- Skip the overcrowded Badaling Section of the Great Wall and travel further to The Mutianyu Section. It can be easily accessed from Beijing and you can also visit the Ming Tombs during the same day trip.
- Go to Yangshuo, a small town near Guilin and see the Karst Mountains. They are beautiful and are also featured on the 20 Renminbi note.
- Explore Lijiang on a bicycle
- Enjoy nature in Jiuzhaigou Valley , famous for the lakes and multi-level waterfalls.
- Visit Pingyao, Shanxi, a quaint Ming Dynasty era city. The City Wall is unrestored, yet incredible.
- Visit the Labrang Monastery (the largest Tibetan Monastery outside of Lhasa) in Xiahe, Gansu.
- See Luoyang, Henan, with its oldest Buddhist temple in the country.
Why you should add China to your RTW travel listOf course, visiting China won’t be complete without seeing some of the major sights that makes it famous. Here are some ideas on what to do if you’ve never been there or plan on staying for a while.
- The Forbidden City is one of Beijing’s landmarks. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was the imperial seat for Ming and Qing dynasty emperors from 1420 until 1912.
- Visit the Great Wall. The most popular (and touristy) part of the wall is the Badaling Section, easy to reach from Beijing.
- See The Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an. The warriors have individually unique faces and they are dressed according to the rank.
- Drink green tea in Hangzhou . Explore the green city and its historical sights.
- Visit the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.
- See the Giant Pandas in Chengdu.
- See the architecture on The Bund, Shanghai.
- See modern China in Hong Kong.
- Try the traditional food from as many provinces as you can.
Why you shouldn’t add China to your RTW travel list
- Visiting China’s major cities can be overwhelming and hard on your body; the noise , the pollution and the massive crowds aren’t for everybody.
- Open your mind to accept a new culture. The personal boundaries (i.e. personal space) are not as we know them in the West. Embrace the differences or you’ll feel unwelcomed.
- It can be very hot, yet it also can be really cold. Choose the time when you travel carefully. Autumn and Spring are excellent choices (September, October, April and May).
China is a paradox. On the one hand it is a rapidly developing industrial nation with a booming economy. On the other hand it is still a poor country with villagers getting by through picking rice barefooted in the fields. The contrast between the new China and the traditional China has never been more obvious. It makes for a fascinating travel experience.
What to do
China has embraced tourism in recent years and with the 2008 Olympic in Beijing the country is throwing open the doors to travelers from around the world. Travel in China can offer both its pleasures and its pains. The country's cities - especially those away from the beaten down tourist path - are fascinating to explore. They can also wear on your body with their massive numbers of people, noise and pollution. Do yourself a favor by taking some time to explore the countryside and the villages. Life is tranquil in China; you just need to look hard to find the tranquility.
Where to stay
The best way to learn about a country is to go there. The second best way is to learn from those who have been there. Our member submitted travel stories offer up all kinds of useful information about China and there is a veritable gold mine of information in the members forums.
Finally, if you would like to travel with others or experience an adventure tour in China, check out our adventure trips.