This post is written by our host blogger nomadiciv@.

People's Republic of China is endowed with number of attractions. Thanks to the long and rich history China has enormous number of historical and cultural sites. As the third largest country China spans through a wide variety of terrain and climate and offers numerous natural attractions. In total China has 225 national parks – or in Chinese terminology National-level Scenic and Historic Interest Area.

On the other hand as the world's most populous country in the world you will hardly experience the solitude or you won't be completely alone at some touristy places. As a western “intruder” you can come across several cultural differences that are actually the reasons why you have come to this country. For example don't forget to read up on Chinese finger counting. You will avoid ordering 6 dumplings instead of two; or buying 18 subway tickets instead of 12. Prepare yourself for being a “celebrity” and practice your smile for group photos. Don´t be surprised by locals by very loud burping or blowing the nose.

Do you want to know the prices in China? Check out our China budget guide.


Map Places from the photo journey on the map


Forbidden City - Beijing
Forbidden City - Beijing
Forbidden City is a huge complex of traditional buildings. So huge that it can get a bit monotonous at the end of the visit.
The Temple of Heaven Park - Beijing
The Temple of Heaven Park - Beijing
The Temple of Heaven Park is especially interesting on weekends. Local people come here to play chess, exercise, practice tai-chi or sing.
Snack Street - Beijing
Snack Street - Beijing
What would you go for? Squid? Scorpio? Snake? Wasp? Or will you just be good with fruit on the stick in chocolate? They have anything you can imagine.
The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China
Seriously one of the highlights of our journey. If you see it you cannot imagine how the ancient people build this long astonishing massive structure in this kind of terrain.
Pingyao
Pingyao
The ancient city looks like in the Middle Ages. You can spend the whole day walking through the streets with cobble stones, lanterns, temples and stone towers.
Xi´an
Xi´an
Xi´an has a very nice city walls. You can rent a bike and ride around these 30 km long walls. The trip is especially beautiful with the sun set when the lights on the walls are turning on. Other must-see sights in Xi´An are the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower.
Terracotta Army
Terracotta Army
Terracotta Army was honestly the biggest disappointment. I expected a vast field of soldiers, but there is only one segment of this density uncovered, the rest are sporadic soldiers under reconstruction. It was also quite difficult to find the museum.
Jiuzhaighou
Jiuzhaighou
The national park has several levels of lakes, streams and waterfalls surrounded by mountain peaks. Attractions are mutually connected by wooden pathways.
Jiuzhaighou
Jiuzhaighou
The park is visited by locals especially in autumn when the leaves turn yellow and red and offer a spectacular show.
Songpan
Songpan
Although this place was just a transfer point on our journey I have to say we were pretty amazed by beautifully reconstructed city centre. An afternoon hike took us to highest altitude of 3000 m.
Chengdu
Chengdu
Panda Base Reservation is the best place to see and watch pandas. There is also a pavilion with panda incubator with super sweet panda babies. Except of the giant pandas there are red pandas as well. They are more energetic.
Chengdu surroundings
Chengdu surroundings
One of the typical shrines with red ribbons and their good wishes. You can buy one too.
Guilin
Guilin
The cruise to Yangshuo takes half a day. You can go either by a large boat or drive part of the track by a taxi and then float on a wooden raft. We chose the first option and fought for the Chinese boat. After an almost hour of discussion why it was not possible and that we had to go by boat for foreigners (double the Chinese price) we finally got the ticket. The landscape there is unbelievable.
The Longji Terraced Fields
The Longji Terraced Fields
Few hours of drive from Guilin you can find vast terraced rice fields. The paths are poorly marked, but we found the way using our phone and gps. The accommodation was the cheapest with a special benefit of 10 cm long cockroaches. Try the typical bamboo rice.
Zhangjiajie - so called Avatar Mountains
Zhangjiajie - so called Avatar Mountains
This huge national park is accessible from many sides and served as an inspiration for the movie.
Zhangjiajie - so called Avatar Mountains
Zhangjiajie - so called Avatar Mountains
There are lifts that will take you higher to the platforms to relish the view of the sandstone pillars.
Tianmen Mountain
Tianmen Mountain
You can find here the world's Longest Cable Car Ride up to the top of this mountain. The distance is 7 km and the journey takes 30 minutes. There is a glass walk on the top. We were a bit unlucky due to the thick fog and all we saw was just a white clouds all around.
Nanjing
Nanjing
Nanjing served as a transfer city for us to arrange a journey to Yellow Mountains. Finally it showed up to be very friendly and beautiful city with amazing historical centre with huge city walls as in Xi´An.
Huangshan - Yellow Mountains
Huangshan - Yellow Mountains
The giant granite mountains covered in mist and clouds 300 days a year, were the highlight of our trip. “You don't need to see any more mountains after seeing 'the Five Mountains', and you don't need to see the other four mountains after seeing Huangshan."
Huangshan - Yellow Mountains
Huangshan - Yellow Mountains
There are steep steps leading to the top of the Huangshan. The easiest way is to go by the cable way and walk back down. On the way down we met locals going up these thousands of steps, some ladies in high heels and mini dresses.
Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai´s Bund - skyscrapers with Pearl Tower - provides colorful spectacle in the night. We met significantly more foreigners here, some on the way to work in suit and with coffee in hand.
Restaurant menu
Restaurant menu
The translations are sometimes astonishing :)
Bullet trains
Bullet trains
There is a relatively brand new network of speed/bullet trains in China. Since they reach speed of 250 km per hour they dramatically shorten the travel time. There is even faster train in China - Maglev in Shanghai that reaches 430 km/h.
Chinese breakfast
Local people breakfast
Dumplings of all types or a soup. We know Churros from Spain but it originally comes from China.

Map Places from the photo journey on the map


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