Considering… China

So this post will be a tad different from the country profiles we’ve done in the past. We’re still collecting that information, but we didn’t think a table of text was very fun to read. So this will be a bit more personal. We’ll give you more insight as to why we’re considering this for our world trip.

Now first, it’s worth mentioning that China was not originally on Aaron’s list. With dreams of exploring the famous Great Wall and seeing legendary cities like Shanghai, I obviously didn’t realize this disparity between our priorities.

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Photo by Felix, Creative Commons

And then I saw a photo of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. Remembering fond similar scenes from the anime, Ranma 1/2 (where, granted, the protagonists were hilariously cursed in the pools therein), not to mention the obvious photographer’s paradise, I instantly moved it to the top of my list.

jusenkyo-springs
Image from Ranma 1/2

I mentioned this to Aaron, at which point he replied China wasn’t even really on his list.

Thus this post. To convince him otherwise.

Why do we want to go?

Why not?? Home of ancient dynasties, stunning landscapes, fascinating megatropolises, and (of course) pandas, it’s a must. The history, the food, the scenery, and the culture are all draws.  Besides, it represents the largest national population, with (depending on how you count) the second most spoken language in the world, so we would be remiss for passing this one over.

It also helps that most of the cheapest flights to Asia route through China.

What are some bucket list contenders?

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
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Photo by Carlos Adampol Galindo, Creative Commons

This one has now topped my list!  I think I’ve seen photos before, but the scenery is simply stunning.  As a photographer, this one has my finger just itching for the shutter.  Furthermore, there are countless trails and opportunities for hiking all throughout this park, so it would keep us entertained for quite some time!

The Great Wall
china_bernd-thaller3
Photo by Bernd Thaller, Creative Commons

Yeah, it’s cliche.  But we can’t visit China without seeing this amazing wonder.  Crowds can get out of hand here, but there are ways to avoid them, provided we visit the right sections.

The Forbidden City
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Photo by Shaojin Alianto Tio, Creative Commons

Yeah, this one’s a bit touristy, too.  But there’s so much history here in this ancient palace, we don’t want to pass it up.

Terracotta Army
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Photo by Bernd Thaller, Creative Commons

This is just such an impressive display!

Tibet
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Photo by Göran Höglund, Creative Commons

This area is rich with culture.  Besides stunning mountain views (Everest!!), it is traditionally known for its Buddhist residents and peaceful retreats.  Unfortunately, we could only visit with a guide, but the jaw-dropping beauty might just be worth it.

Yangshuo
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Photo by Alex Berger, Creative Commons

I’m always on the lookout for excellent photo ops!  This area is similar to Zhangjiajie, also boasting karst mountain peaks, but it’s just different enough to also warrant consideration.  Like the former, it offers opportunities for active explorations and beautiful scenery, but it is a bit lesser known than Zhangjiajie, so it tends to not be quite as crowded.

Holidays and Festivals

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Photo by Michael Elleray, Creative Commons

As can likely be expected, the most well-known festival in China is the Chinese New Year.  Recognized worldwide, it is filled with food, fireworks, and wishes for good luck and good fortune in the upcoming year.  While it would be insanely crowded to be in China for this, I believe it would be an unforgettable experience.

Costs and Other Considerations

China is actually rather affordable.  Hostels abound, and Airbnb is plentiful.  It doesn’t save much to grocery shop, as street food is so cheap, and public transportation is modern and reliable.

However, as you might have noticed on a map, China is a huge place.  There’s no possibility we’ll be able to cover it all, so we’ll have to carefully prioritize the regions we wish to visit.

I’m convinced we should visit China – are you?

Additional Resources


Have you been to China?  What unique activities do we have to check out?  What other countries should we consider?

Cover image by Bernd Thaller, Creative Commons

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3 thoughts on “Considering… China

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