Top Places to Escape the “Golden Week” Crowds
It is an unconventional tradition that a peak travel time in China falls in the "golden week". "Golden week" means the seven-day holiday from October 1 to October 7 (October 1 is National Day).
During the "Golden Week", most Chinese people will go to the large cities and coastal cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Qingdao, and Sanya. The southwest, west, and northeast parts of China are less crowded but still worth a visit. There are four prime places with beautiful scenery that you can plan a trip to.
Yangtze River Cruises
The crowded phenomenon of China's "golden week" has little impact on the fixed-number Yangtze River cruise. However, booking the cruise ship sailing during the National Day holiday is much harder than normal, so remember to book the ship at least two months in advance.
The Yangtze River cruise is the most popular cruise in China with beautiful natural landscapes and also some cultural places along the trip. It frequently stops and you can stretch your legs to see the attractions on the bank. October's Yangtze River is painted by fall colors. The weather is October is quite comfortable and cool, which makes it very suitable to stand on the deck appreciating the scenery.
Xinjiang Province in west China is an ideal place to stay away from bustling cities and enjoy the tranquil and amazing natural scenery. It is one of the less visited provinces in the north of China, but the amazing nature in Xinjiang makes it a top recommended destination to survive from the crowds.
Baihaba Village keeps its rural beauty, and you can get very close to nature. The fall colors in the fields, together with the houses and farms, can make you feel deeply impressed and intoxicated. Baihaba Village is located in the connection between China and Kazakhstan, where Kazak ethnic people and Mongolian people live. The traditional lifestyle and culture are well kept in this village.
Autumn is the most charming season of Baihaba Village. Seen from a long distance, the mountains are blanketed with verdant trees with layers upon layers of different colors. Streams flow quickly in the mountains and between the trees. All this fabulous scenery makes you feel like standing in a large painting of nature by a great artist.
If you have a craving for pure and fabulous natural scenery in China and don't want to be disturbed by the crowds, Qinghai province is your top choice. Located in the north-west of China, Qinghai is the source of the Yangtze River. Many ethnic groups live in Qinghai Province, which makes Qinghai a good destination for discovering Chinese culture.
Qinghai Lake is a sparking jewel in the north-west of China. Although it is said that autumn is not the best time to visit Qinghai Lake, it has a different beauty with a high value for traveling. The lake is quieter and more peaceful, decorated by the yellow grasslands and snow-capped mountains. You will have a wide sphere of vision standing on the bank of the lake. This huge lake and quiet environment can make you feel overwhelmed.
Western Sichuan Province
Autumn is a perfect season for outdoor activities when you can enjoy the fresh air and the cool weather. Taking a hiking trip between the mountains and fields is a great idea. The western part of Sichuan provides a route with stunning natural scenery and minority cultures, which is a favorite of photographers and outdoor amateurs.
The golden color in autumn in Daocheng is gorgeous, together with the pure white snowy mountains and plant varieties. It is a popular stopover spot to Yading, where you can visit and get an insight into the nature of the minority culture. Hongcaodi, Konkaling, the Xiongdeng Temple, the Bangpu Temple and the Rewu Temple are the top attractions there. The red bushes of Hongcaodi in autumn combined with the yellow foliage under the clear and pure blue sky is believed to be the color of the heaven. Temples located in the mountains represent the local culture influenced by Buddhism.
The Changbai Mountains
The Changbai Mountains are a scenic wonderland and one of the most beautiful areas in China. They are located in Jilin Province, northeast China, and can be reached conveniently by train from Changchun (the capital of Jilin Province) via Tonghua.
Hot springs, waterfalls, Heavenly Lake, and the nature preserve area are the top attractions in the Changbai Mountains. Among them Heavenly Lake is the most gorgeous and must-visit place. While trekking around Heavenly Lake, you may be surprised and overwhelmed by the scenery, which is different, but equally spectacular, under different weather conditions.
In autumn you can see flowers blossoming on the southern and western slopes. It is a cool place to escape the summer heat. It may snow from October in the Changbai Mountains.
Kaili, Guizhou Province
Guizhou Province is a home to many of China’s minority groups, and Kaili is one of the best places to see their ethnic cultures. Kaili Museum, Sunday market, the villages nearby, and their architecture are worth a visit. Western customers typically have a two-day or three-day stay in Kaili. There is a saying for Kaili that, “Grand festivals occur every three days, while minor ones every day.”
Why not plan a holiday to appreciate the fall color in rural China and survive the crowds? Contact us to have us tailor make your unique China tours.
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I updated this article on April 1, 2014
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