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Eastern China Travel Guide

  • Photo: zhu difeng / Shutterstock

Plan Your Eastern China Vacation

In Eastern China, the past's rich legacy and the challenges and aspirations for China's future combine in a present that is dizzying in its variety and speed of transformation. Zhejiang and Fujian, often overlooked on the standard Beijing–Shanghai–Hong Kong tourist trail, offer some of the country's most verdant scenery and a plethora of diversions, like hiking through ancient villages,

bicycling along lush tea fields, and lounging on lively beaches.

Zhejiang has always been a hub of culture, learning, and commerce. The cities, with their elegant gardens, elaborate temples, and fine crafts, evoke the sophisticated and refined world of classical China's literati. Since the Southern Song Dynasty (1127–79), large numbers of Fujianese have emigrated around Southeast Asia. As a result, Fujian Province has strong ties to overseas Chinese. In 1979 Fujian was allowed to form the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ)—a testing ground for capitalist market economy—at Xiamen. Today, although Xiamen is a wealthy place with a vibrant economy, the city has managed to retain its Old World charm.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Hangzhou Teatime Sip sublime Longjing tea and buy silk in the footsteps of Marco Polo at Hangzhou's romantic West Lake.
  2. Qiantian Tidal Bore Marvel at one of nature's most enthralling spectacles the mighty tidal bore at the mouth of Zhejiang's Qiantian River.
  3. Gulangyu Wander through narrow alleyways filled with a fascinating blend of Chinese and European architecture, and recharge in seaside garden pavilions without dodging traffic on this historic, car-free island.
  4. Shaoxing Wine Dramatized by one of China's most famous writers, Lu Xun, Shaoxing wine is celebrated throughout the region. Potent for sure, Shaoxing wine is de rigueur for local dining.
  5. Hakka Roundhouses The founder of modern China, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, came from China's proud Hakka minority people, whose ancient tradition of rounded-home architecture is now treasured.

When To Go

When to Go

Fall and spring are the ideal times to visit the region. Spring, especially April and May, has very comfortable temperatures, and the trees...

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