Home to the world’s longest continuous civilization, there’s thousands of year’s worth of exploring to do in China. How do you possibly see everything you want to see? As Stephanie and Michelle found out, the best ways to see China is by multiple modes of transportation.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
China by Plane
China is the world’s second-largest state by land area. It’s massive, so you’ll have to take a plane to get around the country at some point, especially if your vacation timeline is tight. Because China is so big, you’ll want to set aside at least 10days to explore the country, 12-14 if you have more time, so you can really soak it in. By plane, you can easily spend a few days in Beijing touring its highlights – Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Imperial Palace, and Great Wall – then take a short flight to Xian to see the famous Terracotta Warriors. In Xian, you can also see the Underground Tang Dynasty Murals at the Shaanxi History Museum by special access with Ker & Downey. From Xian you could continue onto Guilin by plane, followed by Shanghai for a well-rounded tour of the country.
China by Boat
A luxury Li River Cruise is one of the best ways to see the countryside along the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo. The scenery is breathtaking – karst peaks and bamboo groves, caves, buffalo in the fields, rice paddies, fisherman on bamboo rafts – there’s something special to see around each bend of the river. The cruises lasts about 3.5 – 4 hours and you’ll want to sit on the top level to get the best views.
Once you get to Yangshuo, exploring the town is a must-do. You can hike, bike, and take a bamboo raft along the smaller, quieter Yulong River. With just two chairs on the raft and a poler at the back guiding the raft, it’s unquestionably a leisurely way to spend an afternoon. Take in the dramatic karst scenery and seeing scenes of everyday rural life along the river.
China by Bike
Yangshuo is a vibrant town surrounded by mountains with crooked little streets that look straight out of a storybook. Its markets are full of people selling teas and chili peppers and is worth exploring. A great way to see the village and surrounding countryside is by bike. The rural town has quiet country roads that wind through the bamboo-lined river valleys, rice fields, and local villages.
For a different view of China, take a sidecar tour in Shanghai. The off-the-beaten-path adventure is sure to be a highlight of your journey. From an original 1930’s sidecar, you’ll tour the French Concession of Shanghai and see both old French architecture and new construction . You’ll also get the feeling as if you’re driving through a European city.
China is an easy place to travel with families and multiple generations. If a family trip is on your list, consider China with Ker & Downey. Our team of designers are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you. They can easily incorporate multiple ways to see China into your journey. Contact us today to start planning your next getaway. And for daily travel inspiration, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.