#75 best destination in the world

Forbidden City


  • Palace complex housing the Palace Museum, and was the former Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty (the years 1420 to 1912)
  • The Forbidden City served as the home of emperors and their households and was the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government for almost 500 years
  • Constructed from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers over 180 acres
  • The palace exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere
  • Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties
  • Largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Temple of Heaven


  • An imperial complex that was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest
  • Built in 1420
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site



  • #18 of the top 25 landmarks in the world
  • One of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall of China
  • The Great Wall used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Hanging Temple


  • Temple built into a cliff
  • Built more than 1,500 years ago, this temple is notable not only for its location on a sheer precipice but also because it is the only existing temple with the combination of three Chinese traditional religions: Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism
  • The main supportive structure is hidden inside the bedrock
  • The monastery is located in the small canyon basin, and the body of the building hangs from the middle of the cliff under the prominent summit, protecting the temple from rain erosion and sunlight

Nanchan Temple


  • Buddhist temple built in 782 AD during China’s Tang dynasty, and its Great Buddha Hall is currently China’s oldest preserved timber building extant, as wooden buildings are often prone to fire and various destructions
  • Contains an original set of artistically important Tang sculptures dating from the period of its construction

Red Beach (Panjin)


  • Famous for its landscape featuring the red plant of Suaeda salsa
  • Based in the biggest wetland and reed marsh in the world
  • The landscape is composed of shallow seas and tide-lands

The Bund


  • Waterfront area that runs along the Huangpu River
  • One of the most famous tourist destinations in Shanghai



  • Abandoned fishing village on the Shengshan Islands, a chain of 400 islands
  • The village was once home to more than 2,000 fishermen among other residents, but was abandoned in the early 1990s
  • Today the village is home to only a handful of people
  • Reasons for the near total abandonment of the village include problems with education and food delivery
  • Since its abandonment, greenery has overtaken what was once a bustling village

West Lake (Hangzhou)


  • Freshwater lake in Hangzhou
  • There are numerous temples, pagodas, gardens, and natural/artificial islands within the lake
  • Gushan is the largest natural island and three artificial islands stand at the middle of the lake
  • West Lake has influenced poets and painters throughout Chinese history for its natural beauty and historic relics, and it has also been among the most important sources of inspiration for Chinese garden designers
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

China Folk Culture Village


  • Located adjacent to the Splendid China theme park and features displays of the daily life and architecture of China’s 56 ethnic groups
  • Opened in 1991

Hong Kong Disneyland


  • #19 of the top 25 amusement parks in the world
  • Largest theme park in Hong Kong
  • Opened in 2005
  • Incorporates Chinese culture, customs and traditions when designing and building the resort, including adherence to the rules of feng shui
  • The park consists of seven themed areas: Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, and Toy Story Land

The Big Buddha (Hong Kong)


  • Large bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni
  • Completed in 1993
  • Sited near Po Lin Monastery and symbolises the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and faith
  • It is a major centre of Buddhism in Hong Kong

Historic Centre of Macau


  • Collection of over twenty locations that witness the unique assimilation and co-existence of Chinese and Portuguese cultures in Macau, a former Portuguese colony
  • Represents the architectural legacies of the city, including monuments such as urban squares, streetscapes, churches and temples
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Canola Flower Fields


  • Canola flowers which bloom February through March
  • While most anywhere outside the limits of the small town of Luoping is drenched in the sun, the most surreal places to view them are with the towering mountains like the Golden Rooster Hill (aka Jinjifeng) and Hundred Thousand Hills
  • At the beginning of the canola season an annual festival is held in the flower’s honor, while after the petals fall Luoping County returns to its slumber amongst the hills



  • City famous for Old Town of Lijiang
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park


  • In 1982, the park was recognized as China’s first national forest park
  • The most notable geographic features of the park are the pillar-like formations that are seen throughout the park
  • Much of the weathering that forms these pillars is the result of expanding ice in the winter and the plants that grow on them
  • The weathered material is carried away primarily by streams
  • These formations are a distinct hallmark of the Chinese landscape, and can be found in many ancient Chinese paintings
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Terracotta Army


  • #22 of the top 25 museums in the world
  • Collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China
  • Form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife
  • Dating from approximately the late third century BCE, were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Lintong District
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site



  • Nature reserve and national park
  • Known for its many multi-level waterfalls, colorful lakes, and snow-capped peaks
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries


  • Home to more than 30% of the world’s giant pandas and among the most important sites for the captive breeding of these pandas
  • Along with the giant panda, the sanctuary is a refuge to other endangered species such as the red panda, the snow leopard, and the clouded leopard
  • It has been noted that the region is similar to the paleo-tropic forests of the Tertiary Era
  • The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries consist of seven nature reserves and nine scenic parks

Zhangye National Geopark


  • Landform known for the unusual colours of the rocks, which are smooth, sharp and several thousand feet tall
  • They are the result of deposits of sandstone and other minerals that occurred over 24 million years
  • The result (similar to a layer cake), was tilted by the action of the same tectonic plates responsible for creating parts of the Himalayan mountains
  • Wind, rain, and time then sculpted extraordinary shapes, including towers, pillars, and ravines, with varying colours, patterns, and sizes
  • Designated national geopark in 2016

Crescent Lake (Dunhuang)


  • Crescent-shaped lake in an oasis
  • In the following 40 years, the depth of the lake has continually declined
  • In the early 1990s, its area had shrunk to only 1.37 acres
  • In 2006, the local government with help of the central government started to fill the lake and restore its depth; its depth and size have been growing yearly since then



  • Buddhist temple in the capital city of Tibet
  • Tibetans, in general, consider this temple as the most sacred and important temple in Tibet
  • Currently maintained by the Gelug school, but they accept worshipers from all sects of Buddhism
  • The temple’s architectural style is a mixture of Indian vihara design, Tibetan and Nepalese design.
  • The oldest part of the temple was built in 652 AD


Number of Days: 66 days

Best Time To Fly: April-Oct, June-August

Airline ticket: $4,536

Seattle -> Beijing (one way) $1,156
Beijing -> Shenyang (one way) $190
Shenyang -> Shanghai (one way) $119
Hangzhou -> Shenzhen (one way) $288
Shenzhen -> Shanghai (one way) $119
Shanghai -> Hong Kong (one way) $204
Hong Kong -> Macao (one way) $410
Macao -> Kunming (one way) $520
Kunming -> Changsha (one way) $144
Changsha -> Xi’an (one way) $169
Xi’an -> Longnan (one way) $316
Chengdu -> Xining (one way) $84
Xining -> Lhasa (one way) $297
Lhasa -> Shanghai (one way) $520

Ferry/cruise tickets: $60

Shanghai -> Shengsi (round trip) = $30
Shengsi -> Gouqi (round trip) = $30

Food: $9/day x 66 days = $594

Entertainment/tours: $2,241

Airbnb/hotel: $65/day x 64 days = $4,160

TOTAL: $11,591

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