First Time Travel to China
Aug 23, 2018 - Diane China Travel
What are the things that pop into your mind when you think about China? The Forbidden City? The Great Wall? Terracotta Warriors? Ancient Water Towns? Mouthwatering food? Well, you got it all right! Those are exactly the things you can’t miss as a first-time visitor.
Believe it or not, you can experience all the places mentioned above and learn everything about China from north to south just by visiting three cities: Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai!
First stop: Beijing; the capital city political center of China. It has been the capital of many past empires, and all its breathtaking sightseeing destinations stand as evidence of their glorious history. For starters, you might want to take a day to visit the Great Wall and specifically, Mutianyu which is the most beautiful section of the Wall and the one with the least tourists compared to the Badaling Section. If hiking isn’t your thing, then the cable car up and the slide down is a great choice to enjoy this adventure. There are many boutique hotels and inns to select if you prefer to spend the night in the mountain and watch the astonishing Great Wall sunset with a glass of locally made wine in your hand. Following the Great Wall, the Forbidden City is located at the heart of the city and can take up half of your day to visit. It is hard to park or find a taxi but it is very easy to maneuver with the underground metro system. When you visit the Forbidden City, it is definitely worth your time to go to Jingshan Park - which is right next door! You can enjoy a great view of the Forbidden City and experience the contrast between the modern busy street and the historic emperor’s palace. Peking Duck is one dish you have to try before departing the city by visiting Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant at Tuanjiehu which is one of the most highly rated places by local people.
Off to our next destination: Xi’an! The overnight train from Beijing to Xi’an is a great choice to save money and your time. Heading to the Terracotta Warriors should be the first thing you do in the morning if you don’t want to be caught between multiple tourist groups. You can even make small terracotta soldier figures and take them back as a souvenir! The dumpling banquet and Tang Dynasty Music Show are a great way to spend your night. If you have extra time and are interested in ancient Chinese calligraphy, definitely pay a visit to the Xi’an Beilin Museum. The tablets there are hundreds of years old and they offer very rare inscription rubbings from the original tablets!
After getting a fair taste of northern China. It's time to make your way to the south. Shanghai is the financial center of China and a fast-paced and vibrant city. You can find all kinds of authentic international cuisines and western style pubs in the French District. After a week of eating Chinese cuisine, it is not a bad idea to switch it up a little and give your stomach a break. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is the best place to go for a birds-eye view of this amazing city if you are not afraid of heights. You can find all kinds of authentic local street food around Yuyuan Garden and Chenghuang Temple. If you plan to stay more than 2 days in Shanghai, you may want to make your way to Wuzhen Ancient Water Town. It is about one and a half hours' drive from the city and it is definitely worth the effort. It is one of the most popular water towns in China and the fame is well deserved. There are many fun activities to experience, like a Chinese paper lantern workshop, Chinese indigo fabric print, and dye workshops. Standing among the traditional fabric drying yard, you can create the most amazing Instagram pictures. It is suggested to stay overnight in the water town as the nightlife is part of the experience you don’t want to miss. Also, the canal boat ride has a much better view at night with all the lanterns and lights hanging outside the ancient buildings switched on. We provide these Tips in our Travel Blog to help make Finding Cheap Flights easy.