11 Places to Visit in China to Avoid Tourists

Are you trying to avoid crowds and the usual hustle and bustle of China while on your trip? We get it; sometimes you want to have a more intimate adventure without having a crowd of people at the same attraction. Check out our list of the top 11 places to visit to avoid massive crowds but still get the culture and experience you want out of China. Ditch your average China travel guide and head off the beaten path to see China in a whole new way. Keep reading to find out how to obtain your China tourist visa, what are the best China visa services, and how to start prepping for your once in a lifetime trip. 

China Tourist Visa

Before any great trip can begin, a China travel visa is in need. After all, without a China tourist visa, you won’t be granted entry into the country. All US citizens are required to obtain a China travel visa. In most cases, a China tourist visa will be valid for 10 years and allows for multiple entries on the same China travel visa. A China visa service is the recommended way to go about obtaining your China tourist visa. Bear in mind, your China tourist visa will be an extension on your passport, but having a copy of your China travel visa on hand during your stay is recommended. If you are traveling as a family, each member must have their own China tourist visa. Keep reading for guidance on how to choose the China visa service best for you. 

China Visa Service

To begin the process first find a China visa service near you, and start the application for your China tourist visa. While you can obtain a China travel on your own, when you chose a China visa service, the process is much more straightforward and user-friendly. Sites like, chinavisadepartment.com is one of the top China visa service sites, and they will guide you through the whole process of obtaining your China travel visa. In order to start the process for your China tourist visa, you must have all of the paperwork, like passport, travel documents, proof of hotel stay, and a valid license. The China visa service you choose will guide you through the process. Traveling with children? A China visa service will also help you obtain a China tourist visa for minors. 

When will I receive my China tourist visa?

If you decide to go with a China visa service, on average, you should expect to see have your China tourist visa within a couple of weeks. There are other options if you are on a tight schedule though, inform your China visa service provider that you need your China travel visa expedited, and with an additional fee, expect your China tourist visa within a couple of days. The same goes for members of the family, let your China visa service know of any minors in need of an expedited visa, and they will likely be able to assist.

11 Crowd Free Places to Visit

Is your China tourist visa ready to go, have you already found the best China visa service near you? Time to think about all the places you’ll go in this once in a lifetime trip. For those of you who like to stay away from the crowd check out these 11 destinations below while on your trip, for a totally unique travel experience. After you have your China travel visa ready to go, start packing! 

1.  Luoyang 

Luoyang is located on the Yellow River in Central China. It happens to be one of the least traveled ancient cities in China. Learn about Chinese history, religion, and culture on a day trip to this enchanting city. Stop by the Buddhist pagodas and see the tens of thousands of statues of Buddha. Learn about this ancient city right from the source, and explore what this beautiful city has to teach us all. Ask your hotel for directions, or have them assist in finding a bus route to the town. 

2. Kangding

The best city to emerge yourself in the Tibetan culture is this city located in the valley west of Sichuan province. In the past Kangling was used as a trading center between the Chinese and the Tibetans. The small city is full of history stunning scenery. 

Tip: Go in May during the Walking Around the Mountain Festival to see something truly unique. 

3. Shaxi Old Town

Located about two hours from the crowded city of Lijiang Old Town, Shaxi is a haven for those who wish to steer clear of the dense crowds. Most of the buildings have remained untouched in years, and paying a visit to this town is like going back in time. Life in Shaxi hasn’t changed much in the last hundreds of years. 

4. Tung Wan beach

Surf’s up at Tung Wan beach located on the island of Cheung Chau. Locals and tourists come here to catch some of the best waves in the turquoise waters and beautiful views. It’s even home the training center of an Olympic windsurfing champion who brought back Hong Kong’s first Olympic gold medal in 1996. 

5. Hui Hang Trail

Between Anhui and Hangzhou lies the Hui Hang Trail. This hiking trail is 15 kilometers and can be completed within two days at a leisurely pace. Wild forests and the Xiaoyao River are the highlights of this one of a kind trail. The best part, this little known destination is never overcrowded with tourists. 

6. Harbin

A tip for all the cold weather fans, visit China during the winter. In the northeastern city of Harbin you will find a snow and ice festival, actually the largest in the world, from December to February, every year. People flock to see the magnificent ice sculptures and statues made solely from snow and ice. 

7. Yunnan Stone Forest

The Stone Forest is located about 120 kilometers east of Kunming. Many of the trees in this forest resemble stone, giving it an unearthly feel. Since 2007, the forest has been a UNESCO world heritage site. On average, it takes 3 hours to walk through this magical forest, but no rush if you want to make it slower to enjoy more of the scenery, there is no time limit. 

8. Jilin

Another top destination for cold lovers, Jinlin is a little known city in Jilin Province, in the northeast region of China. This is ideal for those who enjoy cold weather and less crowded attractions. Feel one with nature and be surrounded by mountains and snow this winter wonderland, just be sure to pack extra warm clothing. 

9. Private Tours

All over the country, guests can book a private tour alone or with a small group of people. Experienced tour guides will take you and your group to places the general public does not know about. This is one of the best ways to get a more personal experience and avoid popular tourist traps. Look up different tour groups that offer a range of unique activities, and choose the one that best fits your needs. There are plenty of companies in the US and China offering private guided tours. 

10. Shangri-la 

Shangri-la is located in the Himalayan foothills and is 11,000 feet above sea level. Go hiking, biking, or explore jaw-dropping scenery. This non-crowded area is perfect for those looking to relax in the hot springs and get away from the crowds. They even offer guided tours through the foothills if you don’t want to travel solo. Grab a few travel partners or go solo, whatever your preference, this will be a hike you will never forget. Don’t forget to make sure you have extra film too, with some of the most beautiful scenery in China; you will want to take plenty of photos. 

11. Hohhot

Hohhot is a non-crowded area that will save you on hotels and flights. Sleep in one of the huts, and you have gone back in time. The grasslands are not to be missed, and try going in the fall to avoid as many crowds as possible. 

Bonus tips and tricks:

  • Don’t go to the tourist traps to avoid mass crowds
  • Traveling during the offseason will be cheaper
  • Always keep a copy of your China tourist visa on you
  • Your China travel visa will expire after 60 days of staying in the country
  • A new China travel visa is not required to re-enter the country
  • Use a China visa service to make the process of obtaining your China tourist visa simple

China visa services can help get your China tourist visa faster

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