In China, there are a lot of amazing things to do when we either travel for a vacation with the family or as Chinese residents. Today, you will see the fun things to do in China and the best tourist attractions therein.
It is no secret that China is blessed with diversity, natural beauties, and a long, rich history, with scenery ranging from lush woods and temple-topped mountains to bustling towns and attractive fishing villages.
It’s no surprise that travelers on a China tour will find a plethora of things to see and do.
Fun Things to do in China
Find joy with the best Fun things to do in China.
There is no shortage of genuinely fantastic sights in China, whether you want to study the artwork at the Mogao Caves, climb atop the Xian City Wall and take in the panorama, or relax in the Classical Gardens of Suzhou.
To help you make the most of your time in China, we’ve compiled a list of the top 20 best fun things to do in China.
1. Visit the Silk Route
Stunning architecture, religious sites, and traditional food highlight the tremendous cultural interchange between merchants who sailed long ago down the Silk Road, an old commercial route.
Each route of the Silk Road is dotted with magnificent scenery including snow-capped mountaintops, surreal lakes, and mysterious stretches of the desert (the most famous route includes Xian, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi, and Kashgar);
Each route of the Silk Road is dotted with magnificent scenery including snow-capped mountaintops, surreal lakes, and mysterious stretches of desert.
The tremendous effort that went into sharing precious commodities and revolutionary technologies represents humanity’s connection throughout history. This is is a very historic example of the best Fun Things to Do in China.
When to go: Due to ideal weather conditions, spring (April – June) is the greatest time to travel along the Silk Road in China. Due to severe temperatures, avoid summer (July – August) and winter (December – February).
Important: Pack any first-aid supplies and prescriptions you may require before embarking on your trek, as there are no services available on some of the lengthy, barren expanses of land.
2. Soak in the Spirituality of Lhasa
The Lhasa Golden Temple consists of three temple buildings and the world’s largest prayer drum.
It is the center of Tibetan culture, and it is home to a plethora of Tibetan Buddhism cultural attractions. At an elevation of approximately 3,600 meters, this majestic capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region holds the hallowed Potala Palace, the most treasured landmark in Tibetan culture.
The neighboring Jokhang Temple is another holy location in Lhasa that provides tranquillity, with devout pilgrims worshipping along its walls while hiking to sanctuaries like the Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery provides a rare view into Tibetan monk life.
You can even participate in the religious traditions by joining the Barkhor kora, Lhasa’s most popular pilgrimage route. This is one of the best Fun Things to Do in China that looks quite spiritual.
When to go: Spring (March-May) and fall (September – October) are ideal times to visit Lhasa, Tibet, due to temperate temperatures and bright skies, as well as the beautiful scenery around the city.
Things to know: Because of the high altitude and sunny skies in Lhasa, you should carry sunglasses, lip balm, sunblock, and a hat.
3. Trekking on Mount Kailash
This life-changing, often spiritual trip is the ultimate endurance test. Joining the dedicated pilgrims on Mount Kailash kora reveals their tenacious faith and determination. Trekking on Mount Kailash is one of the greatest Fun Things to Do in China.
The journey around the sacred mountain takes three days, and you will be trekking at altitudes of over 5,000 meters. Crossing the 5,613-meter Drolma La Pass is the most difficult obstacle of the climb.
The circle circuit is 52 kilometers long in total and is sure to be the most rewarding trip on any tour to China.
When to go: Early summer (May – June) for milder temperatures and fall (September – October) for dry weather conditions are the optimum times to go on this sacred trip.
Important information: Avoid trekking during any sacred festivals in the region owing to crowds and a limited quantity of accommodations, porters, and transport animals.
4. Admire Ice Sculptures at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival
Despite harsh winter temperatures in Heilongjiang, the province also hosts the world’s largest ice and snow sculpture event.
Every year, about 10 million visitors come to Harbin to see the massive ice sculptures that rise nearly 50 meters high. When these life-size sculptures are illuminated and illuminate the night sky, the winter event takes on a magnificent aura.
Zhaolin Park, Ice and Snow World, and Sun Island Scenic Area are three diverse settings that each bring something special to the festival. During the day, festival-goers can marvel at the spectacular ice sculptures on Sun Island.
When night falls, Zhaolin Park and Ice and Snow World put on a spectacular display of lit sculptures and lanterns.
