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View of the Black Dragon Lake and the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.


With a population of 1.4 billion people, China is the world’s largest country by population. It is also the 4th largest country by land mass. It is no surprise that it is culturally one of the most diverse countries in the world. Moreover, China has a long, rich and colourful history that dates back more than two thousand years ago. China offers a wide range of travel experiences, from the glitz and glamour in Shanghai, the culinary paradise in Guangzhou, the forbidden city in Beijing, the natural beauties in Yunnan to the silk road in Gansu and Xinjiang.

This is the mountain pass as well as the third teahouse along the trek from Xidang Hot Springs to Yubeng village.

However, we cannot possible see all of it in such a short time! Thankfully, based on your travel interests, you can easily plan a route in China that does not involve too many flights or never-ending train rides. The South-Western part of China is famous for its rainforests, ethnic minority cultures and beautiful scenery. The North-Western part of China is known for its silk road history, ancient civilisation ruins and deserts. Central China forms the bedrock of China’s lustrous history, such as Xi’an and Luoyang cities. North-eastern China is known for its really cold winters and beautiful wintry scenery. Lastly, you have the coastal cities on the east that are extremely modern and cosmopolitan.

One of the cobbled streets at Shaxi ancient town.

Follow me on my journey through China as I explore the Western part, stretching from Yunnan in the south to Xinjiang in the north. You can hover over the points on the map below to see which places I have been and click on them to see related articles about that place!

Do also check out some of my articles about the many things you can do all around China:

View of the Tien Shan Mountains from the valley within the Xiata Scenic Area.

6 places to visit in Northern Xinjiang

Northern Xinjiang is a nature-lover’s paradise. The magnificent Tien Shan Mountains down south and the gorgeous Altai Mountains up north ...
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View of the various types of kawap or Uyghur kebabs. There are meat kebabs and testicle kebabs.

Here are the top 10 Uyghur food that you must try!

For many of us, trying out new food is part of the travel experience. Whenever I visit a new place, ...
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An Uyghur couple selling their sheep at the animal bazaar in Kashgar.

9 things to do in the cultural capital of Kashgar

Kashgar is a city full of charms and like no other. Despite being in China, Kashgar does not feel like ...
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View of the old city walls in Kashgar and an empty cafe in front of it.

Why Southern Xinjiang needs to be on your bucket list

Looking for a place in China that does not have too many tourists, yet still has enough activities to wow ...
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Uyghur woman protesting in front of hundreds of riot police in Urumqi.

Is Xinjiang dangerous?

The media is a scary concept; you hardly find positive news on the newspapers these days. When people think of ...
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View of Qilian town, with an eclectic mix of Western and Chinese architecture as well as beautiful snow-cap mountains as a backdrop.

Qilian, a hidden gem waiting for you to discover!

Known as the Switzerland of the East in books, Qilian is a picturesque town that you would not expect in ...
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Front view of the Bayi Glacier in Qilian county, QInghai.

7 things you can do in Qinghai in China

Before visiting Qinghai in China, I must admit that I have not heard of this province! Ironically Qinghai is the ...
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A bowl of Maocai (冒菜) which is an assortment of food in a bowl of chili oil.

The ultimate Sichuan food guide

So, you are planning to visit Sichuan for the pandas and you are wondering what you can eat there? Lucky ...
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Sertar Buddhist Institute (Larung Gar) at night.

Why you should visit the Sertar Buddhist Institute, and fast

Earlier on I wrote about how I sneaked into the Sertar Buddhist Institute, or Larung Gar. Was it worth all ...
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Display of the skulls of the Tibetans who had a sky burial in Sertar Buddhist Institute.

This is how a sky burial looks like:

I always believed that the Tibetan culture is the most mysterious and intriguing one in the world. Indeed, I fell ...
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View of the many tiny red houses from one of the streets at Sertar Buddhist Institute (Larung Gar).

Sneaking into the largest Buddhist Institute, Sertar (Larung Gar)

You have heard of the Tibetans, the free Tibet movement and the Chinese government oppression of the Tibetans. While many ...
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Infant panda eating bamboo and resting on the belly of its mother panda.

Why Chengdu in China needs to be on your bucket list

Step aside Beijing and Shanghai! Chengdu is the other city you must visit when planning a trip to China. Home ...
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View of the Upper Yubeng Village from the bottom, with the top of the mountain shrouded in fog.

5 day trekking route around Yubeng village

Heading to Lijiang or Shangri-la in Yunnan, China? Why not go further north and explore the sacred Meili snow mountain? ...
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6 Yunnan street food you must try

You have heard of Chinese food, seen it at the corner of the street or even tried it somewhere. However, ...
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View of the Upper Yubeng Village from the end of the village.

Yubeng village: A trek in China you have to do

You probably have heard of the Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan, but you may not have heard of Yubeng village ...
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View of the Stone Forest, or Shilin, in Kunming from atop one of the stone formations.

8 Things to do in Kunming

Also known as the “Spring City”, Kunming in Yunnan, China is famous for its amazing weather all year round. Due ...
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View of the Black Dragon Lake and the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

3 ancient cities in Yunnan that you have to visit

There are thousands of ancient cities and towns in China, and hundreds just in Yunnan. Your time is precious, but ...
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This is the view of the snow mountain to the waterfall from Yubeng village.

Why you should visit Yunnan when in China

Yunnan is seldom on the international tourist radar, simply because everyone is going to Beijing and Shanghai. While Yunnan cannot ...
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Do check out my destinations page to see where else have I written about! Also, find out where I have been so far through my travel footprints page.