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Terraced fields in Longji

Things to do in China

A land of contrasts, China is home to modern metropolises, soaring mountain ranges and some of the world’s most recognizable tourist sites.

There are countless activities and experiences available across the country, but for many a walk along the Great Wall is an undisputed highlight. Although justifiably popular, we can show you how to experience this and China’s other premier attractions away from the crowds. See the Terracotta Army at a quiet time, marvel at the verdant rice terraces and minority villages of Longji, or take a boat trip through the striking karst scenery of Guilin and Yangshuo.

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Kara Frigon

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Ideas for experiencing China

Experiences you have as you travel often hold the longest memories. As part of their research trips, our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know China, and the best local guides. These activities reflect some of their best-loved experiences.

  • Young monks practising their moves, Shaolin

    The Legend of Kung Fu Performance

    Beijing

    This exciting piece of theater comprises a number of spectacular and highly skilled Kung Fu demonstrations, following the story of a young Shaolin Monk as he trains in the discipline.

  • The Terracotta Warriors, Xian

    Terracotta Army Excursion

    Xian

    Leaving the city, visitors drive to the area where the army was first discovered in 1974. What was finally unearthed proved to be one of the 20th century’s greatest archeological finds, and ranks with the Great Wall and the Forbidden City as one of China’s most potent images.

  • Yuyuan garden, Shanghai

    Shanghai Highlights

    Shanghai

    Shanghai has very few Buddhist temples, so the Jade Buddha Temple is well known and well used. The Yuyuan Gardens and bazaar are located at the south-eastern end of the old city, its bustling maze of narrow lanes lined with traditional houses.

  • Temple of Heaven, Beijing, China

    Temple of Heaven

    Beijing

    For a different insight into Chinese religion and history, a popular place to visit is the Temple of Heaven.

  • Quiet Hutong, Beijing

    Beijing's Hutongs

    Beijing

    Take a tricycle tour of Beijing’s unique and famous Hutongs, a maze of old narrow back streets found in the Changiao area of the Western District.

  • Tiger Leaping Gorge

    Tiger Leaping Gorge Excursion

    Lijiang

    Tiger Leaping Gorge measures 16km and has an awesome depth of 3,900 meters, making it one of the deepest gorges in the world.

  • Interior of traditional Tibetan house

    Dabao Temple Hike

    Zhongdian

    The trek begins at Ruobola Hill, heading through the forests towards Dabao. During the journey the highest sections are around 3,500 meters above sea level.

  • Tiger Leaping Gorge

    Daju to Qiaotou Trek - 2 Days

    Tiger Leaping Gorge

    The walk begins gently as you make your way to the ferry that takes you across the river. The high path then leads you into the gorge and on to the village of Walnut Grove.

  • Songzanlin Monastery

    Songzanlin Monastery

    Zhongdian

    This 300-year-old monastery houses over 600 Tibetan monks and is one of the most prominent Tibetan monasteries in southwest China.

  • Tiananmen Square, Beijing

    Beijing City Tour

    Beijing

    To really experience Beijing you need to get out onto the streets. The Forbidden City is one of the most fascinating places in Beijing and is well worth a visit.

  • Livestock market, Kashgar

    Kashgar Sunday Market

    Kashgar

    There's nothing like it to the east, and little to rival it to the west. The town's population swells by more than 80,000 people on Sundays - usually far more.

  • Food vendor in Shanghai

    Culinary Tour of Shanghai

    Shanghai

    Visit Zhonghua market in Shanghai and wander down some of the famous side streets sampling regional delicacies with a guide, who will be able to give you all sorts of recommendations.

  • Dragon's Backbone Rice terraces, Longji

    The Dragon's Backbone Walk

    Longji

    For those who enjoy a little more exercise, the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces at Longji offer a fantastic opportunity to get out into the countryside and visit some wonderful, traditional villages.

  • The Great Wall, Beijing

    The Great Wall at Jinshanling

    Beijing

    Stretching for over 6,000 km to the Gobi desert in the far west, the Great Wall remains one of the world’s true must-see sights.

  • The Three Pagodas, Dali

    Dali, the Three Pagodas & Erhai Lake

    Dali

    Explore what Dali and its surrounding area has to offer. First head to Erhai Lake where you board your boat and spend a couple of hours cruising on the beautiful fresh water lake.

  • Qutang Gorge, Yangtze River

    Victoria Cruises

    The Yangtze River

    There are a number of companies operating cruises on the Yangtze River, and Victoria Cruises is one of the best.

  • Yangshuo

    Guided Countryside Bike Ride

    Yangshuo

    Experience the sublime local scenery on a leisurely bike ride to the Yulong River area. The villages here are still relatively untouched by tourism, and visitors are often greeted by friendly villagers working in the paddy fields.

  • Yangshuo, China.

    Li River Cruise

    Guilin

    Spend the morning on a leisurely cruise along the Li River, starting at Guilin and ending at the small town of Yangshuo. En route, the cruise passes through extraordinary scenery, with karst limestone pinnacles thrusting up from the bamboo-covered plains.

  • The Summer Palace, Beijing

    Summer Palace

    Beijing

    Located in the Haidian district in the north of Beijing, the Palace is a classical imperial garden embracing beautiful landscaped hills and lakes.

  • Shanghai Acrobatic Show

    Shanghai Acrobatics

    Shanghai

    Gifted Chinese acrobats perform the contortions and feats of balance that have made them famous throughout the world.

  • Forbidden City, Beijing

    Visit the Forbidden City

    Beijing

    Closed to the world for over 500 years, and home to emperors from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the Forbidden City is a truly fascinating place.

  • Limestone karst scenery, Guilin region

    Yulong River Bamboo Rafting

    Yangshuo

    Guests are driven to the Yulong River to board a bamboo raft. This is extremely relaxing and offers superb views and photographic opportunities.

  • Giant Pandas

    Panda Research Base

    Chengdu

    The Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, situated in the north of Chengdu, provides an excellent opportunity to get as close as possible to China's "ambassador" animal.

  • Suzhou, China

    Suzhou Excursion

    Shanghai

    Suzhou is a city with over 2,500 years of history. Following completion of the Grand Canal in the Sui Dynasty, the town grew and prospered from the trade that passed through its gates.

  • Camel Owners, Dunhuang

    Mogao Caves

    Dunhuang

    The caves here are amongst the finest examples of Buddhist art in the world. There are 45,000 square feet of murals to savor, though the most rewarding visits take in around 7 or 8 of the best caves.

  • Suite on Sanctuary Cruises Yangtze Explorer

    Sanctuary Cruises

    The Yangtze River

    Cruising on the Yangtze River is a truly unique experience, with Sanctuary Cruises being the latest addition for the discerning traveler.

  • Mapo Tofu on Food Tour, Chengdu

    Chengdu Lost Plate Food Tour

    Chengdu

    Chengdu’s food scene brings together a lively mélange of Sichuan dishes, from Sichuan stuffed pancakes to traditional hot pots. Sample it all on a tuk-tuk food tour, dining at secret places around the city, led by a local bilingual guide.

  • Fuxing park on Morning Shanghai bicycle tour, Shanghai

    Morning Shanghai Bicycle Tour

    Shanghai

    This guided cycling tour around Shanghai’s old town and French Concession backstreets shows you a salt-of-the-earth side of the city that few visitors experience. You’ll pass tiny street markets, and stop off at a public park and a Buddhist temple.