Skip to content
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 recognisable 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.

Speak to someone
who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Chris

Start planning your tailor-made trip by contacting one of our China specialists

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.

  • The Terracotta Warriors, Xian

    Terracotta Army Excursion


    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 archaeological finds, and ranks with the Great Wall and the Forbidden City as one of China’s most potent images.

  • Young monks practising their moves, Shaolin

    The Legend of Kung Fu Performance


    This exciting piece of theatre 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.

  • Yuyuan garden, Shanghai

    Shanghai Highlights


    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.

  • Quiet Hutong, Beijing

    Beijing's Hutongs


    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.

  • Temple of Heaven, Beijing, China

    Temple of Heaven


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

  • Tiger Leaping Gorge

    Tiger Leaping Gorge Excursion


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

  • Interior of traditional Tibetan house

    Dabao Temple Hike


    The trek begins at Ruobola Hill, heading through the forests towards Dabao. During the journey the highest sections are around 3500 metres above sea level.

  • Songzanlin Monastery

    Songzanlin Monastery


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

  • 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.

  • Livestock market, Kashgar

    Kashgar Sunday Market


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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.

  • The Summer Palace, Beijing

    Summer Palace


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

  • Yangshuo, China.

    Li River Cruise


    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.

  • Forbidden City, Beijing

    Visit the Forbidden City


    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.

  • Shanghai Acrobatic Show

    Shanghai Acrobatics


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

  • Limestone karst scenery, Guilin region

    Yulong River Bamboo Rafting


    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


    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


    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


    The caves here are amongst the finest examples of Buddhist art in the world. There are 45,000 square feet of murals to savour, 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 traveller.

  • Fuxing park on Morning Shanghai bicycle tour, Shanghai

    Morning Shanghai Bicycle Tour


    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.

  • Mapo Tofu on Food Tour, Chengdu

    Chengdu Lost Plate Food Tour


    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.

  • Tiananmen Square, Beijing

    Beijing City Tour


    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.