1. BEIJING - Capital of China
As the capital of China for more than 700 years, Beijing has a rich history and culture to show the foreign travlers. Beijing is home to some of the finest remnants of China's imperial past, most famously the Great Wall of China, China's legendary line of defense; the Forbidden City, the largest and best-preserved ancient imperial palace complex in the world; the Temple of Heaven, fascinating site of imperial worship; and the Summer Palace, a lovely imperial garden. There is also Tian'anmen Square where the People's Republic of China was inaugurated by Chairman Mao who is one of the greatest person in the development of China.
Beijing has a prosperous past, but it won't be limited by it. There are a lot of modern architectures in this international city. Standing side-by-side with old Beijing's crimson palace complexes are the city's modern buildings, the super-modern Olympic Village, with the Bird’s Nest Stadium and Water Cube; the dazzling shopping malls in Wangfujing Street and the colorful entertainment center of Houhai which you can enjoy its distinctive night life style.
Although all the changes in recent years, traditional lifestyle has been well-preserved such as the Hutongs, which are mazes of narrow alleyways and old single-story traditional courtyard houses. A tour by rickshaw through the Hutongs will give travelers a glimpse of old Beijing. Beijing is the must-see city for any visitor to China. As the political, cultural, educational as well as a key transportation center of China, Beijing will show the best of China to the foreign friends.
2. SHANGHAI - China's Largest City
Shanghai, China's biggest and most prosperous city, oozes an atmosphere of vitality which can rival New York and Paris in terms of modernity. Shanghai is the second largest 'city proper' in the world after Mumbai. As one of the world’s leading economic and business cities, Shanghai's modernity is evidenced by the ambitious skyline in the Pudong Economic Zone and the gorgeous night scenes of the Huangpu River, when the spectacular lights of its immense towers dance in unison.
Shanghai's colonial legacy combined with things Chinese has created a unique culture, which is a fusion of the East and the West. The Bund, the waterfront of the city gives a vivid illustration of the combination of east and west cultures through its large collection of colonial architecture.
However, old Shanghai is not set to disappear overnight. Beneath Shanghai's impressive modern buildings and in the back alleys, scenes of the 1920s vision of the future have been kept.
Unlike Beijing, Shanghai does not have too many grand or great scenic spots. The most famous attractions are Yuyuan Garden, Jade Buddha Temple, the Grand Theater and the Huangpu River Cruise. However, the beauty of Shanghai is still worthy of visiting in its modern environment.
3. XI'AN - A Window on China's Ancient Civilization
As the second most famous of China's ancient national capitals (after Beijing), Xi'an was the first capital of a united China in 221 BC (the Qin Dynasty). It also served as the capital during the golden eras of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) and the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907).
Thus Xi'an is blessed with a great number of precious relics and historical sites, with the highlights being the Entombed Warriors (a contender for the eighth Wonder of the World), the First Emperor's Tomb, two historical Buddhist Pagodas (Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Small Wild Goose Pagoda), the Great Mosque, the Ancient City Wall and the Banpo Site (a prehistoric civilization museum).
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.
Xi'an is, for certain, one of the most popular tourist destinations among foreign travelers, and so is included in the itineraries of many of our tour packages. We think that a tour to Xi'an is something that you should not miss in your China Travel, as it serves as a miniature on China's ancient civilization.
4. GUILIN - The Most Beautiful Place in China
Guilin, with its marvelous limestone scenery, is renowned as one of the most beautiful places on earth. The city, nestling among the vegetation-clad pinnacles on the banks of the Li River seems to belong to a landscape painting.
Guilin City is in the center of two tourist honey pots (each about 1 hour 30 minutes by bus): Yangshuo and Longsheng, which are renowned for their beautiful scenery. Yangshuo in particular has become a paradise for backpackers, with its idyllic countryside, its easy-going atmosphere, and its Western food and beer. Longsheng is famous throughout China, if not throughout the world, for the scenic beauty of its terraced rice paddies, and for its Zhuang and Yao ethnic culture.
There are a lot of friendly retail stores in GUilin for you to enjoy some shopping of local souvenirs.
5. HONG KONG - The Oriental London
As one of the most important economic and financial centers in East Asia, Hong Kong represents the rapid development of China. While definitely Chinese it still enjoys a good measure of independence. Hong Kong is a fusion of cultures. Remnants of its colonial past, British culture, and values share space with Chinese tradition. Once known an exotic port for Eastern trade, it is now famous for its movies.
