Continent: East Asia
Capital City: Beijing
Currency: Chinese Yuan
Years I Visited: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Beautifully bonkers, a trip through China will take you to stunning metropolises; a wealth of cultural heritage and vistas like nowhere else on the planet. Whilst living in Hong Kong, I was lucky enough to make numerous trips to the gigantic country and each visit was bizarre, unique, frustrating and beautiful. Brush up on your Mandarin before you come here – you’ll need it!
My China Highlights
Here’s where I got to in China. Click the destination name for related blog posts.
China’s sprawling capital feels decidedly more mellow and less international than some other cities in the country but it is a wealth of cultural and geographical gems, including sections of a rather famous wall.
China’s tech hub right at the south, probably isn’t worth going out of your way for but if you’re in neighbouring Hong Kong, it’s definitely worth a visit if only to soak in how completely different the two cities feel.
This feels like China’s capital with its towering, unique skyscrapers, a truly mouthwatering food scene and some oddly European features to it. You could do a lot worse than starting in Shanghai for your oriental adventure.
A mere hop away from Shanghai on a speedy bullet train, this city is tourism done right. Its beautiful lake means tourists flock here, yet it retains its charm and is much easier to navigate than some of its counterparts. Coffee shops in abundance mean this is a city where you can truly chill.
Also a short hop from Hong Kong across the border, China’s third largest city has more of a personality than Shenzhen and is filled with plenty of green spaces for you to escape the pollution.
Slap bang in the middle of China lies a breathtaking national park which inspired the floating mountains of Avatar. Its sheer size means it’s pretty easy to avoid the film-loving selfie-takers and become lost hiking in an alien-like wilderness.
There aren’t enough superlatives for China’s southern Yunnan province and its capital is a great place to start. The people are friendly, the vibe is quite relaxed and there are some fantastic places to visit both in and out of the city.
Whilst Lijiang’s Old Town makes you feel slightly as if you’re in a child’s playset, its location is both breathtaking and perfect for trips and excursions to some of Yunnan’s (and China’s) most incredible landscapes.
A lake on one side, mountains on the other, a bustling Old Town and a really nice vibe – Dali should be a massive tourist destination. Go and discover it before it becomes one.
One of, if not the most spectacular hikes I’ve ever done. This two day trek in Yunnan will completely take your breath away – and not just because of the workout. An incredible escape from reality.