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Top Places to Escape the “Golden Week” Crowds

October 1 is National Day in China and “golden week” is the seven-day holiday from October 1 to October 7. It is an inescapable tradition that golden week is a very busy travel time.

During 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. Here we present six prime places with beautiful scenery that you can plan to visit.

Yangtze River Cruises

Autumn scenery along the Yangtze RiverAutumn scenery along the Yangtze River

The crowds during China's golden week have little impact on the fixed-number-per-ship Yangtze River cruise. However, booking the cruise during the National Day holiday week is much harder than normal, and it’s advisable to book at least two months in advance.

The Yangtze River cruise is the most popular cruise in China, with beautiful natural landscapes and some places of cultural interest along the way. The ship frequently stops and you can stretch your legs to explore attractions on the river banks. October's Yangtze River is painted by fall colors. The weather in October is quite comfortable and cool, which makes it pleasant to stand on deck surveying the scenery.

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Xinjiang Province

Villages in XinjiangVillages in Xinjiang

Xinjiang Province in west China is an ideal place to avoid bustling cities and enjoy tranquil and amazing natural scenery. It is one of the less-visited provinces in China, but the amazing nature in Xinjiang makes it a top destination for surviving and thriving away from the crowds.

Baihaba Village retains its rural beauty, and there you can feel very close to nature. The fall colors in the fields, together with the houses and farms, are deeply impressive, even intoxicating. Baihaba is near the border between China and Kazakhstan, where Kazak and Mongolian people live. Traditional lifestyle and culture are well preserved in this village.

Autumn is the most charming season in Baihaba. Seen from a distance, the neighboring mountains are blanketed with layer-upon-layer of different-colored verdant trees. Streams rush down impatiently from the mountains and between the trees. All this fabulous scenery makes you feel like you are standing in the middle of a large painting of nature, created by a phenomenal artist.

Qinghai Province

Lama in Ta'er Monastery in QinghaiA yong Lama in Ta'er Monastery in Qinghai

If you have a craving for pure and fabulous natural scenery in China and don't want to be disturbed by crowds, Qinghai Province in the north-west may be just the place for you. The source of the Yangtze River is there and many ethnic groups live there, making it a good destination for discovering Chinese culture.

Qinghai Lake is a sparking jewel in the north-west of China. Although autumn is not said to be the best time to visit the lake, the season offers a different kind of beauty well-worth seeing. The lake is quieter and more peaceful, decorated by the yellow grasslands and snow-capped mountains around. Standing on the bank you will have a wide sphere of vision. This huge lake and quiet environment can make you feel overwhelmed.

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Western Sichuan Province

Beautiful scenery in Western Sichuan areaBeautiful scenery in Western Sichuan area

Autumn is a perfect season for outdoor activities, when you can enjoy the fresh air and cool weather. How about a hike through mountains and fields? The western part of Sichuan offers routes with stunning natural scenery and minority cultures, popular with photographers and outdoor amateurs alike.

The golden fall colors in Daocheng are gorgeous, together with the pure white snowy mountains and different varieties of plant life. Daocheng is a popular stopover point on the journey to Yading, a point where you can visit and gain insight into the nature of Tibetan minority culture. Hongcaodi, Konkaling, the Xiongdeng Temple, the Bangpu Temple and the Rewu Temple are the top attractions there. In autumn, the red bushes of Hongcaodi combined with yellow foliage under the clear and pure blue sky, are believed to exhibit the colors of heaven. Temples in the mountains represent local Buddhist culture.

The Changbai Mountains

Changbai MountainChangbai Mountain Tianchi of 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) via Tonghua.

Hot springs, waterfalls, Heavenly Lake, and the nature-reserve area are the top attractions in the mountains. Among them Heavenly Lake is the most gorgeous and a 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. The mountains are a cool place for escaping the summer heat. It may even snow there from October onwards.

China Highlights can help you create a tour package to visit the highlights of the northeast of China. Contact us or see our tailor-made form.

Kaili, Guizhou Province

Miao ethnic people in Kaili, GuizhouMiao ethnic people in Kaili, Guizhou Miao villages in Kaili, Guizhou

Guizhou Province is home to many of China’s minority groups, and Kaili is one of the best places to use as a base for exploring minority cultures. The Kaili Museum, its Sunday market, the villages nearby and their culture and architecture, are all worth a visit. Western customers typically have a two-day or three-day stay in Kaili. It is said of Kaili that "Grand festivals occur there every three days, while minor ones occur every day."

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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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