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China's Eastern Provinces

  • China's Eastern Provinces, China
    © iStockphoto.com / Hadynyah
  • China's Eastern Provinces, China
    © iStockphoto.com / Paulz999
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination China

China, with its history that some say dates back more than 5,000 years, still has a legendary air to it.

The eastern part of the country is divided into several large regions. Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning form the Manchuria region, in the far northeast of the country. This collection of plains bordered by high plateaux charms visitors with its fauna and flora. In the south, the highly fertile North China Plain is home to the provinces of Henan, Jiangsu, Hebei and Shandong.

Eastern China is becoming more cosmopolitan thanks to its big cities like Shanghai, Hong-Kong and Macao, which border the shores of the Eastern China Sea but still preserve the country's culture.

In the Liaoning Province, in the northeast near the North Korean border, visitors can enjoy the many beaches, while in the Shaanxi Province, near the large plateaux in the centre, you can discover the Buddhist culture through the many temples and monasteries.

Despite the increasing number of luxury hotels and designer shops, particularly in the big cities, Eastern China has maintained its mysterious side that continues to fascinate visitors.

China's Eastern Provinces: the key figures

Surface area : 1953608.0 km2

Population : 616697722 inhabitants

Time difference : China has a single time zone, set to Beijing time. The UK is 7 hours behind in summer and 8 hours behind in winter.

  • The rich cultural heritage
  • The diverse landscapes
  • The travel costs
  • The pollution in the big cities

China's Eastern Provinces: what to visit?

Landscapes

  • Mount Taishan , China
    Mount Taishan
  • The Ten Thousand Buddhas Cave

Coasts

  • Qingdao , China
    Qingdao
  • Jinshitan

Thermal spas

  • Huaqing , China
    Huaqing
  • Zhuhai , China
    Zhuhai
  • Zhuhai , China

Sites

  • The Confucius temple , China
    The Confucius temple
  • The Terracotta Army
  • The White Horse Temple , China
    The White Horse Temple
  • The Longmen Buddhist Grottoes , Longmen's Buddhist caves , China
    The Longmen Buddhist Grottoes
  • The Longmen Buddhist Grottoes , Longmen's Buddhist caves , China

China's Eastern Provinces: what to buy?

Eastern China is becoming more and more Westernised. In the big cities, small shops are gradually being replaced by large shopping centres. Shopaholics will feel right at home thanks to the designer boutiques and big Western brands.

In the area around Shenyang, in the Liaoning Province, there is a three-storey complex where visitors can find a wealth of international brands as well as creations by Italian designers.

If you visit Dalian, in Liaoning, stop off at Golden Voice, the most impressive music shop in China. You can also visit the Friendship shopping centre for all your Western product needs.

Just next to the Great Mosque in Xi'an, in the Shaanxi Province, you will find the best place in China to buy souvenirs and antiques.

Inside Chang Huang Miao (City God Temple), there is a small market that is reminiscent of China circa the 1980s, with lots of porcelain, traditional musical instruments and calligraphy materials for sale.

The city of Guangzhou, in the Guangdong Province, is increasingly becoming a huge shopping centre with numerous trendy shops.

If night markets are your thing, then head to Zhaoqing, west of Guangzhou. Here you'll find antiques, antique watches, ceramics and other souvenirs.

China's Eastern Provinces: what to eat?

Eastern Chinese cuisine is renowned for its variety, with more than a hundred different soups.

The speciality in the coastal regions is of course seafood, which is usually very lightly cooked to preserve all the flavours.

If you have the opportunity, try the spare ribs simmered in a soy sauce and rice wine.

Lastly, monkey brains and bear paws are popular among the inhabitants of Eastern China, but are rarely eaten due to how expensive they are.

China's Eastern Provinces: travel tips

Whatever people say, the best season to visit Eastern China is still spring. In both the north and south, the temperatures are ideal in this period (between 20°C and 25°C), and if you're lucky there won't be any rain.

If you visit the south of Eastern China in winter, make sure to pack warm clothes. Although the temperatures aren't as low as in the north, it can still be very cold.

If you prefer to relax rather than head out on an adventure, stick to the coast. Here you can make the most of the Qingdao beaches in Shandong and enjoy the benefits of the thermal spas in Guangdong and Shaanxi.

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