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Recommended Route

Heilongjiang — Jilin — Liaoning — Inner Mongolia — Beijing — Hebei — Sichuan — Xinjiang

Must-see Along The Route
01. Heilongjiang Province

Heilongjiang Province, also known as Hei, borders Russia in China’s northeasternmost region. 

Heilongjiang’s topography consists mainly of mountains, plains and wetlands, with the Greater Khingan in the northwest, and the Lesser Khingan in the North. The Sanjiang Plain in the northeast and the Songnen Plain in the west are part of the Northeast Plains, the largest in China.

The province has a typical moderate-zone continental climate with significant temperature differences between day and night. Its winters are especially cold and snowy, so be sure to keep warm when visiting this place this time of year!

Heilongjiang, the birthplace of Jurchen civilization, has a long history. Today, ancient remains of the Great Wall section built by the Jin Kingdom still stand. This region was also an important central location of the Balhae in the Tang Dynasty. Ancient relics of the mysterious Balhae still lie on the bank of Jingpo Lake.

The region is home to diversified folk customs, including the Northeast China dance, a traditional local song-and-dance duet and Northeastern China’s 18 Oddities, representing the unique customs of many minor ethnic groups including the Elunchun, Hezhe and Mongolian peoples.

Harbin is a wonderful ice city where the world’s largest ice festival opens on 5th January annually. Atmosphere of the city is unbelievable, you can see here: winter swimming, dog sledding, snow sculptures, ice sculptures, ice lanterns, Siberian tigers, and so on. Here, you can spend hours wandering through the streets, ride the ice slides, horse-drawn sleigh, to participate in various competitions. Ice flowers, snow sculptures, ice towers are the specific of this miracle place. Nowadays, there are many artists, sculpture fans from Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and Oceania gathering in Harbin to participate sculpture competitions. The sizes of the sculptures keep growing. Almost half century, the city’s natural resource of ice and snow has been fully explored to provide joy and fun for visitors to the city. During the festival, there are many popular sporting competitions. There are full of interesting shops and people.

About two and a half hours’ drive from Harbin downtown, Yabuli (亚布力) Ski Resort is the largest ski resort in China, as well as China’s biggest comprehensive training center for snow activities. It consists of three mountains and boasts the longest alpine ski slope in Asia. Its 17 slopes can meet all kinds of travelers’ needs.The snow days at Yabuli can last almost 6 months from November to April of the next year and visitors can go skiing from mid-November to late March. Snowmobile, sled, cable car and ski gear rental are available in the resort. Restaurants, hotels and aid centers are conveniently located in the area.

China’s Snow Town is the paradise of photographers. It is located in the forest and mountain area of Heilongjiang province. You can take some photos of the wooden houses with red lanterns, go skiing, take the romantic horse/dog sleigh through the forest, take the snowmobile to watch sunrise, visit the local tiny museums. At night, you can taste the local dishes and wines in the farmers’ family restaurants; experience the farmers’ unique kangtou (a kind of heatable brick bed) in their family hotels.

Saint Sophia Cathedral
Jingpo Lake
Harbin Central Street
Daqing Beiguo Hot Spring
Qiulin Gvas
02. Jilin Province

Jilin, also known as Ji, is located in the center of Northeast China. It borders Russia on the east and DPRK across the Tumen River and the Yalu River. It is famous for its fascinating northern scenery. 

The topography in the province is dominated by mountains, plains and wetlands. The major plains include the Songnen Plain and Liaohe Plain. Major mountains include Dahei Mountain, Zhangguangcai Ridge and Mudan Ridge. The Changbai Mountain is known as the “First Sacred Mountain in Northeast China”.

Jilin Province has a typical temperate- zone continental climate characterized by distinctive seasons, a big day/night temperature difference, and low temperatures and heavy snowfall in winter, when one can appreciate the beautiful soft rime.

Jilin has a long history. It is home to the relics of the Bohai and Koguryo Kingdoms. This region is also the birthplace of the Jurchens and Manchurians.

Jilin has diversified cultures of many ethnic groups including Koreans, Manchurians and Mongolians. It has the largest ethnic Korean community in China.

