
Also, cycle around the idyllic countryside in Yangshuo, and visit Longsheng to see the rice terraces and long-haired Yao minority women.
5) Chengdu — Spicy food, culture, and pandas!
Chengdu’s giant pandas are for many the icing on the cake, the finishing touch to a China must-do list. In this laid back city, you can take part in a giant panda volunteer program, see cultural landmarks, and try spicy Sichuan hotpot.
I have talked about Lijiang and Dali extensively in this blog. Those who visit China with plenty of time to spare absolutely must visit this incredible province. Those with a “hippie” soul will fall in love with this place =