7 non-tourist spots students should visit in China

It is often hard for students to find original, interesting places to visit when studying abroad in China. Instead of going to the most tourist-packed spots, students should go off the beaten path to experience the history, culture and different adventures China has to offer.

Whether it be informational tours, performing arts or physical activities, there are so many different activities a tourist can experience.

If you want to try inexpensive, interesting activities that local Chinese citizens do, this list is for you!

Historic villages

In most cities in China, there are multiple historic villages that not many tourists know of. Each home has been passed down through the same family for multiple generations. It is a very different structure than what Westerners are used to living in, and these Chinese families often sell their family art in the living room! Students can obtain a better understanding of how other adults their age live by tour a historical home.

Opera and face-hanging shows

Even if you do not speak Mandrin, Chinese Sichuan operas are easy to understand, and they give tourists a look into the history and culture of China. Specifically, “face changing” is a technique that very few people have been trained to do. It is one of the oldest set of skills in the performing arts. These opera shows keep a dying art alive and help teach foreigners about the culture in China.

Visit malls

Although malls are slowly dying in America, they are booming in China! Some cities have been completely revitalized by new malls opening and bringing in visitors. Most malls have authentic restaurants, the latest styles, and many young people that hang out. In China, most malls have multiple aspects for interesting photos.

Eat at an American restaurant

Big fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks have a completely different aesthetic and business model in China. Students visiting China should take note of how American businesses changed their models to break into the Chinese market. It is an interesting, visual study in marketing! For example, Starbucks in China serves alcohol, and the Pizza Hut serves food from across the world such as spaghetti, steak and seafood!

Walk a non-popular section of the Great Wall

While visiting the Great Wall of China is popular, there are multiple sections of the wall that barely any tourists climb. Students should take a car for a drive outside big cities to climb a quieter, less-populated wall section! These less popular sections are just as beautiful as a more populated section near a big city. Walking a non-crowded section means skipping long lines and being able to walk more.

Tour a jade factory

Jade is an important symbol of China, and many jewelry pieces and decorations are made from the stone. To understand the history of jade and become aware of its culture, students should tour a jade factory. Not only will visitors learn and watch how jade is made, but they can then buy jade pieces at discounted prices!

Canoe at People’s Park

People’s Park is a historically important space in Chengdu, China. It is also a spot that families come to enjoy the weather, relax in the gardens, and post information about eligible bachelors they know. Tourists should rent out a boat on the lake to get a better view of the city, spend a day relaxing like a local, and enjoy the history! People’s Park is a local favorite that not many tourists get to see.

by Celie Shankman

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