There are many incredible places to explore in China. For
Here is a list of 25 amazing places to see in China according to Travel Bloggers. These travel bloggers share their favourite places from the North to the South of China. Which ones would you like to visit?
Exploring the incredible rice terraces around Yuanyang
Christian from Unusual Traveler
Yuanyang Rice Terraces is about 350kms south of the city Kunming, the capital of the Yunnan province in south-west China.
The Yuanyang Rice terraces it´s considered a natural wonder in China, and it was added to the Unesco World Heritage list in 2013.
When visiting the area so is it important to decide where to stay, Xinjie town is the biggest town with the most hotels in the area.
Xinjie is where the bus from Kunming will arrive. Xinjie itself is not really a charming place to stay, even tho this is the place with the most accommodation options. You are much better of going to one of the small villages around the area, which is built directly next to the terraces. A personal favourite is Pugao Laozhai, a one-hour minibus ride from Xinjie.
While it´s a common misunderstanding that it´s only one rice terraces here, in fact, more than 50 in all shapes and sizes around the Yuantang County, but there 4 that stands out as the most spectacular, which are the:
- Qingkou terraced fields scenic area – 6-8km from Xinjie town.
- Bada terraced fields scenic area – 16km from Xinjie town.
- Duoyishu terraced fields scenic area – 24km from Xinjie town.
- Laohuzui terraced fields scenic area – 23km from Xinjie town.
The best time to visit is After the harvest when the terraces have been irrigated from late November to early March.
See more of Christian’s travels on his Instagram
Hiking in Hong Kong
Cat from Walk My World
Not many people think “hiking” when you mention Hong Kong, but it is always what comes to mind for us. The dazzling skyline and beautiful harbour gets all the attention, but if you explore the outer islands, you’ll find some of the best independent hiking trails in the Far East
The intrepid can tackle Hong Kong’s second highest mountain – Lantau Peak – and get some of the best views in China. The 6.5km hike starts in a patch of pretty forest and weaves its way relentlessly uphill over many ridges. It’s a brutal climb but at the
The track isn’t done yet though, you follow the path downwards towards the huge Buddha which has become a Hong Kong icon. Tien Tan is one of the biggest buddhas we’ve ever seen, and you can walk up and around it, where you can get even more inspiring views
If you have a few more days to spare and are looking for more hiking opportunities, try the stunning and much easier Dragon’s Back trail or the steep but spectacular Lion’s Rock hike. Whichever track you choose you won’t be disappointed.
See more of Cat’s beautiful photos on her Facebook page.
Fall in love with Fenghuang
Linda from Linda goes east
Literally translated to Ancient Phoenix Town, you know you’re in for a treat when visiting Fenghuang in Western Hunan Province. The town is certainly one of the most beautiful towns in China as it boasts 20 ancient streets lined with more than 200 ancient residences dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. However, the town itself dates back even further, to the Spring and Autumn Period (770–476 BC).
Fenghuang is a great place to start your journey to Zhangjiajie because of the close location to the national park but also because it’s stunningly beautiful at night, plus you get to sleep in a Diaojiaolou, one of the many unique wooden houses of Fenghuang.
People of the Miao and Tujia ethnic minorities call Fenghuang their home, allowing you to explore their unique customs and traditions while visiting. The town is also located in a very good location according to Feng Shui principles: it has rivers and many mountains.
Due to Fenghuang’s long and rich history, you shouldn’t miss some of its oldest and most prominent sites and landmarks, including Longevity Palace (万寿宫), Chaoyang Palace (朝阳宫), Hong Bridge (虹桥), the East Gate Tower (东门城楼), and Wanming Pagoda (万名塔).
See more of Linda’s Travels on her Instagram
Talek from Travels with Talek
Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province, home of the spicy Sichuan cuisine. Food is a religion here. If you love to eat well and experience the culture of a country through its cuisine, Chengdu should be a major stop on your China tour.
There is plenty to see and do in Chengdu. One of the major attractions is the renowned Panda Sanctuary where a successful breeding program is securing the future of these beautiful animals. Two sights you cannot miss in Chengdu are the Chengdu Museum with outstanding works of art and the oddly named Wide and Narrow Street with its recreated, and not-at-all-tacky, ancient Chinese architecture, terrific restaurants, and unique shops.
