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So you’re heading to China and you’re ready to immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of one of the most exciting countries in the world? If you’ve already seen China’s most famous attractions such as the Terracotta Warriors, the Forbidden City in Beijing, and the Great Wall of China, why not dedicate some of your remaining time to seeing something new and unique? There are tons of weird, wonderful, and wacky things that you can see and do when on vacation in China. From walking along a glass-bottomed bridge over a canyon to exploring eerie ghost towns, here are the most bizarre and unique things to do in China:
Walk on a Glass Bottom Bridge (If You Dare!)
If your inner daredevil is calling, why not take a walk on the wild side and cross world’s longest glass bottom bridge. The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge in the Zhangjiajie National Park opened several years ago and it’s rapidly becoming one of the most bizarre attractions in China. It’s not an activity for the faint hearted, the glass bridge hangs over the epic Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon and it’s 430 meters in length. It has been carefully constructed, and while it may look a bit scary, it’s still safe to cross…so we are told. It’s entirely paved with glass, so you can see all the way down to the bottom of the canyon as it lies beneath your feet. Make sure your camera is fully charged, you’ll be wanting to take a lot of photos.
Visit Shanghai’s Former Jewish Ghetto, Shanghai
It should be a better-known fact that during the Second World War Shanghai offered visas to Jewish refugees coming from Germany, Austria, and Poland. This meant that thousands of Jewish refugees emigrated to China in search of safety. The downside is that many Jews were forced to relocate to a small area in Shanghai’s Hongkou district, where conditions were poor, and overcrowding was rife. Today, the ghetto is best known for its winding alleyways and the Ohel Moshe Synagogue and it’s a unique destination to explore on foot.
The Watermelon Museum, Beijing
The humble watermelon is known as China’s favorite summer fruit, and the Watermelon Museum in Beijing was built in dedication to it. The Watermelon Museum is a 4,000 square meter museum that traces the history of the watermelon, from its birthplace in southern Africa to its popularity today in modern China. The museum is futuristic, with quirky wax-made watermelon designs lining the walls and ceilings. The museum has a small garden area with real watermelons growing if futuristic waxy melons aren’t your thing. If you like big melons, this is the museum for you.
Explore the Eerie Green Village, Houtouwan
There are tons of abandoned villages in China due to mass migration to the country’s bustling cities, and the village of Houtouwan is a former fishing village that is one of these deserted towns. What’s most unusual about Houtouwan is that since its abandonment the village has been reclaimed by nature and it’s covered in greenery, plants, and shrubs, to the extent it’s now known as ‘the Green Village.’ The village was once home to around 2,000 fishermen who have left in search of more stable work in the country’s big cities. It’s certainly an eerie experience. If you love all things weird and wonderful, it might also be worth visiting the world’s creepiest amusement parks or checking out some of the world’s strangest customs.
Swim at Red Beach, Dawa County
China’s Red Beach is arguably one of the most unusual beaches in the world. The beach, which is in Dawa County in Panjin, is covered in swathes of the bright red Suaeda salsa plant. As a result, from afar it looks as if the beach’s sand is bright red, and with the blue sea on the horizon, it’s a very unusual sight to see. You can swim at the beach and it’s definitely worth a photo for the ‘gram.
Visit ‘The Perfect Communist Village’, Huaxi
The town of Huaxi is known by many as an example of a communist utopia. The village was founded in the 1960s and it’s a model village showcasing the potentials of functioning communism. Lucky residents were given identically-built houses and a car in return for working seven days a week in one of the village’s factories. There are catches, however — if a resident leaves the village at any time, they lose their house and car. Another downside is that the ‘gifted house and car’ program is only for official village residents, and not for migrant workers. The irony is that the village’s migrant workers are said to make up the bulk of the current population in Huaxi.
Yellow Mountains, Huangshan
The Yellow Mountains are one of the most beautiful destinations in China — and they often get overlooked by tourists who spend more time in the country’s bustling cities. The mountains are a UNESCO World Heritage and they are best known for their unusual sharp peaks that emerge from a heavy sea of clouds.
See Mother Nature at Her Finest in Lexiaguo, Southern China
Lexiaguo, otherwise known as the ‘red land’ is another visual feast for the eyes. It’s hard to believe that mighty mother nature is responsible for the sea of colors including the farmlands’ brightly striped colors, that range from reds to oranges to yellows and greens. This is a natural phenomenon caused by the fact that the soil contains oxidized iron. There are several villages lying within the Lexiaguo area, and it’s an incredible sight.