10 reasons to visit China

10 reasons to visit China

We’re halfway through Summer, and you know what that means. That’s the time when people take vacations with their family, friends and other loved ones. Some will take to the tropics, some will go to the beach, some to the mountains but if you want to explore some rich history and culture, I have just the thing. Hailing from the far east, we have a country that is nothing short of a super power, China. Here are 10 reasons to visit China for your vacation.

china reason

The Great Wall of China:

Starting from something China is famous all over the world, so much so the thing itself has China in it. I’m talking about one of the wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China. The magnificent wall goes on for more than 6000 kilometres from the fortresses of Jiayuguan in the west. The average height of the wall is 6 to 8 meters but is found to be rising as high at 16 meters in places.

The Forbidden City and the Imperial Palace, Beijing:

Next up we have China’s largest and most important building, the Forbidden City. Not a city itself, as its other name is the Imperial Palace. It is located in the heart of Beijing and is a must-see. Started during the Yuan Dynasty between 1271-1368 originally, but the majority of what we see was built during the years 1406 to 1420. It covers some 720,000 square meters and is surrounded by a 10-meter high wall with watchtowers and a wide moat.

Beijing great wall of china

Terracotta Army:

Discovered on the outskirts of Xi’an in the 1970s by the farmers as they were digging wells, thus undoubtedly China’s most important archaeological find. The army consists over 8000 life size warriors, some 520 horses and more than 100 chariots along with numerous other non-military characters dating around the time of 280 BC. Though some of these pieces were severely damaged due to the passage of time, many of the statuses have been re-assembled. Yu can witness the army at Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum Site Park.

The Summer Palace:

After an easy commute of 15 km from Beijing, the sumptuous Imperial Summer Palace is set in the middle of more than 700 acres of beautiful parkland. The palace was built in 1153, it also features a large lake which was added in the 14th century. Highlights include the magnificent Hall of Well-being and Longevity (Renshou Dian) with its throne, and the beautiful Great Theatre, a private three-story structure built in 1891 to satisfy the imperial family’s love of opera.

Terracotta Army

Cruise the Li river:

Take a break from all the exploring and take some time to go on a boat cruise and just relax. Welcome to the town of Guilin, in the northeast corner of Guangxi. The town boasts some of China’s most beautiful countryside and is famous for the crystal-clear rivers. For many years this scenery has been an inspiration for poets and artists and has been the subject of countless fairy tales and legends. These days it is filled with tourists wanting to see the splendour of nature up close.

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding:

Who doesn’t love Pandas? The bamboo eating white and black fluffballs of happiness is one of the best things in the world. And no trip to China can ever be complete without a panda experience. The best place to see them in a close approximation to their natural habitat is at the excellent Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, located in the province of Sichuan. Here at this place, you will have the chance to witness as many as 80 pandas go about their day, foraging and playing in the park-like setting the facility has.

Li river

The Yangtze River and the Three Gorges:

The Yangtze river is known as the ‘Long River’ in China, and for good reason. The river runs more than 6,000 km, which makes it the longest and most important river in China and the 3rd longest in the world. It flows from Tibet in the west to Shanghai in the east through eight more provinces. While its immense length ensures the river can be visited at numerous points in China, by far the most popular for tourists is the beautiful Three Gorges – Qutang, Wu, and Xiling – a 200-kilometer stretch between the towns of Fengjie and Yichang.

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou:

Considered to be on the most important historic gardens and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Classical Gardens of Suzhou are a must-see for any tourist visiting the country. Located in the historic of Suzhou in Jiangsu province, these gardens were established in the 11th century at the time when the city was experiencing growth. These gardens were the 270 or more gardens planted there.

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou

The Potala Palace:

And another palace on our list, located in the town of Lhasa, Tibet. This palace was constructed as a fortress and residence for the Dalai Lama, it was for hundreds of year a centre of political and religious power and contains many of the religion’s most sacred artefacts. There are vast halls devoted to the teachings of the religion, and elaborate tombs (known as stupas) of a number of Dalai Lamas.

The Bund:

Due to the result of remarkable city planning and preservation, the Zhongshan Lu or more commonly known as the Bund, you can now enjoy Shanghai’s splendid riverside promenade. This wide pedestrian walkway will make you forget that you are bang-smack in the middle of China’s largest city, Shanghai. It is famous for its European feel and is popular of 52 preserved English and French influenced buildings, many o which are restaurants, cafes, stores and galleries. For the best views of the Bund, visit the 468-meter Oriental Pearl Tower on the opposite bank of the Huangpu Jiang River.

