Best Places to Visit in Eastern China | Travel Guide (2024) | Things to Do, See & Eat
Eastern China Travel Guide
Quick overview of Eastern China with essential tips and insights. Jump to any section.
Welcome to Eastern China, a region that offers a fascinating blend of ancient traditions and modern marvels. Located on the eastern coast of China, this region is home to some of the country's most iconic landmarks and vibrant cities. From the bustling metropolis of Shanghai, with its towering skyscrapers and vibrant nightlife, to the serene beauty of Hangzhou's West Lake, Eastern China has something to offer every traveler. Explore the historic water towns of Suzhou and Wuzhen, known for their picturesque canals and traditional architecture, or venture to the sacred Mount Putuo, a Buddhist pilgrimage site. With its rich history, diverse culture, and breathtaking landscapes, Eastern China is a destination that will leave you captivated and inspired.
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Best Places To Visit in Eastern China
1. Shanghai: As one of the most populous cities in the world, Shanghai is a vibrant metropolis that seamlessly blends traditional Chinese culture with modernity. The city's iconic skyline, featuring towering skyscrapers such as the Shanghai Tower and Oriental Pearl TV Tower, is a sight to behold. Visitors can explore the historic Bund waterfront area, stroll along the famous Nanjing Road for shopping, or immerse themselves in the tranquility of the classical Yu Garden. Shanghai also offers a thriving culinary scene, with a wide range of local and international cuisines to tantalize your taste buds.
2. Hangzhou: Nestled on the banks of the picturesque West Lake, Hangzhou is renowned for its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. The city's stunning landscapes, including lush tea plantations and serene pagodas, have inspired poets and artists for centuries. Visitors can take a boat ride on the tranquil West Lake, visit the historic Lingyin Temple, or explore the vibrant Hefang Street for local snacks and souvenirs. Hangzhou is also famous for its Longjing tea, so don't miss the chance to savor a cup of this fragrant brew.
3. Suzhou: Known as the "Venice of the East," Suzhou is a charming city renowned for its classical gardens, ancient canals, and traditional architecture. The city's UNESCO-listed gardens, such as the Humble Administrator's Garden and Lingering Garden, showcase the exquisite art of Chinese landscaping. Visitors can also take a boat ride along the picturesque canals, visit the historic Pingjiang Road for its well-preserved traditional houses, or explore the Suzhou Museum to learn about the city's rich history and culture.
4. Nanjing: With a history spanning over 2,500 years, Nanjing is a city that offers a fascinating glimpse into China's past. The city is home to numerous historical sites, including the imposing Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the ancient city wall, and the iconic Confucius Temple. Visitors can also explore the scenic Xuanwu Lake, visit the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall to pay tribute to the victims of World War II, or indulge in the local delicacies at the bustling Fuzimiao Street.
5. Qingdao: Situated on the coast of the Yellow Sea, Qingdao is a picturesque city known for its beautiful beaches, European-style architecture, and refreshing Tsingtao beer. The city's most famous attraction is the iconic Zhanqiao Pier, which offers stunning views of the sea and the nearby Qingdao skyline. Visitors can also explore the historic German Concession area, relax on the golden sands of the popular Qingdao Beach, or visit the Tsingtao Beer Museum to learn about the city's brewing heritage.
6. Wuxi: Located on the banks of the scenic Taihu Lake, Wuxi is a city that seamlessly blends natural beauty with modern development. The city's most famous attraction is the stunning Turtle Head Isle, which offers panoramic views of the lake and surrounding gardens. Visitors can also explore the ancient Grand Canal, visit the Lingshan Grand Buddha for a spiritual experience, or indulge in the local specialty of Wuxi-style spare ribs.
7. Ningbo: Situated on the coast of the East China Sea, Ningbo is a historic city that boasts a rich maritime heritage. The city's most famous attraction is the ancient Tianyi Pavilion, one of the oldest private libraries in China. Visitors can also explore the charming Old Bund area, visit the Ningbo Museum to learn about the city's history, or take a stroll along the scenic Moon Lake.
8. Huangshan: Known as the "Yellow Mountain," Huangshan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers breathtaking natural beauty. The mountain range is famous for its granite peaks, hot springs, and ancient pine trees. Visitors can hike along the scenic trails, take a cable car ride to the summit for panoramic views, or stay overnight in one of the mountain's traditional guesthouses to witness the awe-inspiring sunrise.
9. Wuhan: Located at the confluence of the Yangtze and Han rivers, Wuhan is a bustling city that serves as a major transportation hub in Eastern China. The city's most famous attraction is the historic Yellow Crane Tower, which offers panoramic views of the city and the Yangtze River. Visitors can also explore the scenic East Lake, visit the Hubei Provincial Museum to learn about the region's history, or indulge in the local street food at the lively Jianghan Road.
