For your travel, don’t miss out on the Shanghai-Kunming high-speed railway. As one of the longest high-speed railways (2,264 km), it connects six provinces across eastern and western China. The section from Shanghai to Changsha is already open, and the entire railway is to open its doors in 2016. Let’s take a look at some of the best tourist stops along the line.
As a vibrant metropolis, Shanghai has many attractions. The Huangpu River is a classic spot to get a birds-eye view of the whole city. Exotic architecture along the west bank differs in style and color, and modern skyscrapers on the east form a splendorous contrast. Foodies can’t miss the gorgeous snack street Town God’s Temple. Xintiandi, a cultural and historical site, combines the traditional Shanghai alley and Western style architecture together. You can also visit Shanghai Museum, Tianzifang art district and Shanghai Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
Endowed with lush mountains and exquisite waterways, Zhejiang is rich in historical and cultural presence. A trip from Shanghai to Hangzhou only takes about 50 minutes. It’s a good idea to rent a bike or walk around the West Lake surrounded by greenery and intricately carved pavilions. Many ancient water towns like Xitang and Wuzhen offer well-preserved architecture constructed in the Ming and Qing dynasties. In Jinhua, visitors can go to Hengdian World Studios to see different scenarios in movies. With a long history, Quzhou is famous for its Jianglang Mountain, which has Danxia landforms.
When it comes to Jiangxi, the first city that comes to mind may be Nanchang, the provincial capital. But in fact, there are many other places you can enjoy. Lushan Mountain and Poyang Lake are definitely must-sees. Yichun, a city located in the northwest of Guizhou, has rich hot springs. It is warm and comfortable during any season. Shangrao, another picturesque city, is popular with travelers for its Sanqing Mountain. With beautiful clouds, mist and strange-shaped pine trees, it’s a fairyland far from the hustle and bustle of city life. Wuyuan, a small town, is a great place to appreciate cole flowers in the spring.
Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, has become a main travel hub. Starting from Changsha, it’s easy to go west in the province. For example, taking the train from Changsha to Huaihua now takes only one and a half hours. In Changsha, Yuelu Hill Academy of Classical Learning is one of the classical academies of the Song Dynasty. Orange Isle (Juzizhou) allows you to get a panoramic view of the whole city. Visitors can explore the west of Hunan, including the ancient town of Fenghuang and Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. The terraces in Xinhua and Hongjiang ancient towns in Huaihua are worth visiting as well.
Guizhou province is an increasingly popular tourist spot with its agreeable climate and rich cultural heritage. Huangguoshu Waterfall, China’s largest waterfall, lets you feel the magic of nature. As home to several Chinese ethnic groups, mainly Miao, there are many traditional villages filled with simple architecture. Their peaceful lifestyle and unique customs remain intact and provide added reason to visit. Jiulonggou (Nine-Dragon Cave) Scenic Spot, located in Tongren, offers natural cave sights. In Anshun, Longgong (Dragon Palace) has a series of caves and presents karst landforms.
The final destination is Kunming, a city with spring-like weather all year around. The Stone Forest, a huge expanse of limestone outcroppings, has been eroded into odd shapes and regarded as one of the world’s natural wonders. Qiongzhu Temple, with 500 life-sized luohan (arhats), is a perfect display of traditional Buddhist culture. With more than 20 ethnic groups scattered across the province, every major city shows distinct folk customs. Other traditional attractions include Dali’s three pagodas, Lijiang’s ancient town, Xishuangbanna’s forests and Shangri-La’s natural landscapes.