Top Ten China Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Hike the Yellow River

Itching to see two of China's greatest wonders—the Great Wall and the Yellow River—but not sure you can handle the crowds? Head to Datong, in Shanxi province, hire a taxi, and travel north to the village of Fengzhen. Here, an uncrowded (and largely unreconstructed) stretch of the Great Wall marks what was once the northern boundary of China's Middle Kingdom.

Though cold and isolated, this part of China offers tremendous hiking. Built on the frontier of Inner Mongolia, the wall runs through Shanxi's hilly landscape past dozens of small villages. Families are happy to welcome trekkers who have brought their own food or have money to shop in local villages. If walking the wall isn't enough, return to Datong, rent a bicycle, and ride 10 miles west to Yungang, where you can spend the day exploring caves that together contain over 50,000 images of Buddha.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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