Best Places to Visit for Expats in China

No matter you are in China for business, study or permanent living, you are highly suggested to make maximize use of your weekends and holidays to explore this wonderful country. Maybe getting up close to the incredible landscapes is your preference? Are you interested in the unique culture of the Great Wall, Kung Fu and ancient army? Or do you want to take your taste buds on a trip by sampling Chinese specialties? China offers all of this and more.

Here are up-to-date lists of Best Places to Visit in China for China Expats. All are voted completely by over 20,000 foreigners in China.

China Icons

Beijing Great Wall Beijing Great Wall
Shanghai The Bund Shanghai The Bund
Xian Terra-Cotta Warrior  Xian Terra-Cotta Warrior
Guilin Li River Guilin Li River
Chengdu Panda Base Chengdu Pandas
Lhasa Potala Palace Lhasa Potala Palace
Silk Road Silk Road

For Nature Lovers

Have you been yearning to nature for a long time? China has everything for you, from the majestic gorges to towering Kast Mountains, magical avatar mountains to holy snow mountains, breathtaking Yellow Mountain to beautiful Rainbow Mountains, stunning rivers to pure alpine lakes, otherworldly stone forest to spectacular waterfalls, and so on.

  • Jiuzhaigou
    Jiuzhaigou, or called Jiuzhai Valley, enjoys the reputation of The Land of Fairy Tale. It boasts the most gorges waterscape in the world!
  • Li River
    Guilin's Scenery is the best under heaven! This ideal place always drives tourists crazy with majestic Karst Hills, emerald rivers…
  • Yellow Mountain
    Yellow Mountain
    "No mountain is worth seeing after a trip to Yellow Mountain". Yellow Mountain, or called Huangshan, is the most beautiful mountain in China!
  • Zhangjiajie
    Avatar Mountains are calling! Here in Zhangjiajie, you can get up close to thousands of magical Avatar pillars!
  • Three Gorges
    Three Gorges
    Three Gorges are the most stunning sections of Yangtze River. You can take amazing Yangtze River Cruises to sail through them!
  • Huangguoshu Waterfall
    Guizhou has China's largest waterfall - Huangguoshu Waterfalls, a rising star among mountaineers - Fanjingshan…
  • Zhangye Danxia Landform Geographical Park
    Zhangye Danxia Landform Geographical Park boasts surreal Rainbow Mountains that hard to be seen anywhere else in China!
  • Daocheng Yading
    Daocheng is praised as the Last Pure Land on Our Planet! It has superb snow mountains, ice glaciers, alpine lakes, valleys…
  • Hangzhou
    When it comes to the most beautiful lake in China, Hangzhou West Lake usually tops the list. Mountains of tea plantations in this city are also amazing!
  • Kunming
    Kunming, the spring city with pleasant weather all year round, is also rich in natural wonders like the stone forest, red land…
  • Harbin China Snow Town
    Where to admire the most dreaming snow sceneries in China? Harbin always tops the answers!
  • Qinghai
    Qinghai, which literally means Blue Sea, is famed for its magnificent Qinghai Lake, Chaka Salt Lake…

For Chinese History & Culture Fans

With as long as 5,000 years of history, China has abundant of cultural museums and heritages to explore. It is because of its long history and splendid culture that every year China attracts flocks of visitors to come and travel around. If you are also Chinese culture fans, simply visiting museums isn’t always enough. You’ll get the most satisfactions out of ruins of ancient times in front of you and visiting places that once the capital and prosperous hub in the past. Getting close to its historic cities and sites is like opening a door to trace the mysterious and splendid past. And in China, the cities below are the top picks to trace its past.

