The Best Places To Visit In China

China is a diverse and vast country, rich in culture, history, and natural charm. Even if you’ve two weeks in China, with plenty to see and do, you may need some help to get the most out of your time.

So, we have curated an itinerary that highlights the finest attractions and experiences China has to offer.

China: The Only Itinerary You Will Ever Need

Also Read : Best Places To Visit In China

15 days China Itinerary :

So, where to go in China?

Presented here is an exceptional 15-day itinerary designed for those seeking to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations and discover the finest attractions in China.

Day 1-2: Discover the Imperial Beijing

Beijing, the vibrant capital of China, offers a wealth of attractions for travelers to explore. Here are some must-visit places during your first two days in the city:

Forbidden City

Begin your Beijing adventure by visiting the awe-inspiring Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover the grandeur of ancient Chinese imperial architecture as you wander through its opulent halls, palaces, and expansive courtyards.

The Forbidden City can be visited throughout the year, but the most excellent time to explore it is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) seasons.

Tiananmen Square

Located adjacent to the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square is one of the world’s largest public squares and a significant historical landmark. Marvel at its vastness and learn about its cultural and political significance.

Lama Temple (Yonghe Temple)

Delve into Beijing’s spiritual side by visiting the magnificent Lama Temple, one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist temples outside of Tibet. Admire its stunning architecture, intricate artwork, and the towering Maitreya Buddha statue.

Wudaoying Hutong

Engage yourself in Beijing’s traditional hutong (narrow alleyway) culture by exploring Wudaoying Hutong. Discover charming shops, cafes, and art galleries nestled within the historic courtyard houses.

Wangfujing Street

A famous shopping district known for its bustling markets and traditional snacks. Stroll along the vibrant pedestrian street, browse through various shops, and sample local delicacies such as candied hawthorn, street-style hotpot, or scorpions on skewers.

 Places To Visit In  China

Where to Stay in Beijing :

The Peninsula Beijing

This luxurious hotel is renowned for its opulence and impeccable service. Located near Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, it offers elegant rooms, a world-class spa, and multiple dining options.

The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing

Situated in the heart of the Central Business District (CBD), The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing offers a sophisticated and upscale experience. Enjoy spacious rooms, an indulgent spa, fine dining restaurants, and a rooftop bar with panoramic city views.

Hotel Eclat Beijing

Known for its artistic flair, Hotel Eclat Beijing is a boutique hotel featuring contemporary design and an impressive art collection. It offers spacious rooms with modern amenities, an on-site art gallery, and a central location in the Parkview Green complex.

Vegetarian Food in Beijing :

For vegetarian dining options in Beijing, explore the Wudaoying Hutong mentioned earlier, as it houses several vegetarian and vegan restaurants.

Additionally, the Gulou area and the Sanlitun neighborhood offer a variety of vegetarian-friendly eateries with delicious plant-based dishes.

Best time to visit Beijing :

Remember to check the best time to visit Beijing, as spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) typically offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds, making it an ideal time for exploring the city’s attractions.

Enjoy your time in Beijing and soak in the rich history, culture, and flavors of this remarkable city.

Day 3: Great Wall of China Adventure

On your third day in Beijing, embark on an awe-inspiring journey to the Great Wall of China, one of the world’s most iconic landmarks. Here’s how you can make the best of your trip:

Start your day by visiting the Great Wall, specifically the Mutianyu section, known for its well-preserved walls and stunning scenery. To reach here, you’ve a few options:

Private Transportation: Consider hiring a private driver or booking a guided tour that includes transportation to and from the Great Wall.

Public Transportation: Take the Beijing Subway to Dongzhimen Station and then transfer to Bus 916 Express to Huairou North Avenue. From there, take a local bus or a taxi to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall.

Once you arrive at the Mutianyu section, take your time to walk along the wall, soak in its rich history, and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Consider walking to the nearby Watchtower 14 for a less crowded experience and incredible vistas.

It’s advisable to start early to avoid crowds and allow ample time for exploration. With a day filled with the majestic Great Wall, cultural shopping experiences, and thrilling adventures, your third day promises to be a memorable and enriching adventure.

Day 4-5: Exploring Datong’s Cultural Heritage

On day 4 and 5 of your itinerary, venture beyond Beijing and journey to Datong, a city in Shanxi province known for its rich cultural heritage.
Yungang Grottoes

Start your day by visiting the renowned Yungang Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage site. These stunning Buddhist cave temples date back to the 5th century.
Huayan Temple

This Buddhist temple, originally constructed during the Liao Dynasty, showcases a fusion of architectural styles and houses exquisite Buddhist artwork and artifacts.
Hanging Temple (Xuankong Temple)

Embark on a unique and awe-inspiring experience by visiting the Hanging Temple, located approximately 65 kilometers from Datong.

