China, also officially called the People’s Republic of China, is located in eastern Asia on the western shore of the Pacific Ocean. One of the world's four great ancient civilizations, China is a huge country that borders fourteen nations and is the most populated country in the world. Beijing is its capital and cultural center, and the country is a great place to visit. The ideal time to visit China is from March to May during spring, and during autumn from September to November. China has three main public holidays -- Chinese New Year during late January or early February, May Holiday during the first week of May, and National Day during the first week of October. All major tourist places and attractions will be crowded during this time and it is hard to find accommodation unless you book your hostels in China well in advance.
Beijing is one of China's six ancient cities and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. You can experience the society, history, and charm of China on a visit here. The Great Wall of China is one of its major attractions. Badaling is a famous section of the Great Wall with magnificent sights and military facilities. During peak season, this spot is quite crowded, although equally popular sections such as Mutianyu, Juyongguan, and Shuiguan are less crowded and you can enjoy exploring ancient towers, temples, and scenic spots. The Forbidden City, now called the Palace Museum, is the best preserved and largest architectural relic in the world. Get here early and get your tickets as soon as possible during holiday seasons so that you get a chance to get in. If you're traveling with children or if you are a child at heart who loves animals, stop off at the Beijing Zoo for a glimpse of some rare animals such as giant pandas, golden monkeys, Northeast tigers, and milu deer.
Another must-see city in China is the famous Shanghai, located on the estuary of Yangtze River. This city is home to many tourist attractions that include Nanjing Road, Yuyuan Garden, The Bund, World Financial Center, and Zhujiajiao Water Town. Pay a visit to the Jade Buddha Temple and explore the Shanghai Museum for some of China's forgotten yet memorable past. Xian, which is located in central northwest China, is one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization. Be sure to visit the world-famous Terracotta Warriors on your visit here. Make a trip to the Huashan Mountain with its many Taoist temples. This region is widely known for its five famous peaks that have their own charm.
On the southeast coast of China lies Hong Kong -- a Special Administrative Region of China with its own set of laws. A city made up of four parts, Hong Kong has numerous tourist destinations and is the center for entertainment and shopping. The ideal places to enjoy the perfect holiday are at The New Territories and Outlying Islands in Hong Kong. Victoria Harbor, Ocean Park, Causeway Bay, and Wong Tai Sin Temple are popular tourist spots.
You can find budget and backpackers hostels in China in cities such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Yangshuo, and Xi’an. Meet other tourists at such China hostels and share rides with them. Some hostels in China also organize tours, rent bikes, and arrange for your transportation tickets. Since hostels in China are still not very common, call and book your stay in advance. It also may be difficult to find English-speaking staff at hostels in China, so it is best to have a local or a Chinese-speaking person to help with your reservations.
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Hangzhou is an absolutely beautiful city. I took it as a 4 day trip out of Shanghai where I was studying and fell in love.
The Terracotta Army and the walled city are fantastic, inside the walls are old markets which are fun, but two days max is enough for Xi'an. Outside the walls are dreary houses and factories. Other downers are the taxi drivers who refuse to use meters, just get out of the cab, the beggars which to a Westerner are …
For Tianmen Mountain, Zhangjiajie is a fine location. For the rest of what you'd go to Zhangjiajie for (Golden Whip Stream nature hike; Yellow Dragon Caves; Baofeng Lake; and of course the Avatar-movie-type mountains, including "Hallelujah Mountain," stay in Wulingyuan. This is China, so don't expect Western …
Wudang Shan (Wudang Mountain), the famous Taoist mountain, is close to Wuhan. Xiang Fan is a cool stopover to get to the mountain, about an hour away.
Shanghai is like any big city and it feels too Western. The old city and Yuyuan Gardens is touristy but beautiful and the area across the water from the Bund is beautiful. There is not much to do here, so after three days I was ready to move on.
The old town is a must place to see. Go to Shangri-La.
I love Beijing! The air quality is terrible, the traffic is a nightmare, and all of the tourist sights are crowded, but I still love Beijing because there is so much to see and do. Locals are very friendly, but make sure you bring a Mandarin phrase book. I easily spent six days here.