  • Beijing
    From the world-class Great Wall to spectacular Forbidden City, Beijing, of course, always tops the travel list of Chinese culture fans.
  • Xian
    Xi’an, the capital of 13 dynasties and once ruled by as many as 73 emperors, has massive historical ruins, museums and cultural relics to explore.
  • Dunhuang
    Dunhuang is the brightest star on the Silk Road and a vital border defensive city of Hexi Corridor. Here, you can discover great grottoes, mural paintings…
  • Luoyang
    Luoyang is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization and the eastern starting point of Silk Road. It was once the capital of 13 dynasties in Chinese history.
  • Pingyao
    Pingyao is about 3.5~4 hours away from either Beijing or Xian. Its Pingyao Ancient Town is one of China’s Four Best Preserved Ancient Towns in existence.
  • Datong
    Datong has a perfect mix of Buddhist culture, frontier fortress culture, etc. It has Yungang Grottoes, Hanging Temple, etc. waiting for you to explore.
  • Lijiang
    Lijiang Old Town is one of the four best well-preserved ancient towns in the whole China. Lijiang also has Baisha Village, Shuhe Ancient Village…
  • Hangzhou
    Hangzhou is proud of its world-famous West Lake and the first-class Dragon Well Tea. The city with over 2,200 years of history is also no lack of historic treasures.
  • Nanjing
    Nanjing, as its name "the southern capital" implies, is a vital capital city in Chinese history (6 dynasties in total). Numerous heritages can be found in the city.
  • Suzhou
    "Suzhou Gardens are the finest under heaven". Suzhou City has a flavor of elegance everywhere, from the classic gardens to water towns, silk factories to ancient streets…
  • Foshan
    Fungfu Fans? Why not add Foshan, the Hometown of Marital Arts, into your trip? You can learn the stories of many martial arts masters here, including Bruce Lee!
  • Shaolin Temple
    Shaolin Temple
    Shaolin Temple is the birthplace of Chinese Kung Fu that you see in many Kung Fu movies. Here, you can join the Kung Fu classes and enjoy Kung Fu shows.
  • Kaili
    If you are curious about the minority culture in China, or want to visit some well-preserved minority villages, Kaili is one of the best choices.
  • Leshan
    Leshan Giant Buddha is a must-visit for all Buddhist devotees. This stone Buddha is the tallest in the world!
  • Dali
    Dali is one of the oldest cultural birthplaces of Yunnan. It used to be the capital of kingdoms of this region. Shaxi Old Town is also there.

For Families

If you are in China with your kids and searching for places to spend your weekends and holidays, choices are a lot. You can visit the China Icons like Great Wall and pandas, sail the picturesque Yangtze River or Li River and marvel at the Avatar Mountains in Zhangjiajie and so on.

  • Beijing
    Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tian'anmen Square, Temple of Heaven, Hutong, Summer Palace, Beijing Olympic Park… Choose your likes to create happy memories.
  • Xian
    Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Ancient City Wall, Muslim Quarter, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda , Bell Tower, Drum Tower… Everyone can have fun in Xian.
  • Yangtze River
    Yangtze River
    The classic Yangtze River cruises take 4~5 days. If you have more days, you can have an in-depth visit of 11~15 days. Everything is perfectly arranged for your family.
  • Shanghai
    Shanghai Disney Resort, Maglev Train, Shanghai Circus World, Zhujiajiao Ancient Town... A family selfie with the Shanghai Oriental Tower is also great.
  • Zhangjiajie
    Floating Avatar Mountains, Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge, Yellow Dragon Cave, nearby tranquil Fenghuang Ancient Town…
  • Chengdu
    Everyone loves adorable Pandas! And in Chengdu, you can not only admire their lovely looks in a distance but also be a one-day keeper to feed them...
  • Yangshuo
    Guilin’s scenery is the best under earth, and the landscape in Yangshuo is the best in Guilin. Yangshuo is an ideal place to take a glimpse of Chinese countryside!
  • Sanya
    Blue sky, white clouds, golden beaches, fresh sea breezes, delicious sea foods and duty-free stores… Sanya is always a wonderland.
  • Xiamen
    Amazing coastal views, pleasant weather all year around, rich historic architectures, interesting music factors and delicious snacks make Xiamen an ideal trip location.
  • Xiashuangbanna
    Featured with large groups of plants and wild animals and a strong flavor of tropical and South East Asian, Xishuangbanna is a popular tourist land for families.
  • Moganshan
    Moganshan is a perfect place for a short break of 2~3 days. It is especially popular when summer comes, because it has pleasant climate and broad mountain vista.

For Hiking Aficionados

Looking for some amazing accesses to wonderful mountains, gorges and so on by your steps? No matter you are beginners or experienced hikers, China can perfectly fulfill your dreams. There are notable great wall, popular Yellow Mountain, adventurous Mount Kailash, little-known Yubeng and so forth for you to choose!

  • Great Wall
    Great Wall
    "He who has not climbed the Great Wall is not a true man"! There are top 7 sections of great walls are calling, including Mutianyu, Jinshaling, Badaling, Simatai, etc.
  • Yellow Mountain
    Yellow Mountain
    Hiking in Yellow Mountain is extremely awe-inspiring! While hiking, you will be rewarded with fantastic views of surrounding peaks, sea of clouds…
  • Tiger Leaping Gorge
    Tiger Leaping Gorge
    The Tiger Leaping Gorge hiking trail is one of the most famous routes in the world! It is a totally natural one winding through the hillside and cliffs high above a gorgeous gorge.
  • Mount Emei
    Mount Emei
    Hiking in Mount Emei is a fantastic choice to get close to not only nature but also sacred Buddhist culture and adorable monkeys.
  • Mount Hua
    Mount Hua
    Mount Hua is a gorgeous mountain near Xi’an. It gives you unique hiking experience to walk across narrow trails bolted into the side or top of a 7,000-foot peak.
  • Mount Siguniang
    Mount Siguniang
    The beautiful Mount Siguniang provides diverse of hiking opportunities, from leisure hiking to top professional hiking to the summits of Snow Mountains.
  • Yubeng
    Enjoying epic hiking in Yubeng allows you to get close to secluded Tibetan villages, waterfalls, meadows, forests and valleys at the foot of Meili Snow Mountain.
  • Mount Tai
    Mount Tai
    Taishan is the leader of the Five Sacred Mountains. The hiking trail there is said to have been hiked for at least 3,000 years. The hikers include the ancient emperors!
  • Mount Wutai
    Mount Wutai
    Mount Tai offers picturesque plateau sceneries dotted along the hiking routes. Being one of the Four Greatest Buddhist Mountains, it is also a spiritual heaven for pilgrims.
  • Mount Kailash
    Mount Kailash
    Hiking to the holy Mount Kailash, the most sacred mountain in the world, is very popular for pilgrims. The 52-kilometers formidable kora takes about 3 days to finish.

