Top 4 Tourist Destinations in China

China, a large tourist country, boast numerous attractions, from historical sites, cultural sites to scenic sites. From the overwhelming Forbidden City and world-renowned Great Wall in Beijing, impressive Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Xian, the breathtaking Li River in Guilin, prosperous Bund in metropolitan Shanghai, majestic Yangtze River, to captivating water-town in Suzhou.

visit the Great Wall and Forbidden City in Beijing, view the Terracotta Army in Xi’an, and see the Shanghai skyline and enjoy stunning scenery in Guilin

1. Beijing — Ancient and Modern Capital, The capital and cultural centre of China

The Forbidden City and the Imperial Palace, Beijing
The Forbidden City and the Imperial Palace, Beijing
  • Great Wall
  • Top 10 Tourist Cities in China - Beijing
    Great Wall in Beijig, China
  • The Great Wall of China
    The Great Wall of China

Beijing, China’s capital city for over 700 years, is rich in history, both ancient and modern. There are many palace complexes in Beijing, as well as super-modern buildings. Most recommended attractions:

  • Forbidden City – the profound Chinese imperial system made Beijing serious and magnificent. The palaces served for emperors and imperial officials will tell people more stories in the past time.
  • Great Wall of China – which is another culture in Beijing. Each brick of the great wall may tell you a story. Some are happy, some are sad. So Great Wall is a book wrote by Chinese people’s souls and spirits.

“Nobody can be a true hero unless he has been on the Great Wall” goes the popular saying, one that clearly demonstrates the importance that the Chinese place upon this unique ancient monument. The magnificent Great Wall of China – known in Chinese as Changcheng, or the Long Wall – stretches more than 6,000 kilometers from the fortresses of Shanhaiguan in the east to Jiayuguan in the west, passing through Hebei, Tientsin, Beijing – where the best preserved section of the wall can be visited – Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, and Gansu along the way. Averaging six to eight meters in height but rising as high as 16 meters in places, and wide enough for cavalry to pass, the wall boasts numerous battlements and watchtowers, some dating back as far as the 7th century BC, with the best-known areas added around 210 BC when its various sections were joined. Today, the most visited section of the wall is near Badaling Pass northwest of Beijing, easily reached by public transport or organized tours. Other restored sections worth a visit include the section near Gubeikou, 130 kilometers from Beijing, and in Mutianyu, just 70 kilometers northeast of Beijing.

China’s largest and most important building, the Forbidden City – also known as the Imperial Palace – is in the heart of Beijing and is a must-see when visiting the country. Started during the Yuan Dynasty between 1271-1368, much of the complex seen today (it’s really many splendid palaces in one) was built between 1406 and 1420 as the residence of 24 Ming and Qing Emperors, whose presence forbade the entry of anyone other than the imperial family and their courtesans. Covering some 720,000 square meters and protected by a 10-meter-high wall with watchtowers and a wide moat, this massive complex consists of areas set aside for ceremonial and administrative purposes, as well as a private residence used by the emperor. While it can take many hours to see everything, highlights include the five white marble Golden River Bridges; the Hall of Supreme Harmony, a 35-meter-tall building housing the imperial throne; and the exquisite emperor’s banquet hall (the Hall of Preserving Harmony), to name but a few.

2. Xi’an — a Window on China’s Ancient Civilization, Home of the Terracotta Warriors

  • Terracotta Warriors
  • Top 10 Tourist Cities in China - Xi'an
  • The Terracotta Army
    The Terracotta Army

Xi’an was the first capital of a united China in 221 BC (the Qin Dynasty). Thus Xi’an is blessed with a great number of precious relics and historical sites. Xian is the most famous ancient capital in China. With the former name Chang’an, this city served as the capital of Tang Dynasty, the most prosperous dynasty in China’s history. The prosperous Tang Dynasty had left numerous relics in Xi’an. The start of Silk Road, a symbol to trace back the prosperity and the achievement in trade. Most recommended attractions:

  • Terracotta Army – one of the eight wonders in modern world, is a door for peole to get back to the Tang Dynasty.
  • Xian City Wall – is the relics preserved since Tang Dynasty. in ancient time, each city of China built city wall to protect the city away from invasion.

Xi’an was also the starting point of the Silk Road, an ancient trade route that extended from Asia to Europe and played an important role in economic and cultural exchange between the East and the West in ancient times.

