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Off-the-beaten-path in China

I've been to the major cities before like Beijing and Shanghai, so I'm looking to get off the beaten path during my next trip to China and avoid major cities. What are the coolest, most unique towns and places I should visit? 

3 Answers

top answer by
Richelle from Ningbo

I would definitely recommend YunnanSichuan, Xi'anand Guilin as easy "off the beaten path" places to visit. 

In Yunnan, you can see the picturesque mountain town Dali, hike the Tiger Leaping Gorge, and watch a Chinese minority performance at the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain near Lijiang

In Sichuan, you can visit the Panda park in Chengdu, gaze up at the Leshan Buddha, and hike Emeishan mountain. 

In Xi'an, visit the famous Teracotta warriors, wander around the Hui Min Jie muslim market, and bike on the ancient city wall that surrounds the city. 

Finally, in Guilin you can raft down the Li River, explore the rice terraces, and take an hour bus to Yangshuo, which has a lot of touristy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, exploring mud caves and white water river rafting. 

Looking for something REALLY off the beaten path? Go to Tibet or Xinjiang

You can read more about all of these places in my post "10 Best Off the Beaten Path Places to Visit in China"

Have a great trip! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Yunnan (attraction)
  2. Sichuan (metro area)
  3. Xi'an (city)
  4. Guilin (city)
  5. Dali (city)
  6. Tiger Leaping Gorge (attraction)
  7. Lijiang (attraction)
  8. Chengdu (attraction)
  9. Leshan (attraction)
  10. Emeishan (city)
  11. Yangshuo (attraction)
  12. Tibet (attraction)
  13. Xinjiang (attraction)
3 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Robert Glenn from Manhattan Beach

Visit the Huangshan Mountain reserve and walk the astounding staircase. I offer a blog with many pictures about my trip there in 1986,..historical fun, but a clue to the experience: Similarly, near Guilin is a "stairway to heaven" that rises through a spectacular terraced landscape of rice farms. You might also visit Hangzhou and bicycle around West Lake and take in the stunning Buddhist monastery and temples in a canyon-reserve above the lake.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Huangshan Mountain (attraction)
  2. Guilin (city)
  3. Hangzhou (attraction)
  4. West Lake (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Ian from United Kingdom

Agree that Xinjiang would be well off the beaten track but I was recently in Central Asia and some people I met were having some difficulties obtaining visas/permits for that part of China.

Yeeears ago I took a tour around Sichuan Province that took me to some very out-the-way places; think of it as kind of Tibet-lite; the same kind of scenery and Buddhist temples, good food, and different from much of the rest of China, without so much the hassles of travel permits. Chengdu's obviously a huge city, but Songpan, the Jiuzhaigou Valley, and Langmusi (a town in the mountains so small it doesn't even have a listing on Trippy's map) were also interesting places we passed through.  Good for hiking and horse-trekking.  It was several years ago I was there, but Langmusi had a small cafe that sold the largest burgers imaginable (they even had an award if you could finish two of them).

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Xinjiang (attraction)
  2. Sichuan (metro area)
  3. Chengdu (attraction)
  4. Songpan (attraction)
  5. Jiuzhaigou Valley (attraction)
  6. Langmusi (attraction)
2 thankscomments (3)

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