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China's Top 10 "Coolest" Summer Getaways

Sometimes the heat becomes oppressive and even air conditioning and fans can't put a dent in our discomfort and lethargy. Recharge your batteries with these ten coolest summer getaways. The best places in China to chill out and beat the heat.


Changbai Mountain

1. Changbai Mountain Cool index
Changbai Mountain is located to the east of Shanhaiguan and boasts beautiful and charming scenery. It is famous both locally and abroad for its fascinating landscapes and it is said that "Changbai Mountain overlooks all other mountains". There are four landscape zones ranging from temperate to frozen. It is an unusual sight to behold a mountain with four distinct seasons but that is what Changbai offers. You can enjoy a special summer here: climb mountains, trek through forests, spend your holiday at a summer resort, feast your eyes up rare landforms and all manner of living creatures. Notable attractions in the Shenyang region besides Changbai Mountain include: Imperial Palace, Antu, Changbai Mountain, the Heaven Pool, Hot Springs, Virgin Forest, Changbai Mountain Waterfalls, Dunhua, Mudanjiang, and the Sukhavati Temple.

Fee:  The ticket price for Heaven Pool: 100 RMB

How to get there:
You may easily take a flight from Bejing, Shanghai or Shenyang to Yanji.
Beijing to Changbai Mountain, by China Southern Airlines, from 11:00a.m to 13:00 p.m, the price is 1130 RMB;
Shanghai to Yanji, by Shanghai Airlines and China Southern Airlines. It take about three hours and 1760 RMB there;
Guangzhou to Yanji, by China Southern Airlines, from 9:35-15:25, and the price is 2560 RMB.
Transportation around Changbai Mountain is very convenient. Transit buses are available once you arrive

Tips:
Don’t use umbrellas with you when you are going to Changbai Mountain in summer for it may cause the thunder in the mountain regions. What’s more, do take coats and pants with you because even in summer, it’s very cold in the mountain.


Shenlongjia

2. Shenlongjia Cool index

Shenlongjia is found in Hubei Province. Here, natural wonders such as the unique wind, thunder, lightning, and fog tunnels abound. In the mysterious ice tunnels there are icicles, stalactites, and other natural odd ice structures whose illusory appearance enchants and delight the eyes. You can also go on a soul-stirring rafting trip here. Take a trip to Shenlongjia to enjoy a rare cool treat this summer!

Accommodation:
There are lots of hotels for the visitors in Muyu town. And the local two-star hotels include the Shennong Hotel and Tianlu vacation hotel, in which the living condition is not bad, and the price is 280 RMB for each room.

Tickets:
140 RMB for the ticket of the Shennongding Mountain Zone;
40 RMB for the ticket of Shennongtan Temple;
60 RMB for the National level Forest Park.

How to get to Shennongjia
Shennongjia is about 570 kilometres east of Wuhan and 200 kilometres north-west of Yichang. Road is really the only method of transportation other than foot. The 209 highway and Baiguoshu-Honghuaduo highroad pass through this mysterious area, connecting it with other cities.

Tourists can get to Shennongjia directly or by passing through Xingshan County. There are a lot of buses taking tourists to Shennongjia.

Via Xingshan.

Route 1: Take the bus to Xingshan County from Wuhan's Xinhua Road long distance bus station. The daily bus (RMB90) departs at 20:00 and arrives at Xingshan County the next day around 06:00. Then change to a minibus (RMB10), heading for Muyu village. Mini-buses leave every half hour.

Route 2: First travel to Yichang from Wuhan (minibus, RMB65). From there, take the minibus from Yichang to Xingshan County (300 kilometers, RMB35). Then take the local minibus to Muyu village (60 kilometers, RMB10).

Tips:
The best season to travel to Shennongjia is June and October.


Wuzhen

3. Wuzhen Cool index
Wuzhen has a historic, full-bodied ancient cultural atmosphere set on the waterfront. Besides the many natural wonders nearby, the town has a long history of literary prowess. Historically, 64 successful Imperial Examination candidates and 161 Masters all came from this small town. Modern literary giant, Mao Dun, also hails from Wuzhen. If you make it here be sure to check out the town’s historical museum and experience the town’s literary history.