Potala Palace

And with that, you’re all set. You now know enough to have a great time in China, of course, you can explore more if you have the time. But this will get you started in any case. Any reasons you can think of? Add your reasons in the comments below.

Beijing great wall of china

Beijing Guide

Your Guide To Beijing

Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China, is the political, cultural centre of international exchanges and technological innovations of the country.

Located in the northern part of the Northern China Plain, the Beijing Municipality, covering an area of 16,411km2, borders the Tianjin Municipality and Hebei Province. The climate is continental monsoon.

As a city, Beijing has the largest number of World Heritage sites, such as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, the Great Wall of China in Badaling, Other historical monuments built throughout the history more than a tri millennium of the city. Some 700,000 years ago, a tribe called “Peking Man” was already living in Zhoukoudian, south-west of Beijing. In 1045 BC, Beijing, then denominated Jicheng was the capital of the Kingdoms of Ji and Yan. In 938, it served as auxiliary capital to the Liao dynasty. It became the capital of the Jin Dynasty and the Great Capital of the Yuan Dynasty. On October 1, 1949, Beijing became the Capital of the People’s Republic of China.

At the end of 2015, the population permanently residing in Beijing was 21.7 million. That same year, Beijing’s GDP reached 2.3 billion Yuan or about 344 billion US Dollars.

Beijing will host the A1 International Horticultural Exhibition in 2019. In 2022, Beijing and Zhangjiakou City (Hebei Province) will jointly host the Olympic Winter Games. Beijing will thus become the first city in the world to host both summer and winter Olympic Games.

Beijing Guide

Getting To Beijing

Getting There

As it is the capital of the country, it is not difficult to reach Beijing.It has connections by plane and train with almost all China and a fleet of buses with numerous destinations.It is an excellent starting point for exploring the rest of the country.

By Airplane

Beijing has direct air links with almost every major city in the world. There are also direct flights between Beijing and major Chinese cities. And at least one a week to smaller cities across the country.

To purchase Chinese airline tickets departing from Beijing, you can go to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC, Zhōngguo Minhang, Aviation Building, Minhang Yingyè Dàshà, 66569118, national 6601 3336, international 6601 6667, 15 Xichang’an Jie; H7.00-24.00), or to one of the numerous agencies and counters that are around the city. Most mid-range and high-end hotels also sell tickets. Discounts are customary, so it’s worth asking.

 By Bus

There are no international bus routes to/from Beijing, but there are numerous long-distance national routes that run along the national highways that depart from the capital. Beijing has several long-distance bus stations located in the perimeter of the city, in the approximate orientation of the routes they cover.

Another important station is the bus station Of Zhaogongkou (Zhaogōngkou Qichezhan), to the south (useful forTravel to Tianjin and Jinan).There are also busesTo Tianjin (70 CNY/ $10.2, from 7.00 to 23.00) andQinhuangdǎo from the international airport.The long-distance station of Lizeqiao, inXisanhuan, west of Beijing, also covers the routes to Tàiyuan and Nánjíng.

Beijing information

Food and Drink In Beijing

The Chinese cuisine is very rich and varied and has an ancient culinary tradition that is commonly represented throughout the world. The dishes, tasty and well seasoned, usually mix the sweetest flavours with acids, salt and spices.

The basic component of the meals is rice, which is usually served with all kinds of vegetables, meats and fish from which it is used to the most remote part. The long periods of famine that have ravaged the country throughout history have influenced that all parts animals (cartilages, claws, entrails, heads) are able to be used in preparing the spicy dishes.

Among Chinese dishes found in Beijing, it is worth noting the following:

  1. Peking Duck: The best-known dish of the Pekingese cuisine consists of a roasted and marinated duck that is served in slices and consumed inside a pancake along with some vegetables.

Cost CNY20.7 ($3)


  1. Dim sum: Steamed dumplings made from different ingredients. It is a more typical dish of Beijing. In some restaurants, they are called dumplings.

Cost CNY16.5 ($2.4)


  1. Hot pot : Set of foods that are cooked in a hot broth located in the center of the table. This kind of Chinese fondue offers the advantage that you can see the food before cooking and mixing it with the sauces.

