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Leisure activities in China

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China is an East Asian country you will enjoy exploring. If you are settling or going on holidays here, you can choose from various leisure activities to keep yourself busy during your free time. You will be simply dazzled by its mountainous and lush landscapes, its rice fields and uplands as well as numerous places of attraction such as ancient temples and monuments. Unforgettable moments are guaranteed.

History and culture of China

The country has many historical and cultural sites where you can discover its rich heritage. The Warriors Museum, located in the north of Xi'An, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Urumqi is another stunning location — the capital of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, it is home to numerous places of worship and museums but also other relics, as well as traditional markets.

Take time to visit the famous symbolic urban monuments such as the "Bund", located in Shanghai, the Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the site of the Emperor Qin Shu Huangdi's buried army, the Great Buddha of Mount Emai, the Three Gorges Dam in Hubei, the Dazu Rock Carvings, the Jianshui Confucius Temple, or the Temple of the Three pagodas.

 Good to know:

Avoid travelling to famous attractions during Chinese national holidays — transportation as well as the locations themselves may be extremely crowded.

Nature in China

China has abundant fauna and flora. In fact, the country has countless natural wonders and parks where you can enjoy a walk and relax. The most beautiful gardens are located in the Suzhou area. Some of these are listed as World Heritage by UNESCO. Yu Gardens, which are located in Shanghai, will simply delight you.

Moreover, you can visit the natural parks of Macau, the Seven Star Park in Guilin, the Forest Museum in Xi 'An and the Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve in Xi Shan. You can not only contemplate their natural and endemic animal species, but also lakes and waterfalls surrounded by lush forest, as well as temples and historical ruins.

Chinese forests host hundreds of bamboo species. Moreover, some parks even have camping spaces.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is the country’s first national park but has become a popular tourist attraction only recently after its unique mountain set served as inspiration for the Hallelujah Mountains in the movie Avatar. The park now also features the world’s highest and longest glass bridge — Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge.

If you are looking to get away and get lost in expansive natural beauty and a blend of Tibetan and Han culture, you should make the time to visit the legendary Shangri-La City northwestern Yunnan province.

Urban visits

Those who prefer the fast pace of urban life, there is no shortage or lack of variety of leisure activities in China’s big cities. From traditional and international restaurants to nightclubs and exquisite shopping, Chinese urban centres have it all. Shopping, in particular, takes a special place in the country’s tourism and culture. Here, you will find some of the biggest shopping malls (South China Mall in Dongguan, IFC Mall in Hong Kong, Super Brand Mall in Shanghai), wholesale markets (Yiwu Market, Guangzhou Baima Costume Market) and electronics markets (SEG Electronics Mall in Shenzhen) that some tourists make the focal point of their visit.

China’s diverse cuisine and a great number of restaurants are attractions in themselves. Each province boasts a unique cooking style, which you can experience in big restaurants in the city centre or smaller street stalls in the back streets. If you want to splash out on a unique dining adventure, pay a visit to the country’s only three-star Michelin restaurant — Cantonese T’ang Court located in the Langham Shanghai Hotel.

Beaches

Aside from its mountains and countryside, China also has many coastal areas and beautiful beaches. Sanya, located in the south of Hainan Island, is considered the best destination in the country for a beach holiday. It is home to Yalong Bay Beach (known as Oriental Hawai), Dadonghai Beach, Tianya Haijiao and others.

The tourist island of Gulangyu off the southeast coast of Xiamen is home to another beautiful beach and a unique cultural setting — the island houses a piano museum, a bird sanctuary and a number of old historical buildings. In 2017, the island received the status of World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Beidaihe Scenic Area in Hebei offers a different type of setting with cool summers, warm winters, golden sand and pleasant mild sunshine. The neighbouring region of Hong Kong is also a known beach destination with Turtle Cove Beach, Tai Long Wan, Sai Wan Beach and others.

 Useful links:

National Tourism Association of the People’s Republic of China
China National Tourist Office

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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