Top 10 Must See Places in China

update:2008-07-16

1. Beijing
BeijingBeijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China, the center of the nation's politics, culture and international exchanges and a moden metropolis full of vitality. Beijing is one of the six ancient cities in China together with Xian, Luoyang, Kaifeng, Nanjing and Hangzhou. It had served as the capital for the dynasties such as Jin (1115 AD - 1234 AD), Yuan (1279 AD -1368 AD), Ming (1368 AD -1644 A D) and Qin (1644 AD - 1911 AD).
Top attractions in Beijing:
Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, the Great Wall, Ming Tomb, Hutong, Lama Temple, Beihai Park, Beijing Capital Museum, Yashow Market and more... top

2. Xian
XianXi'an, also called Changan is the largest city in north-west China. It had served as the nation's capital for 13 dynasties such as Western Zhou (11th century BC - 771 BC), Qin (221 BC - 206 BC), Western Han (206 BC - 24 AD) and Tang (618 - 907) for more than 1000 years. It is famous for historical importance.
Top attractions in Xian:
Terra-cotta Army, Banpo Museum, Huaqing Hotspring, City Wall, Big Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi Provincial Museum, Xian Great Mosque, Forest of Stone Steles Museum and more... top

3. Shanghai
ShanghaiAs the largest city in China, Shanghai is located in central-eastern China, confronting the East China Sea. Shanghai is mainly sectioned into two parts: Pudong (east of the Huangpu River) and Puxi (west of the Huangpu River). Pudong is the new development zone. Shanghai has two airports - Shanghai Pudong International Airport ( PVG ) and Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. Shanghai Pudong International Airport caters for international flights while Hongqiao for domestic flights.
Top attractions in Shanghai:
Shanghai Bund, Shanghai Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Xin Tian Di, Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai Huangpu River and more... top

4. Guilin
GuilinLocated by the banks of the Li River, Guilin has gained fame both at home and abroad for its featuring scenery: verdant mountians, unique rockeries, crystal water, various caves, stones of numerous shapes. The many ethnic minorities live here that include the Zhuang, Yao, Hui, Miao, Mulao, Maonan and Dong. They add the much colour to the cultural life of the city.
Top attractions in Guilin:
The Li River, The Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill, Seven Star Park, Guilin Folded Brocade Hil, Fubo Hill, Solitary Beauty Hill, Longji Terraced Field in Longsheng, Fengyu Cave in Lipu County Guilin. top

5. Yangtze River
Yangtze RiverYangtze River cruising should be on the list for those who seek for romantic escape and travel with their family or friends. Yangtze River is winding through the mountains and the cities from the west to the east entering the East China Sea near Shanghai with a total length of over 6300 km, ranking the third in the world, only shorter than the Nile and Amazon.
Top Attractions along Yangtze River:
Chongqing City, Fengdu, Baoshizhai, Wanxian, Shennong Streem, Lesser Three Gorges, Three Gorges, Three Gorges Dam and Yichang City, Wuhan City. top

7. Jiuzhaigou Sichuan
Jiuzhaigou SichuanSituated in the depths of the mountains in the border area of Nanping, Songpan and Pingwu counties in Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in the northwestern Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou is a fairyland named after the Nine-Village Valley, which is the living place of nine Tibetan villages. The valley is about 50 kilometers long. In 1992, It was listed as the world natural heritage list of UNESCO.
Top attractions in Jiuzhaigou Sichuan:
Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, Qingchengshan & Dujiangyan Irrigation System, Emei Mountain and Giant Buddha of Leshan, Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area, Huanglong. top

8. Lijiang Yunnan
Lijiang YunnanLijiang is situated in Yunnan Province of south China. It is on UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage list. It has the history of over 1,300 years. Lijiang is inhabited by Naxi people. It is under the administration of the Naxi Autonomous County. It stands on a plateau at 2,600m above sea level. It is well known for its natural scenery and green vegetation. It has the Jade Dragon Mountain as its backdrop. The old town blends naturally with the natural scenery. Thel local Naxi people has developed a culture called "Dong Ba Culture". Classical Naxi music is considered as the "living musical fossil" due to its long history.
Top atractions in Lijiang Yunnan:
Ancient Town Lijiang, Yulong Snow Mountain, Tiger Leaping Gorge. top

9. Zhangjiajie Hunan
Zhangjiajie HunanZhangjiajie City is located on the west mountians of Hunan Province. Under the administration of Zhangjiajie City, there is a district called Wulingyuan District where the Wulingyuan Scenic Area is located. The Wulingyuan Scenic Area is sectioned into 3 parts: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park; Tianzi Mountain and Suoxi Valley. Most of the visitors stay at the Wulingyuan area instead of the city center of Zhangjiajie City. In December of 1992, Wulingyuan was included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO.
Top attractions in Zhangjiajie Hunan:
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Tianzi Mountain, Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve. top