Cost CNY14.5 ($2.1)


  1. Chicken Kung Pao : Chicken sauteed with vegetables and peanuts.

Cost CNY19.3 ($2.8)


  1. Soup soup : Prepared soup based on meat, bamboo shoots, chilli, tofu and blood of pork.

Cost CNY11.7 ($1.7)

Beijing food
beijing dumplings
beijing duck

Accommodation In Beijing

Beijing is a huge city and no matter your budget, you would always find a nice and decent accommodation which includes hotels, inns and hostels. Top on the list of hotels include:

  1. Hilton Beijing Wangfujing. Cost CNY25.3 / $174
  2. JW Marriott Hotel Beijing. Cost CNY18.3 / $129
  3. Red Wall Garden Boutique Hotel. Cost CNY16.9 / $116
  4. Novotel Beijing Xin Qiao. Cost CNY 9.3/ $64
  5. Days Inn Forbidden City. Cost CNY6.7 / $46

Beijing Hotel

Side Attractions In Beijing

Beijing is a bustling city full of people and sounds. The Chinese capital is a fascinating city that is rapidly modernising but retaining some aspects of its glorious past. It is a good city to explore on foot, enjoying delicacies at an evening meal market or visiting some of Beijing’s main tourist attractions. These attractions include:

  1. The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is one of the world’s great palaces, standing tall with the Kremlin, Buckingham Palace and Versailles. It is unquestionably the most popular tourist attraction in Beijing, with crowds showing it. It was the seat of the Chinese government for many centuries and therefore was out of bounds to the plebeians. Today it is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the Middle Kingdom heritage. There really is no way to avoid the crowds here, but visitors might want to check out the halls on each side to learn more about the country. Most people walk right through the center to see the large rooms and overlook the treasures to one side.

the forbiden city beijing

2. Badaling

Badaling is the easiest site to access the Great Wall of Beijing, making it one of the busiest. (Tip: To avoid the crowds, go on a weekday afternoon or turn left at the main gate) Accessible by public bus from Deshengmen on Beijing’s second ring road, Badaling is the place where the Chinese government takes its Official visitors. The views of the Great Wall – the world’s longest open-air museum – that meander through the mountains are breathtaking. Badaling, which has wheelchair access to some quarters, is also home to the fabulous Great Wall Museum, with its dioramas of construction and wall defence.

Beijing great wall of china

  1. Summer Palace

The Summer Palace is located 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) from the centre of Beijing and is dominated mainly by Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake. As its name implies, the Summer Palace was used as the summer residence of China’s imperial rulers – as a retreat from the Forbidden City. The gardens expanded substantially in 1750, reproducing the styles of various palaces and gardens throughout China. Kunming Lake extended to imitate the West Lake in Hangzhou.

  1. Tiananmen Square

Surrounded by Soviet-style monuments and government buildings, Tiananmen Square is the largest square in the world. It remains an incredible place and a place to relax and see visitors from all over China, many visiting their capital for the first time. There is an increase of the flag and the ceremony of reduction at sunrise and sunset at the north end of the square. There are 4 marble lions in front of the Tiananmen gate, the north-west has a bullet hole in its stomach since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

5. Beihai Park

Beihai Park, in the centre of Beijing, is a delight to visit at any time of the year. As the most popular park in Beijing, people skate on ice in the lake in winter and stroll through it in the spring when the trees are in bloom. Its Tibetan style White Pagoda Temple on the island of Qionghua is a landmark in Beijing. Because it is so close to the Forbidden City, the park was once a royal park. Weekend mornings are a good time to visit, as the locals and visitors indulge in dancing, singing karaoke or Beijing opera, playing badminton or performing in string quartets. It is a real entertainment package.

Prices to know

Food and Drinks
street coffee CNY 18.6 $2.7
Coffee “Americano” CNY 26.8 $3.9
Big bottle of water CNY 5.5 $0.8
Soft drink CNY 9.6 $1.4
Soft drink (Restaurant) CNY 14.5 $2.1
Beer (Restaurant) CNY 11 $1.6


Taxi per km CNY 6.9 $1
Motorbike taxi per km CNY 6.2 $0.9
Motorbike rental per day CNY 48.2 $7
Motorbike rental per month CNY 309.7 $45
Petrol per liter CNY 6.9 $1
Motorbike parking fee CNY 0.69 $0.1
Shopping and Entertainment
T-shirt from a market CNY 8.9 $1.3
Foot massage (1 hour) CNY 41.3 $6
Body massage (1 hour) CNY 68.8 $10
Monthly rent (inexpensive area) CNY 6263 $910
Utilities CNY 708.8 $103