Unique Places in China

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by blueskyjohn
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by blueskyjohn
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by blueskyjohn

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in China

  • eMGeographer's Profile Photo

    Kaifeng - huge but non-touristic city

    by eMGeographer Updated Feb 27, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For those who seek for a city not dominated by tourists - visit Kaifeng :)

    There is no:
    - hostels (only cheaper hostels)
    - many old historical monuments
    - interent cafe for foreigners in the center
    - ease in comunication on a train station

    But:
    - in saturdays evenings there is famous food market - all streets in a city center transform into one big restaurant :)
    - temples with no entrance fee where you can feel living faith!
    - there are no tourists!

    Temple in Kaifeng Temple in Kaifeng Temple in Kaifeng Street food in Kaifeng Kaifeng

    Was this review helpful?

  • Goombarok's Profile Photo

    What's to do after seeing the tourist traps?

    by Goombarok Written Aug 27, 2012

    My goodness, why are you hopscotching all over the place? Anyway, here's my offering: On your "free day" in Beijing sleep late, have a long, peaceful breakfast, then go outside to catch a bus. To where? Who cares! Go anywhere the bus takes you for a half-hour or so and then get off and explore. Nothing interesting, grab another bus and do it again. And don't forget to talk to people all over the city. Their poor English and your poorer Mandarin doesn't matter. Chinese people will go out of their way to practice English and you just might learn a few things. Come dinnertime catch a cab and show the driver your hotel card. (Or even better, find a local restaurant with lots of people.)

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Budget Travel
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • ant1606's Profile Photo

    Dongguan - Qifeng Mountain

    by ant1606 Updated Jan 21, 2012

    Short hike to Qifeng Mountain, in the homonym park which is situated in the center of Dongguan (or Dongwan) in the Guangdong Province.
    The imposing park entrance gate, fashioned in the traditional Chinese style and under construction at the time of my visit, opens onto a pond which is probably man made and home to numerous Coi fish. Signs are in Chinese language only but I followed a paved road that keeps climbing, hence figuring out that it must have led to the summit where an observation deck is build in the shape of a typical red Chinese lantern. From a bar or restaurant, which was closed, a stone gate marks the start of a long staircase that reaches the observation structure.
    GPS tracklog available here

    Qifeng Park entrance Qifeng Mountain top Temple in Qifeng Park Qifeng Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • graeme83's Profile Photo

    The Secret Wall Tour

    by graeme83 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Leo's Hostel runs a "secret tour" to the Great Wall, which was probably the highlight of my visit to China. A few of us got in a minibus very early in the morning for a 2 hour journey to the wall. We had arrived in a farming village in the middle of nowhere. Here a really old man took us up a goat trail for about 1 mile. It was quite a steep climb, but we were rewarded with a magnificent view of the mountains and wall. Climbing up to the first watch tower was hard work but worth it for the great views of the wall snaking across the surrounding hills. We were the only people on this section of the unrepaired wall. We walked along the wall for a couple of kilometres and made our way down after an hour or so by a different route. Lunch was included in the price of the tour and was made up of a variety of dishes.

    The cost of the tour was 220RMB.

    Was this review helpful?

  • caslu's Profile Photo

    Massage Center of Blind Person

    by caslu Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tucked away in a corner of the old French concession in Shanghai is the "Massage Center of Blind Person". No hanky panky in this somewhat seedy looking joint, just a great massage at an unbeatable price. However, I have to be honest and say that the night we went here, not only could we not find any blind persons, we didn't even find nearsighted persons.

    Blind Person Massage Info
    Related to:
    • Spa and Resort
    • Budget Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • traveldave's Profile Photo

    Traditional Neighborhoods

    by traveldave Updated Nov 25, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At first glance, Guangzhou seems like an enormous construction zone in which glittering skyscrapers and highrise residential buildings are being constructed at a feverish pace. However, the city, like all Chinese cities, contains many traditional neighborhoods. These areas are worth visiting to get a glimpse of the lifestyle of the majority of the city's residents.

