The Best Places to Travel in China

The Best Places to Travel in China
China is immense, both geographically and historically, and offers many opportunities for story-telling for the curious traveler. Whether inspecting the battalion of terracotta warriors in Xi'an, hiking through small ethnic villages near Kunming or riding a boat downstream through the Karst Mountains of Guilin, travelers will find there is much to discover in China.
 

Beijing

Travel first to the capital of Beijing. Dripping with history, visitors could spend weeks exploring Beijing in detail. For starters, try not to gape in awe while viewing the Palace Museum, otherwise known as the Forbidden City and a deserved UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just south of there, visitors will find Tian'anmen Square, a major gathering point for citizens and the site of major political protests most notable in 1989 and resulting in the death of numerous activists. Another UNESCO site is the Taoist Temple of Heaven, the most famous of the city's religious sites. Though tour buses are common, Beijing is pedestrian and bicycle-friendly, and these methods of transportation are a healthier, more environmentally friendly way to discover the capital. Lastly, a walk along the Great Wall of China is a must. The nearest section can be found in Badaling, 50 miles from Beijing.

The Palace Museum
011 (+86) 10 6513 2255
www.dpm.org.cn/

 
 

Tibet

Scale the Himalayas to explore the former kingdom of Tibet. Now under China's jurisdiction, Tibet is an ideal place to combine a tour of stunning natural scenery with rich cultural surroundings. Unsurpassed opportunities for hiking and back- country camping offer visitors the chance to commune with nature at extremely high elevations. Sites to consider include Mount Everest, Yamdrok tso Lake and the Yarlung Tsangpo Valley. A visit to the regional capital of Llasa will find heaps of visitors gawking at the Potala Palace, the former residence of the Dalai Lama, Just outside Llasa, a visit to the fabled Sera Monastery also would be appropriate.

Tibet Tourism Bureau
No. 3 North Lingka Road
Llasa, Tibet China
011 (+86) 89 1683 4315
www.xzta.gov.cn/yww/

Urumqi

Trek to the far northwest of China, and visit the remote city of Urumqi. Rarely visited by tourists due to its distant location, Urumqi is a remarkable contrast to much of the country and a good base to explore the Xinjiang region. Noted as the city furthest from any sea, excursions into the Taklamakan Desert and Tian Shan mountains provide rugged, isolated hiking and camping. If you're looking for isolation, the natural areas outside of the city will provide as much as you can handle. Sites include Tianchi Lake, the dunes of the Taklamakan Desert and the lost city of Urabo. Within Urumqi, the most popular attraction is Xinjiang Regional Museum. This extraordinary collection includes exhibits on the area's numerous ethnic groups including the Uighurs, Kazakhs, Kirghiz, Manchus and Russians. Of particular note, the museum is the resting place of several mummies, a few with distinctly European features, including the famed Loulan Beauty.

Xinjiang Regional Museum
Xibei Road #132
Urumchi
Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region
China
011 (+86) 99 1451 0413
www.chinamuseums.com/xinjiang.htm

 

Article Written By Mike Biscoe

Mike Biscoe has been writing since 2009. Focusing on travel, sports and entertainment topics, he has credits in various online publications including LIVESTRONG.COM and Trails. He often writes articles covering uncommon travel destinations from firsthand experience. Biscoe holds a Certificate of Completion in acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

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