Travel Blogger. ESL Teacher. Optimistic Millennial Adventurer!
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Well, well, well, if it ain’t Shanghai, China’s most populous city. It’s home to some 24 million people--registered, that is—spread out over 3,900 sq. meters (1,500 sq. miles) of beautiful, organized chaos.
You're in China, there's a holiday fast approaching, and you have zero clue as to where to spend your next vacation. Shanghai or Beijing? Nope, you've either been before or feel very keen on exploring some offbeat tourist hub you've probably never even heard of. Here's my list of 30+ top things to do and places to visit in China that aren't Shanghai or Beijing.
It's holiday time in China, you're in Shanghai, and looking for the best attractions and places to visit nearby. I know—you haven't got a clue about where to go, what to see, or what to do. Here's my list of 10+ top things to do and places to see near Shanghai:
‘First’ Flight: Aviation, Air Defense, Space Exploration & More on Display at China’s 2018 Zhuhai Air Show
I just might be the luckiest expat in China. After all, over the past 7 years I’ve had the most incredible experiences that I never could have imagined before stepping foot in the country. And truth be told, many of them—scratch that, the majority of them, have actually been ‘first’.
Ah, Chinese lantern festivals. Sure, you've seen snippets of them in movies, brochures, websites, and may have even visited one or two in your hometown, but have you actually caught one in China? Trust me, they're a million times more of a spectacle on the Mainland than anywhere in the world. Here's what you need to know and can expect at Chinese lantern festivals:
It’s been dubbed China’s ugliest building. Actually, it’s been credited as one of the ugliest buildings in the world. It’s China’s Emperor Building, or as it’s best known, the Beijing Tianzi Hotel. And truth be told, it ain’t that bad.
There's just something about China and statues that just goes hand in hand. They're everywhere--from small, 10-meter tall molds of prominent Chinese nationals in busy downtown areas to larger-than-life sculptures of religious deities perched on rural mountainsides and tourist beaches. They're eye-catching, they're symbolic, and as I've come to discover, worth every penny of the adventure you'll take just to see them. Here are the 10+ coolest statues in China you need to see ASAP:
Puzhehei—beautiful, just ... beautiful. Ever heard of it? It’s not exactly one of China’s top destinations to explore, but truth be told, it should be.
It’s the gambling capital of the world, and nope, it ain’t Las Vegas. It’s Macau—special administrative region of China, neighbor to Hong Kong, and it’s outpaced Vegas’ annual gambling revenue by as much as 7 times. And yep, I’ve been!
Oh boy, Hong Kong—have you been? It’s been one of my favorite travel destinations ever since I packed my bags, moved to China to work as an ESL teacher, and began my trek across East Asia. I first fell in love with Hong Kong during my initial 4-day visit back in 2012, and since then I’ve returned nearly several more times on solo trips and with family and friends. Here’s my list of 15+ reasons why I love Hong Kong and why you need to visit ASAP.
15+ Best Cultural Experiences & Activities in China to Show Off to Your Family & Friends When They Visit
So, you're living in China and have got some friends, family, or a boyfriend/girlfriend coming to visit. You know all the hot tourist hotspots, restaurants, bars, and clubs to hit, but what about actually showing off something, you know, cultural? After all, 'this is China'—a country brimming with more than 5,000 years of history and traditions. Here's my list of 15+ best cultural experiences and activities in China to show off to your family and friends when they come visit.
I can't believe I've finally visited China's dopest mountain! And no, I'm not referring to Huangshan "Yellow Mountain" or even Zhangjiajie's "Avatar" Mountain—I've been to both of those too. I'm talking about China's Zhangye Danxia National Geopark, or most famously called, "Rainbow Mountains".
Ah, Chinese food--you just got a love it! It's tasty, it's colorful, it's healthy, it's jam-packed with a variety of aromas, and it heavily incorporates influences of China's longstanding history, culture, and traditions.
Why Touring Yunnan's Lijiang Ancient Town & Tiger Leaping Gorge During China's Golden Week Was the Best Trip Ever
I came. I saw. I conquered. I toured Yunnan Province's Lijiang city during China's October National Holiday week and it turned out to be one of my best trips ever!
Hands down, the best list of popular attractions and top things to do in the Pudong District of Shanghai, by an expat whose actually lived there!
It's only been two days, but I still can't believe that I caught my first ever space rocket launch--the Long March 5--in China, my home of the past six and a half years. And boy was it one hell of an experience!
Why Touring Inner Mongolia’s Xilamuren Grasslands & Xiangshawan Desert Turned Out to Be One of My Most EPIC Adventures in China!
Yurts, grasslands, folk wrestling, camels, and dune buggies? Yep, it happened. I finally, finally, finally, got the chance to tour Inner Mongolia--Hohhot to be exact. That's right, it was 2017's Labor Day holiday in China, and having already hit many of the country’s top destinations over the past 5 and 1/2 years, I figure'd it was finally time to cross Inner Mongolia off of the bucket list. And guess what? It turned out to be one of my best China adventures yet!
I can't believe it. I've officially laid eyes on one of the coolest pieces of homegrown technology China has to offer: Guizhou's Five-Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, known as FAST. Ever heard of it?
Live in China long enough and you'll discover it's home to some of the best statues across the world. There's everything from towering Buddhist sculptures to larger-than-life monuments of iconic presidents in Chinese history.
Karsts hills, bamboo rafting, 5-hour cruises, scenic bike routes, hiking trails, and the most beautiful natural scenery you can find across China. What an awesome way to celebrate my 30th birthday in Guilin, China!
Teaching English abroad in China has been an adventure of a lifetime. I’ve taught hundreds of young and passionate ESL learners, experienced new cultures, met people from all walks of life, and explored numerous regions around the world that I had once only known from television and movies.
It’s arguably China’s most famous mountain. It's got unforgettable sunrises, beautiful sunsets, lots of lush green forestry, hot springs, and plenty of tourist 'friendly' walking planks perched on the steepest cliffs imaginable. By the way, it's listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site and is classified as an AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration.
You’ve seen James Cameron's Avatar, right? Remember those cool, floating mountains of Pandora? Well, did you know that they were actually inspired by the mountainous landscape of China’s own Zhangjiajie National Forest? Or how about China's Heaven's Gate? Ever heard of it? It's also in Zhangjiajie, and it's this giant hole in Tianmen Mountain that's big enough for an adrenaline junkie to jump in a wingsuit, drop out of a plane, and fly right through it. Trust me, that's actually happened!
Ah, Spring Festival--the time of Chinese New Year that calls for the world’s biggest annual human migration. Hundreds of millions of people will not only travel far and wide across China to bring in the new year with loved ones, but they'll also set a record number of trips in and out of the country to explore popular tourist destinations.
Ah, Harbin's Snow and Ice Festival. Have you been? It's one of the coolest adventures I've ever been on, and take that literally. Well, not cool, but FREEZING. Into to negatives. Apocalyptic cold. And ... well, you get the picture. And you know what? It was definitely worth it!