Just like most big cities in China, Chengdu has an excellent subway/metro/underground network. It is efficient and easy to manoeuvre. You can easily take this inexpensive transportation system just about anywhere you want to go in the city.
See more of Talek’s travels on her Find Me on Facebook
Jinshanling – The Best Section of The Great Wall
Karolina from Karolina Patryk
The Great Wall of China is the most popular structure in Beijing and the country. However, with its immense length at 3000 kilometers, you can’t help but wonder which section is the best to visit. Among all sections of the wall, many tourists find Jinshangling as the best place to visit in China and there are many reasons why.
Great Wall Jinshangling is located 140 kilometers northeast of Beijing, farther away than the more popular Mutianyu and Badaling, making this section less touristy. You’ll have a great chance to be there alone, which is an amazing experience!
At 10 kilometers long, hikers will love the mountainous and rugged terrain over the ancient and original ruins at the Jinshangling Section where some parts were just maintained but not restored. You will definitely feel like walking back in history. There are sixty-seven watchtowers along the way which guarantees scenic views of the Great Wall and the mountainous landscapes around it.
The imagery surrounding Jingshangling changes all year round with different seasons, offering tourists different scenes each time. Perhaps the best time to visit Jinshangling is during autumn when the foliage turn to varying shades of orange and red and the weather is mostly mild. Up this section of the wall, you’ll find awe-inspiring sights that will make it difficult for you to let go of your camera.
To walk the entire section of Jinshangling, you’ll need approximately 4 to 5 hours of hiking over mountain ridges that gradually incline and then slope down gently. Some parts can be steep but easy enough for visitors who are reasonably fit. You will probably need a full day for visiting this section.
Read more about Klesta’s Travels on her facebook page
Discovering Dramatic Scenery in Gyantse
James at Travel Collecting
Gyantse sits high in the Tibetan plain, 4000 meters above sea level. It is a charming town, surrounded by dry, but dramatic scenery. A hill rises from the center of town, draped in the 13th century fortress Gyantse Dzong, one of the best-preserved fortresses in Tibet. At the end of the main street is Palcho Monastery. This is one of the main monasteries in Tibet and has a multi-layered chapel and the largest stupa in Tibet, the Pango Chorten. On the first level of the chorten there are multiple tiny rooms depicting gods. Inside the monastery is dark; the heavy pungent smell of yak butter hangs in the air. I was fortunate to witness and join in the making of three enormous sand mandalas when I was there. Mandalas are large geometric patterns and are made of sand to represent the impermanence of life. They take several days to make and a week later are swept away. If you are lucky enough to witness their making, take the time out of your travels to stay a few hours. Outside, yaks, hairy donkeys and stray dogs roam the streets. Simple restaurants serve dumplings and the ubiquitous yak butter tea. Gyantse is a mystical, exotic town that perfectly represents Tibetan culture and the Tibetan experience.
See more of James Travel’s on his Facebook page
Mar from Once in a Lifetime Journey
Taoping Village is 3,000m above sea level and around 2,5 hours from Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain and around 3h from Chengdu by car. It has been submitted to UNESCO to be considered for addition to the list of heritage sites in China and it is a pretty unique place to visit.
When you get there, you can hire a local guide from the village to show you around the maze of alleys, passages and underground links all built as defensive structures to protect the village from attacks. Over 2,000 years ago!
The guide did not speak English but our guide from the resort helped translate his explanations. Locals are Qiang of Tibetan ethnic minority and speak a language of the Tibetan-Burmese family but have adopted written Mandarin.
The village is made of very high and narrow buildings and despite its age and location at the epicenter, it survived the 2008 Sichuan earthquake practically untouched.
On a tour you get to walk into some of the historical village which has preserved its interiors and buildings for visitors to better understand. Meanwhile, it also helps the locals with funds to maintain their lifestyle and traditions.