Hong Kong is a world-renowned shopping paradise, known for its tourist-friendly atmosphere and numerous options. The huge shopping malls of Central, Admiralty and the street fashion factory in Causeway Bay are reasons for many travelers to make their Hong Kong trips.
Hong Kong also boastes for its amazing beaches and natural sights for the travelers. Lantau Island for example, provides a relaxing atmosphere for a holiday break.
Come to visit this "Oriental London" and feel the passion of it!
6. Hangzhou - Heaven on Earth
Hangzhou was appraised as “the most beautiful and elegant city in the world" by the world famous tourist Marco Polo in 13 century. There is a popular Chinese saying: "Above there is heaven, below there are Hangzhou and Suzhou." Hangzhou's "heavenly" beauty attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists to its exquisite West Lake (Xi Hu) area each year to enjoy the placid lake, beautiful gardens, reflecting pools, lavish temples and lakeside teahouses.
There are many prestigious historical and cultural sites around West Lake area, such as Lingyin Temple and Six Harmonies Pagoda. You can also combine a Hangzhou Tour with visits to the nearby water towns like Xitang and Wuzhen. Thousand Islets Lake and Mt. Mogan Scenic Area are also ideal weekend getaways. The most famous products of Hangzhou are silk and tea. The visitors can learn about the processing procedures for tea and watch a traditional tea ceremony at the tea plantation located in the hills near West Lake,
7. Chengdu - Hometown of Giant Pandas
Chengdu is the hometown of Giant Pandas which is one of the great treasure of China. Visitors can see Giant Pandas at Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center, or take part in volunteer program at Bifengxia Giant Panda Base. Besides, there are many historical sites, such as Sanxingdui Ruins Museum, Qingyang Palace and Mount Qingcheng. To experience the leisurely local life, visit the Wide and Narrow Alleys, Wangjiang Park and Jinli Old Street, or sip tea while watching the magical face changing of Sichuan Opera.
Chengdu has also become a famous destination of China tour for foreign tourists due to its rich history and culture.
8. Huangshan - Magnificent Beauty
Huangshan is also called the Yellow Mountains which is surely the most famous and most photographed and painted mountainous region in China. It was also enrolled as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990.
The outstanding natural beauty is the most attractive point of Huangshan. Austere and majestic clean rock faces rise sheer among the mists, clung to by the hardiest of pines. This is the scenery of legends. Indeed it is said that China's supernatural ancestor, the Yellow Emperor, lived here.
The classic four attractions of the Yellow Mountain are curiously-shaped pines, oddly-shaped rocks, the seas of clouds, and hot springs. There are hundreds of peaks and thousands of ravines, many made accessible by well-worn steps. Lotus Peak, Bright Summit, and Heavenly Capital Peak are the three major peaks, all rising more than 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) above sea level.
There are also other attractions should not be missed: Xidi Village and Hongcun Village present ancient China’s elegance and tranquility with well-preserved ancient folk houses and flowing rivers. Xin'an River is a recent popular hiking destination, while Tachuan Village’s autumn scenes are among the best in China.
9. Lhasa - Holy Pilgrimage Destination
Lhasa is famed as the “City of Sunshine” for its being located at an altitude of 3,700 meters and with more than 3,000 hours of annual sunshine. It is the political, economic, cultural and religious activities center of Tibet.
More than 80% of the population is Tibetan, so the Tibetan influence is strong and evident. In Tibetan language, the name of "Lhasa" means "Land of the Gods".
There are many historic sites and famous relics in the city center and suburbs around it, among which the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Norbulingka are world famous. At Barkhor Street, visitors can go souvenir hunting, rub shoulders with locals, and experience the sacred "one step one bow" way to religion in this holy place.
10. Lijiang - Old Ethnic Town
There are three ancient districts of the city of Lijiang became a UNESCO World Heritage area in 1997. There are interesting historical sites dating back hundreds of years interspersed with high mountains, forests, wild rivers and streams.
It is the home of 12 ethnic groups, among which the Naxi ethnic group takes up more than half. The Naxi’s architecture, ancient water system, and culture are popular points of interest.
Lijiang old town is also passed by the Yangtze River, and Tiger Leaping Gorge is a beautiful sight and a popular hiking route. What's more, the Yulong (Jade Dragon) Snow Mountains above are sacred to people in Lijiang.