China is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Asia. Being a populous country, it is blessed with a rich cultural heritage that has been preserved for centuries. China is rich in impressive landscapes ranging from lush forests to pointed peaks that make for many popular Hollywood films like Avatar. Apart from natural beauty, the country houses some of the most modern cities.

There is no doubt that one might experience a myriad of different things when in China. So it is inevitable to get bamboozled by the variety you get. In this blog, we will throw light on some of the popular destinations to visit and things to do in China. From Classical Gardens of Suzhou to Great Wall of China, this ancient country is no short of a fairy tale.

But before that, let’s read some interesting things about China. Despite so many tourist destinations, China is affordable to visit. It is cheaper than most of the happening tourist spots in the world. However, the cost of your trip also depends on how flexible you are. The prices might go up if you prefer a luxurious and comfortable trip with a stay at 5-star accommodation.

Thus, if you’re in China and are clueless on what to do, here are some things you can do in the country to make some memorable moments.

Things to Do in China

From visiting the Great Wall of China to exploring the Forbidden City, here are some of the best things to do in China.

#1. Walk Over the Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is one of the Seven Wonders of the World for all the right reasons. For the uninitiated, it was built as a fortification system of Chinese states and empires to protect them against the nomadic groups of the steppe and their politics. With the height of six to eight meters, the Great Wall of China is the most popular tourist attraction in China.

For its rich cultural story that goes back to centuries ago, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are various sections of the wall that can be visited by tourists, including Balding, Mutianyu, Jinshanling, Simatai, Juyongguan, Huangyaguan, and Shanghai Pass.

Here are some other important details that you need to know about the Great Wall of China

Location: China

Time to Visit: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Fee: $6 to $10

Nearest Airport: Beijing Airport

#2. Visit the Terra-Cotta Army in Xian

The famous Terra-Cotta Army is a collection of terra-cotta figures representing the armies of Qin Shi Huang, who was the first emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art that was buried with the emperor in 201–209 BCE. The sole purpose of creating an entire terra-cotta army is to protect the emperor even in his afterlife.

This entire army was discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Lintong County. The tallest of these figures are the generals, while other smaller figures include warriors, chariots, and horses. According to an estimate in 2007, there were more than eight thousand soldiers in the three pits that contained the Terra-Cotta Army.

For the curious history lovers out there, this sight is mesmerizing enough to leave them with mouths agape. Thousands of people around the world visit the place to see the Terra-Cotta Army, which is no less than a human wonder.

Here are some other important details that you need to know about the Terra-Cotta Army

Location: Shaanxi, China

Time to Visit: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Fee: March to November,  $23; December to February, $18

Nearest Airport: Xi An (XIY) Airport

#3. Take a Stroll to the Forbidden City

As the name suggests, this place was once forbidden for the local Chinese citizens. However, it has now been transformed into a major tourist attraction in China. It is a palace complex in Central Beijing, China, which is the largest in the entire world. It was the former Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty.

The Forbidden City was the residence of the emperors and their families. It enjoyed the status of being the center of political and ceremonial holdings in China for five hundred years. In 1987, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

If you want to explore Chinese architecture, the Forbidden City should be the first on your list. This place witnesses almost eight million visitors every year from places around the globe.

Here are some other important details that you need to know about the Forbidden City.

Location: 4 Jingshan Front St., Dongcheng, Beijing, China

Time to Visit: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Fee: November to March, $6; April to October, $9

Nearest Airport: Beijing  Airport

#4. Take a cruise along the Li River

The best way to bring yourself closest to Mother Nature is to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Spending some time cruising on the Li River of China is one of such ways. The ride is so mesmerizing that the National Geographic has termed it one of the top 10 watery wonders.

On your cruise ride on the Li River, you will see karst peaks, grazing water buffalo, farmers in their fields, and the traditional hamlets sitting peacefully along the banks of the river. The trip starts from Guilin in the morning and takes you to Yangshuo in the afternoon.

On the cruise, you can enjoy sumptuous cuisine while gazing outside the windows. There are two types of cruise: 4-star and 3-star. The 4-star cruise is not much crowded, owing to its pricing. A buffet lunch is also served on board. However, if the cost is your priority, you can always enjoy the 3-star cruise as well.

Here are some other important details that you need to know about Li River Cruise.

Location: East of Guangxi Zhuang, China

Time to Visit: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Fee: Starts at $65

Nearest Airport: Guilin Liangjiang International Airport

#5. Enjoy the Visual Delight of the Yellow Mountain

The local Chinese people recognize this mountain by the name Huangshan, which translates to “the Yellow Mountain” in English. The mountain is covered with vegetation and lush trees. The area is known for its breathtaking sunset and sunrise between the peculiarly shaped peaks. The hot springs add to the charm of this place.

