Cities in China You May Not Know About
China is definitely a place on a lot of travelers bucket lists, but most only know and go to the ‘main cities’ in China. There are many cities that you have either not heard about (at all), or are simply just not talked about much, so they are nowhere on your radar.
This is a shame because some of my favorite travel is off the beaten path experiences, where you will find locals hanging out and eating fresh food. Why is that you ask? Although there are those experiences in touristy places, it is harder to find them. And, when you do find them, the prices are typically higher because they are catering to tourists and they know that they can raise the prices in the popular cities.
So, if you are like me and love off the beaten path experiences, keep reading! I am going to highlight a few cities that you have possibly never heard about and I’ll tell you what they are known for!
Hangzhou, China is the capital of Zhejiang Province. It is the southern terminal of the Grand Canal waterway, and it also happens to be the local political, economic, and cultural center. For most (that do not live in China), we have never heard of Hangzhou before, but for the Chinese, it is a popular holiday spot to travel to. According to lonely planet, “Hángzhōu’s (杭州) dreamy West Lake panoramas and fabulously green hills can easily tempt you into long sojourns. Eulogised by poets and applauded by emperors, the lake has intoxicated the Chinese imagination for aeons.” Hangzhou is known for their lake, obviously, but also bike riding, Longjing tea, the gorgeous mountains, silk, and hand fans. If you go to Hangzhou, you have to visit West Lake and Qiandao Lake. Maybe some temples, too!
Longquan, China is a town in Muping, Yantai, in eastern Shandong province – it is also in the remote, green mountains of Qinxi. Simply put, Longquan is known for their swords. They have over 2,600 years of sword making experience, making Longquan swords the most traditional ancient weapons of China – crazy!! In fact, people search far and wide for Longquan swords, and if you are one of those people, I have a secret for you. I know where to get them! Swords of Northshire offers hand forged swords directly from Longquan. They offer many different kinds of swords – from replicas to even customize Katanas, you will find it all. On top of that, they offer a 100% money-back guarantee for thirty days after your purchase. They offer complete replacement, re-shipments and also refunds. And to top it off, they also offer free shipping. If you go to Longquan and want a souvenir, or if you have been searching for a traditional ancient weapon, or a battle ready sword, this could be the perfect choice for you!
Haikou is a port city that sits on the island’s north coast across from Qiongzhou Strait. It is known as the ‘Coconut City’ and if you visit Haikou, you will find gorgeous crystal clear water and lush sand. This is also a popular city for the Chinese to travel to when going on vacation, but it surprises me that more tourists (from America and beyond) do not travel to it more often. It never used to be a fancy city, but it has transformed into a seaside resort over the past years, in hopes of it becoming the center for tourism in the South. If you are headed to Haikou, definitely check out the beaches, Hainan Crater Park, Temple of the Five Lords, and Haikou Volcanic Cluster Geopark.
Xi’an is one of four Great Ancient Capitals, and is the oldest of the four. The Ming-era city walls still remain intact, so that is a huge tourist attraction when visiting the city, along with the Terracotta Army, Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, and the Bell Tower of Xi’an. Xi’an was previously known as Chang’an, translated to Eternal Peace.
Chongqing is a major city in the southwest area of China. In fact, it is the most important economic city in West China in general. It is also one of China’s four direct-controlled municipalities and the only one located inland, far away from the coast. Since it is right up there with Shanghai, Beijing, and Tianjin, Chongqing has begun to rapidly develop and become a tourist destination because of the gorgeous scenery and cultural heritage you can find there. A few attractions offered in Chongqing are the Yangtze River, which is the third largest river in the world (and first largest in China), the zoo, Dazu Rock Carvings, and the Three Gorges..
Please note: This post is in cooperation with Swords of Northshire.
Have you visited any of these cities? Are there any you would add to the list of cities in China you may not know about?