China Radio International, with support from the National Tourism Administration, has organised an online poll to pick the Top 10 Chinese Tourist Cities. More than five million votes were cast, and the winning cities were announced in early December. Below are some intros of the 10 destinations in none particular order…
Luoyang, Henan Province
Luoyang lies in the west of Henan, crossing two banks of the middle reach of Yellow River and is one of China’s Four Great Ancient Capitals. Its famous heritage sites include the Longmen Grottoes and the White Horse Temple. The city is also famous as a cultivation centre for peony, one of China’s famous emblems.
Kashgar, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
At the western end of China’s Silk Road, Kashgar has been the stopping-off point for travellers for at least 2,000 years. This oasis surrounded by the arid Pamir Plateau and snow-capped mountains now boasts a population of 340,000, high-rises and highways, but its exotic pleasures remain.
Harbin, Heilongjiang Province
Harbin is well-known for its beautiful ice sculptures in winter and plays an important part in China’s trade with Russia. It’s one of the earliest cities to introduce western commerce and welcome European immigrants, and the it’s also famous for its western style architecture and cityscape decorations.
Sanya, Hainan Province
Sanya is the southernmost city of China, at the tip of Hainan Island. Dubbed as China’s Hawaii, Sanya is famous for its picturesque coast, sparkling sea and soft sands. It has became a popular romantic getaway in recent years.
Xi’an, Shaanxi Province
Known as Chang’an in ancient times, Xi’an is one of China’s Four Great Ancient Capitals. It served 12 imperial dynasties for over a thousand years. The city houses many cultural relics, museums, and historical sites, including the famous Terracotta Warriors. Xi’an has re-emerged as an important industrial, educational and research centre of the central-northwest region since the 1990s.
Jinan, Shandong Province
Located in the mid west of Shandong, Jinan is an old city with a history of some 2,000 years. The city’s highlights are its numerous springs. Marco Polo once visited Jinan and left words of praise for this city: “The Baotu Spring, Daming Lake and the Thousand Buddha Mountain decorate Jinan as a Garden City.”
Huangshan, Anhui Province
Huangshan is named after the mountain range which covers much of the city’s vast geographic expanse. The area is well known for its scenery, sunsets, granite peaks, pine trees, and views of the clouds from above. It’s a frequent subject of traditional Chinese paintings and literature, as well as modern photography.
Lijiang, Yunnan Province
Lijiang is a famous historical city which prides itself with age-old town, imposing mountains, and virtuous folk traditions. The Lijiang Old Town is famous for its orderly system of waterways and bridges, and also its unique style of culture and architecture which differ from other ancient Chinese cities.
Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province
Located on the lower reaches of the Qiantang River and only half an hour’s drive from Shanghai, Hangzhou is endowed with beautiful gardens and waters, and has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities of China for much of the last 1,000 years, with the West Lake the most well-known location.
Suzhou, Jiangsu Province
There is a popular saying in China “In Heaven there is paradise; on Earth, there is Suzhou and Hangzhou.” Located on on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and on the shores of Taihu Lake, the city is sometimes dubbed the “Venice of the East” for its canals and stone bridges. It’s also known for its silk industry.
With references from CRI and Wikipedia entries for respective cities.