Among original forest of Changbaishan Mountains Nature Reserve, Wanda Changbaishan (长白山) International Ski Resort is a great place to go skiing with beautiful natural scenery. It has great snow quality which is close to that of France and North Italy. 

The ski resort is designed by Ecosign, a company which has designed ski resorts for 5 Olympic Winter Games. It has 43 snow trails, including 9 high-level, 14 intermediate and 20 primary. In addition, it is a great pleasure to enjoy a hot spring after the skiing. Taking an excursion to Changbaishan Mountains, Tianchi Lake and Erdaobai River is also a good idea.

Tianchi Lake on Changbai Mountain is located on the border between China and the DPRK. It is the largest volcano crater lake and the deepest lake in China. Tianchi is surrounded by high steep peaks and has clear water.

Jilin Soft Rime has picturesque beauty described as “Spring in Winter”. It is one of the Four Chinese Natural Wonders with the other three being the landscapes of Guilin, the Stone Forest in Lunnan and the Three Gorges on the Yangtze River.

Triangle Dragon Bay
Red-crowned Cranes at Xianghai Natioal Nature Reserve
Hike through Old Rick Lake
Snow Hot Spring
Paper-cuts for Window Decoration
03. Liaoning Province

Lying in the southern part of Northeast China and within Northeast Asia’s Bohai-Rim Econoic Circle, Liaoning Province has a temperate continental climate, with an annual average temperature at 16 degrees Celsius. It is coldest in January and hottest in July. Compared to inland cities, the coastal areas have a mild temperature change. Here, spring spans from March to May, summer from June to August, autumn in September and October, and winter from November through February. The province’s best season for travel ranges from May to October, and January and February are the optimal time for experiencing ice and snow delight and traditional festivals. 

Liaoning governs 14 prefecture-level cities, and Shenyang is the provincial capital. The province covers an area of 148,000 square kilometers and has a population of 42.03 million. While most of its population is the Han people, the province is also inhabited by people from 52 ethnic minorities, including the Manchu, Mongolian, Korean, and Xibe, accounting for 16 percent of its total population. Moreover, the number of its Manchus and Xibe people tops that of any other province in China.

Liaoning Province borders the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Sea in the south and faces the Korean Peninsula across a river. Enjoying an exceptional geographical location, it serves as the economic center and a transportation and communications hub in Northeast China. The convenient land, sea and air transportation links Liaoning to more than 50 large and medium-sized cities across China, the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions, and Japan, South Korea, Russia, Thailand and other foreign countries, making the province an important tourist destination in Northeast Asia.

The Liaohe River drainage basin was one of the birthplaces of the splendid culture of China. From the Zhou Dynasty (C.1100B.C.-256B.C.) through the Qing Dynasty (1616- 1911), a large number of cultural relics and historical sites of legendary color were left behind across the province. Among them are worldwide-renowned Shenyang Imperial Palace and the Three Tombs before the Qing Dynasty in the middle part, the historical sites with respect to contemporary warfare in the south, and the historical sites of the Qin and Han (221B.C.-220A.D.) Dynasties, Song and Liao (907-1279) Dynasties, and Ming and Qing (1368-1911) Dynasties in the west. Liaoning has a coastline stretching over 2,100 kilometers from the estuary of the Yalu River in Dandong City to the Jieshi Seashore in Huludao City. Famous mountains, picturesque rivers, and fantastic landscapes are scattered on the Liaodong Peninsula and the Liaoxi Corridor. Liaoning is home to six World Cultural Heritages: the Imperial Palace, Qing-Dynasty Fuling Tomb, and Qing- Dynasty Zhaoling Tomb in Shenyang; Qing-Dynasty Yongling Tomb in Fushun; Wunushan Mountain Town in Benxi; and Jiumekou Great Wall in Huludao. In addition, there are also Hetuala City, constructed before the Qing Dynasty; Dongjing City and Dongjing Tomb in Liaoyang; an ancient meteorite in Shenyang, which is the largest of its kind ever found in the world dating back 1.9 billion years; and the Shuangtaizi Wetland Nature Reserve in Panjin, which is the second largest reedy swamp in the world. Other scenic attractions include the Weird Slope and Snake Island in Shenyang, Bijia Mountain in Jinzhou, Water Cave in Benxi, Red Beach in Panjin, Qianshan Mountain, Phoenix Mountain, Chessboard Mountain, Ice Valley, and Wunu (Five Maidens) Mountain. A colorful diversity of i cultural events, such as the Dalian International Fashion Festival, the Shenyang Inter- national Ice and Snow Festival, the Fushun Manchu Culture Tourist Festival the Benxi Maple Leaves Festival, the Dandong Yalu River International Tourist Festival the Yinakou Wang,er Mountain Mother’s Day, and the Tieling Folk Arts Festival, have attracted waves of domestic and international visitors.