When to go: The yearly celebration is held throughout the cold winter months of December through February.
Tip: Buy a pair of shoe spikes to avoid sliding and falling on the icy snow while strolling around the festival.
5. Go on a Yangtze River Cruise
The Yangtze River is China’s longest and the world’s third-longest river, stretching 6,379 kilometers. A trip down this amazing river will give you a glimpse into China’s past and present. Sail by old towns like Jinzhou, Lizhuang, and Dachang to see traditional architecture and archaeological sites with a 1,000-year heritage.
On the other hand, the Yangtze features some of China’s most outstanding modern technological marvels, such as the Three Gorges Dam, which has become the world’s largest hydroelectric power station.
In between these incredible achievements of human engineering, the river offers a profusion of breathtaking natural scenery.
The beautiful scenery you’ll see on your China tour includes rugged mountains, lush greenery, jagged cliffs, and steep canyons.
When to go: Because of the mild temperatures, spring (April – May) and fall (September – October) are the best times of year to sail the Yangtze River.
Important information: Because the weather near the river can be unpredictable, carry a rain jacket and a sweater to avoid acquiring a cold on your boat.
6. Hike the Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China, with an average height of 6 – 8 meters and a length of over 6,000 kilometers, is without a doubt one of China’s most recognized tourist attractions.
This spectacular and historic fortress system, built in the 7th century BC, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can tour several sections of the Great Wall, each of which is unique.
Balding, Mutianyu, Jinshanling, Simatai, Juyongguan, Huangyaguan, and Shanghai Pass are among the most well-known.
When to go: The views of and from the Great Wall are spectacular at any time of year. However, the fall season (September – November) is likely to be the finest for weather and walking, and hiking, while the spring season (March-May) sees fewer visitors. The frigid winter months (December – February) should be avoided because they might get quite cold.
Insider tip: The Great Wall’s most popular portions are the ones closest to Beijing (Badaling, Mutianyu, and Juyongguan). They are easily accessible by public transportation, however, they are frequently overcrowded.
If you wish to have a different experience, there are some wonderful portions of the “Wild Great Wall” (unrestored sections) not far from Beijing, including Huanghua Cheng, Gubeikou, Simatai, and Jinshanling. — from Sergi of Sapore di Cina
7. Pay Homage to the Terracotta Army in Xian
This well-known tourist attraction in China truly is a sight to behold.
The famed Terracotta Army, surrounded by wonder and mystical notions, is a form of funeral art that was made and then buried to defend China’s first emperor, Qin Shihuang, in his afterlife.
More than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, 520 horses, 150 cavalry horses, and other non-military figures can be found at the mausoleum site, which has been turned into a massive museum complex.
This popular tourist destination in China truly is a sight to behold, so it is no surprise that interested people from all over the world visit. Terracotta Army is really a good way among the best Fun Things to Do in China.
Keep in mind: The museum demands confirmation of identification for admittance, so bring your passport with you.
Insider tip: Visit the Terracotta Warriors as early in the morning as possible. You’ll avoid traffic and have more than enough time to see the attractions once inside. Hire a tour guide as well. Once inside, they’ll guide you through the process and provide you with all the information you need. — from Devesh of Drone and DSLR
8. Explore the Forbidden City
If you want to be astonished by Chinese architecture, look no farther than the Forbidden City (aka the Purple Forbidden City or the Palace Museum).
As the name implies, local Chinese citizens were once denied entry to this imperial palace, but it is now the world’s largest palace complex (with 980 buildings spread across 0.73 square kilometers) and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting approximately 8 million visitors annually from all over the world.
Important to know: The busiest hours are 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., and weekends are significantly busier than weekdays. To avoid crowds, try to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon throughout the week. When purchasing a ticket to the Forbidden City, you must also produce your passport.
Insider tip: Come prepared to climb if you want to take the greatest shots within the Forbidden City! Around 75% of the 3.4-kilometer-long wall can be climbed; it’s a terrific opportunity to get away from the throng and capture unusual photos and selfies! — Go4 Travel’s Richard Wolskel
9. Cruise the Li River
Take a trip down the Li River to see the most beautiful scenery.
The pastoral area through which the Li River flows demonstrates that, even in a rapidly urbanizing country like China, there may be natural, scenic settings that inspire photographers, artists, and authors alike.
