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Family holidays in China

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With its diverse sites and beautiful sights, China is the perfect destination for a family holiday full of fascinating culture. On a tour to China, you and your family will be able to explore the incredible landscape, towering cities and ancient temples that continue to attract visitors all year round. Travelling with kids in China is incredibly easy, thanks to the welcoming culture and family-orientated lifestyle.

Best things to see and do in China with kids

What to see as a family

Culture-loving families will never forget a family trip to Xi’an where ancient culture can be seen around every corner. Visit the old city walls or the world-famous Terracotta Warriors before giving yourselves a challenge with a climb up the Big Wild Goose Pagoda to see an unforgettable view. In Xi’an you’ll also find the fascinating Tang Paradise, where life in the Tang Dynasty is recreated in a fun and interactive theme park setting. The Great Wall of China is a must-see for a reason and any family visiting China shouldn’t miss out on a visit here, especially since children will love tales of the invasions and victories that took place here centuries ago. At the centre of Beijing lies the enticingly named Forbidden City, where you and your family can wander and explore to your heart’s content and enjoy this UNESCO world heritage site. Outdoorsy families will love seeing the most beautiful mountains in China and arguably, in the world. The Karst Mountains are located just outside of Guilin and are best appreciated from the small town of Yangshuo where you can experience local life in China and perhaps even stay with a local family. From here, you’ll also be able to see the incredibly beautiful Li River, where you can enjoy the family adventure of a lifetime on a river cruise, stopping along the way to enjoy the beautiful villages and landmarks along the way.

What to do as a family

Visit the cities of China and immerse yourselves in the incredible sights and smells of a local market, or go for an unforgettable day out with your kids in Disneyland, Hong Kong. Ride the train up to Victoria Peak for incredible views out over the city. Hong Kong is also home to beautiful beaches, perfect for escaping the bustle of city life. Experience even more family friendly activities and take a family bike ride or go kite flying in Beijing before visiting one of China’s top water parks; Water Cube. Beijing also offers the perfect place to settle down for a traditional tea ceremony after all that excitement. Enjoy the delicious traditional drink and take a moment to reminisce over the excitement of your trip so far and to spend some downtime with your family. If some more family relaxation is just what the doctor ordered, visit Hangzhou where you’ll be spoilt for choice of things to do. Built around the West Lake and surrounding by green rolling hills and stunning landscapes, it’s the perfect setting to explore the historic streets, tranquil temples and stunning gardens. Go out for a day of exploration without any of the overcrowding of some of China’s larger cities.

Animal lovers should visit the giant pandas in Chengdu, something which almost all kids remember as one of the highlights of their time during their China family tour. You’ll be able to learn all about these amazing animals and their lives, as well as helping to make food and enrichment toys to keep the animals entertained. China has so much to offer any family, with unforgettable activities wherever you go.

Best time to visit China as a family

Deciding when to visit China as a family can be a challenge, with different weather patterns and seasons. In terms of weather, the best times to organize your China tour fall between April and May and then between September and October. Between June and August the weather becomes very hot and crowds grow, making it harder to see some of the more popular sites. From November to March, low season prices can be found all over the country and while the weather may not be as perfect, the scenery is arguably at its most beautiful during this period.

Besides the weather, there are plenty of other factors to take into account when deciding when you and your family want to visit. China’s many incredible festivals are a great way to choose when to go with the most famous of these; Chinese New Year falling around January and February each year. Watch as the entire country explodes into vibrant colours and incredible atmosphere during this festival. Sometime between Mid September and early October, the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival also takes place and any family will love seeing displays of Chinese culture and tradition during this period.

Family holiday tips for travelling to China

Travelling to China with kids is easy and relatively stress-free, however there are a few small precautions to take to ensure that your family trip goes smoothly.

  • Learn a few key phrases in the local language. This could be very useful if you find yourself in a situation where no one speaks your language. If nothing else, it shows consideration for the local culture and locals will like to be greeted and thanked in their native tongue.
  • Plan when you visit carefully. Visiting during Chinese school holidays will mean more expensive prices and larger crowds, so it may be worth visiting outside of these times if you can.
  • In large cities and areas with tourist attractions and high numbers of visitors, pickpockets can be a problem. Make sure not to carry too much cash and to keep important documents safe.
  • Check with a doctor before travelling, since you may need to get some vaccinations or to take medication while travelling to China with your family.
  • For picky eaters, make sure to be specific with waiters regarding things like spice and flavor, since spicy food is the norm here and you may find that it is added automatically.
  • Look online well before travelling to investigate what you need to do about Visas and travel documents, since this will vary based on where you are from and how long you plan on visiting China for.
  • Most of all, embrace local culture and custom. Culture here can be vastly different from Western countries and you and your children will enjoy your time here if you’re willing to go with the flow and embrace any differences.

When to go in China?

Generally, spring and autumn are the most clement periods  for going to China. October, April-May, and in a lesser measure, September are the the favorite months for Chinese visitors, as well as foreigners. The temperatures are pleasant more or less everywhere, there is relatively little rainfall, and the vegetation and colors are particularly beautiful. In any case, avoid the public holidays, when the major cities and tourist sites will be under attack!
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