For Foodies

Every city in China offers diverse delicious dining options. You can of course treat your taste mud with excellent dishes in the city you are living or working. However, if you want some authentic tastes of specialties of different regions, you can head to Chengdu for Sichuan Cuisine dishes like Kung Pao Chicken, to Chongqing for Nine-grid hot pot, to Shunde for excellent Cantonese Cuisine, to Xian for various kinds of cooked wheaten food…

  • Chengdu
    Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan, the province where many notable dishes like including Mapo Tofu, Twice Cooked Pork and Gong Bao (yes Kung Pow) Chicken originate.
  • Shunde
    Shunde is the birthplace of Cantonese Cuisine. And thus, you can savor the authentic Cantonese dishes here, including Shrimp Dumpling, Rice Rolls…
  • Beijing
    Everyone knows Beijing Roast Duck! Instant-boiled Mutton is also delicious. You may also like the unique Fermented Mung Bean Juice, Rolling Donkey, Pea Flour Cake…
  • Xian
    Beyond the rich historical atmosphere, the food in Xian is also amazing. Cooked wheaten food is the most remarkable, like the famous Chinese Hamburger…
  • Chongqing
    The hot pot meals in Chongqing, the Hot Pot City in China, are considered to the best and most beloved. You can throw almost any ingredient into the hotpot.
  • Changsha
    Changsha is very well known for the famous Stinky Toufu and crayfish dishes. This city also has Spicy Salted Duck, Sugar Oil Baba…

For Photography Enthusiasts

Photography is a great way to record the beautiful China and forever keep your memories during your travels in China. No matter you are professional photospheres with superb photographic "guns" or shutterbugs who just want some interesting Instagram images, China never let you down. From the sprawling mountains to the scenic beaches, idyllic rice terraces to never-ending meadows, China is full of great places to press your shutter.

  • Yuanyang
    The over 3,000 terraces of different shape and size, dancing rays of sunshine, traditional rural villages life make Yuanyang Rice Terraces a paradise for photographers!
  • Xiapu
    Xiapu Mudflat enjoys the reputation of the "Most Beautiful Coastal Line in China". Here, you can take perfects photos with a mix of ever-changing beach, working fishers…
  • Tulou
    Those impressive gigantic dwelling clusters of round, rectangle or other strange shapes hidden in the mountainous region of Fujian are waiting for your camera!
  • Longji Rice Terraces
    Longji Rice Terraces
    Longji Rice Terraces in Guilin is not only famous for its huge size and traditional minority culture, but also unique terraces in amazing shapes of moons, phoenixes, dragons...
  • Bashang
    The vast and boundless meadows dotted with horses grazing in a leisurely stroll are also wonderful places to create photos. Bashang Grassland is one of the top picks.
  • Kanas
    Kanas, the Garden of the God, is famous for its pure natural looks full of emerald streams, lush forest, adorable wild animal and mysterious mist...

For Modern Charms Philatelists

Looking forward to visit the modern cities to experience the rapid development of China or to feel the most state-of-the-art high-techs? There are also a lot of recommendations in China.

  • Shanghai
    Shanghai introduces you the most modern looks of China with its record-breaking skyscrapers up to the clouds, never-sleeping night views, world-class restaurants…
  • Hong Kong
    Hong Kong
    From high-end shopping malls to colorful recreation venues, luxury cruises to stunning skyline, every corner in Hong Kong gives you perfect explanations about modern.
  • Shenzhen
    Shenzhen is regarded as an incubator for cutting-edge design, a rule-breaking tech hub and a bastion of next-gen urbanism. High-tech stories usually starts here!
  • Guangzhou
    Guangzhou is at the forefront of modern living, but is not that crazy as Shanghai and Shenzhen. Shopping and dining sprees there are great!

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