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Seven of the Most Epic Places to Visit in China

China is kind of a large country. Formed by almost 4 million square miles with more than 1.3 billion people squeezed inside, a trip to China leaves no shortage of things to do. While visiting places like Shanghai, the Great Wall, and the Forbidden City are obviously great destinations, a trip to China isn’t complete without venturing outside the major tourist destinations. If China is on your list of upcoming destinations, check out these seven outside the box and unique things to and places to see in the beautiful country of China.

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1. Explore parts of the Silk Road

For those intrigued by beauty and history, a visit to the Chinese portion of the Silk Road is a must do. Approximately half of the 7,000 km Silk Road lies in China, and trekking through some of it takes visitors through a host of different regions, provinces, and cities.

2. A detour to Tibet

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Taking a detour south to Tibet offers adventurers a truly unique experience. Tibet is full of incredible customs and unique religions, all of which is centered in the amazing town of Lhasa (which translates to “The Land of the Gods”). Full of history and monasteries, Tibet is a unique place worth the visit.

3. Cruise the Yangtze

The third longest river in the world, the Yangtze is a beautiful piece of nature that flows through China. Twisting and turning among scenery so gorgeous it rivals just about anywhere in the world, taking a cruise down the Yangtze offers travelers views of nature, civilization, and wildlife. Many cruisers hope to have the chance to spot the Yangtze River dolphin, which are incredibly difficult to spot nowadays.

4. Mt. Huangshan

China’s “most beautiful mountain” also happens to be only a stones throw away from Shanghai. Just a 40 minute flight and you’re smack dab in one of China’s most breathtaking regions. Mt. Huangshan is prominent in Chinese art, and is dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Catch both breathtaking sunsets and sunrises at this incredible location.

5. Guilin

After visiting Guilin, your friends and family might have to send gift baskets to China for your birthday, since you won’t ever want to come home. In a country with over a billion people, it can be hard to find truly serene places to visit. That’s why any trip to China should include a trip to Guilin, a beautiful region full of caves, clean water, incredible stones and more. Located on the banks of the Li River, Guilin is also home to many ethnic minorities, making it a truly unique part of China.

6. Check out the pandas in Chengdu

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Pandas are a staple of China, and known as China’s national treasure. No trip to China is complete without a visit to the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center. The exhibits at the center offer visitors a glimpse into the life of the Giant Panda, as well as information on conservation efforts. Chengdu itself is also a very cool cultural city, known for its arts as well as its spicy food.

7. Confucius temple

There are quite a few Confucius temples peppered throughout all of China, but perhaps the most famous is the Qufu temple in Confucius’s hometown. Known as the original Confucius temple, it was built just two years after his death. A staple of Chinese architecture, the temple hosts countless sculptures, many of which resemble tortoises.