The best of China tours may be located outside the cities
China tours have become increasingly popular as of late, and in fact, the social travel website minube ranked the country as one of the best destinations of 2013. Despite its appeal, China's size can often make it difficult to pare down your itinerary. There are so many appealing cities, compelling historical landmarks and natural wonders that it can be hard to choose where to go. In fact, many of the best places to visit reside well outside the country's big metropolises. While it may be impossible to hit every spot worth visiting in just one tour of China, there are several in particular that stand above the rest.
In a country replete with impressive temples, it's a challenge to pick one that's a must-see, but the Hanging Temple may win out simply for its unique location. Situated about four hours outside the capital city of Beijing, this temple is built into the side of a cliff that stands nearly 250 feet above the ground. The structure is comprised of several individual buildings that are connected with narrow walkways, which provide breathtaking views of the valley.
What the Hanging Temple offers in originality, the Potala Palace has in sheer size and stature. An iconic example of Tibetan architecture, this impressive building was built in the 18th century and is the former home of Dalai Lamas and is made up 13 stories. Perhaps most stunning, however, is its location. The Potala Palace is found in the Lhasa Valley, where altitudes reach an altitude of more than 12,000 feet.
Some of China's big cities may have considerable appeal, but the more remote town of Yangshuo is certainly worth a visit. Situated in southern China, Yangshuo is far removed from the busy streets of Beijing and Hong Kong and features miles of emerald green hills. Although it's certainly rural in every sense of the word, there is still plenty to do, especially if you're looking to add some adventure to your tour of China. One of the best ways to do this is by hopping on bikes and exploring the Li River that winds through Yangshuo and the surrounding towns.