10. Xiamen: Situated on the southeastern coast of China, Xiamen is a coastal city known for its pleasant climate, beautiful beaches, and vibrant food scene. The city's most famous attraction is Gulangyu Island, a car-free island renowned for its colonial architecture and peaceful atmosphere. Visitors can also explore the bustling Zhongshan Road for shopping and dining, visit the Nanputuo Temple for a spiritual experience, or relax on the sandy shores of the popular Xiamen Beach.
Hotels Map Of Eastern China
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Tours And Activities In Eastern China
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Food & Drinks To Try In Eastern China
1. Xiaolongbao: This famous Shanghai dumpling is a must-try in Eastern China. These steamed buns are filled with juicy pork or crab meat and are known for their delicate skin and flavorful broth inside.
2. Jiangsu-style Braised Pork: This traditional dish from Jiangsu province is made by slow-cooking pork belly in a rich soy sauce-based broth. The meat becomes incredibly tender and absorbs the flavors of the sauce, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
3. Dongpo Pork: Originating from Hangzhou, Dongpo Pork is a classic dish that features tender, fatty pork belly braised in a fragrant mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and spices. The dish is named after the famous poet Su Dongpo, who was known for his love of good food.
4. Zhejiang-style Sweet and Sour Fish: This popular dish from Zhejiang province combines crispy deep-fried fish with a tangy sweet and sour sauce. The fish is typically coated in a light batter and then stir-fried with colorful vegetables, creating a delightful balance of flavors.
5. Beggar's Chicken: A specialty from Jiangsu province, Beggar's Chicken is a whole chicken stuffed with a variety of ingredients such as mushrooms, ham, and herbs. The chicken is then wrapped in lotus leaves and clay before being baked, resulting in a tender and flavorful dish.
6. Dongting Lake Crabs: Dongting Lake in Hunan province is famous for its freshwater crabs, known for their succulent meat and rich flavor. These crabs are often steamed or stir-fried with garlic and chili, creating a spicy and aromatic dish that is a true delicacy.
7. Suzhou-style Mooncakes: Suzhou is renowned for its delicate and flaky mooncakes, which are filled with a variety of sweet and savory fillings such as red bean paste, lotus seed paste, or salted egg yolks. These mooncakes are a popular treat during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
8. Longjing Tea: Hailing from Hangzhou, Longjing Tea is one of China's most famous green teas. It is known for its delicate aroma, smooth taste, and beautiful jade-green color. Sipping on a cup of Longjing Tea is a delightful way to experience the flavors of Eastern China.
9. Wuyi Rock Tea: This oolong tea from Fujian province is highly regarded for its complex flavors and unique mineral-rich taste. It is grown in the rocky cliffs of Wuyi Mountain and is often enjoyed during traditional tea ceremonies.
10. Yellow Wine: Huangjiu, or Yellow Wine, is a traditional Chinese rice wine that has been produced for centuries. It is known for its sweet and mellow flavor, and is often enjoyed as an aperitif or paired with various dishes in Eastern China.
Best Time To Visit Eastern China
The best time to visit Eastern China, China is during the spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) seasons. During these times, the weather is mild and pleasant, with comfortable temperatures ranging from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius (59 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit). The scenic beauty of Eastern China is at its peak during these seasons, with blooming flowers and lush greenery. Additionally, there are fewer tourists compared to the peak summer season, allowing for a more relaxed and enjoyable travel experience. However, it is important to note that Eastern China experiences distinct seasons, with hot and humid summers and cold winters. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid visiting during the summer (June to August) when temperatures can soar above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) and the region is prone to heavy rainfall and typhoons. Similarly, winter (December to February) can be cold and dry, with temperatures dropping below freezing point.
Flight Calendar For Eastern China
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Transportation To Eastern China
There are several transportation options to Eastern China, China.
1. Airplane: The most convenient way to reach Eastern China is by flying into one of the major airports in the region, such as Shanghai Pudong International Airport or Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport. These airports have numerous international and domestic flights connecting to Eastern China.
2. Train: China has an extensive high-speed train network, and there are several high-speed train lines that connect to Eastern China. For example, you can take a high-speed train from Beijing to Shanghai, which passes through Eastern China. There are also other train routes that connect to cities in Eastern China, such as Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Suzhou.
3. Bus: There are long-distance bus services that operate between different cities in China, including Eastern China. These buses are a more affordable option compared to flying or taking the train, but they usually take longer travel times.
4. Car: If you prefer to drive, you can rent a car and drive to Eastern China. China has a well-developed highway system, and there are expressways that connect to cities in Eastern China. However, keep in mind that driving in China can be challenging due to traffic congestion and different driving rules.
5. Ferry: If you are coming from neighboring countries or regions, such as Japan or Taiwan, you can also consider taking a ferry to Eastern China. There are ferry services that operate between certain ports in Eastern China and these destinations.
It is recommended to check the availability, schedules, and prices of these transportation options before planning your trip to Eastern China.