On the beautiful Liaodong Peninsula and along the colorful Liaoxi Corridor, the people of Liaoning sincerely await friends both at home and abroad.

On the coast of the Yellow Sea, in southeastern Jinma New District, Dalian City, the Jinshi Beach combines the landscapes of sea, beach, reeves, and islands. In particular, it is famous for its geological wonders and enjoys the reputation as the “Geological Museum.” As the only state-class tourist and holiday area, it is furnished with such facilities as a world-class golf course, an international convention center, an international yacht club, a hunting field, a hot spring holiday village, a fishing club, hotels, and villas.

Located west of Benxi County, the Benxi Water Cave is a large water-eroded cave that was formed about five million years ago. Stretching from northwest to southeast, it consists of three sections: water cave, dry cave, and drainage,ve. Nearly 3,000 meters of an underground river here have been developed for sightseeing, making the cave the longest of its kind that can be visited by tourists on a boat in China. Here, the nature has created a fairyland-like view composed of grotesque stalagmites and stalactites. Clear and transparent, the river in the cave runs all year around.

First built in 1625 for Emperor Nurhachi and his son Huang Taiji of the Qing Dynasty, the Shenyang Imperial Palace is one of the two royal architectural complexes extant in China today. Covering an area of more than 60,000 square meters, it has over 20 compounds and more than 300 rooms. Exhibitions that represent history are held here in a layout composed of eastern, middle, and western parts. In addition, many imperial relics and artworks are also on display here.

Dandong Hushan Great Wall
Dandong City Green River Scenic Area
Panjin Red Beach
Lvshun Railway Station
Fushun Manchu Customs Festival
04. Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

Lying on China’s north border, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region spans a total area of 1.183 million square kilometers. It borders Heilongjiang, Jilin arid Liaoning in the east, neighbors Hebei, Shanxi and Shaanxi in the south, touches Ningxia and Gansu in the west, and is connected to Russia and Mongolia in the north, with a national boundary of 4,221 kilometers. Most parts of the region are plateaus that rise over 1,000 meters above sea level. The plateaus stretch 3,000 kilometers from northeast to southwest. There are also 880,000 square kilometers of grasslands, accounting for 21.7% of total grasslands across the country. Scattered around the region are meadow grasslands, typical grasslands, desert grasslands and steppe deserts, as well as alpine meadows, low wetland meadows and marsh grasslands. In the east are primitive forests on the Greater Hinggan Range, while in the west are vast deserts with the Ordos Plateau as the backbone. Beyond the plateau are the Hetao and Liaonen Plains formed by the Yellow and Liaohe Rivers. More than 1,000 rivers, big and small, run through and nourish the highlands, mountains and plains across the region. 

There used to live a dozen ethnic minorities in ancient times. In the 12th Century, Genghis Khan united tribes all over the Mongolian Plateau and established a nomadic kingdom. During the Yuan Dynasty, the region was under the jurisdiction of the Central Secretariat and other ministries. In the second half of the 15th Century, Dayan Khan reunited the Mongolian Desert, and his grandson Altan Khan later controlled the western Inner Mongolia and established intimate political and economic relationship with the Ming Dynasty. Inner Mongolia was more close to the mainland during the Qing Dynasty. In the last century, Mongolian people were active in revolutionary movements, and have led to a road of regional ethnic autonomy, On May 1,1947, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region was officially founded, putting an end to national separation and conflicts over centuries.

The region has a population of 23.94 million, which come from such 49 ethnic groups as the Han, Mongolian, Hui, Manchu, Daur, Ewenki and Orogen, Mongolian people make up the majority of local population. The lifestyles, traditional customs and modern achievements of local ethnic groups comprise colorful ethnic cultures, which set off with natural scenery. 

