The Best of China

China is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations in the world. Aside from Hong Kong, which hardly counts, the world’s most populous country has never been high on your list. These city, countryside, and beach spots should change your opinion, before you’re embarrassed to admit that you’ve never traveled there.

Photo: Long Jing

Beijing: Take advantage of a visa-free layover, store your luggage with your airline, ride the Airport Express subway to Dongzhimen Station, start in the Forbidden City, break away from the Temple of Heaven, relax in a modern teahouse, and then switch to craft cocktails in China’s capital.

Photo: Roberto Franceschini via flickr

Suzhou: Jump on a bullet train to find interlocking canals and stone bridges, walk through UNESCO World Heritage gardens, climb winding steps to a seven-story pagoda, and pause at peaceful temples in one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.

Photo: Fuchun Resort

Fuyang: Chase the Fuchun River, leave the city behind, drive through tiny villages, slow your breathing, relax at a lakeside resort, enjoy a Gua Sha reflexology massage at the spa, eat a tea-scented meal, and wake up surrounded by fog in Eastern China.

Photo: Hidden House

Xinfeng: Follow gorgeous scenery even farther into the countryside, find a manmade lake with crystal-clear water, stay at a new little hideaway on Daijia Mountain, relax with a large stone fireplace and a hot tub on your raised balcony, and eat a homestyle dinner in the main house in rural Xinfeng.

Photo: Narada

Xiangshui Bay: Find paradise in the South China Sea, stay at the foot of Nuiling Mountain, enjoy a plunge pool and plenty of outdoor living space just beyond the glass doors of your villa, fall asleep on your sun lounger, walk along the seemingly endless beach, and watch the pools’ floating lanterns light up at dusk on Hainan Island.

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