2017 Travel Destinations: Best of China for Expats & Visitors

Top Travel Destinations for Visitors & Expats in China

With roughly 5000 years of history, China has a vibrant heritage to see and explore. In this article, we have listed for you the top 10 travel destinations of 2017 for expats and short-term visitors to China:

1. The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is the longest wall in the world. It spans across several provinces such as Beijing, Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Gansu and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. This is because the Great Wall was built through different dynasties by different emperors. The Great Wall has been coined as one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World” and is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in China. Having visited the Great Wall of China in 1982, this is the most impressive structure in China and is a must-see for any expat.

2. The Forbidden City in Beijing

The famous Forbidden City, was a palace from the Ming dynasty to the Qing dynasty, crossing the years 1420 to 1921. It served as the home of kings and their queens, as well as the political and ceremonial center of Chinese government. You will see a wide range of artwork collections in the museum. The palace was built with whole logs of precious wood. If you are in Beijing, you should definitely visit this important site.

3. Taishan Mountain 

Taishan Mountain is one of the most famous mountains of China and is considered to be of exceptional historical and cultural value. For instance, the ancient Taoist tradition started there. Located in Shandong to the west, Taishan Mountain covers an area of 426 square kilometres and it 5,029 ft high above sea level. From ancient dynasties, many famous poems were based on the beautiful scenery of Taishan.

4. West Lake in Hangzhou

There is an old saying in Chinese “Paradise in Heaven; Suzhou and Hangzhou on earth.” Many famous traditional love stories took place in West Lake, Hangzhou. It has also been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a must visit for expatriates in China. It owns many garden-style parks, traditional bridges, and hills.

In recent years, Hangzhou has become a technological and economic center of China. Moreover, as one of the most important tourist cities in China, Hangzhou is attracting more and more visitors and expats from all over the world.

5. Guilin – Li River 

In North Guangxi, Guilin is one of the best-known tourist destinations in China. There are a lot of rivers in Guilin, including the most famous Li River – with its length around 437 kilometres. America’s National Geographic magazine has rated Li river as one of the world’s top 10 aqueous wonders. Visitors and expats can cruise in boats on the Li river. Despite the beautiful sights, there is a small but wonderful town called Yangshuo near Guilin city  with many expats and tourists residing there. It is not surprising to see western cafes and restaurants on West Street in Yangshuo. This is also a great place for hiking and cycling.

6. The Terracotta Army

Also known as The Terracotta Warriors, it is a collection of terracotta sculptures portraying the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. The army served to protect the king in his afterlife. There are horses and chariots included in the army, as well as musicians and officials. Estimates show that the Terracotta Army is made up of approximately 8,000 soldiers, 520 horses contain in the Terracotta Army. Experts estimate that there could be more buried inside Qin’s tomb. Visitors and expats can go to the exhibition constructed right above the Terracotta Army.

7. Luoyang

Luoyang is one of the oldest imperial capital cities in China and is quite popular with tourists in China. There are many important historical sites in Luoyang: Shaolin Temple, the origin and home to Kung Fu, and the Longmen Grottoes, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in China. Other popular travel destinations include White Horse Pagoda, Museum of Ancient Tombs, etc. Luoyang has pleasant weather all year round.

8. Danxia landscape 

The Danxia national park is located in northwestern Gansu Province in China. The landscape has numerous red rocks, most of which are several hundreds of meters high. The best time to visit the Danxia landscape is from June to September. Expats and visitors may want to contact local tour guides to make sure you visit all of the most desirable locations.

9. Zhangjiajie 

Zhangjiajie is well-known for its towering sandstone pillars, very suitable for outdoor activity lovers and adventurous people. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a great place for hiking and photography. Within the park, Tianzi Mountain is famous for its mists and clouds, and Gold Whip Stream is the ideal spot for a relaxing walk. The ideal times to visit are from April to June, and September to October.

Bring International Health Insurance With You

As you can see from our list above, there are lots of excellent natural and cultural sites for expats and tourists in China. However, medical care can be very expensive in China. It is highly suggested that you obtain quality expat health insurance before departure or travel medical insurance for short visits. Medical facilities in many areas are very primitive, especially in the countryside. Even in many major cities where satisfactory public healthcare for expats exists, the methods of payment and the quality of medical treatment may be inadequate. For the popular choice of foreign-run hospitals, expats are usually required to make payment in advance before receiving medical treatment. It can be very expensive for emergency treatment and medications in most of the international hospitals.

For long-term stays in China, it is recommended that you obtain a comprehensive expat health insurance plan, which should cover you for medical expenses, hospitalization and treatments, medicines and emergency evacuations – which are all you need to stay in China. Some Chinese embassies require proof of health insurance before issuing visas, especially if you are a foreign student.

Expat Financial offers excellent service before and after you purchase your international health insurance plan. Our dynamic firm is also very experienced in sourcing group plans for multinational firms with expats in China.