Read more about Mar’s travels on her facebook page
Exploring the Earth Buildings in Tolou
Chris from CTB Global®
Tolou buildings are large round buildings with an inner courtyard and are typical for south China just north of Xiamen. Tolou means “Building from Earth” and are the home of the Hakka minority. Americans thought they were rocket silos when discovered on satellite images but that’s not the case. Each Tolou is the home of several families with the largest housing even more as 80 families. A Tolou day trip from Xiamen is a must do to experience this unique culture in China. Even better is to stay overnight in one of the Tolou that turned into guesthouses. Do make sure to arrive at 9AM already so that you’ll visit before the large tour groups arrive.
Most Tolou are clustered consisting of a dozen up to over 100 in an area. Everything is constructed from wood and earth with walls as tick as 2-3 meters. Some are big, some small and square ones exist. A large door serves as entry which also makes it easy to defend the building. There are those with just 2 floors and those with even 5 floors. Those that are homes normally the ground floor is for shops, trade, and businesses. The upper floor the storage of the family with bedrooms above that. Except the courtyard there is a tiled roof that protects from rain.
There are a few key areas to visit which are:
- Heguilou, Huaiyuanlou, Tianluokeng, Yuchanglou which make up a day trip.
- Taxia Village is the place to overnight at Weiqunlou Inn (in a Tolou).
- Chengqilou and Hongkeng are must see too probably number one.
- Huanjilou, Yanxianglou and Chuxi Tolou Cluster are the last that are interesting
There are many places and a day tour will take you to the major ones. If you plan yourself the above list will show you all the varieties in Tolou types. A Tolou day trip from Xiamen is one you will not forget.
Read more about Chris’ Travels on her facebook page
Discovering Romantic West Lake in Hangzhou
Noel from Ten Thousand Strangers
CTV, China’s premiere state-owned television network, dubbed the West Lake in Hangzhou as the top tourism destination in China. And it’s all for the right reasons. The West Lake is a massive network of natural parks surrounding a vast, magnificent lake that reflects the beauty of a full moon. In 2011, it was declared UNESCO World Heritage site for its great influence in many popular oriental gardens throughout China, Japan, and Korea.
As there are almost countless number of sites to visit around the West Lake in Hangzhou, here are some of the most notable ones you must find time to visit.
The Music Fountain along Hubin Road is most probably the one you can’t miss as your journey around the lake starts from here. It is an electro-mechanical network of water valves spring the lake’s water in high-speed which makes the water look dancing along the tune of traditional Chinese music. The Temple of Soul’s Retreat or the Lingyin Temple is one of the largest Buddhist temples in China dating back several centuries past. Leifeng Tower is a five-storey pagoda from 975 AD and contains several scultures depicting the epic adventures of a legendary Chinese heroine.
To see the beauty of the moon perfectly mirrored on the surface of the lake, take a boat from Hubin Road which will lead you to the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, a three hollow pavilions at the heart of the West Lake.
Read more of Noel’s travels on his facebook page
Taking the Family to Hong Kong city
Sally from Our 3 Kids vs the World
Hong Kong is a densely populated urban city, a global financial hub with a world-famous skyscape to rival even New York City. A playground for the rich with property in Hong Kong reported to one of the most expensive in the world per square metre.
Hong Kong was the first Asian country we took our 3 kids to, it’s the perfect place to visit for your first Asian adventure as its very western, due to being a British colony for 100 years, yet in many ways still very traditionally Asian in other ways. The most popular places to stay are either Kowloon or on Hong Kong Island. I prefer Kowloon but each to their own. Accommodation in Hong Kong is expensive and triple that for any accommodation with a view of Victoria Harbour.
Don’t let the accommodation costs scare you off though, Hong Kong is quite affordable on the ground and there is plenty of entertainment for both adults and kids. Do avoid any Chinese school holiday dates and particularly the first week of October, Chinese Golden week. Kids will love Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park Amusement Park. The Peak Tram is a must do which gives you the Instagram worth photo of the skyscrapers and on a good day you can see right across to Kowloon. From high end shopping malls to the nightly markets such as Temple Market and the Ladies Market. I highly recommend doing the hop on, hop off bus to see as much as you can in a short amount of time. I love Hong Kong and would head back there in a heartbeat!
Read more of Sally’s Family Travels on her Facebook page.
