It’s August, which means all the stores are putting out their back-to-school displays, reminding us that summer is almost over. But the weather is still warm, and the days are long, so there’s just time to squeeze in one more trip before we bid farewell to summer. Unfortunately, due to continuing COVID-19 travel restrictions, that trip probably couldn’t be to China…unless you’re willing to take a fantasy vacation.
My colleague Joann Pittman has traveled extensively in China and has chronicled some of her adventures in our ongoing series, “Cities of China.” I had a ton of fun watching videos about cities all over the country, from bustling Beijing and Shanghai to up and coming Guiyang. For my fantasy China vacation, I’ve picked out a few of my favorite cities.
- Guangzhou. This bustling coastal city has a long history, both as an economic hub and as an entry point for Christianity into China. I’m fascinated by the way more historic buildings are tucked away among the gleaming modern skyscrapers.
- Guiyang. A city in transition, Guiyang has been undergoing speedy development and is known as “China’s big data valley.” This is a drastic change from the province’s old reputation as one of the poorest in China. It’s also a highly diverse city, with 36 ethnic minorities.
- The cities on the Silk Road. I admit I’m cheating here. However, I have been interested in the Silk Road since my graduate student days, when I realized how much contact there was between the Mediterranean cultures I was studying and China. Some of the cities I’m most interested in are Beijing, China’s capital city, and Xi’an, where the Terracotta Warriors are located, as well as the Nestorian Stele.
- Suzhou. If a city is called the “Venice of the East,” I want to see it! The video included in the original post definitely made me more interested than ever in visiting this gorgeous place one day. The city’s canals, historical areas, and hypermodern development make for a luscious landscape.
- Luoyang. It’s probably obvious by now that I love history, which is why this city is on my list of Chinese cities to visit someday. It was the capital city of the Han dynasty from 206 BC to AD 220. The Longmen Grottos, with their amazing variety of Buddhist stone statues and inscriptions, sound like a marvelous place to visit.
- Changsha. Spicy food, beautiful scenery, and interesting history? Sign me up, please! As the capital of Hunan province, Changsha is known for its delicious and super-spicy cuisine. It was also the place where Mao Zedong began his political career.
I really encourage you to take a look at the series and come up with your own list of China’s must-see cities. Here’s hoping that we can make these fantasy trips a reality before too much longer. In the meantime, happy dreaming!
Image Credit: Zhang Kaiyv via UnSplash
Rachel Anderson serves as the Assistant Content Manager at ChinaSource. Though she has never been to China, her ancestors were missionaries in East Asia and passed on a deep love and respect for those cultures. Rachel lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their five delightful children. View Full Bio
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