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Things to do in China

Things to do in  China

Welcome to China

China, the king of Asia, is simultaneously ancient and futuristic; rural and metropolitan; traditional and cosmopolitan. In a land of paradoxes, culture and cuisine project a distinct identity enhanced by vast landscapes and iconic landmarks. Tick off a New Seven Wonder of the World at the Great Wall of China; soak up Hong Kong's unique island culture; and immerse yourself in attractions such as the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, and Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of the endangered species. Each city, be it Shanghai, Beijing, or Xi'an, offers fine food, lively entertainment, and rich history.

Top 15 attractions in China

Forbidden City (Palace Museum)

The Forbidden City, or Palace Museum, is the world’s largest palace complex, with more than 800 buildings and some 8,000 rooms set in the heart of Beijing. Deemed off-limits to visitors for some five centuries, today this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the city’s most popular attractions.More

Ngong Ping 360

The Ngong Ping 360 connects Tung Chung to Ngong Ping plateau, home to the iconic Big Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, and Ngong Ping Village. Opened in 2006, the cable car provides easy access to the hillside attractions, and its views of Lantau Island and beyond have made the gondola journey itself a tourist attraction in its own right.More

Mutianyu Great Wall

The Mutianyu Great Wall was fully restored in the 1980s as an alternative to the increasingly popular Badaling section of the Great Wall of China. The Mutianyu section is farther away from Beijing (about an hour and a half by car) than more popular sections, but it's also significantly less busy and features some fun, modern amusements, such as a cable car, chairlift, and toboggan. The long, flat segment—the longest fully restored section open to travelers—winds along heavily forested hilltops with 23 ancient watchtowers dotting the landscape.More

Yuyuan Garden (Yu Garden)

Dating from the Ming Dynasty, Yuyuan Garden—or simply, Yu Garden—in the middle of the Old Town (Nanshi) Shanghai, is one of China’s best-preserved classical gardens. Covering an area of 5 acres (2 hectares), Yuyuan Garden is known for its beautiful scenery, elegant layout, and delightful pavilions, pagodas, pools, bridges, and rockeries.More

Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang)

Tiananmen Square, the world’s largest public plaza, has always been a symbol of Mao’s epic Communist project—and resistance to it. Despite its bleak history, the site of the 1989 massacre is today a bustling place, often teeming with tourists and local kids flying kites.More

Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha)

Lantau Island’s Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha) is a huge bronze seated Buddha at 112 feet (34 meters) tall. The statue is a popular pilgrimage site for travelers from Asia and around the globe who climb the 268 steps leading to its base for panoramic views of the South China Sea.More

Tai O

The fishing village of Tai O, located on the western coast of Lantau Island, is known for its traditional culture and seafaring way of life. Once a bustling trade port, the village features stilt houses, seafood markets, and graded buildings that provide insight into a Hong Kong of the past, while its street food, cafes, and wildlife-watching boat tours keep it a popular destination today.More

Victoria Peak (The Peak)

Overlooking the Central district on Hong Kong Island, Victoria Peak (The Peak) is one of the best vantage points for top views of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong’s skyscrapers. Rising 1,810 feet (552 meters), the mountain is topped with a 360-degree Sky Terrace viewing platform and the Peak Tower complex of shops and restaurants. There’s also a network of nature trails through lush tropical forests.More

Victoria Harbour

Dividing Hong Kong Island from Kowloon, Victoria Harbour has long been the lifeblood of the city. It is from these waters—often teeming with a motley mix of traditional and modern vessels—that the city’s twin skylines are best viewed. The harbor is historically responsible for the city that surrounds it as well; its deep and sheltered waters situated strategically on the South China Sea have directly contributed to Hong Kong’s rise as a major world trading center.More

The Bund (Waitan)

The Bund (Waitan) refers to Shanghai’s iconic waterfront strip, which runs for 1 mile (1.5 kilometers) along the west shore of the Huangpu River. Renowned for its extensive collection of colonial-era buildings, there’s also pedestrian-friendly promenade perfect for strolling, which offers stunning views of both the Bund and Pudong.More

Terracotta Warriors Museum (Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum)

The 1974 discovery of thousands of life-sized Terracotta Warriors near Xian was one of the archeological sensations of the 20th century. The figures date from 210 BC and were meant to guard the first emperor of China in the afterlife. Today the UNESCO-listed Terracotta Warriors Museum (Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum) ranks among China’s top attractions.More

Sheung Wan

Located just west of Central, Sheung Wan is one of the hippest districts in Hong Kong. One of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, Sheung Wan is a vibrant mix of trendy coffee shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, boutiques, antique shops, art galleries, and creative spaces, as well as more traditional shops, markets, and temples.More

Man Mo Temple

One of the oldest and most famous temples in Hong Kong, Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan isdedicated to Man Cheong, god of literature, and Mo Tai, god of war. A mainstay of the community, this Taoist and Buddhist temple reflects social and religious practices in Hong Kong and offers a respite to the hustle and bustle of the city.More

Canton Tower

Guangzhou’s loftiest and most impressive skyscraper, the vertiginous Canton Tower is one of the tallest buildings on Earth and Guangzhou’s most notable structure. Unveiled in time for the 2010 Asian Games, the freestanding structure is known for its slim shape, its outdoor observation decks, and the rainbow lights it sports after dark.More

Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)

In 1750, the grand Summer Palace was commissioned by Emperor Qianlong as a lavish lakeside retreat from the heat of Beijing. With pavilions, walkways, gardens, and bridges, the UNESCO World Heritage site on Kunming Lake served as the seat of government for Empress Dowager Cixi during the last years of her life.More
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All about China

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People Also Ask

What is China known for?

One of the world’s most ancient civilizations, China is known for its monumental wonders (the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and Terracotta Warriors), megacities (Beijing and Shanghai), and natural beauty (Huangshan, the karst landscape of Guilin, and the floating mountains of Zhangjiajie). It’s also known for its food and drink, martial arts, giant pandas, and temples.

How many days do you need in China?

China is a huge country, and it would be impossible to see it all in one trip. That said, two weeks is a good amount of time to see top highlights such as Beijing and the Great Wall, Shanghai, Xi’an and the Terracotta Warriors, and a few other cities and attractions, such as Guilin, Hangzhou, Chengdu, and Huangshan.

What is the number one tourist attraction in China?

Beijing is the top tourist attraction in China. The capital of China is home to popular tourist attractions like the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Summer Palace. Just outside of Beijing is the Great Wall, which is another top tourist attraction. Other popular attractions include Shanghai and the Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an.

Which cities should I visit in China?

As the ancient and modern capital of China, and home to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, Beijing should make it to the top of the list. Modern and cosmopolitan Shanghai is another good option. Visit Xi’an for the Terracotta Warriors, Hangzhou for West Lake, Chengdu for the giant pandas, and Guilin for its beautiful karst landscape.

What are some cultural activities in China?

Visit the Forbidden City, Great Wall, and Terracotta Warriors. Experience tea culture, learn how to cook Chinese food, try tai chi and kung fu, try your hand at Chinese painting and calligraphy, watch a Chinese opera, and celebrate festivals such as the Lunar New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival.

How safe is it in China?

China is generally quite safe, though petty theft and pickpocketing can happen (especially in crowded markets and at popular tourist attractions) as well as scams. Take general precautions: Be aware of your surroundings, keep an eye on possessions, and be extra careful at night. Avoid unlicensed taxis and road travel in general.


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