Tourism Ireland

China Outside of Beijing and Shanghai

by Jack Guy

Apr 30, 2017

Xishuangbanna, China © Beijing Hetuchuangyi | Dreamstime

Trends / Unique Itineraries & Tours

It may be a huge country, but many visitors don’t get to see much of China outside of the major cities of Beijing and Shanghai.


As you might expect, there are a huge variety of attractions in the fourth-biggest country in the world. While some areas may be hard to access, others can be reached from one of the major international flight hubs.


Hangzhou is just 45 minutes from Shanghai on a high-speed train, and offers great scenery and museums. Explore the West Lake, marvel at the pagodas and visit the China Academy of Art.


The northeastern city of Harbin is a two-hour flight from Beijing. It is most famous for its winter ice sculpture festival, the biggest in the world. There is also a Siberian tiger reserve and the Saint Sophia cathedral to visit.


Further out of the way, near the border with Laos and Myanmar, lies Xishuangbanna. This tropical region feels more like part of Southeast Asia than the rest of China, with great food and a nature reserve home to rare Asian elephants.


Another option is Chengdu, famed for its panda breeding center. Visit the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding to get up close and personal with the bears, and then sample the spicy Szechuan cuisine.




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