Top 10 China tours 2024/2025 for first visits and returns: embark on a lifetime experience. Learn more

Top 10 Unique Experiences in China You Won't Miss

Written by Chris QuanUpdated Dec. 11, 2023

If you want to have unique experiences and gather special memories during your trip to China, this article could give you some inspiration. These experiences have been experienced by our guests and have garnered a lot of positive feedback.

Content Preview

1. The Great Wall: a Unique Picnic Experience (Beijing)

The Great WallOur guests have a picnic on the Great Wall.

This experience is crafted for families or couples, and is especially enjoyable if you are celebrating a big milestone, such as a birthday, graduation, anniversary, or retirement.

It would be a cool and unforgettable experience to have a picnic celebration on the world's longest wall.

For families with children, this would be an unforgettable family time, enjoying the view from the Great Wall while tasting local snacks, especially if it was a once-in-a-lifetime birthday party.

For couples, it could also be a romantic moment for you to enjoy a stunning sunset while having a meal and a drink.

If you have such a need, please contact us. We'll include some of these experiences or surprises you want to prepare in your itinerary.

2. The Forbidden City: Do an Emperor's Tour (Beijing)

Our Emperor's Tour experience is specially designed for those intrigued by Chinese history, particularly China's royal family. While it predominantly focuses on cultural and historical aspects, we've also incorporated enjoyable games for children to enhance the tour's appeal for families.

The Forbidden CityOur guests touring the Forbidden City

You would explore 10–12 handpicked palaces, whereas typical tour groups usually cover only 6–8. Through your expert guide's narration, you could delve into the historical tales behind palace construction, fengshui principles, and discover how emperors lived within the Forbidden City.

If you travel with kids, we have designed a game about the nine sons of the dragon and the auspicious beasts in the Forbidden City. Children could gain some knowledge through entertainment.

If you are interested in these experiences, please contact us. Our consultants would plan your trip according to your preferences.

What our guests say: "The following day, Angela continued to help me cross dreams off my bucket list as she guided me around the Forbidden City and along the way proved her skill and professionalism as she navigated with ease and spoke at length about every gorgeous painting and ancient piece of flagstone I kept stopping to admire! Her knowledge and ability to answer inquiries was astounding and continued as we journeyed around the city, following in the footsteps of the Emperors season to season, war to war, work to rest..." You could get the whole feedback on our TripAdvisor page.

Discover real reviews of Highlights Travel Family's best-rated service across trusted platforms.

3. The Bund: Go on an In-Depth Cultural Walk (Shanghai)

The Bund Walking Map, The Bund, Shanghai

The highlights of the Bund go beyond the gorgeous skyline view. There is much more to explore along the Bund.

We have specially designed a 2½-hour in-depth Bund culture discovery tour for those who want to learn interesting stories about the Bund and old Shanghai.

Many a building on the Bund shines with historical glory: a museum in Astor House Hotel, a movie poster gallery in Fairmont Peace Hotel, the beautiful mosaic ceiling of Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank...

Your expert guide would lead you into some of these old buildings and share the histories behind them as well as some of their childhood memories of Shanghai with you.

What our guests say: "The next thing we did was go to the Bund and Ryan #chinahighlights, explained some of the prominent old banking buildings and the clock tower that was made by the same person that did Big Ben in London. Also pointed out and we entered in disguise, was Peace Hotel. That was another highlight being an Art Deco style original and the Old Men Jazz Band..." You could see more feedback on our TripAdvisor page.

4. The Bund: a Leisurely Afternoon Tea (Shanghai)

This experience is most suitable for couples or if you want to enjoy a quality afternoon out.

We have selected one of the best hotels to enjoy a nice view next to Shanghai's famous Bund. There, you could enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea and the scenery of the Bund. Especially if Shanghai is your last stop on your trip to China, it could be a good ending for your journey.

5. The Terracotta Army: Make a Mini Warrior (Xi'an)

This is a hands-on experience that would allow you to learn more about the Terracotta Army.

After your visit to see the Terracotta Army, you would visit a local cave dwelling where a craftsman makes terracotta warriors in a traditional way. There, you could follow the craftsman's guidance to make your own smaller version.

The Terracotta ArmyOur family guests with their finished mini warriors

It could be an interesting and educational experience for both adults and kids. Your terracotta warriors could be a good souvenir to take home.

What our guests say: "During our trip around China, we spent three days in Xi'an. Thanks to our wonderful guide, Susan, who took us to visit the most beautiful places, explaining additional details about the dynasties. We especially enjoyed the Terracotta Warriors, where we had the chance to create one at a local workshop..."