    Traditional neighborhoods are characterized by narrow streets and alleyways where the ubiquitous cars are conspicuously absent. In Beijing these neighborhoods are known as hutong, and in Shanghai they are known as shikumen. As far as I can determine, there is no special term in Guangzhou for these neighborhoods. In any event, the neighborhoods in Guangzhou have different styles of architecture from those in other cities. Most of the buildings in Guangzhou's older areas date from the 1860s onward, and are two to three stories high. Some of the neighborhoods also contain old colonial buildings from the time when foreign powers occupied different parts of the city.

    Traditionally, these neighborhoods were constructed without any apparent central plan. They were occupied mainly by the common people who were merchants, artisans, and laborers. Even today, the lifestyle of the inhabitants is more like that of old-time China than of the modern nation that is now rapidly developing.

    Because of China's rapid development, many of the old neighborhoods are being demolished to make way for highrise buildings and wide boulevards. As the residents move into modern, nondescript areas, a part of China's past and heritage is disappearing.

    Was this review helpful?

  • DueSer's Profile Photo

    Garden of Cultivation

    by DueSer Updated Oct 10, 2010

    Even though all of Suzhou's gardens are on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, it seems most tourists end up at the Master of the Nets garden and this one, the Garden of Cultivation, which is smaller and in the midst of the labrinyth of streets and canals, doesn't get as many visitors.

    It is small but it's also less crowded and a great place to go and relax and enjoy Chinese gardens the way they were meant to be enjoyed - in peace and tranquility.

    It's located at 5 Wenya Lane, Changmen Gate.

    Beautiful Serene Gardens of Suzhou
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • DueSer's Profile Photo

    Da Wall

    by DueSer Written Oct 9, 2010

    Okay, you may be asking yourself: Really? Off the beaten path? The Great Wall? But let me explain.

    There are a lot of different places you can go to see the Great Wall. The Junggyuon Pass is one of the less visited and I think I know why. If you have trouble walking this is NOT the section of the wall you should go to. There are large sections of this part of the wall that are almost completely vertical and VERY difficult to climb.

    The wall rings the hills surrounding this pass and drops from the tops of these hills all the way down to the river valley below. This was a strategic move because if an enemy army was able to make it through this pass it was an almost straight shot right into Beijing. To protect the city, they made the wall ring the pass, making it almost impossible to get through and, now, almost impossible to climb.

    The steps come in varying heights, adding to the difficulty. Also, of the people who do come here, almost every single one of them leaves the parking lot and gets onto the wall by going to the right. I'm not sure why so many people do this (just following the crowd, I guess?) but that makes that section of the wall EXTREMELY crowded and also adds to the difficulty because you don't always have room to keep a hand on the railing (which helps you pull yourself up).

    So, what to do? When you leave the parking lot and get onto the wall, go to your left! It is MUCH quieter over there. When I finally gave up and left the busy part and headed over to the left, I was over there for about 90 minutes and I ran into exactly 7 other people. It was delightful and definitely more enjoyable.

    Junggyuon Pass (the Busy Side of the Wall)
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel
    • Disabilities

    Was this review helpful?

  • szivhk's Profile Photo

    Temples

    by szivhk Updated Feb 26, 2010

    Ask your driver to drop you at the 'Temple of Bliss'. Pay your RMB10 entrance, look around the temple and then stay in the temple grounds. You can walk through to the next temple, the Seven-Tiered Pagoda Temple. This has its beautiful pagoda, but also a large statue of Guanyin. The covered walkway behind the pagoda has wonderful paintings. The red timber against the grey walls of the temple was especially beautiful on the snowy day that I went.

    After enjoying these two temples for an hour or so, I walked a out from the Seven-Tiered Pagoda and turned left towards an amusement park. In the park, you'll find the most magical old Russian Church. Its bell tower forms the gate to the park. Both gems are crumbling almost beyond repair, so see them while you can.

