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The Less Traveled Roads in China

Updated on April 25, 2016
Terra Cotta Warriors:Photo by Peter Morgan from Nomadic, Wikipedia
Terra Cotta Warriors:Photo by Peter Morgan from Nomadic, Wikipedia

Less Traveled Roads of China

China, the third largest country in the world. A vast country of lofty mountains, lush landscapes and ancient history. It is a country with cities of old dating back over 5,000 years as well as cities that hold the latest technology. In truth, China is a country where world travelers visit often. In 2008 alone, China had 24.33 million international tourists.

It would take years to travel across China and see everything. In fact, it can take over a week to see just one city or area. But the road less traveled in China is a great way to avoid all the crowds and tourist chaos. In honesty, some of China’s less traveled roads lead to numerous adventures, some amazing history, and vivid landscapes.

Soldier and Horse:  Photo by Robin Chen
Soldier and Horse: Photo by Robin Chen

When to Travel China

The best time to visit the back roads and less traveled roads in China is generally in the spring. March through May or in the fall, September to early November are the ideal times of year. On the contrary, you want to avoid touring during major holidays. Many people do not realize that celebrations can last up to a week. For example, Spring festival (Chinese New Year) is the most important holiday in China which starts in late January or early February. The Chinese New Year is a lunar holiday and the beginning day of the festival changes with the cycles of the moon. National Day is celebrated on October first and usually lasts 7 days. The national Labor Day holiday is held on May 1st lasting a week or more. The Moon Festival is the harvest festival that is observed on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month. And the Dragon Boat festival is recognized on the fifth lunar month.

The Peking Man:   Photo by Mutt, Wikipedea
The Peking Man: Photo by Mutt, Wikipedea


While you take the road less traveled in China, visit Dragon Bone Hill where one of the first specimens of Homo erectus was discovered. The Peking Man is estimated to be 300,000 to 550,000 years old. Dragon Bone Hill is located about 31 miles southwest of Beijing. It is surrounded by a chain of mountains and grassy hills. This magnificent area is rich in limestone and mineral deposits attracting geologists from all over the world.

Dragon Bone Hill also has a fine specimen of prehistoric bones of the Pachycrocuta. The Pachycrocuta is a gigantic prehistoric hyena. In its time, the hyena stood around 100 cm (39 in) at the shoulder and weighed approximately 190 kg (420 lb). To human knowledge, it is the largest hyena that ever lived.

Statues in the Imperial Tomb  Photo by Zingaro, Wikipedia
Statues in the Imperial Tomb Photo by Zingaro, Wikipedia


During your travels in China it is recommended to visit one of the most amazing coastal cities named Xiamen; also known as Amoy. Xiamen is located southeast of Frujian province. It has a spectacular view of the Taiwan Strait. In fact, recently it was named China’s 2nd most suitable place for living.

Xiamen Underwater Sea World

Your China travels at the Underwater Sea World takes you through a long glass underwater world that has over 10,000 aquatic creatures including baby sharks, turtles, starfish and coral gardens. The Xiamen Underwater Sea World is located on Longtou Road close to the bay.

Zhongshan Park

Zhongshan Park is a lush tropical park filled with dainty ferns, colorful wildflowers, numerous palm trees and quiet ponds. You can also hike ancient footpaths that lead to inspiring temples. The park is tucked away about 125 yards east of Park East Road.

Xiamen Beach

Xiamen Beach has miles of beach for swimming, bike riding, sunbathing, shopping for souvenirs, and exploring new food. It is located southeast from downtown.

Garden Orchids: Picture by Wikipedia
Garden Orchids: Picture by Wikipedia

Xiamen: More Wonders

Wanshi (Ten Thousand Stone) Botanical Garden

A less traveled road in China is in Xiamen at the Wanshi Botanical Gardens. Wanshi is not only amazing but awe-inspiring. There are over 4,000 species of flora in these glorious botanical gardens that gracefully hold breathtaking orchids, dense bamboo trees, and aromatic eucalyptus. As well, because of the thousands of types of plants it has become a major research center. The gardens are located on the north Lion Hill of southeast Xiamen urban district.

Hulishan Fortress

Internationally recognized as a cultural and historical site, built in 1894. Filled with ancient military weapons, various statues, and armaments. The fortress is made out of camphor tree sap, glutinous rice, liquid brown sugar, clay, and sand.

Jimei School Village

A blend of Chinese and western architecture. Sitting on the lake is Jimei High School, known as the world’s most beautiful high school. With its massive Gothic structures and park, a spectacular sight. Located 10 minutes north of Xiamen.

Gulangyu Ferry:    Picture by Derekrogerson, Wikipedia
Gulangyu Ferry: Picture by Derekrogerson, Wikipedia

More in Xiamen

Gulangyu Island

Glorious China travel on Gulangyu Island is definitely a road less traveled: A small island just a 5 minute ferry ride from Xiamen. Filled with cobblestone streets and Bavarian patios. A tranquil island that prohibits the use of cars. While you are there, visit Koxinga Memorial Hall and Sunlight Rock.

Nanpuoto Temple

A Tang dynasty ( 618-907 AD) temple with ivory sculptures, golden Buddha’s, and bronze bells. There is a vegetarian restaurant, the Hall of Heavenly Kings, the Hall of Great Mercy, and the Treasured Hall of Great Majesty. The temple is surrounded by the sea on the southeast side of Xiamen.

