China has one of the largest land area of any country in the world, and also an incredibly vast geographical and cultural diversity. If you’re planning to visit China, the choices available can be mind boggling!
U China Travel has divided China to 9 main regions, each with its own unique experiences. Here’s a brief overview of what you can look forward to in each region.
Beijing and Surroundings
Perhaps one of the first areas any visitor to China would first visit, Beijing and its surroundings is home to many significant cultural landmarks in China. Tourism has taken off well in Beijing, the capital of China, and a seasoned guide will help you navigate the crowds and tourist traps.
, such as the Great Wall of China, Forbidden City and Summer Palace, are within or of close proximity of Beijing city.
Xian, Henan and Shanxi Province
With Beijing close by, these regions are also favoured by international travellers looking for a good mix of nature and cultural sights. Many of these cities have played an important role in China’s long history.
This area is perfect for history and cultural buffs, who would love to visit magnificent landmarks such as Xian’s terracotta warriors, Datong’s Yungang Grottoes, the ancient town of Pingyao and religious sites of Mount Wutai.
Shanghai, Anhui and Southeast China
Shanghai is the largest city in China, and like Beijing, also sees a frequent flow of international and domestic visitors. For those who love a cosmopolitan holiday, with dazzling city sights and retail opportunities, Shanghai is the place to be.
If you need a break from the crowds, you can easily visit Huangshan for its majestic mountain views, Hangzhou for the tranquil views of the West Lake or Suzhou for its zen-like imperial gardens. These places are deserving of their title as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Guangxi, Guangzhou, Fujian, Guizhou, Hong Kong and Macau
There are only 2 Special Administrative Regions (SAR) in China and they are located in this region of South China. Hong Kong and Macau are unique in China because of their history, and have Cantonese as their dominant language, instead of Mandarin like most of China.
The southern part of China is a unique mix of cities and landscapes. Urbanites are bound to love Hong Kong and Macau for the glitz they have to offer, whereas cities like Guiyang and Guilin offer more for cultural and nature lovers.
Yunnan Autonomous Region
Yunnan is situated in a mountainous area, with Kunming as its capital. It is home to many indigenous tribes of China, each with their own local customs and language.
Yunnan retains much of its old world charm, with modern conveniences. A visit to the ancient towns of Lijiang and Dali is usually a memorable experience for travellers, and you can also earn bragging rights by visiting the city of Shangri-la. The first bend of Yangtze River can be seen from a vantage point near Lijiang, when the river makes an amazing 90 degree turn.
Yangtze River, Panda Region, Hunan and Hubei Province
The Yangtze River is the 3rd longest river in the world, and has been the lifeline of many settlements in China. Take a cruise along the river and take in the scenic views.
If you love pandas, the Giant Panda Research Base near Chengdu is a must visit. If you love mountainous views and cascading waterfalls, then consider Zhangjiajie, Mt Emei and Jiuzhaigou instead. This region is perfect for those who enjoy nature.
Tibet and Qinghai Autonomous Region
Immerse in a unique region of China in Tibet and Qinghai. With sweeping landscape views and Tibetan-influenced monasteries dotted across the land, this region presents breathtaking views found no where else in the world.
For the ones who prefer the road less travelled, consider this region.
Silk Road, Xinjiang Autonomous Region and Gansu Province
The silk road takes travellers along an ancient journey. The cities along Silk Road have much historical value to offer, as do the incredible elements of nature.
Be at awe as you listen to the singing sand dunes at deserts of Ming Sha San and take in the multi-coloured sights of the Danxia Landforms in Zhang Ye. A journey along the Silk Road can be a life-changing one.
Beyond Great Wall
Northeast China has one of the harshest winters, but that has not stopped its citizen from turning that into an opportunity. Harbin is well-known for its winter tourism and ice sculpture festivals around the world, earning itself the name of Ice City.
If ice sculptures are not your thing, you can choose to take a ride on the wild side at Inner Mongolia. Experience activities such as horse-riding or learn about the history of Genghis Khan. Travel beyond the Great Wall is unlike any other.