12 tourist destinations just ranked first in China

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Travel

5A: China has elevated 12 sites to its highest rank as a tourist destination. Photo/Getty Images

China has not made it easy for foreigners to visit. However, they want you to know what you are missing.

This weekend, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism raised 12 new destinations to their highest rating: 5A.

When you have 2.5 billion domestic tourists a year, you need to be able to promote the right areas that have the infrastructure to keep up with the interest and that won’t let you down.

The People’s Republic of China has a National Ranking System (旅游景区质量等级) to rank the best and worst attractions the country has to offer. Ranging from 1A lowest to 5A highest – it’s a comprehensive guide to some 2642 nationally significant attractions.

It works like any other rating system, indexing locations on safety, cleanliness, sanitation, shopping, and transportation based on their distance from the nearest airport. Natural wonders and beauty are also listed.

However, unlike many other countries, it also ranks destinations by the number of visitors.

When you visit a AAAAA attraction, don’t expect secluded beaches and exclusivity. 5A attractions are rated for 600,000 annual visitors, including overseas visitors, while 3A is only rated for half of 300,000 visitors. It’s something to

The new inclusions on the 5A list put them on a par with the Forbidden City in Beijing or the Badaling Great Wall. They include natural and cultural attractions without mainland China.

Qutang Gorge, Hubei Province.  Photo / Shane Young, Unsplash
Qutang Gorge, Hubei Province. Photo / Shane Young, Unsplash

The Qutang Gorge Scenic Area of ​​Baidi City

Municipality of Chongqing in southwest China, the gorges along the Yangtze River are the most impressive here. The vertical cliffs constitute one of the famous Three Gorges of China in the western province of Hubei.

The Silver Rain Tree, a natural column 17 meters high in the Guizhou Zhijin Grottoes.  Photo/Getty Images
The Silver Rain Tree, a natural column 17 meters high in the Guizhou Zhijin Grottoes. Photo/Getty Images

Guizhou Zhijin Cave National Geopark

Discovered in 1980, the cave is a huge network of tunnels, stretching 13.5 km in all directions.
The star attraction is the Silver Rain Tree. Standing 17 meters tall, the colorful stalagmite attracts visitors from all over China.

Weishan's lotus fields are a symbol of the region.  Photo / Joy Yu, Unslpash
Weishan’s lotus fields are a symbol of the region. Photo / Joy Yu, Unslpash

Weishan Lake National Wetland Scenic Area

Asia’s largest wetland. In 2008, conservationists and engineers began repairing the struggling wetlands, which had suffered from industrialization and habitat degradation. Since then, it has become Shandong Province and East China’s most successful eco-friendly attraction. It houses cranes and lotus flowers, a symbol of the eastern region.

Grand waterfalls scenic area, Hubei province.  Photo/Getty Images
Grand waterfalls scenic area, Hubei province. Photo/Getty Images

Three Gorges Waterfalls Scenic Area
A 10 km long gorge of waterfalls runs through the Hubei Scenic Area. It is a landscape that seems to belong to a fantastic film by James Cameron. You will regularly see groups of colorful ponchos venturing into the spray of the enormous falls.

300 km east of Wuhan, after a pandemic that put the city on the map, Hubei hopes to attract many vengeful tourists.

Huangyao Old Town in Zhaoping County, Guangxi.  Photo/Getty Images
Huangyao Old Town in Zhaoping County, Guangxi. Photo/Getty Images

Huangyao Ancient Town

Located in Guangxi Zhuang AR in southern China, the ancient city dates back to 960 AD. While most of the buildings are newer – from the 1700s – it’s like stepping back in time.
The old town began to attract tourists in the 1990s, nostalgic for historic China.
Framed by steep mountains and streams, it seduces romantics.

The tulip flower of Jiangbulake scenic spot, Xinjiang Uygur.  Photo/Getty Images
The tulip flower of Jiangbulake scenic spot, Xinjiang Uygur. Photo/Getty Images

Jiangblake Scenic Area

The Xinjiang Uyghur Nature Reserve is a controversial inclusion in the updated list. The great rolling grasslands of western China look like something out of Little House on the Prairie. The spring tulip bloom is a phenomenon that China is keen to encourage tourists to visit. However, despite the undeniable beauty of the landscapes, it is also the scene of ongoing conflicts with the Uyghur population.

Just last year, the Hilton hotel chain was threatened with a boycott over the construction of a hotel in the area, for the rights of local Muslims in northwest China.

However, it is an area in which many tourists venture. Jiangbulake means “Holy Water Spring” in Kazakh. A language shared by the Uighurs and neighboring Turkic countries.

The 12 new Chinese tourism stars

Museum town of Anren
Baidi City Qutang Gorge Scenic Area
Guan’egou Scenic Area
Guizhou Zhijin Cave National Geopark
Huangyao Old Town Scenic Area
Yellow River Hukou Waterfall
Jigong Mountain National Nature Reserve
Jiangblake Scenic Area
Sanbai Mountain National Scenic Site
Taizhou Fucheng Scenic Cultural Area
Three Gorges Waterfalls Scenic Area
Weishan Lake Wetland National Scenic Area.

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