China‘s a beautiful place to visit, mostly for the food and culture, but the country is very polluted. In fact it’s hard to find a place that isn’t polluted or where the sky isn’t gray from all the smoke.
So if you’re taking kids, I’d recommend visiting Guilin where the air is a little cleaner. They’d love the boat ride down the Li River and the boat ends up in a small village named Yangshuo where you can spend the day.
The village is only two square miles in size and it’s crowded at it’s town center but if you walk past the center a little it’s less crowded, there are vendors selling little Chinese pastries for families, you can see mothers teaching their kids out on the street, there are little childrens and souvenir shops, and you can venture into the countryside.
And if you don’t go to Yangshuo, Guilin is just as beautiful. You can walk along the river or visit the temple or the park. There’s a huge shopping district that looks just like any other shopping area in the U.S. and there’s a university with a park where the kids can roam around.
And even though Beijing is very polluted, I’d recommend it because of Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven and Jingshan Hill. If you go early enough before Forbidden Ctiy gets too crowded, there are large courtyards where the kids can run around a little. They can’t run around very much and you still have to half-guide them, but they can run around a little. But they can run around on the Great Wall (especially if you visit Mutinyu, the less crowded site).
And there’s the People’s Park outside the Temple of Heaven where they can run around and there are people singing. The kids will like it. And they can run around and climb Jingshan Hill, the tiny mountain that overlooks Forbidden City.
If you’re going to Beijing I’d recommend going in late September/October when it’s cooler, and if you’re going to Guiling I’d recommend going in late October/early November when it’s cooler. I’ve never been to Xian where the Terra Cotta soldiers are, but because of it’s touristy-museum-like quality, that might be more for adults. My brother went there and he said tourism and taking photos is rigidly enforced.
And I’d avoid Guangzhou. It’s too polluted and crowded there for children.
Tags: Beautiful Place, Beijing, Boat Ride, Countryside, Courtyards, Early November, Food And Culture, Forbidden City, Late September, Li River, Pastries, S Park, Shopping Area, Shopping District, Sky, Souvenir Shops, TEMPLE OF HEAVEN, Tiny Mountain, Traveling To China, University Park