Traveling Around China

My Dream Travel Destinations in China

My dream for this lifetime is to visit every province in China, until now I have visited Beijing, Shanxi, Shanghai, Hunan, Guangxi, Hainan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Shaanxi and Guangdong of course. The following three are destinations that I must visit sooner or later.

If you have visited these places, or have other recommendations, please leave a comment!

 photo by David and Jessie

Yunnan¬†has been on the top of my list for a long time now, but as it requires at least two weeks or even more, I’ve been waiting for the right time to go there. What I’ve heard of Yunnan is the beautiful landscape and climate that feels like it’s eternal Spring. There are also many minorities living in the area which makes it possible to learn a lot about different cultures on one trip.

My boyfriend wasn’t so cheery about our 17 hour train trip to Guizhou, but I still prefer traveling slowly. There’s just this special kind of feeling when traveling on the train, playing games and eating snacks. It’s also a good time to catch up on some reading about the destinations and plan hiking routes.


photo by momo

Tulou is a traditional building of the Hakka minority, they can be found on the both sides of the border in Guangdong and Fujian provinces. I’m not sure why but for some reason this kind of architecture have interested me for a while now and I can’t wait to visite on of the villages.

We even had a school trip arranges to Meizhou to see tulou, but unfortunately it wasn’t for us degree students. Visiting tulous could be ideally put together with a trip to Xiamen which I’ve heard nice things about too. Many foreign students study Chinese there and me and my boyfriend almost visited it last December. Because of ticket situation we went to Hengshan instead.

Besides Hakka villages with tulous houses, I also wish to visit as many ancient villages in China as possible. There is just something in the rural China that attracts me much more than the urban China. Some interesting destinations include Wuyuan in Jiangxi and Danbazangzhai in Sichuan.


photo by reurinkjan

Then there is of course Tibet, the place where all the travellers seem to want to travel once in a lifetime. This is a big dream for my boyfriend and I wonder was it because of the movie where a guy rides a bike to Lhasa and back to honor his late brother.

Going to Tibet isn’t that easy for a foreigner because we need a permission to go. The rules seem to be changing all the time and this kind of trip would require weeks. I don’t have any hurry to visit Tibet, it feels more like a destination that I will visit some day, but that day is still somewhere in the future.

What is your dream travel destination in China?



  • R Zhao

    As an alternative to the province of Tibet, I highly recommend Xiahe in Gansu Province. It has a huge Tibetan monastery which is a very important point of pilgrimage for Tibetans. The town is overwhelmingly Tibetan and the surrounding landscape is quite nice.

    I found Xinjiang fascinated and would like to return, perhaps stopping in Qinghai on the way.

    Everyone loves Yunnan, but I had mixed feelings about it. I went in the summer several years ago and it was packed. I definitely prefer traveling off season in China. April is nice or in late October. You can beat the crowds and the weather is still nice.


    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Thank you for the recommendations! I guess that’s the problem with many freat places, everyone loves them and they get packed during the holidays. Little by little the original feeling changes to something too touristy.


  • Alva

    Sara going to Tibet is not difficult, use an agency they will get the permit, as simple as it sounds. Even if you dont like agencies you will need them because moving from one place to another one in Tibet you need transportation and that is something only the agency will be providing. In Tibet you spend plenty of hours in buses, that stop in check points that ..etc etc…
    Is not that complicated I promise you!


    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Great to hear it might not be as difficult as I’ve thought! I have just followed some web forums about going to Tibet and they made it sound like quite a hassle.


    R Zhao Reply:

    From what I’ve read and heard from others, it can be a hassle, depending on the time of year (what anniversaries are going on, such as HHDL’s exile, or political happenings). I know for awhile they were only letting people of the same nationality join a tour together, but that may no longer be the case. I think it’s off putting for me because I am basically forced to be on a tour for the whole duration of the trip. I’m waiting it out. . . maybe one day it won’t be as restricted.


    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    I’ve heard about the same thing, but I’m not sure where everyone gets their information. So when you decide to take the trip, how can you even know if you can go or not?


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