Tips:
If you arrive at Wuzhen in the morning, just buy the RMB 150 joint ticket. If you arrive at Wuzhen in the afternoon, you can buy the RMB 100 ticket to Dongzha and RMB 40 ticket for night tour in Xizha so you can visit Dongzha in the afternoon and visiting Xizha in the evening. But if you arrive at Wuzhen in the evening, you can buy the RMB 40 night tour ticket to Xizha and buy the RMB 100 ticket to Dongzha the next day.

How to get to Wuzhen
There are no railway stations and flights to Wuzhen, so you can only take buses from surrounding cities to go there. There are buses from Hangzhou, Shanghai and Jiaxing to Wuzhen.

Bus:
From Shanghai:
1.Shanghai—Wuzhen
Express long-distance bus station
Add: 1015 Zhongshan Beilu, by Hutai Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021-56528400
Departing time: 10:15, 12:35 and 14:15 with stops at Jiashan and Jiaxing
Price: RMB 25 to 28
And there are two buses from Shanghai South long-distance passenger station to Wuzhen: 9:45 and 16:25.
2.Shanghai—Jiaxing—Wuzhen
Bus stations with Shanghai to Jiangxing buses available:
(1) Shanghai South Passenger Station
Add: 399 Laohumin Lu, Shanghai
Departing time: 9:45 and 16:55
Ticketing Tel: 13505838338
(2) Shanghai express passenger bus station
Add: 258 Hengfeng Lu, Shanghai
Departing time: 7:00 to 18:30
Ticket price: RMB 34
(3) Shanghai passenger bus terminal
Departing time: 7:30 to 18:50
Ticket price: RMB 30 or 35 according to bus types
3.Shanghai—Tongxiang—Wuzhen
Bus stations with Shanghai to Tongxiang buses available:
(1) Shanghai South Passenger Station
Add: 399 Laohumin Lu, Shanghai
Departing time: 9:45 and 16:55
Ticketing Tel: 13505838338
(2) Express long-distance bus station
Add: 1015 Zhongshan Beilu, by Hutai Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021-56528400
Departing time: 10:25 and 14:15
Price: RMB 29

Accommodation:
1. Zhenhe Hostel—the friendly owner may pick up visitors at the bus stations free of charge.
Add: entrance of Xizha Scenic Area, Wuzhen
Contact person: Han Jinxing
Tel: 0573-88713390
Mobile phone: 13857356826
Price: RMB 100~120
2. Yuanfeng Holiday Hotel—picking up and seeing visitors with cars free of charge
Add: among Dongzha, Nanzha and Xizha, Wuzhen
Contact person: Mr. Fang
Tel: 0573-88716880
Mobile phone: 13586487361, 13819077162
Website: http://www.wuzhenyf.cn/ (Chinese)
Price: RMB 100~120
3. Wangtalou Hotel—picking up and seeing visitors with cars free of charge
Add: 50m north of the entrance of east gate of Xizha Scenic Area, 598 Longyuan Lu, Wuzhen
Tel: 0573-88730168
Mobile phone: 13819067266
Price: RMB 100~120


Jiuzhaigou

4. Jiuzhaigou Cool index
Jiuzhaigou is famous for its originality and mystery. The natural scenery combines beautiful lakes, waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and evergreen forests. Jiuzhaiou enjoys a reputation as a “Fairytale World” due to the great many snowy peaks and green hills surrounding flowing streams. There are thousand-year old trees, exotic flowers and rare herbs which change colors depending on the season. It is the ideal place to spend a holiday in the summer.


How to get to Jiuzhaigou:
Most visitors going to Jiuzhaigou will bypass Chengdu.
Departing from Chengdu:
there are tourist buses from Chengdu Xinnanmen Tourism Bus Station to Jiuzhaigou, departing at 8am every morning. There are long-distance buses from Ximen Bus Station (Yingmenkou Lu, Chengdu) to Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong every season, offering daytime sleeper buses (departing at 7:30am) and nighttime sleeper buses (departing at dusk and arriving in the morning).
Departing from Mianyang: buses are available from Mianyang to Jiuzhaigou starting at 6:40am
Departing from Leshan: buses are available from Leshan to Jiuzhaigou at 8:30am every Thursday and Sunday.


