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Travel in Depth: 10 Best Places to Visit in China for Return Visitors

China holds so many places to visit and it’s impossible to visit them all during one single trip. For return visitors, what are the great destinations with their own incredible landscapes, treasured historical sites, mouthwatering foods, distinctive cultural heritages, or other lovely local species? Here is the list of the best places to visit in China for the return visitors.     

Badaling Great Wall in Autumn
Great Wall of China is definitely one of the China best places to visit for return visitors. As it is more than 21,196 kilometers (13,170 miles) long in north of China, there are numerous sections with different features and regional landscapes. If you have been to the most famous Badaling and Mutianyu, visit some other well-known sections like Juyongguan, a noted pass with grand pass tower; Jinshanling, a famous section for photography and hiking; and Simatai, the only section open at night. All of them are in suburb of Beijing. Apart from the sections in Beijing, others, like Shanhaiguan in Hebei and Jiayuguan in Gansu, are also attracting for return visitors to see the Great Wall of China.

Great Wall Tours
 Recommended Tour:  One Day & Half Day Private Tours to the Great Wall from $82
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Golden Triangle Cities – Beijing, Xi’an & Shanghai

Xi'an Bell Tower
Beijing – the capital of China, Xi’an – the famous ancient capital, and Shanghai – the modern and fashionable megacity, are always the best places to visit in China even for return visitors. There are so many worthy-to-see attractions that you could never cover them in a trip, and these sites would surprise you for your second-time visit.

In Beijing, after visiting the grandest palace complex Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, traditional Hutongs, return visitors may climb up to the Jingshan Hill to overlook the whole Forbidden City, go boating at Beihai Park, see pandas at Beijing Zoo, watch a Beijing Opera performance, etc. In Xi’an, in addition to classic attractions like Terracotta Army and City Wall, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Tang Paradise, Qianling Mausoleum, Mount Huashan… are quite appealing to visit whe you come to the city for the second time. In Shanghai, Jade Buddha Temple, Former French Concession, Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Zhujiajiao and water towns in the surroundings, provide you the city safari with stylish things as memorable as the top attractions including the Bund and Yu Garden.

Beijing Tours & Xi'an Tours & Shanghai Tours
 Recommended Tour:  8 Days Golden Triangle Tour with Small Group
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Chengdu: Giant Pandas’ Hometown

Giant Panda of China
Chengdu is the capital city of Sichuan Province in southwestern China and you may not have time to travel there during your first trip to China. For a return trip, it must be on your list as one of the best places to visit in China. It is appealing for the plenty of beautiful sceneries like Stone Elephant Lake and Mount Qingcheng; amazing ancient remains like Wuhou Temple and Sanxingdui Museum; spicy Sichuan cuisine, such as Kung Pao Chicken, Sliced Pork in Hot Chili Oil, and more; slow paced life, and the most famous giant pandas. As the hometown of this lovely animal, Chengdu houses more pandas than any other places in the world. At Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, you can see quite many of them, even the baby pandas just born. It is certainly that you would never see so many pandas of different ages except in Chengdu.

Chengdu Tours
 Recommended Tour:  3 Days Private Chengdu Highlights Tour from $339
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Chongqing: Hot City with Hot Pot

Chongqing Hot Pot
Chongqing is not far from Chengdu, about 1.5 hours’ high speed train ride away. It is noted for the Yangtze River Three Gorges, karst sinkhole of Wulong Karst National Geology Park, stilted house complex of Hongya Cave, exciting Yangtze River Cableway, ancient Ci Qi Kou Town, lifelike Dazu Rock Carvings and more. However, the best known thing of this mountainous city by Yangtze River is Hot Pot. Chongqing Hot Pot, in particular, the tripe hot pot, taste spicy and very numb, and the tripe slices are crispy after quick-boiling in the hot pot soup. This food will satisfy your stomach to your hearts’ content, which is a must for any visitors to Chongqing.

Chongqing Tours
 Recommended Tour:  4 Days Chongqing Tour to Yichang with Three Gorges Cruise from $569
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Jiuzhaigou: Charming Scenery of West Sichuan

Jiuzhaigou
Jiuzhaigou, in west Sichuan, is very much like a fairyland with primitive lush mountains, clear lakes and waterfalls. It can be reached from Chengdu by flight in about an hour. Whenever you come to Jiuzhaigou, you can always see the extremely beautiful sceneries, like blooming flowers all over the valley in spring, green plants and cool water in summer, the colored leaves of woods in autumn, and surprising snow-covered mountains and icy waterfalls in winter. But the most beautiful time of Jiuzhaigou is autumn. The colorful leaves not only blanket the mountain slopes, but also dye clear lakes with the reflections, forming a breathtaking world and making it one of the best places to travel in China. Besides, the Tibetan villages are also the miraculous sights in Jiuzhaigou.

