Interested in having a different adventure? Then read this guide to activity holidays in China – if you get away from the tourist trail it offers so much more than most people realise. To demonstrate this point we’ve picked 5 great Chinese adventures to give you some ideas.
Have the the stories of Marco Polo visiting China in 1275 inspired you, like many other travellers, to visit? Well it’s been reported that Marco Polo made it all up! That he drew on tales from merchants rather than visiting China himself. Archaeological information appears to back up these claims, as his descriptions don’t match the physical evidence.
That said whether he visited or not – the common consensus is that he did – the desire to visit somewhere so different should not be ignored. To have visited 20 to 30 years ago would have been a conversation-stopper. But today China is a regular spot on the tourist trail.
But there are still many great Chinese adventures to be had. One of its most remarkable features is its outright size and vast cultural and geographical diversity. Yes, the well known destinations are worth visiting, but get away from the tourist attractions and activity holidays in China offer so much more.
Getting to China is easy. You no longer need to follow the Silk Road – although if that is one of the best overland holidays in the world. These days most countries have direct flights to multiple cities in China, even getting a Visa is pretty simple. Although document authentication in the Visa process can be more complex so click here for help.
As one of the top emerging destinations for action sport and adventure holidays, China has a huge amount to offer. Here are a few ideas and possibilities to whet your appetite:
Chinese martial arts (Kung Fu) are over 4,000 years old and techniques are now practiced all over the world. But surely it is better to learn martial arts in China than anywhere else? Not only will you improve your physical heath but also your mental discipline and spiritual knowledge.
There are schools based amid the jaw-dropping lakes and canyons of China’s Fujian Province. They are run by certified Kung Fu Masters and Shaolin Monks that can be booked through Rising Dragon School.
On China’s western border you’ll find Tibet which is a disputed territory. What’s not in question, however, is the beauty of this province/country. From its verdant grasslands and forests rise the Himalayas. Thanks to this, Tibet has taken the title ‘the roof of the world’.
There are many great activities you can do here. Mountaineers can summit Everest from Tibet and some of the world’s highest unclimbed peaks are located here. Trekking in Tibet is popular with good reason but so is rafting, mountain biking, canyoning, kayaking and so much more.
The least original of these great Chinese adventures, but the Great Wall of China is 5,000 kilometres long and not all of it is touristy. Trek further east, or just a short distance from the popular tourist spots. You’ll find an altogether different experience and get a better sense of how the wall evolved over successive dynasties.
Perhaps head to ShanHaiGuan or to Dandong, where views from the final watchtower open to the fields of North Korea. Although only a third of the wall remains following its route in rural China would be an incredible adventure. With good reason it is considered to be one of the best historical hiking holidays.
Hainan Island in the South China Sea is known as ‘The Hawaii of China’. There are good wind conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing in Hainan almost all year round. Furthermore, it has the best surf breaks in China receiving swells from both the north east and south. It’s developing fast so visit sooner rather than later.
Away from the major industrialised centres, China retains a classical beauty. To take in as much of the traditional way of life that still exists across the country, it’s best to cycle. Consider heading to Yangshuo and Lianshan.
Small villages interrupt the paddy fields and bamboo forests, and at a bikers pace you’ll get a better impression, rather than create an unwelcome carbon footprint. Leave the bloating, concrete metropolises long behind and get back to the way China was, and in some places clearly still is.
We hope you found this guide to activity holidays in China inspiring. Check out out China adventure travel page for more ideas.