China

iStock International
When it comes down to planning your day-to-day list of things to do, ShermansTravel experts have you covered. To make sure you get the most out of your vacation, we recommend the can't-miss museums and attractions, as well as the off-the-path activities and unique local experiences that will make your trip truly memorable.

Things to do in China

Ancient Suzhou

Though many of its signature humpbacked-bridged canals are long gone and its intricate waterways superseded by road and rail, Suzhou remains an alluring city worth leaving Shanghai for, if only for a day. Exquisitely landscaped Ming and Qing Dynasty gardens with their bamboo trees, bonsais, and lotus ponds, are the prime attractions.

Suzhou,
Tags: things to do | outdoors | history

Casino Lisboa

High-rollers and the merely curious are lured in by the stupendous computerized neon displays that cover Macau's best known casino-the oldest of the area's casino/resorts.

2-4 Avenida de Lisboa, 011-853-2828-3838, www.grandlisboa.com
Tags: gambling | casino | things to do

Dali

The small, historic, much-visited town of Dali is especially beloved by backpackers. Trekking through the tropical rainforest at Xishuangbanna, fringing the Burma and Laos borders, is a great way to experience the Thai influences of the Dai people.

Western Yunnan Province,
Tags: historic | things to do | rainforest

Forbidden City

Beijing's formerly golden-roofed imperial palace was once off limits to mere mortals, but today it attracts thousands of visitors daily. The scale is astonishing; the high-walled compound contains six main palaces and 800 smaller buildings.

Dongchang’an Dajie at Tiananmen Square, www.dpm.org.cn
Tags: family | historic | things to do | architecture

Great Wall of China

In 2007, the wall was voted one of the world's seven modern wonders. Badaling, a 1.5 hour drive from Beijing, is the nearest (and busiest) section and most hotels will transport guests to the site. Alternatively, sign up for expert William Lindesay's guided tours of unreconstructed sections of the "Wild Wall."

starts 40 miles north of Beijing, www.wildwall.com
Tags: family | historic | things to do | history

Hollywood Road

This antique shopping row has some of the best pieces in the world. Visitors who want to purchase a custom-tailored suit should check out Sam's Tailor (94 Nathan Rd; www.samstailor.com), one of the city's finest.

Hollywood Road,
Tags: things to do | antiques | menswear

Hong Kong Museum of History

For a fascinating primer on the last 400 million years of Hong Kong history (no kidding!), this state-of-the-art museum is a must. Collections encompass culture, natural history, and archaeology, and include exhibits showcasing traditional costumes, burial objects from the Eastern Han dynasty, and historical stamps.

100 Chatham Rd. South Kowloon, 011-852-2724-9042, www.lcsd.gov.hk/hkmh
Tags: family | things to do | culture | history

Khamba La Pass

This scenic 17,000-foot pass overlooks the brilliantly blue Lake Yamdrok Tso. The scenic drive up is almost as stunning as the lake views from the top.

Between Lhasa and Gyantse, Tibet,
Tags: views | things to do

Kunming

One of the Yunnan Province's most engaging cities is its provincial capital, Kunming. It has temples, flower gardens, markets, delicious Yunnanese street food (such as fried potatoes served in a spicy pepper sauce with onion and coriander), and a relaxed feel.

Yunnan Province,
Tags: things to do | culinary | gardens

Lijiang

This village deserves its UNESCO listing as a picture-postcard ideal of rural China, with its cobbled backstreets, three rivers, ancient stone architecture, and rustic Naxi cuisine like pottery rice dishes and fried goat cheese.

Yunnan Province, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/811
Tags: historic | things to do | culture | architecture | world heritage site

Moganshan Lu

Shanghai's contemporary artists have found sanctuary - and sales - in an atmospheric former warehouse district along Suzhou Creek. Enter the quirky maze of studios and galleries and you will be lost for the afternoon.

50 Moganshan Lu,
Tags: trendy | art | things to do | culture

Potala Palace

The overwhelming size (think tens of thousands of shrines and halls) and beauty of Tibet's religious and governmental headquarters, has been enhanced by every Dalai Lama. Unfortunately, it is now owned and operated by the Chinese authorities.

Lhasa,
Tags: things to do | culture | religious

Shanghai History Museum

Located in the basement of the Oriental Pearl Tower, this is the best place to learn about Shanghai's glamorous and unsavory past. Many of the historical dioramas are almost frightening in their precision.

1 Shiji Dadao, 011-86-21-5879-1888
Tags: family | things to do | culture | history

Summer Palace

Overlooking the tree-lined Kunming Lake, with manicured gardens, humped bridges, and pagodas, the summer retreat of Chinese emperors and empresses boasts a picturesque setting beyond the sprawling capital. Arrange a driver at your hotel, and allow a few hours for exploration.

Yiheyuan Lu, 011-8610-6288-1144, www.summerpalace-china.com (Chinese only)
Tags: romance | historic | things to do | architecture

Temple of Heaven

Located in Tiantan Park, south of Beijing, the Temple of Heaven merits at least a half-day visit. First built in the fifteenth century, this site of religious and historic interest is comprised of several blue-tiled buildings, including the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest.

Tiantan Park; Yongdingmen Dajie (south gate), 011-8610-6702-8866
Tags: historic | things to do | architecture | religious

Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses Museum

Head to this museum to see these famous terracotta artifacts (found in 1974). The restored, life-sized warriors are eerily human, with determined facial expressions, and hairstyles relating to army rank.

Lingtong County, Qinling Town, Shaanxi Province, 011-86-29-81399001, www.bmy.com.cn
Tags: things to do | history | museum

The Bund

This mile-long row of colonial buildings, once a financial center for all of East Asia and home to banks and trading houses from around the world, offers fine dining and trendy clubs, astonishing views of river barges backed by Jetson-esque skyscrapers, and a relentless parade of both residents and visitors.

Shanghai,
Tags: historic | views | things to do | architecture | culinary

The Highest Train in the World

The brave and the not-so-cost-conscious – a single trip costs $16,995 per person – can see the best of China on train journeys from either Beijing or Hong Kong to Lhasa on the opulent Shangri-La Express. Don’t forget about the bragging rights that come with riding the highest train in the world (it tops 16,500 feet when it crosses the Tibetan plateau).

Shangri-La Express, 011-44-161-928-9410, www.gwtravel.co.uk
Tags: views | things to do | tour

The Linyin Temple

This temple is one of China's most colorful Buddhist landmarks. At the entrance is a labyrinth of grottoes featuring 350 images of Buddha carved into the rocks. The fertile surrounding hills produce China's choicest tea.

Hangzhou,
Tags: historic | things to do | culinary | religious

Tiananmen Square

This cavernous, central plaza is flanked by socialist-realist buildings that represent Beijing's significance in Chinese political life. One the city's most popular photo-ops - a snapshot beneath the portrait of Chairman Mao - is here.

Beijing,
Tags: things to do | history

Compare Rates to China






Sign up for the Top 25 Newsletter
to get exclusive weekly deals

Logo
x
Tell Us Your Preferences

To help us understand your travel preferences, please select from the following categories

Check all that apply
Oops, something went wrong.
No Thanks