The area’s legendary beauty has drawn people such as Bill Gates, George Bush, and Bill Clinton. Take a boat, ride a bamboo raft, or go trekking on the shoreline to enjoy the spectacular limestone scenery and get a taste of normal village life.
This visually appealing tourist site in China not only draws millions of visitors each year, but it is also one of the top things to do in China.
When to go: The best time to visit the river is usually in the spring (March-May). Surprisingly, some may argue that the Li River is best explored by boat on a misty day, which adds to the ambiance.
10. Enjoy the Views at Yellow Mountain
Huangshan (which directly translates to “Yellow Mountain”) is a prominent and attractive mountainous location that attracts both visitors and residents. It is located in the eastern section of the country in the Anhui Province.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a beautiful natural landscape, from steep cliffs and majestic peaks to pine trees and hot springs, and the sunset views from this mountain are among the best things to see in China. There are also a number of hiking routes worth investigating in this area.
Important information: Although cable cars can be ridden (for a price), they do not go all the way to the summit of the mountains.
11. Stroll Around the Summer Palace
A visit to the Summer Palace, with its superbly constructed gardens, lakes, and landscapes, is unquestionably one of the best things to do in China.
This palace, built in the 12th century and located just a short drive from Beijing, used to be a retreat for China’s imperial families. Today, tourists may see the palace’s features, such as the Great Theatre, the Hall of Happiness, and the gardens and courtyards of Le Shou Tang Hall. This is one of the best Fun Things to Do in China.
It’s useful to know: To avoid the afternoon crowds, go to the Summer Palace early in the morning. From April to October, the Palace opens at 6:30 a.m., and from November to March, it opens at 7:00 a.m.
Insider tip: The Summer Palace is a pleasure garden rather than a palace. It has roughly 3 square kilometers of gardens, lakes, and pavilions to explore, and it takes some time to do so.
If you have leisure, it’s a terrific place to spend a lazy summer day. Within the grounds, there are tea houses and cafés, but you may wish to bring your own snacks. ― from Escape Artistes’ Theodora
12. Enjoy the Boat Fun at West Lake
Hangzhou’s West Lake, well-known for its magnificent beauty, is a big lake divided into five portions and surrounded by lush hills and cultural relics.
There is no shortage of exciting things on West Lake, whether you want to shoot old bridges, board one of the many tour boats, or watch a beautiful fountain show in the evening. There is also a lovely cycling path that circles the lake. Renting a bike is an option.
Important information: The greatest time to visit the lake is in the spring when the peach trees beside the lake are in full bloom.
13. Discover Buddhist Art in the Mogao Caves in Gansu
The Mogao Caves, often known as the “Caves of a Thousand Buddhas,” include over 600 caves housing over a thousand years of beautiful Buddhist art, 30 of which are open to the public. This is one of the best Fun Things to Do in China.
Visitors may now appreciate the rare murals, Buddha sculptures, and thousands of writings written on the walls. In order to conserve the caves, guided excursions are required and enforced.
Important information: Visitors can utilize Dunhuang City as a base to explore the caves. There is decent lodging and food available.
14. Admire the Lights and Limestone at the Reed Flute Cave
Reed Flute Cave in Guilin is an intriguing exhibition of natural sculpture, with formations of oddly shaped rocks that have been enhanced by kaleidoscopic lighting.
The 240-meter-long cave is filled with stalactite and stalagmite limestone formations, each with a poetic Chinese name. It has been a tourist attraction in China for almost 1200 years, with writings on the walls dating back to 782 AD!
Important information: There is a long climb to the cave entrance, however, guests who don’t want to hike can use a tiny train for a price. Wear long-sleeved pants and bring a jacket because the temperature inside the caves is cold all year.
15. Walk or Bike on Top of the Xian City Wall
The huge defenses of Xian, also known as the Xian City Wall, is one of the oldest and best-preserved stone walls built by the Chinese to protect their towns from foreign invaders.
The wall runs through the heart of Xian City and has four gates: East Changle Gate, West Anding Gate, South Yongning Gate, and North Anyuan Gate. One of the nicest things to do in China is to walk or bike along the 14-kilometer-long wall.
Useful information: Renting a bike is the greatest way to see the entire wall and adjacent places. Tandem and single bikes can be rented near the South Gate entrance and at different spots around the wall.
