Eight Lesser-Known Places to Visit in China
You can climb the Great Wall, wander through the chambers of Beijing’s Forbidden City, and marvel at the stately colonial buildings along Shanghai’s Bund.
Home to Uighurs as well as several other minority groups, Turpan has beautiful old architecture, especially the Emin Minaret. Wander through the bustling market for spices, raisins, nuts, handmade knives, and gorgeous fabric.
While most of the brews are domestic, internationals like Russia’s Baltika and Germany’s Paulaner have their own pavilions, complete with entertainment ranging from Chinese acrobats and drinking contests to German bands. Most stalls feature Dalian’s delicious grilled seafood, everything from oysters and squid to whole fish. In 2016, the festival runs from July 21 to August 1.
Hotel Ibis (92 Zhaolin Jie; +86 451-8750-9999) is a warm and affordable place to stay while you’re there. You’ll also stay warm by sampling the Russian fare at the gilded Hua Mei restaurant on Zhongyang Dajie or up the street at Tatos Restaurant—and washing your meal down with lots of vodka or Harbin beer.
This gritty industrial town in Henan Province is close to two great attractions: the Shaolin Temple, with daily demonstrations where visitors can learn about kungfu, and the Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Although very, very touristy, the shows at Shaolin are a lot of fun—and it’s even more entertaining to watch the kids practicing out in the fields. Wander through the Pagoda Forest where hundreds of small pagodas house the ashes of important monks. Stunning and much less crowded, the Longmen Grottoes have thousands of Buddhist sculptures—ranging from several stories high to just inches— that were carved into cliffs between 473 and 775 AD.
Canals topped by 14 arched bridges cut through the town. Take a 20-minute gondola ride; if you offer a few RMB as a tip, your guide will sing traditional songs for you while you watch the world go by and spot locals washing their clothes (or occasionally vegetables) in the canals.
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