Before I arrived in China, I had heard about the big tourist destinations like Beijing and Xi’an that you should add to your China travel plans. After I got here I found out there are so many amazing destinations in China that are not known as well. I’m nearing the end of my summer here, but I have compiled a list of the four I want to visit the most next time I’m here!
Jiuzhaigou Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sichuan province known for its many multi-level waterfalls, colorful lakes, and snow-capped peaks. There are three valleys arranged in a Y shape with three rivers flowing north through them. The easiest way to get here is to take a plane to Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport and then drive two hours to get to Jiuzhaigou Valley. It may be a long journey, but the views are definitely worth it. Find more information about Jiuzhaigou Valley.
Wulingyuan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for more than 3,000 quartzite sandstone pillars with many being over 650 feet. There are also 40 caves with calcite deposits, two natural bridges, ravines, streams, pools, and waterfalls. It is located in Hunan Province about 170 miles from Changsha. Wulingyuan is pretty difficult to get to. The best way is to take a flight to Zhangjiajie Hehua Airport and then you can either take a taxi for about 100 RMB or an hour bus ride for 12 RMB. If you take the bus, however, you either need to walk 15 minutes or take a public bus or taxi the rest of the way. Find more information about Wulingyuan.
Baiyangdian Lake is located in Hebei Province, two hours from Beijing by car. It is the largest freshwater lake in China and referred to as the Kidney of North China due to its major contribution to the groundwater supply in the surrounding area. The lake is home to over 50 varieties of fish and multiple varieties of wild geese, ducks, and birds. Tourists come mostly for the peaceful water scenes and vast lotus gardens. Find more information about Baiyangdian.
Pingyao is a county in central Shanxi province, about four hours on the bullet train from Beijing. Pingyao is an ancient city that dates back over 2,700 years and is known for its well-preserved city walls. The old walled city is one square mile, inhabited, and restricted to cars, giving you a more authentic Chinese experience. Pingyao is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Find more information about Pingyao.
Cover image: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Wall_of_China