16. Find Joy in the Classical Gardens of Suzhou
The Classical Gardens of Suzhou, located in the historic city of Suzhou, are the most famous gardens in the country and one of the top sites to visit in China.
Suzhou has a plethora of picturesque sites, ranging from the spectacular Humble Administrator’s Garden and the exquisite Garden of Lingering to a man-made hill. Visitors can take a boat trip, see the Garden of the Cang Lang Ting Pavilion and the Master of the Nets Garden, or simply relax under a grove of peach trees.
Important information: Because there are ten gardens to visit, you’ll need at least three hours to complete this attraction.
17. Experience the Essence of Shanghai at the Bund
The Bund, a well-known and popular waterfront region in Shanghai, is one of China’s most prominent architectural areas, with historic and modern skyscrapers coexisting.
Strolling the Bund is the best thing to do in China and an absolute must, especially for first-time visitors to Shanghai. People come from all over the world to appreciate the old European buildings and skyscrapers, to take in the views from the Oriental Pearl Tower, to buy in the designer stores.
Also, to rest in the neighboring Garden of Happiness. There is a pedestrian zone and a boardwalk with several stylish boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and coffee shops.
Good to know: Take a night boat along the Huangpu River to see the city’s most breathtaking night-light sights.
Insider tip: Because Shanghai is an expensive city, here’s how you enjoy a drink and a show on the cheap! Instead of going to a swanky pub, get a drink from a local store and head down to the Bund to take in the sights of Shanghai’s skyline.
Observe the structures as they light up the night sky and entertain onlookers with varied light displays. — by Megsy from Food Fun Travel 18. At Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, take in the landscape.
18. Admire the Scenery at Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
This is one of the best Fun Things to Do in China. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park became known as Avatar Mountain after appearing in the blockbuster film ‘Avatar.’
Aside from trekking up the park, there are several entertaining and intriguing things to do at this well-known tourist site.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is by far one of China’s most beautiful forest parks, and it was also the setting for the blockbuster film Avatar.
The park, which spans 479 square kilometers, is home to various attractions, including the Golden Whip Stream, where you may swim in crystal-clear waters, and the natural platform of Yuanjiajie. The park is an excellent choice for long hikes.
Interesting fact: In addition to strolling, you can get around by using cableways, elevators, buses, and tiny trains.
Despite its long and somewhat difficult name, no trip to China is complete without visiting the amazing Chengdu Panda Base and getting up close and personal with these magnificent gentle giants.
The base is a non-profit research and breeding facility for giant pandas and other endangered animals such as red pandas. Observing pandas as they eat, sleep, and play is one of the nicest things to do in China.
Aside from viewing these adorable critters, guests may also view a variety of exhibits and displays. Observing Pandas at the Chengdu are of the best Fun Things to Do in China.
Useful information: The breeding center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. year-round, but get there early if you want to witness any action, as pandas are most active in the morning (and often spend the rest of the day sleeping).
20. Look Up at the Leshan Giant Buddha in Sichuan
Tourists can visit on foot and descend down from the sculpture’s top through narrow and steep stairs, or they can observe the massive statue from a boat on the river.
From the summit, take in the view of Leshan’s Giant Buddha.
Leshan Giant Buddha, standing 71 meters tall, is the world’s tallest Buddha sculpture and one of China’s most popular tourist attractions.
The quickest method to go to Leshan Giant Buddha is to take a delightful ferry ride from Chengdu.
Useful information: There are two ways for visitors to see the Giant Buddha. You can visit on foot and descend from the top of the sculpture through narrow and steep stairs, or you can observe the massive statue from a boat on the river.
Insider tip: If you are traveling on your own, using a high-speed rail to Leshan is considerably easier than other modes of transportation and just takes an hour.
There are two train stations with trains to Leshan; the Chengdu east train station provides more options than the Chengdu south train station. — Lily from Lily Sun China Tours wrote this.
Exploring China is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Our schedule of the top things to do in China takes you on an unforgettable travel trip, from numerous faiths and cultural tourist locations to natural wonders such as lakes and mountain peaks.
In conclusion, there is room to make a lot of choices from our amazing list above; that doesn’t sound stressful, right? Before you book your flight at any point time don’t forget to check back on this.
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