And more than meets the eye, there is much more to be done in China than just visiting an iconic wall of the Forbidden City.
1. Visit the Great Wall of China
As they say, ‘who hasn’t been to the Great Wall of China has not been to China’. Although I do not share this opinion. But if you are in Beijing, be sure to go see the longest structure built by mankind. The most important thing on the wall is to realize all the majesty of this structure. Try to imagine how people were able to build 8 thousand kilometers of the wall.
North of Beijing, there are two of the best sections of the Great Wall for tourists – Badaling and Mutianyu. For an independent trip, I recommend Badaling, as it is easier to get here by train. If you prefer an organized excursion, then I recommend Mutianyu as a more interesting area, but almost not accessible to public transport.
2. See the Giant Panda
This animal is considered one of the main symbols of China. No major Chinese zoo is complete without pandas. The easiest way to see them is at the Beijing Zoo, or the Zoo in Shanghai. I can also recommend the Wuhan Zoo, this is a wonderful place. But the best place to meet pandas is at the Panda Science Center in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province. Here you can see not one, and not two, but hundreds of pandas. They live in a natural environment, and you can observe their behavior, which can not be done in zoos.
3. Take the Maglev train at a speed of 430 kilometers per hour
The fastest train on Earth is the Shanghai Maglev. It runs between Pudong Airport and Shanghai City. Not every flight travels at a record speed of 430 kilometers per hour. In our article on the link above you will find the flight schedule, be guided by it.
I would not say that you will get some gigantic sensations. This train runs quieter than the suburban electric trains, because it does not travel on rails, but flies above the ground on a magnetic cushion. It is interesting to watch how buildings fly by, and how you dashingly overtake motorists on the highway nearby.
4. Enter the real tea market
The tea markets are one of the most amazing phenomena in China, which causes a storm of emotions among tourists. Huge buildings or streets selling exclusively tea, tea tables, cups, and teapots. You can see the scale of the Chinese love for tea only here. The most famous such market is located in Beijing on Malinda Street. I recommend visiting it first of all.
5. See the real night market
Night markets for the Chinese are more of a pastime than shopping. There are many restaurants, cafes, and food stalls in the night markets. Here people meet in the evening, chat, dine and have fun. In my opinion, the most colorful night market in China is Wangfujing in Beijing. There are hundreds of food stalls from all provinces in China. You need to see it.
6. Wander around the big Chinese shopping center
Have you been to the Golden Babylon shopping center in Moscow? There are twice as many shopping malls in China. I used the word ‘wander’ in the title for a reason, you can get lost here. In Beijing, there is a whole area of the city, which consists only of shopping centers – this is the Xidan area.
7. Take a bird’s eye view of Shanghai
Visiting high-rise observation decks is the main tourist attraction in Shanghai. The view is stunning, and only here you can deeply realize what a huge Shanghai is – the largest city on planet Earth. The most popular observation deck among tourists is located at the Pearl of the East TV tower. She is famous for her transparent floor. Less popular are the observation decks on the Jin Mao skyscrapers and the ‘opener tower’.
Soon, the Shanghai Tower will open to tourists, and there will be the highest observation deck in the world, pushing the Burj Khalifa skyscraper from the pedestal in the United Arab Emirates.
8. Try Chinese alcohol
Chinese alcohol is one of the most colorful phenomena in the world. Beer is common here, but wine and spirits are a real attraction. Most Russians cannot even drink them because of the characteristic smell. After all, this is what makes China interesting for tourists – its color. I recommend not trying Baijiu Chinese vodka directly in China.
Buy a bottle and try it with friends and family at home, it’s much more interesting. See which of your friends is the bravest, who dares to drink a glass first? The bottle will weigh only about half a kilogram, a worthy addition to the list of gifts and entertainment to bring from China.
9. Visit at least one museum of Chinese antiquities
The history of China is 6 thousand years of development of culture and civilization. A must-see is the collection of ancient ceramics, bronze, painting, calligraphy, and sculpture. You do not need to stand and look at each exhibit, you can just walk around the museum. The main thing is to realize all the antiquity of this culture and its diversity.
The largest and most interesting collection is at the National Museum of China in Beijing on Tiananmen Square. Would recommend this museum first. If you are flying to Shanghai, the Shanghai Museum of Ancient Art is a good choice. The third most interesting collection of antiquities is at the Hubei Museum in Wuhan. Every major city in China has its history museum, be sure to check it out.
10. Try famous Chinese dishes
Chinese cuisine is famous primarily for its variety. You will never taste all her dishes, there will not be enough lifetime or the size of your wallet for this. However, it is imperative to try a few dishes, otherwise, the trip to China will hardly be complete. First on the list is Peking Duck, as it is the most famous Chinese dish outside the country. The second is pork in sweet and sour sauce, this dish is also known all over the world and is very tasty. And third – fruit in caramel, but not a street snack, but a full-fledged dish in a restaurant.