At first glance, China seems like home to bamboo forests, vibrant cities, and centuries of ancient history, but there’s more to the country than meets the eye. There are mountainous valleys, shimmering lakes, lively shopping streets, and tantalizing food markets. There is more than enough to do and see to ensure a memorable trip in China. But if you need more convincing, here are 6 reasons you should not miss out on a visit to China.
1. Chinese Food is Incredible
From succulent steamed pork buns to mouth-numbing noodles, China is known for its spectacular cuisine. You’ll have a wide range of eateries to choose from, including five-star restaurants and cheap street food stalls. There are plenty of diverse dishes to try, each more delicious than the last.
The different provinces throughout the country all serve their own unique specialties. In Beijing, you can try Peking Duck with sweet plum jam and thin rice crepes. If you’re in Shanghai, you must spend the afternoon sampling different dumplings and sweet treats, otherwise known as Dim Sum. To kick it up a notch, try cooking your own meats and veggies in an unbelievably spicy hot pot broth in Sichuan.
2. Ancient Landmarks
As one of the oldest countries in the world, it’s no surprise that China is dotted with ancient landmarks and historical sites. Many of these landmarks have stood the test of time and shed a rare glimpse into what life was like thousands of years ago.
Beijing is one of the best cities for sightseeing. Not only is it home to the Great Wall of China, but it also has the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, and the Temple of Heaven. Venture further south, and you’ll get to see the amazing Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an. Finally, head to the Yunnan province to see the majestic Three Pagodas that date back to the 9th century.
3. It’s Both Modern and Traditional
There are very few places in the world where you’ll see towering skyscrapers situated next to old temples and pagodas. However, China manages to seamlessly blend centuries of ancient tradition with fast-growing industrialization.
Spend your days among the visual art display of ancient beliefs, all the while not missing out on the luxuries of modern developments. In China, you have got the best of both worlds.
4. The Landscapes are Other-Worldly
Although many people travel to China to explore the big cities, it’s worth escaping to the countryside to soak in the country’s natural beauty. China’s landscape is extremely diverse and has everything from snow-capped mountains and limestone peaks to tropical rainforests and white sandy beaches.
If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, head to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park to see the quartzite-sandstone rocks that inspired the blockbuster hit, Avatar. You can also visit the Gobi Desert, which is the fifth-largest desert in the world. For some peace and quiet, take a cruise down Asia’s longest river, the Yangtze River, for an unforgettable journey.
5. You Can Shop till You Drop
China is every shopaholic’s paradise. From souvenirs to gadgets, clothing and every product under the sun available for purchase, the country will not disappoint. Not to mention, it is a great place to score some fantastic deals on products you can’t find anywhere else.
Whether you’re looking for custom-tailored suits, hand-painted ceramics, or freshly picked tea leaves, China is guaranteed to have a shop or market that sparks your interest. China is also known for its knock-off markets, where you can purchase counterfeit handbags, designer luggage, and even fake iPhones and laptops! It’s truly a shopper’s paradise!
6. Friendly People and Locals
It is not difficult to meet local people in China. As one of the most populous countries in the world, you are bound to meet locals at every step of the way (literally!). The good thing is that they are very friendly, helpful and generous. From just chatting up with foreigners, helping figure out the metro lines and directions, to inviting foreigners for drinks and dinners is natural for the Chinese people. For this reason, you should feel comfortable exploring the country at length and asking the hospitable locals for help when in trouble.
If the above list has inspired you to plan a trip to China, don’t be overwhelmed by the size of the country. Start off with a short visit, which is enough to leave a lasting impression for years to come. The rest of the trips to discover more of China is guaranteed to follow shortly.