Most expats in China stay in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Have you get bored of a city life in bustling modern buildings? For expats who have known China very well and have been to a lot of Chinese cities, how to make a further trip to explore China more?
With a more than 2,000 years history, Chinese Ancient Silk Road which started in Chang'an (Xi'an) went through Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai Provinces and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is still vivid in travelers'hearts. A lot of travelers are still attracted by Ancient Tea Route in Southwest China. Here China Travel lists some great destinations less traveled by visitors for expats who has been in China for a long time. With great natural scenery and unique local culture, you can experience a completely different journey from modern cities.
Top Destinations for Expats Travel in China
If you want to visit Tibet, it is a good choice for expats in China as Tibet reopens to foreign travelers except Japanese and Filipino in April in 2013. Due to political elements, it's a pity that some foreign travelers can't have a glance at Tibet. How about seizing the opportunity and travelling in Tibet now?
To join in a pilgrimage group to Lhasa will make you deeply experience Buddhism culture. Buddhism culture and wonderful natural plateau scenery are the most attractive in Tibet. You can visit the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, Nam Lake and Barkhor Street. Nyingchi, Shigatse and Norbulingka are great destinations in Tibet. And July, August and September are the best months to visit Tibet.
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Located in Northwest China, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is less touched travelers. However, it is a mysterious and quiet land with great natural sceneries and local culture. Urumqi is the provincial capital of Xinjiang and Shuimogou is a good place to have a hot spring in Urumqi. Tianchi, a pure mountain lake, is one of the most attractions in Xinjiang. And you can Devil City to see peculiar Yadan landform.
With a grand land of lavender, Yili is known as Provence in China. Uyghur people are enthusiasm and good at dancing. One thing you should not miss is fruits in Hami and Turpan such as fresh Hami melons and grapes. Autumn is the best time to visit Xinjiang because of fresh fruits and colorful leaves. If you are a photograph lover, you should catch an autumn trip to Xinjiang such as Kanas. In addition, hand pilaf, beef steaks are widely loved by Chinese people and foreign travelers.
Recommended Xinjiang and Silk Road Tours & Services:
Zhangjiajie and Fenghuang Ancient Town
Located in northwest Hunan Province, Zhangjiajie is one part of Wuling mountain chain. A lot of travelers fall in love at first sight of landscapes in Zhangjiajie which combines underground rivers, caves, stone forests and peaks. The streams wandering among the peaks are the highlights of Zhangjiajie landscapes.
Fenghuang Ancient Town is a concentration of Miao families in west Hunan Province. It is the birth place of Chinese famous modern writer-Shen Congwen. To take a small boat on Tuo River to see the Miao Villages is the first choice to view its beauty. Walking along Tiaoyan(an ancient narrow bridge) is exciting. Besides, you can have some tasty local Hunan style dishes, and spend some time in a bar in the evening there.
Recommended Zhangjiajie Tours & Services:
Situated in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Qinghai offers natural plateau sceneries which make you forget your busy life in modern cites. Blue sky, snow maintains and grand lands will bring you a quiet and peaceful trip. Endless roads extend in the grand lands. Qinghai Lake is Chinese biggest inland lake with beautiful scenery. The bird island on the Qinghai Lake is full of birds playing in water and flying in the sky. If you miss a field of rape flowers in spring, here you can still view a grand field of them in Qinghai during July and August.
Xining played an important role on the south route of Chinese ancient Silk Road. Influenced by Tibetan Buddhism Culture, Kumbum Monastery in Xining is a hot pilgrimage in Qinghai Province. You can see some Buddhists devotionally kowtow to Kumbum Monastery. And Golmud is an ideal destination to see wild animals and mountaineering expedition except natural sceneries.
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Less-touched destinations in Yunnan Province
As one of the hottest places to escape a hot summer, Yunnan Province has been visited by a lot of visitors from home and abroad. Have you been to Kunming, Dali and Lijiang Ancient Town? If you have visited the most popular destinations in Yunnan Province, here we recommend some less touched attractions by visitors. Shangri-La, meaning as an auspicious place in Tibetan language, is a uncommon paradise. And White Water Terraces, Bitahai Lake and Songzanlin Monastery are great attractions to visit in Shangri-la.
