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The Most Popular China Tour Destinations in 2015

Where in China should you go next year? China Highlights recommend ten of the best-selling tourist destinations for 2015. You can check out related tours for reference, or contact us and have us tailor-make a tour including your favorite China highlights.

popular destinations 2015

1. Beijing — the Forbidden City and the Great Wall

mutianyu great wall

Beijing is the most popular tourist destination in China every year. In 2015 Beijing should continue to be the best seller, where you can get the maximum experience of Chinese culture and history for one destination. The Forbidden City and the Great Wall draw millions of visitors every year.

Things to Do in Beijing

Visit the Forbidden City to see the spectacular ancient architectural complex.

Hike on the Great Wall to be a "real man".

Enjoy a cool vacation like an emperor in the Summer Palace.

Take a bike in the hutongs to experience Beijing's traditional culture. 

2. Xi'an — the Terracotta Army

Terracotta Army

As one of the most popular tourist destinations among foreign travelers, Xi'an always attracts many on a first trip to China. The Terracotta Army in Xi'an is considered one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world. More than 6,000 life-size terracotta warriors and horses have been unearthed, all in different gestures. Many remain interred.

Things to Do in Xi'an

Visit the amazing Terracotta Army.

Bike on the Ancient City Wall.

Watch the Fabulous Fountain Show in the Goose Pagoda Square.

Hang out and snack in the Muslim Street.

3. Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou — 1 Hour by Bullet Train

suzhou

High-speed rail makes your China tour more convenient. Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hanghzou are within an hour's travel by bullet train! Enjoy ancient culture, gardens, and water towns from modern Shanghai, a top gateway city. The traditional gardens are quiet and inspirational places to escape from busy city life.

Things to Do in These Cities

Boat and stroll leisurely in a historic water town.

Appreciate traditional Chinese gardens: Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai, Humble Administrator's Garden in Suzhou, West Lake in Hangzhou…

4. Chengdu — Base of Cute Giant Panda Breeding

giant panda

Giant pandas are so cute, and many travelers want to see, or even hug, these lovely animals. Although there are giant pandas in zoos in various places around China, the best place to see pandas is in Chengdu. Visitors can take part in volunteer programs to take care of giant pandas.

Things to Do in Chengdu

Watch giant pandas and join a panda keeper program.

Enjoy Sichuan Opera and watch magical face changing.

Visit the Leshan Giant Buddha.

5. Yunnan — the Stone Forest and Colorful Red Land

Dongchuan Red Land

Yunnan is worth visiting all year round. It's not only a fantastic place to enjoy the natural scenery, but also a good place to experience different minority cultures. Major attractions near the capital, Kunming, include the Yuanyang Terraced Fields, mountainous Lijiang is in the west, and tropical Xishuangbanna is in the south.

Things to Do in Yunnan

Gape at Stone Forest World Geopark, the most grotesque karst landscape in the world.

Photograph Dongchuan Red Land, featuring dark red, purple red, and brick red colors.

Enjoy a relaxing vacation at altitude in Lijiang Ancient Town.

Experience Dai minority culture in Xishuangbanna.

Photograph the Yuanyang Terraced Fields

  • See more about Yunnan.
  • Recommended tour: 3-Day Kunming Tour to see the Stone Forest and major sights around Kunming city.

6. Zhangjiajie — Wonder of Nature

zhangjiajie Nationa Forest Park

Zhangjiajie is famous for its precarious peaks, limpid streams, dense forests, and large karst caves. It is one of the must-see scenic areas in China. It was thrust into foreigner travelers' eyes after the movie Avatar. The Hallelujah Mountains in Avatar were inspired by Heavenly Pillar in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.

Things to Do in Zhangjiajie

Hike and climb among the pillars and peaks of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.

Take a cable car to enjoy fantastic views on Tianmen Mountain, and experience the chilling cliff-side glass path.

7. Tibet — a Holy and Pure Place

namtso

Tibet is on the highest plateau in the world. There are many Buddhist buildings, due to Tibetans' strong culture of faith. You can see sincere pilgrims doing full-body prostrations or spinning the prayer wheels on Lhasa's streets. The natural scenery will take your breath away, with its the super-clear blue skies and lakes. It's also the best place to see Mount Everest.

Things to Do in Tibet

Visit The Potala Palace, a huge treasure house of articles from Tibetan history, religion, culture, and art.

Visit Lake Yamdrok, "the turquoise earring scattered in the mountains".

Camp at Mount Everest to see the sunrise at the top of the world.

8. Huangshan — the Yellow Mountains

the yellow mountains

Legendary natural scenery is the highlight of Huangshan. It has "the most beautiful mountains in China", the Yellow Mountains. The Yellow Mountains attract visitors with their seas of clouds, oddly-shaped rocks and pines, and hot springs at the mountain foot. Besides the beautiful mountains, many visitors also go see the beautiful countryside scenery and its ancient villages.

Things to Do in Huangshan

Climb the Yellow Mountains and see spectacular rocks and seas of clouds.

Visit the "artists' muse", the beautiful village of Hongcun.

9. Guilin — Escape the Pollution in China's Countryside

lijiang river

"East to west, Guilin is best." Guilin's idyllic scenery draws millions of tourists from near and far every year. Its marvelous limestone scenery is renowned as "the most beautiful on earth". The fresh air and countryside scenery make it an ideal place to escape the industrial pollution. The Li River in Yangshuo county is the top highlight of Guilin, and the Longji Terraced Fields attract many photographers in spring and fall. 

Things to Do in Guilin

Take a cruise to see the picturesque Li River.

Snap the Longji Terraced Fields and experience minority culture in Longsheng.

Discover awe-inspiring and colorful Reed Flute Cave in Guilin City.

10. Hong Kong—Shopping Paradise

Victoria Harbor viewed from Victoria Peak

Hong Kong is a shopping paradise for luxury products. The huge shopping malls of Central, Admiralty, and the street fashion factory in Causeway Bay, are reasons for many travelers to make their way to Hong Kong. Hong Kong also has some amazing beaches and natural sights for outdoor lovers. And it's near Macau, so many travelers take a day trip by ferry this past Portuguese Port.

Things to Do in Hong Kong

Shop for luxuries with a relatively low price.

Take a bird's eye view of Victoria Harbor from Victoria Peak.

Plan a one-day trip to Macau for casinos and colonial architecture.