In December of 2022, Chinese authorities ended mass testing, closures and lengthy quarantines. They also announced that travelers entering the country from January 8th would no longer have to go through quarantine, but maintained visa restrictions for foreigners. In March of this year, after a three-year pause of border restrictions due to the pandemic, China fully opened its borders to foreign visitors. Visas are again being issued to international travelers. Many things have changed in the past three years in China’s tourism landscape. Here’s a list with a handful of places that would be worth while visiting.
Covering an area of 72,000 ha in northern Sichuan Province, the extremely rugged Jiuzhaigou Valley rises to an altitude of over 4,800 m and thus includes a series of diverse forest ecosystems. Its beautiful landscape is characterized by a series of narrow karst cones and spectacular waterfalls. The valley is also home to some 140 species of birds, as well as a number of endangered plant and animal species, including the giant panda and the Sichuan takin. Jiuzhaigou National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area is a reserve of outstanding natural beauty, where the rugged terrain of the alpine mountains overlooks a coniferous forest encircling a fairy-tale landscape of clear and eerily blue, green and purple ponds and lakes, waterfalls, limestone terraces, caves and other beautiful features. There are karst formations; the area is a real “natural museum” for alpine karst, hydrology and research.
Covering an area of 72,000 ha in northern Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou Valley has a wide variety of forest ecosystems of considerable importance, such as old-growth forests that are home to many endangered plant and animal species, including the giant panda and the Sichuan takin. Culminating at an altitude of over 4,800 meters in the south on the Minshan Mountains, Jiuzhaigou also has a large number of well-preserved Quaternary glacial relics of great scenic beauty. In 2017, an earthquake struck Jiuzhaigou County, causing serious damages
2. Desert Star Hotel in Ningxia
Located in the Tengger Desert in Zhongwei, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (northwest), the hotel has 200 special rooms, such as the starry sky room, the family room with a courtyard and the room with a beautiful desert view.
Ningxia is regarded as an ideal place for gazing at the stars with its clear skies, dry climate and other environmental advantages.
The construction of the hotel in Shapotou, a national five-A level tourism site and desert reserve, cost 140 million yuan ($19.8 million). It has 24 rooms, including 20 tents and wooden houses and four desert viewing rooms.
3. The Grand Canal
Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014, the Grand Canal is a vast waterway system in the north-eastern and central-eastern plains of China, running from Beijing in the north to Zhejiang province in the south. Constructed in sections from the 5th century BC onwards, it was conceived as a unified means of communication for the Empire for the first time in the 7th century AD (Sui dynasty). This led to a series of gigantic construction sites, creating the world’s largest and most extensive civil engineering project prior to the Industrial Revolution.
It formed the backbone of the Empire’s inland communication system, transporting grain and strategic raw materials, and supplying rice to feed the population. By the 13th century it consisted of more than 2,000 km of artificial waterways, linking five of China’s main river basins. It has played an important role in ensuring the country’s economic prosperity and stability and is still in use today as a major means of communication. Over the years, some sections of the canal had been severely affected by pollution. According to CNN, the entire Grand Canal was cleaned up and reconnected.
4. Universal Beijing Resort
Consisting of seven immersive themed lands, spiced up by 37 attractions and more than twenty shows, the first Universal Studios theme park in China competes in size with its big brothers elsewhere. Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness is the world’s first land dedicated to the Dragon Warrior and will feature, among other attractions, a kung fu training camp like the one used by Po in the movie, as well as a Mr. Ping’s noodle house to dine at, also inspired by the movie version of the character. Completely covered, the experience will take place in ‘Legendary China’ and is decorated with Chinese architectural buildings.
Snow-covered roofs, cobblestone streets and mysterious places share space in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, a land focused on visitors of all ages where the youngest can enjoy the adventures of the most famous wizard of the big screen.
Minion Land is an exciting land (the largest in the world with such a theme) created for families to share their time inside the resort while meeting the mischievous Minions, who are brought to life through immersive experiences. Jurassic Park fans will find Jurassic World Isla Nublar a place where dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptors, Ankylosaurs and the fearsome Indominus Rex roam the Earth once again.