Yingxian Wooden Pagoda

This 1,000-year-old wooden pagoda is one of the tallest and oldest surviving wooden structures in China. Admire its remarkable craftsmanship and learn about its cultural significance.

 Places To Visit In  China

How to get to Datong :

Traveling by train from Beijing to Datong is a convenient and popular option for visitors. Here’s some information about the train options:

Overnight Sleeper Trains: Overnight sleeper trains typically depart from Beijing West Railway Station and arrive at Datong Railway Station. The most common overnight sleeper train type is the Z-series train (e.g., Z69, Z89).

Daytime Trains: If you prefer to travel during the day, there are also regular daytime trains available between Beijing and Datong. Daytime trains on this route include D-series trains (e.g., D201, D205) and K-series trains (e.g., K9613, K615).

Top stays in Datong :

Yunzhong Traditional Courtyard

Located near the city center, Yunzhong Traditional Courtyard offers a unique experience in traditional Chinese architecture.

Great Palace Hotel Datong

Situated near the Yungang Grottoes, the Great Palace Hotel Datong provides comfortable accommodations with a blend of modern and traditional design elements.

Day 6-8: Exploring Xi’an’s Cultural Treasures

On days 6, 7, and 8, you will delve into the rich history and cultural treasures of Xi’an, an ancient city that served as the capital of China for many dynasties.
Xi’an City Wall: Start your Xi’an adventure by visiting the iconic Xi’an City Wall. Marvel at the well-preserved wall, watchtowers, and gates that date back to the Ming Dynasty.

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda: Visit the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, a significant Buddhist landmark in Xi’an.
The Drum and Bell Towers: Explore the historic Drum and Bell Towers, located in the city center.

The Muslim Quarter: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Muslim Quarter, a bustling area filled with narrow streets, colorful shops, and delicious street food.

Terracotta Warriors and Horses: Venture outside the city to witness the world-famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses, a remarkable archaeological discovery.

How to Get to Xi’an :

Xi’an is well-connected by train, making it easy to reach various cities in China. The most convenient option for long-distance travel is through G-series trains.

G651, G653, G655, G657, G659, G661, G663, G665, G669, and G671 are G-series trains that run from Beijing West Railway Station to Xi’an North Railway Station.

Where to Stay in Xi’an:

Sofitel Legend Peoples Grand Hotel

Located near the ancient City Wall, this luxury hotel combines modern elegance with classic Chinese architecture.

Hilton Xi’an

Situated in the heart of the city, Hilton Xi’an offers comfortable and stylish accommodations with modern amenities.

Day 9-10: Exploring Chengdu’s Delights

On days 9 and 10, you will immerse yourself in the vibrant city of Chengdu, known for its giant pandas, culinary delights, and cultural attractions.
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Start your day by visiting the renowned Chengdu Panda Reserve, a must-see attraction for animal lovers. Observe these adorable creatures in their natural habitat, learn about conservation efforts, and even have the opportunity to participate in panda volunteer programs.

Don’t miss the chance to see baby pandas and witness their playful antics.

Explore Chunxi Road (Chunxi Lu)

After your panda encounter, head to Chunxi Road, one of Chengdu’s most bustling shopping streets. Explore the vibrant mix of modern shopping malls, boutique stores, and local boutiques.

Explore Chengdu’s Cultural Scene

Visit Jinli Ancient Street, a bustling pedestrian street lined with traditional-style buildings, local snacks, and handicraft shops. Engage yourself in the lively ambiance and engage in an authentic cultural encounter.

Dujiangyan Panda Base

Visit Dujiangyan Panda Base

The Dujiangyan Panda Base is a renowned panda research and conservation center located in Dujiangyan, near Chengdu in Sichuan province, China. Visit the site to observe pandas up close and learn about their behavior, habitat, and conservation efforts.

Places To Visit In China

How to Get to Chengdu?

Chengdu is well-connected and easily accessible by both air and train.

By Air – Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is a major transportation hub with numerous domestic and international flights. Direct flights are available from major cities in China, as well as from many international destinations.

By Train – Chengdu is served by several train stations, including Chengdu East Railway Station and Chengdu North Railway Station.

High-speed trains connect Chengdu to other major cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi’an. The journey durations vary depending on the specific route.
Where to Stay in Chengdu

The Temple House: Located in the heart of Chengdu’s bustling Jinjiang district, The Temple House is a luxury hotel that combines contemporary design with traditional Chengdu architecture.

Niccolo Chengdu: Situated in the upscale Chunxi Road commercial area, Niccolo Chengdu is a modern luxury hotel with stunning city views.