 Recommended Tour:  5 Days Jiuzhaigou & Huanglong Tour from Chengdu from $1169
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Zhangjiajie: Grand Canyon & Glass Bridge

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Zhangjiajie, the shooting site for the movie “Avatar” is also one of the top places to visit in China recommended for your return trip. It is featured with marvelous peaks in varieties of shapes, seldom seen anywhere else on the earth. And the Glass Bridge in Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon becomes hot. It is thrilling to stand on the transparent suspension bridge over the green valley, at a height of more than 280 meters (919 feet) above the bottom of Grand Canyon. Try to see if you can stop shaking out of fears when standing on it. You may also visit Fenghuang Ancient Town by the way, to learn the ethnic customs of Miao nationality and see the distinct stilted folk houses. 

Zhangjiajie Tours
 Recommended Tour:  4 Days Zhangjiajie In-depth Tour from $609
7 

Suzhou & Hangzhou: South China Gardens & Water Towns

Shantang Street, Suzhou
Suzhou and Hangzhou have been honored as the heaven-like places on the earth, for the abundant resource and picturesque scenery. Thus they are listed as the best places to visit in China and recommended to return visitors. Suzhou is well known for the classical southern China gardens, including the most praised Humble Administrator’s Garden, Lingering Garden, The Master of Nets Garden, and Lion Grove Garden. They are peaceful and well designed to please the owners with small lakes, green plants and rockeries, which are good sites to live a comfortable life. West Lake in Hangzhou is also a top attraction all over China that is welcomed all year around, and you may find different beauty of the large lake at different times. Surrounding them, there are masses of old water towns, such as Zhouzhuang and Tongli close to Suzhou, and Wuzhen, Xitang & Nanxun not far from Hangzhou. It is already a relaxing thing to do to sit on a small boat traveling along the crisscross rivers lined with the traditional Chinese dwellings in these towns.

Suzhou Tours & Hangzhou Tours
 Recommended Tour:  5 Days Suzhou & Hangzhou High Speed Train Tour from Shanghai from $789
 
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Huangshan: China’s Most Famous Yellow Mountain

Hongcun Ancient Village
There is no exaggeration to say that Huangshan, or Yellow Mountain is the most famous mountain in China. Apart from the mountain landscapes, it is famous for four natural wonders: strange pines especially the pine looking like greeting guests, absurd stones, sea of clouds, and hot springs. Besides, the sunrise, snow sights, soft rimes… are also the charming points of Yellow Mountain. As an old saying goes, a trip to Yellow Mountain would render you not want to see other mountains any more. That’s why it is a best place to go in China drawing return visitors. At the foot of Yellow Mountain, Tunxi Old Street, Xidi and Hongcun Ancient Villages, etc. are atracting with characteristic Huizhou style architecture and Anhui cuisine.

Huangshan Tours
 Recommended Tour:  3 Days Yellow Mountain Private Package from $509
9 

Yunnan: Natural Wonders & Ethnic Minorities Culture

Lugu Lake
Yunnan, at the most southwest of China, is rich in original rainforests, snow mountains, clear lakes and other more natural attractions. It is also home to the most ethnic minorities around China. Therefore you may go to Yunnan for the remarkable natural beauties and multi-ethnic culture, such as Lugu Lake surrounded with snow-capped mountains, ear-like Erhai Lake in Dali, the nearest snow mountain to equator and the holy mountain of Naxi nationalityJade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang, Yuanyang Rice Terraces – the terraced fields dotted with Hani nationality’s village, Tiger Leaping Gorge – a super hiking site with the world’s largest drop along the river, Potatso National Park in Shangri-La, Meili Snow Mountain in Deqin, Stone Forest in Kunming, etc.

In addition to the natural wonders, Lijiang Old Town and Dali Ancient City are the popular historical ethnic places. And Xishuangbanna, with the tropical forests, wild elephants, peafowls, and Dai nationality, is a wondrous area like Southeast Asia in China. Having multiple faces, Yunnan may be the most mysterious among the best places to visit in China.

Yunnan Tours
 Recommended Tour:  8 Days Yunnan Tour of Kunming - Dali - Lijiang - Shangri-La from $1249
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Xinjiang: Silk Road Culture Tour

Xinjiang: Silk Road Culture Tour
Xinjiang was always the gateway to the west in ancient China, hence an important section on the Silk Road. It takes a very large area covered by deserts, pastures, valleys, and high mountains in the most northwestern China. From the east to west, Kumul is the first city on Silk Road in Xinjiang with Danxia landform. In Urumqi – the capital of Xinjiang, you may pay visits to Tianshan Mountains, Heavenly Lake, Red Hill, Water Mill Valley, etc. In Karamay, you would get feel of the strong winds at Ghost Town of World. Getting to Kanas Reserve, the Kanas Lake is a unique site with fowls, birds, fishes and green woods. And Flaming Mountain, Jiaohe Ancient City, Bizalkik Thousand Buddha Caves, Grape Valley… are the must-sees in oasis city Turpan, where is popular to learn the Uygur nationality, too.

Xinjiang Tours
 Recommended Tour:  11 Days Private Silk Road Tour to Xinjiang from Xi'an from $2379


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- Last modified on Nov. 19, 2020 -
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