China is a wonderful nation with a rich history and historic attractions to display their heritage and culture, and as a result, it attracts millions of tourists each year. In addition to the popular cities such as Beijing and Shanghai and the traditional touristy things such as visiting the Great Wall of China, there are so many other things to do in this vast nation, some of which are an experience unique only to China.
From experiencing Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world, to riding through traffic in a sidecar, here are ten things you can only do in China.
10 Ride on a Sidecar
One thing most visitors to Beijing should do is experience the city from the seats of a sidecar. The most common way to get around Beijing for most tourists is by foot, bus, or taxi. For some reason, tourists often overlook this option to ride in the sidecar of a motorcycle and experience Beijing in a more intimate way than most. Not only is it a fun experience to sit in the sidecar of an old motorcycle as it weaves through layers of traffic, but chances are your driver is a local who can serve as a fun tour guide.
9 Morning Tai Chi
Whether you are a health-conscious tourist who does not want to get behind in their improvement when on vacation or simply want to experience Chinese traditions, this is an option which is only available in parks across China. If you are visiting China and happen to be up in the early hours of the morning, visit a local park and participate in Morning Tai Chi. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that can be used for defense and meditation, and many elders host morning sessions, open for everyone interested in practicing this ancient art in parks across China. Tai Chi is a series of slow movements meant to improve flexibility and balance.
8 Play with a Panda
Next on this list are undeniably the cutest creatures on this Earth, Giant Pandas. While most Americans have little experience with pandas, as the only ones in America are situated in high-end zoos, Americans who visit China can not only experience these magnificent creatures but also hug and hold them! The best place for tourists to experience pandas in China is in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan. This is where a giant Panda hosting and breeding section are located. In addition to the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base, visitors may be able to hold and hug pandas at the Beijing Zoo.
7 Try Walking Across the Longest Glass Bottom Bridge
Opened to a great deal of publicity in 2016, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge, located in Hunan Province, Zhangjiajie, is the highest and longest glass bridge in the world. The scenery around the bridge inspired the stirring Hallelujah Mountains in the movie Avatar. A lot of people have a hard time moving across the bridge for fear they will fall through the glass; you may have seen a video on YouTube. However, the local government invited people to try and smash the glass using hammers and even drove a car across it. It is located in the Wulingyuang Scenic Area which offers the natural beauty of forests, caves, cliffs, and streams.
6 Try Hot Pot from where it Originated
If you are a tourist who is in Chengdu after hanging out with Giant Pandas all day, you might be ready for dinner and maybe wondering what to eat. If you find yourself in Chengdu, you must experience an authentic Sichuan Hot Pot that can only be found in certain Chinese restaurants. While there are many different ways to prepare a hot pot, here are the highlights you must know prior to ordering. If you are not a fan of spice, opt for a clear or less spicy broth, and pair it with peppers, oils, noodles, and popular vegetables and meats.
5 Camp on the Great Wall
While most people who visit China are sure to visit the primary attraction of all time, the Great Wall of China , most people are shocked to learn that you are allowed to camp on the wall itself. Doing so is surprisingly easy. Tourists simply need to pack a tent and sleeping bag and find a quiet place on the wall to set up camp for the night. If you forget your materials, not to worry. Nearby shops rent out camping supplies for this very purpose. Campers should be sure to bring plenty of food and water and pick up their trash. How many people do you know that have actually camped out on the Great Wall?
4 Experience Chinese New Year in China
Next on this list is a very seasonal experience that needs to be timed perfectly but can bring tourists a lot of pleasure. The Chinese New Year is the biggest celebration across China and is most certainly the most fun experience for tourists within Beijing. In 2020, the Chinese New Year celebrations will last from January 24 to January 30. One thing tourists should try to do during this celebration is to eat traditional food that is specifically made for this holiday, a feat which can be accomplished if you have friends in the area. Fireworks are also present. Even though Americans like them for the beautiful display in the sky, the Chinese have used them to scare evil spirits away from the coming year.
3 See Mount Everest
Another amazing thing some tourists can only do in China is to experience the northern side of Mount Everest. Most climbers decide to begin their journey in Nepal, on the south side of this mountain, but the northern side of the peaks are situated in China and just as beautiful and it is where the Everest Base Camp Trail is located. You can choose to admire this landscape from afar and experience the culture of Nepal and the holy city of Tibet, which is the city through which this end can be accessed. However, if you are interested in climbing or experiencing any part of Everest from close up, you will require proper documentation and Chinese government authorization/paperwork, and ditch the hotels altogether.
2 Drink Oil Tea
This next thing on this list is a true experience. When visiting Guilin it is one of the things you must do here. Perhaps not surprisingly, oil tea is not just tea and there are several ways and different ingredients with which it is made. If during your journeys through China, you find yourself on the cultivated terraces of Longsheng, some of the biggest agricultural terraces in the world, be sure to visit the tiny town of Guilin. Enjoy some oil tea with the ethnic minorities who reside in and farm on the terraces of Longsheng. The tea is a combination of rice, tea, ginger, garlic, and other spices all fried together and then pounded to bring out the flavors.
1 Ride a Camel
When China comes to mind, most don’t think of a vast desert. However, in a somewhat unusual experience, tourists can ride a camel over a Chinese desert. About 7 kilometers south of the city of Dunhuang are the Singing Sands Dunes. Surrounded by the dunes is a small lake, Crescent Moon Lake. Although maybe not as impressive as other dunes, it is surprising to find them here and they offer the kind of peace and scenery all sand dunes provide. Adventurous tourists can go ‘dune surfing’ take a helicopter flight or go micro-lighting, or paragliding, zip around in a dune buggy or, of course, take a camel ride.