It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you want to witness some of the best views in China, this place is a strict no-miss spot. From steep cliffs to cloud-covered peaks, everything is worth a thousand pictures. For hiking lovers, there’s a lot in store for you as well. There’s also a cable car service; however, that doesn’t operate up to the top of the Yellow Mountain.

After taking a grueling Huangshan hike, you can relax in the hot spring waters while appreciating the wonders of nature.

Here are some other important details that you need to know about the Yellow Mountain.

Location: Anhui Province, China

Time to Visit: 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., opens at 6:00 a.m. on Saturdays

Fee: November, $34; December to February, $23

Nearest Airport: Huangshan Airport

#6. Visit the Summer Palace

The Summer Palace is a collection of gardens and palaces in Beijing. It was the imperial garden of the Qing Dynasty. Spread across 2.9 kilometers, the majority of this palace property is comprised of water. In December 1998, the Summer Palace was also included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The place has been described as a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design.

The entire Summer Palace is centered between Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake. The palace buildings are lined along the north-to-south axis of the hill. The palace was built in the twelfth century and is just a few minutes’ drives away from Beijing. Historically, the place was used as a Chinese imperials’ holiday spot.

Another thing to note is that the Summer Palace property is spread across a couple of kilometers; hence you will need to have ample time dedicated to sightseeing. There are many tea houses and eateries to retire when you get tired.

Here are some other important details that you need to know about the Summer Palace.

Location: 19 Xinjiangongmen Rd., Haidian, China

Time to Visit: 8:30 a.m.  to 4:30 p.m.

Fee: $4

Nearest Airport: Beijing Airport

#7. Enjoy the View at West Lake, Hangzhou

Looking for some quiet time with your loved ones? West Lake located in Hangzhou, China, can be your spot. The lake is divided into five sections and is lined by lush green trees, hills, and cultural architecture with the trademark Chinese style. The ancient bridges there can make for a picturesque subject for photography, or you can tour onboard one of those paddle boats.

If you happen to be at West Lake in the evening, you can enjoy the gorgeous fountain show with a myriad of shapes taken by jets of water. Apart from this, you will never run out of things to do at the lake, including cycling. Bikes are available for rent at the lakeside at very budget-friendly prices.

The best time to visit the West Lake is during the springtime when the peach trees around the lake are in full bloom with pink flowers that reflect into the waters of the lake. West Lake earned the title of being one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2011. It is described as the perfect epitome of human and nature reunion.

Here are some other important details that you need to know about West Lake, Hangzhou.

Location: Shangcheng District, China

Time to Visit: 24 hours

Fee: $6

Nearest Airport: Xiaoshan Airport

#8. Witness the Ethereal Lights and Lamps at Reed Flute Cave in Guilin

Witness the magic of Mother Nature at Reed Flute Cave, with the natural sculpture and the kaleidoscopic lighting. The enchanting rocks accentuate the natural lighting, which is why it is known as the Palace of Natural Arts. It is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in China for over 1,200 years. The cave dates back to 180 million years ago.

The Reed Flute Cave is full of stalactites, stalagmites, and other rocks that give it the name that we know. Inside, there are many inscriptions written in ink that are likely to be hundreds of years old, dating back to the Tang Dynasty. All these inscriptions are telltale signs that Reed Flute Cave has been a major tourist attraction since ancient times.

Going there is simple; however, there is a steep climb to the entrance of the caves. Those who do not want to walk or may have a mobility issue can take a train. The temperature inside the cave is very low; thus, everyone is advised to wear a jacket inside.

Here are some other important details that you need to know about Reed Flute Cave in Guilin.

Location: 1 Ludi Rd., Xiufeng, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Time to Visit: 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Fee: $13

Nearest Airport: Guilin Liangjiang International Airport

#9. Spend Some Quality Time at Classical Gardens of Suzhou

If you happen to be in the ancient city of Suzhou, don’t miss the Classical Gardens, which is the most famous spot in the city. Not only this, but it is also one of the best places to visit in China. The garden itself is an array of beautiful spots like the Humble  Administrator’s Garden, Garden of Lingering, and a man-made hill.

Enjoy a boat ride at the lake and explore the Garden of the Cang Lang Ting Pavilion and Master of the Nets Garden. The peace-loving globe-trotters can enjoy some alone time sitting under the trees while taking in the beauty of nature.

Be sure to have some extra hours in your hands, as the massive gardens would take a lot of time to explore. Here are some of the other details of the Classical Gardens of Suzhou.

Location: 178 Dongbei St., Gusu, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China

Time to Visit: 12:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Fee: $13

Nearest Airport: Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport

China is never short of wonders. Words may fall short and months would be less when it comes to exploring the preserved natural beauty of the country. Thus it is advised that you set aside plenty of time on your hands to enjoy the country amply.