Nanputuo Bell Tower:  Photo by Gisling, Wikipedia
Nanputuo Bell Tower: Photo by Gisling, Wikipedia


Eternal City, the old capital of China and one of the oldest cities in Chinese history. Enclosed by the City Wall of Xi’an, built in the 14th century.

One might consider seeing the Terracotta Warriors and horses, funerary art buried with the First Emperor of Qin Shi Huang, in 210-209 BCE. There are over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses.

Other road less traveled areas to see in Xian are

  • Bell and Drum Tower
  • Artifacts in Shaanxi History Museuam
  • Stonework inscriptions of Stele Forest
  • The Small and Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
  • And the hundreds of temples in various areas

Have you traveled the Back-roads of China?

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    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      Hi Rose

      I am glad you enjoyed the Hub. Keep me posted on your travels to China and all the places you visited.

    • Rose Kolowinski profile image

      Rose Kolowinski 5 years ago

      China is a place I definitely want to visit someday and I am a fan of getting away from the touristy places, so this is great info! Thank you!

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      What wonderful feedback Derdriu. Thank you so much. Yes, China is a big place and there is a lot to see. I think the best type of traveling is away from all the tourists. Thank you for the kudos.

    • profile image

      Derdriu 5 years ago

      Mecheshier, I really like how your back roads' itinerary offers something for everyone's interest. It can be so difficult to figure out priorities when just about everything needs to be seen in such a giant of a country as China.

      Since I'm particularly interested in ancient China, I like how you mention the exhibits of Peking man and the terra cotta army. But I also love to see what other countries have in the way of wildlife. What you write about the botanical garden, the island, and the underwater sea world definitely fit the bill there. And it's also great how you throw in about the world's most beautiful high school to the north of Xiamen.

      Is it even possible to have an especially favorite site what with all the ancient and modern treasures China has to offer?

      Up + UFABI.

      Respectfully, and with many thanks for sharing, Derdriu

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 6 years ago

      jimboj26, sorry to hear that your experience was not so pleasant. I am sure the typhoon did not help. Glad you escaped it.

    • jimboj26 profile image

      jimboj26 6 years ago from Gladstone, Mo

      I visited Tsingtao from a Navy ship running from a typhoon in WWII,wouldn't make a good travelogue; seemed

      like there was thousand, toothy, grining kids. We had

      nothing but a few pennies

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 7 years ago

      Thank you Yourglobalgirl. China is an amazing place.

    • Yourglobalgirl profile image

      Yourglobalgirl 7 years ago from UK

      Wonderful- this has got me planning my next trip....

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 7 years ago

      Thank you Nell. Yes, the back roads of China is a definite "must visit".

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, what a wonderful place! I would love to visit, thank you for all the great information, cheers nell

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 7 years ago

      Yes indeed. Xian... I am speechless. Far East China would definitely make a great piece. Thank you for you support!

    • Foodstuff profile image

      Foodstuff 7 years ago from Australia

      Yes, China is fascinating. I went on a Silk Road trip that started off in Xian - and seeing the terracotta soldiers on site and the total tomb complex was just mind blowing. Far west China - Xinjiang etc - are fascinating places too. The crossing of many civilisations across this whole area has left a fascinating footprints.

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 7 years ago

      Thanks a bunch kaltopsyd! Yes, there are some great places to travel in China!

    • kaltopsyd profile image

      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Wow, you've just made me really interested in travelling to China. I've never thought of it. Good hub! Thanks!

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 7 years ago

      Yes, a country that is filled with wonder! I love archaeology and history!

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      China looks like it is a fascinating place to visit, I would especially love to see all of the archaeological sites and look around the museums

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Those are great place for traveling. I liked your tips, it useful for us.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Great travelogue! I want to go. Well done.

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 8 years ago

      I just talked to a neighbor of mine, he had spent 13 years on the backroads of China. He has a lot of pics and stories. I think I could probably update this article at a later time.. China. what an amazing place.

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley 8 years ago from California

      Wonderful place, China. I'll continue to check it out, at least mentally. Later!

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 8 years ago

      Hey guys!!! Thanks for the great support!

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 8 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Congratulations on being nominated as a Hubnugget Wannabe. Fascinating hub on China and great pictures!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Mecheschier, I was fortunate enough to travel to China and have visited Xian and Xiamen. We had a wonderful time there learning and enjoying the tourist spots. :)

      Congratulations for being a Hubnugget Wannabe! Yes, it is! See for yourself:

      Don't forget to vote and invite your friends to vote for your hub okay?

      Have fun with the Hubnuggets and visiting China,

      Ripplemaker and the Hubnuggets Team

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 8 years ago

      Thanks guys

    • Yangtze profile image

      Yangtze 8 years ago

      Beautiful pictures and nice hubs,cheers!

    • profile image

      ralwus 8 years ago

      Great hub with cool pix too. thanks

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 8 years ago

      Absolutely.. Where are your favorite places?

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I can't get enough! It was one of my favorite places. I also went to a real doctor which was an amazing experience too. Ah, China, so much to see and do. You have to keep going back.

      Thanks for sharing!