Everywhere you look on travel in China, you’re bound to find guides that tell you to visit the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and other iconic landmarks.
They’re not wrong of course, but after you see those bucket list items, it’s time to see China’s more unusual side. To miss it would be to miss out on a whole slice of why China is so intensely amazing.
Here are some of the more unusual things you should take the time to see while in China.
1. Hike Hua Shan
Looking for a thrilling adventure? Head to Hua Shan, revered as the most dangerous hike in the whole world.
It takes you up stone steps and then, you have to walk the plank along the mountainside. Strapped into a harness hovering above the world, there’s nothing like it.
2. Explore the caves of Dazu
This UNESCO World Heritage Site features tone walls with ancient Buddhist carvings from the Tang Dynasty.
These intricate details give you a less-seen image of ancient China, one that feels more up close and personal than any museum.
3. Gaze at the Leshan Buddha
Fun fact: the Leshan Buddha is the largest Buddha carved from stone. It is so big that you will feel like a tiny, insignificant ant in its presence.
It’s perfect for Instagram-worthy shots.
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4. Monkey around at Mt. Emei
Nearby the giant Buddha, you’ll find Mr. Emei. This place features a golden statue at its peak and some curious monkeys all about. The monkeys can be a bit persistent, so proceed with care and ideally, a guide.
5. See the Heavenly Gate in the Tianmen Mountains
You’ve likely seen the famed photos of this place but it is even more astoundingly breathtaking in person. These mountains are accessible with a cable car ride to the top. If that doesn’t take your breath away from fright, try walking out onto the glass platform floor once your arrive. You can also test your endurance on the steep stairs leading to that Heavenly Gate, a worthy trek for the adventurous.
6. Enter the world of snow and ice
Visiting China in the winter? Make sure you head north to Harbin. The famed Ice Festival goes on all winter long until the snow melts away. Ice is carved up into statues, interactive exhibits, buildings, and more. At night, it’s lit up for a sight you’ll be glad your froze for.
7. Visit the Caucasian Mummies
In Xinjiang, there once was a group of blonde and red-headed people, referred to as Proto-Indo-Europeans. Dressed in Celtic clothes, you can see these perfectly petrified people. If that’s too much though, check out around town to sip tea and see yurts among the red rocky cliffs.
8. Overland Through The Country with Your Own Car
If you think you’ve seen and done all there is in China, think again! Come back and explore these unusual sights when you have a chance!
Check out more cool and unusual stuff to do in China here!