Historically, peoples in the region led to a nomadic life, creating a rich and brilliant culture.

Located on the north end of the Hobq Desert in Dalad Banner, 45 kilometers from Baotou, the sand dune is 90 meters high and has a slope of 45 degrees. When sliding down the slope from the top, people will hear the sand produce a rumbling sound, a riddle of nature waiting to be uncovered. Besides sand sliding, tourists can ride camels and enjoy ethnic performances.

Located in Ordos, it consists of three yurt-style buildings with glazed tiles, which are divided into six parts including the main hall, the east and west side halls, the east and west corridors and the rear hall. Each year, the descendants of Genghis Khan hold grand ceremonies there. Also, they irregularly present royal banquets of the Yuan Dynasty, as well as wedding demonstrations. In 2000, it was cited as a National 4A-Grade Tourist Resort.

As the capital city of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Hohhot serves as the political, economic and cultural center of the region. First built in 1572, it has witnessed a history of over 400 years. There are many historic sites, including the Tomb of Zhaojun, the White Pagoda of the Liao Dynasty, the site of Dayao Culture, the Five-Pagoda Temple and the Dazhao Monastery.

Inner Mongolia Summer
Wudang Monastery
Elves
Boke
Inner Mongolia Clothing
05. Beijing

The political and cultural centre of China for the best part of eight centuries, few cities in the world have as rich a history as Beijing.

“Views from the towers allow you to truly capture the essence of the wall” 

Only the pyramids of Egypt can justifiably be mentioned in the same breath as the Great Wall of China when it comes to discussing the merits of the world’s greatest wonders. Stretching more than 20,000 kilometres from east to west China, the Great Wall is the largest man-made defence ever built. Its tower-studded stonework spine weaves its way up and down mountains, traverses rivers, and cuts through desert.

It was the brainchild of Emperor Qin Shi Huang (259-210 BC) as a means to keep barbarian hordes at bay. Of course, the vision of Qin Shi Huang was actually completed long after his death, with the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) finishing some of the more renowned parts we can see today. 

A visit to the Great Wall often begins in Beijing. There are around eight sites around the city, all a comparatively easy drive away. The most popular and wellrestored section is at Badaling, about 50 kilometres from Beijing city, with origins in the 16th century.

It will be a great pity if you don’t watch Peking Opera on the scene during your Beijing tour. After all, it is China’s represen­tative theatrical art, and the painted faces of opera characters are among the most widely recognized symbols of the country. 

Chang An Grand Theater, a famous old theater in Beijing, is located on the northern side of the Dong Chang’an Jie, where tourists can watch various kinds of theatrical performances with Peking Opera, the quintessence of Chinese culture, as the mainstay. The Huguang Guild Hall stands in Hufangqiao, Xuanwu District, with a time-honored history and profound cultural background. Some well­ known Peking Opera actors, such as Tan Xinpei, Yu Shuyan and Mei Lanfang, once performed in the Guild Hall, so the hall is famed as First Beijing Op­era Museum.

Not so much a building as a shiny corner piece of an intergalactic Rubik’s Cube, it’s hard to believe the CCTV Headquarters is actually a working, functional building rather than a giant chunk of Star Wars space debris. Words can’t do the building justice; its horizontal and vertical loop gives the impression it was the architectural lovechild of M.C. Escher and a seriously ahead-of-their-time Lego master builder. 

Dutch firm OMA and, specifically, Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren were the architects responsible, and in 2013 – just a year young – it won the accolade for the world’s best tall building. The Beijing skyline certainly found a new star when it opened its doors.

There’s no question that the CCTV Headquarters – along with its contemporary neighbours the National Stadium, National Center of Performing Arts and even the Beijing International Airport – has helped position China at the very forefront of contemporary building design. 

Unfortunately, because the building functions as the headquarters for China Central Television, only employees are able to take advantage of the (what we can only imagine to be) stunning views of Beijing. However, it’s worth visiting even to get a snap of the unique exterior. You won’t be disappointed by the marvelous architectural feat that is the CCTV headquarters.

