- Beijing- A city where history and modern living coexist.
Beijing has been the capital of China for thousands of years. As one of the four ancient capitals, Beijing offers visitors rich culture as well as a modern city life. You can go to the Forbidden City to see how ancient Chinese emperors lived there for centuries. And you can climb the Great Wall to experience the strength that protected Beijing for thousands of years. If you want to experience modern technology, you can visit the fancy architectures build for 2008 Olympic Game, including Bird’s Nest Stadium and Water Cube. You can also find plenty of modern city life, including dazzling shopping malls in Wangfujing that are waiting for you. After a long day, you might want to go to Houhai Bar Street to have a relaxing and entertaining night.
Travel Tips: It is normal to get lost in hutongs, which are traditional Beijing style streets similar to small alleys; however, don’t worry, it is a typical characteristic of Beijing. Just slow down and enjoy!
If you ever have a chance to travel in Beijing, don’t forget to try Beijing roast duck.
- Xi’an- The starting point of the Silk Road.
Xi’an is another ancient capital in China. Many dynasties created their capitals here. And many royal or wealthy families buried their deceased in tombs in Xi’an. Because the ground in this area is filled with tombs and buried treasures, construction can often take very long in this area.
Xi’an is the best city for learning about and experiencing Chinese history and religions. The first attraction of Xi’an that visitors must see is the Terracotta Army. It is the largest scale of funerary art in China: a collection of terracotta sculptures based on armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. If you want to see more about ancient Chinese history, Shaanxi History Museum is a good choice.
To experience more fun with history, you can bike along the fortifications of City Wall. Buddhism is one of the main religions in China. Because Xi’an has been a center of culture for centuries, the Buddhist religion has had a huge impact on the area. Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a well-protected Buddhist building that stores many precious Buddhist scriptures.
Travel Tips: Xi’an is famous for its various noodles and wheaten food. Roujiamo (meat sandwich) and Guan Tang Bao (Juicy Bun) are must-try dishes in Xi’an. To experience exotic Muslim food, the Muslim Quarter is a good place for all kinds of food and souvenirs.
- Chengdu- Hometown of Giant Panda.
In many foreigners’ opinions, the panda represents China. These rare animals primarily come from the Chengdu, Sichuan. In Chengdu, you can have a close view of pandas at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center. If you are really interest ed in pandas, you can apply to be a volunteer at Dujiangyan Panda Valley.
Chinese opera is another famous symbol of China. Chinese opera is divided into different styles based on regions. You can watch everything from authentic Sichuan opera to impressive face changing in Chengdu. Another must-see attraction in Chengdu is the Leshan Giant Buddha. You will wonder how ancient people were able to build such a spectacular sculpture. Sichuan food is also a must-try attraction in your travel. There are countless classic Sichuan foods you can taste in Chengdu, including hot pot, mapo tofu, cold noodles, and so on. To taste as many as you can, Jinli Ancient Street is a great location.
Travel Tips: Chengdu is a city . The city speed is much slower here. In the afternoon many people stop their work and enjoy their leisure time in the teahouse while playing Chinese Mahjong, a multi-player card game. Sichuan Mahjong is the most difficult kind in China, but it is very interesting to learn. When you need a rest in your trip, find a teahouse and experience the quintessence of Chinese culture.
Want to learn more about traveling in China? Check out CNN’s 40 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in China:
Want to actually go to China and experience its wonders for yourself? Come with the Confucius Institute. High school students can sign up for 2016 High School China Summer Bridge Program, June 12-26. If you are not a student anymore, you still have a chance! Sign up today for an 2016 “English Teaching” Opportunity