If you’re travelling to China and looking for some underrated cities to travel to then look no further. I’m a lover of the underrated and off the beaten track kind of places. And in China, there are hundreds of them.
There are so many beautiful places to see in China it’s hard to narrow a handful down. I thought I did a pretty good job of travelling there since we decided to take mostly night trains and spend 3-4 days in each city. But it’s so hard to reflect back because I feel like I didn’t see enough even though I was there for over a month and a half. It’s such a big country! Writing this I have confirmed I need to go back 😛 Here are some underrated cities you need to see in China:
Dali – Arguably one of my favourite underrated cities you need to see in China. When I got to Dali I didn’t have the highest of expectations. I didn’t know anything about it and what it would hold for us. After a long bus ride from Shangri-la we arrive to this city and I was instantly mesmerized. There was this giant mountain hoovering in the background of Dali and on the other side was this vast lake with rolling hills beyond. We spent most of our time in Old Town Dali and it was so much fun. The music, the flower pasties and the beautifully preserved architecture made it one of my favourite cities in China!
Kunming – Kunming is also known as “The Flower City.” After spending some time in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu I had kind of forgotten about blue skies. That wasn’t the case in Kunming. The sun was shinning, the flowers were in bloom and it’s a quick bus ride away from The Stone Forest! I feels like spring there all year round.
Zhangjiajie – If you haven’t heard of this place you’re missing out! It gained quite a bit of fame after the Avatar movies came out since James Cameron based the floating mountains after Zhangjiajie’s. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. When you go you HAVE to stay at this inn. It was so lovely and away from the chaos.
Lijiang – I was quite annoyed when I was in Chengdu and met some fellow travellers who said Lijiang is, and I quote “Shit.” We were told to spend some time in Shaxi instead which was in the original plan but after learning about the Tiger Leaping Gorge we wanted to make a base camp in Lijiang. And it was great! You are a two hour bus from the gorge and Old Town is filled with restaurants, canals and friendly people. There’s a few rooftops you can go up as well. Aaron and I saw some shooting stars here 🙂
Yangshuo – Guilin and Yangshuo are so beautiful. Guilin is a big Chinese city while Yangshuo is smaller and has a better feel to it. One of the most famed thing you can do in this area is float down Li River. Unfortunately Aaron and I never got to do this because of a flight to Bali but we are definitely going back! The Longsheng Rice Terraces are also an hour and a half drive away.
Have you been to China? Where are some cities you would like to go? Share in the comments!