National Stadium
National Theatre
Temple of Heaven
China Railway High-speed
Clay Sculpture
06. Hebei Province

Located in the center of the North China Plain, Hebei Province encircles Beijing and Tianjin, two municipalities directly under the Central Government. It covers a total land area of roughly 190,000 square km, with a population of 70.32 million. 

Benefiting from the convenient traffic, beautiful environment, pleasant climate, abundant tourist resources and increasingly perfect reception facilities, Hebei Province has become a pearl of China’s tourist industry and an ideal tourist destination. Hebei is not only home to the vast Central Hebei Plain, but also hosts rare mountains, including the Taihang Mountains with good vegetation and the Yanshan Mountains. Green mountains, clean waters, beaches, plains, forests and grasslands form a landscape picture scroll with distinctive layouts and rich colors. The famous tourist destinations include the Chengde Mountain Resort and Its Outlying Temples, the Great Wall, the Mulan Hunting Ground, the Western Tombs of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the Beidaihe Resort and the Yesanpo. The Chengde Mountain Resort and Its Outlying Temples, the Great Wall, the Eastern and Western Tombs of the Qing Dynasty are included in the list of the world cultural heritage sites by the UNESCO.

Hebei Province takes pride in unique folk customs. Cangzhou and Wuqiao are known as the hometown of martial arts and acrobatics respectively. Also renowned are the Muslim culture in Cangzhou, the Yandi, Huangdi (Yellow Emperor) and Chiyou Ancestors Culture in Zhuolu, the Taiji culture and porcelain culture in Handan and the traditional Chinese medicines in Anguo. 

You are welcome to Hebei Province!

265 km away from Beijing Municipality, the Chongli Skiing Ground is located in Xiqueliang in Chongli County and covers an area of 10 square km. It is 1,600-1,900 meters in altitude, and boasts a natural snow period of more than 120 days. Standing on a high place, you may let your eyesight go free to enjoy the endless white snow. To date, 10 ski runs suitable for the basic, medium and high levels have been built. With a combined length of 7,000 meters, the skiing ground can accommodate over 1,000 skiers at the same time, and some of the ski runs may be used for races and drills.

Being a world cultural heritage site, the Eastern Tombs of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), located in Zunhua County, are surrounded by mountains and accommodate a plain in the center. Covering an area of up to 78 square km, the Eastern Tombs of the Qing Dynasty include five emperors’ tombs, four queens’ tombs, five concubines’ tombs and one princess’s tomb. In addition, Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) was also buried here. The entire graveyard takes pride in a vast scale and a solemn atmosphere, lb date, the scenic spots open to tourists include the Cixi Tomb, the Dingling Tomb, the Xiaoling Tomb and the Yuling Tomb.

Experiencing the beauty of world in the water source, hometown of cloud, world of flower, ocean of forest, heaven of rare and exotic beasts 

Bashang Grassland is located in the north of Hebei Province which is distributed in Chengde and Zhangjiakou. Its average elevation is more tha 1,400 meters. Its climate is cool and pleasant, here prairie is dark gren as shady and flowers are in bloom. Visions not only can experience Mongolian national customs, butt also can ride horses, shoot, explore and so on. It’s an ideal place to go on holidays and escape the heat of dog days.

Great Wall at Jinshanling
Sunrise over the Sea
Grassland Power Windmill
Imperial City Zen Tao
Wuqiao Acrobatics World
07. Sichuan Province

Sichuan, “Chuan” for short , is the largest province in western China. Due to its abundance of natural resources, it is renowned as the “Land of Heaven.” 

The Sichuan Basin and West Sichuan Plateau make up most of the province. This hometown of giant pandas has magical landscapes including Huanglong and Jiuzhaigou Valley, praised as the “Jade Pool of the world,” and Hailuogou, at the foot of the snow-white Mount Gongga.

The climate is greatly different in eastern and western Sichuan. Sichuan Basin enjoys a subtropical climate, which is humid and cold in winter and extremely hot and stuffy in summer, and very humid. Western Sichuan has a plateau mountain climate with less rainfall and colder winters.

