Three Off The Beaten Path Experiences in China
If you’ve ever visited China, you’ve probably noticed this obvious observation: IT’S CROWDED. The over 1.3 billion citizens of China are impossible to miss, especially in the big cities. However, it isn’t just the locals that are causing crowds, it’s also the tourists. According to China National Tourism Administration, by 2020 China will become the largest travel destination in the world. In that year, there will be 137.10 million international travelers to China, taking up 8.6% of the global share.
A combination of those millions of foreign visitors and the millions of domestic Chinese tourists have made it difficult to avoid crowds while traveling. The photo below is an extreme example, but it shows just how crowded some of China’s more famous tourist attractions can get:
So how can you avoid this overcrowding?
There are a couple of options for you. First, you can use a tour company to create a customized, individual tour for you and your companions. You can simply tell them you want to go to places that are uncrowded and off the beaten path and they will create an itinerary for you. Companies like Wendy Wu Tours offer tailormade tours that do just that. This is the easiest and quickest way to get away from the crowds.
Here are three off the beaten path destinations for you to consider in China:
1. Horse Trekking in Langmusi
Located in the near dead-center of China and on the Southern edge of the Tibetan Plateau is the town of Langmusi. It could be considered as one of the gateways to Tibet and the town itself is infused with Tibetan culture and natural beauty. However, the real draw to the area is the traditional nomadic grasslands that are located outside of town. The best way to see this area is by horseback with a local nomad as your guide. You will trek across the rolling green hills as you experience their nomadic lifestyle first hand, and you even stay overnight with real nomadic families. Here is a link to learn about how to get to Langmusi as well as how to sign up for a trek.
2. China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
If you really want to avoid crowds, look no further than Inner Mongolia. Spanning approximately 1,200,000 square kilometers, Inner Mongolia is the third largest subdivision of China. Although it makes up 12% of China’s total land area, only 1.84% of China’s population lives there. The region also features nearly 1/3 of the entire Wall of China, making it perfect for plenty of site-seeing with minimal crowding. Horses are the best way to see Langmusi, but camels are the best way to see Inner Mongolia!
3. Mount Putuoshan (Putuo)
Putuoshan is a great option for travelers who only have limited time in China or are limited to only visiting somewhere near Shanghai. The island is a holy site in Chinese Buddhism and it has a real magical feel to it. The island features a good number of amazing monesteries as well as a couple of beaches. Not a bad variety! No visit to the island is complete without trying some Putuoshan Beer!