Tiger Leaping Gorge is only 105 kilometers from Shangri-la city center. The highlights of hiking along Tiger Leaping Gorge are to view magnificent mountains and rapid Jinsha River which is the headstream of the Yangtze River. Located in the south Yunnan Province, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture is famous for its amazing tropical rain forests and unique Dai ethnic minority's culture. Dai people's Water-Splashing Festival which is their new year in Dai people' calendar is widely held in April every year.
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As a key place on the ancient Silk Road, Gansu Province has typical northwest scenery in China. Mogao Grottoes, also known as A Thousand Buddhism Cave, has exquisite murals and statues which stand for rich Buddhism culture of ancient China. Maijishan Grottoes in Tianshui City is famous for its special muddy Buddhism carvings.
Soughing Dunes and Crescent Moon Spring are great desert wonders in Gansu Province. Jiayuguan Pass is the west start of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty. You can visit Labrang Lamasery in Xiahe County which is one of top 6 temples of Lamaism's Gelug Sect. Besides, Lanzhou beef noodles are deeply loved by people from the whole world. And you can enjoy some tasty northwest Chinese style dishes in Gansu Province.
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Western Sichuan Province
Maybe you have visited hot attractions near Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan Province. How about exploring more beautiful natural scenery and original local Sichuan people's life? The western part in Sichuan with great landscapes is much less visited by tourists, however, bad weather can't stop travelers' tour plan there. With a 1080 meters height and 1100 meters width, Grand Ice Waterfall in Hailuogou is the highest and largest ice waterfall. It is a great pleasure to have a hot spring at foot of snow mountains there.
Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong are famous for their natural scenery and Tibetan culture. You can visit Daocheng and Yading which is a colorful paradise with wonderful scenery in autumn. Many people know Kangding because its love songs among young people. Mugto in Kangding is a beautiful picture combining lakes, hot springs, original forests, grass lands and snow mountains. Siguniang Mountains, Dagu Glacier and Heishui county are also great destinations to have an autumn trip. The best season to visit Western Sichuan Province is autumn.
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As a result of geography, Guizhou Province in Southwest China still keeps its original life. In recently years, some travelers choose Guizhou as a summer destination to have a cool holiday. Huangguoshu Waterfalls in Anshui city are a waterfall cluster which has been listed as the largest waterfall chains in World Guinness Records.
In eastern Guizhou Province, it is a good chance to experience Miao and Dong people's local life and culture. For example, you can visit Xijiang Thousand Miao Houses in Kaili to experience its local culture.Zhenyuan Ancient Town can bring you with a quiet and comfortable trip in Guizhou. Qinglong Cave in Zhenyuan is a mixture of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism culture. You can also visit Libo Big Seven Holes and Small Seven Holes in Guizhou.
Recommended Guizhou Tours & Services:
Qufu in Shandong Province is the hometown of Confucius who is a teacher, politician and philosopher in Chinese ancient time. China has been deeply influenced by Confucian culture especially in feudal society period. Nowadays, Confucian Temple, the Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion are relics to commemorate Confucius and his students. You can have a Confucian cultural feast in Qufu.
With a height of 1532 meters, Mount Tai was a holy mountain to pray peace and prosperity by kings in ancient China. Shibapan includes 1594 steps to the top, a journey with big challenges. With a more than 700 years history, Nantian(South Sky) Gate, the end of Shibapan, can bring you a grand view with achievements when you arrive there. Mount Tai is famous for its sunrise in the morning, and Riguan Peak is the best place to see a sunrise.
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Guilin's karst landscapes are deeply loved by Chinese painters, however, when you arrive in Guilin, you will find it's even more beautiful than the paintings. It is a heaven of clear rivers wandering different shapes stone hills under the blue sky. You can find that Guilin city located among karst hills, and hills scattered in the city at the same time. The Li River Cruise and Yulong (Meet Dragon) River Cruise covers an essential karst landscape journey in Guilin. Night Cruise along two rivers and four lakes in the city center will show you a different Guilin.
Biking in Yangshuo county can make you closely get in touch with a countryside life and Zhuang People's life. Yangshuo is a popular place to join in rock-climbing and drifting activities. Longji Terraced Rice Fields is a great destination to photograph and experience Zhuang and Yao People's local culture. Besides, Guilin has dozens of parks in the city such as the Elephant Trunk Hill Park and Seven Star Park.
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