Internal transportation:
1. Environmentally friendly sightseeing bus
There is a kind of environment friendly sightseeing bus in Jiuzhaigou, which uses natural gas as fuel without any pollution. Visitors can get on and off the bus at any time after going inside the area. The bus stops wherever you want and is the most convenient mode of transportation.


2. Jiuzhai plank roads
The plank road wriggling in the forest of Jiuzhaigou links all scenic spots. Visitors can go alongside the plank road to enjoy the beautiful scenery here. The whole plank road is full of rustic charm.


Chengde


5. Chengde Cool index
Chengde is situated in northeast Hebei Province and is surrounded by mountains and natural running water. It is also blanketed in a thick forest and pleasant climate. The classic Imperial Garden Summer Resort and its mammoth “Outer Eight Temples” are located in the urban district’s new half. The whole mountain villa is massive in scale as well as elegance. Wide stretches of lakes and islands seem to be strewn about at random and green grass grows all about in open fields below a chain of lush green mountains. This is certainly a place that qualifies as “cool” both figuratively and literally.

Accommodation:
There are many youth hotels and the prices are between 40 to 100 RMB.
The Chengde Hotel, also known as Yingjia Hotel is just beside the railway station, and its number is 0314-2068542.

Tickets:
90 RMB for Chengde Mountain Resort;
90 RMB for The National natural reservation of Wulingshan Mountain .

How to get to Chengde:
Take the express train N211 (06:30-10:48) from Beijing to Chengde and it will cost about 40RMB.


Tianchi Lake, Xinjiang


6. Tianchi Lake, Xinjiang Cool index
110 kilometers from Urumqi stands the Tianchi Lake. Legend has it that this place's origin was as the bath for the Heavenly Queen Mother. The altitude of the Heaven Pool is 980 meters; it's about 3.4 kilometers in length, 1.5 kilometers at its widest and 105 meters deep. The lake water is crystal and transparent and is surrounded by lush spruce and the snowcapped Bogda Peak in the distance beyond. Even in midsummer, the area around the Heaven Pool is cool and offers a great place to avoid sunstroke. You can arrive in Urumqi and then head for the Tianchi Lake by car to visit any of eight main attractions of Heaven’s Pool. There are also many hotels, guest houses and vacation villas in the area with prices ranging from very cheap to very expensive.

Entrance Charge:
CNY 100 (Apr. to Oct.); CNY 40 (Nov. to Mar.)
Cable Car: CNY 35
Barge Tour: CNY 30
Electric Bus: CNY 10

Where to Stay:
Maitian International Hostel in Urumqi, China
NO.726 Youhao South Road Red Hill
White Birch International Hostel in Urumqi, China
No. 186 Nan Hu Road
Urumqi Airport Information


How to get there:
Buses leave from the north end of Renmin Park in Urumqi between 9am and 9.30am every day and return from the lake between 4pm and 4.30pm. Minibuses are the most efficient. There are also private buses running from the Hongshan Hotel. It takes you about 2 hours to get there from Renmin Park and Hongshan Hotel, or one and half an hour's journey through the Urumqi Highway, and going up the mountain by ride, with 20 Yuan per hour fee.


Shangri-La Photo:jnout


7. Shangri-La Cool index
The natural scenery of Shangri-La, locared in southwest Yunan Province, includes snowy mountains, glaciers, valleys, forests, meadows and lakes. From July to August, enjoy Shangri-La by avoiding the flood of tourists and letting yourself see the natural scenery. Listen to the singing of the wind, the birdsong, and the sound of the flowing water. After arriving in Kunming, first visit the Golden Horse and Green Pheasant Memorial Arch, stay for the night, and then head to Dali by regular bus. Then, go to Lijiang by bus for some sightseeing. Next, head to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and see the giant “V” shaped bay of the Yangtze River all before reaching "heaven on earth" or Shangri-La. Once you arrive, make sure to visit the "Little Potala Palace", Songzanlin Temple and try to find a home stay with a family of congenial Tibetans. From here you can depart for Napa Town on the northwestern Yunnan Plateau or go visit Tiger Leaping Gorge on the way back to Kunming. Make one last stop at the Lunan Stone Forest filled with perilous peaks and breathtaking stone arrangements before heading home!

