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Written by Aparajitha Vishwanath on June 23, 2017 Share on

Perfect vacation to China: secrets from the Orient

Our traveller Aparajitha Vishwanath travelled to China and discovered more than just adventure and fun. Here are some secrets she uncovered on her vacation to China.

Want a peek of  her itinerary. Dive right in!


Despite being China’s biggest financial hub, Shanghai retains a charm that is incomparable. With its elegant waterfront promenade and colonial-era buildings, Shanghai is China’s heart throb.


 Serial party-goers will find Shanghai a great place for nightlife. If you are a foodie, too, this is your haven! From Lebanese to Italian, be spoilt for choice here.

 Vegetarians, breathe easy! Except for Yangshuo area, veggie food is super accessible in all areas of Shanghai. Goodfellas explores cuisines like Italian and European and also provides gluten-free and vegan options. While Hakkasan serves up mouth-watering Asian and Chinese vegetarian dishes – vegan options included!

 Skip the Shanghai Tower View. Instead, head over to the Lounge Bar at Park Hyatt Hotel for some of the best views of Shanghai skyline. For inexpensive vegetables and flowers, drop into the Shanghai Flower Market.

Panoramic views of Shanghai
Image credit – ritzcarlton

Note: Happy hour before 7 pm. Get here earlier to enjoy the views with a drink.


Kunming is known as the ‘Eternal Spring City’ of China, thanks to its pleasant weather probably. It also has a key role in the history of China, having been the gateway to the ancient Silk Route.  A beautiful must-do on a trip to China!

Image credit – middlebury
The cruise from Gullin and Yangshuo – it is a beautiful experience! Fair warning – do pack up on food before you head aboard the ship. Food is not provided.

Definitely catch the sunrise or even the sunset at the Dongchuan Red Soil Land. An early morning flight from Kunming will guarantee you this!

Sunrise at Dongchuan Red Soil Land
Image credit – chinatouradvisors

For shopping, skip the Shangri-La. Instead, head over to the Flower and Bird Market to greet birds and survey traditional handicrafts. 


Travelling to China and not going to Xian? Re-think that plan! Home to the famed ‘Terracotta Army’ and much more. We discovered a beautiful side to Xian.

Image credit – thousandwonders
The Muslim Quarters with its Beiyuanmen Muslim Market is a great place to to just walk by little souvenir shops and wander around. Cute little souvenirs line every store – you won’t even know the time passing by.

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is one of Xian’s oldest structures and is a fetching work of art with 13 levels tapering as it rises.

Wild Goose Pagoda
Image credit – absolutechinatours
Head to the Banpo Museum, located in the outskirts of Xian. You can revisit the remains of  a community that is 6,000 years old.


Beijing is interesting. On one side, you have its steel-and-glass sky scrapers. While on the other side, the Forbidden City Complex and the iconic Tienanmen Square are a reminder of its history. We loved this city!

Image credit – sarahlawrence
We loved the well-connected Subway system at Beijing. It is the best mode to navigate around the city, given the traffic this city is prone to!

The Great Wall of China is best accessed through points other than Badaling. However, for people who can’t do much climbing, this is the best option.

Great Wall of China
Image credit – sarahlawrence


Guilin is in two words – brilliant landscapes! It’s idyllic rice terraces, lakes and hills are simply awe-inspiring.

Rice terraces at Ping'an

Etched in dramatic landscapes with lakes and hills, Guilin is like a sleepy town. The Night Market and the Pedestrian Street are decked in an array  of stalls and call for more than just one visit.

Located amongst the Longsheng rice terraces, the Ping’an village is absolutely picturesque, to say the least. Apart from the surreal scenery, you will be treated with some enrapturing ethnic performances. I was in awe entirely!

To get  a more panoramic view, sign up for a cable car ride here.

Cable car ride at Guilin
Image credit – freeimageslive

 While in China :

While in Shanghai, check into the Les Suites Orient hotel. They are worth the spend and have amazing breakfast options.

 To access Google on your mobile download Express VPN before you journey to China.

Definitely download the English to Mandarin translator app on your phone.

Discover more such exclusive destination secrets on your journeys!

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