It was while digging wells on the outskirts of Xi’an in the 1970s that farmers stumbled across what was undoubtedly China’s most important archeological find: the Terracotta Army. Distributed over three large underground pits and built to guard the First Emperor’s tomb were more than 8,000 life-size warriors, some 520 horses, and more than 100 chariots, along with numerous other non-military characters dating from around 280 BC. Although some were severely damaged due to the passing of time, many of the statues unearthed have been painstakingly re-assembled and stand as testament to the importance bestowed upon the emperor and the afterlife. The site – part of the Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum Site Park – is one of China’s most important tourist destinations and offers the unforgettable experience of standing in front of this assembly of soldiers and horses as if inspecting a centuries-old parade.

3. Shanghai — China’s Prosperous Largest City, The largest city, famed for its riverside cityscape

  • Shanghai Bund
  • Top 10 Tourist Cities in China - Shanghai
  • Shanghai's Promenade: The Bund
    Shanghai’s Promenade: The Bund

Shanghai, China’s biggest city. As one of the world’s leading economic and business cities, Shanghai’s modernity is evidenced by the ambitious skyline. Shanghai is located halfway down China’s mainland coastline, where the Yangtze River empties into the sea. An important comprehensive industrial base and harbor. Most recommended attractions: ,

  • The Bund which will be a must-see place. When walking along the Bund at night, the charm of Shanghai will immediately attract you. It is a fantastic metropolis mixed the ancient and the modern tastes together.
  • To the west of Shanghai is Suzhou, a city famous for the gardens.

Unlike Beijing, there are not many famous tourist attractions in Shanghai. However, the beauty of visiting Shanghai lies not in scurrying from site to site but in the feel of the city’s modern atmosphere.

A remarkable act of smart city planning and preservation can be seen in Shanghai’s splendid riverside promenade, the Zhongshan Lu or, as it’s perhaps better known, the Bund (Wàit?n). As you stroll this wide pedestrian zone along the Huangpu Jiang River, you’ll almost forget you’re bang-smack in the middle of China’s largest city (Shanghai’s population exceeds 25 million people). Famous for its European feel, a fact owed to the district’s past as the location of the city’s International Settlement, the Bund is popular for its 52 preserved English and French influenced buildings, many now restaurants, cafés, stores, and galleries. Representing a variety of influences from Gothic to Renaissance styles – including a number of Art Deco buildings – the architecture includes highlights such as the old harbor customs office with its bell tower and the majestic Peace Hotel. For the best views of the Bund, visit the 468-meter Oriental Pearl Tower on the opposite bank of the Huangpu Jiang River.

4. Guilin — China’s Top Karst Landscape, Scenic city with sensational mountain and river scenery

Li River

Top 10 Tourist Cities in China - Guilin

Cruising the Li River
Cruising the Li River

Guilin, with its marvelous limestone scenery, is renowned as one of the most beautiful places on earth. During his visit, former US President Nixon was inspired by Guilin’s picturesque natural scenery and remarked: “I have visited more than eighty countries and over a hundred cities. I have found that no city can surpass the beauty of Guilin.” Most recommended attractions:

  • Li River – world’s famous river from Guilin to Yangshuo, includes the most charming sites of Guilin.
  • Yangshuo West Street – would be a good choice to spend your nightlife in Guilin.
  • Longji Rice Terraces – which is a magnificent scene to show the intaligence of human. The field is planted along the mountain ridge

If you plan to savor the most beautiful natural scenery in China, you should pay a visit to Guilin. With the unique Karst geography, Guilin just looks like young lady that quietly sitting on the northern China.
The town of Guilin, in the northeast corner of Guangxi, boasts some of China’s most beautiful countryside and is famous for the crystal-clear rivers that meander through the town and its ring of mountains. While for hundreds of years this unique scenery has attracted poets and artists and has been the subject of countless fairy tales and legends, these days it’s inundated with tourists from around the world wanting to see this natural splendor up close. The best way to enjoy the area is to take a boat trip along the Li River. The most popular stretch is from Guilin to Yangshuo where the river meanders peacefully through some 80 kilometers of beautiful bamboo forests, dense reed-beds, and remarkable rock formations and caves with romantic names such as the Mount of Unique Beauty, Elephant Trunk Hill, and Reed Flute Cave. Depending upon the type of boat used – you can choose from small punts to larger multi-passenger riverboats – trips can take anywhere from a few hours to multiple days.