12 Best Things To Do Over The Summer Holidays In China - Updated 2024

summer holidays in china
Contributing Writer
| 4 min read

We all need a well-deserved break from school or from our workplace sometimes, and spending time to do the things we love during the summer holidays is the best way to recharge ourselves. In China, the possibilities are endless as the world’s most populous country is made up of numerous regions, municipalities, provinces, and even UNESCO sites to explore. Each of these has its own unique landmark, food specialty, or a hidden cultural gem just waiting to be discovered.

If you’re undecided, check out the best things to do over the summer holidays in China!

1. Explore the countryside of Yangshuo riding an ATV (from USD 136.11)

summer holidays in china | explore the countryside of yangshuo riding an atv

One fun thing to do over the summer with friends is to escape the urban chaos and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Yangshuo with an ATV ride tour. Rev up your ATV or buggy, navigate streams, and enjoy the freedom of the open road; all while an expert guides you on vehicle operation. As you do so, Yangshuo’s picturesque countryside unfolds before you - revealing rural villages with breathtaking karst mountain landscapes intermingled amidst tranquil farmlands.

Experience this refreshing journey as it provides a respite from city life, presents an opportunity to observe rural riverside existence, and offers an ideal solution for escaping summer’s sweltering heat.

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Half/Full-day Atv/Buggy ride tour in Yangshuo

Duration: 4.0 to 8.0 hour

2 reviews

2. Ride the waves in Hainan

summer holidays in china | ride the waves in hainan
Source: www.klook.com

Embark on a thrilling summer activity in China as you catch your first wave in the breathtaking Houhai Village. This tailor-made surfing course caters to beginners, promising an unforgettable adventure at one of Sanya’s top novice surfing spots; with its pristine beauty and tranquil waves–not to mention minimal crowds–Houhai Village offers the ideal backdrop for your introduction to this exhilarating sport.

Ensure a stunning visual record of your surf adventure by capturing every exhilarating moment with GoPro photography and drone footage. Feel the gentle sea breeze and ride the waves like a pro under Sanya’s sunshine. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a complete newbie, Houhai Village promises an unforgettable experience.

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First experience of surfing in Houhai, Sanya, Hainan (advanced course for zero-based surfing beginners) - Klook

3. Walk on clouds at the Floating Mountains

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Source: Pixabay

One adventurous thing to do in China is to visit the Floating Mountains at Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan province. We really recommend taking a trip here to take a hike through the park while admiring the mountains from afar. At times, you might wonder if you’re actually on earth or somewhere in the celestial heavens.

Floating Mountains at Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Address: Wulingyuan, Zhangjiajie, Hunan, China

Website: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

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4. Treat your taste buds to a delicious hot pot of Sichuan

Food 海底撈, Haidilao, 台灣一號店, 台北
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user bryan... used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Depending on the time of year in China, the weather can get very cold and unforgiving. One fun thing to do over the summer with your family is to indulge yourselves in a delicious hot pot, Sichuan steamboat-style. You will be able to find this delicacy in most restaurants across China. We should warn you though that there are various spicy levels of Sichuan hot pot so do check with the staff first before you decide on your meal. If you happen to be in Shanghai, then you must try the popular Hai Di Lao restaurant that serves excellent Sichuan hotpot.

Hai Di Lao

Website: Hai Di Lao

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5. Explore Zhangjiajie National Forest Park to its fullest (from USD 378.0)

Other than the Floating Mountains, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is also home to other natural landscape wonders such as its own canyons and the stalactite-studded Yellow Dragon Cave. This tour will not only bring you to see these wonders but you will also get to cross the suspended glass bridge that is 300 meters (980 ft) above ground and suspends across two mountain cliffs. This tour is inclusive of lunch and hotel pick-up and drop-off.

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Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Private Tour from Zhangjiajie

Duration: 9 hours

6. Appreciate ancient artworks in Mogao Grottoes (from USD 239.0)

Put on your Indiana Jones hat on and go marvel at ancient artworks on this memorable ‘Jewel of the Silk Road’ tour. During your exploration of this UNESCO World Heritage site, your guide will take you through the Mogao Grottoes, Singing Dunes, and Crescent Moon Spring to see well-preserved statues and architecture. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.