    I exited the park to my right, through the main gate onto a main road. I turned right and walked all the way back to a McDonald's. At this big junction, you'll see one of the roads has an arch over it with a red star at its apex. Walk up that road for about 20 minutes and you'll come across a serene Confucian Temple at the end. It is very well maintained and has peaceful music piped through the grounds. It snowed heavily while I was there. I had the place to myself. It was a magical experience.

    Seven-Tiered Pagoda Temple Guanyin at Seven-Tiered Pagoda Russian Bell Tower / Gate nr Temples Confucious Temple Confucious Temple
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • szivhk's Profile Photo

    Hongbo Square - Hongjun Jie Area

    by szivhk Updated Feb 26, 2010

    If you walk down the hill towards the train station from Hongbo Square, you'll see classic russian architecture on both sides. The real gem is at the bottom of the hill, though, on your right as you approach the station. The low yellow building with the large canopy above the main door is the 'Lungmen Grand Hotel'. According to the plaque, this used to be the Russian Consulate. Art Deco features abound. The coloured glass, the wrought iron work, the wood and brass revolving door, the grand staircase inside... it's a beauty.

    The train station itself is interesting. Stark and functional, it houses every ethnic group you can imagine. It's a real melting pot in there, hectic, smelly and a real thrill.

    Longmen Hotel ex Russian Consulate Inside the Longmen Hotel Train Station Kiosks Heavy insulation keeps the heat in the station
    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • szivhk's Profile Photo

    Hongbo Square - DongDazhi Jie Area

    by szivhk Written Feb 25, 2010

    Leave Hongbo Square, not along the main Dongdazhi Jie, but along the minor road which runs parallel to it on its left. The road is short, more of a small square really, and ends up in a mall. On this short stretch you will see two of Harbins most exquisite villas. I am sorry, again I don't know anything about either, but they must have been extremely beautiful. I carried on into the mall itself. It has a food court on the top floor and a supermarket in the basement. I exited back onto Dongdazhi Jie and walked NE long this major road. Much of it is now closed to traffic while they build the subway stations, but you'll walk down the pavements either side of the site. On the left, you'll see a twin spired, fairly modern church. You can go inside. The church itself is on the third floor. I found it very atmospheric. Across the other side of the road, you'll see two older, smaller Russian style churches. According to another VT user, one is the protestant Nielai Church, built in 1916. It was packed with worshippers when I visited on a Wednesday afternoon. The other is the orthodox Ukranian Church of St Mary. This was locked.

    One of the villas just off Hongbo Square The Protestant Church on Dongdazhi Jie The Othodox Church on Dongdazhi Jie The Twin-Spired Church on Dongdazhi Jie
    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • szivhk's Profile Photo

    Train Station and XiDazhi Jie Area

    by szivhk Written Feb 25, 2010

    Some amazing buildings and the heart of the 'real' Harbin. It would be a real shame if you left Harbin having only seen the touristy places. This part has so much to offer.

    I walked SW from the Train Station along Tielu Jie. People crowd around long distance buses and old railwayman's cottages line the street. I turned left almost at the end of this part of Tielu Jie, before I reached the major junction with Jiaohua Jie. You walk uphill about 150m through typical Harbin apartment buildings until you meet the main road, Xidazhi Jie. Immediately, you will see a huge, Stalinist building in front of you. I don't know what it houses, but the architecture is stark and stunning. Walk NE along Xidazhi Jie. Keep to the pavement, even as you squeeze past the construction of the subway station. You will be treated to a classic Mao statue in the grounds of another stunning building. Further along, you'll see on your right, a Carrefour supermarket in an old communist building. Further still, you'll see a neo-classical behemoth of a building. Again, I am not sure what's inside, but it's very imposing. Eventually, you will come to Hongbo Square. As you enter the square, on your left, you'll see the Heilongjiang Provincial Museum, in a unique orange-red building. You'll see this building sitting almost on its own in the old photos in St Sophia's. On your right, you'll see the 'International Hotel'. An art deco gem.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • nepalgoods's Profile Photo

    Jiuzhaigou

    by nepalgoods Updated Feb 24, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fairytale landscape, beautiful colours, high snowcapped mountains - just beautiful and completely unexpected in China!