Tickets:
Shangri-La Gorge:20 RMB  
Tiger Leaping Gorge: 30RMB

Kunming to Shangri-la
The mileage from Kunming to Shangri-la is 720 kilometers, via Zhuxiong and Dali. Tourists can go
directly to the Zhongding county seat by high-speed passenger bus in Kunming Passenger Transport Bus
Station.It will take 12 hours to get to the destination and costs RMB145.The bus starts at 6:00am and
18:00pm.every day.


Guilin

8. Guilin Cool index
The Guilin region is considered a karst landscape. This area has been made immortal by countless watercolor paintings and ancient poetry. The innumerable sights of the Lijiang River and the surrounding rural landscape form the distinctive "Guilin Scenery" which is famous both within China and abroad. The harmony of beautiful mountains, clear waters, spectacular caves and massive stones cannot be described in words and is truly a must-see for any vacationers in south China.
Guilin Attractions
Guilin Accommodation
Guilin Transportation


Qinghai Lake, Qinghai

9. Qinghai Lake, Qinghai Cool index
Qinghai Lake is surrounded on all sides by four lofty mountain peaks. The vast lake looks like a giant jade plate secured flatly between the high mountains and the nearby grasslands. All these elements blend together to constitute a picturesque natural wonderland. The region is cool year-round due its high elevation. Even during the scorching summer months, the average daily temperature maxes out at a measly 15°C which makes this the ideal summer getaway for those looking to beat the heat.

Accommodation
Qinghai Lake Bird Island Hotel. Only 16 kilometers from famous Qinghai Lake. Standard room 168 RMB per night. Located in the Haibei Tibetan Autonomous County. Phone: 0970-8655098
You can also stay in tents set up by locals near Bird Island. These tents have a few beds inside and come with rather meager meals.

Tickets:
Qinghai Lake tickets: tourist season runs from April 15 to October 15, 100 RMB. Off season tickets, run from October 16 to April 14, cost 50. Boats: 45 RMB. Boat service unavailable in the winter.

How to get there:
Take bus to Qinghai Lake from Xining Bus Station at the price of about 30 RMB.


Lushan Mountain

10. Lushan Mountain Cool index
Tectonic movement tens of millions of years ago created the austere Lushan Mountain peaks with each rising higher than the next as if in competition with each other. Lushan Mountain stands between rivers and lakes, and experiences a great deal of rain with more than 2000 mm of annual rainfall. The temperature in this mountain range is relatively high -- this teamed with the rainfall produces much mist and a humid environment. If you have a chance to visit the Lushan Mountains, you will see the beauty of clouds and mist with rising peaks on the horizon. Come here to see rare landforms and drink “mist tea”. Stop in Nanchang first and visit, before heading into the mountain regions.

Accommodation:
The Lushan Hotel : 0792-8282060
The Lushan West Lake Hotel: 0792-8285850

Tickets:
Lushan Mountain: 180 RMB per person

To and from Lu Shan
Travelers can go to Nanchang or Jiujiang first and take a long-distance bus heading for Lu Shan.
Nanchang Long-distance Bus Station (0791-622 6000) sends three buses to Lu Shan each day at 8:20 a.m., 11:05 a.m. and 3:40 p.m. The 45 RMB trip takes about three hours to the top of the mountain.
Buses from Jiujiang Long-distance Bus Station (0792-858 2369) start from 6:50 in the morning and run until 4:30 in the afternoon with nearly one bus every hour. The trip takes about one and a half hours and costs about 8 RMB.
All these buses arrive at Lu Shan Bus Station (0792-828 1099) on the mountain, which sends four buses back to Jiujiang Long-distance Bus Station in the afternoon each day
.


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