50+ Amazingly Unique Destinations in China that Probably Haven’t Heard of

50+ Amazingly Unique Destinations in China that Probably Haven’t Heard of

Here’s a list of over 50 unique destinations in China, from temples to remote villages, that will leave you simply amazed.

There are so many unique experiences in China. The country is so large, and so diverse, it really is like a whole collection of worlds in one. When itinerary planning for a China journey, you can shape any kind of experience that you want, it’s up to you.

For most people, they are happy to stick to the safety of standard tour-book experiences and the well developed, and well known major attractions, such as anything Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau or a even Yangzte River boat cruise. The slightly more adventurous will fit in Xi’an and the Terracotta Army, Chengdu Panda Base and so on. All of which are awesome and great places to get started, but, China offers so, so much more.

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The Essential Intro: Guiyang, Guizhou China

The Essential Intro: Guiyang, Guizhou China

Guiyang, it’s shopping and eating, then, more shopping and eating. And that’s it. Oh, there’s banks in between the restaurants and stores, so you can get more money out and continue shopping and eating.

Guiyang is the capital of Guizhou and It’s one of the most unusual capitals that I had visited in all my time in China. It’s, well, different. It really has its own identity, but then it doesn’t, some call it a mini Hong Kong. and that’s probably the best way to describe it. It’s just a city full of people shopping and eating, threaded with peoples desire to be rich and be seen to be rich.

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Shaoguan and Nanhua Temple

Shaoguan and Nanhua Temple

Shaoguan is a quick and easy getaway from Shenzhen or Guangzhou being linked by the High Speed Rail. It takes about 2 hours from Shenzhen and 1 hour or so from Guangzhou.

On this trip I came from Qingyuan, I missed the fast train having ended up at the wrong train station but I managed to exchange my ticket and hitched a ride on the much slower T8354 train. This one takes about two hours from Qingyuan to Shaoguan, and it’s a bit of a squashy ride on the hard seats, but it’s full of life, once the train starts rolling the attendants chuck on a microphone and walk up and down the isle spooking various wares.. Don’t expect any peace on this ride.

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A morning at Fei Lai Temple of Qingyuan

A morning at Fei Lai Temple of Qingyuan

Reading the net and according to locals, during the week boat hire to Feilai Temple is quite expensive, so I was pleased to find that you can walk there. There’s actually lots of tour boats going up and down the river, but most are private chartered for tour groups and they don’t stop at the temple, although apparently there are other boats on the weekend.

The walk to the temple takes a track through the riverside village houses and on to a small track that follows the Biejiang river. There’s great views along the way and its about 30-40 minutes, quicker if you run, but don’t do that.

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太和古洞 Qingyuan Taihe Ancient Cave

太和古洞 Qingyuan Taihe Ancient Cave

Here’s an amazing spot in Qingyuan that you should definitely take the time to visit. Featuring amazing natural scenery, a temple and pure mountain water rock pools for swimming.

I will never forget swimming in amazing rock pools after the walk to the temple at the top of the mountain. The temple is not big, but worth the healthy walk up the steps to the top enjoying the amazing views along they way.

At the base of the mountain there is a public swimming pool, walk to the right and straight past that and up the mountain trek. It’s stairs all the way and winds it’s way up alongside the amazing valley stream and inviting rock pools. The water is crystal clear and you’ll see many locals collecting water as they believe it is quite pure and has health giving properties.

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Maanshan and the Tang Dynasty Poet Li Bai

Maanshan and the Tang Dynasty Poet Li Bai

The city of Maanshan is located in Anhui Province alongside the Yangtze River and only 30kms from Wuhu and 40kms from Nanjing the capital of Jiangsu Province. The city is home to well over 1 million people.

The city is mostly known for it’s steel and automotive industries, although it remains a city with a liveable feel.

As for tourist attractions, the most notable is the Cai Shi Ji Scenic Area at the base of Cuiluo Mountain. The scenic area is quite large and can easily consume the best part of a day just wandering the traditionally landscaped gardens and exploring the temples.

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Confucius Temple Nanjing (Fuzimiao Scenic Area)

Confucius Temple Nanjing (Fuzimiao Scenic Area)

A shopping market packed inside the historic buildings surrounding the Confucius Temple makes for a popular place to visit in Nanjing, be it night or day.

It was night when we first strolled into the area and after strolling past the traditional old Chinese gate and past the Pizza Hut, KFC and various clothes shops that have wiggled there way into the old buildings we where met with a river alight with color.

Cobblestone streets run alongside the river and old stone bridges run across which made a perfect place to enjoy the colorful display of lights on show and the performace taking place on the boat. Not sure if it happens every night but it was on this particular Sunday night.

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Welcome to Nanjing [+ hotel and attraction map]

Welcome to Nanjing [+ hotel and attraction map]

Nanjing is located in Jinagsu province of which it is the capital. It’s a beautiful city, it’s modern and has a progressive feel. It has a long history dating back as far to 472 BC, and has been the home of many of Chinas emporers thus giving the city a rich treasure trove of cultural relics and historic sites. The city has also been central in the formation of modern China.

Nanjing’s rich history traces back to 495BC and has been the country’s capital on more than one occasion. It was the capital of the Ming empire from 1368 to 1421 during which time it was also believed to be one of the largest cities in the world.

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The Lama Temple (YongHeGong) Beijing

The Lama Temple (YongHeGong) Beijing

The Lama Temple in Beijing is a functioning lamasery for Tibetan and Mongolian monks practising Tibetan Buddhism. It’s open to visitors, and is a very popular tourist attraction featuring well preserved ancient architecture and artifacts, along with friendly monks roaming the grounds!

As a primer, the word lama is another name for a Buddhist priest, and a lamasery is a place for monks to practice their beliefs on the journey to becoming a lama. It’s somewhat hard to imagine that someone could find spiritual enlightenment in the middle of bustling Beijing, but nonetheless this is quite a special place.

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Xian Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Musical Fountain show

Xian Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Musical Fountain show

It’s a crazy name that just peaks the imagination and leaves you wondering exactly what you are in for, but the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a must visit on the Xi’an tour. So what is it exactly?

A pagoda is a tiered temple commonly used throughout Asia as places of worship. The name “Big Wild Goose” refers to legend having that this was the place were a goose fell from the sky into the hands of hungry monks, believing it was a blessing from the gods they so named the temple.

The site is quite special to those of Buddhist faith being a place where the original Sanskrit sutras, collected during a years long pilgrimage of many countries by the monk Xuanzang, were translated into Chinese.

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