Why China is a Must-Visit Destination

Planning Your Trip to China

Planning your trip to China requires knowledge of the best seasons to visit, navigating visa and entry requirements, and figuring out the most efficient and enjoyable ways to travel within this vast and diverse country. From selecting the perfect season to explore ancient wonders and modern marvels to ensuring all travel documents are in order, this travel guide provides insights to help you prepare for an unforgettable journey to China.

Stay connected with the best Travel eSIM

Maya Mobile Logo

The Best Time to Visit China

Just like any other Asian country, traveling to China is an experience that’s as vast and diverse as the country itself. That said, planning this trip requires excellent timing to capture the essence of its festivities and landscapes. So, when is the best time for you to visit? Ideally, going around springtime from April to May or during the autumn season in September and October strikes the perfect balance, offering gentle weather plus the colorful masterpiece of nature’s transitions. These seasons can give you an ideal and unforgettable backdrop for exploring and taking pictures of the bustling streets of Shanghai or the majestic Great Wall. Meanwhile, for those drawn to the festive and unique appeal of the Chinese New Year, you can visit during winter to witness a colorful and festive canvas brimming with cultural surprises.

Navigating Visa and Entry Requirements

Before you go on that exciting travel to China, you must first understand the visa and entry requirements. The Chinese visa, a key to unlocking the Middle Kingdom’s wonders with ease, varies from the tourist L visa to the Z visa for employment, catering to the various intents of foreign travelers, including American tourists and British nationals. Just make sure to apply early to avoid any last-minute stress and ensure that all your documents are correctly filled out and arranged to prevent delays. 

Also, keep informed of the recent updates from the Chinese Embassy for compliance with health requirements and local laws and regulations. Detailed travel advice, readily available through official channels like the State Department, can also guide you through the necessary steps, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free journey to China.

Data access around the world. Get the fastest 5G & 4G with 194 countries on prepaid data plans with instant activation. Explore Plans!

Getting to and Around China

Arriving in the land of dragons and emperors, travelers like you may find themselves at the crossroads when choosing between ancient pathways and modern transit. But in general, transportation is not a problem as there are many options to choose from depending on your planned destinations—major gateways like Shanghai Pudong International Airport welcome international travelers from the United States to New Zealand. Mainland China offers a well-structured network of high-speed trains and domestic flights connecting the dots between cosmopolitan Shanghai, historic Beijing, and the untamed beauty of Western China. If you’re an adventurous explorer who wants to get a better experience of Chinese culture, local transport offers a closer look at the pulse of Chinese life, revealing the daily rhythms running through this culturally diverse region.

Top Destinations to Explore in China

China’s canvas of destinations is a rich masterpiece of history, culture, nature, and urban life, with so many options to choose from! You can visit the Forbidden City in Beijing which reflects China’s imperial grandeur, or the Great Wall that snakes across northern borders, offering a long walk (quite literally!) through history. For the lovers of the urban buzz, explore Shanghai at night and witness the skyscraper-studded skyline, which is in a beautiful contrast against the serene beauty of the Summer Palace. For the adventurers, Western China offers rugged landscapes, whispering tales of the Silk Road. And, of course, no journey is complete without the magical realms of Shanghai Disneyland, where you can celebrate with your inner child!

Other specific destinations that you can visit include: 

  • Xi’an –  Famous for the Terracotta Army and its historical significance as the starting point of the Silk Road, Xi’an will interest lovers of ancient history.
  • Chengdu: For a unique blend of natural beauty and culinary delights, visit Chengdu for its popular panda breeding centers and spicy Sichuan cuisine.
  • Guilin: With its picture-worthy landscapes, including the Li River and karst mountains, Guilin is the ideal destination for nature lovers and photographers.

If you love the urban beauty of Shanghai, you can expand your journey and explore the things to do in Tokyo to complement your East Asian adventure with its vibrant city. 

2000 years old terracota army in Xi’an

Experiencing Chinese Culture and Heritage

Diving into the heart of China, travelers can expect to experience a cultural odyssey. The heritage is not just in the tall skyscrapers or majestic temples – but they can be found every day, where bustling wet markets and traditional ceremonies offer a deeper understanding of the Chinese soul. Participate in festivals like the Chinese New Year to witness a harmony of history and celebration, where people in dragon costumes dance on the streets, and lanterns light up the night to paint the cities in hues of red and gold.

For the traveler interested in getting a broader sense of the region’s culture, our guide on Northeast Asia offers insights into the cultural and historical complexities that bind these regions together.

Local Cuisine and Dining Experiences

But of course, one of the most interesting and exciting parts of this trip is exploring China’s culinary landscape – a feast of exotic flavors that tells the story of its regions. From the fiery heat of Sichuan to the fresh zest of coastal fare, Chinese cuisine is a treasure trove of taste. Dining experiences can vary from the street food stalls of Hong Kong, serving up dim sum and roast duck, to the high-end eateries of Shanghai, where culinary artistry meets urban flair. Each bite is a unique discovery that adds flavor to your travel experience in China.

If the rich and exotic taste of Asian cuisine fascinates you, there’s no need to stop at China! Extend your culinary adventure to the Philippines to taste a unique fusion of indigenous, Spanish, Chinese, and American cuisines. For a deep dive into the culinary and cultural vibrancy of this archipelago, check out our guide on what to do in Cebu, Philippines, offering valuable insights into local dishes and dining experiences that resonate with the warmth and hospitality of Filipino culture.

Landscape of Guilin, Li River and Karst mountains
Awe-inspiring landscape of Guilin, Li River and Karst mountains

Stay Connected while in China with Maya Mobile

Staying connected with family, friends, or your travel companion while traveling the vast and varied landscapes of China can be made seamless with Maya Mobile‘s eSIM services. As you trek from the ancient alleys of Beijing to the futuristic streets of Shanghai, stay connected with our flexible plans tailored for travelers. Discover more about how we can enhance your travel experience in China and other Asian destinations at Maya Mobile’s Asia eSIM plans