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Best Destinations to Explore Different China


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As we know, China is already one of the top three destinations for international travel in the world. But more often than not visitors nowadays possibly visit the eastern coast, and fewer sites in the west. Actually, West China has much to offer travelers who are looking for unforgettable experiences. You are advised to look beyond the traditional travel destinations to the west of China when planning a trip to China in 2011. Following are some of our picks for places to visit in West China.


Yunnan: Land of diversity

Ranging from jungle lowlands in the south to Tibetan highlands in the northwest, Yunnan packs as much variety as possible into its territory. It is beyond your imagination, and fewer places can bear comparison with it.

Historically isolated one group of people from another by the ubiquitous mountains, Yunnan has the highest number of ethnic groups in China, such as Han, Tibetan, Dai, Bai, Yi, Hani, Hui, Mongol, Naxi, Lisu, Yao and Lahu. The 26 ethnic groups and countless subgroups make Yunnan a rainbow of different ethnic traditions, clothing and cuisine. 

Up north in the mountain towns such as Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-la, the unique cultures are still steeped in ancient traditions. However down south in Xishuangbanna, the lazy Mekong River runs through tropical tea plantations and spicy food can tasted leisurely in shade.


Guizhou: Still undiscovered

Though Guizhou does not attract as many visitors as its neighbors, picturesque mountain scenery and a distinctive spicy and sour food makes it certainly deserves consideration when making plans to travel to western China. 

Comparing with the highlights of our trip, the big draw for us is the local ethnic groups, such as Miao, Kejia, Dong and Yao. Located in mountains, the villages are home to the unique culture and friendliest communities. It is an immersion in your life.


Sichuan: More than pandas

Spicy cuisine, stunning mountain scenery, lovely giant panda and beautiful women makes Sichuan one of the most distinctive destinations.  

On the east of Sichuan lies the fertile Sichuan Basin, on the west end of which, Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan and a modern metropolis locates. The Basin supported several kingdoms in ancient times. Sichuan style cuisine is one of the most famous and flavorful culinary traditions in China. Chengdu, the capital of the province, is also the center of Sichuan style cuisine.

Buddhism has an evident historical influence on Chengdu, even other cities in the province. You can find a temple named Wenshu Monastery in the center of the city. Mt. Emei, not far away from Chengdu, is one of the holy mountains in Chinese Buddhism. In Leshan, the seated Buddha carved in a mountain, which is the largest in the world. 

Fantastic natural beauty scatters in Sichuan also. With fantastic aquamarine lakes in mountain forests, Jiuzhaigou Valley locates in the north. The snow mountain Minya Gongga stands in the west of the province with gorgeous mountain scenery.


Xinjiang: Silk Road echoes

Xingjiang is the largest provincial region with the most stunning mountains and deserts. This large land is home to many different ethnic groups, such as the Uyghur, Mongolian, Russian, and Hans.

For it is on the old Silk Road and at the crossroads of Asia, Islam and Buddhism combine together, but the dominant religion in Xinjiang is Islam. Comparing with other Islamic world, Xinjiang is a place with rare extremism and moderation. 

The local cuisine is one of the most surprises for visitors to Xinxiang. It is away from typical Chinese fare but features rich stews, tasty breads and a large variety of noodles.