Top 8 destinations for Dragon Boat Festival

Updated: 2014-06-02
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The Dragon Boat Festival, also called Duanwu Festival, is traditionally celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunar calendar.
1. Lijiang Ancient Town, Yunnan
Lijiang Ancient Town in Yunnan Lijiang Ancient Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the north of Yunnan Province. It lies 2,400 meters above sea level and is surrounded by jagged, snow-tipped peaks. This town is famous for its unique architectural style blending different elements of several cultures. It is crisscrossed by ancient, colorful stone-paved streets and lanes, and lined with residential houses made of wood, stone, and mud. The wooden houses, tea houses and stone pavements of the old town haven't changed since the town was capital of the ancient Naxi Kingdom. In July, unlike the sweltering North China, Lijiang enters its rainy season. It's a tremendous place to relax your mood and enjoy a cool summer.

Travel tips:

Admission: 80 yuan

Opening Hours: all day

Getting there: Cars are not allowed in Old Town. Walk or Cycle.

Related reading: Best destinations in June, May, April and March.
2. West Lake, Hangzhou
West Lake in Hangzhou The famous West Lake, near the mouth of Hangzhou Bay, is like a pearl shining in the beautiful and fertile shores of the East China Sea. Covering 6.39 square kilometers, the view of West Lake is simply captivating, with many attractions for tourists. There are 10 must-see spots of West Lake: Spring Dawn at Su Causeway, Lotus in the Breeze at Crooked Courtyard, Autumn Moon over Calm Lake, Melting Snow at Broken Bridge, Orioles Singing in the Willows, Fish in Flower Harbor, Sunset at Leifeng Pagoda, Twin Peaks Piercing Clouds, Evening Bell at Nanping Hill and Three Pools Mirroring the Moon. Every June West Lake is decorated with more than 500 pots of various lotus flowers, attracting millions of visitors to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

On June 24, 2011, West Lake has made the list of World Heritage Sites. UNESCO recognized the West Lake as a classic landscape reflecting traditional Chinese esthetics.

Travel tips:


Feilai Peak: 35 yuan

Leifeng Pagada: 40 yuan

Liuhe Pagoda: 30 yuan

Opening Hours: all day

Getting there: Bus No. 514,822, K4, K504, K808, Y1, Y2, Y3, Y6, Y7, Y9 to Sudi Stop.
3. Zhexi Grand Canyon, Zhejiang Province
Sitting at the border of Zhejiang and Anhui, Zhexi Grand Canyon is situated in the Lin'an City, northwest of Zhejiang Province. With a total length of more than 80 kilometers, the canyon has three scenic sections. The first scenic section is "Longjing Canyon", which has about 18 kilometers long and consists of exotic peaks, graceful waterfalls and dangerous and steep rocks. The second section is "Shangxi Canyon". With a length of about 26 kilometers, it has a high, steep topography, rapid currents and exotic and interesting mountain stones. The third is "Zhemen Canyon", which has layers of mountain waterfalls and flowing mist, as well as exotic and wonderful landscapes of large and small stone gate caves. It’s an ideal place to enjoy the nature’s beauty and avoid the sweltering summer.

Travel tips:

Admission: 110 yuan

Opening Hours: 07:00-17:00

Getting there: You can take coach bus from Lin’an bus station or Changhua bus station to Taipingqiao Town.
4. Lhasa, Tibet
Lhasa, the capital of Tibet Lhasa, the capital of Tibetan Autonomous Region, is labeled one of the most dreamed-about cities in the world. This is not only because of its remoteness and high altitude (3,650 meters), but also because of its impressive cultural and spiritual history of more than a thousand years. Lhasa means "Holy Land" or "Buddha Land" in Tibetan, and the ancient city, dating back 1,300 years, is Tibet's political, cultural, economic and religious center. May to July is the best time to visit Lhasa, as it rains at night but is sunny in the daytime. The magnificent Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple Monastery and Norbulingka (Garden of Treasures) are listed as world heritage sites. Other must-see attractions include Namtso Lake, Yamdrok Lake, Barkhor Street, and Drepung Temple.

