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The Best Travel Destinations in China, Part 4

Visiting China will create unforgettable memories and allow travelers to experience a country with a unique culture and history, varied geography, and many tantalizing food delicacies. It would take a lifetime to experience everything China has to offer— the rugged geographic treasures of Zhangjiajie and Guilin, the dynamic energy of Shanghai, and China’s most-visited destination, Beijing, are just a few places to get a traveler started. Hong Kong, Pingyao, and Chongqing also deserve to be at the top of one’s itinerary list. 

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Hong Kong- I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear the word China, my next thought is always Hong Kong. Hong Kong is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Did you know that the territory has the largest number of skyscrapers in the world and touts the longest life expectancy? The name “Hong Kong” translates as “Fragrant Harbour “ or “ Incense Harbour,” and may have originated from incense factories lining the coast of the fresh water from the Pearl River.

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Hong Kong has a Special Administration from the Chinese government allowing the city to remain independent, therefore, mostly unchanged and prospering since the expiration of Britain’s 100 year lease. Consider booking a night harbour tour to experience the splendid Hong Kong skyline in all its colorful grandeur. Stroll the 7 street markets, Temple, Ladies Ap Liu, Lascar Row, Hollywood Row, the Seafood market and Stanley Market for a shopper’s paradise. It will be hard to remember you only have a suitcase to fit all your beautiful treasures. Next travel to Victoria’s Peak for splendid views of the city with everything to offer. Do not forget to visit the gorgeous countryside of Hong Kong, exploring hiking trails for every adventurer. If you love art go gallery hopping in SoHo. Finishing your evenings at one of the many casinos or visit the Circle Tower in Causeway Bay, a vertical complex that features a bar on each floor totaling over 20. There is so much to do in a city of only 88.3 combined square miles. WOW!

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 Pingyao- An Ancient small city on the Unesco World Heritage List in the Shanxi province. Pingyao is considered the best ancient walled city in China. Once an economic center where the first Chinese trading shop was opened, it then became home to the largest trading shops in China for 100 years. Pingyao’s function was similar to Wall Street in the United States. Culinary dishes consists mostly of the different type of noodles, beef, and Yam. No longer an economic powerhouse, tourists travel Pingyao simply to view the 1000-year-old architectures still in existence. There is no airport so you must travel by train from cities such as Beijing. A day trip from Beijing to Pingyao—a wonderfully preserved ancient city—will not disappoint any traveler.

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Chongqing- Built against the surrounding mountains, Chongqing is a major city in southwest China.  In Chongqing, the Yangtze River meets the Jianling River and visitors love to cruise the rivers viewing the reservoir and 3 Gorges Dam, which supplies power equal to three nuclear plants. Culinary tourists flock to the town for the Chongqing Hotpot, so spicy it has been known to numb a few tongues with its chili pepper broth. If you enjoy creative and culture events many of the factories have been renovated into trendy hangouts or nightclubs. Hike the karst topography of the Wulong karst and visit Furong Cave, Three Natural Stone Bridges, and Houping Tiankeng. The landscape is so extraordinary, parts of the movie Transformers: 4 Age of Extinction were filmed in the Wulong Karst landscape! If Chongqing is on your list of destinations, plan for more than one day to account for travel time.

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China has something to offer every traveler, regardless of travel style and budget. There’s so much to discover and so much to see, it’s doubtless a trip to China will enrich multiple aspects of one’s life. Now the only thing to decide is, which parts of China will YOU visit?