There is no doubt about it, China is huge, and unless you have months to explore, where do you start? For those who are on a tight time frame, here are the top 7 things to see in China as a solo traveller.

1. Summer Palace

This area just oozes serenity and peace from its Chinese sculptured gardens, stunning temples and calm lakes, and is a world away from the bustle of Beijing. Originally built as a royal garden in 1750, it is said to be the best preserved imperial garden in the world. You can easily spend a full day here so make sure to see the Tower of the Fragrance of Buddha when you visit.

2. The Beijing Acrobats

How many people can you fit on top of a bicycle? According to the Beijing Acrobats, lots! From the weird and wacky to the amazingly talented. You’ll be dazzled by contortionists, and high flying acrobatics with jaw-dropping displays that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

3. The Oriental Pearl Tower

Shaped like a giant pink baby’s rattle, The Oriental Pearl Tower near the Huangpu River is one of the highlights to see in Shanghai. Facing the Bund, a boulevard of various architectural buildings, the tower has 3 main sightseeing floors and a see-through lift to catch a glimpse of the rest of this amazing city. Plus there’s a revolving restaurant inside to enjoy a slap-up meal with a view. Don’t forget to visit the main shopping district of East Nanjing Road when you’re here too.

4. Tiger Leaping Gorge

Situated in China’s Yunnan Province, Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest gorges in the world and you don’t need a guide to see this beautiful part of China. Skip the lower trail hike and opt for the upper one instead to pass remote hill villages and the gorge at its best. If you don’t fancy hiking it, just go as far as the lower viewing platform to see this stunning area for yourself. Stay in Lijiang before you hike.

5. See a Panda

China has two panda centres which are less touristy and more sustainable than Beijing Zoo. Dujiangyan Giant Panda Valley offers the best panda volunteer program so you can get closer to the pandas, or visit Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Centre to see and learn more about these amazing bears, mostly found in China.

6. Ride a Bullet Train

These trains are so cool that even if you don’t want to travel anywhere, get on one just for the ride. The train from Beijing to Shanghai used to take 15 hours and now takes 5 instead! Not only do they look futuristic from the outside but with the speedometer in front of the seats you can see how fast these really go (250 km/h at top speed). Plus there’s free hot water for you to enjoy some noodles during the journey.

Travelling solo in China. The Great Wall of China

7. The Great Wall of China

You simply can’t pay a visit to China without seeing The Great Wall, the longest wall in the world. Originally built to prevent invasion, the wall is a military defence system of fortresses and watchtowers. In places, some of the wall is crumbling, but the most popular sections of the wall for tourists are Mutianyu and Jinshanling with the original architecture. One of the must-see Chinese icons for your China holiday.

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