Despite modern transport and communications, China is still recognized as an exotic country around the world, making it one of the top destination spots for tourists. The fact that China has the world's largest population is well known all over the world. Despite these facts, when an average English speaking netizen is asked to name a few Chinese cities, we would probably hear a list with just over 10 names. Here we take a look at the 4 most popular cities in China and what made them so popular.
Apart from being the 2nd largest city in China, Beijing is also the most popular city. Being both the ancient and modern capital of China, Beijing has enjoyed the status of being China's capital city for the past 800 years. Located at the northern end of the North China Plain, Beijing has been in the limelight for more than 3,000 years. Beijing has some world famous heritage sites, the best of them being The Great Wall of China, also regarded as a global symbol for China. It is also home to the largest and ancient imperial palace complex in the world, The Forbidden City and The Summer Palace. In spite of such ancient marvels, Beijing is nowhere stuck in the past. The modern day dazzling structures like the Bird's Nest Stadium and entertainment centers are the proof of how well the city has adjusted to the present while preserving its past.
The largest city in China, Shanghai is also a renowned international metropolis demanding attention from all over the world. Located in the Yangtze River Delta in East China, it is also the largest city by population with over 24 million people living there as of 2015. Shanghai doesn't have any picturesque locations or any of the world heritage sites, but, the beauty of Shanghai lies in the feel of the city's modern atmosphere. The city is a showcase of China's economic domination over the world.
Xian, or Changan as it was referred in ancient times, is known as The City of Everlasting Peace. This city is most famous for its ancient heritage and houses the world famous Terracotta Army. The city marks the start of the famous Silk Road that linked China with the Roman Empire and Central Asia. Xian attracts tourists from all over the world thanks to its famous landmarks — Banpo Museum, City Wall, Big Goose Pagoda etc. It's said that by touring Xian, one can breathe the historical air and relive the glorious past of China.
Located in the Pearl River Port of Southeast China, Hong Kong is the international trade center of China. The city has one of the world's three major natural harbours that facilitate international trade on the water. With a large population of 7.19 million living in a relatively small land area, Hong Kong is one of the world's most densely populated cities. Being a coastal city, Hong Kong also has some of the most amazing beaches in the world that would lure the outdoor lovers into visiting this city. There are also famous wellness and massage spas that tourists like to visit before their vacation ends to get some relaxation and try out the famous tantra and nuru massage in Hong Kong. Plainly put, no amount of words can completely describe the essence of Hong Kong; one has to visit the city to enjoy its beauty.
I went to Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou & Shanghai early December in a tour. It was fantastic. Their infrastructure is very impressive. Shanghai is very European. There is a huge market under the Science & Technology Museum in Shanghai where you can find everything and bargain your heart out. You can get there by train for $1 or less. Prepare to haggle. I bought a pair of jeans for 80 CNY (~$15 AUD) and initially the seller told me 800 CNY. T-shirt is 40 CNY (~$8 AUD), hoodies jacket 70 CNY (~$14 AUD). Just tell them a ridiculous price and slowly walk away, you will see they drop the price rapidly. Even you don't want to buy anything it's still fun to walk around. BE WARNED: DO NOT BUY MOBILE PHONES and WATCHES in the market. Public train is very safe and clean. Have fun!!!