China with children

Traveling to China with children can be an incredible experience that is full of cultural wonders, breathtaking landscapes, and exciting attractions for the whole family. This expert guide is here to help you plan the perfect family trip to China. It covers everything from what to see, where to go, what to eat, parks and attractions for children, the best time to visit, a suggested 14-day travel itinerary, and essential tips for tourists.

What to See in China

  • The Great Wall of China (Mutianyu): One of the world’s most iconic landmarks, the Great Wall offers convenient options for families, such as chair lifts and cable cars at Mutianyu.
  • Terracotta Army in Xi’an: A mesmerizing archaeological site that features thousands of life-size terracotta warriors, built to guard the tomb of China’s first emperor.
  • Forbidden City in Beijing: A must-visit site in the Chinese capital, this vast complex includes hundreds of historical buildings and stunning gardens.
  • Giant Buddha in Leshan: Carved into a red cliff, this is the world’s largest Buddha statue. It is perfect for a visit with kids due to its impressive size and fascinating history.

Where to Go

  • Beijing: The historic capital city is brimming with cultural treasures, including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Summer Palace.
  • Xi’an: An ancient city that served as the capital of several Chinese dynasties and was the starting point of the Silk Road.
  • Chengdu: Home to giant pandas and a hub for panda research and breeding. Additionally, the local traditional market offers a unique shopping experience.
  • Shanghai: The most modern and cosmopolitan city in China. Recommended places to visit include The Bund and Shanghai Disneyland.

What to Eat

  • Dim Sum: A variety of small, flavorful dishes served in small portions, perfect for sampling a range of Chinese flavors.
  • Hot Pot in Sichuan: A unique culinary experience where you cook your food directly at the table in a spicy and savory broth.
  • Tanghulu Candied Fruits: A popular street snack in Beijing made from sugar-coated hawthorn berries on skewers.

Parks and Attractions for Children

  • Shanghai Disneyland: The largest amusement park in China offers a variety of roller coasters, shows, and attractions for the whole family.
  • Chengdu Panda Base: A perfect place for kids to learn about pandas and observe them up close in a natural environment.
  • Old Town of Yangshuo: A picturesque town offering outdoor activities like biking and bamboo rafting along the Li River.

When to Go

The best time to visit China is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and attractions are less crowded.

Approximate Travel Plan for 14 Days

Days 1-3: Beijing

  • Day 1: Visit the Temple of Heaven and Olympic Park.
  • Day 2: Explore the Great Wall (Mutianyu) and visit the Temple of Heaven.
  • Day 3: Visit the Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, and Forbidden City.

Days 4-5: Xi’an

  • Day 4: Take an overnight train from Beijing to Xi’an and explore the city.
  • Day 5: Visit the Terracotta Army and explore the local market.

Days 6-7: Chengdu

  • Day 6: Visit the Giant Panda Research Base and explore the local market.
  • Day 7: Take an excursion to the Giant Buddha in Leshan.

Days 8-10: Shanghai

  • Day 8: Explore The Bund and visit the Shanghai Museum.
  • Day 9: Spend a day at Shanghai Disneyland.
  • Day 10: Explore the city streets and dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Days 11-13: Yangshuo

  • Day 11: Take a train journey from Shanghai to Guilin and transfer to Yangshuo.
  • Day 12: Hike up Moon Hill and enjoy a bamboo rafting trip along the Li River.
  • Day 13: Relax and enjoy the rural scenery.

Day 14: Return to Hong Kong and take a flight to London.

Tips for Tourists

  • Book train tickets and domestic flights in advance to avoid crowds and traffic jams.
  • Your kids may not enjoy all the local cuisine, so it’s advisable to bring some familiar snacks from home.
  • A local guide can make navigating easier and provide insights into local culture and history.
  • Ensure you have a mobile phone with a local SIM card or active roaming service to stay in touch with family back home.
  • Download apps like Google Translate and WeChat for communication and local information.

A family vacation in China is a special and rewarding experience. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can enjoy an unforgettable family adventure in this captivating country.

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