Top 5 Off the Beaten Path Destinations in China

Daniel A. Tanner - Feb 24, 2014
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With the holiday season not far away, most people are searching for great destinations they can visit. China is a popular target for world’s travelers, having popular attractions such as the Terracotta Warriors and The Great Wall. The problem with most of these sights however is that they are full of exasperating crowds, tour guides and the prices are also very high. Still, Chines hides a number of less known places perfect for anyone interested in venturing further into the local culture and getting a real taste of the Chinese history.

Tengchong and Ruili in Western Yunnan

When most people visit Yunnan, they only go as far as Shangri-La, Lijiang and Dali. Tengchong and Ruili are two rarely visited cities located at the Burmese border. They offer a unique mix of historic sites, amazing culture and local beauty.

Tengchong has remarkable tourist attractions that include marvelous hot springs, a dormant volcano, an old town built with the traditional Chinese architecture, and a rich culture of the local Burmese community. It is also a major historic destination, being one of the major World War II sites in Yunnan and it has a historical memorial park at a site where one of the fiercest fighting took place.

Ruili is a tropical city that is home to amazing waterfalls and rain forests. It also has a rich Burmese culture and a booming Dai culture.

The Xinjiang Province

Xinjiang Province has one of the unique blends of Chinese culture. The Uighur culture found in the region is very distinctive from the Chinese one, with the Uighur people having their own language and customs.

Xinjiang Province boasts of spectacular desert scenery, ancient mosques and bazaars and it is home to magnificent snow-capped mountains. The province is popular for its great food that is similar to the Middle Eastern cuisine. Xinjiang ban mian, also known as Chinese spaghetti is one of the most popular dishes in the region.

Xinjiang also has a rich music culture, featuring unique singing styles and musical instruments, which are similar to the Arabic and Indian styles. Xinjiang Province is the perfect place to experience exotic Asian cultures.

Qinghai Province

Qinghai is one of the few places outside Tibet, where you can find Tibetan culture. The region is home to a sundry landscape that features grasslands, deserts, snow-capped mountains and one of the largest inland salt-water lakes in China. Qinghai is home to Taaer Monastery, a Buddhist temple of the Yellow Hat sect, which has been around for more than four centuries.

The province is also home to spectacular wildlife and it also features a nature preserve. Qinghai province is the perfect place to experience the amazing Tibetan culture, while at the same time enjoying outstanding diverse landscape.

Xiamen City

Xiamen is a coastal tourist city in Fujian province located on China’s southeast coast. The city is famous for its spectacular seascape and is considered one of the most beautiful cities in China. Xiamen boasts of a spectacular natural landscape and fresh clean air. It has a subtropical monsoon climate and thus experiences a gentle weather all year round.

Xiamen has numerous small islands that surround it and tourists can visit them by boat. It is also home of breathtaking wide sandy beaches, which are perfect for a stroll and other activities like kite surfing. Xiamen is also known as Amoy in the west, which is the name of the city in Hokkien, a dialect mostly spoken in Taiwan and Fujian.

Western Sichuan

Western Sichuan is a remote region in the Sichuan province and it is in every respect a thrilling place to visit. Originally, the area was known as Kham, a set of Tibetan states that included parts of Yunnan and Qinghai. The inhabitants of the region were referred as Khampans, most of the Tibetans who speak their own dialect and consider themselves distinct from the Tibetan culture in the further west.

The western Sichuan region has numerous tourist attractions, from horseback riding in Songpan to Hailuogou glacier. The region is perfect for trekking and other adventurous activities. The Western Sichuan imposing scenery – wide grasslands grazed by horses and unforgettable views of mountain ranges rising to the sky – is the attraction that most people cannot resist.

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