Constance from Adventures of a Panda Bear
One of the most famous ancient water towns in China is Wuzhen. The town has been depicted within Chinese poetry as well as in photos throughout the internet. Wuzhen is approximately 1,300 years old and was founded in 872 AD. Aside from poetry and boat rides, it’s also known for Ming and Qing dynasty buildings.
The best thing about the town is exploring the narrow alleyways, checking out the museums, and sampling the delicious street eats. There are two major museums in Wuzhen, one being the Residence of Mao Dun, a famous poet who grew up in the town, and the Indigo Tapestry Workshop, a cloth factory. Both are amazing to visit and give you an overall vibe of the town.
The most famous street food in Wuzhen is the stinky tofu, but there are also other delicious eats, such as dried tofu, Chinese crepes, and roasted chestnuts. Be sure to try some of these local snacks while you’re there!
Treking through the spectacular Zhangjiajie National Park
Ben from Horizon Unknown
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park lies within the well-known Wulingyuan Scenic Area in China’s Hunan province. Towering sandstone columns over 200 meters in height make for some incredible sights.
My favourite way to experience Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is by trekking the many kilometers of pathways throughout the famed UNESCO World Heritage site. While most of this beautiful attraction is incredibly busy, especially viewpoints overlooking “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain”. This rock formation climbs to over 1000 meters high and is said to be the inspiration for the Hollywood blockbuster Avatar as it appears to be “otherworldly”. There sure isn’t many sights on earth like Zhangjiajie National Forest Park!
While the park receives thousands of visitors a day, there are some quieter paths you can take in the beauty of the area in a more relaxed
environment. Many of these paths sit in decay and are unmaintained. Uneven surfaces, loose rocks and overgrown foliage were common along these quiet trails, so take each step carefully.
If you’re a little lucky, you might encounter some wild park locals. Monkeys seemed to stick to the quieter paths away from humans here and
there were too many to count at one point.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a must visit for first-time travellers to China. These beautiful sandstone towers and the surrounding forest is
not to be missed!
Read more about Ben’s Travels on his facebook page.
Travelling in epic Zhangye in Gansu Province
Cara from Crawford Creation Travel
China’s Rainbow Mountains in Zhangye, Gansu Province had been on my bucket list for years. I saw photos of these colorful, striped mountains online and was instantly hooked. Those photos were the first thing that really got me excited to move to China.
What I didn’t realize before I went was how many epic places there are to see in Zhangye, besides the famous Rainbow Mountains. Zhangye is home to two amazing Danxia Geoparks, the Rainbow Mountains (7 Colored Danxia), and Binggou Danxia, as well as its own version of the Grand Canyon, the Pingshanhu Grand Canyon, all of which offer incredible hiking and photography opportunities.
It’s also home to countless grottos and Buddhist temples, including some, like Mati Temple that are both temple and grotto in one (aka a temple carved out of the side of the mountain).
The natural landscapes and ancient culture of Zhangye are simply out of this world. At times we literally felt like we were on another planet. We spent 1 week here and could have easily spent more time exploring all the off the beaten path gems hidden in and around Zhangye.
Read more of Cara’s travels on her facebook page
The many wonderful things to do in Xian
Corrinne from Reflections on Route
Xian is by far my favorite city in China. Far from the chaos, glitz, and glamour of some of the more well-known cities, Xian provides a countryside charm and at the same time has so many sights to see and do. The most important of these is the UNESCO World Heritage Army of Clay Soldiers. Housed in three pavilions, it’s a fascinating idea that an emperor could have thousands of unique men, horses, and even carts made to scare off his enemies. As cool as they are, though, they aren’t the only things to do in Xian. Xian has great restaurants, museums, and interestingneighborhoods. One of my favorite parts of the city is the Muslim Quarter. Visiting the Great Mosque is a bit of peaceful respite from the rest of the city, and when done sightseeing, you can eat street food until your stomach hurts. I love the dumplings, the meat skewers, and just looking for something new an unusual. If you are heading to China, go to Xian; you’ll love it.
