The Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors are probably two of the first images that spring to mind when you think of China.

But when you consider that the country is a vast 9.6 million square kilometres, you’ll soon realise that these two world famous sites are only the beginning of what China has to offer.

George Pu Wendy Wu

George Pu

We chatted to one of Wendy Wu’s favourite National Tour Guides, George Pu to uncover some of China’s best-kept secrets and to discover more about the beautifully diverse nation.

Tibet

tibet china

Inside this autonomous region of China, you will find pure peace.

“When you get there you will hear nothing but the river, the birds and the sound of the bells from the monastery,” explains George.

“You can experience the unique way of life of the Tibetan people, they’re very humble.”

Wendy Wu National Tour Guide, George Pu

George recommends visiting the highest palace in the world known as the Potala Palace. The palace was home to the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India during the 1959 Tibetan uprising. It is now a museum and World Heritage Site.

While in Tibet, George also recommends travelling up to the base camp where you can see the peak of the Himalayas.

“Tibet is so clear and blue with snow-capped mountains and blue water,” George says.

“You feel like the whole world has just stopped there.”

Yunnan

china

White Water Terraces

This province of Southwestern China has 24 minority ethnic groups who live in different areas of the mountains.

George explains that with every 100 kilometres you travel in the Yunnan Province you can experience different cultures, traditions even languages.

“The people there keep their own traditions and have their own way of life. They have little but they’re so happy.”

Wendy Wu National Tour Guide, George Pu.

The province has beautiful green, mountainous landscape.

Goerge recommends paying a visit to Shangri-La to see the incredible White Water Terraces formed by sediments of high Calcium Carbonate in the spring waters.

Another highlight of the province is the Tiger Leaping Gorge, a scenic canyon between two mountains on the upper Yangtze River.

“You can really feel the power of the water there,” George says.

Inner Manchuria

Harbin China

Inner Manchuria refers to three provinces in Northeast China: Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning.

George says the best time to visit this area in the winter time; if you can brave the temperatures.

“You can go there to see an ice world,” George says.

Over Chinese New Year the city of Harbin (largest city in Northeastern China) becomes a winter wonderland.

“All the local artists get together to create ice sculptures which are lit up.”

Wendy Wu National Tour Guide, George Pu

For those who like snow sports, it’s a great area for skiing and snowboarding.

There is also excellent food, including a lot of fish. An incredible sight to come across is the locals cracking the ice to go winter fishing.

Xinjiang

Heavenly Lake China

This autonomous territory in Northwest China is a vast landscape of deserts, mountains, and lakes.

It is home to many ethnic minority groups as well as the ancient Silk Road trade route linking China and the Middle East.

Goerge says Xinjiang is a fascinating place to explore, with the chance to see people living very traditional lives.

“The landscape there is very different you can see miles and miles away,” he says.

While travelling in Xinjiang you can visit the best preserved ancient city Ruins around Turpan, take in the snow-capped mountains on the Karakoram Highway or visit one of the region’s breathtaking lakes, including the surreal Heavenly Lake.
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Did you learn something new about China? Let us know below.