Among China’s top new outdoor attractions
The last several years have seen significant changes in China’s tourist attractions.
Several outdoor attractions have opened or undergone dramatic renovations, providing tourists more reasons than ever to visit China, from cruises along the longest canal in the world to a post-earthquake fairyland.
International visitors can now take advantage of some of these well-liked new attractions that have been capturing the hearts of domestic tourists throughout the pandemic, as the nation has declared it will reopen its borders to foreign travelers and resume issuing tourist visas.
Some of our favorites are listed here.
The Grand Canal, the longest waterway created by humans,
China’s Grand Canal is the longest man-made waterway in the world, measuring 1,782 kilometers (1,107 miles), or roughly nine times the length of the Suez Canal.
The Grand Canal, also known as Jing-Hang Canal, connects to numerous waterways, including the Yellow River and the Yangtze River, and was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. It spans from Beijing in the north to Hangzhou in the south.
Almost 2,500 years ago, it was built in pieces and eventually brought together.
A century ago, some areas dried up or became heavily polluted. The Grand Canal was completely cleaned up and rejoined in 2022 thanks to a government initiative.
Cangzhou, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Beijing, is among the best locations to experience it. With 15 cruise ships, 12 tourist piers, and six new bridges now present along its portion of the canal, the industrial port city has improved the tourism attractions there.
Park at Jiangsu Garden Expo
The iangsu region, on China’s east coast, is renowned for its more than 2,000-year-old, finely crafted Chinese gardens.
The custom still exists today, although with a modern twist. The Jiangsu Garden Expo Park was created in Nanjing, the provincial capital, in 2021 from an abandoned quarry.
Beautiful gardens in the traditional Jiangsu style can be found across the 3.45 square kilometer area, along with other attractions including a theater, a water botanical garden, and a pedestrian retail street.
Suzhou Garden, which took design cues from the neighboring Canglang Pavilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the attractions.
All of the structures in the Suzhou Garden are constructed from solid wood and joined together using mortise and tenon joints (two pieces of wood are locked together without nails). It’s even said that not a single nail has ever been utilized in the garden.
Beijing Universal Resort
The sixth and largest Universal Studios theme park in the world, the 169-hectare Universal Beijing Resort debuts in September 2021.
Seven themed areas—The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Transformers Metrobase, Hollywood, WaterWorld, Minion Land, Jurassic World Isla Nubla, and King Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness—offer dozens of performances and rides, many of which are outside.
It also has NUO Resort Hotel, a resort hotel with a Qing Dynasty theme, and the Universal Studios Grand Hotel, the first accommodation with a Universal theme in the globe.
At Ningxia’s Desert Star Hotel, glamping and stargazing
The semi-arid Ningxia Hui Autonomous Area, which surrounds Inner Mongolia in northern China, is one of the greatest sites to take in China’s stunning desert vistas and do some serious stargazing. It receives minimal rainfall and has about 300 days of bright skies each year.
Due to recent tourism growth, the area has taken advantage of this strength.
In addition to stargazing, the annual China (Ningxia) Starry Sky Tourism Conference also has a number of activities, such as an extreme auto race and a festival of electronic music in the desert.
Staying at the Desert Star Hotel in Zhongwei City, Ningxia, is one of the best ways to see the region.
The hotel, which has 176 rooms, is situated in the midst of Shapotou District, a beautiful tourist destination. For those who like to glamp, accommodations include apartments with balconies overlooking the desert and bungalows designed to seem like tents.
The complex provides both indoor and outdoor dining options, a pool, a theater with an astronomy theme, and kid-friendly sand activities.
The hotel only has a WeChat account, although guests can also book through a number of other hotel booking websites or regional travel companies. The starting rate for a room is roughly RMB 2300, or $320 per night.
UNESCO has declared Jiuzhaigou a World Heritage site.
Jiuzhaigou County in the Sichuan Province of southwest China was ravaged in 2017 by a terrible and violent earthquake.
Government agencies and the tourism sector have been working hard in recent years to restore the region, particularly the renowned Jiuzhaigou National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Twelve updated attractions are currently available at the picturesque area, which completely reopened in September 2021. They include the Dalu Ancient Village, which dates back to than a thousand years, and the Shenxian Chi (Fairy Ponds), which have terraced white and light blue travertine pools.
Other attractions include the Jiawuhai Giant Panda Conservation and Research Site. While approximately 30 wild pandas live in the area surrounding the center, four gigantic pandas are cared for inside.
Where do I stay? The first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in China will open nearby later this year, and those looking for luxury will want to stay there.
The 87-villa Rissai Valley, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is about 15 minutes from Jiuzhaigou National Park and will have a 2,500 square meter spa, as well as dining and event areas with outdoor seating overlooking the mountains.