10. Silk Road in China
Silk Road in ChinaThe Silk Road has a history of more than 2,000 years. It actually started from Chang'an ( the present Xian, Shaanxi Province ) in the east and stretched to Rome, Italy in the west. The ancient silk road went through Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai provinces, Ningxia Hui and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions and then extended over the Pamirs, further extending to Central and West Asia. And finally the silk road met the east bank of the Mediterranean Sea and Eastern Europe. The Silk Road had the total length of over 2,485 miles and over half of which is within China.


Top attractions along the Silk Road in China:
Lanzhou, Wuwei, Zhangye, Jiayuguan Pass, Dunhuang, Hami, Turpan, Urumqi, Loulan, Korla, Kuqa (Kucha), Aksu, Kashgar (Kashi), Hotan. top

How to arrange the top 10 places based your short stay in China?
It is almost impossible to cram all the top 10 places into your first time trip to China. Then how to make the most of your first trip to China? Please find below my suggested travel plans:

1. Beijing Xian 5-8 Day Tour
2. Beijing Shanghai 5-8 Day Tour
3. Beijing Xian Shanghai 7-10 Day Tour
4. Beijing Xian Guilin Shanghai 9-12 Day Tour

1. Beijing Yangtze River Shanghai Tour 8-10 Day Tour
2. Beijing Xian Yangze River Shanghai Tour 10-12 Day Tour
3. Beijing Jiuzhaigou Yangtze River Shanghai Tour 10-12 Day Tour

1. Beijing Lijiang Shanghai Tour 6-10 Day Tour
2. Beijing Xian Lijiang Shanghai 8-12 Day Tour
3. Beijing Chengdu Lijiang Shanghai 8-12 Day Tour

1. Beijing Zhangjiajie Shanghai 8-10 Day Tour
2. Beijing Xian Zhangjiajie Shanghai 8-12 day Tour
3. Beijing Jiuzhaigou Zhangjiajie Shanghai 10-12 day Tour

1. Beijing Xian Dunhuang Shanghai 8-10 Day Tour
2. Beijing Lanzhou Jiayuguan Dunhuang Turpan Urumqi Shanghai 13-15 Day Tour
3. Beijing Xian Dunhuang Turpan Urumqi Shanghai 10-12 Day Tours

1. Beijing Jiuzhaigou Shanghai 9-11 day Tour
2. Beijing Jiuzhaigou Yangtze River Shanghai 12-15 Day Tour
3. Beijing Xian Jiuzhaigou Shanghai 10-12 day Tour


How to visit the top 10 places in China?
Foreign visitors have many ways to filful their sightseeing or advnetures in China. The following travelling methods are only for your reference:
1. Buy a China tour package from a local travel agency in your country.
2. Take an adventure, search all the necessary travel information and arrange the tour by yourself.
3. Find a local travel agency in China to handle all your land arrangement or part of your travel arrangement.
Note: usually local travel agencies in China offer two kinds of travel packages: Join-in tours and private tours.
Join-in Tours: Lower prices, less flexibility, make new friends.
Private Tours: Higher prices, more privacy, more flexibility and more personal interation.

More lists of top 10 must see places in China
1. If you take an interest in more adventurous tours, the 10 places below you must not miss. The list below is made by David Harris, a client from the States:
1) Great Canyon of Yalu Zangpu
2) Gaoli Gong Moutain & Nu River
3) Yangze River Three Gorges
4) Across Sea Lane
5) Mother Rivers Adventure
6) Lop Nor Silk Road
7) Ancient City of Loulan
8) Lugu Lake
9) Mount Chogori
10) Kekexili Nature Reserve
2. A top 10 list from John Nunemaker, a client from the internet:
1) Huyang Tree living in the Southern Xinjiang Province. This kind of tree is said to exist in the world for three thousand years: alive for 1000 years; dead for 1000 years; not rotten for another 1000 years!
2) Mt.Everest in Tibet
3) Yangtze River Cruising
4) Huangshan Mountain ( Yellow mountain )
5) Jiuzhaigou ( nine Tibetan village valley ) in Aba Sichuan
6) Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan in Hunan Province
7) Lijiang, Dali and Zhongdian in Yunnan
8) Huangguo Waterfall in Guizhou
9) The Great Wall
10) Terra-cotta Army in Xian