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Plan Your Beijing to Shanghai Vacation

Tombs, temples, elegant gardens, and historic water towns are just the beginning of what this extraordinary region has to offer. This is where Confucius was born, where China’s two great rivers and the Great Wall meet the sea, and where some of the country's most celebrated mountain landscapes have inspired pilgrimages for millennia.

Despite phenomenal development across Eastern China

over the past decade, it’s still possible to lose yourself in the canal-side walkways and idyllic gardens of Suzhou, the "Venice of the East," or pick a path through the cobbled streets of old Yangzhou. Eight of China's 43 UNESCO World Heritage Sites dot this region, with Anhui's villages of Xidi and Hongcun and Shandong's Qufu, Confucius's ancestral birthplace, managing to retain most of their historic and artistic character. Buy Suzhou's famous silk from the owners of the silk-spinning worms, Tsingtao beer straight from the source in Qingdao, and sample the dim-sum delights of Huaiyang cuisine at its most authentic in Yangzhou.

Everyone from Emperor Qin to Chairman Mao has tackled the trail to the summit of Tai Shan, China’s most sacred Taoist mountain. And they didn’t have a cable car to help them. To the south, Huangshan’s mysterious peaks, fringed with spindly pines and swathed in clouds, have inspired whole schools of Chinese painting.

Travel here has never been easier. Increasingly comfortable and internationally minded lodgings are springing up everywhere. Bullet trains have slashed journey times, whisking you from one destination to the next. Remember that the pedestrian in no way has the right of way in China, and take a business card with your hotel's address in Chinese to show a taxi when returning home after a long day’s sightseeing.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Qingdao Hit the beach or explore the historic corners of the Bavarian-styled "Old City," with its mansions, churches, and burgeoning café culture.
  2. Huangshan Framed in spectral mist, Yellow Mountain's towering granite peaks have inspired artists and poets for centuries.
  3. Chengde Originally an imperial summer retreat, this town's magnificent temples, palaces and deer-filled parks now attract weekenders hunting for culture.
  4. Suzhou Discover flower-filled classical gardens in a town still threaded with ancient waterways.
  5. Qufu Visit the birthplace of China’s foremost philosopher and spiritual thinker, the "Great Sage" Confucius.

When To Go

When to Go

Spring and summer is the best time to head to the coast at Qingdao and, farther north, Beidaihe and Shanhaiguan. Save the arduous ascents of...

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