Hiking on Huashan
Joyce from Simply by Joy
One of my favorite hiking spots in China is Hua Mountain without doubt! The holy mountain is located at the Shaanxi province; not too far from the terracotta warrior city Xi’an. Hua Mountain is known to be one of the five Great Mountains of China and you might have heard of it as ‘the most dangerous hike in the world’. I’m sure you’ve seen many videos of the plank wall. There are several peaks that each offers their unique features.
While there, I hiked the 5 peaks in one day and took a bus back to Xi’an in the evening. Though, there are possibilities to sleep over near the mountain. In that way, you don’t have to rush to see all! Also, the mountain offers cable cars for those who are less fit but still want to see the beautiful scenery. You can also combine both hiking and using the cable car 😉
This is the perfect place for the adventure seekers!
Read more of Joyce’s travels on her facebook page.
Going off the beaten path at Huanglong
Sarah from A Social Nomad
Huanglong National Park is one of my favorite places in China because it’s one of the hardest places to get to! Oh sure you can fly to Huanglong Airport, but we’ve come by bus from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou and then by car over the spectacular mountain pass to visit this glorious National Park. This meant that we could accilimatize gradually, because this park is at altitude.
The base of the park is at 3,200 meters and you can walk in and up to the top of the park, which is 3,600 meters above sea level, but most visitors (us included) take the cable car to the top and follow the trails back down to the bottom of the park. This was you get to pass the resting huts, complete with benches and oxygen bars in case the altitude doesn’t agree with you and 3,600 meters is not to be sniffed at!
Huanglong is famous for her colorful pools of water and is likened to Yellowstone National park I the USA because of this. Where Yellowstone’s mineral pools are filled with steaming hot water, Huanglong’s water is cold, but just as stunning. Huanglong is a quiet park, as its difficult 9and relatively expensive to get to), visitors tend to be older than the much busier Jiuzhaigou. It’s a stunning park to visit, made more so by the lack of people.
Entrance fees are steep at 200 yuan per person in peak season, but this is a glorious space, made more special by the fact that not too many people visit it.
See more of Sarah’s travels on her Instagram page
Taiwan’s Best Hike
Jackie and Justin from Life of Doing
Need a hiking adventure while you’re visiting Taiwan? Consider hiking Jade Mountain. It’s an epic journey as you hike to the highest peak at 3,952 meters (12,966 feet). Most people would complete the hike in two days due to the altitude, yet our crazy group completed it in one day!
To prepare for the hike, we obtained hiking permits and booked a stay at a hostel on the mountain. We started out at 2am after staying overnight at a hostel, saw the beautiful sunrise above the clouds, and reached the summit at 10am. The trail was not easy due to the unpaved rocky path along with some rope climbing and rock scrambling involved. The views of the mountain range were well-worth the effort at the summit. At the end of the day, we completed the 31km (19.2 miles) trek. It was a memorable way to spend time with friends, get some fresh air, and admire the beauty in the area.
Read more of Jackie and Justin’s travels on their Twitter page!
Dong Villages in Congjiang, Guizhou in Southwest China
Sarah from Elysian Tour
Hidden in the beautiful mountainous areas in southwest China, there are intriguing minorities who remain their traditional lifestyle, houses, various festivals, Dong Grand Choir, colorfulcostumes with exquisitely hand-made silver ornaments. Dong Villages in Congjiang County enjoy easy access to travel to. The fast and comfortable high-speed trains from Guangzhou, Guilin, Chengdu, Guiyang will easily transfer you to this wonderland. Zhaoxing, only 15 minutes’ drive from Congjiang Railway Station, is where you are suggested to stay for the nice and comfy accommodations that meet the expectations of most travelers. The reason why I love strolling along the murmuring stream winding through the village is the possibility to meet the very authentic and primitive local life. It might be a local wedding, traditional festival, funeral or just several local folks gathering together chatting and warming at the fire. Here you will also enjoy amazing hiking through the rustic villages with featured stilt houses, terraces, barns over water, women dyeing in ancient ways, and so much more. If you are planning a Guizhou tour to explore the minorities, hiking in the villages is highly recommended and a beautiful trek is to start from Tangan Dong Village to Zhaoxing Dong Village. A visit to Huanggang Dong Village is a must as you will find the most quiet and untouched minority village. If you have enough time, Miao minority villages are as well worth your discovery.
