Over the past few years, China has experienced significant changes in terms of its tourist attractions.
Travelers now have more reasons than ever to visit China because to a variety of outdoor attractions that have opened or undergone significant renovations, from cruises along the longest canal in the world to a post-earthquake fairyland.
International visitors can finally check out some of these well-liked new items that have been capturing the hearts of domestic travelers during the pandemic now that the country has declared it is reopening its borders to foreign travelers and resuming the issuance of tourist visas.
Listed below are some of our favorites.
The Grand Canal is the longest artificial river in the world.
China’s Grand Canal, which stretches 1,782 kilometers (1,107 miles), or roughly nine times the length of the Suez Canal, is the longest man-made waterway in the world.
The Grand Canal, also known as Jing-Hang Canal, spans from Beijing in the north to Hangzhou in the south and connects to other waterways, including the Yellow River and the Yangtze River. It was included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.
It was built in stages around 2,500 years ago and remained cohesive over time.
Several areas dried out or became polluted in the past century. Yet thanks to a government initiative in 2022, the Grand Canal was completely cleaned up and rejoined.
Cangzhou, located two and a half hours from Beijing, is one of the best sites to experience it. With the addition of six new bridges, 12 tourist piers, and 15 cruise ships, the industrial port city has improved the tourism attractions along its portion of the canal.
Garden Expo Park in Jiangsu
On China’s eastern coast, the province of iangsu is renowned for its more than 2,000-year-old, wonderfully crafted Chinese gardens.
The custom is still practiced today, but with a special twist. The Jiangsu Garden Expo Park was built inside an abandoned quarry in Nanjing, the provincial capital, in 2021.
The 3.45 square kilometer area is home to lovely gardens designed in the traditional Jiangsu style as well as additional attractions like a theater, a water botanical park, and a pedestrian retail street.
One of the highlights is Suzhou Garden, which took design cues from the adjacent Canglang Pavilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mortise and tenon joints hold the sturdy wood structures in the Suzhou Garden together (two pieces of wood are locked together without nails). In the garden, supposedly not a single nail has ever been utilized.
Universal Resort Beijing
The 169-hectare Universal Beijing Resort, the fifth-largest Universal Studios theme park in the world, will open in September 2021.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Transformers Metrobase, Hollywood, WaterWorld, Minion Land, Jurassic World Isla Nubla, and King Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness are just a few of the seven themed places that are available, many of which are outdoors.
Moreover, it is home to NUO Resort Hotel, a resort hotel with a Qing Dynasty theme, and Universal Studios Grand Hotel, the first hotel in the world with a Universal theme.
Camping and stargazing at the Desert Star Hotel in Ningxia
The semi-arid Ningxia Hui Autonomous Area, which borders Inner Mongolia in northern China, has a low annual rainfall and 300 days of clear skies, making it one of the greatest locations to take in China’s stunning desert landscapes and do some serious stargazing.
In recent years, the area has taken advantage of this strength and is now experiencing an increase in tourism.
The annual China (Ningxia) Starry Sky Tourism Conference began in 2021 and combines stargazing with a number of activities, such as an extreme automobile race and a festival of electronic music in the desert.
Booking a room at the Desert Star Hotel in Ningxia’s Zhongwei City is one of the best ways to explore Ningxia.
The hotel has 176 rooms in the heart of the desert and is situated in the Shapotou District, a beautiful tourist destination. If glamping is more your style, accommodations include apartments with balconies that overlook the desert and cottages that resemble tents.
In addition to indoor and outdoor dining options, the property has a swimming pool, a theater with an astronomy theme, and kid-friendly sand games.
There is only one official WeChat account for the hotel, although guests can also book via other hotel booking websites or regional travel companies. Starting at about RMB2300, or $320 per night, are hotel rates.
A UNESCO World Heritage site is Jiuzhaigou.
Jiuzhaigou County in China’s southwest Sichuan Province was ravaged in 2017 by a terrible and violent earthquake.
The region, including the well-known Jiuzhaigou National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has undergone extensive restoration in recent years thanks to the government’s efforts and those of the tourism sector.
In September 2021, the picturesque area reopened in full and now has 12 improved attractions. They comprise the Shenxian Chi (Fairy Ponds), which have terraced white and light blue travertine pools, and the over a thousand year old Dalu Ancient Town.
The Jiawuhai Giant Panda Conservation and Research Park is another addition. In the center, four gigantic pandas are cared after, and there are about 30 wild pandas in the vicinity.
Where can we stay? Later this year, the region will play host to the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in China. Luxurious travelers should stay there.
The 87-villa Rissai Valley, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, will have a 2,500 square meter spa and dining and event rooms with outdoor seating overlooking the mountains. It is located about 15 minutes from Jiuzhaigou National Park.