15 Things to Do in China: Unravel the Wonders of the Middle Kingdom

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Discover the top 15 things to do in China and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant city life. From walking on the Great Wall to exploring ancient temples, this comprehensive guide will take you on an unforgettable journey through the Middle Kingdom.


China, the land of ancient traditions and modern marvels, is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be explored. From the iconic Great Wall to the mystical Forbidden City, this vast and diverse nation offers a plethora of activities and attractions for travelers seeking a memorable adventure. In this article, we will delve into the 15 most captivating things to do in China, each providing a unique glimpse into the heart of this remarkable country.

15 Things to Do in China

1. Walk on the Great Wall: A Journey Through History

The Great Wall of China, an architectural marvel and a symbol of China’s resilience, spans over 13,000 miles and boasts a history dating back more than 2,000 years. Walking along its ancient stones is a surreal experience, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes and an opportunity to appreciate the craftsmanship of a bygone era.

2. Visit the Forbidden City: Discover Imperial Splendor

Step into the Forbidden City, an imperial palace complex that once housed Chinese emperors. This UNESCO World Heritage Site showcases exquisite traditional Chinese architecture and houses an impressive collection of historical artifacts. Unravel the secrets of Chinese dynasties as you wander through its opulent halls and beautifully landscaped gardens.

3. Cruise the Yangtze River: Embrace Scenic Beauty

Embark on a Yangtze River cruise, immersing yourself in the stunning landscapes that unfold along the riverbanks. As you sail through the Three Gorges region, marvel at the towering cliffs, verdant hills, and charming riverside villages, a perfect harmony of nature and culture.

4. Explore the Terracotta Army: Witness Ancient Guardians

Unearth the mysteries of the Terracotta Army in Xi’an, a vast collection of life-sized clay soldiers crafted over 2,000 years ago to protect Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife. This archaeological wonder is a testament to the artistic and military achievements of ancient China.

5. Revel in the Beauty of Guilin: A Scenic Wonderland

Guilin, known for its picturesque landscapes, karst hills, and serene rivers, is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Take a leisurely boat ride along the Li River, and be captivated by the surreal beauty that inspired Chinese poets and artists for centuries.

6. Experience Pandamonium at Chengdu Research Base: A Furry Encounter

No trip to China is complete without meeting the adorable giant pandas. Visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where you can observe these gentle giants in a natural habitat-like setting and learn about conservation efforts.

7. Immerse in the Vibrant Culture of Beijing: A Fusion of Old and New

Explore the vibrant streets of Beijing, China’s capital city, where modernity intertwines with ancient traditions. From lively street markets to contemporary art galleries, Beijing offers a dynamic cultural experience that leaves a lasting impression.

8. Discover the Serenity of Hangzhou’s West Lake: A Poetic Escape

Find tranquility at Hangzhou’s West Lake, an idyllic destination immortalized by poets and artists throughout history. Stroll along its shores, cruise on a traditional boat, and witness the beauty that inspired countless literary works.

9. Hike the Avatar Mountains in Zhangjiajie: Surreal Beauty Unveiled

Step into the mesmerizing landscapes of Zhangjiajie, known for its towering sandstone pillars and lush forests. This otherworldly terrain served as the inspiration for the mythical “floating mountains” in the movie Avatar.

10. Experience the Bustling Bund in Shanghai: A Blend of Past and Present

Embrace the energy of Shanghai’s Bund, a waterfront promenade showcasing a mix of colonial-era buildings and contemporary skyscrapers. The vibrant atmosphere, illuminated skyline, and bustling nightlife make it an essential stop on any China itinerary.

11. Encounter Spirituality at Mount Emei: A Sacred Pilgrimage

Venture to Mount Emei, one of China’s Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains, to witness ancient temples, lush greenery, and panoramic vistas. The climb to the summit is a spiritual journey that offers moments of introspection and peace.

12. Indulge in Authentic Chinese Cuisine: A Gastronomic Delight

Tantalize your taste buds with the diverse flavors of authentic Chinese cuisine. From the fiery spices of Sichuan dishes to the delicate dim sum of Guangdong, China’s culinary landscape is as varied as its geography.

13. Marvel at the Longmen Grottoes: An Artistic Wonder

Explore the Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO site housing thousands of intricate Buddhist sculptures carved into limestone cliffs. This historical treasure is a testament to the ingenuity and devotion of ancient Chinese craftsmen.

14. Wander Through the Rice Terraces of Longji: A Natural Wonder

Get lost in the ethereal beauty of the Longji Rice Terraces, where carefully crafted terraced fields create a breathtaking mosaic on the mountainsides. The terraces change with the seasons, offering a different visual spectacle throughout the year.

15. Participate in Traditional Chinese Festivals: A Celebration of Culture

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of traditional Chinese festivals, such as the Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival. Witness spectacular parades, intricate performances, and delightful customs that have been passed down through generations.

FAQs about Traveling to China

Q: What is the best time to visit China for sightseeing?

A: The best time to visit China is during the spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) when the weather is mild, and the landscapes are at their most picturesque.

Q: Do I need a visa to visit China?

A: Yes, most travelers need a visa to enter China. Be sure to check the latest visa requirements and apply in advance before your trip.

Q: Is it safe to drink tap water in China?

A: It is not recommended to drink tap water in China. Stick to bottled water and beverages to avoid any health issues.

Q: What are some etiquette tips for traveling in China?

A: When visiting China, it’s essential to show respect for local customs and traditions. Avoid discussing sensitive topics and remember to remove your shoes when entering someone’s home.

Q: How can I get around within China?

A: China has an extensive transportation network, including high-speed trains and domestic flights, making it convenient to travel between cities. Public buses and taxis are also widely available.

Q: Are English speakers common in China?

A: While English is becoming more prevalent, especially in urban areas, it’s still helpful to learn some basic Mandarin phrases to facilitate communication with locals.


China, a country steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty, offers a myriad of experiences for every traveler. From iconic landmarks like the Great Wall and Forbidden City to the enchanting landscapes of Guilin and Zhangjiajie, exploring China is a journey of discovery and wonder. Embrace the rich heritage, savor the delectable cuisine, and immerse yourself in the warmth of Chinese hospitality as you embark on this unforgettable adventure.

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