Day 11-12: Exploring Longji Rice Terrace

On days 11 and 12, venture to the breathtaking Longji Rice Terrace, a scenic region in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region known for its spectacular rice terraces and ethnic minority villages.

Longji Rice Terrace

Marvel at the intricate terraced fields that cascade down the hillsides, creating a stunning landscape. Take your time to explore the different viewing platforms and walk along the trails that wind through the terraces.
Ethnic Minority Villages

Visit the traditional villages nestled within the rice terraces, such as Ping’an or Dazhai.
Local Cuisine

Sample the local cuisine, which features specialties such as bamboo rice, bamboo shoots, and locally sourced tea.

Where to Stay in Ping’an :

Longji One Art Hotel

Located in Ping’an, the hotel combines traditional architecture with modern amenities and provides a peaceful atmosphere.

Longji Star-Wish Resort

Nestled in the heart of the rice terraces, this resort offers traditional-style rooms and beautiful panoramic views.

Day 13: Exploring Guilin’s Highlights

On day 13, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the natural beauty and iconic landmarks of Guilin.

Sun and Moon Towers (Shanhu and Yanghu): These twin pagodas are located on the lakeshore, offering panoramic views of Guilin’s picturesque landscape. Climb to the top of the towers for breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding mountains.

Elephant Trunk Hill (Xiangbi Shan): Next, visit the Elephant Trunk Hill, one of Guilin’s most famous landmarks. This unique rock formation resembles an elephant drinking water from the Li River, hence its name.

Where to Stay in Guilin :

Staying in the city center provides convenient access to major attractions, shopping areas, and dining options. You’ll find a variety of hotels in different price ranges, from luxury to budget, in this area.

Day 14: Exploring Detian Waterfall

On day 14, embark on an unforgettable adventure to Detian Waterfall, one of the most breathtaking natural wonders in Asia. With its powerful cascades and stunning natural setting, the waterfall offers a captivating spectacle.

As you approach the waterfall, you’ll be enchanted by the thunderous sound of water and the misty spray that fills the air.

Day 15: Exploring Yangshuo’s Scenic Beauty

On day 15, get ready to immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes of Yangshuo, a charming town in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. With its stunning karst mountains, tranquil rivers, and idyllic countryside, Yangshuo offers a serene and enchanting experience.

Li River Cruise

One of the most iconic activities in Yangshuo. Hop on a boat and sail along the crystal-clear waters, surrounded by the breathtaking karst mountains that rise majestically from the riverbanks.

Yangshuo Countryside

After the Li River cruise, venture into the Yangshuo countryside to experience the rural charm and natural beauty. Rent a bicycle or join a guided tour to explore the meandering country roads.

Top Stays in Yangshuo :

Banyan Tree Yangshuo, highly recommended for their quality, service, and memorable experiences, is a luxury resort offering stunning villas with private pools and panoramic views of the karst mountains.

Surrounded by lush greenery, it provides a tranquil and indulgent retreat with exceptional amenities and personalized service.

Another great option to consider is Yangshuo Mountain Retreat, situated along the Yulong River.

Best Times for a Panda Tour :

Spring (March to May) is a favorable time to visit pandas as the weather is generally mild and pleasant. The vegetation is lush, and pandas may be more active. It’s also the breeding season for pandas, so you may have the opportunity to see cute panda cubs.

Autumn is another popular season for a panda tour. The weather is generally comfortable, and the landscapes are adorned with vibrant autumn colors. Pandas may be more active during this time, making it a great opportunity to observe their behavior.

It’s advisable to avoid the peak summer (June to August) and winter (December to February) seasons.

It’s also important to note that panda behavior can vary, and each panda base may have its own guidelines and restrictions for visitor access.

For a Deeper Panda Experience:

For a deeper panda experience, consider incorporating the following suggestions into your panda tour

Volunteer Programs

Many panda bases offer volunteer programs where you can actively participate in panda care activities. This can include feeding pandas, cleaning enclosures, and assisting with research.

Panda Keeper Programs

Some panda bases provide exclusive opportunities to become a “panda keeper” for a day. This immersive experience allows you to shadow a panda keeper, learn about their daily routines, and get hands-on with panda care.

It’s a unique chance to closely interact with pandas and gain deeper insights into their conservation.

Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Inquire about behind-the-scenes tours at the panda bases. These tours take you to areas not accessible to regular visitors, giving you a glimpse into the inner workings of the facility, research efforts, and panda conservation initiatives.
Extended Stays

Instead of a short visit, consider an extended stay at a panda base or reserve. Some facilities offer programs where you can spend several days or weeks volunteering or participating in research activities.

Research and Education Programs

Some panda bases offer research and education programs for those interested in studying pandas or learning more about their biology, behavior, and conservation.

Remember to inquire about these additional experiences when contacting the panda bases or when booking your tour.

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