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Top 9 Places To Visit In China Post-Pandemic

While the entire world and I collectively hoped that COVID-19 would somehow miraculously come to an end by the end of 2020, not much has changed since the new year has begun. This has made me feel rather hopeless and tired of the entire situation. Therefore, I thought I would share some of my favorite places in China in memory of all the trips we missed because of COVID-19. Little international-school-me got to visit beautiful and extremely underrated places while studying in an international school in China. So, here are the top 9 places I highly recommend if you are able to travel to China.

The Great Wall of China, Beijing

Although I was young when I visited, and mostly I was just exhausted with all the walking, the great wall of China is a magnificent place to visit and something I will never forget. The great wall is something you must see if you go to China. However, do your research and try to go when it is least busy. During peak season, the wall can get so crowded that you will have trouble moving forward. From experience, I tell you, it is not fun. 

798 Art Zone, Beijing 

Though this place may not be for everyone, it was probably the best place I visited in Beijing. My obsession with museums and art galleries started at this very location. The Art Zone was different from the other art galleries I have been to; it was a combination of architectural art, outdoor statues, handcrafts, and fine art. It is a bit more low-key than most art galleries, and they have beautiful cafes. 

City of Sanya

Sanya is the best place for a tropical retreat in China, although I didn't find anything specifically unique about Sanya, it was beautiful. Its beaches, natural reservoirs, and hot springs are a beautiful sight and probably the best place to run to after a stressful year of work, studies, or just a pandemic!

Tsingtao Brewery, Qingdao 

For my beer lovers, you would love this place. Tsingtao is China's most famous beer, and honestly, the beer lives up to the hype. Tsingtao to this day is still my favorite beer. Qingdao is home to the Tsingtao brewery museum. It was cool to see the process that goes into making the beer, plus you get a lot of samples. Also, the Architecture in Qingdao is beautiful; it has a European touch to it. 

 Reed Flute Cave, Guilin

The Reed Flute Cave is one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. The cave itself is a unique natural structure, and the trail was quite complicated. It was my first-time caving, and I was a little scared until the cave widened. Some of the places inside were lit up with colourful lights showcasing natural works of art that formed over hundreds of years. Also, they had mud baths in there! It is worth the experience; sadly, I would definitely not recommend it for anyone who is extremely claustrophobic. The trail we took at times was so closed and constrained that we had to literally squeeze through. The plus about this location is that it is not crowded, so you can enjoy a private experience.

City of Guilin

Guilin is for my nature lovers. Guilin landscape is covered with a series of hills with a unique formation; it is a beautiful sight from afar and up close. It's an excellent place for hiking, biking, and camping. Considering Guilin is a city and not a particular tourist location, this place is less crowded than most, allowing you to enjoy a moment of solidarity with nature. 

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

I have never been a fan of going to zoos. I do not support keeping animals in small, confined spaces, depriving them of their freedom. However, this Panda research base was different. Pandas are a part of Chinese heritage, and in previous years, they were considered an endangered species. This research base breeds pandas and essentially takes care of them. The Pandas live freely and are well taken care of. Visiting their base felt less like a Panda exhibition and more like walking into the woods and casually coming across a Panda. I also learned a lot about their species and the policies and transportation process regarding "Panda diplomacy" (yeah, that's a thing). 

Chengdu Culture Park and the Sichuan Opera

From a western perspective, we tend to have a very rigid concept of culture and art. A visit to this culture park and the Sichuan Opera opened my eyes to an entirely different perspective to culture and traditions that I often forget exists. I have never been a fan of Chinese opera, the instruments they use were often too loud for me, but the Sichuan opera took me by surprise. The storyline, their facial expression, body language, and vocals were simply incredible. The older you are, the more you would appreciate it; the storyline can be complex to understand; however, children will find it just as entertaining. It's a colorful sight.

Fujian, Tulou, Yangzhou 

Tulou is a type of architectural structure that was and still is commonly used in Yangzhou. It is a distinct structure. I spent a few days in their housing, living with their rural community. Though I was not fluent in Mandarin, I still got to experience and see what life in their tight-knit community was like. They offered us authentic Yangzhou breakfast; we made our own rice flour with a giant stone mortar.

Well, these are the top 9 places I loved visiting in China. I have gotten very homesick in the last couple of months, and all I have been thinking about is all these places I used to visit in the good old days. Everyone travels differently, and I hope you found something in the above list that seemed travel worthy to you or at least convinced you that you NEED to visit China!

Sherlly Russel

Carleton '22

Your not so average, complicated, and multicultural brown girl. Born and raised in India, middle-school, and high school in china, university in Canada. Conversations about philosophy, cosmology, cross-culturalism, and religion are right up my alley!
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