If there’s one thing to know about China, it’s that its beauty knows no bounds. The vast land means there are picturesque spots and stunning backdrops in underrated places, which makes us wonder why there aren’t more people visiting these cities. We shared 10 underrated cities and the food they are famous for. Here are the 10 most Instagram worthy spots that are going to make you wish you were in there right now. And if you’re feeling lucky, try winning one of these 10 pairs of air tickets to these featured cities; see here for more details!
Huangguoshu Waterfall, Guiyang
If your Instagram account is dedicated to the beauty of nature, a shot of the magnificent Huangguoshu Waterfall in Guiyang – and the largest of its kind in Asia – is the perfect addition. Simply hop on a bus from Anshun South or Jinyang Bus Station and you’ll arrive at this scenic area. Priced at RMB180 from March to November and RMB 160 from December to February, an admission ticket to the Huangguoshu Waterfall National Park also allows access to the Water-Curtain Cave and the Rhinoceros Pool (Xi Niu Tan). Pro-tip: for a stunning panoramic picture, take it from the Guan Pu Pavilion, or if a close-up shot of the gushing water is what you’re after, take it from the Wang Shui Pavilion.
Mount Qingxiu, Nanning
Bask in the glorious sunshine and take in the beautiful subtropical foliage as you take a leisurely stroll around the Mount Qingxiu complex. Dubbed the ‘green lungs’ of Nanning, the fresh air will do you and your ‘gram game plenty of good with some awe-inspiring shots, especially if you visit in spring, when the Qingxiu Mountain Peach Blossom Festival happens. These colourful blooms definitely steal the spotlight with their beauty. Easily reached by bus, get off at the Mt Qingxiu Gate stop or the Mt Qingxiu Scenic Spot stop. Admission tickets are RMB 20 for adults.
Jianshui Ancient Town, Kunming
Kunming is a sight for sore eyes, especially for the urbanites (like us). Head to Jianshui Ancient Town for some charming street shots; it’s fascinating how this town has managed to retain the traditional town model of one in the Ming Dynasty, complete with break walls and a gate tower. With 15 ancient buildings like the Jianshui Confucius Temple or the Chaoyang Tower, there’s more than enough to keep you busy for an entire day. To get there, board the bus at East Bus Station of Kunming to Jianshui Ancient Town that will pass through Tonghai.
Huangjueping Graffiti Street, Chongqing
Street photographers will love Chongqing. Here you will find the Huangjueping Graffiti Street, the longest graffiti art street in China and the world. The total length is an impressive 1.25km, which means you are bound to find inspiring art to photograph or chose to Insta-Story the ones that really catch your eye. Just a little ways from the street sits the Sichuan Fine Art Institute, so if you’ve got a big appetite for art, wander over for an interesting juxtaposition of street art and Chinese fine art.
Chess Pavilion, Xi’an
Xi’an may be famous for the terracotta soldiers but it offers travellers so much more. Hike up Mount Hua or take the cable car because the view at the summit is breathtaking. As if stepping into a real-life Chinese ink painting, all the shots you take here have a mysterious feel thanks to the clouds, particularly that of the Chess Pavilion and see for yourself. While the plank walk is not for the faint of heart, the cable car ride up is well worth the RMB 240-280. Entrance fees to the Mountain range from RMB 100 to RMB 160, depending on which half of the year you visit. Getting to Mount Hua is straightforward, take the Xi’an – Zhengzhou bullet train and alight at Hua Shan North Station.
Tengger Desert, Yinchuan
Embrace the vast Tengger Desert in Yinchuan. The seemingly endless sand dunes and majestic camels are not something you come across often so take advantage of this opportunity to get creative with your photo composition. If you’re staying the night at the dessert, take a time lapse to capture the stunning transformation from daytime to night. Entrance fee is between RMB 60- 90 depending on when you travel; driving in costs an additional RMB 10. Trains depart from Yinchuan Railway Station for Zhongwei several times per day and the journey takes between three to seven hours depending on the train. From Zhongwei, hire a local driver to take you to Shapotou and back.
Heavenly Lake, Quanzhou
The Heavenly Lake in Quanzhou feels like something straight out of a movie. It’s almost too beautiful to be real, hence the name. Located within the Guilin Mountains and Waters Tourism Area, take a trip there and see it for yourself. Even an amateur photographer will be able to take a stunning shot here. The sunset here is particularly outstanding so have your phone and cameras ready to go.
End of the Earth, Sanya
Sanya is an outdoor photographer’s dream city, and up your IG game with a visit to the End of the Earth. A popular – if somewhat cheesy – thing to do is set up the self-timer and get a romantic pic with your other half by the two rocks carved with Chinese words “天涯” meaning the Edge of the Sky and “海角” meaning The End of the Sea, which are together a symbol of enduring love. A postcard-worthy white sand beach, the lush green hill in the background and the cool blue hues of the sky and sea, this place is an island paradise at its best.
Benxi Water Cave, Shenyang
Shenyang has loads to offer travellers. Besides the Shenyang Imperial Palace, the Benxi Water Cave proves to be an interesting setting with its dramatic array of stalagmites. The limestone cave is bathed in bright lights that illuminate as well as provide a vibrancy to the natural wonder. The water below serves as a mirror and reflects the colours making it look like a lively watercolour painting.
Zhaozhou Bridge, Shijiazhuang
If you enjoy taking photos of distinctive architecture as well as historical and cultural iconoclasts, Shijiazhuang might be your dream. Find beautiful bridges like the Zhaozhou Bridge -the oldest stone bridge in China influenced the design of later Chinese bridge structures or the four famous pagodas, each designed with its own unique architectural style. Plus if Mount Canyan, located 50 kilometres southwest of the city and accessible via a daily direct bus is splendid enough to be the setting for some scenes in Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, it’s definitely a good place for you to visit.
Ready to jet off to one of these 10 cities? Try your luck with the Changi Airport Group’s giveaway here.
This article is sponsored by Changi Airport Group.
Top Image of sunrise on Mt Hua, courtesy of Dimitry B.