As a favored destination, China travel can offer the visitors numerous things from the world heritages, historical and cultural sites to the marvelous natural sceneries as well as the wide range of exciting entertainments. However, planning a trip to a vast country like China is might not that relaxing and daunting instead even to experienced travelers. If you are looking for first time experience in China yet still are confused, follow these following 5 simple steps recommended by the local tour organizers.
Step 1: Choose destinations for your China discovery
With the experience of organizing numerous China tours, we highly recommend the golden triangle cities of Beijing, Xian, Shanghai as well as Guilin and Chengdu for those who travel to the Middle Kingdom for the first time.
Beijing — China’s Imperial and Modern Capital
Beijing is a top gateway city and undoubtedly a wonderful start. As a historical and cultural hub of the country, the capital is a must-see destination offering the tourists many of the finest symbols of China’s gorgeous past and the profound, rich culture to learn from.
When setting your foot in Beijing, make sure to have an in-depth visit to the Great Wall of China– one of the greatest feats of human engineering and the Forbidden City – the seat of political power of China feudalism for over 500 years as well as the palatial royal residence of the last dynasties in China’s history.
Shanghai — China’s Urban Thriving Metropolis
Shanghai is the largest and one of the most prosperous cities in China. It is convenient for tourists to both arrive in and depart from as well. Shanghai highlights can be toured within one day. It will be memorable experience to wander on the famous Bund to admire the impressive architecture of the historical buildings along the promenade; pay a visit to the marvelous Yu Garden; take in the vibrant atmosphere in a Shanghai Old Street exploration; and witness the breathtaking panoramic view of the city, which is especially glorious when the night falls, from Shanghai Tower- the world’s second-tallest building.
For further discovery, have a great time in a water town Hangzhou, Suzhou or Huangshan, only a bullet train trip away from Shanghai.
Xi’an — One of the World’s Four Major Ancient Civilization Capitals
When mentioning the ancient city Xian, the very first thing comes to your mind would be the fascinating Terracotta Army. The incredible collection of clay soldier figures dating back 2000 years ago is one of the greatest archeological excavations of the 20th century. Visit and reveal the mysteries hidden behind the “eighth” wonders of the world. Also, soak up in the historical and cultural atmosphere with various 1000-year-old temples, mosques, pagodas and the iconic ancient city wall.
Guilin — Picturesque Natural Scenery and Minority Lifestyle
Escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life and take in the fabulous natural views. A relaxing cruise trip along the graceful Li River to admire the beautiful karst landscapes is a pearl of a Guilin tour. Have an enjoyable moment cycling around the idyllic countryside in Yangshou, and even experience Chinese farmer life.
Moreover, tourists can have the opportunities to witness the magnificent Longji or Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, one of the most terraced fields on the world and catch a glimpse of the life of Zhuang and Yao minorities.
Chengdu — the Hometown of Giant Pandas
Chengdu is the best destinations in China to have a closer look at the cuddly giant pandas – the treasure of China. There are several conservation centers in Chengdu where you can watch the black and white bears eat, play and wander around the enclosures and even take care of them as a volunteer.
Besides the lovely pandas, do not forget to have a taste of the famous Sichuan hotpot as well.
Step 2: Decide the Duration of Your Trip to China
For the first time travel to China, you might want to have an in-depth discovery of China’s charms rather than just scratching the surface only. Thus, we suggest you spend at least one week touring the top three cities of China with 3-4 days in Beijing, 2 days in Xian and 1-2 days in Shanghai. For further exploration, take a glance at some tour itineraries organized by local experts for inspiration.
Step 3: Be Aware of Chinese Visa Policy and Gateway Cities
For international flights, Beijing and Shanghai are the top gateway cities where most tourists choose to arrive in and depart from. To tourists travel via Hong Kong, for instance, New York – Hong Kong – Beijing – New York, London –Beijing – Hong Kong – Xian – Bangkok – London, some of them can open up visa-free travel options. China applies the visa exemption policy for certain cities and regions. However, visitors are required tourist visa or L visa for multi-city tours in China. Learn more about the China visa for better preparation for your China adventure.
Step 4: Take the Time to Visit China in Consideration
China is a country suitable for visiting all year round. Every season offers tourists different landscapes and attractions. Yet the spring (April – May) and Autumn (September – October) are considered as the best time to visit China with the comfortable weather which is neither too hot or too cold and the splendid sceneries as well.
Good news for tourists interested in the golden triangle cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian is that the things to do and see probably do not change much by seasons. Thus, they are good destinations throughout the year.
Step 5: Make Good Preparation for Taking Transportations in China
In a vast country like China, the means of transportation among the cities should be carefully planned. Domestic flights are one of the most convenient choices for long-distance journeys, especially to parts of central China as the western areas. Another option is the new bullet train allowing the tourists to travel to many cities in the central, eastern, and northeastern China. A train trip is not only fast but also convenient and economical.