8 Reasons Why China Should Be Your Next Travel Destination
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Nothing is more off-the-beaten path than China, and by off the beaten path I mean basically another planet. The scenery, people, and culture is nothing short of out of this world. While Southeast Asia has blossomed in popularity, China remains off the radar, making it an awesome place for some truly authentic travel experiences. If China is not on your list of places to see, it should be, and here’s why!
1) Best Value for Your Money
China is a budget travelers dream. It is such an affordable place to travel. Stick to the local amenities and you will have an experience jam packed with activities, and adventures without breaking the bank. Chinese food, hotels, transportation, and attractions are all super cheap. You can easily travel around China on $20 USD/day while staying in a hotel, eating out, and seeing the sights!
2) Variety of Experiences
China is essentially a developing version of the USA, with even more variety. Every region of the country is distinctly different, in scenery, weather, food, and culture from the islands and tropics of the South, to the mega cities along the coast, the immense mountain ranges in the west, and magnificent karst topography carved out by rivers in the mid west. Whether you enjoy history and culture, mountains, the ocean, or big city shopping and night life, China has something for everyone.
China is a foodie’s paradise. You can literally eat your way around the country, traveling from province to province sampling the local food, which is distinctly different in each region of the country. Chinese food is absolutely delicious, and so much better than the westernized versions you eat at home. From southern dim sum to spicy Sichuan cuisine, there is a flavor and texture to suit every taste bud.
China has one of the oldest civilizations in the world, and the historical landmarks here have stood for over a thousand years. Take in the country’s history visiting the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, the LeShan Giant Buddha, as well as countless other historical landmarks, temples, and “old towns” showcasing traditional architecture.
5) Out of this World Natural Landscapes
China has some of the most amazing scenery that will literally make your jaw drop. The karst topography is like nothing else in the world, boasting such wonders as Zhangjiajie, the inspiration for the scenery in the movie Avatar. You will also find stunning waterfalls and river vistas, the most famous of which, found in Guilin, appears on the 20 yuan bill. Some other amazing landscapes on our list to see include Jiuzhaigou National Park in Sichuan, and the rainbow mountains in Gansu province.
China is an amazing place for a variety of different outdoor adventures. The country has amazing hiking spots, and for real adventure seekers, you can’t miss the chance to hike Huashan, the world’s most dangerous hiking trail. China is also a fabulous place for a bike tour, with epic cross country highways that boast stunning views, numerous towns and villages with cheap restaurants and hotels, and the ability to camp pretty much anywhere in the countryside, no questions asked. Out west, especially near the Tibetan plateau, horse trekking is a popular activity with rides ranging from 1 day to 1 or 2 weeks exploring the beautiful mountain countryside. For serious thrill seekers, China also has the world’s highest bungee jump, located in Macau (I know, I know I’ve said before the Macau is not really China, but it is on the map so it gets included in this instance).
China is basically another planet, and comes with about as different a culture as you can find from the west (topped perhaps only by the Middle East). Coming to China is like experiencing a whole new world. You will feel at once like an alien and a celebrity, with people constantly staring at you and wanting to take your picture. People will go out of their way to say hello to you, and will compliment you profusely on how good your Chinese is, despite the fact that your vocabulary can be counted on one hand. When eating in restaurants you will share communal dishes, use chopsticks, and throw everything you’ve ever been taught about table manners out the window. Shovel rice in your mouth, slurp your noodles, and burp profusely and no one cares. Their social culture has been around for thousands of years, and is completely fascinating to be immersed in.
As most of you know, everything now a days is made in China, so it should come as no surprise that the shopping here is incredible. Anything you want, you can find it, and for just about any price, from cheap knock offs to expensive name brands. China has an astounding copy culture, and they are notorious for “stealing” information and technology, but the upside for shoppers is that they make amazing knock offs. They even have copy markets, where you can show them a picture, or bring them an item you want replicated and they will make it for you, at a fraction of the cost of the real thing.
What’s your favorite thing about traveling in China?
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