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Dunhuang Private Day Tour with Mogao Grottoes, Singing Dunes

Duration: 10 hours

5 reviews

7. Visit the famous Terracotta Warriors in Xian

The Terracotta Warriors
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Aneta Ribarska used under CC BY-SA 3.0

You might have heard about the famous Terracotta warrior army in Xian but seeing it in its magnificent entirety is a different story altogether. For the uninitiated, the Terracotta Warriors are funeral sculptures meant to protect Qin Shi Huang who was the first emperor of China. Do consider spending most of your day here as there are over a thousand sculptures to admire.

The Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses

Address: Qinling North Road, Lintong District, Xi'an 710600, China

Opening hours: 8:30am - 5pm (daily)

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8. Walk on the fabled Great Wall of China and explore the Forbidden City (from USD 59.0)

walk on the fabled great wall of china and explore the forbidden city

The Great Wall of China probably needs no introduction as it is the only man-made structure viewable from space! This tour, which starts at 7 in the morning, will pick you up at your hotel and bring you to a section of the Great Wall to hike for a couple of hours. After lunch, the tour continues at the massive Tiananmen Square and the Royal Palace inside the Forbidden City. Along the way, you will get opportunities to visit jade factory workshops and get a Chinese foot massage to soothe those aches.

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From Beijing: Great Wall & Forbidden City Full-Day Trip

Duration: 11.0 hour

242 reviews

9. Fly a kite in the beautiful blue sky (from USD 96.0)

Kite flying is a very popular family activity in China, and it is not surprising to see hundreds of people gathering in large community squares flying kites of all shapes and sizes. The province of Weifang is famous for kite-making and its most iconic kite is the long centipede kite that stretches for more than 3,000 cm (98 feet)! You’ll probably need a couple of mates to help you fly it but to see it fly high in the blue sky is worth the memory.

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Half Day Family Learning Class of Kite and Chinese YoYo or Calligraphy

Duration: 3 to 4 hours

10. Enjoy the flavorful taste of Xiao Long Bao in Shanghai (from USD 71.0)

Dim Sum, or more commonly known as Yum Cha in Cantonese, is well-known around the world for its wide range of small and colorful dishes that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or high tea. In Shanghai, Xiao Long Bao (little steamer pork-filled buns) is very popular among foreigners and locals alike. When steamed, the mixture of pork and vegetables inside the bun produces a delicious mouth-sized broth which gives it a very flavorful taste. Be careful when eating it, as you might burn your tongue if you are not careful!

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Old Shanghai Food and Walking Tour

Duration: 3 hours

10 reviews

11. Go on a full day river cruise on the Li River (from USD 109.0)

If you happen to be in Guilin, consider going on this four-hour river cruise tour that takes you along the calm and scenic Li River and the beautiful Chinese countryside. Be sure to bring your camera along to snap some unforgettable photos. You do not have to worry about lunch, too, as you will enjoy fresh fish and other local specialties to fill your bellies. Along the way, you will disembark and interact with local street vendors in a rustic village where you will also be able to purchase some souvenirs.

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Li River Cruise Full Day Tour of Guilin and Yangshuo including Lunch

Duration: 9 hours

53 reviews

12. Get up close with the Giant Pandas (from USD 91.0)

We’ve probably seen cute videos of giant pandas eating and playing about on social media but how about seeing them up close in the flesh? If this is on your bucket list then you should hop on this tour to the Chengdu Giant Panda base where the pandas and other rare animals are bred. Your tour will start in the morning as this is the time where the pandas are most active. You will also learn more about panda research and the various methods used to breed and nurture them.

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Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding Tour in Chengdu

Duration: 4 hours

1 review

Have a wonderful break in China

Source: Pexels

China is a country full of heritage and history where even the simplest activity or food can probably tell you a story that dates back centuries. We hope that your summer break will not only be restful but that you also come away with new knowledge.

If you are looking for accommodation options during your stay, you can check out these capsule hotels in China.

Frequently asked questions about best things to do over the summer holidays in China

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Julian, hailing from Singapore, seizes travel opportunities whenever they arise. He has had the privilege of exploring various countries and immersing himself in their cultures. Japan holds a...Read more

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