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China: Explore the unexplored in 2015

March 09 2015
other excursionists in the Forbidden City. As a traveler you can visit the typical tourist attractions in China or explore the lesser known jewels of this vast land. If taking the offbeat path is your style, China will not disappoint you. Despite being the most populated country in the world, China has a treasure trove of mesmerizing wilderness. Read on to find some of China's unique offerings.

Jiuzhaigou Valley

Jiuzhaigou Valley

Located to the North of Chengdu city in the Nanping County is an enchanting valley that unfolds like a dramatic dream with a backdrop picked straight out of a fairytale book. The Jiuzhaigou Valley envelops mystical waterfalls, snow-clad mountains, lush forests and radiant blue lakes (or Haizi, as called by the locals). Due to its varied diversity of flora and fauna, the Valley has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Highlights include traditional performances by the Tibetan and Qiang natives, local eateries and souvenir products.

How to get there:

Direct/connecting flights from major cities of China to Jiuhuang Airport. You can either drive down or take public transport to reach there.

Zhenyuan Ancient Town

Zhenyuan Ancient Town

Surround yourself with the unspoilt beauty and undisturbed environment of a tiny town called Zhenyuan. Situated on the eastern part of Guizhou Province, Zhenyuan covers only 3.1 square kilometers of the country's domain. This 2000-year old ancient town, steeped in Chinese history and culture, showcases around 160 scenic structures with recherché palaces, caves, temples and pavilions. Very few are aware that a section of the 300-km Great Wall of China passes close to the city's boundary. Take a boat cruise on the Wuyang River or simply sit by the riverside and admire the arresting panorama of Zhenyuan.

How to get there:

Direct/connecting flights from major cities of China to Kaili Huangping Airport. You can either take a train to Zhenyuan or take public transport to reach there.

The Ulan Buh Grassland

The Ulan Buh Grassland

What once was an ancient battlefield is now a prepossessing spread of grassland in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of China. Here meadows are covered with beautiful flowers in the choicest colors and shapes. There are birch forests, crystalline streams and a balmy essence that will make any traveler fall in love with this locale. During the five month long winter, you can ski and snowboard on the 300-mm thick snow.

How to get there:

Take the bus route from Chifeng Bus Station (at Chifeng City) to Keqi Town. Board any of the buses that ply from Keqi Town to the Ulan Buh area.

Gulangyu Island

Gulangyu Island

Gulangyu Island Revel in complete isolation from the monotonous buzz of the outside world in the Gulangyu Island. This subtropical town in the southern province of China, on the outskirts of Xiamen City, comes with refreshing beaches, delicious seafood and charming European-style architectural buildings. A pedestrian's paradise, Gulangyu (often referred to as the 'traffic-free island'), has banned the use of automobiles to preserve the pristine sanctity of its natural reserve. The island has a massive collection of over 5,000 pianos and a piano museum dedicated to all music lovers.

Must-visit places include the bird sanctuary, Sunlight Rock Hill (for a panoramic view of the shoreline), Garden of Beans (Shuzhuang Huayuan) and Bright Moon Garden (Haoyueyuan). And, if you seem to miss the urban city life, take a ferry to Xiamen for an exciting nightlife experience.

How to get there:

Direct/connecting flights from major cities of India to Xiamen. The Gulangyu Island is a 7-minute ferry ride from there.

Being a part of unperturbed landscapes, experiencing minority cultural influences and treading where very few have ventured before is a traveler's delight. Set forth for such a delightful opportunity in these stunning locales of China. Bon Voyage!

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