    The story of a four-days trip to Jiuzhaigou in 1987, when almost nobody knew about Jiuzhaigou, you find on my Jiuzhaigou-page

    Jiuzhaigou
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • vivalibertad's Profile Photo

    Rugged coast of Longhai's Ancient Volcano

    by vivalibertad Written Jan 17, 2010

    This beautiful coast is located at about 30 minutes from the port of Zhangzhou. It's name in Chinese is 龙海古火山,literally "Longhai's Ancient(old) Volcano". The beach is nice, with some good waves at summer for the surfers. The south tip of the beach is an ideal point for landscape photographers. Packed with basalt rocks formed from years of volcanic activity, composition is not a big problem in this place. The best time to take photographs of this place would be during or before sunrise, when the first warm light hits the idyllic landscape since the beach is facing the east.

    Going here from Xiamen, take a ferry at either 轮渡(Lundu) or 东渡(Dongdu)。Tell the ticket vendor you're going to Zhangzhou, it will cost you from 5-12 RMB. From Zhangzhou's port, take a cab and tell the driver you want to go to Gu Huoshan. It's better you negotiate the price first, we settled at 80RMB one way. It's quite a remote place, don't wonder why there's so few people there.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Beaches
    • Surfing

    Was this review helpful?

  • vivalibertad's Profile Photo

    Rugged coast of Longhai's Ancient Volcano

    by vivalibertad Updated Jan 17, 2010

    This beautiful coast is located at about 30 minutes from the port of Zhangzhou. It's name in Chinese is 龙海古火山,literally "Longhai's Ancient(old) Volcano". The beach is nice, with some good waves at summer for the surfers. The south tip of the beach is an ideal point for landscape photographers. Packed with basalt rocks formed from years of volcanic activity, composition is not a big problem in this place. The best time to take photographs of this place would be during or before sunrise, when the first warm light hits the idyllic landscape since the beach is facing the east.

    Going here from Xiamen, take a ferry at either 轮渡(Lundu) or 东渡(Dongdu)。Tell the ticket vendor you're going to Zhangzhou, it will cost you from 5-12 RMB. From Zhangzhou's port, take a cab and tell the driver you want to go to Gu Huoshan. It's better you negotiate the price first, we settled at 80RMB one way. It's quite a remote place, don't wonder why there's so few people there.

    Was this review helpful?

China Hotels

See all 12825 Hotels in China

Top China Hotels

Guangzhou Hotels
978 Reviews - 2330 Photos
Beijing Hotels
6452 Reviews - 16176 Photos
Shanghai Hotels
3162 Reviews - 8240 Photos
Harbin Hotels
356 Reviews - 911 Photos
Shenzhen Hotels
482 Reviews - 1216 Photos
Hangzhou Hotels
623 Reviews - 1847 Photos
Kunming Hotels
610 Reviews - 1455 Photos
Nanjing Hotels
491 Reviews - 1297 Photos
Zhuhai Hotels
119 Reviews - 285 Photos
Guilin Hotels
476 Reviews - 1244 Photos
Foshan Hotels
40 Reviews - 104 Photos
Xiamen Hotels
186 Reviews - 670 Photos
Chengdu Hotels
619 Reviews - 1634 Photos
Xi'an Hotels
1094 Reviews - 2997 Photos
Changsha Hotels
78 Reviews - 315 Photos

Instant Answers: China

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

25 travelers online now

Comments

China Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of China off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for China sightseeing.
Map of China