Looking for somewhere last minute to go this International Labour Day weekend? Here’s two very accessible places in China to check out for their nature, culture & to escape the bustle of your local day to day life in the big smoke.
Head Northwest Hunan Province, South-central China and you won’t be short of outdoor activities this weekend, with Zhangjiajie presenting a stunning landscape with thousands of karst peaks; a truly impressive sight.
Hang out with the locals
These couple of places are worth a day trip in themselves:
Go to Dehang Miao Village, wedged between the mountains. It’s tiny and has two streets and a square. Great for walking & local entertainment.
Or, check out Biancheng Town – a real hidden gem, known as “Frontier City”. A very peaceful & small along the river with authentic Chinese old streets heaving with tradition & culture.
Let’s get Physical
So many options, so little time over a three day weekend.
Spend the full day hiking in Zhangjiajie National Park. Take the 7.4 km long cableway to the top of the highest mountain, Tianmen (1520 m). There is a glass walkway for the brave to enjoy some serious scenic beauty. Also worth visiting the TianmenTemple and Tianmen cave.
If you’re looking for something a little less heart pulsating, head to Wanfoshan is a pleasant area with lower mountains and great views and still peaceful, an undiscovered gem.
Get some food in your belly
With an array of local flavoured snacks including She Meal, Sangzhi Salted Dried Tofu, Chinese gooseberry juice, Juhuaxin and Jinxiang Grapefruit you won’t leave Zhangjiajie hungry!
Do check out some local Tujia flavours, sour & spicy for a delicious feed, head to Muslim Restaurant – many Vegetarian options too.
If you’re looking for something not so active & outdoors driven, close to the Myanmar border, Tengchong is one to visit. A laid-back small town in a remote corner of western Yunnan province, located in a former volcanic region, it’s a new hotspot for travellers.
Ancient town vibes
Visit the ancient town of Heshun (和顺). Dubbed the “Overseas Chinese’s hometown”, Heshun, just 5km outside of Tengchong. Renowned for its luscious landscapes and 97 volcanoes, Heshun is among the many preserved villages where ethnic culture is kept safe.
Wander the streets of Heshun to see residences that look like museums – old, impressive and rich in history. The Li family mansion (western Yunnan’s richest family in the 19th century) is located at the back of the Heshun Library.
Treat yourself at Hot Springs
There are a load of Hot springs in the charming Tengchong – and they can have up to 2,000 bathers per day! Try somewhere a little off the beaten track & less trafficked – take a short uphill hike to a smaller and more modest hot springs experience at Huangguaqing Hot Springs which can be reached by walking the road or quiet dirt path roughly 1km North from the Rehai ticket office.
Check out the Local Markets & Produce
The famous local products include jade articles, Chinese medicine, “xuanzhi” paper, dried rice noodles, tea oil, small hats of split bamboo, preserved vegetables, articles of rattan work, etc. Check out a local market whilst in town.
Happy long weekend!