Wondering around the Old Dali City in Yunnan Province
Patricia from Ze Wondering Frogs
The ancient town of Dali is a little gem north in the Yunnan province in southwestern China, which we liked so much that we stayed there for four months. The city dates back to the 8th century, and some of the ancient walls of the gated town are still standing today. Many of the two-story houses are traditional Bai houses, featuring traditional roofs, closed yards, and small vegetable or flower gardens here and there. Most of the town is pedestrian, allowing for strolls through the old streets, and admire centuries-old traditions.
The Southern part of Dali is busy with coffee shops, fancy restaurants, and souvenir stands. A lovely area to enjoy a cold beer or an expresso! The best time to visit the South Gate, the most popular of the four gates, is late afternoon, the rays of sun illuminating the arch. Make sure to stroll the ancient walls, to enjoy views of the Cang Mountains to the West, and the Er Hai Lake to the East.
Stop at the Yu’Er Park is an excellent place for watching elderly men playing a game of mahjong, ladies doing TaiChi, and even singers practising traditional singing.
The northern side of the city is where the residents go about their lives, shopping at the local market, buying fresh fruits and vegetables, and fresh walnuts from the local forests. Try some of the rose tea, or a piece of warm caramelized walnuts. Spending time in the northern area of Dali is highly recommended to learn about the old town, and where we spent most of our stay enjoying the local food and making friends with people from the local stores.
Read more of Patricia’s travels on her Facebook page
Unknown Gem Jixian
Kristen from Yonderlust Ramblings
For all its sprawling metropolises, it is challenging to find a city with small town charm that holds its own in China. A small town worth visiting in its own regard. But that is exactly what I found when I stayed in the small town of Jixian, China, in the province of Tianjin. Jixian rests in the shadows of some of the big names of Chinese tourism, most notably Beijing and the Great Wall of China. But Jixian is worth making your home base, for several reasons.
Jixian is extremely pedestrian friendly, especially in its main town center. Adorned with traditional architecture, with a healthy intermingling of old world and new, this little square offers visitors a taste of all that China has to offer, without being overwhelming. It is easy to spend several hours here in the main town square. There are multiple stores and booths selling traditional wares, including pottery, woodworking, tapestries, clothing, and metal works. There are dining options ranging from traditional meals and drinks, to modern Pizza Hut with a Chinese twist on ingredients. Because all of your shopping and dining options are so close together, Jixian offers a relaxed atmosphere in which to leisurely walk, shop, people watch, and dine in a series of samplings.
See more of Kristen’s travels on her Instagram
Marianne from Mum on the Move
The Chinese claim that Guilin has “the finest landscape under heaven”, and the staggering scenery here has inspired centuries of Chinese landscape paintings and poems.
The best way to immerse yourself in this natural beauty is to take a cruise down the Li River to Yangshuo. The whole trip takes around 4 – 5 hours, but the views are so spectacular as you gently glide past the endless backdrop of awe-inspiring scenery, that you won’t notice it take that long.
100km northwest of Guilin you will find the staggering Longji rice terraces. Longji means ‘dragon’s backbone’ as the rice terraces resemble a dragon’s scales as they cascade down the hillside. An hour’s hike uphill brings you to a lookout where you see the rice terraces twist round the contours of the mountainside like ribbons for as far as you can see.
Another highlight of Guilin is the Reed Flute Cave. This spectacular show cave is just a short drive from Guilin city centre, and has been attracting visitors since the Tang dynasty.
You can wander through the cave at your leisure admiring the stalactites and stalagmites formations, which are beautifully illuminated in a multitude of colours and awarded romantic names such as Dragon Pagoda and Pines in the Snow.
Read more of Marianne’s travels on her Twitter
Suzanne from Meandering Wild
Lijiang is a large city in the south-west of China in Yunnan Province. Once an old trading post on the Tea Horse Caravan it has developed so now just the old town remains as a reminder of the original city. Wandering around the small alleyways is the best way to explore this town. Streams snake around all leading to the centre of the town so it is hard to get lost. Wooden bridges cross the streams (now disappearing as the water table reduces) and the small timber-framed homes give an idea of how the town used to be. Whilst it is a tourist trap, getting away from the main shopping areas can allow you to go back to the past and see some of the history of the area and the reason for its UNESCO listing. This is one of my favourite places in China and exploring early in the morning before the day trippers arrive is magical.
