2017 is upon us and we bet you have “travel more” as one of your New Year’s resolutions. If you’re ready to make the most of this new year, we’ve created a seasonal guide to our 7 top destinations in China for 2017.
Strolling through delicate gardens of spring blossoms, lounging on a semi tropical beach in summer or dancing alongside locals at raucous minority festivals in autumn, imagine what 2017 could have in store for you. It’s time to start planning your getaways for this upcoming year!
7. Hangzhou and Suzhou
To the Chinese, the cities of Hangzhou and Suzhou are nothing short of heavenly; immortalized in the popular saying “There is heaven above and there is Suzhou and Hangzhou below.” Wendy Perrin named Hangzhou and Suzhou a must-see for spring of 2017 and both places are easily accessible by bullet train from Shanghai.
Stroll along the banks of Hangzhou’s famed West Lake, an icon of classical Chinese beauty, and pick Longjing (Dragon well) green tea in picturesque surroundings. Then hop across to Suzhou, known as the “Venice of the East.” Here you can soak up the romantic ambiance in its delicate gardens and attractive canals.
Avoid the crowds by booking now to secure both comfortable accommodation and a professional guide with WildChina. Start planning your trip to Hangzhou and Suzhou on our Heaven on Earth tour.
Clear, crisp blue skies make late spring the best time of the year to gaze upon the majestic heights of Mount Everest, or take the kora (pilgrim’s path) in its circuit around Mount Kailash, a sacred site to over one billion Buddhists and Hindus.
Saga Dawa is a hallowed springtime festival for Tibetans, so expect the countryside to be lit up with prayer flags, orange-robed monks and prostrating believers.
Tibet, and Lhasa in particular, is changing and modernizing fast – 2017 may be the last chance you’ll get to experience some of the traditions there.
2017 marks the welcome return of giant pandas to the wilds of Sichuan Province. Go in search of them in their natural abode and feast your eyes on the crystal-clear lakes and alpine forests of the stupendously beautiful Jiuzhaigou National Park.
Boasting well-maintained trails, visitors can hike to their heart’s content to see the forests emerging from winter hibernation. What’s more, you can enjoy this UNESCO World Heritage site in luxury, now that the Ritz Carlton hotel has opened up a new location in the park.
Surround yourself with China’s richest flora and fauna by planning a Sichuan’s Natural Wonders tour.
4. Wudang Mountains
The Wudang Mountains are the center of the Tao Buddhist universe, as well as the birthplace of ‘Supreme Harmony Boxing’, more famously known as Tai Chi.
Late summer brings the temple assembly, which gathers Taoist priests from across the land to fast and make offerings in the name of prosperity and peace. Learn the art of Tai chi from a master or join the many pilgrims who ascend the peaks in search of enlightenment.
Being the ‘No 1 Taoist Mountain in the Middle Kingdom’ this place is no secret to Chinese tourists, so be sure to book for late summer and for the best chance to discover the serene surroundings that inspired the earliest masters of Tai chi. Discover Wudang mountains in 2017 while it’s still off-the-beaten path. Begin customizing your journey to the Wudang Mountains now.
3. Dali, Yunnan
Dali is a quaint town set between the placid waters of Erhai Lake and the green Cangshan Mountains. It is an icon of Yunnan, a province of rich ethnic diversity and stunning landscapes. 2017 is the perfect time to visit Dali because there’s a new a high-speed rail connecting Shanghai and Yunnan Province. Normally the trip would take about 40 hours, but the new bullet train, which can reach speeds of 300 km/hour, has reduced the duration to a mere 10 hours.
Leave the modern world behind in its lantern-lit streets, and get closer to the regions Bai ethnic minority in a ‘Three Cup ceremony’ and dinner.
Autumn features the festive New Year and Long-Table festivals of the Miao minority people. You can indulge in sumptuous feasts while the Miao people wear their colorful and bedazzled traditional clothing.
September and October are also the perfect time to see ham being salt-cured in the towns surrounding Dali. Don’t miss your chance to join in the merrymaking by planning a Travels through Dali: with a leg of ham tour, or join award-winning chef Fuchsia Dunlop in a gastronomic tour of the province.
2. Avatar Mountains
See out-of-this-world vistas at Zhangjiajie, a ‘floating’ city of sandstone pinnacles in Hunan Province, said to have inspired the creation of Pandora, an alien world from the blockbuster movie Avatar.
Hold your breath as you descend the world’s tallest outdoor elevator, and then hike through canyons to get closer to the macaques, deer and leopards found in the park’s lush landscapes.
Visiting in 2017 you can cross the newly opened glass bridge – now the world’s longest and highest – suspended at a vertigo-inducing 300 meters above a gorge.
For an otherworldly adventure, start planning your China’s Avatar Mountains journey.
1. Jiangxi Province
Relatively untouched by foreign visitors, Jiangxi province’s idyllic villages and ancient history as the porcelain capital of China make it our number one place to visit in 2017. By booking your trip now, you’ll be able to have an authentic experience before the secret’s out.
Visit the ancient kilns of Jingdezhen where skilled artisans would work tirelessly to make ceramics for the imperial court. Hundreds of years later you can walk the grounds and pick up broken pieces of the beautiful porcelain created in the Song Dynasty.
Next, explore Huangling Village where the local ethnic minority people dry their colorful spices on the roofs of their houses made in the traditional Hui architectural style.
Get planning your trip to Jingdezhen and witness these pearls of Chinese history yourself.
We hope your 2017 is filled with happiness and adventure! Happy New Year from all of us here at WildChina!