China is a country that is both mysterious and high on the radar of the world. It's packed with distinct culture and a way of doing things so unique that it sometimes can feel like a foreign planet to visitors. Alongside a stroll on the Great Wall and a view from atop Shanghai's infamous Pearl Tower, make sure to get in these top six activities to have a well balanced journey to one of the world's most interesting destinations.
Taste The Tea
Tea is a way of life in China and without making time for a taste, you are significantly missing out on the culture. From tea tasting tours led by a guide to wandering into tea houses on your own, there will be plenty of opportunity to try a little cup. Oolong, White Pu'er, Green and Red are some of the top teas try; each with a different flavor and purpose. Head to Wuyishan in Fujian Province, a town based around the tea trade or get yourself invited in to the home of a local for the real deal.
Go City Hopping
China is packed with some of the world's best cities. If you have the chance to see a few on your visit, you should certainly take it. Each city offers something different and while Beijing is full of historic sites, Shanghai offers counter culture and an upscale nightlife. Xi'an is the home to ancient sites while Harbin has a culture all of its own and holds one of the largest ice sculpture festivals in the world.
Take a Guided Tour
China is huge and its interesting sites are spread all throughout its vastness. If you want to get around while experiencing the sites in a care free way, consider taking a guided tour. Visit The Great Wall, view the Terracotta Warriors or head off on an expedition through the mountains. You won't have to worry about language barriers, figuring out currency conversion or trying to navigate on your own.
Eat Street Food
Don't be put off by warnings you may have heard about eating the street food in China. Gathering at street side vendors, especially at night is a weekly ritual for the locals and all for good reason. Head on over to any cluster of street vendors that seem to be getting business and get ready to feast. Try the BBQ where you get to choose your own skewered meats, seafood and vegetables or try the standard but delicious fried rice and noodles.
Play Dice in a Bar
You're bound to see them in nearly every bar you end up in; the ultimate drinking game for Chinese club goers. These saucers with dome shaped lids contain a handful of dice and are shaken to mix up the numbers. Players must either tell the truth or bluff about their number matches and if another player calls their bluff and is right, the bluffing player loses.
Wander Around a City Park
A city park during the early morning or evening is an entirely new experience for foreign visitors in China. Just a short wander will offer groups of older women doing Tai Chi, aerobics, conga lines and fitness classes. There is often ballroom dancing, sections of locals practicing their English and dragon boat racing. You really never know what you will find.