Qixi, or the Seventh Night Festival, is the Chinese Valentine's Day. According to Chinese legend, a cowherd fell in love with a weaving maid but they were separated by the Milky Way and can only meet once a year in heaven on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. In honor of the Valentine's Day, I've compiled a list of 10 romantic Chinese attractions for couples to visit. These stirring places share one thing in common: a gorgeous backdrop tailor-made for romance.
Sometimes the best spot for a couples' getaway is the least obvious, the one where romance is all the more special. The Hutongs of Beijing is such an unconventional yet surprisingly romantic place. The Hutongs are alleyways lined with quadrangle courtyard houses that have been home to Beijing's families for centuries, and thus offer a glimpse into local people's lives.
Take a rickshaw or pedicab to get around the winding Hutongs and you will know how native people live their lives. Make sure you save time to visit a local family and learn to make Chinese dumplings - your relationship will grow stronger on the process of learning.Rickshaw ride in Beijing Hutong. Photo Credit: Lars and Julia Hustad
Recommended China tour with Beijing hutongs
Shanghai - Guilin - Xian - Beijing
If the idea is to make your lover feel lighter than air, head to the Yulong River, a tributary of Li River in Yangshuo Town. The serene river is surrounded by a primitive yet idyllic landscape: green bamboo forests, green rice paddies, rolling karst hills, village women hand washing clothes, smoke curling upward from the chimneys, old men make cormorant fishing, flocks of ducks swimming in the water.
With the picturesque rural scenery as the backdrop, the best thing to do is biking along the river or drifting on a traditional bamboo raft to get close to nature.Scenery of Yulong River in Yangshuo.
Recommended Guilin tour
Shanghai - Guilin - Xian - Beijing
Mt. Huangshan is the most famous mountain in China, and perhaps the most romantic one as well. It is famous for the oddly-shaped rocks, peculiar pine trees, sea of clouds, hot springs and winter snowscapes. It is a great experience to spend two or three days on the mountain enjoying sunsets/sunrises, picturesque mountain vistas, refreshing air and moments of tranquility.
And if you decide to show your love for each other, go adding your love lock on the chains and throwing the key into valley, symbolizing, according to legend, that no one will be able to break your bond. Every year, a multitude of lovers come with padlocks engraved with their names and secure them to the chains that run up the mountain trails.
Recommended China tour with Huangshan
Beijing - Xian - Guilin - Hangzhou - Huangshan - Shanghai - Suzhou - Shanghai
If a hand-in-hand stroll with city splendor is your thing, the Bund of Shanghai could be the ideal spot for you. Facing the skyscrapers of Pudong across the Huangpu River and lined with colonial-era buildings of different styles, the Bund has been the most romantic corner of Shanghai since a century ago.Best time to go there is in the evening. First arrange a private, candlelit dinner at one of Shanghai' iconic restaurants overlooking the bund, stare intently into each others' eyes with some of the best views of the Shanghai skyline out there. Then take a stroll along the 1.5-kilometer-long promenade with views of the massive and gleaming financial towers in Pudong. When your feet get tired, hop on a Huangpu River cruise ship and take in the sights as you slowly drift by. If this cannot be called romantic, then I don't know what romantic is.
Recommended China tour with Shanghai
Beijing - Shanghai
The West Lake is renowned for its scenic beauty that blends well with historical and culture sites. Gardens, pagoda-topped hills and elegant bridges rise over willow-lined waters. The lake and its environs have all the elements of a traditional Chinese landscape garden.
To enjoy the scenery, walk around the lake, take a boat trip or bike around it. As evening comes, walk to the stone arched bridge at the eastern end of the Bai Causeway to share the gorgeous sunset glow over Leifeng Pagoda. Do not forget to sip of a cup of Dragon Well Tea at one of the teahouses overlooking the West Lake. A pleasant chat over a cup of tea is sure to make you feel totally relaxed and refreshed.
Many legends of the West Lake will also evoke your romantic mood. The most famous one - Legend of Lady White Snake Legend - goes that: on a rainy day, a white snake fairy encountered the poor scholar Xuxian on the Broken Bridge of the West Lake. They fell in love at first sight and got married and then had a son, but the evil monk called Fahai imprisoned the White Snake in the Leifeng Pagoda.
Recommended China tour with Hangzhou
Shanghai - Suzhou - Hangzhou - Guilin - Longsheng Town - Xian - Beijing
This small town is home to the Bai ethnic minority, a Tibetan-Burmese folk who established the Nanzhao Kindom in the 8th century. It retains the old world charm - narrow cobbled streets, typical Bai houses with stone walls and dark blue tile roofs, local women in traditional dress selling Bai ethnic tie-dying textiles, preserved fruits and tobacco.To get your lover in the mood, take a boat trip on the Erhai Lake, bike out to some of the smaller villages of the local Bai minority group, roam around the Foreigner Street brimming with antique shops and charming cafes, check out the colorful markets and sit in a tea house enjoying the traditional Three Cups of Tea service, all these moments will be beautiful memories to remember.
Recommended Yunnan tour with Dali
Kunming - Dali - Lijiang - Shangri-la
A stroll down the flagstone-paved streets through old mansions, traditional workshops and stores will make your companion naturally put hands in yours. A boat ride through the lantern-lined canals enables you two to savor the tranquility and see more of local lives.
The towns' location near Shanghai and Suzhou makes them easily accessible for short visits.
Zhouzhuang Water Town near Suzhou.
Recommended China tour with Suzhou
Beijing - Xian - Chongqing - Yangtze River - Yichang - Shanghai - Suzhou
The most classic hiking trail is from Tingri to Mt. Everest Base Camp. The route requires about 4 days, over a distance of 80 kilometers. If you prefer a short trail, you can walk the stretch from Rongbuk Monastery at the foot of Mt. Everest to the Base Camp. Trekking this part takes about 3 hours, over a distance of 8 kilometers.
The best time to do the trekking is in May, September and October. Avoid trekking in July and August because the road may be blocked by floods or landslide.
Recommended China tour with Tibet
Lhasa - Shigatse
Another way to turn your trip into an epic adventure story is trekking along the Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest in the world. Franked by Haba Snow Mountain and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the scenic gorge is cut by the Jinsha River (the upper reach of Yangtze River) and runs roughly southwest to northeast. A trek along the gorge takes you through some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes China has to offer.
At present, there are two paths: the high trail and the low trail. The low trail can be hiked in one day. High Trail is more popular among hiking lovers because it affords better views, though, requires two days trekking.
The best time to hike the gorge is in the months of October, November and May. The most dangerous period to hike is during the rainy season from June to September. Wear some sturdy footwear - you're definitely going to need it.
Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yunnan.
Popular Lijiang Tour
It's difficult to find a more fairytale setting than Shangri-La, a remote Tibetan county located in Southwest China's Yunnan Province.
In James Hilton's bestselling novel Lost Horizon, he describes "Shangri-La" as an earthly paradise, a permanently happy land isolated from the outside world. But only one place - Zhongdian – has been officially gone by the name of Shangri-La. And it truly lives up to the name. This stunning land covers a region of mountains snowcapped peaks, dense forests, alpine lakes (such as famous Napa Lake and Shudu Lake), grasslands, gorges and monasteries (the most famous one being Songzanlin Monastery). Every spring, fields of flowers blanket this region, including azaleas, primroses and lilies.
It is hard not to feel romantic on the land where the clouds are whiter, the sky is cleaner, and the scenery is wilder.
Napa Grassland, Shangri-La County, Yunnan.
Recommended Shangri-la tour
Which ones are your favorite romantic spots and why? Let me know at email@example.com if have any opinions or questions.
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