Related: Top 10 must-see attractions in Tibet

Travel tips:


Potala Palace: 100 yuan

Jokhang Temple Monastery: 85 yuan

Norbulingka: 60 yuan

Namtso: 80 yuan

Yamdrok Lake: 40 yuan
5. Xilingol Grassland, Inner Mongolia
Xilingol Grassland Xilingol Grassland, which means "rivers on the highlands", is located in Xilinhot City, center of Inner Mongolia. Covering more than 10,786 square kilometers, the grassland is considered one of the most representative grasslands in a temperate climate zone in China. It consists of marshlands, grasslands, sand dunes, and wetlands, with over 1,200 plants growing on the grasslands. Among them, 671 plant varieties are edible, over 400 are herbs, and over 50 are oil bearing corps. The grassland is also home to many animals, including fine-wool sheep, Mongolian oxen, prairie red cows, Ujumuchin sheep, Xilinguole camels and horses, as well as 76 species of birds including swans and larks. When summer comes, it is a wonderful resort for sightseeing and avoiding heat.

Travel tips:

Admission: 25 yuan

Opening Hours: 08:30-17:30

Getting there: You can take travel bus from Xilinhot City to Xiwuqi or Dongwuqi.
6. Dalian Bingyu Valley, Liaoning
Covering an area of 110 square kilometers, Bingyu Valley is located north of Zhuanghe City, 240 kilometers from Dalian. It is labeled as "Little Guilin" and "Oriental Miniature Switzerland" thanks to its rugged cliffs, astonishing peaks, clear rivers, and mysterious caves. The valley is beautiful in different ways during different seasons. In winter, travelers can try ice sports; in autumn, visitors can enjoy a lofty mountain with colorful leaves, while in summer, it is the ideal place to avoid the heat. The whole scenic area consists of various scenic spots, such as Yingna River, Longhua Mountain, Yunshuidu, Shuanglonghui and Xianren Cave.

Travel tips:

Admission: 120 yuan

Getting there: You can take travel bus from Dalian railway station, or take coach bus from Beigangqiao bus station.
7. Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
Tianchi Lake in Xinjiang Situated in northwest China, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was known as the Western Territory in ancient times. Its 1.66 million-square km represent about one-sixth of the total territory of the country, making it the largest of China's regions and provinces. With its vast territory, Xinjiang boasts rich and diverse tourist resources, including charming natural scenery, distinct Uygur customs, and abundant delicious fruits. The most renowned attractions in Xinjiang include Tianshan Mountain, Tianchi Lake, Turpan, Kanas Lake, Yili River Valley and grape valley among others.

Travel tips:


Tianshan Mountain and Tianchi Lake: 100 yuan in season (Apr.- Oct.), 40 yuan out of season (Nov.-Mar.)

Ha'nasi Nature Reserve: 100 yuan
8.Fenghuang Ancient Town, Hunan
Fenghuang Ancient Town in Hunan Located on the western edge of Hunan Province next to Guizhou, Fenghuang ancient town, also known as "Phoenix Town", is one of the most beautiful towns in China. With a long recorded history of 1,300 years, the town features distinct residential buildings, elegant bridges and mysterious towers and pagodas. Upon entering the town, the visitor will be impressed by its air of mystery, elegance and primitive simplicity. When an early morning mist sets in around the bridges over the water and houses on stilts, the area mirrors traditional Chinese paintings. Visiting a Miao village is a must when traveling in Fenghuang. Visitors will find a large array of silver ornaments, homemade tie-dyes, and unique local snacks.

Travel tips:

Admission: 186 yuan

Opening Hours: 8:00-17:30

Getting there: Take buses from Jishou Railway Station or Jishou South Bus Station to Fenghuang, the ticket price is 15 yuan per person.
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