See more of Suzanne’s photography on her Instagram
Incredible hospitality in Huangluo
Bistra from the Magic of Travelling
The terrace fields called Longsheng Rice Terraces are at a two-hour picturesque drive through the mountains from Guilin. Despite the disagreeable weather, the place was incredible. Perhaps the prayers of the long-haired women from the Yao ethical minority in the special village of Huangluo were heard and rain fell to water the crops.
We were mesmerized by the warm welcome the ladies gave us. They run the whole village, having organized a couple of souvenirs stalls, a big performance hall where they entertain visitors. We watched a show full of dance, singing, demonstration of different skills they have – e.g. rowing, knitting, carrying heavy loads. They even allow some guys to “marry” them – just for the fun and to show everyone their wedding rituals.
It’s still a mystery how their hairs grow so long and shiny. Is it something they eat or drink, is it their lifestyle as a whole? Yao women’s hair is an essential part of the show – they brush it, comb it, style it – it’s a fine art to put 2 meters of hair in order. Depending on their marital status, Yao women also wear their hair in a different style – with a single/double bun on top of the head, with/without a cloth covering the whole hair.
At the end of the show, we joined the Yao ladies for a traditional dance that is danced hand to hand in a circle. It was the final celebration of being in the Kingdom of the Long Hairs in China.
Super Sha Tau Kok in Shenzhen
Winnie from Million Dollar Winnie
Sha Tau Kok is a small town in eastern Shenzhen. The town straddles the Hong Kong, China border which makes this place really unique. Most of modern Sha Tau Kok is located on the Mainland China side of the border, whereas only a small part is in Hong Kong.
The difference between the two sides is a great testament to how fast China has grown over the past few decades.
I recommend you to get to Sha Tau Kok from the Mainland China side by bus from Shenzhen. It won’t look much different to other small neighbourhoods in Shenzhen, but there’s many places to eat.
Then you can cross the border to Hong Kong to see how Sha Tau Kok use to look like.
Sha Tau Kok on the Hong Kong side was a restricted area where only residents living in the area were allowed access. Now anyone can visit the area except the famous Chung Ying Street that use to connect Mainland China and Hong Kong together.
Stepping into Sha Tau Kok on the Hong Kong side is like stepping back into history. You’ll still find various buildings from different eras. Some stores dating back to the 1800’s and some as recent as the 70’s.
If you feel very adventurous you can wander out of town to explore the Sha Tau Kok area and find the countless abandoned Hakka villages.
The best part of this whole trip will be how untouched, and non-touristy it is.
Yao Minority in Guangdong Province, China
Krasen from Journey Beyond the Horizon
Guangdong province is famous mostly with its large and rich urban area of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and other cities around Pearl River Delta. But Guangdong’s north part is a very different place. It is a land of limestone hills, wild forests, remote towns and villages, and homeland of a few minorities. One of them- Yao minority, has still preserved most of its old traditions and way of life, and in the same time easily adapting in the modern age.
Yao people are a group of tribes, scattered in the mountainous areas of Guangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, as well as North Vietnam. In Guangdong they live in the far northern part of Qingyuan Prefecture, in Liannan county. Their culture can be best experienced in the villages around Liannan town, especially in Qiannian Yaozhai village (“Thousand Years of Yao village”), located in the middle of a fantastic landscape. Although this village is now turned into a tourist attraction, it stimulates the local Yao to keep their authentic culture. You can see their old way of life, their art and folklore performance, as well as their traditional architecture.
All this makes Yao tribe area in Guangdong a place for a really amazing experience for those who make a trip there. The combination of the stunning landscape with the local culture can add an unforgettable impression to the vast diversity of the image of China.
Which places would you like to visit in China?
Hope this list has inspired your inner Chinese wanderlust. China is such a huge country there is so much beauty and culture to explore.
Let me know in the comments below which place you would most like to visit.