Adventure Travel in China, exploring a mix of culture and nature

China is nowadays a perfect destination for Adventure Travel. It combines an intriguing culture with great landscapes. Unless you extend your visa several times, there is too much to do in too little time...

We traveled from the great wall of china and the highlights of modern Beijing to Xi'an with its terracotta army, on to the gorges of the Yangtse river, and via the beautiful scenery at Yangshuo to the mountain tribes of Southern China.

Terracotta Army in Xi'an, China

From Irkutsk there are two possibilities to reach China, or more specific Beijing. The first one is via Mongolia, but then you'll need an additional visa. The second one is the Trans Manchurian Express , traveling around Mongolia going via the Manchurian plains of the Chinese provinces of Inner-Mongolia and Heilongjiang to Beijing. On this train we had our first encounter with the friendly, but noisy and sometimes disgusting Chinese.

At arrival of the train we meet Modern Beijing . We get impressed by the temples, the forbidden city, the summer palace and the Great Wall of China. But aside from the beauty of the rich Chinese history,

Adventure Travel in China by train

The train is by far the best way to travel China. The hard sleepers are good value for money. You can truly sleep during the ride, unlike the sleeper buses. One tip though: let your tickets be bought by hotel staff. We have met several stubborn tourists that wanted to do this by themselves and ended up spending days at the train station...

we also see how the traditional hutongs are being replaced by a modern skyline.

Per hard sleeper we travel to the central Chinese city of Xi'an, the city where an enormous army of clay soldiers was found under the ground in the 70's. Many tourists visit the city especially for the Terracotta Warriors of Xian, although the city also has other highlights. It's a pity that the smog of a filthy city already hits us when we arrive.

We move on by train to Chongqing in order to make a Yangtze river trip, while it is still possible. This longest river of China flows through three magnificent gorges. But behind the third one, the government of China has built a huge dam and power plant, so that the gorges are flooded.

Along the coast near Hong Kong lies the city of Guangzhou, where we need to go for our visa to Vietnam. The city is also known for its cuisine. Chinese people eat anything that lives, and all those Chinese food ingredients are found in Culinary Guangzhou .

Cycling in Yangshuo

Karst mountains in Yangshuo

Guilin is considered to be the most beautiful city of China, because of the surrounding limestone (or karst) mountains. But it is well known that the best landscapes are to be seen around the backpackers village of Yangshuo, 65 kilometers south of Guilin.

Take the Bike!

If you have more time on your hands, and want to really dive into the local culture, landscapes, and meeting people in the countryside, China is an excellent country to discover by Bicycle.

You can read about the possibilities and experiences of Cycling in China on this website.

A nice place where we relax and cycle along the rice paddies.

From Guilin we take the sleeper bus to Kunming in the province of Yunnan. This province has it all: tropical rainforests, mountains, lakes, different tribes and nice villages and cities. Unfortunately, we only have a week left for this part of China. So we can only visit the capital Kunming, and Dali, the charming village near the mountains and Lake Erhai.

Apart from the route we followed, adventure travel in China can lead you to all kinds of interesting places. One day we will have to come back for for instance Chengdu, Shanghai, Lijang, and of course, Tibet.

And, if only as a gateway to China, you should consider visiting Hong Kong. Apart from being your entry point to China, Hong Kong is packed with a lot of famous stunning attractions.

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