Our Top 4 China Destinations

The sun is out, and the shades are on. But don’t let the good weather trick you to staying put here for the summer!

After a gruelling selection process, today we are sharing with you our crème de la crème of holiday hotspots in China. By this we mean places that offer a varied insight into China’s diverse culture. 

More importantly, this post should spur you on to journey to the Middle Kingdom and use those essential travel phrases from last week!

So read ahead for Chinese Viewfinder’s 4 top travel destinations; Beijing, Guilin, Hangzhou and Chengdu.

1. Beijing (Northern China)
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Interesting facts:

1)
Beijing – 北京– Its name literally means “northern capital” in Chinese.
2) Birth-place of Mandarin Chinese (Standard dialect) – listen out for that famous ‘er’ sound!
3) Climate: Monsoon influenced with cool springs, cold winters and extremely hot summers.

Popular dishes:
Apart from Beijing Kaoya (Roast Duck), Beijing is equally known for its special ‘Zha Jiangmian’; a noodle dish with ground pork simmered with salty fermented soy-bean paste. ‘Fuling Jiabing’ is also another popular pancake snack commonly eaten by Beijingers since the Qing dynasty.

Unique customs and traditions:
Beijing Opera (Peking opera) is a national treasure with a history of 200 years. It represents the finest combination of literature, music, dance, martial arts, fine arts, acrobatics and many other arts.

Attractions:
Tiananmen Square, The Bell Tower, Houhai and The Great Wall of China.

2. Guilin (Southern China)

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Interesting facts:
1) Guilin –
桂林– “The forest of sweet osmanthus”. Guilin owes its name to the large number of fragrant Sweet Osmanthus trees located in the city. 
2) It is one of China’s most popular tourist destinations due to its Shangri-la esque scenery.
3) Climate: The general climate of Guilin follows a monsoon-regulated pattern, with warm spring months, hot and humid summer months, cool autumnal months and modestly cold winters.

Popular dishes:
‘Zong Zi’, a dumpling made from glutinous rice and mung bean paste wrapped in a bamboo or banana leaf, is a popular delicacy in Guilin.

Unique customs and traditions:
Li River Fishermen customs – Due to Guilin’s rich water resource and varied species of fish, many fishermen live by the famous Li River, earning a living by fishing. This tradition is thousands of years old.

Attractions:
Reed flute cave; Moon Hill; Yang Shou; Li River.

3. Hangzhou (Eastern China)

TravelD_Hangzhou2

Interesting facts:
1) Often credited as one of the most scenic and culturally significant cities in China – its famous West Lake is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2) Hangzhou is home to the largest silk museum in the world.
3) Climate: Humid subtopical with four distinctive seasons. Summer months are long and hot in contrast with cool, dry winter months.

Popular dishes:
“Beggar’s chicken” is a a dish famous for its cooking method – the chicken stuffed, wrapped in clay, and roasted following a traditional Eastern Chinese recipe.

Unique customs and traditions:
Yue Opera, which originated in Hangzhou’s province, is the second-largest opera form in china. There is also a strong tradition of tea culture in Hangzhou.

Attractions:
West Lake; Jingci Temple; Baochu Pagoda; Xixi National Wetland Park.

4. Chengdu (Southern China)
Chengdu

Interesting facts:
1) Although ‘Chengdu’ has been the original city name for two thousand years, Chengdu actually has three nicknames; The City of Hibiscus (Chinese: 蓉城; pinyin: Róngchéng), The Brocade City (Chinese: 锦城; pinyin: Jinchéng), and The Turtle City (simplified Chinese: 龟城; pinyin: Guichéng).
2) Chengdu has established the worlds’ largest breeding research centre for the giant panda; one of the rarest animals in the world.
3) Climate: Chengdu is largely mild and humid with a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate. Temperatures can reach an average of 30 degrees in summer and an average of 4 degrees in winter.

Popular dishes:
Two popular local dishes are Grandma Chen’s tofu and Dan Dan Mien (noodle dish).

Unique customs and traditions:
A main cornerstone of Chengdu heritage is the city’s tea culture. Traditional teahouses are still flourishing with the locals and tourists, where customers can play Mahjong and sometimes watch Sichuan opera shows.

Attractions:
Mount Qingcheng; Wenshu Monastery; Jinli Street; Wolong National Nature Reserve.

 

These four listed are just a slither of what China has to offer for the budding tourist. There is no denying that each city’s unique cultural heritage and rich array of historic attractions will be sure to open up a new perspective of China.

 

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