Sichuan has a long and splendid history. The Jinsha Ruins and Sanxingdui Sites have recorded her ancient Shu civilization. The Temple of Marquis Wu and the Zhang Fei Temple represent the culture of the Three Kingdoms period, and there are many Buddhist sites, including Mount Emei, one of China’s four most famous mountains of Buddhism.

Sichuan is home to Tibetan people, Yi people and Qiang people. There are charming Tibetan villages in Danba, Qiang villages in Taopin , and the warmest and most romantic Yi Torch Festival and Gathering of Walking around Mountain in Kham.

Huanglong got its name due to the famous Buddhist temple, the Huanglong Temple. It is China’s only well-preserved high wetland. The grand, colorful and brilliant calcified earth landscape is the main attraction here.

The Leshan Giant Buddha is a marvelous stone statue from the Tang Dynasty. The Giant Buddha is·71 meters tall and 100 people can sit on its feet, making it the world’s largest sitting stone statue of Maitreya.

Chengdu Xiling Snow Mountain (西岭雪山) Ski Resort is the largest and the best alpine ski resort in South China. With an altitude between 2,200 and 2,400 meters, the resort owns an advanced snow-making system. It has 10 international-standard trails for ski lovers. Besides skiing, travelers can take part in a lot of entertainment programs such as snowmobile, hot air balloon and snow hovercraft.

Mount Emei Golden Summit
Sanxingdui Gold Mask Person Avatar
Sichuan Giant Panda
Longhui Winery
Sichuan Hot Pot
08. Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

Located at the northwestern border of the People’s Republic of China, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, “Xin” for short, covers an area of 1.66 million square kilometers, one-sixth of the Chinese territory. Its land border extends some 5,600 kilometers, neighboring with eight countries including Russia, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, etc. With Urumqi as its capital, the autonomous region is home to 47 ethnic groups including the Han, Uygur, Mongolian, Kazak and Hui. 

Xinjiang boasts unique geological environment and rich tourist resources. With Allay, Tianshan and Kunlun Mountains surrounding the Junggar and Tarim Basins, this part of the world is dotted with high mountains, basins, lakes, grasslands, Gobi desert and snow-capped mountains. Tianshan Mountains, the symbol of Xinjiang, is also known for its ice-crowns, forming unique glacier scenery. The famous Silk Road passes through the region in southern, central and northern routes, leaving behind numerous places of historical interest, such as the ruins of Ancient City of Loulan, Gaochang Ancient City, Karez Well (irrigation system of wells connected by underground channels), and the Tomb of Fragrant Imperial Concubine. These, plus a mixed culture formed in some 1,000 years, i combine to make Xinjiang a must-visit place.

Xinjiang is also richly endowed with resources. Its melons, grapes and pears are much coveted in and outside China.

Richly endowed with natural resources and blessed with beautiful landscape and mysterious culture, Xinjiang has a magnetic pull to the visitors.

Located on the Tianshan mountain range at 1,800 to 2,500 meters above sea level, Silk Road Ski Resort is the largest ski resort in northwest China. There are 12 snow trails and 5 of them are long alpine slopes (open after mid-December each year) for advanced skiers. In addition to skiing, travelers can take a cable car ride or hike to the virgin forests of Tianshan Mountains and enjoy the stunning snow-covered views.

As a fast-growing Central Asian hub, the city does business with traders from Běijīng to Baku and plays host to an exotic mix of people. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine where else in the world you’ll see Chinese, Arabic, Latin and Cyrillic script so commonly side-by-side. This truly is Central Asia. 

Urumqi is not a historic city, but its museum is excellent and there are some atmospheric Uyghur districts. Most travellers pass through the provincial capital at some point, and many find their stay to be surprisingly enjoyable.

Located at Fukang of the Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, 110 kilometers east of Urumqi, it is a scenic spot with a total area of 4.9 square kilometers. The Heavenly Pool is crystal clear reflecting the blue sky, floating clouds, and dense dragon spruces in the surrounding slopes. Major scenic spots include the Stone Gate, Dragon Pool, Three Rocks Supporting the Sky, Magic Needles, and Suspended Springs and Waterfalls.

Snow Capped Flaming Mountain
Intoxicating Autumn White Haba
Dabancheng Windmill
Kashgar
Fuhai Winter Fishing