Are you considering a trip to China? It’s one of the largest countries and top tourist destinations in the world. But if you’ve never been, you might wonder what it has to offer.
China is worth visiting because of its diverse culture, food, and landscapes. It is known for the Great Wall, unique markets, and modern cities like Shanghai and Beijing. Plus, a strong infrastructure and welcoming locals make travel safe and efficient.
This article breaks down ten reasons why you should visit this incredible country. Keep reading to learn more.
10 Reasons Why China Is Worth Visiting
1. Diverse & Fascinating Culture
China has one of the largest civilizations, and it has maintained a strong culture throughout millennia. With hundreds of ethnic minorities, China’s culture is fascinatingly diverse yet harmonious.
The rich culture can be seen in their food, art, calligraphy, and festivals. Attend a tea ceremony, visit during Lunar New Year, or partake in the Dragon Boat Festival to observe the depth of their traditions.
These are just a few of China’s cultural activities. There are too many cultural quirks and customs to name, and it’s best to experience them firsthand.
If you’d like to learn more about the languages spoken in China, read my other article.
2. Efficient Travel
Traveling to China can be a journey from the west. However, although the plane ride is long, at least you won’t have to print your boarding ticket.
You can also use paperless payment and travel tickets in Chinese cities. Even better, because China is a fairly cashless society, you can pay for everything by card without worrying about tipping.
Once within China, travel is surprisingly efficient between cities and tourist spots. Robust infrastructure and a relatively cashless society make travel convenient.
The country has a high-speed railway connecting major cities and buses between smaller cities. The Shanghai to Beijing bullet train travels over 800 miles (1287.48 km) yet takes only 4.5-6.5 hours. However, smaller overnight trains give you a better peek into rural Chinese landscapes and lives.
Within major cities, well-established metro systems and ridesharing apps help people get around.
3. Safe for Tourists
Although traveling to a new country can be daunting, China is very safe by international standards. Most people are warm and welcoming to tourists.
While pickpocketing and petty theft occur in touristy areas, it’s not as prevalent as in many other tourist destinations.
Although China was ground zero for COVID-19, the country has since gotten the pandemic under control and is taking strict measures to prevent further issues.
The biggest threat to safety comes from issues with preexisting health conditions, occasional food and health sanitation, traffic incidents, and unexpected weather. Also, be careful when you cross the road, as road safety regulations are laxer in smaller cities.
4. Delicious and Varied Food
If you like Chinese food, you’re in for a treat. The Chinese food outside the country is often a westernized, fast-food version of the real thing.
However, within the country, Chinese food is fresh and authentic. The cuisine varies by region; in Szechuan, you can expect more spices, the northerners like dough-based dishes, and the Cantonese are known for their soups.
And you can also find the tasty staples we’re familiar with abroad: hot pot, dim sum, dumplings, and roast duck.
5. Beautiful Landscapes
People are well aware that China has some megacities. However, they don’t always know just how stunning and diverse the landscape is. You can expect to find mountains, waterfalls, beaches, rice terraces, and forests.
If you’ve seen the movie Avatar, you know the beauty of the Zhangjiajie National Forests with its floating column-like mountains. Zhangye National Geopark is another gem and also a UNESCO heritage site. The rolling, technicolor mountains are perfect for practicing those photography skills.
If rivers are more your thing, explore the picturesque Guilin with rivers cutting through terrace fields and limestone scenery.
Check out this YouTube video that shows some great landmarks of China.
6. The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall is truly a sight to behold. It’s the largest manmade structure on earth and was declared one of the new 7 Wonders of the World.
Bring your hiking shoes to traverse this wonder during the day, or watch the sunset and enjoy a picnic. The Great Wall was built on a mountain ridge, so you can enjoy beautiful views as you climb this historic site and check this off your bucket list.
7. Fascinating Architecture
The Great Wall isn’t the only famous architectural treasure of China. The country has several ancient locations, such as the Temple of Heaven, the Terracotta Warriors, and the Forbidden City.
Contrasting these historical landmarks are China’s ultra-modern buildings. The Bird’s Nest is Beijing’s National Stadium and named for its interwoven metal planks resembling a nest.
Furthermore, the Jinmao Tower in Shanghai is a blend of old and new. With a pagoda-like design, it’s the third-tallest skyscraper in the city.
8. Rich History
China has 3,500 years of written history. With multiple dynasties and periods of extreme wealth and advancements, this region has a lot to unpack.
The historical influences can be seen in everything from the food and architecture to the customs and attitudes.
Visit one of the ancient historical sites or explore museums to learn more about China’s eventful and long story.
9. Modern Cities
China is known for its modern cities. Beijing is both an ancient and modern city with many historical sites. With over 20 million people, you can expect to find something for everyone and a plethora of activities.
Shanghai is a city of lights with an unforgettable skyline. This multicultural hotspot attracts international business, tourism, and shopping. With a strong infrastructure and economic development, you can expect all the comforts and glam of a modern metropolis.
10. Unique Markets
You can find absolutely anything in Chinese marketplaces: vegetables, meats, freshly caught seafood, electronics, clothing, jewelry, and trinkets of all kinds.
Many markets focus on one item, such as Shanghai’s Tianshan Tea Market. If you’re more of a night owl, look for some knockoffs or eat tasty street treats at the Yiwu Night Market.
These markets aren’t just for tourists, so expect to get a window into local cuisine and lifestyle. Some foods, in particular, might seem unusual to a westerner – but will definitely pique your interest, and maybe those taste buds if you’re adventurous enough.