Just contact us to create your China trip. We offer personalized tour service. All the itineraries would be made/adjusted based on your interests and requirements.

6. Take Part in a Panda Volunteer Program (Chengdu)

If you are not satisfied with just seeing the cute pandas from a distance among the crowds, we could arrange a memorable panda volunteer experience for you and your family.

In the program, you would clean the glass of their enclosures, provide fresh bamboo for them, make their favorite panda cakes, and watch them being fed by the keepers. The panda experts would also show you around the base, answer your questions about pandas, and, finally, you would receive a volunteer certificate.

7. Take a Dumpling Cooking Class (Xi'an)

This is a great culinary experience, which your family could participate in together. You would learn how to make dumplings at a local family's home.

Xi'an dumpling cookingOur guests's dumpling cooking experience

The making process requires no oil or fire and is safe. Children could learn to knead dough and make dumplings with the host. They could also use their imagination to make dumplings in various shapes. These delicious creations would be your lunch to share together.

During the process, you could also learn about the decoration of Chinese homes and some local ways of life.

8. Have an Adventure in an Undeveloped Cave (Guilin)

This could be a great summer experience, especially if you or your children are adventurous.

In contrast to the widely-known caves adorned with vibrant lights and constructed pathways, the lesser-explored caves offer a more adventurous experience. It requires you to wear a helmet and headlamp for exploration. Outdoor footwear is also essential.

Guilin cave explorationOur guide is explaining the stone pillars in the cave to the guests.

You would see stalactites in the cave that geologists say have taken hundreds of thousands of years to form. Once inside the cave, switching off your headlamp grants you the opportunity to encounter absolute darkness. Cave ecosystems diverge significantly from our familiar surroundings, creating an otherworldly atmosphere devoid of light and sound. Playing a shadow game is also interesting.

Discover real reviews of Highlights Travel Family's best-rated service across trusted platforms.

9. Fun Farm Work Experience (Guilin)

In Guilin, you would have the chance to see real rural life in the countryside, which cannot be seen in a big city.

You could meet local villagers on their way to the fields with a water buffalo or someone working in the paddy. You could join them with your kids to do some farm work, such as picking vegetables or plowing a paddy.

GuilinOur guests experiencing farming in Guilin

This could be a great opportunity for children to put down their phones and tablets and get close to nature. It could also be an unforgettable memory for your family trip.

"We had a great time in Hunan Province thanks in no small part to our excellent guide, Lily, who took us to all of the major attractions throughout the region starting in Guilin and the villages in the mountains where we walked through the rice fields watching the farmers harvesting." — Feedback from our guests on TripAdvisor

10. Explore a Rural Artistic Utopia (Huangshan)

In a rather remote village in Huangshan, traditional houses are preserved and surrounded by mountains and fields. A group of artists, drawn by the serene atmosphere and beautiful scenery, undertook the transformation of this place upon the foundation of preserving traditional architecture, creating a rural utopia.

This is a place where you could get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the embrace of nature.

It creates a peaceful vibe for couples to enjoy some private time. Wake up to the sound of birds and go for a walk in the fresh air, visit a bookstore that has been transformed from an old ancestral temple, or just relax with a cup of coffee and a view out of the window in a boutique hotel converted from a pigsty.

Tour China with China Highlights

All of our tours are customizable. Feel free to contact us and we'll create your trip based on your interests and requirements.

Or see some of our popular China tours for more inspiration:

Start planning your tailor-made tour with 1-1 help from our travel advisors. Create Your Trip

Sign up to Our Newsletter

Be the first to receive exciting updates, exclusive promotions, and valuable travel tips from our team of experts.

Click to Sign up

Why China Highlights

Customize Your Tour

Customize Your Tour

  • Travel Advisors Rooted in China
  • Instant Response, No More Waits!
  • Direct Connections, Supreme Values
Maximize Your Flexibility

Maximize Your Flexibility

  • Your own personal guide and ride.
  • Explore at your own pace.
  • Unparalleled flexibility, impossible on a group tour.
Ensure Your Satisfaction

Ensure Your Satisfaction

  • The Top 20% nationwide guides at your service.
  • 20% more space on your group's transportation.
  • 24/7 emergency support.
Live Your China Story

Live Your China Story

  • Authentic local culture and lifestyles.
  • Understand the culture by living it.
  • Uncover fascinating histories and witness New China.
Rated 5 out of 5 | 98.8% Excellence
China Highlights International
Travel Service Co., LTD
Featured on
China Highlights was featured on these medias.

Address: Building 6, Chuangyi Business Park, 70 Qilidian Road, Guilin, Guangxi, 541004, China