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Top Sights for Kids (and Adults!) in China

China has a fantastic array of child friendly activities across all the main destinations making it a perfect place for a family holiday with a difference.

See below for some of the most child – and adult – friendly attractions in China!

BEIJING: LAO SHE TEAHOUSE

beijing laoshe theatre

The Beijing institution of the Lao She Tea House provides nightly variety shows covering everything from Peking Opera, Music, Acrobatics, Martial Arts, Shadow Puppets and Mine. A little touristy but enormous fun and an ideal inclusion to any family tour of China.

BEIJING: KUNG FU SHOW

beijing kung fu show

There are several venues for Kung Fu shows in Beijing but wherever you go the feats are impressive and the shows colourful. For the more seriously martial arts minded a trip to Shaolin Si (see further down the page) is a must.

BEIJING: KITE FLYING

flying a kite

Kite flying is enormously popular in Beijing and many other Chinese cities. The Temple of Heaven or Tiananmen Square (both in Beijing)are preferred locations and it is easy to give it a go if the weather conditions are right which they often are in Beijing.

BEIJING: RICKSHAW RIDE

rickshaw ride

A great way to see the sprawling ancient Hutong residential areas of Beijing is by cycle rickshaw. These half day tours are both fun and culturally interesting making them an ideal trip for all the family.

XIAN: CYCLING THE CITY WALL

cycling xian walls

Xian has an enormous restored City Wall and one of the best ways to experience it is by bicycles which can be hired for short periods on your visit to the Wall. The walls are also one of the few traffic free areas to ride making this a safe riding area for all the family.

XIAN: TERRA COTTA WARRIORS

xian terra cotta warriors

The sheer scale of the Terra Cotta warriors – 6,000 of them and counting – overawes people of all ages and is considered one of China’s premiere sights making this a cultural and museum experience all the family will enjoy and a must see on any China trip.

XIAN: CALLIGRAPHY CLASSES

calligraphy class

What better way to immerse yourself in traditional Chinese culture than to learn the art of calligraphy. It is so much more than the writing of a few characters as each stroke has a story to tell and it is vital the stroke order of a character is followed through the art of the brush.

BRAND NEW BULLET TRAINS

bullet train

Rapidly being rolled out across China to eventually connect all major cities these sleek 300 km / hour bullet trains are an experience in themselves taking you in 21st century speed and comfort through an often ancient land.

CHENGDU: GIANT PANDAS

pandas in chengdu

For many a trip to China is not complete without a panda experience and by far the best place for this is the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu. Best visited in the morning when the pandas are active you can pay extra to have your photo taken with a panda.

CHENGDU: GIANT BUDDHA

leshan giant buddha

The Giant Buddha at Leshan near Chengdu is an extraordinary feat of sculpture that appeals to all ages. The setting is amazing and a descent down the stairs to the Buddhas giant feet is a must, as is a photo next to the giant toes which alone are taller than any man!

CHENGDU: SICHUAN OPERA

sichuan opera

The Beijing institution of the Lao She Tea House provides nightly variety shows covering everything from Peking Opera, Music, Acrobatics, Martial Arts, Shadow Puppets and Mine. A little touristy but enormous fun and an ideal inclusion to any family tour of China.

YANGTZE: THREE GORGES DAM

three gorges dam

One for the boys – the giant locks and even vaster dam wall are an amazing feat of engineering. Most Yangtze Cruises pass through the locks during the evening giving ample time to watch from the deck. All Yangtze Cruises include a tour of the dam as well.

SHANGHAI: CHINESE ACROBATS

acrobats in shanghai

The world famous Chinese Acrobats have shows in both Beijing and Shanghai and are an ideal evening out for all the family. The shows are colourful and lively and last about an hour so are perfect to fit in before dinner or a sedate evening wander along the Bund.

SHANGHAI: MAGLEV TRAIN

shanghai maglev

Perhaps one for the boys – the Maglev is the fastest train in the world reaching 430 km per hour. Shanghai has the only commercially operating one in the world which goes to Pudong Airport. The feeling of speed is amazing as is the floating smooth ride.

PARKS IN CHINESE CITIES

china parks

There are few private gardens in Chinese cities making the immaculately kept and plentiful public parks a hive of activity from Tai Chi to Kung Fu to dancing, singing and musical performances – a bit of something for everyone and all comers are welcome!

SHAOLIN: KUNG FU LESSONS

kung fu lesson shaolin

If you have a budding Bruce Lee in the family a visit to the Shaolin temple complex is a must. This is the centre of martial arts in China and a fun couple if hours can be passed in a basic lesson for beginners or more advance instruction if you already have experience.

YANGSHUO: BICYCLE TOURS

yangshuo cycle tour

The stunning countryside around Yangshuo near Guilin is ideal for bicycle trips which are very easy to arrange locally. Popular options are to ride a route to a village and then take a boat or even bamboo raft back to Yangshuo.

HONG KONG: DISNEY WORLD

hong kong disney

It is often overlooked that there is a Disney experience to be had in Hong Kong, to date the only Disney World in Asia making this a perfect treat for the kids at the end of a China trip.

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