As one of the fastest-growing countries on the planet, China is well known for its colossal cities. But taking a trip far from the bright lights of the country’s buzzing metropolises reveals a very different side.
To explore rural China is to gain a glimpse into the real China. Many of its villages and towns are untouched and as traditional as they were decades ago. Dedicating just part of your itinerary to visiting the country’s quaint villages will unlock many authentic experiences. Here are just a few more reasons why you’ll love visiting rural China…
The freshest, most authentic Chinese food
China’s cities and towns offer an abundance of dishes and delicacies to try, with its street food is not just a culinary experience but a cultural one. The further you venture away from urban areas, the more rustic the food offer gets.
Every dish you sample in rural China is the epitome of farm to fork. The vegetables will be seasonal and grown in the local area. The meat will be as fresh as it gets, and free from preservatives and additives that are commonly added to extend shelf life. Whatever rural dish tickles your fancy, however, be prepared to eat a lot of it. As Culture Trip describes, filling your face with the freshest country fare is a part of traditional Chinese culture:
“When seated at a dinner table with your hosts from the countryside, eat a lot. A failure to eat enough will send the message that you are unimpressed with their offerings. Your hosts will likely pluck select bits of meat and vegetables and deposit them in your bowl, and if you refuse these, your host may feel insulted.”
Discover more Chinese dining etiquette tips here.
The friendliest local people
City folk are used to the presence of foreign tourists, yet in rural China, you may find that local people have never encountered people from other countries or cultures before.
With that comes an intense curiosity and a warm welcome. Villagers may even invite you into their homes for a drink of Chinese tea or ask you to be their guest of honour at dinner.
The friendliness of local people breaks through the language barrier that you’re likely to experience when visiting rural China. But sign language and friendly smiles are all you need to get by when going off the beaten track and enjoying a slower pace of life in the countryside.
The most stunning scenery
The epic skylines and towering heights of the Chinese cityscape will certainly impress, but rural China offers something altogether different. The countryside scenes you’ll find are picture postcard perfect and utterly unique.
Majestic mountain ranges, never-ending rice paddies and magnificent rivers are just some of the sights you can look forward to when visiting rural China. Here are 10 incredible images that prove rural China is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
The beauty of rural China can be explored on foot or by bike, with a number of hiking and biking trails available throughout its villages and national parks. In addition to the natural wonders that can be enjoyed, Chinese villages and towns are packed full of striking ancient architecture.
Culture at its most traditional
You’ll find a number of cultural experiences in China’s cities, but its villages offer a glimpse of culture and customs at their most traditional. Unlike in the city, festivals, events, and special occasions are free from modern influence and pomp, and it’s likely you’ll experience them as people hundreds of years ago did.